Author Topic: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?  (Read 3240 times)

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Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2016, 04:45:39 AM »
For the recon fighters, does it make sense to have a design for the active sensors and a separate scout fighter with the thermal sensors, in order to have more sensitive sensors that are still able to keep up with the squadron?

Also, do you have separate recon fighters with resolution 0 as well as for tracking the enemy fleet, say resolution 100 or so?

Fighters with resolution 0 sensors can be deployed forward to warn of incoming missile waves. If an enemy fires missiles on the presumption that their target will continue closing, they may fire at maximum range or close to it.  If the target fleet has sufficient early warning, they can turn away, potentially causing entire volleys to be wasted, at the cost of some fuel and time.
 

Offline Iranon

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2016, 05:33:06 AM »
Each of my recon fighters has a single sensor.
Small sensor footprint is a very useful asset.
 

Offline Thanatos

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2016, 07:41:23 PM »
Like I said before, my recon fighters rarely if ever have a sensor. If you have an active grav sensor, it has a passive receiving array. Which means, anything that has an active, and is within range to detect another ship, chances are, they detected you by your emissions, and will blow your smeg up. However, if it's early in the game and my resources are limited, I do put resolution 1 sensors on them, and thermal arrays, but I only turn those on, if I detect missiles coming at me, by their thermal emissions. But this is dangerous, and you need great thermal sensors to detect missiles before it's too late, plus you lose out on that initial bonus. Eventually I just figured, it's not worth it placing even anti missile sensors on fighters. But that is something you can only deal with once you have sufficient experience in situations like those.

For newbies, I would always recommend a sensor on the mothership that can cover the entire bingo operational range of your fighters (45% of your their range), and anti missile sensors on your fighters only IF you use gauss guns or railguns. Don't even bother if all you have is a single mason. You will not defeat missile waves with those.

Also, I never bother with missile fighters. Releasing one or two missiles is completely worthless compared to the space that needs to be dedicated to the carrier for the missile magazines to reload the fighters, the hangar deck, and any supply ships. I only use energy/projectile weapons on my fighters. It is better to dedicate that space and escort to PD.

As for larger sensors, once again, it is unnecessary. Your friendly capital-ship sensors should detect enemies, not your fighters. Any sensor you can put on a fighter is not really going to cut it for your operational requirements, unless they are for self defense, or detecting active emissions. Remember, the USAF Raptor is a stealth fighter as long as it doesn't turn on it's own radar.
 

Offline Iranon

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2016, 07:07:34 AM »
It's more complicated than that.

The emissions of R1 Actives aren't generally a problem unless there are powerful DSTSs around. At equal EMSensitivityTech, it would take a size-10 EM sensor to detect its emissions at its maximum range, and the AI rarely builds large Passives.
However: emissions scale linearly with resolution, while range only scales with the square root. The emissions of an R100 Active can be detected by a size-1 EM sensor (again assuming equal EM sensitivity tech ) to its maximum range, and the active doesn't achieve its theoretical maximum range against small ships.

A tiny sensor fighter with a long-ranged coarse-grained sensor for better ship-to-ship range is quite visible... but still difficult to target. Adequate for painting something without getting shot at, but not for stealthy recon. If the goal is to detect ships without being observed, a larger sensor with single-digit resolution fits the bill better, but there's a limit to the capability you can cram into a fighter. May work against lower-tech NPRs, but if you can't outrange their anti-missile sensors, this isn't very useful.
If the capability to get an Active sensor lock without being seen is a priority against varied ships of similar tech level, we probably won't get around cloaked sensor ships with large R1 sensors, a considerable investment.

I disagree with single-missile fighters being worthless, and especially with comparing them to more PD... totally different capabilities. Carrier-bound missile fighters work nicely if you never expose the carriers to harm while striking out to a range that would be impractical for long-range missile cruisers, while avoiding enemy long-range missiles by not giving them ship-sized targets.As long as your fighter-bound missiles outrange their AMMs, you may never come under fire.
Whether the overhead in fire controls is a true drawback depends on doctrine and enemy... it's expensive, but large numbers of 1-missile salvos are harder to intercept than la few larger salvos.
 

Offline Thanatos

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2016, 08:22:45 PM »
Perhaps it's just a matter of fleet doctrine and their operational objective. A carrier task group focused on energy weapon fighters, will have microwaves, mesons, lasers, railguns fighters, and most of the escort will be pure PD. They will go fast, and the fighters will strike the enemy from invisibility due to not having sensors. A missile fighter group on the other hand, relies a lot on a lot of moving parts, and though I can see them defeating a few very large ships, they are completely defenseless against a very large swarm if they are forced to go back to the mothership to reload. Plus, let's not forget the bug with Fighter Operations doing the opposite of what it's supposed to.

From both a mechanical and a doctrinal standpoint, it is far more beneficial, in my opinion and experience, to field a fighter group that has infinite operational time as far as ammunition is concerned, even though they require a lot more fuel and engine power than a missile setup.

Maybe it's just one of those preference things.
 

Online alex_brunius

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2016, 09:36:41 AM »
I usually put at least 4 decent ASMs on my Missile Strike Fighters, and use FCs that allow them to target all enemy ships larger then FACs. They only need to out range the enemy AMMs, so it's normally not so demanding on their size.

Sometimes they get escorted by fighters with beams or AMMs/Anti-FAC Missiles, sometimes I run with 100% Strike Carriers and let the rest of the fleet deal with cleaning up enemy FACs and smaller ships.

Even beam fighters need their Carrier after all ( to refuel and jump if nothing else ) and the Strike Missile Fighters can take out their mothership while a force of beam fighters only will get slaughtered trying to approach into beam attack range of a CTF that has a good AMM umbrella and is of same tech / size theirs is.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 12:16:09 PM by alex_brunius »
 

Offline baconholic

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2016, 01:24:54 PM »
I tend to run a more unconventional carrier fleet doctrine than others. I use mainly PD FACs on my carriers, they serve as the primary and only PD for my fleet. Each FAC mounts between 2-3 100mm railguns and 9-10 size 1 max power engine depending on tech. At equal tech level, nothing other than a size 1 box launcher swarm can penetrate them. Then again, nothing can really defend against a size 1 box launcher strat, plus the AI doesn't do that either.

For offense, I use 10,000 ton DDGs with short range ASM box launchers. I can fit about 100+ per ship. The missiles typically have 5-10m km range. Since I have superior PD, I can move my entire fleet within 5m km and shotgun blast them with box launchers to the face. If I run out of missiles, the PD FACs also serve as backup beam fighters. Each carrier worth of FACs can deliver between 80-120 damage per 5 seconds. They can rip up a bigger fleet than themselves, but at a very high cost due to how expensive the engines are.

The carriers themself are 20,000 tons with 10,000 hanger space. They'll be able to hold 10 PD FACs or re-arm a single DDG in the field.
 

Offline serger

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2016, 04:47:25 PM »
I'm still not a professional, but has a fighter-oriented game, so let it be my little experience here too.

I has 3 types of carriers.
All of them have about 1/3 of mass for propulsion engines (balanced fuel use), no jump capability and no own weapon, sensor or shields.
Their ranges and deploy times was different, but all in obvious ordinary frame with their roles.

I. Strike Carriers

Void class, 20+kt (old), and Procyon class, 30+kt (new).
Both have magazines for 1 load of full fighter group with a little additional space for special ammo.
Procyon class have an armor (4-layer), ECM and small troop transport bay. Void class have no one of these features.

Served well as main strike force carriers against Precursors.
Have intention to use against NPR, but this operation is still at deploying stage.

II. Light Assault Carriers

Robber class, 3kt.
1 boat bay, 1 small troop transport bay and 1 cargo handling system.

Served well for boarding & landing actions against Precursors (after missile FG strikes; suitable to clear system, while Strike Carriers go home).
Has intention to use against NPR at frontier, but there was no NRP ships or planets spotted after first survey division there.
There was some superfluous bother with them, so I have a doubt about building any more, but maybe I'll design more suitable ones for this role.

III. Light Scout Carriers

Present - Oberon class 1kt corvettes, and there was several older similar designs.
1 boat bay and 1 small magazine for sensor buoys.

Served well deploying light scout boats for survey and recon expeditions. Cheap and very suitable.
Previous classes has no magazine for buoys, and it was my omission.

(Have to describe parasites too, but it will be tomorrouaaaaw...)
« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 04:51:25 PM by serger »
 

Offline serger

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2016, 11:09:40 AM »
So, parasites.

Survey flight for Oberon class Scout Carriers:

1x Mab light buoy-laying recon boat
2x Titania light thermal-sensor recon boats

Strike fighter group for Void or Procyon class Strike Carriers:

50x Fury light missile fighters (1x 6-MS box launcher)
2x Piper missile targeting boats
2x Rustle high-res radar battle support boats
2x Pulse early warning radar battle support boats
2x Alert thermal sensor battle support boats
2x Envisage EM sensor battle support boats
4x Mustang fast fueller boats

Military operational support flight for Procyon class Strike Carriers:

1x Jumper fighter-rank jump tender
1x Mab light buoy-laying recon boat
1x Titania light thermal-sensor recon boat
1x Dart light assault shuttle

Dart light assault shuttles are the only light crafts in this set, that have mass over 220 tons with 2 forced and thermal-reduced engines - all other have masses in 75-137t range with 1 balanced engine without thermal reduction.

In addition, I have now some new designs, that wasn't tested in battle:

Scorpio 500-ton heavy interceptors (1x Gauss Auto Cannon and 5 forced engines)
Tormentor 1000-ton gunboats (1x Longrange Meson Cannon, 6 forced engines and 4-layer armour)
Helldiver 1000-ton heavy assault shuttles (6 forced thermal-reduced engines and 4-layer armour)
« Last Edit: October 15, 2016, 12:12:22 PM by serger »
 

Offline ryuga81

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2016, 07:11:52 AM »
I prefer trading missiles from a distance, so I usually operate carriers with fast beam armed fighters as additional PD along with my escort ships, or send them mid-range to finish off a softened enemy. 

If my missiles can't do the magic, I will usually withdraw if possible and return with more missiles, but if retreat isn't an option, I will use fighters as a close-range (cruiser beam range) screen to either annoy and poke the enemy while they keep shooting on my cruisers, or to draw fire from my most precious or vulnerable ships (whatever the AI decides). 

I usually do not operate fighters as a main fleet body. 

My carriers come in 2 flavors so far, the Odessa class Early Carrier (essentially a 8kT "barge" with 4kT hangar space, and terrible speed, now used mostly for defensive purposes, they have been built in 2030 and received little update in my currently 2060 game, but they saw extensive action against Precursors) and the Vivec class Escort Carrier (12kT fast, lightly armored carrier with 6kT hangar space and basic PD).

My only fighter design is the Vengeance MkIV beam fighter, essentially the same I was operating in 2030, with updated laser beam, engines and power plant.

They all sort of work as intended, so I'm not experimenting much in that sense.
 

Offline TCD

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2016, 11:13:34 AM »
I prefer trading missiles from a distance, so I usually operate carriers with fast beam armed fighters as additional PD along with my escort ships, or send them mid-range to finish off a softened enemy. 

If my missiles can't do the magic, I will usually withdraw if possible and return with more missiles, but if retreat isn't an option, I will use fighters as a close-range (cruiser beam range) screen to either annoy and poke the enemy while they keep shooting on my cruisers, or to draw fire from my most precious or vulnerable ships (whatever the AI decides). 

I usually do not operate fighters as a main fleet body. 

My carriers come in 2 flavors so far, the Odessa class Early Carrier (essentially a 8kT "barge" with 4kT hangar space, and terrible speed, now used mostly for defensive purposes, they have been built in 2030 and received little update in my currently 2060 game, but they saw extensive action against Precursors) and the Vivec class Escort Carrier (12kT fast, lightly armored carrier with 6kT hangar space and basic PD).

My only fighter design is the Vengeance MkIV beam fighter, essentially the same I was operating in 2030, with updated laser beam, engines and power plant.

They all sort of work as intended, so I'm not experimenting much in that sense.
Interesting. Why do you choose 12kT escort carrier/fighters rather than, say, 2x6kT escort frigates with turrets? I would have thought the fighters are much more expensive in terms of fuel /losses/micro for no real advantage in PD terms?
 

Offline 83athom

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2016, 11:53:25 AM »
Interesting. Why do you choose 12kT escort carrier/fighters rather than, say, 2x6kT escort frigates with turrets? I would have thought the fighters are much more expensive in terms of fuel /losses/micro for no real advantage in PD terms?
Response times, speed advantages, and area of coverage.
Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 

Offline baconholic

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2016, 11:20:09 PM »
Interesting. Why do you choose 12kT escort carrier/fighters rather than, say, 2x6kT escort frigates with turrets? I would have thought the fighters are much more expensive in terms of fuel /losses/micro for no real advantage in PD terms?

Early game, railgun fighter/FAC are better than gauss turret escorts in every way. They won't reach parity until you get to Gauss rate of fire 6. They also serve as backup beam weapons when needed. The only downside to railgun fighter/FAC + carrier base doctrine is that each upgrade and/or rebuild will cost a massive amount of gallicite.
 

Offline Iranon

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2016, 05:23:08 AM »
I don't think it's quite that straightforward.
Using 16k techs + Magneto Plasma drive, cheap and bulky ships aiming for 10000t, 3000km/s, 6 months deployment, 1 year maintenance life, 20m range.

Escort Carrier with 8 railgun fighters, 32 shots @20k: 2000BP
Gauss Corvette, 36 shots @20k: 1100 BP
Railgun Corvette, 96 shots @5k: 900 BP
Railgun Corvette, 96 shots @5k: 450 BP if we think we can get away with base-tech railguns (15s reload time, 10k maximum range rather than the usual 5s/30k )

The carrier seems rather expensive if we don't care about the tactical flexibility. If all I want is point defence, I'd rather have 4 of bottom-of-the-barrel railgun corvettes.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2016, 05:25:32 AM by Iranon »
 

Online alex_brunius

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Re: Carrier fleet doctrine questions?
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2016, 05:40:37 AM »
Early game, railgun fighter/FAC are better than gauss turret escorts in every way. They won't reach parity until you get to Gauss rate of fire 6. They also serve as backup beam weapons when needed. The only downside to railgun fighter/FAC + carrier base doctrine is that each upgrade and/or rebuild will cost a massive amount of gallicite.

Gauss vs Railguns will depend alot on the speed of your Point Defense screen. Since Gauss can be turreted it's advantage is that it's more suitable for bigger slower ships and can even be put in CIWS on Commercial ships ( to protect high value targets like tankers and troop transports ).

As you admit yourself the cost of the railgun fighter/FAC is it's speed / engines needed which will take both gallicite and tonnage away from you in a more dramatic way then the turret rotation of Gauss PDs will.

So in practice if you include these effects as well I would say that the actual breakeven happens earlier, around fire rate 4-5.

And nothing really prevents you from using Military gauss as backup beam weapons too as long as you put them in turrets.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2016, 05:42:28 AM by alex_brunius »
 

 

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