The Ilwrath Avenger is a sinister looking ship. The only thing less comforting than seeing one is not seeing one. The Ilwrath delight in torturing their enemies and this shows in their ship design. The ship itself is the result of the advanced technology that the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za bestowed on the newly conquered, technologically simple Ilwrath. Additionally, Ilwrath captains mention that the Ur-Quan also upgraded the Avenger and its weapons circa 2126.
The Avenger is about average in terms of speed and manuverability. They tend to skulk around and wait for an opportunity to strike. The best defense, the Ilwrath have found, is not to go through the effort of dodging, but to instead allow your enemy's weapons to miss entirely through the inferiority of their targeting systems and the incompetence of their Captains.
The primary weapon for an Avenger is a short-range flamethrower known as the Hellfire Spout. The Avenger's quick recharge rate allows it to maintain a nearly constant stream of flame. Many a crew have been cooked alive (or suffered an excruciating death immediately afterward when their ship explodes into space dust) by the sudden application of this deadly weapon.
While not a weapon per se the Ilwrath Cloaking Field is the signature device associated to their race (immediately following, of course, the various implements of pain they use on their captives). Auto-tracking weapon systems (the Earthling Cruiser missile, the Spathi Eluder B.U.T.T., the Arilou Lalee'lay Skiff laser) are useless against a cloaked Avenger, as are any subsidiary craft (Orz Nemesis Space Marines, Ur-Quan Kzer-Za Dreadnought Fighters), both of which will head back to their mothership immediately. However, whether this means that the system is imperfect or not, in Super Melee the Avenger is always on the other side of the screen than the other ship.1 Also, when the Hellfire Spout is employed the ship returns to being visible; the starship melee equivalent of "boo!". One can hardly argue the impact on a crew's morale when an Avenger uncloaks on the ship's stern with Hellfire blazing. One major downside is that when used in Super Melee, the AI seems to know exactly where the Ilwrath ship is at all times, cloaked or not.
One of the more remarkable aspects of this ship is that if the player fires while cloaked, the Avenger will un-cloak pointed directly at their opponent. However, the short range of its weaponry makes this of marginal usefulness. Also, a regular de-cloak, for whatever reason, will not point the Avenger at the other ship.
While cloaked, The Avatar tractor beam, Cruiser missiles, Dreadnought fighters, Marauder blades, and Nemesis space marines are unable to lock on or follow the Avenger. However, the Syreen Song will still affect a cloaked Avenger.
Notes and references
- 1From the 2007 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (robot is Fred Ford, PR3 is Paul Reiche III):
- 23:21 <@Meep-Eep> < Shiver-> I've been kicking this around a while: Was the Ilwrath Avenger ever meant to be visible to the player controlling it while cloaked? With online play this feature could enhance the ship a good deal.
- 23:42 <@fOSSiL> So, not to press the question, but was the Ilwrath Avenger ever meant to be visible while cloaked to the player controlling it?
- 23:43 <@fOSSiL> re Avenger; Now with netplay it could be done pretty well.
- 23:43 <+PR3> We meant for the Ilwrath's cloak to somewhat affect that ship's captain as well, though it was not a huge issue.