With their Radioactive resistance, the hope here would be that these defensive weapons would slow down Nuclear Cruisers. In general, a NC fleet will destroy a base turret by concentrating two volleys of launcher fire onto the turret, cause damage from the launcher hits, and then the shockwave triggered by the second volley will destroy the turret. This rhythm allows NCs to get into bases and barely slow down, unless you have some high evade guard ships that force the NCs to stop longer. This makes weapons like VMs, Halos, and Brimstones mostly useless against the NCs (or even other launcher-armed base fleets).
So the question is - will the addition of Lead Panels cause the turret to be able to stand up longer and make those NCs stop? I'll look at two scenarios - one with 25 launchers (5 ship x 5 launchers), and one with 32 (4 ship x 8 launchers). I think that's pretty much the worst case scenario... I could imagine a base fleet having 35 launchers, but it would be pretty lightly armored.
The following tables show the damage buildup over time for the two example fleets:
25 Launcher Fleet
|Turret Level 4 Health = 10800||25 Launchers|
Lead 1 (30%)
Lead 2 (40%)
Lead 3 (50%)
|Volley 1 - Salvo 1||500||350||300||250|
|Volley 2 - Salvo 1||10364||7255||6218||5182|
|Volley 3 - Salvo 1||8655||7418||6182|
32 Launcher Fleet
|Turret Level 4 Health = 10800||32 Launchers|
Lead 1 (30%)
Lead 2 (40%)
Lead 3 (50%)
|Volley 1 - Salvo 1||640||448||384||320|
|Volley 2 - Salvo 1||11064||7745||6638||5532|
|Volley 3 - Salvo 1||10744|
So what does all this tell us? First of all, I was surprised to see that the 32 launcher fleet does not kill a turret with the first shockwave - it takes a few more hits to do it. Against the lighter launcher fleet, any Lead Panel pushes the turret destruction from the second volley into the third volley. Against the heavier launcher fleet, Lead Panels 1 or 2 pushes the turret destruction only fractionally - into the end of the same volley, but the Lead Panel 3 pushes the turret destruction into the third volley.
So are the Lead Panels worth it? They will delay the launcher fleets, but certainly not stop them cold. If you are able to reach Tier 4 in Forsaken Missions, Panel 3 is worth waiting for over the lower level panels, but Lead 2 does not give any noticeable upgrade over Lead 1 against the types of fleets we usually see. Overall, I wouldn't refit every front-line turret with these Panels - most of my cerbs are using one of the drac base prize specials by now. But I might fit one or two of these just to mess with the nukes a little more.
Impact Cannon R
Up at the start of this article, I said the Impact Cannon R looked more like a Thud 5 than a Impact Cannon - let's look at the statistics and see why.
|Impact L||Thud 4||Impact R|
It's really the range and the big multiplier on building damage. If you look at the other lower level Thuds, it sort of follows their progression.
But what we really want to know is how good it is. The best thing about this weapon... it weighs exactly 100 tons, so its DPS/ht is EQUAL to its DPS. Well, maybe it's only me that thinks that is cool.
|Fleet DPS/hT||Bld DPS/hT|
It's not bad in terms of efficiency - I think a lot of people are wondering if they should replace their assault cannons. The short answer is not for FvF - the Impact Cannon R damage is decent but not great, and remember it is lighter. The new Impact has a few things going for it - the building damage is great, and it also brings 50 armor points (meh) and +3% resist against Missile, Ballistic, and Explosive damage. It can be retrofit for additional gains too, but I wouldn't make it a top priority.
Where is it useful? The first thing that comes to mind is to use it on fleets that auto low-level Forsaken Mission targets. The ship damage is adequate, and the building damage is great. Just make sure you aren't leaving a bunch of fleet weight on the table if comparing it against heavier guns like assault cannons or chainguns. Unfortunately, the players that could use this gun the most (that don't have good alternatives) probably aren't able to get to Tier 4 on the missions. I wouldn't depend on these in FvF - their accuracy is too low. These might come in handy on ships with a little spare weight and a spare weapon slot - the defensive bonus is what you'd really be looking for.
Happy sailing - let me know if you have any article requests - I'm a little tapped out at the moment!