AI War:Zenith Viral Shredder
|Melee ship that generates build points as it attacks, spawning a free copy of itself when enough are accumulated. This replication costs a portion of the replicator's health, and will not happen below a certain percent of health. Also, when there are more shredders of a specific level than the natural ship cap on a single planet, the build points required to replicate will increase exponentially.|
|Ship Cap||Ammo Type||Armor Type||Immunities||Damage Bonuses|
|192||Fusion Cutter||Close-Combat||Tractor Beams Reclamation Force Fields Repair|
|Mark||Damage||Attack Range||Reload||Health||Armor||Speed||Engine Health||Single Ship DPS||Ship Cap DPS||Ship Cap HP||Abilities|
|I||12||0||1 sec||780||4||52||Inf||12 dmg/sec||2,304 dmg/sec||149,760||Regen Time 07:30 Target Seek Range 5,000 Armor Piercing 100 Replicates Every 240 Build Points|
|II||24||0||1 sec||1,570||9||52||Inf||24 dmg/sec||4,608 dmg/sec||301,440||Regen Time 07:30 Target Seek Range 5,000 Armor Piercing 100 Replicates Every 480 Build Points|
|III||36||0||1 sec||2,350||13||52||Inf||36 dmg/sec||6,912 dmg/sec||451,200||Regen Time 07:30 Target Seek Range 5,000 Armor Piercing 100 Replicates Every 720 Build Points|
|IV||46||0||1 sec||3,140||18||52||Inf||46 dmg/sec||8,832 dmg/sec||602,880||Regen Time 07:30 Target Seek Range 5,000 Armor Piercing 100 Replicates Every 920 Build Points|
|V||58||0||1 sec||3,900||22||52||Inf||58 dmg/sec||11,136 dmg/sec||748,800||Regen Time 07:30 Target Seek Range 5,000 Armor Piercing 100 Replicates Every 1,160 Build Points|
|Mark||Knowledge||Metal Cost||Crystal Cost||Total Cost||Energy Cost||Build Time||Cap Metal Cost||Cap Crystal Cost||Cap Total Cost||Cap Energy Cost||Cap Build Time|
How to use in your fleet
It seems paradoxic for a melee unit to be slow, but Zenith Viral Shredder have good reason to be. They are the opposite of Vorticular Cutlasses in that they reproduce on attack - this means that players can support twice or three times the default cap of Shredders without building more than a dozen or so at the start of the game.
When numbers are low, keep Shredders for wave defense. This combines well with any effect that will keep enemy ships from travelling faster than them (Widow Mines, Tractor Beam Turrets, Zenith Paralyzers, Etherjets, etc.), and distracts enemy fire long long for them to increase in numbers. They make for rather impressive damage soakers once there are multiple caps-worth. Although you won't be chasing down anything in a hostile wormhole, sending these guys ahead of ships that you actually have to rebuild will reduce net losses drastically.
How to counter when in the AI fleet
As with all melee-units, Gravitational Turrets. On wave defense it is important to reduce the Shredders to below the critical numbers needed to replenish themselves. Since Shredders are slower than default-speed (Fighters and Bombers), they can be kited even in hostile wormholes. It shouldn't be a problem until one meets 1000 Shredder-IVs, in which case it's probably time to use a warhead or two.
Outstanding Issue: does the AI suffer from similar cap-penalties as human players?