New way to fight retaliations (ladder challenge)

So I’ve been playing around with the 2K cruiser challenge, and I think Maarek’s statement of Rock, Paper, Scissors is dead on. I know that with the SAC challenges they are trying to work around this but I haven’t followed it to much.

I think an in-game ladder challenge should be coded in. Every time a retaliation is posted, the fleet has to be able to beat all the previous retaliations. So instead of just retaliating back and forth with specialized fleets designed to beat only the last retaliation, the fleet has to also beat all the challenges prior. I know that this is what they are doing with the SAC but i think it would be much simpler if it is just coded in. I am not a programmer (Vic-Basic was my forte) but I don’t think this would be too much of a major challenge to Cliffski.

Also it would mean at some point a fleet would be unbeatable. AKA a winning fleet.

A Random Battle Generator is also a great idea (posted earlier) especially if you don’t get to see the fleet until it is deployed. It would make balanced fleets much more common.

my few cents.

I think it’s been fairly well established that a counterfleet can be designed to defeat any single fleet. It’s still an open question in my mind as to whether on a single map a counterfleet can be designed that will defeat any arbitrary finite set of challenges. I.e. is it always possible to make a fleet that will sweep the SAC challenge? This has been getting progressively harder to do but, now approaching 50 challenges, it still appears to be possible. If this is the case, then a ladder challenge would never end, there would never be a “winning fleet.”

I guess it would either have to keep track of flags (has been modified, has beaten fleet x) or just force you to run fleets in serial?

An alternative is just to keep track of how many fleets a given one beats, rather than requiring each successive one to beat all of them. SAC was designed for participation - while it’s certainly encouraged to try to beat everything, more than the last three may be an unreasonable expectation for newcomers.

If you did that, you’d want some sort of coded barrier to entry just to prevent bloat. The last thing you’d want while testing a series is a ton of ineffective fleets dragging down the process and wasting your time.

Ultimately, though, this would be more difficult to keep track of. You’d probably run into similar problems of people gaming the system, like the survival scoreboard.

Ultimately, this is what I hope the campaign will be, because you will build ships, and place them in fleets, and they will then have to survive multiple battles (albeit with repairs between battles).
Granted, you will be able to move ships around and build new ones, but you really will be (for the first time) rewarded for constructing universally effective fleets and ships.