The class 5 Heavy Battleship: is this reasonable? Oh yeah!
Birth of a « big baby »
When we started to develop Fleet Commander, there were only class 1, 2 and 4 spaceships. But because you can position up to 5 classes on a single square, we quickly thought about adding a class 3 cruiser (it’s Beyond the Gate), and a class 5 ship. Year was 2013. We decided to name it « Heavy Battleship ».
The class 3 ship was pretty obvious, it would get a shield bonus, because frigates have a movement bonus and destroyers have an attack bonus. The first flight tests were successful and this new ship was bringing new and unexpected strategies. The cruiser was born, but we will talk about it in an other article.
When questions arise…
The class 5 ship was raising more questions. The class 4 battleship was already a very big ship, the cornerstone of the fleet. Following the same logic, the class 5 ship would have 30 hull points and 5 damage points… a nightmare, almost beyond any reason. But the call of the « Big boy » was unstoppable. We gave him a chance.
We gave him the cute name of « Heavy Battleship », « super cuirassé » in French. His special ability would be a special weapon, like his little brother, the class 4 battleship. He was ready for the first takeoff.
First flights, Big is beautiful !
And of course it is awesome on the battlefield. It is big, gigantic. The coolest thing is watching your opponent’s face when you deploy it: a mix of terror and anxiety. But we were concerned about unbalancing the game, would the Heavy Battleship be too powerful? The bigger the better?
So we made a lot of experimental flights, testing many configurations and army compositions. We even tested « All big » games, with only the biggest ships.
And here are the results: stats show that Heavy Battleships don’t win more often than fleets made of smaller ships. That was a relief. We decided to allow him to enter the battlefield.
Obvioulsy, having 5 damage points and 30 hull points makes it a frightening opponent, which can widespread destruction all around without being worried about maneuvers. The Heavy Battleship also has a strong psychological effect, capable of creating panic, helping you to keep the initiative.
But its massive size could be paradoxically its main weakness. The Heavy Battleship counts for about half your whole fleet. It means that you won’t have many other ships to protect it, and if your opponent destroys it, you are doomed…
As the victory condition is destroying 8 classes of ships among 12, destroying the Heavy Battleship becomes compulsory. In other words: this big ship is very strong, but very often isolated and an obvious target.
Like the technical ships, we’ve decided later, in 2015, to create different Battleships for Amycles and Phoebe. As a result we needed two new ships in addition to the Heavy Battleship, which is available for both factions. Fortunately, after 3 years of work, we had a lot of concepts of ships of any kind.
For Amycles, we decided to go even further, with an even more nightmarish ship. The Dreadnought deals more damages (6), so it can destroy a frigate in a single shot, even with a ranged attack. But the Dreadnought has less hull points, 4 like a class 4 ship, and no special weapon.
The League of Phoebe gets one of our favorites, which allows to deploy new class 0 ships, or token-ships. You’ve guessed it, the Carrier was born. This class 5 replaces its special weapon system by launch pads for interceptors. The battlefield gets covered by squadrons, creating new tactics we want you to discover by yourself.
It’s true, class 5 ships are almost unreasonable. Also true, it’s a new tactical challenge for a fleet commander. And it’s truly funny. Wait to see the class 5 miniatures in the heart of your fleet. No doubt your heart will beat faster.