The Moloch is an opponent to be taken seriously, despite all the negative commentary, and the statement a Deimos
can take one on successfully is somewhat debatable. Shivans use much more effective (and faster-cycling) direct-fire beams, of which the Moloch has three SRed
-types. Like most Shivan capital craft, its anti-fighter defenses are rather less impressive than those of a comparable Terran ship. Despite this the Moloch's defenses are nonetheless probably the best, pound for pound, of any Shivan capital craft. It mounts a considerable number of flak guns, and they are well-positioned. The broadside flaks are placed in such a way as to make them difficult to target at range, but still provide good coverage to the sides of the ship. Eliminating them requires getting in dangerously close. The aft flak is more vulnerable, but is also a heavy mount and still capable of inflicting significant damage. The Moloch is a dangerous opponent to an unwary fightercraft. Fortunately, there are no anti-fighter beams.
The fighterbay is never used in the FreeSpace 2 campaign. The Moloch has by far the worst firepower and anti-fighter defenses of any corvette, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a niche. The Moloch is a cruiser hunter, easily capable of destroying one of the best cruisers in the game, the Aeolus, which the Moloch survives without suffering any real damage. However, when faced with a cruiser and a wing of heavy assault fighters, as in the demo mission Crisis in Capella, the Moloch is in deep trouble, provided the fighters can destroy its main beam turrets quickly enough (they can). Under few circumstances will a Moloch prevail over a GTCv Deimos, unless the Moloch launches bombers, the Deimos's many flak guns and AAA turrets add to its total firepower, and although the SReds are definitely more accurate, the TerSlash does 2.2 times the maximum sustained damage, and the Deimos has four, as opposed to the Moloch's three. (It should be noted, however, that the absolute number either ship can bring to bear of its totals is only two. If that.) However, if the Moloch is a good distance away, its accurate SReds will be more effective than the TerSlash beams of the Deimos. Still, in a poll, it was found few people actually consider the Moloch superior to the Deimos.
The Moloch has a blind spot if you position yourself directly in front of it with a slight elevation. Here, the only weapon that can hit you is a single blob turret which is easily taken out, leaving you safe to lob off bombs with no fear of flak.
Don't be fooled by the large 'eye' in the front- it's just a blob turret, though it should be an anti-cap beam. If you've ever flown against one of these, you know the first thing to do is take out the Piranha turrets, otherwise you'll be ripped apart. They explode at the same time as another is launched, so watch out. The best way to take one of these out is to use Trebuchets to destroy all the missile turrets, then send in a wing of bombers while you deal with the fighters. Be warned, the underside has some serious anti-fighter power, so you'll quickly be battered by several blobs, swarming heat-seekers, and at least one flak.
The Moloch's turret strength is very weak, making this ship easy to disarm.
It's another example of tech description that is nothing, but a lie. Although Moloch is armed with three SReds, she can't focus more then two on single target making it only slightly more powerful opponent then Cain. Opening volley of Rakshasa is far more devastating then any attack a Moloch can utilize, not to mention Lilith. Additionally, this corvette is not armed with any anti-fighter beams, and turrets are covered in paper-thin armor, so it's easy to take down flak cannons and missile launchers even with basic primaries. However, Moloch's hull is extremely durable. Don't be surprised to see disarmed Molochs in fanmade campaigns, just sitting ducks and awaiting for inevitable death.
Carreful examination of vanilla mesh provides interesting find. Turret02 is notably larger and unlike actual beam cannons, this and Turret03 are the only unique turret models of the ship. Also, Moloch is the only FS2-exclusive, shivan capship without unique models of beam emmiters. Those facts makes me believe, that Turret02 was it's original main weaponry but like Rakshasa, Moloch has fallen prey to Volition's nerfs. Pair of anti-fighter turrets located below Turret02 seems to be supporting this theory, as they were supposed to protect it's original, main beam emitter. Fanmade campaigns frequently replace this turret with additional beam cannon.
Vanilla Moloch is also notably buggy, but no bugged features are ever used in main campaign. No dockpoint of vanilla Moloch is set correctly, as top one is floating above the neck, and below one is submerged within the hull. Additionally the bottom dockpoint is one of infamous dockpoints named 'blahblah'. Fighterbay paths of Moloch leads straight into it's main engine, so it's ill-advised to use fighterbay of vanilla Moloch in custom missions. Mentioned issues got fixed with introduction of reworked model.
Main reason people likely consider the Deimos superior to the Moloch is the fact that multiple slashes from the Deimos's forward or side guns will quickly disarm large portions of the Moloch's turret defenses due to their low health. Unless they're a significant enough distance away, or the Moloch is actively commanded to target the Deimos's beams, eventually the latter will slip by the former and continue to duel with it in a battle of broadsides leading to an inevitable Terran victory.