Are you ready to RUMBLE? This is a ship versus ship post and I picked an epic battle between two titans in the Federation hangar. These two ships can lay down a hail of death like no others in the game. They are the heavy hitters for sure, but one of them is more than just a puncher.
I wrote about the Maelstrom a few months ago, read here. I also wrote about the Kumari last year, here. But today we go head to head. For the purpose of this contest I used the fleet version of the Maelstrom ship. These are the pinnacle of performance in STO escort ships; at least until the launch of season ten this fall.
The Andorian escort is a ship offered in three varieties. I own the Kumari variant which is heavy on tactical. In retrospect, I wish I had the engineering version (Charal) as the tac ship is fragile under fire. The three variants differ in the bridge seating. Tac Lt, Sci Lt. or Eng Lt. They also differ in console setup and each has a different special console.
Upon reaching the rank of Vice Admiral you have the option of flying the Andorian Escorts including Kumari which features the most powerful cannons in the game; The Andorian Wing Cannons.
The Patrol Escort has been around for a while as well, but only recently received an upgraded refit version. This ship is initially offered as an option from Admiral Quinn upon promotion to Rear Admiral. The refit is a Vice Admiral C-store purchase and a fleet version was made available. The C-store purchase unlocks the “Maelstrom” design.
So which one is better? Let’s find out.
At first glance there are some striking similarities to these two vessels. Both have a 16 turn rate, +15 weapons power, 0.20 impulse modifier and 70 inertia. But then they differ greatly as the comparison continues.
The Andorian escorts were the first ships in the game to offer five forward weapons bays. Coupled with the raw power of the wing cannons this ship has what I have described as the most powerful forward assault in the STO universe. The Patrol Refit by contrast has what very well may be the strongest aft assault in the STO universe! It features a fused 4th weapon bay in the rear with the very powerful dual cannons, Tempest Tail Gun. The tail gun has a 90 degree arc and built-in rapid fire. This is a devastating beast that is the most powerful aft weapon in the game.
The Patrol refit has a stronger hull and shields, and larger crew than the Kumari. It also features a four seat bridge with two Lt. Commander seats rather than the more typical five seat arrangement with a single Lt. Commander and extra Ensign station. The second Lt. Commander seat is a universal and that makes this ship very workable to nearly any play style. Quite frankly the Patrol Refit is the most versatile escort in the game, even more so than the fantastic Breen Chel Grett.
This comparison may come down to play style and experience. PVP players with excellent piloting skills will put the pain down better in the Kumari. Once you have the Kumari on the enemy’s six, it is lights out. This Andorian just lays down the hate from those five weapons bays and the hard-hitting wing cannons are just hull crushing demons. But flying this ship in PVP requires a great deal of skill. The ship only has two aft weapons so there is nothing stopping the baddies from climbing up your tail and giving you the “Deliverance” treatment with you in Ned Beatty’s role. The Kumari has little in the way of resilience. Again the Andorian Charal offers up much better toughness than the Kumari but it comes at the expense of tactical power.
For players that fight PVE or less skilled PVP players, the Patrol Refit really shines. It has similar forward power to any other escort with four weapons bays and the ability to mount dual cannons. But one of the issues with flying escorts is over running your enemy. This is especially true if the enemy comes about and attacks you head on. This Maelstrom allows the pilot to continue the assault from the rear with as much or even more ferocity. If you overrun the enemy you just keep hammering with that awesome tail gun. Against large PVE enemies like the Borg cubes, you can come in guns a blazing and then flip a u-turn and finish the job with all that aft power.
In a head to head PVP battle pitting the Kumari against the Maelstrom there is an interesting dilemma. If the Kumari gets in behind the Patrol refit it must make the kill before the Maelstrom kills it with all that epic aft power. The Maelstrom is by far the superior tanker of the two. That doesn’t bode well for the ship from team ‘cold and blue’. No matter how I slice it, two equal PVP players in an arena battle pitting these ships will almost always result in a victory for the Maelstrom. The more resilient Charal version of the Andorian Escort would fare better, but only in that it would take a little longer to die. Since PVP is not a bull riding event, that really doesn’t matter much.
The standard Patrol Refit would be a better comparison for the Kumari since it has the same price of 2500 Zen. Honestly the results would likely be the same. The Kumari is a ship that really needs to be on a team. It is a support ship. In that role it is amazing. Imagine flying with a buddy in a big cruiser. He latches on to the enemy with a powerful tractor beam and you send the victim into the next life with a nuclear sandwich from the powerful Kumari. You can see that I still love my Andorian muscle but in this head to head match-up the win goes to the Patrol Refit.