Best cruiser design?

After analyzing the available weapons, and building in what seems to be a good balance of defense, I came up with this cruiser design:

Federation Eagle Cruiser hull
weapons: Laser, Pulse Laser, Cruiser Missile, Megaton Missile, ECM Shock
defense: Fast Recharge Shields (x4), Armour V (x2), Adv Armour Repair, Supercharged Tractor Beam, ECM Shield
other: Power III (x3), Crew III, Engine III

The combination of the tractor beam, pulse laser, armour and armour repair deals with fighters just fine. Few fighters can harm me, so I swat them as time allows. I tend to line up 3-4 of these cruisers, so they team up against fighters, reducing the issue of having no dedicated anti-fighter weapons.

The ECM shield seems to speed ECM shock recovery, and the shields can take quite a pounding before failing - four seems to be the optimal number.

The power, crew and engine are simply what is needed - fewest slots to keep the rest going.

The weapons are simple based on my desire for variety - balancing DPS, energy cost, crew cost, penetration of shields and armour, range, the fact that projectiles can be shot down etc. I’ve tried many other combintations - all plasma, all missiles, a mix of lasers, you name it - and can’t find a better combination. I have one alternate that uses one laser and four pulse lasers that is a close second, but I had to reduce my shields by one, and that hurts more than it helps.

I realize that generics are not the best, but I still find it fun to try to build the best generic ship I can get - increasing the line from 3 to 4 or 5 for harder fights seems to be all that is required most of the time. Any suggestions on what I can do to tweak this design?

Might help to swap the two missile launchers for fast missiles as they tend to be more accurate and have a much better ROF. :smiley:

“Best” may be a little too subjective but I am a big fan of whatever hulls have 7-8 weapons slots loaded up with as much long range plasma as they can hold. Certainly not generic, but its fun to see a whole line of them open up on something.

Fast missile launchers … perfect, thanks. I don’t know how I missed those in the list.

I’ve tried the “lots of plasma” in a few different configurations, and always end up spending more money, then losing. It drives me crazy, because they look so cool … as they miss and keep on going. Do you use special orders to win with those things? Use additional equipment to make them work?

I’ve heard that it makes sense to always include one Reflective Shield in your shield configuration to improve your chances of reflecting weapons fire. Maybe this makes a trade off for durability if you’re under heavy non-beam weapons fire though. I’m assuming that the Reflective Shield will usually be the first shield to give out.

This is assuming that the “layer cake” shield model is still in effect however. I go back and forth between Fast Recharge and Multiphasic shields depending on what I can fit on the ship. Fast Recharge shields with their extra point of regeneration seem to be the superior choice in most situations though I would like to know if there is hard data measuring this.

Yep dont totally ignore the reflective shield. Many players go around using beams that are 15-22 in shield penetration. As long as you can keep the shields repaired no damage will go through for quite some time.

Basically for now there only seems one really OP design that makes other designs of the like seem useless and its not a cruiser or frigate its a specific fighter design that is isolated to one fighter hull. Basically any combination of fighters cannot touch it and it excels at killing everything better than any other fighter design.

Also there is a lot more than using one design, its a factor of a combination of designs.
Example of counter to someone who only uses the cruiser discussed here:
A cruiser counter to the design discussed by the OP is a cruiser loaded with Missiles and anti-missile defenses, while having more than one engine. However this design dies to fighters or really fast frigates. Basically it has its own flaws as well.

In tests against beam frigate designs and missile boats, the reflective shield didn’t seem to make much of a difference one way or the other. But I suspect my results will vary when I test against cruiser beams later. My hunch is that the fast recharge shields are superior if you’re taking hits from something with a shield penetration of 27 or greater.

Also, is “Armour V” the super-heavy cruiser armour module?

The “worlds’ best fighter” problem has been solved. Anti-fighter missiles and tractor beams easily make up the difference between the Rebel fighters and the others. The Achilles heel of the game has been patched. (couldn’t resist.)

The reflective shield blocks those all important penetration 24 cruiser proton beams. Sure, it goes down first, but it helps to not have your shields ripped down at the start of the fight by what is essentially an anti-ARMOR weapon. And you do in fact only need one reflective shield. The rest can be fast-recharge or multi-phasic depending on cost / personal preference.

I can’t comment on Plasma; it just doesn’t seem to work for me. But as a missile man, I wouldn’t be so quick to discount cruiser missiles. A back line of artillery ships with six or seven CM modules appear in almost all of my fleets - the extra range, damage dealt, and sheer spamminess makes them a deadly threat, able to take out virtually anything with a couple of salvos.

As an added bonus, artillery cruisers can come in reasonably cheap if you skimp on the engines and defences thanks to low power requirements - although it is worth investing in a Target Booster II to keep those missiles on target.

Fast missile launchers are great, but I tend to use them in my mid-range ships, combined with beam lasers.

My current artillery design is:

Rebel Valhalla hull

7x Cruiser Missiles
3x Fast Recharge Shields
1x Target Booster II
1x Nanorepairs
1x Ultraheavy Armour
1x Crew II
1x Supercharged Engine (speed 0.07 - I only use this because I was bored of crawling across large challenge maps at immobile fleets)
1x Power I
1x Power II

Co-operative, Vulture, ignore fighters, engage cruisers 100% at 1200, frigates 50% at 400.
Cost <3000.