[Order Idea] Break and Attack

One of the remaining problems with the orders system is that there’s no way for fast ships to stick with the fleet at first and then break escort/formation to engage. I therefore propose the Break and Attack order, which would work something like this:

Edit 08/06/10 (extra clarity):
Break and Attack is an order that has a range slider, describing the distance you want it to take effect at–if my ship has Attack Fighters and selects, say, that squadron of fighters over there to attack, Break and Attack activates once my ship has closed to Break and Attack’s range with the fighters. Giving a ship Break and Attack implies that you also want it to Keep Moving. If given to a ship that doesn’t also have an Escort or Formation order, it simply functions as Keep Moving would. On the other hand, if the ship with Break and Attack also has an Escort or Formation order, it respects Escort/Formation until it’s closed to within Break and Attack’s range. Parts of my formation suddenly leap off to engage the enemy at close order, while my heavier ships, who absorbed the opening volleys, stay back to pound my foe from range.

Seems like it wouldn’t be overly hard to implement, and also seems like a great way to add a little bit more in-battle control without actually adding any in-battle control. Thoughts?

Edit 08/06/10 (original 2nd paragraph):
It’s an order with a range slider, which implies Keep Moving. You give it to a ship which also has Escort or Formation; Escort/Formation supersedes the Keep Moving part of Break and Attack. When the ship closes to within the given range of its selected target, it deactivates the Escort/Formation order, permitting the Keep Moving effect to come back to the front of the line, as it were, and suddenly parts of your formation leap off to engage the enemy at close range!


An elegant solution to the problem. Plus it would look way cool. Love it.


seconded… rly hope this one gets in the game


Yes yes this is great!

That way the faster less armored ships can survive longer as there not the only ones to target first. IE the fighters stick around the cruiser witch is the carrier untill they get in range. Then peal off the carrier and attack, it makes perfect sence and Also allow for one fighters to last longer in battle.


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Great! would benefit fighters and fast ships greatly, and also allow some creative strategies with multi-layered fleets, each deploying at a different range.

Good, solid order which offers useful & original tactical flexibility…I fully support the proposal.


Excellent suggestion. I’ve managed to occasionally stagger my fleet deployments through the use of Escort/Formation on a “sacrificial” ship (i.e., send one frigate out with four fighter squadrons as escorts; fighters move to attack as the frigate is shot down), but this is a much better solution.


10 signages.

a good solution to keep the frigates from getting ripped to shreds in the opening volleys of the skirmish.

i like.


Seems like an excellent an awesome idea.

Question: Once a ship has followed its Break and Attack order and neutralized the appropriate enemies, would any applicable Escort/Formation orders go back into effect? i.e., my escort frigate breaks off to wipe out a fighter squadron. Once the birds are toast, does the frigate return to its escort duties, or just wander around for the rest of the battle?

I’m not sure I’d want the former behavior. I can think of a lot of cases where I’d want my light ships to stick with the fleet until after the first volley, and relatively few where I’d want them to come back when they’re out of primary targets (as selected by the Attack Cruisers/Frigates/Fighters order), although I can’t see them being all that different in the long run.


I’m not sure why the range slider should imply a “Keep Moving” order. Ships naturally move anyway until an enemy comes within weapon’s range, so what’s the point?

The purpose of adding “Keep Moving” would be to make sure that once “Break and Attack” is initiated, the ship doesn’t stop moving even if the enemy is in perfect weapon’s range. “Keep Moving” is a sort of “evasive action” combat maneuver to keep the ship from standing still and getting hit in combat, not something that really helps before the ships engage. Therefore, it would only be useful after the Break and Attack anyway.

Sometimes “Keep Moving” may prevent a ship from bringing all its weapons to bare, or make a ship leave the perfect firing position. Whether or not the ship has the “Keep Moving” order should be the player’s choice.

Will enemy fighters trigger the Break and Attack order? 'cause that could be a problem. Even a single squadron of fast enemy fighters could be within range of all your ships as soon as the battle begins, breaking apart all their formations. There’s really no way to stop them. Oddly enough, it seems the only way to prevent this is to remove the Attack Fighters order… which seems contradictory since you’re having a problem with enemy fighters. Perhaps what we need is a “Break and Attack” slider option directly on the “Attack Fighters”, “Attack Frigates”, and “Attack Cruisers” orders?

In retrospect, I’d think I’d like this option best of all for my own fighters. Escort is a problem because it creates this killing ground in front of my ships where fighters can get shot at but won’t engage the enemy because it takes them too far from their escorted ships. If there was an option to “Break and Attack” when the enemy got within THEIR WEAPON’S RANGE, that would be perfect. The fighters would perform anti-fighter support around the escorted ships until the escorted ships are ready to engage, or until something engages them.

Presently, the only way around this seems to be to have the fighters fly in formation behind the escorted ship, wait for it to be destroyed, and then the fighters will swarm in. Kind of clumsy and nonsensical, but fun to watch.

Fair enough.

I think, as I wrote the initial post, you can already force that kind of behavior.

When your ships spawn, they pick a target based on the priorities in their Attack orders. Break and Attack only fires when you reach from the target selected by whichever Attack has the highest priority.

So it’s based on your pilot’s “driving target”, then, rather than the targeting of any of your guns? Okay, I can see that working.

Yeah, that’s the mechanic I was thinking.