Unlike most of the TEC's hasty conversions of civilian models, the Kol-class battleship is the first dedicated warship design in nearly 700 years. It admirably balances speed, protection and firepower. A Kol Battleship, with its array of heavy weapons, has a formidable presence in any engagement. Commanded by the best of the TEC's officers, they were marshaled to front lines to serve as a devastating weapon of war and a sign of hope for the embattled and weary TEC fleets. More than any other warship, the Kol has proven to be instrumental in halting the Vasari advance.
The Kol is a very tough capital ship with the best balance of hull, armor, and shields of any capital ship. Combined with its Adaptive Forcefield ability this can make it very difficult to kill. Despite this, the Kol suffers from a wide range of weaknesses. It has very low antimatter reserves to fuel its high-cost special abilities, and once its antimatter is depleted it's nothing but a very tough unit with mediocre damage. This has earned it the fan nickname "the brick". It isn't particularly effective against capital ships, except by sheer attrition, and it will be easily beaten by most strong combat capital ships in the early game, including the Marza, Kortul, Jarrasul, Sova, and Radiance. This long list of advantaged opponents makes the Kol an atrocious choice for your first capital ship. Later on, it excels with its Flak Burst ability which can destroy huge numbers of enemy strike craft very quickly. This squarely paints the Kol as a late-game capital ship. Combining a Rail Gun Kol with a Dunov's Flux Field ultimate will enable a long-duration barrage of rail gun fire, capable of crippling and decimating any other capital ship.
The Kol is arguably the toughest Capital Ship among all three factions. Massive armor, hull points, and a powerful defensive ability make it incredibly tough to destroy. Like all battleships, it has high weapon damage and is dangerous in its own right as a combat unit. However, it fields very few strike craft of its own. The Kol is particularly effective against phase missile-using Vasari forces, as the Adaptive Forcefield ability negates the shield penetrative abilities of Vasari Phase Missiles. A pair of Kols with Flak Burst may effectively be left on their own, although Kodiaks, Hoshikos, Percherons, and a Dunov would make an incredibly strong task force when combined with a pair of Kols. A pair of Kol Battleships with Flak Burst can effectively go out on their own, will do some serious damage to structures around a planet, and can effectively defeat a group of frigates and cruisers.
The Kol Battleship is not a one-man army; like all capital ships, its special abilities are what define it. On its own, the Kol brings average damage, very high durability (particularly when fully upgraded), and three useful abilities into the fray:
- The Gauss Rail Gun is a powerful attack, but offset by its very high Antimatter cost and inability to affect multiple targets. It will temporarily slow down the target's move speed, but will not prevent them from escaping or phase jumping. For slowing down the enemy, the Akkan's Ion Bolt is regarded as being the superior ability despite the fact that it does not deal damage.
- Flak Burst will deal large damage to all enemy strike craft in a region around the Kol. This is effective for thinning out large swarms of strike craft, but it won't kill them in a single blast, so at lower levels a single Kol is insufficient. A high-level Kol, however, can single-handedly clear massive swarms of strike craft. Be sure to time this ability carefully to hit as many targets as you can. It has very high antimatter costs, so you have to make each blast count. It can affect an unlimited number of targets within its area of effect.
- Adaptive Forcefield dramatically increases the Kol's durability, particularly against Vasari Kanrak Assailants and other Phase Missile-equipped vessels. This also costs antimatter.
- Finest Hour is possibly the strongest Level 6 ability of all capital ships. The long duration hull repair and splash damage addition to autocannon attacks enables the Kol to annihilate enemy capital ships or smaller frigate battle groups, all while sinking an impressive amount of damage on its own hull.
The Kol's greatest weakness is that all of its abilities require antimatter to use, and the Gauss Rail Gun and Flak Burst in particular will drain you dry after only a few uses. Its ability to survive in the heat of battle means little if it's out of antimatter and cannot use any of its special abilities. This makes the Kol combine very well with a high level Dunov Battlecruiser with the Flux Field special ability.
When supported, however, the Kol becomes far more potent. With Hoshiko Robotics Cruisers and Dunov Battlecruisers behind it, the Kol is effectively invulnerable. Cielo Command Cruisers can further augment the Kol's lifespan and dramatically increase an entire fleet's damage output. This combo can severely punish the enemy for focusing on the Kol, forcing him to focus on the supporting units first. Be sure to retreat your Kol if its support goes down, because its toughness will only buy it an extra 20 or 30 seconds of survival against a large force of enemies, and its damage isn't high enough to bring down large forces on its own. If you have the resources, a moderately effective early rush strategy is to build Percherons, Gardas, and Hoshikos and make your starting capital ship a Kol. The Percherons make up for the very few strike craft the Kol fields on its own, the Gardas help ward off enemy squadrons, and the Hoshikos repair any damage the fleet takes. The Kol can also assist its Gardas through the use of Flak Burst to destroy enemy strike craft. This makes a deadly early rush strategy that many players will not be expecting early on. A Marza Dreadnought or Sova Carrier can be used instead as a more effective alternative than the Kol. Researching autocannon upgrades greatly increases the Kol's damage output.
The Kol is a risky choice for a first capital ship. Like all battleship-class capital ships, the Kol fields very few strike craft of its own, and is quite vulnerable to a carrier-class capital ship rush. Although Flak Burst is invaluable for thinning out huge swarms of strike craft, carrier-capital ships can replace them far faster than a lone Kol can strike them down, and you will be quickly overwhelmed after running out of antimatter. It is better suited as a third or fourth capital ship, particularly if the enemy is getting large swarms of strike craft. If it is to be the first capital ship, a good second would be the Dunov for it's shield restore ability and Flux Field, or you can create another Kol to quickly clear systems of enemies.
The Kol is best suited as a late-game capital ship. It needs lots of antimatter to feed its more powerful abilities, and a high powered Kol with antimatter research upgrades can be a nearly unstoppable force that can swat large strike craft swarms off and sustain massive quantities of damage. This is where the Kol shines.
- Kol (Кол) means "stake" in Russian, Bulgarian and Macedonian
- Kol's design seems to be at least partially inspired by the USS Sulaco
- In contradiction with in-game information and the manual, Kol's apparent frontal armament consists of 4 beam cannons, 2 standard autocannons in the upper works, and 3 single-shot laser cannons on the side of the starboard hangar bay. In Rebellion they clearly fire red laser pulses, and their sound is shared by Ankylon's broadside turrets.
Info from the ManualEdit
|Hull Points:||Very High|
|Armor Level:||Very High|
|Weapons (Fore):||4 x Linked Beam Cannons / Rail Gun /|
2 x AutoCannons / 2 x Pulse Laser Batteries /
Ship-to-Surface Nuclear Missiles
|Weapons (Side):||3 x AutoCannon Batteries (Port) / 2 x AutoCannon Batteries (Starboard)|
|Weapons (Aft):||2 x AutoCannon Batteries|
|Squadrons Supported:||0 - 2|
Gauss Rail Gun