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Author Topic: Non-SO enforcer: is it outclassed?  (Read 2980 times)

boogiebogus

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Non-SO enforcer: is it outclassed?
« on: January 25, 2022, 09:42:01 AM »

So, I ran a game with only vanilla ships to try out the new update stuff, and I found the enforcer without SO to be kind of a bad choice now. Here's why I think so:

- Tanking: despite heavy armor + reinforced bulkheads enforcer being probably the toughest to kill destroyer in the game, I still don't feel like it's quite enough to armor tank. Especially with eradicators providing a fast cruiser option for low tech and pirates, it's not hard to rush down an enforcer and kill it in one go. So you more or less have to have them operate in teams, at which point you might as well use something with more firepower and less armor (like a hammerhead).

- Close-range brawling: Might as well put SO on it if you're gonna do that, and I'm complaining about enforcer without SO.

- Mid-range combat: The enforcer's rather lacking flux stats means that you can't pack much mid-range firepower. Two arbalests and a heavy mortar is close to nothing compared to stuff like the hammerhead, and it doesn't really excel at trying to deal its damage in a burst, either (compare to hammerhead or medusa).

- Long range support: The enforcer used to be a pretty good destroyer for escorting larger ships with weapons like the HVD, but now there's the manticore which really takes over that role.

- Missiles: Admittedly, 4 small missiles is very nice, but I feel i'd rather take the two medium missiles on the manticore.

- Low cost: I find that the cost range of destroyers makes DP cost something I don't really consider too much. Enforcers also don't particularly excel at a niche, like the shrike does (it's great at killing frigates), so I also don't have a reason to bring one along for a specific task.
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Dexy

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Re: Non-SO enforcer: is it outclassed?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2022, 10:59:41 AM »

In my opinion, no.
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Igncom1

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Re: Non-SO enforcer: is it outclassed?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2022, 11:09:52 AM »

This sounds more like you just don't favour the Enforcer rather then it being bad.
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Thaago

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Re: Non-SO enforcer: is it outclassed?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2022, 11:19:23 AM »

The Manticore is certainly a competitor to the Enforcer, but I think the Enforcer still has a place as I think you're overrating the Manticore somewhat. Manticores can either be built for missiles or guns, but not both, and their ranged support isn't really proportional to their 33% DP hike.

A few enforcer strengths:

-Excellent point defense. Whether vulcans, flaks, or dual flaks (depending on wanted investment level), the 2 side turrets give 360 degree PD coverage with overlapping forward and rear arcs of the best PD weapons in the game. They make very nice escorts for capital ships/cruisers because of this.

-Toughness. I think this is my biggest disagreement with you: the only things I've ever seen rush down and 'pop' an Enforcer are (some, not all) Radiants and full Tesseracts. They can certainly get destroyed, but last much longer than other destroyers would, allowing other ships to help them, so I agree with you that they should be operating in groups. But the reason to use Enforcers rather than more offensively oriented ships like a Hammerhead is because the Hammerhead would die if it tried the same thing. In particular, I like giving Enforcers eliminate orders against capitals, which makes them burn in, then later giving the eliminate to the rest of the ships. The Enforcer takes the brunt of the capitals firepower (and hopefully launches some sabots and hits with a burst of heavy needler fire) but it can survive that, and when the other ships engage the capital is fluxed up and firing at a target so they can approach without getting shot. This same toughness also makes Enforcers excellent for station busting: they can tank the gun firepower of stations and hit back with torpedoes.

-Anti-fighter performance. The combo of the first 2, and having all its firepower in turrets, makes Enforcers quite good vs fighters. This doesn't really matter until it really matters.

-Missiles. Like you say, a Manticore with 2 Mediums outclasses 4 smalls. But Manticores are more DP expensive and if built for max missiles can't be built for max guns. Considered as part of the whole package, the 4 small missiles are a strength when comparing to the non-manticore destroyers (HH, Sunder, Medusa).

-Long ranged possible build (if wanted). 2HVD + a Heavy Mauler or 3x HVD actually deals more overall DPS at 1000 range than a Hammerhead would (HH has less than 50% uptime in its system), outranges anything but a Gauss that a Manticore can bring and is competitive even in the 900 range bracket, and is flux light to boot (if not efficient). I have not tried this in this build yet this version, but I think an Enforcer might be able to support 4x long range guns as well. That would mean giving up the 360 PD, but it could mount a forward flak I suppose? Sunders both outrange and outgun this combo, but Sunders are glass cannons so thats a good thing imo.

-Converted Hangar platform. They have high OP/DP, letting them cheaply (from a fleet perspective) bring fighter wings, and it impacts their performance less than other destroyers.

Enforcer "ok" bits

-Gun Firepower in the midrange. An enforcer can comfortably support something like 2 Heavy Mortars and a Heavy needler, or 2 heavy autocannons and a mortar, etc - some combo of guns costing around 600 flux. The former combo puts them just behind a 'brawling' standard hammerhead (250 kinetic DPS vs 333) before the system, which gives them in total ~60% of the gun firepower. It's an 'ok' amount of firepower, but a lot less than the gun focused HH. Being purely turrets sometimes helps (vs frigates and fighters) but also hurts (less gun HP, more recoil). They will lose a pure gun duel with a HH eventually (but they win if they use their missiles, so that really depends on overall battle flow).

Enforcer 'poor' attributes

-Speed. Outside of their burn drive they are the slowest of any destroyer and are outrun by a lot of cruisers, to the point where I think SO is actually a bad choice on them: with SO they can barely catch destroyers and will get shot to death by things outside their range. They make very poor hunters (but good escorts and line/anchor ships).

-Shield. At 1.0 and with mediocre flux stats, its poor. Its not horrendous like it was when it was 1.2, and its not a liability, but its notably poor and makes Enforcers vulnerable to high per shot energy damage.
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Hiruma Kai

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Re: Non-SO enforcer: is it outclassed?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2022, 11:48:07 AM »

As you mentioned, the good points of the Enforcer are it's missile mounts and armor.  I will point out it also has the most ordinance points of any destroyer.  I tend to lean into those good points when creating a non-SO build.   I'll note flux free weapons not only include missiles, but fighters bays as well.

Typically my non-SO Enforcers will be equipped with converted hangar, and field Xyphos if I can get my hands on them.  Otherwise I'll settle for Broadswords or Longbows, but Xyphos definitely improve the longevity of Enforcers.

While a Manticore might arguably be better 1 on 1, it is 33% more expensive.  While 3 DP doesn't sound like a lot, you have to consider the entire fleet composition.  3 DP here and there can get you a whole another ship eventually, which in turn helps the AI, as that potentially turns a 1 on 1 at the edges of the skirmish into a 2 on 1.  If you're filling out your fleet with some destroyers to get more bodies on the field than Cruisers can provide, Enforcers do that better than Manticores.  For 36 DP, you can get 3 Manticores, or 4 Enforcers.  At which point you're comparing 3 Enforcers against 3 Manticores, but that last Enforcer is free to do whatever it wants, like gang up on a Manticore.

For more concrete ideas, a typical non-SO Enforcer build for me might look like Heavy Armor (s-mod) and Expanded Missile Racks (s-mod), along with Converted Hangar and Xyphos.  Heavy Mortar, 2x Arbalest, 2x Vulcan, 2x Harpoon, 2x Sabot, 20 Vents, 6 caps.

Or if you want more of an anti-shield setup with kill secure, you could 1x Heavy Autocannon, 2x Arbalest and 4x Harpoons, and 3 caps.  Kinetic ballistics run up shield, Xyphos Ion beams shield pierce and disable the ship, then the 24 Harpoons come out once the ship's flux is critical.
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TaLaR

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Re: Non-SO enforcer: is it outclassed?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2022, 09:19:44 PM »

Non-SO Enforcer can win fights under player control just fine. BUT it has to explicitly trade armor or missiles for opportunities to deal damage, which is a concept AI doesn't understand.
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Amoebka

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Re: Non-SO enforcer: is it outclassed?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2022, 09:41:03 PM »

Slow destroyers are just a dumb concept in general. Why bother bringing 2 enforcers, when you can bring one cruiser, and have more firepower, better range, better officer efficiency, more survivability, and sometimes even more speed (eradicators)? The only reason to use destroyers at all is to have fast ships to protect the flanks and challenge enemy frigates/destroyers.
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Igncom1

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Re: Non-SO enforcer: is it outclassed?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2022, 11:12:40 PM »

I mean deployment points?

Sunders make for fine faster, and disposable, fire support for capital ships.
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Thaago

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Re: Non-SO enforcer: is it outclassed?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2022, 12:23:06 AM »

Slow destroyers are just a dumb concept in general. Why bother bringing 2 enforcers, when you can bring one cruiser, and have more firepower, better range, better officer efficiency, more survivability, and sometimes even more speed (eradicators)? The only reason to use destroyers at all is to have fast ships to protect the flanks and challenge enemy frigates/destroyers.

Because they perform better than the hypothetical cruiser. They have more combined firepower, better combined toughness (significantly), can bring more decks (if doing CH), and crucially, there are 2 of them. Or if comparing to the heavy cruisers, 3 of them. One can vent while the other fires, they can flank from multiple angles, they can cover both sides of a battleship they are escorting etc etc.

The enforcer is a bit different because its defensively focused, but gun offense focused destroyers - Hammerheads and Sunders in particular - have MUCH more firepower per DP than cruisers or even some capitals. They have downsides that need to be covered - toughness, anti-fighter ability, and sometimes range in particular - but destroyers are solid ships to fight everything from frigates to supercapitals.
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Draba

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Re: Non-SO enforcer: is it outclassed?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2022, 05:02:15 AM »

Slow destroyers are just a dumb concept in general. Why bother bringing 2 enforcers, when you can bring one cruiser, and have more firepower, better range, better officer efficiency, more survivability, and sometimes even more speed (eradicators)? The only reason to use destroyers at all is to have fast ships to protect the flanks and challenge enemy frigates/destroyers.

Because they perform better than the hypothetical cruiser. They have more combined firepower, better combined toughness (significantly), can bring more decks (if doing CH), and crucially, there are 2 of them. Or if comparing to the heavy cruisers, 3 of them. One can vent while the other fires, they can flank from multiple angles, they can cover both sides of a battleship they are escorting etc etc.
I do think in the current game "standard" destroyers are on the weaker side in full fleets, if you include the campaign QoL/officer limit considerations.
Hammerhead/Sunder/Manticore pack a punch, but against tougher enemies they get just a teeny-tiny bit ahead of the line too often and then they get smashed.

For example, this version I'd practically always take 1 Eradicator over 2 Hammerheads once the fleet is full.
Much better range and naturally focused firepower, 9000 hull and 1200 armor in 1 place vs 5000/500 (and for armor/hull you really want officers).
Better shields and 2 ships instead of 1 are obviously good, just don't think they are enough to make up for the downsides.

Part of it is Eradicator being a bit on the too good side IMO, 3 heavy maulers + 4 railguns at cruiser range with ammo feeder are really nasty.
In AI hands they were the killiest ships of any fleet they were included in, routinely doing >3x their DP in damage.


XIV Enforcer is actually one of the few destroyers I'd take in a full fleet.
A bigass slab of armor, flak, some extra guns and some missiles for 9 DP is just a good deal if you have other ships doing the killing and want something to keep them alive.
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