Yeah, if you're in a fighter that can get up close and personal, nothing will quickly and completely melt other strikecraft quite like Tempests. I rarely have the luxury of being that close in an Ares, though. Trebs are absolutely evil in head-on passes since the high rate of closure makes it more difficult to dodge them. If you're trailing an enemy, Harpoons will almost always catch them. I sort of feel like they lack stopping power, but I'm used to a lot of firepower projection in the heavy/strategic assault role. I can only imagine how awesome it would have been had Interceptors not sucked in FS1. The Valk would have been great with a good aspect seeker. Banshee off the shields (yeah, I just verb'ed Banshee), fire and forget. Alas, I was far too busy shamelessly abusing Synaptics and tight Avenger firing points in the Athena between making Stiletto runs at turrets. I miss the Athena every time I play FS2.There's your problem. Heavy fighters such as the Ares are poorly suited for dogfighting, but instead are better for attacking convoys, cruisers, and harassment of larger vessels. Also, interceptors in FreeSpace 1 were good, they actually did what they were advertised, interception. The ones in FreeSpace 2 are incorrectly labeled, the Perseus being more like an Apollo MK II and more of a space superiority fighter than the Myrm ever was, and the Serapis being more like an Anubis MK II, which was also a space superiority fighter.
Edited for sleepy spelling error.
Yeah, I know the Ares/Erinyes aren't really meant to dogfight in, hence why I mentioned that I find aspect-seeking secondaries useful after QD said he doesn't like them much. I just like the middle of the road role where I can be useful against any sized target, hence the heavy assault/surgical strike platforms.
The Ares handles worse than a wheelbarrow with a flat tire, but a couple of well-placed Kayser blasts to the face and a Harpoon or two up the tailpipe is enough to discourage the special attention I get from fighters.
You're right about the lack of a true interceptor in FS2, though. The Valk would probably get carved up by AA beams, though - the Serapis sure does. If it had been my game to make, I would have had a dedicated interceptor with some sort of extra perk for being saddled with paper armor and low missile capacity - like a reduced chance of being by AA beams, being a small and quick target and all that.