I just started playing a few weeks ago. I would like to suggest a solution to a nagging problem. My fighter bombers (rocketts or torpedos) attack the enemy ships at the start of the battle. I would like to have them in vulture mode, but hang back towards the edge of the map, out of combat untill the cruisers engage. Currently, my fighter bombers zoom in, are shot down well before my main battle fleet engages.
I have tried the tactic of using them to escort my front ship, when it blows they are released and attack the enemy ships. Is there a way to delay them getting into battle? Or can this be a fix? I was thinking of an addtional order, where you instruct the ship to hold postion (unless attacked) for a speciific time. This would allow the main fleet to engage and the vulture fighter bombers wouls swoop in to finish off the wounded once the time limit was reached.
I would call this maybe a Reinforcements order. Give it the ubiquitous slider for a time delay, and the ship will stay put for that delay - essentially preventing the ship from choosing a driving target, but not from shooting at appropriate targets that come into range. Once the time is up, the ship behaves as normal.
A more general solution is to separate formation into “advance in formation” and “fight in formation”. Advance in formation means that the ships are free to move once they start shooting or taking damage, so you can use this to make sure the bombers don’t engage early, but are free to do so after the fighting starts. Fight in formation means that the ships attempt to stay in formation even after they are firin their lazars.
If you believe Alfred Thayer Mahan, there is NEVER a good reason to keep an unengaged reserve. The usefulness of holding back the fighters is not to have a reserve, but to ensure that all of your forces attack together at the same time.
The best way to minimize the damage done to your ships is to maintain concentration of firepower. If you think you will lose a battle and you want to preserve some of your ships undamaged then you are far better off avoiding the battle altogether. I would recommend an excellent introduction to the subject is the book “Fleet Tactics” by Wayne P Hughes in either of its editions. http://www.amazon.com/Fleet-Tactics-Coastal-Combat-Hughes/dp/1557503923/
but if you send all of your forces in and you get defeated then your stuffed and what ever planet your defending, beacuse this game an’t naval. and you got billions of people you will need to evac, and if your fleets down then the civs will be easy pickings.
You cannot evacuate while the enemy have won the battle and are presumably camping your escape route or at the very least in a much better position to pursue or destroy evacuating ships. The only way to save the planet and it’s people are to either evacuate early and avoid the battle altogether, or give yourself the best chance of winning - get all your ships in there at once.
As for Fleet Tactics by Hughes, I believe Fleet Tactics and Combat Methodology by Ackbar is superior.