- They strongly tend to be the smallest of the merchant vessels, who ply the space lanes in an unscheduled fashion, speculating under private captains. merchant princes, and tiny, desperate crews rather than sizable trading houses and corporations. 
- A-class vessels are most associated with free traders, freelancers, and tramp liners.
- Tramps typically focus on opportunities within just a few clusters or traces before small scale trade dries up or they get in trouble with the law and are forced to run.
- A relatively high number of tramps reject legal postal union X-mail runs in favor of smuggling, black markets, and illicit trade. Some authorities rigorously inspect all tramp vessls as often as possible.
- The Supraclass designation is also known as Ship Mission, Ship Mission Code, Mission, or Ship Hull Designation.
- It is a starship supraclass.
- 1 Library Data Referral Tree
- 2 Description (Specifications)
- 3 History & Background (Dossier)
- 4 References & Contributors (Sources)
Library Data Referral Tree
- Starship User Types
- Advanced Ship Classifications
- Basic Ship Classifications
- Ships by Function
- Speed of Travel
A-class Tramps are low tonnage vessels in the ACS category that cover the tramp market, which is to say unscheduled, high speculation trade routes that entail the possibility of great risks... and great profit. As soon as a tramp establishes a new route, the trail-broken trade route is likely to be snatched up by R-class subsidized liners or M-class freighter vessels with greater economic efficiencies. And the process begins anew... 
- A top down schematic of a Beowulf with a typical shuttle.
- An early model Beowulf under spaceflight.
- The A1 is externally identical to the Early model A2, a Garu.
- The venerable Wulf class Free Trader.
- A Salamander-class coming into a starport to trade.
Spectrum of Civil Shipping in Charted Space
|Spectrum of Civil Shipping in Charted Space: 1105|
|Synopsis||Tramp||Liner||Freighter||Transport & Tanker|
|Hull Tonnage||100 to 2,499 dTons||100 to 2,499 dTons||2,500 to 999,999 dTons||2,500 to 999,999 dTons|
|Size-Cat||ACS||ACS||BCS & FCS||BCS & FCS|
|Ideal Freight Volume||Zero to Low (Hundreds of tons)||Medium (Hundreds to Thousands of tons)||High (Thousands to Tens of Thousands of tons)||Very High (Tens to Hundreds of Thousands of tons)|
|Market||Unscheduled low volume, high speculation trade routes||Mostly scheduled, medium speculation, subsidized trade routes||Scheduled medium and high-volume, low speculation trade routes||Scheduled high volume trade routes with massive economies of scale|
|Rough Market Share||10%||25%||45%||20%|
|Area of Influence||Cluster or Trace+||Subsector+||Sector||Multi-Sector|
|Business||Fledgling Line||Subsector-wide Line & Interface Line||Sector-wide Line||Multi-sector Line|
|Remarks||Merchant Princes & Adventurers||Scheduled & Subsidized Trade||Backbone of Merchant Trade||Corporate Bulk Trade|
|NOTES: While standards exist, ship naming standards evolve with time and over tech epochs. Class naming comments are only generalizations and many exceptions exist. Trade is heavily affected by local regulations, the rule of law, and local security conditions. WCS-class vessels are not ordinarily used for merchant missions as they are too large and expensive.|
Strategy & Tactics (Doctrine)
Due to the risks, such A-class vessels often carry light naval armament, but can't honestly hope to fend off more than small corsair vessels. They stand almost no chance against military marauders and their only viable strategy must be to run against such opponents. 
|A-class Tramp Supraclass Archetypes|
|Armoured Fast Trader||(AA) or (AAF)|
|Deep Trader||(A3) or (A22)|
|Frontier Trader||(AA) or (AF)|
|Tramp Vessel||(A) (Namesake)|
Size-Class Roles for Tramp Vessels
- Light Trader (AL) (100 to 999 tons)
- Medium Trader (AM) (1,000 to 1,499 tons)
- Heavy Trader (AH) (1,500 to 2,499 tons)
Supraclass Archetypal Roles
These vessels typically serve the following archetypal roles:
|A-class Tramp Supraclass Archetypes|
|Free Trader / Tramp Liner||A & A1||Beowulf class Free Trader|| (J-1): They are typically light, free-spirited J-1 trader craft, built to speculate on primary mains.
|Far Trader||A2||Empress Marava class Far Trader|| (J-2): They are typically a speculative trader with a J-2 drive built to travel off primary mains.
| Deep Trader /
||A3||Fat Cat class Far Trader|| (J-3+): They are typically a ranged trader with a J-3 or greater jump-range for extended operations.
| Armored Trader /
||AA||Star class Armored Merchant||(Armed & Armored): They typically employ an armored hull and some defensive armament for dangerous trade in seedy, potentially hostile regions such as an Imperial Fringe.|
|Light Trader||AL||Aoa'iw class Light Trader|| (100 to 999 tons): Light Traders excel at light scheduled or unscheduled speculative trade.
|Heavy Trader||AH||Leviathan class Merchant Cruiser|| (1,500 to 2,499 tons): Heavy Traders push the limits of what an A-class vessel can do... They have higher operating costs and larger crews than smaller vessels and thus take larger risks when speculating along unknown trade routes. Almost all carry mail vaults and have at least a few staterooms for impromptu travellers able to afford the passage fees.
|Medium Trader||AM||Bloodwell class Merchant|| (1,000 to 1,499 tons): Medium Traders are a compromise between the nimble trade abilities of lighter craft and the heavier cargo loads of larger craft.
|NOTES: There is semantic overlap between many of the classes and codes. Some codes organize by mission or capability, others by size and tonnage, and yet others by other characteristics.|
As soon as civilizations reach beyond their homeworld and its star system, a market for tramp vessels begins to develop... As colonies are established and new races encountered, the opportunity for interstellar trade and profitable speculation follows. There will always be adventurers, merchant princes, gentlesophonts, Travellers, and even a few scalliwags ready to explore and make a quick crimp. 
Within Charted Space, most acknowledge that the Vilani were the first to the stars who still remain within the current order. Their tramp vessels first created and manufactured by the mighty Bureaux, the Vilani megacorporations, have been borrowed, purchased, stolen, and widely copied by nearly every sophont species with an FTL Jump Drive and a little hope. Some Type-A designs are literally over a thousand years old... They have seen empires rise and fall, a Long Night, mass conquest, and whatever other drama the reaches of Charted Space can provide. Desperate little crews still patch these vessels together with bailing wire and scrap metal, often cobbling together parts and technologies from very different sources. The original Vilani designs have been copied, cloned, further developed, modified, edited, mangled, and mutilated into a variety of mercantile mutt traders. Yes, they're glorious! Long live the venerable Type-A Tramps in their many guises! 
Selected Variant Types & Classes
- Type A class Free Trader
- Alexandria class Free Trader
- Basil class Merchant
- Beowulf class Free Trader
- Bremen class Caravel
- Carrack class Transport
- Coriander class Free Trader
- Lune class Freelancer
- March Harrier class Free Trader
- Moraine class Free Trader
- Nymph class Merchant
- Regni Yards Type A class Free Trader
- Type A1 class Free Trader
- Type A-J2 class Free Trader
- Type A-P class Free Trader
- Type TC(S) class Free Trader
- Type A2 class Far Trader
- Akkigish class Far Trader
- Akkigish class Subsidized Merchant
- April Hare class Far Trader
- Avian class Far Trader
- Empress Marava class Far Trader
- Fanzhhienz class Far Trader
- Farrou class Far Trader
- Garu class Far Trader
- Hero class Far Trader
- Hnneshant class Trade Boat
- Hugin class Trader
- Jayhawk class Far Trader
- Khershawn class Trader
- Maru class Merchant
- Prince Ferren class Far Trader
- Princess Gunnhilde class Far Trader
- Salamander class Far Trader
- Soho class Light Freighter
- Treader class Free Trader
- Type A2L class Far Trader
- Type HR class Trader
- Type RX class Merchant Trader
- Type VA class Trader
- Wulf class Free Trader
- Type A3 class Fast Trader
- Type AA class Armored Merchant
- Type AH class Heavy Trader
- Type AL class Light Trader
- Anjou class Freighter
- Aoa'iw class Light Trader
- Burning Sky class Merchant Schooner
- Consul class Provincial Trader
- Fortune class Merchant
- Joshim P. Stone class Provincial Trader
- Liz Zhorka class Light Trader
- Manta class Small Merchant
- Panga class Merchant
- Paya class Light Freighter
- Rhapsody class Merchant Trader
- Unholy Exile class Trader