Romulan Plasma D Ships - An Analysis
First of all, I want to say that I will miss my beautiful Hawk ships, because these ugly Klingon hulls give Romulans two more powerful weapons against their enemies:
1) Plasma D - Out to a range of 6.99, the Plasma D launchers fire at drones, fighters, PFs, and shuttles. The D launchers seem to fire fine against targets behind or to the side of ships, but tend to "machinegun" targets (fire many more plasma than necessary) when an enemy is flying away at speed. And be cautious of the captain which tries to run you out of Ds by firing one missile at a time. First, shut off your Plasma D launchers. If he's got slow or medium missiles, speed up. If he's got fast missiles, power up a tractor or two. Save the Ds for if he charges or starts firing waves.
2) Transporters - While H&R has (allegedly) been toned down in v5.5, the KRCS, KCR, and KCN all come with Klingon-style transporters. This allows for H&R of single components in multiplayer, or fairly easy captures in single player or D2. In fact, I believe these Romulan conversions to be superior to comparable Klingon ships because plasma is so much better at ripping down shields for marines. Federation/ISC frigates and light cruisers are in for a rude awakening in D2 when they lose their ships with barely a scratch of damage.
Some of the heavy cruiser hulls are in for a bit of a shock as well. Take the F-CVL Light Carrier with it's compliment of up to 12 marines. You can take it with a KRCS by firing only 1 plasma S and a few phasers. Send over some marines and wait... very simple.
Unfortunately, I think multiplayer has done everyone a disservice by not allowing these tactics. Some captains would certainly hesitate before using H&R.
Note: Don't forget the R-SPG Commando SparrowHawk.
1) Klingon phaser arcs - Yup, pilot a few Klingon ships and you'll soon learn that it's hard to bring all your phasers to bear. In fact, up close, you'll be rotating around a bit, trying to fire that last phaser bank into a downed shield.
2) Klingon shields - While not as serious in these ships, they do tend to have weaker rear shields than Hawk ships.
3) Klingon power - Again, while not serious, they tend to have less power than Hawk ships. Combine this with slightly higher cloak costs and they do need firm power management discipline (thank you Taldren for lowering plasma holding costs).
R-KDR, bvp 146 - Year 11 - Multiplayer: Late
2 Pl-S, 2 Pl-D, 4 P1s, 4 P3s - Cloak cost 16
While many multiplayer users have ignored this ship for other late-era ship choices, the KDR is now something to be considered with it's 2 Plasma D launchers.
The KDR is basically a Romulan conversion of the Klingon D5 series (same paint job too). The D5s sport good shields and good maneuverability. When you consider 4 charged disruptors take 8 power and 2 holdings Plasma S take just 6 power, the KDR really shines over the D5.
When you look at this ship versus the SPx series, you see that it only has 2 Plasma launchers but the Plasma S have greater range for potentially the same point blank damage (and the S has a point blank range of 10).
Particularly in Federation space, I would fly KDR over a SPx. You just need to remember to downgrade one Plasma S for added power against a human opponent after the initial exchange of weapons.
R-KDP, bvp 209 - Year 16 - Multiplayer: Late
2 Pl-S, 2 Pl-D, 5 P1s, 4 P3s - Cloak cost 16
Think of this as the souped up PF Tender version of the KDR. It carries 4 PFs but is otherwise very similar to the KDR. Once you learn the KDR, the KDP is the same but with the added firepower of 4 PFs.
Note 1: Even the lowly R-PF INT carries 2 plasma F launchers. The PF CEN, CEN+, and CENL each carry 5 plasma F launchers! Five Fs at range 5 is 100 points damage. In fact, the late-era CENx PFs are better ships than virtually any Romulan frigate.
Note 2: AMD does not fire at PFs.
Note 3: Plasma PFs take a while to charge up. Launch them early and set them to "defend me" until you need them.
Note to self: Start practicing in this ship!
R-KRCS, bvp 183 - Year 9 - Multiplayer: Mid/Late
2 Pl-S, 2 Pl-F, 2 Pl-D, 5 P1s, 4 P2s - Cloak cost 20
The KRCS comes late in the early era at year 9. Although it has weaker shields when compared to the Hawk heavy cruisers, the KRCS carries Plasma D for drone/fighter defense. Expect to see these carry a high demand for Romulans on the borders of Federation and Klingon space. In fact, with Plasma D, expect to see many captains pass up the Hawk ships for a KRCS.
In single player (and in D2), I like the fact that the KRCS comes with 7 transporters (think NHK with commando abilities) and up to 31 marines (not 32 - bugged). Just hurt a Fed cruiser a bit and send over the marines.
This ship was made for the ballet, Klingon H&R/capture tactics, and carrier battles. It's an incredibly useful ship for bvp 183, and is quickly becoming my favorite Romulan ship.
Comparing it to the NHK, the KRCS has:
Better turn rate
More defensive tractors
Less P1s but more P2s
On the downside:
1 less power (4 less battery)
Poorer phaser arcs
(Note to multiplayer users. If the bvp is 185-210 mid/late, you should definitely consider a KRCS to combat drone/fighter races. I've already started practicing with this and the KCR - both are born drone/fighter killers!)
R-KCR, bvp 215 - Year 18 - Multiplayer: Late
2 Pl-S, 2 Pl-F, 3 Pl-D, 10 P1s, 2 P3s - Cloak cost 24
Think of the KCR as the KRCS+. It has more power, more phasers and more Plasma D.
How does it match up to the KHK? It has less power, less firepower, and weaker shields.
Why do I like it? Because it also lacks the KHK's major weakness of extremely poor fighter/drone defense. A KHK chasing even an F-NEC has to break off the attack if the NEC fires drones. But with the KCR, you just keep on trucking toward the drone ship. And what about the F-SCS "KHK Killer"? The KCR runs right at it, spewing Plasma D. After stripping the fighters, a successful ballet can begin with the SCS inevitably losing the fight.
In the hit and run/capture category, the KCR is also a winner. The ship sports 6 transporters with a maximum of 40 marines.
This will be another highly sought after ship.
R-KCN, bvp 419 - Year 12 - Multiplayer: Late
2 Pl-R, 3 Pl-S, 2 Pl-F, 4 Pl-D, 16 P1s, 4 P3s - Cloak cost 44
Hail to the king, baby! With the addition of Plasma D, this behemoth becomes the King Condor it was supposed to be. Immune to drones and fighters (for at least a couple of plasma recharges), the KCN can sail majestically about causing death and destruction.
Is that Plasma R real or a pseudo? It doesn't really matter because if you weasel, there's a Heavy Cruiser destroying alpha behind it... and if you don't weasel, there's a Heavy Cruiser destroying alpha behind it...
At close range, the phaser banks alone can destroy most frigates and some light cruisers.
The KCN is also another ship made for H&R and capturing in single player and D2. It has 10 transporters! That's enough transporters to take a frigate without ever scoring an internal. Simply knock down a shield and send the grunts over. With a maximum of 48 marines, you'll be heading back to base often for replacements.
Downsides? Well, it has poor maneuverability, high cloak costs, and extremely high bvp/prestige costs. But take the KCN for a solo spin through MagnumMan's Co-Op Ace script at max. level and you'll see why this bird is called the King.
In short, KDR - KDP - KRCS - KCR - KCN: You can't go wrong with Plasma D !!
Good luck, Captain !
TO TACTICS & STRATEGY