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Author Topic: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka  (Read 401 times)

Arcagnello

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My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« on: December 02, 2019, 02:05:34 PM »

So, I've finally finished my second vanilla campaign. I ended up with postponing my modded experience since I wanted to see what all the dakka in vanilla was all about. It impressed me in some ways and disappointed me in others.Anyway, the self imposed rules of this campaign were to
1)not use any laser weapon bigger than an LR laser, excluding taclasers
2)Not use any "blue trail" ship, not even the pirate ones, I also avoided ships that could be undone by the "no energy" rule like the Eagles and barred some ships I used extensively in the previous campaign (Drover) and a single fighter type (Spark, because ofc the thing is disgusting)
3)Play Iron Mode and not safescum, no matter how unfair it got. I've got to say I managed it somewhat. This had to make me restrart the campaign once but no matter since it was a very dumb reason anyway.

With that out of the way, here's my fleet starting from biggest to smallest ship:

Legion (normal variant): 6



I fell in love with the standard version of this. I was not a big fan of litterally running out of weapons on a ship that more or less can only retreat at 40 speed so I went into customization with the objective of suppressing any and all enemies by overloading shields and drowning them in fighters, sometimes both at the same time, 7 Hypervelocity drivers really do work at any range, with great flux efficiency and EMP effects to boot. Three of the legions are full of Broadsword Heavy Fighters when I basically just need them to do shield damage and keep the enemy occupied, while the other 3 are with a full Hammer loadout to give all sorts of fast and/or phase ships the heebie jeebies. A stock (no commander in there) variant of this can beat pretty much anything but a Paragon, two stock versions beat that one too, abeit after some time. They are not the primary damage dealers in my fleet.

Dominator (IV group): 8



This thing. It just wont die. It's great against a superior enemy force or to just distract one of those [REDACTED] murder bois from eating away at my legions uninterrupted. 11k health, high armor, the amazing point defence when compared to capitals and the brutalistic way it fights really sold me on the Dominator. I simply tossed any and all missile weaponry aside and just went for the dakka. The Mk.9 autocannon does amazing damage against shields but it also does some good work against armor. A pair of Hypervelocity drivers would probably work better than the maulers but I wanted more of a generalist unit as the backbone of my fleet and this does it. I find the auxiliary thrusters to be ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY since the thing handles like a damn log into a pool of molasse, it also renders it pretty capable of chasing down destroyers and even frigades effectively in conjuction with the booster, with the added bonus of not getting absolutely shredded by phase ships without a fight.

Heron : 5



I used to want a fast, nimble destroyer to properly couple my very heavy fleet composition, but I soon found out (against endgame fleets) that I lacked both concentrated shield and armor damage to quicly finish off/keep away the most dangerous enemies. I decided to build upon my already solid fighter presence with bomber action and it paid off quite well. The Heron is a really fast, hard hitting carrier that might not be doing decisive damage to enemies bigger than a destroyer but that will force retreats and/or allow my Dominators to keep the pressure on and bring the target down.



While I definetly had more fun in this fleet compared to the laser vomit one, I've got to admit I did not like the lenghts at wich the vanilla meta forced me to change its compositions, especially the weapons. Kinetic damage is just the way to go I'm afraid. High explosive damage just does not cut it if the enemy has such a huge flux pool that it's basically making your own ship fire less effectively and the enemy one advance more aggressively. Armor more or less feels like just an extansion of HP pools and not something that should totally be able to negate small arms fire damage like shield weapons or hell, even Broadsword machinegun fire.

Speaking of wich, fighters are so damn strong, even without sparks. Broadsowrds are basically infinite HP pools you throw at the enemy and a full Hammer squad is superior to any frigade/destroyer when it comes to chasing things down and hardcountering swarm plays/phase ships. I just wish there was more depth into it rather than "forget the high explosive, just spam kinetic and EMP until everything dies" approach.

Another thing I wished was better AI ship designs. Is there a mod making enemy ships have better customization?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 02:52:48 PM by Arcagnello »
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goduranus

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Re: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 06:27:46 PM »

The mod in my signature gives enemy ships better customization, if you use other mods that add ship variants there might be conflicts, due to my poor modding skills. But it works fine as long as you don’t have other ship mods installed.

Arcagnello

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Re: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 07:43:12 PM »

Thank you man!
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Lucky33

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Re: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 10:51:02 PM »

Kinetic damage is just the way to go I'm afraid. High explosive damage just does not cut it if the enemy has such a huge flux pool that it's basically making your own ship fire less effectively and the enemy one advance more aggressively.

Its not exactly correct. If you dont have any sources of high powered HE (750 or more per shot) AI will try to vent flux. Even single successful venting will ruin your efficiency. I'd recommend replacing one of these HVDs with the Hellbore.
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TaLaR

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Re: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2019, 11:08:05 PM »

Simulator skews perception of KE vs HE. In campaign enemies have character skills that massively boost armor/hull survivability and spam capitals like no tomorrow.

Doesn't mean that you can't do mostly KE builds. Such builds excel against frigates/DE, but are dependent on external support for HE damage against larger ship (like strike carriers).
A Legion can perform both roles with 2x Gauss + HE bombers (though it's quite OP starved - you need to max out dissipation to use Gauss and bombers are OP expensive as well).
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 11:09:44 PM by TaLaR »
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Arcagnello

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Re: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 07:08:14 AM »

Kinetic damage is just the way to go I'm afraid. High explosive damage just does not cut it if the enemy has such a huge flux pool that it's basically making your own ship fire less effectively and the enemy one advance more aggressively.

Its not exactly correct. If you dont have any sources of high powered HE (750 or more per shot) AI will try to vent flux. Even single successful venting will ruin your efficiency. I'd recommend replacing one of these HVDs with the Hellbore.

My legions used to have 2 hellbore/2Dual Flak/5 HVDs, no small weapons and no expanded deck crew in the past to be more combat focused before I found the XIV Dominator blueprints. I did not like how I basically only had an initial wave of fighters against an enemy with good point defence, or how [REDACTED] would just shrug off any and all non-kinetic damage and pressure my legions until they died.

I might go as far as saying that giving the AI the chance to vent almost works to my favour since Mk.9 Autocannons and all the EMP weaponry my fleet possesses gets the chance to more or less disable the enemy whilst it's venting like mad. That's exactly the way I beat bounties with more than one Paragon deployed on the field at once. They just could not fire amidts all the venting, EMP disruption or because of the fortress shield.

Simulator skews perception of KE vs HE. In campaign enemies have character skills that massively boost armor/hull survivability and spam capitals like no tomorrow.

Doesn't mean that you can't do mostly KE builds. Such builds excel against frigates/DE, but are dependent on external support for HE damage against larger ship (like strike carriers).
A Legion can perform both roles with 2x Gauss + HE bombers (though it's quite OP starved - you need to max out dissipation to use Gauss and bombers are OP expensive as well).

I mostly made the changes to full KE/EMP loadouts after my initial fights with [REDACTED]. My Dominators used to sport dual gauss, my Legions had 2 Hellbore, 2 dual flak and 5 HVDs with no small armaments and I even had two Conquests and one Onslaught.

The Dominator works best with high efficiency KE since it can overcome its own shortcomings by always keeping the pressure on and forcing the enemy to either put its shields down or vent, the Legion has mediocre fight capabilities without using missiles so I just wanted it to apply pressure and ensure fighter dominance. Both Conquest and Onslaught proved inefficient compared to the Dominator as it brings a lot more HP, mobility and versatility to the table as far as my campaign experience goes.

I mean I can just send a single Dominator to kite [REDACTED] or a Paragon while everything else the enemy has is destroyed and not be mad once it gets disabled after a couple of minutes of keeping the most broken ship in the game effectively away from the fight.  Two of them can even put up a decent fight if they attack togheder and force a retreat.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 08:03:10 AM »

You should try annihilator pods on the dominators. The zero flux HE pressure really adds a lot to the ship. Running out of ammo sucks, but usually if you can win the beginning of the fight, you can get more DP to bring in reinforcements and finish the fight cleanly.
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Plantissue

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Re: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2019, 08:07:50 AM »

I say about 20-40% of damage should be HE, depending on the type of KE and HE you have and whatever you happen to be facing. Facing redacted repeatedly can greatly skew towards KE. Some KE and HE weapons have larger impacts whilst others fire a lot of smaller shots which  are less effective against armour and HP. For instance the Hellbore can strip armour from an Onslaught faster than a Hephaestus Assault Gun, but HP damage is slightly more than the Hellbore once armour is completely depleted and HyperVelocity Driver and Gauss cannon can destroy a suprising amount of armour per hit.

Anyways, it is always interesting to see how others build their ships. For instance I generally find that the Legion cannot "do it all" but you've managed to happily have both Expanded Deck Crew and Integrated Targeting Unit on your ship.

I feel like that you can replace 3 of the HVD with a Gauss Cannon, but I suppose that would look unsymmetrical. Dominator is pretty nice. If you want more OP spare I find removing the two vulcans on the side with the 180 arc, will retain coverage, or if you are really brave, choose another of 2 of the 4 vulcans at the rear to remove. Heron is nice, though I question the point of hardened subsystem when the Dominator does not. I guess you find there are moments when the Dominator PPT isn't ticking down. Since missiles are not a threat to herons normally, I find that you can reduce the number of PD to 3 or 4.

BTW, how did you feel (ignoring the Heron) playing with slow ships affected your gameplay or choices?
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Arcagnello

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Re: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2019, 08:38:41 AM »

Playing with relatively slow ships actually felt refreshing after the laservomit kitefest that was my first campaign. Having a force that could stand it's ground and repel a good 95% of enemy fleets on Point Defence order made for a much better piloting experience during battle, having a place to retreat back to with my personal Dominator and all that.

I did not find the mobility disappointing, I regularly see my AI controlled dominators  being absolute Chads boosting face first into the enemy and getting away with it thanks to their armor, additional thrusters, weaponry and HP pool, they're only ever slow when they have to retreat when facing the enemy, something I built my task force to prevent. Legions are way more sluggish than I would normally allow in my fleet (hence why no Onslaughts) but their very long engagement range using fighters more than makes up for it, especially the Hammer variants.

I filled dominators with point defence because they usually sit beside a Legion and those things have no additional thrusters and have no back-facing Shields or point defence to boot, I felt that removing any PD from the other units would be a tad too daring.

As for hardened subsystems, I always see my Herons running out a lot faster than both dominators and Legions, probably due to the smaller ship size? I rarely have the latter two get into malfuction territory, while the heron would costantly need to retreat in prolonged battles like sieging a powerful star fortress with a defending fleet. Remkvi g a few PDs is a good idea tough.

I also wish more people shared what their final fleets look like, it really makes for some great discussions and experimentation.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 08:45:12 AM by Arcagnello »
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Lucky33

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Re: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2019, 09:09:21 AM »

Legions have twice the CR time than Herons. Dominators are inbetween.
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Plantissue

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Re: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2019, 09:54:57 AM »

I'm not sure what you mean by "laservomit kitefest". It certainly sounds more interesting than Legion/Dominator/Heron. Perhaps you can post those up instead?

What is this Point Defence order? Is it a mod? Or do you mean the escort order?

In my experience, Dominators only boost if they think they have the advantage. In either case whether enemy dominator or mine, they tend to get surrounded and die in short order. So I am wondering what you are doing that doesn't face that problem. The biggest difference between my Dominators and yours is that mine has missile mounts and/or heavy armour, whilst yours do not. Perhaps maximising capacitors is much more important than I thought for survivability? I'll have to test your fleet to find out.

I don't think vulcans are any good for defending other ships. I only use them for their own self defence. But I suppose legions may need PD defence from other ships if their fighters are elsewhere. A difference of ship role and use.

I'll have to show my various end fleets sometime, since you are showing yours. You have stimulated some thinking for me, hopefully I can do the same for others.
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Arcagnello

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Re: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2019, 04:00:01 PM »

The mod in my signature gives enemy ships better customization, if you use other mods that add ship variants there might be conflicts, due to my poor modding skills. But it works fine as long as you don’t have other ship mods installed.

Alright so I'm planning on what mods I could install for the next campaign:

-Your mod since AI loadouts leave a lot to be desired when it comes to actual difficulty, it will at least cover the vanilla designs
-Vayra's sector
-Vayra's ship pack
-Nexerelin
-Combat Analytics & Detailed Combat Results
-Combat Chatter

Will see how much I can manage to break the game to the point where it can't run in my first try :P

I'm not sure what you mean by "laservomit kitefest". It certainly sounds more interesting than Legion/Dominator/Heron. Perhaps you can post those up instead?

What is this Point Defence order? Is it a mod? Or do you mean the escort order?

In my experience, Dominators only boost if they think they have the advantage. In either case whether enemy dominator or mine, they tend to get surrounded and die in short order. So I am wondering what you are doing that doesn't face that problem. The biggest difference between my Dominators and yours is that mine has missile mounts and/or heavy armour, whilst yours do not. Perhaps maximising capacitors is much more important than I thought for survivability? I'll have to test your fleet to find out.

I don't think vulcans are any good for defending other ships. I only use them for their own self defence. But I suppose legions may need PD defence from other ships if their fighters are elsewhere. A difference of ship role and use.

I'll have to show my various end fleets sometime, since you are showing yours. You have stimulated some thinking for me, hopefully I can do the same for others.

Well, the fleet I'm referring to is in my first endgame fleet thread I made a while ago ( https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=17286.0 ). That one I can basically let the AI handle almost every enemy without ever worring about losing a ship. Hardened Shield, long range auroras are DISGUSTING, especially coupled with an astral or two.
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goduranus

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Re: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2019, 02:14:34 AM »

ah but my mod messes with other ship mods, I’ll try to fix it when I get time.

Plantissue

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Re: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2019, 07:10:59 AM »

Legions have twice the CR time than Herons. Dominators are inbetween.
It does? I thought CR depletes at the same rate for every ship once PPT is gone. Can anybody else confirm?

Well, the fleet I'm referring to is in my first endgame fleet thread I made a while ago ( https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=17286.0 ). That one I can basically let the AI handle almost every enemy without ever worring about losing a ship. Hardened Shield, long range auroras are DISGUSTING, especially coupled with an astral or two.
I missed that thread somehow. I thought you was talking about the pulse lasers. Normally we call those "beam" or "beam spam" or "soft flux" weapons since most energy weapons  have laser in their name.
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Plantissue

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Re: My second endgame fleet, this time with more dakka
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2019, 08:48:00 AM »

I did say that you don't need Capitals to fight remnants, so I thought I'll post that fleeet up first. Not really an end fleet but just a fleet to fight Remnants with. This was in Version 0.9a, back when default battle size was 200. Colonies were introduced and you could plonk down as many industries as you wanted and I wanted to test out the new colony mechanics so all the money went into colonies, so that's how the fleet evolved. At the time I only had Apogee blueprint for cruisers and later for Aurora. Had capitals blueprint but didn't want to use it. Aforementioned colony mechanics meant that multiple colonies in one system were well defended, so I never did fight those massive expedition fleets, instead fighting redacted and generally trading and exploring the universe. Didn't fight pirate bounties. Fleet was based around Apogee and a smattering of personally piloted ships and Tempest and Omen.  Mostly deploy the Apogees and a phase ship at the start of battle.


There are 6 Apogees in the fleet. This is the main force. 6 Apogees might seem to be few nowadays, but you can't fit that many ships into a 200 battlesize game anyways. Since the main opponents I have chosen to fight are the Remnants, they usually don't have the big fleets, no more than 300 DP most of the time, so it's enough. In version 0.9a, the Apogee had 0.6 Flux/Damage instead of 0.7, so its now can take 86% of the damage it used so the Apogee is a bit weaker now. Newest version fixes that wierd tilt the Apogee had so it's not all bad. Plasma Cannon as the single large energy mount is the main damage dealer. Other options simply don't have the DPS per weapon. One of the Apogee have a Tachyon Lance, not sure why, it was a while ago. The large missile mount varies between Hurricane MIRV, Locusts and Squalls. I think the Squall didn't do much. The small mounts all seem to have different weapons. Not sure why either, I guess I didn't care. The two rear pulse lasers are there to ward off frigates and fighters. Otherwise the Apogee seems to be effective against remnant destroyers all the way to Radiant. They can absorb and deal a lot of damage relative to their DP, giving them plent of time to retreat when threatened and provide plenty of opportunity for whatever ship I was personally piloting, usually Afflictor or Harbinger.

Spoiler
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Since the Radiant is faster than the mediocre speed of the Apogee, there needs to be something that can help chase the Radiant which the Apogee cannot catch up to. It turns out soloing a radiant with an Afflictor is not that good an idea. Sometimes you end up cornering a Radiant at the end with the Apogees and it all works out fine. Harbinger does well enough, but it would be nice to have something to help, which is what the Aurora is there for. Sometimes I would choose to personally pilot it, chucking out whatever officer happened to be on it at the time. Though looking at it, since it is there to chase Radiants, I should had armed it with some missiles but whatever.

Spoiler
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Just an alternative Aurora. More of an anti-frigate Aurora since otherwise they run away. Does well enough. Probably not optimal.

Spoiler
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Rather Proud of this one. I have a 2 Tempests in the fleet, but an Omen too works wonders. Something is needed to kill frigates and support the Apogees and Omens are different. That Antimatter Blaster is great for personally piloting. It almost faces forward so it's easy to twitch a little and fire it off with seeming disproportionate results. Just remember to be circling clockwise.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 08:49:58 AM by Plantissue »
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