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Muelmuel

Battle Cruiser vs Star Cruiser

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Have read several blogs about the lmc80, but still mentally trying to breakdown the differences and the uses for myself personally. The main thing that I'm still iffy about is the swapping from 1 blue to 1 red for when upgrading a star to a battle. I've heard to put LS on the battle and sw-7 on the star generally, but how does it work out on the table? Both seem to want to close in to med range to be their most effective possible, with an sw-7 star getting higher expected damage(6.25 vs battle-LS 5.625 from my calculations). Battle cruiser can throw one more die at long range before the lmc80 closes but how  much beneficial is it over the star? One could add spinals to get a substantial 5 reds and make it rerollable with C&S I guess.

The only commander that makes (mathematical) sense to me for the battle cruiser is actually Sato haha. At long range he can swap in a blue for LS to make the reds behave and maybe a black too. At medium range he is useful to swap in blacks to up the damage or my own funniness more reds to proc QTC. Ofc he still needs a spotter plane so there's that cost to consider.

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27 minutes ago, Muelmuel said:

with an sw-7 star getting higher expected damage(6.25 vs battle-LS 5.625 from my calculations). 

The battlecruiser is just over 6 as well, I believe (rerollable reds are ~1.03, blues 0.9375, plus the chance of not needing LS). Part of it is flak; the improvement from one die to two can be pretty handy.  Another factor is Spinal Armament, which makes the BC somewhat viable at range, especially if you’re one of those weird Caitken and Shollan people.  Overall though, the Star Cruiser is probably better a fair bit of the time just for being cheaper without a significant quality drop.

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Both of them build different and play different.

First, it really isn't about the expected damage.  The LMC80 is a small ship bully, and can drop the medium ships fairly quickly.  Either build will drop most small ships because you have high odds for an accuracy and the requisite damage.  And if you don't kill it straight up with the shot, there's the possibility of ram damage.

Second, I noticed you thought Sato, but Madine is really made for this ship, and several people have used Raddus with success.  What it needs is positioning.  Positioning usually beats raw damage output.  The other consideration is that because it is more fragile than the other large ships, it needs an escape latch.  Otherwise, you lose your big investment and all of your MOV and don't win the tournament.

 

So onto the comparison:

 

SC:  The big benefit here is that if you want to ET across the board, deliver a lot of threat, and then knock out a small ship or two and reduce activations, this is the best version for that.  My SC builds also run 20-30 points cheaper than my BC builds, and for a fragile ship, anything that you can do to make it cheaper, and therefore less impactful on MOV is big.   I've done plenty of SW-7/GT, but I've also seen Caitken and Shollan/HIE.  Both depend upon what else you've got in your list, how you fly it, and what you expect your activation order to be.  In the present meta with lots of large ships, the SC needs quite a bit of help from the rest of its fleet in order to drop an opponent's big ship, and with lots of two ship out there, your ability to catch two ships in the GT front arc is much more difficult.  You've got an assortment of turbolasers to pick from.  Spinal gives you an ISD front arc, and makes it easier to select LS.  SW-7 and no turbolasers keeps it really cheap.  DTT is nice.  I wouldn't do both XI7 and Mon Karren, but one or the other could be good, depending upon the rest of your list.  Both are meta decisions.  I am seeing a lot less value from both though in the present meta.  You really need other units which end up draining the shields anyway to take down the large ships, so XI7 isn't a real put-away shot.  Mon Karren feels like it ought to be slightly more useful/flexible than XI7 at 2 points more, and so anything that weakens XI7 in the meta also weakens Mon Karren.  Engine Techs is really a must.

 

BC:  The extra red die is not inconsequential.  Having a GT+Spinal for two 5 dice red range shots gives you a ton of flexibility.  You can slow roll a bit more, allow some of your other units to do some of the work, and then finally deliver a medium range kill shot.  Many units can laugh off 3 red dice, but 5 generally means that some damage is getting through, and starts having an outside chance at an accuracy to increase that damage further.  By being able to hang back, you leave  your weak sides less exposed.  I would tout the benefits of double black flak, but in the present meta, you need to be able to lock them down and force them to eat double-black flak shots, otherwise, they'll just zoom out and you won't be able to fire shots.

 

The bigger problem to me is that MSU is out of the meta right now, which means the LMC80 which feasts upon them has fewer opportunities.  It gets traps in a place where you need squads to help it match up in the squad game, but you basically have to pick one of two options:

1.  Run squadronless or very light squadrons, and run a real LMSU.

2.  Run full squadrons, but be left with a single TRC Jaina's Light as your ship support, plus you're down at least an activation over LMSU.

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As above it comes down to how you intend on flying it. If you fly at speed 3 to engage, then the Star Cruiser is better, especially with Madine. If you want to keep your distance for as long as possible then the Battle Cruiser is the way to go. And I don't really like Sato on it, not enough synergy.

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