Diary of a Space Tyrant

Discussion of the space strategy game where you design ships, issue orders to your fleet, then play hands-off battles against human or AI designed enemies.
Redd13
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Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby Redd13 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:26 pm

Having had the game for just a few months (I know; late as ever to this party!), including all the downloadable content races and a few mods, I found I pretty much had a fleet designed for all of the races. I'd tried a few challenges and discovered that a lot of people don't play the game the same way I do. I can create tanks, I can create lures and I could deploy a bait ball of fighters around a cruiser. I simply don't want to. What I want is to see fleets fly towards each other and kick seven shades of whatever has seven shades out of each other, without having to resort to anything I'd consider "unethical".

So, how to get my fix? The Caspian IV scenario on expert difficulty kept me entertained for a while, but taking on the same enemy fleet each time even with different races, could only hold me for so long. The missions included in the mods also helped but again, seeing the same enemy each time and knowing where and how to deploy to maximise my advantage limited what they could do. Then, reading on the forums I discovered the answer: I could challenge myself. This would also answer an important question of my own: which of my fleets were the best?

After several rounds of challenges, numerous battles and discoveries, fleets were tweaked and errors were discovered in my designs (including one ship without any point defences which for some reason, still had a scanner). Finally, we come to what will follow here: the definitive clash of fleets to discover which is the most powerful, and what better place to document this clash of titans (or possibly midgets) than here on the GSB forums?

Over the next few days, I'll start by introducing the ships and fleets but first, a quick word about my design philosophy. Firstly, I don't like spam. All my fleets tend to have a variety of weapons at a variety of ranges rather than just spamming one weapon. Frigates are used in a supporting role and fighters are on escort orders. Experiments in earlier exchanges showed that independent frigates and attacking fighters tended to end in a lot of dead pilots, with little effect on the enemy. I try to use each hull once with each having a different role in the fleet. Sometimes a hull will be used more than once, though that's rare. This does mean that some ships are less than optimal for their role, but as every fleet has a similar weakness, in theory it should balance out. If not, after this round of challenges, more tweaking will iron out the obviously weaker links.

So, the fleets are, with details to follow:

Federation
Rebels
Alliance
Empire
Tribe
Swarm
Order
Parasites
Nomads
Union (mod)
Uni-T (mod)
Praetorian Industries (mod)
Xedilco (mod)
Legios (mod)
Pirates (mod)
Scavengers (mod)

I also have the Classic Dreadnoughts mod, so some of the regular races will have their own Big Ships.
Last edited by Redd13 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby darkstar076 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:17 pm

Greetings Redd13 and Welcome to the Forums.

Redd13 wrote:Having had the game for a few months (I know,late to the party as ever), including all the downloadable content races and a few mods, I found I pretty much had a fleet designed for all of the races. I'd tried a few challenges and discovered that a lot of people don't play the game the same way I do. I can create tanks, I can create lures and I could deploy a bait ball of fighters around a cruiser. I simply don't want to. What I want is to see fleets fly towards each other and kick seven shades of whatever has seven shades out of each other, without having to resort to anything I'd consider unethical.

While some would argue it is fashionable to be late, i would rather say better late than never :)

I had to laugh when you mention that "people do not play the game the same way" - One of the main challenges I see in making a mod is to try and remove exploits and uber fleets. This requires you to play the game *not* as you normally would but to try and break the staples of Competitive Combat (Bait Balls, Lures and Tanks).

Redd13 wrote:So, how to get my fix? Caspian IV on expert kept me entertained for a while, but taking on the same enemy fleet each time even with different races, could only hold me for so long. The missions included in the mods also helped but again, seeing the same enemy each time and knowing where and how to deploy to maximise my advantage limited what they could do. Then, reading on the forums I discovered the answer: I could challenge myself. This would also answer an important question of my own: which of my fleets were the best?


A long time ago in a thread several pages back, forum member RogerCooper started to tackle this problem with the Excel-based Random Scenario Generator. I am unsure on how far this project went, but if your handy with VBA and familiar with Excel, maybe it is something you could look into to help you get your fix. (BTW - there is nothing saying that random fleets have to use ships from one race)

Redd13 wrote:Over the next few days, I'll start by introducing the ships and fleets but first, a quick word about my design philosophy. Firstly, I don't like spam. All my fleets tend to have a variety of weapons at a variety of ranges rather than just spamming one weapon. Frigates are used in a supporting role and fighters are on escort orders. Experiments in earlier exchanges showed that independent frigates and attacking fighters tended to end in a lot of dead pilots, with little effect on the enemy. I try to use each hull once with each having a different role in the fleet. Sometimes a hull will be used more than once, though that's rare. This does mean that some ships are less than optimal for their role, but as every fleet has a similar weakness, in theory it should balance out. If not, after this round of challenges, more tweaking will iron out the obviously weaker links.

Looks like our design philosophy is similar in many ways - i differ on one or two of the points but that is more due to the modding influencing my play style. Based on what you have described, I personally would find the fleets you are fielding more exciting to face in battle than the standard "clone" war found in the Campaign Battles (ie Multi Warhead Missile Spam Fleet) . .

Redd13 wrote:So, the fleets are, with details to follow:

Federation
Rebels
Alliance
Empire
Tribe
Swarm
Order
Parasites
Nomads
Union (mod)
Uni-T (mod)
Praetorian Industries (mod)

I also have the Classic Dreadnoughts mod so some of the regular races will have their own Big Ships

I like your choice of Mods :)

This is shaping up to be one enlightening read (no pressure). I look forward to reading your Diary of a Space Tyrant
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Re: Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby Archduke Astro » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:10 am

Welcome aboard, Redd13! You've laid the foundation for a really interesting thread.

Redd13 wrote:Over the next few days, I'll start by introducing the ships and fleets but first, a quick word about my design philosophy. Firstly, I don't like spam. All my fleets tend to have a variety of weapons at a variety of ranges rather than just spamming one weapon. Frigates are used in a supporting role and fighters are on escort orders. Experiments in earlier exchanges showed that independent frigates and attacking fighters tended to end in a lot of dead pilots, with little effect on the enemy. I try to use each hull once with each having a different role in the fleet. Sometimes a hull will be used more than once, though that's rare. This does mean that some ships are less than optimal for their role, but as every fleet has a similar weakness, in theory it should balance out. If not, after this round of challenges, more tweaking will iron out the obviously weaker links.

Thank you for stating your biases so cleanly & concisely. While I do not echo all of them, I can see where you're coming from and I do find your point of view to be refreshing. Relentlessly tweaking one's force mix for purposes of nothing but competitive powerlevelling gets really dull after a while -- sometimes an admiral just wants to have fun without madly sweating over DPS calculations & etc., figuring out what's the ideal thing to be spamming all over the place. There are some weird, obscure interactions afoot in GSB which can help you a lot, and others which can seriously hurt you. That "intangible minefield" aspect of the game is one of the things I like the most about it.

I have a certain unusual interest in the varied strengths and weaknesses of the game's 36 official cruisers and 30 official frigates from the Great Powers, and I am intrigued in how GSB "noobs" make use of those hulls. It's been quite a while since I was metaphorically in your shoes where GSB is concerned, so I am anticipating some thought-provoking surprises in how you choose to handle them in fleet-level quantities.

Likewise intrigued in how relatively new players choose shipboard equipment and why they make the choices that they do -- hopefully you've noticed by now that both modules as well as weapons are emphatically not all created equal. While some are better than average, a nontrivial number are weaker than you might think (and their identities are not always obvious), and including plenty of different items mainly just for the sake of variety is often, ahhh, counterproductive in this game. I suppose that "experience is the best teacher".

Redd13 wrote:I also have the Classic Dreadnoughts mod, so some of the regular races will have their own Big Ships.

Oh, I knew there was a good reason I liked you. :D I'm glad that my famous & very capable superships are of use to you...

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This thread is going to be educational as well as entertaining. Onward!
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Re: Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby Redd13 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:02 pm

Thanks for the comments so far, I can only hope I don't disappoint! So on to the fleets where we begin with:

The Federation

My first fleet (obviously as it's the only one available at the start of the game) and one I've stuck with throughout the single player missions before moving on to the other races. I certainly learnt a lot from these battles, and those lessons influenced my designs for the other races. As they were my first fleet, their hulls a re-used more often than other races as when a gap presented itself in my fleet, I designed a new ship to fill it rather than modifying ships I already had. They've always been a strong performer in battles, though in the last exchanges I think I had to high a reliance on frigates, so their numbers have been scaled back for more cruisers. The fighters have recently had a complete overhaul as against designs for other races, they simply didn't stack up. A special note should also be made of the dreadnought. This is my third attempt to design one, the others have been....less than successful. A multi-role one did nothing well and an all beam variant (with several different beam types) was similarly awful due to it's inability to drop shields. It blazed away colourfully before failing.

Eagle Pulse Cruiser
This design evolved from the multi purpose cruiser I first designed, before I began to specialise vessels for different roles. It's still something of a throwback to those days though, armed with cruiser lasers and a beam laser for both shield and armour stripping. Sitting at the front of the fleet, it's well shielded and protected by a guidance scrambler. Other pd defences were changed for more guns, one of which was later changed to armour after seeing a number of these ships savaged by fighters getting inside their shields. To help out the longer ranged ships in the fleet, it also comes equipped with a target painter. After seeing these cruisers locked down by emp weapons in one of the earlier single player missions, it also gets defence against those annoying weapons. At the forefront of every fleet engagement, losses amongst these cruisers tend to be high so I imagine the crews wear black. Lots of black.
Tiger Beam Cruiser
Another evolution from earlier designs. I initially liked the high damage score for beams, so a ship mounting lots seemed like a good idea. That changed as I watched them bounce of properly shielded ships so some of the beams were changed for rockets, then to megaton missiles and now finally back to rockets. Again after seeing an otherwise fully shielded ship get torn apart by fighters, some weapons were dropped for armour to give them a modicum of protection. Sitting just behind the Pulse cruisers, a PD system also seemed worthwhile and does help the overall missile defence of the fleet.
Rabbit Bombardment Cruiser
The last of the early designs, and one which has gone largely unchanged (except for swapping some shields for armour. Bloody fighters) since it's creation. Designed to sit behind the other cruisers and shell the snot out of the enemy, it's basically an engine with lots and lots of cruiser missiles strapped to it. A pretty powerful ship, but one that's horribly vulnerable should the enemy get anywhere near it.
Panther Heavy Bombardment Cruiser
Spending earnt honour to free up both this hull and multiple warhead missiles at the same time, it seemed natural to pair them together. Filling the same supporting role as the rabbit, it suffers exactly the same issues should the front ranks fall. While they're there however, it provides a serious threat.
Buffalo Armoured Cruiser
One of the single player missions has the no shields rule in effect, so to get through that mission, this ship was hastily slapped together. Cruiser laser, an engine, emp cannon, crew and power and that's it. Not strictly a tank as such, it's armour is less than 50, it got me through the three difficulties on that mission and has remained in my inventory since, though rarely gets used. It's just so....boring.
Buffalo Carrier
Tired of seeing my fighters form the infamous "Column o'ships" on the left hand side of the screen, this ship came about to support them and keep them fighting for longer. Reinforced bays saw to that, though being fairly important, it needed keeping out of the fight though I still wanted it to contribute to the main battle. A couple of multi warheads allowed it to keep out the way whilst still playing a part. Fighters running for it's bays seemed to pull enemy fighters towards it, and often my own ships wouldn't make it home, being shot down as they headed for repairs. Sticking a pulse and defence laser backed up by a tractor beam on the carrier meant that should the enemy try that, they would at least be punished for it.
Lion Dreadnought
Finally, the Big Boi (tm). After my initial failures, I was kind of at a loss as to what to do with this. I was tempted to just slap a load of multi warheads on it and be done, but I was already using lots on other hulls so adding more would just be dull. Looking at the rest of my cruisers, I realised what was missing: Plasma. And so the Plasma dread was born, though with a couple of Proton beams on board as well, just in case.

Fox Beam Frigate
Another early design and for me, a very rare example of a frigate with shields. And a beam. That's basically it really, I did mention my love for the high damage of beams didn't I?
Puma Escort Frigate
Fighters alone didn't seem enough to protect myself from enemy fighters, so this ship came about to offer additional protection. Equipped with a tractor beam and anti-fighter missiles (which prove surprisingly helpful once a cruisers shields and armour are down) it provides a fairly large canopy of protection to the fleet as a whole. So it has something to do once fighters are out the way, it also has an emp missile to annoy the enemy.
Wolf Ion Frigate
A late entry for the "Worst Frigate Ever" award, it was designed to provide additional shield stripping when the fleets close but it's too big for the role, attracting fire like you wouldn't believe. Still, it's ok in frigate only clashes, but once cruisers appear, it gets squashed. I feel honour bound to use it however.
Puma Plasma Frigate
I can't remember the origins of this ship, it was probably just an experiment in frigate plasma. It's decent for shelling slow moving cruisers (like mine), but not mush else. Still, it fills a decent supporting role for the front line ships.
Gazelle Bombardment Frigate
Another dedicated support frigate, deployed alongside the bombardment cruisers. It's there to add to the missiles heading towards the enemy, hopefully overloading any pd systems they have.

Hawk Attack Fighter
A rocket launcher with an engine and cockpit strapped to it. It's there to take out any frigates straying too near my cruisers and to pump rockets into undefended enemy cruisers.
Leopard Heavy Fighter
Armed with a fighter laser cannon, this is the mainstay of the Federation fighter wings. A decent dog fighter, with the ability to take on pretty much anything, it's a real multi role fighter.
Falcon Interceptor
Equipped with a pulse laser, this is my superiority fighter, there to clear space of enemy fighters and allow the rest of the fleet to fight unmolested.

Fleet Deployment
The fleet deploys as a wall: a line of Pulse Cruisers with an Armoured Cruiser on the flanks forms the first line. Behind them come the Beam cruisers and Dreadnought, with the Dread being smack in the middle as a flagship. Finally toward the rear are the carriers and bombardment cruisers. The frigates are spread throughout the cruisers on formation orders, positioned where they can best support the cruisers. Fighters over fly the cruisers on 600 escort orders where they can protect and still swing away to attack. All the ships have the same speed so they advance at the same rate and critically, all get into range with their main guns at a similar time. That way, the enemy gets a nice greeting from all the big guns at once. The problem with a wall is that once a hole appears,it tends to expand rapidly and the softer ships at the back become exposed. At that point, losses accelerate and the firepower being put out by the fleet lessens which accelerates the effect.
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Re: Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby Redd13 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:01 pm

The Rebels
The second fleet I used, it started out initially quite powerful but as other fleets advanced, it stood still and began to look quite aged. So a complete revamp was needed which happily coincided with the download of Classic Dreadnoughts. Almost entirely new for this round of self challenges I don't know what to expect. It's performed well in testing, but putting it up against my other fleets will be a different thing entirely.

Ragnarok Fleet Carrier
The first of the dreadnought designs, this is a heavy carrier there to support the variety of fighters the Rebels deploy. Multi warheads keep it involved in the main battle without having to get too close, and a supercharged tractor beam with pulse lasers allow it to contribute to the fleets fighter defence.
Ragnarok Fleet Commander
The second of the dreadnought designs is more of a straight up battleship. An earlier exchange withe the Swarm showed it's capability as it held off, and destroyed, numerous cruisers before finally succumbing to weight of numbers, allowing the Rebels to win through. It's armed with a fairly even split of Fusion Beams and Cruiser Plasma to knock out shields and armour.
Fenrir Guardian Cruiser
A light carrier and anti-fighter platform. Early tests showed that the Fleet Carrier alone wasn't enough to support all the fleets fighter wings, and I was unwilling this time to leave fighter defence to frigates and fighters alone. So this cruiser was born, armed with a supercharged tractor beam and pulse lasers and equipped with a single reinforced bay, it sits in the middle of the fleet hoping to go unnoticed by bigger cruisers whilst it quietly goes about it's business.
Valhalla Heavy Cruiser
The front line Rebel ship, it gets a decent missile defence array with a guidance scrambler and Hi Speed PD. Equipped with cruiser lasers and a repair bay, it's designed to get in close, screening the rest of the fleet from harm. Heavy losses expected, black uniforms issued to the crews.
Minotaur Hunter/Killer
There to provide the killing blow to enemy ships with the high damage beam lasers I love so much, one of these sits behind each heavy cruiser. As well as it's fusion beams, it gets a hi speed PD to help the overall missile defence and a light plasma launcher so it can do something while shields are up.
Valkyrie Support Cruiser
A pure support ship, armed to the teeth with multi warheads, it backs up the rest of the fleet. Seemingly made of paper though should anyone get close to it.
Valkyrie Plasma Cruiser
I'd forgotten why this ship existed until just now. Playing my way through the Unity mod missions, I came up against a mission where lots of pd equipped fighters were shooting down my missiles. Finally coming to the conclusion my regular ships weren't going to cut it, I took the Support Cruiser and changed it's weapons for Cruiser Plasma instead and ordered Uni-T to eat red hot plasma death. The design continues to play a supporting role to the gunline.

Asgard AA Frigate
The typical fighter defence frigate. Tractor, anti-fighter missiles, and an emp missile to annoy the enemy. It's one of my basic frigate designs.
Odin Escort Frigate
A close support frigate to help protect the front rank cruisers. Emp missiles lock down the enemy and it's ion cannons help strip shields and batter the enemy into submission. As a bonus, the ion cannon is also fairly useful against fighters, particularly if they've been caught by a tractor beam.
Midgard Guardian Frigate
Something of an experiment, this is there to protect front rank cruisers from missiles with it's pd systems. It's armed with a beam laser to hunt enemy frigates and also put the hurt on cruisers. I feel however, it's going to be too large. Accordingly, the crews have been issued with very black uniforms.
Loki Torpedo Boat
It's small, it looks inoffensive, it sits at the back looking innocent. It's armed with torpedoes which are a pretty decent anti-cruiser weapon for the frigate commander who want to keep away from that nasty close combat business. It's just so much more dignified to blow your enemy up from a mile away.

Achilles Escort Fighter
The standard fighter ship of the Rebel fleet. Equipped with a laser, it does just about everything.
Atlantis Fighter/Bomber
Another fairly experimental design for me, it gets a rocket launcher for frigate killing, but also a target painter so in theory, it should be reasonable as a fighter killer. Why am I getting a premonition of Atlantis pilots calling mayday and bailing out of flaming craft?
Pheonix Heavy Fighter
Armed to the teeth with two lasers, this is not a fast ship. It is however, well equipped for defending cruisers from attacking enemy fighters.
Icarus Strike Fighter
Another design that I think came about from fighting mod missions, it's speed is it's main reason for existing. Armed with a rocket launcher, it can hurt frigates, but not do a great deal else unless shields are down.
Icarus Superiority Fighter
A pulse laser equipped dog fighter, it's role is to take on enemy fighters, emerge victorious before going after cruisers in close. Of course, it's on escort orders so in the main, it kills fighters.

Fleet Deployment
The fleet deploys around three dreadnoughts, in three distinct those closely supporting battle groups. The central group is lead by a carrier while the flanking groups are each lead by a commander. In theory, each group projects a large amount of firepower against a small part of the enemy fleet, achieving local superiority before destroying the rest of the enemy fleet piecemeal. The danger is a group could be isolated, flanked and destroyed before the others could react, leaving them outnumbered.
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Re: Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby Redd13 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:07 pm

The Alliance

Oh dear.

The perennial whipping boys of my fleets. Every fleet for the alliance I've ever formed, though able to win through the single player missions and win well, as soon as it comes up against another of my fleets, the Alliance get their arachnid arses handed to them. It's like everyone else is equipped with the galactic equivalent of a rolled up newspaper. I've lost count of the times I've tried with this fleet, this must be version ten or something. This time, maybe things will be different. I've played to the fleets strength in armour, completely foregoing the use of shields on all but the dreadnought. I've tried this before, which went badly, but this time I've coupled it with long range weapons on all the cruisers. To be honest, this is probably my most distasteful fleet, but hopefully, this time they might compete without just lying on their backs and curling their legs up.

Alligator Defender
This is one of two front rank hulls, and the one which forms the majority thanks to the number of guidance scramblers it packs to try and divert all the missiles that form the bulk of an enemy fleets long range capabilities. Cruiser plasma completes the package to keep it at range. A repair bay keeps it's armour up as long as possible.
Shark Beam Cruiser
The other front rank hull, this one has fewer guidance scramblers but increased offensive firepower. Plasma gives it the ranged capability and should a heavily armoured opponent get in close, it's beam lasers will drop it's armour to allow the other weapons to work. A repair bay completes the package.
Stingray Carrier
As the fighters will be escorting the main line, they'll need back up to keep them in the fight. Hence the reinforced bays on this cruiser. To provide defence to fighters coming in for repairs, a defence laser and tractor beam will provide coverage. Staying out of the way is important for this ship, so multi warheads allow it to remain behind the front rank and use them as ablative armour.
Python Bombardment Cruiser
Multi warheads provide this ship with plenty of firepower. though it's armour is thick enough to provide protection from it's own weaponry (I know there's Parasites out there). This has meant a small loss of firepower, but hopefully it can still compete at range.
Anaconda Dreadnought
The only shielded ship in my Alliance arsenal, it also packs a lot of firepower. Plasma paired with alliance beams form the majority of it's killing arsenal, but a tractor beam and defence lasers provide it with it's own air defence screen. It's a big ship, with a large shield bubble so guarding itself against fighters is a must.

Wasp Defence Frigate
To help out in defending against enemy missiles, this ship is deployed just behind the front rank cruisers. iPD MKII allows it to shoot down missiles, particularly those targeted past the front rank cruisers. To join in keeping enemy fighters off the cruisers, it's also equipped with a pulse laser.
Swordfish Torpedo Frigate
To add to the long range firepower of the fleet, whilst allowing the fleet to remain more compact than by adding another cruiser, this torpedo frigate sits in the gaps between the bigger ships where it's hidden, but can still join in the bombardment.
Cobra Missile Frigate
Similar to the Torpedo frigate, this ship adds to the mass of firepower engaging the enemy at range. Sitting as far back as possible, it hopes to keep firing as long as possible while other ships engage the enemies attention.

Tarantula Interceptor
The hulls available to the alliance don't allow for a great deal of variety with their fighters. The Tarantula is their basic fighter, filling every role imaginable.
Hornet Attack Fighter
The one job the Tarantula struggles with is taking on shielded frigates. This rocket armed fighter fills that void.
Scorpion Target Painter
Working alongside the Hornet, this target painter equipped fighter should hopefully ensure the fighter rockets are as accurate as possible, while also allowing the Hornet some chance of engaging enemy fighters.

Fleet Deployment
The Alliance fleet is formed into three battle groups, the central one formed around the reassuring bulk of a dreadnought. Hopefully, the fleets long range firepower will allow each group to support it's neighbour, and prevent them from being outflanked and isolated.
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Re: Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby AcePalarum » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:26 pm

I am finding this a very interesting read so far. In fact, it's making me think maybe it's time once again to wipe out my current crop of ship designs and task Fleet engineering with a big redesign project across the board.

I do have a couple questions, if you don't mind, just to assuage my curiosity:

I notice you are fairly light on AA ship designs (I see one amongst the Rebels, but nothing else dedicated). Are fighters just not too much of a problem, or do you have some other secret method of dealing with them? (I've never had much luck building effective dogfighters myself).

Do you vary your shields/armor so as to keep a reasonable selection of ships for "no shields" maps, or just take the reduction in effectiveness? (I didn't see anything in your descriptions that effectively answered this for me.)

Looking forward to more!
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Re: Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby Redd13 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:55 pm

AcePalarum wrote:I am finding this a very interesting read so far. In fact, it's making me think maybe it's time once again to wipe out my current crop of ship designs and task Fleet engineering with a big redesign project across the board.

I do have a couple questions, if you don't mind, just to assuage my curiosity:

I notice you are fairly light on AA ship designs (I see one amongst the Rebels, but nothing else dedicated). Are fighters just not too much of a problem, or do you have some other secret method of dealing with them? (I've never had much luck building effective dogfighters myself).

Do you vary your shields/armor so as to keep a reasonable selection of ships for "no shields" maps, or just take the reduction in effectiveness? (I didn't see anything in your descriptions that effectively answered this for me.)

Looking forward to more!


In the single player missions, I've found a few frigates with AA missiles, the odd tractor beam, and escorting laser/pulse laser fighters are generally good enough to fend off any attacks. Playing through the Unity Viral missions though, has shown that having a cruiser take some of that burden upon itself is probably not a bad thing. More will probably appear as my fleets continue to evolve.

On the few "no shields" maps I've played, generally I just take the hit and get through them. The Federation Armoured cruiser was one break from this, as at that time I really needed to maximise honour earned.
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Re: Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby Redd13 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:53 pm

The Empire

The initial design of the Empire ships maximised their preference for shields and basically, wasn't great. Poor fighter coverage left them very open and with no armour beneath the shields, combined with the very large bubble meant they were ripped apart. So a redesign was called for, the end results of which follow. Though still shield heavy (they are the Empire after all), all the cruisers have at least some armour.

Legion Beam Cruiser
The first ship in the Empire's forces, and quite a heavy hitter at that. Armed with Imperial Beam Lasers and Megaton Missiles it packs quite a punch against most opponents. During the "refit" however, there were few things I really wanted to lose for armour, meaning it is rather lacking in that area. Still, with lots of shields and the improved fighter coverage (see later) combined with it not being the front rank, should mean enemy fighters will be dead before they get much of a chance to engage it. In theory.
Imperator Bombardment Cruiser
The standard multi warhead chucker. Heavily armed to strip shields at long range and allow the big guns through, it keeps at the back where it's safe. Should the enemy get to it however, it still has the typical shielding to keep it self for as long as possible while it goes about it's deadly work.
Centurion Carrier
Empire fighters had previously shown a wonderful ability to either quickly explode, or take a ding and disappear to the far edge of the battlefield in a less than helpful manner. Along with improving the fighters, this carrier was born to keep them going should their paintwork get scratched. Armed with Plasma it still packs a powerful punch despite the reinforced bays. Slightly more experimental than other carriers, it sits slightly closer to the front lines where though it is slightly more vulnerable, it's complement of fighters don't have so far to go for repairs.
Praetorian Heavy Cruiser
A very heavy defended front rank cruiser, equipped with Hi Speed Point Defence and a Guidance Scrambler alongside all the shields and armour, it's there to last as long as possible. Armed with a Proton Beam so the crew can shoot back at the nasty gentlemen taking pot shots at them, it's not the heaviest hitter in the fleet. But that's not it's role.
Senator Flagship
The heaviest ship in the Empire fleet, and possibly the heaviest ship of any of the vanilla races. Heavily shielded with decent armour, and also equipped with point defences and guidance scrambler beams it's no slouch offensively either. With a target painter it can support the missile armed ships as well as it's own battery of fast missiles. Added to those are are standard beam lasers, proton beams and should anyone be foolish enough to stray too close (or rather, survive that long), it also has a few cruiser lasers.

Gladius AA Frigate
This is the standard frigate that makes an appearance for all the races, the AA frigate. Generally they're equipped like this one, with a tractor beam, Anti Fighter missiles and an EMP to annoy enemy capital ships once the fighter threat is neutralised.
Cohort Disruptor Frigate
A very rare design, and one I'm not too sure of it's effectiveness. One thing I have noticed is that when shooting at heavily shielded ships, those with several shield modules, one always seams to annoyingly stay up, continuing to shield it from beam lasers. The Disruptor Bombs on this frigate should, in theory, prevent this from being a problem by completely dropping them without having to go to the trouble of actually knocking them out. A beam laser allows it to damage a ship once the shields are down.
Hasta Phasor Frigate
At one point this design sported Phasors, hence the name. They blew up a lot, so the weapons changed but the name stuck. Sitting behind the front rank cruisers it has a shield support beam to keep their shields up as long as possible. Beam laser for fightin', and emp for annoyin' and there you have it.
Torpedo Weapons Platform
It does exactly what it sys on the tin. It's the weapons platform, and it's armed with torpedo's. Six of them in fact. The rest is an engine and armour. What else does it need?

Javelin Attack Fighter
To be honest, my first set of Imperial fighters were so poor, my mind has wiped them. This time, they're kept fairly simple. This one has a rocket launcher and has orders to attack frigates first. On escort orders, they pick off frigates straying too close to their ward.
Ballista Defence Fighter
For close in fighter defence, there is this Pulse Laser armed fighter. A bit slow, but sitting on top of it's own cruisers with other wings of fighters buzzing around them keeps them safe enough to chew apart anything getting too close.
Phalanx Interceptor
Easily the pick of the Empire fighter hulls, armed with a laser it forms the mainstay of my Empire fighter wings. It seems to be quite capable of any role assigned to it, though admittedly without excelling at any.

Fleet Deployment
The Empire fleet forms up as two large battle groups, each centered on a Senator. Massive, concentrated firepower hits the enemy in two places and even should either group be outflanked, their heavy shielding should see them through.
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Re: Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby Redd13 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:39 pm

The Tribe

Everyone's favourite space hippies, and again another fleet I decided to play to the strengths of. Given their poor armour and shields and the massive boost to hit points, I decided that the only form of defence for the cruisers would be Tribe repair bays. It does mean that compared to other races ships designed for a similar role, though they're completely devoid of any form of protection, they do tend to pack more firepower. Generally however, due to low hit points, frigates do still get armour protection.

Paradise Flak Cruiser
Very near to being a dedicated anti fighter platform, given the extra space not being used by those pansy shields and armour, it still manages to pack in some anti cruiser firepower. Ranks of autocannons are there for riddling fighters full of lead whilst proton beams put the hurt on the bigger fish.
Utopia Heavy Cruiser
The front rank cruiser of the Tribe, with a small PD array to give some protection from missiles. It's pretty well armed with howitzers and cruiser lasers for taking apart enemy ships up close and personal.
Freedom Killer Cruiser
Armed to cause heavy damage with some of the highest damage score weapons in my Tribe fleet. Beam lasers and Plasma are joined by rocket launchers which have a higher rate of fire than the other weapons it mounts, whilst still being able to knock down shields at a decent range.
Harmony Support Cruiser
Sitting alongside, though slightly behind, the heavy cruisers, the support cruisers provide fighters a safe haven for repairs right on the front line with their reinforced bays. A point defence array joins in the missile coverage of the front rank ships while fast missiles plaster enemy cruisers faster than their own pd's can cope.

Eternity Defender
A slight break from the standard AA frigate, mainly due to space restrictions. Tractor beams hold the fighters in place, while anti fighter missiles bring the little buggers down.
Tranquility Flak Frigate
Fighting alongside the Defenders, this frigate comes equipped with rapid fire cannons to take out fighters (particularly those held by tractor beams) as well as chew up any frigates or cruisers in range.
Unity Torpedo Frigate
Another ship whose role has changed, whilst name has stayed the same. For a start, it no longer carries the torpedo's it's name implies. It still carries an emp missile, so I suppose it does still fling something vaguely torpedo shaped. Generally it adds to the massive amounts of flak with it's Rapid Fire cannons.

Sunset Attack Fighter
The standard, rapid moving attack fighter. Armed with a rocket launcher and little else, mainly against fighters it ignores them while going for frigates or cruisers.
Heaven Heavy Fighter
Seeing all those slots on a fighter, it's hard to know what to do. So, alongside a laser and enough engines to keep it moving relatively quickly, there's armour to offer protection.
Serenity Interceptor
While the Heaven relies on being sturdier than any fighters it meets, the Serenity relies on it's speed. Such as it is for a laser armed fighter.
Dove Superiority Fighter
Pulse lasers should offer better anti fighter abilities than a laser, so when it comes to dog fighting, this fighter should be the Tribe's best bet. It probably won't work.

Fleet Deployment
The Tribe fleet deploys as a wall, with the cruisers tightly knit so their firepower hits at once. One in range, they attempt to grind the enemy down in a war of attrition, matching their repair rates against the shields and armour of the opponents. Their fighters keep fairly close and with the large flak coverage from the cruisers and frigates, quickly defeat enemy fighters before moving on to the capital ships.
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Re: Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby Redd13 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:50 pm

The Order

Another race that previously have struggled in clashes, largely due to me the rather pick 'n' mix method I seemed to use in weapon selection. It seemed that while cruisers were carrying weapons of similar ranges, they were otherwise a bit random with nothing being taken in any quantities. What would happen is that the few missiles, generally nukes, would get shot down to no effect. The shield stripping capabilities of the fleet were so low that many weapons would have no effect on the battle at all. A major refit was needed, the end result of which is below. In the main, the weapon selection was tightened with a few being dropped altogether, including the firefly rockets which seemed particularly ineffective.

Trinity Carrier
As you might be aware by now from reading the other fleet lists, a staple of my forces is a carrier to support the escorting fighters. This is the Orders' version. Rather than a tractor beam, for the Order I'm making use of their Limpet Mine launchers to slow fighters down, coupled with defence lasers to kill them. Plasma weapons allow the cruiser to take part in the main battle with the ability to damage all but the bulkiest of tanks.
Temple Defender
No, not the chap standing outside a place of worship yelling "Who goes there?", this is the Orders' front rank cruiser. As such it gets decent armour and shields, along with a guidance scrambler and a hi speed pd system. Rad guns are the weapon of choice against cruisers, as their range means this ship will be at the front of the fight, and the continuing radiation effect from hits allows it to do continuous damage.
Crusader Hunter
No, not someone who hunts crusaders, but another cruiser. This time, one sitting just behind the Defenders. As such, it might attract some missile fire so a guidance scrambler should help defend it from any missiles getting past the defenders. It's offensive weaponry comes from fast missiles for shields, and beam lasers for armour.
Priest Missile Cruiser
Not a cruiser that fires priests at the enemy, that proved a disaster; they just splattered across even the lightest of armour. This is the Order's support cruiser. To back up the Trinity's, there's a reinforced bay for fighter repairs. Offensively it's armed with nukes and, to ensure some of the nukes get through, multi warheads to overload pd systems.

Spirit AA Frigate
While the limpet launchers slow the fighters down, something has to kill them. Hence the anti fighter missiles on this frigate which will be liberally deployed throughout the fleet.
Saviour Escort Frigate
When it comes to shield stripping, few frigate weapons match up to the Ion Cannon. So that's what this front rank escort gets. The Ion Cannons should complement the rad guns nicely, allowing the ships to knock the shields down quickly enough for the radiation to do it's business.
Redemption Heavy Frigate
The heaviest frigate in the Orders' inventory, it's armament allows it to keep a decent distance from enemy cruisers whilst it fires away. Fast missiles add to the salvo's from the Priests in suppressing pd systems, while it's torpedo's are there to deal the damage.

Disciple Attack Craft
The now standard, rocket launcher equipped, fast fighter. Frigates and unshielded cruisers are it's prey of choice.
Salvation Bomber
Equipped with both a rocket launcher and target painter, this fighter should be fairly accurate as well as increasing the accuracy of the missile armed cruisers and frigates. It's speed has suffered however, meaning it has to sit in a closer escort pattern than other fighters so they can screen them from attack.
Acolyte Interceptor
Far and away the best of the Order fighter hulls, this comes equipped with a laser to form the backbone of the Order fighter wings. They've so far, proven to be highly capable fighters. Or maybe my other races fighter designs suck.

Fleet Deployment
Another race using the wall formation, bringing death along the whole front. The various radiation dealing weapons should, in theory, allow them to win an attritional war by causing continuous damage.
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Re: Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby Redd13 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:25 pm

The Swarm

Something of a surprisingly successful fleet for me. Now, before all the Swarm fans kick off, let me clarify. They're surprising because in previous clashes, they've always performed strongly proving themselves to be one of my better fleets, despite their origins. You see, the fleet was formed rather quickly just so I could have a look at them in action, being put together in probably less than an hour. Despite being thrown together quickly and being one of the races I've spent the least time with, they've always done well and have rarely been altered. They have received a slight tweak for this round of challenges, mainly dropping various bits of dubious equipment/armour/shields/weapons to get another engine on board for a slight speed increase. As the majority of their weapons are relatively short ranged (no missiles as their own Smart Bomb Pulse Generators would most likely detonate them), it seemed wise for them to close quickly rather than trundle forward sucking missile fire.

Isis Attack Cruiser
The first ship into battle for the Swarm is this cruiser. A smart bomb pulse generator and guidance scrambler protect it from missiles. I've found that just relying on the pulse generator for defence meant that it would go off for the one rocket heading towards the ship, then be recharging when the five hundred strong missile salvo came in behind. I couldn't get dual pulses to work (both went off at once no matter where I positioned them on the ship) so adding the scrambler would give a second layer of defence. Cruiser lasers are the offensive weapon of choice to rip up the enemy once the range is closed.
Ra Defender Cruiser
Designed to aid the overall protection of the fleet from fighters. Reinforced bays keep the Swarms own fighters active for as long as possible, while a tractor beam and defence laser deal with attacking fighters. Swarm Disruptor Beams complete it's weapon array so it can trouble the bigger enemy vessels.
Sekhmet Kill Cruiser
Designed to deal the heavy damage needed to destroy enemy cruisers once their shields are gone, this cruiser is armed with a large number of beam weapons. A fairly even split of standard beam lasers and swarm disruptors should deal with anything that comes it's way.
Bastet Tractor Cruiser
The name probably gives the game away with this cruiser. The tractor beam helps out with the overall fighter defence while again, beam weapons provide the heavy hits. Though carrying less of them, it too has a mix of disruptors and standard beams. An EMP cannon completes it's armament, there to try and prevent the enemy fighting back.

Anubis AA Frigate
An experimental anti fighter frigate for me, as it's not equipped with anti fighter missiles. Instead, it comes with a tractor beam to bring the enemy to a halt. Then, once an enemy fighter is caught in either it's or one of the cruisers tractor beams, the pulse lasers come in to play and drill it full of holes. The high rate of fire should enable it to rip through a trapped fighter screen.
Horus Attack Frigate
Backing up the attack cruisers, and adding to their short ranged fire power is this frigates role. To that end, it's equipped with the ion cannon, one of the better frigate weapons for shield stripping. An emp missile should hopefully stop the enemy from fighting back, helping to protect the big brother cruiser.
Hathor Bombardment Frigate
Unable to use missiles due to the pulse generators, I was at a loss as to what to do with this frigate for a while. Then I slapped a load of plasma on it, which seemed to work.

Osiris Attack Fighter
You've guessed it, it's the Swarms version of the rocket armed speed demon. Not much more to say really.
Seth Heavy Fighter
The main dog fighter of my Swarm fleet. It's armed with a fusion gun, just because it was there and I wanted a look really. Seems to work.
Amun Light Fighter
The defensive fighter of my Swarm fleet, it's armed with a laser and equipped with a target booster to hopefully maximise the number of hits it causes.

Fleet Formation
Another wall using fleet, though unlike the others, these get to use the Keep Moving order. The idea is that the get in amongst the enemy fleet, disrupting their formation and flanking their ships so that the superior short ranged firepower of the swarm fleet can do the most damage.
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Re: Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby Redd13 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:58 pm

The Nomads

I have to admit, I'm not keen on the Nomads. It's the way they look, The mis-matched hull designs, the clashing colours, they just don't really work for me. I still seem to have constructed a seemingly fairly solid fleet with them though, always performing quite well from what I've seen so far.

Baggara Line Cruiser
The front rank ship, designed to absorb as much firepower as possible, for as long as possible. Though I may be mistaken, not actually knowing the figures, the impression I get is that this ship is one of the most resilient cruisers I've designed. If it's not the top, it certainly isn't far behind as they seem to take a heck of a lot of killing. It has very heavy shields, one of which always seems to stay up, thwarting whatever beams come it's way. It's armour isn't bad and as a more active defence, a guidance scrambler and hi speed pd protect it from missiles. An emp cannon also aids it's defence by stopping the enemy firing and just in case you're thinking it must be toothless, it's also equipped with a cruiser laser and Nomad Beam Laser. A target painter also helps out the supporting cruisers.
Abbadi Armoured Cruiser
This ship doesn't have shields, without being armoured up to tank levels. It's supporting role means it shouldn't attract too many attacks, so it's armoured enough to keep it safe from fighters for a while, whilst having enough power left to run it's numerous plasma weapons.
Abbadi Carrier
Early battles displayed the need for a carrier, so here it is. Well shielded, and to further maximise it's defence it keeps it's distance from the enemy by using Nomadic Missiles.
Hareeb Beam Cruiser
Another supporting cruiser without shields and just enough armour. This one however, is armed with a number of Nomadic Beam Lasers, the regular pulse of which can do significant damage.
Hajaya Missile Cruiser
You can probably guess from the name what role this ship plays. Nomadic missiles allow it to bombard the enemy from a distance and with the extra accuracy from the line cruisers painter, it can be devastating.

Makki Escort Frigate
The main fighter defence platform for the Nomads, it has the usual equipment for a ship in it's role. Namely, a tractor beam, anti fighter missiles and to keep enemy cruisers occupied, and emp missile.
Ummur Fast Frigate
A throwback to earlier attempts at independent acting frigates, this really is due for a refit. Or complete redesign. It's speed is no longer used as it's in formation, so some of the engines it carries could be swapped for something more useful. Like guns. As it is, it's ion cannon do allow it to strip shields and also put some hurt on slow fighters, or those caught in tractor beams.
Mawasi Torpedo Boat
Disruptor bombs and torpedo's are this frigates armament, allowing it to deal damage and lower shields from range. In theory anyway.

Duwasir Assault Fighter
Unlike other assault fighters rocket launchers, this one has a laser. The reason behind this is that my Nomads seemed to struggle against other races fighters, so to aid in their defence, the rocket launcher was changed to a laser (which is still a capable weapon against most targets, unless shielded or heavily armoured) along with the necessary other changes to power it.
Majali Bomber
Initially equipped with a torpedo, after watching pretty much every fighter get shot down without hitting anything (wasting all their shots trying to shoot down other fighters [akin to swatting a fly with a battleship]), I changed the armament to a rocket launcher. Still a useful weapon for taking on frigates and unshielded cruisers.
Awazem Superiority Fighter
Initially, the only Nomad fighter I had for taking out other fighters, it's since been joined by the Duwasir in the laser carrying stakes. I'm not sure which is the more successful type, so both still get used.

Fleet Formation
A break from the wall formations, the Nomad fleet deploys as four separate battle groups, each a reasonably tightly knit ball of devastating fire power. Each group should be able to dominate their area of space before moving on to pick off any survivors. Given the apparent durability of the line cruisers, should a battle group meat something it can't overcome, they should stay around long enough for the other groups to overcome their opponents and move into a supporting position.
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Re: Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby Redd13 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:30 pm

The Parasites

The last of the official races (currently anyway, hint to Cliff), and a race I've had a great deal of enjoyment gaming with. Enjoyment, though not necessarily success. Using fighters proved something of a stumbling block given their tendency to get hit by their own cruisers flak cannons, and having them escort an attack wing of frigates proved a disaster. The only way it would have worked was to have deployed frigates and fighters in such large numbers that the cruisers would have been an afterthought, which isn't something that felt right to me. Eventually I hit on a tactic that seems to work, which I'll detail in the fleet deployment section at the end.

Physalia Disruptor Cruiser
So called because of it's ability to really make a mess of any missile packing cruisers day, this cruiser comes equipped with three Missile Revenge Scramblers which have shown themselves to be capable of sending a large portion of any missile wave home to sender. A flak cannon for fighter defence, target painter to support the missile boats of the fleet and rocket launchers complete it's arsenal.
Anthozoa Hunter Cruiser
This cruiser just looks sleek and dangerous, so hopefully I've armed it in a way that does justice to those looks. A light plasma launcher for stripping shields starts the fun. Added to that are beam lasers and proton beams for heavy damage causing, with a flak cannon mounted for fighter defence.
Cubozoa Plasma Cruiser
Adding to the light plasma carried by the Anthozoa, this ship comes well equipped with the highly versatile cruiser plasma. Initially I wasn't a big fan of plasma until I hit on why. I was only using one or two launchers and given the inherent inaccuracy of plasma weapons, they never seemed to do much. So this ship carries more than one. A lot more than one. A flak cannon is added for additional fighter defence.
Plasmodium Support Cruiser
With hindsight I should probably have used this hull for the plasma cruiser, then name would be better. However, I didn't so here we are with this multi warhead equipped monster. Adding to the missiles the Physalia will be sending back home seemed like a good idea as something would definitely get through any pd defence that could be mustered. And guess what? There's a flak cannon on board for fighter defence.

Medusozoa Escort Frigate
This frigate is there to add to the beams being flung towards the enemy by the Anthozoa, carrying as it does, it's own beam laser.
Staurozoa Missile Frigate
To further the problems any enemy pd systems are having with their own missiles coming back and the multi warheads from the Plasmodium, this frigate comes equipped with fast missiles. Not great against shielded targets, but shields shouldn't be around for long.
Scyphozoa Torpedo Frigate
Designed to sit right at the back whilst having the capability to damage any target, this frigate comes equipped with a number of torpedo launchers. When it comes to hurting cruisers from afar, I don't think there are many better frigate weapons.

Sporozoa Bomber
Quite heavily armoured, and therefore not fast, despite it's rocket launcher it's more designed to take a few hits while putting numerous rockets into enemy capital ships.
Myxozoa Light Fighter
Armed with a laser, it's role is to tangle with and occupy the attention of any remaining fighters, paving the way for the bombers.
Hydrozoa Superiority Fighters
While the Myxozoa is there to tangle with the enemy fighters, this is meant to kill them. It's sightly slower to ensure it sits behind the enemy getting as many shots as possible, and doesn't zip past not doing much.

Fleet Deployment
The Parasite fleet deploys in two distinct battle groups, each to achieve local superiority. The fighters are deployed to the rear of each battlegroup, in formation with a lead cruiser and not on escort orders. The idea is that the flak cannons mounted on all the cruisers in front of them destroy any enemy fighters, and when the front cruiser they're following gets destroyed, the fighters are freed to run amok through the enemy fleet hopefully beyond the range of their allied flak cannons. Should the front cruiser not get destroyed, well the Parasite have won haven't they?
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Re: Diary of a Space Tyrant

Postby Redd13 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:00 pm

I've recently downloaded a few other mods, so they've been added to the first post. Go have a look. Do it now, then it'll be on with the show.

Those new fleets are still in R&D (a fancy way of saying I'm slapping guns on hulls and seeing what happens) at the moment so in the challenges to follow, they might have a few weak spots highlighted.

Anyway, onwards and upwards.

Uni-T

The first mod I grabbed hold of, mainly due to trawling the modding section of the forums and finding out it came with a load of additional scenarios. Before plunging in and designing any ships, a trip to fleet hq was required to free up bits and bobs. Which required some honour trawling through single played missions and a few of the early Uni-T missions. The first thing I did was to take a look at the biggest hull to see what I could cram on it. Then I began to go through the available weapons. After a while I went to make a cup of tea. Whilst that was being done I continued going through the available weapons. After finishing my cuppa, I made myself something to eat whilst continuing to go through the weapons.

Some days later....

....I reached the end of the weapons. Ok, an exaggeration but you get the idea. There are A LOT of weapons available from extended range or heavy versions of the standard equipment, to some superheavy guns. Accordingly I slapped a load on the hull, paid a visit to defences, engines and others to finish with a particular ship. Then I saw the cost. I've deployed fleets in battle which cost less than this single ship. Similar experiments with other hulls showed that one thing this fleet wasn't going to be, was numerous.

I also noted that none of the cruiser hulls were going to be all that resilient once the enemy were past their shields and armour. This basically determined in my mind how I was going to build the fleet.They were going to destroy the enemy from afar, not letting them get in close to do any damage. Initially I tried the biggest missiles in the galaxy weapon, and while it was hilarious seeing those HUGE missiles slowly crawling across space before annihilating some unfortunate cruiser in the single player missions, I knew any kind of point defence would render them useless, so different guns would be required. Unfortunately, given how expensive most of my designs became, it meant that for the first time I wouldn't be able to use all the available hulls in my fleet

Further comments on the mod will follow the results of the various fleet clashes.

Elite Siege Support Dreadnought
Given the cost of the ships involved, I knew that sadly I would only be able to deploy one of the big hulls available. Sheer cost ruled out the Tanker and Core hulls, so I looked through the dreadnought hulls available. After carefully looking over the stats available, the hardpoints, equipment slots, various boosts etc I made an informed decision. And picked one that visually appealed to me the most. I knew I wanted this ship to sit at the back, pounding away so I was looking for the longest range weapons available. I also felt it would be wrong of me to overlook the superheavy guns. So, four extended range multi-warhead missiles were joined by a pair of Mega Tachyon Lances. Keeping it protected from enemy fighters was important, so a supercharged tractor beam was coupled with a pair of pulse lasers.
Elite Barrager Beam Cruiser
Another long range support ship, this one also doubles as a carrier to support the corvettes (more later) and keep them in action longer. The firepower comes from a pair of Mega Fusion Beams. I do love beam weapons, and Uni-T comes with several which are able to pierce shields as well as armour, coupled with a high damage score.
Elite Striker Light Cruiser
Initially designed for speed, the light cruiser proved to be very vulnerable. So instead, I decided in this case "light" would mean shiny, and no weapon is shinier in space than plasma. Not just any old boring plasma though, but Dual Plasma. Five of those should ruin anyone's party, but I wasn't just content with that. After stripping engines off as the speed was no longer needed, and moving other things around on the hull I had power to spare and a couple of extra hard points. Enter a couple of Mega Plasma Launchers.
Elite Wrangler Pulse Cruiser
I still needed a ship to sit in front of the others and protect them from long ranged missile fire, so this cruiser came into being. Initially I came up with a design which had point defence systems and guidance scramblers but when I started building corvettes and fighters, I had A Cunning Plan. And so the point defences were taken off, and more guns were added. In keeping with the long range of the rest of the fleet, this meant the Wrangler came with four Extended Range Cruiser Lasers.

Skirmisher Beam Frigate
To further add to the long range firepower of the fleet, I needed cheap(er) ships which meant frigates. Two extended range beam lasers would nicely complement the cruisers.
Raider Plasma Frigate
To complement and support the light cruisers, more plasma was needed so this frigate joined the line up. Again, not any old plasma, but the extended range variant.
Hunter Close Support Frigate
Now one problem with the massive range weapons the other ships were mounting is that with massive maximum range, sometimes it comes with an equally massive minimum range. If anything got within that, the fleet would be in trouble so, to rip those ships up and allow escorting corvettes the maximum time to do their deadly work, this ship was designed. Ion cannons for killing, and EMP for time.

Guardian Corvette
Given the cruisers' lack of hit points, shields are important so keeping them up as long as possible is equally important. This corvette sits close to the front rank cruisers where its heavy shield support beam can help regenerate failing shields. An extended range laser meant it might also be able to join in the fighting.
Support Interceptor Corvette
The basic dogfighter of the Uni-T fleet, despite it's size it's still pretty quick. A pair of extended range pulse lasers ensure it also has a lot of anti fighter firepower.
Recon Drone PD Fighter
Remember that Cunning Plan I mentioned earlier? This is it. Instead of having the cruisers go to the trouble of defending themselves from incoming missiles, I would trust in these fighters instead. A single rapid corvette point defence system would hopefully give a curtain of protection to the rest of the fleet.
Assault Drone Superiority Corvette
Designed for extended range escort missions, swinging ahead of the fleet, it would probably encounter enemy fighters quite early on. As such, a Heavy Laser would allow it to quickly eliminate enemy fighters. A shield would provide the protection.

Fleet Deployment
Given the cost of the ships, keeping them together for mutual protection would be important. As such, the fleet was deployed in a single block. In total, it came to one dreadnought, five cruisers, nineteen frigates and a load of corvettes. Will the lack of numbers be a weakness? Only time will tell....

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