Why do my fighters keep retreating?

My fighters seem to all have a “cautious” order that leads them to group on the left side of the map. This despite them not having that order. This applies to scenarios and the campaign. Is this a known bug?

yup, it’s in the current bug list as will be addressed tommorow, I haven’t been able to reproduce it myself yet, so any hints as to what triggers it are more than welcome.


Its not just fighters - all ship classes will do it. It’s like every ship has Cautious orders applied. For cruisers & frigates the value seems to be high (90%+). But it does not seem to be that high for fighters, or fighters reach that threshold easily.

Post an all fighter challenge and run some fighters against it - you’ll see fighters leaving the battle even with no cautious orders.

I haven’t seen it happen to larger ships - they never live long enough to be seen running - but I have seen it with every race except Empire and Order (I don’t use those), and in every scenario and campaign battle I have used fighters in.

I’ve seen the behaviour occur when a vessel has had all of its weapons knocked out. There’s notification text along the lines of “My weapons are fused, I have to leave the battle.”

Hey now wait a minute…if the ships are retreating because all weapons are knocked out that could be a good thing…
Sure, the enemy then can fire on your still working ships, but I would personally preffer ships to auto-retreat if their weapos are knocked out than for them to sit there like targets if nothing better is there to shoot at…
Could this bug be the result of ships with no working weapons auto-retreating?

Auto retreat is just bad, with or without weapons. If they run, then the ships with weapons is going to be the ones getting hit. They better off sticking around to tank another hit.

I’m looking at this code now, and it’s always been there. It hasn’t changed recently, but perhaps people have noticed it more.
basically if a ship has had all it’s weapons destroyed, it retreats, or docks if it’s a fighter with a carrier.

Now the interesting thing is that a ship only considers that all it’s weapons are destroyed, if it had some to start with, so you can still produce weaponless ships that will not retreat with this condition (although don’t forget most enemy AI will ignroe ships, or at elast de-prioritize ships with no offensive weapons).

So the question is up for grabs as to hwo people feel about this. Obviously, it provides functionality that the current order system does not have, in that a lucky hit that just fuses your guns may not trigger a normal retreat condition, but this code handily overrides that and gets your ships fixed up quicker. On the other hand, it might be seen as undesirable, if you would rpefer a ship to sit in the front line and get blasted so as to soak up further enemy fire.

It is, however, not a bug, it is as designed, in that respect.


I think the caution tag is enough in doing the retreating. For the laser fighter, the laser makes up 30% of total HP. Losing that laser will be enough for 25% caution to kick in. For rocket or dual weapons, weapon HP makes up even higher percentages. So auto retreat offers no benefits in practice because losing all guns will always trigger a normal retreat condition of 25%.

I will vote for auto retreat to be removed, it is causing nothing but harm.

If it was always there, it wasn’t functional until 1.48. If fighters ever wall hugged the way they do now, most people would have spotted it.

Currently, ‘cautious’ doesn’t really work for non-fighters, because they seem to just go to their home side of the battlefield and park. What I want when I tell a frigate/cruiser to be ‘cautious’ is for them to notice that they are in trouble, break off, and then return to the battle after a certain period.

if (damage > cautious_threshold) retreat

if (I am a fighter){
if (Carriers present){
Head for nearest ship with a free hanger deck and dock
Return to battle
Do nothing // (Another approach would be if this section used the same code as for cruisers and frigates, but I don’t see much point for fighters)
if(cloak_present)Activate cloak
Withdraw to safe distance at max speed (‘safe distance’ = 1500 units from nearest non-fighter enemy ship? All the way back to my home side of the battlefield? Whichever of those happens first?)
Wait 10 seconds, maintaining safe distance
Return to battle

Even better than the above would be if I could set ‘cautious’ to pick up when a frigate/cruiser’s shields go below a certain threshold, so they can get out of range, recharge their shields, and then reengage. That would make it easier to build fast harassment ships that do hit-and-runs - they would dart into range, start shooting, notice when they’ve taken significant shield damage, fall back to recharge, and then repeat.

I would prefer that ships have their last weapon preserved in a diminished capacity. If I can’t have that, having them stick around as shields would be better. When half my all-fighter force turns into wall flowers, the remaining ones drop all the faster. It’s fun when it happens to the bad guys, not when it happens to me. :slight_smile:

Actually I did not see this behavior until Patch 7 of the campaign (alpha). And I reported it then. Something has triggered the code to work “better” now than it used to work before. We never saw this behavior, but we do now.

It actually kinda forces you to use carriers.

Hard to do when your strategy is to build huge fleets of fighters only to send after random fleets in the campaign.

So don’t put any weapons on your carrier. Have a bare bones cruiser with, say, 2 carrier bays, maybe armor and that is it.

FWIW its having an impact on fighters in the never ending challange too.

Previously the only Alien ships that managed to retreat were the occasional Cruiser. The fighters I’m picking just kept going till they died. On the screenshot you can see two major fighter balls, 2 smaller ones and a pileup of Crusiers at the bottom.

Not saying its a bad thing, but it wasn’t happening before.

Thinking about it a little more, I think this may have contributed to my currant score, fighters are pulling out of the combat significantly sooner.

It affects frigates and cruisers as well. The fighter problem can at least be solved with 1 carrier bay. When it happens to cruisers you just hope it dies or it drags a whole escort with it.

Worst part is, it doesn’t even work with repair, because a destroyed module cannot be repair at all. So it will still wall hug even after everything else is repaired. All this AI does is make you lose.

They will STILL be targeted first if they are on the target (class) first order. I have gone with a full defense carrier cruiser and nothing but fighters for the rest. In theory the other ships SHOULD attack the fighters as the cruiser does not have weapons. BUT if i do that it gets eaten by fighters, and if i add defense beams they get eaten for having weapons on them. Its a lose lose type of game. However i have not been playing GSB since New Vegas came out, And have gone back to Freelancer as I have been asked to join a development team for 88’flak.

so that with college has taken up a lot of my time as with general real life issues.

I’m adding a new order to the next patch. This will be ‘Last Stand’ and will prevent ships from retreating due to losing their weapons. You can still give them a conventional retreat order, and ships that never had any weapons are unaffected anyway.