...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Fighters


I remember in the old days when we were complaining that fighters that just got repaired used to head straight back to combat, usually to their death…

What I’ve noticed today when playing with a fighter army, is that after getting repaired, fighters were just staying at the same place, turning in circles, creating the beautiful “Trail of Fighters” you see on the screenshot… It does look pretty cool, but i’d rather find a way to make them fight again. Anyone knows what to do to get them to do something ?

Orders used :
Laser fighters : Attack Fighters
Torpedo fighters : Attack Cruisers
Carrier : Attack Cruiser [1400], keep moving.


Yeah this was one of the reason why I hated the auto retreat feature so badly.

Ever since 1.5 where fighters auto retreat whenever they lose their weapons, the AI behaves this way.


Yep, i noticed the auto retreat [when the fighters go to the left edge of the screen, right ?]

But here, it’s different : they get repaired, get out of the carrier, and just stay in place. As if they were escorting an invisible and immobile ship…


I suspect that the following events happen:

  • they take some damage and their weapon gets destroyed
  • they retreat to the carrier to be repaired
  • the armour is repaired but not the weapon
  • they leave the carrier
  • they continue following the retreat order due to having no functioning weapons


I was thinking something similar.

The carrier bay does repair the weapon, but…

Even though the weapon does get repaired, if auto retreat is activated through a trigger, the game might be missing a trigger to turn it back off. So after the weapon is repaired the auto retreat is still active. As the ship tries to re-engage with the auto retreat, it forces the ship to pretty much go in circle.


It looks like that’s what happening. The weapons are indeed repaired, and even the destruction of the carrier does not break the behaviour.

However, using the ‘cautious’ order for retreat works properly - fighters go back fighting. Which is a shame, because the retreat order is more powerful. So it’s some kind of bug…


As you noted, if you use the cautious order your fighters will return to combat after being repaired. However, this order is no more powerful than the new auto retreat in terms of forcing a retreat. In fact, because it now gives you the option to set the percent of damage your fighters must suffer before they retreat, it is considerably more flexible. All fighters should probably use that order as a matter of course. If you want your fighters to stay in combat until they are destroyed, simply set the % of damage that must be suffered prior to retreat at 100%.


Or you could use the new Last Stand order, makes your ships stay in combat until destruction.

The advantage of auto-retreat is that ships retreat only after losing all their weapons. With a standard “cautious” order, you will lose some firepower, as some ships with functionning weapons will retreat. So in a fighter vs fighter combat, auto-retreat should have an advantage over cautious.

So it’d be nice if this tiny bug could be solved…


directv california

I agree that fixing the bug would be the best…
Usually I just leave it on last stand unless I’m getting reamed. Then, I’ll put it on retreat until the cloud of uselessness is created. Switch back to last stand.