Ships from Kashmere Commonwealth
Since I wrote Kashmere Commonwealth, the opinions of the ships reflect a definite bias. Please let me know what points you agree and disagree about and I'll add your comments to the page.
Hell Bender K
BPV: 26 / 1 Crew
Well, the Hell Bender K is really a scenario specific ship. It's special sensors and FTL drive play no part in the normal "two-fleets-meet-in-space" battle, so I doubt anyone would choose this ship. But in case you do, treat this fighter just like a Talon or other similar ship. Move around the perimeter of the battle, wait for a ship to get separated from the others and pounce on it. The Hell Bender K is a great choice to take out those ships that have been stripped of everything except a little bit of drive. Use the Autocannon to blast them from 20 hexes away, earning some much deserved BPV.
BPV: 150 / 4 Crew
Well, it should be obvious that you always want to point your Karttikeya's front arc at a ship and then unload on it. The 360° Ion Ram should allow you to attack a target every turn. Remember the Ram's 15 hex range. Hang back for a few turns and snipe at targets with it. When a ship decides to get close enough to hit the Karttikeya, punish him. The Drive is very high for a Gunboat and its DR is quite nice as well. The Defensive Value is only 11, so be careful around ships armed with Plazguns and the like as they will hit almost 50% of the time. The Karttikeya's Point Defense can attack 6 torpedoes a turn with a 50% chance to hit, providing a nice defense against pesky Mk. 10 torpedoes. Finally, the 10 Mk. 20 torps provide decent punch with good drive, allowing you to chase down any ship that tries to turn and run. I typically launch the torpedoes in groups of four or five. Also, never forget the missile launcher. I use it to cripple any small, annoying fighter that is buzzing around.
BPV: 83 / 2 Crew
The Lakshmi is a fast cargo ship, with decent armament. Use its high drive to swoop in and attack a straggling target. The twin Impulseguns are accurate and damaging, while the twin Pulse Lasers are decent defensive weapons. The four torpedoes are excellent harassment weapons and can keep enemies from following too closely. Its DR is average, as its Defensive Value (13). Where the Lakshmi really shines is its damage track. Since it was designed to run away from most attackers, it keeps its drive for a long time. Also, it takes 25 hits before the ship takes a weapon hit. Late criticals also help to keep the Lakshmi in the fight. While it does not have the firepower of a Salamander or Death Wind, the Lakshmi will be flying around for a long time after the other ships are empty hulks.
BPV 15 / 1 Crew
I love this fighter. It looks cool, has a high Drive, is hard to hit, and packs a heavy wallop. I usually use my Maruts in pairs, using one (typically with a Piloting and Gunner of 1 each) to draw out an attacker and then move his wingman in to a safe firing arc against the ship foolish enough to take the bait. The Impulsegun is great, providing decent accuracy with High damage. Many think the Pulse Lasers are vestigial, but they do serve two great purposes. First, there are times when you need that extra +1 to-hit, especially against torpedoes where damage scored is not important. Second, it is always the weapon to be destroyed when the 'w' hit is encountered, leaving the Impulsegun to fire until the ship is destroyed. Which brings us to the great weakness of the Marut. It just does not take much damage to destroy. 11 points of damage will do one in so do not expect the Marut to have a long life in battle. Pick a target and send in two to four Maruts after it. Before they are all destroyed, they should strip the poor ship.
Teal Hawk III
BPV: 40 / 1 Crew
The Teal Hawk III is identical to the Teal Hawk with the following exceptions: additional cargo space and no gunner. The tactics for the Teal Hawk III are therefore similar to the Teal Hawk. This is how I always envisioned the Teal Hawk by the way, a single-mans smuggler craft, sort of a poor-man's Millennium Falcon.
BPV: 345 + Pod Value / 9 Crew
Again, the Ushas is a freighter, so do not expect to take on other Warhounds with impunity. It's Drive, DV, DR and Point Defense are all quite low. It's weaponry is defensive except for the Repeating Blaster. It is a Warhound though so it can take an impressive amount of damage and still move. Of course, if you add a battle pod or two to the Ushas it suddenly becomes a cheap weapons platform. The battle pod with 5 100-ton fighters in it can be a nasty surprise. 5 Maruts suddenly appearing will make anyone unhappy. As with the Vishnu, concentrate on your victory conditions. Leave the fighting to those ships designed for it.
BPV: 120 / 3 Crew
The Varuna was designed for escort duty and so, it is fairly defensive oriented. It has a high DR (4) so it can absorb a decent amount of punishment. It has a very large number of decoys, adequate point defense, and 6 Mk. 10 torpedoes for harassment / anti-torpedo work. The 360° Ion Ram has a deceptively long range, allowing 15 hex pot shots at enemy ships. The triple Pulse Laser is useful against hard to hit fighters like the Dart, while the quad Splatterguns keep enemies from sneaking up behind you. The Vaurna's damage track allows it to keep its weapons long into the fight, and has lots of empty boxes up front. If the Varuna is not protecting another ship, fight aggressively with it. Move it right in the middle of an enemy formation, and let fly with the weapons. Its low Defensive Value assures it will be hit often, but its DR and Damage Track allow it to keep going and going.
BPV: 50 / 4 Crew
The Vishnu is a freighter, nothing more. So do not expect it to do anything other than draw enemy fire and be a big juicy target. It is slow, pitifully easy to hit, has little armor, and purely defensive armament. Typically, if you are flying a Vishnu, you have a goal to reach which involves leaving the map safely. With that in mind, the only reason to deviate from your goal is if you have large numbers of torpedoes bearing down on you. Otherwise drive forward and ignore the attackers. While the Vishnu has a lot of damage boxes, if a ship moves in behind it, the Vishnu's Drive will quickly drop to 0. Rely on your escorts, or the threat of the Vishnu being a Yama to keep your enemy back. Proper formation use is the only way to keep the Vishnu alive.
BPV: 50 + Pod Value / 4 Crew
Well, on the outside, the Yama is identical to the Vishnu. It is still slow, easy to hit, and easy to damage. What it does have though is one of the most flexible weapon mounts in the game. With three different battle pods mountable on the ship, the Yama can deal with any situation. My personal favorite is to choose pods VY3 (100 ton bay, twin Impulsegun), VY1 (4 Blatguns, 2 20 shot missile launchers), and VY5 (8 Splatterguns, 2 20 shot missile launchers). With these, the Yama can attack a variety of targets. Of course the crew costs are high, but it is devastating. If the Yama is flying with one or more Vishnu, let your opponent close for one or two turns before revealing your weapons. The knowledge that a Yama is inside a freighter convoy often forces would-be pirates into using long range sniping tactics, which should give you time to leave the board. Once you reveal the Yama's weapons, hunt down and kill one or two ships a turn. Remember that once the Yama reveals its weapons, it becomes primary target number 1. It's Drive will quickly be destroyed, so use its firepower quickly and decisively.