A Short History
What with one thing and another, Jae-The-Ferengi found himself in possession of a good deal of Federation Starship technical information. Jae wanted to exploit this information for profit, but there were some problems. The information was old. Ferengi ships were easily more advanced. Also, the information was not complete.
Jae realized that, while the big players in the Great Game would not be interested in his information, smaller players looking to elbow themselves into the minor leagues would pay for a good set of Starships. Jae leveraged himself to the hilt and managed to get blackmail evidence on a starship architect. With this information he set to work, selling new old starships.
This was actually moderately successful. Jae was able (for a large fee) to help backwater worlds set up ship yards and begin production of their own fleets. Sure, you couldn't take on the Federation, or the Klingon Empire, but you could rival the Talarans and make the Nybarite Alliance back up a bit. Ekos was an eager early customer.
Jae cut some corners. some of the most important technology in the information he had was missing. Ferengi providers would sell equivalent systems, but the price began at heart-stopping and went up from there. Jae chose the cheapest possible option. Several important systems in the first run of New Ekosian ships were black-boxed technology. That is, they were contained in sealed enclosures. You had to call authorized dealers to service these systems.
During The Eagle's Spawn event, Ekos learned the hard way why this was a Bad Idea. When placed under military style stress (being shot at), the black box systems affected failed, or they shut down and indicated that an authorized technician was needed. The first run of ships were beautiful for parades or under normal cruise conditions. But they were paper tigers.
The relationship between Jae and the Ekosian government went rapidly down hill after that. The fine print in the contact that voided any warranty written or implied if the vessels where engaged in combat did not help the relationship.
In short order, Jae found his reputation ruined, his fortune either evaporated or seized by Ekosian agents. Worse, his starship design plans were leaked publicly. Soon everyone knew exactly why the Elosian ships had folded so easily.
Two other customers of Jae, after firing him and putting their own bounties on his head, stopped work on their batch of ships and began working for solutions.
The Orion Underground was the first. treating the plans like open source software, they filled in the gaps using technology begged borrowed or stolen (Mostly stolen) from all over the galaxy. This allowed Orion Descended Shipyards to be able to build and sell complete fleet sets of starships. Another Ferengi ship yard soon followed suit with it's own plans and upgrades.
The Ekosians have since appeared with upgraded ships and have been making headway on the galactic scene. It still cost them five very expensive ships and crews to learn this.
The Ships are clearly inspired by Federation Starships of the time period between 2260 and 2290, and fit neatly into fleet roles that dominated the thinking of that time.
Meanwhile, in case you care Jae-The-Ferengi is lying low and looking for work.
Types of Trade Ships
Ferengi Trade Escort
This is a light starship with a crew of about 50 people. These are good mainly as in system police ships, light escorts and picket ships.
These compare to the Klingon E4 Escort or the Federation Police cruiser
Ferengi Trade Frigate
This is a light ship similar in most ways to an escort, but it carries heavy weapons pod for a greater punch. This ship is plainly for fleet fire support or convoy escort purposes.
Compare to Federation Burke Class Frigate or Klingon F5 Frigate.
Ferengi Trade Destroyer
This ship is a well rounded mix of endurance firepower and economy. It's good for patrols, escort and fleet support work. However, it is a light ship and can easily find itself outgunned.
Compare to the Federation Saladin Class Destroyer or Klingon Drel 4 class.
No Light Cruiser
Interestingly, there is no utility light cruiser design among Jae-The-Ferengi's trade models. "I couldn't afford one." he says. Different approaches have been taken to address this omission but nothing unified. Either the Frigate or the Destroyer could be refit as a decent light cruiser. However the emphasis on these vessels is firepower, not science.
Ferengi Trade Cruiser
An attempt to duplicate the strengths of the late Constitution class starships, it's reasonably successful. However it's versatile design can make it more expensive to operate. Some variants dispose of versatility for combat. These can be dangerous.
Compare to the Federation Constitution Class or the Klingon K'T'inga Class.
Ferengi Trade Battlecruiser
A heavy unit specifically intended for space superiority warfare, this ship, when it works can be devastating.
Compare to Federation Menhaga class Or Klingon C8 K'tremny Class
Ferengi Trade Dreadnought
The Ferengi Trade Battleship is intended as a muscle flexing expression of might. It outguns any other ship in the line up. Properly equipped, escorted and leveraged, they can pose a threat to modern ships. few of these have been built or sold.
Compare to Federation Class or Klingon C9 Bat'leth class.
In the 2280s, these types of ships were surpassed the Excelsior class starships. Development of Dreadnought style ships abruptly halted and was not resumed.
Ferenngi Trade Heavy Transport
Although designed to be easily convertible to a Carrier or assault ship, this is by far the most successful of the Ferengi Trade designs, mainly because it serves a practical, commercial purpose. In spite of being an underpowered warp box.
Compare to the Overfield Class transport.
These are a series of starship designs produced by Beau Moran of Spokane. They are used with his permission. He designed them in the 1980s as part of a run of ships for a tactic starship combat game like Starfleet Battles. The ship classes of Starfleet battles clearly influenced their designs.
I also draw a lot of inspiration from Starfleet battles (and other Treknical fan canon) for the period named.
The purpose of these ships is to allow bush league and minor galactic players access to a relativity consistent run of starships,and line Jae-the-Ferengi's pockets.
Since we are getting all meta I have redrawn every one of these with an eye to symmetry without violating the basic design idea and created the 1 meter to 1 pixel side views for scale comparison.. Tesral (talk) 13:52, March 11, 2014 (UTC)