Alliance Challenger vs. FDL: which is better for combat (incl. thargds) and why? - PvE only

I want to make a build for PvE bounty hunting. I'm not willing to grind engineers and guardians. I have FSD, thrusters and power generator egnineered already.
So I'm curious to know your opinion and your builds to see which one of the two is best and why.
 
I'd say FdL because it has much better shields then a Chieftain Challenger, so you last longer in PvE.

Oh and forget fighting thargoids (except scouts) without full engineering.

For PvE it's always nice to use a combination of Lasers and Multicannons to strip shields and hull equally good.
I had a (granted g5'd) FdL with 4 efficient beams and a huge corrosive multicannon.
 
I currently have 4 combat ships and 1 hybrid trade/combat: A Chieftain, a Krait Mk II, an FDL and a Corvette for combat and a Cutter is the hybrid.

Ignoring the Cutter and Vette, the FDL is hands down a better PvE combat ship. Stronger shields, a good set of hardpoints for your weapon preferences, and decent speed and handling combined give it just a bit more "oomph" than the others.

That being said though, for PvE bounty hunting all of them do a great job and I think you'd be fine picking whichever of the two ships you enjoy flying the most. If you enjoy flying both though, go with the FDL so you don't second guess yourself later.

As @Bigmaec has already said, you'll want it engineered fully before tackling Thargoids.

For build, I recommend you make weapon choices based on your own preferences and combat skills rather than an off-the-shelf build, this is the one I use as someone who can fly pretty well but not well enough to aim fixed weapons particularly effectively. I do all PvE combat activities except Thargoids in it.

The guardian shield boosters were Shield Cell banks in my build before I unlocked the guardian tech and I still keep the SCBs around to swap to once in a while. I just generally prefer passive defense over active. The Sensors and Life Support in my build are A rated and quite arguably would be fine as D-rated. I just like the longer range sensors and the security of a larger air supply (I've never needed it in the FDL though).
 
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I thought you ask for Chieftain vs FDL ... but when your dilemma is Challenger or FDL then the clear winner is FDL.

And don't try harder Thargoid Interceptors without engineering ...
 
I found that Challenger works really well with a Bi-Weave shield, while it sucks with a Prismatic one. The shield strength is low, but recharge rate of a class 6 Bi-Weave is high enough to keep up with RES or CZ combat. I do carry 2 HRPs and 2 MRPs just in case but the shield rarely fails. It's not enough for wing assassination missions, at least in my hands. Never tried fighting Thargoid interceptors so can't comment on that.
 
I have used a Challenger for PvE for some time now and I quite like it. It is about half engineered, grade 3 except FSD which is grade 5. It is a hull tank for sure, shields are less than an FDL but the hull and module protection is top notch. There are really only two bad sides on it compared to my other ships. FSD range is low (still 25ish) and the class 3A fuel scoop I have takes a long time. I just treat it like an actual tank - slow to get to target but once it does BOOM! Running all lasers on top and interchange the 3 medium hardpoints for whatever I am in the mood for - multicannons, cannons, frag cannons, heck - even seeker missiles w/42 ammo each after engineering.
 
Thanks all, I've seen too that FDL got the strongest shields in the Medium class. But it also take a long time to recharge them.
With this consideration, what's your fighting style? Do you stay until shields are up and when they're down you just give up on the system pips and stay until the hull resist?

Another question: considering that the optional modules are not so many in the FDL, what do you put there? Shields, Hull and Module reinforcement package?
 
BiWeave shields recharge relatively quickly and once you engineer with Fast Charge experimental the recharge isn't that bad at all.

When shields are about to go down, my approach is to bug out. I don't stick around, much less give up on system pips...I'm outta there. FDL doesn't last long once shields are down, but the shields are strong enough that it is actually very, very rare in PvE for that to happen. I have been in CZ's where a wing of spec ops (4 elites) all start wailing on me at the same time....that's generally where bugging out becomes a high possibility.

And that leads to your last question about optional modules. Use Shield Cell Banks for at least a few of them. That way your shields will last even longer. In my build I swapped those for guardian shield boosters, but still swap in SCBs instead depending on what I'm doing. Hull and module reinforcements is what I did for the smaller optional slots....based on the fact that I bug out when shields are close to going down, they are rarely too useful but the added security is worth something. Also, with engineering on HRP to boost resistance, a little HRP goes a long way.
 
I'd say FdL because it has much better shields then a Chieftain Challenger, so you last longer in PvE.

Oh and forget fighting thargoids (except scouts) without full engineering.

For PvE it's always nice to use a combination of Lasers and Multicannons to strip shields and hull equally good.
I had a (granted g5'd) FdL with 4 efficient beams and a huge corrosive multicannon.
I was thinking about a beam laser in the Huge slot to take down the shields and all the rest multi-cannon to give some break to the WEP distributor and have more power for shield boosters.
I actually want to put as much as possible to the shields and when they go down I simply leave the area. This would allow me to put a couple of Module Reinforcements (considering that these protect the canopy and the hardpoints too, but I'm not sure about the last ones...).

This is the build I had in mind: FDL Build PvE
 
Thanks all, I've seen too that FDL got the strongest shields in the Medium class. But it also take a long time to recharge them.
With this consideration, what's your fighting style? Do you stay until shields are up and when they're down you just give up on the system pips and stay until the hull resist?

Another question: considering that the optional modules are not so many in the FDL, what do you put there? Shields, Hull and Module reinforcement package?
You bug out and reboot your ship to get your shields back at 50%.
 
I was thinking about a beam laser in the Huge slot to take down the shields and all the rest multi-cannon...
That's also what I run on one of my FdLs (the other one is an all plasma build and FUN), at first I tried the weapons the other way round which looked better in theory, but I found your variant worked better for me. You should at least engineer the huge beam to efficient/thermal vent though.

Ed: I'd also recommend SCBs in combination with heatsinks, if your unengineered reactor can keep up.
 
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Thargoids = chally by a long shot, much better hull and slots for decontamination limpets (and hull repair if desired). No contest IMO.

Other... Eh depends. Do you feel like having to wait for your FdL to be transported to wherever you want to fight? If you don't mind that, probs FdL is better since it's a pure murder machine. But Chally has tons of internals and can fit a nice scoop, so you can get to the cute little PvE homies and stomp them sooner without having to wait for a ship to arrive in the shipyard. Since it's PvE so either a well built Chally or FdL should be able to crush just about anything.
 
Thargoids = chally by a long shot, much better hull and slots for decontamination limpets (and hull repair if desired). No contest IMO.

Other... Eh depends. Do you feel like having to wait for your FdL to be transported to wherever you want to fight? If you don't mind that, probs FdL is better since it's a pure murder machine. But Chally has tons of internals and can fit a nice scoop, so you can get to the cute little PvE homies and stomp them sooner without having to wait for a ship to arrive in the shipyard. Since it's PvE so either a well built Chally or FdL should be able to crush just about anything.
Good point. FDL is not meant to travel. I have to consider some transfer time and fees
 
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