The Let's Play Archive

Escape Velocity: Nova

by Decoy Badger

Part 60: Ships Part 03 - Thunderheads

Let's Meet the Thunderheads!

Thunderheads are heavy fighters that are notable for their Thunderhead Lances, twin beam weapons that can shred through defences at close range. Thunderheads should be built fast enough to get into Lance range, with some missiles to take on better defended ships. More weapons and cargo space means you can go through most of the game in one of these.

Threat level: 5/10. AI-controlled Thunderheads are at their most dangerous when combat starts, spamming homing missiles at you. Once they run out of missiles, it is trivial to dodge out of Lance range in any fighting ship. Stay mobile and keep some distance and any variant can be easily destroyed.

Combat rating: 6/10. It's a glass cannon. The shields are poor compared to Valkyries and Starbridges and the ship disables at 33% armour, meaning that surviving the strafing approach towards larger ships is a challenge in its own right. If you can stay close or in a blind spot, the Lances will make short work of any enemy ship. It's right behind the Polaris Manta as the best fighter in the game.



The Thunderhead is so named for its main weapon, the Thunderhead Lance. The Lance is a solid beam of coherent laser light. In some ways, the Thunderhead has the worst reputation of any fighting vessel in the Galaxy, not because of turn ratings or levels of firepower, but because this assault fighter is the weapon of choice of pirates, privateers and corsairs throughout known space. It has enough armor to allow it to go up against large ships, and enough speed to allow it to catch most craft that try to flee.

Pirate Thunderhead


Never underestimate the abilities of pirates to hot up ships that are already way too overpowered. The Pirate Thunderhead gets around the problem of trying to soup up its engines by simply adding one more. Speed and acceleration both benefit from this procedure, and the Pirate Thunderhead is an awesome vessel. Good value for money.

Rebel Thunderhead


Once more Donald Chick has taken out his toolkit and hydrospanners to churn out a masterpiece of adaptive engineering. The Rebel Thunderhead, another triumph, isn't far removed from its antecedents, but fixes a few of the more glaring defects. While the engines have remained relatively unchanged, the Rebel Thunderhead features greater armor and shield protection for many of the more vital systems, making it a more useful craft for decisive strikes.

Rebel Escorts posted:

In the bowels of the Rebel shipyards, a group of Rebel Thunderheads are undergoing preventative maintenance. Armor panels are removed and exposed optical circuitry is given packet coherence tests, while the engines are drained of Chrotite Dioxide sludge and refreshed with fresh supercool Chrotite gas. These vessels are obviously powerful, and would offer superior protection from larger ships.