Homeworld 2 Capital craft
The Capital warships deliver the real body blows to your opponents - everything else, by comparison, is just there for the ride. You can certainly do a lot of damage with swarms of Strikecraft or Frigates, but these smaller classes are far more effective when there are Destroyers and Battlecruisers making up the backbone of your fleet. The Capital Warships can comfortably destroy production ships, trump weapon Platforms and Frigates, but in turn have great difficulty keeping Strikecraft swarms at bay. They are met by other Capital Warships on equal terms, or if your opposition focuses all of their other units against them. However, mass swarming is leaving the rest of their perilously under-defended elsewhere.
Carriers are the smallest production ship with the emphasis on service. They process and repair Strikecraft more efficiently than any other ship in your fleet, and you should use them for this role and much as you can. However, they can be quickly overwhelmed by a basic attack force. This is your stock standard Capital ship, requiring no prerequisites other than the Capital Facility itself. You get one free at the start of a multiplayer game anyway. Despite only having anti-Strikecraft point defences, Carriers are some of your most valuable shipping. They are mobile forward bases, a lighter and more athletic mini-Mothership.
As a rough rule of thumb, the point defences of most capital shipping will only hit Fighters 10% of the time and Corvettes 40%. Don't underestimate them: Capital shipping is oh so easily overwhelmed, but they will eventually clean out a small Strikecraft attacks. A stack of Carriers can actually pose a real obstacle for even a force of Corvettes - but you really should have backups, and plenty of them. Carriers are magnets for trouble - when left to their own devices, pilot AI's almost invariably single them out for demolition.
Like all production ships, it increases your sensor range with a Sensor slot, but holds less Module and Production slots. With only a few slots to build on, you have to decide what sort of role your Carrier will provide and then equip it appropriately. Its a trade-off between how much you can spend building them up, and making sure you haven't left all your eggs in one basket if one or more gets smoked. Carriers are quickly overwhelmed and destroyed by even a moderate attack force, and they're lucky to survive a lone Destroyer unless there's some serious backup.
The Destroyer is the smaller and cheaper Capital Warship. There's nothing tricky or clever here. As its name implies, it is just there to blow shit up. Its heavy on armour, guns and missiles, and shows off the most manoeuvrability and speed for a Capital chassis in the game. Destroyers frequently outlive their escorts, and despite their superior range they're often found in the thick of things, absorbing a colossal amount of damage on behalf of the fleet. Unlike every other ship in the game, Destroyers pivot on their axis ninety degrees to deliver classy broadsides to a target. About three to four times stronger than a Frigate, Destroyers dominate the field until the enemy fields more Destroyers than you or a Battlecruiser (or two!) strolls up.
Being one is pretty simple. Destroyer Tech needs to be researched to unlock the Capital Facility, and then once you've built the module that's about it as far as prerequisites go. Destroyers are very easy to get off the ground. They only have a single Engine Subsystem, but you can't add any other type of module to it. Some players seem to prefer them over the Battlecruiser, mainly because they're much cheaper, faster, and you can get them on the field sooner. You can generally have a small shoal of them in a regular netgame.
Destroyers start off with 85,000 hit points, upgradable to 136,000 and sport Heavy Armour. There are no units in the game that score any special bonuses against it - except Bombers when they shoot its only Engine Subsystem out and effectively strands it in place. This is only a temporary setback though as the crew will repair the damage. They can repair themselves very slowly, but can be attended to by up to three Resource Collectors.
Battlecruisers, though, are definitely the preferred option. These are monstrous, singular units: the epitome of the Capital warship. So big, they seem to fill your game screen; so heavy, that it takes forever to pummel through their thick, thick hides. Battlecruisers come with their own Docking Bay that can service and store five Strikecraft squadrons for defence, as well as two Module Subsystem slots. The Battlecruiser is the nearest thing in the game to a self sufficient, all purpose ship that can wipe out anything it damn well feels like - except Strikecraft. They're chief attribute is being so awesomely powerful. The moment one appears, whoever is on the receiving end is forced to do something about it. Fielding a Battlecruiser can be like trying to stop an oncoming glacier, unless you have your own big friends to match it. The counter to it, really, is prevention. If you've given your opponent enough time and resources to get away with a Battlecruiser unchallenged, then there's something obviously wrong with your strategy.
Being so big, they are also painfully slow and ponderous, but only a fool drives them on snail drive across the map - unless its a very small one. A Battlecruiser equipped with a Hyperspace Module is a truly scarifying thing indeed for your quivering foes. Be a smart bunny and keep an Hyperspace Inhibitor built somewhere near the heart of your fleet. Basically, if a Battlecruiser materialises in front of your Mothership, its often curtains for you.
The only drawbacks to a Battlecruiser is sheer expense and set up time. They're ponderously slow and have appalling manoeuvrability, and there's the many prerequisites they need before you can start churning them out. Its not just the Battlecruiser tech to research, but all the prerequisites needed to produce the only unit in the game that can build them: the Shipyard. Once the heavy initial investment has been paid off, then chruning out Battlecruisers becomes so much easier. If you see one on the field, there's a very good chance that the next one is well on its way to being built.
Battlecruisers start off with an impressive 240,000 hits points, upgradable to 384,000, all protected by Heavy Armour. This means there are no units in the game that score any special bonuses against it - except for Bombers that can shoot out its two Module, Engine and main Weapon Subsystems. You'll need to replace the missing Modules yourself, but the Weapon and Engine systems will eventually restore themselves for you. They have space for 4 Resource Collectors to repair them, but this is a very small number when you think of how big these ships are. Repairs take forever.
Last modified Mon, Apr 4 2005 by Lindsay Fleay.