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Virulence class gunship

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So I'm still playing, and we experiment with various Homebrew rules, and if anyone is still checking the forums, I would like some advice on the virulence 

The suggested Homebrew is to either raise the price by 5pts, but raise the fore fixed beam to 7/7/7


Add the pack hunters upgrade option for 5pts


As is the ship is durable, but has barely more fire power then a squad of dindrenzi frigates

This seems a little off for a gunship

And yes it's durable, but so are difficult Target aquan cruisers, for the same price, aqauns lack a cloak and stealth systems, but have 1 shield, 2 more AP 1 more DR and while lacking the shunt matrix have 4 firing all of which can hit almost as hard as a virulence. Aquan cruisers can come in squads of 4 but the comparable squad of 3 could fire 12 out the front, 10 out each side and 10 in the back, with 8d torpedo any arc and a 6d mine to boot!

Meanwhile virulence fires 12d for fixed, and 12 d fore torpedoes if it can get within 12 inches.


We all know aquans are a tad Iver the top, but even compared to the relthoza cruiser  its more expensive, with less firepower and firing arcs, only stepping up in durability and mobility.

The proposed change(s) above would allow them to provide the threat a T2 squadron should, even if 1 or 2 hull points is lost to the squadron

What's everyone's thoughts?

Are these options too sparse? Would you still avoid the virulence?

Are they too generous? Does the virulence become a must-pick? (It us a gunship squad, only 1 would be allowed until the Grand fleet level)

How would you fix it?

Leave as is, make it cheaper, give it upgrades, and make it cost even more (say 10pts?)


Please provide rationale,  (comparisons in price, durability, firepower etc.)





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There has been a lengthy discussion about the virulence  when the rules were tested/were fresh, and it is indeed in a weird spot. It shouldn't invalidate nor the Banes, nor the standard cruisers and while you can only take them in limited quantities, it is in the most contesed tier (also raising the price significantly could make them compete with the heavy cruisers, and there's no question which of the two is more worth it :) ).

My (possibly deeply flawed) thinking about fixing these gunships looked something like this:

They were intended as a disruption unit, able to remove a cruiser a turn if the stars align, and they (sometimes) worked for me as such (although as I own only one squadron of them, they vere mostly on light cruiser duty, as it worked waaaaay better then the gunships... for me at least). Currently they are neither a cheap disruption peace (not enough staying power when they meet with dedicated attention), nor a good one (not enough AD). I think stealth is absolutely necessary for them to function, and they get it as a hard point for 0 pts with an alternative I have never once considered. What I'd do is the following:

-reduce the power of the beam weapon to 5/5/5/0

(-maybe loose the fixed restriction)

-give them baseline stealth

-drop the price to 50 pts/ship

What we get is a cheap(er) harasser not worth the dedicated firepower, but you'll probably still feel those beams and torps on your tier 2, and they share a hull with the cheap light cruisers anyway.

-give them hardpoint (2)

-erease the stealth hardpoint (no longer needed)

-give an upgrade for the beams to 6/6/6/0 or energy transfer (beams 1) hardpoint for 10 pts (we're here currently)

-pack hunters hardpoint for 10 pts

-leave the additional dice for the improved shunt matrix

-take away the corrosive torpedoes option to leave something fun for the banes, to keep their identity.

Fully kitted out they are 70 or 75 pts each (counting in the precision strike I have also never considered), which is a hefty sum for one weapon arc, but they are suddenly reliable, and add the long range punch to your force that was missing (discounting allies of course).


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It's actually that discussion that led to make this post :D


I like the idea of baking in stealth (that's how everyone took them anyway)

cutting the base price/dice down is an interesting suggestion, but I feel that offering a +1 die or energy transfer would be the next must pick hard point, so why bother?


it would sadden me, but I could see taking away the corrosive torps as a good trade off


last question though, why 10pts for pack hunters/energy transfer?

aquan cruisers/gunships gain energy transfer for 5pts with heavy cruisers upgrading by 1 for 5 pts, only tier 1s and sulis pay 10

And each sorylian model with pack hunters, gains it for 5pts but have even more weapon systems to link and gain benefits from it


So why charge the virulence 10pts ?

Does 65 pts apiece feel too cheap?


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On 2/23/2019 at 3:21 AM, Polaris said:

So why charge the virulence 10pts ?

Does 65 pts apiece feel too cheap?


Two (1 internal and 1 external balance related) reasons:

1.) Not to step on the toes of the banes. If both would be 65 pts fully kitted out, the 6/6/6/0 beams with pack hunters of the gunships would be a much safer bet for the harasser role, as banes have to be much closer to reach their full potential (without the aid of the improved shunt matrix).

2.) The interaction between pack hunters and cloaked is a bit on the stronger side (not too much, but helps a lot on injured and cloaked ships) Plus I wouldn't compare with either of the above factions - funnily enough for the opposite reason, aquans leaning heavily over to the stronger side of the balance line, and sorylians needing all the help they can get.

Also huuuuuge disclaimer: I'm really not a game designer, so my opinion is just that: an opinion :)

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I'd rather keep the discount for the naked ships, but at this point it all comes down to personal taste to be honest :) Ask your group, if they are ok with your proposed changes, and go for it! The official fleet manuals and FSA 2.0 in general is not going to change. Warcradle preserved it, but it's like an insect in amber, it's not going to go anywhere. It's glorious form is available to be witnessed in it's dying agony until Warcradle uses it to clone their dinosaurs from it's belly. :D

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