Torpedo bombers useless?


So the stats for torpedos look great, but everytime I’ve tried to make a torpedo bomber they’ve been more or less useless. I’ve experimented with quite a few types, and the damage done to shields is negligible it seems with how fast the bombers get picked out of the sky by just about anything due to their low speed. Even with a fighter escort, it seems more worthwhile just to throw some rockets on a fighter if you wanna use them against frigates and cruisers.

I’ve been having great success with the mighty rocket + target painter fighters and it doesn’t seem like there’s any reason to use any other type except for maybe a pulse laser fighter to deal with super-fast rebels.

Has anyone had any luck building torpedo bombers that are worth deploying?


title awnser: yes.
post question awnser:no.


If torpedo bombers are employed against a fleet which has very little anti-fighter capability, they can be effective. Even moreso if the opposing fleet also lacks scramblers/point defense.

As a general all-purpose fighter, torpedo ships are probably not the best choice.

It is fun watching the slow torpedo bombers launch a massed attack on some unwary fleet. On the other hand, it isn’t so fun when the torpedo bombers are all shot down within short order by a prepared fleet.

Agreed though that torpedo fighters have a limited role.

I would say that laser fighters, and rocket/painter combos are the bread and butter of a fighter contingent. Rocket fighters without painters are probably the 2nd most overly useful, and torpedo bombers 3rd.

It is fun when torpedo bombers do succeed, though.


The distinction in GSB between Rocket, Missile, and Torpedo is nonexistent.

Rockets for one should be unguided—turnspeed = 0 instead of 0.5 as they are now.

Missiles and torpedoes are really the same thing, since there is no air vs water change in space. Functionally, I tend to think of torpedoes as bigger, and more lethal that what we now see as tactical missiles. Course nukes negate even that difference and mean that the distinction is not real—unless in GSB a torpedo is not a physical projectile, per se, but some sort of energy blob (like the “plasma torpedo” of classic Star Trek). To me, a torp is slower, and should be able to “sink” small ships with 1 hit sometimes. Missiles can do great damage, and even mission kill a ship, but to “sink” it takes a “back breaking” hit—for a space game obviously somewhat arbitrary if there is any difference at all.

In game terms, I think that a “torpedo bomber” should be capable of destroying a frigate all alone if it hits, or at least severely damage one. This assume 1-2 torpedoes per bomber. That means setting it to have a salvo_size of 1 or 2, and a salvo_interval of 999999. Then you can make the torps do maybe 75-100 damage and be a real threat. Set a min range such that they need some time to arm. I might be inclined to say that they are optimized for warhead, and give them a lower turnspeed than the virtually global missile/torp/rocket value of 0.50. Say 0.2 or so.

This results in a torp bomber that is a real threat, but can also be countered.

A similar “missile” design can be added for fighters where they have anti-fighter missiles (a few shots, only), or anti-shipping with a weight penalty.

I’ve been testing this, and it works nicely and is far less unbalancing that the absurdity of fighters with infinite numbers of rockets actually being faster than fighters with a single laser.


Of course they arent useless. You need to find what they are good at.

Say there are weakless defended cruisers… but with enough armour to defend against any other type of fighter weapon. Who do you call? Torpedos!
Assuming you want fighters. Ya they do die ridiculously slow. But they can be handy the odd time.

And i dont think it ever will of should happen that torpedos can 1 shot a frigate.


I think it depends on the frigate, frankly. A WW2 torpedo bomber could easily sink a DD with ONE torpedo. I’m suggesting it should sometimes be possible for TWO torpedoes to sink, erm, kill, a frigate. Not ALL frigates, but SOME frigates. An unarmored, unshielded frigate, for example. I have no problem with such a ship getting 1-hit killed as long as it’s a weapon with countermeasures that doesn’t fire all that often.

Note that I assume a limit on ammo. I’ve been entirely playing my own mod at this point because I find unlimited ammo (particularly on fighters) absurd. A rocket fighter might as well have a battleship gun on it since the number of rockets it gets to fire equals the weight of a BB turret, lol. I also don’t ever purpose-build ships to deal with a specific battle, I try to think of a doctrine for the race I am playing, then build all their ships to that general doctrine, then use them in reasonable balance.


Well, if it happened in WW2, it has to go in this game. Cause this game is about realism.
Stop thinking in those terms at all. Think about game mechanics only.
For instance, tribe ships are shield-less armour-less alot of the time. Should the torps one shot them?
Also if its a weapon that does fire all that often (Which i take to mean much longer then the current fire interval) it becomes a bit of a luck of the draw thing, and undependable. And as such, even more obscure.

Also, how do you know a fighter has infinite ammo? Have you watched an infinity long battle? Maybe, just maybe, the have exactly the amount of ammo to finish the fight.
Or they use nano missiles, whoes chemical propellant make them burn up fast, thus limiting their ranage to close quaters and small fast ships.
Then again, reloading might make carriers more needed in fleets, and become targets as such. Though thats not an interesting mechanic since you cant choose who to attack.

My vote, leave it as it is. Maybe torpedos a bit lighter.


Part of the problem I think would sort itself out if armor in general wasn’t so… temporary. One advantage of the torpedoes is in their outrageous penetration values, which for the most part are going completely to waste. Low penetration weapons in general are dominating.

Torp fighters would probably be better served with a rearming behavior. Right now they loiter in enemy airspace for 5200 time units only to dump the next torpedo on the most convenient target at the time. I’m considering tethering them to cruisers as a frontloaded defense mechanism, they simply aren’t disciplined enough for attack once they drop their first target.


One of the missions can be won completely with fighters, for quite a bit of honor. Torpedo bombers are needed to take out the cruisers. Aside from that, I don’t see much use against any prepared fleet, unless you can find some unsuspecting cruisers with no support.


WW2 was just showing that a small ship like a frigate could be gutted by a single shot. Given gratuitous, nuclear weapons, a missile doing this is not even remotely unlikely, in fact you have to come up with a reason why such a simple solution would NOT work. I set my ship weapons in mods (long-range torps) to have a salvo size of maybe 6, with a long reload interval, but short enough they can fire a few times during a battle, with a pause while they rearm. The “keep moving” at a long range, and have to be picked off by the faster, smaller ships and fighters. The long range, high-damage torps are pretty fun, but yeah, if they get shot down or miss, you are SOL, so a fleet armed only with them is a poor idea. Even a ship armed only with them is a poor idea. I tend toward balanced designs/navies.

BTW, I did not say that all ships or frigates should get one-shotted. I said that I said I thought it was OK if SOME frigates with no armor MIGHT get one-shotted sometimes. If you were thr tribe facing that type of weapon, you’d make sure to have PD, scramblers, and perhaps make faster frigates. All would make hits unlikely in the first place. The tribe is clearly troublesome with any high-damage weapons WRT frigates, frankly. I could see the Tribe coming up with a CIWS that is even more effective than what they have as a simple balance if this is the case.

As for rocket fighters, they fire a shot every 2100 time units. There is no ammo limit, so by definition they have infinite ammo—and they are lighter than the laser armed version. Nano-missiles? The rocket equation still holds, small chem rocket means small payload. In addition they need sensors, and sensor resolution is a function of aperture diameter. Bottom line is that the sensor and warhead package cannot get too much smaller than say a modern air to air missile. Smaller if they are indeed rockets (which requires that the turn_speed be set to zero or effectively zero). In that case, a fighter might carry dozens—a fix I have tried and it certainly helps (set turn_speed = 0.01 on rockets and watch).

Look, fighters in space are 100% unrealistic :slight_smile:

None the less, I LIKE fighters, so what I’d like is more variability in fighter designs. To do that, we need a trade off between payload and speed, etc. Right now rocket fighters have a large payload, AND a the largest speed (which is why they are so popular).


Torpedo bombers are incredibly effective on the first salvo and then really, really crappy afterward. If they would actually maintain formation and come around for another pass, firing in concert, they would be far more effective.


I find torpedo’s really useful for breaking armor so laser fighters can kill cruisers faster. They also work well as anti frigate units. I tend to use about 25% torpedo fighters in my fighter based fleets at this point.



That type of order for fighters would TOTALLY rock.


Seconded! Currently, you get only one good anti-shipping strike before the torpedo squadron dissolves into a disorganized mob whose performance plunges from “great” to “craptastic”. I see no good reason for that to occur and wish that the insubordinate bastards would remain in formation and collectively lock-on to a single new target.