Dropfleet Commander - Shaltari Tribes
The Shaltari are a Dropfleet/Dropzone Commander faction, originally created by Hawk Wargames and now produced by Tabletop Combat, that uses shields and powerful particle weaponry to dominate a system
Physically diminutive, with adults barely breaking 4 foot tall and covered with quills, it is easy to underestimate the Shaltari based on appearance. However the Shaltari's technology is second to none: having mastered the art of body transference, many Shaltari are centuries old, and have accrued multiple lifetimes worth of combat experience. The accumulation of knowledge and warfare experience are the highest callings in Shaltari society, and the admirals at the head of a fleet are uniquely specialised in their craft.
Shaltari crew are protected in a hardened core at the heart of a vessel, while servitor races perform the mundane drudgery of starship maintenance, freeing the Shaltari's attention towards directing and/or conducting the battle. The sleek, ominous grace of their ships belies the sheer power of their particle and microwave cannons, in addition to advanced shielding systems that stave off devastating attacks that would otherwise cripple the vessel.
These shields are not without trade-off as they may increase a ship's footprint on enemy sensors. But with their ability to remotely deploy troops to planets through their teleportation gates, the Shaltari may pick their battles more easily than most.
Shaltari ships are named after precious minerals, such as ruby or platinum, and feature sweeping design motifs studded with pointed vane structures.