76.91mm x 14.58mm x 9.28mm
The Subterfuge Scoutship was originally conceived as a scout vessel, but in practise became a supplementary warship. The Subterfuge uses “reconnaissance by observation” rather than by an advanced sensor array. While it has improved sensors compared to most Aotrs warships, it is only a small improvement, and mostly in the passive portion of its sensor array. Rather, the Subterfuge will directly enter a system to observe what is present around and rely on its considerable speed to extract itself from danger.
The Subterfuge is not with teeth, however. The first Subterfuges that rolled off the assembly line were armed with a single ventral energy beam turret, capable of engaging targets with the forward 180º arc. Combined with its shields and speed, the Subterfuge is extremely dangerous to other ships of its own weight class. Though the weapon is only short-ranged, the Subterfuge’s speed and manoeuvrability – comparable to some fighters – allows it to easily get into position to fire. In a mass battle, a swarm of Subterfuges can close to range and “disembowel” a hapless enemy with its energy beams; but only if other vessels have first weakened it by stripping the shields and armour. Against shields and armour, the Subterfuge’s effectiveness unsupported drops sharply, even as a pack.
The Subterfuge was also initially very vulnerable to missile or fighter attack. Advancements and optimisation of the engine patterns allowed the addition of a small Point-Defence Missile (PDM) rack at the top of the vessel, which was later improved with the addition of light coldbeam turrets. These refits were implemented fleet-wide as typical Aotrs policy, on rotation. Despite these improvements, the Subterfuge still struggles against heavily shielded foes. However, the addition of the missile rack, small though it is, affords the Subterfuge the possibility of replacing the PDM rack with another missile type, though at current this has not been attempted.
The Subterfuge is one of the most numerous vessels in the Aotrs fleet, and with the mid-generational improvements, it is more dangerous than ever in a wolfpack.
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