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Shielding is very average for this ship, with 3GJ. With 3,500 it's got one of the smallest cargo bays of any of the M7 class- perhaps its biggest drawback is that it cannot mount IBLs in its main battery, meaning it has to rely on its side batteries. Because their firing arcs don't overlap, it cannot bring more than 2 IBLs to bear at a time on any one target.
This ship is also one that has a hangar, which can dock 6 ships.
On the plus side, this ship is the only buyable one that can mount Ion Disruptors in its main batteries as well as its turrets- great for frying the systems of small fighters but less so on larger vessels due to the ID's short range. It's also the only buyable ship that can mount both IDs and Mass drivers.
Shielding is the same as the Cerberus, though the ship is slightly faster and has better handling, although the ship's size offsets that to some degree (The Thresher is easily the widest of the M7s and requires some skilful flying when friendly ships are nearby), as well as having a larger cargo bay- the downsides are that the ship lacks a hangar, and that its laser generator is among the weakest of all M7s.
On the upside, with 10 guns the ship has the largest spinal battery, and is unique in that it can mount both Photon Pulse cannons and Ion Cannons in those batteries- lending it considerable anti-capital ship punch, although its limited laser generator means it runs dry after 2 charged volleys of PPCs. Its armament means that OOS the ship has the ability to take on a Xenon Q and win, 1 on 1.
This ship can mount the phased shockwave generator in every turret, making it the ultimate small ship swatter. Its 6GJ of shielding puts it in a class of its own, with only one other M7 that can match it. It too has a hanger for 6 small ships- the downside to it is that it has a smallish cargo bay and can only mount IBLs in the side batteries, making it slightly less effective against capships. The PSGs have a short range compared to PPCs and other heavy weapons, but the extra shielding means the ship can soak up fire from such long-range weapons until such time as it gets within PSG range.
Being an area-of-effect weapon, this ship will inevitably create plenty of friendly fire incidents if you're near any friendly ships when this goes off- handle with care.
This frigate is the fastest of all the ones you can buy, and with 4GJ of shielding it's above average. It's not short of firepower, with 8 IBLs in the main battery as well as 2 in each of the side turrets- the only downside to this ship is the lack of any hangar space.
Stats are largely identical to that of the Tiger, except the front battery has been replaced by a turret with 2 fewer guns, meaning you cannot control any of the guns directly. The ship actually has 4 more guns overall to compensate for being able to mount 2 fewer IBLs, though its cargo bay is identical in size to the Tiger.
The biggest plus point for the Panther is that it's also a carrier, with the ability to carry 32 fighters (which is more than some M1s can carry, and far more than those M7s that can carry any fighters at all). The cargobay is no bigger than its sister ship though, which may cause problems when supplying large numbers of fighters.
Arguably the ugliest M7 by far, the Shrike looks like it's been cobbled together out of spare parts. Despite its appearance, the Shrike does have some advantages as well as its share of downsides. On the downside the Shrike suffers from the same problem as its (much) larger brother, the Phoenix (apart from its appearance)- it's the slowest of all M7s. It also has the weakest laser generator, both in terms of its capacity as well as its rate of power generation.
On the upside however, it has the strongest hull and has 4GJ of shielding, and the largest cargo bay of the buyable M7s. What's unique about this ship is that it's the only frigate that can mount the Gauss Cannon in the side batteries, meaning it can pour additional fire on whatever the main battery is firing IBLs at. It can also continue slugging away even when its laser reserves run out due to the gauss cannons not needing energy to fire. Thanks to the starboard turret being set at a strange angle it means that the firing arcs overlap slightly to port.
Finally, the Shrike has a hangar that can hold 8 ships to boot.
The Terran M7 is actually the smallest of all the buyable frigates, but suffers from being restricted to Terran weapons. Because the Terrans don't have an equivalent of the IBL it lacks some of the outright punch of other M7s and instead has to rely on M/AMLs and Wraith, Poltergeist and Spectre missiles for firepower. All of these require ammunition -once you've completed the Aldrin plot you can buy factories for Wraith and Poltergeists, but not for antimatter warheads or Spectre missiles- and all require cargo space, which is something this ship lacks- at 2,800 it has the smallest cargo bay of any of the M7s.
In spite of these shortcomings, this ship does have 5GJ of shielding, placing it among the best-shielded frigates in the game, with only the Paranid designs exceeding them. The ship does have one of the biggest weapon generators in the game, matching that of the ATF ships in terms of regen and capacity, though this is of limited use due to them not having any high-end energy weapons available.
Despite looking completely different from one another, the Aegir and Yokohama have similar characteristics in some respects, but in almost every area the Aegir either matches or exceeds the Terran ship- it's faster, more agile, has the biggest cargo bay of all the M7s at 9,500. Shields are the same in capacity, but the Aegir has considerably higher recharge rate, and weapon generators are the same in both respects. The only areas the Aegir loses out on is having a slightly weaker hull and slightly lower acceleration (and being a considerably bigger target). The Aegir is also the fastest of all the M7s.
The Aegir has the same firepower issues as the Yoko, though the (far) larger cargobay combined with the larger number of weapons per turret (8 vs. 13) partially offsets this. The Aegir is sometimes paired up with the Tyr owing to that ship having fantastic firepower but a cargobay too small to fully take advantage of it.
Stats are virtually identical to that of the Deimos, with the exception that the Agamemnon lacks a hangar of any kind. It also lacks up and down turrets, resulting in gaps in the coverage immediately above and below the ship, though the area effect of the PSG largely negates this, as does the AI's inability to exploit this. The ship trades the aforementioned turrets for one mounted at the front that can carry 4 IBLs, and carries twice as many guns in the right and left turrets, resulting in greater firepower (12 IBLs vs 4). The additional forward firing weapons mean additional offensive options are available.
The downside to this ship is that its cargobay is the same size as the Deimos, with no allowances for the extra space the additional IBLs require, necessitating some compromise on what you can have the ship carry.
Essentially a tweaked version of the Argon Cerberus with a similar loadout, mounting both IDs and MDs, this ship has the weakest shields of all the M7s with just 2GJ. It also has the weakest hull of all M7s. It does have greater firepower than the Cerberus though, with 4 guns in each side battery vs 2, although it has 2 fewer guns in the main battery in exchange. It also cannot mount IDs in the rear turret but can carry PBEs and ISRs instead.
The Xenon Q is very different to all the other frigates as you might expect, and like all Xenon ships is extremely difficult to board and capture, even with a full complement of 5* marines. It has pretty good shields and its speed is among the highest of all the M7s. On the downside however its shield regen rate is among the lowest of its class, and its laser generator is the same as the Shrike, with both the smallest capacity and weakest regen.
The Q can mount IBLs in its main battery, but what sets it apart from other M7s is that it's the only one that can mount Photon Pulse Cannons in its side batteries. It is this configuration that makes it such a strong threat to player ships when OOS, however IS the ship has a noticeable number of weak spots, firstly that it has no weapon coverage directly above and below, secondly it can only mount flak of any kind on the back turret (compared to every other M7 that can mount them in at least 3 turrets), and finally that it has the fewest guns, with just 3 turrets with 2 guns each.
Possessing a Q is a status symbol and a testament to the player's capping ability, as opposed to being useful as a fighting ship, and only those with enough high-end marines should attempt to capture one.
This ship is given as a reward for completing the
The ship has 4GJ of shields (the same as the Split and Teladi ships) and is the second fastest in the game, and with a hangar capacity of 9 it's second behind the Panther. With its arrival it takes the title for best laser generator both in terms of capacity and regen, from the Aegir and Yoko, though like them it lacks any frigate-level guns to fully exploit this.
What truly sets it apart is that it's the smallest frigate in the game, smaller even than the Yokohama, particularly in terms of width, giving it an advantage in terms of evading fire.
Summary of all M7s:
Highest Acceleration: Panther/Tiger
Lowest Acceleration: Shrike
Most Agile: Carrack
Least Agile: Shrike
Biggest cargo bay: Aegir
Smallest cargo bay: Yokohama
*Largest hangar: Panther
Smallest hangar: Cerberus/Deimos
Strongest shields: Agamemnon/Deimos
Weakest shields: Carrack
Strongest Hull: Shrike
Weakest Hull: Carrack
Most laser energy: Griffon (was Aegir/Yokohama)
**Least laser energy: Shrike/Q
Fastest laser regen: Griffon (was Panther/Tiger)
Slowest laser regen: Shrike/Q
* Bear in mind hangar size is judged between those ships where this is applicable
**Shrike has higher damage per point of laser energy due to the Gauss Cannons