Rocket Fighters

…are way overpowered right now.

Branching off from the armor discussion, I decided to figure out just how overpowered fighters really are against frigates. Here’s an easy test:

Rebel Icarus fighter
2x missile launcher
1x ablative armor
1x second tier engine

Play the computer on Expert on the final map (Battle Above Somethingorother, the one that’s only frigates and fighters). Place 2 squads of these rocket fighters. That’s it. Just them. Turn off their “attack fighter” command, set their range to be the rocket range and let it go.

You should win with about 70% remaining and a nice 20k honor or so.

Laser fighters don’t fare so well because of the weight, although I still think they do better than they should. The minimal power requirements of the rocket launcher mean you don’t even need a power plant, so you can make the fighters go suuuuper fast and it’s very hard to hit them. The rockets aren’t ideal against other fighters but they’ll eventually win.

Originally I did 1x missile launcher and 2x armor, which also works but takes longer.

I’m pretty sure this will work with any fighter but the Icarus gets a better speed boost.

I do think there’s a general issue here with fighters vs frigates that needs consideration but without a doubt rocket fighters are a serious issue.


yes, rocket fighters own frigates pretty hard. but they aren’t that effective against anything else.

i haven’t played the last battle on expert yet, but i dare to say the ai fleet has only limited aa capability, it’s not balanced.
when i recall right, in normal there are only 2 squadrons with lasers and they are way too slow for a fighter…

i think that the defense systems, be it anti air or point defense, need a buff, maybe bonus damage against fighters, faster tracking of incoming missiles etc.


I agree, or nerf fighter speed’s importance a little, sometimes they are like invincible.

The key thing is that rockets have a poor armor penetration of 12, which you can use to slow their kill rate down with higher quality, more expensive armored frigs.

I used to think that rocket fighters were too much until I saw what massed cheap unarmored frigates could do. There’s really no alternative to it besides a frigate war, but I admittedly feel pretty silly bringing rocket fighters along for that single purpose.

I’m a bit leery about buffing AA, because it runs the risk of erasing the fighter force for us lesser, non-Rebel races. :frowning:


i play federation most of the time, and i know what you mean. compared to rebels, the other races fighters are just a bad joke and i’m crying about that.

i understand it’s hard to balance it without changing half of the game, but as for now, point defense is pretty useless against massed rockets, which is why those fighters are so strong (except the guidance scrambler. these things are quite good, and make point defense even more worthless).
try it in the tutorial, the only rockets you will meet are the two emp launchers in the frigates. even a dedicated point defense frigate will barely shoot down 50% of the incoming missiles.
which is quite laughable, seeing that only two preojectiles are fired…

maybe a special aa gun would change the odds a bit. not too strong to negate fighters completely, but strong enough to shoot them down reliably. maybe with high cost and power consumption so that you can’t spam them.
just some thoughts… :slight_smile:


I tried this tactic, but fielding a fleet of more expensive frigates doesn’t fair better. In fact, a setting up a few super armored frigates to distract the fighters from the numerous cheap unarmored frigates ends up being better, but still not enough compared to just switching to an all cruiser fleet against those massive fighter fleets.

Rockets and missiles need to be consumable.

Fighters can hold more than 1 or 2 of them, but the more they hold, the heavier the fighter should be.

So make all missiles have an ammo count, and have fighter rocket modules with 2, 4, 6, whatever number, each with more weight.

In return, make them do more damage.

In this case, a squadron of rocket fighters heads in, attacks the target with 2 rockets, then has to RTB (to a CA with carrier modules) for more ammo. This make far more sense than what we see now. MIssiles need to be nasty, but limited in ammo.

Same goes for bigger ships, though obviously the ammo counts can be higher.

Ammo replenishment would be an awesome addition to the game.

To be honest, the main problem with some fighters is just that speed is a little too effective at evading fire. The hit chance formula probably just needs a bit of rejigging so it doesn’t get vanishingly small when firing on super fast ships.

Bear in mind though, that tractor beams beat super fast fighters… And that rocket fighters are supposed to smash frigates - in fact it’s the only thing they’re good for.

In a universe where fighter beam weapons are fairly ineffective (a squadron of such fighters might take several minutes to take out a frigate assuming none are shot down), the only way to take out ships with them would be missiles/rockets/torpedoes. A fighter should carry them at the price of speed. Carry a lot of missiles, and move like a CA, carry 2, and fly like a moderately fast fighter.

“Space superiority” fighters can have a decent supply of tiny, fast, short-ranged anti-fighter missiles.

This would go a long way to making fighters the trade off they should be, IMO. Fast interceptors that can barely scratch a frigate, even under the shields, slower “VT” types (torpedo bombers) that can deal serious harm to real ships, and incredibly slow fighters loaded with many such torpedoes. The speed of the VTs will depend almost entirely on how many “fish” they carry. Carry 1 shot, and you have a very fast bomber. Carry more, and slow down. All kinds of variant missiles could be possible, too (more fun ship design!). Tiny, lightweight missiles (carry more), large missiles, or even “bombs” that are VERY short ranged missiles with crappy (near 0) turn ability that do huge damage.

Since the fighters will have to fire their few missiles, then run how to rearm, the target ships will get multiple chances to attack them inbound or on egress at long range.

I like the resupply idea.

Although really, the short term solution is to just make the rocket have the same weight and power use of a laser. Or keep the power use low but increase the weight to somewhere between the torpedo and laser. It’s the combination of low power and light weight that’s really making rocket fighters hard to kill.

(And in that final frigate/fighter map, the computer does have some AA, including tractor beams, but it’s still not enough to kill even 2 squads of rocket fighters before they wipe everything out on Expert.)

Laser fighters are already a pretty good counter to rocket fighters. Particularly, note the effectiveness of the slow double-laser fighter (which would, naturally, be set to escort the vulnerable frigates because slow laser fighters are dog-food if they go wandering into range of enemy anti-fighter missiles & c.

If you like the Vanilla laser fighters, just wait till you see MY laser fighters in GSB Enhance (They’re actual lasers! Not the stupid energy projectiles. :smiley:
Not to mention that I have a bigger (albeit, more expensive, and heavy.) version of fighters.


i dont’t like the idea of limited ammo at all.

as for now, even with the orders set as accurate as possible (no fighters, attack range, retaliate, vulture, cooperative, whatever), i often see my bombers chasing down lonely cruisers/frigates far off from the battle,
or picking several targets while they could instead concentrate on a single ship to finish it, then proceed to the next.
or in other words: wasting many missiles on unimportant targets.

as it is point of the game that you can’t control the ships directly (and i love it the way it is), the stupidity of the pilots makes up for unlimited ammo i think.
until this changes, i would absolutely HATE it, to see bombers return to a carrier after few salvos, then flying back to the combat one after another, probably getting shot down.

and with the other slight adjustments suggested from the users about this topic, i don’t find ammo limitation necessary.