[MOD] Fighter Antifighter Missiles

Over in the Game Balancing thread some discussion has occurred regarding Fast Fighters and their unstoppable rampages. The general response seems to be along the line of limiting fighter speed.

My opinion is that Fast Fighters (Interceptors) are a valid unit that simply does not yet have a good counter/defense - balance. I think the Anti-fighter defense is where the solution lies not in slowing down fighters.

Based on this I’ve come up with the following Fighter Module that is specifically aimed at balancing the use of Interceptors - the Fighter Anti-fighter Missile. In my testing thus far, I’ve found that while the use of the module does not completely negate the advantages of Interceptor use, it does reduce their rampage to what I think is more acceptable. In the scenario The Battle of Mexellon 2 the Rebel fighters go after any Frigates first and I normally lose between 80-90% of my frigates, even with Anti-fighter Frigates! Changing my Fighters to Interceptors using 1 Anti-fighter Module my losses are reduced to around 40% of my Frigates - acceptable to me.

These missiles are fast, maneuverable and short range, with the same rate of fire as Fighter Rockets.

The Module still needs balancing especially against slow Fighters/Bombers that are easy pickings. Interceptor vs Interceptor where both are set to engage Fighters first, basically creates a separate battle from the main fleet, effectively removing them from the fleet battle.

Fighter Antifighter Missile Module

unlockcost = 0
lockable = 0
armour_penetration = 12
category = “WEAPONS”
classname = “SIM_MissileModule”
cost = 16
crew_required = 0
damage = 9
description = “Conventional missiles are useless against fighters, which can simply outrun them. These faster, short-range missiles come into their own as a response to swarmed fighter attacks.”
fire_interval = 2100
fuel = 300
guiname = “Fighter Antifighter Missile Launcher”
has_flare = 0
hitpoints = 8
icon = turret
min_range = 50
max_range = 210
missilelength = 4.0
missilespeed = 0.50
missilewidth = 2.0
name = “fighter_antifighter_missile”
powerconsumed = 0.2
shield_penetration = 12
size = “FIGHTER”
slot_type = TURRET
sound = data/sounds/missile_launch.ogg
soundvolume = 0.25
tracking_speed = 3.5
trail_fade_time = 600
turnspeed = 3.5
turret_sprite = “turret_miss_v3”
turretsize = 0
weight = 2
warhead = EXPLOSIVE

0 = cost,DECIMAL
1 = weight,DECIMAL
2 = hitpoints,DECIMAL
3 = powerconsumed,DECIMAL
4 = damage,DECIMAL
5 = fire_interval,INTEGER
6 = tracking_speed,DECIMAL
7 = shield_penetration,DECIMAL
8 = armour_penetration,DECIMAL
10 = fuel,DECIMAL
11 = missilespeed,DECIMAL
12 = min_range,DECIMAL
13 = has_decoys,BOOL
14 = max_range,DECIMAL[/code]

Feedback would be great…

Anti-fighter weapons on a fighter would make sense

Having the fighters cancel out and able to cause some but not catastrophic grief to frigates is about the right balance if we’re aiming for a late WWII type of balance.

The fighter-bombers are easily knocked out by fast fighters because they are slow, which is also realistic. Successful WWII fighter-bombers were dedicated designs, or older/failed fighter designs with acrobatic performance but higher survivability. Even so, a torpedo/fighter-bomber attack on a significant target that wasn’t otherwise engaged used to incur significant casualties. For example, the only reason that the US dive bombers got the Japanese carriers at Midway was that the Japanese fighter screen was at sea level after massacring all the previous bomber squadrons, which attacked piecemeal.
And fighter-bombers - even after unloading their torpedoes/bombs - would/should still fall to dedicated interceptors.

Here are the options that occur to me. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive (or viable). I think that 1+4 would work best. 3 appeals; it’d fit the Empire ethic to send in waves of fighter-bombers that’ll last just long enough to get a poke on a cruiser.

  1. Allow fighters to escort fighters. Then fast fighters (interceptors) can escort slow fighters (fighter-bombers).
  2. Introduce a bigger-still fighter engine and re-balance the fighter power generators so that it’s only affordable if the fighter mounts no energy weapons. Then it’ll only be available to dedicated bombers.
  3. Introduce a fighter micro-shield
  4. Following 3.b. and 3.c. introduce a heavy fighter class based on the leopard with an extra weapon slot and heavier weight, and deploy those in 2/3 numbers. If you config that with 3 weapons you’ll lose to interceptors, but a wave of them would hurt a large ship then die. If you config it with armor you’ll survive longer but still get hit. If you config it with an extra engine you’ll only be able to load missiles/rockets/torps, but have a fast attack bomber

I like some of your suggestions, irateidiot. I’ve been thinking about ways to make fighters interesting to design and field, and I put together some hull and module specs a while ago (when fighters were even more more broken than they are now).

I put my module designs into a Google spreadsheet that has a basic “ship builder” on the second tab (though you may need to make a copy of the spreadsheet for it to be editable). If I get some time this weekend, I may try to build and test an actual mod based on those components.

I do think you are exactly right about the importance of the ability to escort fighters. Without that, fighters that are not on purely defensive duty tend to get wiped out before they can accomplish anything.

i think it should be called fighter missile because it also attack Frigate and Cruiser

that’s what it would be called, but there is already a fighter missile. =D

The biggest balance problem with fighters is not having expendable weapons, IMO.

If fighter missiles/torpedoes were powerful weapons, but you only carried 2, then the fighter lasers could be toned way down and tuned to an anti-fighter role (and indeed fighter durability if need be).

Then you have fighters that are tuned down such that it might take laster fighters a LONG time to take out a ship with lasers—too long for that to be really effective. The missiles they carry would do serious damage, unlike now. Only they’d have very limited ammo.

Missile modules for fighters would then be highly variable. You might have a 2-shot torpedo module or a 6-shot one that weighs 3X more (trading speed for payload).

If it were up to me, I would remove the pilot limit, as the cost basically is the only thing needed to be balanced, who cares if you have 10 squads of fighters. They will get beaten by my… anti-fighter corvettes :smiley:

Sort of a necro-bump, but I made a “space superiority missile” for fighters that is in effect what you have here—the frigate anti-fighter missile redone in a fighter sized package. What I did to make it plausible was to use the salvo_interval (set to 999,999) and salvo size (a couple different versions, set to either 4 or 6 for now) to limit the shots. I set the normal fire interval somewhat long so they don’t spam off all their ammo right away.

I then made it very light weight. The idea is that you’d place these on larger fighters that also carry, say, a laser. The weight can easily be used to balance them—if you think that 4 “sidewinders” should not impact fighter speed, hack the weight down to near zero, or make a version with just 2 shots, whatever.

It’s cool for many of the fighters recently added by hopefast since they have many hardpoints. I also have ammo-limited (but very light) rockets for them as well.

tater, interesting ideas you’ve used to try and balance the missiles.

I just used a very short range to the weapon so that larger ships with defenses aimed at stopping fighters and/or missiles would get to shoot first. It also means that if the shot misses the target fighter then its going to die before it comes around for another go.