Late Game Fleet Management (AP 3.0)

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Stryke11
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Late Game Fleet Management (AP 3.0)

Post by Stryke11 » Wed, 26. Jun 13, 20:24

I have made it to the late game, with complexes and CLS/CAG's all over the known universe, three EQ docs with landed TL's loaded up with weapons, shields, and missiles respectively, and finally enough steady income to raise up some fleets.

I am....underwhelmed.

First test was to have a fully kitted Yokohama (why so little cargo space?) and Aegier (by contrast TONS of space) attack a pirate base IS. They proceeded to ram it and blow themselves up. Wonderful. OOS they were able to handle it.

Then I sicc'd another pair of them on a Q in Megnir, since although I have painstakingly kept my fight rank low (Fighter Chief) suddenly the Xenon LOVE Megnir and I have it heavily commercialized so they cause all my merchant ships to lose their minds and business doesn't get done. So anyway, jumped them in, OOS and my Aegier took off and left the Yoko behind and proceeded to get killed.

Am I doing something wrong here? It seems sensible that the ships should match speed and attack the target together, to maximize strength. I tried putting them in a "wing", I tried having one follow the other, and I tried putting them in a "fleet" (still have no idea whatsoever that even did). Is it too much to ask that during a battle IS my ships who don't even move that fast to begin with don't kamikaze themselves?

Is there really any point to M7's at all? For fighter defense in relatively safe sectors I've seen success with the super cheap Maccana drone frigates since they only carry EMPCs, but if one Q can take down an Aegier backed up by a Yoko, should I just save the money and only field M2s? I wanted one of every M7 in the game for variety but I expected fleets would work and fight together and that doesn't seem to be the case. I don't mind losing ships but I want it to be in exciting battles with enemy fleets, not due to poor battlefield intelligence.

Of course I know I can jump in a fully loaded M8 and just blow everything up but I wanted some excitement (even M8's seem to charge the enemy after firing missiles rather than hover back and keep firing) of ship to ship combat.

TL:DR I love this game so I'm willing to consider that I'm the problem and just don't know how to "manage" my fleets successfully. Does anyone have any suggestions? Do any mods make it more interesting without breaking the game?

Thank you!

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bizbag
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Post by bizbag » Wed, 26. Jun 13, 20:40

There is indeed a point to M7s; they're 100-pound gorillas against fighters and corvettes, for situations where the 500-pound gorillas that are M2s are not quick enough to deal with.

Players can kill M7s while flying corvettes with some skill and planning, and can do so while flying M3s with lots of planning, but generally speaking, M7s overpower all small vessels.

Incidentally, the Terran M7s which you are utilizing do not mount anti-capital weaponry. Against a pirate base or against that Xenon Q, they're heavily-shielded M6s, essentially. Against stations and Qs, you want a more capital-weapon oriented M7, like the Tiger, Thresher, or Shrike. Also, Qs are notoriously deadly to AI-piloted ships thanks to their turreted PPCs and heavy forward battery.

And you're using two ships with a full 20 m/s difference in speed; of course one's going to pull ahead rapidly. Did you try telling one to "escort" the other, instead of "follow"?

Maahes
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Post by Maahes » Wed, 26. Jun 13, 20:48

I'm playing around with fleets at the moment.

The basic rules seem to be (and those that know please correct me)..

The leader(commander) of the fleet should be an M1 (opens up more commands)

Add all sorts of ship types to the fleet, M5s through to M2s
Have a TL full of stock and a TS in the fleet as well.

When giving the fleet commands start with "Call to Arms"
All the ships will follow the commander.
(I think the Call to Arms also triggers a "resupply and refuel")

When giving a combat command to the fleet via the commander he seems to fly to the middle of the sector and direct operations.

M2s are sent after caps
If M7s are present as well they seem to be paired with M2s and fly in formation.

M5s are used for scouts and will message reports when hostiles are found

Fighters are sent after fighters
M6s after M6s

TL follows close to the commander and the TS is sent to buy stock and deliver the rearmaments to the ships.

What I've noticed though is that the fighters and M6s seem to get within range of the Caps (because that's where the enemy fighters still are) too quickly, before they are engaged with your caps and get eaten alive.

The ongoing resupply is good, but with some terran ships in the fleet the TS seems to get sent of to buy missiles that none of the ships use (this is probably a hangover from a setting before my ships were captured)

I don't know if having Wings under the fleet changes any behavior or if that is just ignored when in a fleet.

Like I say I'm only playing with them at the moment, I've not really nailed it down yet. Would be good to hear from some experienced fleet people.

Stryke11
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Post by Stryke11 » Wed, 26. Jun 13, 21:48

WOW! I didn't know any of that! Is that due to some specific software like "Carrier Command Software"? I was thinking about getting a Woden but didn't see a need for carriers (though as the description states it's more a hybrid M1/M2 than the Odin, a more "true" carrier). Or is that a mod? Either way, I'm getting it! Did you learn about the need for TL/TS thru the menus or just from trial and error? Would it still work if the player is in the carrier?

Also, thanks for the info about Terran M7s. Makes a lot of sense as they pack only M/AM not PSP, while Q has PSP. Got it. IMO the Yoko is a waste. Not as many weapons as the Aegier and WAY less space. Tyr is also disappointing when you consider cargo. I just removed two PSPs from each side to make more room for energy cells. Osaka is ugly but ticks all my checkboxes. I wish I could switch the Tyr model with the Osaka loadout.

Maahes
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Post by Maahes » Wed, 26. Jun 13, 22:04

Erm... not sure about the software, I tend to install all software on the big ships as I'm too lasy to work out what they actually need. I just send them on a loop of Getsu Fune and install it all as they go :oops:

Regarding the TL/TM I think it was one of the devs that mentioned it a long time ago.

This is all in vanilla AP, no mods (although I'm sure there are mods/scripts that make it much easier) :)

Stryke11
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Post by Stryke11 » Wed, 26. Jun 13, 22:48

Ha! Two startling revelations in one topic. I never considered Getsu Fune! I just had all my ships do a conga line using the hub from Megnir to my weapon/shield/missile bases in Althes to the Althes ODS for jumpdrive then to Seizewell for trade soft then jump to Mars and go to Moon MB for docking/transport and then jump to Black Hole Sun for patrol command software (dang Terrans need to invest in some centralized software!).

Now I can just use Getsu Fune. I'll have a outpost/refueling station set up there tonight. Xenon don't seem to enter it much, not like Magnir and Black Hole Sun anyway.

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werewolves?
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Post by werewolves? » Wed, 26. Jun 13, 22:55

For fleets, I have a leader who I give orders, then 2 or more other ships set to 'attack target of' or 'protect'.

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-Kulu-
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Post by -Kulu- » Wed, 26. Jun 13, 23:33

What exactly are fleets? ive only seen wings so far. Do you need an M1 to have a fleet?

Maahes
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Post by Maahes » Wed, 26. Jun 13, 23:50

You can see the fleet options just above the wing controls on any ship's command menu (AP only).

You don't need an M1, any ship can become a Fleet Commander, but from what I've noticed some of the fleet commands are not available to leaders other than an M1.

I'm not sure on the effect of adding wings to fleets, i suspect the wing is just ignored and individual commands are given to each ship by the leader.

Stryke11
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Post by Stryke11 » Fri, 28. Jun 13, 18:48

Follow up:

If I have a fully loaded M8 in my OOS defense fleet, will it use missiles? Is that a good idea, or will it just die? I notice IS it tends to fire a salvo and then charge to its death, so I've only had success piloting it myself. Does OOS take distance into consideration, like if I have two M2's at the gate the Xenon come through (though sometime oddly they spawn in middle of sector for some reason, or they somehow manage to run through my two M2's unharmed - all OOS), and put my M8 10k or so farther away, will OOS calculations consider M8 safe from harm?

Thanks!

Patholos
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Post by Patholos » Fri, 28. Jun 13, 19:13

Since I do not want to make my game modified at present, I've started checking out autohotkey.

At least that will remove the mindless tasks of late game management.

They can add Stock Market to those who want to print money like hell, but to make management easier for those who want to earn it the hard way, pfffft...

Stryke11
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Post by Stryke11 » Sat, 29. Jun 13, 02:59

Um, not sure what that means about autohotkey.

I am pulling my hair out right now because I have three M2s. A Kyoto, a Tyr, and a Osaka. I have them all set to a wing and the wing command is "defend position" and the position I chose is the east gate in Megnir to Segaris, the one the Xenon come out of.

When I check the info on any of the ships their action is listed as "escort (the Tyr)". And they hang out pretty far from the gate such that Xenon fighters and fly past them and get away from them.

I can't see any command to set the Kyoto as my wing leader, which I would much prefer over the Tyr, but it seems they just choose the Tyr to follow at random. When I open up a ship's control panel it says "defending position" but again, it really isn't as it's pretty far away.

The goal is to have an OOS force capable of repelling anything thrown at them to protect my interests in Megnir and especially Althes.

ajax34i
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Post by ajax34i » Sat, 29. Jun 13, 03:10

Well, "Defend Position" is a somewhat permanent command; you don't really need a wing for that, the wing facilitates giving rapid changing commands to multiple ships.

I'd bet that if you remove the ships from the wing and give each the order to move to the same spot, then to defend the spot, they'll stop trying to fly in wing formation and pile up on top of each other, as long as you're Out of Sector. So that will probably work better.

Repelling anything thrown at them may be a bit much to ask. OOS combat calculations are better, but 3 ships won't really be able to deal with 3+ ships of equal size with no losses. A full volley of PPCs takes out shields and armor pretty fast, and the AI doesn't always return fire to what hurts the most.

Add a whole bunch of laser towers on the gate, though, and you improve the many-to-one ratio in your favor a lot.

Not sure about the M8, all I can say is I've seen NPC M8's shoot from 15km away when I was out of sector.

Stryke11
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Post by Stryke11 » Sat, 29. Jun 13, 06:57

Thanks Ajax!

I lasertowered up my personal sector and I put them all around the gate to the pirate sector. Then I left the sector to do some things and when I came back they were all moved, further away and behind the gate! I think they may even be too far to hit something coming out of the gate. Does this happen to you, too? What kind of range do they have? How do you position them?

I'll do what you say about taking out of the wing. Didn't seem to be doing much anyway. I just liked it because I could give one order to attack a Q or something and not have to do it three separate times.

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heratik
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Post by heratik » Sat, 29. Jun 13, 11:26

For OOS gate protection I always added 10 Pikes to the 2 M2s I would use, this seemed to help mop up the fighters and the theory was that it may give any Xenon Q that came through the chance of taking their first (deadly) shot against one of the Pikes instead of my M2s!

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