Choice of vessel is the first important decision a Captain must make. While shipwrights may boast proudly of a craft’s speed, firepower, or durability, other less tangible considerations may also come into play: the accessibility of components, how the deck layout suits the captain’s command style or informs the composition of the crew; or simply the look of a ship, whether she seems fair and proud or strikes fear into enemies’ hearts.
An Airship’s Qualities
A few key points may be profitably compared between airships of any class:
Durability: Simply put, this is the measure of how tough a vessel is and how many hits she may suffer to her hull and still fly.
Armor: Distinct from durability, how heavily a ship is armored determines how long she can withstand assault before sustaining core structural damage. It also determines the difficulty of servicing said armor in the midst of battle, with heavier armor requiring longer to rebuild.
Speed: As a general rule of thumb, it may be said that the smaller and lighter the ship, the faster she moves. Improvements to most other attributes will come at the cost of sacrificing speed.
Maneuverability: The ability of a ship to perform tight, rapid turns depends on many things, not least of them the ship’s mass and the placement of the turning engines.
Firepower: While much depends on the specific loadout a captain chooses, the number and size of weapon hardpoints, light and heavy, as well as their placement, do much to determine a ship’s raw firepower. Different arrangements will naturally lend themselves to very different strategies.