We’re back today with more of the “FASA Fleet” by Christian Fernandez-Duque and this time it’s all Klingon all the time. The three spaceframes here are from the Klingon Ship Recognition Manual by FASA and detail some of the Klingon vessels on the other side of the border during the 23rd century. These are not the typical Klingon ships for fans or for Starfleet officers and are a good way to shake up your game.
By the way, if you didn’t catch the update adding the Wizard class to the last grouping then you should definitely check that out.
In the original series of Star Trek, Klingon vessels all had letter-number designations which were speculative according to The Making of Star Trek. Because there was no open diplomatic channels between the Federation and the Klingons there was intelligence data and scans of ships but no names for them beyond what Starfleet Intelligence came up with.
As a result, ships like the Riskadh class assault cruiser also had intelligence designations: in this case the D-10. Whatever you call it, the Riskadh class is a deadly vessel with strong armor, powerful weapons, and the capacity for hundreds of troops. The conflict for the Riskadh to shine in never really came but a variant design during the Dominion War gave the line that chance. Likewise, the “D-18” Lara’atan class (also called the “Gull” class by Starfleet officers due to its silhouette) was a strong destroyer class but was mostly deployed on the Empire’s border with the Holy Order of Kinshaya. While the Lara’atan saw action against that distant group, it saw limited service against the Federation. Lastly, the “L-24” Komo Val class (also called the “Ever Victorious class” which is a translation) was a fairly large battle cruiser and in many ways the predecessor of the Vor’cha but saw only a few deployments. It too has a Dominion War legacy and could enter your campaign that way.
Much is made of the cold war between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire as seen in the original Star Trek series. Usually this is viewed from the Federation’s side, a cessation of hostilities thanks to standard and “gunboat” diplomacy by the likes of Sarek and Captain Kirk. It was a good thing and allowed for a friendlier relationship in the 24th century, but with these ships you can start to see the downside for the Klingons. They kept churning out ships, they had crews eager for battle and the social prestige that it brought. These three spaceframes are an example of how much was lost when the Klingons stopped fighting the Federation and how dreams of glorious battle were cut short. It’s an interesting angle for a crew (on either side) and I hope you make use of these spaceframes in your game to tell fantastic Klingon stories!
Since Klingons seem to retain ships for a really long time, most of these could easily show up in TNG and DS9 based games. Even STO era.
Would certainly offer an extra bit of variety over just more Ktinga’s or birds of prey.
As far as why Klingons seem to retain ships so long.. imo it could be that a ship itself accrues valor and battle honor during it’s service life (and by extension it’s crew), and thus they are loathe to scrap a ship that has seen valiant service unless it is so damaged as to no longer be serviceable. Instead subjecting it to refit after refit to keep it viable. Eventually some classes vanish from pure attrition, but the longer a ship serves and the more campaign’s it survives, the more the Klingon mindset elevates serving on that ship into prestige, and thus keeping that ship intact.
In many ways it is like the federation reusing ship names like Enterprise, even legacy registries, but the Klingons extend it to the physical ship itself and would never even consider retiring a proud ship with a long history. Of course, if such a ship does get destroyed, they’d name a new one the same thing to extend that honor to a new hull.