Flawed

Unlike Star Wars and Star Trek, Serenity is not very heavy on tech details at all. The only "official" ship stats for the major ships are fan based and are published in Six-Shooters & Spaceships. And they SUCK! There are way too many math and editing errors in that book.

What do I mean? Well, the Crete class carrier, for example is about 20% over her tonnage if you add it up. She has 250 couriers, but only 144 fighters. Why? They make a big deal about having a spacedock that can handle 4000 tons of ship for repair, but that's not even two Firefly ships worth of room.

The Long Bow class Patrol cruiser (the long skinny one with the two long barrelled cannons) carries 368 offensive missiles and 1,280 decoy missiles, but has no launchers! The cannons are listed as conventional projectile firing guns but they shoot blue energy beams! Her crew is listed as 24,000, but the rules say it should be 960. She can carry 3,200 troops but only has 8 shuttles like the Firefly has. That means landing her 3,200 troops with just the supplies they carry on their backs will take 50 round trips by each shuttle! And she has 24,000 tons of cargo, that will take 250 round trips by all her shuttles.

Same issue for the Operative's Special operations Corvette. Again, no missile launchers, no shuttles or lifepods for her troops, carries regular cannons instead of the energy weapons we see in the movie.

Granted, I tweaked the energy weapon armament on both ships, but I provided a rule change to cover both, and it makes more sense than saying they have conventional cannons.

In short, the major ships that we have "officially" in the game were designed based solely on what we saw on the screen in Serenity. And were done by people who don't have any idea of what a military ship should be like. If you're reading this and you contributed to those designs and it offends you, well, that's my opinion. If you read sci-fi novels by people like David Weber, you'll see good ideas for military ships. Go back to the Traveller RPG and there's some more. Even Star Wars ships are better done.

Yes, it's completely made up science fiction. Maybe I'm taking it too seriously. Ship design is one of those things I love in science fiction games and books, so it's a hot topic with me. But, that doesn't excuse bad math.

And the Alliance Patrol Boat from the Basic book stinks too. I understand some of the ships were designed with the very basic system, but that doesn't explain why a ship with a crew of 16 and 2 shuttles and 2 gunships has 25 lifepods!

UPDATE
Okay, rereading through the rules again, I finally understand what they were trying to do with the missile launchers. It says "Missile launchers have negligible weight and cost, but tonnage must be dedicated to them (at 1 ton per 2,000 pounds of missiles)." What this means is the missiles are stored in box launchers like a US Navy Aegis class cruiser's vertical launch system or a cruder version would be these simple exposed box launchers on the gunboat configuration Jo Lynn. It still doesn't answer the question of how many missiles the ship can fire at once. Can I fire them ALL, Macross Missile Massacre style? Even if we go with 10% per turn, that means the Longbow can fire 36 attack missiles and 128 decoy missiles per turn!

My concept had been magazine fed launchers, more like torpedo tubes, which is common in space sci-fi like David Weber's books, the Traveller RPG or Star Wars or even Star Trek.