I’ve been dabbling in a bit of experimentation. It seems to be the common perception, that one of PHRs strengths is its immensely durable frigates. While they are indeed considerably more durable than the counterparts of other fleets, the other ships of PHR are also very durable – and none more so, than their troopships.
So, with this in mind, I’ve been trying out a list very far from my normal 999p list and made a cruiser-heavy list which I’ve so far had great succes with.
Without further ado, I’ll present the list.
SR16 Vanguard battlegroup
- 1 x Agamemnon (incl. Vice Director)
- 1 x Calypso
- 1 x Orpheus
SR12 Line battlegroup
- 1 x Orpheus
- 2 x Echo
- 1 x Orion
SR10 Line battlegroup
- 1 x Orpheus
- 1 x Orion
SR2 Pathfinder battlegroup
- 2 x Medea
I have actually mostly been running af 800p variety of the same list (one less Orpheus, no Echoes, Orion downgraded to an Ajax), but the principle is the same, and next I intend to test the 999p list.
Compared to what I normally run, I lack my usual 6-10 launch assets (often in the form of Andromedas), at least 1 or 2 Medeas and my Bellerophon. I have instead added huge amounts of durability and firepower while not having backed down on drop assets.
This list is basically build on the Orpheus. The fact that it has a heavy cruiser hull and firepower almost identical to an Ajax, makes it quite unique and probably my favourite ship. The list includes three as I want to achieve target saturation; instead of relying my drop assets on hiding frigates in atmosphere, I rely on almost depressingly tough dropships being too numerous to be killed before they drop.
The Vanguard battlegroup has a large amount of firepower and has the role of attracting fire and engaging enemy ships. The Orpheus of the Vanguard battlegroup will most likely not follow along with it, so it will mostly have to deal with a SR 17 but honestly – SR 16 or 17 is rarely all that important. Take advantage of the Thrust 10″ of the battle cruiser (yes, PHR battle cruisers are faster than their cruisers!) and keep the Calypso close and don’t be afraid to dish out that Weapons Free order.
The two lines battlegroups serve similar roles; they have to ensure drop on sectors and space stations while having solid firepower. They will most likely run at least two turns with silent running though trying a double-tap in round 2 + 3 is also viable. The only difference between the groups are the Echoes which are mainly there to handle enemy atmospheric vessels, though the multiple light broadsides available in the fleet can also do their part.
The Pathfinder battlegroup is the classic double-tap group which against most enemies can move in and occupy a sector without them being able to do much, unless they are facing heavy corvette opposition. This is also the reason the other groups are so heavily loaded while this group is almost empty.
This is a fleet, which can go toe-to-toe with most enemies. It can soak a load of damage before getting any reduction in firepower. You should also be opne to split battle groups – you might not be behind on strategy rating overall, but the SR 10 is a magic limit for most I think, so you will in many cases be silly played between the fast battle groups of your opponent and ditto slow battle groups.
At first, I actually assumed that the strategy rating of this fleet list would be considerably higher than other fleet lists. This stems from the fact that Strategy rating per point in general is higher for heavier classes than for lower. In PHR the top scorers are:
- Achilles – 6,1 SR for 100 points
- Theseus – 5,6 SR for 100 points
- Bellerophon – 5,6 SR for 100 points
- Heracles / Minos – 5,3 SR for 100 points
- Agamemnon – 5,1 SR for 100 points
But of these, only the Agamemnon is present in this list while the Orpheus, Echo and Medeas are solidly placed with below average SR per point. When I compared it against most other fleet lists I’ve made, this is on par or only slightly worse off.
This was another part, where I was expecting to be a lot in front compared to the other lists. I have then analyzed it using my methodology for evaluation actual durability of ships, to find, if this was any tougher than the fleets I normally field.
The toughest ships per point in the PHR fleet is, in order:
- Ajax – 16,3 “actual hits” per 100 points
- Perseus – 15,6 “actual hits” per 100 points
- Calypso – 15,5 “actual hits” per 100 points
- Orpheus – 15,3 “actual hits” per 100 points
- Orion – 15,3 “actual hits” per 100 points
At the bottom of the list is the Echo and besides that and the Pandora, the bottom half of the list is Heavy cruisers and upwards.
So while that could seem to indicate that what I did select here is a tough fleet, I also found that when compared to the other lists I played, this is within a few percentage points just as tough. I then found a few 999p lists on the Hawk Wargames forum to compare against and found that this list is generally 3-8 % tougher than the average list, and I didn’t find a single of them that was tougher. So I guess both I have a preference for the tough ships but also, that this list is a bit tougher. I won’t compare it against other fleets since PHR already have a considerably heads start.
I think it is interesting to challenge what is considered viable. I want to test this list further and see if I can adjust it to make it even tougher (maybe replacing Agamemnon and Calypso with two Ajax’s?).