The Hades class Basestars were designed by humans prior to the Cylon War. They were designed to act as mobile defensive platforms to place in orbit around a world while Battlestars were used for maneuver. With that in mind, the Basestar had been heavily armored to withstand sustained attacks from enemy forces. They were tough and loaded with weapons, but slow and ungainly. The Basestars were run primarialy by Cylons with the exception of a small command and maintenance crew of humans. When the Cylon War began, the Cylons easily overpowered the small human contingent aboard each Basestar. They than became the primary capital ship for the Cylons during the 12 years of the war.
They consisted of two flattened cones connected at the center by a thick pylon, giving them a conical saucer-like appearance. Much like the Nemesis class, this model utilized chemically-propelled missiles (with both nuclear and standard warheads) as the main form of offensive weaponry. Raiders were deployed from access points throughout a Basestar's hull to provide defense.