Is there a problem with Fighter AI?

Was just fighting the Gravity Well (Normal) Map. I have been testing Torpedo Bombers to see if they are as bad as when I first tried them, so I made two types (TP, Torpedo, Engine, Armour III, and Torpedo, Laser, Engine, Power to make a kind of Fighter/Bomber). I had tried them in a previous map (Defend Caspian IV) and I was actually able to beat the map using pretty much only these three types of squads and a carrier supported by anti-fighter frigates.

So I brought 2 squads of each type of bomber to gravity well, supported by 6 squads of Hawk Laser Fighters. I set the Hawks to 100% Fighters and the Bombers to 100% Cruisers and sent them in with some cruiser and frigate ships, but no AA. Had to remove one bomber from each squad to fit in the supply limit for torpedos.

Now, here is what I don’t understand. I have pretty much everyone at the top edge of the map. The very first thing that happens up there is that 3 squads of Imperial fighters fly straight towards you. One is set to anti-fighter and two are set to anti-frigate, from what I can see.

All 6 of the Hawk Laser Fighter squads fly directly past these squads to attack the defensive fighters flying around on the other side of the map.

Even worse, two of my bomber squads not only fire on them as they fly past, but actually TURN AROUND and go after them for one pass, then turn BACK around and go after the cruisers again. Even then, they are preferring to target the fighters flying around the cruisers instead of the cruisers themselves. And these aren’t even the ones with the lasers, these are the TP bombers.

I don’t understand what the logic is behind this. I checked and double checked the orders, they are all correct. All four bomber squads have Attack Cruisers 100%, Vulture, Cautious 25% and Stick Together 1/2. All of the Fighter Squads have Attack Fighters 100%, Vulture, and Cautious 25%.

Can anyone reproduce and find the problem?

Once the driving AI seizes on a target, it will not change targets until the enemy target is destroyed or the driver breaks off with a ‘cautious’ order. I have an old thread/challenge here about it.

All craft do this, it’s not just fighters. From what you describe, the ‘defensive’ enemy fighters are probably closer to your fighters than the untethered ones at the very start of the map, and therefore get selected as the first driving target.

This makes vulture orders overly important for short ranged craft. If they don’t destroy what their driver is attached to, they can’t move on.

Any idea about the actions of the bombers? Why would they priority target something that I have not ordered them to target, then switch back after one pass?

If you remove the attack fighters order they will shoot at them, and keep going for the enemy cruisers.

The bombers do not HAVE the ‘Attack Fighters’ order.

Then either remove the cautious order, or the stick together order.

what do those two have in common with target priorities? get real

generally the AI and commands in this game need a major overhaul and “clarification” to the crew, maybe another 10 years in the boot camp so they know how to follow orders

its really simple,

You set them to retreat when damaged.
The first bomber, and squad leader, gets damaged by enemy fighters. It turns back to repair.
Since it’s the squad leader all bombers follow him to the carrier.
It gets killed so it’s not the squad leader anymore they go back to enemy cruisers.

Thanks bluebreaker, that actually makes a lot of sense.