Author Topic: fighter formations  (Read 1250 times)

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Offline Iranon

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Re: fighter formations
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2017, 06:35:17 PM »
Yes, missiles with EM detection sensors can home in on EM signatures, and coarse-grained actives are noisy. Mostly relevant if the firing ship is destroyed, and could still be played around by an attentive player though.

I generally have fighters accompanied by sensor variants of the same size and performance , but I may also have larger and much more powerful sensor ships behind the lines.

Firepower can be made stealthy cheaply and expediently by splitting it over the smallest practical fighters.
While I typically use multiple sensor ships with one type of sensor each to reduce footprint, a large sensor can't be split up. Cloaking device and reduced-signature engines are expensive. If you care about EM signature you need to use an even larger sensor with finer resolution so the ship becomes even bigger and more expensive. All in all, I usually don't bother, and accept that my sensor ships will be quite visible. They're accompanied by a proper fleet of full-size ships AND/OR deployed far behind missile fighters that will hopefully deal with any threat without being detected themselves.

I sometimes build large, slow recon fighters or possibly FACs which can remain in space for many years. They are usually deployed in groups of 4 (R1, R50+, TH, EM), and don't really interact much with my proper military beyond checking whether a system needs my attention. The coarse Active is only turned on when needed.
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: fighter formations
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2017, 04:39:28 AM »
Now I am curious about sensor resolutions.

1 for missiles, 5-10 for fighters, 40-60 for ships and perhaps capital ships specifically.

But freighters and other commercial ships are in excess of 30,000 tons, size 600.  And they and other commercial ships are usually fairly slow and unprotected.  So how about a commerce raiding class designed to interdict commerce from a billion miles away.  Have a carrier with 'pods' that are basically a huge box launcher and long range fire control.  Stage 1 is an efficient 2-5 MSP missile engine and a decent fuel tank, stage 2 is whatever would be efficient at killing a freighter, or at least requiring it to be escorted.

This wouldn't kill that many freighters, but it would force the other guy to disperse his fleet to an extent protecting their freighters, or avoiding huge swaths of space.  Or it could prod an enemy into sallying towards the big noisy and distant big honking sensor, even though it is obviously a trap.

This becomes a more strategic formation question.

It addresses the question of what do missiles ships do once point defense becomes very effective:

Their preferred prey are ships that do not mount point defense.
 

Offline iceball3

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Re: fighter formations
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2017, 05:51:16 AM »
Now I am curious about sensor resolutions.

1 for missiles, 5-10 for fighters, 40-60 for ships and perhaps capital ships specifically.

But freighters and other commercial ships are in excess of 30,000 tons, size 600.  And they and other commercial ships are usually fairly slow and unprotected.  So how about a commerce raiding class designed to interdict commerce from a billion miles away.  Have a carrier with 'pods' that are basically a huge box launcher and long range fire control.  Stage 1 is an efficient 2-5 MSP missile engine and a decent fuel tank, stage 2 is whatever would be efficient at killing a freighter, or at least requiring it to be escorted.

This wouldn't kill that many freighters, but it would force the other guy to disperse his fleet to an extent protecting their freighters, or avoiding huge swaths of space.  Or it could prod an enemy into sallying towards the big noisy and distant big honking sensor, even though it is obviously a trap.

This becomes a more strategic formation question.

It addresses the question of what do missiles ships do once point defense becomes very effective:

Their preferred prey are ships that do not mount point defense.
Barring CIWS that is. The targets do not even need active sensors for CIWS to work, even.
Luckily, Bomb-Pumped lasers go right through the things.
 

Offline Iranon

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Re: fighter formations
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2017, 11:11:12 AM »
Many approaches are possible.

My missile fighters do quite well against PD - whether a large number of tiny fighters launching a single missile or the fast fighter/slow missile combo, there will be far too many simultaneous salvos for generic PD to handle.

Missile pods are nice because a carrier can dump them where they're expected to be useful in the future, then leave - less exposure of a large vulnerable ship with high manpower requirements that limit practical deployment time; the carrier can also go somewhere else where it might be needed.

For pure commerce raiding against unescorted targets, tiny Gauss fighters could work... no logistics burden, and a 150t fighter design has a good chance of withdrawing undetected. Throwing missiles at freighters is expensive... probably self-defeating if they don't carry a juicy load.
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: fighter formations
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2017, 06:31:15 PM »
For a tiny Gauss fighter to be able to intercept freighters all over a system, it would need fuel efficient engines, and therefore be rather slow.  Slow missiles aren't that much of a problem, because they do not need to withdraw after a strike, but tiny Gauss fighters could be tracked back to their carrier.  If a missile is fired at a convoy that turns out to have point defense, all you have lost is a missile.  If a Gauss fighter or Gauss fighter group discovers that a convoy has some armed ships or have a fast scout in their hangar, they risk the location of the carrier.

Different weapon systems have different downsides.  Certainly I am a big fan of capital ships having a hangar so they have the option of having an anti-commerce fighter wing, or scouts, or boarding pods, from both a tactical and an RP perspective.

Part of the inspiration was reading some old campaign stories about multi-faction Earth starts, and wondering how they would deal with having to escort all freighters because of long ranged active sensors pinging for large ships.  I think that even if the weapon system didn't kill that many freighters, the cost in fuel and maintenance for escorting them would be a major slowdown in expanding an economy.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: fighter formations
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2017, 06:12:16 PM »
I have played several multi nation campaigns where I played several sides at the same time. In these scenarios fleets really need to be very dynamic and protect against all manner of possible threats.

It would be very dangerous to send out a large fighter strike force without a way to protect them, very risky thing indeed.

In most of these campaigns I ended up with basically three different types of fighter crafts. Interceptors, Fighter/Bombers and pure strike crafts.

The Interceptor would usually be a small fast fighter armed with some sort of beam weapon. The more successful were armed with reduced sized lasers. With both range and speed being the key for their success against other fighters.

The fighter bomber would be a larger fighter that could fire smaller missiles and usually had some AMM capability as well. There role would be to attack smaller enemy ships or to escort friendly strike crafts. They could engage anything from missiles to enemy fighters and FAC. They could also be equipped with longer ranged missiles and help out on a more offensive role as well. They would usually carry some Size 1 and 3 launchers.

Pure strike fighters were usually mid to large fighter crafts with the only missions to engage enemy capital ships with missiles, usually size 6 box launchers.

Since ALL fleet operations would operate under a large umbrella of screening recon and anti fighter escorts it were not as straight forward attacking enemy formations as it is against the AI.

If I play against the AI I just assume the AI actually can put up an effective screen so I use the same type of approach for RP reasons. If you don't RP as much then all you need is some good scouting crafts and pure strike crafts with as much offensive power as possible.
 

 

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