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Author Topic: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded  (Read 3595 times)

XazoTak

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Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« on: December 01, 2018, 04:54:09 AM »

This is basically unbeatable, unless your fleet is designed to counter this.
This occurred because an absurdly huge invasion was sent to disrupt my heavy industry, and instead of being slightly staggered like usual 5 of the 6 fleets all arrived at my planet simultaneously.
I deployed an Astral bomber carrier to defend the battlestation (didn't think a star fortress was necessary, boy was I wrong) and natural selection took place.
First big ships went from being abundant to being scarce.
Then the normal frigates died off.
Then most of the phase frigates followed suit.
Although perhaps a hundred ships had been downed by this point (The Astral and station suffering minimal damage), almost no carriers had been lost, because there were tonnes of Dovers and Herons and they're really hard to kill.

Now, the enemy fleet was nothing but carriers with a sprinkling of phase frigates, and due to the sheer number of tankers and troop transports brought with, they still held the DP advantage.
The Astral drowned in fighters.
The station drowned in fighters.
The counterattack drowned in fighters.
The retreat drowned in fighters.

Basically, the enemy sacrificed almost their entire ultrastupidmassive fleet to boil it down to a still huge fleet of their most survivable ships, meaning fighting 120DP worth of tried-and-trusted super-survivable ships using only 80DP, which is basically impossible.
I think maybe the lesson here is that Heron and Dover are OP, if a fleet composed entirely of those ships actually works extremely well.
Heron and Dover both offer a great fighter:DP ratio, and they're way faster than other carriers so the tentative shooting of AI ships will never kill them.
Between speed, damage, and endurance, a ship should only have two at the most. Heron gives all three however: Speed rivalling that of destroyers, the endurance of a cruiser, and the damage of three fighter wings.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 04:58:56 AM by XazoTak »
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TaLaR

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Re: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2018, 05:09:09 AM »

How exactly is this a bug? A balance suggestion at best.
Your Astral's bombers got countered by fighters, as expected. How did you expect to hunt faster carriers that use fighters (and superior amount of them) with single bomber-only Astral anyway?
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Thaago

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Re: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2018, 09:39:18 AM »

Have you heard the word about our Lord and Savior, Onslaught? :P

More seriously: Yeah, fighter fleets are powerful... Right up until you take a skilled combat ship and ram it down a carrier's throat. I don't mean a strike ship, or a kiting ship, or a hit and run: I mean a proper brawling death ship. For smaller fights where you are fighting something like 3-4 destroyer sized carriers and 1-2 cruisers, a Hammerhead is a pretty ideal player ship as, with skills, it can take down a huge number of fighter/bombers and destroys a drover/condor in seconds. For larger fights a Dominator will do the same, but at that point might as well go for (praise be) an Onslaught.

A skilled Onslaught, covered in dual flaks, railguns, and large weapons of choice, can burn drive straight through an enemy carrier formation and crush it with ease. Bonus points if you have a few escorts - Omens or Enforcers work well for anti-fighter/missile. Improved Point Defense AI is surprisingly potent for dealing with bombers, as damage against missiles will go from 150% to 200% (+15% + 10% from other skills) and flares will no longer confuse things.
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Sutopia

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Re: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2018, 10:09:55 AM »

If you're using high tech station it's just a bug. The bomber payload can ignore shield of high tech station exclusively and kill the station like a hot knife in butter.
Otherwise it's almost always a must bringing a few dedicated AD(Area Defense) ship, namely 5 flak Enforcer, Tempest, Doom or Monitor.
I always bring doom to counter carriers. One phase mine and entire wing go boom.

Linnis

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Re: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2018, 10:22:25 AM »

First thing. They had DP advantage, that is allready a huge factor in them winning.

Second. High tech battlestation's setup is particularly bad aginst fighters.

Third. You spend your DP on a Astral-BOMBER carrier. The worst thing for bombers to fight is fighters.

You happened to be countered pretty well I would say.

An onslaught with flack cannons could have easily stood in front of the base and took down all carriers down to 1% fighter replacement within a few min. Then deploy the rest of your fleet to individually kill the carriers.
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XazoTak

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Re: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2018, 01:57:12 PM »

First thing. They had DP advantage, that is allready a huge factor in them winning.

Second. High tech battlestation's setup is particularly bad aginst fighters.

Third. You spend your DP on a Astral-BOMBER carrier. The worst thing for bombers to fight is fighters.

You happened to be countered pretty well I would say.

An onslaught with flack cannons could have easily stood in front of the base and took down all carriers down to 1% fighter replacement within a few min. Then deploy the rest of your fleet to individually kill the carriers.
It was a low tech station, it had tonnes of flak and still it wasn't enough for the sheer number of fighters the enemy eventually deployed.
And if I deployed anything but the bomber carrier, the station would have been lost before fighters became a problem.
And I couldn't swap out the bomber carrier for something else because retreating would take minutes which would just lead to the station getting swarmed.

Even if I knew that my strategy would cause the enemy to become a carrier swarm, I still would have had to use it, because it was the only way to survive being ridiculously outnumbered.
I consider a carrier swarm being viable a bug, because if having only one kind of ship is viable then the game's balance is obviously flawed.
Cruisers only doesn't work, they need frigates and/or destroyers for target saturation and swarming a single enemy.
Frigates only doesn't work, with no heavy damage dealers to pressure them cruisers can just ball up to do tonnes of long-range damage.
But apparently 120DP worth of carriers just gobbles up a well-balanced fleet extremely quickly, once I lost the station and Astral everything else went pretty fast.

This was against Persean League, which are usually an absolute pushover even in 80:120 fights.
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Linnis

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Re: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2018, 02:31:39 PM »

Trust me I been in the exact same situation. I simply told my fleet to stay in a ball around my legion turtling. Fighters almost never got a shot off on me since Odessy + Legion and their fighters took care of it easily. The main damage came from the ships occasionally crashing into each other.

Then I took the paragon and just went top right along the edge of the map killing fighters as they came. 10 - 15 wings at a time, manually firing 4x HIL into fighters eats them up and the missiles they fire easily.

Then I corralled them into the top left side of the map. While some in the process of dodging me came into the fire arc of the battle station and got melted.

You cant chase down herons so you can't expect to win vs them that way. Either you have fighter advantage or they run out of the map to kite while you eat the fighters.


The problem in this situation is not heron OP. It is how DP is split.


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Sutopia

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Re: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2018, 02:37:46 PM »


But apparently 120DP worth of carriers just gobbles up a well-balanced fleet extremely quickly, once I lost the station and Astral everything else went pretty fast.

This was against Persean League, which are usually an absolute pushover even in 80:120 fights.

Obviously your so-called "well-balanced" fleet never included any dedicated anti-fighter ship is all I can tell from the story.
They were never a problem in previous version simply due to enemy not able to deploy so many ship in this size. Now you know they do so get yourself prepared.

Thaago

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Re: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2018, 02:56:09 PM »

Food for thought: if all carrier fleet A can wipe fleet B out with ease, then B isn't 'well balanced'.

Unfortunately anti-fighter is not what people expect it to be. Sci-fi (and real life to a certain extent) has trained us that the way to counter fighters is with small, point defense laden ships. With the exception of the Omen and maybe Monitor, frigates are hard countered by fighters due to force concentration - they simply cannot survive being swarmed. Similarly, we expect all point defense weapons to be effective against fighters. This isn't the case at all: small ballistic point defense is mostly worthless against fighters and beam point defense struggles to deal enough dps unless massed (luckily beam pd can be massed to good effect.)

What counters carrier fleets are A) interceptors or B) effective anti-fighter weaponry on mutually supporting ships or C) a battleship with good point defense. I don't really think 'dedicated anti-fighter' is needed, but picking up either a dual major or at least a minor in anti-fighter on everything helps tremendously.

A) Is a pretty simple concept: you have a few carriers, those carriers use interceptors, and you use those interceptors to escort your combat ships. You don't need to do the last part, but its extremely effective: your own fighters are immune to your ship guns, so the enemy fighters are getting double teamed, and the main ship PD will shoot down swarmers.

B) effective anti-fighter weapons can be broken down into:
a tier: Phase Lances, Devastators (I haven't tested the new Paladin PD, so I don't know if it falls here)
b tier: Dual flak, railguns, burst pd (with ipdai for flares: c tier without)
c tier: flak, pulse lasers, light assault guns, ir pulse, lrpd, pd lasers, tactical lasers
d tier: the rest
(I'm sure I've forgotten some weapons in there.)

Instead of just putting weapons that are ideal for ship to ship combat, mix in some of these. Then, don't let your own ships run off. Put down a defend command or two (for station fights I like to put one on each side slightly behind the station). When fighters can't force concentrate (IE when they have to run a multi-ship gauntlet to reach the target, or whenever they do a strafing pass find themselves being fired on by another ship) they don't do very well.

Honorable mention goes to the beam eagle: with 2x phase lance (or 3 if you have a good flux managing officer), 6x lrpds, itu and advanced optics (and 3 heavy autocannons for shields) this thing projects a big ring of anti-fighter death. Not as tough by itself against fighters as a Dominator (dual flaks and railguns/lags are tough to beat), but the great accuracy of beams means that this ship will cover all the ships around it out to 1100 range or so.

Bonus points if your officers have Advanced Countermeasures 3 for +50% damage to fighters.

C) is again pretty simply. Either an Onslaught with a ring of dual flak and railguns/lags in the smalls, or a Paragon with pulse lasers/phase lances in the mediums and beam pd of choice in the smalls, will just no sell multiple enemy capital ships worth of enemy fighters attacking it. The Paragon relies on pulsing its fortress shield against strike, while the Onslaught just shoots down everything, from fighters to missiles. Personally I'm a fan of the Onslaught because you can use burn drive to catch everything - no Heron is going to live long enough once its in range to get away.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 03:29:18 PM by Thaago »
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Goumindong

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Re: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2018, 03:04:28 PM »

Pulse lasers and phase lances are only OK against fighters. The real power is tactical lasers because they never miss and have absurd range.

Best on the Odyssey because the paragon doesn’t have enough small slots and because the extra range can be a detriment
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Thaago

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Re: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2018, 03:28:39 PM »

Try phase lances. Seriously. I agree that pulse lasers are only ok, but phase lances are amazing. (Edited last post to add tactical lasers, they are indeed good.)
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Vind

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Re: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2018, 05:12:12 PM »

While talons can body block plasma and tachyon shots clouds of strike craft will be effective. AI wont need to replace lost crew either. And game only got one good aoe weapon - devastator flak which is either insanely OP up close or worthless at max range.
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Sutopia

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Re: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2018, 07:54:31 PM »



What counters carrier fleets are A) interceptors or B) effective anti-fighter weaponry on mutually supporting ships or C) a battleship with good point defense. I don't really think 'dedicated anti-fighter' is needed, but picking up either a dual major or at least a minor in anti-fighter on everything helps tremendously.


I always like to min-max attributes so that's why I get those dedicated fighter hunter. Plus, there IS already dedicated hull doing that.
Tempest in 0.9a is effectively the dedicated AA ship, choice of escort. Terminator drones melt any incoming fighters with ease.
It also benefits from integrated point defense AI if you use heavy burst pd on them for some extra AA power along with advanced optics and advanced gyro.
To me it's almost like Akitsuki class destroyer in IJN fleet, the last hope preventing Yamato sunk by TBF spam. (Well... not a good example since Yamato got sunk in the end).

I don't think interceptors really do anything due to sole speed of fighters themselves, too small of window for intercepting and never deal enough firepower to actually intercept. IMO flash bombers are better than any interceptor since they're dropping VT mines and any enemy fighter is not gonna survive the mine field, ever.

My strategy is more of "death ball with every ships specialized for something". The core DPS ship is usually astral, conquest or paragon, followed by enforcer for cheap long range HVD spam, then a tempest and an Omen for anti-air along with extra EW. I seldom deploy astral in 0.9 now solely because enemy have chance to get real strong AA firepower rendering DP-suppressed fleet don't get air superiority even with all DP spent on carriers.
I'm dropping point defense for most of the ships in my fleet especially the DPS hull just because they're built to be glass cannon and they don't have the OP to spare. They are surrounded and escorted so their own PD often got LoS blocked by friendly ships, rendering PD useless most of the time. Getting glass cannons more OP to vent means more ships killed faster, which maximizes it's advantage.

Just to say it again, fighters and bombers were never a thing pre-0.9a and people have been forgotten how important it is. It's just now back-to-normal.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 08:01:29 PM by Sutopia »
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Death_Silence_66

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Re: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2018, 09:59:26 PM »

A few Omens built for shield durability or Drovers loaded up with Wasps can protect against much more DP worth of fighters.
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Deshara

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Re: Enemy having 120DP worth of carriers fielded
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2018, 10:15:32 PM »

you can see an invasion fleet's composition (including fighters) ahead of time. It doesn't feel like you should be -- it feels like cheating -- but I peak the enemy's composition and then rush back to my base to kit out my defense fleet based on it and that works pretty well for me.
I always keep some monitors with nothing but reactors stats and shield hullmods on standby for carrier fleets
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