Ideas for solving the fighter spam campaign problem

Discussion of the space strategy game where you design ships, issue orders to your fleet, then play hands-off battles against human or AI designed enemies.
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Re: Ideas for solving the fighter spam campaign problem

Postby 123stw » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:42 pm

Well if you want to stop people from using fighters entirely, then that will work.

Fighters isn't a problem when you play online challenges, it's just the fleets in the campaign isn't equipped to handle them.

Frigate spams are fine in online challenges, where they only have to fight 1 battles at a time. The campaign is just rigged against them, or any rush in general. Although I do think their plasma can be improved to increase their use as backline support. Give them 1050 range and they will become a lot better than they are now.
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Re: Ideas for solving the fighter spam campaign problem

Postby laslin » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:18 am

I think frigate can do fine against fighter, as for a anti fighter frigate ,don't
mount all gun to try to deal more damage, instead more armour . just like
a cruiser tank, a frigate tank can hold longer against whatever fighter spam,
then mix them with some better dmg output frigate,then u got urself a better
chance against fighter.

for campaign, I do feel frigate is underpower because how easy it is to lose them,
so I propose, there should be some sort of refund , let ppl recover some expense
and crew from lose frigate. (or for every class, but frigate share highest return ratio)

the fabric reason is , fighter usually explode when dying, cruiser is too huge for
crew to escape on time, frigate,however offer some survival ability for the fact
it is a capital ship, and crew are ez to flee from it. and thier hull is fragile to
break apart,making them easier to savage for cash.
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Re: Ideas for solving the fighter spam campaign problem

Postby jackau » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:56 pm

I love the new galactic conquest mode. It is the closest thing to a Japanese galactic conquest game I played back in the DOS age (that games gives player far more control on the battle field however).

Fighters are really out of balance IMO.
frigates are too weak, both fighter and Cruisers make short work of this ship type regardless how well armored it is.
I was able to sweep across the galaxy with just two fighter designs. Even the best armor turtle capship fleet gets eliminated by my swarm (took some 5 minutes on 4X, they were so damn well armored they barely move at all.).

I suggest given frigates across all races a short range burst EMP weapon in which disables fighters coming at close range would increase the effectiveness of Frigates.

A penalty on invading fighters should also be applied. They should not be allow to unleash unrestrained on its own. Say, one 16 fighter block per frigate and 2 per cruiser on invading fleets. (home planet and inter-planet transport are not affected, yet a planetary total fighter cap should apply.)

There can be a fighter limit cap or ship limit cap on selected system or make it an anomaly.

Then there can be some in game anomaly, such as high level EMP burst disables all fighters for a few seconds (shake the screen should be enough to emulate the effect LOL).
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Re: Ideas for solving the fighter spam campaign problem

Postby IONDragonX » Tue May 24, 2011 3:44 pm

I haven't played the campaign much but, from what I've read on this forum, I think that there should be an easy solution.

Simply, I think that Warp Cores should be a new component just for campaign mode. Frigates and Cruisers could have level 1 and Cruisers could have level 2. Fighters wouldn't have access because they can't survive the process without shields. Warp Cores would not replace engines in battle. (maybe a special WC could, such as an unlocked tech)
WC1 allows the ship to move itself from planet to planet. Any fighters riding in a Carrier Bay would be included.
WC2 allows the ship to move itself, any riding fighters, and a specified amount of other ships from planet to planet. I'd suggest one extra cruiser or three frigates. More realistically, the number and type of extra ships could be determined by their mass and the available power output of the WC2 Cruiser. The latter would be calculated sans weapons, engines and other non-essentials that would get shut down during warp.
I'd suggest that a Carrier Bay could carry 32 fighters and a Reinforced Carrier Bay could carry 40. I'd also add a Frigate Fighter Bay that could carry 12.
Organizing your armies would be by the Warp Cores and the Carrier Bays nested in them.
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Re: Ideas for solving the fighter spam campaign problem

Postby Lord Herodotus » Wed May 25, 2011 4:24 pm

Well, my experience of Campaign the last couple of weeks has been that there are no fleets to fight worthy of the name, with or without fighters. A couple of frigates, or a frigate with a wing of fighters, or maybe a single cruiser is the worst the system throws at me, even on Admiral difficulty. It is a big let down, and if anyone has any suggestions for how to get more intreresting opposition into the campaign, even it is only Spam, I would really appreciate.

One thing I like about the campaign set up, though, is that it forces you to come up with some flexible frigate designs, because they are the only ships whose movements are completely unrestricted. Fighters are blocked from passing through certain systems, cruisers through others, but frigates can go anywhere. I wish they had better gear sometimes too, but a massed fleet of frigates, with a mixture of plasma and ion cannons, can do a lot of damage.
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Re: Ideas for solving the fighter spam campaign problem

Postby The Boz » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:13 pm

I've read the entire thread, and I can't relate at all. I wonder if we're even playing the same game. Could the galaxy have something to do with it? I play on the 20-planet one.
My strategy is simple: all big ship. Five different variants of cruiser to handle the five different roles. I've got my Tiger as the tank, the Buffalo as the anti-fighter, the Eagle as the long range plasma, the Panther as the anti-tank and the Rabbit for medium range frigate hunting. In battles, I usually have multiple ships, anything from three to two dozen. Sometimes, a pair of armor tanks and thirty bombers come at me. The fight after, I have to deal with beamspam rush of five cruisers and a dozen frigates. The one after that, nine MWM cruisers obliterate my fleet. Then, on the other edge of the universe, I get invaded by a single all-armor quantum blaster cruiser that my force there can not beat, but that deals basically no damage, so I have to retreat.
I either lose nothing or everything in combat. I'm yet to have a damaged ship survive the fight to be repaired. The farther out from my home planet I go, the higher the chance of running into the exact counter to my fleet, and losing it and a few planets along with it.
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Re: Ideas for solving the fighter spam campaign problem

Postby joe1512 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:51 pm

I agree that fighters are too powerful. When you match up equal credits of fighters vs frigates or cruisers that are specifically designed as anti-fighter...and the fighters still win... that is wrong!

The fighters are good vs just about anything. The anti-fighter ships are useless against anything except fighters. Hence they should win by a significant margin. Yet, they don't. Tractor beams work quite well, but they only 'kill' 1 fighter every 10 seconds or so by the time they lock on, slow it down so a different weapon kills it, and recovers from cooldown. Anti-Fighter missiles work alright but they are frigate-only and frigates have a hard time surviving against fighters much moreso than cruisers due to thinner armor and shields. Cruiser Defense Lasers are bad...even a cruiser loaded down with them STILL cannot hit very well against 2 speed fighters, not without tractor beam support. Even a 15 armor frigate will lose quickly to laser fighters due to lucky shots.

The point is this: A fleet typically gets trashed HARD by a fleet that hard-counters it. We've all seen this happen many many times. However, there is NOTHING that I know of that reliably beats fighters in the same overwhelming ratio (given equal credits). The best counter Ive been able to come up with is have MY fighters escorting my cruisers and hope the enemy fighters attack my AA-cruiser instead of my fighters. My cruiser tractors help even more.
Even then, this isn't much of a counter.
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Re: Ideas for solving the fighter spam campaign problem

Postby 123stw » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:28 pm

Na, anti fighter cruisers beat fighters credit to credit, by a lot. Take this for example

Tribe Utopia Cruiser
6x Ultraheavy Armor, 4x Tribe repair, light shield, crew 2, engine 1, power 1, defense laser

Just 1 of them can tank 1000 fighters for a whole minute while your other ships blast them down with pulse lasers. Dump one in front whenever you encounter fighter spam, and escort 2 lure fighters to it with 600 range just to pull all the aggros. But yes you are right that fighters are far more universal in campaign so it's easier just to have your own fighter spams than going too heavy on anti fighters.

And TBH I only beaten normal with Tribe Plasma Beam (which has no natural counters), 1 or 2 anti fighter tanks, and mass Tribe Fighters. It's really not saying much given how OP Tribe is. I was always more into online challenges where I can Gratuitously tinker with my fleets.

Anti fighter frigates by contrast just sucks. Just don't bother with them.
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Re: Ideas for solving the fighter spam campaign problem

Postby tater » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:03 am

Fighter ordnance should be limited. Even a frigate would conceivably hold many "battery rounds" (to borrow from Traveller's High Guard ;) ) of reloads. Fighters have whatever is hanging off the wings (or hull).

Ideally, fighter energy weapons should be weak (requiring a long dwell time near larger units to do damage, and a large chance of getting killed). Fighter missiles, OTOH, can be as strong as any other unit's missiles/torps. They should only carry a few, however, the bigger, the fewer.

This would instantly balance fighters, and would require them to have a mother ship.

Solution (these require cliff, obviously):

1. weapon modules can have a line for what size targets they will ever shoot at (no line in module, and it assumes "all size targets"). Anti-ship missile might have Target_size=FRIGATE, CRUISER, then it will ONLY fire at those size classes.

2. weapon modules can have a line for total number of reloads/shots carried. (existing fighter missiles, etc can have that number set to a value based on testing if the goal is balance for the stock game (6?))

3. Units will return to mothership when their expendables = 0 to rearm.

Set fighter torps/missiles (unless explicitly "anti-fighter") to attack all sizes EXCEPT fighter. Set reasonable reloads per fighter. Attack fighters can then be set to attack certain targets (say frigates or cruisers) with their "bombs" set to only attack large units, and their defensive lasers (if any) will defend vs fighters without them wasting the bomb (torp/missile). Makes for "space superiority" type fighters, and attack (fighter-bomber) units. You'd get laser armed units looking for fighters to protect against unless the admiral orders them to harass a larger unit, and the attack units rushing in, attacking, then running to rearm for another attack run. Still very gratuitous, but makes far more sense. It also opens the possibility for NASTY fighter weapons, balanced by the need to rearm (huge missiles might be very heavy, etc).

Note that my idea for a new line in the modules to limit what targets are addressed, or even the idea of a new line to count the number of reloads could be added to a new race since the default conditions of no such line in the module would be read as the game is at the present.

Add a new race that uses huge, fighter carried bombs that can seriously damage large ships---but each fighter carries ONE, and it has the limited targeting so it is not wasted on fighters.

A new race, with a unique tactic... then we have the useful 2 lines to mod away with into the bargain.

I'd happily pony up the $6 for that.

Ditto other calls for spinal weapons. New race that uses spinal mounts. Slow to fire, do loads of damage. They need the new target_size= line to not waste them on fighters, too, and the spinal nature makes them unique and cool.

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