Invincible Alliance Cruiser // Fleet Vanish when Times UP

I see that there is a Campaign Bug section that is overflowing, if this get’s moved there okie dokie.
Did not see these problems in known bugs / bugs with pending fix.

  1. I am in two Campaigns on different maps. 1st is Tribe Normal, 2nd is Rebel Expert. The 2nd one is the only one i’ve gotten far enough to encounter this problem. But there is a player-made Alliance Cruiser (the long skinny ones) that is essentially invincible called a “3CR Armoured Cruiser.” I’m sure it’s a bug because I was lucky enough to capture one in a fight, but instead of giggling myself silly about my invinci-ship - I watched as it buckled in like a cheap soda can once it was on my team. The ship has Three UltraHeavy Armour modules that make it nearly impervious to fire when enemy controlled (except for a zillion lucky shots.) Not so when player-owned. It can wipe out entire fleets, it is a bug.

  2. The 2nd problem is that, when a fleet engagement goes on too long it’s automatically declared a failure. That makes sense, it might be half an hour before a fighter can peck through - the problem is that the entire player fleet (from the fight) vanishes off the map even though retreat routes are available.

Thx for your time.


  1. Three plates of ultraheavy armor is not sufficient for most definitions of “invincible”. A cruiser with all module slots filled will have only about 20 average armor, which can be penetrated by most cruiser weapons. A cruiser whose only filled modules are the armor plates, an engine, a crew module, and a weapon won’t have more than about 65 average armor, which is sufficient to protect against cruiser missiles, cruiser lasers, and cruiser plasma, but is easily penetrated by most cruiser beams (and since it has no shields, cruiser beams will ruin the ship regardless of what else you or your enemy brought along).

  2. In the campaign, if it looks like the battle is going to be drawn out long enough for the battle timer to call the battle based on surviving percentages rather than the normal 10% strength criterion, it is best to hit the retreat button, as unless your fleet is the one in the green at the end of the battle, you lose and your fleet is captured by the enemy fleet. Which, needless to say, is a significant swing in power, and not always one you can recover from, depending on just how much of your fleet and theirs was left at the time the game decided to call the battle. Surviving elements of the defeated fleet are added to the victorious fleet unless the retreat button was pushed before the battle ended.

Most cruiser weapons can be grouped into four main categories:

  1. Cruiser beams. These are generally the best armor-penetration weapons in the game, but usually have difficulty penetrating cruiser shields, and no cruiser beam aside from the Swarm Disruptor Beam can penetrate a Reflective Shield. The Cruiser Beam Laser is the most commonly used cruiser beam for the anti-cruiser role, while the Cruiser Pulse Laser and Cruiser Defense Laser are commonly used for the anti-fighter and anti-frigate roles.
  2. Cruiser plasma. These weapons are generalists, capable of defeating most armor and any shields. The Heavy Plasma Launcher and Cruiser Plasma Launcher are long ranged but very inaccurate, while the Plasma Slinger and Light Plasma Launcher have much less range and much higher accuracy. These are mostly anti-cruiser weapons, though the Plasma Slinger and Light Plasma Launcher can work in the anti-frigate role as well.
  3. Cruiser missiles. These, like cruiser plasma, can penetrate any shielding and most armor, but most missiles have greater range than any cruiser plasma weapon. Missiles are vulnerable to point defense weapons and guidance scramblers, but can usually achieve near-perfect accuracy when target painters are involved. Cruiser plasma is, on average, slightly better a penetrating armor, but missiles tend to be much more accurate and usually have greater range.
  4. Cruiser lasers. These are essentially the opposites of cruiser beams, with a high rate of fire and and the ability to penetrate most cruiser shields, but with short range and poor armor penetration. The best of these for anti-cruiser use is the Cruiser Laser. Most of these aren’t that good for anti-fighter purposes (though the Tribe Autocannon is an exception that also fairs poorly against nearly any cruiser shield or armor), but can usually perform well in the anti-frigate role.

In the campaign, it’s usually a safer bet to go with one of the two generalist weapons (missiles or plasma), since that way every ship will be capable of penetrating shields, and relatively few ships have sufficient armor to resist their attacks. If you do go with cruiser beams or cruiser lasers for your dominant weapon type, make certain to have some generalist weapons or some weapons from the cruiser laser or cruiser beam (whichever isn’t your primary weapon type) so that you avoid the situation where you can’t kill a ship because, for example, none of your beam lasers can penetrate cruiser shields.

or you load up and spam arbalist artillery cannons

Right! Well, um. I guess that all makes sense?

I was throwing Cruiser Heavy Plasma at those things and couldn’t break armour.
When I looked up penetration on the Plasma it was only surpassed by species-unique weapons. But I guess I fumbled? Maybe I hit damage or something by accident instead. At any rate I’ll go on with the campaign and see how it works out. The answer in the 2nd question is perfect - I just don’t see a countdown timer on the fight itself (only when a retreat is ordered) but maybe its in settings.


There is no displayed countdown, but it’s something like five or ten minutes with no hits aside from “reflected by shields/armor”. A good rule of thumb is if the battle’s drawn out long enough for it to become boring, it’s time to hit the retreat button (unless you are winning, in which case it’s time to go do something else like read a book for a while and hope the draw breaker decides in your favor).

I also don’t know where you’d find the time-out setting to change it, or even if it can be changed.

I’m a bit surprised that the cruiser with three ultraheavy armor plates was capable of resisting heavy cruiser plasma. Did it by any chance have other armor plates as well? Most useful designs for cruisers won’t be able to survive hits from heavy plasma if all they carry is three armor plates.

As for highest armor penetration - that goes to the Cruiser Proton Beam (73); next is the Cruiser Beam Laser (70). Heavy Plasma Launchers are down at 55, which is higher than most weapons but far from the highest penetration. They do however have one of the highest shield penetration ratings (also 55, unless I’m mistaken), but differences in shield penetration value are meaningless if they are all greater than 27 (highest shield resistance outside of mods).

If you want to keep using cruiser plasma as your primary weapon, it might be good to have one or two Cruiser Beam Lasers or Proton Beams mounted in the furthest-forward turret position for armor-breaking purposes (you don’t necessarily need these on every ship, just on the ones closest to the head of your formation, but in campaign I prefer to have one proton beam on every ship in case of losses if I do this kind of strategy). You will still come across a few ships that are essentially immune to your fire, but it takes a lot more effort to grant immunity to proton beams than to cruiser plasmas, and that greater effort costs the ship much of its potential firepower and often its shields.

Large fighter swarms (using fighter lasers or fighter pulse lasers, depending on your preference and what you need to do to enemy fighters) can also be used to somewhat rapidly break armor, especially when they are supported by a cruiser mounting a Proton Beam or other high armor penetration weapon. Pulse lasers work better for strafing cruisers and frigates, while laser cannons work better for dogfighting; additionally, pulse laser-armed fighters will generally take heavier losses than laser fighters will. Fighter rockets can also work for this, but cannot be fired from under any normal cruiser’s shields. If you do go in for pulse laser or laser cannon armed strafing squadrons, set their ‘engage cruisers’ and ‘engage frigates’ range to the minimum, since that should make it more likely for them to pass beneath the cruiser or frigate shield bubble to take out some of the armor before the shields are down.

Note that in the campaign it is also possible to achieve a critical mass of fighters, which will result in your cruisers essentially not contributing to the battle because you have so many fighters that enemy ships simply die before the cruisers can do much. Just be aware that fighter swarms are vulnerable to better fighter swarms and good fighter defense, or to fleets that have the ability to rapidly kill your own cruisers and frigates and kill enough fighters to win with the double-enemy-strength against fighters win condition.

You guys really love talking strategy!

I haven’t given every species a shot but I’m most exp’d with the Rebels now and they strike me as needing well-rounded ships. So I usually build lots of Frigates with Ion, EMP, and anti-fighter missile, then use three fighter classes, hyper-fast decoy, missile/painter, and pulse/missile. Cruisers end up filling specific gaps for me, armour-destruction, tanking damage, disabling missiles, attracting/breaking up enemy fleets through placement etc.

I’ve flirted with Eve Online for nearly four years now so I’m no stranger to painstakingly assembling a ship that’s balanced and won’t break the wallet.

Tribe’s my other exp with and I ignore their cruiser hulls almost entirely since the hull rep/hp on them is so damn good.