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%. Because all the concepts of cruiser captaining are applied to battlecruisers, only a generic skill is required, instead of specific racial one which is borrowed from the racial cruiser.
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
The new Attack Battlecruisers are the absolute definition of "glass cannons", effectively tech 1 cruiser hulls with battleship weapon turrets. They are able to fit Large turrets due to significant reductions in the powergrid, CPU and capacitor requirements for those weapons giving them strong hitting power, and they also have the speed and signature radius of a cruiser.
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
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