New Order: Maintain Minimum Range

We already have orders where you specify the maximum range at which your ships try to engage each enemy ship class - considering that weapons have minimum ranges too, and the negative effects of explosion shockwaves, it seems only reasonable to tell your ships to maintain a certain distance from those enemy ships.

Furthermore, there have been voiced complaints about how current multiplayer strategy discourages engine use, since ranged fleets seem to be improving, and fleets with engines can be easily countered by replacing those engines with defenses. A minimum range order would open up new strategic options for engine-users, enabling them to selectively engage an enemy fleet rather than inevitably end up with all enemy ships in range and firing after a moderate delay.

Anyone else with me on this?

How do engine with maintain range allow “selectively engagement” against a large pack of MWM cruisers at 0.06 speed?

Also the engines are not replaced by more defense. They are replaced by more guns or empty slot (for reduced cost, which results in more ship/more guns). A slug fleet does not need more defense modules than a rush, aside form a few armor tanks. They do however need to maximize their long range to beat another slug fleet.

Although I do support maintaining minimum range for different reasons.

Long range weapons combined with engines would be the best combo in the game if you could set minimum range. I think it’s completely by design to not be able to set minimum range. Frigates with 1200 range missile launchers could take out entire shorter-ranged cruiser fleets with relative ease, especially if the frigates in question are weapon platforms.

The “keep moving” order combined with a range of 2000 is as close as it gets to keeping out of range. Although he will still often venture to close range combat.

The only way I can see minimum range order be implanted is if the 800+ range weapons have very low shield penetration or no decoys and very low tracking speed.

Those frigates could certainly beat a cruiser pack with insufficient point defense, but a mid-speed cruiser pack with guidance scramblers and some missiles of their own could fight back, since frigates have limited point defense options, and rocket fighters escorting high-speed frigates which in turn escort the short-ranged cruisers you refer to while keeping out of range of enemy cruisers would also work. At any rate, the fleet I just proposed sound a lot more interesting than the Rush >= Long Range >> Anti Rush >> Rush that is currently the case.

Selective engagement would occur because the mid-speed cruisers are keeping themselves on the edge of the MWM pack rather than letting them all pull into range. Thus, all of the higher-speed cruisers would be firing, whereas only a portion of the enemy would be retaliating. Hence, selective engagement.

Don’t forget the “turn around” time, Just trying to retreat result in your ship making a U turn, entering firing range and getting killed. Re-engage is the same, lots of U Turns.

Also 2 flat lines engage each other cannot be selectively engaged in this manner. So it is a luxury for playing challenges only. Once you post a challenge selective engagement will no longer be possible when both side fires at the same range.

Though this retreating MWM will result in plasma being obsolete.

Also frigate missile does not have the shield penetration to punch through cruiser shields. Except the torpedo. Without decoys and super slow it will easily get scrambled.

I am reminded of the old SFB tactic used by Fed photon-torpedo equipped ships: the something or other retrograde maneuver. Basically, one could fly a Fed cruiser backwards, dumping a pair of Torps out the front end (in SFB this weapon has various range advantages over other heavy weapons in the game, esp. the Klingon distruptor). Anyone who chose to chase you was in for a long, hard run.

Wish I could remember the first word of the retrograde maneuver…hmm…let’s see…aha, the KAUFMAN RETROGRADE MANEUVER. Heh, that brought back the memories. . . .

There is a problem with a retreating army - the back wall will hit you hard!!

I was also going to suggest that this order be available.


I like it.

I actually attempted this when my rush fleet ran into a slower tribe rush. Rather than switch the fleet composition I just set them to keep move on the edge of fusion beam range. It worked passibly and was much more fun to watch than changing to another brick variant. A minimum range could be very fun.


Sounds like a good idea to me. I want to set a way for Missile cruisers (not set to always moving) to begin to move away from the enemy front lines before the enemy ships close to inside the minimum range for missile weapons.

to red cinema btw in SFB the ISC were better at kaufman retrograde than the Feds :slight_smile: PPD’s are still effective long range :slight_smile:

Deg-blemmed new fangled races in SFB :slight_smile:

I’d gladly hang out at the pub for a night with anyone who happens to regard the Interstellar Concordium - added to the SFB game system in June of 1985 - as “new-fangled”. I well recall the day 26 years ago that I opened the box of my new copy of Volume III and spent the rest of the day reading the rulebook and the SSD sheets… :smiley: