How to stop Bombers engaging fighters?

Hey all! Just bought this game and enjoying it so far.

I am having trouble getting a couple of my ships to do exactly what I want though. I have been using 3-4 squads of fighters with torpedoes, with orders to engage frigates only. I have deleted the engage fighters order completely. However when my wave of ‘bombers’ meet incoming fighters on the way to the frigates, they are launching a salvo of torpedoes at the fighters. This means that when they reach the enemy frigates a few seconds later, many of them haven’t recharged torpedoes yet so they have to break off before firing, and then some of them get picked off before they can ever fire. Is there a workaround for this?


Welcome to the forum!

A popular load out for anti-frigate fighters is an engine III and a rocket launcher. Use a hull that can handle these two modules without having to install a power generator. It leaves the fighters pretty light – most enemy weapons will have trouble hitting them.

That’s not to say it’s the only viable load out or to discourage variety, but I can’t think of another solution off-hand. You could possibly field a couple of fighters with nothing but an engine III some distance from your bombers to divert the enemy fighters.


Even deleting the “fight fighters” order won’t keep your bombers from wasting a shot on them as they zoom past each other.

Aside from rebuilding them as rocket fighters, which at least will recharge faster than torps after they waste their shot, you can try positioning your bombers so they won’t cross the path of enemy fighters, or other geographical solutions, like tethering them to a frigate, then putting that frigate in harm’s way somewhere useful. Once the frigate pops, your bombers will be let loose, and with a little bit of luck enemy fighters will be elsewhere.

No great solution to this pickle that I know of. I tend to avoid fighters unless a scenario or challenge simply can’t be beaten without them–although now that we have “stick together” I’m reviewing that general planning policy. I think “stick together” with a tight grouping might help solve some of these concerns, as it reduces the zone of engagement, making it easier to geographically target fighter deployment. . .

Good luck!

Currently, no, there isn’t a good way to do that. It’s an unfortunate side effect of the recent change to the gunner AI, although generally that was a much needed fix.

Bombers are really only useful for 12-50 armor unshielded targets. An odd niche.


as yurch said, it was changed in one of the last patches.

basically, your ships have the default order: shoot on everything that moves unless your specified target is in range.
deleting/adjusting target priorities has no effect on this “hidden” order.

before the change, it was like this: shoot on your specified target when it is in range, and do NOTHING else.

if this was needed is debatable, the new version is useful at the mid-end of a fight, when your ships have no more specified targets to engage. before the change, they would simply fly around without shooting, now they engage the rest of the enemy fleet.

however what you experienced is one of the disadvanteges the new system brings.
perhaps cliffski can give the ships some weapon priorities, seeing your cruisers wasting missiles on fighters is annoying. also firing with cruiser lasers on fighters is not that useful, that a change in behaviour was needed (just to name a few examples).
in other words: engaging a target with something that isn’t designed to engage it, is as good as simply not engaging it.

as said, your best bet is to avoid your torpedo fighters interfering with their interceptors by placing them far away.


All we really need is an ‘Ignore [Fighters/Frigates/Cruisers]’ order.

hm, or at least a ‘Ignore Fighters/Cruisers/Frigates until set time’ etc.

An “Ignore” order would actually be quite useful as the other end of the scale of Attack – Delete Attack Order – Ignore.

As I understand it, right now deleting the Attack order means that the ship won’t attack that type of target unless no other target presents itself. Adding an Ignore order could mean the ship won’t attack that type of target unless there are no other targets available on the map.

may i recommend that you use your initial deployment to your advantage? if the enemy has fighters set to attack your fighters, just place a unit of your own fighters as close as possible to the enemy, then off to a far flank place your bombers. this way they should go straight for the cruisers/frigates without wasting their initial shot on the fighters.

This is actually a very interesting point, because that could be implemented quite neatly without causing major chaos throughout the rest of the game. I like it…


i’m sure i miss an important detail here, but wouldn’t that be the same as it was before the change?
setting the target priority to 1% or deleting it entirely had the same effect those days if i remember correctly.


i think cliff means adding a new order called “ignore”, so we can have it both ways, i.e. we could delete the attack order so they only attack if there are no other targets in range OR we could just not attack them at all until every other enemy is eradicated.

This is probably the best idea, if you put some fighters of your own ahead he enemy fighters will look to engage them, that way so long as your bombers don’t pass close enough, they’ll be okay.

Another possibility is to set them to escort a frigate or cruiser but at maximum escort range. This gives them a lot of freedom to move and engage targets while not advancing too far beyond the main fleet, sort of like flying sorties out and then returning to carrier afterwards. This way by the time they make it into range of the fighters they should also be close to the frigates and will attack them instead.

using the escort order in conjunction with the cautious order and throwing a carrier bay on the ship your bombers are escorting will give them a longer life too. AND you can equip your carrier with high tracking guns to help cover your bombers (as long as you don’t let the bombers get too far away.

I don’t use bombers anymore, sure they can deal more damage, but the fighters will do that for me once they clear out the enemy fighters. Rockets will increase speed, but will lack in ROF(rate of fire). Allowing the squads to be picked off. The low damage high penetration laser works best against anything (except against high armor targets).