Type A Trader
The Type A Trader is an elementary commercial starship. It carries speculative cargo and passenger service along unscheduled routes on mains, so designs emphasize independent operation without specific logistical support.
There is a summary list.
Trader designs are on the smaller side, generally 200 tons. Unofficial Census Data:
- 5% Compact Free Traders (100 tons).
- 80% Free Traders (200 tons).
- 8% Stretch Traders (300-500 tons).
- 7% Frontier Traders (600-900 tons). Also Exploratory Traders, Flat Traders, and Spice Traders.
Performance. The Trader operates on or around jump-1 mains, which includes smaller population worlds, places with poorer starports or unknown port status, and unscheduled routes. Construction is on the fine line of least expensive options with maximum capabilities. They operate with minimal crew (and in some cases are under-crewed) to maximize profit. They typically have the cheapest drives possible, and no armor.
Armament. All designs have hardpoints. Rarely are weapon load-outs consistent between ships. Sensor upgrades are a common enhancement. Ships on safe mains might not have weapons. Most ships do.
Payload. The cargo-to-passenger-stateroom ratio is typically around 10 to 1; that is, the ship typically has ten tons of cargo space for every passenger stateroom. Vehicles or small craft are common for carrying passengers and cargo from ship to surface and back again. Most have Low Berths to carry more passengers.
Wilderness Equipment. Most designs are streamlined with good landing capability, as they assume the ports lack orbital facilities. Most designs incorporate Fuel Scoops and Fuel Purifiers to allow wilderness refueling.
Specific Mission Modifiers
|Type A Ship mission classification|
|Code||Master Ship Mission||Example|
|A||Free Trader||Free Trader|
|AA||Armored Trader||Armored Merchant|
|A2||Far Trader||Far Trader|
|AF||Fast Trader||Fast Trader|
Free Trader is the term given to an independent interstellar merchant ship, which plies the space lanes carrying cargo and passengers. These free traders are a small and relatively cheap type of merchant ship operating as Fledgling Lines. Usually, a free trader is a 200-ton vessel capable of Jump-1. This restricts their operation to a Main or Cluster of systems. An example of this type of ship is the standard 200-ton Beowulf class Free Trader.
The Ship Mission Code assigned to these ships is A.
Far Trader is a variant designation of a free trader. A far trader typically has a Jump-2 capability (twice that of normal). A standard example of this type is the 200-ton Empress Marava class Far Trader.
The Ship Mission Code assigned to these designs is A2.
The Fast Trader is another, rarer, variant of a free trader. Built for more dangerous space, the fast trader sports high-G drives to help it stay clear of hostile ships. A standard example of this type is the 200-ton Maada class Fast Trader.
The Ship Mission Code assigned to these designs is AF.
These are terms related to the Trader ship designs.
Because Trader ships frequently operate on unstable schedules they are referred to as tramp vessels, tramp traders, tramp liners, or tramp freighters, a vessel that does not run regularly between fixed ports. These ships focus on the speculative cargo trade and as the routes become establish they tend to be supplanted by larger liners and freighters.
Some crews view the term tramp, and its many synonyms and translations, as insulting. The word includes definitions of unreliability and criminality. In cultures where these activities are strongly frowned upon causes friction. Other crews embrace the definitions of freedom from corporate and governmental control.
The opposite of the above, Subsidized vessels are typically larger (400 to 600 ton) vessels which have been hired by a local group of worlds to run a route between them. The goal is to provide a regular schedule of cargo, passengers, and mail between these worlds. These worlds may be low population worlds with poor ports, and not considered profitable to free traders. The terms guarantee full subsidization of ship expenses, in exchange for half of the profits along the scheduled route. Most of these deals allow the ship to engage in some speculative trade with the understanding the regular cargo has priority.
An image of a variant Type A class Free Trader.
The venerable Wulf class Free Trader.
The A1 is externally identical to the Early model A2, a Garu.
|Naval Ships||Commercial Ships||Private Ships|