Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Mission Prizes - Coax Turret, Countermeasure Targeting

I was on vacation last week at the beach, so I'm a little behind in content... but not behind in relaxation.

(Sunset from the Duck, NC boardwalk)

And after Kixeye released the Coax Turret last week in the Forsaken Mission, they released a new Countermeasure Targeting special for turrets this week - so I can look at them together.  Also newly announced this week in the Forsaken Mission is the Countermeasure Loader for ships, and the Scarab UAV, which is the first UAV that isn't a raid prize.

Coaxial Turret
The new coaxial turret has two functions, Countermeasure (anti-projectile/drone) and Ballistic (anti-ship).  It operates uniquely from any other turret in a few different ways, and each difference deserves a few sentences.

It fires against many different types of incoming projectiles - Mortars, Missiles, UAVs, and Rockets.  Previous base Countermeasure Turrets only worked against specific incoming fire - Bombards protected against mortars and UAVs, then Flaks defended against Missiles and UAVs (and maybe rockets?  I never saw flaks do squat against rockets).  Using the Coax Turrets allows your base to be less specific in defenses, although rockets and missiles aren't really big threats these days.

It changes function based on targets available.  The coax turret prioritizes anti-ship fire - so if any ship is within range, it will fire with its ballistic weapon on that ship.  If no ship is within range, then it will fire its countermeasures on any incoming projectiles.  So the expected behavior against a mortar fleet (for example) is that as a ship approaches, it will fire countermeasures against incoming mortar projectiles until the ships come within range, then it will fire ballistics against the fleet.  This is important to know when thinking about how to best use these turrets, or possibly how to overwhelm these turrets.

It fires single shots with a short reload time.  Other countermeasures generally fire a salvo of shots, then have a multiple second pause while reloading.  This turret will provide continuous countermeasure (or ballistic) fire.

So let's compare each function to the other options, and I'll show the choices WITH specials installed:

Countermeasures:

Coax CM
+ PriTarg
Flak 4
+ BR3
Bombard 4
+ EP3
Range7412-7656
Accuracy84%N/A75%
Spread/SplashN/A4 / 35N/A
Effective AccuracyN/A30.48%N/A
Salvo1716
Reload0.22.02.0
Shots/Sec5.03.58.0
Avg Hits/Sec4.21.16.0

Flaks are probably sold short in the chart above, because I used the spread/splash formula I use for weapons: Splash / (3/8 * Spread).  This shows their effective chance to miss, but doesn't account for the possibility that a flak shot might hit multiple targets.

The effectiveness of the Coax countermeasures is very good, with the longer range you could build these with more overlap and let more turrets target the incoming fire.

Ship Attack:

Coax CM
+ PriTarg
Cerb
+ (defense)
Howy 4
+ PriTarg
Range7664.078
Accuracy84%N/A92%
Splash / SpreadN/A18 / 80N/A
Effective AccuracyN/A60.00%N/A
Salvo161
Reload0.24.00.75
Damage370.03,200.0448.0
DPS1,554.0426.7551.9

Cerbs are sold short in the chart above for two reasons - one is that the damage is "front loaded" because the damage all comes from the initial salvo, and the other is that the explosive damage can hit multiple targets, so against an attacking fleet of 4 ships the effective DPS is multiplied by 4.

Even with the multiplication of Cerb damage, the DPS of the Coax turrets is very good, and should be enough to keep attackers from blitzing through these with impunity.

The dual capability of these turrets allows them to be used much more liberally than other countermeasure turrets.  Imagine a base with all flak and bombard turrets in the front line - ships would blitz right through.  A base with all Coax turrets in the front line would not be so blitzable...

I think the best use of these turrets will be to cluster a few of these to protect an area, see the picture below:


With a Coax up front with Priority Targeting (where the Cerb is now), and then the Disrupter & Brimstone locations using a Coax with the new Countermeasure Targeting (accuracy + range bonus), just getting that first turret destroyed will be a chore for a mortar or missile fleet.  Of course, you will need something else doing damage to a fleet that may be sitting still trying to destroy that first turret.

Of course from the attacker's point of view, the best way to neutralize the countermeasures from these turrets will be to charge them, but then you'll need to be able to stand up to the ballistic damage.  Clustering turrets as I suggested above will mean that even after charging one turret, others will still provide countermeasure coverage.

Countermeasure Targeting
Countermeasure Targeting is a new special for turrets, that provides:

15% Countermeasure Range Bonus
40% Accuracy Bonus

This special does seem very highly tailored to be used with the new Coaxial turrets.  Used with a Flak turret, the Accuracy bonus will not help since those use spread/splash, and used with a Bombard turret, the 15% range isn't much of a help when the base range is only 35 (you still won't protect a neighboring turret).  With any other turret, Priority Targeting will provide the same accuracy along with the improved targeting.

So for Coaxial Turrets, lets run through the viable options for the special slot:
Countermeasure Targeting - CM range + CM accuracy + Ballistic Accuracy
Priority Targeting - CM accuracy + Ballistic accuracy, targets weakest ship, ignores subs.
DU Shells - Ballistic accuracy + Ballistic damage, does not improve CM.
Defensive Panels (Lead, Ablative, Compound, ...) - Defense boost, does not improve CM
Insulated Panels (C, X, M) - Stun Resist + Defense boost, does not improve CM
Ballistic Platform - Ballistic Accuracy + Stun Resist, does not improve CM
Frontline Platform CX - Ballistic Accuracy + Explosive Resist, does not improve CM

I think each base's choice might depend on what they are specifically trying to defend against.  In most situations, the Countermeasure Targeting would likely be the first choice; however, for the first turret in a line (like the Cerb in my picture above), Priority Targeting or possibly even DU Shells might be a better choice.  For those concerned about pinches, one of the combo panels with stun resist might be a good choice.  

Overall, just remember the main advantage of the Coax Turret over any other frontline base defense turret - the countermeasures.  In most situations, the special choice should be one that enhances the countermeasures.

Soon: I'll catch up with the other new Mission Prizes - Scarab UAV and Countermeasure Loaders.