In my knuckle-dragging early GSB player days, oh so many 8 months ago, I found when equipping cruisers with various crap it was the engines that always got tossed off to make room for, y’know, guns.
Oh yeah. Guns.
Played the campaign. Evolved. Played challenges. Evolved a LOT. Wearied. Rested. Got invited to playtest Mac version. Replayed game. Bit bored with the usual strategies. Two Cruiser Lasers plus whatever to do the other work. Rinse and repeat.
Decided to try out those spiffy high tech engines. Turns out you can get a cruiser to really haul arse. Knuckle-dragging, did a full deployment of 'em.
They had their nuts handed to them in a radioactive jar.
BUT–I did discover the joy of the lone running back–standard cruisers plus one (maybe two, with the second on the far side of the deployment area) fast cruiser. Deployed just right that fast cruiser can do wondrous things. Draw fire–yet survive! At least some of the time. And with speed comes immunity, or near immunity, or well kinda some immunity to many cruiser weapons. Jinkies. Such fun.
So if you haven’t yet, try a fast fricken’ cruiser. Five engines. Leave some slots blank. Go easy on the guns. Heck, they’re mostly there so you can fine tune your engagement distances anyway. Then cut it loose and watch it ZOOMZOOMZOOMZOOMZOOMZOOMZOOMZOOMZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM.
And when you time it right, with distances and obstacles and range of engagement–that zooming can go on a long time. The fast cruiser can even survive the whole engagement intact, all the while having spread chaos and confusion through the enemy battle line.
bbut speed. its so. useful…
gunss are… also useful
tribe is… less useful…
(now read normally)
therefore, by the power of irrational arguments, i am the victor of any and all further arguments! Muahahahahah
sorry guys, just rewatched arby and the chief
Anyway, now back on topic, you do need a fair amount of firepower on your ships, and making a balanced cruiser often fails, speed is very, very important. esp on fighters and frigates, but a fast cruiser can indeed do a lot of damage. ironically, espicially to the tribe, given that damage inturrupts auto-repair, a fast cruiser or two will stop the auto repair across the board, and than the heavy cruisers can carve them up with beam weapons
I remember at one family reunion I thought it would be fun to have a fleet of totally unique ships taking on the first mission after the tutorial. So I let some of my cousins design some ships and, mainly due to the fact that they didn’t really know what they were doing, they were pretty bad. I however decided to make my personal ship a Panther cruiser with about 5 engines and some various close-range weapons. It did a whole lot better than I thought it would, and even pulled off a couple Big Damn Gunship moments like finishing off a cruiser that was about to take down one of our allies. This blew my mind because I was so used to building powerful but sluggish cruisers with max speeds of like, .14 at most, that I never really tried anything else.
I am experimenting with a Fast Cruiser as well. Trying to coming with something that can (almost) keep up with my fast frigates.
Curious what weapons and defenses you were able to mount on yours.
Right now I have a Panther with 5 superchared engines with 2 powered armors, a reflective shield and two cruiser lasers. With all the necessary power
and crew I get about a .35 speed.
My favourite ships are fast cruisers on the basis that if they’re going fast enough enemy guns can’t track em to hit. They’re expensive, delicate and quite vulnerable to fighters but nothing beats watching your fleet scream into knife range, evading enemy fire and then cutting them to pieces.
You won’t get stalemates because eventually even a slow lumbering fleet will chase your fast decoy into a corner and destroy it.
I’ll bet you didn’t know that space has edges and corners
Also the AI is dumb. Even if you set your fast mover with orders to Keep Moving and maintain a 2000 range it is still likely to blunder into close range contact with an enemy sooner or later. The problem is is that it picks a particular ship as a driving target and will try to maintain a minimum range of 50% of the designated range from that particular ship. So the largest minimum range you can designate is effectively 1000 from that particular ship. It won’t change its driving target until and unless that ship is destroyed. So after a short while the driving target is not likely to be the nearest enemy ship. So the nearest enemy ship can be much closer than 1000.
If you try to maintain a longer range by not using the Keep Moving order then your ship will move to the designated range from its driving target and park there losing all the defensive advantage of speed.
This is one of the reasons that speed is not as effective in practice as it seems it should be.