Godawful Fighter Deployment

I’m curious if anyone else is as annoyed by this as me.

You load up a challenge. There’s a cluster of fighters deployed toward the top of the map, away from the capital ships. OK, so we put together a small anti-fighter wing, dogfighters, maybe some AA frigates, set in place, no problem.

Then you click Fight.

Lo and behold, all those fighters are escorts, and they pop into existence right on top of one of the capital ships. Voila, now a chunk of your budget has been wasted on AA capability that you may not need; at the very least, that part of your fleet is way out of useful formation.

Some folk may call that a valid “disinformation” kind of strategy. They’re entitled to that opinion. I see it as a way to artificially inflate the attempts/victories ratio. I would feel different if all deployed ships were deployed exactly as shown; you want to put your escort fighters halfway across the map from the ship they’re escorting, fine - but they’ll have to cross all that space to get into position and may be subject to withering dogfighting along the way.

Kind of a rant, I know, sorry about that. Anyone else feel strongly one way or the other?

Yeah, the game should do SOMETHING to show where those fighters are actually gonna be, or if they are escorting or not. The pre-battle screen is the only info you get on the enemy fleet, and if that can’t be trusted, you might as well close your eyes and randomly place random ships.

yeah, I tried to do something once where a bunch of imperial fighters in random places were escorts to weapons platforms (space stations kinda), so they would look awesome as I tracked them to their destination at the other side of the map. Something like, “PREPARE ALL FIGHTERS FOR COMBAT! REPEAT, PREPARE ALL FIGHTERS FOR COMBAT!” But NOOOOOO, they just ended up starting right on top of the escorted ship. WTF?

If you read old patch notes, you’ll see that that was put in on purpose, and I like it, but something should be done on the deployment screen to show that.

I have to disagree with you guys entirely. The responder to the challenge has a huge edge over the issuer of the challenge in that he can see what types of ships he’s going to be up against. So using deception in a formation/layout is simply a tool that the challenge maker has in his toolbox. It’s part of the game. Besides, your fighter defense is not wasted. You’ll need the fighter defense to eradicate the fighters that are “freed” once you dispose of the capital ships they’re escorting.

yes, but if you, say, put all your AA ships at the top of the map where the fighters were SUPPOSED to be, and your other ships are completely useless against fighters, which were really at the bottom of the map like the heavy ships on both sides, what do you think would happen to the heavy weapons ships if there’s no protection? The AA frigates (or something) wouldn’t get there in time to save them.

Then don’t do that. The bottom line is that the challenge’s fighters aren’t “supposed” to be anywhere except where the designer wants them to be. You can’t blame the deisgner for somehow outmanouvering you.

Thank you Groucho.

The point is that if most of the enemy’s fighters appear to be separated from their main fleet, the smart deployment for AA is to ensure that those fighters will lock onto your AA ships first. And if those fighters appear far enough away from the main fleet, that same smart AA deployment will often put them too far away to engage the enemy fighters once they’re “freed”. Putting AA in among the main fleet (in my experience) leads to your AA ships becoming damaged (sometimes seriously) before they even get a chance to fulfill their function.

I explicitly stated that others are entitled to their opinions. I’ll thank you not to imply that I’m not entitled to mine.

Takes a very distant back seat to the ability to stack ships on top of one another.

Whenever I have fighters in a ‘different’ place, it’s not even an intentional misrepresentation. Once they are assigned their escort targets, I just move them out of the way so I can work.

Relax, AP. You asked for opinions, one way or another. I gave you mine.

We probably feel very different about this because we both take a very different approach to fighter defense. I don’t actually chase them, I let them come to me and my main fleet. Ever since I adopted Yurch’s suggestions for efficient fighter defense, I don’t get troubled by fighters in virtually any challenge. I estimate that I spend about one-third of what an enemy spends on fighters on my fighter defense. So if there are a bunch of fighters out away from the enemy’s main fleet, it really doesn’t matter to me as I know I can deal with them whatever their intentions are. As always, there’s a simple counter to the fighter defense I normally use, but it is very rarely employed.


Considering that once you play a Challenge, the attacker has infinite attempts to beat it afterward, what does it matter if on the first attempt you are “tricked”? You get to tweak your formation as many times as you like. Are you that sad you lost on the first attempt?

The most fun part of the game for me is designing tricky Challenges, where the starting formation looks nothing like the actual fighting formation. I spend hours (sadly) coming up with creative gambits, and almost all of the in game mail I get are people thanking me for interesting challenges.

I don’t expect my Challenges to be unbeatable; I expect them to be fun.

I’ve run into things like this a few times and what I’ve taken away from it is that the goal of those fighters is to get to do as much damage to the fleet as possible. Trying to kill them or whittle them down en-route to their intended target is one way of defense and then there’s the way that I’ve been using to great effect lately which is making fighter traps. Taking a cruiser and making it into a carrier ship bristling with support modules, an assortment of tractor beams and AA modules with fighters on escort with the cautious order. Escort that with a few AA frigates and it gets rid of alot of my guess work while actually saving the cost of making a dedicated wing for fighters that I have to position away from the fleet. My way isn’t the best way or always effective but it works for me :slight_smile:

If you’re the ZapBranigan I’ve been running into lately, I LOOOVE your challenges!!! They always are a lot of fun and when I lose it hardly matters because like you said, infinite attempts to beat it afterward. I love getting tricked because I usually make note of that strategy for later use with my own fleets. Also thanks to you I had to design a few new ships which have been working out marvelously.

It’s very sad most of the time, to make a fleet knowing just exactly how to counter it, and can do nothing about it.

As things stand now, every fleet can be easily countered. So I really appreciate fleets that takes a few tries to beat.

Hunh. I do this on my normal beat the computer set ups, simply because I want to be able to place all my cruisers and frigates in the formation I want, without having to continually move fighter squadrons out of the way.

I have been debating making fast frigates who have the escort command on them, preferably smaller frigates that won’t get jammed up by their own fleet so much.