I posted a challenge on 01/25/10 titled Moderate Rebel Patrol. It’s a smaller battle, around the 14K mark as I recall, which makes for a quicker setup/fight.
***** Challenge Spoilers *****
gfarrell80 requested the specs on the cruiser I used in that challenge.
Hull: Rebel Minotaur Cruiser
Maximum Speed: 0.37
1xCruiser Beam Laser
3xShield Generator II
2xPower Generator II
1xCruiser Engine II
With a main armament of short range, high dps Cruiser Lasers, it needed speed to get in close and dodge long range weapons. The first version had 4xCruiser Lasers, but in testing, decently armored ships could laugh off the laser fire, which is why one beam laser was swapped in for high armor penetration.
Cool. That is about what I thought it had to be - the one big question mark was the shields. The sheilds were tough, but I was wondering just how tough, and if it was just that they seemed tough because the cruiser was so damn fast my weapons were just missing alot.
How I cracked it, oddly enough, was with 4 fast tribe frigates (speed .4 - .45 range) maxed out with ion cannons, plus 3 cruisers maxed out with howizters, cruiser lasers, + 1 cuiser beam laser. The frigates oddly enough seemed to do most of the damage.
That’s one nasy Minotaur though. Obvious limiting factor for larger maps and situations is that fighters would tear it’s unarmored hulk to shreds.
It’s possible to take down those invincible seeming minotaurs without cruiser lasers/howizters. You can use stuff like this I just realized:
Frigate weaponry has the sick tracking speeds needed to take down slick fighters.
Also I developed a minotaur cruiser strictly better than the one posted that’s 193 credits more expensive.
Fast recharge shields and an extra 0.01 of speed.
The only weapons that can damage this are:
Fighter pulse laser
Fighter laser canon
There’s also some weapons that are pretty much strictly worse than the above. Now what’s interesting about this, is that all those weapons are short ranged. That means that a potentially good strategy is these guys in front, and in back some guys with long range weapons to stop guys with the weapons mentioned above from closing.
But you can’t stop those minotaurs from closing, so you can’t really make a strategy out of it.
I’ve developed a substantially harder counter to that minotaur, behold!
It’s even better against those if you swap out a engine for another armor chunk. Probably even better if you don’t use engines at all. I really hate the idea of dropping below 0.1 speed though. Also symmetry.
My new Knife Fighter design (posted as challenge follick8) beats Moderate Rebel Patrol, it beats gfarrell80’s close-in frigate easily, but it doesn’t even dent scwizard’s armor tank. Back to the drawing board.
Being an unarmored design, fighters should have no problem with them, but I was looking for more of a frigate/cruiser battle which is why the challenge is set to no fighters and requires engines to engage.
As you’ve all noted, there are a variety of ways to beat a challenge once you’ve analyzed the other guys strategy. Since this one features speed cruisers that get in close for combined Cruiser Laser fire, there’s some factors you can consider:
One route is you know my cruisers will come right after you, so you could build an engine light/slow cruiser with more cruiser lasers and/or enough armor to stop the incoming laser fire (armor pen of 15 isn’t hard to beat).
Because my cruisers are fast and not the biggest since size is a factor in hitting a ship, they will dodge low tracking, long range cruiser weapons more often, making them seem tougher than they really are. I think it was mentioned somewhere else on the forums that a cruiser doing .35+ speed starts dodging long range missiles more frequently. Higher tracking weapons help, but they tend to be short to medium range. Alternatively, tractor beams will slow them down too, but tractor beams are short ranged as well.
I don’t have the Tribe expansion, so I couldn’t test against them. I do need to pick that expansion up though, seeing how many challenges I can’t play currently.
Seriously though, if you’re looking at a more balanced army, you can put that stingray I posted in front of some stand off type things to protect against stuff running up and knifing your standoff cruisers in the back.