Combatant Ships is a catchall term for ships whose primary purpose is to deliver gunfire directly to the target, with little or no ability to carry smaller ships aboard. These ships are divided into two main categories, subcapital and Capital ships, with subcapital further divided into Fighters and Corvettes. Subcapital ships (M5, M4/(+), M3/(+) (B)/(S), and M6/(+)/(S)-class ships) can dock at ALL stations, factories, docks, mines, and so on. Capital ships (M7, M7G, M7+, M7M, M7C, M2/(-)/(+), and M1/(+)-class ships) can only dock at specific station types that possess Capital ship bays, namely Military Outposts, Shipyards, Equipment Docks, Weapons Dealers, and Headquarters.
Combatant Ships, as one might guess, do their business through the barrel of a gun (or laser, as it were), rather than hiding behind a screen of fighters like Carriers or launching missiles from afar like Strike Ships. No, the Combatant Ship is meant to stride into the thick of battle, dispensing justice one shot at a time, being able to give and take more damage than most other ships. Pound for pound, Combatant Ships will carry more ordnance than anything else, and their ability to wield missiles effectively is second only to the Strike Ships -- no surprise, given the latter's sole reason for existence is missile bombardment.
While Fighters obviously don’t follow the convention, from M6 onward Combatant Ships are more heavily armed and shielded than ships of the same size, if not larger, meaning for example that an M7+ Assault Frigate may very well be capable of taking on an M1 Carrier, if the M1 doesn’t have sufficient fighter support, as the M7+ has more raw firepower than the larger ship.
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