Saturday, November 2, 2013

SciFi Saturday – Sathar Ship Names

This is a continuation of my analysis of ship names in the Star Frontiers: Knight Hawks game; today, looking at the names of the various Sathar Attack Vessels. Again, I've looked at both rulebooks in the boxed set, all the official modules, and Dragon/Ares magazine articles. Like last time, you'll see a complete list of names below, for the entire fleet order-of-battle at the time of the Second Sathar War (Campaign Book, p. 55) -- which also matches the total number of counters that come with the boxed set:

Sathar Ship Name Roster

  • Frigates (8) – Stinger (TM9), Disease (Ares88), Apocalypse (Ares88), Hellscar (Ares96), Torment, Convulsion, Calamity, Blasphemy.
  • Destroyers (15) – Venomous (TM8), Vicious (TM9), Pestilence (TM9), Doomfist (TM9), Nemesis (TM15), Bludgeon (TM16), Viper (TM16), Vampire (SFKH0), Deathwind (SFKH0), Devastator (SFKH0), Balefire, Contagion, Corruption, Pernicious, Mortifier.
  • Light Cruisers (7) – Faminewind (TM15, Ares88), Deathstroke (TM16), Plaguewind, Warscythe, Malediction, Ruinator, Night Foe.
  • Heavy Cruisers (8) – Perdition (TM8), Star Scourge (TM9), Carrion (TM16), Firestorm (SFKH4), Blood War (Ares88), Grim Reaper, Black Ruin, Excommunicator.
  • Assault Carriers (4) – Infamous (TM9), Maelstrom (TM16), Predator (SFKH4), Deathknight (Ares86).
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). 

For the 25 officially-identified Sathar ships, we see that the names are most commonly related to one of the "Four Horsemen": War, Famine, Pestilence, or Death (in fact, each of those specific words were included in at least one published ship name). Many are related to concepts of damnation (5/25 = 20%), storms and wind (4/25 = 16%), or poisonous/dangerous animals (4/25 = 16%). In addition, a sizable proportion of the names are given as compound words (9/25 = 36%).

Notes: Ares88 includes a light cruiser named Famine, which is so close to the Faminewind (from TM15), that I assume it's the same ship and not included it separately above. Ares96 identifies a UPF frigate named Hellscar, which seems much more appropriate as a Sathar vessel, and so has been included above. In rare cases, names are given for a few Sathar Fighter ships, but I did not bother to include them above (Ripper and Reaver in SFKH4; Horror and Fear in Ares86).

I found the following very helpful for making up some of the new names above: "English compound words and phrases: a reference list, with statement of principles and rules", by F. Horace Teall (link). In addition to those new names above, here are some more that got cut from the final list, that you might consider if you want to expand or make replacements to the Sathar ship roster -- Defiler, Vilifier, Spoliation, Anethema, Denunciator, Purgatory, Condemnation, Iniquity, Paroxysm, Distemper, Retribution, Cancer, Rancor, Contamination; Backstabber, Warwind, War Head, Cross Bones, Rats Bane, Wolfs Bane, Pain Killer, Crosshair, War Waste, King Cobra.


  1. I've used "Faminewind" as a ship name many times over the years. Not sure why, but it really stuck in my mind the first time I read it.

    1. As usual, our fictional bad guys have more character than the good guys. :-)

  2. Funny how this is so similar to this:,_!%E2%80%93K