Ships of the ... Brakiri Syndicracy


Ships of the Brakiri Syndicracy

Among the various fleets of the League, the Brakiri are the most conventional. Rather than specialize in defense like the Abbai or Maneuverability like the Vree they have a generalist approach to fleet design, with specialist variants filling in where needed. They are the most "Earth like" in their approach to space combat, though their different technologies give them some notable distinctions.

Think Big Business
Brakiri corporations know that small ships don't make for good advertising. So the Brakiri fleet tends toward massive capital ships at the cost of having gaps where smaller warships might be more appropriate. They have no Patrol class ships at all and their real warships don't appear until Raid level. One consequence of this is that the Brakiri have a hard time with the smaller priority battles and tend to have fewer ships than their opponents. Combined with their low initiative, this can be a real problem.

Piercing the Corporate Veil
The favored weapon of the Brakiri fleet is the Gravaton Pulsar, which has the AP trait. The primary advantage of this trait is that it can be "stacked" with a Scout channel or CF order to become Twin-Linked. Exploit this whenever possible to bring Brakiri firepower up to par.

Ranging Concerns
The Brakiri excel in the mid-range. Beyond a range of 18" their damage potential drops sharply. Inside of 12" they are able to use their large batteries of graviton pulsars. If an enemy has even shorter ranged secondaries, like the Narn, keep your range in the buffer between their range and yours. Try to stay in this zone with all but the most long-ranged ships.

Aaaalmost there....
The primary weapons of the Brakiri are often powerful but slow-loading. Make sure to pick your targets wisely and only fire when the time is right. Remember that firing on ships with Stealth poses no risk of a wasted shot, so kill those enemy scouts!

Brakiri Ships:
Ships in the Brakiri fleet tend to be rugged for their class. Like Earthforce they are designed to engage enemies, supplementing their primary forward weapons with port and starboard secondary batteries.

Auxiliary Craft:
Breaching Pod
This is the standard "agile" variety, which is more vulnerable to Anti-Fighter weaponry. Attempt hostile takeovers only against targets without such defenses.

The Falkosi is about average for an air-superiority fighter. It has a weak hull but it is very fast and its weapon is not Weak, meaning it can serve as an Interceptor. The biggest bonus is that they are cheap as chips, compensating for the mediocre Dogfight rating. Don't be afraid to buy them by the handful to use on defense.

When fighting enemies with tough hulls or interceptors, this is an excellent attack craft. It's Mini-Beam main gun can fire from outside Anti-Fighter range and, more importantly, can even be twin-linked with help of a Scout. They are cheap enough that they can even be used on Interceptor duty if the need arises. The only real weakness is the hull rating, which is low for an attack craft.

More of a small ship than a large fighter, the Riva is tough as nails. Don't be afraid to move this into Anti-Fighter range of the enemy. The precise weaponry is good for inflicting critical hits and the secondary weapon has lots of dice. The Riva is terribly slow, though, so its will have to engage targets of opportunity or capital ships that are equally slow.

Skirmish Ships:
The only ships in this category are those that fill specialist roles in the fleet.

Brikorta Light Carrier
Though this is primarily a carrier it is actually a fairly well-rounded combat ship. The beam weapon is fickle due to the single AD, but the secondary weapons are AP and therefore able to be enhanced with Scouts or the CF action. Don't forget the option to substitute Falkosi interceptors with Pikatos attack craft.

Haltana Gravitic Frigate
This is one of the most specialized hulls in space. It is nothing more than a delivery device for Grvitic Shifters. Use this only as part of a fleet. That aside, the Gravitc Shifter can cause some serious havoc as it shifts enemy weapons out of arc. This ship will be targeted for early destruction, so use it while it lasts.

Ikorta Light Assault Cruiser
For its size the Ikorta is an excellent Assault ship. It carries a huge number of troops and even has reasonable firepower. Keep an eye open for boarding party opportunities. This is a must-have on any planetary assault.

Shakara Scout Cruiser
The Shakara is flat average for a Scout. Average speed, average Stealth, average survivability. It's only interesting weapon is too short range to use safely. But since the ship is slower than most scouts it might find an opportunity for use. Whenever possible, assign a couple of fighters to act as interceptors. Scouts play a critical role in the Brakiri fleet to enhance the many Gravaton weapons, so take more than one.

Raid Ships:
This level is also primarily filled with specialty ships, though we do start to see some battle-capable hulls.

Batrado Armed Transport
A very tough ship at Raid level. This is a good ships in missions where survival is a key goal and you have a limited budget. Its forward battery can be impressive when enhanced through Scouts or a CF action. Otherwise it is rather uninspiring as an offensive tool.

Brokados Battle Carrier
The Broakdos is a fleet carrier on par with the EA Avenger or Centauri Balvarin. It's heavy laser and good defenses are a bonus that allows it to contribute meaningfully to a fight after its fighters are all launched. Don't forget to bring along both Falkosi and Pikatos so they can both be recovered when destroyed.

Halik Frigate
As mentioned earlier, the Brakiri don't like to do anything small. The Halik is one of the best Escorts in space, and it packs a decent offensive punch as well. All of its weapons are already twin-linked so no scout need be used to assist it. When issuing an "Intensify Defensive Firepower!" order this ship will destroy whole wings of enemy fighters. Use the Halic to escort a wing of Pikatos or Riva to their destination or with your Falkosi to even the odds against superior enemy fighters.

Haltona Frigate
The only ship at Raid level that is just a combat frame, the Haltona fills its role adequately. The slow-loading primary weapon is annoying but it has good secondary batteries.

Battle Ships:
This is where the Brakiri fleet starts to pick up some muscle.

Avioki Heavy Cruiser
An iconic design made famous from the show. The Avioki has a very powerful main weapon, though it is slow-loading. The secondary batteries are a bit sub-standard. It has little in the way of active defenses but it is nearly as tough as the G'Quan cruiser. If possible, give it a few flights of fighters for additional protection and it should fare well.

Kabrokta Assault Cruiser
This is an excellent ship at the War level. The Kabrokta is advertised as an assault ship but it serves equally well as a ship of the line. It is identical in to the Primus in hull, damage, and speed. It is also very similar in weapon layout, having the same dice in its primary laser and in its secondary weapons. It seems the Brakiri have been taking notes on their former oppressors. Fly this offensively, getting in the midst of enemy formations to take advantage of the many graviton pulsars in all directions.

Kaliva Lance Cruiser
Against enemies without interceptors, this is a superior choice to the Avioki. Its main weapon is very powerful and can even benefit from scouting or the CF order. It has the same toughness as the Avioki, being the same base hull. The Kaliva can be deadly at long range, but don't be afraid to jump into the fray with gravitic bolters once the enemy has closed.

War Ships:
The Brakiri love their huge warships. Because of this they have more choices at the War level than any other fleet, excepting the ancient Minbari.

Cidikar Heavy Carrier
When the EA built the Poseidon, the Brakiri suddenly realized that someone else had the biggest carrier in the galaxy. This simply would not do! The Cidikar is a massive vessel. Though it doesn't carry quite as many fighters as the Poseidon it does have a reasonable offensive punch in addition to its air wing. The command rating is the best in the Brakiri fleet, giving them a much needed initiative boost.

Corumai Dreadnought
The Corumai carries a hell of an offensive punch with its primary beam weapons, though they are slow-loading. Depending on enemy defenses it may be better to either use all 12 AD every other turn or alternate the weapons so you have a consistent 6 AD every turn. Get this ship into the middle of the enemy as soon as possible and stay there, throwing gravitic pulsars around like a lawn sprinkler.

Takata Mine Cruiser
Somewhere a Narn is crying. The Takata is the ultimate expression of an energy mine ship. Not only does it have an unprecedented 16 AD of mines, they are split into 4 separate systems. This means you can blanket an entire battle line of enemy ships or fighters. These mines have no AP or SAP traits, though. So they are most effective against weaker hulls. It has the same virtues of maneuver and defense as the Tashkat it is based upon.

Tashkat Advanced Cruiser
The Tashkat is tougher, faster, and more maneuverable than nearly any other ship in its class. It's active defenses are also quite impressive. It has a massive, though slow-loading, primary weapon and a decent array of graviton pulsars for secondary work. Fly it like a cruiser, using its maneuverability to stay out of danger while bringing your firepower to bear at the most critical locations. The graviton shifters are a nice bonus, allowing you to even further avoid the primary weapons of the enemy.

Armageddon Ships:
The Brakiri partnered with the Abbai to create this beast. could they not build a ship in this class, the largest ever conceived in the galaxy?

Brivoki Advance Warship
Outside of the ancients, this is the toughest ship in its class, sporting a massive frame enhanced further via Abbai shielding. The two primary weapons can easily slice any ship of raid class or lower in a single sweep. Head straight into the thick of the enemy using the powerful beams on the approach and the withering secondary batteries once you arrive.

Special Actions:
Just like the stock exchange, in battle there are times to be the bear and times to be the bull. Knowing when to perform the right action can mean the difference between a successful takeover and bankruptcy.

All Hands on Deck!
With the massive size of most Brakiri vessels, criticals will often leave a ship useless long before raw damage. This action can help bring systems back online and get into the fight.

All Power to Engines!
Brakiri do not excel at long range combat. Closing with the enemy is a priority so that the weight of gravaton pulsar fire can be effective as soon as possible. Relying on the toughness of their ships, Brakiri captains often give this order to cross no-man's-land quickly.

All Stop! / All Stop and Pivot!
This order is sometimes used for ships that have extreme range weapons like the Gravitic Lance or Gravitic Mines. But most of the time a ship would rather get closer to the enemy than hang back.

Close Blast Doors!
Even the tough hulls of the Brakiri sometimes need something extra. A ship under heavy fire can become a fortress with this special action. When only the primary weapon is in range little is lost in the exchange.

Come About!
Several Brakiri ships have Boresight weapons and their ships are often Lumbering. This order can come in handy to bring the primary weapon back into arc if no other targets present themselves.

Concentrate All Fire-Power!
Brikiri greatly benefit from adding the twin-linked trait to their weapons. If firing at a single enemy this order is a common and wise choice.

Give Me Ramming Speed!
A desperate Brakiri officer may give this order, but he had better die in the process or else he will be charged the full price of his ship. Still, when a ship has a significant advantage in hull and damage over its target this can be a survivable action.

Intensify Defensive Fire!
A few of the smaller Brakiri ships have interceptors and most have Anti-Fighter. They might find occasion to use this when under interceptable fire or heavy fighter attack. Better, though, to rely on fighters for additional defense rather than reduce the damage output of your weapons. The largest ships generally have no need of it.

Launch Breaching Pods and Shuttles!
The Ikorta and Kabrokta are very good performing hostile takeovers. Always be on the lookout to leverage the troops they have on board. You are paying them by the hour, after all.

Maneuver to Shield Them!
On occasion it may be better to protect a larger corporate asset by sacrificing a smaller one. Just make sure the books balance at the end of the day. A Haltana makes a great shield as it is tough for a Skirmish ship.

Run Silent!
Only the Scout should use this action with any frequency. A Brakiri ship has better things to do than move slowly and not shoot.

Scramble! Scramble!
Carriers will need this order to quickly launch all of their fighters. No other ships have fighters, so they will not need this action.

Stand Down and Prepare to be Boarded!
What could be better than forcing an enemy to surrender without using expensive ammunition? Brakiri ships have good damage values, this can often allow them the opportunity to give this order even to the biggest enemy ship.

Track That Target!
Useful to get the powerful boresight beams on target.
The super power, slow loading weapons are good against stealth enemies. You won't be firing a lot of the time anyway, but when you do get the chance, you can make the most of it.

I once lost a Sharlin to an Ikorta. A lucky critical nobbled the Sharlin's engines. Next turn the Ikorta dumped its troops onto the Sharlin. The Sharlin then got its revenge with its aft beam, but a destroyed Skirmish level ship for a captured War level ship is a very nice exchange - if you're on the Brakiri side of it, that is. :)
Oops. You're right about the boresight. I totally missed that. Thanks!

I see the pattern now. The main beams on specialist ships (carriers and assault ships) are Boresight. The main beams on warships are FA. That makes a kind of sense. Once could say the space needed for the equipment that expands beam arcs (focusing arrays or whatever) can't be spared on ships that are crammed with troops or fighters.
An expansion on the subject of Riva:

Once they start firing, Riva are one of the best ship-killing fighters in the game. With a total of six AD, four AP at 2 inches and two P/SAP at 4 inches, Riva are truly superior at getting through high Hull scores and whittling away even the largest ship's Damage track. Even small groups have enough AD to saturate active defenses such as Interceptors, Shields, or Dodge, clearing the way for your ship-borne weapons (except Dodge; only still more AD can help you there). The extra chance of criticals from the Precise long-range Grav Cannon is very useful against high levels of GEG, and a lucky crit can ruin any ship's day. All of these points are, of course, even better with a Scouting Redirect or two thrown in. Additionally, the Riva is one of two fighter types in the game with Hull 6, granting excellent survivability against Anti Fighter and most secondary weapons.

Unfortunately, these advantages come with several severe disadvantages. First, with Dodge 5+ anything that gets past the hull will almost certainly kill a Riva. This makes it particularly vulnerable to the Minbari's profusion of Beam and Mini-Beam weaponry. Second, Riva have the abysmal Dogfight score of -1. Even with a Fleet Carrier, Riva are horribly vulnerable to space superiority fighters, and should always avoid dogfights if at all possible. Lastly, Riva are painfully slow. With a 7 inch movement, they are the slowest fighter in the game, bar none. All these factors combined can make it very difficult for Riva to survive closing the range with a target, or keep it closed once they get there.

For tactics, I have found that Riva work well as a defensive reactionary force against short ranged ships such as Blue Stars or Drakh Raiders. Since those ships have maximum ranges well within the striking distance of a Riva, there's no need to go chasing them down: they will be forced to either come to you or forfeit their use as fighting vessels. It also has the advantage of providing other targets for the enemy: the ships your Riva are escorting. Since those ships can likely fire back, you win whatever your opponent targets: if he targets your Riva your ships will remain unmolested, while if he targets your ships your Riva will reach attack range undiminished. Beyond this, Democratus has the right of it: targets of opportunity and slow capital ships, especially Lumbering.

The Halik can be a good choice to pair with a few wings of Riva. Loaned Anti-fighter, especially on Intensify Defensive Fire!, is a wonderfully efficient way of keeping enemy fighter off of your Riva. This is particularly true once they reach attack range, since it leaves more space to pack in Riva than defending with Falkosi might.

Finally, there's my personal favorite way to use the Riva: jumping them in directly on top of an enemy formation. It's not very often that this is an option, and requires a fair bit of luck with Jump Point placement even against slow and Lumbering ships, but it is utterly devastating when it works. I once nearly destroyed an Amu in a single round of fire doing this with a Battle point worth of Riva (I would have destroyed it if GEG had been lost earlier: it had over 2 dozen crits by the time I was done firing). Also, since not all of the Riva could get into range with Their 2 inch guns, two Light Raiders were heavily damaged and one killed. I recommend using multiple ships to jump in, or ships with Advanced Jump Engines if possible (such as when using Campaign Refits).
Well thought out points, stryve. This is exactly the kind of discussion I was hoping my Ships of... articles would engender. Thanks!

I'd never considered doing a Jump Point ambush with Riva, but I think I'll try it next time I get the chance. I also like the idea of using the precise weaponry of the Riva to cut through the Redundancy of larger ships before firing on them with my own ships (when those rules are in place).

What do you typically choose for a Brakiri fleet when the battle is Patrol or Skirmish level? Do you "buy up" and get one or two larger ships or do you purchase a pile of fighters?
Well, that depends on the opponent. Against the ISA and especially the Drakh, masses of fighters can be very effective in low-level battles. This is doubly true if it's a campaign scenario and you happen to know that the opponent doesn't have much in the way of independent flights. On the other hand, against races such as the Minbari (who have excellent fighters, and even fewer choices in low-level battles) and the Gaim (against whom fighter battles are always a losing proposition), buying up is probably a better choice.

It also depends on scenario. Any scenario that allow you told hold part of your fleet in hyperspace is viable for a fighter-fleet, especially if it's over after accomplishing a specific objective, as in Convoy Duty. Scenarios that place deployment zones at long distance from each other are less so; Brakiri assault fighters are just too slow (unless you can guarantee a lot of terrain to hide behind, and force the opponent to close with you). Otherwise, it just depends on your play style, and that of your opponent.
Jumping in ships is a good one for Brakiri generally (assuming you have scouts available) - their slow-cycling mid-ranged weapons means they are quite suited for the alpha strike - one or more battle-priority ship appearing in an opponent's back line can be extremely disconcerting in a fleet engagement since you get to lamp someone without warning with the equivalent of several turns of laser fire from another fleet, and a Kabrokta-class jumping in directly on top of a planet, with a wing of Ikorta-class light cruisers in tow, can end a planetary assault right then and there.

Another reason to consider the Shakara - as ever, the importance of the scout depends on the fleet it's attached to, and Brakiri do rather well with them.