Combat Starship Classification
by Bryn Monnery


The Combat Starships in Star Cruiser are poorly defined, and the classifications given do not match the classical (early 20th Century) definition of a ships capabilities. This document hopes to promote a better, more intuitive system.

Star Cruiser Classifications

The following definitions are in use in Invasion

These are all fine but fail to address the ships true purposes. The Golden Rule here is "economy of force". You send the smallest platform likely to succeed in a mission. The same rule applies to starships, if a "Destroyer" is capable of making long range cruises, and overwhelming any light escort forces, then it fills the "Cruiser" role in a space navy. Also, if a "Cruiser" is so large and powerful, that it operates as part of a Battle Group of ships, it is a "Line of Battle Ship", or "Battleship".

The New Scale

The new scale is based on what ships are capable of, rather than on the book names. I'd be more than happy to substitute some (I'd love to see "Frigate" meaning "Cruiser" for example), but have kept to WW1/2 namings, as it is what players are familiar with.
Star Cruiser Name Role New Name
Fighter Carrier Carries 1-2 dozen fighter craft, large missile complement (by existing designs), line of battle capable. Fleet Carrier
Battleship Carries around half dozen fighter craft, line of battle capable. Carrier
Battlecruiser No difference to Battleship. Carrier
Cruiser Principle Line of Battle Ship. Battleship (or Battlecruiser in the case of the Kennedy)
Destroyer Capable of detatched operations, and raiding. Cruiser
Frigate Not capable of detatched operations, limited by the supply lines, therefore rear echelon escort vessel. Frigate

There are of course variants within this, the main ones being so called "Missile Frigates" and "Missile Cruisers". These are Frigates and Cruisers (SC DD) armed to the scales of the next class up. Examples would be the Manchurian Tunghu class, and the French Paris class.


The German Saschen has never been a good example of a frigate. Certainly, it is not the same class of ship as an Aconit. The Saschen is definately a Cruiser (SC DD) by all classifications bar the actual Ship Status Sheet. The same for the Ypres-12. In fact the text of Invasion goes so far as to call an Aussie Ypres-12 a SC DD (Cruiser).

So, this design, is it a Frigate, a Cruiser or what?

Below is a table showing a typical vessel of the various classes:
Ship Type Class Statistics
Fleet Carrier French Joffre class Fusion Powered, beam armament for self defence, heavy missile complement (20 missiles), carries 30 fighter craft. Moderate Armour and Heavy Screens.
Carrier French Richeleiu class Fusion Powered, heavy offensive and defensive beam armament, heavy missile complement (16 missiles), carries 8+ fighter craft. Moerate Armour and Heavy Screens.
Battleship French Suffren class Fusion Powered, offensive and defensive beam armament, heavy missile complement (16 missiles). Heavy Armour (level-5) and Screens. 
Cruiser Ukrainian Kiev class Nuclear Powered, a fairly light offensive. defensive beam armament, moderate missile complement (9 missiles). Heavy Armour and Moderate Screens.
Cruiser German Saschen class Nuclear Powered, a medium offensive and defensive beam armament, reasonable missile complement (12 missiles). Moderate Armour.
Frigate French Aconit class MHD powered, light defensive armament. Light missile armament (2 missiles), light armour.
SDB British Exeter class MHD powered. No missiles.

Final Notes

You know, this means the German DSKM just got "bigger" as all the Saschen "FF"'s are now CG's. :-)

Why write the document. As much to restrain myself into keeping with canon as much as anything. While a couple of people may be designing "superships", they have no idea what I've never posted, to suffice to say, I managed to build the "Death Star", and can actually, by ignoring a couple of points, get it into the game....