Romulan Snipe-B Frigate: A detailed analysis
The default frigate for the Romulan empire is a ship suffering from a bad reputation. Even many Romulan pilots curse it and call it a useless ship (I know I have, it's ugly too ). Meanwhile, the reality is that at 70 BVP, early, the Snipe B could well be the best default frigate of the era in the hands of an experienced, practiced captain.
In multiplayer, I have defeated Lyrans, Feds, Klingons and even a Hydran. My Snipe has only lost once, and that was my fault. The F-FFG that killed me lost just about everything on his ship but a few hard points (after repairs).
Turn Rate: D
Move cost: .25
Cloak cost: 2
The SNB won't win any turning contests but it does gain two important factors: Lowest movement costs in the game, second lowest cloak costs. When we look at it's energy curve, these will be critical factors in its survival. And don't forget that it's HET success starts at 133%.
Excess Damage: 3
Arguably one of the weakest hulled Frigates (on paper), the SNB can still take the damage, thanks to a thin band of armor. I've taken proxy torps into a downed shield and survived with little or no visible damage.
I even took a full scatterpack once and beat the K-F5 who fired it. (Must remember L2 REPEL tractor... must remember.)
Shuttle bay: 2 - Launch 1
The SNB has a standard loadout for most frigates. It only has at most 2 shuttles. It's marine compliment really cannot defend it from serious H&R or captures by larger ships. Keep those shields up!
Shields: 20 x 6 = 120
The shields on the SNB are one of it's saving graces. It's got good shields all the way around the craft. Its weakness is missile defense. With only 1 tractor beam, even a single drone launcher can overwhelm the B in short order. We'll talk more about that later.
Weapons: 2 Pl-F, 2 P1s, 2 P3s
The SNB has a very steep and unforgiving power curve. Try firing everything at once, and you better be ready to cloak. But a captain who is willing to learn firing discipline and power management will find the B to be a fine ship, especially for early era, where it can move at a decent speed and have power left over for defenses.
Don't forget to play with your phaser capacitor. In fact, without a downed shield to fire into, it might be a good idea to not fire phasers, especially against a ship with drones.
Notes on power:
Charging weapons: 6.30 energy; SNB spd 6.64 max. - 0
Charging 2 Pl-Fs: 3.34 energy; SNB spd 22.6 max. - 0 excess power
Charging 1 Pl-F : 1.67 energy; SNB spd 29.3 max. - 0 excess power
Holding weapons : 0.00 energy; SNB spd 31.0 max. - 1.2 excess power
Holding weapons : 0.00 energy; SNB spd 28.0 max. - 0 excess power - 1 pt ECM - L1 tractor
Holding cloaked : 0.00 energy; SNB spd 28.0 max. - 0 excess power
The Snipe B has basically three modes of attack:
1) Cloaked and slow - Sitting cloak, going under spd 2, the Snipe B can charge all its weapons at full drain, all at once. It even has a little power left over from a repel tractor, ECM or shields. Watch out for suicide shuttles, scatterpacks, and hold tractors.
2) Holding and fast - Once the ship charges all or most of it's weapons, it can ballet at high speeds. Just firing one Plasma F at a time, the ship can still do a respectable spd 29 (I prefer to put one point in ECM and slow a bit).
3) Cloaked and fast - Again, once the SNB charges weapons, its possible to run around at speeds up to 28, getting into firing position, or dropping mines (Nuke!) on slow-moving enemy. Even while charging both it's Plasma Fs, the SNB can cloak and run away from slow drones.
Klingon F5 - bvp 71 (Default)
2 Dis-1, 5 Ph2s, 1 DroF
The only serious problem a SNB has with this ship is its drones. If the Snipe captain just goes slow and cloaks, the Klingon cannot hurt him. Once the Klingon starts firing missiles, simply speeding up past spd 16 and running away from the missiles, allows the Snipe to escape with no damage. Because the K-F5 has disruptor 1s, it has to come within Plasma F range to do any kind of damage. Once the front shields in the F5 are down (or he takes any Plasma Fs in the rear shields), it's all over.
The F5 really stands no chance. It's captain's best option is to run away.
Note: Remember that you can HET at least twice before success drops below 100%. And watch out for a tractor if he overruns.
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). Once he lost his scatterpack (due to my timely cloak), the fight was really all over.
Federation FF - bvp 71 (Default)
2 Phot, 3 Ph1s, 2 Ph3s
Defeating the Fed FF is also a simple procedure. Simply Plasma Ballet the ship, being extra special careful (or seriously extraordinarily cautious) to stay OUTSIDE range 8. Your Fs fired at range 12 (dmg 10) will whittle him down faster than his torpedoes will get you. Run away and cloak as often as possible. If you're not cloaked, dump at least 1 point in ECM. In multiplayer, I have defeated the FFs big brother (the F-DD) with these tactics. But watch out for the FFD, FFE, and FFG... their drone racks can be Snipe killers. If you have to, shut off one plasma and run away, cloaked.
ISC FF - bvp 69 (Default)
2 Pl-F, 4 P1s
This ship is actually very similar to the Snipe. It has more power, a better turn radius, better plasma arcs, and better phasers. On the other hand, it lacks cloak, armor and shielding. Winning against the I-FF involves smart captaining and a bit of luck. The good news is that the same advice goes to the ISC captain. Note: this ship cannot fire any weapons behind itself.
Don't forget to cloak!
Gorn FF - bvp 56 (Default)
1 Pl-F, 3 P1s, 2 Shuttle (launch rate 2)
Ok, this is more like it. After looking at the ISC FF, the Gorn doesn't stand much chance. My suggestion is keeping your speed up as much as possible since this ship can go spd 31 while charging it's Plasma F. Attack him at oblique angles since he has to come almost straight at you to fire his F.
If you have to cloak, wait for him to get past you by a few Klicks so he can't drop any suicide shuttles or tractor you. Make sure you have F11 selected and don't fire all your phasers!
Otherwise, you having cloak and the Gorn having only 1 Pl-F (FA only), the verdict is clear. The Gorn FF has little chance.
Conclusion: Against 3 out of the 4 of it's bordering enemies' default frigates, the Snipe matches up quite nicely. Add to it, some fire support from a WB+ (cheaper than a SNB and can be used reliablity with "fleet" SFC2 features - See WE analysis link below for details), and you have a deadly combination for the opening hours of Dynaverse2.
The Snipe B will teach you everything you need to know to win as a Romulan - Power management, shield management, the art of cloaking, weapons conservation, starcastling (slow attack), and the plasma ballet (fast attack).
Otherwise, the Snipe B is just a floating coffin for a late-era KHK driver....
Good luck, Captain !
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