Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Monarch

The Forsaken Arena tournament is underway.  You can see the Battle Pirates Crib Hangout show where we described the format and prize structure at:

Slides from that show (and all previous shows) are available at:

There aren't too many changes from last time, so for this article I'll focus on the new hull prize: the Monarch.

This limited hull has a lot of possibilities, with hybrid (underwater), UAV, and regular weapon slots to go along with its tactical module slot.  It has the double drone ability like the Hurricane, it has the lighter tactical module weight and the slot configuration of a Vanguard (but better), So I'll compare it to both of those hulls.

StatisticMonarchHurricane R5Vanguard R5
Weapon Slots10210
Armor Slots525
Special Slots333
Max Weight15,26013,20015,260
Base Armor3,9801,2893,980
Combat Speed131210
Turn Speed161516
Ballistic Defense30%0%40%
Explosive Defense10%20%30%
Penetrative Defense40%0%0%
Concussive Defense0%0%0%
Radioactive Defense30%0%30%
Tac Module Weight-70%0%-40%
UAV Damage40%0%0%
Drone Modifierx2x2x1
Building Damage0%0%100%
Repair Modifier100%100%100%
Hull Build Time w/off5d 9h 36m4d 1h 12m5d 9h 36m
Total U needed00102,878

The Vanguard doesn't have the 4 UAV or the 2 underwater capable slots of the Monarch, and you should also keep in mind that before it is retrofitted, it has a -25% evade and a combat speed of 9.  Also note that the Vanguard is flagship-only, but the Monarch is not.  

The Hurricane doesn't have the defense or the weapon slots to be much more useful than a standoff drone carrier, and the Vanguard doesn't have the speed or the defense to stand up to "modern" fleets... but the Monarch's speed, weapons, and defense can help it to be a useful addition to your arsenal.

I thought I'd talk about a few possible uses of this ship with some example builds.  I think that if you build a Monarch to go with existing ships, you'll need to look at your own ships carefully and not just copy builds you see here (or somewhere else).  Especially with retrofitted engines, speed matching for mixed fleets is harder than ever.  

The first thought that popped into my head for this ship is the "poor-man's Frostburn".  I use my Frostburn against Reavers as a spotter for Mastodons.  Although you can't make the extinguishing effects with the existing tactical modules, you could make the slowdown with an Engine Disrupter module.  You could also use the Microwave Dampener to reduce damage, but that has no effect on radioactive damage, so it would likely not be as useful, especially against Reavers.

This build uses the Hornet to give the maximum spotting range, and B torps for additional speed.  With Evade at 61% and Radioactive Defense at 47%, it might be a good idea to swap some of the E armor for R.

(click for Huggy's link)

Another build concept would be to mix drones and UAVs... 6 Piranha drones would keep many fleets from charging in, and using Locusts would be ideal for hit and run tactics to keep the enemy at range. Lightning carriers would fill in for any additional weight available.

(click for Huggy's link)

As I look at this one, I think it isn't fast enough to deal with Frostburn-led interceptors (which would keep the drones away), and the build time gets kind of long (as any Level 3 drone module does), so I'm not sure I like this one too much.  But i know some people are willing to put up with the Level 3 Drone module build times... so have at it.  I would advise players that Piranha Drones are probably the only ones worth building.  I know that when I see Siege drones or Blitz drones, I tend to ignore them and just go for the drone carrier.  Piranha drones are a bit more difficult to charge through unscathed.

The other thing I've heard players talking about is to use the Monarch in base guard.  This might be useful for defending against blitzing Hellhounds (or other blitzers).  The Armor Bypass 3 field gives 50% bypass against ballistic, explosive, and penetrative defense.  As resistances get high, that can become a significant multiplier on DPS... for example, reducing 80% resistance to 40% resistance triples DPS (20% gets through before, 60% gets through after).  The range on that field is only 74 though, so tactical modules generally are not useful against standoff base attack fleets.

When it was new, players tried a lot of different uses for the Vanguard, and I could see the same happening for the Monarch.  I suspect that players will come up with lots of useful build concepts that I haven't even considered.  There are also some leaks coming out about the next faction we are fighting (the Shroud), and it is expected that they will make extensive use of tactical fields.  If we have some new tactical fields coming, it may be best to hold off on building the Monarch just to see what new tricks are on the way.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

It's the Weapons

During this raid, I had a little bit of a shift in thinking.  Many players focus on winning hulls as the way to get ahead in this game... but I think the actual answer is the weapons.  Remember when launchers were brand new, and people were putting them on any hull they could... and they were doing pretty well?  Getting the D-92U was way more important than getting the Nuclear Cruiser.

Would you rather have a Mercury with Siege Missile Z, or Kodiak with Cutlass?
Would you rather have a Atlas with no UAV, or a Triton with Hornets?

A great example of this was a player I saw in comms this raid who asked about putting D92U on Kodiaks.  I mean... he could have and it would have been OK I guess, but I think he would do a lot better with Arbalests on Vindicators (for the same points cost).

So I'm going to try to round up and compare the top weapons in each weapon class, so you can see what weapons to "shoot" for and why.  To enable cross-class comparisons, I'm going to compare them on class-appropriate hulls, with an appropriate special.  I chose "heavy" hulls appropriate for each weapon class.

To read the charts, the X axis is the weapon range, and the Y axis is DPS/hTon.  The Bubble width is proportional to the build time / ton, so weapons with a large bubble will take longer to build (in a full fleet).

Assumptions on the charts are:

  • Ship rank = 45%
  • Target is a non-moving surface ship with 0% resistance, and 40% Evade
  • Special weight is included for the DPS/hTon calculations
  • Special build time is not included with the build time.
  • For Missiles and Ballistics, I broke the chart into "Heavy" and "Light" weapons.  300 tons was my cutoff weight for that.
If you watch the Alliance Crib Wednesday hangout shows, you have seen the heavy ballistic chart already - however I did have some corrections from that chart - the DPS/hTon was approximately triple what it should have been, and the rank bonus was 75%, not 45%. 


As rank increases, the Torrents don't look so good, and this becomes very apparent on the Light Missile plot below.  My favorite whipping boy, the Achilles B, is below and to the left of many other missiles, including Cutlass 3 & 4, and all Assault Missiles.  Siege Missile Z is looking good, especially considering its build time, although its short range does seem apparent from the chart.  The Buzzard also looks good on this chart, especially considering the speed boost it provides.  Deluge missiles don't look too bad either, I am considering the pre-fire delay in the DPS calculations, but am not considering the driving skill needed to fire them at max rate, or the fact that you can't put them on Kodiaks anyway.

Strike Missiles look nice, although you certainly pay in build time for the Strike B capability.

This shows the Arbalest looking really good, and will look even better as rank increases.  Bypass Chainguns aren't a bad option either. The DPS of the splash cannons is difficult to compare directly to others, but the perhaps the Earthshaker doesn't look quite as good as I thought initially. 

I think the only surprises here are the good performance of the non-R Impact Cannons - they are often overlooked, but got a real performance boost in last year's weapons rebalance.  Shredders don't look too bad for all the bad things I say about them, but their build time is still pretty poor - I'd like to see the Impact R come back around as an alternative.


Nothing too surprising here... the Cryo N launcher is ahead of the S launchers at this rank, but as rank approaches Legendary, the S would pull ahead.  The Cryo N launcher does look good for build time though.



This chart is the most shocking - I had to double check my numbers to be sure I had it right. 
EDIT: Apparently two checks weren't enough.  I found two problems with my Locust numbers.  The first is that I had the reload time wrong in my data (supposed to be 4, not 2).  That cuts the DPS in half.  I also was not applying the damage modifier (80%) to the bonus damage.  That is how most weapons are calculated, because the damage modifier is to the damage type (penetrative for example), and the bonus damage is generally a different type.  However, for Atlas and Powercells, the damage modifier is to "UAV Damage" so it should apply to the bonus damage as well.

 The Locust damage is immense large compared to the other UAVs... the only tradeoff you make for that huge amount of damage is that the long swarm time means that it will take a while for that damage to build.


Magma and Blaze throwers show you the range/damage tradeoff.


The Maelstrom rockets looked surprisingly good here.  The Infernos are hurt relative to the Maelstrom and the Siege Rockets because they are being compared at a rank where their reload time bottoms out at 0.2 seconds, but the other rockets keep getting benefit.  The Assault Rockets also look good, but as with other Assault versions, remember that their relative DPS would go down against building targets.


No real surprises here.  Although the Vortex Z looks good for DPS/hton, on sub builds with torpedos straight DPS is more important because you usually aren't at max weight.  The Assault Torpedo R isn't too far behind the B torp, but remember you don't get the speed bonus with the R.


As I've been saying to those that are listening, Negotiators are by far the best mortar out there.  Assault mortars look good since I'm comparing the anti-fleet damage, but would fall way behind if looking at anti-building damage.  With their diverse damage types and high salvo, Chaos have their uses, but you are looking at long builds.

Depth Charges

The Cryogenic Depth Charges are powerful, but certainly take a long time to build.  Posiedons don't look so bad in comparison.  

Also remember that if you are hunting underwater targets, the Poseidons have a 6x damage multiplier for submerged damage, but the other depth charges do not.  This is why the Poseidon is the preferred weapon against the Kraken.

To compare some of the weapons against each other, I've but some of the best-in-class weapons on the same chart:


I left off the Cryogenic depth charge, because it takes so long to build, it shrunk all of the spots into uselessness.  It sat sort of in the middle of the Torpedos.

This chart got a bit busy, so I zoomed in on the spot where a lot of our base attack weapons are:

The Locust is still looking very powerful, but you can also see the Arbalest looking good compared to Launchers and Siege Missiles.

The Crusaders have brought ballistics back, but watch out for Locusts... I haven't seen too many players with them yet, but I suspect we will soon.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Apocalypse - One day in

The Apocalypse is here.  I hope you've stocked up on supplies.

If you think this raid is not about skills and tactics, you just haven't figured out the necessary skills and tactics.  The damage I took in my first run-through of a campaign was double the damage of my fifth run-through.

Strike Campaign:
My lower level base is getting close to "levelling out" of this campaign, but I'll keep sharing Strike tips in the blog as long as I can do that campaign.  (and maybe start another base after that...)

The first four engagements in Strike are open water, and the fifth is a "Reaverfied" Level 40 Stronghold.  Some ships are moving at the start of the engagement, others wait until you come into range to trigger.

I think this looks really cool.   

This campaign is do-able with the instant repair BB-As that I've been using (and talking about) for quite a while.  A key tactic when using instant repair ships against Reavers is to spread them out.  You don't want splash from throwers or death explosions affecting all your ships simultaneously.  If you can get stacked up and ready, you can keep 4 ships moving and just stop your 5th ship as a sacrifice to keep the others healthy.

My Siege Missile R10 Mercury fleet was also able to run through this campaign without needing repair until the end.  I would return to base after each engagement to instant repair where I could (which was often).  Since the Siege Z hits so hard, I was able to keep my Mercury ships stacked up because the Reavers wouldn't have time to build a big thrower field before dying.

The Hulks in this campaign are equipped with 4 Locust UAVs per ship.  Bring enough countermeasures to shoot most of these down, as any Locusts that get through will leave you with quite a bit of damage.  (2 Phalanx 2 or 4 Hail B in the fleet would be a start)

This campaign gives a bit over 1.2 million points per runthrough.  When I used my instant repair ships, I was resource-positive, and it took about an hour to complete.  When I used my R10 Siege Missile Z Mercuries, it took half an hour, and I was left with 2.5 hours of repair on the fleet.

Siege Campaign:
The Siege Campaign is similar in structure to the Strike - there are four open water battles followed by a fifth engagement that looks like a "Reaverfied" 55 Stronghold. 

As I ran through this campaign a couple times, I got better at understanding how the ships would move, turn, and pursue.  this was critical with the fleet I used, as I was using a Cryo-armed Frostburn with 2 Zombie Mastodons.  If I didn't drive correctly, my Mastodons would be killed and my Frosty would be left without fire support (it did surprisingly well on its own sometimes).  

I also tried a Grimzerk - Harlock fleet, and a Wrath lead instead of my Frosty.  The Frosty was by far the cheapest way for me to run through the campaign.  I think the slowdown field and possibly the punch of my cryos made the difference.

On the fifth engagement, with the large number of napalm and mortar turrets, I had trouble protecting zombie Mastodons from all splash, so I had to put 1 coin of repair in them in order to survive.  I treated that target like a high end Draconian Stronghold - make a circuit to clear the outside walls, then go for the center.  However, the center island turrets (except possibly the Javelins) have a large minimum range.  So once the outside is clear, you can charge the center and sit right against the island to pick off the turrets while you chat in comms. 

The first time I tried this target, I didn't use the Mastodons, I used stacked interceptors which took much more damage. SPREAD OUT!

Thoughts on Rogue Crews - Use them!  I discussed it on Wednesday's Battle Pirates Crib Hangout, but any crew may be able to help.  I used a Deadeye Destroyers on one of my runthroughs and found that it really cut my damage.  Although the 15% critical chance only raises your DPS by 15%, I think that being able to kill targets faster helped to prevent them from ganging up on my fleet, so the effect was compounded.

Elite Campaign:

This target is the "Reaverfied" level 65 stronghold you see in the raid video.  

There are 4 Hulks and 4 Hellhounds orbiting the base, all in range of the wall turrets.  I tried this, found it extremely difficult, and went back to Siege.  Maybe I needed some better tactics.

Like I said at the top of this article... if you're having too much trouble with a target, maybe you need better tactics.

Some of my readers commented on their Elite strategies, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I started with my Highlander NC with 2 Hellstrikes.  I kept the HLNC on the outside (Rad defense only) and ran the two Hells up the chute into the base and around the island in different directions toward the opposite side, then turned around and came back to finish all the turrets off.  The Hulks orbiting the outside got a few cannon shots in but that's about it from the ships.  Killing the turrets was worth about 2.3 million points & I lost the Hells before they could escape back to the outside.  (11 coins) .  Then I tried a Grimzerk-Harlock to kill the ships - I mostly stood still as they came around.  They didn't do too great but took out more than half before dying, then I used the Frostburn and Mastodons to finish them off (worked better with a similar strategy, but I sailed back & forth a bit to avoid mortars).  For 4.5 Million total points, I think I could get this target down to the same points/coin ratio as the Siege Campaign with a little practice.

For killing the ships I didn't quite have the right combo... My Mastodons put out much more damage than the Harlocks, but my Grimshine Berzerker has the Countermeasures that my Frostburn doesn't (needed for UAVs & Chaos Morts).  

Anyway, I think that was a great example of needing the right strategy to be able to take on a target - as I pointed out, the ships were difficult to kill while covered by all the turrets, so some players came up with the strategy of killing it inside-out.  Thanks for all the comments readers!

World Map Targets:
The Level 25 - 47 targets are a similar concept as last raid; Reaver ships are scattered on the map.  In all of the targets except the 47, the ships all start out active.  In the 47, only the 3 Hellhounds were active at the start.  It may be possible to pick those off with subs, but the other ships have thermal, so to clear the 47 you will need a surface fleet.

In general, I'm hearing that the 43 is the "sweet spot" for difficulty vs points, but you might have to experiment to find your own preference.  Cryo enforcers are working well in these.

The Mothership target (75) is pretty stacked with escorts from the start and will also warp in additional ships right away.  Beware this target if you are using ships you don't want to lose.

A cool looking raid, and if you are not going for the Unshackled Hellhound(s), it is doable without too much pain and suffering.  As an upper level player, Crusader + Arbalest isn't much of a stretch.  For my mid-level account, Kodiak + D4-R is what I'll be going for.

I've seen a couple videos with the prizes featured:

Santana with the Arbalest mounted on Hellhounds:

You can certainly see it piercing walls, although the success he had with them may be more about the amount of punishment his Hounds can take rather than the destructiveness of the weapon.  

And this one shows the Combustion Trigger:

Sorry it's a poor quality video - it does show the explosion effect & the fire pool.  You can also notice that the trigger is not shown on the rigs that carry it.  I would say that the fire pool lasts long enough that it seems that the attacker had to either choose to drive through the pool, or stop and take the mortar fire.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Apocalypse - Pre Raid Tips & What to Get

The Apocalypse Raid starts on Thursday and runs through Monday (usual times)

Kixeye Raid Briefing (no video) is here:
Kixeye Tips & Tricks thread is here:

First off, my previous article analyzed the stats on the new Locust UAV, based on info mined from the game files.  This new UAV is NOT on the prize list for Apocaplyse.  Instead it is likely that the Reaver Motherships will be carrying this weapon.  Ready your countermeasures...

There are four new prizes this raid: Unshackled Hellhound, Crusader, Arbalest, and the Combustion Trigger.

Unshackled Hellhound:

This new hull is a limited, flagship-only Hellhound variant.  However, you can redeem up to 5 (even though you are limited to one per fleet).  Its statistics are slightly buffed from the regular Hellhound, and it adds a Command field for Radioactive Reload / Defense (same as Highlander NC), and an Alpha Strike similar to the Grimshine Wrath.

The twist on the Unshackled Alpha Strike is that it is not triggered (only) by damage like the Wrath - instead it requires 5 overloads to trigger.  So in order to take advantage of this capability, the Unshackled Hellhound will need to be in a fleet leading 4 other Hellhounds.  when all 5 ships go into overload, the Alpha Strike is triggered.  One bit I am not sure on - the Alpha Strike for the Unshackled is described as having a Splash of 100, but on Grimshine's Wrath, it is described as having Range of 60.  Splash of 100 may correspond to Range 100, which would make it much more useful offensively (even if the effect drops off) than the Wrath Alpha Strike. 

StatisticUnshackled HellhoundHellhoundGrimshine's Wrath
Weapon Slots999
Armor Slots666
Special Slots444
Max Weight12,9967,99612,996
Base Armor7,4526,9866,852
Combat Speed131313
Turn Speed121212
Ballistic Defense50%40%40%
Explosive Defense50%40%50%
Penetrative Defense50%40%50%
Concussive Defense0%0%0%
Radioactive Defense50%50%50%
Turret Defense0%30%0%
Stun/Slow Resist0%70%0%
Field Resist0%50%0%
Building Damage150%100%100%
Missile Reload0%0%100%
Flak Evade0%0%30%
Thrower Damage60%40%0%
Splash Bonus0%40%0%
Repair Modifier150%150%150%
1500 Damage Overload (fleet)10% Defense,
20% Speed
20% Thrower dmg
10% Defense,
20% Speed
20% Thrower dmg
Triple Salvo,
30% Speed
4500 Damage Overload--Range 60 Dmg,
Range 60 Stun
Range 22 DPS
5x OverloadRange 100 Dmg,
Range 100 Stun
Range 22 DPS
-Incendiary Missile, 50% Pen Reload
50% Rad Defense, 50% Rad Reload
4x overload: immune to slow, pinch, hostile fieldsIncendiary Missile, Fleet:
50% Pen Reload
Hull Build Time w/off10d 9h 56m10d 9h 56m7d 7h 25m

With the changed method of trigger, this ship is really most useful for Hellhound users only... players without Hellhounds will likely want to skip this one, unless they have a desire for a ship with the Radioactive Command field and don't have a Highlander NC available. If the hull build time is similar to the Grimshine's Wrath, it may even be quicker than Unfortunately, build time is the same as the regular Hellhound, thus longer than the Wrath or the HLNC (7d 13h 12m).


This heavy, long-range Ballistic hull seems to be tailor-made to carry the new heavy ballistic weaponry we've seen recently (Earthshaker, Bypass Chaingun, Arbalest).  I've been talking up the SCX in the last few articles because of its 40% range bonus, but the Crusader carries the same range bonus, allowing it a range of 95 with the new 50 ranged ballistics.  A fourth special slot also gives it a leg up on the other (non-Stingray) ballistic hulls.

StatisticCrusaderSCX R10Vindicator R5Zoe StingrayStingray R10
Weapon Slots86777
Armor Slots44322
Special Slots43344
Max Weight13,0208,3345,8255,2506,250
Base Armor6,2214,5161,7551,4931,493
Combat Speed1313151617
Turn Speed1525302424
Ballistic Defense10%30%0%0%0%
Explosive Defense30%40%35%0%0%
Penetrative Defense50%20%0%0%30%
Concussive Defense0%0%0%0%0%
Radioactive Defense30%50%50%0%30%
Ballistic Accuracy0 - 50%0%0%40%40%
Ballistic Range40%40%10%20%20%
Ballistic Reload75%100%40%40%20%
Ballistic Damage50%50%0%0%0%
Slow Resist0%50%40%0%0%
Repair Modifier100%100%100%100%100%
Hull Build Time w/off4d 22h 42m5d 0h 48m5d 9h 36m5d 9h 36m5d 9h 36m
Total U needed0350,000146,4770200,000

The Vindicator falls behind with its 10% range boost, and the Stingray and Vindicators are also a bit light for the new generation of ballistics.  

EDIT: Build time is also good compared to the other hulls and considering its power.

Armed with Bypass Chainguns or the new Arbalest, this will be a powerful hull.


This weapon is similar to the Crossbow, but it has a better damage / weight ratio, better range, and lower piercing dropoff.  With its piercing capability, the Crossbow had a high damage potential against stacked fleets, but was very rarely used because of its huge build time.  The Crossbow also required that the ships stop before firing, making it of limited use on attacking fleets - the Arbalest does not have that limitation.

ArbalestCrossbow 2Bypass Chaingun 3
Max Range30 - 5030 - 4950
Bldg Damage3,7201,7604,134
Wall Damage9,9207,0404,134
Bonus Damage2481762,067
Reload Time7.011.07.5
Pre-Fire Delay00.30
Weight (Shipyard 2)552.5748672
Bonus Armor15000
Pierce Range62.052.00.0
Pierce Decay-20%-40%0.0
Fleet DPS148.867.2326.4
Fleet DPS/hton26.99.048.6
Building DPS566.9176.0466.2
Building DPS/hton102.623.569.4
Build Time (w Off)1d 15h 47m2d 1h 20m20h 56m
OtherPiercePierce27% Ballistic Bypass

Statistics like these indicate there is a lot of potential for these weapons on both offensive and defensive fleets, but we'll have to wait and see on build time

EDIT: Build time also looks reasonable compared to other ballistics.

Combustion Trigger:

This tactical installation may be placed on water-based buildings such as oil rigs.  It causes a short-ranged explosion and fire field when that building is destroyed.  

This may provide some help for bases that rely on mortars or other weapons that need the attacking fleet to be slowed, but I think in most cases these fields will be either prepped or destroyed from long range.  For high end players that are power-limited, they will likely not want to devote power to this.  Lower end players may want to look for other items for their build time (EDIT: over 2 days), since a few of these aren't going to turn a weak base into a strong one.

What to Get  (Green - Best choices, Yellow - use your judgement, Red - pass):

Tier 5:  
Crusader (12.5 Million): A good hull, but make sure you will want to build these before working for them.  You'll want the ballistic weapons and specials to go along with it.

Unshackled Hellhound (25 Million (Limited)):  A flag for Hellhound users or possibly useful as a shell/tank to enhance launcher fleets.  

Tier 4:  
Arbalest (5.5 Million):  This is likely my top priority for the raid, this looks like a quality weapon and ships are only around to carry weapons, right?

Combustion Trigger (5.5 Million): If missing any of the other recommended Tier 4 items, I'd pass on this.

Compound Armor D5-X (5 Million):  Although the 2-defense alloy armor specials are a bit sexier, if you don't have them (particularly MC-3), this one is good to have.  This has often been available on Tier 2 of the weekly mission, but if you've missed out, it may still be worth it.

D4-R, D4-X Armor: D4-R is particularly important with the multitude of radioactive weapons we tend to go up against.  D4-X may be useful.

Kodiak (7.5 Million): A great hull if you have the missiles to put on it (Siege Missile Z preferred).

D4-U Armor (4 Million): This one is a bad deal for both the defense bonus and the build time.  Skip it.

Maelstrom Rockets V: You'd rather have Infernos from the weekly mission. 

Siege Cannon Z: you'd rather have the Earthshaker Cannon from the weekly mission.

Tier 3:  
Assault Disrupter D33-D: A good cannon for fleets that can take advantage of slowed enemies (rockets, depth charges, splash siege cannon).

Posiedon Depth Charge 3: From totally geek to totally chic... useful for Kraken killing in Snowfall.

D3-X, D3-C Armor: D3 armors give a good balance between build time, weight, and protection.  Like I said last time... I'd still prefer the elusive D3-E.  KIXEYE ARE YOU LISTENING???

Unstable Core 3:  A weaker variant of the recent Infernal Core... sort of like Engine Upgrade 3, but more blow-uppy.

Vindicator: Certainly inferior to the Crusader, I also think you'd be better off going after the more capable SCX in Snowfall Prize Pack 1.  No Kraken killing required & 12 hour time limit.

Crossbow 3, Reaver Chaingun 3, Shredder 3:  All of these Ballistics are the "previous generation", and not your best choices.

Tier 2:  
Battlecruiser X:  May be a useful low-end ballistic hull if you have nothing better yet.

Posiedon Depth Charge 2: Maybe useful for Kraken killing in Snowfall... but you want to do that damage quick, so you'd rather use the larger version.

D2-X Armor: Get it if you need it.

Unstable Core 2:  Sort of like Engine Upgrade 2, but more blow-uppy.  You don't want to use this.

Reaver Chaingun 2, Shredder 2:  All of these Ballistics are the "previous generation", and not your best choices.

Tier 1:  
Battlecruiser:  A useful low-end hull - great Thermal Detection at R10.

Posiedon Depth Charge 1: Maybe useful for Kraken killing in Snowfall... but you want to do that damage quick, so you'd rather use a larger version.

D1-C Armor: Occasionally useful if you need resistance more than armor points.

Unstable Core 1:  Sort of like Engine Upgrade 1, but more blow-uppy.  You don't want to use this.

Speed System 1: you don't want to use this either unless you are truly desperate.. a 10% speed increase will be barely noticeable.  Also available via Campaign.

Shredder 1:  This Ballistic is the "previous generation", and not your best choice.

Overall, I think this prize list is disappointing... None of the recycled weapons are top-end weapons, and (still) no sub hulls are available.  

What are the players who win the Kodiak going to arm them with?  
What are the players who won Atlas in the Forsaken Mission going to use for a UAV?  
What are the players who won MCX in the Forsaken Mission going to use for a missile?  
What are the players who took the torpedos and other sub specials in previous raids going to use that equipment on?

It boggles my mind that Kixeye doesn't think that they should be putting together useful groupings of prizes in the raid beyond the new prizes.  Wouldn't more players play the raid if they saw other useful groups of prizes for fewer points?

For example, since the Kodiak is on the list, why not offer the Siege Missile Z at 5 million? And then the Assault Z at 2.5 Million (or so)?

Then a player could go for Crusader + Arbalest at 18 Million.  Or Kodiak + Siege Z at 13 Million.  Or Kodiak + Assault Missile Z at 10 Million.  Having a wider range of prize packages would attract more players to play.  Having a bunch of random items turns players off when they can't build a good fleet.

Overall Raid Tips:

My plan going in will be similar to the last raid - use a tank with 2 Zombie Mastodons.  Last time I used my Cryo-armed Frostburn Interceptor.  This time I also have a Grimshine Berzerker (heavy compound armor and countermeasures), and a Grimshine Wrath (Strike Missile B & D1-C/D2-R armor) available to try.

If the platform-style targets are similar to dredges, my current best option for dredges is to use my Frosty, 2 Mastodons, and a Piranha Drone Arbiter (P drones distract the platform guns).

 A key tactic to remember against the Reavers is to stay spread out against their splash weapons, which is why I like Mastodons against them.

Looking over the Kixeye Tips post, it does seem that Radioactive and Explosive damage is prevalent, so look to use ships with that sort of resistance.  (It's a bit late for refits).

If you're having trouble with (or lack of interest in) the raid targets, try Campaigns or Dredges.  Kixeye has said that Dredges will be available per the normal schedule, so it will be a good opportunity to stock up on Uranium at half repair.  It will be a great time to use Notorious Cutthroats if you've saved any.  Campaign-wise, Proto-Mastodons from Snowfall would be a nice raid prize for many players.

Watch the live Battle Pirates Crib Hangout show tonight (Wednesday 7 PM EST, 11 PM UK) for more pre-raid advice from a wider group of players.  Links will be posted at: (and elsewhere).