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Toxic_Rat

Cruiser Rankings

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Hi all:

Got to looking at the Cruiser stats for some of the factions, and was wondering how people might rank the value of different ships.  If we were to group cruisers into three groups based on combat value, where would you put them? Here is a list of the 'standard' cruisers currently available in 2nd Ed.  Note that I've only listed one class name when multiple ships share the same stats.

  • Aquan Isonade
  • Aquan Ladon
  • Terran Teuton
  • Sorylian Skyhammer
  • Hawker Resolute
  • Ryushi Hokita
  • Tarakian Rulak
  • Xelocian Hantari
  • Dindrenzi Secutor
  • Dindrenzi Velites
  • Directorate Abraxas
  • Directorate Champion
  • Relthoza Assassin
  • RSN Shrike
  • Ba'Kash Hashvar
  • Kedorian Zai-Dan
  • Traders Opportunity
  • Omnidyne Leverage
  • Corsairs Privateer
  • Oroshan Defiler
  • Pathogen Chaga

Quite a few.  Which are the best, middle-of-the-road, or just plain sad?

 

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RSN Spook's are wonderful ships for harrasment. Their powerful fore beams have almost never come into play when I field them, its instead their torpedoes and starboard/ports that skirt the edge of the battlefield and make a more annoying target than my large capitals. They make an excellent escort to the Carrier.

The Ryushi Hokita class seems like a fairly average cruiser but they can throw 20 dice at a large capital as a squad, or wipe put enemy frigates and corvettes by dividing available weaponry. I love them as a cohesive unit rather than accompaniments. The Shattrai can more than defend itself.

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The Skyhammer is my number 1. Fast, large squadrons, weapons in multiple arcs, great against all ship types. Splitting broadsides for 2*12AD left and right gives good odds of blowing up an enemy cruiser in two arcs per turn, 8AD scatter shreads almost every small so you can destroy or cripple multiple t3 squadrons with a single activation. Fprewar firing the scatter still does th ejob for a couple of hits, plus 10AD torpedoes.

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Out of the Cruisers I own, in order...

Hantari- Not cheap but the the combo of ET, Corrosive, Shields and large squad size is a beast.

Resolute- Double degradation is a B!tch, even with WS, but still a solid ship.

Abraxas- A relatively cheap, fast moving gun and boarding platform. If the Subjagator wasn't such a good choice I'd take these more often.

Hokita- Apart from the AP 2, a decent ship.

Champion- The CP2 bites me in the arse damn near every time. Coupled with the AP2  its a trophy waiting to happen. Would have been higher otherwise.

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The importance of 5HP and easily applicable and powerful multiple weapon arcs can’t be understated, these are the positive attributes I weigh vs. cost. 

Tied for Best: Isonade and Hashvar

Runner Up: Rulak

Worst: Teuton and Abraxas 

 

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3 hours ago, Ryjak said:

Generally, any Cruiser you can take in Squadron of four will beat Cruisers you can only take as three or even pairs, due to how the game plays.

While that's true, you've got to remember in the Sharnak's case they're cheap as dirt, tough as nails, can board decently, have 5 hull AND Wep Shielding, decent mine values, and have Pack Hunters. If we're going to make that distinction, that four ship squadrons stand above the rest, the Sharnak/Hashvar at least stands at the top of its 3-ship-squad bretheren. 

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@Ryjak There is a strong point to that, and I'm not sure if there's a reason in ship stats or if its fleet flavour. The Ryushi Hokita at 4 per squad and Hawker Resolute at 3 don't match up at all in terms of AD, total health pool or PD. At a bade cost of 60 points each are Hawker Tier 2 choices just meant to be overall weaker than their Allies by such a margin? Would the overall balance suffer if the Resolute's squad size were brought up to 4? 

In our home games the meta has almost shifted. A Tier One vessel can go down pretty quick under sustained fire but a fleet with few cruisers left and a single frigate squad opens up lots of avenues for attack. A tier 2 squadron can equal a Dreadnought in total health and attack dice while being able to engage just about any target within proper ranges and forcing an enemy to divide up their dhots between a few vessels. Even if an individual vessel goes down quickly, I think any buffs made to the cruiser backbones of any fleet are promoting a wonderful class of ship to learn how to use. 3 oughtta be the squad size average for Heavy Cruisers and exceptional Cruiser classes that are clearly above their peers as individual ships.

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Great feedback guys.

From best to worst, how does this order strike you?  This is based on a rudimentary ranking score that I have generated in a spreadsheet.  The line breaks indicate groupings by close scores.

AQ Isonade

SO Falcata

RE Swarm
RY Hokita
PH Chaga
RS Shrike
BK Hashvar
OM Leverage
XE Hantari

DE Champion
OR Defiler
TK Rulak
HK Resolute
CO Brigand
DZ Secutor

KE Zai-Dan
DE Abraxas
TD Opportunity
TE Teuton

 

 

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There's no way the Swarm is on the same tier as the Hashvar. I still maintain its a lot better than people think it is, but it tends to get ranked pretty lowly. Swapping the Swarm and Defiler's positions would make way more sense to me.

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Yeah, I've never had much luck with the Sorylian cruisers.

Another revision to the black box gives this result:

AQ Isonade

TK Rulak
PH Chaga
DE Champion
OR Defiler
BK Hashvar

SO Falcata
RS Shrike
XE Hantari
CO Brigand
DZ Secutor
DE Abraxas
OM Leverage
RY Hokita

RE Swarm
HK Resolute
TD Opportunity

TE Teuton
KE Zai-Dan
 

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I've always found the Terran Alliance Teuton to be better than bottom Tier. I rate it a better than the Directorate Frigate based on experience, but YMMV. At the same point value, I put it just a hair below the Hawker Industries Resolute, which I'd put in the middle Tier.

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Are people trying to rank Cruisers from best to worst based on stats, or based on point efficiency?  For the latter, I’ll put the Aquan Cruisers at the top, but I don’t know if another Cruiser has better stats or  game impact.

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I've been ranking on how they've performed for me on the table top, I can only assume other have done the same.

I know Toxic Rat has a magic formula for the presented rankings, but I don't think it will produce a list that won't be questioned by many who read it.

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@alextroy I agree that the Teuton probably isn't the worst cruiser in the game, I think that award goes to the Abraxas.     For the points, even when upgraded to 5HP, the Teuton pales in comparison to the Resolute IMHO.  The Hawker cruiser is middle-to-top tier due to its arc configuration, CR7 and 5HP that comes stock.

I'll admit though, having given up on the Teuton myself in 2015, I haven't played with it's 4-ship squad Shield Cruiser accompaniment.    With Beam upgrades, this has some potential.   Have you played this way and enjoyed some success with the Teuton?

@Ryjak I think that points-efficiency is part of the determination, yes, at least I've been assuming it is, as well as squad size.   For 50pts nothing beats the Isonade, but if it were also 50 points and 4 ships per squad I would rather take a Hashvar if it were a pure cruiser engagement (which isn't a real thing).  

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@Bessemer Yes, it is a magic formula.  Trouble is, I'm not sure if it's just a parlor trick, or true reality-altering power of the universe stuff.

Probably the former.

So what I'm after is some way to assign cost these ships in a somewhat subjective manner.  And in a way, it's not first or even last place that matters.  It's trying to decide which is in 4th or 5th, and is 6th really better than those.  So perhaps instead of ranking from best to worst, how about grouping them by cost.  From my previous post:

70 Points

  • AQ Isonade 

60 Points 

  • TK Rulak
  • PH Chaga
  • DE Champion
  • OR Defiler
  • BK Hashvar

55 Points

  • SO Falcata
  • RS Shrike
  • XE Hantari
  • CO Brigand
  • DZ Secutor

50 Points

  • DE Abraxas
  • OM Leverage
  • RY Hokita
  • RE Swarm
  • HK Resolute
  • TD Opportunity

45 Points

  • TE Teuton
  • KE Zai-Dan

This is kind of where the 'magic' (that I've come up with) is suggesting that ships should cost.  

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10 hours ago, Stoobert said:

@alextroy I agree that the Teuton probably isn't the worst cruiser in the game, I think that award goes to the Abraxas.     For the points, even when upgraded to 5HP, the Teuton pales in comparison to the Resolute IMHO.  The Hawker cruiser is middle-to-top tier due to its arc configuration, CR7 and 5HP that comes stock.

I'll admit though, having given up on the Teuton myself in 2015, I haven't played with it's 4-ship squad Shield Cruiser accompaniment.    With Beam upgrades, this has some potential.   Have you played this way and enjoyed some success with the Teuton?

@Ryjak

I regularly used the Teuton with lots of upgrades and either the Shield or HP Hardpoint. Shields were the better choice with the addition of the Shield Cruiser to the squadron. Otherwise, the HP was better even if I hated using that option. 

The Resolute served me much more as a budget Heavy Cruiser than a Cruiser. It can hit one target harder, but was barely more resilient to damage due to CR 7 and lacks the Teuton's variety of weapons due to poorer torpedoes (less dice and Fore only) and the lack of the FF weapon system. It just did a poorer job at engaging multiple targets, which the Teuton does adequately.

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I like the Resolute quite a bit but I think its in the group of 3 unit squadron cruisers that could and should be bumped up to 4. I feel like maybe there are quite a few cruisers that could have thsir squadron sizes bumped up a little. A ship like the RSN Shrike performs perfectly fine at a squadron size of 3. The Ryushi Hokita is a powerhouse squadron of cruisers at 4 and in my battles I'd consider them to be an example of an exemplary squadron. The Resolute has a lot of nice defensive features and a decent layout of weapons but it doesn't throw such an overwhelming amount of dice that it would be drastically out of balance in a group of 4.

Any other cruisers you think might deserve a larger squadron size?

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1 hour ago, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

I like the Resolute quite a bit but I think its in the group of 3 unit squadron cruisers that could and should be bumped up to 4. I feel like maybe there are quite a few cruisers that could have thsir squadron sizes bumped up a little. A ship like the RSN Shrike performs perfectly fine at a squadron size of 3. The Ryushi Hokita is a powerhouse squadron of cruisers at 4 and in my battles I'd consider them to be an example of an exemplary squadron. The Resolute has a lot of nice defensive features and a decent layout of weapons but it doesn't throw such an overwhelming amount of dice that it would be drastically out of balance in a group of 4.

Any other cruisers you think might deserve a larger squadron size?

The Aquan Ladon. It's a really cool cruiser for doing stuff like taking a single of the crystal-heavies to lead a squad of Ladons and using them as a psuedo-accompaniment, but on its own it's super questionable. It's probably the only place in the Taskforce/Reinforcement sets where the 3 mediums/6 smalls paradigm really didn't work out, given how bad the Aquan Escort Carriers are too. 

 

Side note, the only reason the Abraxas looks so garbage in isolation is because the Directorate fleet is full of the kind of threats you have to handle first. In a vacuum (like space hurr hurr) they are trash, but when your opponent has to deal with a squad of cloaked heavies sharking around and that pair of gunships with their dreadnought-grade weapons or just an Anarchist for being an Anarchist, they kind of become great way of punishing a player who does go after your bigger but less vulnerable threats. That RB1+2 man, it's scary if you can keep them alive.

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@Wolfgang Jannesen I've often wondered if squadron size was an attempt to add fluffy faction flavor, re-balance, adapt to production/mould capacity... or just an afterthought.  Why some cruiser types get 4 and some only 3 (or even 2!) doesn't end up feeling balanced or making much sense (in my opinion) and it's never explained that I'm aware of, regardless.  I wouldn't mind if WC re-statted all Tier 2 ships  to allow a squadron size of 4.  I've played 2.0 too many times to be convinced 2.0 balanced game anyway - just my 2c.

@alextroy you bring up a good point about Tueton multiple arcs, if an opponent is spread out you can FF and P/S them.  But if they aren't you can't.   That is why FF is really hard to balance and some people love it and and others don't.  At Adepticon I tend to bunch up (and others do too) not just for PD mountain, but when you bunch up into tight formations, it lessens greatly multiple arc shots to people with fixed fore.  Also it's fascinating you feel CR 7 is 'barely more resilient'.  My experience is the difference between CR 6, CR 7 and CR 8 is huuuuge and often means the difference between getting double-crit and not, given that most full strength units can throw ~15 dice.  CR7 is that 0.8 hits per die sweet spot that takes you to the other side of the double-crit bell curve.

@Hive yeah the Ladon is so-so.  I see use as an accompaniment for an Oaness (that's a ton of damage!) but little else. 

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