The first crab-ship was designed by an unusually intelligent giff named Master Marine Humphred, after he had witnessed an orc scorpion in action. Intended as a pure combat vessel, the crab-ship still carries a respactable amount of cargo for its size and, as a result, has enjoyed some moderate degree of popularity amongst some human groups. The vessel is also fairly popular amongst giff platoons that cannot get their hands on clippers or great bombards. Most crab-ships are built by humans (although designed by a giff, even the first example of this ship was built in a human shipyard), but the scro managed to acquire copies of the design plans, and have taken to producing them in limited numbers. Crab-ships have some serious design flaws which have prevented them from becoming more popular. First, the ship was designed without any sort of sails, relying on manipulation of its legs for maneuverability. As a result, a crab-ship is very clumsy. Additionally, the ship requires a large number of weapons crew to operate at full capacity, and as a result a crab-ship tends to either carry no marines for boarding actions, or tends to carry more men than its air envelope can support for long periods of time.
Very few crab-ships operate with less than 22 crew, most of whom are weaponeers. Human and scro crews are often larger (typically around 40) in order to allow for marines to be carried, while giff crews tend to number only 22, since all giff are considered to be marines, even when serving as weaponeers or sailors. It should be noted that crews of all three races tend to strain the crab-ship's air envelope, resulting in a short-range vessel.
Ship Uses Edit
Warship - The clumsy crab-ship is suitable for little other than combat. Human and scro-operated warships tend to be in the above configuration. When a crab-ship is operated by giff, they replace the ballistas and catapult with a pair of bombards and a greek fire projector whenever possible.
Other Configurations Edit
Rigged Crab - In this configuration standard sails and rigging are added to the crab-ship, dropping the maneuverability class to a more manageable D, but increasing the crew requirements to 7. This is not a popular modification, however, since adding more crew to a vessel which already requires a large crew to operate at full fighting capacity is not generally a good option.