Hi, I just got GSB and I’m having a blast with it. The game feels a lot like the best parts of Master of Orion (the space battles) taken out and adapted into it’s own game. Anyhow, reading the forums have just spawned more questions, so here are a few of them:
What’s the best plasma weapon to complement a beam cruiser? DPS figures seem to be all around the same, 10DPS. The light version seems to be fairly accurate, though even it misses against other cruisers occasionally, so I am leaning towards the longer ranged versions, though I guess I will have to add a few tracking modules to make sure they don’t miss.
Are Cruiser Beams better than Fusion Beams? Fusion Beams have a slightly high penetration value and range, while Cruiser Beams offer a bit over 5% more DPS and better tracking. I’d go with Fusion, but I wonder how much DPS I’ll wind up losing if I miss a lot.
Is there weapon DPS chart available anywhere? I’ve looked around the forums and on the GSB wikia without finding one. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and make one if there isn’t one online.
I’m a newbie too, so keep that in mind when reading the following.
You have to evaluate DPS, range, shield penetration and armour penetration. Depending on the target, tracking matters too. Since you can’t have all of those, it is better to have some of each - for example, something that takes down shields, and something else that can then take down armour. Projectiles don’t cost much power, but can be shot down or scrambled, so you have to mix in energy weapons as well.
Many suggest plasma, but personally I can’t make them work - they look great, but miss most of the time.
For cruisers, I suggest lasers, pulse lasers, fast missiles and ecm shocks. For frigates, I suggest using cruisers.
It occured to me that I didn’t actually reply to the other questions that were asked.
I think the “standard” plasma spam design is a cruiser with as many “Cruiser Plasma Launcher” modules as it can fit, one tracking module and enough power and crew to make it all go. Engines are often skipped and defenses are are a secondary consideration behind maximizing the volume of fire. When deploying, it may be worth putting a few heavily defended “tank” ships in front of the formation to screen your plasma ships. I’ve never liked this style of design much, but it is fairly popular. It’s easily beaten by speedy ships (frigates or cruisers with many engines).
Be careful here, because there are actually two different weapons named “Fusion Beam” with different stats. One is a Federation only module which is very good (I’m pretty sure this is the one you’re talking about). The other is only available to the Rebel faction, and is not as good. The Fed Fusion beam is really exceptionally good for one reason: It has a shield penetration of 24, exactly matching the resistance of the Shield Generator II and Fast Recharge Shields modules.
Ah thanks, your spreadsheet looks very useful. I’m a little confused about the Raw DPS figure though. If the fire interval is measured in milliseconds, would the Cruiser Laser’s 20 damage delivered every .43 seconds hit the target for 46.51 DPS rather than 18.60 DPS? The DPS figures for other weapons do look proportional to what I’ve calculated though, so maybe I’m missing something.
Also, what would be the best all-rounder fleet design that you could send to tackle most challenges before trying something more specialized? Currently I usually field cruisers with one engine, 3-4 shields (1 reflector and 2-3 fast recharge or multiphasic), 1 ultra-heavy armour module, 2 power plants, 1 crew, and a mixed bag of weapons. Judging from the DPS tables, it seems like a few Cruiser Lasers supported by some good anti-armour weapons would usually be worthwhile to include in the weapons mix. Mainly I’m wondering what is a solid fleet design I could use for a jumping off point. I also usually have some frigates behind the cruisers with long range support weapons like torpedoes or missiles and fighters if I’m playing the Rebels.
Also, which ship hulls would work the best for a generalist fleet? I currently like the largest Rebel cruiser with the shield boost for fleets that need to be mobile and the Imperial cruiser with the +16% shield boost for fleets that are less mobile. Extra shields seems to be more useful in most situation than other bonuses, but maybe that’s just me.
I did some work with a stopwatch and came up with 1/400 sec as the unit for the fire_interval field. I’m not sure if that is exactly right (another GSB player estimated 1/360 sec).
There are a lot of different designs that work well in a variety of situations.
One rebel fleet design that I used for a while was built around a core of fast, well shielded cruisers with 5 engines, nano-repair and 4 turrets of cruiser lasers (on a hull with many more than 4 hardpoints). That core group would be backed up by a smaller number of slightly slower cruisers with beam lasers that could crack any armor tanked enemies and pick off flanking frigates. Finally, a few squadrons of laser fighters would be on escort duty to keep enemy fighters from becoming too big of a nuisance. That fleet was really strong in the days of ultra-capable rebel fighters, but I’m not sure how well it would do in the current GSB era.
Interesting, I’ve been tinkering around with the idea of fast short ranged cruisers lately and it’s been a fun change from the long ranged cruiser designs. Cruiser Lasers do offer over four times the DPS of plasma and accuracy around 70% compared to 50% against cruisers for plasma. It seems like it still works okay on the current challenges. How fast were your cruisers and how much shields and armour did they have? My current model is the 7 hardpoint 10 module rebel cruiser (the Federation has a 7 hardpoint 11 module ship that also looks appealing for this though you lose a little speed and superior Rebel fighter support). They’re fitted with 5 cruiser lasers, one cruiser pulse laser and one rebel fusion beam, as well as 2 armour V modules and 3 shield modules.
I think I’ll try your idea and move the fusion beams to specialized cruisers and add some more shielding to my cruisers. The diminishing returns on additional shield modules bugs me, but 3 shields seems to be a bit on the low side. Two engines moves the ships along at 0.13, and this seems a little slow, though at least it’s better than watching a one engine cruiser crawl across the map.
I believe the fastest version was 0.33 speed, which really let them cover a lot of ground. In a deployment of 6 of them, with 3 beam laser backups (speed 0.22 or so), I’d usually lose one in the first rush (though sometimes it would survive with major damage) then lose another one or two later on.
My design was very specialized at getting in close to deal damage with the cruiser lasers. Defenses were somewhat secondary to speed. Here’s the full design, which I’ve not actually tested in recent builds (it is still valid, I think, but may not be competitive):
Hull: Rebel Valhalla Cruiser
Hardpoints: 7 (but only 5 have turrets in them)
Standard Modules: 10
Power: 110 (109.80 needed)
Crew: 273 (261 needed)
1xCruiser Point Defense System
1xShield Generator II
1xFast Recharge Shields
2xPowered Armour (in the rearmost hardpoint spaces)
2xPower Generator II
2xLightweight Cruiser Engine
I also had a somewhat slower anti-fighter variant that mounted a tractor beam in place of the PD turret and a Pulse Laser in place of one Cruiser Laser, along with a number of other small changes.
Judging from the results of the latest tournament, I’d say that ideas along the line of your cruiser fleet aren’t obsolete yet. The winning fleet had a more of a generalist approach on his ships though, with 3 Cruiser Lasers and 1 Cruiser Beam Laser on each ship. viewtopic.php?f=24&t=2783&start=180
It seems a lot of people favor the rebel cruiser with the smallest hull for this tactic (I think it’s the Fenrir, the one that only gets a 9% speed bonus). If you build it in a cost concious fashion, you can get the price down to around 2500 which means you can field 20% more ships, though they will be less durable. The smaller hull might make it possible to pack more firepower into a smaller space. Up until now I’ve generally favoured the Valhalla hull as the most cost effective rebel cruiser hull though.
Unfortunately the current pathing problems (the way all the ships in your fleet converge on a single point when attacking), makes having a secondary team of support cruisers with beam lasers more difficult to deploy imho, especially against an unknown enemy formation. If there were a command for a more flexible formation that would keep the support cruisers behind the main cruisers without forcing them to move in rigid lockstep, I think support cruisers would be easier to use. Right now, I think you have to let your the ships attack as a disorderly mob and hope that it works out okay in the end.
Anyhow, I’ve had a fair amount of success with such a fleet, using the same deployment several times in a row until a long range missile fleet destroyed it. So while it’s not invincible, it is very strong against most designs.