Tell me if these module ideas are any good...

Just suddenly occurred to me…

The limpets, which current have just two options (add weight and slow down the enemy fighter, or draw attention to the enemy fighter with a targeting bonus)… could do so much more.
How about friendly limpets!

Refueling limpets which seek out and home in on friendly fighters and carry out mid-space refueling!
Repair limpets which seek out and home in on friendly fighters and carry out mid-battle repairs!

Waste of time? too complex? cool? interesting?

I’m thinking these would not be too tricky to code…

Honestly? That sounds pretty awesome. I am always open to new tactical options, and the re-fueling limpet idea sounds like a huge one! With all the fighters I’ve made so far, they either have very little fuel and thus not much range, or a reasonable fuel tank and the speed of a slug. Mid-field refueling could bridge the gap between those two variants.

And repair limpets would help with the issue of wanting to keep the carrier back from the front lines, but then having a fighter whose engine is almost gone spend a minute and a half crawling back across the field to get fixed.

Oh please yes! This would be amazing. It would go a long way in making fighters and gunships useful in strike roles. Right now I never use fighters without the “Escort” order in their queue, because really their only useful role is slapping down enemy fighter swarms and shield-stripping gunships. Refuel and repair limpets would become a staple on my carriers, provided that they have a suitably long range to allow them to follow my fighters out into the battlefield.

I like your ideas. And they’re sparked a few of my own.

  • Offensive limpets which act as targeting beacons, attract missiles, etc.

  • Gravity Well Limpets. If enough of them attach to an enemy fighter, a mini black hole could form, pulling other nearby fighters. the strength of the pull increases with each fighter or limpet added.

  • Limpets which attach to an enemy fighter and don’t slow it as much as the standard limpets, but which make the fighter release an EMP pulse when it dies, disabling other nearby fighters.

  • A tractor beam which could slowly pull enemy fighters with insufficient thrust (probably at a threshold that would require the fighter be damaged) into the ships carrier bay, which could then be repaired, supplied a new pilot, and sent out to fight for your team.

  • Chain Lightning anti-fighter weapons. Hits would chain to fighters near initial target with reduced damage.

  • Anti-limpet fighter weapons. Outfit a squad or three of fighters as limpet-defense escorts for other fighters.

Sounds Gratuitous

[size=50]thats a good thing[/size]

So much yes.

Cliffski, I love your ideas too. The introduction of the gunship class and new fighter / air defence weapons has already made the fighter war a lot more interesting than it was is GSB1. More toys are always welcome.

I would be somewhat opposed to more limpets unless there was a way of shooting them down. Point defense beams, maybe.

Ha, how about anti-limpet limpets :smiley:
I have long wanted to find time to do a proper chain-attack weapon thats sparks from ship to ship. I’ll eventually find time to do that…

You could make several variants of such a weapon:

  • Against small ships like fighters / gunships
  • Against larger ships. This would be an incentive for the opponent to let distance between ships to prevent the sparks from jumping.

Ooooh. This is a very good point, and one I hadn’t really considered. I’m just attracted to the visual idea TBH, but yup, it would introduce new tactical considerations.
Plus consider the fact that close-proximity ships could have different vulnerabilities… a chain-attack weapon could effectively bounce between different ships until it found one whose shields/armor it could penetrate :smiley:

Gratuitous Limpet battles!

It’s important to stress that this game is hands off - we have no orders besides “formation” to make units space themselves out, or to otherwise avoid each other. Shorter ranged units inevitably move together when they select the same target.

Not sure if AOE style mechanics are all that welcome in the face of that. Need to be really careful there.

Okay, comments and musings inspired by numerous people here…

Hhmmmm, let’s see: [size=125]YES[/size], and [size=125]YES[/size] :smiley:

Refuel & repair limpets have to be nudged into a careful middle ground of balance. Too little range, and they’re pointless, costly and a waste of a turret slot; annoying when something else could have been purchased instead for those same slots.

Too much range, and they’ll make actual carriers almost redundant & obsolete. In that regime, who needs anything other than cheap, fragile, fangless “paper tiger” carriers that fulfill nothing more than the bare minimum of “fighters can only arrive at the battle via carrier”? That runs the risk of preserving the strategic value of carriers but nullifying their tactical value. My inner Commander Adama recoils at the very hint of that bleak future. :confused:

Just as with ship explosions, fighters are immune to all EMP effects. I’m very strongly in favor of keeping that intact.

Alternatively, equip (for example) two small squadrons of 3-5 anti-limpet fighters each for staying close to every full 16-unit squadron of other types of friendly fighters. Give these small squadrons the Escort order, and watch the fireworks. Much will depend on the exact nature of hypothetical anti-limpet defensive armament.

Same here, yurch. I do not want such substantial “scope creep” for limpet technology unless we also gain an ability to fry them on sight.
Your idea of Point Defense systems being able to engage them is really good! [-clicks invisible “+1” button-]
PD-versus-limpets is original to this discussion, yes, but even more importantly anti-limpet guns should be probably include at least 2 systems which can kill limpets but NOT be able to engage enemy fighters & gunships as well. The other side of this is to decide which existing anti-fighter weapons (if any-?) will become able to engage limpets IN ADDITION TO fighters/gunships. Give the defending player options varied enough to promote different tactics & opportunity costs.

Bring it on! :wink:

Agreed. Cliff’s chain-attack weapon concept is frankly too awesome to be confined merely to swatting one-man strike craft. Larger versions are desirable for installation aboard warships; why should the little guys have all of the fun? :stuck_out_tongue: It’s like an offensive version of the old Smart Bomb Pulse Generator (AOE-style point defense) from GSB1’s Swarm race. And that’s something I’ve hoped would become a reality for a long time. Let’s act like Captain Picard and “make it so”. Please? :slight_smile:

Excellent points; you almost took the words right out of my mouth.

I’m concerned at how a hypothetical chain-attack weapon could so easily exploit tight target-unit spacing, without anything that the targeted player can actively do to protect himself from being damaged. No one would be able to proactively stop this new form of attack. But this same concern brings me to the following…


Perhaps in addition to basic fire-control tracking, a chain-attack weapon might also be governed according to the Maneuver rating of its potential targets. Consider that as being the ships’ helm officers (heroically TV Tropes-wise) trying to frantically apply emergency lateral thrust to avoid the incoming chain-attack tendrils/blasts/whatever. This dynamic would be parallel to, but completely separate from, the weapon tracking versus target Speed calculations. This way, a ship too slow to avoid initially being acquired by the chain-attack weapon might still be able to redirect its fury if that ship’s Maneuvering Jets provided enough agility and responsiveness.


If cliffski’s notion of the chain-attack gun automagically placing its damage priority on whichever eligible enemy in range has the lowest shield & armor strength, that’s the beginning of a better tactical regime where we back away from making the chain-attack thing into merely a clone of the existing AOE/flak type of effect.

In the interest of weapon creativity & diversity:
How about making at least two basic, complementary but opposite types of chain-attack weapons? There could be additional variants of these, but the following would be the “standard” versions of the gun…

The first one would always prioritize the weakest target in range, with the chaining from its every shot being attracted “uphill” to the second-weakest, then third-weakest, etc. as the damage arcs and flows.
The second type of weapon would instead zap the strongest target in range, with the chaining going in the other direction “downhill” to burn across the second-strongest target, then third-strongest target, etc. during each shot it fires.

Final limpet thoughts for tonight:
While there’s a lot of potential here for a fascinating as well as fun new combat dynamic, there is also the need to avoid making limpets into a must-have weapon that’s another kind of “Zerg Rush”. I have to admit that I find the idea of, say, 50 or more fighter-support limpets serving in the enemy’s fleet as “distributed carriers” to be fairly scary (the ultimate in parallel fighter repairs/refuelling). We must not shy away from making limpets vulnerable to defensive fire. Don’t get me wrong – I LIKE the new limpet concepts – let’s just make sure we balance them well.

[size=125]Racially-unique[/size] variants of all forms of these neat new limpets? Hell, yeah!
Same goes for the hypothetical chain-attack weapon, too.
It IS your destiny…

we could make the limits come with special carrier bays, which tack supplies from that bay to the fighters, that way even if you have 7 billion of them you still have to supply all of them, this means that people will be forced to design really shoddy ships if they want to spam them, and it will run out

this al provided that the way bays work hasn’t changed from gsb 1, i don’t own 2 yet, im broke

Anti-limpet weaponry could be restricted to frigates, thus giving them an actual role (long range fighter support), which they currently still don’t have, I’m sorry to say.

Maybe re-jigger limpet weapons as a whole, and have limpet launchers restricted to frigates as well? Putting frigates into a minelayer/minesweeper role could open lots of interesting tactical options. You could even have limpet types with incredibly slow movement but high damage… I envision flights of frigates describing majestic arcs through the midspace between fleets, leaving behind menacing trails of blinking death… requiring frigates from the other side to punch holes in the minefield and allow larger ships to close to weapon range safely…

Encouraging layered engagement like this would be wonderful. Early game, fighter and gunship squadrons mix it up midfield to try and shoot down/protect frigate minelayers/sweepers, which are also supporting the fighters. Midgame, missile/plasma slapfights ensue, with both side’s destroyer escorts enhancing or negating damage (we’d need a commensurate nerf to missile damage; might want to perhaps add some additional destroyer modules, too, like a weapon-tracking booster beam, stealth field, other crazy stuff). Late game, the cap ships close to pulse/beam cannon range (although pulses need a buff to be as useful as the old GSB1 Cruiser Laser before this can happen) and the real slugfest begins.

Of course we’d need the ability for creating far more detailed orders chains to make this happen, too.