Author Topic: Carriers vs Missiles  (Read 894 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline BasileusMaximos (OP)

  • Commander
  • *********
  • B
  • Posts: 311
  • Thanked: 19 times
Carriers vs Missiles
« on: May 23, 2020, 02:35:22 AM »
What are the advantages of carriers when compared to missile ships?

Why should I dedicated a bunch of space to hangar bays in addition to the large active sensors, magazines, and PD I'd need anyways when I could just add more missile silos?

Hell, I'd probably need a bigger AS so my carriers can act as the spotter for my bombers since according to my design experiments you really don't want to waste space on your small fighters to give them all one.

Also, what pointers do you have for designing carriers and carrier craft? How big should the bomber missiles be, for instance, and how fast and far should carrier craft generally go?

I thought I did pretty well with a 200 ton fighter with 0.7 billion KM range and 5 size 3 box launchers. It was pretty slow tho, Went only a bit about 25,000 ks.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 02:43:37 AM by BasileusMaximos »
 

Offline xenoscepter

  • Captain
  • **********
  • Posts: 454
  • Thanked: 40 times
Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2020, 03:39:47 AM »
"It was pretty slow, only went about 25,000 km/s"
It was pretty slow
If that's slow, what the hell do you call fast!? :D

For a bomber at Internal Confinement that's pretty damn fast, and at any engine tech below that it's blistering. Five Size 3 Missiles is... okay-ish. Size 3-9 is a decent ASM, while 10-24 is hard hitting, but definitely big. I like Size 5s and Size 10s, but 3s are adequate and you can cram more in per ton. You only need one or two AS elements per formation, so take your bombers, strip out the launchers and MFCS and add Actives... I'm about 70% sure that they can leech off of that AS contact.

Designing carriers:

 - Build out your carrier with fuel and deployment enough for itself.
 - Now build it out with ammo, MSP, and fuel for a number of sorties before it needs to reload.
 - Voila, you have built a functional Carrier.

That's the bare bones of design for a Carrier, and a good starting point.

Designing Fighters:

 - Decide on the mission of your fighters.
 - Decide how much tonnage you want to dedicated to Engines.
 - Decide what your payload will be and how you will allocate sensors.
 - Decide on a range and build out fuel, deployment and Engineering / MSP accordingly.
 - (Optional) Add some defense like Shields, ECM/ECCM and/or armor.

That's the general gist of fighter design, doubtless others will have plenty to add to it.

Missile ships are generally more cost-effective, but less flexible. Your missile fighter carrier can carry Railgun or Gauss PD fighters and your beam fighter carrier can launch a pre-loaded flight of missile fighters. Your Missile ships are only ever missile ships and are always limited by the range of their AS/MFCS and Missiles, while missile fighters can close in to AS/MFCS range and extend the range of missiles, freeing up weight in the missile itself for things like bigger warheads, ECM/ECCM or in the case of bigger sizes even AS of their own.
 

Offline BasileusMaximos (OP)

  • Commander
  • *********
  • B
  • Posts: 311
  • Thanked: 19 times
Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 03:54:01 AM »
"It was pretty slow, only went about 25,000 km/s"
It was pretty slow
If that's slow, what the hell do you call fast!? :D

For a bomber at Internal Confinement that's pretty damn fast, and at any engine tech below that it's blistering. Five Size 3 Missiles is... okay-ish. Size 3-9 is a decent ASM, while 10-24 is hard hitting, but definitely big. I like Size 5s and Size 10s, but 3s are adequate and you can cram more in per ton. You only need one or two AS elements per formation, so take your bombers, strip out the launchers and MFCS and add Actives... I'm about 70% sure that they can leech off of that AS contact.

Designing carriers:

 - Build out your carrier with fuel and deployment enough for itself.
 - Now build it out with ammo, MSP, and fuel for a number of sorties before it needs to reload.
 - Voila, you have built a functional Carrier.

That's the bare bones of design for a Carrier, and a good starting point.

Designing Fighters:

 - Decide on the mission of your fighters.
 - Decide how much tonnage you want to dedicated to Engines.
 - Decide what your payload will be and how you will allocate sensors.
 - Decide on a range and build out fuel, deployment and Engineering / MSP accordingly.
 - (Optional) Add some defense like Shields, ECM/ECCM and/or armor.

That's the general gist of fighter design, doubtless others will have plenty to add to it.

Missile ships are generally more cost-effective, but less flexible. Your missile fighter carrier can carry Railgun or Gauss PD fighters and your beam fighter carrier can launch a pre-loaded flight of missile fighters. Your Missile ships are only ever missile ships and are always limited by the range of their AS/MFCS and Missiles, while missile fighters can close in to AS/MFCS range and extend the range of missiles, freeing up weight in the missile itself for things like bigger warheads, ECM/ECCM or in the case of bigger sizes even AS of their own.

What of PD's for the Carrier? I suppose the fighters armed with Gauss canons can act as PD's but I want to make my Carriers large and robustly defended with both Gauss PD and AMMs.
 

Offline xenoscepter

  • Captain
  • **********
  • Posts: 454
  • Thanked: 40 times
Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2020, 04:02:38 AM »
Well, those are just some rough guidelines after all... you can always add PD, weapons, shields and such to taste, but those three design elements are the core of a good carrier as opposed to say, any other old warship. The question, however, was Carriers vs Missiles:

To wit:

 - Missile Ships are stuck the way they are designed / built / can be re-fitted to.

 - Carriers have Hangar Space which can be used flexibly.

 --- Your Carrier can and probably should have it's own PD, but my idea was that even your Carriers for Missile Based fighters can simply load up some Railgun or Gauss fighters if the fleet is facing a more powerful missile enemy and needs a little extra PD. Conversely, even if you have a Carrier configured w/o Magazines to support missile fighters, you can still shove a bunch into it with preloaded launchers to get a little more oomph if the enemies PD is too tough.

 --- That might not sound like much, but if you've got three Carriers that have have even just a single Hangar Deck, then you could fit five of those 200 Ton Bombers in to help overwhelm the enemy. That's five extra salvos of five size 3 ASMs, nothing to sneeze at for just a measely 1,000 tons worth of Hangar Space in a piddly would-be escort carrier. Basically you just stuffed 25 Size 3 Box Launchers that add 0.35 Billion km of range (assuming it's not a one way trip...) to any missile fired out of them into what was just a lowly escort ship.

 --- So to answer your question, I was referring to what you can and cannot do with a Missile Ship versus a Carrier. Missile Ships are cheaper, but Carriers are way more flexible and can be far more readily tailored to the battles at hand and the battles of tomorrow. Edit: Forgot to mention that with three such tiny carriers you'd get 25 Box Launchers per carrier so more like 75 extra missiles for what I was assuming to be little more than a space-worthy Hangar Deck. Obviously a Hangar Deck with engines is among the smallest kind of ship you can make and call it a carrier, nice fleet carriers could be made to be even more useful than that.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 04:10:25 AM by xenoscepter »
 
The following users thanked this post: Sebmono

Offline kks

  • Sub-Lieutenant
  • ******
  • Posts: 125
  • Thanked: 10 times
Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2020, 04:58:54 AM »
Imho a carrier should not act as a spotter for the fighters. I like to use dedicated sensor fighters which accompany every bomber squadron and give them AS coverage. That way the carrier and it's support vessels can stay hidden.

So along with the incresead flexibility of hangars the main point I see in carriers is the much larger strike distance they allow for. I personally like to use larger bombers (400-500t) with a range of 1 to 3 billion km. But even 0.7m is longer than most missile ranges in C# will be.

Smaller PD-Ships provide PD-Coverage for the carrier force and dedicated (ideally passive) scouts should be placed in front of the task force to locate the enemy and act as early warning crafts.
With the sensor changes in C# many smaller sensor can provide a better coverage than one large sensor. Now (signal strenght)^3 is only detected at 2x the range.
Using PD escorts also provides flexibility to the needed strenght of the own PD while it keeps the carriers smaller and cheaper.

The goal is to stay far out of the range of enemy missiles and ideally not to reveal the (exact) location of your carriers to the enemy. If they can't shoot you, it's the best defence you can have.
 
The following users thanked this post: Scud, Sebmono

Offline Scud

  • Petty Officer
  • **
  • Posts: 21
  • Thanked: 18 times
Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2020, 05:08:01 AM »
Carriers start to make a lot more sense if you view fighters as a reusable and retargetable first stage for a missile. You can design a missile with short range and high lethality, and fighters can get it into firing range without being in danger themselves. Being smaller, it is much harder for standard MFC and active sensors to see them. Being faster means you have a better chance of outrunning any pursuing missiles/craft, and it lets you take the fight to an enemy who is faster than your standard ships, but slower than your fighters (This is NOT to be underestimated from a strategic POV. Fighters can let you better dictate when/where you do battle.)
 
The following users thanked this post: kks, SpikeTheHobbitMage, skoormit, Sebmono

Offline Jorgen_CAB

  • Vice Admiral
  • **********
  • J
  • Posts: 1671
  • Thanked: 223 times
Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2020, 05:39:16 AM »
First of all I don't think that carriers neccesarily replace ASM missiles on ships but can be a complement of a different doctrine. Sure... there are perhaps no real point to invest in long range ASM anymore when you have carriers as the fighters on the carriers now act as your long range striking force.

The main point of carriers is to be a space domination force. If you want to deal with planets or jump point defences then carriers are probably not the most efficient ship you might consider.

As any game are very complex there are rarely only ONE way to deal with any particular problem and carriers will provide one solution to a few certain problems.

The main advantage to carriers is their huge range at which they can strike and enemy target. The whole point with carriers is that you can keep them way off in the background while you locate the opponent with your scout. Then you assemble a strike force and hit them hard. The whole point with a carrier task force is to strike an enemy while they can't strike you back. This obviously does not mean you don't need defences in your carrier strike force. How much concern you have around defences that is up to you.

A fighter is a very stealthy craft and will easily be able to strike an unsuspected target if you play your cards right.

The idea with carriers is to invest a great deal into scouting forces, from small fighter scouts to dedicated small scouting corvettes or frigates. In general I NEVER put the dedicated sensors into the actual strike group... maybe as a backup solution but rarely do I actually use that, that role will go to a dispersed net of sensor scouts and or recon ships.

The type of missile you use is entirely depending on the capabilities of the enemy. If the enemy knows you use fighters and keep a decent anti-fighter defence system you will not get very far with small missiles as you will not get enough range on them before the enemy can comfortably shoot down your fighters first. Instead I find size 5-6 works best for fighters in such an environment, that might also makes it possible to fit the missile with an ECM module to.

In most if my campaigns size 3-4 that is anti-small craft missiles with a 4-6 strength warhead. This is a very fast and agile missile with limited range. It will usually have enough range to engage enemy fighters though. You can easily fit such systems even into small corvette class scout ships... size 3 missiles is pretty fast shooting system and can mow down unescorted fighters very quickly for a very cheap price.

In terms of missile ships these are good for different reasons... they are a more secure platform but simply less stealthy and you will have to expect to be able to both attack and defend at the same time.

When I get to the stage that I need to deploy carriers I still use missiles on capital ships... I just don't see them as the main weapon of choice for space domination combat in general. They become more of a self defence medium range weapons. Something my escorts use for medium and short range combat. Sometimes escort ships will be acting on their own for recon in force missions and they actually can have some offensive capabilities that way, but they are not suppose to fight large battles that way.

I see this as a layered defence system... first you have beam weapons for knife fights, then you have "torpedoes" which is very close range missiles. You then have medium range missiles which are the type of missiles used on escort such as destroyers and/or cruisers. I then have the apex of long range strike warfare the carriers.

Every type have their place in a dynamic setting.
 
The following users thanked this post: skoormit, Sebmono

Online Ulzgoroth

  • Warrant Officer, Class 1
  • *****
  • U
  • Posts: 88
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2020, 11:54:19 AM »
What of PD's for the Carrier? I suppose the fighters armed with Gauss canons can act as PD's but I want to make my Carriers large and robustly defended with both Gauss PD and AMMs.
I think you lose out on a lot of design concept options due to tending to think that a ship the size of the moon that does a little of everything is about right...

The thing about a carrier is every ton you spend on onboard weapons or sensors is a ton not spent on hangars which could add strength to your main offensive and defensive arms...and a carrier's best defense is always to stay out of enemy engagement range entirely.
 

Offline SpikeTheHobbitMage

  • Captain
  • **********
  • S
  • Posts: 413
  • Thanked: 91 times
Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2020, 12:16:38 PM »
Carriers start to make a lot more sense if you view fighters as a reusable and retargetable first stage for a missile. You can design a missile with short range and high lethality, and fighters can get it into firing range without being in danger themselves. Being smaller, it is much harder for standard MFC and active sensors to see them. Being faster means you have a better chance of outrunning any pursuing missiles/craft, and it lets you take the fight to an enemy who is faster than your standard ships, but slower than your fighters (This is NOT to be underestimated from a strategic POV. Fighters can let you better dictate when/where you do battle.)
Fighters also work wonders when a faster enemy is trying to kite your fleet.  If you pull it off right then they never even see the fighters that killed them.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

  • Vice Admiral
  • **********
  • J
  • Posts: 1671
  • Thanked: 223 times
Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2020, 01:01:15 PM »
What of PD's for the Carrier? I suppose the fighters armed with Gauss canons can act as PD's but I want to make my Carriers large and robustly defended with both Gauss PD and AMMs.
I think you lose out on a lot of design concept options due to tending to think that a ship the size of the moon that does a little of everything is about right...

The thing about a carrier is every ton you spend on onboard weapons or sensors is a ton not spent on hangars which could add strength to your main offensive and defensive arms...and a carrier's best defense is always to stay out of enemy engagement range entirely.

I don't think you EVER would deploy a carrier without defences or an escort so using some space for self defence does not really detract from it's offensive capacity at all as you just need less escort and the task-force become less reliable on one ship class for it's defence. Spreading the defensive capabilities on more ships will make the force generally less susceptible to catastrophic failure if the wrong ship-class get targeted. A dynamic opponent that know your ship-classes will obviously make use of any such knowledge to your disadvantage.

I would agree that putting weapons intended for offensive operations make little sense on a pure carrier design.

In fact there are benefit from a operational and logistics perspective to give your ships more of a multi-purpose design. For example you can't just expect all combat to be conducted in deep space. You might need to deploy a carrier for defending a JP or planet... it then is very beneficial for these ships to carry beam weapons and good armour and shields. It is also good if your carrier are discovered and the enemy might be able to close with them.. .or if they have to run the gauntlet through a JP and escape.

With that said building a pure Carrier can also be a sound doctrine as well... it is all relative.

As long as you understand that whatever you do there is a downside and vulnerability.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 03:16:20 PM by Jorgen_CAB »
 

Offline BasileusMaximos (OP)

  • Commander
  • *********
  • B
  • Posts: 311
  • Thanked: 19 times
Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2020, 01:58:08 PM »
For PD fighters, what sort of beam weapon would you use?

I'd say railguns since they shoot multiple times, but they need a power-plant.
 

Online Ulzgoroth

  • Warrant Officer, Class 1
  • *****
  • U
  • Posts: 88
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2020, 02:33:20 PM »
Either small-caliber railguns or gauss guns. The railgun is probably better if you've got capacitor 3 to give it 5 second reload and have room to fit it in your design. Small Gauss guns have the advantage that they can fit in very small spaces if they have to. But even if you have Gauss ROF 6 the railgun+reactor may give you more shots/ton than the full size Gauss.
I don't think you EVER would deploy a carrier without defences or and escort so using some space for self defence does not really detract from it's offensive capacity at all as you just need less escort and the task-force become less reliable on one ship class for it's defence. Spreading the defensive capabilities on more ships will make the force generally less susceptible to catastrophic failure if the wrong ship-class get targeted. A dynamic opponent that know your ship-classes will obviously make use of any such knowledge to your disadvantage.
Interceptors can provide antimissile gunnery. And while AMMs are probably better not used from fighters, interceptors and beam strike fighters can provide stand-off attacks on incoming salvos.

Mostly my view is that the tactical philosophy of a carrier is that if the enemy is getting a chance to shoot at you with anything except maybe a long-range fighter or heavy missile attack, that means you already lost the battle and shouldn't be surprised if you also lose the carrier.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

  • Vice Admiral
  • **********
  • J
  • Posts: 1671
  • Thanked: 223 times
Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2020, 03:34:42 PM »
Interceptors can provide antimissile gunnery. And while AMMs are probably better not used from fighters, interceptors and beam strike fighters can provide stand-off attacks on incoming salvos.

Mostly my view is that the tactical philosophy of a carrier is that if the enemy is getting a chance to shoot at you with anything except maybe a long-range fighter or heavy missile attack, that means you already lost the battle and shouldn't be surprised if you also lose the carrier.

While it is technically true you can do that fighters still are rather inefficient at that job. It is one thing to use them in that capacity as a secondary role but not a primary one.

I would use my Gauss or Rail-gun fighters for mainly escorting bombers not to protect the carrier itself. A few Gauss turrets or dedicated AMM systems are way more efficient for that.

I would never dare to expect my fighters to be present when the carrier is attacked. If I for some reason always keep some PD fighters with the carrier for that duty then I probably failed in my design. But as I said, to bolster the defences in certain occasions seems perfectly legit to me.

So... it is a design flaw in my opinion to rely on PD fighters for your main defence, that means they can never leave the carrier anyway. But having both PD fighters AND a dedicated defence is a good doctrine as that will give you options and good defences.

This obviously is a personal preference... but I NEVER allow fate nor chance to dictate engagements if I can avoid it. That means that if I have PD fighters only I would have to always leave some behind... if I take them all out on missions and the enemy happen to attack I might be completely defenceless. If my bombers can't perform their missions with the escort I provided I probably should not attempt the mission in the first place anyway. But this is my personal philosophy and not some law to be followed by others

PD fighters were allot more powerful in VB6 though, now you have to pay the full price for the beam fire-control on each fighter A dedicated ship system can have allot more turrets per fire-control. You also have to pay for expensive engines to speed up the fighters where a ship only need to turret the guns for the same effect.

AMM fighters are even worse as a dedicated defence system in comparison to a few AMM launchers and a fire-control or two. The carrier have the magazine anyway so that does not even count.

It is quite apparent that I think the glass cannon is a "stupid" concept for a fleet doctrine (You can never know for certain your carriers have not been detected)... it leaves too many things up to chance, one I'm not willing to take... I certainly would never in real life anyway...  ;)
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 03:44:40 PM by Jorgen_CAB »
 

Offline SpikeTheHobbitMage

  • Captain
  • **********
  • S
  • Posts: 413
  • Thanked: 91 times
Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2020, 07:10:02 PM »
For PD fighters, what sort of beam weapon would you use?

I'd say railguns since they shoot multiple times, but they need a power-plant.
Railguns are the best fighter-scale anti-missile weapon until you hit Gauss ROF 8.  Gauss turrets are the best option for protecting capital ships.

Interceptors can provide antimissile gunnery. And while AMMs are probably better not used from fighters, interceptors and beam strike fighters can provide stand-off attacks on incoming salvos.

Mostly my view is that the tactical philosophy of a carrier is that if the enemy is getting a chance to shoot at you with anything except maybe a long-range fighter or heavy missile attack, that means you already lost the battle and shouldn't be surprised if you also lose the carrier.

While it is technically true you can do that fighters still are rather inefficient at that job. It is one thing to use them in that capacity as a secondary role but not a primary one.

I would use my Gauss or Rail-gun fighters for mainly escorting bombers not to protect the carrier itself. A few Gauss turrets or dedicated AMM systems are way more efficient for that.

I would never dare to expect my fighters to be present when the carrier is attacked. If I for some reason always keep some PD fighters with the carrier for that duty then I probably failed in my design. But as I said, to bolster the defences in certain occasions seems perfectly legit to me.

So... it is a design flaw in my opinion to rely on PD fighters for your main defence, that means they can never leave the carrier anyway. But having both PD fighters AND a dedicated defence is a good doctrine as that will give you options and good defences.

This obviously is a personal preference... but I NEVER allow fate nor chance to dictate engagements if I can avoid it. That means that if I have PD fighters only I would have to always leave some behind... if I take them all out on missions and the enemy happen to attack I might be completely defenceless. If my bombers can't perform their missions with the escort I provided I probably should not attempt the mission in the first place anyway. But this is my personal philosophy and not some law to be followed by others

PD fighters were allot more powerful in VB6 though, now you have to pay the full price for the beam fire-control on each fighter A dedicated ship system can have allot more turrets per fire-control. You also have to pay for expensive engines to speed up the fighters where a ship only need to turret the guns for the same effect.

AMM fighters are even worse as a dedicated defence system in comparison to a few AMM launchers and a fire-control or two. The carrier have the magazine anyway so that does not even count.

It is quite apparent that I think the glass cannon is a "stupid" concept for a fleet doctrine (You can never know for certain your carriers have not been detected)... it leaves too many things up to chance, one I'm not willing to take... I certainly would never in real life anyway...  ;)
Having carriers fall back or bug out if the enemy gets close isn't a bad strategy.  Their teeth are their fighters.  Let the battleships and cruisers hold the line.

I've used regular beam fighters to supplement fleet missile and beam PD before.  While it doesn't work very well, every hit they score is one less ASM for the capital ships to deal with and that can make a difference when the enemy has more ASMs than you were prepared for.  Mass Driver fighters are also a good way to protect bombers and FACs operating outside the fleet's AMM envelope.

I miss VB fighter beam controls too.  Beam fighters just aren't viable in the early game anymore, which means AMM is the only option before gauss turrets can be researched.  :(
 

Offline BasileusMaximos (OP)

  • Commander
  • *********
  • B
  • Posts: 311
  • Thanked: 19 times
Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2020, 07:59:07 PM »
Should 'spotter' fighters use active or passive sensors?
 

 

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72