What makes Rebels the best?

This question presupposes that Rebels are indeed “the best”, which I know may be a silly notion - but I recall seeing lots of people using Rebel fleets and talking about Rebel ships on the boards, and a quick look at the current Survival mode high scores shows the leaders relying pretty heavily on Rebel fleets to attain victory.

I haven’t noticed myself, so I was wondering: is there a specific racial bonus or perfect hull setup (besides the Rebels’ excellent fighters, which seem to have slowed down a bit with recent balance changes) that makes the Rebels “the best”?

The Achilles fighter is still completely busted compared to other factions’ fighters because it can carry a laser without needing a generator - which means it can reach the rediculous speeds that prompted fighter nerfing in the first place. The reduction in fighter HP has made them more vulnerable since the early days, but the current Achilles is still head and shoulders above any other fighter around. All because the base chassis produces 5 power. Make it produce 4 base power, and I think we’ll see faction balance dramatically improve.

Otherwise, since all Rebel hulls gain speed bonuses, it makes sense to use them for any speed-reliant fleet - particularly frigate swarm! You’ll notice that slow fleets that don’t rely on fighters tend to come from other factions.