Janitor = fast and economic, good for up close fighting
Prophet = long ranged and better turn rate, good for long range attacks
Rendor = Ammo count on equip screen is halved. No waste at all.
Janitors against the Prophets, battle of the decade!
There are often debates on where you stand on which is the better missile launcher, the Janitor or the Prophet? Everyone has their reason for preferring one over the other.
After spending some time comparing the two launchers in the ufopaedia, I've come to the conclusion that there's nothing much to argue about. Oh, each launcher has a distinct advantage over the other - that's definitely not being questioned. Observe the stats of the two launchers.
Rate of fire: 1.00 r/s
Turn Rate: 24
Ammo Cost: $110
Rate of fire: 0.86 r/s
Turn rate: 32
Ammo Cost: $200
Note, I'm not including the weight as that doesn't really play much of a role. In either case, they're both the same weight anyway. Same goes for dimensions. I've also highlighted the stats on each launcher that makes the launcher unique.
See how close the two launchers are to each other in terms of how much damage they can deal out. A 4 point damage difference. That's the old X-Com UFO Pistol -v- Rifle debate all over again. Negligible at best. It's nothing like the difference between a Janitor -v- Retribution or a medium disrupter -v- large disrupter. If it were all about the damage, the Janitor would outstrip the Prophets in the long run despite being the weaker of the two by simple virtue of having more rounds (to be precise, by the 10th shot).
The stats lead me to believe that the Janitor is more economical and is ideal if you like to get in close and fire rounds continuously. The Janitor also excels at lasting much longer than the Prophet, making it ideal for participation in several air skirmishes before needing a top up. It fails at longer ranged attacks and has a slower turn speed. Basically the M4000 of the rocket world.
The Prophet missile is more expensive, but the extra price of each one is paid off by having a longer effective firing range and much tighter turns. Tight turns are good! It means they end up being more accurate. What hurts it the most however is the smaller ammo capacity. The Prophets run out very quickly. But they're still good for short and sweet air skirmishes.
Thinking about it, the Prophet is ideal for slower moving ships, like Hovercars and Hawks that you don't want too close to the action. The Janitor on the other hand is better to arm on faster moving ships that like to get up close to their target such as the Hoverbikes, eliminating the Janitor missile's distance and turn disadvantage. (edit: Mind you, that's not to say that you shouldn't arm Janitors on Hawks or Prophets on Hoverbikes - nothing wrong with that either)
I myself like to stick to lasers, but when I do use rockets I like to use a mix of the two. Or to be more truthful, I just buy the lot of them and use whatever's available. If ammo runs out, I just switch to another type or just bolt on a bolter.
Breaking the Rendor Plasma misconception
The Rendor Plasma gun uses twice as much elerium to arm. It shows that it has 70 shots, but when you check the elerium used, 140 is removed from storage. Because of this, for years I've been of the belief that the Rendor is inefficient. But after a bit of experimentation, my stance has changed.
The Rendor plasma gun in fact uses a 1:1 ratio of elerium per beam. You do use up 140 elerium to fully charge the Rendor's 70 ammo capacity. But each unit of ammo is in fact worth 2 beams! That's right, the ammo count is halved for some inexplicable reason.
I armed up a Rendor on a hovercar, manually flew to the outskirts of the city and started firing away into the ground. After many clicks later (well past the expected 70), the gun was empty. I returned home and rearmed the rendor with my 2 units of remaining elerium. Sure enough, the Rendor showed 1/70 shots and I was able to get off 2 shots.
All these years and I thought it was wasteful. You can't take everything in the vehicle equip screen at face value. I'd still opt for the Lineage plasma cannons no matter the difference in efficiency, but it's good to know that you're not wasting your elerium by using the Rendor.
I haven't got access to Lineage cannons or multi-plasma turrets to test their efficiency at this time, but if anyone would like to give them a go, feel free. Speaking of the multi-plasma, I was surprised to see their 6.00rps firing rate. That's the same as the default hoverbike minigun.
Edited by NKF, 06 July 2007 - 02:42 AM.