Armor Worthless for Frigates?

For the most part I only make frigates with shields, and though I should see what I could come up with frigates that use armor. After sever designs that all seemed to just suck I decided to make basically the same frigate, but one variation with shield, and the other with armor. Here is what I made:

name = rebel frigate - sr frigate armored
guiname = rebel frigate - sr frigate armored
hull = Rebel Odin Frigate hull
cost = 1029

0 = frigate_ion_cannon,
1 = frigate power II,
2 = frigate_ion_cannon,
3 = frigate_armour III,
4 = frigate_ion_cannon,
5 = frigate_ion_cannon,
6 = frigate_engine,
7 = frigate_engine II,
8 = frigate_armour V,
9 = frigate_armour V,
10 = frigate crew II,

Average Armor=11.82
Shield Resistance=0.00
Shield Strength=0.00
Damage Absorbable=130.00
Hit Points=123.00

name = rebel frigate - sr frigate shield
guiname = rebel frigate - sr frigate shield
hull = Rebel Odin Frigate hull
cost = 836

0 = frigate_ion_cannon,
1 = frigate power III,
2 = frigate_ion_cannon,
3 = frigate crew,
4 = frigate_ion_cannon,
5 = frigate_ion_cannon,
6 = frigate_engine,
7 = frigate_engine II,
8 = frigate shield II,
9 = frigate shield II,
10 = frigate crew,

Average Armor=0.00
Shield Resistance=10.00? (Not sure how shield resistance stacks)
Shield Strength=126.00
Damage Absorbable=0.00
Hit Points=252

So both ships have the same weapons, the armored version is slower, costs more, and has 129 less hit points. Both are about equal in damage absorbable~shield strength, and average armor~shield resistance.

Both average armor and shield resistance are low enough the pretty much any frigate or cruiser weapon will get through. To me the armored version is inferior in every way. Either it should be cheaper, faster, or able to absorb more damage, or something.

Fighters eat unarmoured ships. I always stick at least 8 average armour onto my front line frigates to stop fighters ducking in under their shields.

Yes, I try to give all my frigates enough armour to survive a fighter attack. Frigate shields, even the good ones, won’t reflect much anyway, unlike cruiser shields - I love the sight of enemy beam ships bouncing of cruiser shields, but the same ships would fire straight through a frigate’s shield.

The armour repair bug invalidates just about all conclusions at the moment though, it makes just about anything other than an armoured, armour-repairing cruiser worthless. :frowning: You can park the damn things next to an enemy fleet of APW ahem I mean proton beam ships, stick the speed on 4x, come back a couple of minutes later and they’re still intact… :slight_smile:

Armor is worthless for some frigates and even for some cruisers too. Armor on other ships? Priceless.

Your observations are sound. Examine existing fleets in battle to observe whose armor gets whacked when and where. Armor is all about location, location, location. Got meat shield?

This is subject to patch balance changes which could render the point moot at any time. This is an important point because as battles stand now, ships barge ahead to shoot until dead. If strafing and conditional retreats and attacks are implemented well, formations will no longer hold as tight as they do now. An effective anti-fighter solution is an optional necessity for any fleet, so armor will always be needed where and when needed.

But for now, I think it best to consider armor as an asset to be distributed by conscious design throughout a fleet formation instead of one size fits all ships, or all ships of a class. In other words, use the ship design stage to further improve the the fleet deployment stage and get a stronger fleet as a result. The same reasoning is substantially true for any module. It is helpful to visualize just the modules and their relative positions within a fleet. Imagine the ships aren’t there. The only down sides are more ship designs to keep on hand and much more time invested in designing fixed fleets that can’t be easily rearranged.

Optimal armor placement has a significant edge over cookie cutter armor. Freeing up module space wherever you are able to is another edge. If the game balance and player skills continue to improve in the long term, all that will be left to secure victory are such edges.

Shields for Fast Frigates are extremely useful, the number of frigates and their speed tends to mean that the opponents firepower is spread around enough to keep the frigates alive quite a while.

Armour on the other hand, can get wiped out by a single good cruiser hit. Not so good. I don’t worry about fighters too much: the fast frigates aren’t likely to be a target. On the other hand I make sure that PD/anti-fighter escort frigates have at least a 10 armour: as escorts they don’t need to move that fast, and the armour keeps them alive against laser-fighters.