Well the big news on the raid - which you may or may not have missed - was the vulnerability in the 86 where a player who drove ships into the lower left corner wouldn't be shot at. It's gone.
So to play the raid straight up, I'll talk about some of the targets.
This target, along with all the other "A" targets, has a Heavy Cruiser that will charge you at the start. If you have a fast fleet with very high damage output (legendary Rhinos), you can take it out before it gets into its scattergun range. Otherwise I found that the best strategy for this HC is to use subs with an expendable flagship.
Most of the rest of the ships are V2 Interceptors with Launchers & Torpedos, and Kodiaks with Blade missiles. I was able to keep the V2s out of range, but would end up trading fire with the Kodiaks. Although the Kodiaks are vulnerable to subs, I find that it is pretty difficult to get enough separation between the Kodiaks and the V2s to get a clean shot at them without detection. There are only 4 ships that do not start triggered - 2 V2s, a Kodiak, and a HC. If you avoid triggering them while killing the other ships, you can send subs around the backside to pick off the Kodiak & HC.
Although this target has a different layout than the 80, it ends up playing out about the same way. At the end, there are 5 ships that aren't triggered - 2 V2C, 1 HC, 1 Savage Kodiak, and 1 Kodiak. Again, the HC and Kodiaks can be subbed out if you are patient. With only 1 moving Kodiak, I tend to take the least damage from this target.
This target has no ships that are not triggered, but otherwise works the same as the other ones in the A set.
The Draconian Mega-Hull sits stationary in the middle here, and has a group of 2 V2-C and 1 Kodiak on each side. For this one, I enter from the SE and take out the first 3 escorts then retreat. I am extra careful to stay out of the range of the V2s, since the Mega-Hull has log range remote targeting. Only the Kodiak will trigger that if I am careful. After taking out the first group of escorts, I enter from the opposite side, take out the remaining three, then head for the Mega. If you don't do that, the second group of escorts will trigger as you approach the Mega, and you'll be fighting those while fighting the Mega.When on that final approach, I make sure to keep my Tank (Proto-Hunter) close to its other ships (Rhino/Aegis) so that the mortars don't hit my trailing ships. The phalanx on my Aegis do a good job of killing the Draconian UAVs (although they have longer range, they don't have the Flak Evade like ours). The Mega-Hull is actually killed surprisingly quickly once I'm in range. Just one note - it has thermal to see your subs and plenty of weapons to kill them, so don't bother with those.
Overall, doing the A set isn't too expensive, but it does feel like it is going pretty slow for me this raid - Skipping the sub preps would speed it up, but probably result in more damage. Compared to the last one (which was really very easy), and the Scourge ones before that (pretty hard), I feel like the difficulty level on these targets is about right... it's just that with an 85 million point target (new stuff + a Harlock Aegis), I wish it would go faster.
With the slower Kodiaks, V2s, and Reapers, all untriggered, these feel just like targets from the previous raid, and a long range missile fleet can do these for little to no damage.
This Scourge boss target has a few Viperfish, Goblin Sharks, and 2 Stonefish. If you are doing Bs because you can't do As, I suspect this boss won't be worth the damage or time. The Stonefish can be tricky to find, and the corrosive damage is significant.
These targets have lots of weak ships. The biggest "newsmaker" is the Missile Cruiser with missiles that outrange anything available to players (and they aren't using remote targeting). However, if you have some Phalanx & decent evade, those missiles shouldn't hurt you too much. I suspect they do make it difficult to spam weak instant repair fleets. Other ships in the C sets are Interdictors with Torpedos and a missile, then Dreadnaughts, Battleships, & Destroyers with short range launchers.
This Scourge target has some Viperfish & Goblin Sharks. Not too extreme and not much corrosive damage in this one, but again, players limited to the C set will likely have some trouble.
General Raid Tips:
I think the most important tip for this raid is to remember that you do have the full 6 days, although alliance points will reset on Monday. For those of you who want to go out & get those points - one request - be gentle with docks. Thank you. And those of you who put your docks between your entrance and OP might want to reconsider that.
And a little more on the weapon rebalance...
With the amount of time this raid is going to take me, I don't think I'll be putting enough time into analyzing the weapon changes to put out an article (before the end of the raid). The missile chart I showed in the Crib show was incorrect (for once Kixeye provided better data than the miners) - it didn't incorporate the changes to research missiles (like Cutlass)... in the end, all the missiles are in the same DPS/hton neighborhood, except the Trident (with its short range), the Deluge & Downpour (didn't get a buff so fell behind), and the Torrents (buffed but still fall behind with rank). Fundamentally, the heavier missiles are better than the lighter missiles - which was one of Kixeye's stated objectives in the rebalance. I have a hunch we will see the same thing in other weapon classes. I also don't want to put to much effort into these charts until we know what's going on with build time - Kixeye changed some build times but left others the same, making some weapons horrible build values.