Feb 2

The Gunboat of Star Citizen


Because reloading is stupidToday I want to talk about something that has been on my mind for a while but I simply have not been able to find the right way to present it. Then I saw this meme (right) that was the catalyst for the proverbial lightbulb turning on.

What I want to talk about today is a ship and its loadout, a ship that exemplifies a few different concepts coming to together to rain death upon your enemies in unexpected ways, and that ship is the Freelancer. According to Chris Roberts himself, the Freelancer is the largest ship that he wishes to be able to travel in the smallest of jump points. In naval terms, the largest of shallow draft vessels who can travel anywhere needed. There is a rarely used naval term to describe a small well-armed ship in shallow waters: A gunboat. So without further delay, I present to you The Gunboat Loadout.

Gunboat Loadout Details

A vanilla Freelancer has two unmanned turrets near the cockpit, allowing us to mount four, size-three weapons that are gimbaled, a turret in the rear with two size-twos, two size-four missile mounts, and two size-three missiles mounts. For perspective, that is more missile capacity than a gladius and is more direct firepower than the Sabre. But how to make the most of it? I have chosen to go with four size-three Mantis, two badger repeaters for the turret, and an all size-two missile compliment for six Dominator IIs and six Tempest IIs.

Why the Mantis?

Because the gunboat is a weapons platform, not an acrobat. The longer a fight goes on the more likely it is the opposition will be able to get a favorable position on the gunboat; so the solution must be to make the fight as short as possible. To that end, the mantis has the second highest DPS of all size-three or smaller weapons and beats out a fair number of size-four plus weapons as well. The “better” weapon is the T-21 Tigerstreik, which is limited to only the avenger at this time. Beyond the raw DPS potential, the physical damage is my answer to the lightly armored Sabre, Gladius, or other very nimble dogfighters. Even just a little bit of damage in a few key places, like engines or thrusters, can even the odds in a turning battle considerably.

Gimbals are awesome!

With the Freelancer being less nimble than many others, it needs an edge to bring its guns to bear and do all that wonderful damage. Well, it just so happens that a Freelancer has unmanned turrets to give us that edge. With increased accuracy on the pilot’s behalf and firing arcs that can stretch to a full 90 degrees to port or starboard; the opposition will be taking a ton of damage from a skilled pilot. Up against ships with all fixed weapons, (coughs Sabre, cough) you should easily be able to force them out of their comfort zone of turning wars, lest they pay with their lives.

Dirty Dozen Missiles

These missiles are chosen as a hard counter to Superhornets. If four Mantis are my answer to Sabres and non-combat vessels, I have to have an answer for ships that have armor that works well against the physical damage those Gatling guns can dish out. Accordingly, I chose to mount as many size-two missiles possible. Even though a good pilot can dodge missiles, with twelve chances, I should be able to get some good hits or kills. Though tempting to go with all Tempest IIs, the Dominator IIs are needed for the little pest ships like M50s or merlins. With this ‘missile and Mantis’ combination, I have an answer for every problem until I run out of resources.

The True Militia in the PU?

I can easily see this gunboat being the premiere one or two man militia ship. Flying in squadrons of these gunboats could outright eliminate the need for endurance or a long fight because in just a few seconds you can put out an insane amount of DPS or missiles. The overlapping fields of fire of the turrets of a half-dozen of them are amazing because it allows them to concentrate fire in ways that other ships could not. Just give me plenty of ammunition and we’ll kill ’em all!

Final Comments

The Freelancer gunboat definitely takes offense to the extreme, which is also its potential downfall. That said, I deeply appreciate how it is a welcome addition on any battlefield and that it can get to that battlefield a number of ways that may not have been as accessible to others. I love it and hope you do too. Got any comments? come talk with me about it, tell me what you think.

Originally posted on the Those Guys with Ships forums. You can come talk with Dietrich there, or leave him a comment here in the INN comments section!


About the Author:

Recreational pilot, amateur lover of history, and admirer of Star Citizen. When not in Star Citizen, looking for a good fight, I enjoy sharing my perspective on the game for TGWS. But mostly just a guy who wants to make the game just a tiny bit better for the best damn community I've ever been a part of.


  1. Neel

    In light of the previous article about whether Chris Roberts is Luke or Han, this does not feel right at all.
    It’s as if a trailer truck has more firepower than a battle tank, or a small cargo plane is a better fighter than an F16. It makes no sense.
    When civilians have more firepower than the government, law enforcement and the military become a joke.
    That said: the loadout could work. Just make sure you got those shots or you’ll be in trouble when your ammo runs out XD
    I imagine the freelancer MIS would do even better when it comes out, and the reworked Cutlass can load 6 mantisses :3

  2. Luis Haase

    I am a bit curious. See, I am not a good (dog)fighter. I suck. Infact, delivering goods, explore or just enjoy the view out of the panorama window of my Jump is what I am looking for. So, to defend myself, I need better equipment on my ship or a better ship to stand a chance. I am old and crap and reactions aren’t the fastest anymore. Needless to say, I don’t have any kind of joy in AC to battle opponents.
    So, I am open for solutions that help me to defend myself. And your post sounds appealing to me.
    Now, I once got some Mantis GT-220 in Voyager Direct (I know, lotsa ? with what’s happening with the stuff you bought there for real money, but hey, I help develop the game of my dreams) to fit on the turret and under my wings of my SH I had that day. Unfortunately, the turret couldn’t be equipped with the Mantis at some point anymore and I melted my SH for other reason. Since that time the Mantis’ are rotting away and when I checked last time – a while ago in 2.5 in BabyPU – I couldn’t fire them at all. Buggy? Missing ammo?
    Do they work now (2.6.) in PU when equipping a ship with them? Or do I have to play AC against other players to earn REC? On the other side I heared, the weapons you get with REC only work in AC (no idea if that is true) some clarification would be nice.
    Another thing: would I need some special missile racks for your loadout? Not being that deep into SC these days can be hard…
    I hope you can answer my questions. Thanks a lot,


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