Insights In Sight – Dossier A9-900P

Target: LIZARD CLASS CRUISER VS SAURIAN CLASS LIGHT CRUISER

  • RACE: The Lizard Alliance
  • HULL: Mass 160, Fuel 330, Cargo 290, Crew 430, Tech Level 4
  • HULL COST: MC 190, Dur 42, Tri 81, Moly 30, Tech Level Upgrades 600 MCs
  • ARMAMENT:  2 Engines, 4 Beams, 3 Launchers
  • SHIP ABILITIES: Cloak
  • RACIAL ENHANCEMENTS: Loki Immunity, HISSSSS!, 30X Ground Combat, Lizard Crew Bonus

General Analysis

The Lizard Class Cruiser is the Lizard’s workhorse, the most commonly built ship in their inventory bar none, and arguably the most useful. It combines significant armament and combat mass with a vast cargo hold and huge fuel tanks, and its low hull tech level makes it accessible as a second-base build before the Ship Limit hits.

This vessel can be used as a main-line auxiliary combat vessel, being powerful enough to dent the shields on even the most massive enemy ships. Its primary utility, however, is as a commerce raider, scout, and platform for cloaked clan drops on enemy strongholds. The only disadvantage is mass, and the Lizard mining advantage permits massive early fuel stockpiles so that’s not really as big a deal as one might think.


Tactical Specifications

  • RACE: The Lizard Alliance
  • HULL: Mass 120, Fuel 260, Cargo 150, Crew 336, Tech Level 7
  • HULL COST: MC 85, Dur 32, Tri 67, Moly 23, Tech Level Upgrades 2100 MCs
  • ARMAMENT:  2 Engines, 4 Beams, 2 Launcher
  • SHIP ABILITIES: Cloak
  • RACIAL ENHANCEMENTS: Loki Immunity, HISSSSS!, 30X Ground Combat, Lizard Crew Bonus

General Analysis

With the Lizard Class Cruiser already in the Lizard’s arsenal, one might well wonder at the Saurian. It has a higher tech level but no more armament — actually less — and a significantly smaller cargo hold. To many players, it’s not merely redundant but actually regressive.

And yet, in several scenarios, the Saurian is actually by far the superior choice. As a trade ship, it’s less costly to clone per unit; it’s also the less-powerful option. For post-Limit production, it’s similarly functional while costing one fewer PBP. It’s significantly less massive, leading to far greater efficiency as a cloaked transport and fleet auxiliary. Finally, it survives about the same amount of time as an LCC in anti-carrier combat, and thus works as a less-expensive sacrifice shield scratcher.

Deployment: Pre-Limit Commerce Raider (LCC vs Saurian)

LIZARD
ENGINES: 2x Transwarp

BEAMS: 4x X-Rays

TORPEDO LAUNCHERS: 3x Mk. 4

PAYLOAD: 15 torpedoes, 30 Supplies, 245 Colonists, 60 MC
SAURIAN
ENGINES: 2x  Transwarp (ideal)

BEAMS: 4x X-Rays

TORPEDO LAUNCHERS: 2x Mk. 4

PAYLOAD: 10 torpedoes, 14 Supplies, 126 Colonists, 60 MC

The most costly parts of either vessel, after tech levels, are the engines. When one considers that the Saurian carries only half the cargo yet is more expensive tech-wise, it seems unlikely at first glimpse for a pre-Limit build. Considering too that, at a homeworld or Humanoid, a Loki is also available at or near that tech level, on those turns where one is unable to build a T-Rex or Zilla due to mineral considerations, one might wonder why the SCLC would ever be selected.

However, it’s important to consider the range of the loaded Saurian: It can travel much further without refueling, and it costs less to keep cloaked. As a behind-the-lines operator, it’s going to have marginally better survivability. Then too, the proper combats targets for these vessels are freighters and unfortified planets; in neither case will the hull mass or even an extra launcher make the difference between victory or defeat.

Deployment: Post-Limit Chromed-Out (LCC vs. Saurian)

LIZARD
ENGINES: 2x  Transwarp

BEAMS: 4x Heavy Phaser

TORPEDO LAUNCHERS: 3x Mk. 8

PAYLOAD: 30 torpedoes, 260 colonists
SAURIAN
ENGINES: 2x Transwarp (ideal)

BEAMS: 4x Heavy Phaser

TORPEDO LAUNCHERS: 2x Mk. 8

PAYLOAD: 20 torpedoes, 130 colonists

In the mid- to end-game, if you’ve played well, minerals and cash are abundant, and your only limited currency is Priority Build Points. In Classic, the Saurian costs only 3 to the LCC’s 4; in Standard, the price goes up by one — but a single point is still valuable. The two vessels sweep the same number of mines, and neither can carry enough Supplies to fully repair even a single minehit. Either can lay a respectable minefield, though it does take an LCC to lay a maximum. Each will survive to scratch the shields of a supercarrier and neither will win. When ferrying Colonists to a drop target, the LCC of course has a much larger hold — even if one has 3 LCCs versus 4 Saurians, that’s more cargo capacity — but the fuel efficiency is still superior for the Saurian, which gives it better frontline range and utility.

The bottom line here is that each vessel has its place on the battlefield; always choosing one over the other would be foolhardy, and perhaps even disastrous.


Keep your notepad ready: Insights In Sight is taking a break but will return!

– TS and G

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