Crystal Ball? Chicken Bones? BLT?
By: George Argyropoulos
How to Plan:
Looking ahead is sometimes difficult, particularly in this game. Given that we are having a 'Super-store' raid in March, I though it would be a good idea to take a crack at the crystal ball and see if we can formulate a plan going into the next raid to see what we may want to grab for prizes.
We know the next raid-set will be Garrison. This gives us a few presumptions that can be made going forward so that we can plan ahead.
Unless we hear differently the presumption is going to remain that the damage types in the Garrison raid upcoming will be explosive and penetrative.
The second presumption that I'm going to make is that the mechanic will still remain very similar to what we see now in the current Garrison targets.
In that vein in order to prepare for the next raid set we can presume that we will need a tank and a remote targeting hull to at least participate. Given past history we will see, likely, the remote targeting hull offered in the March raid as this is the damage dealing hull for these targets.
Given these presumptions we have a starting point for our planning. If you are capable of getting the new hull, or already have Citadels your concentration will likely be on a Tank. The only Garrison type targets we have to currently gauge against is the FM targets. With that in mind here are two very capable builds that have worked well in the current FM 109 targets.
We will likely have a better understanding once we see the new hull and specials in March (hopefully), so this is all speculative based on our current understanding of Garrison targets, their mechanics and their typical damages.
This has been a proven design in the FM. The addition of the torpedo allows for the destruction of mines if present helping to gain Bloodthirst quicker. The possible drawback to this design is the low deflection which may become an issue in the next Raid set.
The new kid on the block and possibly more capable than the Tideseeker. The repair modifier for the Generalist class is a drawback, however, the much larger deflection numbers may prove pivotal in its use in the next Raid set. Since torpedoes can not be fit to this hull, a Garwood has been used for the same purpose as the torpedo was in the Tideseeker, but not for bloodthirst. The hull has thermal so rather than having your mortars fire at mines they can not hit, the Garwood will eliminate that problem making driving a bit easier. This may be the best option on the table until we learn more about the targets.
Ahhhh... the venerable Punisher. One of my favorite all-time hulls. Given the performance of the above two Tanks, I'm not quite sure how this one will actually perform itself. Should deflection be the deciding factor in the next Raid set, this may perform as well as, and perhaps better than, the Tideseeker. If resistances are more heavily favored it may perform far worse. This is a gamble unless it is the only Tank option you have. Personally, my feeling is I would avoid spending any time on this build if I had other options.
Next in line will be the hull hiding behind the Tank chucking raining death down upon the targets. Given the performance of the Centurion in the last Raid set I would not expect the Citadel to fair well in any of the higher targets, however, they may be able to pull off Tier 4 targets, and perhaps Tier 5 targets, with a Harlock Citadel in the lead. Since I am unsure of the mechanic or underlying target changes that will be made, it is exceptionally difficult to predict how well or poorly the Citadel will perform in the next Raid set. We can, however, try and make them as efficient as we can for those players that will be using them. To that end this build is one that performs well currently in the FM targets and should lend itself well to formulating ideas for you to utilize in refitting your own.
Novastorms are the next popular choice in line in the current FM it seems but... I do not foresee them doing anything above Tier 3 set targets, and even that may be striving too high depending on the new target's layout or mechanics.
Beyond planning for a decent Tank, or perhaps two so you can swap out, it is still a crap shoot as to what is coming, but we can try and prepare a little here and there as our shipyards get some time free.
Part of my concern, and reason for addressing this now, is the need for a high level of rank on a Tank in order for it to perform well in these targets. If you do not have one, or have a sub-par one, now is the time to start thinking about it so you can have at least a blank hull ready for ranking after the next Raid. Either in prioritizing its acquisition in the next raid and heving it out in time, or having it built before the next raid ends.
It is VERY early for this, however, giving yourself options and some preparation could possibly help ease your foray into the next Raid set, particularly given the build times of the Tanks.