By now you’ll see quite a few of the Ferengi Nandi flying around the galaxy — par for course for any free event ships. This means the Summer Event is starting to slow down, as players get their 1000 Lohlunat Prize Vouchers and claim their free Nandis. I got mine a couple of days ago and just got around to test-flying it last night; here are my initial thoughts on the ship.
First of all, this thing is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to classification. Its weapon layout (4/4) and shield modifier are typical of cruisers, but it turns better than most of the big lumbering beasts at 12. Yet its console setup (5 Tac) and Starship abilities are all indicative of a typical tactical escort ship. And then the 4 Science consoles and the Starship Mastery (we’ll get to that in a minute) are all very Science-focused. I don’t own a “Destroyer” class ship, but I am guessing that’s the category that the Nandi falls into? In any case, I’m not quite sure how to gear this thing and fly it properly.
The Ship Mastery Trait “Greedy Emitters” is very Science-focused: “While this trait is slotted using the Energy Siphon,Tachyon Beam, or Tyken’s Rift Science Bridge Officer Abilities gives a buff which grants immunity to energy drain, reduces energy weapons power usage, and increases your subsystem power levels for 10 seconds. This buff may be triggered once every 30 seconds.” Heidy is not only my main Fed toon, she is my ONLY Science toon, and this trait is really only useful to her; incidentally she runs all three of those Boff abilities, so it will definitely come in handy.
I threw a bunch of gear onto the Nandi that I haven’t been using, including a Fleet Elite Warp Core, Fleet Elite Shield, a Fleet Engine as well as a batch of Fleet Advanced Phaser beams that I got before I realized that was a dumb idea. Add a Mk XII purple Positron Deflector and some older consoles, and I was ready to go. So no top-end gear, no reputation gear, but not exactly random-dropped trash either.
Now this is all anecdotal, based on how I “felt” the Nandi performed in Red Alerts.
Manuevering: The Nandi doesn’t feel like a lumbering brick — not surprisingly given its Turn Rate of 12, which is only marginally less than Heidy’s Luna/RSV. I definitely don’t feel the pain of the Odyssey or the Bortas’qu when making a left turn to avoid running over someone’s pet dog.
Firepower: Between the 4/4 weapon layout, 5 Tac consoles and Tactical Boff seats, the Nandi outruns the Luna/RSV in firepower by a wide margin. In Tholian Red Alerts the Nandi was shredding Tholian ships between its weapons and Sci-abilities (Grav Well+TB Repulsors+Torpedo spreads front and back), quicker than the Luna/RSV could ever manage.
Survivability: And this here is the major trade-off. With very limited Engineering Boff abilities, a 1.05 Shield modifier and a relatively weak hull, survivability in a sustained firefight is going to be a major concern for the Nandi. I ran four Red Alerts last night, and in each case the hull was constantly being beat down to 50% or less (especially with the shield-stripping Borg). It never blew up, mind you, but I found myself frantically using the limited number of heal abilities constantly. Some of the reputation gear might help offset this problem, but overall this is what the Nandi sacrificed to excel as a tactical AND science ship.
Space Wizardry: Now just to be clear, as Science-heavy as the Nandi is, it’s NOT a Science ship. It doesn’t have Sensor Analysis, and it doesn’t have a Commander seat for Sci Boffs, which means in Heidy’s case she can’t have her most devastating Science attacks on this boat. If being a “Space Wizard” is absolutely critical to you, then know that the Nandi only does this half-assed (okay, maybe 3/4-assed).
Overall the Nandi seems like a viable alternative to a full-fledged Science Ship, stronger in some areas and weaker in others. The Luna/RSV will always be Heidy’s endgame ship (until a proper T6 version comes along, that is) so my intent is to go back to it after she gets the Ship Trait, but after a couple of runs I was a bit tempted to keep flying the Nandi for a while. The jury is still out on that, and will take a bit more testing before I decide.
An interesting aside is I screwed up on event last year and only got the Risian Corvette but not the Luxury Cruiser; luckily for me R’Jal had the Event project for the cruiser started and left there the whole year, and so I went back and finished it this time. I have to say, that is ONE colorful ship! The Nandi isn’t quite as colorful, but it’s right up there behind the Risian ships. Who knew the Ferengi are such fashionistas?