//Burnthrough or alternative armaments?

Burnthrough or alternative armaments?

As I hinted in my previous post, I want to delve a little more into three specific BTL questions. In this post, I will touch upon the first; comparing the BTLs to their alternative weapon systems.


Let’s start with UCM. For UCM the alternative to the Cobra is a set of UF-6400 Mass Drivers. Since we assume heavy opposition, we will do the compare both against 3+ Armour save and 4+ passive save but only look at average damage. This is the difference for instance between the Osaka and New Cairo.

3+ Armour save4+ Passive save
UF-6400 Mass Driver Turrets1,781,33
Cobra Heavy Laser2,721,65
Laser performance improvement53 %24 %

For a 2 point premium you get a considerably improvement of damage against the tougher targets, a good chance of adding a minor spike (89 %) and a fine chance for a major spike (50 % / 27 %). You do, however, lose a lot of firearch (248°). However, I do understand why people like the BTL for UCM – especially on the light cruisers where Weapons Free orders are of no use in any case, so you are almost always able to turn to face your target.


For PHR, the alternative to the Supernova Laser is a Medium Calibre Turret. Due to the high variance on PHR ships, there are no two ships where the only difference is replacing the Supernova with a Medium Calibre Turret so we have no easy way to translate cost difference. We can look at the average damage difference, however.

3+ Armour save4+ Passive save
Medium Calibre Turret0,560,50
Supernova Laser1,090,70
Laser performance improvement94 %40 %

The difference is staggering – though it is rather small damage numbers. The Supernova also comes with a 67 % chance of a minor spike and a 18 % / 4 % chance of a major spike. The difference in firing arch is not that great, since the turret is only front so here the difference is only 68°.

Though looking at the raw numbers, the Supernova seems considerably better, it is not that simple. Strategically speaking, this is not the main weapon of a cruiser, and you cannot pick ship based on the front-mounted weapon alone. In addition, most of the ships need to present their sides to the enemy to deal real damage meaning they cannot in the same manner as UCM manouver to place an enemy within the narrow front arch. Even more so, ships with the Supernova has blind spots not only on the rear (as most ships) but also in the (considerable!) gaps between front narrow and side-arches.

All in all, I still think the Supernova is better than the turret, but not by as much as the pure numbers seem to suggest.


For Scourge, the alternative to the Furnace Cannon is two oculus Beam Arrays as can be seen when comparing the Sphinx and the Ifrit. Here the BTL ship is cheaper by 5 points. The comparision is done with BT 8 (as this was the most damaging) and only against a single Oculus Beam Array since firing two would require Weapons Free.

3+ Armour save4+ Passive save
Oculus Beam Array1,781,33
Furnace Cannon (BT8)2,681,90
Laser performance improvement51 %43 %

The comparison here is actually more complicated than for the other two, I think.

The arguments for the Furnace Cannon is of course the considerable damage increase and the flexibility of being able to pick the BT4 variety which both can cause spikes and perform more-or-less on par with BT8 against ships with 3-4 hull points or less. On top of that a 5 point price reduction is a nice addition.

The arguments for the Oculus Beam Arrays are the increased firearch (similar to UCM) and the possibility to go weapons free which will increase weapon damage considerably over the Ifrit.

In any case, the choice is not that simple and both options seems very viable, the price considered.

In conclusion

I think in general the BTLs are rather good and maybe a little too good to their price point.

For UCM, they are damage wise so much better that with the added benefit of flash, it is a no brainer in the above comparison. The moment more weapon systems are mounted on the same ship (like comparing Berlin and Rio), the choice becomes less clear, since Weapons Free is not that great when one of the weapon systems is a front narrow. In any case, they seem somewhat underpriced.

For PHR you never have a clear “one or the other” choice since the Supernova is never the primary weapon, The Supernova is better, but taking PHRs need for maneuver and the blind spots it creates into account, the choice is not that obvious. If I had free choice at the same price I would always go with the Supernova, but since that is not the case, the front weapon is not my primary argument for picking one ship over the other.

Finally, for Scourge it seems internally rather balanced – the two Oculus Beam Arrays seems actually a bit better than the single Furnace Cannon but when you take into consideration that they are more expensive and do require Weapons Free to be exploited to their fullest, it seems balanced.

In my next post I will pick up on the other two subjects; Comparing Supernovas and looking at alternatives to the Vipers current profile.