Yeah, I'm late. Been playing this game... Battle Pirates. You might have heard of it...it's kind of a grindy game right now.
But I really don't have any unique insight for this raid. The S sets were MUCH harder than last time, so many players who had been hitting S sets before are now grinding away at A sets. The pre-raid word from Kixeye was that the targets were going to be pretty much the same, so many players were pretty upset when they discovered the big increase in difficulty to the S targets.
Like many other players, I shifted my focus to the A targets. Like most players with Apollo or mixed Apollo/Rhino fleets, I can do them fairly cheaply. They take me about 15 minutes per set (going carefully). Since I wanted about 89 million points... you can do that math on playtime at 2.7 million points per set. Although I would like to be able to do these targets faster or higher end targets cheaper, I do understand the reasoning behind the change. For the previous few Civil War raids, the only reason to go after the A sets would be if you didn't have sufficient countermeasures to stop the missiles from the Mega. Just about every other player would have faster time and lower costs doing S sets... they actually were too easy from a balance perspective.
Players that are having success with the S sets in this raid are tending to use Disciples Of Skullduggery (Legendary) or Bulleye Brigade (Rare) crews.
By the way, I'm not going for the Vassago Punisher - I may be sorry about that later, but I'm just not feeling it right now.
The short answer on the changes to the S is that the Zoe Rhino got a very high damage missile (10,500 per hit), and the Heavy Cruiser got a long range corrosive cannon (1000 damage per hit). More information is available at: http://www.thedarkalliance.org/forum/threads/988-August-Raid-Trickery
I tried using a Vanquisher to tank/spot in the S targets - it did pretty well against the HC, but still got torn up by the Zoe missile. Yes, Bullseye Brigade can be used with countermeasures to mitigate that one, but I also had some trouble with entry points. When I entered at a point where the ships started off screen (then they jump into screen when the battle starts) the Vanquisher would not spot for my Rhinos, even though it would fire & take damage. Yes, one more bug for the list. Between that problem, and wanting to enter out of range of the land turrets and the mega's fields... I didn't pursue that strategy too hard.
I've seen a lot of questions about builds for the Hellwraith. I'm planning to build 2 like this by the VXP weekend:
Those will be free (using raid tokens too), and I should be able to finish them by September's raid. A few torpedos will help them deal some damage & rank faster.
If you follow the Huggy's link on the picture you can see where I would go with this build TODAY. But I'm not going to think about it too seriously until I see the new Mimicus System special coming in the Forsaken Mission post-raid.
The other thing to keep in mind about this new equipment is that the Fire Twister Torpedo is a non-aimed weapon (some call it "dumb fire"). It fires at a spot instead of following the target & using its accuracy attribute. The blueprint for this weapon shows accuracy of 100% and no spread attribute, which I think indicates that it always ends up at the exact spot the target WAS at when the torpedo fires.
This attribute makes it difficult to use these torpedos against fast ships, even when accounting for the speed bonuses of the hull & special. It seems to me that the plan of "build the Hellwraiths for the raid and keep my Tigers untouched" would have been best - I did refit the AA3 & Magnus 2 on the Tigers, and probably won't use them in the raid if I have 2 Hellwraiths done.
So Pirates, keep grinding, use your crews, and stay salty!