Race-Specific Weapons: Do you employ them?

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?

Missile accuracy seems to be a function of both tracking speed AND turnspeed.

I dig the Tribe’s Proton Beam

I haven’t really used the Fusion Beam much - it never seems to meet my budgetary constraints. I tend to use Proton Beams instead because of the low cost.

I remember looking at this and liking its longer range, but as I haven’t played Empire a whole lot (I tend to agree with the common impression that they are difficult to use successfully), I can’t vouch for how useful it really is.

My Tribe ships are full of kinetics, but that’s because I use Tribe ships kind of how Cliff has described them: they get in close and pummel the enemy, because they’re not all that worried about the short-range fire they will be absorbing.

Same problem here as with Empire - I like the weapon stats, but I haven’t played Alliance much.

Alliance also has a high-tracking heavy beam option.

I find them all useful to some degree save for maybe the tribe frigate kinetic weapon and the alliance lightning cannon. The frigate weapon is an odd variant of the phasorII, an already unpopular choice, and the lightning cannon just has too much reload time for the damage caused.

The Howitzer is downright mean. Use two wherever you would normally have a cruiser laser.

I have a very nice 8 howitzer design with one reactor and one crew module. Awesome.

As far as I can tell the lightning beam sucks hard.

The Imperial weapons are nice on paper (I like the extra range!) but crippled by the fact that they have to be on Imperial hulls, which are pretty terrible.

The howitzer and autocannon are freaking awesome.

I’m confused. Why would I want to use 2 howies when I can use 1 laser when space is at a premium? Is it cost effective?

If space is a concern, use the CL by all means. I rarely find myself loading my cruisers down to that extent, though.

Using howitzer setups is usually more expensive and heavier, but comes at a cheaper power cost, more hitpoints, better tracking and better overall damage.

Either way, it’s a tradeoff choice Tribe gets to make that the other races don’t.

Empires beam weapon is fantastic. Equip with long range shield killing weapon and you got yourself a very nice setup.
Empire are harder to use, but whats the game without a challange? Ive grown bored of using tribe to easily defeat any challange ive come across, so now i use empire alot.

Alliance lightning is one of the worst weapons in the game, i think. Its absolutely terrible range requirements means you have to be either against a slower fleet (funny if you are alliance, and using armour) or less armoured, which makes no sense for alliance. Not only that, but the keep moving order means the weapon will be useless most of the time. Its the most bizzare choice anyone could make.

Wait, people find the empire hard to use?


The imperial beam laser is alright, but the empire in general seems to function better at longer range…with lots of missiles. Still, when I do build medium or short range empire fleets, one or two of these can be quite useful.

The fusion beam is very effective, especially with the rebels, since the weapon’s higher price is balanced nicely by the rebels’ tendency to favour cheaper, more numerous ships.

Tribe kinetic weapons: I’m still not convinced that these are particularly useful. I suppose they reduce cost since they have such low energy requirements…but their damage output is just not high enough. I’d rather have a more expensive cruiser actually capable of causing damage.

Alliance…Ugh. Alliance, I can’t use at all. Their theme of “armour bonus for everything!” doesn’t seem particularly good since there’s so many weapons that can tear through armour far faster than they can be repaired. Anti-armour weapons seem to be far more effective than anti-shield ones.

The lightning beam is just…to slow. The fusion torpedo is quite nice, and is noticably more accurate than other plasma weapons. The alliance beam laser…again, it’s a lot like the imperial one. It doesn’t really open up any new possibilities for strategy, it’s just a nice alternative to the regular one. So…two of the alliance weapons are alright. Shame it’s alliance though. I’m not a big fan of heavy armour anyway, maybe alliance ships can be good…there just seem to be a lot of better alternatives out there.

So, most of the weapons are alright. The fusion weapons (beam and torpedo) are the most useful though. Shame the fusion torpedo is limited to the alliance…

I don’t have the Tribe expansion, so I can’t comment on them.

I think the Federation Fusion Beam is the best of the racial weapons. It’s close to the same dps as a Cruiser Beam Laser, but it has 24 Shield Penetration, allowing it to beat all cruiser shields except the 27 resist ones which aren’t seen that often. Since most cruisers run with 24 resist shields, a Cruiser Beam Laser in comparison will bounce off (20 Shield Pen). The Fusion Beam does lose some range against the Cruiser Beam though (705 vs 770).

I don’t play the Empire much, but their Imperial Beam Laser has a nice range boost compared to the Cruiser Beam (860 vs 770) but loses a good chunk of dps for that extra range (45 damage & 2800 fire interval vs 57 damage & 2700 fire interval).

I’m not a fan of the three Alliance weapons that are all short range and lower dps when compared to similar weapons, so I avoid them.

The Rebel Fusion Beam has a slight range gain compared to the Cruiser Beam (800 vs 770), but has less tracking (.85 vs 1.02) and little less dps. I’ve rarely used it for the extra range.

What? This is the most common shield, by far. Anyone with a half decent grasp of the game will put one of these on before others. Any extra shields out on will now all have the higer resist.

Also, you cant compare damage purely as damage*interval. Tracking speed and speed of enemy ship play vital roles as well. A huge max dps on a weapon means nothing if it misses all of the time. And the mechanics for how the game decides a miss are still a mystery.

That was patched out one or two patches ago, the whole one high resist shield counts for all shields bit. So now each shield stands on it’s own resist when taking a hit. Here’s the trade off between the top three resist cruiser shields:

Reflective: 27 Resist - 200 Strength - 7 Recharge
Fast Recharge: 24 Resist - 262 Str - 8 Recharge
Shield Generator II: 24 Resist - 255 Str - 7 Recharge

27 Resist shields lose you either 62 Strength & 1 Recharge or 55 Strength while gaining the ability to stop 2 weapons & a racial weapon (Cruiser Proton Beam, Frigate Phasor Cannon II, and Federation Fusion Beam). 27 Resist shields still don’t stop all cruiser missile launchers, all cruiser & frigate plasma launchers, Cruiser Laser, Cruiser Quantum, Ion Cannon, etc. Since your resist will never beat those weapons, the next best option is more shield strength and/or recharge which is where the Fast Recharge and Shield Generator II come out ahead of Reflective.

I’m aware that other factors affect the dps of ship weapons as you mentioned, but the poster asked for what I used, and I only hit the highlights instead of giving a large detailed report.