I’d seen the term ‘tank’ ship bandied about here and there, and considered it to be a heavily armoured ship, but light in the way of weapons or much of anything else. I’d never actually encountered quite such a thing until a recent challenge on the big map (300 pilots, 80,000 points).
The battle started in typical fashion, with my steadily moving cruisers closing on an enemy formation; itself apparently very light in the engines. Whenever a battle opens like that - with my ships sailing toward a bunch of fairly motionless opponents - somewhere the thought arrives that I’ve spent money on engines where my opponent has not.
The battle actually opened well, with my formation closing in on one end of the other line, and beginning to execute the classic, ‘crossed t.’
There was a certain ship though; after 4 or 5 of the others on their left end had melted away, this particular ship was taking a pounding and not exhibiting any symptoms of real damage. So there it was: ‘the mythical tank ship!’ Or was it? To me, it seemed like a giant hedgehog.
Whatever you want to call it, the thing served to soak up volleys of my ineffectual fire before the rest of his fleet closed and engaged, relatively unscathed.
That was a great tactic. I don’t know what other people call that sort of ship, but ‘hedgehog’ seems like a good name for it. In that particular setup, the hedgehog ships (one on each end of the overall formation) were pretty much the only ones moving with any real sort of speed. So, their apparent assignment was to close with my fleet, and soak up damage while their much slower sister ships could close in and seal the deal. I think it was brilliant! I’m going to have to watch for that in the future; and perhaps find ways to employ it myself.