|Cybran T1 Light Gunship: Jester[e]|
|Build Costs|| -5000
|Veterancy||3 ( +1/s)|
|Intel (Radius)|| Vision: 32
Direct Fire - Projectile
| Rate of Fire
|| 3 Projectiles/s
The Jester is an excellent tool for early rush tactics. With a DPS of 48, it has roughly twice the firepower of most T1 ground assault units, yet is much more mobile. In addition, its high HP (for a T1 air unit) allows it to survive quite well in the presence of T1 mobile AA and interceptors. Typical Cybran tactics involve using a group of Jesters to assault weakly defended positions early in the game, such as mass extractors. If your opponent has neglected to put up AA, a small force of jesters (3 or 4) can greatly disrupt them, especialy if you go for volatile generators. In addition, Cybran commanders have been known to use Jesters to take out exploratory T1 engineers during the early phases of the game. Jesters have also been known to destroy ACUs, or at least weaken them. A force of 10 Jesters, costing 2000 mass, can take out a UEF ACU in just 25 seconds, without taking return fire. With interceptor support, these guys can really hurt.
A lack of AA defenses, combined with a five minute fuel capacity, limits the Jester's effectiveness in larger maps. Unless T2 Air Staging facilities, T2 Cybran cruisers or aircraft carriers are present, the Jester will have to land periodically to refuel, and avoid areas with heavy interceptor and AA turret concentrations.
While it may not be apparent just looking at it, the Jester is CONSIDERABLY more advanced than T1. It has nearly the same mass/energy costs as your average T2 gunships, as well as a weapon doing only 12dps less. While it would be ignorant not to upgrade to Renegades if it is possible, the Jester is noteably similar to other factions' T2 gunships, in everything but health.
Compared to the Cybran's Assault BotEdit
The Jester could easily be mistaken for a tank with wings. It has twice the damage of the average medium tank, and considerably more health. Also, it flies, which has its advantages. The only problem with the Jester? It costs 4 times a tank's mass and 20 times the energy.
So, you're probably thinking "Why should I even bother with this dinky little gunship? I can produce 4 tanks with twice the DPS for the same mass and much less energy!" Well, keep in mind: It's a gunship. Its assault is uninterrupted by terrain, in movement, tactics, and damage-dealing. Another thing is its health, unlike T1 bombers, whose users cringe at the thought of anti-air and interceptors, Jesters are nigh-invulnerable to a single AA unit or Interceptor. It's getting shot at? So what, target the AA and soak up some veterancy.
Yet another useful aspect of the Jesters gunship-ness is that Interceptors are considerably less effective against it. With bombers, an Interceptor could simply follow one around, taking pot-shots at it until it crashes and burns. With the Jester, the Interceptors are forced to make strafing runs against the Jester, slashing their attack power.
The point is that, while Jesters are a bit pricey, they more than make up for it with their abilities and toughness. A Cybran player early-game (especially a Cybran player dedicated to air) who doesn't have Jesters is probably losing. The Jester is to the Cybrans in early-game as the Ilshavoh is to the Seraphim mid-game, as Experimentals are to any faction late game. Going without them is a bad idea, and tossing away a major advantage Cybrans have over other factions.
Uses and tacticsEdit
A good use for the Jester, like any other gunship, is to destroy enemy engineers and undefended mass extractors. However, it also can be used as a scout unit as its health allows it to go further into an enemy base and, unlike an air scout, the jester could harass any undefended targets it finds. One Jester built from the starting air factory can take out that classic row of four generators most players build, severely hampering their early economy. A single land factory producing aa units or aa turret being built by engineer cannot counter Jester so it can wipe out all economy buildings in enemy base if its commander is away.
One of the best ways to utilize the jester, however, is in an early game stalemate. Say you are playing 4v4 on an seton's clutch, or something like that. Your front commander goes to collect the middle mass, encounters the enemy commander doing the same thing. Both commanders are about equally matched and retreat to build up their forces and build point defense. If your air guy could distract the enemy's interceptors. You could slip in a few jesters and destroy the pd and units guarding the ACU, leaving it open to attack and out in the open. Simply cut off the ACU, and let your front player finish him off.
Note, however, that due to the cost of the jester, it is a bad idea to send them against any area with heavy AA, as the enemy could reclaim the remains, and all you would have done was sent a gift basket of mass to your opponent. Also, compared to the renegade gunship, the jester is more expensive per bit of health, as it cost about 5/6 of the resources but has only 4/5 the damage and little over 1/2 the health, as well as over 1/5 less fuel [6:40 vs 5:00] less range [22 vs 16], and no AOE damage. However, it only needs half the kills [6 vs 3] for the jester to gain veterency, has half the build time ,and in order to have renegades, you must have a T2 or T3 air factory, whereas jesters can be built at any cybran air factory.It may be best to have one or two factories producing jesters and the rest upgrading to the generally superior Renegade.
In the Forged Alliance campaign the Jester is targeted by enemy bombers (even if they first encounter it flying), which is a useful distraction and occasional fun seeing how they try to drop a bomb on a flying target and occasionally manage it.