Now, I’ve noticed throughout playing that double stacking torpedos on a fighter is a really, really stupid thing to do, as it makes them vulnerable to all but the slowest tracking weapons, however using a bit of clever thinkery I’ve devised a way to use them in a fairly destructive (albeit wasteful) way.
Firstly, design a frigate. Something slightly faster than most of your fleet with a fair old whack of armour and shields. Dont bother with weapons.
Secondly, make sure you have adequate fighter destruction capabilities. If your enemy has fighters left after the initial battle this won’t work very well.
Thirdly, put some torpedo bombers as far behind the frigate as you can and set them to formation with it. Give them orders not to attack fighters and to prioritise frigates as their main targets.
Lastly, put the rest of your fleet into play and let it rip.
In the few games I’ve tested this with what has happened is the frigate reaches the front lines first and gets fairly annihilated just after the rest of my main fleet turned up, meaning that all the enemies firepower was concentrated on my big ships and their fighters were attacking my more mobile fighters. The frigate then went boom, releasing a wave of torpedo bombers that quite simply annihilated the enemies frigates. if 1 squad of torpedo bombers gets through intact and looses off a volley thats a frigate gone or a cruisers shields fairly depleted. By this point the enemy didn’t have much in the way of fighters, so the torpedo bombers were free to continue wreaking havoc for a short time.
All in all, its a way to keep the slow but deadly torpedo bombers out of the way until they’re needed, but it only really works if you can take out the enemies fighter screen before the trigger frigate gets destroyed.
I have a multi-role fighter design specifically for that. It’s medium fast and has a pulse laser and a rocket launcher. They get sprinkled around my fleet on escort orders with equal priority for fighters and frigates. They can attack anything that comes in range, but they also stay safely in the fleet until the main battle starts.
If the ship they are orbiting dies, they race off to make some poor sucker pay in blood. And it doesn’t even cost you a sacrificial frigate, since you can assign them to anything already in your fleet. Shield-popping front row frigates work best, I find, but make sure at least one squad is assigned to a tough cruiser so that they don’t ALL race off to fight. And since they are armed for everything, you don’t have to worry about not having the right balance of fighters and bombers in the late game.
If you add one squad of high speed anti-fighter interceptors with no escort orders, they’ll race off ahead and mess with any similarly unattached enemy fighters or bombers, and only stragglers will reach your fleet, which the multi-roles can take out one at a time.
True enough, but when using slow heavy hitters like torp bombers (which I’m starting to use more and more, oddly) you need them to be way behind the main group as they cant even deal with stragglers. Using shield popping frigates is a good idea though, seems that torp bombers in formation behind fast frigates loaded with disruptor bombs are not a good thing for any enemy ship larger than a fridge.
Oh, and you dont even need a fighter with weapons to tie up enemy fighters. Just get a hull, slap on the best engine you can and stick a squad of those at the front of your fleet. They’re way too fast to hit with any regularity and they do a spectacular job of occupying enemy fighter attention.