Looking at cruisers, it appears there are the following race-specific weapons:
Fusion Beam: Rebels, Federation
Imperial Beam Laser: Empire
Cruiser Howitzer, Autocannon: Tribe
Lightning Beam, Fusion Torpedo: Alliance
There may be a couple of others not listed here.
For Alliance, I like both the Lightning Beam, and more recently, the Fusion Torpedo. The Lightning Beam could stand to have just a bit more range, and the Fusion Torpedo seems like it could be more accurate. It doesn’t appear to be as accurate as its tracking speed might indicate.
The Fusion Beam appears as a superior - yet more expensive - version of the Proton Beam. The Fusion Beam appears to be most effective against commonly encountered (non-protected) Tribal Cruisers.
Autocannons are very good against fighters.
I’m still trying to find a way to reliably replace Cruiser Lasers with Autocannons in a Tribal fleet. Perhaps the key is in employing very fast cruisers with ‘keep moving’ orders.
Lightning Beams are powerful, and even decent against slower fighters, but the Alliance ships must get in so close to employ them, that heavy armor/shield protection appears to be a must.
Does anyone consider any of these weapons ‘go-to’ when playing as a specific race?