Rocket/Missile Accuracy: A Study

I’ve come up with a design that initially began as a reserve cruiser designed to spam missiles and long range weapons from behind the safety of the front line. But it quickly progressed to an analysis of accuracy of the bare weapons themselves.

Scenario: Tutorial, with only 2 of these cruisers. (No statistical interference by anti-missile defenses.)

Basic Vessel:

Minotaur Cruiser
2x Fast Shields
1x Power Generator 3
2x Lightweight Engines
1x Reinforced Crew Bay

Variant: Reserve Rocket Spammer 1

6x Rockets
3x Powered Armor

Shots Hit: 51.5%

Variant: Reserve Rocket Spammer 2

Minotaur Cruiser
6x Rockets
2x Armor 2
1x Target Booster 2

Shots Hit: 55.5%

Variant: Reserve Rocket Spammer 3

1x Target Painter
5x Rockets
3x Armor 2

Shots Hit: 68%

Variant: Reserve Rocket Spammer 4

1x Target Painter
5x Rockets
2x Armor 2
1x Target Booster 2

Shots Hit: 71%


I think that this should be rather telling as to the utility of target painters. They were in doubt for awhile, but this is pretty hefty proof that they’re better than anything else at making missiles accurate. (Fast missiles cost more, and only increase the hit ratio by an average of roughly 5 to 10%.)

It should also be considered as “rather telling” on the oft-raised question of whether Target Boosters affect missiles (as opposed to just beam weapons).

Kudos on the analytical work.

Wow, didn’t know target painters were that good.

There are some problems with them though. They require a hard point and have less range than many weapons.

EDIT: Or you can just use fighters for painting. Are all target painters created equal?

Unknown, I’ll test that in a bit.

I did notice that Target Boosters don’t seem to give any bonus. I noticed this because the actual range of to-hit odds is almost 51 - 55, so the real gain is dubious.

Put them on your brawler cruisers, and have a missile spammer or two in formation behind it. With co-operative and target painting the ships will almost always fire at the same targets.

Never tested that one, maybe I should try it. Usually a target painter is for missiles that seek the painter, so I dunno what good it’d be for lasers. (May as well just shoot the target rather than paint it, for that matter.)

Thanks. I got curious and decided to figure it out.


wait a sec…are you guys mixing up target boosters and target painters?
target painters were never in doubt, they are a must have if you want to use rockets. yes they need a hardpoint, but an additional rocket launcher isn’t useful if no weapon on your ship can hit the target.

as for target boosters, yes they seem to increase tracking speed, however those 3-5% or whatever the stats show after battle don’t justify the target booster II for me.
i can get a multiphasic shield for the same requirements.
i think it’s just too little effect, 0.16 increased tracking speed on a weapon that has 0.50 basic?

nevertheless, kudos on your test krebor :slight_smile:


First off, Not missile accuracy, you only have rockets.
Second, what are you fighting against? What is their speed? What range are you at? If that optimal range? Lower or higher than optimal? By how much?
How did you decide on the accuracy of the rockets? What was the size of the vessel you were attacking? Was it hitting shield or armour or neither?

What about the comment at the end? You never put fast missiles on your conclusions.

The one thing worse than no science is bad science that gets believed.


Dunno why you’re so admant about that. This was a simple test pitting rockets against the tutorial scenario and seeing what componentry gave the most benefit. The orders on all ships were to engage at 810 units, co-operative fire, and vulture. The rockets hit on both shields and armor, including ships with repair modules. I decided accuracy on the statistics screen, which details how many shots hit for each ship; I averaged the number between ships of the same design. Feel free to duplicate it if you wish.

About the fast missiles, yes I did try them on the same configuration. And I wasn’t too surprised to find them roughly as accurate, if only a few percent more, as rockets. I didn’t find those differences important enough to post. Conversely, a single missile defense weapon reduces your opponents effective accuracy by 10-15%, but don’t quote me on that (yet).

Lastly, there is no science with a simulation. I was able to replicate my 100% victory in other fighter-less scenarios. It proves the general rule that target painters give almost a 10% boost to accuracy, while Target Boosters are worthless to missile weapons.


Im merelt pointing out all the variables you left out of the numbers you put above. People will now quote all this stuff, when its not really solid at all.
Or worse, people will think these sort of standards are normal. For instance, Cliffski has stated before how weapons tracking works. Dont quote me on this, but there seemed to be a threshold where after a ship becomes too fast, you always have a 2% chance of hitting it.
Now, the target booster might give you an extra 6 percent here. Thats now an 8 percent chance of hitting, 4 times what you had before.

This actually proves nothing. No general rule or anything like that.
Remember, this is a game, with strict number crunching going on in the backround, with some quasi-random elements thrown in.

What it does seem to say is that in the tutorial fight, if you want rockets to hit more, the painter seems to be the way to go, over the target booster. Nothing more.


the reason why the target booster seems to perform better than the painter in the tutorial might also have something to do with those annoying emp-missiles.

the target painter only helps when it’s actually targeting, while the booster provides a “passive” bonus everytime a weapon fires.
so statistically, ships with booster getting stunned would still get better results after battle than ships with painter getting stunned, however it depends on how often the painter has the chance to fire, which depends on how often the ship gets stunned or out of range.
therefore, the tutorial might be the wrong testing ground. hell, even moving ships might give sophisticated results.

i’ll do some VERY theoretical calculation:
let’s assume a battle without emp-missiles and the painter is working 50% of the time.
this means half of the battle, 100% of your missiles will hit, while the other half you get your normal accuracy of whatever, let’s say 70%.
with 100 missiles fired, this means 50 guaranteed hits and 35 out of 50 POSSIBLE hits.

the target booster adds 10% on accuracy, increasing it to 80%.
with 100 missiles fired, that are 80 POSSIBLE hits.
as always with percentages and possibilities, it’s not for sure. i’d rather take 50 guaranteed hits…

however, i wouldn’t dare taking everything i said as hard fact myself.


Driver, you miss read what was reported above. The numbers above show the painter making the fleets more accurate than the booster.

The painter has to be on the target before missiles fire for there to be any benefit. A late paint with missiles in-flight won’t help. Any test should be keeping that in mind.

I think there’s something different about the “rocket” simulation compared to other missiles. It appears their bizarre flight pattern causes them to miss much more frequently, despite assistance from the various targeting methods.

I would not recommend using them for any serious evaluation of painters or targeters.

Swap them out with a standard model missile, the fast cruiser launcher in particular. The difference that effective painter use makes with that weapon is night and day.


but this is what i’m saying.
though, the numbers aren’t very reliable due to the test conditions. they show the painter performs better, yes, actually this isn’t a surprise to me.

my first sentence is quite confusing though.

as the target painter needs to paint when the missile is fired might make emp-missiles irrelevant however.

i still don’t get why target painters where in doubt for a while.


As far as I can tell, fighter target painters are just as good as cruiser target painters. Perhaps they’re a little better because there are 16 to highlight with a squadron (and on co-operative, they’re mostly constant in highlighting the target).

In addition, the best accuracy I can get from standard cruiser missiles with target painters is 81%, but across all ships it averages no higher than 75-77%. In the same scenario the baseline for these missiles is an ugly 49%; with missiles the necessity for painters is truly evident.

I tested originally with rockets based on the question of “are target painters any good?” The average shots hit with rockets was 51% over several battles and designs. To prove that target painters were useful was as hard as installing one and seeing the 10-11 percent increase in accuracy. It doesn’t need a double-blind study to determine the usefulness of painters.

If you don’t like my methods then do your own tests. I’m doing these tests to satisfy my curiosity.

Yeah, thats cool. I have done testing on this game before, and i might again.
I just wanted people, and you as well, to know what these numbers are in no way conclusive. Or mean anything, as a range of designs isnt specified, nor range set at, speed or target, wether relative speed is taken into account (remember some thread about this) or even if the statistics at the end mean anything.

Yeah, but for it to be as you say there’d be no variance in the game experience at all. One simulation would be identical so long as you had the same ships.

Technically, you cannot make a conclusive statement about GSB’s mechanics unless your name is Cliff. :wink:

Yes, i would prefer that the game would be the same for everyone who fights the same battle. Allow for structured tournaments and whatnot.

Well crakker, the way to get that is to have challenges share their random seed, so that the PRNG generates the same numbers each time. This way you get the exact same results (unless the PRNG is reseeded in the middle of a match) with an identical fleet with identical orders. Perhaps Cliffski could make this an option.

It’s not a game maker/breaker for me.