The next raid in the Civil War series is coming - Escalation. With it come new prizes, including the newest Conqueror hull - the Vendetta. I'll take a look at the new prizes and make some recommendations
The Conqueror hulls are built for base hitting. With High deflection stats and low resistances, they are made to stand up to base turrets and their defense bypass statistics. The (previous Conqueror hull) Revenge can easily beat a lot of bases that don't have top-end turrets, but it still has a few weaknesses. The Vendetta seems very specifically designed to be strong where the Revenge is weak.
(quick note - this blueprint from the raid brief shows 1h 10m repair - the shipyard in game shows 30m repair time)
There's a lot going on there - let's break it down:
Attack Capability: This hull is built for explosive weapons (Mortar / Rockets). It has remote targeting for mortars, good reload, and a good splash bonus. It has only 7 weapon slots, but a very high combat speed. Its friendly aura gives a 5% critical hit chance, so each stacking aura will essentially add 5% to DPS.
Defense Capability: It has no capability for resistance except the built-in Turret Defense. Any other resistance percentage that you try to add, whether it is through a special, weapon, armor, field or aura is nullified. What it does have is high deflection against Penetrative, Corrosive, Concussive, and Radioactive weapons. That leaves it vulnerable to Explosive and Ballistic damage (as well as DoT damage like the Revenge). It also has a very highly negative evade - adding evade armor and an evade special will still result in a low evade number. Bloodthirst will also give it some field resistance, which helps against weapons like the Glacial Launcher Turret and Wendigo.
Build / Repair Times: The short hull build time (6 hours with no bonuses) is amazing for a hull this capable. it also has a lot (36,000) of armor points with only a 30 minute repair time for the whole lot.
Looking at the Revenge, that hull has high deflection against Penetrative, Explosive, and Ballistic Damage, but it has no deflection against Radioactive, Concussive, or Corrosive (until it gets some with Bloodthirst). Enforcers getting Shockwaves are a good way to kill Revenge, but do nothing against the Vendetta.
In the 2nd raid preview I got a chance to try and see some base hits with this hull - what became clear very quickly is that hits using all-Vendetta fleets were not too effective, but combining the Vendettas with some Revenge resulted in a very effective base hitting fleet. I pulled it forward against the specific targets that could hurt my Revenge, like Enforcers and Scatterguns.
(screenshot of my preview build)
With the short build time and its remote targeting for mortars, the Vendetta can operate like a Citadel, but even faster to build. If kept protected out of the way, its low defenses shouldn't hold it back and it can possibly be an effective support ship for the FM and maybe for other targets like DUBs.
We already have a Firestorm Rocket.. have we hit name overload?
This weapon has both a rocket and mortar mode - for now I'll reuse the chart El Jefe made for the Wednesday Battle Pirates Crib show:
This shows the Firestorms as being 2 - 3x as effective (by weight) as the next best options for mortars or rockets. In mortar mode, the Judgment will do more damage per hit which helps it against deflection. The Firestorm may also be held back in rocket mode by its slightly lower splash, but the potential splash bonus on the Vendetta will buy a lot of that back. Its build time is on par with its weight - so no bargains on this weapon.
Quick Add: although the previous dual mode weapon (the Switchblade) was not able to use Remote Targeting in secondary mode (becuase secondary weapons don't do that, right Kix?), this Coaxial Firestorm is able to fire its secondary mortars in Remote Targeting. Thanks for asking me to emphasize that one readers!
The previous version of this - the Resonance Battery - had a tough time finding its way onto builds because of the relative rarity of a ship that would activate it, the fewer special slots available on most ships, and the relatively mild bonus. With the special slots being less in demand on the Vendetta (no need for resistance, and evade doesn't help much), this special may be pretty common on those ships with their friendly aura. The bonuses are decent but not amazing.
What to Get
Once more, the prizes fall into two "threads". The new prizes are in an Explosive/PvP thread, and the Apollo and other missile hulls/weapons fall into an Assault thread. Neither thread will help you much with the Forsaken Mission... although the Vendetta remote targeting might be combinable with a tank....
Essentially each player who has a choice will need to decide which part of their game they want to focus on more. The Apollo is quite effective against the current generation of assault targets, either as a tank for Rhinos or as a full fleet. Novastorm is available in the Foundry, but 1,750,000 points might be a decent shortcut for collecting all those fragments if you are missing the hull.
For other prizes:
Ship Build Tokens are always nice, and the Executioner or Basilisk will help those players wanting to upgrade their base defenses to something that might have a chance against Conqueror hulls. For the Assault Fragments, all but Tier 5 should be reasonable easily available to collect and probably wouldn't be a great choice to spend points on. The Tier 5 Assault fragments have just been made available for direct purchase ($50 for 80 or $100 for 196 + 4 Rhino Hull frags + 100 gold). The direct purchase seems like a bad deal (to me), but the 40 fragments available in this raid won't get you near a R5 Rhino (196 needed).
The Super Hull shards - 20 max - won't get you too far, but they aren't too expensive either. The Dead-Eye is a bit controversial - with its higher salvo the Dead Eye is often less effective than the regular Executioner against the Revenge. And my Citadels are not R4 yet, but I bet 70 T6 Garrison fragments won't be enough to get them to R5... and 36 million points is a big investment.
So what to get... short answer
If you want to have some fun with hitting bases or Remote Targeting mortars- Vendetta
If you need a boost in the Assault targets - Apollo
Good luck in the raid pirates!