thanks, this is a really fun game just got it off of steam.
when my carrier bays run out of supplies my damaged fighters just seem to retreat to the left edge of the screen and hang out there doing nothing. am i setting up the orders incorrectly? i’d like them to keep fighting if there’s no way to repair instead of just leaving the fight completely.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to avoid that behavior right now. Retreating to the edge of the map is the default behavior for ships with “Cautious” orders. It’s only for cruisers with repair modules or fighters in fleets with carriers that repairing is possible. If a ship gets fully repaired it returns to the fight, but as you’ve noticed, if repairing is not possible the ship falls back to the rather useless retreating option.
While there may be some rare situations where the current form of the order will swing a close battle in your favor, it will more often be a total waste, since the ships that retreat will easily be destroyed by the rest of the enemy fleet after they finish off the now-weakened main group.
This is an interesting point. I guess it’s easily solved by a new form of the cautious order, but to be honest, is there any point in a fighter retreating unless there are carrier bays? They don’t count towards victories in a draw in terms of hitpoints, and it’s not like they can self-repair or get remotely repaired by other vessels.
In theory, they could stay out of the battle safe at the rear while ships that have carrier bays get those bays repaired, but that is probably quite rare.
I wonder if there is any downside in having fighters ignore the cautious order unless fighter bays are available? Any thoughts from fighter-loving players?
I have mentioned the separate order for fighters several times now and was very disappointed to see this “cautious” limitation make it to the official release.
The best option is to have either an option in the Cautious order for fighters to ignore it, or better, add a Repair order. Fighters would then use it to get repaired based on the normal % damaged, and larger ships would pull back to repair. It should ignore the order (falling back on the cautious order) if repairing is not possible.
While I am at it again, the enhanced fighter repair bay should repair armour… Double repair supplies is fine…
I was pondering this when I was considering larger ships like frigates escorting cruisers i.e. when the cruiser dies, they suicide run into the enemy. My solution would be to have an order stack upon which the unit would try to fulfil from the top down. This way, you could assign multiple escort or formation targets such that when one dies, the next is acted upon. Likewise for fighters on cautious, if the unit can’t be fixed any further then fly escort for a frigate or cruiser i.e. perform escort from the order stack. This provides some use for the damaged unit, protection from and for the mother ship, and a use for a unit that would otherwise sit at the back of the playing field that can be picked off by a flanking enemy unit.
Another order could be an escort command with multiple targets allowing fleet CAP.
But in the case of fighters, they don’t count toward the victory condition. May as well have them go out in a blaze of glory. To the win/loss engine, they’re dead the moment they appeared on the map. I say just make the fighters ignore the cautious order if there is no place to repair.
“Mother Goose, this is Dog Food requesting vectors to the initial, over.”
“Negative, Dog Food, docking bay has been reduced to metallic slag. We are unable to accommodate. Over.”
“Mother Goose, how the heck am I supposed to get home then? over.”
“Dog Food, Good Lord it’s getting hot in here- static”
“Alpha Squad, be advised, Mother Goose is cooked. Way as well go out swinging. Make 'em pay, boys!”
Actually, this statement is false, they do count towards the victory condition… But each one is only worth a small amount (they typically have 20 to 30 hp each, so a squadron is worth ~300 to 500 all up… Less than a normal cruiser, but not insignificant.)
In a fighter heavy deployment, I could see some value in wanting fighters to permanently disengage if they got to a certain point, and no bays were available… I don’t know if I’d ever actually make use of orders like this in practice, but in theory… Maybe.
As quite a practiced/enthusiastic fighter user, I don’t think it’d be a big problem if the cautious order only had an effect on fighters while carrier bays were available. Seperate ‘cautious’ and ‘repair’ orders would be nice though - and not just for fighters.
“Cautious” - retreat towards edge of map when damage sustained to this value. If the ship is a fighter, and repair facilities are available, make use of them.
“Repair” - if repair resources are available (on board if this is a cruiser, or if a bay is available if this is a fighter) then retreat on taking this much damage… If repair resources are not available, or run out while this order is in effect, then cancel this order.
This would let us give us the additional flexibility of configuring cruisers to back off for repairs only while they have repair resources available, but to fight to the death once they have run out, if we so wish.
These orders could be mutually exclusive like some are… Or let them work in concert (i.e. I might set “Repair 25%” and “Cautious 50%”, which would have a ship retreat it repairs are available, between 25% and 50% damage, but flee regardless of repair facilities available if it sustained over 50% damage)
I think the two order solution, as spelled out here, is the best way to go. I personally see relatively little value in this version of the cautious order, but as long as a separate repair order is available, I have no problem letting it stay around for the players that really do want their ships to retreat to the edge of the map.
I’d agree that one way or another, since “cautious” fighters really gain no benefit from being cautious unless there’s somewhere for them to go, they should be able to ignore the “cautious” order when there are no surviving bays. Whether it works best to have a separate Repair order or just have fighters treat the Cautious order differently, I’ll leave up to cliff (since he’s the one who should know which way is easiest to implement).
A ‘repair’ order sounds cool, set with Cautious the order could have a slider that has Retreat one end and Stack the other.
A greater Retreat/Stack % would just mean the distance the fighter would lurk near any ship with a repair module/carrier.
so if you wanted to, you could set the Cautions level (retreat for repair at % damage) then indicate on the Repair order what kind of Aircraft Controller order you want, should they wait nr the carrier and risk taking fire or should they retreat out of battle and only move in to repair when there is a repair slot free.
this would mean some sort of 1st come 1st served order on repairs i guess.