First Introduced: Base Invaders 5 (June 21-25, 2012) – 5th Tier Quota Prize
Second Offering: Storm Force (Oct. 18-23, 2012) – 4th Tier Quota Prize
Third Offering: Lightning Raid (Dec. 12-19, 2012)
Points Required: 22,000,000 (or as little as 5,500,000 with 4x Participation Multiplier) /6,500,000 /6,500,000
The Strike Cruiser is one of the most versatile hulls in the game. While designed mostly for mortar fleets, it tends to be used more often as a blitz fleet due to its speed and high explosive resistance. It can also be used as a missile fleet. This was the first hull to feature two built-in special abilities and boasted the highest cargo capacity of any Draconian hull (not counting Forsaken blueprint hulls, such as the HHs) available at the time.
- Spread -30%: Reduces the spread of all equipped weapons that have spread by 30% of the listed value. This currently includes mortars and rockets. Stacks with Electronic Range Finder for a total of up to -60%. Calculated as listedSpread * (1 – 0.3 – electronicRangeFinderValue).
- Splash +25%: Increases the splash radius of all equipped weapons that have splash by 25% of the listed value. This currently includes all mortars and rockets, as well as the Siege Cannon D35-S. Stacks with High Explosive Shells for a bonus of up to 75%. Calculated as listedSplash * (1.25 + highExplosiveShellsValue).
Early Strike Cruiser builds focused primarily on mortars, which was clearly the intended design, and they did rather well. It didn’t take long, however, for people to realize that its speed, explosive resistance and bonus to splash radius also made it ideal for blitzing. Today, most SC fleets are blitzers, a role they continue to dominate and the one I will focus on.
Being a blitz hull, speed and defense are the two most important stats. Armed with Siege Cannons, Engines 3 and Thrusters 3, the SC can blister through bases at 23mph. Throw in LA3 and D4-X armor and the two primary threats, cannons and rockets, are practically incapable of dealing enough damage fast enough to sink the fleet. This is especially true if using an Arbiter equipped with Microwave Dampener 3.
Missiles can pose a small threat but their slow reload time and moderate DPS generally isn’t enough to be a significant threat. VMs and Halos are practically useless as the SC simply outruns them.
Ballistic Goliaths can tend to be a problem, especially if they’re armed with Siege Cannons, HB3 and AL3. Be sure to either prep the guards or use a Pinch to minimize the damage they deal.
Recommended for attacking bases: YES
As a Guard
Strike Cruisers can actually make very effective guards if used correctly. The extra explosive resistance allows them to stand up to mortar fire for a bit longer and the splash bonus is great if using mortars yourself to help your VMs overwhelm your attacker’s Hailstorms. Assault Mortars become extremely deadly. The SC is also a good hull for Assault Missiles and SFB3, which can provide a valuable alternative damage type.
Recommended as a guard fleet: YES
Vs Player-Controlled Fleets
While SC blitz fleets are among the fastest and best-protected in the game, they are still slower than the best FvF hulls out there. Sea Wolves, Interdictors and Barracudas can all outrun the SC while Sea Scorpion As can keep pace. Any of those fleets armed with SFB3 Assault Missiles will give a blitz fleet real trouble and if your opponent is a good pilot, they’ll very likely come out on top.
If you do get your opponents in range, though, Siege Cannons tend to shred through fleets like cheese-grater on a snowball. HB3 can make that a lot easier but you can potentially lose some usefulness as a base blitzing fleet.
That said, you can very easily put Assault Missiles and SFB3 on the Strike Cruiser and make a very decent FvF build but there are better hulls for that kind of build. If using a mortar build, it’s best to avoid FvF whenever possible.
Recommended for FvF: NO
Salvages are a slightly different story. Because they run on AI, they are unable to kite you and will simply chase you down. This allows you to use mortar kiting and with the increased splash, you can chew through the enemy ships pretty quickly.
Mortars are also one of the only weapons that are capable of killing SFB3-equipped ships before they get in range. As long as such ships are trailing another ship, the SC can fire at the lead ship and have the mortars hit the SFB3 ship without it getting a chance to fire back. This makes the SC a great choice for handling Elite Salvages.
I’ll also note that the SC makes an excellent auto-salvage fleet. Using Hull Streamlining 3 and 4x D2-N armor, it can achieve map speeds of 73 mph. That allows it to get from salvage to salvage extremely quickly, greatly speeding up your hunt for blueprints.
Recommended for salvages: YES
Mortars have been a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to events. They typically haven’t worked too well due to their long flight time and low accuracy but the SC’s special abilities make them a bit more effective. Blitz fleets, however, tend to do quite well and the SC’s speed makes it ideal for rushing targets. It’s extra splash can help Siege Cannons tear through multiple targets quickly, making it an excellent choice for taking down Typhoons.
Another big advantage of the Strike Cruiser is its high cargo capacity. It can easily hold more than enough resources to cover its repair costs, making it a very cost-efficient raid hull.
Recommended for Raids: YES
Standard Blitz Fleet: Ultimate Shipyard Link
- 6x Siege Cannon D35-S
- 4x D4-E / 4x D4-C
- Engines 3 / Speed System 3
- Ablative Armor 3 / Compound Armor D5-X
- Guidance Scrambler 3 / Ion Thrusters 3
Note: If you don’t have Speed System 3, go with Engines, Thrusters and the D4-C armor. Otherwise, load up on evade. The D5-X can be used instead of AA3 if expecting to face more missile and cannon fire.
Siege Mortar/Shockwave Base Fleet: Ultimate Shipyard Link
- 1x Siege Mortar D75-S
- 2x Shockwave Mortar D71-L
- 2x Hailstorm B
- 1x Hailstorm A
- 4x D3-E
- High Explosive Shells 3
- Ablative Armor 3 / Reactive Armor 3
- Guidance Scrambler 3
Note: AA3 with the Hailstorms should allow you to sit under several VMs for a very long time. However, if missiles happen to be a bigger threat, you can use RA3 instead.