FullAuto, on 12th December 2009, 10:15pm, said:
Do you have certain types of fleets that you always use? What ships are they made up of? Do you just put together general-purpose fleets, or are they made into different specialised groups for patrols, planetary assaults, defence, fleet combat, etc?
This one demanded a minute or five longer to be answered hence the delay.
I'm sure people have "a standard fleet combo". This being a desired fleet composition, usually race based as well as most races have technological preferences
and drive'n'ship characteristics. Hivers for instance will probably go for heavy hitting mass drivers as they usually get armour-piercing ammunition and have a nice chance for neutronium rounds at the end of the mass driver tech tree. They are also pretty fast in combat missions and can take a lot of pounding. So up close and personal weapons and fire away.
Than again, it CAN happen (and - at Kerb' forums - lovingly called sadorandomizer does this to me) that you won't get AP and than you might reconsider this strategy and try your luck with something completely different.
Missiles for instance. Lots of them. That means fast ships with many medium turrets and PD. Ship sections don't just affect armour and possible weapon combinations, they also affect acceleration and turning rate of the ships. So with a different weapon approach you might take that into account to make them more efficient.
It is pretty standard that you will alter your initial plan. You may go for heavy combat lasers, invest some research there just to find out there is no more. And first tier HCL won't last for very long if your enemy got good armour tech rolls. And researched them. So you will need to adapt.
Your research and ship sections combinations are also (heavily) affected by your enemies' choices.
If the enemy went for HCL you might consider smaller faster ships and more of them so that those beams have a hard time tracing or simply go for long ranged weaponry to stay out of their range.
I thought to reveal that in the next update but hey... I have noticed that both the Tarka and Zuul enemies don't have any point defence on their ships. That is unusual at this stage of the game as both use missiles and would probably research and mount PD if they could. They have both started fielding cruisers so my emitter drones aren't as effective any more and I'll start building missile cruisers to counter that and invest into missile research to make them (and my planetary missiles) more powerful.
I'll call this a mild gamble but a lot of missiles are hard to counter in any case and before they come up with A LOT of point defence it will take time. A mix of drones and missiles should keep them busy for a while. And if all goes well, not too long.
What was I trying to tell you really?
Oh, standard fleet composition...
No, there is none. You have a VERY good chance that your ships will not be the same even though you are playing the same race twice in a row. Even when you will use the same ship sections (standards like hammerhead command, armour mission and best-possible-drive etc.) you will most likely need to use different weapons. And use your ships differently.
And all those are only your "standard" assault ships. When you come to specialized fleets you have even more options for specialized ships. Biowar colony destruction fleets. Cloaking technology opens a lot of options for abuse. Etc. etc..
BTW, do take a look at that technology tree. It shows the chances each race has for a certain technology and it has tooltips. And it is HUGE.