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    Thread: Fleetmanagement #3 (TC)

    1. #1
      Administrator Galder's Avatar
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      Default Fleetmanagement #3 (TC)

      What's new in X3:TC compared to X3:Reunion?

      Carrier groups:
      I think the often underestimated area of carrierstrikes has been tweaked to hell in TC. There are now several new options and issues.

      First -> Commands:

      a)
      Carriers can't control their fighters directly when using the wingman feature. This is because of the new way how the command "Wingmen protect me" works. All fighters stay in their hangar bays until an enemy approaches. They'll launch without warning if the enemy get's nearer than 10 km, they do nothing before the enemy enters the range. This feature denies any bonus you can get from forming formations. It is not possible to establish a formation when the enemy is in this range. This is independant of the homebase setting.

      Solution: Don't use a carrier in combination with fighter wings. Use a fast and heavily armed M7.

      b)
      Launch fighter to attack command. This seems to be handy on the first look, but it forces the autopilot on and your carrier will try to get in a range of something around 8 km to the target. That means your carrier and your fighters will be 10 seconds later under attack of long range weapons like PPCs which results in 90% of all cases in a dead carrier (if you don't pilot it yourself) and some dead fighters. I recommend never using this command, not if you pilot the carrier yourself and especially not when you use your carrier by remote control.

      Solution:
      Don't use it!

      Second -> Weapons:

      a)
      CIG. CIGs are deadly if one of your fighters is the prime target of a turret and they are on their first attack run. Make sure that you are the primary target of the capship.

      b)
      FAA. To avoid the massive damage you have to install long range weapons, because all of your fighters will have to be in range of anti fighter weapons like this. Use HEPTs, works like a charm against FAA caps. Mounted FAA on the player carrier are defensive weapons. The range is too low to protect your fighters from the massive escort.

      c)
      Plasma Generators and Pulse weapons (Don't know the correct english name). These are the nightmare and the dream of every Carrier Captain. 90% of all race fighters have installed Plasma Generators. If you mount them on all of your ships the enemy FAA will pick them one by one and destroy them easily. Kiss your wings goodbye. If you mounted HEPTs, the enemy escort will slaughter some of your fighters, because their HEPTs are way more inaccurate in dogfights.

      d)
      Area effect weapons. Like the Cluster FAA or simillar weapons. Completely useless against swarms of fighters, because the fighters are moving. If a bullet misses, the explosion will be so far behind the targeted fighter that nobody is hurt. The only benefit you get is the lag they produce. Mounting them on your own carrier although will hit your own fighters Don't ever touch PSGs when fighting with wings! This is clearly the dumbest weapon you can mount on your carrier. Don't even think about it unless you want to collect the remains of 80% of your fighters afterwards.

      Third -> ship behaviour in battle:

      a)
      Fighters. If a fighter is hit by a long range weapon like a PPC they'll still fly in a straight line towards the enemy cap if you gave him the command to attack this cap. They won't turn, they won't try to dodge anymore. I suspect that the amount of remaining shields before doing countermeasures (like dodging) is set very much lower than in Reunion. This results in greater losses when engaging a cap and makes it absolutely vital to establish formations before engaging a cap. Fighters with 100 MJ shields will soak up 2 hits before they die, but they are badly damaged after that if they manage to dodge the third bullet. They'll start dodging after the second hit.

      Solution: Make absolutely sure that you're the primary target of the enemy cap. You have to be the first in its weapon range! The enemy turret has to release bullets, otherwise it will turn and target one of your fighters.

      b)
      M6 and fighters with 200 MJ shields. They can take more hits, but they show the same behaviour like fighters with 100 MJ shields. When they try start dodging they're almost dead. M6 don't have any chance of surviving a direct volley of heavy weapons at them.

      Solution: Never use M6 in their current state in wings! The only exception is when you fly a M6 yourself.

      c)
      Enemy turret setting. The turrets of all enemy caps are set to "attack every enemy" in my experience. They will ALLWAYS target the nearest enemy. This makes formation and timing even more vital. If you don't line up all your fighters in a Delta/XDelta formation behind you, you will loose millions of credits before the fight even starts.

      Solution: Use a fast, hard hitting, well shielded M7 to engage the enemy when you'r using fighter wings. The enemy turret has to release bullets in your direction, otherwise it will turn and target one of your fighters. The turrets are now set to "attack the nearest enemy". In Reunion they were set to "attack my target". The difference is that in Reunion the highest threat was targetted, in TC everything will be shot down immediatly. It's now a a very tricky matter of timing and formations. TC won't let you make mistakes.

      d)
      Enemy escort. This is the worst news. If you attack a cap, you'll be confronted with nothing less than 25 enemy fighters as escort. Ok, they are not unbeatable, but this is far to much for medium sized PCs to handle (There will be around 70 fighting ships, try to imagine how many bullets are flying around, and they all want to be displayed, that's nothing for a medium size CPU). The player has to own the same number of fighters to win the battle without a serious number of dead fighters. 20 Fighters with a complete HEPT weponry will decimate, eradicate, annihilate every single enemy cap, whatever it is. Even Khaak Destroyers are doable when you are willing to buy and equip 3-4 new fighters. But 25 enemy escort ships will beat the %&$!! out of your HEPT wing. If you fight Xenons, they have superior agility and deadly precision pulse weapons. If you fight Yakis or Pirates you're confronted with the raw firepower of plasma generators. These things doesn't have to hit directly, their blast radius is enough to kill your fighters precisely.
      Xenon Ls do less damage do to their inferior weapon generators and the inferior hull damage of pulse weapons. But they will live longer and are very hard to hit, because of their rudder and the corresponding agility. If Ls are confronted with a wing of plasma generator fighters they still will live long enough unless the rudder of the players fighters is above 57-59.

      Solution:
      Still unsure how to solve this. But the rudder and speed are both far more important than the amount of shields. Everything under 150 m/s is a sitting duck to the enemy escort. Every fighter with less than 52 rudder is already dead, he simply doesn't know it.

      Fourth -> Caps:

      a)
      The M1 class. As i stated before, the M1 class is useless. The weapon layout makes no sense, the rudder stat is by far to low, the speed is to low, the shields are to low and the anti fighter weaponry is only usable in self defence.

      Solution: Use a Panther.

      b)
      The M2 class. Underpowered anti fighter weaponry due to the weaponlayout, but a medium to good damage dealt by deck weapons. Far to slow for the current state of combat. Due to their shields and the ability to deal almost never ending massive damage they are solo fighters. They can deal with anything and don't really need an escort (unless you want to torture yourself in a Python or a phoenix).

      Solution: Use a Panther and a Tiger/Q in combination with a fighter wing.

      c)
      The M7 class. Very wide variety of ships. This class reaches from bad designed police patrol ships (Cerberus) to mean killing machines (Tiger, Agamemnon, Q). It contains even acceptable carriers like the panther. I recommend using a Tiger or a Q as the core of the player fighter wings and the panther as backup and tranportation vehicle. Deimos and Shriek have the "protect me" issue and the Agamemnon has to mount PSGs to show its full strength. Also the limited view from under the nose of the Agamemnon and the missing turrets are making it useless in close combat with small fighters.

      Solution:
      Use the Panther and a Tiger/Q.

      d)
      The M7M Class. This is the only class which truely benefits from an escort wing. They don't need much protection, but if everything goes wrong, they can still be victorious if they are protected by 10-20 fighters.

      Fifth -> which fighters should be used in a wing?

      This question is up to the player and his style to play.

      Argon Eclipse:
      If you like a heavy strike on a cap, buy yourself some well shielded (200 MJ) argon Eclipse. They can mount HEPTs, have a decent weapon generator and a good amount of rudder. 20 of them will rip every enemy cap to pieces. But the enemy escort will finish them faster then you may be able to swear. They need protection and are bad dogfighters.

      Xenon LX:
      If you like to have the jack of all trades wing, stick to the LX. They are the strongest M3+ out there. They can point 9 HEPTs towards the enemy and have a decent weapon generator and enopuh weapon energy to operate them over a long time. Due to their medium shields and their medium rudder thy'll live long enough to finish every enemy and his escort.

      OTAS Venti:

      If you like to deal a fast and heavy strike, build yourself a Venti wing. 100 MJ shielding and 10 HEPTs to the front are mounted on a ship moving at 195 m/s. They are lightning fast for their class, but are extremly vulnurable to enemy fighters. If the enemy cap is gone avoid any dogfights with this wing. You have to protect them by another wing or by yourself if you're flying a M7M.

      Paranid Advanced Perseus:
      If you like to have a more flexible wing this is the way to go. They have the highest rudder and a superior agility combined with lightning speed, a flexible weapon layout which enbles them to use all types of useful fighter weapons (like the LX), HEPTS for heavy attacks and pulse weapons for anti fighter combat. The weapon energy is not that high, but this disadvantage is not important because of their rudder. A must have if you want to have an interceptor wing.

      Argon Nova Vanguard:
      If you want to have some mean dogfighters, stick to the Novae and equip them with plasma generators. Due to the limited amount of weapons, this is almost impossibke to set up. Maybe a long time achievement, but nothing to be done in 10-15 ingame days. Novae are really mean with their speed and agility ( 62,9 rudder) in combination with these weapons and used in greater numbers (above 25) However, the have only 75 MJ shields. Avoid engaging caps or fighting near enemy caps at all cost. They WILL die faster than you can hit your monitor repeatedly with your keyboard. Don't try to use something else than the Vanguard. All other variants are useless.

      Sixth -> What can i destroy? What is the role of carriers in TC?

      The role of carriers is more specialised combat. With the new and deadly plasma generator all fights are now something like a roulette game. If you're facing Yaki/Pirates let M7 or M2 take out the fighters. It's not healthy to send in your fighter wings. M5 and M4 will get splttered easily while doing almost 0 damage. M3 can survive and be victorious, but they will suffer a high amount of damage.
      Against the fast and agile Xenon Ls you have almost the same behaviour. M5 and M4 will die even faster, but agile M3 with plasma generators have an easier time. Most of them will survive, but they will suffer hull damage and you have to spend a lot of time and money to repair them after a single fight.
      Your fighters are capble to take out every enemy you may encounter in the game. Even Khaak destroyers. You will rub your eyes if you see 20 LX attacking a K or a Akuma. Qs are absolutely helpless against a wing of fighters. Any other M6/M7/M1 is an easy prey to them. Carracks, Tigers, Galleons, Shuris and so on are not a match. They'll die so fast that it is difficult to make sreenshots. Everything under 8 GJ shielding is just spacedust in solid form. But first take care of the massive escort or make sure that you attack with 40+ fighters, e.g. a M1 can spit out 30+ fighters. The role of a carrier group is mainly to backstab asingle already busy enemy. The M7 class covers a much wider field of jobs and they are simply better and faster in doing these jobs. They only lack the raw firepower of a complete M3/M3+ wing.

      Because of the gameplay most people have a good standing with the pirate faction and all other races. The only enemies left are the Yakis and Xenons. So the only possible M7 you're faced with is the Q. All other enemy caps are M2 or M1 classes and are difficult to beat.

      Solution: If you want to fight in a carrier, buy yourself a Panther (sounds familiar, doesn't it? ) and build yourself a Firestorm torpedo complex. These rockets are able to take down 5 or more fighters of the enemy escort in one hit before the fight begins. Decimate the enemy fighters first. If you're facing an enemy M1, send him 2-3 Typhoon missiles. It'll launch it's fighters immediately so you can take them down with your Firestorms.

      In the current state of the game the role of the Carrier groups are very limited if your PC isn't able to handle fights with approximately 70 fighting ships, including some caps with 48 operating guns.

      What can be done?
      The damage of pulsed weapons and plasma generators is imbalanced at the moment. 20 Venti with 10 plasma generators installed can rip everything into pieces, even faster than using HEPTs if they manage to get close enough. A Khaak carrier captain isn't able to do his last prayer, and his colleague in the Destroyer over there should have also finished his last wish if they turn on him. Of course the Ventis hit their own wing mates, but they spread out very fast.
      These weapons have to be tweaked down in order to get more interesting dogfights. All players will have some experience with flaming pirates and the cold precision and agility of Xenon fighters. The game in its current state is all about rockets and M7. Fighting with wings of fighters is only worthwile in the beginning of the game and later to protect vulnerable targets as a decoy or cannonfodder.

      The next part will cover M7/M2 wings and their use and also the micromanagement of the differnet commands.

      Last edited by Galder; 01-01-2009 at 04:17 AM.

    2. #2
      Administrator Roger L.S. Griffiths's Avatar
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      Nice summary Galder... not sure I would entirely agree with what you have said though.

      I have a Terran Tokyo with 3 wings of 10 Terran Cutlass and 1 wing of 10 Terran Scimitar. I allocated them colours for management and homebased all 4 wings at the Tokyo.

      When manually launching fighters I use the Wing commands, and this works a treat for mopping up fighters.

      I used my Tokyo on a defend station mission with the Tokyo defending the gate through which the Pirates spawned. The Tokyo attacked with SSCs and used fighters to chase down the ships that got through. Did not loose a single ship though one fighter did take some hull damage. Some of the fighters also helped defend the gate and as a result all I needed to do was sit in my Osaka and watch.

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    3. #3
      Administrator Galder's Avatar
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      This is just my experience so far Maybe there is a way or a fighter weapon which can handle this. I haven't tested Scimitars and Cutlass in open field battles.

      For defend station missions i use my Ray and a Springblossom. I accept the mission sitting in the Ray and park my Springblossom near the gate. After accepting the mission i jump to the gate, give the side turrets armed with PPCs the command attack every enemy and park him in a 90 angle 700m to 1 km in front and 500m to 800 m below the gate. Because of the turret fix not even a single M6 will escape. To finish the Rest of the fighters i use my Springblossom. When all of the M5-M3s are gone, i just sit in space and watch my Ray doing the job for 10 minutes while on SETA until the next M6 jumps in They enter the sector one by one, so it's not a fair game

      Defend station missions are in my opinion much easier, becuse all enemy ships are targetting the station first. Also the enemy vehicles are just M6 and some falcons/novae without enough rudder to pose a threat. Try your wings against a K in the wilderness of Xenon Sector 598 There is enough room to maneuver. Qs will fall to them like a M6, but try to stay alive in the weapon range of a K while giving commands to your wings via the sector map Or even try to hunt down an Akuma. You'll be surely victorious, because you can get much more fighters to work against the enemy and his escort. But i doubt that the Cutlass is able to deal with a fast, agile and plasma generator mounted Susanova.

      When i'm taking about wingman commands i mean the wingman Hotkeys, not the wing commands. I can't work with them, because i have to have the sector map constantly open. And with the sector map open you can't maneuver your own ship. You're forced to sit in the background giving commands.

      The biggest point is the performance. My actual PC is capable to hndle fights up to 120 fighters without major lags, but i bought him only 3 months ago, so his components are up to date. Most of the X3 users are working with older and slower components. So the sheer numbers of fighters will slow the game to death. I think 50 fighting ships will be the the limit on most PCs, especially in sectors containig some dense asteroid fields like scale plate green, weavers tempest and the lovely scenery of Aladnas Hill. Also Khaak sectors and their asteroids combined with the purple nebula will produce a good amount of lags So one of the few battlegrounds is Xenon Sector 598 without fog and asteroids.


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      I would like to add a M7 to your Panther and Tiger/Q combination... I agree with your assessment, but have found using Diemos to be a good compromise between the two... and can add to the durability of your M7 taskforce with it's 6GJ shields.

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    5. #5
      Administrator Galder's Avatar
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      The Deimos is a good addition. But i think he has to engage later in the battle as a heavy support, because 6 GJ shields are not enough to stand some PSP volleys from a Xenon cap. It'll be a great addition to carrier groups fighting Khaak caps. But there is more than one way to play around with fighter wings As Roger described before, With overwhelming numbers of fighters there are more options to fight and the stats and abilities of the single fighter in a wing doesn't play that big role anymore. But it's a matter of the players PC and CPU if he's able to handle that load. So adding a M7 like the Deimos may be a good advice instead of a new wing of fighters.

      I'm currently trying to set up the opposite of the carrier group. I'm planning to use 4 Rays and a Thresher as my flaggship. Take's some time to get enough FAA and PPCs , but i'm confident about the equipment Every capped Akume nets me 75 Million credits, so i can afford to buy every existing PPC/FAA in the game

      I also have to wait for my HQ to pump out a good amount of Advanced Perseus. I think speed can be of high value for fighters... but this will be different from Reunion. All those fighter maneuvers are now extremly tricky. I'm still not able to launch my fighters manually with 1.4 without using the command "got to position". I will also have to add a whole chapter for advanced wing settings. The wing commands are in their structure simply based on the group system from X3:R Bonuspackage 3.107. They always define a "leader" and this gets sometimes in the way. However the plus is that they work together with the wingman hotkeys, but sometimes both script parts won't work together smoothly.

      The idea is so far, that with higher speed your fighters are able to cross the plasma stream faster and take less damage. They should be also able to do some kind of hit and run tactics with their PBEs. But this has to be tested, because of the new behaviour and pathfinding system. As i said... very tricky, and TC won't let you make any mistakes. Just one wrong command or a bad timing in a very complicated maneuver and you can bury several million credits.

      After some very hard lessons i'm now able to handle several Xenon M7 and caps in a row. However, the important thing is to reduce the escort first by using 4 Firestom torpedos on long range. My current test object is the Thresher. Ion cannons are very handy, but they lack the range and also the Thresher has an insufficient weapon generator/weapon energy to fire more than 2 loaded volleys. Well, there have to be more tests

      Building a fleet of fast and agile PBE/HEPT Perseus as interceptors, building my M2 wing (4 Akumas are not that effective, because of their limited front weapons, but it was fun to clear the sector north of Black Hole Sun with them The sound of 4 M2s passing the player ship on their attack run is DECENT!!!! I love that) and testing the various M7. I still get mad with my fighter wings when they try to LAND on my Panther when i'm giving the command "protect me" if a cap is closing in

      Last edited by Galder; 02-01-2009 at 02:10 PM.

    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Galder View Post
      As Roger described before, With overwhelming numbers of fighters there are more options to fight and the stats and abilities of the single fighter in a wing doesn't play that big role anymore.
      Sorry Galder, but my point was not the number of fighters (only 5-10) launch from the carrier in a typical engagement but rather the type of fighters and the weapons they have. In my case EMPC equipped Scimitars and Cutlasses (I think the Cutlass is better). The Cutlass has 2 turrets and these do seem to make a difference when the fighters are hunting down other fighters or even Corvettes (pirate ones). The fact that the Cutlass has a resectable top speed of ~175 could have something to do with their effectiveness as well.

      Admittedly, a PALC equipped Panther/Tiger can probably do the same job sitting still near the gate.

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      Maybe i misunderstood you, sorry for that, but i thought your 40 fighters took care of the enemy in that station defense mission.

      The fact that the cutlass has a front turret is really a bonus in dogfights, but also while engaging capships. It can keep firing on a more agile and faster target. That's also a reason why i tried to set up a LX wing. But i can't make a decision on the turretweapons so far, because weapons with a longer range have generally slower moving bullets, compared to PBEs for example. That means they are inaccurate. But only 1 PBE in a turret isn't this great threat. I'm still testing and i hope the Perseus wing will help me to decide.
      I didn't go for the Cutlass because of his rudder and the lower range of EMPCs. These weapons seems to be not as precisely as HEPTs to me. But this is just my own impression


    8. #8
      Administrator Roger L.S. Griffiths's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Galder View Post
      Maybe i misunderstood you, sorry for that, but i thought your 40 fighters took care of the enemy in that station defense mission.

      The fact that the cutlass has a front turret is really a bonus in dogfights, but also while engaging capships. It can keep firing on a more agile and faster target. That's also a reason why i tried to set up a LX wing. But i can't make a decision on the turretweapons so far, because weapons with a longer range have generally slower moving bullets, compared to PBEs for example. That means they are inaccurate. But only 1 PBE in a turret isn't this great threat. I'm still testing and i hope the Perseus wing will help me to decide.
      I didn't go for the Cutlass because of his rudder and the lower range of EMPCs. These weapons seems to be not as precisely as HEPTs to me. But this is just my own impression
      All I can say, not having tried any non-Terran fighters for serious work, is that the Cutlass has excellent survivablity and killability. Put 3-4 of these puppies with full EMPC loadout into a frey and in all likely hood it will only be the Cutlasses left standing.

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      After playing and starting a new game for test purposes, i got some more experience in using fighter groups and wings in extreme situations. Mainly taking down caps Note that this is my kind to play with fighter wings, there will be several other tactics.

      Fighters I:
      I have narrowed down the selection of M3/M3+ to at least 3 ships.... and i'm afraid, but the LX didn't make it really into this list
      It's down to the question of weapon usage and speed/agility. Shields are important for the heavy fighters, weapon usage is important for the faster ones.

      Let's have a closer look at the advanced tactics.
      Due to the fact that the weapons are completely mixed up and there were so much changes, the player couldn't get used to a certain kind of weapon type. Especially, because no one ever thought about weapons or tested it. X3:TC doesn't favour fighter wings like Reunion, it is centered around rockets and M7.

      BUT! There is always a way

      Weapon choice:
      As a commander of 2 or three fighter wings you have to get used to place yourself in your own M3+. Yes, that's the good news... never ending adrenalin saturated fighting , but also a high chance to get killed without warning. M7 are not the only choice (I recommend using a Venti as the player M3+.) This is because you have to fight against caps and their escort in waves. The first wave has to catch the attention and has to deal devastating shield damage, the second wave has to deal some shield damage and a high amount of hull damage. As distinct of Reunion the best weapon choice for the first wave are PBEs or Plasma Generators. The second wave has to use HEPTs. Your own M3+ (hopefully a Venti ) will have just 10 Plasma Generators and a PAC set to rocket defense in the rear turret.
      The choice is up to you... Plasma Generators don't hit harder than PBEs for the shield damage for fighters in wave 1, but they are harder to get and do much more damage in the dogfights afterwards. So PBEs will be in better supply. You'll need 80 Plasma Generators or PBEs.
      For the HEPTs i recommend building a complex, because you'll need 160 to 200.

      Creating waves in combat (Fighters II):
      Don't be afraid, you don't have to hammer in commands or play around with the wing commands. The basic rule is to setup a complete group of 30 fighters and your own ship.
      They are split into 10 fast PBE/Plasma Generator using ships and 20 heavy and slower HEPT using ships.

      I prefer and recommend using the Advanced Perseus for the fast part of your fighters. They have a high speed of 209 m/s, and even more important, an unholy rudder stat of 62.6. This is the closest rudder stat to the mighty Xenon L (68 rudder) you can get without cheating. Combined with the superior speed of 209 m/s this makes a hell of a fighter. They may look like a pregnant Penguin, but they can strike lightning fast and able to get behind every other enemy. Because of their extreme speed they tend to take less damage in dog fights. If you like to use a different fighter type look at the stats of your choice first, in this order:
      Speed>Rudder>Shields>Weapons
      Speed has to be something around 200. A good choice for wave 1 fighters are Advanced Perseus, Venti and the Scimitar. There are more fighters, but be sure that wave 1 fighters have at least 100 MJ shields (absolute minimum... they have to survive IBL/PPC hits), a DECENT speed (around 200 m/s) and a very high agility if you use PBEs (50+ rudder is a must) There is only one exception and that's the Venti with 10 Plasma Generators. If you can manage to afford 10 of these puppies with 10 Generators, they don't have to be very agile against Xenons... but be careful when you try to fight Yakis. Yakis can be a lot tougher than Xenons Their Susanovas have also Plasma Generators, and they are faster and more agile than your Ventis.

      My choice for the heavy weapon wave 2 is the normal Argon Eclipse. The Eclipse can provide 200 MJ shields and 8 HEPTs to the front. 20 of them will kill simply everything when they have a free vector to attack. If they strike green hell turns up. Like in Reunion, there is no single cap which can withstand 20 heavy fighters. The turrets can mount PACs and can be set to rocket defense. This is very handy, because they need as much protection as you can afford in the dogfight after the enemy cap has gone. You can also use LX, but keep an exe on them. They are very fragile, because they have only 100 MJ shields and are fairly slow (143 m/s). In the following dogfight against the enemy cap they are of more use than the Eclipse, because of their higher rudder (55) and their slightly higher speed. If i hadn't build my LX wing in the HQ, i would have surely bought 20 Eclipse.

      After equipping and setting commands, set all of your fighters to wingman and assign 2 Hotkeys for "wingman protect me" and "wingman attack my target". It is possible to put them together in wings, but i recommend using the old wingman setting. I'll explain that later. If you like to use them in organized wings, put wave 1 in one wing and wave 2 in another one. Set both wings to "player wingman" and all turrets to missile defense. Assign also to Hotkeys for the 2 commands mentioned above.
      If you're now facing an enemy cap and you give the command "wingman attack my target" the fast wave 1 fighters will draw the attention first. Agility, speed and shields will make sure that they survive. PBEs do ungodly damage to the enemy shields.
      The heavy strike force of wave 2 fighters will arrive some seconds later and will finish the enemy cap very fast.
      That's the way to create waves.

      Combat commands:
      The currently existing wing commands are in my eyes a derivate from lucikes old group command system. They are refined and tuned, but they have the same weaknesses. The biggest point is the definition of a "leader". I can't really understand that. To me it's just decoration to define a leader. It's simply to line up neatly every ship, just eye candy .

      The problem is... if you attack an enemy you have to generate as much different vectors as possible. If every ship flies up to the enemy in a perfect formation, you have to be damn sure of your actions. You have to control everything and things have to go like you planned them. If not, formations (like in Homeworld) are good for presenting the biggest target you can give. You can paint a dart target on your hull and cheer to every exploding fighter.
      If something goes wrong... and you know that, no plan survives the first enemy contact... generating as much vectors as possible will save your ships.

      For example:
      You made a mistake and send your wave 1 fighters in too early. The enemy cap changes instantly on the leader of the wave1 fighters and it WILL kill him. In most cases it'll be a ship close to your own fighter in the formation. Because of the leadership he'll try to occupy a place in your direct vicinity. He tries to establish as fast as possible a formation and the logical centre lies somewhere in your direct neighborhood. So the first thing what will happen is that the bullets you already dodged will hit HIM (if the cap is already firing at you). The next thing is that he will overtake you (he's faster) and draw the attention of the enemy cap. He can't dodge and the cap has to adjust its turrets just a nanometre. The leader WILL die. Only if you get the timing right the formation is an advantage. If the AI controls the wing it's a death trap.

      The old Hotkey system doesn't show this behaviour afaik. The ships attack autonomically and won't get in your flight path. Even for capship wings it's better to avoid building to many wings. If the leadership changes (by death of the former one) they get in their way when forming and establishing a new formation. This delays their attack and spoils your plan, very annoying. It is easier to manage several things and it's possible to form bomber squads. But like MEFOS, CODEA, Carrier Commands and M.A.R.S., this scripts tries to do some thinking for the player. But the anticipated wish and behaviour is wrong, because every situation is different. If you want something properly done, you have to do it by yourself!

      If you try commanding wings with the ES system you're facing several problems:
      1) Every wing command for the whole wing is placed over a unique section in the sector map. If you want to manage 4 wings by using this system you have to scroll like mad. Imagine 60 fighters in 4 wings! The fight will be already when you give the last attack command.
      2) Limited turret usage. You can only define a turret command to ALL turrets. Some fighters like the Eclipse and the LX can mount powerful weapons to the front which can give them some kind of extra punch. This is denied by this system.
      3) Docking problems. If you have 4 caps in a wing and you want to equip one, all other will follow the one you gave the command dock at eq dock, although this dock has only 2 docking slots. IS this often results in a several hundred million fireworks close to the hull of an eqdock You have to remove the ship from the wing first. The same goes for their homebase.... you can only define one homebase per wing... try to land 4 of them on a player owned eqdock
      4) Leadership leads to unwanted attention
      5) Fighting with the sectormap open is not healthy

      You get in return a simplified command system, which enables you to give your commands more conviniently from the background. The commands themselves haven't changed, the AI hasn't learned new tricks, so it's basically giving the same commands as in X3:Reunion with Bonuspackage 3.107.

      Last edited by Galder; 17-01-2009 at 11:49 AM.

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