I have written about Tactical Captains in Cruisers (Click here). But what about battle cruisers? STO began with battle cruisers being the exclusive for the KDF. After all, Klingons are warriors and they aren’t flying around the galaxy looking for quantum anomalies. The closest thing that Starfleet had to a battle cruiser prior to the Legacy of Romulus update was the Advanced Heavy Cruiser Retrofit (Excelsior). This ship had a nice 8 degree turn rate and stout cruiser tanking. It still was not the match for a KDF battle cruiser in terms of offensive power. The battle cruiser class gives up some tanking in exchange for firepower and damage output.
The Breen Chel Grett (I wrote about this here) was the best battle cruiser a feddie could fly until the launch of the Avenger last fall. This brought the first true battle cruiser to Starfleet. Tactical captains are generally well suited to escort ships. Battle cruisers however seem to be a great fit as well. My top toon is Admiral Sager and he is a tactical officer with just about every perk available in the game. I really enjoy flying battle cruisers with him. My top KDF toon is Roddicka and she flies raiders, raptors and battle cruisers with equal tenacity.
Lately, Admiral Sager has been completing the daily Crystalline Entity missions in his Fleet Avenger battle cruiser. I feel like he could take that shard slinging SOB down by himself in that ship! Well, without the swarming hordes of Tholians of course 😉 Even the absorpsion blasts don’t phase the Admiral in his Fleet Avenger. He can go toe to toe until that beast is crystalline dust. I think I have a pretty good build on that one.
The Admiral’s Fleet Avenger is generally setup like shown above. It has all anti-proton weapons. It is one of my hybrid cannon/beam setups. Two beam arrays in the back including the omnidirectional obelisk unit which is outstanding. This Avenger has 65k hull and 16,300 per shield facing. It can really take a beating. I do wish these Avengers could turn at 10 or 11 instead of 9 degrees, but I really do feel this ship is great under the command of a tactical captain. This ship is equipped with mostly fleet grade weapons and consoles so it is well stacked.
This ship is so tough that I am able to utilize the universal Lieutenant station with a tactical officer and still tank like NORAD’s underground bunker. This toon has over twenty BOFFs including eight tactical officers. I can really customize the BOFF setup on this Avenger for any mission set.
Static power levels for combat without any temporary boosts are impressive due to a combination of passive bonuses from Accolades, DOFFs, Equipment and the Admiral’s abilities.
I have given a fair amount of thought to the notion of an ideal one character one ship setup and a tactical captain in a battle cruiser is a solid contender for best all round one-off. Many people who play Star Trek Online spend unholy hordes of real world cash buying ships and special packages. I am included among these borderline psychotic players 😉 But many people want to enjoy the F2P aspect and I have a few characters myself that I have built with minimal Zen.
People looking to get the fullest experience with as little out-of-pocket expenses and maybe even minimal grinding should strongly consider playing a tactical captain and ending up in a battle cruiser. If you want to play KDF this is easy since Chancellor J’mpok will offer ships up to level 40 at no charge. Included at each tier is a very respectable battle cruiser. The KDF is the ideal faction for building a battle cruiser captain. The Romulans have a strange ship selection, however Romulans can choose to align with the KDF and then have access to all those KDF battle cruisers. That said, if I am playing a Romulan I really want to fly those Rommy ships 😀
For the feds, things are bit dicey playing a tactical captain in a battle cruiser. At tier two Admiral Quinn’s token buys you a limited selection. For tac captains it is really either the Cruiser or Escort. Tier two cruisers don’t offer much in tactical seating, just a single Ensign chair. Eeck! Maybe taking the escort here is wise since it is actually a kick ass little ship that turns on a dime and struts around like a rooster in a hen-house with those three weapons bays up front. At tier 3 the heavy cruiser turns decent at 8 degrees/sec and upgrades the tactical seat to a LT. You could also choose to drop some Zen and get the Advanced Heavy Cruiser. You can make like Sulu in the Excelsior! So far decent setups and all are free, compliments of Starfleet. Tier 4 becomes a problem as the cruiser at this level is big and slow on the corner. The Tactical Escort might be a good choice here but if you have built your captain for battle cruisers this tier will suck. It is only ten levels, it will go fast 😉 Just do a bunch of patrol missions and get to Rear Admiral pronto.
It is here at level forty that a Federation Tactical Captain can really start playing the battle cruiser role. The Breen Chel Grett has been available the last two years during Q’s Winter Event. This is a fabulous battle cruiser type ship with near escort turning ability (13 degrees/sec) and decent tanking. The Risian Luxury Cruiser became available this past summer as a FREE event prize and it is a true battle cruiser. Stronger hull than the Chel Grett for excellent tanking but a Lt. Commander Tactical and 10 degree turn rate make it the KDF Battle Cruiser for the Feds! There is also the Assault Cruiser that can be acquired with Admiral Quinn’s final token. The Mirror Universe Heavy Cruiser Retrofit is also easily attainable for very little coin on the exchange. These two ships are not really battle cruisers but they are pretty decent turning and tend to have stronger hulls.
Any person planning on playing STO as a one character only player will spend far more time at the end game than getting to level 50 (or soon 60). So building your character to perform well at level 50 and beyond is the best bet. Based on my experience with my nine STO toons, I think the following (In no particular order) are the best all round “one toon for all” end game setups for tactical captains in a battle cruiser.
OK, time to get back out there and finish the Crystalline Castastrophe Special Event 🙂