Anda di halaman 1dari 27


Cimarron Class

These designs have been created for the ASTRAL EMPIRES game system
but may be used with any science fiction system

All artwork within this module created by Kevin Monk. Permission is granted for
purchaser's personal use only. All other uses restricted.

The two vessels described herein were inspired by The Word Reclaimed science fiction
series by Marcher Lord Press. These books are available at:

Although this book may be used with any science fiction setting or system, the statistics
provided are optimized for use with the Mongoose Traveller rules available from .

Copyright 2011 by Kevin Monk


The purpose of this book is to provide information on two classes of dual-use

(civilian/military) starships available to spacers in the ASTRAL EMPIRES setting. It charts
the development and function of these two classes and their conceptual functionality, as
well as specific historical examples of how they were actually utilized.

Many readers of Admiral Falkenwrath's writings about the history of starship designs from
man's earliest feeble attempts will recall the Marcher I class freighters and their widespread
use during the 02500s and 02600s, but few realize how long-serving these vessels were or
the fact that both were based on earlier designs meaning that the basic aspects of these
two classes were in service for multiple centuries.

Far removed from the romance of deep space, there were grave doubts and misgivings
about deep-space travel during the early millenia of mankind's sojourn amongst the stars,
and it was rugged, dependable craft such as these that protected spacers from the deadly
vacuum that surrounded them at all times. This resulted in these ships becoming quite
popular with their crews which is likely the source of the nostalgia for them that persisted
far into the 03000s.

Let us look in detail at these two starship types, so often classed together and undertake
an attempt to understand why they were so popular in service during their time and the
unique characteristics they offered to those who sailed the stellar seas within their hulls.


The Marcher I class of space-going cargo vessels first became operational during the early
02500s, but their basic design incorporated many elements of the earlier Europan-built
Mistral IV class fleet replenishment ships. They were much more modern than the Mistrals
at the time of their construction and quickly became much in use by various Terran
transport associations. The aftermath of the Terran Civil War of the 02400s meant that
there was a tremendous need for deep-space-capable vessels of all sizes and
classifications and the Marcher I's quickly gained a reputation for being serviceable if
somewhat ungainly vessels.

The Marcher I freighter is a Class F (meaning it falls within the 4,000 to 8,000 ton range)
transport vessel first constructed during the early 02500s. Although used as everything
from simple cargo transport to military duties (as gunboats and intelligence collection
vessels) these relatively slow craft were optimized for hauling cargo between star systems
within Terran-dominated space.

Although these units resembled small passengers liners in service at the time, they were
not well set up for carrying people with a minimum number of berth units built into their
basic design. Instead, they were built to meet the basic commercial needs of transporting
goods between settled worlds. Most were built at the shipyards of Hadron Pair and fitted
out in the Foundry system, which was unusual for the time.

These ships are approximately 100 meters in length and roughly 20 meters wide (although
their cooling blades are wider in places at the rear of the vessel) and can carry a crew of up
to 80, although they were typically operated by a compliment of only 12.

The Marcher I's were designed with two weapons hardpoints forward of the bridge module,
and typically were armed with either particle cannons, lasers, or civilian-legal missile packs.
Some versions were later refit with a minesweeping system, but this conversion was
ultimately unsuccessful and is not considered to be typical for ships of this class.

In the first part of the 02500s the Trans-Sirius Fuel and Shipping Company ordered twenty-
two vessels to Marcher I specifications for resupply missions to distant colonies along the
Orionis Arm. Following this, the Terran Fleet Auxiliary Service then chartered a dozen
vessels of this class for their own purposes. Ultimately, these vessels proved too small for
Terran FAS use and were sold to independent worlds for interstellar transport purposes.

Over the course of the 02500s, several non-human governments also purchased variants
of the Marcher I class for both civilian and military transport duties. Attempts were even
made to arm these vessels for use as gunboats and raiding ships, but their slow maximum
speed ultimately made them ineffective in those roles. However, during the difficult years of
the Felinoid Conflicts (mostly occurring during the middle of the 02600s) numerous
examples of these ships were indeed pressed into service as munitions vessels and
combat stores ships.

By the mid-02700s most examples of the Marcher I class had been removed from official
service by most interstellar and planetary powers, and were to be found only in use by
independent traders in distant backwaters of human-settled space.

A few of the Marcher I class vessels were also refitted as orbital mine-clearing ships, which
sadly resulted in the greatest loss of both individual units of this class and few lives during
their service. Although easily modified, for some reason they appear to have met with
misfortune in this particular role and were never used in that capacity again.

Overall they are remembered as a capable design that served their operators and crew
well and it is even possible that some rebuilt versions of these ships may still be in service
somewhere in the distant reaches even into the current era.

These vessels were somewhat modular in design with the capability of having the cargo
hold removed and other mission modules in its place. However, this was seldom used
during the major lifespan of this design and most naval historians focus little on this option.

The Marcher I's were typically not equipped with armor, although they had reinforced hulls
from the time of their construction. They carried a fuel scoop in the front of the craft and a
fuel processing unit located beneath the bridge with a direct pipeline to the engine core.

These craft were available in both interstellar and interplanetary variants with the only
noticeable difference being the lack of a stardrive present in the system-based vessels.
Most ships of this class were built for interstellar travel, however, so it is uncommon to
encounter versions limited to transporting goods between planets.

The most advanced computer cores of the era were limited to military use so most Marcher
I ships operated using standard civilian computers. Still, they were more than adequate for
their needs of being able to jump between star systems along established travel lines.


Hull-16,000 tons (equivalent to 500 Traveller tons)
FTL/OverLight-Capable of Class 1 (equivalent to Traveller Jump 1)
Thrust-2 Gs (equivalent to Traveller thrust 1)
Computer Core-Basic Civilian Class 1 (equivalent to Traveller Model 1-Rating 5)
Sensors/Scanners-Civilian Class 1/Can be upgraded for military uses (equivalent to
Traveller -2 DM)
Weapons-2 Hardpoints (capable of accepting both civilian and military armament modules)
Cargo-3000 tons (equivalent to Traveller 200 tons)
Passenger Options-4 staterooms/10 low berths (it is possible to remove the cargo module
and replace it with a passenger habitation module with 20 staterooms and 20 low berths)

The basic layout of the Marcher I class is fairly simple and quite similar to most Terran
ships of the first millenia in space. The operations area is located at the extreme front
portion of the vessel. Here the ship is piloted typically by a flight crew of at least five (for
purposes of balancing redundancy and maximum efficiency). Behind this portion are the
avionics systems and sensor pallets. These can be swapped out for various missions, a
capability added to the Marcher I class late in the design process as an effort to secure
military contracts.

The cargo are is a somewhat spherical portion of the ship located roughly amidships. The
cargo hold is relatively spacious for a ship of this size but nowhere near as large as those
carried by the massive bulk carriers. The entire cargo hold may be swapped out for
passenger pods or military application modules, but these capabilities were seldom used
and most vessels in this class were restricted to use as transports.

While some later variants had efforts put into them for minimizing their radiation signatures
the drives on the Marcher I's are essentially a baseline example of classic civilian transport
engines of the era. The engines are modular and can be replaced by a trained crew at a
starport with either civilian (most common) or military drive systems. Unusually for vessels
of this type, the crew quarters are located just forward of the engines with a thick radiation
shield to provide protection from drive emissions.

(See basic floor plan design on next page)

Floor plan/basic layout of Marcher I class freighter

SHIP #2-Cimarron class corvette (ak a
rust buck ets)
Although introduced as the Cimarron class corvette when first put into service by the Terran
military as one of the first new vessels designed following the fall of the Terran Federacy,
these ships quickly became known as the Rust Buckets. Surprisingly, or perhaps not
because the derogatory name had no apparent impact on sales of these ships, the builders
of Cetus II of these vessels made that moniker their new ship design's default nickname.
Within their historical context, these light warships earned a reputation for serviceability and
functionality across multiple mission responsibilities.

The Cimerron Class Corvette (better known as the Rust Bucket) was a fast attack craft of
the 02500s and 02600s designed with multiple mission capabilities. They were roughly 75
meters in length and approximately 20 meters at their widest point (the aft heat dissipation

They were considered to be fairly fast with good delta-V for the time period, but were too
small to carry shields which resulted in their surface being pocked by micro-meteorites
which resulted in the nickname Rust Buckets. They had a single weapons hardpoint at
front of the ship just below the bridge module which could carry anything from a particle
beamer (most common) to an autocannon (often found in backwater systems) or even a
mass driver (a variant fielded during the Felinoid Conflicts). There were also several
positions built into the structure of the ship that allowed for the placement of point defense
stations (up to four).

Built by the Cetus II shipyards for contracts with both Terra and independent worlds out on
the fringe of human space, the Cimarrons were a follow up to the Osprey class orbital
defense gunboat. Although none of these vessels were in service in time to fight in the
Terran Civil War, many of the military and technological advancements of that time period
were incorporated into their design.

Initially, these ships were tasked with scout duties and as escorts for larger warships.
Interestingly to naval historians these ships were used by many widely divergent planetary
governments and were often found as combatants on both sides of various conflicts during
the era of the Lost Colonies.

The most common variant of the Cimarron corvettes were gunboats carrying particle
cannons rated for larger vessels, giving them quite a substantial punch for their size. A
small number were converted to missile corvettes and served with distinction during the
Felinoid Conflicts. These ships were still in limited use into the 02700s and 02800s, but by
then they were almost universally civilian craft refitted as yachts and pleasure craft.

Two early production CImarrons escorting a much larger cruiser circa 02519.

As a multiple-mission platform vessel, the Cimarrons were given many different tasks over
the course of their service life. For that reason, they were designed in a modular fashion.
The Cimarrons were one of the first new designs to come out following cessation of
hostilities between the various human factions of the Terran Civil War and were thus
equipped with the best military systems in service at the time.

Over the time frame this design was in service most of the surviving units underwent
various refits and service life extension programs, so the statistics given below are not
universal for all ships in this class.


Hull-4000 tons (equivalent to 125 Traveller tons)
Armor-Crystalline Interweaving Non-Conducting (equivalent to 4 points of Traveller armor)
FTL/OverLight-Capable of Class 2 (equivalent to Traveller Jump 2)
Thrust-4 Gs (equivalent to Traveller thrust 2)
Computer Core-Advanced Military Class 2 (equivalent to Traveller Model 4-Rating 20)
Sensors/Scanners-Military Class Basic (equivalent to Traveller +0 DM)
Weapons- 1 Hardpoint
4 Point-defense stations
*Can also accept 1 missile rack (equivalent to Traveller double turret)
Cargo-1000 tons (equivalent to approximately 32 Traveller tons)
Passenger Options-2 staterooms

The basic layout of the Cimarron class is similar to other light combat craft of the 02500-
02600 time period. Although built with a specialized hull to make them more resistant to
battle damage, these ships were relatively fragile when going up against larger vessels and
thus optimized for hit-and-run sorts of attacks to minimize exposure to combat damage.
That meant that at times they struggled against certain heavily-armed civilian vessels they
were tasked with confronting, such as ships involved in piracy and raiding actions.

As with most small military ships of the time period the idea was to keep the crews as small
as possible to allow for greater mission durations and thus the front portion of the ship had
to contain all of the flight deck/bridge, mission-support avionics, and crew quarter areas.
There was a large (relative to the size of vessel) spherical cargo hold for carrying long-term
stores, storing seized goods or for the transportation of troops. Surprisingly for the era in
which they were built, there were separate areas for engineering and engine maintenance
which ultimately meant these vessels' drive systems were extremely easy to work on and to
change out as needed.

(See basic floor plan design on next page)

ADVENTURE HOOK S (for use by the gm)

The two classes of starships contained in this book are examples of vessels from the
02500s and 02600s. This is an era of ASTRAL EMPIRES where the central control of Terra
has failed. Lost colonies abound, but off from the once draconian control of the human
homeworld, and the ability to transport materiel between worlds is key to the survival of
those cut off from the major spacelanes. In addition, the rising threat of the Felinoid races
is causes a great deal of worry for these remote outposts of humanity and the ability to
procure starships capable of protecting these worlds interests is key.

Into this cauldron sail these two classes of starships, small but efficient designs that can be
used for transport, privateering or even military missions assigned by various planetary
governments and corporate interests.

Below are some sample adventure ideas:

1. With the loss of communication from Terra a new planetary government has ascended to
the role of guiding the world of Jagaren, a former human protectorate world with a
population made up of 92% Felinoids. However, the new rulers are a brutal regime,
attempting to enslave the indigenous Felinoid population which has caused them to take
steps to end its world's citizens' ability to travel to the stars. There is a great deal of interest
in small vessels that can fly under the sensors and deliver goods and people to the places
they need to be. But with a potential war brewing between the outspace Felinoids who
wants to put themselves at risk to help Cats?
2. It is not widely known, but another Xenoroach outbreak has occurred in the Spica Sector.
The remaining Alpha Marines loyal to Terra require passage to that region with their various
weapons of war (power armor, mekstryders, aerospace fighters), but with the limited
numbers of ships available to a Terra slowly rebuilding from civil war it is necessary to hire
independent ship captains for transport. Once again, the possible payoff makes it an
appealing proposition... But have you ever heard what a Xenoroach Ripper can do to the
human (or alien) body?
3. The various Felinoid races from beyond Terran space are beginning to launch attacks on
border colonies and ships traversing the outregions. Various worlds and merchant
consortiums are offering large sums of money for ships willing to serve as picket vessels or
alternatively as privateers themselves. The potential rewards are great, but the Felinoids
are terrifying to the minds of men and woe to those who fall into their claws.

The era of the Lost Colonies (generally recognized as 02500-02600) was a time of
upheaval for humanity and her xeno allies. The collapse of the Terran Federacy hit the
outer worlds the hardest and it was through the heroic efforts of both the remaining
Vanguard Fleet and various independent contractors and spacers that human civilization
amongst the stars continued. While the starship designs of this time period are
considerably different from both those that preceded them (the graceful vessels of the
Vanguard during the 02250s through the late 02400s) and those that followed after (the
technical marvels of the First Golden Age, the inelegant utilitarian vessels of the Diaspora,
and the massive ships-of-the-line that dominated the 04000s) they served their purpose
well during a particular era of galactic history and should be remembered as excellent ships
during a troubled time.


ASTRAL EMPIRES is an massive project including wargames, roleplaying games and

original fiction designed for the purpose of creating a huge milleau encompassing the many
different themes of science fiction within a single original universe. The premise is to have
various eras and regions of the galaxy (called the Mosaic Galaxy due to all the different
types of civilizations present throughout) where readers and gamers can explore and
where events taking place in one area of space or during a certain time period impact other
eras and subsettings.

What is available for gamers?

If you like 4x games then you'll probably enjoy ASTRAL EMPIRES: EMPEROR. If starship
combat is your preference, then you will like ASTRAL EMPIRES: ADMIRAL or the more
detailed ASTRAL EMPIRES: CAPTAIN. If you like sci-fi ground combat, then check out
ASTRAL EMPIRES: ALPHA MARINES where you can get your fix of hovertanks,
mekstryders, and power armor all in a single unified setting. For roleplayers there's the
ASTRAL EMPIRES RPG using the Mongoose Traveller game engine (just as the ships in
this book are optimized for using that system).

Check it out at:

Now available from Port Nova Media

Interested in exploring the ASTRAL EMPIRES universe? Want to know more about Void
Rangers, Xenolegionaries, Alpha Marines, Gladiators, Simulcrons and other exotic futuristic
beings? Interested in a new science fiction setting built upon the compelling themes of the
genre but with a new twist?

Then check out ASTRAL EMPIRES: THE ROLEPLAYING GAME available January 2011
from Port Nova Media

Port Nova Media's products are distributed through Avalon Game Company.

Announcing Strike Legion from Port Nova Media!

Command a combined arms ground force from any future you wish to imagine! Strike
Legion combines simple game mechanics with a unique, integrated electronic warfare
system and a respectable amount of unit detail and variation and all without sacrificing

Written in a progressive learning format with accompanying scenarios, players can easily
and quickly command a company, battalion, or regiment on the tabletop. Dozens of vehicle
and infantry units are provided for the enclosed scenarios, along with complete
construction rules for creating your own forces. Design and field your own mix of tanks,
grav tanks, infantry, power armor, IFVs, VTOLs, artillery, mecha, aerospace fighters,
cybertanks, orbital support and more in fast-paced, decisive actions that play out in an
average of 1 to 3 hours.

Strike Legion scales combat at 1 piece = 1 vehicle, infantry team, or gun, with each turn
representing about five minutes of real time. While Strike Legion is designed primarily for
1:285/1:300/6mm forces, players can easily use miniatures ranging from 2mm up to 15mm
to fight their battles.

Now available from Port Nova Media at:

Also available two new expansion modules for Strike Legion!

All games available at
(Click on the name to visit their site)





Avalons premier game system the S&G battle system allows you to play skirmish level
engagements, and do so with a fast, easy to learn system that also allows for endless
expansions and genres. With S&G you can fight battles between fantasy based elves and
orcs, or blast off into the cold hard future with space marines and aliens.

 Weapons and Armor
'  Warlord Grom Weapons As mod Damage mod Notes____ 

 Special Abilities
&"  $ !(%
" & 
' !  # #% ' !! 
  %! '
  ')     !  
'" $!'%
%'   %!&% " %
 &## "!'  " 
)  % ')     %
    #  !!'*
%  %!  !'
("   $ !&%
 ( Health   ##  %
#'  %  '
 *#&  & %&% &
 ! %&(#) !
 ) '*  "#&
  % '
  )  "'
    ' "   ( &"
  )   " &$ .+  '





Battle Axe is a simple to play tabletop system for skirmish level
battles. Using cards instead of dice, you will find the game to be
less luck based and much more tactical in nature. The rules and
cards provide here will be enough to get you started, and new
characters and rule expansions are on the way so you can continue
to increase both the size and composition of your War Bands.