Author Topic: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era  (Read 3272 times)

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Offline misora

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Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« on: September 09, 2015, 02:15:14 PM »
So, with the filthy AI-run enemies getting smart on our tactics, how will we engage their fighters in the coming era of the next Aurora 4x release. I would think beam fighters or PD laser frigates would be a good answer, but I am still incredibly new to Aurora 4x.
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2015, 02:53:32 PM »
Well, missile fighters are going to be the big problem. The 900 missiles that Steve's Rigellians ate were slightly concerning!  The big hurdle is detecting oncoming missile fighters before they enter launch range.   This can be problematic or really simple depending on the relative tech levels.

The simplest answer is to brute force it using a big sensor.   A size 50 resolution 5 sensor has about the same range as a size 3.75 res 100 missile fire control. That's bigger than any fighter is likely to mount.  You could put a size 17 or so res-5 missile fire control to go with it, and with only (!) 3400 tons devoted purely to expensive sensors you have a reasonable solution against equal tech.

If you have higher tech, a large resolution 1 sensor will also do the trick, especially if you mount some ecm; fighters are unlikely to mount eccm. 

If you don't want to deal with super expensive sensors or the tech is more uncertain, forward platforms might be the best solution  if you know where a strike is coming from, you could use pinnances, corvettes, recon fighters or whatever you've got that could put a detection sensor directly  on the vector to the enemy carrier. Once detected, you can vector in some method of destroying the incoming strikefighters.

The problem with this strategy is that the ships MUST be small enough themselves to avoid detection and target locks, otherwise they will be easily destroyed away from the protection of your task group!  Depending on its power, you might also have to be careful with your active sensor; if the enemy detects it, they'll probably just kill your sensor ship!

A large sensor buoy (missile) is a possible solution to that conundrum, but they have limited flexibility and lifespan compared to a manned vessel.   Also, going over the numbers, the  practical difficulties in establishing sufficient sensor coverage at a sufficient distance from a friendly fleet in a sufficient timeframe are significant. 
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2015, 01:24:37 AM »
Size 50 sensors are pretty research restricted near the start of a game, however this ties in fairly well with the other major problem we have which is overcoming AMM spam, if you can get close enough to a carrier with your AMM escorts their fighters are toast.
As long as you can survive the initial missile waves.
Maybe FAC's are the solution, if the fighters are equipped with long range low resolution fire controls for taking out capitals, you could possibly sneak in a 1000 ton fac with either specialised anti fighter missiles, or an extreme range spinal laser, the problem being how vulnerable that craft is to enemy AMM escorts. Or your own fighters would probably be just as able to take out his carriers.
A Rock Paper Scissors scenario would be like this:
Missile fighters or FACs beat anti ship missile capitals, beam fighters or FACs beat missile fighters/ FACs,  AMM escorts beat beam fighters/ FACs.     
What beats AMM escorts?    Make them run out of ammo I guess?
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Offline linkxsc

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Re: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2015, 01:44:03 AM »
Been thinking about it quite a bit myself. I rather like that theyre finally getting fighters. Before the patch, honestly I never really saw a reason for actives with a resolution between FACs and missiles.

But so dealing with the fighters...
Missile 1s are generally the problem, but picking up their carrier will be the most important bit.
Dunno yet how well designed the npr fighters will be, but assuming that they are spamming box launchers of 2-6 size, 1 of the best counters may be high speed fighters of your own to draw fire from low hitchance ASMs, while firing purpose built antifighter missiles back. (something size 2 or 3, with a 3 str warhead, so itll strip away 3/5ths of a layer per hit, so a second can obliterate the target)

Beam fighters might be a nice concept, but in general practice, missile fighters can more easily be faster, (the same 3hs for a laser, .5-1 for reactor, .5 for a fire control) can easily field 12 size 2 launchers, and a fire control.
 

Offline CharonJr

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Re: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2015, 05:25:53 AM »
I think it will depend on the composition of the enemy strike force, vs a pure ASM strike a single fast beam fighter would be enough, vs a strike protected by beam fighters missile fighters would be better. If the enemy is faster you need missile fighters.
 

Offline linkxsc

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Re: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2015, 09:49:08 AM »
Ofcourse something I should add.

Even if the fighters are spamming size 1 box launchers, after they take the shot you can know that you have a 7.5min(450s) grace period at minimum before the next salvo, And usually quite a bit more than that (cause the fighters have to return). Size 3 or 4 launchers which are probably more realistic... 20-30mins.

Also, will the fighters be armed with the same range missiles as ASM Warships? Can't put the same size MFC on a fighter as on your Warships, and even then you generally don't need to because a 500t fighter can get pretty damn close to a lot of ships.

Adding a fighter resolution active scout to trawl around with my fleet shouldn't be too problematic... But what about light fighters? Will the NPR always shoot for 450t/500t fighter designs?
Assuming you're packing 500t resolution sensors, to pick up a 250t light fighter (2 size 1 engines, MFC, fuel, 4 size 4 box launchers), will get picked up at only 1/4th the range.
Thats an awful lot of space that they've closed on you/ moved to different vectors.

Then theres another... will the enemy deploy fighters in straight intercept paths? Or will they vector them off at angles on their approach and return to mask their carrier? (who is probably sitting, engines turned down to a very very low speed, relying on a fighter with an active sensor itself to detect you, so you don't wipe the carrier. (after all, with a single tiny fuel tank, I can usually get my fighters out over .5billion km

Will enemy fighters have passives and actives of their own, or will they rely solely on support from other ships?



You could use your own fighters/FACs as fleet screens with passives? At Ion tech, even with .35% thermal output on engines, a fighter still can probably be picked up form over a couple mil km, from a size 4 detector on one of your own fighters. (unless they are using only 1-2 engines/running slow, which runs into the same problem when considering they could also be using 200-250t fighters)
Space ~8 of them out at 1.5mil-2mil increments between yourself and your presumed threat vector. Make a line of them, with a couple active fighter spotters (shut down until needed), And have them keep at range from your fleet, a bit longer than your antifighter missile range (or keep some of your own beam fighters out there)
But this in turn will put a lot of wear and tear on your scout fighters, which are already fairly high maintenance.
And against the same fighter, a big ole size 50 sensor would only pick them up about 20m.
Perhaps and EM based fighter screen to try and pick up the carrier's possibly large actives?


I dunno, I dunno. Theres so many ways that it could work out, both good and bad for the player, so much uncertainty in the fighters themselves, because for the most part, they're an untested power. Not going to know until the patch drops, and I throw myself into a tiny solar system with nothing but me and a few NPRs and get 1 that likes their fighters. Then will come the experimenting.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 10:20:46 AM by linkxsc »
 

Offline 83athom

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Re: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2015, 11:42:48 AM »
Perhaps a scout fighter/drone with stealth would be a good way to locate the enemy carriers. I was thinking a small thing, with EM and thermal sensors, efficient engines with thermal reduction (maybe about 3/4-4/5 of the fighter should be efficient engines and fuel), 10,000+ ton res actives (used only when positive of carriers position with other ships in position), and possibly some size 1 AMMs/flares for those just in case moments. Even if the carrier itself is under stealth (no actives, engines off, no shields, etc) their fighters would still be showing up like a bonfire so all you would have to do is keep track of where they come from and where they go (Cotton Eye Joe) to find the carriers position.
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Offline linkxsc

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Re: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2015, 03:09:34 PM »
Well... Bouys might be a fine concept on the defensive on your turf (or at least areas that you want some measure of control over). Just leave a bunch at various asteroids and jump points (assuming you have asteroids set to not move. Or planets if you set them to not orbit either)

Toyed for a few mins with the concept of making large sensor missiles that you could fire a salvo of in the direction you think the enemy fighters might be coming from to detect them... But by that point, with the cost of developing the missile itself research wise, the thing is research wise about as expensive as the components for a fighter to design. And to build, you can get maybe 5-8 of the missiles I threw together for the build cost of a scout fighter. Which the scout fighter is reusable, has significantly longer range, and can be ordered to change direction, rather than just throwing it out and hoping you'll get a spot.

Ofcourse if the NPRs use PDC based fighters on a planet. You can waypoint a handful of these missiles around the planet and get a good spot on their fighters for long range missile fire... so there may be that.


Stealth ships... Well 10krp for the cloak tech, 4000 for 75% reduction could make a 2000t sensor scout down to 500t vs sensors. The hardest part is the minimum size modifier... I guess -15 would be alright for a first model.. at a cost of 7000 rp.
But from there you can get a 2000t ship, 750t to cloak, ~500t to engines, 250t sensor (size 5s aren't so bad), with 500t left over for fuel, engineering, and crew... That might not work so bad... at 21k rp. Which once you step past ion tech and into the early fusions, is kind of chump change. By comparison it takes well into the 100k rp range before fighters/FACs themselves can start fitting cloaks.
 

Offline Bremen

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Re: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2015, 08:09:22 PM »
A Rock Paper Scissors scenario would be like this:
Missile fighters or FACs beat anti ship missile capitals, beam fighters or FACs beat missile fighters/ FACs,  AMM escorts beat beam fighters/ FACs.     
What beats AMM escorts?    Make them run out of ammo I guess?

I actually like this idea. If the enemy is primarily using carriers, then you can eat one salvo and then have your beam fighters follow the enemy missile fighters home and savage them before they can reload (or possibly outrun the missile fighters and destroy them before they can return to their motherships). Would give a well defined role for beam/space superiority fighters.

On the downside, even a primarily carrier force would probably have AMM based escorts to defend against enemy fighter launched missiles, and AMMs are a huge threat to beam fighters.
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2015, 08:47:22 PM »
the best counter for amm ships is longer ranged amm ships   ;)
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2015, 12:17:27 AM »
Actually, counter intuitively I think specialised box launched size 2-3 ASM's might be the best bet for AMM escorts. It would depend on the intercept chance, but I think per MSP it would be more costly trying to intercept your missiles than what you spend on a salvo. Also the alpha strike should overwhelm enough to at least cripple a significant portion of his escorts, and be able to do so at a range outside his offensive window.
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Offline Theodidactus

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Re: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2015, 05:52:09 AM »
Since I routinely fight myself and my own fighter swarms...this is no problem. Three words: Early...Warning...Craft. You need fighters hauling middlin-to-large size sensors, and lots of them. You need interceptors to engage their fighters before they hit yours.
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Offline Iranon

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Re: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2015, 06:13:34 AM »
The largest missile that's not worth shooting down will be ideal against AMM spam... but imo you gain too little for too great a sacrifice.

I'd rather use size 1 general purpose missiles - compared to pure AMMs, less agility, more fuel and/or warhead.
Engine can usually stay the same: AMMs want a good mix of engine and agility for accuracy, ASMs want to err on the side of speed because that makes them harder to intercept.
 

Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2015, 06:58:47 AM »
Since I routinely fight myself and my own fighter swarms...this is no problem. Three words: Early...Warning...Craft. You need fighters hauling middlin-to-large size sensors, and lots of them. You need interceptors to engage their fighters before they hit yours.

Agree with that. I normally field 3 variants of each generation fighters when I go seriously for Carriers:

For example

FXB - Bombers ( payload of 4x size 4 ASM )
FXS - Sensor ( payload and firecontrol swapped for biggest sensor you can fit, resolution normally around 10 )
FXF - Fighter ( payload 16x size 1 AMM )

Grouped in wings of for example 9 Bombers + 1 Sensor or say 9 Fighters + 1 Sensor.

With this setup you have a lot of flexibility. You can conduct long range strikes when target is painted, hunt down or CAP detect FAC/Fighters approaching or even support AMM if you see them launching a salvo you know your PD can't handle.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 07:56:10 AM by alex_brunius »
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Fighter Vs Fighter combat in the Next Era
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2015, 09:24:37 PM »
Lots of good ideas here. Can't wait for the next patch to come out!
 

 

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