A player can field a tribal cruiser with 8 proton beams and somewhere around speed .26 for around 2,000 points. This ship has a lot of firepower. It’s basically 8 beams, 4 engines (2 superpowered and 2 type 1), 2 power generators, and a crew compartment.
I’ve been experimenting with giving this ship type orders to attack cruisers and frigates at 700 range, and fighters at 2000 range (1% priority), with keep moving, and sending them into action.
The proton beam is cheap at 73, but requires a lot of power compared to missile-type weapons. The proton beam is fairly light at a weight of 88.
The proton beam might have problems against fleets which are fielding extensive shields. The weapon seems very effective against other tribe fleets, since these usually have minimal shields.
To watch multiple ships fielding 8 of these beams apiece is quite a spectacle.