Suggestions on Ship Class by Mass and Purpose


I have been playing GSB for around 6-8 months now, and games such as Sins of a Solar Empire, OGame and AstroEmpires for around 8 years. I mention this off the front so as give you an idea of the background I am coming from when I bring up the topic of reordering and expanding the classifications of ships by size (ie, mass) and purpose. What I am proposing is an expansion of the game, as a whole, as well as a reclassification of existing ships. I will be using the Rebel ship categories for the sake of convenience. I am not aware if this has been brought up other times. I was not able to see anything along these lines on the front page, thus my posting. With the coming of the campaign mode, an increase in the size of the ships not only makes sense but could make the game play richer.

To start with, the game is at the moment rather limited. The current price limit is at 100K, which sharply curbs the size of fleets we can use and develop. I would suggest increasing the maximum size up to 10 million, along with the pilot limit and map size. This suggestion fits well with my main suggestion, larger classes then cruisers. At the moment, the “cruiser” class can be split into Light Cruisers (such as the Fenrir) and Heavy Cruisers (LIke the Valhalla). Likewise, the “frigate” can be split into Destroyers (the Loki, for example) and Frigates. Fighters should just be kept the same, categorically. What GSB is lacking is Battleships and capital ships. By increasing the size of ship, we would of course need to increase the price limit and size of maps. The base cost for cruisers is between 99 and 140. I would suggest Battleships being between 500 and 750, and capital’s being over 5000. These prices are of course without any modules.

The first of the new, larger classes I’m proposing is the Battleship class. It would be composed of two archetypes, the Battleship and the Battlecruiser. The battleship is a combat ship, pure and simple, whereas conceptually, Battlecruisers would be more utility then combat. Battleships would be on the order of 16 hardpoints, 12 standard modules. The battlecruiser would have something like 10 hardpoints, 18 standard modules. This class would of course have the standard weapons, defenses and engines (Battleship Missiles, a verity of beam weapons, anti-missile defenses, shields and armor, 3 kinds of engines, etc.). It would have class-specific high energy weapons and larger missiles, as well as some interesting multi-ship effects. The class could be defined by a high energy budget, requiring a careful balance of utility, firepower and defense.

The final new class I’d suggest is the Capital Ship. Costing in the area of five to ten thousand credits for just the blank hull, they would have on the order of 25+ hardpoints and 35+ standard modules. They would have the largest missiles, strongest beams, etc. Conversely, they would have relatively low tracking speeds to prevent overbalancing. There would have to be the introduction of cap-killer weapoons, with very low tracking speed but huge armor/shield pen. With the introduction of capital ships, there would need to be an increase in the size and cost limit of maps. My suggestion of 10 million is what I feel reasonable. For the campaign, a highly developed world could be pushing 10m fleet cap. Likewise, the tactical games that emerge from a fleet that size are interesting in their own right.

Please leave helpful feedback. I’m LKohime on the challenge board, look me up sometime!


There are maps that have over 100,000 credit limits. Problem is after the 100,000 things get - cranky on my system - and I think that is the same for most lower ended machines. There are already complaints about 90,000 SAC challenges being to demanding. Try Bueller’s Blood Blath - 400,000 1,500 pilots. The system just cannot handle it for me. Not top of the line system but a decent laptop less than a year old. Core Duo 2.10.

And technically the Loki would be more of a frigate than a destroyer. Frigates are the smaller cousin of destroyers and the larger sister of corvettes. World War II Destroyer Escorts would be the equivalent of British Frigates. Also the battlecruiser and battleship should be reversed. The battlecruiser was the “pure” combat vessel which had a very short lifespan from depression era naval expansion to World War II.



I like the idea of ship classification but my impression was that it was supposed to be up to us to design ships that fit into these classes – changing the weapons/engines/armor payout, for example, to distinguish between a light cruiser, heavy cruiser, and battlecruiser.

If cliff gave us a bigger ship class, I can’t help but think we’d be asking for even bigger ships after that. And then probably complaining because cruisers die too quickly and seem rather pointless…

This is just my initial response. I don’t have the experience you do with this game.

I do like the idea that some people suggested awhile back, though, about some ships having a “super weapons” slot and making some “super weapons” that can only be fit into this slot.


I hadn’t seen them. I don’t normally play custom maps, but I’ll look into some. I’ve found if I played in windowed mode i can handle maps at good quality.
Thanks for the correction on my categorization of ships. From what I’ve read and seen, destroyer’s have tended to be smaller, but I’ll switch my termonology around to reflect a more realistic

My suggestion is to merely label them. The Fenrir is undoubtably a light cruiser, just by the total number of hardpoints and standard modules as well as cost. I was suggesting that we label them by that.
That’s why i suggested capital’s as well. Once you hit capital ship size, going bigger stops being a good option. That’s when we (or at least, I would!) start asking for a more diverse set of ships


Just posted one 4609573 and one 4609574 that has no expansions because someone keeps asking for it.



I disagree, more isn’t better. It can conversely hinder diversity and make the game even more limited. Only so many moving ships can fit in 1 spot after all. Consider that stacked long range is already overpowered at 50k credits, anything over 100k will just be stacked plasmas/missiles spam. The challenge #4578387 illustrates this point.

Also, making capital ship usable, without making cruiser useless, will be a great challenge. Aside from the occasional Swarm Horus Spam, frigate are fairly useless now because they are easily dominated by rocket fighters. If a capital ship comes along, it must be immune to fighters (or it will be useless), and it’s “slow tracking weapon” probably kill cruisers credit to credit (or it will be useless). I predict is that, either capital ships will be left untouched, or capital ships and rocket fighters will be the only thing left.


That would be me, and thanks!!! :slight_smile:

Lone Starr


Several points - and players - to reply to here…

Hello, lkohime, and welcome aboard the GSB forums!
GSB is fairly easy to mod. If you’re finding existing missions too limiting for you, hop over to our Modding forum and dig through older posts to learn how to mod an existing game mission into something that’s more to your liking. It’s doubtful that missions as epic as you propose are going to appear officially under Cliffski’s aegis, as it’s relatively simple to roll your own and smoke it. :wink:

Concerning ship classes other than the three already in the game: I’m afraid that it’s pretty much all bad news, old chap. Cliffski admitted that the ship classes are one of the very few things that he actually hard-coded into game, in order to boost performance. Cruiser, frigate and fighter-sized hulls are all we’ve got. Don’t expect that to change until and if (verrrrrry HUGE if) “GSB 2” ever appears. It’s a damn shame, but that revelation was posted by our El Jefe Supremo himself. :frowning:

All is not lost, though. By way of very careful modding and playtesting to establish balance, it is possible (however tedious) to artifically simulate the presence of ships larger than cruisers – if not from a 'realistic" visual standpoint, then at least in terms of raw performance.

Yes, if one is using a less-than-spectacular computer, the epic-scaled missions can slow you down in a hurry. Not just in terms of CPU overhead, but also your video card. I already experience audio clipping during many of the larger battles.

Agreed. Sometimes there are some annoyingly fanboi-ish disagreements about the GSB version of “what sort of [ship class 1] is bigger/better/awesomer at ass-kicking than [ship class 2]”. It’s tiresome because much of the time, the participants are basing their positions on unexamined assumptions from various dodgy sci-fi tv shows or movies that, themselves, are either poorly-written or poorly-researched. The ship-hull / mission-designation nomenclature that we mostly hold to is just plain-vanilla Cold War-era US Navy and USN/Royal Navy nomenclature from World Wars One and Two.

Yes, the huge array of customization we can perform on our designs is a feature which partly obscures the absence of having more than three sizes of hulls. There will still always be a vocal minority who would like more; heck, I’m one of them, too. There’s much that can be accomplished via modding.

If we had a second kind of weapons hardpoint, that would rock! The kind of tiered-weapons approach you referred to would finally be possible. Perhaps once Cliffski has released Campaign GSB and patched it a few times?


Hmm, thanks Astro. I’ll read the mod forum, although any tips or good mods you could send my way would be appreciated.


Compare Supreme Commander 1* (the second one is just bad) with Starcraft (either).

SC has less units by far, and is the more strategic game exactly because of that. More choices does not mean that they are meaningful.

*fixed type. Total Annihilation + Supreme Commander = Windows Explorer tool… :wink:


I am assuming you mean Supreme Commander ? . . I liked that game due to the large number of units, actually i lied. I loved that game for the huge EXPERIMENTAL units . .

I guess i am a sucker for a wide range of selection:

  • It would me nice to have a few new classes, so long as you have the ability to have ships larger than 256.
  • 1 or 2 new weapon slots (Pentagon and Octogon) maybe ?


I take umbrage at this. Starcraft is, and has always been, basically the closest analog to an abstract strategy game like chess or go you can get on a computer. Supreme Commander, on the other hand, is an entirely different kind of strategy–not the strategy of unit choice and hard counters, but the strategy of grand sweeping pushes, feints and deception, multi-front wars, and the like. Saying one’s better than the other is like saying a Formula One car is better than an F-16–you’re comparing two things that may as well be different genres.


I’d compare it to a chess grandmaster and a MLG player. Sure, they’re both pro’s, but they are TOTALLY different.
And i loved Supreme Commander 2! The strategies are radically different then starcraft. Starcraft’s about efficency and speed. Supreme Commander 2’s all about what you do with your units, and (unless you have an army of walking battleships) making experimentals in the right numbers


The amount of choices matters a lot less than the amount of “good” choices. I am all for more options as long as they don’t make more things obsolete. Even now, most hulls and many modules are useless. This is an inherent problem with design based game, adding more does not equal more diversity. Once the opportunity cost is considered many options simply disappears.

Many games out there has the same problem, hundreds of options, and about 1 or 2 optimum ones.

I find Starcraft to be more of a time management game than a strategy game. You won’t even get past a speed ling harass if you can’t micro properly.


Speaking as a long-time Starcraft Player, SC is about efficiency of building, shaving off precious seconds. Terrans in SC2 are considered half-broken against Protoss by some… because they can get out a Reaper (fast, cliff-jumping infantry with damage bonus against light armor) 30 seconds faster than the Protoss can get out the counter in a dedicated build, and even longer if they try to stall the reaper with a zealot (and the zealot WILL die with good micro by the Terran player).

I actually don’t like Starcraft because it’s a grand mess of micromanagement, and AI War has spoiled me with looping build queues, intelligent automatic targeting, and Raid Starships.


Starcraft is about tactics. There is little strategy involved in Starcraft, its pure tactics. To do well you need to click hundreds of times per minute as every single unit needs to be micromanaged to play the game well.

Supreme Commander is entirely about strategy with almost no tactics. You don’t micromanage your armies. You just build more armies. Alter the proportions of the armies, alter their attack routes, but you let each individual unit do its own thing. You may need to coordinate fleets, tanks, and air units so they all hit in ways that support each other. The micromanagement is usually limited to experimentals only. Unless we’re talking about ICBM’s or experiementals there isn’t much point in managing any individual unit as they die by the hundreds. You can click only a couple times per minute and can still play a mean game of SupCom.


Good that you realize there is a difference between the two. In which category does GSB fall? Is it about hard counters, about using the correct build to crush the opponents, or is it about feints, strategy and deception?

Answer: It’s a lot more like SC than like SupCom. There is also a lot of micro in GSB: If you tune your fleet so that all ships arrive at the target at the same time, and then you add +0.1 speed to your anti-fighter frigattes, you will lose horribly. They get shot down by cruisers, and then the fighters chew up your other ships.

And SC2 isn’t only about micro, and not dominated by Reaper-Cheese either.


Micro in Starcraft means “Micromanagement”, or how many clicks per minute you can achieve, and how well you “control” your units. It has nothing to do with design. … ameplay%29

And a good thing too. If GSB is like SC in the sense that you need 100+ clicks a minute just to be decent, I won’t be playing this.


Micro isn’t about click speed, despite the Koreans believing so and hammering every button thirty times, just to get high APM statistics. If I issue 5 great commands while you issue the same command 300 times by clicking frantically, then I’m surely going to win.

Macro in GSB: “Do I use a cruiser or five frigs?”
Micro in GSB: “If I replace my Powered Armor with Armor II, I can reduce my Reactor from III to II, and that means I am only 5 crew above the smaller crew compartment. Now if I can just replace one gun with one that needs less crew, then I could replace that too…”

GSB is mostly about micro-management, but you have infinite time to do it.

You can be decent in SC2 with 60 clicks a minute. My APM is rarely above 30 (I’m lazy and only micro when I absolutely have to, such as during harassment), and I play on a Platinum level. That means I lose horribly to pros and would be chanceless at tournaments, but still crush about 99% of all players easily.


The thing is in those economic/construction/management type games is that you have to continually address the issues of micro-management.
With GSB - once you have designed your ships - you don’t have to micro them anymore. I am sure some people do, but I for one do not redesign a ship every time I do a challenge. I have designed a set of ships that a) works for me in most cases b) varied enough to cover most problems.

The real challenge in GSB I find is how and where you deploy your fleets. Even then I save my fleet deployments and usually just load one up that fits the challenge and then move a couple of things to best suit what happens.

If I hit a map that has - like no shields, no tractors etc. - I don’t redesign my fleet, I just try and do it and think of it as good practice for the campaign.

I actually have never played Starcraft or its Successor. I never was a lover of RTS games outside of the Dune/C&C/Close Combat scope. I much prefered turn based games like Masters of Orion/Masters of Magic etc where my manual dexterity was not an issue.