This post was originally written during beta, version 1.15. A lot of my gripes were fixed between then and release.[/edit]
Excellent game! I’ve finally beaten all the skirmish scenarios on all the difficulties. In so doing, I noticed that some modules seem to be there to tempt the noob into making his poor fleet less effective. Hopefully, this thread will be pounced on by wise admirals who can get some use out of these seeming white elephant modules. Also, feel free to bag on other modules that I didn’t mention.
Here’s a list of modules I can’t find any point in using and why:
10: Cruiser point defense
What it’s supposed to do – Kill enemy missiles
What it actually does – Makes the cruiser captain want to earn enough honor to unlock better missile defenses. By that token, it accomplishes the task beautifully.
9: Fighter target painter
What it’s supposed to do – Make all missiles ever fired hit.
What it actually does – Better fire those missiles quick, a fighter that spends its life painting a target is going to be dog food in a dog fight.
Fighters got some serious tuning at the end, unfortunately, this makes the Fighter target painter even worse because it still masses 25 tonnes! Yes, this thing is now heavier than a non-moving fighter with 5 armor modules.[/edit]
8: Frigate plasma
What it’s supposed to do – Prevent frigate captains from having plasma envy.
What it actually does – Fire every once in a while to great fanfare (awesome looking effect, travels fast, looks dangerous) whereon it promptly sails off into the void. The hit rate is something awful and frigates don’t get targeting assist modules. Retested in 1.17, I think I kinda like frigate plasma now. Dunno what changed, but it just works better.[/edit]
7: Frigate torpedo
What it’s supposed to do – Be a slow but sure way to punch down enemy shields.
What it does – Gets there after the battle is over.
I still prefer the disruptor bomb, but I concede this is a personal preference.[/edit]
6: Turbo shields
What it’s supposed to do – Give the noob something to look forward to. I mean, these days I can easily get 10,000 honor in a single fight, but at first the game is hard (I was averaging something pathetic like 300 honor per fight) and saving up 8000 seems like a serious task.
What it does – No self respecting frigate captain would allow this thing to be installed on his ship. It’s more expensive in all respects for an almost noticeable increase in shield resistance.
5: Camouflage shield
What it’s supposed to do – Allow a cruiser with nano-repair to cloak so that the repair bots can work.
What actually happens – I mean, it does work on the rare occasion. But it seems there is a culture of honor among cruiser captains not to use the cloaking shield to do anything but hide the launching of escape pods.
4: Fighter torpedo
What it’s supposed to do – Allow fighters to engage bigger ships with shields and armor and such.
What it does – Fire so rarely that a fighter with lasers can do the same damage just by the crit % chance. I suppose this is because the pilot has to find time to load his own missile bay, seeing as how he’s the only dude on the ship.
If the enemy brings frigates, the fighter torpedo will take them down much faster than lasers would. And the fighter torpedo is now so light and cost effective, you don’t need a power plant to use it! This means you’ll have the fastest darn fighter out there so you won’t be shot while you’re reloading your own torpedo tube.[/edit]
3: Fighter pulse laser
What it’s supposed to do – Be an alternative to the fighter laser
What it does – Fail to penetrate any armor at all, even fighter armor. Basically, the idea is to hope the enemy forgets to use any armor at all. Of course, the enemy might not be using armor on fighters, so maybe this one has a chance in some challenges, etc…
Thanks to the torpedo edits (see above) the odds of an enemy deploying an armor-free fighter are quite high. For taking those down, the pulse laser is a good bet.[/edit]
2: EMP / ECM shield.
What it’s supposed to do – Prevent your cruiser from sitting there with sparkles all over it whilest it gets pounded.
What it does – As near as I can tell, takes up a slot that could have gone to something useful like more armor.  Apparently it will be fixed in version 1.17. [/edit]
1: Fighter armor.
What it’s supposed to do – Give the poor fighter pilot a second chance!
What it does – make the fighter squadron cost 50% more, reducing the squadrons which can be deployed in the scenario and make each fighter so slow that enemy fighters don’t need to use lasers to hit. The enemy could use bowling balls if they liked.
Fighter armor is now very lightweight. The tradeoff is now between fighter cost and fighter survivability. That said, I think the lightest armor possible + some repair bays are the best way to go.[/edit]