The dragon riders and normal dragons seem a bit weak for their cost. They have a rather low service ceiling, and steel or iron defense just don't burn (with good reason). Since their fire breath range is low( the arc is slightly higher than a standard flame thrower) it makes it difficult to use then and I know, that small groups can take out larger targets, but how about 1 ship just staying above the service ceiling. I find that even ships under the cost of 1500$ can have more firepower, and a way higher service ceiling. And then just can avoid being burned making any stage in game feel like: Dragons for 3k, why bother? I can just make a few ships go high up and in fact I can just wipe out dragon nests (with 2 or 3 dragons in it) with a under 2000 fleet.
After fighting a few of them, I think they were far more deadlier to my landships than any of my airships. They seem to have a hard time firing upon things that can move vertically quickly. Which isn't really a bad thing, it gives a bit of tactics to fighting them.
I agree they seem a bit too expensive though. Maybe ~$1,500. They're pretty durable what with being all one big fleshy meaty flamethrower. I'd take one over a comparable airship at the same cost.
Agreed on all accounts. Dragons seriously need a reduced cost for any legitimate use.
Air Lord, Engineering Corps
I feel the cost is fine, they just need an upgrade stats wise. I can make a miniature flamethrower in about the 400-500 range and the only real differences are that the mini-flamer has less armor and is slightly slower, which is not a big deal considering they are more than half the price of a dragon.
I feel the dragons should have a longer flamethrower range and maybe a wider firing arc to justify the 1000 credit price tag.
One advantage I've found in dragon riders is that they move at near light speed on the strategic map. Great for intercepting fleets. They're also really durable and don't need to be repaired, so they can actually intercept multiple times in some cases.
That said, I get the distinct impression that wild dragons are tougher than dragon riders. I don't know of a way to compare them side-by-side accurately so it remains just a hunch, but it'd be silly if I were right.