Choosing what to build next . . .
What should I be building next is the question on everyone's lips. Well the PHR push the boundaries a bit with their style of needing to focus down targets before moving on. Let us go over what to look at building shall we?
Before we begin:
In today's article, I will be going over build considerations. If you have not read my first Expanding your Fleet article, I highly suggest checking it out. I go over things like Strategy Rating and some other important topics of consideration.
What the PHR brings to the table:
Due to the cost of the PHR ships, you will have a tendency to have less ships on the table than most other factions. It is a way of life in Dropzone Commander and it transfers over here. However, the things that PHR excels at are the amount of punishment they can take, their ability to specialize battlegroups, the number of shots you get, the variety of ships to choose from and their 8" Scan range.
Where to Start:
The PHR are a very robust faction. They can take hits but when dealing them they are average at best. This fleet will not always be able to flat out destroy ships but it can survive and last through the game. The PHR also don't have a general purpose weapon beyond the Medium Caliber weapon and that is as average as it gets. At 4+ on the Lock Value you will have more shots hitting against armor than most anything else. Watch for that and plan for it against other 3+ armor ships.
What is the Starter Fleet:
2x Medea-class Strike Carriers
2x Europa-class Frigates
1x Theseus-class Light Cruiser
1x Ikarus-class Vanguard Carrier
1x Hector-class Heavy Cruiser
This is a good start so let us expand on it.
So when you build your fleet, consider a few topics. The first is Troopships. The PHR have the hands down best troopships in the game, They are the more expensive Cruisers but they make that up in versatility and capability. The Ganymede is almost a staple I feel in any fleet because it does so much, it provides ground support through bombardment, and it provides like antiship support through the use of the Medium Caliber Batteries. The Orpheus also does a lot but if you are lacking in any Anti-Frigate ships then look at that ship.
In the last guide I recommended a troopship per 750 points, well the PHR have such plain better troopships that 1 per 500 points is not out of the question for them.
The nest thing to consider are your frigates. The PHR have such a good mix of specialized frigates that you can do most anything with them. I will have a PHR tactics post up a few hours after this one so please check that out.
The Frigates of the PHR will generally help provide some flexibility to your fleet so I do recommend at least 4 Europa and 2-3 Pandora. You also cant go wrong with 4 Andromeda. Strike Carriers are important but depending on how many Troopships you bring you can go with less Strike Carriers. As low as a 1:1 ratio of troopships to strike carriers is what I feel is right.
Mix and match your frigate selection and do not be afraid to test things. If there is one thing I will stress above ALL else, Test. Test, test again, and test some more because nothing beats experience, even if that is a battlegroup on battlegroup situation against yourself.
PHR cruisers are overall lackluster to me. They do have some good flexibility and points though. The Theseus is hands down one of the best Light Cruisers in the game I think just because it is cheap enough and flexible enough to cause havoc.
The Orion is a solid choice for a Line Holder (which I will go into more in the tactics post), the Perseus is a mix bag. It is designed I feel to chip away at Heavy units and to harry them. It won't put out a lot of damage but in a group of 2-3 it can start causing pain.
PHR Cruisers want to work in groups. This will lead to higher strategy ratings in your groups but due to the innate resilience of your ships that can be mitigated by proper planning.
Normally I would include Battlecruisers in this area since they are not all that dissimilar but the PHR Battlecruisers are special. As for the Heavy Cruisers, the PHR have 3, the Hector which is the best Line Holder in the faction, the Achilles which is the hardest hitting Heavy + hunter next to the Minos, and the Bellerophon which is the backfield auxiliary of the faction. Each has their place.
I like the Bellerophon personally while letting your cruisers and frigates to take the brunt of combat.
The Battlecruisers are strong additions to a force but you need a role for them. These are not like the other factions battlecruisers. These are fast, medium hitting vessels that want a solid target under their class.
I would recommend building a troopship and then expanding on a cruisers and heavy cruiser that you like. The Starter fleet is nice and gives you a balanced force to work with. From there you want to make sure that you can successfully whittle down the opposition and that can be done a variety of ways. The PHR really does not have a "One Weapon fits all" so you have to work around that and make sure to go over everything you plan to do. So when you expand your fleet try to look for what is missing.