Cruisers are a class of Tech 2 naval vessels. They are very flexible units with Direct Fire Weaponry, Anti-Air Weaponry, and Tactical Missle Defenses. All of them have exceptional View Range, Sonar, and Radar range, their information-gathering ability on the sea is rivalled only by the much more costly experimentals. The Siren Class has air support capabilities. However, Cruisers suffer from an extremely low Hit Points compared to Destroyers despite boasting twice the health of Frigates, which renders them cost ineffective against large numbers of Air Units (especially Gunships and some Strategic bombers), which can sink them before they get a chance to inflict enough damage. The Governor Class and Ithalua come equipped with long-range cruise missiles, granting them more battle utility in shore bombardment and naval warfare (though less in the latter as neither have guidance) and are overall the best of the bunch. Cruisers are not particularly powerful naval units outright and (save for the Siren Class) will generally lose battles against other equal or higher-tier naval units, but they are a very useful addition to any naval group, especially due to the extensive long-range information gathering they can conduct. Cruisers have higher energy costs than Destroyers but lower mass costs and build times.
In 3603 cruiser anti air was buffed considerably (25%) and the Ithaalua can now hit fast air units better due to its improved muzzle velocity.
Factional Differences Edit
The UEF Governor Class and the Seraphim Ithalua are somewhat similar, being both equipped with Tactical Missile Launchers, the Governor Class firing rapid barrages every 10 seconds while the Ithalua fires a constant stream of missiles.
When it comes to anti-air abilities, all four cruisers are well equipped for combat, however each has a slightly different armament - the Ithalua and Infinity Class cruisers have very similar capabilities, with the Aeon having a slight advantage to range and the Seraphim having a slight advantage to damage. The Governor Class has the weakest AA capabilities of the 4 Cruisers, though it is still a potent threat.
When it comes to dealing with swarms of gunships, the Ithalua is the only one equipped with Flak, giving it a considerable edge when compared to the other faction's cruisers, as the Governor Class and Infinity Class are equipped with long-range SAM Launchers, and the Siren Class is equipped with a Nanodart Launcher. The Infinity Class' missiles are significantly faster and very long ranged, and also has tracking missiles, leading it to often have the highest Effective DPS vs. T3 air units. The Governor Class Flayer SAM Launcher and the Siren Class Nano-dart Launcher also track, but with only two thirds the DPS, they are only two thirds as good at dealing with enemy air units.
Ship-to-Ship Combat Edit
When dealing with other ships, Cruisers typically fare a lot worse than their Destroyer counterparts, with less health and less DPS, however the Siren Class is an exception to that rule - having a higher DPS than its Destroyer counterpart. While it cannot combat Submarines, it makes short work of other faction cruisers in a close-ranged fight, however cannot compare to the range of the Governor Class and Ithalua tactical missiles which if allowed to attack unmolested will eat it alive.
The Infinity Class is the toughest Cruiser with a full 750 hp more than the Governor Class, but with only 70 direct-fire DPS it is not suggested you use it to engage anything outside of the odd T1 ship, or several T1 Land units. The Governor Class and Ithalua cruisers rely on their cruise missiles for damage, but as the Governor Class suffers from a poor minimum range, extreme care should be taken when used in a firefight, as often a faster ship will get inside its minimum range and remain there, leaving the unable to fight back.
Other Tips and Abilities Edit
The Siren Class has a landing pad on the back deck, allowing it to refuel and repair patrolling aircraft in the field, an ability not to be underestimated. It's Nanodart Launcher can also be reconfigured to target surface/land units to add extra fire power in addition to the Proton Cannon. Albeit it looses the tracking ability, making it ill suitable for moving targets. This should be used when bombarding buildings or overcoming shields when anti-air is not needed.
As Aeon players typically have access to Aeon T2 Mobile Shield Generators, it is often a good tactic to assign one to guard a Cruiser, as it more than doubles the health, while only costing approximately 1/15 of the mass of the cruiser.