SeerK here with another installment of “The Ships Of The Rense”. We are coming to the end of the series. We have one more tier one vessel after this installment. It seems fitting one of the main command ships of the Rense Navy is named Spectre. A Spectre is a ghost. A silent shadow lurking in the dark. It is also the name of the antagonistic organization from the James Bond series. Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. Also strangely fitting due to the role the Rense Navy plays in the Dindrenzi Federation.
Engineered and built by The Directorate for the Navy as it began to take on the role of spies, secret police and Elite cadre above the normal main line Dindrenzi fleet, the Spectre is a formidable ship. Equipped with Tried and tested Dindrenzi Rail Guns /'and Directorate Plasma weaponry it is more than a match for all but the heaviest vessels. It also is the hub of Intelligence gathering for any Rense fleet.
Lets take a look at the Spectre. We have a good DR of 7 and CR of 11. Eight hull points, good crew and assault points. Excellent point defense and mines. Weaponry with long range in all arcs except the rear. We also have a shield, which is a rarity in the Federation Navy. A wing capacity of 4 gives us some options. I like to go with Interceptors or bombers, it depends on what I am planning on doing with the ship. Fighters are actually a good choice in most situations though as they have the ability to multi task. They can do offense and defense.
We have two hard points with several good options. I almost always choose the -1 turn limit option as one of them. This is mainly because of the fixed fore main kinetic weapon. I know this is also a default choice for Dindrenzi Fleet Marshals as well. Any opportunity to make our ships more maneuverable should be taken. You need to be able to get your weapons to bear as quickly as you can.
Adding AP is nice but the options I usually have a hard time choosing between is the additional 2” of movement, which takes the ship up to a move of 9,” and the Ops Center MAR.
I choose based on what I am purposing the ship for. If it is my primary tier one ship I usually go for movement. People do not expect fast moving Tier one vessels from the Dindrenzi. Our upgrades are Special Forces, which I also always take and Precision strike for the Kinetics. As I typically do not bother with precision strikes I don't take this option.
We do have quite a few options for Escorts. We can take up to three Sirens, a single Cerberus and up to three escorts from Zenian League members. With the Marauders rules out this also opens up options as the fleet building section specifies that you can take OSO or STL escorts if it states the ship can take Zenian league or Kurak escorts. I am kinda sad that it states OSO and STL as I would love to take the Grief escorts from the oroshan. Its like Having Dindrenzi bucklers that you can either have AP or PD on albeit 5 points more expensive. Which is ok as it has more guns and a better CR than the Buckler. But I digress....
The Escort options are varied and this is where you have to make some tough choices. Sirens are good as they add a point defense screen few can penetrate and you can use Target Resolution on 3 systems if you have three Sirens, or a much easier command role at long range. If I run sirens this is usually when I run Bombers or Fighters if I am running wings. I run Sirens if I am sitting back and trying to hit targets at range. Ships that rely on close range shooting find themselves in the danger zone quick as they close. Target Resolution can really increase your damage output at close range.
I take the Cerberus if I am going to be getting into the thick quick. Especially if I think I am going to have to square off with a Dreadnought. The Cerberus adds a lot of fire power for engaging big ships and it can deal with cruisers and escorts with gusto. For instance, I do not combine fire when dealing with carriers. The Spectre can deal with a carrier pretty well on its own. If the Carrier has Cruiser escorts or Gunship escorts the Cerberus is well equipped to deal with them on its own. This way I can inflict a maximum amount of damage on a squadron made up of medium and larger ships. You can also do a nice one two with your torpedoes if you give the Cerberus the Torpedo Spook MAR.
If you are willing to sacrifice your fleet tactics bonus, this opens up some other interesting options. Dindrenzi Buckler Escorts add some additional fire power with some mid to short range gun racks which can be nice for taking out frigates and smaller vessels. I find the power of frigates oft underestimated. Having a gun escort gives your larger vessels some better protection in the form of offensive power vs small vessels, that is when fired separately they hit easier.
Relthoza escorts are nice if you are planning on hitting a target with a massive assault. Having 6 additional AP can be nice. Granted you don't get the benefit of Special Forces on these guys though. Directorate Escorts are actually pretty nice They give you the PD of a Siren and they are unmanned so they do not suffer penalties from having 0 crew. You can also give them assault points. The Marauders give you access to one escort, the STL Trader Penitentiary class, which gives you access to Grav weapons. They are restricted by the Tractor Beam rule, but if you want to be that guy and push things into planets this is the escort for you.
All of these Escorts are nice, but may not add anything as good as your standard ones. It really depends on what you are trying to do. I personally don’t like using allies that take my Fleet Tactics bonus to 1. You kind of get used to having the first activation when you have a fleet tactics of 3.
The Spectre is a nice ship, but it does have some weaknesses. Compared to other Zenian League Battleships it is a little under most on hull points. The Directorate battleship also has 8 hull points, but it can have 2 shields. When you compare it to a Terran Battleship it is a little lacking in a point for point comparison. The Apollo/Razorthorn is 20 points cheaper with 2 shields base. It is a point less on DR and CR, but you have a lot of options to really kit it out and three hard points. It comes down to out maneuvering the Terran commander and trying to stay out of his optimal firing arcs and ranges. The Terrans benefit from Weapon shielding as well so in a slug fest the Spectre is on the loosing end as it takes damage.
You have a vulnerable rear arc as well. You must drop your mines to cover your rear. You must not forget to drop the mines. Drop them in a good staggered pattern to cover your rear area as to discourage ships from shunting in close or making it difficult to get a good firing position for ships maneuvering to get your rear arc. This especially gets very important as you make your way into the battle field.
The Rense have Expensive ships so you have to build smart and play smarter. Well thats all for now. We bring “Ships Of The Rense” to a close in our next installment. We cover our last vessel. Occupying the top of the current food chain we have the Banshee Dreadnought.
Until then, crush the Alliance and as always...