The Conquest-class battlecruiser is the embodiment of concentrated firepower. Developed in the period just preceding the popularization of fighter craft, the class emphasizes firepower and speed over armor protection.
Space Naval tacticians of the day were confident that new weapons systems would always outperform armor and shields and thus were the key to winning an engagement. So why not build a ship for speed and power? Give it the armor protection of a cruiser, but arm it with the best weapons available to any ship, and have it remain faster than any of those lumbering behemoths of the line. The Conquest is a good example of these concepts put into a hull. Many other advanced technologies were incorporated into the design, including weapon mounts designed for a circling engagement. This maneuver requires greater navigational skill while serving to provide more tactical options to the commanding officers.
Fortune favors the bold, the ancients said. This class of ships does indeed favor the bold captain, willing to risk everything for the thrill of victory.
The Conquest is a fast and agile battlecruiser that sacrifices defense for mobility and firepower.
The Conquest is built for broadsides, with the bulk of its firepower concentrated in several turrets with a 120° arc on each side. The Maneuvering Jets system is invaluable for bringing firepower to bear and for breaking engagement to vent flux (as well as getting to the fight in the first place).
With a mere 90° arc and the worst efficiency of any shield in the game, the Conquest's shield is of very limited effectiveness. It should be used sparingly, generally raised only to catch high-damage explosive or energy shots.
The Hurricane MIRV Launcher is favored for the large missile mounts: It can be fired off-bore, and thus does not require the Conquest to turn its broadside away, and also inflicts very high damage against armor and hull.
Some players favor asymmetrical designs, concentrating powerful high-OP weapons on one side while covering the other with a number of PD and long-ranged weapons to deter flanking fighters and frigates.
Divide & conquer is a strategy splitting the enemy forces into a larger and a smaller group and then defeating the smaller group in detail. It is quite effective but critically requires some form of specialist to actually form & hold the breach in the enemy formation.
This requires a strong lead to form a gap and some kind of standoff to keep it open for long enough, while the standoff and blitz teams do their jobs. The standoff element is sent to the larger enemy force to keep them from breaking out, such as a kinetic heavy low tech group. The blitz element is sent against the smaller enemy force to crush it quickly, such as restored Luddic Path ships with Safety Override.
In terms of Starsector a strong lead is missiles and standoff means long range kinetics, possibly backed up with ion weapons. Enter the Conquest, possibly the most misused ship in the vanilla roster.
It has two large missiles mounts up front for a strong lead; Hammer Barrages or Cyclone Reaper Launchers are recommended.
If you want a flanking ship then pick up an Odyssey. If you can't acquire an Odyssey then grab a Shrike. If you want a specialist capable of breaching the enemy lines and facilitating a defeat in detail then get a Conquest.