|Heavy Cruiser Comparison|
'Heavy Cruiser' is defined here as any Size Class 3, Movement Cost 1 ship. This definition takes in Command Cruisers, Battlecruisers, Large Cruisers, Heavy Battlecruisers, as well as a few odd lighter ships. The Klingons treat the D6 as a Light Cruiser in the number of variants developed off of it, but it is just as large as the D7 (in fact they are outwardly identical). The Romulan War Bird is a smaller ship, possibly the size of a Light Cruiser, but still has a movement cost of 1 (for towing purposes). Strike Cruiser is generally used for lighter cruisers, but in the case of the Kzinti it is lightly armed, but just as large as any other CA.
The Hydran ship BPVs include their standard fighter complement.
Heavy Cruisers are the original standard the game is designed around. While most races are missing one or another of the basic ship types, they almost all have a CA. Also, they are used to show off the heart of a race's tactics, which means they are a fairly disparate bunch, while being meant to be roughly equivalent to each other. As a rule, they are the heaviest units available in numbers.
A Command Cruiser is generally the same exact hull has the CA, but includes a flag bridge (or equivalent facilities) and staffing and communcation facilities for a Command Rating of 9 (the second higest possible). Since a valuable commander is likely to be on board, these are often an improved version of the CA, incorporating all the changes that are included in later refits of the CA class. In peacetime, these are the leaders of the fleets, with the expensive Dreadnoughts remaining docked at starbases. During war, they would lead major task forces, or back up the Dreadnought in a major assault.
The term Battle Cruiser gets used in different ways. For the Klingons, it is the term for their Heavy Cruiser. The Lyrans use the term for a heavy unit slightly larger than a CA, but still Size Class 3.
The Federation CA is part and parcel of the origin of the game. As such, it is a solid well-rounded design that takes damage well and has a frightening potential to dish it out. Unfortionately, not only is it blind to the rear, but it does not take phaser hits well with only 6 main-line weapons.
The D6 and D7 are the other side of the coin. Also part of the genesis of the game, its larger suite of less-valuable phasers allow them to absorb weapon hits more readily. Overall, the weak rear shields and relative lack of internals mean that close in knife-fighting is a good way to wreck a ship. If not now, then when you go past and the enemy gets a point-blank shot with the remaining weapons on the rear shields.
The D6C Command Cruiser is typical of the breed, fixing all the basic problems of the original class. Shields 3-5 are equal to 2 and 6, extra drone racks are mounted, and the original ones are no longer shuttle bay F racks, allowing the full firing rate. It could be more valuable than a D7 if it weren't for the fact that is likely to be leading a squadron that still has the rear shield problem that the D6C solved.
The D7C is an advanced version of the class, with improved shielding and ph-1s in the boom. A pair of ADDs provide for effiecient drone defense without sacrificing phaser firepower.
The War Bird shows that the Romulans have fallen far behind the technology curve with a cruiser worth only 51 BPV (between a third and a half of the normal value). The 25-point shields and Cloaking Device allow it to absorb a lot of damage, but unfortionately it is a sitting duck to do just that.
The KR is a Klingon D6 refitted to Romulan technology, including the use of plasma torpedoes and a cloaking device.
The only modern cruiser with less power than the Fed CA, the Kzinti CS is a cheap, sturdy design that likely allowed the Hegemony to modernize its fleet quickly, but left it with a lackluster design that needs to get in close to anchor the enemy so that the four drone racks can be used to good effect.
The Kzinti CA is a later design and possible answer to the D7, that strains its limited power with an expanded weapons suite. Most likely, if the Hegemony had felt any true need to worry about its neigbors, this would have become their standard design. But with most fighting being internal, it was left as a rare suppliment to the CS class.
The Kzinti CC shows just what kind of shipbuilding they are capable of. While it is still related to the CS, it is a much more dangerous ship.
While the Fed CA is the middle road, and the D7 is light and nimble, the Gorn CA represents the heavy and lumbering approach. With Forward, Aft, and Center Hull, it can take damage well, and its 8 ph-1s give it good all-around firepower. 32 Warp gives it the ability to HET at a higher speed (28) than any other cruiser.
The Hydrans, needing to build a sizable fleet with the limited resources of the Old Colonies to retake their home planets, developed the relatively cheap, but well built Ranger that accounts for its poor ranged performance by carrying along nine warp-powered fighters. While the heavy shields and all center hull make it excelent defensively, its 27 warp power and ph-2 armament show that ease of production was more important than building the best of all possible ships.
The newer Hellbore-armed Dragoon has good moderate-range weapons, and extra power reactors to arm them. It also carries three warp-powered fighters that are good for close-range work, while retaining the excellent defensive characteristics of the Ranger.
The Lord Commander improves the shield protection of the Ranger, converts two of the ph-2s to Fusion Beams, changes the other four to ph-1s, changes the ph-Gs from RA to LS/RS, increases warp power from 27 to 30, and adds 3 APR while removing 3 of the fighters. This all makes the LC a decent ship in its own right (126 BPV), with the six Stinger-1s adding a dangerous extra offensive punch.
The Lyran Tiger Heavy Cruiser is an all-around typical, but solid ship, with 4xph-1 backed up by 6xph-3s giving good offense, and (combined with the ESGs) excellent point defence, and the ability to take phaser hits well.
The Bengal Tiger Command Cruiser strengthens every shield of the Tiger, upgrades two of the ph-3s to ph-1s, adds more impulse power, and doubles the number of shuttles on board, enhancing both the offensive and defensive capabilities of the ship, and providing ph-1 coverage to the rear of the ship.
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