Okay, the Pre-release Core Sets are up now at Game Crafters. It seems that several of you from across the pond have been waiting for these sets so you can get into this game. (Across the pond meaning the Pacific Ocean!)
The sets are available in two packages: heavy ships and light ships. The cool thing about this game is that it's a space opera, and it's epic. The story is massive. The technology, although simpler than many sci-fi universes, has it own fantastical way of doing things. Nothing captures this more than these two ship classes.
Why a Ship Class System?
For sake of clarity, I use the terms heavy ship, heavy-class and super-class, as well as light ship, light-class and sub-class both respectively and interchangeably.
There are certain cards that can only be use with heavy ships and certain cards that can only be used with sub-class ships. Heavy Guns and Hardened Armor can only be used with heavy ships. Overdrive and Double Burst can only be used with light ships.
What is the Differences Light and Heavy Ships?
Any ship with a hull of 25 or higher is considered a heavy ship. Think big, massive Cold-War-like hardware. Any ship with 24 or less hull is considered a light ship. Think faster, leaner and meaner War-on-Terror-like hardware.
How to Pick Your Ship Class
From a players perspective, honestly most people almost always go for the light ships because they are faster and with the armor cards can exceed super-class hull rating, at least in effect. The sub-class ships also pack more firepower per base hull, energy and movement rating given.
As I understand it, the light ships represent the newest technology in this universe. The heavy ships represent the older technology. Most everything about the heavy ships is a bit clunky and "feels" tacted on. In general, the light ships "feel" more refined, better tweaked and smoother running.
There's no flaw in the game mechanic at all, but when you play enough games against sub-class ships using a heavy ship like the Inferno, goodness everything they do seems to flow easier. They move faster, they gain energy counters easier, and their firepower matches or exceeds everything you have.
So you'd think with all that talk against heavy-class ships, why buy them? Well because they win! It isn't a given that light ship will always win. Things just run a bit smoother in my opinion. The game is balanced. If I had to choose only one, it'd be the light ship package first. But, that comes from a player who has played the heavy ships for a long time and is ready for a change.
A Quick Break Down
Speed: The sub-class ships are fast as fast or faster
Hull: Lower, but rarely less than 20 hull
Firepower: In general light ships have as much or more firepower than heavy ships.
Energy: low to high
Speed: Generally they are slower.
Hull: Higher base hull rating
Firepower: low to medium
Energy: low to high
I have a lot of experience playing the FAS Intrepid, a super-class ship. I mostly use it as a tank to take lots of hits, survive anything and still come out punching. But, it's slow, and it's easy to duck lip me to death at a distance.
I'm a friend of the game's maker and a long-time customer and fan of Dog Fight Starship Edition.
What ships do you guys use or are planning to use when you buy your Core Sets? Do you think heavy ships are better than light ships?
Thanks for the review - provides some insight for a new player like me.
Personally I think I'll prefer the smaller (sleeker ?) ships.
But that hasn't stopped me ordering both Core sets.