SciFi Saturday – UPF Ship Names

The Star Frontiers: Knight Hawks Campaign Book concludes with a treatment of the Second Sathar War, a grand campaign scenario for two players, simulating an all-out war between the UPF and Sathar invaders throughout the Frontier sector of space. This includes a complete "Order of Battle" listing all the ships available to each side at the time of the conflict (upwards of about 100 ships per side; CB p. 55). Below I present a list of ship names for every one of the UPF vessels involved in the campaign:

UPF Ship Name Roster

  • Assault Scouts (14) – Stiletto (TM8), Dauntless (TM9), Razor (TM9, Ares91), Scimitar (TM15, Ares91), Dagger (TM15, Ares91), Rapier (TM16, Ares91), Lancet (TM16, Ares91), Avenger (SFKH1), Justifier (SFKH1), Morning Star (SFKH1), Starpacer (SFKH1), Dirk (SFKH1), K'Riss (SFKH4), Doboru (SFKH4), Arrow (Ares95), Remora (Ares95)
  • Frigates (7) – Z'Gata (TM8, Ares91), Driadia (TM9, Ares91), Shimmer (TM15, Ares91), Zz' Nakk'T (TM16, Ares91), Z'Yttl (SFKH1), Daring (SFKH1), Flying Cloud (SFKH4), Electron (Ares88), Proton (Ares88)
  • Destroyers (5) – Allison May (TM9), Melinda McCoy (SFKH1), Chivalry (Ares88), Faith (Ares88), Arcturon (Ares95)
  • Minelayers (3) – Z'Rak't Zoz (TM16), Hiskassan, Siren
  • Light Cruisers (8) – Courageous (TM15, SFKH1, Ares91), Honor (Ares88), Glory (Ares91), Audacity, Gallant, Resolution, Valorous, Stoutheart
  • Heavy Cruisers (1) – Zamra (Ares91), Grak (Ares91)
  • Assault Carriers (3) – McCormick, Kimura, Hakosoar
  • Battleships (3) – Admiral Clinton (TM9, CB48, Ares88), Admiral Morgaine (CB48), Admiral Harsevoort (CB48)
Source Key: TM = Tactical Operations Manual (i.e., boardgame rules, with page number);  CB = Campaign Book (with page number), SFKH (SFKH official module, with number), Ares (Dragon magazine Ares section, with issue number). Where no source is given, the names were added by myself (Delta).

Where did these names come from? First, note that the campaign ship rosters precisely match the number of cardboard counters for each ship type that come in the SFKH boxed set -- so you can just split up all the counters to each player and that represents their total fleets. There is one exception: while the order-of-battle text gives the UPF side just 2 Assault Carriers, the box comes with 3 Assault Carrier counters (A, B, and C). For simplicity, I do give this third carrier to the UPF player (also: at some point I lost an Assault Scout, so they don't get that).

Given that synchronization, I started by compiling all the ships identified by name in the Tactical Manual, the Campaign Book, official SFKH Modules, and various Dragon/Ares magazine articles -- at that point I was pretty close to having an official name for every ship in the boxed set (excepting fighters, who go without names).

Now, some ship types are given an overabundance of names -- more than exist in the boxed set -- and with some outliers, I've included them all above (e.g.: assault scouts, frigates, and heavy cruisers). Compare to the values in parentheses for the actual number commissioned in the Second Sathar War, and use the extra names for any new ships or replacements. But in other cases, there were some missing ship names that needed to be filled in. So I did an analysis of the existing names and made up some new ones that fit the same character. Generally, for UPF vessels, we see names that are in one of the following categories: (1) synonyms for the word "courage", (2) weapon types, especially small blades, (3) names of people (including non-human aliens), and possibly (4) names of places. (Note that this pretty much closely matches how U.S. Navy ships have been named; frequently using a person or city/state name.) I've followed the same distribution of each for the ones that I added.

Some publications I didn't include above: Ares #17, prior to the fold-in to Dragon magazine, has an article on miniatures variants (basically the same content as the conversion booklet that comes with the miniature packs, here credited to Carl Smith), including a scenario with a battleship Constellation, destroyer Port Yziar, and frigate Klikk-T'llicck. However, this contradicts the key point that the UPF only has 3 battleships (with the names given above), and the article has other details incorrect, so I consider it to be non-canon. Meanwhile, the much later Zebulon's Guide supplement has so many contradictions and misunderstandings inside that it's painful for me to even read it, so I've skipped that, too.

Other notes: Ares86 includes a UPF assault scout named Devastator, duplicating a name previously given for a Sathar destroyer (in SFKH1), so that was not included above. Ares91 has a light cruiser named Courage, which in the interest of clarity has been assumed to be the same as the vessel Courageous (originally from TM15). This scenario also includes two heavy cruisers in the battle, even though the UPF only has one in the entire fleet per the boxed set (but I've included both names above). Ares96 speaks of a UPF frigate called the Hellscar, which seems much more likely the name of a Sathar vessel, and so I've moved it to that list instead. (Perhaps these are more miscommunications due to Sathar saboteurs? Crafty devils.)

With this list, I never have to think about making up a new name, I just pick one from the established list -- for example, that's what I did for my new boardgame scenarios from earlier in the year (link to the 1st). I'll treat the Sathar fleet in a separate post next week.


  1. Nice list. A similar list was published in issue 11 of the Star Frontiersman magazine back in March 2009. It would be interesting to see how the two lists compare. In that one, the author listed the ships by task forces. I think he missed a few of your references though as he didn't have a canon name for the heavy cruiser.

    1. Oh, good to know. I kind of suspected this would be the kind of thing someone did in the past, but I didn't know how to track it down.