Fighter setup

Indeed. I will gladly admit that the only satisfactory fighter behavior I’ve gotten with regards to carriers has been with slightly heavier armored fighters that can take a hit or two and still keep running. Tried to use a carrier once with my quick laser interceptors, and found that it was a serious waste of budget - the little buggers couldn’t survive the retreat from the front lines, even with a ridiculously high Cautious setting.

So I don’t use carriers a lot. But it is a nice option to keep in reserve.

Fighters still have me pretty perplexed too, I’ve tried to use them in alot of ways with little success.

For carrier modules though, when I use them, I’ll just have a cruiser design that is going to be my typical line cruiser, and I’ll replace some module or another with a single carrier bay. Then I put it either in the front line or in the second rank, and have the fighters escorting either it or another cruiser nearby with a wide radius. Usually I always set the fighters to escort and hang with the fleet rather than letting them roam free, run off and die. They end up getting shot up piecemeal rather than combining firepower with nearby capital ships when not under a strict escort order. At least if they engage while the rest of the ships are engaging they distract alot of weapons.

Having the carrier bay in among the fleet rather than as a seperate ship somewhere means the fighters can jump in and out of the action quickly, rather than flying all the way back somewhere.

The problem is how I seem to use them fighters aren’t that good at killing ships with even a moderate amount of armor or anti-fighter support, and they aren’t even all that effective at killing other fighters quickly. To cut down a horde quickly and effectively armored escort frigates with a tractor beam each + anti-fighter weaponry seems to be the ticket.

Aye…frigate rockets seem to do the trick… I’ve actually had great luck with two rocket mounts rather than a rocket mount and a tractor beam.

Just take all the engines off. Or if you cant do that, load it with heavy armor plates pushed by one cheapest-possible engine. Yes, it will eventually get itself into combat, but by that time it should just be clean-up work.

I’ve tried the tactic of making it heavy as hell with one engine - apparently I have Scotty down in engineering, because the ship squeezes warp factor 9 out of a Volkswagen engine. Don’t ask me how it happens - since I’m not expecting to see the carrier, I’m not watching it. Then suddenly it’s there soaking up missile fire.

And the only problem with no engines is that I don’t like to redesign stuff on the fly, especially the carrier - it should be a single-purpose design deployable wherever you decide you need it. Which means occasionally in the “Ships must have engines” missions. My own personality quirk. Plus my stubborn insistence that I shouldn’t have to take the captain’s keys to keep him from driving where he’s not supposed to be.

then give attack orders at 2000 of distance

With a dedicated aircraft carrier, make that 2000 distance against all 3 target types (fighter, frigate, cruiser), and set all to 1% priority. Also, set the carrier to ‘cautious’ so it will attempt to retreat if damaged.

It seems like dedicated aircraft carriers are more like ‘floating airfields’ than the actual aircraft carriers of WW2 vintage naval combat (and onward). Aircraft carriers are usually just as fast as modern battleships; in other words, aircraft carriers as we know them on earth have a great deal more mobility than their GSB counterparts.

It might be interesting to see faster aircraft carriers in the game.

As things are; load up the carriers with carrier modules, and some kind of anti-fighter assembly of weapons, and 1 engine. Oh, and never forget a shield generator. This makes any cruiser fairly invulnerable to rocket fighters. That seems like the cheapest, most effective defensive tradeoff in any cruiser design; one cheapo shield module fairly well eliminates the threat of rocket fighters. (they’re never a threat until the shields go down, and the rocket fighters can’t take the shields down on their own)

As for fighter setup, I like to combine say 6 squadrons of rocket fighter with 2 squadron of painters, then add in 2 squadrons of laser fighters:

6 x rocket
2 x painter
2 x laser

With tribe, I double the weapons on the rocket and laser fighters. With other races, there is more reliance on single-weapon, speedy fighters (instead of tribal hitpoints).

The painter-guided rocket fighters are good against opposing fighters. Decent against opposing fighters, the laser fighters are also for attacking underneath the shields of cruisers.

If the cruisers/frigates of a fleet are weighted toward beam weapons, I might field a larger proportion of laser fighters. If the fleet is more missile or rocket based, then painter/rocket fighters are more heavily factored in. This is because the painter fighters give the missile cruisers greater accuracy.