Sunday, 25 August 2013

"Not-Star Trek" Ferengi Fleet


Amongst the major races in Star Trek, the Ferengi probably have the least known military capabilities.  Indeed, there are almost no canonical named spaceships and only 2 classes of vessel have been commonly mentioned in the shows, as far as I know.  One of these is a cruiser and the other is a tiny shuttlecraft, so there's not much data there from which to work out what the Ferengi's military capability!

D'Kora class marauder
2-seat Ferengi shuttle

Design Philosophy

I'm going to have to extrapolate a very long way from the limited amount of canonical data for this fleet.  Firstly, I will assume that they do indeed have a fleet, if only so they can protect their trade interests robustly.  So, let's see:
  • The Ferengi are clever (cunning?) and ruthless merchants.  Everyone in their society is always looking for a way to improve their wealth, so there's the first element of my philosophy: all ships will have at least some cargo space.  Either this is designed in from the start, or else the captain of each vessel has sacrificed some other system in order to make room for his trade goods.
  • In The Next Generation, a Ferengi cruiser is described as a near match in capabilities for the Federation ship Enterprise.  I imagine that, through trade or espionage, they have complete access to any of the common technologies present in the Star Trek universe.  This includes phasers (beam weapons), disruptors and shields (screens), but not the more exotic stuff such as cloaking devices, plasma torpedoes or fighters.

The Ships

I don't know of any manufacturer who produces a range of Ferengi ships!  It's possible to find the D'Kora marauder from some sources, though these tend to be toy manufacturers rather than games companies.

For my Ferengi fleet, I've used Quellaris Federation ships from Kallistra's "Space Dreadnought 3000" range.  These have a vaguely "Ferengi" look to them, though note that I've cut off the oversized "cannon" protrusions from the nose and/or wings.  They will do fine for my purposes, though this might not suit a purist.

If you are interested, I've made my Ferengi SSDs available to download.  The file is in OpenOffice Draw format (.odg).

Manufacturer's DesignationPictureFull Thrust SSD
Q1 Quellaris Patrol Ship
Q2 Quellaris Destroyer

Q3 Quellaris Cruiser

Q4 Quellaris Battlecruiser

Q5 Quellaris Dreadnought

Q6 Quellaris Super Dreadnought

Games with Ferengi

To be true to Star Trek, Ferengi shouldn't be interested in concepts such as honour or self-sacrifice.  They can and will fight ruthlessly to protect their interests, but their values are most definitely not the same as those of other races such as the Klingons or Federation.  I feel that this is best handled by the use of appropriate victory conditions in a scenario, rather than by race-specific special rules.  In other words, it's really up to you how to use a fleet such as this in your games!


  1. Nice work— it's good to see these ships painted up.

    I would suggest that the Ferengi fleet would have much in common with American, British or Dutch fleets of the 16th-early 19th century: a heavy reliance on privateers ("legalized" piracy), the concept of "prizes" and crew payouts for the same, and a far more overt (indeed, expected) practice of carrying and selling private cargoes. Being a good Ferengi is all about making profit... and the DaiMon of a Ferengi vessel is of course a good Ferengi! ;-)

    1. Thanks, Parzival. They're not the most exciting paint jobs I've ever done, but they work well enough for the gaming table.

      Yes, I agree entirely: anything other than the "home fleet" is possibly a privateer squadron. Perhaps some or all of the crew are alien mercenaries? Perhaps the entire ship/flotilla is leased to another government?

  2. I think you've made an excellent effort in putting together a fleet from virtually little to no background.
    The fleet itself is very distinctive from your others and i can't help thinking that in the back of every "action" the Ferengi would be thinking about cost and profit !

    1. Thanks, Joe. I really wasn't sure how this non-canon fleet would be received, but it does seem to have sparked some interest on The Miniatures Page as well as here.

  3. I think these have a good look and feel for Ferengi. Excellent work.

    1. Also, thanks. I'll have to think of some Ferengi-specific scenarios now :-) .

  4. Damn fine work as always sir! You are rapidly inspiring me to do my own spaceship gaming ... yet another period/project :(

    1. Thanks! I've always said that spaceship gaming is one of the cheapest and simplest things to enter - but you'll always end up wanting more...