This is a listing of possible ship descriptions and types. It is by no means complete but should help you decide and understand the roles and abilities of different space (or waterborne) vessels.
ASTEROID SHIP: This ship is made from an asteroid. Size may vary quite a bit but it will likely have a great deal of ‘armor’ to protect it and material to construct with.
BATTLESHIP: One of the heavier ships of the battle line, battleships are usually well rounded and versatile warships.
BATTLESTAR: This is a well rounded ship that is usually bigger than a battleship. It might carry its own fighter compliment.
BOMBER: Designed to deliver heavy missiles or bombs to a target they are usually vulnerable to enemy starfighters.
CAPITOL SHIP: This is a major ship. A destroyer can be called a capitol ship, a PT boat is not.
CARRIER (FIGHTER): This carriers fighter craft to and from battle.
CYBERNETIC SHIP: Either a drone ship without a crew or a highly mechanized one. A ship without a crew could probably maneuver or accelerate better because it could take higher G forces.
DEATHSTAR: A ship as big as a planet or bigger, very heavily armed.
DEEP SPACE RAIDER: This is designed to operate for long periods of time away from friendly supply depots. A lot would be sacrificed for this. It would have to have speed to outrun anything it couldn’t fight but it would not be designed to prey on capitol ships either. Supply ships would be this vessels prey.
DESTROYER: This ship is usually very heavily armed. It is often the teeth of a battle line and its primary role is to fight.
DREADNOUGHT: A massive warship, dreadnoughts are usually very expensive and very well armed. They might be fast or slow depending on technology.
DRONE CRUISER/CARRIER: This carriers a number of remote controlled or programmable drones. The drones can have a variety of uses from ‘starfighters’ to recon, to science, to communication drones.
ECM SHIP: This is a special vessel that has additional Electronic countermeasures to support a fleet or starfighter operations. ECM ships might detect enemy sensors and launch counter measures or missiles that home in on the specific sensors. All ships will have some EW/ECM capabilities.
ESCORT: This is a heavily armed ship designed to protect supply ships and other lightly armed ships.
FAST ATTACK SHIP: Speed is more important than firepower. FAS’s can be used to conduct missile runs or interceptions and will not usually be a part of the battle line.
FIGHTER/BOMBER: A starfighter that is multi-role for dog fighting and delivering bombs or missiles onto a target. Usually they are not very good at both roles.
FREIGHTER: Another name for a supply ship.
FRIGATE: A lighter faster vessel, frigates are often used to screen the flanks and shield larger, more vulnerable vessels.
GROUND ASSAULT SHIP: This may carry a Marine detachment but is designed to attack targets inside an atmosphere.
GUERRILLA SHIP: This is like a Raider ship and is more concerned with prolonging resupply than carrying weaponry. This ship might carry a Marine compliment for raiding or assisting revolts.
GUNSHIP: This sacrifices speed and/or maneuverability for firepower. It can also be a ship that supports units planetside with orbital gunfire and observation.
INTELLIGENCE SHIP: This is equipped with high grade computers and an excellent sensor suite for collecting and analyzing data before, during or after a battle.
INTERCEPTOR: A vessel (or starfighter) that is sacrifices endurance or weapons for speed.
JUGGERNAUGHT: A big vessel that is build primarily for war.
MISSLE CARRIER: The primary weapon of this vessel are missiles.
MONITOR: A vessel designed to wait in deep space and monitor supply or trade routes.
PATROL BOAT: This is usually a smaller ship that protects the flanks of a formation or patrols trade or supply routes.
POD CARRIER: A versatile vessel a pod carrier is equipped with pods that can have different roles. The pods can be changed to alter the role of the vessel.
Q-SHIP: Designed to trick pirates and raiders this looks like a harmless ship but it has plenty of weapons and defenses.
RESEARCH VESSEL: This is more of a science vessel than a warship but it might belong to a military organization.
SCOUT/ASSAULT SCOUT: A small ship that relies on speed and stealth they are easy to make and sometimes expendable.
SHIP-OF-THE-LINE: Usually denotes a standard ship above a certain tonnage. The battle line is composed of these. It may mean everything from cruiser to dreadnought.
SPYSHIP: This vessel is more interested in stealth and speed than fire power. It will also have an excellent sensor suite.
STEALTH SHIP: This uses some kind of cloaking device to conceal it from enemy detection. There are many uses for a stealth ship.
STRIKE/WAR/BATTLE CRUISER: Not as heavy as a battleship a cruiser is usually well armed and well rounded.
SUPPLY SHIP: This is usually a very lightly armed or unarmed ship that carries needed material to the front lines and casualties, prisoners and loot back.
TENDER/MOBILE REPAIR SHIP: This is a ship that repairs ships of the line that have been damaged.
TORPEDO BOAT: This vessel carries missiles and is usually smaller than most ships of the line.
TROOP TRANSPORT: This is a lightly armed troop carrier. It will have the ability to land its at the destination.
WARSTAR: A bigger, better version or a variant of the Battlestar.