Small vs Large Disruption Shields (Apocalypse)
The Large Disruptor Shield appears to be designed to be fitted in pairs on the Annihilator, which is also the only ship that can make the best use of the large shields in combination with 3 small shields or a variety of other 2×2 options. On
On any other ship, the large shield will prove to be inefficient. A large shield will take up more slots than two smaller shields (9 vs. 8 slots), but provide an equal amount of shielding. On ships with 4×4 slot space, a large shield will only offer 400 extra hitpoints and any leftover room can only be filled with small accuracy modules. On the other hand, four small shields will fill all of the space, but provide 800 points of shield energy.
Why do the large shields work best on the Annihilator when it's inefficient on almost every other ship? The Annihilator has a 5×6 block of option slots, which is an uneven number of rows, as are the large shields.
To arm an Annihilator with maximum shields, there are two options:
- Option 1: 6 small shields, with a 1×6 free gap
- Option 2: 2 large shields and 3 small shields, no gaps
The total amount of shielding provided by each method:
- Option 1: 6 × 200 = 1200
- Option 2: (2 × 400) + (3 × 200) = 800 + 600 = 1400
The only benefit of using option 1 is that you have that free 1×6 strip that can fit a variety of small or Medium Weapons Control systems. Due to the nature of the weapons that you will fit on the Annihilator, there is little benefit to using the accuracy modules for anything but filler in this instance.
With option 2, if you replace one small shield with an X-Com Advanced Control System , you will be given the same amount of shield energy as option 1, but with superior accuracy improvement over three medium control systems. Or if accuracy modification isn't your cup of tea, then a Missile Evasion Matrix or Teleporter can be used in its place. The 2×2 gap offers more flexibility than the 1×6 strip.
One ship that may benefit from the Large Shield would be the Explorer. It can only fit two small shields and a pair of medium accuracy controls, or one large shield and three small accuracy controls. As Accuracy controls of either calibre aren't terribly effective, it doesn't matter which setup is used as you will always get a maximum of 400 shield points.
The Bio-Trans is another ship that can make use of the large shields. Normally it can fit 8 small shields for a total of 1600 shield points. That is a lot amount of small shields. With large shields, this can be substituted with 2 large shields and 2 small shields for 1600 shield hit points. The 6×1 gap can be left empty or stuffed with small weapons control systems as filler, though the Bio-Trans doesn't have much of a need for weapons control systems. Most Bio-Trans setups will not need the full 1600 shields, and will have at least one bio and cargo transport modules in place. As two small shields can be swapped out for these in either setup, both setups will be identical with the exception of the gap left by the large shields.
The most obvious advantage of using both types of shields is that it extends your shield resources that you have, while sticking to one type limits it.
In the end, it's an organization issue. If the maximum shield hit point count is your only concern, then go with whatever shield configuration can get you the most shield hit-points. If you want to throw in some other utility, go for the option that can net you a gap of at least one normal sized module.