Ever since General Roddicka bought the B’rel Retrofit nearly two years ago, I have thought about using it as a torpedo boat. But I never really got around to it. I use that ship in PVP and in fact Roddicka has far and away the most PVP kills of any of my toons on STO. Most of those kills came in the B’rel.
Well, the House of Duras fleet recently completed a Tier V shipyard and I was able to acquire the fleet version of the B’rel Retrofit for the General. I am most pleased with the extra boost to hull, shields and a bonus engineering console. I moved all of the fleet weapons and consoles off the old B’rel onto the new one along with the Jem’Hadar space set and found myself with an empty B’rel Retrofit.
I could hear the drumbeat gently thumping in my ear and a soft chant… “torpedo boat, torpedo boat, torpedo boat”. And so I did it! I threw together some gear I had lying around and then went shopping on the exchange for some items that would benefit a torpedo boat configuration.
There are a few things to note about this type of set up. It is ideally suited to the enhanced battle cloak which is available on the two B’rel Retrofit ships and the two T’varo Retrofit ships. I think the B’rel is the best choice because of the all universal BOFF station arrangement. The T’varo is a tougher ship but it is limited by fixed BOFF stations.
Weapon power is not necessary with the torpedo boat setup. All six weapons are either torpedo launchers or mine launchers and those are not affected by weapon power. This runs counter to the typical BOP setup. Decloak and blow shit up with some heavy cannons and a spread of quantums then cloak and escape. This standard cannons and torpedos approach needs high weapon power. High weapon power means either giving up power in other systems or consuming a lot of weapon batteries or maybe even both!
The torpedo only configuration allows you to set your weapon power at the bare minimum of 15. (BOPs have +15 weapon power so at the very least you will have 30 weapon power). This torpedo
configuration is used with the cloaking device essentially always on. So your shield power can be set at the minimum of 15 as well. Now you have 170 points to apply to auxiliary and Engines. I have 100 to auxiliary and 70 to Engines. I have some bonus power in both systems so I am typically running above 100 in Aux and over eighty in Engines. I will be adding a Fleet Elite Warp Core with boosts to auxiliary and Engines soon and that will be a great help.
Auxiliary power will do several things to help the ship on both offense and defense. The effectiveness of the cloaking device is dramatically increased as auxiliary power rises. I find that I rarely am caught under cloak. Auxiliary power will also enhance hull repair. The all universal BOFF stations allow me to incorporate a heavy science presence on the bridge with a Science Commander. I don’t need as much tactical since I am not using energy weapons. The science Commander can use Tachyon Beam, Gravity Well and Tyken’s Rift while cloaked and those abilities are also enhanced by auxiliary power.
The engines provide a strong boost to defense, especially on BOPs. It also makes a hasty retreat under heavy fire when your cloak does fail, much easier. I really love this setup.
A word of caution however… this is not going to yield a lot of kills. You spend a lot of time flying around cloaked waiting for an opportunity to strike. This configuration works great in support of teammates in PVP or as an opportunity killer in Kerrat when the Borg have weakened your enemy and you can swoop in and finish them off.
I set this ship up with purple Mk XII engineering consoles from the Dyson Store that offer +13.8 energy and kinetic damage resistance, 2.5% defense and +10 resistance to antiproton and proton damage. The science consoles are all stealth enhancing and the tactical consoles boost torpedo weapon damage.
The weapons are going to change soon. I currently have Tricobalt, Quantum, Chroniton, and Transphasic launchers. I am using different type torpedos to avoid overlapping cool downs. The transphasic is great for dealing hull damage to a weakened ship as 40% of the energy passes through the shields. The chronitons are great for slowing fast-moving ships to a crawl so you can hit them with tachyon beam or gravity well. Quantums just blow stuff up, and they do it well. The tricobalt is also another heavy hitter. To the aft I have a Harpeng and a plasma mine launcher. I am going to replace the mine launcher with a tractor mine launcher as soon as Roddicka finishes the STO story mission; “Cutting the Cord”.
Kerrat is where I flew my maiden mission in the new torpedo boat B’rel. I was delighted with the results as I found I could actually get more kills than deaths and for me that is really good. I realize now that I need to tweak the setup and I will add some more power to the line up by using the Breen Cluster Torpedo and maybe even the full Reman Space set and the Romulan Torpedo Launcher.
On the Bridge you can see from the graphic to the right my setup. I will likely tweak that a bit as well. I may switch the science BOFF to Lt. Commander and put the Tac at Commander to get the Mine Launching Commander ability. I may experiment and report back in another post in the future.
Like I said earlier, the torpedo boat will not be an epic killing machine. For players that are not as good at wanton destruction and routinely find themselves on the wrong end of warp core explosion; they will have an opportunity to survive, be sneaky and make some solid kills. The ship is surprisingly resilient and I have a feeling that the 137.5% bonus to defense is a big part of that! I got decloaked on several occasions and was able to safely escape almost every time. Most of my deaths actually came from exploding Borg Cubes rather than other players.
I played in one session as part of a five ship KDF team working against larger and frankly stronger Fed team. The best player of our team was great at drawing fire away from the other three ships allowing them to inflict damage to the shields while I hit them with science officer attacks and the killing blow of a salvo of deadly torpedos. All from the quiet convenience of a cloaked B’rel Bird of Prey. Wow! Sometimes it pays to listen to the voices in your head 😉