This is an article on the ship class, Marauders. For the skill, see Marauders_(skill).
Marauders are Tech 2 Battleships, introduced in the Trinity Expansion. They eschew about half of their turret/missile hardpoints, leaving them with 4. However, they receive a 100% boost as a built in role bonus to the Large version of whatever weapon the race is proficient in, giving them an effective base power of 8 of those weapons. This leaves the remaining high slots to be utilized for things such as Smartbombs, Tractor Beams, Cloaking Devices, Salvagers or any Remote Repairs, as well as saving you Power Grid and CPU normally required to fit 8 weapons.
The ship is ideal for performing non-combat related tasks while still having the full firepower of a Battleship available. With an extensive cargo bay, it can run missions and carry a great deal of loot when finished. It is also very suitable for straight up fights, as it is no less armored or armed than its Tech 1 relatives. In fact, it has a bit more HP, slightly increased resistances (standard fare for Tech 2), and will generally have more options available due to the relinquished fitting economy. The cargo bay can be used to load a great deal of Capacitor Booster charges.
Unfortunately, these power increases are generally outweighed by the drawbacks of the Marauder. they cost many times more than Tech 1 Battleships, yet offer little more in terms of raw offense or defense. A player can afford roughly 10 Battleships for the price of 1 Marauder. Needless to say, in a fight between 10 Battleships and a Marauder, or even just 3, the Battleships will easily win.
In addition, the Signature Radius of the Marauder is considerably higher, making them easier to lock-on to and reducing their ability to evade Large sized weapons fire (not that they really could most of the time). Their Sensor Strength is also much lower, making them about as susceptible to ECM as a Tech 1 Cruiser. Their Scan Resolution is also reduced, making lock-on times take a bit longer, as well as making one of the jobs of the Remote Sensor Dampener much easier (the Marauder's lock-on range is a bit further out, however).
The Paladin is the Amarr Marauder. Only capable of mounting four turrets, but receiving a 100% damage bonus to its favored turret type, obviously heavy lasers as it is an Amarr ship, the Paladin, like all Marauder ships, is meant to dish out tremendous damage over long range. This, combined with several high slots left for space and a bonus to the range and speed of tractor beams, makes this beast a potential moving salvage operation, and understandably good for mission running. Unfortunately, also like all Marauder ships, it suffers from very weak sensors, and without support is thus swiftly countered by nearly any foe employing the right tactics. Adding to this, the Paladin also has a strong competitor in the only slightly slower, more than comparably powerful Sansha's Nation battleship, the Nightmare, which can deal similar damage but with better tracking, and without sacrificing sensor strength, though of course not featuring the same tanking ability.
The Kronos is the Gallente Marauder. If the Megathron is arguably the most popular PvP battleship out there, then the Kronos is a devastating upgrade. Fact is that other than the fact that it is a Marauder, little else needs to be said about the Kronos. As a sniper vessel using turrets, it is superior in range to the Amarr Paladin, with more consistent damage than the Minmatar Vargur, falling in somewhere between the both, and being notable for its superior tracking which allows it to engage smaller vessels more effectively. It can put up a tremendous Armor Tank, though a greatly lesser one than that of the Paladin due to its lesser armor amount and lower, less balanced resistances, and can field a full set of five scout drones to guard it from smaller threats. As a blaster platform, it is by far the most damaging Marauder out there, though it faces the same problem that all battleships do of getting into optimal range, and the same problem that all Marauders do of being sensor dampened and jammed.
The Vargur is the Minmatar Marauder. Menacing, fast and hard as a wall with its excellent shield tank potential, the Vargur is somewhat of a low-damage and low-range Marauder, if there can ever be such a thing, falling after the more impressive Kronos and Paladin as a turret-bearing ship of its class, because of the inferiority of projectile turrets damage-wise, especially artillery. Then again, looking at the bonuses that the Vargur receives to tracking and falloff, and its speed, it is fairly clear that it was not actually conceived as an artillery platform, but rather as a fearsome brawler, being able to charge fast and inflict tremendous pain up close with autocannons. Its firing speed bonus helps it almost catch up to pulse lasers in terms of sheer damage to range, and with its tracking and ability to choose its damage type it performs far better against smaller vessels, but a Vargur pilot must always be aware of his situation and his ammunition.
The Golem is the Caldari Marauder. Sporting a bonus to target painters that stands out as unusual, not just for a marauder ship but also for a Caldari one, it features four launcher hardpoints and a bonus to cruise missiles and torpedoes. Included in this is the standard Marauder bonus that doubles the damage dealt by either of those missile types, effectively leaving the three highslots not occupied by launchers free for other gear. Featuring a shield boost bonus and a massive high-resist shield, the Golem can put up a mean tank. Like all marauders, the Golem has limited use in PVP owing to its large price tag and limited boost over tech 1 battleships, but for missions it is hard to find better.
Altough they are very powerful and resilient ships, most players tend to use them exclusively in mission or complex running. This is mostly because of their very high price. An average marauder's price ranges between 900 million and 1.2 billion ISK; A price that is on par with pretty much every faction battleship and that is very close to the price of a dreadnought.
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