Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ships Of The Rense pt 4: Cerberus The Guardian Of Hades

SeerK here after a little break to let people catch their breath. Its been a furious pace the past month in regards to posts. I thought I would continue our coverage of the Rense System Navy. We are almost done. We are now breaking into the big boys. Tier one vessels are the biggest and the most deadly. The Rense Navy, and other Zenian League alliance fleets, have a bridge between tier one and tier two. I speak of course of the heavy cruiser. Specifically I am talking about the Cerberus / Hellhound heavy cruiser.

The Cerberus is quite a beast. Although it has the typical damage and critical rating of a heavy cruiser is packs some above standard weaponry that has a very long range. It can reach out with its kinetic and torpedo weapons to 48 inches. This is pretty impressive. Whats more impressive is what a full squadron can put out in its optimal range band. Range band two is lethal distance for a squadron. 18 dice from its kinetic weapons makes it dangerous for even dreadnoughts to get this close.

As with all RSN vessels you benefit from the Elite Crew MAR. You also have the option of giving the Squadron the Special Forces and Torpedo Spook MARs. Although these later two MAR's are there to allow the Cerberus to mix with Spook squadrons and act as a capital accompaniment for the Spectre Battleship, these make Squadrons rather resistant to boarding actions and makes their torpedoes much more lethal. Although you can also give the squadron Precision Strike, I have not made much use of this particular MAR. I plan on trying it out more in the future though, especially after SMD_Vogrin showed me the potential of it with his Directorate. I found my point defense systems off line way more than they should have been.

The Cerberus is though and can stand toe to toe with larger vessels when you have more than one in a squadron. In a patrol fleet its also a tier one choice. In larger fleets it gets bumped down to a tier two. I like to use the Cerberus as my tier one choice in a patrol fleet, mainly because of the fire power a squadron of 3 brings and how hard it is to kill all three ships. This does put your admiral on a ship that is less resilient than a Spectre Battleship, but for the points, 270 for a squadron of three with no upgrades, you get more firepower and more hull points spread out over three vessels. It is harder to gain battle log for your opponent in this situation.

In larger fleets I always take at least one squadron of Cerberus and send them out to hit priority targets. I will go one to one versus cruiser sized vessels and I will concentrate fire on heavy cruisers and battleships. They are a hunting pack and gain target priority rather quickly. This can be beneficial as this brings ships into lethal range and keeps the heat off of your larger ships. They are ideal for hunting admirals and hitting problem squadrons. I really like using them to pick off Gunships as that class of vessel usually cannot play the range game with the Cerberus. You are able to soften up a Gunship squadron pretty well before you get into optimal range. If do it right you are dealing a killing blow by the time you reach 24 inches away. Using your Bulwarks in support can really enhance your ability to pick off larger targets. I am all about synergy, maybe its from years of playing Eldar.

The Rense Navy is similar. Points wise you tend to be outnumbered against many different fleets and builds. So you have to use your squadrons in support of one another. The Cerberus is a hub of sorts. They are tough and heavy hitting, but must be used in conjunction with your smaller vessels to really get the one two punch. I have noticed that the Rense Navy as a whole lacks a major punch. The larger vessels can deal damage, but you really have to hit targets with more than one squadron. This usually takes the form of a capital ship squadron hitting a target then a frigate squadron finishing it off. Once again an example of the Rense Playing at being a core fleet but really should be mixed with other Zenian League ships to get the one two punch or fill a gap the Rense are lacking for the given scenario.
This is why people should really design their fleet after determining what kind of game you are playing the rule book says to do. This would also be why when doing tournaments we like using a format where you make 2 premade lists that you can use over the course of the tournament. Given the missions before hand you can plan your two fleet lists accordingly.

Well thats all for now. I hope everybody had a good 4th of July. The Liberation of Omicron Theta went well until our Terran Grand Admiral was summoned by home command IE the Wife. We did manage to make it through 3 turns though. I will go over it some more later. Spellduckwrong may have some musings on games of that size as well. It was a good first try as experiments go.

Next time in “Ships Of The Rense” we will delve into the first of the tier one vessels. The basis of modern American Naval groups and the home to my 89th Pioneer Bomber Group also know as “The Angry Angels”, The Argus carrier.

Until then crush the Alliance and as always,


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