Two weeks ago I posted an article about tactical career captains flying battle cruisers. That got me thinking about the two free event ships I mentioned in that post (Tac in Battle Cruiser). Here are two ships that you can get for free and they are both damn good ships! These ships are so good that I will even make some comparisons to big Zen ships!
So using a little WWE parlance; let’s get ready to rumble! It’s Grett vs. Lux. These two ships are acquired absolutely free of charge by participating in one of two seasonal events. The first ship is the Breen Chel Grett which first appeared in the Winter Event in 2012. It was again available during the 2013 Winter event along with another option the Breen Plesh Brek Heavy Raider. Hopefully Q will make them both available again this winter. The Risian Luxury Cruiser was available this year at the Risian Summer Festival Event. It was a follow-up to last year’s Risian Corvette and like the Chel Grett/Plesh Brek both were available this year.
I hear a lot of complaining out there about the way Cryptic did this or that and sometimes I am the guy with his whine on; but they have been very generous with these two events. All you do is spend five to ten minutes a day for 25 days and you get any of these great ships! Let me say this, these are amazing ships. You can’t fly a better ship at level 40 than these event giveaways. Even at level fifty you are pressed to find a superior ship. If you do, it is really a matter of opinion and user preference rather than superiority. I have written about both of these ships before; Chel Grett, Luxury Cruiser but today I want to compare them head to head for the captain that is in need of a tactical leaning ship with some mobility and speed.
There are a variety of scenarios in which these ships may present themselves as a solid alternative to a more conventional ship. Generally the game has three broad classes of ships. Engineering heavy cruisers with large crew complements and beefy hulls, but they are slow and clumsy on the turn. Science vessels that offer strong shields, decent speed and maneuverability, excellent science abilities but very weak hull. Finally the escorts with great speed and agility powerful damage output, but weak shields and hull.
Sometimes an engineering captain may want a ship that can really take it to a single opponent. The cruisers are designed to engage multiple enemies in a 360 degree arc. They can tank well but they are not typically good at directing all of the firepower to a single target, especially if that target is quick and nimble. For the KDF the battle cruiser was the answer, for Starfleet there was no answer until recently.
The Chel Grett was a game changer late in 2012. This ship was nearly as agile and fast as an escort but had almost as much hull as a level 40 cruiser. Shields are higher than an escort and it has eight weapons bays split evenly between the fore and aft of the ship. The Chel Grett could tank like a cruiser but carry the big dual cannons up front and bring them to bear on all but the most slippery of escorts. This is truly a masterpiece ship for an engineering captain looking for a little tactical fun.
The Risian Luxury Cruiser is brilliant. This ship looks silly but it has the most customizable appearance of any ship in the game. True to Risian form, the color palette for it is bright and bold as well. This ship is the Klingon Battle Cruiser for all. Frankly it is better than most of the KDF battle cruisers. This ship turns as well as the KDF battle cruiser offerings and has plenty of punch. It isn’t really ideal for dual cannons, but the dual beam banks offer a 90 degree firing arc that suits the 10 degrees/sec turn rate well. What is really spectacular is the 41,400 hull points! This is a tough ship! Ideally this is a good ship for a tactical captain looking for some resiliency without losing all the offensive punch.
But how do they compare in a head to head showdown?
The Breen contender is a hybrid ship. This is somewhat of a destroyer class blending cruiser and escort into one ship. The contender hailing from Risa was just a great play on the established KDF Battle Cruiser.
The Chel Grett has a balanced console set up with four tactical and three each engineering and science. The big boy BOFF station is a tactical but oddly the Lt. Commander station is a science seat. That high-ranking science BOFF can provide some interesting versatility but it comes at the expense of engineering resiliency.
The Risian Luxury Cruiser can tank like a cruiser and frankly better than most KDF battle cruisers. Full size cruiser hull and crew and a Lt. Commander at tactical! Unlike the Grett that offers its universal seat limited to an ensign, this ship has a Lt universal. The ship leans a little engineering heavy on the console arrangement with five spaces reserved for engineering and just two science and three tactical. This ship can go toe to toe with either the Avenger or Mogh and it will wipe the floor with the Kamarag Retrofit. This armed starliner luxury attack yacht is to die for.
The Grett is hard to figure out. I have tried a dozen or more weapons and equipment combinations on this ship and I am still not sure which is best. I originally had the full Breen space set and the breen transphasic weapons. That was fun because it was the Breen authentic setup, but it wasn’t very tough. I flew it for quite a while with the complete Reman space set and the Romulan reputation weapons set. That was a pretty boss setup! Currently I have the complete Omega space set and Omega weapons set on the ship. This is a solid setup but I think I will lose the lone single beam array up front and go with all dual banks across the fore. I love playing around with this ship and it is a blast to fly in PVE missions.
The Risian Luxury Cruiser is a goofy looking ship that kicks ass and takes names, then kills all the names. This ship tanks and deals damage well. Of all the worlds across the mighty Milky Way galaxy, did you ever think it would be flower wearing, resort loving, beachcombers of Risa that would make a battle cruiser better than the Klingons?
All else being equal I think the Risian ship would be the victor in a head to head PVP showdown. The Breen Chel Grett is more fun to fly however. The better of the two is the Luxo-liner but since they are both easy to get and FREE; get them both already!
Here is a comparison of several ships to these two free event ships. You will see that both of these ships stack up well against established and sometimes expensive ships. If you can swing the coin, I would still recommend getting an Avenger or Mogh, but if you want to keep it on a skinny budget either of these head to head contenders will make you grin 🙂