Ships are classified primarily by scale and function.
Personnel scale ships are constructed from materials that have stamina similar to typical biological beings, and are generally only encountered as extremely cheap transportation in habitats. Things of this scale are generally measured in kilograms. We're talking bicycles and skateboards here. While not impossible to make a personnel scale vacuum-capable vessel (and a Soyuz might qualify), they are extremely uncommon in modern AIF.
Intermediate scale vessels imply stamina that is 10 times that of personnel. This is the most common scale of craft used by private civilians. Things of this scale are usually measured in tons. Combatant craft of intermediate scale are usually meant for dealing with personnel, or are designed more for speed and agility than robustness.
Large, or "full" ship scale refers to construction that is 10 times intermediate stamina (and 100 times personnel, obviously). The only civilian vessels of this scale are generally large spacegoing craft. The accepted unit of measure for this scale is the "chassis point" - roughly equivalent to 10 cubic meters of volume and/or 10 tons of mass. This is the scale of tactical importance to major military forces.
|Combat Speed||3km/turn² ±1|
|Superluminal Speed||0.2P/h ±1|
The name hopper comes from the idea of people making short trips, or hops. This coincides with the distinguishing function of hoppers - to move individuals or a few people. Hoppers are the basic civilian transportation most commonly seen on planetary surfaces and in cities. The usual variants are the plainly obvious basic, luxury, sports, utility, limo, van, and bike. In AIF, hoppers are generally "hover" vehicles, that use Newtonian force beams to stay 1-3m above the surface. There are also "aero" hoppers that use non-Newtonian force drives to actually fly. The upper echelon of hoppers are even with sealed cabins and life support to allow some limited operation outside of an atmosphere - though interplanetary travels are generally the limit of their capability, as they rarely have proper superluminal drives. Most hoppers are intermediate scale, but some very expensive hoppers are ship scale, and some dilapidated rigs function at personnel scale.
|Combat Speed||2km/turn² ±1|
|Superluminal Speed||1P/h ±0.5|
Where hoppers end is where shuttles begin. They are vehicles meant to transport larger numbers of people, or slightly larger cargo than a hopper can carry. Intermediate scale shuttles range from hover-buses to interstellar couriers. Ship scale shuttles are generally capable of interstellar travel, but are not well-suited for long-distance legs. Shuttle design typically focuses on compactness and efficiency of volume, as they are often required to fit into small bays.
|•||Tramp Freighter||Large Freighter||Barge|
|Size||400cp ±50||3000cp ±500||50000cp ±10000|
|Stamina||40 ±10||100 ±25||500 ±50|
|Superluminal Speed||2P/h ±1||1P/h ±0.5||.01P/h|
|Maneouverability||1 ±1||-2 ±2||-10|
|Durability||6 ±5||3 ±2||-|
|Weaponry||3D6 ±2||2D6 ±2||-|
|Cargo||350cp ±50||2500cp ±250||40000cp ±10000|
Freighters are the backbone of interstellar travel and commerce. They range from quick light cargo and passenger vessels to large bulk freighters, and also include massive lumbering interstellar barges. Most freighters of any merit are ship scale, but many cheap intermediate scale freighters ply the space ways. While utilitarian function is the primary issue for freighter design, there still manages to be a staggering variety of configurations and shapes.
Also known as powered armour, battle suits are meant to allow personnel to operate with intermediate scale weapons, armour, and movement, yet still allow for access to personnel-sized places. In terms of game-mechanics, this means that pilots of battle suits use the same system as personnel for attacking and ducking, and the battle suit needs to be described with personnel-type characteristics. Most battle suits mass about one metric ton, with exceptions for some larger beings that require more massive battle suits. They tend to be similar to the bipedal humanoids that are most common pilot, but other configurations of battle suit are not unheard of. While some battle suits are capable of flight, most are strictly ground vehicles.
The aspect that distinguishes a vehicle as a walker is that it is capable of locomotion using limbs, thus the line between large battle suits and small walkers gets blurry. Walkers are typically considered to be larger vehicles, and are common both as intermediate scale and ship scale. The main tactical reason for the existence of large walkers is the same game-mechanics reason as the battle suits - personnel combat skill is used. This means that skilled combatants can quickly apply their prowess after becoming familiar with a walker. Some walkers, such as the venerated QR-Walker, are capable of flight and when in this mode should be treated as regular vessels. Walkers are also noted as being the largest means for effectively employing edged weapons.
Tanks are the largest class of simple ground vehicles, existing in the same general niche as walkers except that they behave like regular vehicles. They generally consist of a simple armoured body with at least one turret. Tanks can be either hover vehicles, or use physical treads. Both intermediate and ship scale tanks exist.
|•||Short Range||Medium Range||Long Range|
|Size||5cp ±4||9cp ±3||15cp ±5|
|Stamina||25 ±5||45 ±10||69 ±13|
|Combat Speed||10km/turn² ±2||7km/turn² ±2||5km/turn² ±2|
|Superluminal Speed||N/A||2P/h ±1||4P/h ±2|
|Maneouverability||8 ±1||6 ±1||4 ±1|
|Durability||6 ±2||8 ±3||12 ±4|
|Weaponry||3D6 ±1||4D6 ±1||6D6 ±2|
Fighter craft are dedicated combatants focusing on performance. These vessels generally are just weapons and engines with a tiny space for a pilot to squeeze in. Intermediate scale fighters are usually only effective against other fighters or other targets of intermediate scale or smaller. Ship scale fighters are more commonly employed against larger craft or in more heated engagements.
|Size||50cp ±20||200cp ±75||500cp ±100||1000cp ±300|
|Stamina||125 ±25||200 ±50||200 ±50||300 ±50|
|Combat Speed||5km/turn² ±1||4km/turn² ±1||3km/turn² ±1||3km/turn² ±1|
|Superluminal Speed||3P/h ±2||1P/h ±0.5||1P/h ±1||3P/h ±1|
|Maneouverability||3 ±1||1 ±1||0 ±1||0 ±1|
|Durability||12 ±2||15 ±2||10 ±2||10 ±2|
|Weaponry||8D6 ±3||7D6 ±2||12D6 ±3||13D6 ±3|
|Cargo||2cp ±1||2cp ±1||10cp ±3||50cp ±10|
While also considered to be dedicated combatants, corrivals are a larger class meant to have less performance but more firepower and a greater range of capabilities. These craft can seem like overgrown fighters, or like miniature cruisers, depending on how they are armed and equipped.
|Size||3500cp ±500||4000cp ±750||7000cp ±1000||8500cp ±1500||20000cp ±5000|
|Stamina||350 ±75||500 ±100||600 ±100||800 ±100||2000 ±500|
|Combat Speed||3km/turn² ±1||3km/turn² ±1||1km/turn²||1km/turn²||1km/turn²|
|Superluminal Speed||4P/h ±2||4P/h ±2||2P/h ±0.5||3P/h ±1||2P/h ±0.5|
|Maneouverability||2 ±1||2 ±1||0 ±1||-2 ±1||-6 ±1|
|Durability||8 ±1||10 ±2||10 ±2||10 ±2||10 ±2|
|Weaponry||4D6 ±1||20D6 ±5||20D6 ±5||30D6 ±10||80D6 ±30|
|Cargo||1000cp ±250||10cp ±5||500cp ±100||500cp ±100||1000cp ±500|
The largest kind of combatant vessels are cruisers. The smallest are still considerable in size compared to other combatants, while larger destroyers and carriers can be truly monstrous. They usually bring to bear a range of tactical capabilities and firepower not available to lesser craft.