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Starsector 0.96a is out! (05/05/23); Blog post: Colony Crises (11/24/23)

Author Topic: Buff Frigates by Giving Frigates Unique Disengage/Battlescenario Mechanics  (Read 418 times)

Flying Birdy

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Overall Rationale

The strongest thing about frigates is their speed and maneuverability. However, the game mechanics make it hard for them to make use of their core advantage. It's rare for frigates to be able to close-in en-mass on targets in a coordinated fashion. It's even rarer for frigates to outmaneuver enemies and get local superiority through their speed; AI fleets always deploy in death balls.

One of the most unique ways about the disengage mechanic is being able to fake a disengage and turn around and kill your enemy. The AI will deploy their cruisers without any frigate escorts, and all your ships and turn around and slap those cruisers because the player will have a numbers advantage at least locally.

I think frigates or frigate wolf-packs should be more able to take advantage of unique situations in deployment and game mechanics should encourage them.

Suggestion #1: Higher disengage limit for Frigate Only

As part of a wolf-pack skill or frigate skill in the new skill system, allow fleets that contain only frigates to have a higher disengage limit of 180/300 or 60% of battle size (for reference: the current disengage limit is 120 or 40% of battle size)

This way, frigates will uniquely be able to disengage and gain a substantially higher numbers advantage than their pursuer at least temporarily.

Suggestion #2: Terrain based battle size limits for Frigate Only

As part of a wolf-pack skill or frigate skill in the new skill system, allow frigate only fleets to have a unique dialogue option pre-battle that allows them to engage in an ambush if the battle is taking place in stellar terrain. In an ambush, the total battle size is limited to 75% of the regular battle deployment size.

Suggestion #3: Interdiction effects on deployment points

This supplements suggestion #2 and encourages the player to interdict their enemies just like an ambusher should.

In an ambush battle (inside stellar terrain), if the enemy fleet is interdicted, the frigate-only fleet receives a 50% fleet size bonus for purposes of calculating deployment points.

For instance, a frigate only fleet with 80 deployment points in ships attacks an interdicted enemy with 100 deployment point fleet. With the interdiction bonus, the frigate only fleet will have 120 deployment points for purposes of calculating the share of the battle size each side has and be able to initially deployment up to 55% of the battle size.


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I think restricting special mechanics to frigate monofleets is the wrong way to go about this. We want frigates to be useful as part of fleet engagements, if the benefits evaporate the moment you add a Buffalo or Phaeton to your fleet then it's a useless benefit.

Burn level is a good enough perk for monofleets (and makes light warships useful), we don't need more specific monofleet bonuses.