I purchased GSB over the free weekend and became a fan. I unlocked all the designs, beat all the battles on expert and played a # of campaign battles. But I feel I’ve reached a point of diminishing returns and decided to post here to see if I’m missing something. My principal problem is that ship designs fall into predictable formats which limit experimentation. In short, cruisers rule.
Fighters and Frigates lack the firepower to penetrate Cruiser armor. Frigates lack enough speed, unless the Cruisers go with very low tracking speed weapons, to engage. Fighters are terribly vulnerable to tractor beams which allow cruisers to engage in a favorable trade off killing enemy fighters faster than they are able to damage the cruiser with lucky shot damage. Both Fighters and Frigates have utility but as the battles get larger, players consistently field more cruisers proportionally than the other two.
As a result, I solved the most difficult Battles and the Campaign with primarily Plasma Cruisers. Now this force isn’t perfect and I’ve lost plenty. Efficient Lure use and Multi-Missile Launchers could defeat my fleets. But these are Cruiser weapons and, invariably, the forces which gave me the most trouble simply had more Cruisers than me. At first, I used The Tribe as pure hull based ships were hilariously odd compared to the rest of the races, but that design does not translate well into campaign since destroyed components can only be repaired at shipyards. It was far more cost effective to continue the safe heavy armor designs which limited my damage and prevented repair yard work/costs.
I’d love to hear what I’m missing out on.