Author Topic: Fighting Star Swarm  (Read 381 times)

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Offline captainwolfer (OP)

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Fighting Star Swarm
« on: January 11, 2021, 08:53:49 PM »
I have been having trouble dealing with the Star Swarm.  I started a game with 2 billion people on earth, and it has been going well.  However, I discovered the star swarm in a system, and when I sent a scout in, I found that the star swarm had at least 130 laser FACs, 32 of what I think are microwave FACs, 8 boarding FACs, and 18 sensor FACs.  all of these are about 750 tons, and seem to have two layers of armor.

What is the best way to deal with that many FACs? My missile cruisers are 24,000 tons with 30 S6 missile launchers, but their fire control can't target the FACs until they get within 2 million kilometers.  Meanwhile, my 12,000 destroyers have 10 AMM launchers and 4 S4 particle beams each, which isn't enough.  I have 5 squadrons of 3 missile cruisers and 4 squadrons of 3 destroyers (Each squadron also has a jump ship with Gauss turrets).  I'm not sure how I can beat this many FACs without them blowing up a bunch of my ships.
 

Offline Droll

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Re: Fighting Star Swarm
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2021, 09:02:42 PM »
Railguns - lots of railguns with BFCs to boot. Adding multiple BFCs doesn't just provide redundancy, it also allows the ship to multi target. Its very easy to get railguns that can pierce double armor and a single ship should be able to knock out multiple FACs.

Missile wise use size 1 ASMs. Give them like 9-16 warheads (if you can) and then spam. This is good because swarm are pretty good at close combat. If you can't fit such a warhead on a size 1 missile just do as small as is feasible.
 

Offline captainwolfer (OP)

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Re: Fighting Star Swarm
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2021, 09:16:08 PM »
Quote from: Droll link=topic=12300.  msg146398#msg146398 date=1610420562
Railguns - lots of railguns with BFCs to boot.   Adding multiple BFCs doesn't just provide redundancy, it also allows the ship to multi target.   Its very easy to get railguns that can pierce double armor and a single ship should be able to knock out multiple FACs. 

Missile wise use size 1 ASMs.   Give them like 9-16 warheads (if you can) and then spam.   This is good because swarm are pretty good at close combat.   If you can't fit such a warhead on a size 1 missile just do as small as is feasible. 
Can't fit decent warheads on size 1s, I have magneto-plasma engines (Although none of my fleet has been able to be upgraded yet) and 5 warhead strength per MSP, so anything larger than 1 or 2 warhead strength would have terrible hit chance.   One thing I'm thinking of is basically making missile/mine canisters that I can launch out of my size 6 launchers, IE a carrying stage with an active sensor and 2 size 2. 5 missiles with sensors.   That way as I run away from the FACs my cruisers could leave a trail of mines behind them

My other thought is to make beam cruisers, going at my fleet standard of 6000 km/s, with 10 twin 15cm/10s lasers and 3 fire controls each.   For armor I could put 6 layers and 142 points of shielding. 
 

Offline Marslettuce

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Re: Fighting Star Swarm
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2021, 09:31:48 PM »

Can't fit decent warheads on size 1s, I have magneto-plasma engines (Although none of my fleet has been able to be upgraded yet) and 5 warhead strength per MSP, so anything larger than 1 or 2 warhead strength would have terrible hit chance.   One thing I'm thinking of is basically making missile/mine canisters that I can launch out of my size 6 launchers, IE a carrying stage with an active sensor and 2 size 2. 5 missiles with sensors.   That way as I run away from the FACs my cruisers could leave a trail of mines behind them

My other thought is to make beam cruisers, going at my fleet standard of 6000 km/s, with 10 twin 15cm/10s lasers and 3 fire controls each.   For armor I could put 6 layers and 142 points of shielding.

Mines are bugged atm
 

Offline captainwolfer (OP)

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Re: Fighting Star Swarm
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2021, 09:33:42 PM »
Quote from: Marslettuce link=topic=12300. msg146400#msg146400 date=1610422308
Mines are bugged atm
How are they bugged? Do the second stages not trigger?
 

Online Bluebreaker

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Re: Fighting Star Swarm
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2021, 09:45:51 PM »
Quote from: Marslettuce link=topic=12300. msg146400#msg146400 date=1610422308
Mines are bugged atm
How are they bugged? Do the second stages not trigger?
If you launch a mine without a target(ship) the mine will disappear without launching the second stage.
 
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Online Bluebreaker

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Re: Fighting Star Swarm
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2021, 10:14:19 PM »
What is the best way to deal with that many FACs? My missile cruisers are 24,000 tons with 30 S6 missile launchers, but their fire control can't target the FACs until they get within 2 million kilometers.
Design a cruiser to engage fighters/LACs:
  • Build a sensor and FireControl combo, designed for engaging LACs (resolution 15-20) at reasonable ranges.
  • Reuse your big missiles (if they have a decent ChanceToHit) or design a new one.
  • Figure how many of your missiles you need to kill a LAC, and add that as many fast launchers per FC. For example if your  big missiles have a CTH of 33% and a warhead of 25. You will need 3-4 to guarantee a hit (assuming the enemy doesn't shoot down the missiles) and at that warhead should be enough to kill.
  • Add as many FC and launcher sets as you can.
  • Build atleast a dozen of such ships
  • In battle, engage at long range and change targets of the FC each time your ships fire.
 

Offline TheTalkingMeowth

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Re: Fighting Star Swarm
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2021, 10:26:40 PM »
I have fought swarm with slightly inferior tech to what you described but a similar doctrine. Here's what I did.

I refited my cruisers with res 10 or so fire controls (1 for every four launchers) and designed ~20million km range missiles with the biggest warheads I could manage. Effective damage per shot is the most important factor here because they don't have great PD, so you don't need to drive missile speed up. Furthermore, the FACs are tough enough that you won't be penetrating their armor with single hits; thus, you are going for damage/missile expended.

I worked out a combination of max engagement range (don't forget they have ECM), swarm overtake speed, missile fire rate, and magazine size so that I could fully empty my magazines before the FACs catch me.

The result is a force that in an open field can slaughter Swarm with no losses. There are serious downsides, however.

1. The swarm can and will slip through jump points to avoid missile fire. You have to catch them in the open which is hard since they are small, fast, and willing to run away.
2. Even maximizing efficiency of the missiles as described, you spend a lot of ammo to kill the swarm.

So you need to back this force up with something that can assault swarm held jump points. I went with laser armed cruisers and put really heavy shields on them to protect from microwave beams. I'm talking 70+ points on a 15kt ship. It worked ok.

Crew training is a huge help here, since it boosts accuracy AND reduces jump shock time.
 

Offline captainwolfer (OP)

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Re: Fighting Star Swarm
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2021, 01:09:17 AM »
So, I wanted to get an idea of how many Star Swarm ships there are, so I turned on the option to use real ship names/class names, and spawned in 9 extra cruisers and 6 extra destroyers, for a total fleet of about 900,000 tons, so I could actually beat the FACs I knew about.

Having forced the star swarm to retreat from the system, going by the ship name numbers in the intel screen the Star Swarm apparently have/had at least 784,513 tons of FACs, beam ships (The Carnifex Class), and defense ships (Hive Guard).  Plus a 273,599 ton "Very Large Hive", which is obviously the mothership, plus 4 131,000 ton ships (Tervigon Class) that I am guessing are carriers based on the class name.  How the hell is a player suppose to deal with over 1. 5 million tons of warships? (Yes I know they don't all stay together, but still)
 

Offline Rich.h

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Re: Fighting Star Swarm
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2021, 08:06:34 AM »
How the hell is a player suppose to deal with over 1. 5 million tons of warships?

Send 4 million tons?

If brute force doesn't work, you aren't using enough 8)
 

Offline Arwyn

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Re: Fighting Star Swarm
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2021, 10:04:13 AM »
Star Swarm, especially early, can be a death sentence. They are very hard early on with low tech. I used a similar missile tactic to run and spam and whittle down numbers. Their FACs are nasty little critters, but you can tank them with heavy shields and good beams.

In my last game, I built a "monitor". Super heavy shields and armor, lots of railguns. Swam FAC swarmed them and eventually knocked down the shields. However, while they were doing that, I had missile ships spamming, and in a page from their own book, I had some cheap corvettes with particle beams stand off from them at range and absolutely wrecked their FACs. They were fast enough to keep range open and the particle beams outranged them. I got lucky there.

I have found that you do need to kill them pretty quickly though. They will scout fast and come down warp chains quickly, as I learned the hard way. 2nd group of Swarm ran down the warp chain and got to Sol before I was ready. Lost that game. :)
 

Offline captainwolfer (OP)

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Re: Fighting Star Swarm
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2021, 10:37:37 AM »
Can the swarm go through normal jump points, or do they need stabilized jump points?
 

 

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