General Module discussion - CRUISERS (non-weaponry modules)

I’ve played through the single player on all difficulties and a few different races, and I’m getting pretty good at wiping out the enemy fleet and keeping 75-95+% of my fleet intact, yet I still have a few lingering questions about the eccentricities of some modules.

Target booster: generally, I only use this on a couple types of cruisers. Usually I relegate the role of missile and torpedo spam to frigates, but sometimes I make a megaton missile spam cruiser or a plasma spam cruiser. I’ve seen in other threads that stacking this thing isn’t really effective, but my question is how effective is this thing for missiles and guided-type weapons? If you’ve got the target painter already, does it help to also load this thing up? Basically right now all I’m using this thing on is the occasional plasma spam design.

Point defense versus guidance scrambler. I like both of these modules, they seem to be quite effective, but I’m still working on how best exactly to employ them. Does the guidance scrambler work versus missiles which are incoming on you when you are painted? This is the key question. I suspect not. It also seems that the point defense is smart enough not to waste shots on missiles which are swerving away due to scrambling. Can anybody confirm this is the case? Point defense seems to shoot down any missiles nearby, not necessarily targeting the ship which has the point defense, which is VERY good, but does anybody know if the guidance scrambler also helps to defend other nearby ships?

Carrier bays: I haven’t really explored making carrier hulls and fleets much, sometimes I’ll just put one of these on a cruiser and hope for the best with the fighters. Has anybody though experimented with finding an effective ratio of carrier bays to fighter squadrons?

Multi-phasic shields: generally what I find works best is 1 reflective shield + 2 fast recharge shield modules. The only thing that seems to bring the shields down with those going is some pretty darn severe concentrated fire or getting too close to a ship with the nasty high ROF short range weapons. Regen rate + resistance does seem to be key, but has anybody found this not to be the case? Am I missing something about these mystical-sounding multi-phasic sheilds?

Armor: I find myself only using cruiser powered armor and sometimes, when I just need to shed a couple points of power to avoid having to buy another power module, cruiser armor III. The other cruiser armor modules seem pretty useless to me. Super-heavy is not only super-heavy, but pretty expensive. What kind of armor combinations are you guys using to get your armor rating?

Advanced armor repair versus nanobots repair modules: it seems to me that the nanobots are better than picking the specifically armor-repairing module. Firstly: the rate is faster, secondly, the nanobots have more supplies. No brainer here? opinions?

Other notes:

All the cruiser crew modules are pretty cool. I like having the droid and zero-G bays, I find myself using them pretty often and kinda of wish the frigate hull class had a similar greater flexibility with crew modules. Ditto on engines - all the various cruiser engine modules are pretty great for fine-tuning an effecient power/crew/speed balance.

My best guess at the math says that thing isn’t worth it. It’s not that there isn’t a benefit, the problem is that it costs roughly enough crew/power/whatever that you could just buy another gun and come out ahead.

They both will attack missiles of any target, painted or not it seems. I use scramblers to defend nearby fighters. For the most part the scrambler beats the pants off of standard PD, but it comes at a substantial operational cost.

There are other threads floating about on carrier use. The difficulty isn’t so much a problem of ratio - it’s getting a fighter design that can make it home to begin with.

You can actually get more recharge per unit of whatever if you double up on a lot of small, basic shields. But, your high recharge isn’t much use if your shield gets downed in a single volley… which is probably what will happen if you combine the small strength of those types of generators with the rapid diminishing returns penalty. It’s all about striking a balance, and multiphasic shields are just another option for achieving that, whatever your current shielding philosophy might be.

Currently the highest resistance shield is always used for penetration checks, so you’re not hurting yourself provided you take a multiphasic along with another type.

Your armor resistance value (if that’s what you’re shooting for) is determined by dividing by the number of modules on the ship - and that includes other armor plates you may be using. That can make the diminishing returns of armor very severe - I suspect one big plate is much better than two medium ones in most cases.

The armor repair selectivity rarely comes into play, and often it means you’re left with a repair module that refuses to repair the rest of the ship. Definite skip on those.

Yes, it does. The scrambler beam is essentially just better than point defense but at a cost in honor, power and crew. If you have extra slots or are trying to conserve cash, then you can get away with PD; normally I stick with the scrambler beam.

Interesting, thanks. I think I may up my scrambler usage a bit then, despite how satisfying it is seeing all that incoming ordinance get zapped.

That’s the thing though - the target booster isn’t a gun slot, right? It’s a regular module. So it may be beneficial, especially on a second rank cruiser which has less need of that module for shields or armor. The math question is, for a megaton missile launcher or a plasma launcher, which has a relatively low ROF, is that slight boost worth it? Heavier weapons getting fired fewer times are the best candidate for an accuracy bonus. I think the jury may still be out on the math on this one.

That is very interesting, thanks.

Again, very interesting. I still think the fast recharge shield modules +1 reflective shield is the bomb though. So your shield configuration for a front line cruiser would be a reflective shield + some variety of the crappier shields or multiphasic shields? Maybe I just need to give this a few whirls. The goal is to accomplish to strongest, most effective sheild configuration using the fewest number of modules.

Alright, last couple non-weapon items for discussion:

EMP cannon, EMP shielding. I’ve actually been using these things a bit on the heavy, more expensive cruiser hulls that have alot of slots to fill. It seems like they’re pretty effective and worth it. Usually under the ‘best defense is a strong offense’ philosophy I opt for the EMP cannon instead of the shielding, which doesn’t seem to be 100% effective anyways.

Cloaking device: never used this thing. Seems like waste. When you’re invisible, sure, your shields might recharge a little bit, but you can still apparently get hit. Only possible benefit of it I can imagine I’ve read in other threads is that it has a massive amount of hit points, and might be usable for a tank type design. But hit points only come into play when your shields and armor have already failed, and death is imminent if that has happened. and this leads me to:

Repair modules. It seems to me that repair modules are only useful for very specific kinds of designs - unshielded armor tanks. It is better to spend modules on defenses which will actually prevent damage from happening (shields, armor, point defense, scramblers, engines for speed), rather than modules to repair damage once it has happened. Because once damage has started to happen, usually the ship blows up in pretty short order. It all depends a little bit - if you’ve designed a fast cruiser that is intended to avoid the enemy ships or hang out at extreme range, then maybe a repair module would have a chance at repairing the damage that might be inflicted. But a repair module on a front line cruiser that is going in and soaking up concentrated fire from multiple enemy ships doesn’t have a prayer of doing much once the sheilds and armor are down. Plus, they run out of supplies, and once they do, you’ve got a pretty pointless module. So basically - I’m finding very limited use for these things, except on my no-shield designs. And of course the tribe ships.

Cloaks have the highest HP/Cost in the game. So you can make a ridiculous tank with them.

It’s just that for it’s cost and the cost in it’s requisites you can get more guns by making the ship cheaper and getting more ships.

Not arguing this point, since it does seem to be borne out by observation. An interesting thought though: This being the case, might the target booster then be more useful for Empire ships, since their available slots are so heavily skewed toward nonweapons anyway? Assuming you have the slot, crew and power available, there’s a greater chance on Empire ships than other races that the open slot will be a module slot rather than a hardpoint. Something to think about.

Probably not. I’d say the opposite, in fact.

We’re talking about a module that increases the performance of every weapon on the ship. The benefit will be greater if you can fit a higher weapons-to-module ratio.

Well this is bizarre - I just tested out the target booster on one of my cuiser designs in a single player mission.

Chiarne Prime - selected race is Alliance, versus Rebel fleet of cruisers and frigates, relatively few fighters. Some cloaks in there. Easy difficulty. I’ve been using the Python hull for the spam needs with it’s 9(!) hardpoints. So, Python CPFA cruiser (Cruiser, Plasma, Fast, Armored) loaded out with the following:

CPFA(+): 9x cuiser plasma, 1x target booster
CPFA(-): 9x cruiser plasma, target booster slot left empty.

(other modules in the design are strictly proprietary :slight_smile: )

engagement range set to 825 for FF and CA targets, cooperative and vulture orders for everybody. Deployed in a concentrated, 2 rank deep formation x5 high, alternating hull types. Using five CPFA(+), and five CPFA(-) (along with other support ships), I got the following post game accuracy statistics in two trials:

trial 1:
CPFA(+) - 37%, 25%, 32%, 34%, 31% (average 31.8%)
CPFA(-) - 43%, 33%, 30%, 35%, 34% (average 35%)

trial 2:
CPFA(+) - 32%, 38%, 36% 29%, 29% (average 32.8%)
CPFA(-) - 39%, 41%, 41%, 25%, 35% (average 36.2%)

Which seems utterly, utterly BIZARRE. The ships with the booster module were significantly LESS accurate?!? It seems the booster module then should be left out, always, unless anybody wants to run some more tests with different weapon types. I’d be interested to know if it has any effect on missile accuracy.

I might do some more studies… the fact that the booster module isn’t improving accuracy at all I find odd.

A simple boundary value test might be to make a quick mod with a copy of the target booster, and mess with the booster values. Go way over the top and see if it grossly improves things if you do.