It's time to SAC up

Discussion of current challenges, tournaments, and general discussion about anything relating to the online challenges part of GSB
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yurch
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby yurch » Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:31 am

I don't think it's entirely down to ratio. Fighters can be projected onto almost a singular point of the enemy fleet - it's more a problem of critical mass.

The huge fleets generally get more sloppy with these sort of things, be it fighters or missile spam or just lazy CL use.
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby mrblitz » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:12 pm

I still think though, that if you have a 500:1 ratio of points to pilots, fighters will be less effective than in a situation where you have say, a 100:1 ratio.

If you had 100,000 points, and 1000 pilots, you could purchase a good percantage of fighters. If you had 100,000 points and 200 pilots, you'd probably see more frigates and cruisers in the average force.

At 200:1 points:pilots, SAC-1 could tend to be a bit fighter heavy.

Defending Caspain IV has a roughly 267:1 ratio, so SAC-1 is even more fighter oriented than Defending Caspain IV.

If you made a tournament 50,000 points and 100 pilots, on the average you'd see more battling between frigate and cruiser combinations. The fighters wouldn't be as big a part of the battle as they potentially can be in SAC-1.
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yurch
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby yurch » Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:20 pm

SAC-1 is even more fighter oriented than Defending Caspain IV.
It's not, though, because Caspian IV has more fighters.

Fighters can often achieve kills through the crit system, be it critting down armored frigates with rockets or cruisers through their defense armor. Doubling fighters is definitely going to have a different dynamic in the face of that.

By nature of their movement, fighters can project force to a tight area. To defend larger fleets against possible fighter attacks, you need to have either a highly mobile AA solution (laser fighters, useless against rocket fighters) or widespread countermeasures (more armored units, redundant AA weaponry spread across fleet) or both.

On the other extreme, it's possible to make fleets so small that fighters can barely influence the fight, regardless of ratio, from an inability to outpace repair or shielding or just from AI flaws.

That's not to say ratio isn't somewhat relevant, but it's definitely not the whole story. Less fighters will still be less fighters.


On another topic, I would advise that any challenge or tournament with an iterative component (requiring fleets to fight lots of other fleets) should remain somewhat smaller in scale. Long battles or setup times will get old really fast - and we all know how unreliable the gamespeed increaser is for generating outcomes.
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby follick » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:49 am

I think that ratio has an effect, but only if the pilot numbers are high enough to support it. SAC-1 with 150 pilots is marginal for allowing enough fighters to locally saturate defenses and allow a fighter heavy fleet to succeed. A 50pilot/5000budget scenario would lead to 2-3 cruiser fleets, I think, despite the ratio. As far as more cruiser intensive tournaments go, there wasn't much of a response to SAC-2 and SAC-3. I put one challenge in each, but there were only a few total. I also know that smaller challenges can be run more quickly, but I for one would like a larger challenge that would allow more contingencies and a more general fleet. If there isn't going to be much response though, then there really isn't much point. What about a 250/100,000 tournament?
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby Kdansky » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:57 pm

I added SAC-43, it does very well against many, many deployments. It lost to missile spam, frigate mass and tribe charge. I laughed when I saw the battle against "Cowards ahead".

I seriously think that missiles / PD / scrambler do not have an interesting dynamic. If you have (a lot more) missiles than the opponent has missile-defense, you will win against him easily, but if he has more, then you instantly lose, but he will lose to anything else due to useless items. Missiles have synergy with themselves (which is the opposite of every other weapon, which gets less efficient the more of it you stack). Meh :/
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby follick » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:21 am

It looks like a nice challenge, but I note that SAC-41 defeated it three straight times in three tests. It took out my cruisers quickly enough, but my fighters did the job. SAC-32,35,36(mine) and 37 also defeated this. I haven't tried earlier ones yet.
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby Kdansky » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:10 am

Strange, I must have uploaded a variant with a slight change that makes it suck. If you take a look at the history of SAC-41, you can see I beat it twice. Same for 37. I'm rebuilding it as Swarm anyway though, they are a lot more suited for the plan I have.

EDIT: Yep, seems it loses to 41, and I found the change... I made it stronger against fighters... So now I lose to fighter swarms. I will take it down when I get home late this evening. Clearly, some more refinement is needed.

How do I beat fast fighters? Nothing can hit them except for tractor beams, and those take ages to recharge, and my own fighters are utterly useless.
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby follick » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:11 am

Good luck.
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby mrblitz » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:05 pm

Am I mistaken, or is there a big gap between the 2.8 and 2.9 tracking fighter lasers?

It seems like, if I outfit my fighters with the 2.9 tracking (pulse?) laser, it makes fairly short work of even the fast, rocket fighters.

The 2.8 laser, not so much.

The thing is, that the 2.8 fighters seem to be a lot cheaper to build, and are faster than their 2.9 tracking counterparts.

But the 2.9 tracking laser seems like it's fairly deadly against just about any type of opposing fighter.

Does anyone else get this impression?

People have spoken of some area around speed 2.8, where fighters become much less hittable. If this is true, is the converse also possibly true; that there is some big accuracy increase in weapons when they go from 2.8 to 2.9 tracking?

All of that aside, it could be that you just have to have more and better fighters, in order to make it through these SAC-1 challenges. Then, you have to be able to contend with missile fleets, and frigate rushes, etc.

This series of challenges has gotten really interesting; trying to counter several of them with just one fleet.

It might be interesting at this point, to have a new contest where we pony up the fleets which beat the most of the other fleets; because it looks like, by this point there is no single fleet which defeats every other fleet in this contest.

I've been trying to design one fleet which beats each of 3 SAC-1 challenges: 1) frigate spam, 2) missile standoff spam, and 3) a cruiser fleet with large fighter escort. The idea is that, if I can field something which defeats these 3, then maybe it can make a run on many of the other SAC-1 entries.

Is there anyone who yet dreams of making a fleet which will defeat all 40+ SAC-1 challenges?
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby yurch » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:42 pm

mrblitz wrote:Does anyone else get this impression?

Nope.

The numbers of tracking vs speed are directly comparable. If the tracking exceeds the speed, we say the target is 'hittable'. Otherwise it's down to lucky hits.

The difference between a 2.9 and 2.8 speed weapon isn't going to be very relevant against 4.0 speed targets. The pulse laser hits a little harder, so maybe that's what you're seeing.


The difference between the two is a pretty big deal against a faster fighter nearing that range like the 2.65 speed icarus laser fighter. Swarm's weird fighter target booster would theoretically give even more of an (offensive) edge here but I haven't experimented with it much.

Fighter-on-fighter is quite inaccurate and is normally made up by volume of fire.
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby follick » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:32 am

mrblitz wrote:This series of challenges has gotten really interesting; trying to counter several of them with just one fleet.

It might be interesting at this point, to have a new contest where we pony up the fleets which beat the most of the other fleets; because it looks like, by this point there is no single fleet which defeats every other fleet in this contest.

I've been trying to design one fleet which beats each of 3 SAC-1 challenges: 1) frigate spam, 2) missile standoff spam, and 3) a cruiser fleet with large fighter escort. The idea is that, if I can field something which defeats these 3, then maybe it can make a run on many of the other SAC-1 entries.

Is there anyone who yet dreams of making a fleet which will defeat all 40+ SAC-1 challenges?


Yes, I do. I've done it as recently as SAC 36 which defeated all previous numbered SAC challenges. Of course most previous SAC challenges were not designed with Swarm frigates in mind.
SAC-27 and SAC-15 also swept the SAC challenges previous to them.
SAC has gotten even tougher since then, but I see no reason not to try.
Still, I like the idea of a tournament where entries are ranked by the number of other entries they can defeat.
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yurch
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby yurch » Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:04 pm

44 going up.

Literally half of what once was a formidable fed frig fleet attached to generalist cruisers, arrayed to hit at roughly the same time.

Multipurpose enough that it tends to lose to everything, but equally. More educational than competitive; hybrid fleets dilute saturation advantages and I'm looking into that sort of thing.
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby Pandarsenic » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:20 am

SAC-45 is up. Fleet that couldn't beat both missile spam 42 and whatever 41 was has arisen. Rewatching (re-fighting) 45 vs. 44...

In the beginning, a token group of fighters disrupts his frigates' attacks and plasmas until the Cruisers start to close. Once the frigates and my cruisers start closing, shit gets messy, but his frigates make my EMP support frigates fairly ineffective when they aren't made dead.

My cruisers knock down 44's cruisers while his frigates kill my frigates; however, they find themselves facing the problem that every Cruiser of mine has a Reflective Shield, so the frigates and fighters (even without the AA on my EMP frigates) are fairly easy to mop up.
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby follick » Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:27 am

SAC-46 The Mighty SAC Sweeper is now up. I look forward to seeing your responses.
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Re: It's time to SAC up

Postby yurch » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:18 pm

Interesting. I've been messing with the sort of natural enemy to these type of fleets, but obviously not to that level of success.

I'll not say more until others have played it.

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