While players might start off battling each other in such lowly--albeit iconic--ships, new vessels will be unlocked by gaining experience and can be customised with new tech and equipment. As the game runs under a free-to-play model, it's no surprise that players will be able to buy gear with Earth Dollars if they don't fancy earning it the hard way.
As nobody is more pedantic about 'lore' and 'continuity' than sci-fi fans who also play video games, the game positions itself carefully within the show's fiction. "Set during the latter part of the show's second season," publisher Bigpoint explains, "the game takes the form of a previously untold chapter in which both the Colonial and Cylon fleets are stranded in an uncharted area of space." Naturally, this leads to zap-zap space battles.
The beta was originally slated to begin in December 2010, but better late than never.