I always had some thoughts on the Orion class. Note, that it is a magnificent ship, vast, sleek, manoeuvrable, the best weapon fits in the whole game....about the only disadvantage is its dismal armour, that is in fact the same as a basic Jericho. And that is the problem, it is too good. Compare it to the Jericho and the Hazeroth Raider:
Speed: 3/10/10 Manoeuvrability: -10/+23/+25
Detection: +5/+12/+10 Hull Integrity: 50/32/35
Armour: 12/14/12 Turret Rating: 1/1/1
Space: 45/35/40 Sp: 20/30/25
Weapon Capacity: 1 Prow, 1Port, 1Starboard/1 Prow, 1 Dorsal/1 Dorsal, 1Keel
So, for 5 SP you get 7 speed, 35 manoeuvrability, 5 detection and the ability to concentrate your two weapon systems anywhere on prow/port/starboard and even behind you at a sacrifice of 15 hull integrity and 5 space. You would be an abject fool not to go for such a bargain. Why are there any other traders produced if you have this ship? Why even take a raider if you can get this ship with all its extra space? Admitted, getting enough energy for good weapons might be a bother, but with good planning an Orion remains a steal.
And, as said before, that is to me the problem. In a game, advantages and disadvantages should balance each other or the price tag should reflect it. With the Orion-class, this is in my opinion not the case. So I would propose the following:
Remove the keel weapon slot and add 'Handles like a Raider' (in any circumstance where speed or manoeuvrability are concerned, this ship is treated as a raider rather then a transport). Furthermore, I would make it harder to find these ships later in the game if players would wish to purchase them for their fleet. The basic Imperial transport is a stolid, plodding craft, not a sleek clipper. The dramatic reduction in armament makes the Orion more akin to the Viper-class scout sloop: very fast, but at the price of very limited armament.
Alternatively, the ships SP cost could be cranked up, but not sure how far would be logical. As written, it is a ship that can outrun anything human made that could threaten it and has a good chance fighting off anything that can fight it. I am not sure how much it should cost in that case, but 30 SP seems to me a minimum.
So, what are your thoughts on this? Is this to harsh, or am I going in the right direction. The Orion would get less fighting power with 1 Dorsal slot (And the odd sole keel weapon slot would be removed. The fact that amongst all the ships in the Imperium only a transport would be equipped as such always seemed unlogical to me) but would be even better at running away from danger. This seems to me a fair exchange and would still make the Orion a cheap ship and a very good choice for its SP.
Friedrich van Riebeeck, Navigator Primus, Heart of the Void