Tips for organizing fleet designs

I recently graduated from demo to collector’s edition, and the newly available races (and corresponding need for new designs) made me realize that my current organization schemes are woefully inadequate to handle the various types of ships without a lot of tedious scrolling around. What are some ideas for making this more practical?

So far, I’ve been thinking of using one- to three-letter prefixes to indicate the purpose of the design (escort/fighter support cruiser, disruptive/escort frigate, long-range battlecruiser, high-speed decoy fighter, etc), but I’m not sure which categories to use, so suggestions on some that you’ve used would be helpful.

I label my ships thusly

Two letter prefix for the race.

Two letter prefix for the size of the ship.

And a small descriptor of what it does.

Pa Cr 2KFlak

Parasite Cruiser 2000 credit Flak

Fe Fr Fast Ion

Federation Frigate Fast (.9+ speed) Ion armed


Boring, I don’t call them Deathnought Uber Cool Cruiser, because I can never remember exactly what it was.
It does mean that since the names are similar they are grouped similar and I can easily choose Fe Fr Fast Ion or Fe Fr Fast Beam or Fe Fr Fast Plasma as they will always be grouped near each other and far away from Fe Fr AA armour or from Fe Fr AA Lite.

It still can get tedious

I start with species name for ease of finding in the menu, and then use a single design for the Cruiser and Frigate and two for the Fighter. I.e. a Parasite Cruiser, Parasite Frigate and Parasite Laser Cannon (LC) and Rocket Launcher (RL) Fighter. If I want to change the design, its easier to remember the general concepts I want to modify (oh ya, more shields this time) than scroll through dozens of creations.

It would be nice if we could give them a cool name while keeping a practical description as well (hint, hint for GSB2). I suppose if you wanted a cool name, you could go something like Parasite Cruiser - Death Star Class. And, yea, I’ve never finished a campaign so I don’t need to have abunch of modified designs floating around. I get bored long before the map is conquered.

I regularly move the contents of the ships folder into a backup file.

Thus, I avoid those problems. Once it becomes tedious to find the ones I want when creating/responding to challenges, poof they are all gone. Creating old ships anew is not nearly as annoying.

Hmm, yeah, that seems pretty sound. I might end up running them together like US Navy “DDS” and so on, but the basic strategy seems pretty similar.

I should probably classify ships into two or three speeds per hull type; “unmoving” for the ships without engines (I use armor decoys like they’re going out of style for campaign), “ponderous” for ships that go slowly enough for anything to hit them easily; “quick” for ships that can avoid most weapons outright (faster than .9 for frigates, faster than 2.9 or whatever for fighters, and so on), and maybe another class for ships in between that are pretty snappy but not fast enough to actually outdo any tracking speeds.

Not sure if defense type is necessarily worth putting in, but I’ll think about it; I guess possibilities would be “tank” for extremely heavy armor that can resist all expected attacks, “layered” or “dual” or something for combinations of armor and shields, “shielded” and “armored” respectively, and “naked” for no defenses at all.

For offensive purposes, I should probably distinguish between missiles, anti-armored-cruiser, anti-shielded-cruiser, anti-frigate, and anti-fighter, as well as EMP and disruptor usages. Maybe stick a range indicator in, but eh.

Then there’s some special stuff like use of camo, guidance scramblers, hull+repair, and so on that maybe deserves a special marker or maybe just gets folded in.

Well, at present I’m doing campaign only (in part because I’m using some custom mods that may or may not really be quite balanced for challenges), so I tend to keep around all my designs and reuse them a lot. As such, I give them names like Siberian, Blizzard, Anteater, Boulder, Musashi, and so on.

Race name might be useful, I guess.

That seems inelegant, but to each his own I suppose. (In particular, since I make heavy use of saved orders as a baseline for use, that would be pretty tedious to keep recreating the proper setup for each recreated ship design.)

I only ever play player challenges and yes mods and the like can be extremely annoying. Just remember sometimes just having the mod makes it difficult to realize what is ‘vanilla’ and what is modded content. I have some integral mods from common mods and they add into the regular races modded content without warnings.

Bah on Stomp!

Well, in campaign mode where you re-use ready-made fleets a lot, I wouldn’t do that either no.

My fleets are all purpose built. Missile Wall. Missile Formation Anchor. Fast Missile Fill. That sort of thing
if it’s experimental, where i’m refining designs, i copy all my designs out of the folder and only look at the models i’m refining