Stars!-R-Us Article

Frigates vs. Cruisers...which are better?
by: Rob

I think that (DPVulcan01)
may have written <>:

> I've been playing in a PBEM game for quite some time, and have reached the
> Weapons 12 - Jihad plateau. Now, I've been thinking about how to best use
> this. I've come up with two designs; one is a Frigate equipped with 3
> Jihad missiles, and the other is a Cruiser equipped with 6 and a Battle
> Super Comp. I tried running a testbed in a one-player game but the results
> were quite inconclusive; I can build roughly twice as many Jihad frigates
> as Cruisers but the battles had varying results. Can anyone tell me what's
> the best use for this; or has this debate already been done, and done better?

Jihad Frigates are a bad idea. Too much Ironium and resources that are way too easy to knock out. Not to mention the lack of computing power.

Sure, you can build two times as many Jihad Frigates as Jihad Cruisers, but the lack of staying power, combined with the bad accuracy, makes them a very bad warship.

In additon, frigates cannot carry armor AND shields at the same time.  Unless your IS, but that's a different case.  This means that you can armor them, which makes them pitifully slow, or you can shield them, which makes them extremely vulnerable to missiles.  Especially Cap missiles, where a single Juggernaut or better can wipe out a single frigate regardless of the shielding.

The lack of computing power on a Frigate makes the low Cap Missile accuracy a horrible liability. Jihads only have 20% accuracy.  Even a single BSC raises that to 44%. More than double.  That vastly increases the damage capability.  If the enemy uses Jamming, say a single Jammer 20, then your Frigate is now down to 16% accuracy.  Whereas the Cruiser with a single BSC is still up at 28%.  Not quite as good as it was before, but still much higher than the Frigate.

Just looking at the Cruiser vs. the Frigate against an unjammed target, your Cruiser has the capacity to do more than two times as much damage.

1 Cruiser : 6 missiles * 44% accuracy = 2.64 hits
2 Frigates : 6 missiles * 20% accuracy = 1.2 hits

2.64/1.2 = 2.2 times as much damage.

(Note: I am ignoring the extra 1/8 shield damage from all misses.)

The Cruiser can also carry a Jammer in the extra slot.

Let's say you are facing an enemy using Jihads and a single BSC, just like your design.

Agaisnt the Cruiser with a Jammer 20, he has an accuracy of 28%.
Against the Frigate with no Jammers, he has an accuracy of 44%.

vs. Frigate: 6 missiles * 44% accuracy = 2.64 hits * 85 dp = 224.4 dp
vs. Cruiser: 6 missiles * 28% accuracy = 1.68 hits * 85 dp = 142.8 dp

So the Cruiser takes less damage.

(Note: I am still ignoring the extra 1/8 shield damage from all misses.)

If you shielded the Frigate, half the damage goes to shields, leaving 112 points getting through to the armor.  The Frigate has a base armor of only 45, so you lose.  If you armor the Frigate, you have no shields, so you take double damage, or 448.8 points.  If you don't have at least two slabs of neutronium, you lost anyway.

However, a Cruiser comes with a base armor of 700 dp. Shield it and you only take 71 armor and 71 shield damage.  Just about 10%.  If you only armor the Cruiser and take the double damage, then you take 284 points.  But you are probably using at least Kelarium so you have 1060 points.  After the missile hits, you're at 25% damaged.  Enough to take 3 more hits.

Once cap missiles come around, then Frigates aren't so good as main line ships.  They might be useful if you make fast, shielded, beamers and stack a lot of them.

If you really insist on using Frigates as a warship, and don't like beam weapons, then try using the normal torpedos, rather than the cap missiles.  the higher accuracy of the torpedo amkes it much less susceptible to jamming, and allows them to get a higher percentage of hits.

Let's compare 2 Epsilon torpedo Frigates vs. 2 Jihad missile Frigates;

Epsilon : 6 Torpedoes * 65% accuracy = 3.9 hits * 48 dp = 187.2 dp
Jihad : 6 Missiles * 20% Accuracy = 1.2 hits * 85 dp = 102 dp

(Note: I am still ignoring the extra 1/8 shield damage from all misses.)

So the Epsilons do more damage.  As long as the target has shields.  Once the shields drop, then the Jihads do double damage, going up to 204 dp vs the Epsilon's 187 dp. Not too much of a bonus, but some.

If the target uses a pair of Jammer 20s, then it works like this:

Epsilon : 6 Torpedoes * 42% accuracy = 2.52 hits * 48 dp = 121 dp
Jihad : 6 Missiles * 13% Accuracy = 0.78 hits * 85 dp = 66.3 dp

(Note: I am still ignoring the extra 1/8 shield damage from all misses.)

In this case, the Epsilon's greater damage is even more pronounced.  If the target is unshielded or the shields are gone, then the Jihad damage goes up to 123.6. Just a smidgen higher than the Epsilon's.

As you can see, Jihads on Frigates are not a very good idea.  In fact, any type of Cap missile without the requisite computer support is a bad thing.  Normal torpedos can be passable.

If you find yourself needing to use missiles, and you dont have the computers to support them, you are far better off going with the standard torpedo.  You will get many more hits, and, in most cases, do far more damage.  Especially if the other guy is using Jammers.

One more thing: At the approximately equal tech level, the standard torpedos are cheaper and take less minerals. And they weigh less, too. -- Rob O- Streamer on Starlink!

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