Concerning Ripchee Armour Bane

This is a look at Armour Bane and the Ripchee special Armour Bane, please disregard any implications for the overall racial balance of the game as this post so far only seeks to explore the newbie trap that is Ripchee Armour bane.

I’ll preface all of this by stating that I believe all Ripchee Armour Bane to be inefficient and almost useless compared to regular energy weapons/Armour Bane, here is why:

Ripchee Armour Bane, while accessible early game has limited viability as most ships don’t tout super heavy armour in the early game.

It has to compete with the T3 Plasma Cannon (same SP cost), to do so would require a target with more than 1,300 armour to reach the same DPS.

It costs 225Mwt to run compared to the Plasma Cannon’s 75Mwt, this increase is equivalent to 2x small Reinforced Armour, and reduces defence due to the need for more generators.

It costs much more in terms of resources, most notably credits going from 1,170 to 5,824.

It deals no damage against shields reducing DPS until shields are broken.

Now this only compared the T1 Ripchee Armour Beam to the T3 Plasma Cannon, lets look at the T2 Ripchee Armour beam against the regular medium Armour Bane:

Firstly, you can’t just use Armour Bane on its own, you also need energy damage. To research the regular one, you must first research all the Plasma Cannons, two birds with one stone. The Ripchee one is on a separate path.
With the Ripchee beam being on a separate path with less things to research, one might come to think that you get it much faster due to less research, this is partly false.
The difference between in SP from the tech-tree divergence point is 39,200 – 37,950 = 1,250 SP, with the Ripchee beam being only 1,250 SP cheaper to research you would only be able to get the T2 Power Beam or T3 Plasma cannon before it becomes more expensive than the regular one.


The main difference between the Ripchee Armour Bane and the regular is the DPS and damage per shot; the Ripchee one shoots slower for less DPS but more damage per shot and the regular one shoots faster for more DPS but less damage per shot.

While some people may prefer slower weapons, this is usually due to their higher DPS, in this case it is reversed. Also, remember that if a ship using a slow weapon dies mid charging its next shot then that potential damage is wasted.

Ripchee Armour Bane is turret mounted though, although this is of little use due to the nature of fighting heavy targets as well as the potential use of shields.

The price and energy consumption for the Ripchee armour bane is way too high compared to the regular one, making it a poor use of resources:
Reg AB Rip AB
Some people will point out that the 10% Armour Bane damage is way superior, this is negated by the slow fire rate of one shot per 8 seconds, the regular fires once every 2 seconds.

Conclusion: While I see some VERY limited purpose in using the T1 Ripchee armour bane for fast access to armour bane, I see no reason for the T2 to even exist. I believe this serves as an accidentally created trap that makes some players waste their research time.

If you have any relevant data or questions, or just want to shit on my arguments then feel free to complain down below :wink:.

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did you use the weapon in combat?

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Yes, I found it rather underwhelming, the T1 that is.
And if the T2 is merely 2% more as the stats state, then it is not much better.

Thanks for opening this thread up! I’m very interested to explore this in more detail. I’m new to the game and relatively inexperienced, however I’m loving the T1 demolisher so far and will play with the T2 when I have the research to spare. I’ve experimented with a variety of ships, but so far I feel like this weapon was made for sabers while attacking from cloak. I do run SPC-5’s in the small slots.

My demolisher saber fleets have been pivotal in my recent campaign against a much stronger Synti player - a neighbor with a significant head start, superior tech and over twice my empire strength.

Whereas you call it an early game weapon, I think of it more as an “early war” weapon. It’s very common to see people running full armor due to the prevalance of hellfire cannons and missiles. If your first strike is a crushing blow, sure they can scramble to redesign and upgrade their fleets - but that lets you keep the initiative. My current opponent only managed to retrofit about a 3rd of his fleets before the outcome of the war was already determined. Sucks for him, hehe.

And while, yes, a single point of shielding will stop demolishers, light shielding just isn’t that big of a deal. In fact, the low firing rate of the demolishers actually seems to be something of an advantage when compared to regular abs weapons. That’s because a volley from the demolishers is likely to be the killing blow, meaning your SPCs have a full 8 seconds to burst down shields on the next target before demolishers are back.

So in practice, my demolishers hit shields a lot less than I expected them to. The single shield module hurts alpha strike dps, sure. But in this scenario, we’re talking a fleet that’s already active in the field, has scored lots of kills, and is still combat effective even after the enemy is rolling out counters. You can continue to press your advantage here, because it takes more than a single shield module to negate this type of fleet.

I only ever ran 2 such fleets of sabers. My opponent was forced to adjust his entire war doctrine as a result. He didn’t adjust as much as he should have, but let’s assume he did. Now he’s running lots of shields on his destroyers, battleships, and cruisers. What happens when my big ships show up sporting hellfires?

So to me, it’s not about the demolisher as this stand-alone weapon. It’s about the disproportionate impact that a fleet of sabers can have on the entire war theater. They weren’t the only reason I was able to take on an opponent twice my size and win, but they were the main reason.

Many of your arguments hinge on the demolisher being a poorly suited weapon in many situations. This is very true. And all I can say in response is, if a Ripchee player doesn’t know ahead of time what situation they’re getting themselves into, that’s the real failing and no weapon in existence will make up for it!

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This is an interesting take that I did not really consider, although I still find the power consumption too high to justify over the regular Armour Bane.
For comparison, I use not just small energy but also a few medium energy weapons to drain shields faster as there are more shield in high tier play.

Edit: Sometimes weapons end up staggering their fire, this would break the 8 seconds “to burst down shields”

the energy drain is one area where I do share your concern… 20% less armor is a pretty big trade-off for fielding them, so I doubt I’d want to use them unless I had assurance of getting several alpha strike kills

Edit for your edit: I’ve noticed this too, I definitely lost some shots to shields, just not enough to make a crucial difference

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One thing I forgot to touch on is the cost. They are friggin expensive. Weapons may win battles, but economies win wars.

If I’m fielding demolishers, really I’m looking to take out battleships and cruisers. Lots of them. And this is totally worth the extra expense because really what you’re purchasing here is a build time advantage. That’s part of why I view demolishers as a weapon for sabers - they finish building in a couple of hours.

So if I lose 5 sabers and you lose a battleship, 2 cruisers, and 4 destroyers… who is gonna rebuild faster? Combine that with capturing an enemy shipyard or two, and it can be difficult to come back from.

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You can take down heavy ships using the regular Armour Bane too, it is quite good and cheap.
Also, the regular one uses less power letting you use more armour to keep your ships alive for longer.

Regular armor bane definitely seems better outside of golden alpha strike opportunities. You say there won’t be many such opportunities in high tier play and I believe you. What if you kept some in reserve as a wildcard and used hellfire-heavy fleets to goad enemies into going full armor? Or are people just too smart at that level?

Regular abs also seems like it would do well in a mixed fleet that had to tangle with dreadnoughts and whatnot, but I have no experience with that so just speculating.

While this is not a bad idea there is just one problem, you could be using your Science Points for better things.
If the Ripchee Armour Bane is to be useful it needs to be cheaper, not just in terms of resources/power but also SP.

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Now this I completely agree with. Despite being absolutely in love with the things, I ain’t researching T2 for a long, long time.

I can recommend getting the regular ones and mixing them with Plasma Cannons. Works better all round, can even handle light shields.

What if demolishers worked through shields but at reduced effectiveness, say 50% dps? Would that change your opinion of them?

I would find them much more useful, I do think it could have some rather serious balance implications though.

As a member of CotP I have had quite a few chats concerning this weapon, some time back Cheatle and I worked with the theory that the Ripchee Armour Bane would be useful if it dealt some regular energy damage on top of the Armour Bane damage.

Something to make it a bit less “all or nothing” would be nice, I think. Giving the demolishers some type of additional interaction with shields would make them stand out more as a special weapon, and perhaps justify that high energy usage more.

Without getting into the rest of this conversation, I would definitely request this:

@joe and the devs need to take another pass at the item descriptions for both Ripchee beams as well as the regular small and medium armor bane weapons.

Because I think we all agree that they do not accurately describe what the weapons do, are supposed to do, and at what effectiveness.

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@Sean99k, The biggest problem of the whole battle\weapon system is that all this numbers, describtions, etc are as good as nothing. Even Teeo understands that point.
That means if u really whant to realise effectivenes of the weapon u need to put things into extreme and test it few number of times. Without experimental data all the talk about is wasting the time.

and then you have to consider when the tech is available, how much does it cost, what are the construction times and so on…

Sean did some tests, to his credit.

But the data provided by the game is garbage. Trying to understand 5% versus 10% based on a video of ships exploding just isn’t possible.

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Thats why there is need of great production and significant amount of the similar tests to reduce inaccuracy.