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Echoes and their uses

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Shadeseraph

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Echoes and their uses

PostMon Nov 20, 2017 1:36 pm

Hello, all.

I've been playing recently a bit, and I've come to love the humble echo. Thanks to his mobility, cheap cost and deceptively high firepower for the cost, I've come to like them a lot - more than Europas, in fact.

As you all know, they come stock with a front-facing 2 attacks, 4+ lock cannon and a 3 attacks, 4+ lock close action weapon. Within close action range, they have similar firepower to an europa in the same condition. In paper, they are less resilient, but being faster, being harder to spike (with stealth), not being vulnerable to cripling damage or exploding, and being able to hide in atmosphere, as well as cheaper, means that in my experience they are harder to kill than one might think, and with outlier on top, they are incredibly good at laying traps for board interdiction and hunting priority targets - even non-dropship ones (limas, san franciscos, new cairos...). They are also really great for active scan, on top of this.

I've had only a couple games yet, so not an experienced player by any stretch, but they've been as much of a MVP as my Bellerophon - and really flexible in usage.

what's the general feeling about these little ships? I've heard that corvettes aren't very popular right now, but I can't see myself not taking 5-6 or even more of them at 1000+ battles.
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Cry of the Wind

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Re: Echoes and their uses

PostMon Nov 20, 2017 6:04 pm

My normal PHR opponent is not a fan but I dont think he is using them fully. He basically treats them like I do my Santiago but they are better than that. I would suggest more than 2 in a group and use them in Low Orbit first with the main guns before switching to Atmo to kill strike carriers that need to die. Diving into Atmo too soon puts a huge limit on their damage output and where you can actually use them. Medea are tough and can take a few turns of corvette fire before dying if the enemy even bothers trying (I target Echos over Medea with Santi as they strugle to scratch the later).
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brandothecommando

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Re: Echoes and their uses

PostMon Nov 20, 2017 7:22 pm

I would argue that the Europa has significantly more survivability and firepower. If you're firing both broadsides, the Europa is brutal. 5 Europa's are a great "last activation" max thrust; first activation next turn to get a double broadside. Those 5 DPs and 3+ save also make the europas quite tough.

I have never even used the stealth rule for echos as I have always wanted the maneuverability over the tiny drop in sig. Also, if my opponent is active scanning my echos, that means my troopships aren't being shot to bits.

Regardless, I think echos are great, but certainly not a replacement for Europas.
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Drcox

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Re: Echoes and their uses

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 6:52 am

I find three is the perfect number. 6 main gun shots normally averages as two hits and a Crit, so you can’t ignore that (and when on silent running they’re a pain to find) and 9 CAW shots in atmosphere I find will normally damage a strike carrier sufficiently
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Shikatanai

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Re: Echoes and their uses

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 7:23 am

I do not see much use for them besides spamming them in huge numbers... that way they get a real threat in Orbit that is hard to handle and the Atmospheric hunting capability is more like a bonus. Otherwise they are in an awkward spot as atmospheric hunting is usually not worth the effort (especially as they are even less cost efficient compared to other corvettes) and they do not offer much in orbit which something else wouldn't do better.
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Akdakkar

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Re: Echoes and their uses

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 1:46 pm

Echos can't active scan, until I know, but they are great corvettes by sure. They speed and firepower is enough to be a real threat.
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Cry of the Wind

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Re: Echoes and their uses

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 4:47 pm

Shikatanai wrote:...they do not offer much in orbit which something else wouldn't do better.


I disagree as they add in forward guns on a low sig platform that is able to snipe things much easier than anything else in the fleet while at the same time being immune to incoming fire because no one is going to waste an active scan on one. They add Topaz like abilities to a fleet that otherwise wouldn't have that option. The ability to go strike carrier hunting after is what makes them cost as much as they do.
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Shadeseraph

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Re: Echoes and their uses

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 5:27 pm

brandothecommando wrote:I have never even used the stealth rule for echos as I have always wanted the maneuverability over the tiny drop in sig. Also, if my opponent is active scanning my echos, that means my troopships aren't being shot to bits.


There are several reasons to AS them, though - last game I was using 4 of them in two groups, and my opponent was interested in protecting his dropships by neutralizing my echoes. Furthermore, in turn 3 I had my echoes (4 of them) screen a group of new cairo and his san petersburg - he would have liked using the new cairos more aggressively, but if he had done so he would have put them in range of the echos, so he acted conservatively and kept them back. If he could have pinged them, he would have had a lot more room to maneuver, even if the echoes seem weak they can be fairly threatening when you can't react to them (it does help that the previous turn they had already killed an osaka while in stealth, mind you).

In the end he opted for pinging my bellerophon in the backfield, but it was still too far away to be shoot at by anything that was threatening, even with a large spike. He told me that if the echoes had not been in stealth he would have pinged and killed a couple of them.

Akdakkar wrote:Echos can't active scan, until I know, but they are great corvettes by sure. They speed and firepower is enough to be a real threat.

Ugh, didn't notice the hull restriction on the order, good to know. I haven't active scanned yet with them, but the option did indeed cross my mind a couple times.
This is another good point in favor of the Europa, too.
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Cry of the Wind

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Re: Echoes and their uses

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 7:08 pm

Shadeseraph, I still don't see how pinging an Echo would matter though, not only do they not active scan they also do not explode and hurt their neighbours. It is a lot of effort to scan a squadron of them and is most likely not worth it. Seems like it was very situational that they were worth scanning at all and that is not something I would count on. Stealth really is more of a fluff rule than a usable one since I would rather be able to turn more often than I would need to remove 2" of sig.

Europa are a decent frigate and active scan is something I would be using them for. That said I think the Echo is easier to get the full use out of and the added ability to doge bombers by dropping to atmo is amazing even without their air to air abilities as well.
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Shadeseraph

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Re: Echoes and their uses

PostWed Nov 22, 2017 1:43 pm

Note that I don't disagree that stealth is mostly a weak and situational rule on them, mind you - it's an option you have, but not one you'll use most of the time. I do think that it can be useful in certain niche conditions - mainly when the enemy doesn't have any other worthwhile targets or if the enemy wants to ensure his superiority in atmo by destroying your corvettes.

Generally, the features I found most useful on them were: front-facing guns on a 12" model, CAWs with 3 attacks on a scan 8" model, cheapness, and ability to dive into atmo for interdiction (besides being able to attack dropships, of course). All other features are just minor improvements on these little ships that can be threatening to most cruisers and frigates.

The Europas can do similarly while being toughter, but are also more expensive, slower, and depend more on course-change to shot effectively - although if you manage to get them in a good position they are really shooty for the cost. I've found that echos are better at "assassination" and traps, while europas are more of a workhorse.
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