This is my standard ship. In the campaign, if I start with a medium sized ship, I refit it to this. I would then wait until I can afford a second one, and everything is downhill from there.
I find that this gives me a decent mix of firepower and durability. I can fly high enough to go above most enemy ships, giving me a tactical advantage, and this is very effective if I get lucky and am able to land on top of the enemy.
Ideally, these operate in a two pack. Two contain enough firepower to level most defenses before I lose a ship, and two are enough to take on a larger enemy ship, if I maneuver my ships around.
They are my regular front line skirmishers.
This is my standard assault ship. They have enough grenadiers to do decent damage without the use of cannons. They are very useful in assaulting cities, and the grenades give them additional tactics to use.
The service ceiling on this ship allows it to go above most enemy ships that are medium and larger, and if done right, allows this assault ship to avoid enemy cannons while raining grenades down on them. When the enemy makes a move, they will potentially expose themselves to a volley of cannon fire, while already taking damage from grenades.
The grenades also allow me to park this ship above enemy fortifications while dropping down bombs, and if placed high enough, the assault ship can avoid cannon fire from multiple fortifications spaced apart. I usually soften up forts with their grenades, then low the ship to the weaker flank of the enemy to use my cannons to finish things off.
The greatest strength of this ship is its ability to attack while avoiding its primary threat, cannons. Lots of rifles on enemy forts will whittle this ship down, so you should pay attention to the ship's state of damage when bombing forts; Your goal is to weaken the enemy fort as much as possible, in order to quickly take out the building with your cannons with minimal exposure to the enemy cannons.
This is my siege ship. Its primary focus is for sustained firepower and durability.
The cannons are placed far apart so that they do not take each other out in explosions. I could have added more cannons, but my focus was on keeping the price lower and extending its combat duration.
Siege ships have enough durability to take safely take on most enemy buildings. With the durability afforded from having two large keels, this ship can ignore small buildings, and focus on medium buildings. By the time this takes out two medium buildings, all of the small buildings will have run out of ammo, so you win the siege, and get a few small bonus defenses.
Their presence in a fleet battle allows me to maneuver my more nimble assault ships and standard ships into more advantageous positions to do more damage. While the enemy ships focus on this ship, my more vulnerable ships are in safer positions, dealing out damage.
The siege ship's performance against more significant enemy defenses made me come up with a better design for assaulting fortified cities. This is my tier 1 bomber fortress.
It flies high enough to get above enemy ships and drop down bombs. The desirable tactic is to fly this ship above the enemy's ship, then ground on top of the enemy ship, holding them in place for the grenades to attack.
In most cases, this would cause the enemy ship to plummet down towards the earth. Most of the time, when the enemy ship plummets, they disintegrate into the ground. Often enough, the enemy ship would survive the crash, but with this sitting on top of them, they have nowhere to go and die to the grenades.
The large keel at the bottom of this design supports as its landing gear. When landing on ships or the ground, all of the impact damage is absorbed by the large keel module, which has a much larger pool of health than non-keel modules. In fact, I have yet to lose a single module as a direct result of ground this ship on the enemy or on the earth. The keel will absorb multiple groundings.
The other purpose of the large keel in this design is to makeup for the assault ship's weakness in its bombing role: durability to sustain bombing a building to death. Assault ships will eventually have expose themselves to enemy cannon fire to take out the enemy building before the ship starts losing chunks of itself and dying.
With the significantly higher durability, this ship will single-handedly destroy strong enemy fortifications. The ability to fly high and avoid cannon fire, and the addition of a keel to sustain damage from rifle fire are this ship's key points. Those two attributes allows this to hover above enemy defenses and wipe them out in relative safety.
This bomber ship has a very high performance against enemy defenses, and do decently well against enemy ships that are unable to fly above its height. Even in battles where the enemy ship is able to look this ship eye to eye, a couple fierce rams, and some grappling back and forth usually ends with this one emerging the victor. Its sturdiness somewhat makes up for its lack of cannons.
This was the the design I chose for my tier 1 bomber, because of its durability, service ceiling, and cost. The cost is low enough that I can bring this ship out early enough for it to matter; Most of the time, once your income is high enough to build ships that costs more than this, you have already won. This means that at the current cost, the ship is able to make a game winning impact at a very efficient cost/performance ratio.
This is my T2 Combat Bomber. Its extended service ceiling gives it a much greater effectiveness against enemy ships. The presence of two bridges and a very high service ceiling allows this ship to easily out maneuver and ground down on top of enemy ships. With its greater size, extended service ceiling, and lower maneuver cooldown, I have yet run into any enemy (AI) ships that it can not take down.
The primary motivation for this design, though, was for additional firepower to take out the large enemy fortifications. Its cost gives it a high cost/performance ratio, especially considering its effectiveness against enemy ships, too.
This is my T2 Siege Bomber. Compared to the combat variant, it has more grenadiers and a larger ammo cache, but a lower service ceiling.
This ship will take out the most stubborn enemy fortifications, but has more trouble against enemy ships when compared to its combat variant.
This is my T3 Bomber. This is the ship you build when you want to guarantee that it will crush the enemy beneath its large keel.
The high service ceiling gives it a huge advantage against enemy ships, and its large number of grenadiers will make short work of whatever it flies over. The cannon allows this to exert its power at long distances, and gives it an option to "omgtheenemyhassomethingthatflieshigherthanmybomber" scenarios. This will wipe out heavy fortifications and defending ships by itself.
High service ceiling, cannons, lots of grenadiers, durability, and 200 ammo.
I had these in another thread, but realized that I was kinda hijacking the other thread, lol...
Oh, I love the way that different people end up with very different ship shapes. BTW, espritcrafter, you should set yourself a coat of arms!