Hull Classification Overview
Battlecruisers are powerful combat vessels slightly larger than cruisers sizing up to 600 meters long with an electronic footprint of 250 meters. Being the fourth smallest ship able to be flown by capsuleers, they are normally crewed by nearly a thousand souls. Pod technologies reduce this significantly to a mere hundred. Thanks to automated damage controls, armoured compartments, and redundant systems, crew survival rates shoot up from smaller size classes to 30%.
Battlecruisers are built for war and are usually purely attack craft able to engage a large variety of targets and having the hardiness to survive it all. They also house advanced telemetry computers able to extensively calculate and analyze the battlefield and able to automate orders to other ships to give them the edge in avoiding damage, updating harmonics, and targeting solutions able to improve fleet performance. Battlecruisers are also rarely employed as combat salvagers, offering a good mix of speed for cargo space high utility and ultimately survivability from any hazard encountered during reclamation.
Battlecruisers are just short of a battleship in tank, and even though they deal considerably less damage output than one, they are better at hitting smaller targets. Most battlecruisers have multiple weapon systems and extensive drone bays and a generous slot layout that makes them tough as nails and hit hard as a hammer. The sole fact that they can be used to lead skirmish fleets with their ganglink fitting ability is enough to justify its expense in large enough fleets, where it becomes a dangerous force multiplier. However, only command ships are commonly used to boost fleets, while generally the normal battlecruisers are the core of medium sized fleets.
Their extensive use is due to the fact they possess a sturdy tank and a good damage output, but are not as slow and over encumbered as battleships. What's more, their maneuverability makes them able to relocate more easily.
All of the above advantages come at a cost; battlecruisers are typically considered the first of the slow war ships, although their speed is usually just short of that of an armor tanked cruiser. Unable to accelerate fast or obtain max speeds quickly and relatively weak agility makes the battlecruiser vulnerable to heavy tacklers.
In a slug match against larger ships such as the battleship, the battlecruiser, if we compare damage output and the capability to receive damage, will rarely win. Being equipped with cruiser weapons, they are simply outranged by the battleships as well, even though their speed usually allows them to dictate range in such a fight. What's more, battlecruisers are even more vulnerable than battleships to being swarmed by frigates: medium sized weapons need the aid of a tracking computer or a stasis webifier to be able to hit small targets, and take less time to be taken down compared to a battleship, which usually has more space for drones and thus better chances.
Battlecruisers are nearly lonely in their family tree with only one set of advanced cousins known as Command Ships.
New Attack Battlecruisers in Crucible
Late into Y.C. 114 the empire navies had been toiling away at micronization of murder and dreadnaught technology leading to a new class of attack battlecruisers. The new class are the absolute definition of "glass cannons", complete with the bite worthy of a battleship's while offering a massive trade off in its skin similar to that of the smaller cruiser. These attack battlecruisers are able to fit Large turrets due to significant reductions in the powergrid, CPU and capacitor requirements for those weapons making this battlecruiser platform particularly deadly. Combined with improved speeds and stealthing makes them slightly harder to engage reliably in its own weight field.
However, as a tradeoff their natural defences are absolutely paper-thin for a ship of their size, barely at the level of a tech 1 cruiser, and they don't have the powergrid or CPU to fit battleship-grade defensive modules. This coupled with the fact that they cost ten times as much minerals as a cruiser and none of them have a significant enough boost to turret tracking to allow their Large turrets to hit anything when orbiting close at cruiser speeds means that their likelyhood of being useful or affordable in PvE, 1 on 1 PvP or gang vs gang PvP fights is slim to none.
There is one main area they may have a chance in, and that is in large fleet fights as snipers. They have the offensive punch of a tier 3 battleship at roughly one third the mineral cost of one. Because of recent improvements in probe-down techniques standard fleet fights happen somewhere between 100-150 km, and at these ranges all four of the new battlecruisers can be very decent snipers at high skills.
Types of Battlecruisers
- All Combat Battlecruisers can fit Warfare Link modules.
- All Fleet Command ships can have 3 Warfare Links active at the same time.
- All Attack Battlecruisers get a 95% reduction to Powergrid use, a 50% reduction in CPU need and a 50% reduction in Capacitor need (other than the Minmatar Tornado, which isn't affected) to their race's preferred Large turret type.
- Prophecy: Bonus to all armor resistances and increase to drone damage and hitpoints.
- Harbinger: Bonus to laser damage and reduction in laser capacitor.
- Oracle: Bonus to Large Energy Turret capacitor use and damage
- Absolution: Field Command Ship; Bonus to Medium Energy Turret damage, rate of fire, capacitor, and all armor resistances.
- Damnation: Fleet Command Ship; Bonus to armor hitpoints, all armor resistances, effectiveness of Armored Warfare Links, and Heavy Missile and Heavy Assault Missile velocity.
- Ferox: Bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret optimal range and shield resistances.
- Drake: Bonus to shield resistances and Heavy Missile and Heavy Assault Missile kinetic damage.
- Naga: Bonus to Large Hybrid Turret optimal range and damage, utterly awesome range flexibility with a good set of scripts and ammos
- Nighthawk: Field Command Ship; Bonus to Assault Missile, Heavy Assault Missile and Heavy Missile rate of fire, Heavy Missile kinetic damage, explosion velocity, and shield resistances.
- Vulture: Fleet Command Ship; Bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret optimal range, shield resistances, and Siege Warfare Links effectiveness.
- Brutix: Bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage and Armor Repairer effectiveness.
- Myrmidon: Bonus to Drone hitpoints, damage, and repair amount.
- Talos: Bonus to Large Hybrid Turret tracking speed and damage
- Astarte: Field Command Ship; Bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage, falloff, and Armor Repairer effectiveness.
- Eos: Fleet Command Ship; Bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage, Armor Repairer effectiveness, Drone Bay capacity, and Information Warfare Links effectiveness.
- Cyclone: Bonus to Heavy Missile and Heavy Assault Missile rate of fire and Shield Booster amount.
- Hurricane: Bonus to Projectile Turret damage and rate of fire.
- Tornado: Bonus to Large Projectile Turret rate of fire and falloff.