There are two types of recon ships, each expanding on the usual roles of the electronic warfare (tier 1) cruiser of each race. Both types have powerful electronic warfare but otherwise somewhat different focus.
Combat recons have, in addition to electronic warfare, also powerful combat capabilities. Often they also have optimal range bonuses to their electronic warfare allowing them to engage at longer ranges. Combat recons often orbit around the combat at range using electronic warfare on large targets while also trying to pick off enemy frigates, another role they are unusually well suited for. Combat recons do not have any bonuses to cloaking what so ever making the name "recon" a bit of a misnomer.
Force recons sacrifice a bit of the damage bonuses enjoyed by their combat recon brethren in favor of cloaking bonuses, all the while retaining their electronic warfare capabilities. Force recons can use the covert ops cloaking device II in the manner of a covert ops ship and can therefore both warp cloaked and move at full speed on impulse engines. Force recons are therefore used to spring nasty surprises on unsuspecting enemies by suddenly jamming, webbing or otherwise impede on an important ship.
Force recons also have bonuses to both the cycle time and fuel consumption of cynosural field modules making them an excellent choice when trying to infiltrate enemy territory and then bringing in the capital ships.
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