Any suggestions for keeping frigates alive?

Hit Rate = (1-(ship speed / tracking speed))*(0.5 + (ship size / 256)*0.5)

123stw I just made a few speedy frigates as you described. I put minimal things on them, even one as little as an engine and micro crew only. I had them fight solo in the tutorial battle. They each died pretty fast, some within a few seconds. The one that lasted the longest only had an engine+micro crew+shield, but he didn’t last long either. All of them used the keep moving order.

I then went and got one of my Torpedo frigates. It has 3 frigate torpedo, 4 tribe repair modules, 1 frigate engine III, 2 crew module, 1 power plant III. He did not want to die. All three enemy frigates could not possibly have taken him out on their own without having all repair modules run out of supply first. Both cruisers had to open fire on him as well before he would die.

In campaign I love using them, especially in combination with my emp frigates, which has 3 emp missile II launchers and 4 repair modules. I can also retreat well with them. My cruisers usually die when retreating because they can’t turn around within two minutes, so I’m not using cruisers this campaign. With my frigates I can be in the middle of a heavy battle with most my army’s weapons destroyed and still get out with only one or two losses. They take about a minute to turn around when retreating. The main reason I have to retreat is because my frigate weapons get destroyed long before the hull does.

They’re also cheap to repair. All you have to do is get them out of 100% damage, which costs 10 credits per module. The rest of the damage is repaired at the start of the battle within a few seconds. It’s a bit of micro-management, but hitting the repair-all button costs too much credits.

Tribe frigates are pretty awesome! You just need to distract the bombers and fighters away with some armored frigates. There are better ways to win of course, but they are fun to use.

I realize that we’re talking about survivability here, but your tribe frigate described above cost a lot more than the minimal frigate.

Only twice as expensive if you want the minimal frigate to have a weapon. The torpedo frigate only costs me 900 credits. Most frigates cost that much, unless you leave slots empty. A repair module costs 88 credits and 6 crew, an engine III costs 102 credits and 14 crew. In terms of survivability, a repairing frigate is way more effective than two speedy ones.

You are not building the ships I am describing. The ones I am talking about look something like this.

Tribe Frigate Rush - 4631226

Try killing that without using dual rocket fighters.

my mainline frigs cost 700 something i believe

I think the real challenge is making frigates, which can survive and actually affect the battle without costing too much. I’m pretty happy with my Nomad frigates at the moment. They have speed on both sides of 1.5 and cost 700 - 900 depending on the configuration. Basically fast beam laser frigate, torpedo/emp-frigate and one with ion cannon and rapid laser. The laser frigate needs the two others to bring down enemy shields, but is pretty good against Tribe and Alliance. The last type could be faster if I it had just one weapon, but meh, more fun that way. They mainly get pounded by brawler cruisers with lots of rapid-firing weapons or fleets heavily based on target finders… otherwise they suffer minimal losses. Sometimes “Keep moving” bugs though, causing the frigates charge middle of the enemy fleet, then get stuck at snail speed against a cruiser. Substandard pilots, I guess. You could get even cheaper and faster frigates playing as the Swarm, naturally.

I do have an escort frigate design, that is slow, protected and armed with point defences and anti-fighter missiles. However, it is more for style than purpose. They crawl along the cruisers, but I doubt if they’ve been that useful. I’ve built some anyway in the campaign, because I prefer plausible-seeming fleets over powerplaying.

I see what you mean, that’s pretty tough to stop. The best win I had was with 50% of my frigates left at the end. They were using two rapid fire lasers and one ion cannon + 4 repair modules. The funny thing is that I lose more if I use cooperative with vulture. Probably because they would concentrate fire on ships that were already retreating without working weapons.

As a fast frigate spam, a few way to kill them are

  1. Dual Rockets + Painter
  2. Pulse Lasers
  3. A Slower Frigate Spam (because in frigate vs frigate, the weapon tracking are too high for speed to matter).

A slower frigate spam will have problems of their own.

below 0.8 opens a weakness against cruiser beam laser
below 0.6 opens a weakness against cruiser laser

This is mainly why utility frigates are not very good. Aside from rocket fighters, they will also be vaporized by cruiser beam lasers no matter how much defense is on them, so long as the beam laser cruisers set their priority highest on frigate.

The only thing u can do is: SPEED. Thats the only thing that keeps frigates alive (well eventually they will die, but u can keep em alive more time).

NEVER put a scort / formation orders on frigates till u doing that for very tactical purposes. If u want attack frigates, speed + keepmoving + set range out of the enemy weapons.

Thanks for that - I’ve had some success with speed and playing with the ranges recently.

How does everybody cram so much into their Frigates?

Admittedly I’ve been using only Federation so far but it seems that by the time I get two shields and crew modules and power generators and a few engines to get the speed up there I barely have room for two weapons systems let alone armor. Am I missing something?

Speed is armor. My fast frigates either have only one cheap shield or just armor. If they get hit by the big guys, they are dead either way. Enough armor to stop light fighter weapons is usually enough. For shields, enough to stop a stray hit from cruiser weapon is enough. Otherwise the frigate costs too much. You don’t need to fill in every weapon slot either. My fast beam weapon frigate only has one beam laser and two empty weapon slots, for example. More weapons means less speed and less speed means more hits. Missile frigates can be a little slower, but they stray near enemies often anyway, so the slower they are, the more losses you will have.

Shamelessly steals idea