Author Topic: How effective are formations really?  (Read 1338 times)

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Offline ChildServices

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How effective are formations really?
« on: July 02, 2016, 10:34:11 AM »
After actually having used a battle line now in The Battle Of Gliesia, I'm not really that impressed with the results. It takes forever to set up and all it does is make my fleet harder to protect, the only utility I can really see is that it baits the idiot AI into expending all of its missiles at my escort ships (because they're closest) and not at anything actually important. If I was against somebody smart all they'd need to do is focus fire on one section of the line, targeting the ships that the line is screening for so that they can immediately capitalise on that section running out of ammunition by killing the ship with the escort orders attached to it.

Is there any way that the effectiveness and efficiency of these sorts of tactics can be improved or does the good ol' blob beat it every time?
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Offline MarcAFK

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Re: How effective are formations really?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2016, 11:01:21 AM »
Blob is good, blob is God. Praise the blob.
But anyway, the AI should be capable of deciding not to shoot ships just because they happen to be closer if there's better targets slightly further away.
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Offline ChildServices

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Re: How effective are formations really?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2016, 11:12:08 AM »
the AI should be capable of deciding not to shoot ships just because they happen to be closer if there's better targets slightly further away.
Well the battle-line was about 20mkm infront of the ships it was defending up until I tightened the formation closer to the alien homeworld. After that, they actually started targeting the carriers.
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Offline Iranon

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Re: How effective are formations really?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2016, 12:41:41 PM »
There are a few applications.
If you rely on area defence, you can put your most important ships in the back.
Various small ships that you expect to be too small for enemy ASMs to target can be deployed forward, fast area defence fighters may try to chase missiles.

But mostly, the main reason to bother is because it looks cool.
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: How effective are formations really?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2016, 03:33:14 PM »
There are a few applications.
If you rely on area defence, you can put your most important ships in the back.
Various small ships that you expect to be too small for enemy ASMs to target can be deployed forward, fast area defence fighters may try to chase missiles.

But mostly, the main reason to bother is because it looks cool.
Actually you reminded me I have used formations, Combat Air Patrol, a sensor equipped fighter or LAC screen just outside the range of my Carriers. I didn't really use it enough to have an opinion on how effective it was, but the basic idea was that the fighters would be harder to spot while at the same time having good sensors.
" Why is this godforsaken hellhole worth dying for? "
". . .  We know nothing about them, their language, their history or what they look like.  But we can assume this.  They stand for everything we don't stand for.  Also they told me you guys look like dorks. "
"Stop exploding, you cowards.  "
 

Offline iceball3

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Re: How effective are formations really?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2016, 06:34:38 PM »
Formations seem pretty useful for getting collier reloads to work with less hassle.

Also, spaced formations can allow, say, a wing of fighters a degree of resistance against multiple salvos of missiles with onboard sensors. Though, the AI may not use them, unfortunately.
 

Offline ty55101

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Re: How effective are formations really?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2016, 04:00:31 AM »
Even not considering the applications that have been mentioned. The main reason you would want to use a formation is to keep your important ships at the back and should the enemy be overwhelming get them out before they are even seen.
More guns = more funs
 

Offline ChildServices

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Re: How effective are formations really?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2016, 04:48:07 AM »
I think it depends on what the ships you're trying to protect are. Placing the important ships at the very edge of defensive weapon range (obviously to the rear of the formation) theoretically doubles the range at which the escort vessels can eliminate missiles, which is especially good if they're beam defenders. Even then, all of the effort waiting for ships to get into position is wasted if those important ships don't carry anything the AI would be able to see that would make them want to target them and not the other ships in the first place, and you're just as well off in that case by rolling right out of the jump point with the blob.

Maybe it's far more effective if you don't go for the level of complexity that I aimed for here:
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« Last Edit: July 03, 2016, 04:50:21 AM by ChildServices »
Cold as steel the darkness waits, its hour will come
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Offline Iranon

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Re: How effective are formations really?
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2016, 06:03:05 AM »
Very pretty, but I is there a rationale for those positions? The only thing that comes to mind is denying homing missiles secondary targets... but is that a thing?

I do get the rationale for simpler formations...
Deploying noncombatants to the back to extend area defence.
Deploying small scouts forward to extend sensor range while not becoming easier to detect.
Deploying small fast beam ships forward to extend area defence while running along enemy salvos.
Deploying fast ships forward in case you want to bait the enemy into a chase while your slower assets get into position.
 

Offline linkxsc

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Re: How effective are formations really?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2016, 05:09:37 PM »
I generally only use formations to put FACs or other small escorts armed with AMMs forward of the fleet. In a spot where they can't be targeted by enemy sensors because they're small. But where they can spply a layer of fire to thin out enemy missiles before the missiles close in on the main blob.


Course formations could be a better way to defend against sensored missiles that retarget after obliterating the initial target. But AI never uses.
 

 

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