SFB At MattNet "Playing SFB on the Internet" Home Enter PBEM area What makes a carrier?


Star Fleet Battles makes the distinction between several different kinds of carriers in the body of it's rules. The operating doctrine of most empires results in three different types of carriers: Those who carry fighters, those who might trade a couple shuttles for fighters, and those without fighters. On the other hand the Hydrans (being the fighter race of the alpha octant) splits hairs a little further: Those with enough fighters, those too few fighters, those who didn't have room for more than one or two fighters, and those ships that are unprotected by fighters.


True Carrier

True carriers are a holdover from the game Federation & Empire to refer to a ship that carries full squadrons of fighters. In SFB this has largely lumped into the term "Fully Capable Carrier". When using this term, it is assumed that the unit is also a Fully Capable carrier.

When speaking of Hydran ships, those listed in (R9.N4) are "True Carriers" and treated here. Generally speaking, if the unit has an carrier escort table in it's Section-R description, then it is a true carrier.

• Can swap out fighters for Heavy Fighters
• Must be escorted
• Fighters count against the (S8.32) limits
• Can purchase extra Deck Crews
• Can carry an MRS (J8.51)


Fully Capable Carrier

A fully capable carrier is a unit that has all of the equipment of a carrier (EW gear, weapon freezers, ready racks) and has the logistical train of a carrier (fighter pods, drone reloads, dash packs), but may not have the operational importance of a "real" carrier (as represented by escorts, MRS shuttles, or better fighters.)

• Has the "V" note in the Master Ship Chart
• Carries the full amount of fighter supplies (J4.7)
• Can lend EW to their fighters (J4.93)
• Carries Deck Crews for their fighters (Annex #7G)


Hybrid Carrier

Hybrid carriers are units that carry more than a couple fighters but are not strategically a carrier. These are "Fully Capable" carriers as above, but not "True Carriers" in the above sense.

Most Hydran ships qualify as Hybrid Carriers (those with the "V" note in the Master Ship Chart but are not True Carriers.) Other races define hybrid ships by (S8.322) and (S8.323).

• Cannot purchase extra Deck Crews
• Cannot swap out fighters for Heavy Fighters
• Does not need to be escorted
• Fighters don't count against the (S8.32) limits


Casual Carrier

Casual carriers are ships that carry fighters but don't have the equipment to effectively service or control large amounts of fighters. Casual carriers are defined by (J4.62). Generally speaking these are ships that carry a few fighters, don't need escorts, but can't lend the fighters EW and don't have many fighter supplies.

This category is where many HDWs find themselves, several WYN ships, and Hydran ships who excersize (R9.R6)

• Carries a lesser amount of fighter supplies (J4.621)
• Cannot lend EW to their fighters (J4.93)
• Cannot purchase extra Deck Crews
• Cannot swap out fighters for Heavy Fighters
• Fighters don't count against the (S8.32) limits unless they carry 6 or more fighters (S8.323)
• Does not need to be escorted

True CarrierFully Capable CarrierHybrid CarrierCasual CarrierNon-Carrier
Has any FightersYesNo
Can Lend EW to FightersYesNo
Needs EscortsYesMaybeNo
Ftrs Count Against Cmd LimitsYesMaybeNoMaybeNo
Can carry Heavy FightersYesMaybeNo
Can get extra Deck CrewsYesMaybeNo