Author Topic: Carriers vs Missiles  (Read 900 times)

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Online Ulzgoroth

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2020, 08:26:09 PM »
Should 'spotter' fighters use active or passive sensors?
Depends what you're looking to do with them. If they're spotting targets for someone to shoot obviously they need to use active sensors (unless you only want to shoot with missiles that have sensors of their own?). If they're hoping to locate the enemy while being undetected themselves they almost certainly need passive sensors.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2020, 06:10:14 AM »
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.  :(

And I agree that using beam fighters for PD as secondary role is perfectly OK and I do that too.

When I talk about glass cannon ideologies it means that you don't defend the carriers and use all force to attack. The problem is that you can't guarantee that the enemy strike force show up right after your carrier wing left and destroy the carrier with no means to defend themselves at all. That is what I meant.

There is nothing wrong with having dedicated carriers in any way but leaving them without any escort is a serious gamble no matter how sure you are you can retreat them before an enemy can strike them.

If you are 99.9% sure because your technology is several levels higher than the enemy and you generally have superior numbers, then sure... you probably can get away with it at a very high probability.

My main point was that there is nothing wrong in adding main defences to your carriers or fit them with beam weapons as a self defence weapons. This means they can be useful outside their primary role too. Versatility can be worth allot too.

Extreme specialisation can be a huge liability if the enemy know which ships do what as they can just focus in whatever capacity they want to neutralise. You can imagine a fleet of 10 ships... you have 2 beam ships, 4 PD ships and 4 missile ships. You then have a fleet that intergrate all of those functions in one ship type... they might have slightly less beam, PD and missile launchers but they can in turn just focus their attacks on one element of the enemy and knock it out. In a missile fight you take out the PD ships first... the rest can be picked out very easily, the same go for a beam fight... you take out the beam ships first.

I'm not saying that this kind of specialisation is bad all the time... just that it is not effective the larger ship you build, that is all. Small ships can't do many things very well most of the time.

A big carrier on the other hand can do many things well even if it does have a primary function. If I want a dedicated pure carrier that would probably be a smaller lighter carrier in that case. But that is just me and my personal opinion.
 
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Offline SpikeTheHobbitMage

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #17 on: Yesterday at 07:32:41 PM »
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.  :(

And I agree that using beam fighters for PD as secondary role is perfectly OK and I do that too.

When I talk about glass cannon ideologies it means that you don't defend the carriers and use all force to attack. The problem is that you can't guarantee that the enemy strike force show up right after your carrier wing left and destroy the carrier with no means to defend themselves at all. That is what I meant.

There is nothing wrong with having dedicated carriers in any way but leaving them without any escort is a serious gamble no matter how sure you are you can retreat them before an enemy can strike them.

If you are 99.9% sure because your technology is several levels higher than the enemy and you generally have superior numbers, then sure... you probably can get away with it at a very high probability.

My main point was that there is nothing wrong in adding main defences to your carriers or fit them with beam weapons as a self defence weapons. This means they can be useful outside their primary role too. Versatility can be worth allot too.

Extreme specialisation can be a huge liability if the enemy know which ships do what as they can just focus in whatever capacity they want to neutralise. You can imagine a fleet of 10 ships... you have 2 beam ships, 4 PD ships and 4 missile ships. You then have a fleet that intergrate all of those functions in one ship type... they might have slightly less beam, PD and missile launchers but they can in turn just focus their attacks on one element of the enemy and knock it out. In a missile fight you take out the PD ships first... the rest can be picked out very easily, the same go for a beam fight... you take out the beam ships first.

I'm not saying that this kind of specialisation is bad all the time... just that it is not effective the larger ship you build, that is all. Small ships can't do many things very well most of the time.

A big carrier on the other hand can do many things well even if it does have a primary function. If I want a dedicated pure carrier that would probably be a smaller lighter carrier in that case. But that is just me and my personal opinion.
It seems that I misunderstood, so I apologize.  Glass cannon doctrine at the fleet level is indeed foolish.  I was trying to say that glass cannon ships are fine if they have proper escorts.

I find that integrating roles too much tends to lead to jack-of-all-trades syndrome.  If enemy missile ships would reliably target PD ships first then that would be an argument in favour of specializing them out to draw fire away from the rest, since one or two dedicated PD ships are easier to up-armour than an entire battle group.  Offensive beam ships need to be much faster than anything except fighters, and that gets expensive per tonne.  Specialization makes them much more cost effective.  AWACS grade sensors are too expensive to put on multiple ships, and carriers tend to have very little part or doctrine commonality with anything else.

In VB I used to spread beam PD across every ship in the battle group, including carriers and AWACS, but that is less attractive with the new BFC PD rules.  I am currently experimenting with combined beam/missile PD ships, but I'm still getting used to the new mechanics so it is a work in progress.
 

Offline Barkhorn

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 08:09:47 PM »
One big advantage carriers have over ASM ships is that a carrier strike group can strike its target from a different bearing than the carrier.  If ASM ships manage to remain undetected, it doesn't really matter.  The missiles will still fly straight towards the target.  Your enemy can easily follow that bearing right back to your missile ships.  But a carrier strike group can launch its missiles from the flank.  Imagine you've hidden your carrier north of the target.  The strike group flies off to a side and strikes the target from the east.  The enemy head east, planning on counter-attacking your missile ships.  But they find nothing, because you were actually to the north all along.
 

Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #19 on: Yesterday at 08:24:45 PM »
And I agree that using beam fighters for PD as secondary role is perfectly OK and I do that too.

Carrier beam fighters get exceptionally interesting in a PD role against enemies with obsolete engine tech / missiles slow enough that your fighters can outrun them. Supported by a good enough missile sensor they can kill a disturbing number of missiles just following them along and picking of salvo after salvo.
 

Offline SpikeTheHobbitMage

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #20 on: Yesterday at 08:28:27 PM »
One big advantage carriers have over ASM ships is that a carrier strike group can strike its target from a different bearing than the carrier.  If ASM ships manage to remain undetected, it doesn't really matter.  The missiles will still fly straight towards the target.  Your enemy can easily follow that bearing right back to your missile ships.  But a carrier strike group can launch its missiles from the flank.  Imagine you've hidden your carrier north of the target.  The strike group flies off to a side and strikes the target from the east.  The enemy head east, planning on counter-attacking your missile ships.  But they find nothing, because you were actually to the north all along.
This is no different from an ASM group firing a barrage and then moving to a new location, beyond the fighters having stealth and speed advantages.  While the AI isn't smart enough to do it, it should be an effective way to draw defenders away from a high value target.
 

Offline xenoscepter

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #21 on: Yesterday at 10:57:27 PM »
Quote
One big advantage carriers have over ASM ships is that a carrier strike group can strike its target from a different bearing than the carrier.  If ASM ships manage to remain undetected, it doesn't really matter.  The missiles will still fly straight towards the target.  Your enemy can easily follow that bearing right back to your missile ships.  But a carrier strike group can launch its missiles from the flank.  Imagine you've hidden your carrier north of the target.  The strike group flies off to a side and strikes the target from the east.  The enemy head east, planning on counter-attacking your missile ships.  But they find nothing, because you were actually to the north all along.
~Barkhorn

Quote
This is no different from an ASM group firing a barrage and then moving to a new location, beyond the fighters having stealth and speed advantages.  While the AI isn't smart enough to do it, it should be an effective way to draw defenders away from a high value target.
~SpikeTheHobbitMage

What Barkhorn is driving at is that a carrier can be in one place and attack from another. If your ASM ships fire, then the fire comes from them, if they move away they inexorably move from the point of firing. The carrier has no such trouble, and even against NPRs this can make a difference as even the NPRs will tend to attack the ships that are actually shooting at them rather than the carrier. "De-planing" the carrier may require you to produce more fighters, but replacing fighters is way cheaper than dedicated ASM ships. FACs notwithstanding of course, they're a different matter entirely.
 
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Offline SpikeTheHobbitMage

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #22 on: Yesterday at 11:02:23 PM »
Quote
One big advantage carriers have over ASM ships is that a carrier strike group can strike its target from a different bearing than the carrier.  If ASM ships manage to remain undetected, it doesn't really matter.  The missiles will still fly straight towards the target.  Your enemy can easily follow that bearing right back to your missile ships.  But a carrier strike group can launch its missiles from the flank.  Imagine you've hidden your carrier north of the target.  The strike group flies off to a side and strikes the target from the east.  The enemy head east, planning on counter-attacking your missile ships.  But they find nothing, because you were actually to the north all along.
~Barkhorn

Quote
This is no different from an ASM group firing a barrage and then moving to a new location, beyond the fighters having stealth and speed advantages.  While the AI isn't smart enough to do it, it should be an effective way to draw defenders away from a high value target.
~SpikeTheHobbitMage

What Barkhorn is driving at is that a carrier can be in one place and attack from another. If your ASM ships fire, then the fire comes from them, if they move away they inexorably move from the point of firing. The carrier has no such trouble, and even against NPRs this can make a difference as even the NPRs will tend to attack the ships that are actually shooting at them rather than the carrier. "De-planing" the carrier may require you to produce more fighters, but replacing fighters is way cheaper than dedicated ASM ships. FACs notwithstanding of course, they're a different matter entirely.
Point.  I had not considered strategic suicide missions.
 

Offline xenoscepter

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #23 on: Yesterday at 11:30:14 PM »
Lol, well it's only suicide if they catch you. :P

Fighters are smol and fast, they tend to evade real good... especially against ASMs not built to hit 'em.
 

Offline BasileusMaximos (OP)

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #24 on: Yesterday at 11:52:29 PM »
I've never used Boat Bays before and am wondering if they'd be a good addition to my command ships to house sensor fighters to be the commander's eyes and ears. Might be a good replacement or supplement to the massive sensors I put on command variants. Only thing I'm worried about is if it will make the design too different to the point it can't share a shipyard with its standard variant.
 

Offline xenoscepter

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #25 on: Today at 12:39:18 AM »
@BasileusMaximos
 - The refit issue depends on the ship in question. The "'X' in a Box" school of Fighter design has been around since VB6. You could have boat bays, hangar decks or more dedicated to expanded magazines (useful for when you want to pack some nukes into your missile cruiser, but only for a particular mission profile), fuel tanks (moar range = moar goob), modular sensors and Flag Bridges... and so on and so forth. So you could definitely do it.

 - I pack scouts on all kinds of ships... even my Fortune Class Frigate, which in addition to being an in-system security vessel, is also a tug, which means a lot of things were omitted to get a high speed. That small boat bay allows the Knife Class to be housed inside of it and deployed to check out suspicious passive contacts.

Fortune Class:
http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=11551.msg135214#new

Knife Class & Friends:
http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=11548.msg135202#new
 

Offline SpikeTheHobbitMage

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #26 on: Today at 12:50:40 AM »
I've never used Boat Bays before and am wondering if they'd be a good addition to my command ships to house sensor fighters to be the commander's eyes and ears. Might be a good replacement or supplement to the massive sensors I put on command variants. Only thing I'm worried about is if it will make the design too different to the point it can't share a shipyard with its standard variant.
I often use Boat Bays to fit rescue fighters on my high value capital ships on the grounds that if my flagship didn't make it then the rest of the fleet didn't either.

As long as the tonnage is within 20% and the new parts aren't more than 20% of the total cost then you should be fine.  If you have a ship tooled for the existing design then it will list all eligible designs including unlocked ones.
 

Offline BasileusMaximos (OP)

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #27 on: Today at 01:26:28 AM »
I've never used Boat Bays before and am wondering if they'd be a good addition to my command ships to house sensor fighters to be the commander's eyes and ears. Might be a good replacement or supplement to the massive sensors I put on command variants. Only thing I'm worried about is if it will make the design too different to the point it can't share a shipyard with its standard variant.
I often use Boat Bays to fit rescue fighters on my high value capital ships on the grounds that if my flagship didn't make it then the rest of the fleet didn't either.

As long as the tonnage is within 20% and the new parts aren't more than 20% of the total cost then you should be fine.  If you have a ship tooled for the existing design then it will list all eligible designs including unlocked ones.

What do those rescue fighters look like? Do you need emergency cryo on the mothership as well?
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #28 on: Today at 02:15:13 AM »
And I agree that using beam fighters for PD as secondary role is perfectly OK and I do that too.

Carrier beam fighters get exceptionally interesting in a PD role against enemies with obsolete engine tech / missiles slow enough that your fighters can outrun them. Supported by a good enough missile sensor they can kill a disturbing number of missiles just following them along and picking of salvo after salvo.

That is true... but at that point you will not need that many of them to do the job well either, so whatever PD fighters you do have will work just fine. You certainly don't need dedicated PD fighters for that specific job.
 

Online Michael Sandy

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Re: Carriers vs Missiles
« Reply #29 on: Today at 06:24:30 AM »
Large carriers can be nice if you make large parasite beam warships.  But small ships have advantages in avoiding detection.  Although a lot of the time, the carrier is launching from the other side of a jump point.  If your fighters have a decent range, (depending on sensor tech level), the carrier should be always able to launch from beyond detection range.

The exception is where multiple nations are operating in the same system, and maintaining passive tracking on ships, and hostilities can break out at any time.  In a player v player scenario, you have to deal with the threat of an enemy deliberately holding back forces, engines down, waiting for an opportunity to strike a soft target.  That isn't something the AI is good at.  Players are much better at hunting down a suspected carrier than the AI is.

Missile ships, the missiles have no choice but to move straight towards the enemy, so they reveal a possible cone where they could have come from.  Fighters, on the other hand, have the option of loitering while their carrier scoots back out of the system.

Another thing that carriers can do, that missiles ships can't, in VB6 anyway, is deploy box launcher pods from the other side of a jump box, and launch homing missiles on transit.  Pretty sure that isn't an option in c# anymore?  So carriers can make a close in defense of a jump point very hazardous.
 

 

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