The Shepistani Navy is built around its battlestars: hybrid carrier/battleships armed with both fighter bays and heavy antiship weapons. Battlestars are divided into "large" and "small" categories; the large ones are typically used as heavy line combatants while the smaller ones fill the cruiser/battlecruiser role. Both types are generally escorted by a complement of gunstars: destroyer-weight ships with no small craft capacity.
One notable feature of the Shepistani fleet is that many of its old-build ships are still in service. Older battlestar and gunstar classes are difficult to refit with the latest advances in fire control, shielding, and navigation software. This makes older ship classes much less efficient ton-for-ton than their modern counterparts, which are both larger and vastly more capable within each category. In general, a recent-built ship of a given weight category in the Shepistani fleet will be significantly larger than the oldest ships of that category... and roughly three times as effective in combat.
Raptor-class Shuttle (12 for $1)Edit
The Raptor is a multirole shuttlecraft used by the Shepistani military. It is usually operated by a crew of two (one pilot and one electronic countermeasures officer), has synthetic gravity on board, and is controlled by means of a fly-by-wire system. It is capable of atmospheric flight and is also equipped with a Heim Drive, allowing it to make short faster-than-light hops over interplanetary distances. Raptor variants have been deployed in a wide variety of roles, as scouts, ECM platforms, troop or cargo transport, medevac, combat search and rescue, and even as dedicated communications relays.
Raptors are normally unarmed as they make poor general purpose fighters. However, the standard version of the Raptor has an internal weapons bay and a number of hardpoints for external armament. Armed Raptors are typically used for ground attack, or to carry superheavy munitions too massive for the Viper space superiority fighter (such as Shepistan's strategic nuclear weapons, some of which are extremely large).
Viper-class Fighter (4 for $1)Edit
The Viper is the Shepistani Navy's primary space superiority fighter/attack craft. Vipers are durable, high-performance craft, capable of holding their own against practically any starfighter design in known space. Their one drawback is that they are not hyperspace-capable, and rely entirely on their battlestars to transport them over interstellar distances- over long interplanetary distances, their sublight drives are energy efficient enough that it can be unprofitable to make FTL jumps to recover them.
All Vipers now in service are armed with small-caliber hypervelocity mass drivers, replacing the obsolete laser torpedo launchers used in the original production run. They also carry hardpoints under the wings for a wide variety of munitions. The early series were designed with extremely high acceleration but relatively poor manueverability (though with the interesting addition of powerful braking jets for use against pursuing enemy craft). More modern Vipers use miniaturized manuevering thrusters to achieve high performance both in dogfights and in high speed slashing engagements.
Number in service: 360
Gunstars are pure warship designs. They share a rugged, heavily armoured design philosophy with the larger battlestars, but lack side hangars, droid bays or Viper wings. As a result of their solid design, gunstars are far more durable for their weight than battlestars, an advantage offset by the battlestars' vastly greater tonnage. Gunstars are mostly relegated to escort and support roles, but the more modern gunstar designs make good, if some would say undersized, front line combatant vessels in the heavy destroyer/light cruiser weight range. As a rule, two gunstars will be assinged to support a light battlestar under normal combat conditions; a heavy battlestar will receive four.
The older gunstar classes suffer especially badly from the general lack of advanced electronics on older Shepistani warships, to the point where they punch far below the value their tonnage would indicate in a battle against modern warships. This is because unlike the battlestars, gunstars have no fighter complement: a battlestar with obsolete fire control can still be used as a carrier, while a gunstar with obsolete fire control is largely useless. However, the old-build gunstars are extremely cheap to maintain, and are kept in service as escorts for this reason.
New Build Gunstar: 70 points (100 in service)
Mid-life Gunstar: 46 points (110 in service)
Old Gunstars: 21 points (150 in service)
Number in service: 60
The light battlestars, used as cruisers, are the smallest Shepistani ships with significant small craft capability, carrying it in their side-mounted fighter bays. They also mount extensive batteries of kinetic energy weapons, including both low velocity flak guns for point defense and hypervelocity mass drivers for long range engagement of capital ships. Description of an old-build light battlestar design follows:
"The smallest Battlestar and considered by some to be of suboptimum size for a multirole design, none the less like the larger models the Olympus class follows the battlestar design doctrine; a heavily armoured warship with powerful Viper wings to increase doctrinal flexibility, storage bays for combat droids to allow the vessel to enact limited scale ground engagements without having to rely on troopships, and a stockpile of high yield nuclear weapons for when the only only way to be sure is to nuke the site from orbit. Like all battlestar designs the Olympus dates back to before the Amplitur war, many of these vessels having been maintained since that time and their service proved instrumental in making sure that that horror of the Amplitur menace remained for the brave citizen's of the Shepistani republic a distant memory."
The battlestar fleet is more heavily biased in favor of new-build ships than the gunstar fleet, mostly because the newer battlestar classes are much larger than the older ones, and carry correspondingly larger fighter complement.
New Build Light Battlestar: 200 points (15 in service)
Mid-life Light Battlestar: 130 points (25 in service)
Old Light Battlestar: 60 points (20 in service)
Number in service: 60
Shepistani heavy battlestars are the fleet's capital ships, supporting fighter complements that number in the hundreds and devastating low-relativistic mass driver batteries. The later classes are very heavily shielded and have massive defensive cofferdamming inside the hull, subdividing them into numerous armored compartments. This makes it extremely difficult to disable the ship entirely, even with capital ship weapons fire.
The older heavy battlestar classes are relatively small (little larger than the newest classes of "light" battlestar), and suffer badly from the usual problem of obsolete electronics fit. These are mostly relegated to second-line roles as fleet carriers, since their large fighter bays can support modern Vipers just as well as they can the Viper models that were in service when they were commissioned.
New Build Heavy Battlestar: 600 points (15 in service)
Mid-life Heavy Battlestar: 390 points (25 in service)
Old Heavy Battlestar: 180 points (20 in service)
Freedom Prime class killbotEdit
The Freedom Prime units were first created in the early days of the Shepistani Republic, around 2750, after the Technocracy of Umeria had recovered from the Jaggan War. At the time, Umeria had a heavily militarized command economy, and Shepistani military leadership decided that they were a major threat. Classing the Umerian government of the time as "stinking commies," they commissioned a large strike force of heavy combat mechs from General Atomics. The mechs were strong enough to easily demolish all but the most massive obstacles; the prototype could easily batter its way through titanium alloy barricades, even when supplemented by photonic resonance fields.
The Freedom Prime warbots were also heavily armored and shielded, and were equipped with an arsenal of weapons including laser cannons, force field neutralizers, and (by Shepistani standards) light nuclear grenades for long range work [Note: while nuclear hand grenades are seldom used in Shepistani service, a Freedom Prime unit is quite capable of hurling a grenade for distances of up to several kilometers, thus allowing it to clear the blast radius of its own weapons]
As a cost cutting measure, General Atomics programmed the warbots' memory AI Matrices with a precoded objective: the destruction of any and all communists, of whatever nationality. This was meant to make the AI considerably more reliable during the expected war with Umeria, while saving on programming budget. Sadly, the Umerian threat never fully materialized: the Technarchs demilitarized and eased state control of society, instead of declaring open class war on their neighbors as the Shepistanis expected. This left Shepistan with an army of forty-foot walking gun platforms it didn't have a use for... yet.
Freedom Prime units proved unreliable during the opening phase of the Amplitur War, failing to identify Amplitur troops as a threat until a clever AI programmer realized the problem: Freedom Prime AI matrices were still hardwired to fight communism! It proved cheaper to redefine the Amplitur as communists than to reprogram the AI from scratch, and soon hordes of the giant mechs were decimating Amplitur ground troops while bellowing anti-communist slogans. Today, Freedom Prime warbots stand on the front lines of Shepistani's defense against communist aggression- regardless of whether there are any actual communists within a hundred light years.