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Author Topic: Phaeton, overpowered?  (Read 6895 times)

goduranus

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Phaeton, overpowered?
« on: June 09, 2017, 06:58:55 AM »

Just messing around with deploying civilian ships with leftover deployment points, noticed that the Phaeton costs 3 Deploy but has 49 Ordinance. This lets it mount Converted Hanger, plus Unstable Injector, ECM and other goodies. With a standard 100 point fleet you could deploy 30 fighters wings, albeit at reduced reinforcement rate. What do you think? Could an all Phaeton loadout be useful?

Megas

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Re: Phaeton, overpowered?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2017, 08:50:56 AM »

49 OP from Loadout Design 3.  Without it, Phaeton only has 45 OP, not that it matters too much.  Tarsus has 40 OP, and costs 3 to deploy, so it should be comparable too.

Fighter wings take too long to respawn on destroyers with Converted Hangar, which will kill Replacement Rate, and those ships cannot use Expanded Deck Crew to slow down the rate drain.

I would likely not risk my one or two tankers for that duty if deep beyond core, unless I get really desperate.  But you want to use many 3 OP ships for that, so that point is not relevant.

AI ships tend to send their fighters to escort your ship or their own.  They do not often send fighters to attack.  Maybe that can be overridden by the Fighter Strike command, but you probably need to issue that command once per enemy, and you probably need to get Operations Center hullmod and/or skill points in Command & Control to get enough CP to make repeated Fighter Strikes viable.  Even then, it seems Fighter Strike is more of a suggestion, and AI may decide to keep some fighters around someone for escort duty anyway.

I just put five Phaeton and three Tarsus with fighters against a SIM fleet of three destroyers and four frigates.  The enemy Hammerhead picked off the tankers one by one.  Fighters from escorts kept hovering around my ship, which does me no good if I am a fragile civilian myself and cannot get close to the enemy.  I send my fighters to engage an enemy, but they did not seem to do much against it.

Will twenty or more tankers in an all-tanker fleet be enough to offset that weakness late in the game?  I do not know.  I have not stockpiled that many tankers to try it.  If you have nothing else, the enemy will attack the tankers.

If you want to use civilians as carriers, and do not want to Fighter Strike every enemy into the ground, you need to pilot a dedicated combat ship that can wade into short-range with enemy ships so that your carriers' fighters that insist on escorting you will shoot up enemy ships near yours.
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Megas

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Re: Phaeton, overpowered?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2017, 10:31:58 AM »

Update:  I tried a bigger fleet with twelve civilians against a smaller fleet of destroyers and frigates, and ordered fighter strikes on all.  It was effective.  Next, I made the enemy fleet bigger, and added enemy cruisers and an carrier.  Enemy started killing tankers and my fighters lost steam.  Another attempt, this time led by a Falcon.  First time, no fighter strikes.  Fighters were too unfocused, enough got picked off, and then the tankers fled to regroup fighters, and my Falcon was overwhelmed.  Second time, ordering fighter strikes against everyone that my Falcon fought.  My fleet won, but not without losing some tankers.

To answer the OP, using Phaetons or Tarsus as carriers is cheap, but risky and not overpowered.  If you want to use a fleet of them as improved carriers, then you need the following:
  • Dedicated combat flagship to tank for your carriers.  More dedicated combat ships as tanks may help more.
  • Frequent use of Fighter Strike - select carriers (your tankers with Converted Hangar) and right-click target.
    • This probably uses a lot of CP.
      • You need Operations Center hullmod installed on your flagship.  You burn through CP fast ordering multiple Fighter Strikes.  Unfortunately, Operations Center costs a lot of OP, but you need it.
      • You may want at least Command & Control 2, and if you get that, might as well take it to 3 for better Coordinated Maneuvers and Electronic Warfare.
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cjuicy

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Re: Phaeton, overpowered?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2017, 01:44:57 PM »

If you need a tank flagship, why not use a Mora. It is literally a brick with MORE fighters. IIRC it also has at least some cargo space.
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Megas

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Re: Phaeton, overpowered?
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2017, 02:14:26 PM »

OP merely wants to know if a fleet of tankers or similarly powered civilians can sweep fleets.  From my limited testing, the answer is maybe.  They can do it, but it is not so easy.

I tried Hammerhead as my warship first, but it got outranged and it was not quite sturdy enough.  I upgraded to Falcon since it is fairly common (just recover one from pirates if nothing else), not too expensive, and it has decent combat stats.

Mora may be able to soak damage, but it is slow and not designed for brawling.  It may be a good carrier, but the point of the warship is something that can stop the enemy from overrunning and killing your tankers.  If you yourself need to kite and hide with your tankers, that will not do because the enemy will just start killing tankers.  AI Mora will hide with the tankers and keep its fighters to itself or have them escort you, unless you order a Fighter Strike.

The point of the dedicated combat ships is not just soaking damage, but to intercept the enemy and bring the fight to them away from your tankers.  While you are fighting, the enemy will try to move around your fleet and pick off tankers.  You do not want to let that happen if you can.

If my flagship could hide with the civilians, I would use yet another tanker for this exercise... which I did and it did not work well against similarly sized enemy fleets, let alone bigger fleets.
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Sharp

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Re: Phaeton, overpowered?
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2017, 02:19:10 PM »

Buffalo Mk2 has 70 OP and 4 deployment cost, a bit more speed and some weapons to help survivability. Of course no shields hurts.

But then again Condor is 10 deployment cost but has 2 fighter wings so 5 per wing, and no fighter replacement penalty.

I think the fleet of Condors with LRM spam will be more deadly then the Phaetons.
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Megas

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Re: Phaeton, overpowered?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2017, 03:34:23 PM »

Come to think of it, the original reason why I tried a dedicated combat flagship is because your AI teammates will send many fighters to escort you.  While escorting you, they only attack enemies if they get close enough to you.  If your ship avoids the enemy (because it cannot take a hit), then that escort is wasted.  That said, trying to take advantage of that is not useful enough because the fighters are sufficiently unfocused.  For making fighters from multiple ships swarm a target, Fighter Strike is almost required.

As for me, so much for the idea of a carrier fleet, if I must build for additional CP and micromanage fleets much more to make AI carriers launch fighters at an enemy instead of letting fighters buzz around your flagship or their motherships.
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Aereto

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Re: Phaeton, overpowered?
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2017, 03:59:38 PM »

Come to think of it, the original reason why I tried a dedicated combat flagship is because your AI teammates will send many fighters to escort you.  While escorting you, they only attack enemies if they get close enough to you.  If your ship avoids the enemy (because it cannot take a hit), then that escort is wasted.  That said, trying to take advantage of that is not useful enough because the fighters are sufficiently unfocused.  For making fighters from multiple ships swarm a target, Fighter Strike is almost required.

As for me, so much for the idea of a carrier fleet, if I must build for additional CP and micromanage fleets much more to make AI carriers launch fighters at an enemy instead of letting fighters buzz around your flagship or their motherships.

Then again, small ship command and high CP cap and regen is the Leadership path. If you are more of an up close and personally shove antimatter blasters or an Onslaught up their rears/faces, Combat tree is more for you. Otherwise those combat tree is better in the hands of AI officers commanding those tanky ships.

At lease CP is fully recoverable, unlike previous versions where comm relays are needed to extend available CP use. I mean I actually did a hands-off run where I let AI and autopilot deal with the threat while I am at the tactical view telling ships the objectives like capping a point or want a specific ship sunk.
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Megas

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Re: Phaeton, overpowered?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2017, 04:48:20 PM »

@ Aereto:  I am interested in building a generalist character that can adapt to varying situations and do everything well.  One day, I want to pilot a big battleship and crush things; another day, I want to pilot a carrier and do a good job at it.  If the only way to use all carrier fleet effectively is to invest in CP skills because the AI is normally stupid with fighters, then having a fleet of only carriers will not be very effective if not built for it.  However, aside from that niche, CP skills are mostly useless because the AI can usually take care of itself.

However, in attempting the scenario presented by the OP, civilians are not very good carriers, and they are slow and fragile.  If there are no sturdy combat ships to take the fight to enemies, then the enemy will drive up to the civilians-turned-carrier, and kill them all.  If you want to be a civilian too, then all of the fighters hovering around you instead of flying at enemies to kill them does you no good.  The only way to tell fighters to kill enemies is to order Fighter Strikes, but unless character is built for it, you do not have enough CP to make that work.  If you lack the CP to order fighter strikes against everything, then the only alternative is to pilot a ship sturdy enough to fight enemies so that the fighter escorts civilians send at you will be put to good use.
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Aereto

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Re: Phaeton, overpowered?
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2017, 07:05:42 PM »

@ Aereto:  I am interested in building a generalist character that can adapt to varying situations and do everything well.  One day, I want to pilot a big battleship and crush things; another day, I want to pilot a carrier and do a good job at it.  If the only way to use all carrier fleet effectively is to invest in CP skills because the AI is normally stupid with fighters, then having a fleet of only carriers will not be very effective if not built for it.  However, aside from that niche, CP skills are mostly useless because the AI can usually take care of itself.

However, in attempting the scenario presented by the OP, civilians are not very good carriers, and they are slow and fragile.  If there are no sturdy combat ships to take the fight to enemies, then the enemy will drive up to the civilians-turned-carrier, and kill them all.  If you want to be a civilian too, then all of the fighters hovering around you instead of flying at enemies to kill them does you no good.  The only way to tell fighters to kill enemies is to order Fighter Strikes, but unless character is built for it, you do not have enough CP to make that work.  If you lack the CP to order fighter strikes against everything, then the only alternative is to pilot a ship sturdy enough to fight enemies so that the fighter escorts civilians send at you will be put to good use.
Fair enough. Smaller frigates are first to perform flanking action, which are the bane of rear line ships.
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Zhentar

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Re: Phaeton, overpowered?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2017, 04:25:27 PM »

ECM warfare got you down? Load up a few phaetons with ECM Packages, deploy them, and order them to hide in a corner.
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erikem

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Re: Phaeton, overpowered?
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2017, 03:45:22 AM »

Just a quick comment: Valkyries are even better than Phaetons.

Valkyrie costs same 3 DP to deploy but it has:
55 OP against 45 of Phaeton
3500 hull against 2000 of Phaeton
400 armor against 350 of Phaeton
Front shield, while Phaeton has omni shield of the same arc (it's worse than Phaeton here)
44 shields upkeep against 75 of Phaeton
0.8 shield flux/damage against 1.2 of Phaeton
2250 flux capacity against 2000 of Phaeton
110 flux dissipation against 150 of Phaeton (it's worse than Phaeton here)
80 top speed against 50 of Phaeton
Valkyrie does not have civilian-grade hull hullmod
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cjuicy

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Re: Phaeton, overpowered?
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2017, 07:23:27 PM »

Just a quick comment: Valkyries are even better than Phaetons.

Valkyrie costs same 3 DP to deploy but it has:
55 OP against 45 of Phaeton
3500 hull against 2000 of Phaeton
400 armor against 350 of Phaeton
Front shield, while Phaeton has omni shield of the same arc (it's worse than Phaeton here)
44 shields upkeep against 75 of Phaeton
0.8 shield flux/damage against 1.2 of Phaeton
2250 flux capacity against 2000 of Phaeton
110 flux dissipation against 150 of Phaeton (it's worse than Phaeton here)
80 top speed against 50 of Phaeton
Valkyrie does not have civilian-grade hull hullmod
It also has two small energy mounts at the front
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