Use of artillery ships

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kjn
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Use of artillery ships

Post by kjn » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:42 pm

I've tried out artillery ships, ie ships meant for standing off and hit the enemy with medium-long-range weapons, in my latest game, with limited success. To be more exact, it was human Assault-Barrage-Fusion cruisers, with lancers, gluonics, and corrosive missiles. I used one or two of these screened by standard BB-Armor-Fusion cruisers, with mostly AP ballistics.

The lancers are effective, but relatively short-ranged. The gluonics end up missing a lot, if only because you seldom can fire from dead ahead and the target moves. The corrosive missile does little damage, and is also quite easily avoided.

Also, the enemy (mostly Zuul in this case) usually overshoots my screen, and gets tangled up with the barrage ships. The situation is worst while defending or in fighting at uninhabited worlds - on the offense things are a little better, but that might partly be because I usually have very superior forces there.

Any hints on how to use or handle this?

ZedF
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Re: Use of artillery ships

Post by ZedF » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:09 pm

Anything which relies on heavy beams for damage is not an artillery ship. For artillery you want at least 2500m of range and preferably 3500, which is some of the longer ranged torps, missiles, COLs, drones, and impactors.

Stuff like heavy beams relies on high burst damage, not a range advantage, to get kills before the enemy can strike back effectively. So ships that rely on heavy beams should be kitted out to maximize their alpha strike potential. Expect them to have to weather enemy fire afterwards and focus on lining up that next alpha burst.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

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fiendishrabbit
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Re: Use of artillery ships

Post by fiendishrabbit » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:27 pm

ZedF wrote:Anything which relies on heavy beams for damage is not an artillery ship. For artillery you want at least 2500m of range and preferably 3500, which is some of the longer ranged torps, missiles, COLs, drones, and impactors.

Stuff like heavy beams relies on high burst damage, not a range advantage, to get kills before the enemy can strike back effectively. So ships that rely on heavy beams should be kitted out to maximize their alpha strike potential. Expect them to have to weather enemy fire afterwards and focus on lining up that next alpha burst.


Well, to be fair the Assault/Barrage is hardly "relying on heavy beams" with a very large portion of its firepower focused on missiles and torpedo mounts (4 beams, 3 torpedoes, 2 medium and 1 large missile launcher and a potential 2 more missile launchers from the engine mounts).

On the other hand.

1. Gluonic torpedoes aren't ideal as a standoff weapon. As mentioned they tend to miss against cruiser and smaller vessels and their damage drops over range (radically at ranges above 1900 units, that's about 2x beam range). Guided torpedoes are often a better choice for a standoff fleet until you arrive at that moment where you realize "heck, nothing is getting through their phaser PD" (at which point dreadnought-slugging isn't far off either).
2. Humans barrage cruisers are notoriously bad at the whole "long range exchange of fire" deal with almost all weaponry tied up in missiles/torps and beams and their forward PD (the direction they have to face to use their beams once the softened enemy closes up. A fairly inevitable scenario) is non-existent. They're better used sparingly to threaten enemy CnC.
You can't trust the Liir. Never trust someone that smiles all the time.

ZedF
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Re: Use of artillery ships

Post by ZedF » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:08 pm

fiendishrabbit wrote:Well, to be fair the Assault/Barrage is hardly "relying on heavy beams" with a very large portion of its firepower focused on missiles and torpedo mounts (4 beams, 3 torpedoes, 2 medium and 1 large missile launcher and a potential 2 more missile launchers from the engine mounts).

The difficulty with that theory is that the missiles and torps tend to contribute far less DPS than the beams do, even though beams are hardly DPS-heavy weapons. ;) I find that if you really want to rely heavily on your torps for long range firepower and avoid close combat entirely, best either be Liir or use torpedo DDs rather than cruisers. Most races' barrage cruisers can't avoid close combat on a regular basis and thus need their heavy beams to contribute a lot of their damage potential.

Impactors of course are another matter. ;)
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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fiendishrabbit
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Re: Use of artillery ships

Post by fiendishrabbit » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:21 pm

ZedF wrote:I find that if you really want to rely heavily on your torps for long range firepower and avoid close combat entirely, best either be Liir or use torpedo DDs rather than cruisers.


Zuul can do it too if they get the necessary torpedo tech (so yeah, it's not a species that you can plan "Now I'm going to use torpedoes!", and more "yay. I got torpedoes, now I can do stand-off!").
4 launchers per cruiser and extra commandpoints for their CnCs...plus the cheapness of Zuul stuff (for outnumbering bonuses) means that they can provide the same weight of torpedoes and a lot more missiles than the average Liir fleet.
And they're a lot faster than Liir.
You can't trust the Liir. Never trust someone that smiles all the time.

Mesaia
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Re: Use of artillery ships

Post by Mesaia » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:12 am

I find that the use of most long range stuff (including torpedoes and heavy beams) is in using an alpha strike from multiple ships to destroy anywhere from a quarter to half of the opposing fleet before the DPS weapons can do their thing. Which now that I think about it, is pretty much the traditional use of field artillery (IRL) before the current day.

Have you guys noticed that ships with the Barrage section usually has more HP than the ships with Armour / War sections?

kjn
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Re: Use of artillery ships

Post by kjn » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:14 am

The answers seems to agree with what I've already concluded: most cruiser barrage sections are white elephants. The human one certainly is.

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MS_Cowboy
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Re: Use of artillery ships

Post by MS_Cowboy » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:33 am

Just depends on the race. Liir and especially Morrigi barrages are downright awesome. Others, not so much.
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kjn
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Re: Use of artillery ships

Post by kjn » Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:15 am

Crazie_Guy wrote:Just depends on the race. Liir and especially Morrigi barrages are downright awesome. Others, not so much.


Yeah, that's why I said "most".

Mesaia
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Re: Use of artillery ships

Post by Mesaia » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:01 am

Human Assault Barrage CRs are pretty good too.

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