They outsourced a surprising amount of their ship building (that is, they had a habit of using ships captured in battle).
People think low-gravvers are weak. Let me tell you something. A deathworlder adapted to a low-G environment is still a deathworlder.
And when there’s a hive of them in chained asteroids… you do not throw rocks at the nest.
I saw it from a safe distance and under a definite amnesty. I’m not stupid enough to cross with deathworlders. Even in low gravity, they’re dangerous. I’d make my money off of kuiper runs and oort runs, scooping up valuables like water and panspermia pre-biologicals, and swapping that for metals and a feed and some damn good alcohol before I headed off to trade that elsewhere.
But this time… just as I was heading in for their Main Tangle… the neighbouring Raptids attacked. Seems they got tired of transit fees from me and other traders and set their minds a-conquering.
Now, normally the humans of Crumble are a peaceful lot. They don’t have big ships and they don’t have a lot of guns. I found out why.
Remember the Hungry Caterpillar? Every space-scavenger’s friend? Well, this mob re-purposed that into mining equipment. And building equipment. A solid iron asteroid big enough to be interesting makes an excellent home once its hollowed out. And the Caterpillar’s tentacle becomes another tube dock.
It’s amazing to watch that happening to an invading vessel. They were expecting exterior resistance like plasma fire. Or aimed asteroids. They weren’t prepared for unexpected docking.
Nor were they prepared for swarms of armed and armoured humans with projectile weapons.
It only took them a few minutes, but once they had a couple of enemy ships, things went very bad for the Raptids.
I hear some of those ships have been turned into habitats. Most of them are still cruising around as a combination deterrent and battle trophy.
Come to think of it… I’ve never heard of Crumble buying any of the old hulks that’s part of their habitat…