Raiders are a broad class of hulls covering everything from privateers to the destroyers used in the Imperial Navy. Typically a “raider” denotes a vessel designed for speed and combat. This makes them popular with the many pirates and buccaneers who raid the space-lanes, preferring to strike lone vessels swiftly, then flee before they should be noticed by a Navy patrol. The Imperial Navy also makes use of raiders (referred to as destroyers), though they prefer to outfit them with heavy ship-crippling munitions such as torpedoes and send them out to hunt larger vessels. Destroyer’s superior speed and maneuverability means they can close the range, launch, and escape before the target can fire on them – most of the time
Raiders are some of the fastest ships in the Calixis Sector and Koronus Expanse. Their speed and maneuverability is unmatched by other classes, and their firepower is often as good as other vessels of comparable tonnage. To achieve this, however, raiders sacrifice armor and other defenses, along with cargo and stowage space. In essence, they are glass cannons, able to throw out heavy fire, but unable to take it in return. Instead, they rely on evasive maneuvering and high speed to stay out of the reach of the guns from heavier craft.
Heavy raiders are a subset of raiders with larger hulls packed with more weapons. They also have more powerful engines, allowing a heavy raider to carry better armor. They may not be as nimble as their smaller cousins, but, given a straight run, most captains find a heavy raiders “legs” are just as long.
A Rogue Trader must have a talented tactical mind – and a skilled pilot and crew – in order to make the most of a raider. Their ships are designed for piracy, devious deeds, and little else. But if that is what a Rogue Trader sets his mind to, he’ll find no vessel suits his needs better.
As follows are the varied raider-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.