[Campaign] Fighters, fighters, fighters

Like I said in my opening post, I’m aware that carrier requirement would stop fighters too at no-cruiser systems and I see nothing wrong with it. As it is, fighter spamming certainly needs nerfing. I guess one method would be to increase fighter upkeep - chalk it up to pilot salaries or something. It would limit the number of fighters you can throw around too. However, somehow the carrier suggestions sounds more reasonable to me.

The point (I think) I was trying to make is that with the carrier restriction in place, you won’t be able to get out of the local cluster (i.e. past Dayamun and Metagoros) with any fighters at all. So to survive the early game you need a LOT of fighters, but for the next phase you might as well scrap them all, because they can’t go with you.

On the other hand, if you don’t tie fighters to fighter bays, but rather assume that any ship can carry fighters on external racks, the problem is a little less, um, problematic. Carrier bays for maintenance, fighter racks for carrying. It could even be added to the hull specs.

The reason FT see such heavy use is that frankly, especially early game, NOTHING can match their firepower. Armor tank? No problem, at 2% hit chance, 32 guns per squad, 10 squads… You’re looking at ~6-7 hits per fire round, using my fighter build. And they fire FAST, so that’s more damage getting through armor then a repair module can handle. So no matter WHAT you’re against, the FT tend to kill it fastest, and most efficiently.

Early game i can have 20 squads of FT by the time i have 5 or 6 of my cruisers. Guess which one is stronger?

Ok, this might be me just playing this now and again, but I’ve beaten the Campaign twice, and am currently on my third playthrough, and I think I’ve encountered a true fighter spam fleet (>30,000 with primarily fighters) maaaayybe three or four times per playthrough. Am I just really lucky? Or is massing fighters slowly decreasing in usage?

If every frigate automatically provides carrying capacity for fighters, just make frigates with nothing but one engine… Doesn’t really help the problem. At least carrier bays cost money. If there was some sort of “fighter storage” component for frigates which allows them to transport them but not repair them… sort of carrier bay light… that would be another thing entirely. Oh and I see nothing wrong with restrictions on fighter movement. They are just too good as it is.

I’m not sure, but I think Cliffski has some mechanism in place that clears up fighter spam fleets from the dynamic opponent list? That would explain a lot. I think some post somewhere hinted towards that.

Campaign fleets that fit the requirements for the fleet you’re fighting will get selected. For example, my FT swarms tend to be upwards of 30-40k HP by the time i’m nearing the end of what FT can be used for. As you can probably guess, the times when that will fit the credit limits are BASICALLY null, unless you play modded maps (like me! remind me to upload the changes i made sometime, they’re pretty simple but make the game a bit more interesting)

Creating a module called “fighter racks”, scaling its cost to the size of the ship it is installed on, and then allowing that ship to carry a number of fighters proportional to its exterior hull surface, would be a possible solution.

The frigate with nothing but an engine, however, would probably not be a viable solution even if fighter racks did not require a module. Such a ship would require maintenance, and in a battle would count as a percentage of the fleet’s hit points, so that if you used a number of them and they were destroyed (for example, by enemy fighters targeting frigates), your fighters might well surrender prematurely. I have seen a couple of battles where a fleet surrendered with as much as 49% of its strength remaining (and one weird battle where a fleet of mine had 80%+ remaining and surrendered to an enemy with only 50%).

Anyway, if you make it too hard to move fighters around the map, their use as a system defensive force actually increases, so I am just suggesting that any game design change should be incremental rather than as radical as your originally proposed solution (i.e. 2 squadrons per carrier bay only).

Ikohime: it seems to me that your comment about 2 guns per fighter implies 2 lasers? I can only find a couple of designs that will even support that, since you either need two power generators or built-in power of 4.0 or greater. And then, the speed winds up being about 1.4. So a couple of questions: 1) am I correct in my inferences, and 2) what are the attrition rates on a fighter that slow? My own preference is for a single laser fighter with a speed of about 2.4, but I haven’t really experimented with the slower models.

Engine-only frigate would cost very little though, you could have a big bunch of them and they wouldn’t have that many hitpoints.

However, one radical option would be removal of the lucky hit option from fighter weapons… That way you’d actually need to use torpedo fighters to punch through armor and fighter spamming with laser fighters would become much less viable option. Fighters would drop to niches where I see them being naturally; harassment, anti-fast frigate weapon and support against medium cruisers. Heavily armored cruisers would need to be taken down by other means. It would solve the fighter spam problem without neutering them or changing how to move them around on the campaign map.

Very interesting idea. Another approach would be to just reduce the percentage chance of a lucky shot, but improve the effectiveness of defensive fire. That way you couldn’t just “fort up” with armor and ignore them; you would need some combination of AA fire and repair capabilities to really hang in there. Still improving the power ratio between cruisers vs. fighters, without making tanks completely invulnerable.

That is certainly a possibility. I just thought turning off the whole lucky shot option for fighter weapons might be easier to do. I have no idea how GSB has been coded, but removing that completely from a few weapons might be relatively easy to achieve. For the record, I actually like this lucky shotless fighters -idea a lot more than my original suggestions about carrier bays.

Yes, you’re spot on. My two guns fighter DOES use dual lasers. It’s a rebel hull, and a speed of something like 1.46. this makes it immune to any anti-cruiser weapon (defined as having a shield pen of 24+), including the Cruiser Laser. What this means is only DEDICATED anti-fighter weapons (pulse laser, anti-fighter missile) actually damage me. So attrition is a lot low then you’d think.

But when i AM up against anti-fighter fleets, if they’re smaller i take between 3 and 7% damage. Same size, up to 30%. Larger, i either lose or take upwards of 60 or 70% damage. However, if you’re up against a larger fleet, you’re playing a FT swarm WRONG.

Ikohime: ha, I get your point. You probably wrote the book on “speed of advance vs. AI generated opponents”. Fast advances are much less likely to encounter opposition, and if you can build and reinforce quickly, you can punch through and keep going for quite a while.

Majestic7: although your idea requires a change in the basic program (as opposed to just a text file), it is probably one of the simplest and most elegant solutions I have seen proposed. Now we just have to get Cliffski’s attention…

heh, not LITERALLY, but the FT swarm was my tactic to start with. That’s the issue i’m having with cruisers, actually, is build up speed v enemy size.
Another problem: my FR and FT are all fast enough to avoid missile anti-rush fleets. CR? aren’t :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, I suppose we need a big red flag and start waving it furiously or something.

I do agree with this; I love GSB for capital ship battles, as I’ve always been a fan of big fleets of ships trading laser beams and nuclear missiles, and it’s really irritating to have to deal with tons of fighters in campaigns when I want to experience the [b]gratuitous[b/] part of GSB. And that, to me, means capital ships.

If you want to get Cliffski’s attention, PMing him about it would probably be a good way to do so.

Like the OP I am less than impressed with the new campaign mode. It is really not much fun I am sorry to say. I was hoping for epic space battles. Instead we have whole planets unable to produce more than a ship or two a turn. We have fighter battles where you get pecked constantly by annoying fleets in wars of attrition. Meh. I guess I will wait for the campaign mode of GSB II. The game crashes don’t help the cause either.

The game crashing is probably an issue with your computer, and maybe the files were installed wrong. Personally, fighters were never much of a deal, but Armour Tanks are really, really painful. Probably just me, though. I mean, Alliance 83 armour tanks are just annoying. For instance, remember the shield disruptor that no one uses? Yeah, there needs to be something like that for Armour. Though justifing it…