Great assessment of the fight Kestril. Couldn’t agree with you more. One thing though, boost speed of Couriers and Vultures wiht A thrusters and good weight managemenr are very similar, 395ish on both.
Might have to try it again with a Railgun. While it has some advantages, in a fight like that I would have likely run out of ammo.
I would say that the Vulture is a great ship, and should factor heavily in our defence of Empire space. 2 Vutures in wings, one using Fixed beam and Gim Pulse, the other Fixed Beam and Gim Cannon should be able to chase away most ships, and destroy a good number as well.
Couriers on the other hand, due to their cheap running costs and insurance are better for forays into Federation territory. A couple of these acting in wings can cause a lot of trouble and the speed that they can travel long distances means that if the enemy tries to stop our undermining efforts we can quickly jump to another system and start again.
I think it is fair to say that if you encounter an enemy Vulture, you should engage with the Courier. It is quite capable of winning the fight, but if you feel your opponent has you outclassed, you will have time to disengage and jump out.