Are Carrier Support Bay Any Good?

My preferred fleet at the moment is Tribe, and i’ve found that carrier bays are incredibly useful fielding their fighters (which have good hull strength).

I’ve tried making dedicated carrier ships for other races, with mixed successes as the Federation, and im experimenting with the Swarm.

However, with Tribe, I’ve found a slightly different tactic to be better; my most common cruiser design has a support bay built in which means i can field huge numbers of fighters. A mix of pulse laser. Some armoured, some unarmoured for budget reasons. Generally, the armoured ones can keep coming back time after time as long as there is a survivng support bay cruiser and the AA fire isnt crazy. The unarmoured ones make a couple of runs, but in most cases will eventually be destroyed with stiff resistance.

The support bays allow the armoured fighters to keep coming back, and if i can strip away enemy fighter support and the AA isnt strong enough, their cruisers get swarmed by fighters before my cruisers can batter down the shields.

Support Bays are worth it if you want to make a decent show of force with fighters. If you have a limited fighter presence, its probably better to get another repair crew/shield/engine etc.

Another point is that the fighters need to be fast-ish and preferably armoured, else they’ll get chewed up on the first run.

I had an nice experiment with the carrier bay on the anti-missile cruisers right behind the tank line. Because anti-missile cruisers don’t generally get aggro, I could skimp on defenses, going with a cruiser design that had a lot of hard points.

I am not sure if I should have a point defense scanner on my dedicated anti-missile cruisers or not. Does a point defense scanner turn cruiser defense lasers into point defense lasers?

If the race you are playing has frigates which have 6 hard points or more, they make decent anti-missile platforms and anti-fighter platforms. The anti-missile frigates will get chewed up last. As long as you also have larger frigates with shields and 12 armor, the smaller frigates with the very large number of hard points are generally safe.

Regarding carrier bays - Will a fighter with “Cautious” (also “Escort”) break away from it’s escort target ship to seek out a carrier bay when its damage reaches the threshold?

I believe the answer is yes but I can’t tell for sure from watching my battles.

If it IS yes then what happens after they’ve been repaired. Do they return to escort duty or are they essentially free range after that?

yes it does but then it just flies around according to its attack priorities,doesnt return to its escort duty