More opinions, less facts :-)
Well, I'm afraid that the way the game is designed certain ships do certain things, and one of the things the battleship does very poorly is killing the small ships. Most of the ships are fairly well balanced under the old turn rate system and (IMHO) this is what they were intended for:
Scout: Scouts can run around and tap planets, they go deep into enemy space and avoid the defenders with high speed and agility. They are primarily for bombing lightly inhabited planets and can also be used for rapid attacks against crippled ships. The overall combat value of the scout is low due to very weak torps and little fuel
Destroyer: Good for long range missions into enemy territory where some resistance is expected. A capable pilot can engage most ships in one on one combat with a fairly good survival expectancy as long as he remains at range. While the fuel capacity of the destroyer is fairly low, its high fuel regeneration rate gives it long term field capability. The destroyer is not so good in large battles where its fuel runs out too quickly and the inevitable stray torps can cause it serious damage.
Cruiser: While not so good in enemy space as the destroyer, the cruiser comes into its own in the forward battle zones, where its higher firepower and heavier shielding allow it to take contested planets during battles. In battle it has the flexibility of being able to engage enemy ships at both long and short range.
Battleship: Exactly what it sounds like. These behemoths have enough hull and shielding to shrug off the random hits that will disable most other ships during a major battle, and their huge fuel capacity gives them a great amout of firepower. However, against single opponents they tend to suffer as they lack the capability to close with the smaller, more manuverable ships and use the heavy weaponry. Also, they cannot regenerate enough fuel to fight extended battles like the smaller ships, thus their effective range is fairly short. Oh yes, they are also one of the best ships for assaulting the heavy Starbases that can destroy most other ships in 2 shots.
Assault Ships: Well, I am running out of time, and I think most people are pretty sure what these things do anyway.
So (IMHO) if your ship isn't doing what you want it to do, I suggest you switch to another ship.
As the game is played at CMU, most ships have a defined role, and the role of the Battleship is that of defense and to take place in fleet battles, not to go off dogfighting against smaller ships around Far Centauri. If that is what you want to do, take out a scout or destroyer. It seems to me that all the ships were fairly equal under the old system (Tho' the scout is seems to be the least combat capable, they are just impossible to kill.), and even though I can usually be seen flying about in a destroyer, I have used all the ships to good effect. Yes, even the lumbering Battleship. You simply have to know how to pilot each of them in what situations, and what ship is appropriate to successfully completeing your goals.
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1993 20:19:55 -0500
From: Sean Christopher Simmons <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Comparing Ship Types
I looked through jch's archive for ship info, and didn't find everything, but enough, I hope. I'm only going to discuss the four "standard" ships, as I think that the AS is too much of a special case for fair comparison. The most important point missing was ship turning. I figured the numbers for them out by timing them on a stopwatch. I repeated enough times that the results are moderately accurate. I'm going to post a bunch of numbers first, then what they mean when
switching from one ship to the next, and finally, a bunch of opinions that y'all can fight over.
Ship BB CA DD SC
Torp speed | 12 12 14 16
Torp dam | 40 40 30 25
Torps/tank | 38 35 33 28
Phaser dam | 105 100 85 75
Phasers/tank | 13 14 11 9
Tractor strength | 3700 3000 2500 2000
Tractor range | 1.2 1.0 .9 .7
Shields | 130 100 85 75
Hull | 130 100 85 75
Warp 6 turn* | 10.4 4.9 2.8 1.6
Time to warp 8** | 10 5.3 4 4
Maxwarp | 8 9 10 12
Fuel lost @maxwarp*** | 1.4 1.2 1.1 1.6
Speed @ zero fuel | 4+ 6 7+ 8
Distance cloaked**** | 44800 47368 48276 48000
Army Max | 6 10 5 2
* Time to turn 180 deg in seconds
** time to accelerate from 0-8 in seconds
*** As a percentage of a tank/second
**** At maxwarp. Shields down. Distance goes down for every ship except DD. Galaxy == 100000
Importance for switching from (What is important is somewhat objective, but I think that most will agree here.):
Gain 89% acc
2 warps @ no fuel loss
Lose 20% Tractor range
23% Tractor strength
Gain 1 warp
1+ warp @no fuel loss
16% torp speed
Lose 25% torp damage
15% phaser damage
10% tractor range
16% tractor strength
Gain 75% maueverability
1- warps @ no fuel loss
14% torp speed
5 armies max instead of 2
Lose 12% Hull
12% phaser damage
16% torp damage
31% time at maxwarp
The BB tends to lose out in normal games due to two factors: 1) In spite of it's huge fuel tank, it can not really do more with its fuel than a CA can. I've taken to referring to this as the BB's virtual fuel advantage (You see it, but it's not there.). 2) The BB's acceleration is so low that it has trouble getting anywhere. There seems to be a breakpoint for acceleration, and it probably just a bit higher than the CA acceleration.
The CA is currently the combat workhorse of the netrek world. This is simply because it is the fastest way to move damage from one point to another. The BB does damage virtually as well as the CA and moves much slower, while the DD can move a lot less damage only slightly faster.
The DD is a ship of contradictions. While it is hailed as some as the compromise between a CA and a SC, it is not. If one were to make a ship that were halfway between the SC and CA, it would have bigger torps, bigger phasers, more fuel, more hull, more shields, and be 1/2 warp faster than the DD. To compensate for this, the DD has cheaper cloaking and more acceleration.
This SHOULD make it an ideal ship for taking planets, but again, it's not. In order to take planets, one must first get kills, and the DD is not ideal for THIS, being so much weaker than a CA. In order to take advantage of it's army carrying advantage, a DD must stay in a combat zone after it has one kill, hoping to scum up a second from bigger ships. Alternately, a player can re-fit to a DD after getting a kill, but, as Sunscreamer pointed out, this gives away the player's intentions, which destroys its advantage.
Contrary to popular belief, the DD is not a good all-purpose vehicle. While it is 11% faster than a CA, this doesn't translate into much time advantage AND the DD has much weaker weapons and hull, so it will tend to get creamed when it arrives, or be forced to retreat, thus blowing it's advantage. The DDs speed gives it about a 3 second advantage going from its own home-world to the enemy front line. If that 3 seconds is important enough to give up ~20% offense and 15% defense power as well as a great deal of fuel (the advantage that a Cruiser would have), then surely for 3 more seconds it would be worth using a Scout, which gives up much less by comparison.
Regardless of all else, being the fastest ship around gives the SC a definite advantage over all other ships. In order not to re-start the "who fights better DD or SC" flame-war, I will simply point out that it's very close. Given that the SC is 20% faster than the DD and fights about as well, it seems clear which one should choose if fighting is likely to be an option. As has been pointed out by Warsong, a SC can Ogg a DD, while a DD can not Ogg a SC (assuming all players are awake and of even skill).
Contrary to popular belief, it is very possible to do good by carrying 2 armies at a time, reducing and then take planets. The more players who do this, the better it works.
So it seems clear to me that the BB and DD are weaker ships than the DD and SC.
If I were to fix the BB, I would want to make its fuel less deceptive. It's torp cost would be the same as that of a CA and its phasers would be ~10%-15% more expensive instead of ~50% more expensive. This might well make it too good, so I might have to hurt it's maxwarp or acceleration to compensate.
If one were to take the other rout to fix the BB (improving its acceleration) one would end up with a ship that was much like the CA only better at fighting. I don't think that this is, or should be, the point of the BB.
As for the DD, it would be very hard to fix. Because it is sitting between the CA and SC, a little push could easily take it from an under-powered to an over-powered ship.
My best suggestion would be this: Reduce a SC carrying capacity to 1 army. Reduce the DD capacity to 2 armies. Let the DD move at warp 11. This would essentially replace one of the SC's current role (SC-dropper) with the DD. I don't know exactly how this would affect the game, but it's the best that I've come up with yet.
"Drop shields. Det."
End of SHIP OPINIONS