Another excellent book from GK!
Immediately after flicking through this book for the first time, I wanted to start new campaigns with each of these new ships - I even bought the Beltstrike adventure book in order to learn more about belting, to see how the Goldrush could be used.
The seven ships introduced in this book are all useable in one way or another. Depending on the campaign played some could work perfect as PC vessel, and others are great as encounters or just in the background to make the universe more varied.
The Starlight is a perfect starting ship for a small group of players, (almost) regardless of the type of game being played. Small, reasonably affordable, with a little space for cargo and passengers.
The Palomino Runabout fells more like a sports car in space, at least to me. It can take its owner/crew/the player(s) where they need to go, and in comfort, but you won't be hauling cargo or shuttling passengers with it. As a courier, executive transport, mini-yacht or simply a personal transport (for bounty hunters, VIPs, or players wishing to travel in style for example) though, it will get the job done! (Plus it looks good too) It does have an air raft hangar for planetary travel, and I do like that it has stairs between the cockpit and main deck. Practical? Maybe, maybe not, but I personally like the design touch. Only minor nitpick is that the flavor text says unarmored but it does have 4 points of crystaliron.
The Billings class free trader is just what it sound like. It has room for both passengers and cargo, and with jump 2 it's a viable alternative to the Far Trader from the main book, a design I've never quite liked personally. More expensive, but you also get more for your money.
Next up, the Goldrush, a 200 dT FTL capable belting ship. A home away from home, a base for belting operations. The upper deck is for living, with state rooms, common room and med bay. The lower deck has a cutter hangar and two cargo holds. In order to use this ship to its fullest, it's recommended to install a belting module in the cutter (available in Clement Book 4 - Small Craft). For those that do not want to play a belting campaign the ship would make an interresting encounter, perhaps the players find one out in deep space, adrift, or they work aboard one at the beginning of a campaign, before being abducted by pirates and forced into a life of looting and plunder...
The Explorer class long range scout would fit equally well for a scout-based campaign that wants something new, or as a larger (400 dT) ship for almost any group of players. With the right weapons it could work as a light warship, or courier duty, PC transport/home base and so on. Due to the way Zimm drives work within the Clement setting, long range does not mean jump 3+, but rather that it does have fuel for 2x 2 parsec jumps without refuelling.
The Nigaloo can also be used for scout games, or exploration. Think scout meets lab ship, with a touch of adventuring. It looks like a stretched Goldrush, and has lots of room for crew and mission staff. The labs can, of course, be converted into storage if a group of players wants to play different kinds of games. It has hangar space for a 30 dT boat, and a vehicle garage for ATV and air raft, and like the Explorer it has fuel for 2x jumps. The sensors are very advanced, and it looks and sounds perfect for expeditions and players wanting a bit more flexibility than offered among the smaller vessels in the game. And as I type this I realise that a Nigaloo can easily be converted into a great mercenary or pirate vessel...
Finally, there's the Dromedary class tanker. Perhaps not the most exciting ship for players to work on, but a very welcome sight when the fuel runs low! They could be used as encounters, escort quests or merely to populate the universe with more diverse ships.
To me, GK Games ship designs have always felt believable, thought through and 'realistic' and the ones in this book are no exceptions. Great work, keep it up!