Efficient anti-fighter tactics/strategy

I saw an interesting one today, by Hannibal (sp?). Anti-fighter frigates behind the MWM cruiser line. Not sure if they were hedged, or in formation, or otherwise leashed, but it was pretty effective. You could get a LOT of anti-fighter weapons in a small area that way, if the frigate cross section was small enough, and they were out of range of my own MWM ships.

Now, his frigates were shielded, but I think armor might be a better option, so the anti-fighter frigates don’t just get swept away by rocket fighters. Of course, shields work pretty well too, especially if the fighters can’t concentrate effectively.

Normally I went with cruisers for the anti-fighter work, because with unleashed fighters, they usually wipe the frigates first, and very quickly too, and while the fighters could grind my anti-fighter cruisers up pretty quick, there are enough cruisers that the fighters are more likely to glom on to my tanks.

It seems laser and pulse fighters are a lot easier to butcher than rocket fighters, so I have been working out ways so my rocket fighters vulture on to enemy missile ships once their shields are down. For some reason, I see a lot of missile ships with shields but very light armor.

What ratio of tractors to beam do you go with on your anti-fighter ships? Or do you spread the tractors around?

What orders should I give to my painter fighters to make them most likely to paint a fighter that a rocket fighter will engage? Retaliate? Rescue? I don’t want my squadrons to shoot off their whole wad at one fighter.

Had some experiments with some fighters equipped with dual painters. Unfortunately, that makes the painter fighters a lot slower.

In a straight up dogfight, painters+dual rocket fighters appear to have a significant edge. It will take generally 2 or 3 missile hits to destroy a fighter, so a high ratio of rocket fighters to painters works. 1 squadron of painters per 8-10 rocket squadrons seems good.

I did discover some interesting things while experimenting with carriers. If you have multiple carrier bays, the fighters spread themselves evenly between them. So building an armored but unarmed carrier has some attractions. It will generally be ignored in favor of other targets. At 2 bays, you get 90% efficiency, and at 3 bays you get 80% efficiency. So instead of building 1 bay into lots of my ships, I think I will build a dedicated cv with 2 or 3 bays. When I put them on my missile ships, I often had situations where there would be a fighter pileup in the bay, just as the ship got destroyed. But an otherwise unarmed ship isn’t going to draw much attention, other ships will be finished off first.

Sorry - what are MWM ships?

Multiple-Warhead Missile


Are they better than fast missiles? Should they be my default choice for ships that are missile-heavy?

MWM are an alternative to cruiser missiles, NOT fast missiles. Fast missiles are more commonly used as anti-rush, although i use them in my standard missile formation. They have signifigently higher rates of fire, which when coupled with their fire rate means they do more damage in that shorter interval. (This is from personal experience.) What’s more, the higher speed of the missiles means there is less time for point defense and guidance scramblers to counter them. I use a tightly leashed formation, with anti-missile and anti-fighter cruisers making up a “wall” along the front, both holding my missile cruisers in place and acting as a shield to draw the initial fire. A retaliate order can counter them fairly effectivly, but when i pair them with my dual-laser fighters I have a very lethal formation.

In campaign especially, where you can have a fleet FAR in excess of what you’ll find run by enemies, fast missiles have the lethality to devistate most things.

I believe I ran into the armor tanks earlier, the unkillable alliance ones, with both my FIghter fleet and my fast missile fleet. In both cases i ended up winning, simply by destroying everything else. Anti-missile defenses meant that the tanks never built up agro on my attack cruisers, who targeted other ships.

On the topic of this thread: I’ve found that in general which ever fighter outnumbers the other wins. I run dual laser rebel fighters (I’ll post the build sometime tomorrow in a thread I’ll be making). A 4 squads of these v. 3 squads of the rocket/painter fighters will generally end up winning simply because of the orders i give them (co-operative is the most effective fighter command.) As all my fighters are shooting at similar targets, while it may have a 1/4rd of the hit chance of the painter/rocket fighter, I will hit more. GSB, especially in the campaign, is all about number games.

What’s more is, often in the campaign the most effective fighter defense is to IGNORE the fighters and go straight for the cruisers! That way, any fighters you don’t kill end up getting captured. I’ve got maybe 20-30 interesting fighter designs to look at and play with from this tactic. Also, people if there is ANY way to get fleets with more then 10 cruisers please let me know! I want to capture more cruiser designs, which is REALLY REALLY HARD when all the cruisers in a given fleet are worth more then 10% of it’s worth.

Just a note: I think i’m the first person to advocate the fighter swarm in campaign, as they’re the cheapest but most effective, AND they tend to capture the most enemy frigates and fighters. The funny thing is, the fleet i actually CARE about is my missile combat formations. I HATE fighters, but use them simply because at this point in time they are just about the single most effective ship. Send me the challange numbers with a 99,000 credit limit and 1000 pilots, and you’ll see what i mean about fighters.

If you want to capture some cruisers, just wait for a formation with tanks. I captured at least 5 tank cruisers just today, thanks to the time limit for victory. Kill one or two, then be very patient. Have a sandwich maybe.