Light cruisers are the eyes and ears of the Battlefleet. Smaller and faster than true cruisers, light cruisers have the massive fuel and supply reserves for deep void patrols. These may last for years, even decades, and thus light cruiser commanders must be independent-minded and self-reliant. Light cruisers are also used as the flagships of small squadrons of frigates and destroyers tasked with the escorting convoys or hunting pirates.
A light cruiser’s design is usually balanced between combat and endurance. They have the advantage of being only slightly slower and less manoeuvrable than a frigate, while mounting a capital ships armament. This is accomplished, however, by giving the light cruiser substantially less armor and reinforced interior bulkheads than a proper cruiser. In short, light cruisers are faster and more manoeuvrable than standard cruisers, but much more fragile.
For a wealthy Rogue Trader, a light cruiser may seem attractive. However, there are several hurdles he will have to overcome. Capital warships are substantially rarer in the Calixis Sector than frigates, raiders, or transports, and are usually only found in the Imperial Battlefleet. Even if Rogue Trader is able to procure one, the advanced technologies and arcane knowledge required to maintain such vessels is rare, and only found in naval yards and forge worlds. Finally, light cruisers are built as warships, and converting them to other uses can be difficult.
If a Rogue Trader has the resources to overcome these issues, however, he’ll find himself at the helm of a ship perfect for exploration or war, with few equals in Imperial space.
As follows are the varied light cruiser-class hull types available in the Koronus Expanse and Calixis sector. Note these hull types consist of Imperial-pattern starships, and equivalent xeno or chaos pattern hulls may vary considerably.