Can confirm: The Drake Interplanetary Buccaneer is a death machine. Both for its targets and its pilot.
The Buccaneer trades of survivability for firepower. It doesn’t have an ejection seat. It is particularly well suited for killing the larger ships such as the Vanguard and Cutlass as it is more maneuverable than those and it can carry the weapon systems to defeat the larger, more tanky fighters in a reasonable amount of time.
Of course that is by upping the primary wing mounts and spinal mounted turret up a size into non-gimballed weapons. I ran ballistics on it with outstanding success last night in Arena Commander and Crusader. While it took a bit getting used to, I found I was able to destroy even the vanguards and Sabre’s with about 10 well-placed bursts from the mantises and the Revenant on the spine.
I do want to give it a shot with energy weapons to see if the loss of damage output is worth the increased endurance as I was finding that I’d live long enough to go completely dry on ammo.
The rattlers attached to the pylons make a nice addition.
I also found that if I stuck with the unmanned turret and gimbals, that I could compete relatively well against smaller fighters. The gimbals made up for a slight disadvantage of manueverability that the Buccaneer has against more nimble craft such as the 300 Series and Gladiators and Gladiuses. This will be a limitation as you’ll have to outfit for engaging craft smaller than you or larger than you – you can’t really do both.
Expect it to be nerfed… but I feel that for now the Buccaneer has a solid role.