My take on M7s

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Sovereign01
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My take on M7s

Post by Sovereign01 » Sun, 26. Sep 10, 01:05

I figured with the various threads asking about M7s I'd put up a list of the various ones and what I've noticed, either from flying them myself or what I've seen from the stats, and what they seem to be good for, so here goes. I'm going to list the buyable ones first. For those who just want the bare facts, I've listed them at the end. Also, M7Ms have been omitted due to their very different natures relative to normal M7s. Sources:

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X3TC Stats and Resources Compendium

Argon Cerberus
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.

Boron Thresher:
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.

Paranid Deimos
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.

Split Tiger:
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.

Split Panther:
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.

Teladi Shrike:
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.

Terran Yokohama:
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.


Capture-only ships:

ATF Aegir:
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.

Paranid Agamemnon:
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.

Pirate Carrack
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.

Xenon Q
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.

Special Ships

Argon Griffon

This ship is given as a reward for completing the
Spoiler
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Final Fury
plot, and currently cannot be obtained by any other means in Vanilla. It differs from other races ships in that unlike the Split and Paranid offerings that have virtually identical stats between sister ships, this ship is superior to the Cerberus in many respects- it's faster, greater acceleration, larger cargobay and hangar, stronger shields and bigger laser generator, but loses out with 4 fewer guns and cannot mount IBLs.

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:

Fastest: Aegir
Slowest: Shrike

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
Last edited by Sovereign01 on Mon, 27. Aug 18, 00:06, edited 16 times in total.

thebigJ_A
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Post by thebigJ_A » Sun, 26. Sep 10, 07:04

Awesome. Now do M7M's. I'm planning on capping one, but I've never had one, and know next to nothing about them.

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Post by Progress-M » Sun, 26. Sep 10, 08:25

Interesting and informative post, definitely. I am looking forward to see what other experienced players think of your observations as well.

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Post by BeidAmmikon » Sun, 26. Sep 10, 09:05

This is good for the resources and guides thread.
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Post by Ozkar » Sun, 26. Sep 10, 09:18

A very informative read, you have done the research on this one. Really liked how you were as unbiased as possible in your synopsis.

I think your post shows that EgoSoft did their best to balance this class very nicely. With the possible exception of the Cerberus and the Carrack, although the Cerberus was my first M7 (back in X3R xtm mod) and I had a lot of fun commanding my little flotilla against the pirate hordes in Maelstrom.

My personal favorite is the Panther, 32 fighters makes for a very powerful fleet, and I find that in spite of the AIs infuriating marksmanship, the 6 IBLs kill pretty much any ship quickly, even the J's and K's I modded to have 50% more shields (I thought Xenon were too weak in TC).
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Post by NUKLEAR-SLUG » Sun, 26. Sep 10, 12:12

The Carrack has some good points. It has both an excellent turnrate which makes it almost a super heavy fighter and it fields a wide array of weaponry which makes it a highly versatile weapons platform.

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Re: My take on M7s

Post by Twest09 » Sun, 26. Sep 10, 17:53

Sovereign01 wrote: Argon Cerberus
It's also the only buyable ship that can mount both IDs and Mass drivers.
Ummm, are we talking just M7s? Because the Centaur/Heavy Centaur/HCP, as well as the Eclipse can mount both weapons.

Also of note, the Pirate Carrack has some SICK turret coverage. I have yet to find an exploitable blind spot on one.

Sovereign01
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Post by Sovereign01 » Sun, 26. Sep 10, 22:40

thebigJ_A wrote:Awesome. Now do M7M's. I'm planning on capping one, but I've never had one, and know next to nothing about them.
I'm sure I can put something together- this guide took me longer than I thought it would :lol:
In The Threat, the Odysseus was the ship of choice.

In Terran Conflict, it was my Skirnirs that brought the destruction.

In AP, it was my fleet that greeted the Xenon!

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Re: My take on M7s

Post by Sovereign01 » Sun, 26. Sep 10, 22:49

Twest09 wrote:
Sovereign01 wrote: Argon Cerberus
It's also the only buyable ship that can mount both IDs and Mass drivers.
Ummm, are we talking just M7s? Because the Centaur/Heavy Centaur/HCP, as well as the Eclipse can mount both weapons.

Also of note, the Pirate Carrack has some SICK turret coverage. I have yet to find an exploitable blind spot on one.
Yeah, I was referring to M7s only. I actually capped a Carrack a while back just for fun and kitted it out with IDs with the intention of frying the weapons off a Xenon Q. The short range of the ID combined with the weak shielding didn't work out too well :lol: Now it patrols my hub sector along with my other frigates :D
In The Threat, the Odysseus was the ship of choice.

In Terran Conflict, it was my Skirnirs that brought the destruction.

In AP, it was my fleet that greeted the Xenon!

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Post by Progress-M » Sun, 26. Sep 10, 22:59

It is kinda mentioned, but from my own experience I have to say the Tresher's wingspan and the 'tail' are very hard to navigate through small spaces unless you have exceptional capital ship skills. Thresher was my first M7 and I smashed it against a lot of stuff by accident.

Very pleasant to fly and handle when there's a kilometre of space between you and the nearest asteroid/space station though, if I remember correctly it has one of the fastest rate of turns of all M7's.

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Post by Sovereign01 » Sun, 26. Sep 10, 23:15

Ozkar wrote:A very informative read, you have done the research on this one. Really liked how you were as unbiased as possible in your synopsis.

I think your post shows that EgoSoft did their best to balance this class very nicely. With the possible exception of the Cerberus and the Carrack, although the Cerberus was my first M7 (back in X3R xtm mod) and I had a lot of fun commanding my little flotilla against the pirate hordes in Maelstrom.

My personal favorite is the Panther, 32 fighters makes for a very powerful fleet, and I find that in spite of the AIs infuriating marksmanship, the 6 IBLs kill pretty much any ship quickly, even the J's and K's I modded to have 50% more shields (I thought Xenon were too weak in TC).
Thanks, it was something I felt compelled to do :D I could never decide which M7 to fly despite acquiring most of them over the course of my game :lol:
In The Threat, the Odysseus was the ship of choice.

In Terran Conflict, it was my Skirnirs that brought the destruction.

In AP, it was my fleet that greeted the Xenon!

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Post by Bill67 » Mon, 27. Sep 10, 00:23

I am at that stage now where I am tryuing to decide on an M7, I saved my gamer and then been trying to outfit a few to get a feel of them, but very time consuming just for test drives.

I will say that the Deimos also serves as a great ramming frigate, as I found out when the Q I was fighting turned back into me. Plus when you have 4 of them bearing down on ya that extra shielding allows you time to try to take 1 out before getting overwhelmed. That PSG is a powerful weapon but takes some adjust to figure it out but not sure I like AE weapons with the AI in this game because I already lost one of my M6's to it so stopped having any escorts.

I tried the shrike a short time but my trouble is lack of having IBL's to try out and not sure how I want to persue that end, by trying to make nice to Yaki's so I can buy from factory or just doing raids and trying to accumlate them from loot.

The thresher looks good on paper and while I am not one for always cosmetics, I really hate that style they have.

But thanks for some info , always good to know pro's and con's and like I said I am now in the m7 shopping mode.

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Post by Sovereign01 » Mon, 27. Sep 10, 00:37

That's the thing with M7s, many of them need IBLs to be effective, especially those that mount them in their main batteries, specifically the Aggy, Shrike and the 2 Split designs, as well as the Thresher, though as already mentioned, the Thresher can carry PPCs there which are arguably superior.

Capping Brigantines is a good way to get IBLs, many times you can get a full load (26) of them, enough to kit out several M7s. Of course that was when you could still get away with using just an M6 to board them and fly by the seat of your pants :D Nowadays you're better off using an M7M for that.
In The Threat, the Odysseus was the ship of choice.

In Terran Conflict, it was my Skirnirs that brought the destruction.

In AP, it was my fleet that greeted the Xenon!

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Post by Darkwolf_187 » Mon, 27. Sep 10, 01:45

The Tiger is a monster, but you'll need IBL's. Either make nice with the Yaki or steal them.

With IBL's up front and FAA all around, the Tiger is nearly unstoppable. It's fast, has midrange shielding, and presents a very narrow frontal profile, making it easy to dodge incoming capital ship fire.

IBL's pretty much make the M7 class. The problem with the Thresher is its weapon capacitor is pretty weak and it's enormous. Massive size means it absorbs more fire.

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Post by Twest09 » Mon, 27. Sep 10, 01:57

Darkwolf_187 wrote:The Tiger is a monster, but you'll need IBL's. Either make nice with the Yaki or steal them.

IBL's pretty much make the M7 class. The problem with the Thresher is its weapon capacitor is pretty weak and it's enormous. Massive size means it absorbs more fire.
1) I agree the Tiger and Panther are both monster M7s. They are among the best of the best.

2) The problem isn't really the laser generator if you use 10 MB PPCs, two full charges should kill anything, but you will need backup if you are outnumbered, which is fine because once I get into Capital on Capital battles I usually bring an Aegir and Tyr/Osaka with me. THE PROBLEM with the Thresher is it's size... it is soooo big that a drunk Teladi high on space weed from 5 sectors away could hit it.

My picks for top 5 M7s.

1) Aegir
2) Agememnon
3) Tiger
4) Panther
5) Shrike

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