Help with selecting an escort ship

I’m a member of PCS. I currently own a Cutlass Black, and I will be upgrading to a Cutlass Blue during the Drake Sale.

I’ve looked through all the data to selecting a good escort ship. I have narrowed my search down to a few ships, but I would appreciate any input to help me make a selection.

Gladius Valiant

2 S Fuel Tanks for long runs
Low Upkeep (Energy Weapons)
Fast and Agile


1 S Fuel Tanks - Unless upgradable I’m worried it may run out of fuel if we get into a fight during a run
Slightly Higher Upkeep because of turret, but it’s a Drake
Fast and Agile
Massive Guns

Sabre Comet

1 S Fuel Tanks
Not sure about predicted upkeep, but it is a newer ship class
Fast and Agile
Massive Guns

I am not sure about the armor of these ships, although it is important.

Personally if I had a cargo ship and needed an escort I would hire other ships to help before the 3 you listed. The two that mostly come to mind are the vanguard followed by the defender. They both have more and/or larger quantum fuel and fuel tanks so the ship being escorted won’t need to wait around while its little buddies are refueling as often. The more stops you make, the more likely you are to catch unwanted attention

I would also consider armor. I have a feeling pirates and the like will mostly attack when they feel they have the upper hand. As an escort, expect to be outnumbered. You’ll want to be able to take a hit, which the 3 ships you mention aren’t particularly well known for. Again, I’d lean more towards a vangaurd (slated for a rework too!) or maybe something tankier like a hornet.

I also don’t think stealth will be necessarily a good trait for an escort ship. If a pirate raid sees only a hull e and not the 6 sabres escorting, they will think easy prey and attack. And once they are attacking, it will be your job as the escort to draw attention away from what you’re protecting. Again, this will be less likely to happen if the pirates aren’t picking up the sabre on radar.

Just my 2 cents. I’d try the vangaurd, then the dedender and hornet. Maybe redeemer once we see it’s role after they reconcept it. A couple cutlasses working together could even make for a good escort i suspect. If you’re dead set on those 3 ships you listed, my vote would be gladius.

I agree with the Vanguard. I love the ship and it is a big enough threat that you will draw the attention away from your ward. Also it’s got allot of potential options on weapons systems if you bring it’s BUK’s into the equation. If you think your going up lots of fighters, equip the standard turret. If it’s bigger ships, stick on the missile turret and hit hard. It’s an animal :slight_smile:

Thank you for your replies.

You are 100% right about stealth and fuel. It is the escort’s job to be a protector and a deterrent. I didn’t compare large fuel tank to what a small/medium fuel tank can hold. Thank you for pointing it out.

I do like the idea of the Vanguard being able* to support different mission packages.

I will definitely consider before the sale ends!

This is helpful. I’m in a similar situation right now and was actually deciding between a few of ship listed here. I didn’t think of the Vanguard though and that one is now starting to stick out more as a choice.

If you are considering escort, There is no better escort ship than Hammerhead.
If I am HULL D Pilot and I have choice in hiring an escort, I will choose Hammerhead over any ship.
Hammerhead will be cheaper than other capital ships and still has area denial effect. As Cargo Hauler if my escort can drive out pirates, that’s good. If my escort can stop pirates from even think about attacking even better.

I agree, the Hammerhead looks very interesting as an escort and may aim to get one in game eventually. Looks like a good small ship deterrent but will have a harder time with big ships.

Honestly though I see it more as a ship being owned by the org and running escort for larger convoys due to its crew requirement. As far as something a single pilot can hop in their ship and put themselves up for hire, I personally see ships like the redeemer/vanguard size hitting a sweet spot for having some beefy presence without being tedious logistically.

I was thinking along the same line. Another thing to think about is the reasons for your trade. If you want to make money, you don’t want to have to hire (and pay) loads of people to man just one ship, it will eat into profit. As powerful as the hammerhead is, is it really the most cost effective protection?
If on the other hand it’s the org moving resources from one location to another to build things rather than sell then he’ll, go all out on protection. Profit wouldn’t come into it.

Hammerhead won’t be an option to hire if you are flying in any cargo ship with SCU 1000 and below, but if you are flying HULL C, D or E. You can probably hire 2-4 Hammerhead and Polaris working together and still manage to make lots of money.

I agree that the Hammerhead is the best escort ship (short of the Retrubution - LOL:) , It is costly though, I do have 2 of them and a Polaris so I would have a spot on a gun turret if you would like, as far as cheaper the Vanguard is hard to beat it is $250 but when it is all said and done I think it will be a beast!
The Vanguard has been said by Ben Lesnick to have the longest legs of any escort in its class.

Captain Kern:

In terms of smaller fighters, they all have strengths and weaknesses. I tested a few different ships and like the gladius and hornet. But, again it’s what you like. The warden felt good too but that’s a bit of a longer range ship, larger and such

Thank you for all the contributions to this thread. I really appreciate all the input.

I posted the smaller ships due to budget reasons. I will just save a month or two more for a Vanguard.

I believe there was mention that medium ship components got a buff so that should mean even beefier shields for the vanguard.

Good news! My bro gave me his Constellation Andromeda, so I just need to wait for a sale to upgrade it to the Vanguard Warden.

Just need to figure out if the Sentinal is worth a look at, so if I missed any other escorts to consider.

Don’t forget, the Vanguard sentinel is an ECM ship. I’m not sure how it compares to the other variants but I would imagine it’s the least “solo” escort of the 4. From the sounds of it, it’s more of a group support / bounty hunting ship. ECM missiles, hacking software to shut down systems and energy draining guns, none of which you could class as leathal.

Yeah, I read that yesterday.

I can get just get a BUK for that ship, so the Warden will be my goal!

Hope we get some good news about the holiday sale today.

Yeah that’s what I have done. I have the warden base and the sentinel BUK. The sentinel will be my main ship as I’m trying to fill the ECM role but the warden will be for my solo flights.

I’m a fan of the Anvil Hornet Ghost personally when it comes to escort/fighting, purely because I like it’s unique maneuvering systems and it’s drifting capability compared to all the other ships I’ve gotten to test/try.

Yeah, I liked flying the ghost too. Never flown them, but I could imagine the tracker or super hornets being better suited for escort.

Like I said before stealth seems counter productive when you are the one escorting. You want to bring the attention away from whatever you’re protecting and that’s hard if you are hidden. Superhornet has the best loadout and the tracker may be better for advanced warning that [email protected]#$ is about to hit the fan or avoiding hostiles altogether.

Another big reason I vote for the Hornet is sure it’s small and can be good at not getting detected, but that’s all the more reason I makes a good escort in my opinion. If the enemies don’t notice (or can’t) notice you, they will be unguarded and more prone to very drastic mistakes on their part. It also gives a good opportunity for a surprise attack (even though you’re on defense). Information & Tactics is just as necessary and powerful as Force/Weaponry. x3