Help defeating a rushing spike of Fighter Squadrons

My cousin and I have been going back and forth having our own mini tournaments. We set the number of points and pilots and then we each design a fleet
for each of the 7 races (not Nomads yet). One tactic he has is to have a Tank cruiser move slightly ahead of his wall and all his fighters are escorting it.
My ships target his Tank until it pops and then I take a railroad spike to the head as all his fighters are unleashed at my wall.

Trying to find a way to mitigate this without going overboard on anti-fighter weaponry (takes away from fleet firepower and is useless if opponent doesn’t
have fighters).

Thanks in advance for any help!

How heavy is his weapons? if its not all that strong I’d say pull out a few weapons maybe two and put a tractorbeam, and an-fighter weapon to all your ships as with give the attack fighters order.

That SHOULD allow you to freeze a fighter so all weapons can hit it, as with still having the power to kill his tank.
You can add in fighters of your own that are anti-fighter and set them to attack fighters only.

Personally, I’d opt for that. Keep the anti-ship firepower in place aboard your cruisers. When it comes to “Stupid Fighter Tricks”…sometimes you have to fight nasty with nasty. :smiley:

For all you know, dilution of your offensive cruiser firepower could be his real goal. Don’t give it to him. Try anti-fighter fighters first, and see if that will suffice. It beats having to waste your Type-R plasmas in shotgun mode. [-SFB chuckle-]

The heavy weapons on his Swarm Fleet are the Swarm Disruptors. They have great range and Shield and Armor penetration all in
one package. Plus the 20% discount on all his ships…Ooooff.

I was hoping I wouldn’t have to use fighters for defense and say put a pair of cruiser pulse lasers on each cruiser.
Hoping to use it dual role - as an anti fighter weapon and as an Armor chewer (penetration 31) once I drop shields
with heavier weapons forward.

I know, I’m dreaming of a cruiser design that can do it all - have the hit points to not die instantly, firepower to handle
other cruisers, and pulse weapons to take out fighters and Frigates…

If you want to see outrageously evil fighter spam, play through the Never Ending Challenges. What type of fighters you’re facing AND what orders they have really REALLY affects the best response.

If you’re facing just rocket fighters, the best response is to not even care and just cruiser spam because they are not dangerous to cruisers. If you’re facing just laser fighters, the best response is to stick tractor beams on all your ships and then, depending on their orders; if they are ordered to attack cruisers first, you simply need to suck it up and stick a bunch of high DPS weapons on your cruisers - beams are ideal. If they’re ordered to attack fighters first, you can use a bunch of decoy fighters (engines, no weapons) to distract them while your cruisers take them out. If you’re up against a mix of rocket fighters and laser fighters, defense lasers are better than tractor beams, since they’ll preferentially take out laser fighters.

I disagree with using fighters to take out other fighters, unless you’re also using your fighters offensively. For defensive purposes, cruiser weapons give the most bang for the buck.

Just ignore the fighters and use cruisers. A cruiser with relatively small amounts of armor and a repair bay can hold off a fighter swarm almost forever. Then once his cruisers are dead you can pick off the fighters on your own time. Put a tractor beam on each cruiser and you’ll have no problem destroying the fighters even with heavy anti-cruiser weaponry.

If you’re using the Order, their Limpet launcher is a very nice anti-fighter weapon. It has just about the same effect as a tractor beam, but it will target one enemy after another with relatively low recharge times. That’s the only thing I don’t like about Tractor beams…their recharge aggrivates me…
On the other hand, tractor beams also slow down fast Frigates…although for me that’s usually not a problem.

Also, even if a fighter with a Limpet drone attached to it flies away from fire, the drone stays with it until it’s dead, as opposed to a tractor beam that has to let go after a few seconds.

Thanks for all the hints guys. I’ll give them a try. I have been putting a tractor beam on my cruisers with the two pulse lasers.
Hadn’t thought of the decoy fighter idea, though.

Strangely enough I just floated an Alliance fleet of all Python class cruisers which have no shields. They held their wall formation
and have been doing rather well.

My understanding was that the computer ignored enemies without weapons, unless specifically ordered through Vulture or something like that. Therefore, fighter decoys would just be ignored in exchange for more favorable targets.

I thought that was true as well, maybe fighters don’t/can’t make that check. It seems, in the limited testing I’ve done, that the survivability of my fighters goes up if I include a squad of “decoys”. Maybe some percentage of times they are targeted (and almost always miss) therefore, that much less of a percentage is directed at your “real” fighters. I know a way to test this - look in the stats and see how many missed shots are fired at your decoys (on the “Damage over time” view).

A decoy works just as well with a single rocket and the best engine. Thats what I generally use as decoys as I have had problems with enemy fighters ignoring them.

I also set decoys to agressive commands, like retaliate, etc but with the range cracked to max. Other fighters I set to rescuer, and the enemy AI seems to ignore those as long as their decoys out. It works well in running battles where your decoys are followed by their fighters, and your fighters following them. If your fighters (not decoy) get damaged they slow down and quickly end up out of enemy range and enemy fighters that are damaged slow down and get chewed up by your fighters.

Tag a carrier top and bottom corner since decoys tend to run to the edges - and you can make a flak trap.


Rocket fighters are nowhere near as good as decoys. If you think otherwise, try out follick’s NEC-2. There is a huge difference.

If decoys are the only fighters you got and enemy set high priority to fighters, they will still shoot at them over cruisers.

The point of having those decoys are not so much to help win a dogfight, but keeps fighters away after you lose a dogfight.

Lol agree. Dogfights are so pointless unless you are using those Tribe hybrids, or laser with mass limpets. Otherwise it’s better just to have Decoy + Pulse Lasers.

But then again, any non escort fighters can be decoy away indefinitely. That’s just the advantage a challenger have.