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.
Factional Differences Edit
Anti-Surface Weaponry 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 ten seconds while the Ithalua fires a constant stream of missiles, this overall leads to the Governor Class having better penetration against tactical missile defenses . The Cybran Siren Class has the highest surface DPS, coming in at a whopping 410 DPS, highly outclassing the Ithalua, which only has 250 DPS. However, this is only true when it has its Nanodart Launcher set to fire against naval vessels and land units. The Aeon Infinity Class is extremely ineffective against surface units, with the least damaging artillery on all cruisers. The Ithalua has very little effectiveness against mobile surface units, as it lacks direct fire weapons. Many Seraphim commanders have advised trainees to escort them with their T2 Destroyer.
Anti-Aircraft Role Edit
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 Nanodart Launcher also track their targets, but with only two thirds the DPS, they are only two thirds as good at dealing with enemy air units, therefore commanders wishing to use cruisers in an anti-aircraft role are advised to use the Infinity Class.
A drawback of adding sensors into cruisers is that the designers did not have enough room to put torpedoes, torpedo flares, or depth charges in their hull. This leaves them very vulnerable to submarines, torpedo defenses, and submerged units such as the Cybran T2 Amphibious Tank.
The Infinity Class is the toughest Cruiser with a full seven-hundred-and-fifty points of armor more than the Governor Class, but with only seventy direct-fire DPS it is not suggested that it be used 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.
All cruisers have tactical missile defenses, but the Aeon are considered to have the best defense in this area, as they have the Will O Wisp flare, which attracts all missiles in an area, leading to better coverage than most other defenses of this type.
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. It is suggested by Cybran commanders that this ability is used when bombarding buildings or overcoming shields when anti-air is not needed, further reinforcing the doctrine of adapt and destroy employed by the Cybran Nation.
As Aeon commanders 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 one fifteenth of the mass of the cruiser. Seraphim commanders also have the ability to produce Seraphim T3 Mobile Shield Generators. However, compared to the Aeon, Seraphim commanders must pay roughly a third of another cruiser to effectively quintuple the health, while having a larger shield radius leaves the option for submarines, hovercraft, and possibly other naval vessels and low-flying gunships to enter the shield and destroy either the shield unit or the cruiser.