Today’s project had me testing out the effectiveness of Shields vs Armor. To test this, I grabbed a cruiser put in the basics, left 4 slots open for shields or armor, and filled the rest out with a good mix of weapons. I then loaded up various scenarios and placed 8 or 9 cruisers with no special strategies used aside from the defaults. The results probably will not surprise most of you.
Without fail, the shield Cruisers beat the opposition, even faring better on levels where shields were at reduced effectiveness. The big advantage was the recharging nature of shields. This enabled the cruisers to hold out much longer then their heavily armored counterparts. To rectify this, I swapped in and out some components to get some armor repair capabilities. Even with this, the performance of the armor cruisers couldn’t match that of the shield cruisers. The reduced firepower that was required to make way for the repair capabilities ultimately hurt them, and performance was similar.
Now for the real juicy information. I decided to take the shield cruisers and swap out two shields for two armors, and threw in some armor repair for good measure. Perhaps the balanced approach would outperform both. Sadly, the balanced cruisers actually did worse than the armored cruisers. The shields couldn’t handle the pounding and were quickly diminished, and the armor couldn’t keep up once the shields were down.
Ultimately, it appears that shields are often the stronger defense. Naturally, the weapon choices of your enemy can make a big difference here, but if they’re not setup to take down shield heavy ships, I think shield ships will out-perform armor heavy or shield/armor mixed ships.
I wonder if the results will be the same for Frigates… Maybe I’ll try that next…