Heavy Escort Carrier: Armitage Class build thoughts?
Jumping the gun a bit, but I'd like to see thoughts on Heavy Escort Carrier: Armitage Class.
Edit: scratch this: First off, it's a lot tankier than any other escort with 36,000 Hull. That's 6K more than any other escort, 1.5K more than a Kar'fi, and about 4K less than an Assault Cruiser (Sovereign).
Only 30k Hull it turns out, the earlier blog post was edited... that changes things. Less interested in it now. Anything dealing with tankiness in this post can basically be ignored now, as it's a standard escort in hull strength then.
BOff layout seems to be a modified version of Fleet Escort:
Ens. Tac, Lt. Tac, and Com. Tac (vs. Lt. Com. and Com. on the Fleet)
Lt. Com. Eng (vs. Ens. and Lt. on the Fleet)
Lt. Sci (same on Fleet)
Console layout the same as Fleet Escort and Tactical Escort Retrofit:
4 Tac, 3 Eng, 2 Sci
Then the not on an escort before:
Photon Spam console
My thoughts so far, build-wise for STFs:
Depending on the cooldown/damage of the photon spam console, you may not need any Torp abilities, which means that it calls out for at least one Dual Beam Bank up front with its three Tac slots (otherwise you basically end with three Tac Team I abilities if you go all cannons).
Extra Tankiness means you can probably use both Sci BOff abilities for things like crowd control and polarize hull.
Eng BOff: Engineering Team, then 2x Emergency Power to Sheilds. Not quite enough hull to make Aux to Structural work well, and I don't think you'd want to run support powers like Extend Shields in them. A Emergency Power to Weapons if you are running a Dual Beam bank with Beam Overload would be good, of course.
Hangar: either Advanced Peregrines or Danubes, depending on needs at the time. (Keep in mind you should be able to swap out Hangars so long as you are not under Red Alert)
Console layout gets tricky, as you'll have at least two universal consoles most likely -- Photon Torpedo Point Defense System and Borg Assimilated Module, but no extra console slots compared to other escorts.
I'd probably try out:
4 Tac: 3x specific energy, 1x photon (pending the spam module is enhanced by them)
2 Sci: 2x Shield Gens or 1x Amp and 1x Gen
3 Eng: Borg module, Photon Torpedo Point Defense System, kinetic and energy resist console
Sets wise, this calls out for Klingon Honor Guard 2 pc. with it's +25% torp damage and +8.1 Aux to launch hangars faster, err, wait, wrong faction...
For tanking, the classic MACO Sheild (particularly given that the layout above lacks good resists to Borg and the MACO shield adds plasma resist) and Borg Deflector, Engine, and the console.
You shouldn't need to hit and run quite as much, but Omega Force set is traditional for escorts and should be quite fun. (don't have it Fed side yet)
Thing is with the torp turret it might be fun to pack a torp tac console, and then pack fore photons as well instead of the DBB? I'm just thinking off-the-cuff, not as a full-on build yet, but what if you did 2 CRF1 and 2 THY1 for always-on killinating. Yeah that would only leave you 1 TT1 instead of the normal two, but if you used a pair of Conn Officer doffs, blue or purple, you could cut the cooldown to the normal 15 seconds and get away with it. Throw on an APO3 in the Cmdr slot, and you have the LtCmdr to play with. Could do a CSV2, or APB/D2, or Torp Spread 3, or add a DBB and BO3? Throw on a pair of blue/purple Torp doffs and jack up your rate of fire further. Hmm, I wonder how it would work out if you went for 2 DHCs, 2 Photon Launchers, and 2 DOFFs? Hard to drop the shields, but once they were down you would make a mess.
I wonder if we'll end up using photon consoles on her like we use phaser consoles on the dread?
Shame about that ensign tac slot. It would have been far more useful to either combine that slot with the LT tac to make 1 LTC tac or maybe make the ensign tac a uni slot.
Now that would have been fun! :D
Personally I'd dump the photon damage console, stick the photon spam console in the freed up tac slot, have 2 shield gens and then plump for the borg console as well as the neutronium consoles to fill up the eng slots.
But maybe even having the photon spam would be a not so great idea. It looks like a ticket to instant mob aggro land. Would work wonders on a cruiser aggro holding build imo!
It's quite likely that I'll be all over this. Oddly, the boff layout is pretty much what I run on my BoP (the extra ensign on the BoP comes from TT1 being doubled up by doffs), and it's working for me very well.
Having something that's more or less a Fleet Escort, and has a hangar, I'm not sure how balanced that'll be to be honest. Trading battle cloak and some turn rate for about 12k hull and a hangar sounds like a ridiculously good deal however.
Its base turn rate should be reduced for the ability to launch fighters. Even the Dacoit or the Kar'Fi don't have the maneuverability of a Raptor. Yet we're expected to watch this zip around like a normal Escort while launching mini me's?
I disagree, big time, on the Engineering Team.
It's the one ability my cruiser never uses, and my traditional tanking set up of 2x EPTS and 2x Tactical Team would make an Engineering Team an inefficient use of cooldowns.
This thing has more than enough in engineering and science to get by with Aux to SIF II in the Lt Cdr engineer, and EPTS 1 and 2 in the Ensign and Lieutenant. Science I'd run with Hazards 1 and TSS2 (my main shield heal) as standard.
Tactical, oddly enough, is where I'm scratching my head. This ship looks like it could do so many different things, but I'm a big believer in specialization, and in an attempt to get ever last ounce of juice I could from my DHCs, I'd be far more inclined to run 4 straight energy-specific consoles without hesitation.
This brings me to the problem - Do I even want to keep the torpedo spam?
As I read it, the torpedo console sounds like a glorified torpedo spread in all directions. Fantastic for crowd control, but against the borg, ultimately - I'm in an escort, and the question becomes: Do I really want to ****-off every single Borg ship within a 10-kilometre radius, with a weapon that probably isn't going to do much because of their shields?
The answer is: Probably not.
For STF duties, I'd dump the torpedo console and run straight cannons and beams, tanking as much as I could and choosing my targets very carefully. It's the cruisers job to tank, not mine.
PVP I suspect is where arguments for the torpedo console return, as it seems to be the natural counter fo KDF siphon spam that's been largely un-answerable for so long. To that end, this ship is almost beginning to become a fire support gunship, secondary to the main damage dealers (Defiants and Fleet Escorts).
The problem with doing "everything", is that you end up doing nothing very well. I'd rather focus my efforts on one job, do that very well, and enjoy the fact I have a small carrier capacity to support the team.
This is pretty much the Tier 5 Akira I asked for so I'm stoked.
Although I don't know where your getting 36k for the Hull it's only 30.
Since I'm not a fan of the Peregrine's I don't know what I'll use in the Hanger bay, probably end up using them.
Carpet bombing the massive swam of spheres that leaves the gate in Infected could rapidly run someone in to trouble if they weren't prepared to deal with the ensuing return fire. I quite like the Thunderchild's PDS console, but that is working in a very different way to a torpedo spread, as it's an energy weapon - not a kinetic weapon.
Torpedoes lose 90% of their damage against shields. Unless all of your targets are unshielded, that massive barrage of photons that the Escort Carrier is putting out is going to be like shooting a BB gun at a freight train - but you will nonetheless draw their aggro.
To put it another way, you'd be getting "All the attention, and none of the love."
I'll be sticking to conventional tactics. ;)
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