Predator Class Commerce Raider
By: Walter Whimpenny
USP IF-A646882-070000-97009-0 MCr 1,325.655 1900 Tons Bat Bear 010000-11001 Crew: 54 Bat 010000-11001 TL: 15 Passengers: 8 Low: 40 Cargo: 100 Fuel: 817 EP: 152 Agility: 4 Marines: 18
Craft: 2 x 6T Air Rafts 2 x 30T Ship's Boats 1 x 50 ton Cutter Fuel Treatment: Fuel Scoops and On Board Fuel Purification (50)
Architects Fee: MCr 13.125 Cost in Quantity: MCr 1052.024
From the design firm of Claypoole and Burrows of Regina, the Predator class commerce raider is designed with a single purpose in mind, to capture enemy vessels. Anticipating the coming conflict along the borders of the Spinward Marches, the Predator class intruder will provide Imperial privateers with the ideal ship to distress and annoy enemy merchant shipping. The Predator class features a high jump capacity (4) to allow it to insert deeply behind enemy lines. High speed and maneuverability (agility = 4) to allow it to overtake its slower prey. Heavy on offensive weaponry, this ship can easily intimidate merchants significantly larger than itself. The ship is designed to frighten merchant ships into submission with its overwhelming firepower and capture them intact than to have to fight it out with them and damage their value. The Predator class has limited defensive capability as it is designed as a commerce raider instead of a true warship. It is not meant to slug it out with other warships. When encountering real military vessels its own size or larger which could pose a threat to the ship, the Predator will instead use its superior speed to evade.
The class includes many features to allow for extended cruises, such as fuel scoops and purification systems. Large storage areas are provided to carry additional supplies for long voyages, as supplies are used, they can be replaced with, captured valuables or prisoners. Use of external drop tanks allow the Predator to jump into a system capture whatever vessels it can and then jump out without having to spend dangerous time refueling.
A large contingent of ships troops are carried to board and search captured vessels and ensure the safety of the ship from the large number of prisoners which may be acquired during a long cruise. The large number of low berths is initially used to carry the prize crews who will return captured ships to friendly space. They can then be used to detain prisoners (especially those who pose a danger to the ship) from captured vessels without the need to feed and care for them.
Additional staterooms are for low berth crews when awake as well as high ranking prisoners, passengers, and guests. The Predator class vessels also carry an array of ship's boats. These are used in the transfer of personnel, prisoners, and cargos as well as the occasional cutting out expedition.
The Predator Class does not have a standard naming convention. Although the individual ship names tend to follow an obvious trend, generally the names of predators or infamous raiders. Some examples include: Warbird, Nautilus, Silver Hawk, Viper, Genghis, Mako, etc.
It has also been used to as a long range high value cargo hauler (pirates tend to shy from it), and as a mercenary cruiser. It could carry up to 60 troops along with its full crew compliment. Often used as the command ship for a mercenary company (e.g., 1 Predator , 2 broadswords, 2 merchant vessels carrying equipment and additional personnel). And of course as its primary role is as a commerce raider in the wrong hands, it is a pirate's dream come true. It is rather expensive, but due to the high cost of starships it has only to capture 3 or 4 small enemy ships to repay the initial investment.
The ship is built using Book 5 High Guard rules.
Copyright 2006 Walter Whimpenny All Rights Reserved