The Radiation Suppressor is a Tactical Installation for defense. A quick comparison to the researchable Combined Defense field is below:
|Combined Defense||Radiation Suppressor|
|Type||Penetrative Ballistic Explosive||Radioactive|
It's not a matter of better or worse, but it is a matter of deciding how to allocate your defenses. I find the trickiest part of using these fields effectively to be determining a base layout in order to take advantage of the field without letting the field building be preppable. Resource Generators are usually the best place for them. The Radiation Suppressor's longer range of 60 will help with the layout a bit. It also puts out the fires caused by the shockwave. I haven't seen numbers on how damaging those fires are... but every bit can help.
One more consideration is the effective defense gain per power. If you add the field to a Level 4 turret with DU3 armor, you add 30% to the health of 32,800, which is a gain of 9840 health for the 582 power (16.9 health per ton). DU3 armor itself gives 22,000 armor for 1282 power (17.1 health per ton). The armor actually ends up less power efficient when a special is installed, But if the field buffs multiple turrets then the field becomes more efficient. So overall, the power efficiency is perhaps a bit better than just adding more armor, but still in the neighborhood of other improvements you can make to turret health.
Overall, if you need to help your defense against Impulse Launcher fleets, this might be something to consider.
Strike Missile B
The Strike Missile has always been a bit underrated, but especially since the weapons modifications in July, the Strike packs quite a punch for its weight. The Strike Missile B has come out with increased range compared to the previous versions.... let's see the numbers.
|Strike Missile B w/SFB3||Achilles Missile B w/SFB3||Strike Missile L w/SFB3||Siege Missile Z w/SFB3||Assault Missile Z w/SFB3||Torrent Missile 1 w/SFB3|
|Weight +Special (Shipyard 2)||134||952||112||1,120||672||222|
|Build Time (w Off)||3h 38m||1d 10h 12m||1h||13h 46m||1d 11h 35m||5h 53m|
Smaller weapons have always been more weight efficient, and this Strike is no exception. With the range matching up with the Achilles, my initial thought was that it would be a nice complement to the Achilles to use up weapon slots and round out the weight, much like the old Strike Missile with the Siege Missile. But what really jumped out at me was the comparison of DPS against the Achilles Missile. Two Strike Missile B will do more damage than one Achilles Missile (unless operating against VERY high penetrative resist), and have about 1/3 of the weight. The Achilles Missile is terrible.
The Siege Missile Z packs a much larger punch - you may have seen some videos of that missile on hulls like the Kodiak or the Interceptor tearing stuff up. But the new Strike Missile might not be such a bad way to get a quick hull in the water with some halfway decent weapons. I ripped on the Kodiak when it first came out, but my main criticism was that it was being held back by the characteristics of the Achilles/Siege Missiles available. Now with the Siege Missile Z - you may see a lot more of the Kodiak.
Vortex Torpedo Z
Unlike the Strike Missile, the Vortex Torpedo has never seemed to find its niche. My only use of the Vortex has been to add a single Vortex T for decoy Spectres. Most subs have enough weight capacity to load up on their preferred torpedos, so there never was an opportunity for the Vortex to complement the Assault & Siege torpedos. The only exception is the Barracuda - where some combinations of specials will result in going overweight when mounting 6 Assault Torpedos. Let's compare it:
|Vortex Torpedo Z||Vortex Torpedo T||Assault Torpedo B||Assault Torpedo V||Havok 3||Havok 4|
|Weight (Shipyard 2)||60||60||220||220||68||136|
|Build Time (w Off)||1h 19m||55m||8h 45m||7h 8m||57m||1h 22m|
It is the champ in DPS/weight, and looking at the raw DPS... it isn't bad at all. It doesn't quite do as much damage or have the range of the Assault Torpedo B, but the Vortex Torpedo B does more damage than just about any other torpedo besides the Assault B (except the shorter range Siege Torps which I didn't show).
What you need to be careful of, is that if you try to mix the Vortex Z and the Assault B, the shorter range of the Vortex will result in in the Z torps not firing if you click on a target and let your ship move to its automatic range. When the Assault Torpedo B was new, I tried refitting a single torpedo over Assault V to see how they worked - and I had that problem... the Vs didn't fire. I haven't tried it, but I believe mixing Siege Torpedos (range 72) with Vortex Z would result in the same problem. The other drawback of the Vortex Z is the lack of speed boost.
The Vortex Z is OK, but I can't think of a situation where these torpedos would be the first choice. Except for Predator subs. And who is building Predators when they are reaching Tier 4?
The theme of these new weapons is ... almost as good as their bigger siblings. These would be great for lower level players, but they are sitting at Tier 4. Wasn't the Assault Torpedo B offered on Tier 3? The players who would benefit from them the most probably won't be getting them. If you do get them, their build time is fantastic for the capability, so possibly consider using them as a "first go-round" on hull builds.
Radiation Suppressor is also a decent pickup, which could be used to enhance radioactive defense. Stacking a couple of these fields could really make life difficult for a Nuclear fleet.
Next article... I'll look at the options for a fire support Mastodon, including some calculations of the effect of the Armor Bypass on DPS as missile defense increases.