These large (hull size 18) ships were the first space battleships. Advances in technology have caused them to be downgraded to cruisers, and they tend to be slow and somewhat clumsy compared to most modern warships.
Heavy cruisers are the original battleships of the spacefleet. All heavy cruisers, both Sathar and UPF, are old ships. They are among the slowest and least maneuverable starships. The Sathar have many heavy cruisers in active service, but the UPF has been phasing them out in favor of modern battleships. A heavy cruiser can make a dozen interstellar jumps before the engine must be overhauled.
In the early days of The Frontier, before the establishment of Spacefleet, individual worlds depended on a variety of armed freighters and scouts for most military functions, with a handful of frigates and cruisers (what were later reclassified as Destroyers) for local defense.
When the Sathar first appeared, their ships were unlike anything seen in the Frontier; large warships more powerful than anything in Frontier service  escorted by ships equal to the mightiest warships to come out of the Gran Quivera yards.
To counter this threat, Frontier shipyards went into high gear, producing as many frigates and armed scouts as they could, using existing designs and simplified “cruisers” redesignated as “destroyers”. Also produced were two “battleships”; each built at one of the two primary ship construction centers of the Frontier: Gran Quivera and Triad.
Completed too late to participate in the First Sathar War, the two “battleships” formed the core of the newly established Spacefleet; each the flagship of one of the two major task forces of the fleet: Task Force Prenglar and Task Force Cassidine.
Attempts to upgrade the designs using newer technology were not satisfactory and resulted in their eventual replacement for newer designs with far greater capabilities; UPFS Triad was retired and converted to a space-borne museum, while UPFS Gran Quivera was rebuilt as the first Assault Carrier.
The new designs served as flagships until the introduction of true Battleships to the fleet, with the “old battleships” being relegated to the role of heavy cruiser, supplementing the newest generation of cruisers, redesignated as “Light Cruisers” to distinguish them from their heavier brethren.
Sathar forces make extensive use of the Heavy Cruiser in many fleet roles, including command cruiser and carrier escort. Spacefleet intelligence has identified three primary classes:
Among the Sathar, the Perdition-type “battlecruiser” was already old when they were first encountered. Despite some contemporary accounts to the contrary, Ion Drives were never standard in the class. The type is believed to no longer be in general service, though intelligence analysts believe that most examples of the type have been converted to transports.
The type is distinguished by its lack of forward-firing cannon and by its twin-mount of torpedoes. Its lack of defensive screens is considered standard for the era, but relegates it to secondary roles in modern fleets.
Despite external similarities, the Star Scourge type is undeniably a newer design and not an upgrade of the Perdition type. This class is most commonly encountered in small task forces with one or two destroyer escorts and are rarely seen in action in fleets including other heavy cruiser types.
Individually less capable than its early Spacefleet counterparts, what it lacks in firepower, it makes up for in numbers. A rarely-seen variant appears to be an effort to match the capabilities of Spacefleet’s cruisers, replacing one of the Rocket Batteries for a third Laser Battery while keeping the overall number of rockets the same and mounting a defensive module consisting of a masking screen launcher and additional ICMs.
The Carrion-type heavy cruiser is the latest generation of Sathar warship; introduced during the Second Sathar War, its capabilities were found to closely match those of its Spacefleet counterpart, leading intelligence sources to suspect espionage in its development.
Notes and ReferencesEdit
- ↑ Star Frontiers Knight Hawks Tactical Operations Manual pp. 7
- ↑ Star Frontiers Knight Hawks Campaign Book Expansion Rules pp. 5
- ↑ Perdition-class
- ↑ The Advanced Rules Heavy Cruiser design.
Ships of the Line
Known UPF Ships (class):
- UPFS Challenger (Challenger-refit)
- UPFS Grak (Challenger-refit)
- UPFS Protector
- UPFS Redoubtable
- UPFS Zamra (Challenger-refit)
Known Sathar Attack Vessels
(by code names and class):
- SAV Blood War (Carrion)
- SAV Brutality
- SAV Carrion (Carrion)
- SAV Dominator
- SAV Empire's Fist
- SAV Ferocious
- SAV Firestorm (Perdition)
- SAV Ghoul (Carrion)
- SAV Merciless
- SAV Perdition
- SAV Relentless
- SAV Spectre (Carrion)
- SAV Star Scourge (Star Scourge)
- SAV Tyrant