This is an informal write up I just finished on Gunships. I will be making a video about them in the future- now that we have Web 2.0, social media and youtube. Any contributions, questions, comments are appreciated.
Gunships and You
Gunships Are No Joke
Gunships are no joke. As a reward for the Pilot Slayer Achievements- players are rewarded a schematic for their faction's gunship. But that is just the beginning. This ship must be constructed per usual by a Shipwright before you pay the 1,000,000 credit fee to be able to put it into your datapad. Resources, my friends are NOT cheap. Tens of millions of credits will be spent on upgrading the pride of a guild's navy to be one of the most formidable ships a player can own.
Role In A Navy
The general navy outline for a guild includes the Admiral of the navy and the Vice Admirals. They could take command of these ships- but so can Ace Pilots if the need arises. If you make it high enough into the player created ranks you deserve to command a beast. Gunships are of medium speed, are extremely heavy and very cumbersome to use and difficult to maneuver with.
The best strategy for deploying a gunship is to have it fly straight and level or at precise angles WITH fighter escorts. POB Ship escorts are not recommended. Considering the mass value of 2,500,000 to 3,000,000- every part's mass counts. With 16 hard points that averages about 178,000 mass units per hard point- something that can be done- but will weaken the ship. This is where reverse engineered parts come in handy, especially with the weapons. These ships cannot be loaded out with full POB only or Gunship parts. They will never take off. Instead the pilot must carefully craft this behemoth.
Depending on the mission needs you may need a stronger or weaker part. A run with two gunners to escort a freighter or help a fellow pilot will not need a capacitor with 5,000+ capacity units. Shields and Armor should always be a priority- and anything outside of Kessel and Deep Space will take squadrons- or another navy- to begin making a dent in a gunship. For non-PVP, non-Kessel sortees a minimum crew of 2-3 is recommended. One pilot and a gunner, OR One pilot and two gunners. Place your gunners strategically to maximize gunship effectiveness. Bring countermeasures if there will be many small enemy fighters.
Gunships are prone to being overwhelmed by a larger number of starships. With proper weaponry a small squadron can eliminate a gunship. This is why it is advised to have fighter escorts. A backup pilot for the gunship should be enrolled. The pilot and backup pilot should take turns on conduit repair watch to ensure the gunship stays in the fight longer. Solo'ing in a gunship is not recommended as it is almost impossible to maneuver at slower speeds. The ship is simply too massive.
The chassis requires 70,000 steel, 10,000 aluminum, 20,000 low grade ore, 10,000 petrochemical, 10,000 iron, 10,000 fiberplast, 10,000 siliclastic ore and 10,000 copper. At a MINIMUM price, assuming farming grade materials- you are looking at a chassis cost of 600,000 credits. An upper end chassis, depending on supply, demand, markup, time involved to acquire resources, and the shipwright themselves costs in excess of 4,200,000 credits. Gunships are not for the feint of heart or for the poor. A wealthy shipwright or guild is required to fund these projects.
Gunships require a reactor, an engine, two armor plates, a shield, capacitor, droid interface and six weapons with the option of two hard points for countermeasures or weak guns. To truly reverse engineer the best parts in the galaxy requires an inordinate amount of time, knowledge, trial and error and farming and can cost tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions of credits. That's nothing for the Emperor- but we don't have such a luxury.
Gunship level shields are highly recommended. At minimum POB armor should be used. Depending on the sortee and mission requirements you may be able to get away with smaller, weaker engines and reactors or bigger ones. The capacitor choice should be mindful of the crew that will be going on board. Try not to exceed, on average 178,000 mass units per slot. Exceptions can be made. You would be foolish not to run droid chip programs to overload certain components. POB weapons are not recommended because they are too heavy. Acquire Tier 10 weapons and attempt to spend time farming and reverse engineering Tier 10 space loot- which can fetch a premium if it is good.
Gunships, deployed correctly are effective for escort missions and peon star fighters that won't make much of a dent in gunship level shields. They are good at taking on capital ships and space stations as well as POB ships and other gunships. POBs dont have the manueverability to fight a gunship and flee quickly- but a very fast and small fighter- such as an A-wing is highly effective against these ships- assuming they don't get hit. Gunners should use the [ and ] keys to target an A-wing's reactor so that it can be disabled and slowed down. Blowing the engine to prevent a hyperdrive jump is your call.