I’ve got a design for a Federation Buffalo with the following:
1 Power Generator III
1 Basic Power Generator
1 Point Defense
1 Point Defense Computer
2 Reflective Shield
2 Shield II
1 Armor II
5 Fast Missile (Range 900)
1 Proton Beam
1 Cruiser Engine
This ship works well in the demo. How would you counter a group of these?
A single laser fighter would probably defeat that ship. Maybe 2 fighters, in case the proton beam gets a lucky hit.
It’s a slow ship, so you could counter it with a similar design with longer range missiles.
It’s the same range as plasma, which will deal more damage, and it’s slow enough that the lower tracking of plasma cannons won’t make a difference, so plasma cruisers would eat it up.
A ship with 2 or 3 decent engines and some lasers (say, 4 cruiser lasers to bring down the sheilds, and 1 cruiser beam laser to slice through the armour) will smash it (probably wouldn’t even lose it’s shield in the process.)
Pretty much anything with 2 guidance scrambler beams would also counter this design.
fighters with laser or maybe torpedos, a cruiser with more range (missiles have 1200).
plus, maybe the buffalo hull isn’t the best choice, with only a single engine the speed bonus is wasted. though i admit that it probably won’t make a great difference.
and forget about that single point defence.
ofc it’s always easy to counter a single ship, so maybe your design might perform good with more support, but i doubt that.
There’s a cheese challenge fleet up that’s very similar to that design, except he added a targeting laser. This allows the cruisers to be somewhat effective at killing fighters, since the targeting laser guarantees a hit.
I can’t remember what I used to beat it. I think I settled for torpedo fighter spam. The targeting laser allowed the ship to combat reasonable numbers of fighters, and they had enough shields/armor to ignore the other fighter weapons, but it couldn’t handle large numbers of torpedo bombers.
I suspect you could also counter it with an identical fleet using longer range missiles, set to stop at max range. With the target fleet being so slow, they’d already be taking losses before they could close the range gap and begin using their own missiles.
I’ve begun experimenting with fighter escort for a fleet of this sort of cruiser. It seems the rocket-armed fighters are better than nothing against opposing fighters, and pretty good against frigates; less so against cruisers.
The workhorse fighter design I’ve gone with for the time being is a Rebel Icarus chassis with a mid-range engine and 2 rockets, with one empty compartment. It’s got 2.98 speed and costs 85. Maybe it’s not ideal for every situation, but a jack-of-all-trades.
If the space is clear of enemy fighters, these little rocket fighters are pesky against the larger ships. Against some fighters, these things pretty much fight to a stalemate, or a slow loss; against other fighters they clear the space. So, there are definitely better space-to-space fighter designs, but these little twin rocket models are more ‘role-flexible’ because they rake frigates in their spare time, and even contribute in fighting cruisers.
Rocket fighters benefit nicely from tractor beams or laser targeters, too. Sometimes I make “Helper” fighters that just have an engine and a laser targeter. Usually I shrink the size of those squads since you don’t really need 16 of them flying around together.