The Lancer-class Frigate is a light frigate available to the Imperial Remnant in Eras 1–5. It carries an armament of 20/4 Quad Lasercannons.
Imperial starships had long focused on ship-to-ship combat, with smaller capital ships relegated to planetary defense rather than picket duty. As Rebel Alliance fighter pilots became accustomed to and began exploiting the weaknesses of Imperial Star Destroyers, Imperial officers became increasingly concerned about the effectiveness of these heavily-armed and shielded fighters. After the destruction of the First Death Star by a handful of Rebel fighters, the need for a dedicated anti-fighter vessel became quite clear.
Kuat Drive Yards' Lancer-class Frigate was the answer to this problem. Outfitted completely for starfighter hunting, the Lancer sacrificed all capital grade weaponry and shielding. It was also quite slow, allowing enemy starfighters to simply outrun it. This led to most Imperial commanders preferring to use the cheaper and more disposable TIE fighters for screening duty. These ships, like smaller vessels before them, were relegated to planetary defense and rearguard duty.
It was not until the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn that Lancers were reborn into Imperial Service. Used as raiders against key New Republic worlds, Lancers were easily able to shred the planetary defense garrisons (which were composed completely of starfighters). As the Empire collapsed and the New Republic began shutting down the remaining warlords, many Lancers were captured by the New Republic Defense Fleet. Many were decommissioned, but the design principles were incorporated into the Ranger-class Gunship, a New Class design. During the Yuuzhan Vong War, these were recommissioned by the New Republic for use against coralskippers.
The Lancer is the anti-fighter frigate of the Imperial Remnant. Quite capable of shredding enemy starfighters, three or four are always necessary in any fleet (offensive or defensive) to prevent too great of a loss to your own fighters and bombers.
The main weaknesses of the Lancer are its lack of capital grade weaponry and shields, as well as its slow sublight speeds. It is also wise to remember that this is a frigate class ship, not a corvette, resulting in it taking damage in asteroid fields whereas its main rivals the CR90 Corellian Corvette and Vigilance-class Gunship having an advantage over the Lancer. In short, the Lancer is a must use for any Imperial Remnant player as a first defense against enemy fighters and bombers.