The game is currently on version 1.56 with four expansion races added to the original four, making for a lot of ship variety. In no particular order, here are what I think are the top tier cruiser hulls in the game:
Bonuses: 12% Hull
Tied with the Utopia hull for the second smallest in the game makes this cruiser one of the hardest to hit based on size. With eight hardpoints, only one other hull can bring more firepower to bear. The hull bonus gives it some extra staying power. Overall, the high firepower plus small hull makes for a solid package and an old SAC favorite.
Bonuses: -50% Armor/Shields, 100% Hull
Just like the Panther, 160 sized hull = hard to hit and also like the Panther, eight hardpoints = high amount of firepower. With double hit points, this is the OP cruiser you’ll see the most in Tribe challenges.
Bonuses: 11% Hull, 10% Speed
While it’s not as small as the Panther or Utopia, it’s tied for sixth smallest with the Rebels Valkyrie hull, keeping with the hard to hit theme. It’s one of four hulls in the game with eight hardpoints, giving you a lot of bang for the buck. With two more module slots than the Panther/Utopia, you also get more room for additional defenses/utility/engines. A hull and speed bonus make this an excellent platform for multiple designs.
Second Tier Cruiser Hulls
This section is a bit harder to quantify, but here’s some food for thought:
Bonuses: -5% Hull/Armor/Shields, -20% Cost, 15% Speed
At 215 size, it’s not in the small/harder to hit crowd, but it’s not in the biggest pile either. The last eight hardpoint hull to be listed, it brings a serious amount of bang bang. -5% to hull/armor/shields makes it more fragile which helps bring it down a notch in my book. Cheap cost makes it easier to field more of these and the healthy speed boost will help with short range rush builds.
Bonuses: 10% Armor, 9% Power
At 230 size, it’s a big hull that’s easy for weapons to find and with that huge shield bubble, easier for laser fighters to fly inside and get access to the armor/hull. With nine hardpoints, it’s the king of cruiser firepower per ship, and a good choice for 1 Cruiser Challenges. The armor bonus should help it reach the fighter proof level and the power boost will be needed with so many hardpoints to feed.
Bonuses: 9% Speed
The smallest cruiser hull in the game, giving it the best size advantage for dodging shots. Pair up the speed bonus with small size for a tough to hit cruiser. Six hardpoints isn’t impressive, but all of them probably won’t be used for a fast mover build.
Bonuses: 20% Power, -13% Speed, 13% Armor
A full 100 larger than the Fenrir, this guy is huge. What makes this hull stand out is the armor bonus makes it the best tank in the game with an amazing 82 armor (see 123stw’s guide for the build).
So what do you think the top and second tier cruiser hulls are?