The Starlit Court’s navy began with the anchorage that is Sihi, and the 12 original knightly order’s flagships fleeing the destruction of Elentar. After centuries of travel the court has capture, built and traded for more and more vessels, leading to the current state where Sihi sits behind an enormous fleet of ships designed for war, trade, and industry.
Ship size categories
Strike craft are fighters, bombers, and armed attack shuttles, that typically act in squadrons, launched from and acting in conjunction with larger vessels. In the Starlit Court military these ships often act as support and transit for Mechs, delivering them to combat engagement zones, or providing long distance support.
Small craft designed to defend larger slower civilian and support ships. Patrol boats are lightly crewed, fast, and have abnormally high armor and firepower for vessels of their size. This is accomplished by the patrol boat lacking its own FTL capabilities, docking and deploying with the larger vessels that they protect when they need to move from system to system.
Corvettes are small, fast warships, typically used for patrols, scouting, and anti-strike craft missions. Corvettes are the smallest FTL capable warships, and typically carry less ship-grade weapons to be faster and more maneuverable than a typical warship. Most corvettes are capable of atmospheric flight, and can be used as fire-support for ground based units. In the Starlit Court military corvettes are often used to blitz mechs in and out of combat while laying down heavy fire support.
Frigates are at once the largest warships capable of atmospheric flight, and the smallest warships capable of mounting a full hangar for carrier duties. This has led to Frigates carving out a dedicated niche in the Starlit Court navy as planetary assault carriers, in addition to acting as escort craft for larger ships. A Frigate is typically manned by twenty to fifty people, and can carry up to two lances of Mechs or strike craft wings.
Destroyers are fast, maneuverable ships designed to escort cruisers and battleships, or to act as the backbone of smaller lighter battle groups of corvettes and frigates. Destroyers carefully balance firepower, and speed while maintaining their size category to be able to screen and escort larger vessels while in larger battlegroups, while being able to act as raiders and harassers during independent operations. Destroyer crews typically number under a hundred individuals, and when acting as a carrier can support up to three lances or the equivalent in strike craft.
Sometimes referred to as standard cruisers, these medium warcraft typically act as supports for battleships and heavy escorts for dedicated carriers. Most Cruisers are equipped for flexibility, carefully balancing firepower, speed, and armor within their hull size. Many knightly orders in the starlit court call a cruiser their flagship, as cruisers are the smallest capital class warships that the starlit court deploys. However if any ship in a fleet would be given over to a specific battlefield specialization, it will likely be a cruiser. A cruiser is typically crewed between a hundred and two hundred men at arms, and when acting as a carrier can house between five to ten lances of mechs with support and strike craft escorts. Additionally, Cruisers often fall into one of three sub-categories based on size and intended battlefield role, consisting of light, heavy and assault cruisers.
- Light Cruiser
Light Cruisers trade armor, firepower, and mass for greater than normal speed and maneuverability. Sometimes called heavy destroyers due to their size, light cruisers are notably larger and more heavily equipped than destroys. Light cruisers typically take the lead role in smaller scouting detachments or strike fleets for their relative durability while being able to keep up with what would otherwise be escort craft.
- Heavy Cruiser
Heavy cruisers are typically the same size and mass as their other counterparts, but trade speed and maneuverability for armor and battlefield endurance. Heavy Cruisers are typically dedicated supports and escorts for larger, slower vessels, and can therefore afford to trade off the typical speed and agility that a cruiser is afforded by its size while still accomplishing its intended battlefield role.
- Assault Cruiser
Sometimes called light battleships or destroyer killers, assault cruisers are larger than normal cruisers designed to take advantage of the speed and maneuverability of a cruiser, while being equipped with the most weapons and firepower a cruiser hull can mount. Assault Cruisers are often the flagship in a strikefleet formation for their sheer firepower and their ability to keep pace with their destroyer escorts.
Battleships are large heavily armed and armored warships that act as the centerpieces of formations and fleets in the Starlit Court’s navy. Battleships are typically the largest and heaviest vessels the Starlit Court deploy, and most of the Starlit Court’s battleships serve as flagships to knightly orders of renown and are the objects of envy for many a smaller order. Battleships are by design flexible, capable of engaging the enemy at multiple range brackets, leading a fleet or battlegroup, commanding a planetary invasion, and acting as the headquarters for an order of knights. Battleships are typically crewed by a force numbering between five hundred on the lowest scale and two thousand men at arms when preparing for an invasion. Battleship hangars can house between ten and twenty lances of knights, with accompanying strike-craft, and logistical support craft, with some capable of deploying patrol boats or corvettes.
Colossus class vessels are ships so large that they defy typical classification in the starlit court navy, and usually require a small escort fleet in and of themselves due to their expense and irreplaceable status. Each colossus is a unique and one of a kind ship, and include the likes of the Crucible and the Leviathan.
Command craft are warships that have given over a significant portion of their mass to systems and compartments to coordinate the actions and movements of other warships, as well as the collection and analysis of tactical and strategic data. While a warship can act as the command ship for a fleet or detachment, command class vessels are in some way designed for the duty, and will take president over other vessels in a fleet to serve as the seat of command for an acting admiral. Traditionally only cruisers or larger ships have been designed for this role, however there are examples of command destroyers and even planetary assault frigates with full command capabilities.
Artillery ships are warships with weapons configurations specifically designed to act as long range fire support, or to engage in planetary or station sieging actions. Weapons systems on artillery craft are designed to fire at extreme range, or carry weapons that are typically oversized for their hull type. Dedicated Carrier Where most starlit court warships larger than a destroyer are carriers, a dedicated carrier is defined by its primary role in fleet formations being the deploying of mechs and strike craft. Dedicated carriers trade weapons systems and internal mass for larger hangars and support systems so they can ferry and deploy even more mechs and strike craft into battle.
Stealth ships are typically smaller vessels specially designed to minimize their profile on sensor technology, be it through radar dispersing surfaces, special systems that trap emissions, or special technical suits designed to spoof ship identification readings. Few stealth ships are larger than a destroyer, with most are frigates, corvettes, or even specially deployed patrol boats or fighters. These ships are designed with forward observation, scouting, and information gathering in mind, typically infiltrating a system ahead of the main fleet, and sitting silently in place until the main fleet eventually arrives and benefits from their intelligence gathering.
Assault landers are ships designed with the ability to engage in planetary assaults, typically by entering the planets atmosphere and deploying knights, strike-craft and ground forces. Assault launders do not necessarily need to be capable of atmospheric flight, but have been modified or designed with the capabilities of entering a planet's atmosphere, touching down on ground or sea, and are then capable of escaping the planet’s atmosphere under its own power or with the aid of limited booster systems. Many frigates are designed with this purpose specifically in mind, as well as dedicated landing craft designed specifically to deliver troops to the front line.