We’ve been playing around with the attack orders and I thought we understood them. But now I’m not too sure.
What exactly does the priority slider do?
What exactly does the range slider do?
What effect does deleting an attack order have?
When you have multiple attack orders (one per class) how do the sliders relate to one another?
At a high level some of these are obvious. For example, I noticed including only one ship class attack order makes a unit ruthlessly focus on THAT class. But other times it seems that if you include multiple classes the ships ignore the priority sliders and simply attack the nearest enemy… even if you set the priorities to extremes.
I search the forum and found a few discussions on this topic but nothing 100% definitive.
It appears to be one of (several) factors that come together to pick the target for the ship (movement) and for individual weapons. Other obvious factors are distance, other orders (like retaliate, cooperate, protect, vulture), whether the enemy ship is a threat (i.e. has a functioning weapons system), and whether we’re already firing at the ship.
Ship will try to approach to this range of their chosen target, then stop. If they find themselves within half this distance of the target, they will try to move away until they are at least half this distance away (i.e. half of ‘maximum range’ is the ‘minimum range’. I wish these were two sliders, not one.)
Ship will not move to, or fire upon, this class of ship, unless all the classes of ships that it does have attack orders against have already been eliminated from the battle (i.e. remove attack fighters, and your ship won’t fire upon fighters at all, until all enemy cruisers and frigates have been wiped out - regardless of how far away they might be.)
I think the answer to this is contained in the first 3 questions. The main thing to bear in mind, is that these orders seem to act on the ship as a whole (choosing where to move) and seperately on each weapons module. I wish this were seperated out at least a little, so I could set movement orders independently of firing orders (i.e. It’s rare for me to want a cruiser to chase after a fighter squadron, but common for me to want it to fire on them if nothing else is in range - while it continues approaching the enemy cruisers)
Very short ranges seem to have a little too much weight in targetting, IMO. Hence why it’s a tough decision whether to include attack fighters at 1% or not, since once a fighter group starts strafing your ship, it’s at such close range even 1% priority is often enough for them to get chosen.
Perhaps the game logic simply needs to consider ranges under ~250 as being 250, to fix this.
Thanks for the advice! I think that’s the crux of the problem. We’ve taken to simply eliminating fighter attack orders for FGs and CAs and FG/CA attack orders for fighter unless they’re functioning as bombers. So…
Fighter/Interceptor: only use fighter attack order…delete FG/CA
Fighter/Bomber: only use FG and/or CA attack orders…delete fighter
FG/CA: only use FG and/or CA attack orders…delete fighter attack order
This seems to focus a unit’s efforts better. Otherwise you end up with bombers being sucked into dog fights and cruisers uselessly firing Fusion Beams at fighters while ignoring enemy cruisers.
And it would be nice to see an additional range slider. I think TacOps has one of the best systems for this sort of game but it’s probably too detailed for GSB. RoboSport was also a lot of fun but was turn based.
Yeah, specialising your anti-fighter roles works quite well to avoid this issue. I usually include some dedicated anti-fighter frigates and, increasingly, some anti-fighter cruisers.
However, I avoid removing the ‘attack cruiser’ order from laser fighters, if I expect them survive long enough, because when they do attack the cruisers I want them fighting at range 100 - within the shields. I set the attack fighters priority to 100%, and cruisers to 1%. Sometimes the fighters will get distracted when they shouldn’t, but it’s quite rate (less of an issue than cruisers going nuts trying to chase fighters, anyway)