Either specific ships, or races as a whole, both are fine.
The Rebel Valhalla is easily my favorite cruiser design in the game. The entire rebel style is the most identifiable to me, even if it isn’t the most original. I wish the Fenrir was scaled to match the rest of the Rebel cruisers- I think its a little small as it is.
The Alliance is the most original, IMO. They’re not my ‘favorite’ looking per se, but they’re imaginative, well-modeled, and despite being many different shapes, they all look like they fit flying next to each other.
I like the unique look of the Imperials, but honestly, I think the circular design is a little repetitive. I think at least one cruiser and one frigate could be swapped with something ‘different’- even something based off of another geometric shape, or circles re-oriented in another direction. Their largest Cruiser is my favorite of their ships, because it conveys their motif the best. Their fighters look strange flying around each other, because they’re such different sizes.
The Federation are my least favorite. They do fit next to each other, but that’s because they all look basically the same (like a pile of square blue LEGOs, arranged in round shapes). Some of the designs just look clumsy; clearly function over form (I do like the frontal arrangements of weapons). It’s nice that they look distinctly different than the Rebels, but they also do feel a little redundant in the overall game.
Edit: And what’s the deal with the Rabbit? It looks like nothing else in the game. Weird.
The rabbit is a tribute to the indie game ‘overgrowth’. It was done by one of their artists and was put in the beta for fun. Some people used it, and it became more grief to remove it than to just leave it in
Ha ha, the rabbit is my favorite one!
I like the idea of a massive spaceship designed to look like passive prey. Give 'em good engines, lots of missiles (rabbit droppings), send a herd of them into battle!
In terms of aesthetics, I find it ironic that the Rebel cruisers all look like Star Destroyers. Also the Imperial fleet reminds me of the space station from Deep Space 9. It feels a little weird conquering the galaxy with a fleet of space stations. It would be nice if the Imperials had more hulls that varied from the circular motif.
As far as ship designs, yeah the Valhalla cruiser is a great hull. Speed and shield bonuses are easily the most useful bonuses and the hull is spacious enough for lots of designs. What is weird is that I did a half a dozen challenge tests with similarly configured Cruiser Laser builds on the Valhalla and Fenrir and the Fenrir always seemed to beat the Valhalla for the same cost. It could be that the Fenrir’s smaller hull allows you to pack more firepower into a smaller space, so it’s small size could be an advantage. Not sure what the true size of the Fenrir is but it seems possible to pack them more tightly than big Imperial cruisers.
Oh also, the Rebel Phoenix fighter hull seems totally underpowered. It’s 4 quid less than the Icarus and Achilles, but it’s slower or produces less power than the alternatives. Can’t see any reason to use it ever.
I believe an old game “Auto Dual” had a category of car designs called the “Killer Rabbit”. The idea was to load good weapons on a light, and fast car, pointing every direction except forward.