While it is handy to know what people's favourite units are, when I read this thread I was more looking for reasons why people would choose one unit over another. Like, for example, looking at the starting screen for a map, and trying to decide what to choose, I might see something like this:
Laser Gatling: 30 damage, Laser ammo (
), fire rate 1, range 6000, hp 6,500, shields 120, speed 24, ship cap 279.
Infiltrator: 40 damage, Flare ammo (
), fire rate 1.5, range 3,600, hp 7,200, shields 500, speed 26, ship cap 279. Engine Damage 3, Fires through Shields
Now looking at that, and doing the math on the damage, the Infiltrators do slightly less dps, doing 26 instead of 30, but they also do engine damage and fire through shields. They have a bit less range. Okay, so they seem like a better choice from the weapon point of view, although, I don't know what the ammo difference means, and it doesn't say anywhere what either ammo type means. Moving on, I look at the hp, shields, and speed, and the Infiltrators win again. So now I wonder why anyone would choose Laser Gatling over Infiltrator.
But wait, it gets better. Being a "noob" that I'm pretending to be, I look at some more ships to compare to these other two, and I see:
Raider: 200 damage, Laser ammo (same as gatlings), fire rate 2, range 7,000, hp 8,000, shields 150, speed 36, and ship cap 250. Immune to tractor beams and mines.
That looks just like the laser gatlings... Except better in pretty much every way. 100dps instead of 30, more range, hp, shields, speed, and some specials. The ship cap is 89.6% as large. Meaning that at ship cap, you could have 8,370dps with gatlings, and 25,000 damage with Raiders. 33.4% of their damage, and over all weaker? Does the difference in cost really matter to people all that much? Since the change in advanced stations, I tend to max out my resources very quickly, even with over 5 ship types at level 4, and three starship lines fully researched.
300 C/M versus 150 C/M. Twice the cost, but three times the effectiveness? Am I missing something that makes the Gatlings good?
Out of the random sample of ships I looked at, the one with the highest DPS (excluding ships Z bombers and Frigs) was the Teleport Battle Station, with a DPS of 800 per ship. Compared to laser gatlings 30. Sure, they only have a ship cap of 25, but at cap they do 20,000 DPS. A lot more then gatlings. But different ammo type, so I go to compare with something closer.
Teleport Station: 400 x8 damage, Minor Electric Ammo, reload 4, range 4000 (but they teleport, so does this matter?), hp 14,000, shields 600, ship cap 25.
Teleport Raider: 100 damage, Minor Electric Ammo, reload 2, range 7,000 (again, does this matter?), hp 2,000, shields 150, ship cap 250.
Looking at that, they do 50 dps. But you can have 10 times as many of them. So that 12,500 dps. Still lower then the stations. They also only have 2,000 hp, which means that at cap, they have more, but it also means that things that do AoE damage will utterly destroy them very quickly. Their salvo damage is also lower, so they can't just jump in, do 80,000 damage to a single target and then jump out, having killed it. They have to stick around for 4 shots, so 3 seconds, before the target will die. So not only are they weaker, they get shot at more.
So, speaking as someone that is very mathimaticly minded, and likes numbers that make sense, I go to the forums to find out why people would choose gatlings over raiders, or teleport raiders over teleport staions, and this is all I find.
I see things like Eye Bots, that are listed as shell ammo, but also as "excellent against turrets", and I think "fighters are shell ammo, and they suck at turrets, what's the difference here?". When I load up a quick game with them, their listed damage against turrets is 32,000 per shot. Fighters do 300. Both use the same ammo. Now I'm even more confused....