Romulan Ships: Early Early Era Analysis
The following is an analysis of early, early era Romulan ships, the purpose is to help those choosing Romulan since most early ships fly so much differently from late ships.
Snipe-B Frigate (Default), bvp 70
2 Pl-F, 2 P1s, 2 P3s - Cloak cost 2
The Snipe-B has fairly good armament and strong shields (for a frigate). The Snipe needs them as it can go fast (up to spd 31), or it can charge weapons. But it can't do both. So, if you plan on attacking, plan to do it at spd 6 or less, cloaked, after the initial exchange of weapons fire. Cloak and strong shields allows you to survive long enough to keep firing on the enemy with plasma and phasers. Disadvantage Pl-F has a short range (Max. 15).
Snipe-P Frigate, bvp 55
1 Pl-G, 2 P2s - Cloak cost NA
Without a cloak, this frigate is less useful than the R-FLPL Plasma Freighter (I'll take the freighter). Think of it as a large suicide shuttle without the holding costs.
Snipe-A Frigate, bvp 65
1 Pl-G, 2 P1s - Cloak cost 2
Not as good as the Snipe-B but much better than a P or a freighter. In groups, this ship should hold it's own. The single Pl-G offers slightly greater range than the F. Disadvantage is that once you've fired, you're vulnerable to overrun.
R-K5R, bvp 78
2 Pl-F, 2 P1s, 3 P2s - Cloak cost 6
At first glance, this destroyer looks like a better deal than the Snipe-B. But, it's cloak cost is three times the Bs for about the same armaments. Also, it's shields are MUCH weaker. A range 0 alpha into its back shields will get through, even while cloaked. I still recommend the B in the Frigate classes.
R-WB+, bvp 60
1 Pl-R, 4 P1s - Cloak cost 1
Very low bvp. Extremely low cloak cost. Very strong shields. In groups of 2 or more, it is something even a heavy cruiser respects. Big disadvantage is max. speed of 5. The Snipe-B still ends up being a more versatile machine because, in a pinch, it can run away or do high speed attacks.
R-BH, bvp 85
2 Pl-G, 4 P1s - Cloak cost 5
Strong shields, good engine power (to make up for high cloak cost). This is a good machine. It has a higher bvp cost than the WB+, but having 2 Plasma Gs and the ability to run makes this ship a winner.
R-WE, bvp 100
1 Pl-R, 4 P1s, Cloak cost 6
The WE is everything the WB+ should be. It has strong shields, reasonable cloak costs, can log a reasonable speed, and carries the Plasma R. Used in groups, expect to see the WE dominate opponents in Dynaverse 2. Nobody will be closing to knife fight range against a Romulan pilot with 2 WEs in his battle group.
R-KR, bvp 115
2 Pl-G, 3 P1s, 4 P2s - Cloak cost 20
This Klingon conversion is a death trap compared to the R-BH Light Cruiser. It has weak rear shields, incredibly high cloak costs, and poor phaser compliment. I'll take my chances with two plodding WarBird Pluses or a WarEagle.
R-KRC, bvp 171 (Single player only)
2 Pl-G, 2 Pl-F, 2 Pl-Ds, 5 P1s, 4 P2s - Cloak cost 20
Supposedly the pinnacle of the early, early era ships. The KRC boasts impressive fire power, strong shields, a good power plant, and Plasma D drone/fighter defense. It is the beginning of the plasma ballet, high-speed attack ships that are yet come in Middle and Late era. Choosing it over the WE is really a matter of opponent and play style. If facing the Federation, I might take the KRC over the WE. But against Gorn or ISC, I think the WE (or 3 Snipe-Bs) is a better choice. Note that this ship is not available in Multiplayer (sadly).
Basic rules for early era Romulan ships:
Rule 1: USE YOUR CLOAK!
If you do not use it, you will quickly die. Learn to use it effectively and it will serve you well. Some early era ships cannot even penetrate your shields if you know what you're doing. The cloak tactics you learn in early will serve you well in middle and late eras.
Rule 2: SLOW IS LIFE!
Cloaking makes you slow. Early era ships don't have a lot of power anyway. Also, there are mines to think about. Keep your speed below 6 and use the power for shields and plasma recharge.
Rule 3: POWER IS LIFE!
A Snipe-B ship only has 12 power. That means something as trivial as 1 point holding cost for a wild weasel becomes important for the Snipe. That's 1/12th it's power! Learn to use your power management very wisely.
Rule 4: LEARN TO FIGHT IN GROUPS!
This particularly applies to using the Fleet screen. It's very simple to use for early era Romulans. You can easily control a group of three cloaking ships. Set them all to cloak (for their protection), and then rotate between them so you can uncloak and fire. Staggering your fire, you can inflict devastating damage without (too much) fear of overruns. If the enemy tries it, flip to your other ship(s) and give'em some point blank plasma!
My power settings:
3 - Move
1 - Weapons
5 - Shields
1 - Tractors
2 - ECM
I usually put 1 point in ECM at all times. Sometimes I try for 4, but really 3 more points of power on a Snipe is a lot of power.
With weasel holding costs, I would only make a weasel if the enemy had missiles (and even then, maybe not). Early era ships can't fire a lot of missiles at once and if you see a scatterpack coming... start cloaking or drop a mine on it!
Whether you're bringing an weapon into arc, or protecting a shield, don't forget to use your HET if you need to. Most early Romulan ships let you do 2 HETs before the fail percentage drops below 100%.
This is an actual Multiplayer fight between my Snipe and a human in a Klingon Frigate. Unfortunately, you cannot see when I am cloaked (which is most of the time).
I do not believe this is a fair fight. The Klingon cannot penetrate my shields while I'm cloaked and lacks the missiles to seriously worry me. With luck, he might be able to flash with a mine and then launch a suicide shuttle or scatterpack, but frigates carry so few mines or shuttles that one mistake spells disaster.
He could try sitting on me (common Multiplayer tactic)... but 2 Pl-Fs and 4 P1s at range 0 is 64+ damage! That's enough to knock down any of his shields and score crippling or game ending internals. His (assuming overloads and a missile hit) alpha back would be 42 damage, assuming he had the balls to wait for me to fully uncloak. Without overloads, he'd not get through my shields before I clobbered him.
Once his scatterpack failed, his best option would have been to end the engagement and save his ship.
Good luck, Captain!
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