Good Morning Admirals,
Welcome to the second article assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the Dindrenzi fleet that comes as a part of the Battle for Valhalla boxed game and how you can work them into a solid list. This article will cover the Secutor Class Cruisers, one of the core components of any self respecting Dindrenzi admiral!
Ships of this tonnage tend to form the bulk of most fleets, both fictional and real, and as such command a great weight of importance in any fleet. They are the workhorses, the ships that will win you the game the majority of the time. They do not have the massive destructive potential of a Battleship or a Dreadnought but they have a number of advantages over these ships which we will cover during the course of this article.
The first thing to notice about a Cruiser compared to a higher ship class is the cost. They are cheap. Three Secutor Class Cruisers with the Secured Bulkhead MAR is still 5 points cheaper than a bare Praetorian and at their optimum range band are putting out just as much firepower if they link their shots. This means that in the early game a squadron of Cruisers can go toe to toe with a Battleship and still hold their own, especially as a Battleship is likely to be focusing on their own targets of equal weight. However, this strength in numbers can be easily broken as I’ll cover in the weaknesses later in the article.
One of the primary strengths of the Secutor beyond its relatively cheap cost is the flexibility it possesses. It is a fast, relatively nimble ship capable of a 9” move and with only a 1” turn limit meaning that she can quite happily do a 180 degree turn if she really needs to. She also has strong firepower in the fore, starboard and port facings as well as a nominal aft fire arc to see off any opportunistic Frigates or Corvettes which might have tried to loop around behind. She carries 4 mines, meaning that a squadron can lay down quite a sizeable area of dangerous space as well as take the Secured Bulkheads MAR to defend against any errant boarders that might try to take her out of the game. This means that the Secutor is, in my eyes, best used as a midrange support ship, moving up in the early game to maximise the squadron’s firepower before damage starts to accumulate while supporting other areas of the fleet by using the mines and inherent mobility to keep threats away from your true damage dealers.
However, such a ship cannot be relied on to take a large amount of punishment and the squadron’s effectiveness can very quickly plummet if not looked after. Just a couple of points of hull damage and your Point Defence rating has dropped to 1, your Gun Racks are 1/2 to 2/3 the level of effectiveness they started at. This has a huge knock on effect to the linked fire of the squadron and can effectively nullify the contributions of a ship without taking it out of the game (at which point it is probably worth FSDing it out of play to deny it to the enemy). Clever players can more than half the damage output of the squadron without ever destroying a ship or they can focus on them one at a time, seriously dropping the number of dice per turn through either option.
So, my recommendations for the Secutor would be to take at least one squadron of 3 in every fleet. They are great all-rounder support ships that, if looked after, can punch well above their weight. At optimum range the rail guns are putting out 16 attack dice if the squadron links fire. On a slightly above average roll that can put critical hits on Battleships and on an average roll is going to annihilate a smaller craft. But, they are quite fragile so make sure to keep them covered. Use scenery where possible to either hide or interfere with incoming shots. A Battleship lining up in the open against one is getting somewhere in the double figures of attack dice. If you can half this by having an asteroid field in the way it just might make all the difference.
I would make their main use a supporting role, offering fire support and eliminating emergent threats to your main damage dealers. If you’re running a Praetorian in a similar set up to the one I described in the previous post these guys make the perfect snipers, taking out other cruisers that are closing in to unleash broadsides or combine a boarding action of their own against the Speartip.
If you have any other ways of running the Secutor then let me know in the comments! Always open to new tactics 🙂
Until next time,