This class of ship I affectionately call the "turtles" as their main purpose is to fire their Plasma R and then duck into their shell (cloak) and hope the other guy goes away during recharge. The WE is actually second in the line that gets better and more powerful as they improve. Let's briefly look at each:
R-WB+: The WarBird is not a ship. It's a weapon that moves, and it moves very slowly (Max. spd 4). Alone, the WB+ is a death trap (both in single and multiplayer) because it cannot run away from a superior enemy. Used in groups or teams and the WB+ can be something to be feared. Just start a BVP 180 multiplayer game and select 3 WB+s to see what I mean. (Be sure to follow tips below for Fleet action.)
Missions for the WB+ will also be a problem. Convoy escort involves quickly tractoring one of the convoy to give you a ride (this also works in Multiplayer to give your buddy a mobile R but you can't cloak). But the AI won't keep the tractor on, so you can't take all your WB+ along for a ride. Selecting a monster mission in a WB+ is just about suicidal. Keep these things in mind when Dynaverse2 comes out. Year 1, bvp 60
R-WE: The WE is a big improvement over the WB+ because it can actually move, although not fast enough to outrun drones and charge its weapons. It is primarily still a sit and spin ship with only one ace up it's sleeve (a single Plasma R launcher). Year 1, bvp 100
R-KE: Now we really start to see this class of ships shine. The KE has 2 Pl-Fs along with it's Pl-R and can outrun slow drones. It even has enough energy to use ECM. In single player, I like to set a tractor and grab the AI for a plasma alpha-strike. In multiplayer, I never fire the Fs unless the enemy closes. It's still mostly a turtle but with more options. Consider this ship in Dynaverse2 as a powerful alternative to the SPA (It can blow a Fed Frigate straight to hell on the first alpha strike!). Year 6, bvp 140
R-KVL: The "King" Vulture is a frightful beast with 2 Pl-R and 2 Pl-F. It has enough power to ballet and makes the best turtle of them all. With it's hull and armor, I've had my KVL get worked over something good and still be able to fire it's Plasma R at point blank range. It does have some serious weaknesses in later eras, but we'll look at these another time. Let the bid wars begin! Year 7, bvp 170
Tip: These ships are ideal for asteroid fighting against humans. When an asteroid belt presents itself. Open your map and look for good spot (usually several large rocks near one another). Head toward them. At about range 10 from the rocks, drop your NSM. Then, try and snuggle right up next to one of the rocks and turn toward your enemy (maybe T-bomb a few mines around). Now, you want to attempt to hit the enemy Shield 1. This will allow the dust cloud around the rocks to Mizia him for damage. Trust me, he'll want to be moving on by and not trying to sit on top of a cloaked Plasma R ship. The enemy will have to be very careful on overruns, and hopefully he will hit a mine or rock! (Don't forget to set a defensive tractor. Use F1 during this fight so you don't hit a rock. Hopefully he won't.)
Tip2: The enemy is under range 10. All your plasma is charged. You uncloak and ALPHA! And all your pretty plasma goes sailing into a weasel. Next time remember what K'tujHegh tells you. Alpha your pseudos at him. He will weasel then fire back at you. Now is your chance to alpha your plasma with a 100% chance for success (unless he's a Gorn with 2 weasels). If he doesn't weasel and now knows you pseudoed, fire your small plasma, one at a time... followed by your large plasma, one at a time. Last night, I did this to a fellow Klingon XCer and got him for 70 points of damage (an F and R into a downed shield!). Try and get me will ya? You Klingon bastard!
Romulan War Eagle Cruiser
Year available: 1 (Early Era)
Nice detail work, Taldren.
Turn Rate: D
Move cost: 1
Cloak cost: 6
The War Eagle is a lot like the WB+ or SNP as far as its turn rate but without any extra HETs. HET starts at 100%. Use HET wisely to bring your big ol' R to bear (or move a damaged shield out of the way). At bvp 100 the WE will be dirt cheap in Dynaverse2.
Hull: 6 Center
Excess Damage: 6
Just like others of its class, the WE is built to take a pounding with strong armor and all center hull. You may need these when push comes to shove against your enemy. Hopefully, they'll want to slug it out... don't lose your R!
Shuttle bay: 2 - Launch 1
The WE wasn't made for capturing or H&R. I suggest saving the transporter for T-bombs, stocking up on maximum marines to help prevent capture in Dynaverse2 (if that option is possible). Having only 2 shuttles is a serious limitation of this line of ships. Use them wisely!
Shields: 25 x 6 = 150
The WE suffers from the same drone problems of the WB+. It can neither handle drones nor run away from them effectively. A smart drone cruiser captain will sit close to the WE, when it uncloaks, fire drones, then weasel the R. The WE's cloak won't protect it from the drones and the WE only has 2 shuttles for weasels. Eventually, the WE will run out of options faster than the drone cruiser. Uh, drone captains - don't try this against TWO WEs. Hee hee hee.
Weapons: 1 Pl-R, 4 P1s
Mines: 4/8; 1 NSM
This ship is all about its Plasma R. Use it and its pseudo to keep the enemy at arm's length and inflict maximum damage.
Notes on power:
Charging weapons: 7.00 energy; WE spd 15 max. - 0 excess power
Charging 1 Pl-R : 3.00 energy; WE spd 19 max. - 0 excess power
Holding weapons : 5.00 energy; WE spd 17 max. - 0 excess power
Charging R cloaked : 3.00 energy; WE spd 13 max. - 0 excess power
Holding cloaked : 5.00 energy; WE spd 11 max. - 0 excess power
Special BUG note: This ship either has an incorrect "Other: 6.0" cost or it really has 28 power. The numbers all add up to 28, not 26. Also, my numbers vary from Aevlom analysis somewhat (link at bottom of article). Mine are correct both mathematically and with in-game tests.
Unlike the Snipe, which has a steep but manageable curve, the WE is just not a fast ship. Add on any ECM or shuttle energy costs and the WE is going only spd 12 anyway. Most of the time, the WE is better off going at speeds less than 6 and using the energy for cloak, shields, weasels, and ECM.
If you aren't firing the R, cloak!
It gets much harder to compare ships at this point because of the various factors involved. For instance, the ISC have many more ships to compare, but they are all very expensive. So the WE would probably face ISC FFs or CLs before it faces ISC CAs in Dynaverse2.
I see the Gorn climbing into a "better than nothin'" G-CL just to get away from the horrible deathtrap of a G-FF.
I'll leave it for you to open up that shiplist.txt and start doing some research on when to run and when to fight against the dozens of ships the WE may face.
Learning to control one's "fleet" of 2 or 3 WB+, WE or KE is essential to survival for a single human player. The basics of control are under the Fleet Control MFD (Pages 139-144 in US manual).
This allows you to select a particular ship in the Fleet panel. You will find over time that the F6-F8 keys are actually faster. Practice with these instead of using the Fleet panel.
Formation Discipline Control-
This allows you to somewhat control your AI ships. With turtles, you want to set this to absolute control "o-o-o" so the AI doesn't do as many stupid things like uncloak or chase the enemy. It will still screw up your ECM settings, make weasels, void my repel tractors, etc. STUPID AI!
Weapons State Control-
The weapons state control panel allows you to set regular, overloads, etc. More importantly, it allows you to tell the AI to stay cloaked with the special mode button (furthest on right). I always leave this checked after the start of the battle. If the AI is in control, I want that ship CLOAKED!
With WB+, I like to keep them abreast of one another. However, for WE and KE, they have a serious problem. The AI can speed up past spd 6 and will do so to stay in formation (even if it has to run through a mine to do it!). So using the formation control panel allows you to flip between formations and slow the AI back down. Hint: Use the formations where you can either be in the lead or rear. Flip between them when you switch ships to keep the AI from moving.
How I use the fleet controls:
1) Set control to max. "o-o-o" for all ships.
2) Set special mode to be on (for cloak).
3) Cloak first ship manually.
4) Select second ship (F7)
5) Setup formation grouping (depends on ships)
6) Fire second ship's R
7) Cloak manually
8) Select first ship (F6), make repel tractor, set ECM, uncloak, fire, etc....
Bugs to remember:
1) Using "fleet" has a serious problem in v5.5. You will often lose your current acquired target. Oh, it looks like you have the target acquired, but try firing weapons. They will either not fire or go sailing off at another target. After you flip ships, get in the habit of reselecting the enemy again ("Y" key).
2) HETs. If one of your fleet HETs... any of the others can now do so for free. HET in one, flip to another one and HET some more. Great if you need to bring that R to bear but HET is under 100%.
To be honest, I am not a huge fan of either the WB+ or WE unless they are used in groups of two or more because of their weaknesses to drones and low power. Lately in 75-110 bvp early games, I've been taking the Snipe B instead of the WE because it offers more tactical choices. The Snipe actually holds it own very well against larger ships (controlled by humans or AI).
I consider the WB+ and WE good fire support ships (think slow-moving mobile artillery) in combat. But they aren't the main star of the show. It's too easy to pick them apart given drones, time and T-bombs. I suggest a single human WE captain faced with two human opponents run away in D2. Now a single human in 3 WB+ or WE, that's a whole different ballgame. We'll have to wait and see if 2 or 3 of these style ships is a better solution in Dynaverse2 than a single SPA.
Don't forget your REPEL tractor.
Good luck captain.
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