If you like beam weapons, My Homeworld mod has triple beam turrets on it
I really need to get off world of tanks and get more work on my mods done.
If you like beam weapons, My Homeworld mod has triple beam turrets on it
-must resist urge to add more mods until this is completed…willpower failing-
Another new mod, so again I’m not fully versed in it’s strengths and weaknesses (should there be any) yet. Even so, it’s been sent in against Caspian IV, coming out strongly ahead so I’m assuming I’ve done something right. Where possible, as with all the mods, I try to make use of as much equipment from the mod as possible, without using too many of the basic bits and bobs from the game proper. I’ve tried to have two different contingents for the fleet, one slow and sturdy, the other faster but a bit less resilient.
Bloodthirst Assault Cruiser
The lead cruiser for the slow and sturdy bunch, with the defence measures required for such a role. Aside from the standard shields and armour, it also has a hi speed pd and guidance scramblers to screen if from missiles. For something rare on a front rank cruiser of mine, it also gets an EMP weapon. This will go along with ‘revenge’ orders to try and stop too much fire coming it’s way, prolonging it’s lifespan. To take the fight to the enemy, it has ‘Lost’ Radiation Guns.
The big, heavy bruiser of the slow/sturdy bunch. Well armed to provide it’s contingent with some serious killing power. It’s weapons are Scavenger Hadronstrahl (beams, beams, lovely, lovely beams!!), Pirated Laser Beams, Scavenger Raketenorgal (a rocket type weapon if I remember rightly), and a Pirate Gauss Kanone. As the Pirate Fleet lacks real fighter coverage as will be shown later, the Ziz is also equipped with Pirate Flak.
Heretic Plasma Cruiser
Slow/sturdy, and well armed with mid range weapons. I felt that this cruiser had to provide the fleet with something it generally lacked, and so it ended up being well armed with cruiser plasma for it’s versatility.
Usurper Rocket Cruiser
Is it just me, or on the fleet deployment screen does this ship look like a frog? Anyway, along with the Ziz this is a killer rather than defender. As such, it also gets Hadronstrahl and Raketenorgel to complement the battleships weaponry.
Harbinger Slow Flak Cruiser
This ship is there for fighter coverage, and fighter support. A supercharged tractor beam to slow the fighters and pirate flak to kill them allow it to fill one role, while hanger bays allow it to fill the other.
Machinator Rapid Flak Cruiser
Part of the fast fleet contingent, it’s there to provide them with anti fighter defence. For that role, it gets a supercharged tractor beam and pirate flak cannons. So i has something to do in the main battles, it also gets a couple of multi warheads.
Corsair Rapid Strike Cruiser
Surprisingly enough, this is part of the faster fleet contingent. Keeping moving while staying at range are this ships role, so as well as it’s speed it gets a number of multi warheads to bombard the enemy with.
Acide Escort Frigate
Protecting the slow/sturdy front rankers by adding to the EMP fun is this ships main role. To damage them while they’re sat there doing the electric dance, it’s also equipped with Ion Cannons.
Godslayer Light Carrier
The Harbingers alone aren’t enough to properly support the fighters, so for additional support, this frigate was designed. A carrier bay ensures it fills that role. To allow it to stay relatively safe, it needs to stay back, and so torpedo’s are it’s weapon of choice.
Devilspawn Plasma Frigate
There to provide the slow/sturdy contingent with additional firepower from within a cruiser shield, this frigate is well equipped with plasma weapons.
Privateer Torpedo Boat
This frigate accompanies the fast fleet contingent. As they stay at a relatively large range, it needed a long range weapon. Torpedo’s fill that role, and also add to the number of warheads heading the enemies way to overload their pd screens.
The sole fighter of the pirate fleet, so you can either try to build a multi role fighter (tends to be unsuccessful) or use the same hull for lots of roles (tends to be boring). I decided that I would therefore just use the hull once, and in a basic fighter role. In that case, the fighter laser is the weapon of choice, and it’s role is to keep the enemy fighters occupied long enough for the flak guns to kill them.
The slow/sturdy contingent form a central block of cruisers and frigates, tying the enemy into a close range brawl. Meanwhile four fast attack groups fly around, shelling the snot out of the enemy fleet at range safe from any childish retaliation.
This is a closely related mod to the Pirates with a number of the weapons appearing in both, and seeing this I’ve tried to build my fleets differently. If I didn’t, I’d effectively be testing the same fleet against itself, and there’s not really going to be much revealed by that. There are some very different hulls available however, which does aid in making the fleets different, but to make sure, I’ve designed the fleet as a whole with a different theme. For this fleet, I decided to follow my more regular fleet make up by building the entire fleet to act in unison. Again though, I’m not too familiar with the mod so I’m hoping my mad ship designing skillz can carry me through. Ahem.
Marodeur Guardian Cruiser
The first ship designed in this case, is there to provide fighter defence for the rest of the fleet. As you may have noticed from the later fleets listed, I’ve become more inclined to trust to cruisers rather than frigates in this role. A supercharged tractor beam halts enemy fighters, while flak guns deal with them. To play a role in the main clash of cruisers, it’s equipped with raketenorgel.
Falke Plasma Cruiser
I’ve become quite fond of plasma as I’ve used more of it, with cruisers heavily equipped with plasma making regular appearances in later designed fleets. It’s good for taking down shields at range, and also has reasonable armour bursting capabilities. This ship fulfills that role in the Scavenger fleet.
Anyone familiar with Warhammer 40 K will know what a Rok is, and here one appears for the Scavengers. It has heavy armour, pushing towards tank levels, though still packs a fair punch from it’s assortment of multi warheads and gauss kanone. It’s slower than a snail slithering over a floor coated with superglue however.
Halbleiter Shieldwall Cruiser
A different kind of front rank cruiser, this one relies almost totally on very heavy shields. It’s still backed up with some armour and the ability to repair it, but in the main, it’s the shields. Very few hit points mean once the shields are gone, it’s life expectancy is very short. To complement it’s defensive role, it gets guidance scramblers and point defence to keep missiles at bay. Cruiser lasers are more for show to be honest, but at least it can do more than just drive up to the enemy and insult them over the comms.
Raubritter AA Frigate
Unlike other AA frigates in other fleets, this frigate is not there to provide coverage on it’s own, but to back up the Marodeur. Anti fighter missiles allow that role to be filled.
Fledderer Beamer Frigate
For it’s relative size, this frigate carries quite a heavy armament. Three beam lasers allow it to keep a respectable distance from the enemy while still dealing quite a punch.
Brander Escort Carrier
The cruisers are completely lacking in any ability to support their own fighters. In this fleet, that was deliberate as I wanted the frigates to provide that support. The bays on this frigate do that, and to allow it a reasonable distance from the enemy while being close enough for fighters to crawl home, it’s equipped with plasma weapons.
An anti fighter fighter, this is equipped with a laser for dog fighting the enemy’s attack craft. Again, the fleet isn’t totally reliant on this alone for that role, it forms part of the fighter coverage.
Aasfresser Heavy Fighter
Another part of the fighter coverage, this fighter is something of a departure for me. Normally, when it comes to protecting fighters I rely on speed and at most, advanced ablative armour. For this though, Armour 3 is used making a very heavily armoured fighter. Speed is reasonable and for fighting the enemy, it’s also equipped with a laser.
The fleet forms up into three distinct battle groups. Each has as it’s center a Rok, with cruisers radiating around it with frigates in supporting positions. Fighters fly overhead, taking on anything which attempts to get at the other ships. Should enemy fighters break through the fighter screen, they still have the anti fighter cruisers and frigates to deal with.
The last of the fleets, and last of the mods. Currently anyway as I’ve been pointed towards a couple of beam heavy mods which I admit, I’m finding very tempting. I do also have a B% mod, but that’s more to look at than use as I’m thinking of getting into the modding game myself. They’ll probably be a post in the mod forums should I choose to take the plunge.
Anyway, back to Xedilco, which so far is another mod I’ve not dealt with in as much depth as some of the other fleets. For this fleet, I decided after looking at all the hulls, that I’d try to build a pretty quick fleet. In the end, I’ve ended up with my fastest fleet. Whether this speed has come at too high a cost in firepower or survivability will be seen in the challenges to come. Against Viral Caspian IV they’ve done well, though expert proved a struggle for them, mainly because of the Viral Corvettes.
Spear Assault Cruiser
Though the Spear is called a support hull in the mod, I felt I could use it best in the assault role in my fleet. The hardpoints and equipment slots combined with the hull bonuses, left me feeling that was the role I could best use it in. Guidance scramblers provide the missile coverage, though against other weapons it’s largely relying on shields, speed and being able to kill the enemy quickly. Firepower comes from Heavy Laser Machineguns, which are capable of ripping through anything quickly. Recharge time is pretty high however.
The main killer ship of my Xedilco fleet, it carries a lot of guns. It’s main armament is a battery of plasma weapons which are backed up by some beam lasers. Being quite a big ship, it’s likely to attract a bit of attention from fighters, so to protect itself and any nearby friendly ships, it’s equipped with a supercharged tractor beam and pulse lasers.
Flamberge Bombardment Cruiser
Typically, my bombardment cruisers sit at the back and launch missiles. Being part of a fast fleet though, sitting still would make them a target. Though the Flamberge still carry multi warheads, they keep moving using their speed to stay away from the enemy while they launch their missiles.
Halberd Heavy Cruiser
Another hard hitting cruiser alongside the Daiklave’s, they carry a similar though lesser armament. Foregoing the anti fighter stuff, they stick with the plasma and beam lasers.
Katana Heavy Frigate
For those without the mod, the reason this ship is grouped with the cruisers is because it’s just that, a cruiser. However, it carries frigate sized weapons which should help explain why it’s carrying torpedo’s. Lots and lots of torpedo’s.
HISTM Manned Missile
Excuse me while I give an evil laugh. BwaHAHAhahaHAHAHAhahahaaaa!!! Sorry about that. Engines, power, crew. That’s all this has. That and the name should tell you what it does…still need a hint? Last stand orders combined with orders to engage cruisers at minimum range? No? Not getting it? Look, it drives up to the nearest enemy cruiser, parks there, gets shot and explodes. With it’s large power boost hull bonus, it’s a big explosion. A VERY big explosion. From something that costs very little.
Rapier Bombardment Frigate
Now as the Katana is a cruiser with frigate weapons, this hull is the exact opposite. A frigate with cruiser weapons. Flying alongside the Flamberge, it adds to the multi warhead barrage with it’s own.
Axe AA Destroyer
The primary anti fighter ship of my Xedilco fleet, this fairly large ship comes equipped with it’s own tractor beams and pulse lasers.
With this fleet, I decided to once again experiment with independent acting frigates. Tractor beams and pulse lasers mean it provides it’s own protection from fighters, while pounding the enemy from range with it’s missile launchers. Keep in mind that this is a fast frigate in an already fast fleet so hopefully it’s speed will give it the ability to keep itself safe.
Scimitar Superheavy Platform
A break from the speed of the rest of the fleet, this provides long range support. Very long range support. The ISTM it’s armed with is a very long range missile weapon.
Whip Superheavy Fighter
Another strange hull, this one is a fighter armed with frigate sized weapons. It’s not fast when it does so however, so to keep safe it’ll sit close to cruisers. Armed with missile launchers you can guess where it sits in the fleet.
Stiletto Heavy Fighter
The main fighter of my Xedlico fleet, it’s armed with a laser to engage any target but mostly fighters. The one thing it really needed is the ability to be repaired in combat. There are no carriers in the fleet, so it would seem to have no hope, but the Phase Autorepair module would allow it to repair itself. Seems like a solution? Well no. Unfortunately what happens is that the fighter gets damaged, phases out for repairs and then, when repairs are complete, starts flying round in little circles around where it phased out. Great.
Katara Light Fighter
There to back up the Stiletto’s, this smaller fighter is equipped with a pulse laser to engage enemy fighters.
Another difference in this and other fleets is the formation. Forming a basic wall, they’re quite widely spaced apart where they use their speed to hit the enemy hard, breaking up the enemy formation apart and taking it apart piecemeal. The fast frigates meanwhile, scream around at warp speed causing as much trouble as they can and generally being a pain. The first thing that the enemy has to deal with however, are the HISTM’s heading towards them. Should they get through the enemy’s fighter screen, given some of the tight formations I have, they could prove devastating.
And so, with the fleets all (finally) listed, it’s almost time to start the fighting. Thanks for reading so far, hopefully it’s not been too much of a chore. So, what do we expect? Well lots of gratuitous ship combat hopefully featuring big explosions. But what of the fleets themselves? How will they fare? To be honest, I expect the mods to be dominant, but only time will tell, so on to individual assessment.
They’ve always been a strong fleet, aside from the last set of exchanges, so I expect them to perform well again, appearing towards the top of the not-mod fleets.
I just hope they don’t die. Or at least, die well doing as much damage as possible.
Though initially a strong fleet, they’ve struggled of late but with the redesign, I think we might see them back towards the top of the not-mods again.
Performed strongly last time, so I expect much of the same. Can they compete with the mods? Maybe.
They’ve been improving each time they take to the battlefield, though I think they might have stagnated. Should still be strong though.
Another weak link, but after changing the weapons they should become more powerful. Hopefully they won’t be battling for the wooden spoon this time.
A fleet that have surprised me before and I see no reason why they won’t be at the top of the not-mods again.
Another fleet that have been getting steadily better, so a strong performance is expected.
A fleet I have a soft spot for, so I’m hoping for another strong performance.
Their long range weapons should see them performing well, and I think they’re likely to be near the very top.
The sheer numbing variety of ships makes this difficult to call. Has the variety diluted the fleets strength or increased it? We shall see, I personally expect a strong performance.
Lack of numbers could be their downfall, though what they do have is very powerful. Another expected strong performer.
Being new makes it difficult to tell, but with the biggest gun in the galaxy, I think we can expect these to be doing well.
The lack of fighters makes me wonder, but with strong cruisers in the fleet, they might be ok.
Difficult to call, but I think they look good on paper, so we’ll see if that transfers to the battlefield.
Being fast seems like a good idea, but will they just end up splattering across the enemy fleets like a bug on a windscreen? Hopefully they should do ok.
Great. Now I have to make triple giant beams.
redd13, modding GSB is really easy. I started with almost no experience and was able to create the realspace 3 mod over a couple days. If you want to create your own sprites it’ll take a lot longer, however. I look forward to seeing which fleet is the best. Go Parasites!!!
Ah, a fellow fan of the Parasites! I’m looking into a few things at the moment, looking at the sprites etc to see what’s what.
What is the encounter you use to make the different fleet?
And if it is a custom one, what are the data? (Fleet cost? Pilots? Size of the map?..)
I want to try on my own.
P.S. I hope the last Xedilco update don’t make them OP ^^’
The encounter I’m using is the Defend Caspian IV scenario from the Unity:Viral mod, it gives a maximum cost of 120,000 which is a bit higher than the usual one. Not sure what the pilot limit or map size is, I’d have to check. I make sure to spend as much of the allowance as possible, that way in theory, each fleet is equal.
First off, let me apologise for the wall of text you’re about to face. I know what you’ll say: some screen shots would help to break it up but well, I forgot. To try and make it more accessible, each encounter has a bold header detailing the fleets involved so if you’re only interested in how one got on, you can find it quickly. At the end of each report, the result is in italics so you can quickly see the end result. Hopefully it’s not too much of a strain on the eyes.
And so, on to the battles and the first out of the hat and up to face the might of, well, everyone else actually, is the Swarm. This should be interesting. As one of my more powerful not-mod fleets, these battles should set the benchmark for the rest. And on we go…each fleet being pulled blind from a hat.
Swarm vs Rebels
The Rebels are the first into battle, which should be interesting as the Rebels fleet is somewhat new. The fleets close with the fighters, on escort duty, swinging ahead of their respective fleets before turning back. Initially, being out of weapons range, all they do is make rude gestures from their cockpits and hurl insults over the comms, but as the range closes, weapons start being used. Aside from the odd rookie getting caught out, not much happens initially but the range keeps closing, so the fighters stay in weapons range longer. Casualties start to mount with the Rebels coming out on top, slowly chewing up the Swarm fighters. The Swarm have numbers however, so they remain in the fight. Once the cruisers are in range, the fight heats up. First cruiser kill goes to the Rebels as their formation punches a hole in the Swarms centre. Despite the Rebels flanking cruisers being outnumbered, they manage to hold the Swarm ships off long enough to allow their centre to swing about, bringing much needed reinforcements. Swarm fighter numbers keep them in the battle but with their fleets centre blown wide open, their struggle is in vain, The Swarm manage to bring down two of the Rebels dreadnoughts, but in the end, they’ve lost too much material too quickly. The Rebels come out on top.
Swarm 9% vs Rebels 64%
Swarm vs Parasites
The fleets line up opposite each other and slowly begin to close, Swarm fighters nervously staring at the massed flak cannons facing them. Turns out they’re right to be nervous as the flak guns put some serious hurt on the fighter formations. Numerous fighters head back for repairs in the carriers, limiting the damage done some what. The cruisers close and as they begin to exchange heavy fire, the first kill goes to the Swarm. This first kill is one of the cruisers that the Parasite fighters are in formation with, and so they’re freed into the fight. The second such fighter holding cruiser isn’t alive for much longer either and soon all the Parasites fighters are in action. Sadly though, there are still plenty of Swarm fighters in the battle, with more streaming from the carrier repair bays. As such, the impact of the Parasite fighters is blunted. Despite the two groups of Parasite cruisers being identical, the results of the battle go completely differently. The southern group are rapidly overrun while the northern group destroy the Swarm cruisers before them. As the Northern group turn to face the Swarm ships that overran their compatriots, the Swarm missile defence comes into it’s own, warding off much of the Parasites fire power. This allows the Swarm to close and though closing the range allows more missiles to hit, the Swarm have greater short ranged weaponry. Though the battle is close, the second Parasite battle group soon joins the first.
Swarm 23% vs Parasites 9%
Swarm vs Federation
The initial fighter clashes as the fleets close is something of a surprise. Previously the Federation fighters have lulled their opponents into a false sense of security by gratuitously exploding in front of them. This time however, they actually fight back! Not only that, but they win! Not completely, but at least they take out more Swarm fighters than they lose, achieving partial fighter superiority for the cruiser clash to come. And come it does, with large Federation missile salvoes heading Swarmwards, with quite a number getting through despite the smart bombs. The first kill quickly goes to the Federation, and sets the tone for the rest of the battle as the Federation stay close together and completely dominate. Apart from on one flank where for some reason, a Eagle Pulse cruiser goes for a wander on it’s own, gets swamped by Swarm fighters and destroyed. It’s an isolated Swarm triumph in an otherwise one-sided battle.
Swarm 10% vs Federation 82%
Swarm vs Tribe
Two fleets who’ve fought some pretty close encounters before, and I don’t expect this to be any different. The fighter exchanges on closing are close, with the Tribe coming out slightly ahead. Though they take more hits, their natural resilience allows them to shrug more off while Swarm fighters explode more easily. As the cruisers close, the Swarm pick on Tribe frigates, blowing them out of space. The first cruiser kill however, takes a long time coming and eventually goes to the Tribe. The southern edge of the Tribe formation is outflanked but in the centre and north, it’s more of a close quarter grind, something that suits the Tribe. Though their fleet is scattered and their formation broken with ships all over space, the natural resilience of the Tribe wins through.
Swarm 9% vs Tribe 44%
Swarm vs Xedilco
I was looking forward to this clash, two of my quicker fleets meeting in a fight to the death. Firstly the Xedilco Manned Missiles screamed towards the Swarm formation, straight into their fighter screen. They didn’t make it. The cruisers headed towards each other nonetheless, and soon were within weapons range. Xedilco had however, annoyingly blazed plenty of ammunition into space futilely trying to shoot down Swarm fighters. They still managed the first cruiser kill however, but soon their line began to crumble under the relentless pressure. The flanks folded first, leaving the centre surrounded. Soon they were crushed and though the defeat wasn’t entirely unexpected, the scale of it was. I need more practice with the Xedilco…
Swarm 74% vs Xedilco 10%
Swarm vs Nomads
As the fleets closed with one another, the fighters again were the first to exchange fire. Initially with the long range pot shots, the Swarm won out. Closing the range however, suited the Nomads and they started killing Swarm fighters at a great rate. Beneath them, the cruisers came into range and as they fought it out, the dog fight reached greater heights of ferocity. The first cruiser kill went to the Nomads, though their first cruiser loss wasn’t far behind. The battle swung first one way then another, but it turned out to be the fighter clash that decided things. The Swarm fighters, supported by the fleets fighter defence, eventually dominated the fighter conflict allowing Swarm fighters free range. Though the end numbers seem to show a fairly dominant victory, the Swarm were left with a number of heavily damaged cruisers and it wouldn’t have taken much to swing the fight towards the Nomads, or at least make it much closer.
Swarm 56% vs Nomads 8%
Swarm vs Legios
Another new fleet goes into action, the first in being the fighters though the Sparus Rocket Frigates aren’t too far behind. The fighter clash is initially inconclusive, before the Legios find the range and start knocking out Swarm fighters. The Sparus however, scream into battle and come under heavy fire, with only a handful escaping the carnage. As the slow moving cruiser block closed however, a hell of a light show broke out with beams and lighting arcs pinning several Swarm cruisers. The first cruiser kill quickly followed but despite that, the Swarm continued to close. Towards the north of the Legios line, a small line of immobile Immotus Rocket Drones drew a number of Swarm cruisers towards them. The drones didn’t last long, and this unfortunately for the Legios, left the Swarm cruisers outflanking their fleet. To the south, the other Legios flank collapsed and though the centre fought hard, it was soon nearly surrounded. The end came soon after.
Swarm 38% vs Legios 6%
Swarm vs Uni:T
This…doesn’t go well for the Swarm. As the fleets close, the extended range weapons on the Uni:T corvettes rip them apart before they’re even close to opening fire themselves. Cruisers are taken out miles from engaging even though the extended range multi warheads are completely ineffective. As the front rank Swarm cruisers take hits, they lose engines which as well as slowing them down, means the cruisers behind them struggle to get past, leaving them exposed to fire further out than they would have been otherwise. Though the Swarm do eventually close and start to fight back, by the time they knock out the first Uni:T cruiser, they’ve already lost over half their fleet. Destroying the cruiser unleashes several squadrons of corvettes who swarm over the Swarm unopposed. Defeat is mercifully swift.
Swarm 10% vs Uni:T 83%
Swarm vs Praetorian Industries
Another battle I was looking forward to, and unusually, the fight begins before the fighters close with one another. The Arbalast Artillery Cannons on the Omega’s open up on Swarm fighters at extreme range, and, despite being a heavy anti cruiser weapon, start destroying fighters. Something wrong there methinks. As the fleets close in, ahead of the main conflict the Dymas Fast Frigates and Kyros Shuttles close in, only to quickly explode only doing a little damage to the enemy. The frigates in particular showed an annoying tendency to get too close and not use the rang of their weapons. Soon the main lines closed and as they did so, the heavy fire power of the Praetorians began to tell, securing them the first cruiser kill. The southern fight quickly degenerated into a very close quarter brawl, ships practically on top of each other. To the north, Praetorian Industries fairly quickly achieved dominance. That proved the decisive factor as thus freed up, they headed into the southern melee, and together with the surviving southern groups ships, destroyed the Swarm fleet.
Swarm 7% vs Praetorian Industries 74%
Swarm vs Union
Another battle which begins with cruisers opening fire on fighters again. The Union dreadnoughts and Windreapers open fire as they close and again, fighters fall to massive, huge bore cannon. As the range closes, the Swarm cruisers come under fire first from the fast attack elements of the Union fleet, and then the dreadnoughts. It’s the massed dreadnought guns that gain the first kill, though the fast attacks ships prove a major annoyance for the entire battle. Though the northern fast attack group is continuously hassled by Swarm fighters, the Swarm simply can’t cope with the combination of fast hasslers and heavy hitters. The Union’s Starburst Support Carrier does eventually fall, but to do so costs the Swarm 33% of their fleet. By the time the Swarm have dealt with the dreadnoughts and Jackalope cruisers, they’ve taken such heavy casualties (76% casualties in fact) that it’s easy for the fast attack groups to finish them off.
Swarm 6% vs Union 39%
Swarm vs Empire
At the outset of this battle, the majority of the Swarm fleet heads for the northern of the two Empire battle groups. The fighter clashes initially start pretty even, both sides losing fighters equally. Soon however, the Empire start to dominate, allowing them to begin attacking cruisers. The first cruiser kill goes to the Empire as the fleets close in. In the north, the combat is brutally close and initially fairly even. Despite the heavier Swarm presence here, the Empire perform above and beyond the call of duty, taking cruisers apart for fun. In the south however, the Empire must have put all their rookie ships. The early loss of the southern groups dreadnought takes the heart out of the fleet and the Swarm win through. The two then swing to face each other and now, the Swarm smart bombs stop much of the Empire fire power. The battle continues to be close, but deprived of the shield stripping capabilities of their missiles, the Empire begin to struggle. When the second dreadnought dies, defeat soon follows for the Empire in this close fought encounter.
Swarm 37% vs Empire 7%
Swarm vs Pirates
A potentially difficult first clash for the Pirates, turns out to be easier than expected. Indeed watching the initial encounters, you’d find it hard to see how the Pirates could win. Their four fast attack elements flew straight towards the Swarm fleet, headlong into enemy fire. Such was the ferocity of the fire, only two cruisers managed to pull away to continue harassing the Swarm fleet. It was at this point, one of the cruisers proved it’s worth, pulling a force of two cruisers, four frigates and two squadrons of fighters away from the main battle. As this group tried desperately to chse the cruiser down, their guns were much missed in what was turning out to be a brutal battle in the middle. The Swarm spent an inordinate amount of time and ammo taking down the Ziz, and though they succeeded, they’d been ground down.
Swarm 10% vs Pirates 63%
Swarm vs Scavengers
As the fleets closed in and the fighters clashed, the Scavengers came out on top. My decision to use heavy armour on the Aasfresser seemed justified as Swarm fighter weapons just bounced off. The three Scavenger groups closed with the Swarm wall, and the first success was theirs, the first cruiser kill going to the Scavengers. Soon though, the Halbleiter Shieldwalls began to fall, such was the weight of the Swarm fire up close. Quite quickly the centre group was overrun, leaving the flanking groups exposed. As the last of the centre group cruisers fell, overwhelmed by the Swarm fleet, the flank groups fought back hard. The southern group fought off the Swarm ships opposing them, but in the north, the Swarm and Scavenger almost wiped each other out, only a few cruisers surviving the fight. As the remaining Swarm ships headed towards the southern Scavenger battle group, the Scavengers stuck close together, destroying them as they came. The heavily armoured fighters from the other battle groups, being hard to kill and now free from escort duties, caused a great deal of trouble to the Swarm ships. With close knit cruisers ahead of them and fighters swarming around them, the Swarm couldn’t do much more than explode, though the battle was very close.
Swarm 10% vs Scavengers 20%
Swarm vs Order
The fleets close, the fighters exchange insults, then pot shots, the get down to some serious fighting. Surprisingly, the Order do quite well, coming out just ahead of a very close battle. This sets up the cruiser clash nicely, and as the cruisers close, the radiation guns get through the shields and armour of the first Swarm cruiser, gaining the Order the first kill. So far, the Order have been doing well, but now as the fleets get very close, they begin to mingle and become intermixed. At this point, the Swarm’s superior close range fire power starts to tell and Order ships begin exploding more often than Swarm ships do. As the close quarter fighting continues in the centre, the Swarm flanks swing round onto the Order fleets flanks. This pretty much seals their fate; flanked and with superior short ranged fire power in their face, their days are numbered.
Swarm 58% vs 9%
Swarm vs Alliance
So fate has saved the best for last. Or not as it turns out. As the fleets close, the Alliance fighters try hard, but they’re just outclassed, and end up largely struggling to hold the Swarm fighters back. Initially the cruiser clash looks like it might be interesting as at range, the Swarm come under plasma and missile fire before their own guns can shoot back. It looks promising and then…for reasons I honestly can’t fathom, the Alliance completely lose focus and instead of continuing to punish the front rank cruisers of the Swarm fleet, start to shoot past them into the back ranks. The Swarm still aren’t shooting so they’re not yet within minimum range, but still the Alliance shoot at the rear ranks. Of course, firing missiles past ships with smart bombs is a really good idea. Not. Though the dreadnought does get the first kill for the central Alliance battle group, the northern and southern groups are crushed, the south comprehensively. Though a handful of ships in the northern group continue gamely fighting on and the central group do pretty well, things don’t look good. The death of the dreadnought signals the end of a one sided drubbing.
Swarm 78% vs Alliance 10%
And so, as the first set comes to an end, we come to the current standings with the Swarm, having completed all their battles, setting what turns out to be a very mediocre benchmark. Just to explain the following numbers; the first is a win percentage, the second is the average finishing strength of the fleet, minus the average finishing strength of their opponents.
1: Uni:T (100 %, +73)
2: Federation (100%, +72)
3: Praetorian Industries (100%, +67)
4: Rebels (100%, +55)
5: Pirates (100%, +53)
6: Tribe (100%, +35)
7: Union (100%, +33)
8: Scavengers (100%, +10)
9: Swarm (47%, -6.2)
10: Parasites (0%, -14)
11: Empire (0%, -30)
12: Legios (0%, -32)
13: Nomads (0%, -46)
14: Order (0%, -49)
15: Xedilco (0%, -64)
16: Alliance (0%, -68)
At the moment, with most having only fought once, it’s hard to call but I think most people, including myself, will be surprised by the positions of some of the races. Next up is a race that should start to sort the men from the boys, next to face the fire is the Union…
Great post - it makes interesting reading.
Did you use the same tactics in each battle, and how did you arrange your fleet’s formation to start?
Did you use direct control at any stage?
It would be especially good if you could post your Swarm fleets as a publicly-available challenge.
Every fleet uses the same formation and orders regardless of opponents, just to keep things consistent. Likewise, using direct control would give an advantage to one fleet over the other, and so not be fair.
I’m not one for posting public challenges. There’s only so many times I can read “LOL NOOB YOR FLEET SUXX” :-p
If anyone does want to see any of the fleets (and probably take it apart), just let me know who to post the challenge to, and it shall be done.
And so, onto the Union. These should give a good account of themselves, and I’m expecting a fair few wins in this set, which doesn’t bode well for those who struggled against the Swarm. Again it’s a wall of text, but they’ll get shorter as each challenger faces all comers.
Union vs Federation
As the battle begins, for some strange reason, with the exception of a single Jackalope, the entire Union fleet heads south. As the fleets begin to close, the Federation fighters run into a wall of flak, losing several to long range cruiser weapons. Again, these losses aren’t due to dedicated anti-fighter weapons, but standard large guns. Undaunted, the Federation continue to close and it’s now that the Unions strange initial southern movement begins to hurt them, with one dreadnought ending up directly behind the other. The fast attack elements of the Union fleet streak ahead of the rest, and fly straight into heavy missile fire. With the fire concentrated on them, their point defence screens are completely overwhelmed. They’re not helped by their decision to head for the middle of the Federation fleet. As the dreadnoughts come into range, being line astern means each gets battered by fire and eventually destroyed in turn. It ends as a heavy defeat for the Union, and something of an upset, largely caused by the bizarre initial movement.
Union 7% vs Federation 77%
Union vs Parasites
No strange behaviour this time as the Union ships head straight for the enemy. The fast attack elements launch the first attacks as usual, though in different ways. One hits and runs, swinging away from the Parasite battle group. The other, performs a manoeuvre which in Naval terms is called “Crossing the T”. If you picture two WW1 battleships with all their turrets, if you sail across the front of the enemy, presenting your broadside, you can fire all your guns while the enemy ship can only fire back with it’s forward turrets making this a very powerful manoeuvre. Unfortunately, turrets in GSB don’t work like that, so all crossing the T does here is expose yourself to the entire enemy fleet. The Windreaper loses both it’s escorting frigates and takes damage itself before managing to crawl away behind the dreadnoughts. Speaking of the dreadnoughts, the Resolute has headed towards the northern Parasite battle group while the Starburst has taken on the Southern group. The results in each area are very different. The northern group is completely crushed while the southern group destroy the Starburst and clear the Union forces opposing them. A Windreaper with it’s escorts swings in for a hit and run on the southern group but is driven off after taking casualties. Then the Resolute arrives, and supported by the surviving fast attack ships, devastates the surviving Parasite ships. The Parasite fighters were again ineffective, being released while there were still Union corvettes alive to contest space with them.
Union 44% vs Parasites 10%
Union vs Tribe
Straight off the Union dreadnoughts split, one heading north, the other south while the fast attack elements swing out ahead. Tribe fighters are the first to encounter the Union, and it ends badly for them, being destroyed left, right and centre. The fast attack elements meet heavy resistance, doing little damage while taking plenty of hits themselves. The manage to escape however, and continue harassing the Tribe for the rest of the battle. The dreadnoughts hit the Tribe line, the Resolute punching a big hole but the Starburst is stopped. The Tribe fight back hard, but their attack fighters are unable to penetrate the shields and eventually the fast attack harassment tells.
Union 54% vs Tribe 10%
Union vs Xedilco
The Xedilco are the first of the mods to take onto the Union, and the initial action is their Manned Missiles. Unfortunately they run straight into heavy cruiser fire and are destroyed without doing any damage. The rest of the Xedilco fleet doesn’t fare much better, running headlong into heavy beam fire. They don’t stand much of a chance as they’re unable to manoeuvre, steadily getting chopped to pieces. Though they do take down the Starburst, defeat soon follows.
Union 75% vs Xedilco 10%
Union vs Praetorian Industries
The second mod into action against the Union is Praetorian Industries, which should be interesting with both sides having fast attack elements. As expected, these are the first sections into action, with neither doing very well. The Praetorian Industries fast frigates and shuttles are blown out of space quickly after having had little impact. Meanwhile, both Union fast attack groups cross the T, which doesn’t go well with the Praetorian Industries Omega dreadnoughts and Panthea bombardment cruisers doing heavy damage. The battle continues and initially looks to be closely fought, until the near simultaneous destruction of the Union dreadnoughts swings things Praetorian Industries way. A Jackalope and Windreaper fight on, the Jackalope trying to stay at range while the Windreaper flies to it’s rescue, but the fire power of the Praetorian Industries fleet proves too great.
Union 6% vs Praetorian Industries 74%
Union vs Uni:T
These two mods are set up by their creators as direct rivals, so in theory this should be a close run thing. As they close, we again have the bizarre sight of heavy, anti-cruiser weapons knocking out fighters, or in the case of these two fleets, corvettes. As the fleets close into range and start using their heavy weapons, the battle looks close. The problems is, while the Union are knocking out frigates quickly, they’re losing cruisers. As they turn their attention to the Uni:T cruisers however, they do start doing heavy damage. Their own losses tell however, as they’re unable to deliver the knockout punch. In the end, the Uni:T beams are they key to their victory in what actually is a closer fought battle than the results show.
Union 7% vs Uni:T 70%
Union vs Legios
Seems like the mods had formed an orderly queue to take on the Union, with Legios up next. Legios Sparus rocket frigates lead the way, clashing with the fast attack elements of the Union fleet. Despite having the numbers, the Sparus lacked the fire power to do much damage. As they’re up against an equally speedy force, they’re also largely unable to escape with several of them being destroyed. As the main bodies of the fleets clash, the light show begins, as does a vicious dogfight between the Legios fighters and Union corvettes. The Legios forces come out ahead, but are unable to completely clear the corvettes out of the way. In the clash between cruisers, the Union initially take the lead with their dreadnoughts dominating. That is, dominating until the Annihilators get into range…at which point, they’re ripped apart. At this point, the dogfight sprawls all over space, the Legios having a slight upper hand. Fighting hard, the Union forces destroy the Legios front rank but it proves to be too late, the loss of the dreadnoughts is too great to overcome.
Union 6% vs Legios 52%
Union vs Rebels
The fast attack forces of the Union strike first, though one group seems to be led by a rookie captain who insists on crossing the T. The other captain, obviously a veteran, flanks the Rebel fleet. Rebel fighters flying escort missions ahead and over their fleet, are hit hard taking heavy casualties. As the cruisers come into range, the dreadnoughts on both sides bring their fire power to bear. The Starburst carrier, supported by the T crossing fast attack group, initially makes good ground, smashing into the Rebel fleet. The Rebels manage to halt it’s advance and destroy it, but they’ve suffered heavy losses. Towards the north, the Resolute and supporting Jackalopes smash all before them and it’s these ships that bring victory to the Union. The Rebel fighters are completely annihilated at the end.
Union 75% vs Rebels 10%
Union vs Empire
The Union dreadnoughts split up, with the Starburst heading towards the southern Empire battle group while the Resolute heads for the northern group. For some strange reason, the southernmost Jackalope decides he doesn’t fancy taking on the ships directly ahead of him, and heads north instead. The Empire fighters start taking casualties as soon as the range is closed, again it’s anti-cruiser weapons that do a large part of the damage. The Unions fast attack groups close in with the Empire battle groups and come under very heavy fire. One unit is completely destroyed while the other barely escapes, losing both frigates and only the Windreaper surviving. Then the Union dreadnoughts hit, the Resolute smashing into the northern group, knocking out ship after ship. Four groups of Empire fighters, the ship they’re escorting destroyed, split off and chase down the surviving Windreaper. This they continue doing for the rest of the battle, doing no damage. Meanwhile the Resolute and it’s Jackalope friends, annihilate the northern Empire force though the Resolute takes light damage. In the south however, the Starburst, deprived of support by the earlier destruction of the fast attack group and the decision made by it’s closest Jackalope to head north, is first halted, then destroyed leaving the southern Empire group virtually untouched. The Resolute and Jackalopes now head for the southern group, which responds with heavy fire. A Jackalope is the nearest target and it takes a battering, but it’s shields remain up until it’s eventual destruction. That factor decides the battle. Unable to drop it’s shields, Empire beam weapons bounce off depriving the Empire of a large portion of fire power. The union suffer no such problems.
Union 40% vs Empire 9%
Union vs Pirates
The battle begins with the Union forces heading straight up the middle. The fast attack elements of each fleet clash in deadly combat, but the devastating beam weapons mounted on the Union ships wins out with the Pirate groups losing ships and being forced to disengage, pulling back and circling the Union fleet, trying to contribute but largely being ineffective. The fighters and corvettes largely cancel each other out. As the big guns come into range, the Ziz finds itself the target for every EMP weapon in the Union fleet and is effectively taken out of the battle. This gives the Union dreadnoughts the edge and they push home their advantage. Though the Starburst falls, the damage that’s caused to the Pirate fleet before it falls is too heavy. All that’s left at the end is the circling Pirate fast attack units.
Union 76% vs Pirates 8%
Union vs Order
As the fleets head towards each other, both Union fast attack squadrons decide to cross the T. Order fighters find themselves outgunned. Cruisers, corvettes, and the frigates of the fast attack groups rip into them, causing heavy damage. With both fast attack groups crossing, they attract all the fire power of the Order fleet, allowing the dreadnoughts to close unharmed. Once in range, they smash a huge hole in the order fleet. The battle ends soon after, though ‘massacre’ rather than battle would be a better description
Union 88% vs Order 6%
Union vs Scavengers
Speaking of massacres, here’s another though this one is quite surprising. One Union fast attack group attacks the northern Scavenger group, the other attacks the southern group while the centre Scavenger group has to contend with both dreadnoughts and all but one of the Jackalopes, which heads north. The centre doesn’t stand a chance, being destroyed in short order. The other two groups don’t do much better, spending the initial part of the battle chasing shadows as they’re engaged by the Union fast attack squadrons who keep hitting and running. While they futilely try to catch the much faster Union ships, the dreadnoughts slowly swing about and blast them apart.
Union 91% vs Scavengers 6%
Union vs Alliance
And another massacre, though not really a surprise this time. Most of the Union ships head straight for the Alliance dreadnought in the centre of the Alliance formation, though one fast attack squadron does head south. The Alliance fighters again perform badly, being chewed up by cruiser weapons as the range closes. The Alliance does manage to drive off the fast attack groups, which initially bodes well, but as the ships come into range we have a clash between dreadnought. With one dreadnought on the Alliance side and two on the Union, there’s only one real outcome. This creates a big hole in the Alliance line, and from there the Union dreadnoughts spread out, picking the Alliance fleet apart piecemeal.
Union 84% vs Alliance 8%
Union vs Nomads
The final battle for the Union is against the Nomads, and though it’s a closer battle, it’s still not THAT close. The Union fleet head straight for the central two battle groups of the Nomad fleet, with the fast attack units largely acting in unison with the dreadnoughts, though slightly ahead of them. Nomad fighters are the next to feel the might of long ranged cruiser fire, losing a number of casualties. The Union forge a hole in the centre of the Nomad fleet, destroying the two central groups before splitting up, the Resolute heading north and the Starburst heading south. The Resolute is just devastating, killing everything which dares to get in it’s way. The Starburst does less well however, being destroyed by the southern Nomad battle group. This group fights a valiant last stand, driving off fast attack groups, knocking out squadrons of corvettes and generally being brave. There’s just too many however, and soon their resistance is at an end.
Union 68% vs Nomads 9%
Thus ends the second set of challenges, with the Union setting a pretty high standard. We shall see if anyone can match it.
1: Federation (100%, 71.5)
2: Uni:T (100%, 68)
3: Praetorian Industries (100%, 67.5)
4: Union (73%, 26.3)
5: Legios (50%, 7)
6: Tribe (50%, -4.5)
7: Rebels (50%, -5)
8: Pirates (50%, -7.5)
9: Scavengers (50%, -37.5)
10: Swarm (47%, -6.2)
11: Parasites (0%, -24)
12: Empire (0%, -30.5)
13: Nomads (0%, -53.5)
14: Xedilco (0%, -64.5)
15: Order (0%, -65.5)
16: Alliance (0%, -72)
Only three races left with 100% record, but six still to record their first win, including my beloved Parasites and surprisingly, the Empire. Nomads are up next, so unless they have a complete disaster, they should register on the scoreboard.
And now the Nomads, who while not always a strong performer, should give the others a decent test.
Nomads vs Legios
As the rest of the Legios fleet advance, the Sparus Rocket Frigates swing out ahead to engage the Nomads. The effect they have on the Nomads is extremely limited, only scraping a few shields without actually doing anything before either being destroyed, or driven back. As the fighters of both sides engage, the Legios fighters show their class, knocking big holes in the Nomads squadrons. The cruiser clash though, is different. As the ships come into range, the number of beams available to the Nomads make life hard for the leading Legios ships. The Nomads start to pull ahead though as the Annihilators arrive, they start picking off Nomads frigates in a one shot, one kill manner. The Legios fleet finds itself outflanked to the South, which along with the steady destruction of their front rank cruisers, starts to swing the battle decisively to the Nomads. Though the Annihilators keep knocking out frigates, they allow cruisers to close in on them and their lack of defences tells. Despite the fighter dominance the Legios are having, they’re struggling to knock out cruisers and this turns out to be their downfall. The Nomads chalk up their first win, and something of a surprise one at that.
Nomads 56% vs Legios 10%
Nomads vs Empire
This promises to be a tough one for the Nomads, though they at least begin in a fairly sensible manner. Their two southernmost groups head for the Empire’s southern group, while their two northernmost groups largely head for the Empire’s northern group. The only dissenter is a single northern cruiser who decides he likes the look of the Empire’s southern battle group more. As the groups close in on one another, the fighter clash begins. It’s a close run affair, losses are fairly even, though the Empire does have a slight advantage. When the cruisers close the range and engage, the Nomad EMP weapons slow the rate of fire coming from the Empire lines, but the cruisers further back in the Empire formation keep the fight even. The fighting is fierce but remains close, even when the southern Empire dreadnought is destroyed. Shockingly, for what I think is possibly the first time ever in my experience, we see some shield disruption actually working! An Empire cruiser, it’s shield disrupted, takes heavy damage before it’s attackers are destroyed, allowing it time to regain shields. Front rank cruisers on both sides take extensive casualties, leaving the battle to be a long range duel. Empire fighters meanwhile, in a slow war of attrition have eventually won out, and now, free from opposition and with the Nomads anti fighter frigates having been knocked out, lead the attack on the long ranged Nomad cruisers, helping the Empire win out.
Nomads 9% vsEmpire 48%
Nomads vs Rebels
With the fleets closing on each other, the fighter battles begins in earnest. It’s close, neither side being able to dominate. The Nomads have numbers however, and as the fleets close in on each other, the tractor beams on the Nomads frigates come in to play, trapping Rebel fighters until they’re chewed to pieces. Again, EMP weapons on the Nomads creates havoc amongst the Rebels, though with the fire coming their way, the effect lessens as Nomad cruisers fall. The Rebel dreadnoughts in particular perform heroics, taking and giving enormous amounts of fire. Eventually a hole opens up in the centre of the Nomad line and the Rebels start to dominate. Despite the opposition, the Rebel fighters have kept going and now, Rebel guardian cruisers have started clearing Nomad fighters out of the way while also taking fire from Nomad ships that would have been more use being used on other cruisers. A reasonably close battle draws slowly to a close, the Rebels coming out on top.
Nomads 8% vs Rebels 43%
Nomads vs Uni:T
Given the lack of speed of the Nomads, even compared to the Swarm, this battle I felt was always going to be one sided. The Nomad fighters were the first to suffer, losing heavily in to the Uni:T corvettes though once they get in range, they do start to take some out. Nomad cruisers and frigates suffer similarly, being destroyed at range without being able to fight back. They simply can’t close fast enough though once the ships armed with Nomad missiles get in range, they start doing ok. By that time though, it’s far too late.
Nomads 9% vs Uni:T 88%
Nomads vs Praetorian Industries
The Praetorian Industries fast frigates and shuttles scream in towards the Nomad fleet under the cover of artillery fire, which again is picking off fighters. The fast frigates and shuttles however, still don’t last long, unable to do much damage while also being unable to take much fire. The Nomad fleet meanwhile, has evenly split with two groups heading north and two heading south. This has the effect of leaving the bombardment section of the Praetorian fleet unopposed and unmolested. The heavy fire from the multi warheads and torpedoes from this section proves devastating, allowing the Praetorian fleet to completely dominate the Nomads. Nomad casualties mount and in the end, the defeat is almost as total as the one to Uni:T.
Nomads 8% vs Praetorian Industries 87%
Nomads vs Alliance
After the last two heavy defeats, the Nomads were probably looking forward to this. Initially, two groups headed for the southern Alliance battle group. Initially only half a group headed for the Alliance centre, though quickly they reorganised and the group joined up again. In the north, it was a strictly one on one affair. While the northern and southern Alliance groups struggle, their centre does well, the dreadnought making the difference. The Alliance fighters also perform in a fairly mediocre fashion, not doing much themselves, but at least stopping the Nomad fighters from dominating. The northern and southern Alliance groups collapse under pressure and though the dreadnought battles to the end, it starts taking damage and EMP hits which take it out the battle. Nomad ships gather around it like lions around a wounded wildebeast. The end soon follows.
Nomads 78% vs Alliance 9%
Nomads vs Pirates
While the entirety of the Nomad fleet heads for the Pirates centre, the Pirates fast attack groups move forward to attack. This turns out to be more of an annoyance to the Nomads than an actual threat and the Pirate ships take heavy losses. The closing of the fleets leads to the fighters battling it out, with the Pirate fighters holding their own. As the fleets clash and the battle begins in earnest, the Pirate fast attack elements have been all but wiped out, and those few stragglers soon fall to Nomad fire. The main bulk of the Pirate fleet tries to make up these losses, punishing the Nomad ships in range. They punch a hole in the Nomad line while overhead, the fighter scrap continues. The battle remains close and is fiercely fought, neither side giving much ground. The early Pirate losses though, have left them outnumbered and this proves the decisive factor. Let down by the poor performance of their fast attack ships, they eventually succumb.
Nomads 48% vs Pirates 7%
Nomads vs Federation
With neither side being particularly swift, the fleets are slow to close. This allows for a prolonged fighter battle, starting even though the Federation begins to pull ahead. The Nomads hit back though once their frigate tractor beams are in range, and pull ahead themselves. Their front rank ships take heavy hits however, coming under sustained missile fire. As they fall, the tractor beams start being taken out and once more, Federation fighters prove their dominance. The weight of fire the Nomads are coming under really puts them at a disadvantage, and added to that, the Federation dreadnought is also performing well. Though the Nomads eventually manage to deprive it of support, it comes too late to turn the battle their way. Under heavy fire, with Federation fighters dominating space around them, the end soon follows.
Nomads 9% vs Federation 66%
Nomads vs Scavengers
The initial fleet movement of the Nomads is interesting. The north and south groups head for the counterparts in the Scavenger fleet. Of their central two formations, half of each group heads for the Scavenger centre while the other half either heads north or south depending on which is nearer. The fighters come into range and initially, the Scavengers do well. That changes once the Nomad tractors come into range, losing several ships caught in their deadly grasp. The Scavenger Shieldwall cruisers don’t last as long as I’d hoped, but while the Nomads are taking them out, they’re losing significantly more valuable ships. Now though, Scavenger tractor beams are also taking effect, and this allows the Scavenger fighters to dominate and once they’ve eliminated the Nomad fighters, they start helping to take down cruisers. This, coupled with the earlier more significant losses the Nomads suffered decides the battle.
Nomads 8& vs Scavengers 56%
Nomads vs Parasites
The Nomad fleet splits evenly, two heading for the northern Parasite group and two for the southern. Nomad fighters swing ahead, nervously eyeing the massed flak cannons pointing their way. This nervousness proves to be justified as once in range, they start taking heavy hits with many being destroyed, and many others heading for carrier bays. Those bays soon end up packed full of repairing fighters. As the cruisers finally clash, they begin to exchange ships on a one for one basis. Soon, the Parasite fighters are released into the fray and they have an immediate impact, turning the battle the Parasites way. Nomad fighters are all either in bits, or being stuck back together in hanger bays. As any come out of the bays, they’re pounced on and destroyed quickly. The lack of any fighter cover for the Nomads proves decisive, gifting the Parasites their first victory. Hurrah!
Nomads 9% vs Parasites 70%
Nomads vs Order
The closing of the fleets again is preceded by the clash of fighters. The Order fighters begin trying to clear the Nomads out of the way, and they have surprising success at it. So much so that when the Nomad tractor beams come in range, they have few fighters left to take advantage of it. Initially the Order fleet holds it’s own, but when they start taking EMP hits, the battle turns into more of a struggle. The southern part of the Order line goes first and after that collapse, the Nomads roll up the rest of the fleet.
Nomads 65% vs Order 10%
Nomads vs Xedilco
Again the Xedilco begin the battle by having their Manned Missiles scream towards the enemy fleet…straight into heavy fire destroying them just short of the Nomad line causing no damage. Once more, Nomad EMP fire delays the Xedilco assault, but when it comes, it hits hard badly hurting the centre of the Nomad fleet. Unfortunately this leaves them surrounded and struggling to manoeuvre, resulting in heavy losses in the Xedilco cruisers. Freed from escort duties, the Xedilco fighters get stuck in and prove to be very effective. Some Xedilco cruisers escape from the trap, with the Nomad fleet split in two, they swing back in to engage. The Xedilco fighters engage the surviving Nomad ships to the north, while their cruisers take on the southern Nomad ships. They fight well, almost dragging a victory from the draws of defeat.
Nomads 25% vs Xedilco 8%
Nomads vs Tribe
The respective fighters are the first to clash, with the Tribe taking more hits than the Nomads. Their extra resilience means they can take the hits though meaning that though the Nomads are doing well, it’s an uphill battle. As the fleets come into range, the frigates towards the front of the fleets take a pasting. It’s a close battle with losses on both sides with differing results depending on the location. In the centre, the Tribe push through the Nomad line while towards the north and south, the Nomads push forward creating a concave line. Or convex depending on which way you look at it. The fighters are still battling it out with each other and their fight matches the overall battle, swinging one way then the other. Tribe fighters do eventually win through though, their greater resilience pulling them through. This proves decisive in the north, turning that battle around and in the Tribes favour. In the south, the Nomads battle on, destroying several cruisers before the Tribe fighters win there as well. Combining their fire with supporting cruisers, the Tribe fighters prove too much for the Nomads to keep at bay.
Nomads 8% vs Tribe 28%
And so the current standings after three completed challenges:
1: Uni:T (100%, 71.7)
2: Praetorian Industries (100%, 71.3)
3: Federation (100%, 66.3)
4: Union (73%, 25.6)
5: Rebels (67%, 8.3)
6: Tribe (67%, 3.7)
7: Scavengers (67%, -9)
8: Swarm (47%, -6.2)
9: Parasites (33%, 4.3)
10: Empire (33%, -7.3)
11: Legios (33%, -10.7)
12: Pirates (33%, -18.7)
13: Nomads (33%, -19.6)
14 : Xedilco (0%, -48.7)
15: Order (0%, -62)
16: Alliance (0%, -71)
The same three stay at the top, but have shuffled their places. It’s still pretty tight there though. The wooden spoon is again being fought over by the usual two suspects, though they’ve also surprisingly been joined by Xedilco. In the case of Xedilco though, I can see several ways I can improve them so despite their struggles, I’m not too disheartened. My Parasites have gained their first win, as have the Empire but the Pirates have dropped several places after making a good start. The Nomads performance was rather poor, their fighter coverage being a particular weak point. I think I can sort some of that out in fleet deployment though, so should there be another diary, they might perform better.
Next up, we have one of the current leaders, the Federation. Unless there’s some surprises in store, I don’t think much changing towards the bottom of the table, but at the top, things should get shaken up.
is it too late to put all of my money on P. Ind.?
This is easily my favourite thread on the website right now. The carnage herein is of a most informative flavour.
Redd13, I look forward to seeing how the Federation handles itself under your guidance.
Lots of upsets in the Space Tyrant series. Some are expected; a few, nearly inevitable; others, surprising. I wonder to what extent they are caused by the equipment loadouts of the ships, and which are due to the ships’ precise pre-battle positioning and combat orders. In a game as complex as this one, tiny errors - or simple differences of personal preference - sometimes tend to add up quickly.
And with due respect to the creator of this thread, I find it truly fascinating to have these battles waged under conditions of the admiral’s relative inexperience combined with an unusually strict “no spamming anything” policy. I mean no insult by that; the opposite, actually.
It is rare that we few remaining jaded, hard-to-shock veterans who have “seen it all” are treated to such a pure display of the races’ intrinsic abilities, set up without the option to lean upon the “crutch” of massive spamming of certain preferred weapons and hulls. While my own long-term studies of the subject are merely being re-confirmed here, the way in which they’re having a spotlight shined upon them is refreshingly unpredictable. Due to our Space Tyrant’s starkly (and interestingly) purist attitudes, the results of some of these fights are similarly surprising. I really like that.
Another unanticipated meta-result of these competitions is a VERY concrete expression of the old modders’ advice that “nobody, repeat nobody, will ever play your modded content in the same way which its creator intended it (and balanced it) to be played”. This means that the best possible balance, tactical distinctiveness, closure of less-than-obvious weaknesses, and overall “solidity” not just important, but hugely important. Interestingly, it’s being applied not only to some prominent mod races but also to Cliff’s nine official races. I think that we of the GSB modding community can take away a useful lesson here.
Carry on, Redd!
RIP my dear Xedilco, but you will take your revenge!
Anyway, what a great work you are doing! I can’t say much more after what Archduke Astro said because it’s my opinion too.
Sometime, a single ship placement can be as deadly as an A-bomb or useless as a small rock against tank.
An other important thing, even more about “keep moving one”, the battle have many random factor, sometime, you will see fleet erasing the other one from space with a few lose. But if you play that battle again, it can be a TOTAL failure. Think of it! (The Xedilco tend do be very random because much of their ship are keep moving, I’ve see too often an cruiser get close to a dying flying bomb in one battle, and carefully staying away in an other try.)
Can you post the Xedilco challenge online? (Or at last against me? Pseudo: GATCornebre)
It’s tight at the top, but they’re definitely one I think will be in with a chance right up to the end.
One of the challenges to setting up the fleets is trying to set it up to perform well regardless of how the opposition deploys. There have been times previously where things have gone awry, the Feds having too many frigates once was an example of that. There are others problems becoming apparent in these challenges with the new fleets, particularly Xedilco and Pirates, and even though Union have thrown in a strong performance, I still see areas there I can improve.
With regards to the mods and balance, as with creating any of the races, I can imagine that the hardest thing to do is predict what other players are going to do with your creation. I’ve seen several games where something I’d not thought of, and also something the games creator hadn’t considered, gets done and completely unbalances the game. Often I then see players saying “Well it should have been anticipated”, but anticipating every eventuality is impossible. That’s why playtest groups exist, to try and ‘break’ things.
I think unfortunately the Xedilco have been let down slightly by their Admiral, which would be me, and ship design bureau, which would also be me. Sadly, to be fair to all the other fleets, I can’t sort things out until after the challenges are completed. No matter what the end result of things, they’ll come back stronger and better organised.
I’ve posted the challenge to you, no doubt you’ll see some of the problems I’ve already identified.
And now for the Federation, currently suffering nose bleeds from being so high up the table.
Federation vs Pirates
First up to chance their arm against the Federation is the Pirates. As the Pirates fast attack groups get moving, there’s a slight fragmenting in the Federation fleet. Some ships head off at slightly different angles to the ones next to them, but it’s nothing major. As the fast attack groups close in they launch their missile to little effect. The point defence and guidance scramblers of the Federation fleet deflect much of the fire. The Federation missiles have no such problem however, leading to heavy casualties in the fast attack groups though they do at least occupy the Federation fleet for a while. As the range closes however, the Pirate fighters lead the fight back. With the support of tractor beams they do well against their Federation counterparts causing heavy casualties. The Federation fleets’ missile barrage continues unabated though, causing serious losses on the Pirate fleet. It’s not totally one sided however, the Pirates are also destroying cruisers at a similar rate which is keeping them in the fight. The Federation dreadnought takes heavy fire, coming under a concerted attack from several Pirate cruisers lead by the Ziz Battleship. It’s shields collapse and with the weight of fire pouring into it, it’s soon nothing more than a burning hulk. It doesn’t go down without a fight however, stripping the shields off the Ziz and causing a number of heavy hull hits. These prove telling as not long after it’s demise, the Ziz follows it into oblivion leaving a large hole in the Pirate fleet. Pirate fighters are in the ascendancy and they fight on alongside the surviving cruisers but at this point, the early losses and the heavy missile barrage proves too much for them to overcome and they’re slowly whittled down.
Federation 49% vs Pirates 6%
Federation vs Parasites
Right from the start the Parasites seem strangely drawn to the Federation dreadnought, the majority of their fleet heading straight for it. The fleets close in on each other and as they do so, the Federation fighters swinging ahead of the fleet come under heavy fire. Losses mount, the flak cannons again proving devastating. The fleets close the range for the cruiser clash and the Federation launch their heavy missile barrage, only to see a lot of them coming straight back as the Parasites revenge scramblers do their job. Deprived of much of their supporting fire, the front rank of the Federation fleet comes under heavy attack though they hit back to the best of their abilities. They’re fighting a losing battle however as they begin to go down under the Parasites relentless fire. The first set of Parasite fighters get released into the battle but unfortunately, they run straight into their own cruisers flak fire due to the handful of Federation fighters still in action. Their impact is negligible, but fortunately for the Parasites, unneeded. Deprived of much of their missile fire, the Federation are failing to cause much damage to the Parasite fleet. The Parasites aren’t suffering such a problem however, and they’re making great headway into the Federation fleet, taking out cruisers then the dreadnought. The front ranks of the Federation fleet are soon taken out, leaving nothing but Bombardment cruisers with which the Federation can fight back. Against all the fire power of the Parasite fleet and with a large part of their own missiles coming back at them, it’s only a matter of time before they’re destroyed. This is a big upset.
Federation 9% vs Parasites 85%
Federation vs Praetorian Industries
And off go the Praetorian fast frigates and shuttles. While long ranged artillery fire picks off Federation fighters, the shuttles get hosed. The fast frigates last longer, but they have precious little impact on the Federation fleet. As the fighters come into range of each other, the slower Praetorian ships suffer heavy casualties though their destruction is avenged by the drones. As the fleets close, the battle is tight with neither side able to achieve dominance. The Federation have to contend with more scrambler mischief as some of their own missiles are sent back their way. The Federation dreadnought causes heavy losses on anything which strays within range of it’s guns, dominating the battle in the centre and south. It draws a lot of ships it’s way, which eventually proves too much for it, outnumbered and under sustained attack it goes down fighting. It’s had a big impact though. In the north, the Federation have struggled losing a number of cruisers while damaging, but not destroying, most of the Praetorian ships facing them. Praetorian fighters, after a long hard struggle, now achieve dominance and this, along with the long ranged artillery fire is the undoing of the Federation fleet. They’re no longer able to counter the fighters and the artillery ships have always been out of range. Collapse soon follows.
Federation 9% vs Praetorian Industries 48%
Federation vs Scavengers
As the fleets fire up their engines, the Federation fleet splits up, in the main heading for the centre and south of the Scavengers fleet while only a few cruisers head north. Initially the fighter battles are inconclusive but once the heavily armoured Scavenger fighters get involved, the Federation ships start taking heavy losses while being unable to penetrate their enemies armour. In the centre Scavenger group, the Shieldwall cruisers come under heavy plasma fire from the Federation dreadnought and their destruction soon follows. In the northern and southern groups though, under heavy missile fire, they manage to hold on thanks to the heavy point defence screen they throw up. The Scavenger fighters achieve almost total dominance and this gives them a slight lead, though the fight remains closely fought even when the Federation dreadnought goes down. The centre group has been reduced to the Rok but in the north and south, the Scavenger have won through with the armoured fighters proving to be all but invulnerable to Federation fire. The flanking Scavenger groups swing down onto the Federation centre, slowly crushing it.
Federation 9% vs Scavengers 46%
Federation vs Alliance
After that run of defeats, the Federation look to get back to winning ways at the hands of the hapless Alliance. As the fleets head in towards each other, the Alliance fighters largely hold their own as does the fleet as a whole. The Federation takes some heavy damage as they close in, but it seems the Alliance can’t apply the killing blow. The dreadnoughts go head to head, hurling fire at each other ignoring all other targets as they attempt each other destruction. The Alliance are holding the Federation up, but they’re just not killing things. In the dreadnought clash, it’s the Alliance that loses. The Alliance seems to lack hitting power and as their losses mount, it’s only getting less. Though they manage to knock out the Federation dreadnought, it’s small consolation.
Federation 74% vs Alliance 10%
Federation vs Tribe
The Tribe seem somewhat in awe of the Federation dreadnought, the majority of their fleet seeming to head straight for it. As the fleets close in, Tribe fighters take heavy losses to the Federation fighters who then start strafing runs on the front rank cruisers of the Tribe fleet. These hits combine with the fire they’re taking from the rest of the Federation fleet, and the Tribe start losing cruisers before they’ve even managed to get their own guns in range. As they close, their losses continue to mount though at least they’re able to start hitting back. The Tribe still have fighters in the battle despite the heavy losses they’ve suffered. Now the Federation attack craft take losses as they run into heavy anti fighter fire and tractor beams. Federation cruisers are almost totally dominant though, and in the south, one Eagle Pulse Cruiser is isolated but it’s performance is exemplary. With only a modicum of supporting fire it destroys two Tribe cruisers and two frigates and despite heavy damage, it lasts until the end.
Federation 71% vs Tribe 7%
Federation vs Empire
The fleets fire up their engines and it’s a pretty even split in the Federation fleet as each ship almost without exception heads for the nearest enemy battle group. The Federation dreadnought heads north and seeing this, one southern Federation cruiser decides it doesn’t fancy going up against an Empire dreadnought without it’s own in support, and also heads north. Strangely though, the Empire groups each split up. From each battle group, a group of cruisers and frigates form separate squadrons and head for the Federation centre, seemingly going after the Federation dreadnought. The fighters swarm around each other exchanging fire, insults and casualties, neither side able to dominate the other. The Federation dreadnought brings all it’s plasma weapons to bear on one unfortunate Empire cruiser, swiftly knocking down it’s shields before ripping it’s hull apart. Despite this early victory, casualties elsewhere mean the Empire has a slight lead. The Federation dreadnought soon helps address this issue, lending it’s considerable fire power into bringing down the northern Empire dreadnought. This closes the battle up and it remains a tight, close, mutually destructive battle. The Empire think they have it when they’re finally able to take out the Federation dreadnought, but their own remaining dreadnought doesn’t last much longer and unfortunately, they were more reliant on it than the Federation were on theirs. The Empire still have strong forces in the south, but their northern force has been crushed. They battle on, but then a small force of Federation fighters arrive overhead. Though there’s only a handful left at this point, they do considerable damage and this brings a close battle to a close.
Federation 37% vs Empire 7%
Federation vs Xedilco
The Xedilco Manned Missiles go into action, crews screaming in terror or praying to whatever gods the Xedilco pray to…and this time some of them hit home!! Three Federation cruisers take some heavy damage and a frigate is vapourised. Not a great deal, but it’s more than they’ve managed so far. The Xedilco are another fleet seemingly drawn to the Federation dreadnought like moths to a flame. They mass at the middle of the Federation fleet, hitting considerably hard and pushing onto the dreadnought, their apparent target. The Federation struggle to hold the Xedilco ships back, the dreadnought is overwhelmed and destroyed and a number of cruisers are taken out as well. The Federation recover from this initial shock though and hit back, concentrating their missile fire on one cruiser at a time. Against this concentration of fire the Xedilco have no defence and now it’s their turn to struggle as the attempt to extricate their cruisers from what is rapidly turning into a trap. The Xedilco fighters try to hold the Federation back, running rampant across the Federation fleet trying to buy time for their own cruisers to escape. It’s in vain however, though the Federation lose several cruisers, they’re able to chase down and destroy the Xedilco ships.
Federation 54% vs Xedilco 7%
Federation vs Uni:T
The Federation fleet is not known for it’s speed and against Uni:T, that’s a weakness that Uni:T seems perfectly designed to take advantage of. The battle begins with the Uni:T fleet launching it’s desultory multi warhead fire. The odd warhead gets through but overall, it has little impact. The battle really begins once the Federation fighters stray into range of the Uni:T corvettes, taking heavy losses. Beam weapons and plasma lance into the Federation cruisers as they try try and close. Ships blow up some way short of getting their own weapons into range including the dreadnought, but they’ve at least screened the missile carriers allowing them to start hitting back. The more advanced cruisers and frigates of the Uni:T fleet take a battering with losses mounting but it’s too late for the Federation. They’ve suffered heavy losses themselves and now, the Uni:T corvettes are all over the survivors. They don’t stand a chance.
Federation 9% vs Uni:T 69%
Federation vs Rebels
These two fleets have traditionally been closely matched, so this should be tight. The fighter dogfight certainly indicates that as the fleets close. Fighter wings swirl around each other with neither side able to take a decisive lead, though the slower fighters suffer badly as their vulnerability shines. The cruiser lines crash into each other and their battle is just as close with each side killing their first enemy cruiser nearly simultaneously. The Rebel dreadnoughts shine, beams lancing into Federation cruisers causing crippling damage. Overall though, Federation missile dominance is starting to show and when the first Rebel dreadnought succumbs and the second soon follows, things look bleak for the Rebels. The Federation are clearly ahead and even the loss of their own dreadnought does nothing to turn the battle around as slowly, losing ships all the time themselves, the Federation grind the Rebel fleet down.
Federation 51% vs Rebels 8%
Federation vs Order
Powering up their engines, the fleets head straight for each other with minimal reorganising, both eager to get to grips with the enemy. The Order fighters again shine, taking the fight to the Federation and causing heavy casualties among the Federation wings. As the cruisers close the gap, the Order front rank suffer under heavy missile and EMP fire but initially hold up well in a pretty even exchange. As the Order front rank ships fall under heavy fire, the weakness of the following cruisers shows and at this point, the battle pretty much becomes one way traffic. Though they take out the Federation dreadnought, it’s a small victory.
Federation 74% vs Order 6%
Federation vs Legios
The Sparus go in, initially dodging the Federation fighter screen to launch their rockets at the Federation cruisers. At this point the ‘no effect’ message reveals something I really should have noticed when designing the ships, they lack the shield penetration to do anything. I can visualise Legios Sparus captains with their heads in their hands as their weapons bounce off while a massive curtain of missiles head their way. They get hosed. The Legios fighters lead the counter attack, trying to avenge their comrades, chewing up Federation fighters. The fleets close the range and at this point, the Legios Light Show begins as their beams slam into the Federation cruisers. Cruisers on both sides fall, though the Federation maintain their lead. Then the Annihilators come into range and their beams start taking a toll of the Federation ships. Suddenly, a wing of Hawk Attack Fighters breaks through the Legios lines, hitting the defenceless Annihilators. Before the Legios can react, three Annihilators are destroyed and the fourth has lost it’s weapon. This one stroke of misfortune decides the battle as now, Legios have lost their main weapon. The losses amongst their other cruisers are heavy and they were relying on the Annihilators to turn the battle around. Defeat follows.
Federation 67% vs Legios 7%
And now for the table, which after a few surprises has changed quite a bit.
1: Uni:T (100%, 68.8)
2: Praetorian Industries (100%, 63.3)
3: Scavengers (75%, 2.5)
4: Federation (73%, 27.1)
5: Union (73%, 25.6)
6: Parasites (50%, 22.3)
7: Rebels (50%, -4.5)
8: Tribe (50%, -13.3)
9: Swarm (47%, -6.2)
10: Nomads (33%, -19.6)
11: Empire (25%, -13)
12: Legios (25%, -23)
13: Pirates (25%, -24.8)
14: Xedilco (0%, -48.3)
15: Order (0%, -63.5)
16: Alliance (-69.25)
The Federation have shown strongly, finishing just ahead of the Union, which I think sets a high standard for the others to try and beat. Pirates continue to fall, but Scavengers have climbed up well. It might be tough for them to maintain that level, but I’m sure they’ll try. Parasite continue to improve their results, climbing steadily. Still three to register a win, and now only two with no defeats.
Legios are up next, which will either pull them away from the bottom, or mire them in the wooden spoon places.