Cheap and simple is one of our objectives, but we also want a ship that people can have fun with. That brings up the question, what counts as fun? Do rookies just want to shoot holes in another boat, or do they want to cause casualties and sink ships? Shooting holes is very, very easy. You just need a destroyer with a bb gun, that's fast and they can run around: *bang* "haha" *bang* "haha". Pick a 1.5 unit ship, give it a 1/2-unit pump and either a 1-unit gun or two 1/2-unit guns, and you'd be set for both Big Gun AND Fast Gun. the only real changes there are for the speed, armor, and rate-of-fire rules. On the other hand, if the average rookie wants to cause casualties and sink ships, something with a little more firepower than one or two chaser cannons is needed. In Big Gun, that means big guns. I'm not sure about Fast Gun, but from my understanding that means either sidemounts or multi-barrel mounts. The cruisers and bigger ships that have been mentioned so far, while more expensive than a lightly armed destroyer, can pack a lot more punch. Personally, I think that the best ship for both formats (with about equal capabilities in each) is a bb-gun destroyer. A Le Fantasque, Mogador, Z-boat, Tashkent, or Capitani Romani, with a bb gun forward and a bb gun back, can be a lot of fun if you're pretty relaxed. You drive around, fire off a few shots, and generally make a pest of yourself. Plus, it allows us to demonstrate the proper technique for building lightweight and strong. Another benefit is that it can be used by more people. Younger children, older adults, and anyone with back injuries could launch and recover the boat with one hand. (try that with a Yamato!) If you want more firepower, then a Dunkerque is actually a very solid choice of ship. In Big Gun, it is allowed up to eight 7/32" cannons and twelve secondary .177" cannons, and it gets medium-weight armor. Now we can't expect a rookie to arm all of that, so one quad turret up front and one or two fixed quad secondaries in the back would make for a very effective layout. Now that wouldn't be be a cheap ship, because the guns alone would run around $450. From what you guys have mentioned, it's also a solid little battlecruiser in Fast Gun, so this may actually make for a good project ship. I also happen to be making an 8-barrel .177" cannon as part of a refit for a Dunkerque right now, and I would be happy to share the design. Tugboat, I think I can clarify things a bit about the Pocket BBs. For a cruiser-sized ship to be effective, it has to have either the speed to outrun hostiles, or it has to have the firepower to deter hostiles. Most cruisers solidly LACK the firepower to deter hostiles. small-caliber shot like .177" and 3/16", at Big Gun rate of fire, are of little concern to marauding battlecruisers, and torpedoes can only fire once every 30 seconds. So most cruisers have to hit and run, taking their shots when their opponent cannot shoot back. A Pocket BB, on the other hand, has big 7/32" cannons. Those don't compare to the big shells thrown around by Iowas, Yamatos, and Bismarks, but they are still quite a formidable threat. Whenever a big bad battlewagon comes near, all the Pocket has to do is throw his rudder one way and swing his guns the other, and lay down a wall of steel. Having been sunk while trying to attack Pocket BBs, I can assure you that they are very hard to attack.