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Re: [FT] FB2 Torpedo Fighters (was Fighter customization)

From: stiltman@t...
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2000 09:22:41 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: [FT] FB2 Torpedo Fighters (was Fighter customization)

> On Thu, 15 Jun 2000 11:29:43 -0400, "Tom.McCarthy" writes:
> >I'm tempted to ignore the FTFB2 write up for torpedo fighters. 
Although I
> >haven't played them, my gut says they're too powerful.
> They also got much more expensive.
> MT torpedo fighters were +24 per group (IIRC) and averaged 10.5 damage
> per strike.

It was +18.

> FB2 torpedo fighters are +36 per group and average 15 damage points
> per strike.

Technically, they're still +18... normal fighters cost 18 points,
bombers cost 36.  So if you wanted a torpedo bomber group over a regular
fighter or interceptor group, the cost is still the same.

> Without including all the other costs, I couldn't tell you if the
> price change made them better or worse, but they are paying for the
> extra damage.

Well, having been accused of playing altogether too many fighters in my
*grin* I thought maybe I ought to sound off on this.

First off... yes, this does make torpedo bombers a lot nastier, getting
half again the average damage.	Whether I'd consider that a good enough
to use them in a custom game over other options depends.

In MT, torpedo bombers were pretty much _the_ assault weapon of choice
for a
carrier force.	It wasn't a matter of _whether_ you threw them at
people, it
was a matter of how many of them you threw and how many other fighters
interceptors you put between them and enemy fighters to keep them save
enough to pulverize two or three capital ships per run.  Flying just
any other sort of fighter for an anti-ship role was practically useless
human tech because _every_ front-line ship had level 3 screens, and
your fighters to point defense fire for the piddly damage you'd get,
from attack fighters, simply was not cost-effective, especially when you
got three to five shots.  (Torpedo bombers = 10.5 points per group, only
point defense counterattack.  Attack fighters = 6 points per group per
endurance run, and they get three shots back at you.)

In FB1, that changed a bit, to a degree that torpedo bombers were no
anywhere near as cost-effective.  There are a lot of tradeoffs, such
screens might not be such a given any more.  You can't even put up level
screens any more, which helps beam-based fighters right there.	In
your drives and hull integrity are no longer free... so if you take
you might be knocking off a third or more of your hull integrity and/or
when the benefit isn't necessarily all that automatic any more -- the
that can penetrate screens got better and armor is a cheaper and more
purpose alternative.  For that matter, fighters were permitted twice as
shots as they had in MT.

So in FB1, what we wind up with is, you could do a lot more damage to
with beam fighters than you could before (even against level 2 screens,
fighter group can still do an average of 2.8 * 6 damage to a ship, which
better than the 10.5 a torpedo bomber group will), although it did mean
you exposed yourself to that much more point defense fire to do it. 
the ability to do that much more damage even to a screened ship, without
having to sack your dogfighting power while you're at it, led _me_, at
to seriously re-think whether there was really any cost-effective
benefit to
springing for the bombers any more (especially when fighters in general
that much more expensive than they used to be just to carry the basic
I pretty quickly arrived at the conclusion that the most cost-effective
to throw fighters at people for all purposes was just to pile on the
varmints and forget about specializing pretty much altogether.	If you
expected to get out-fightered you might want to give some thought to
interceptors, and if you thought you might have to slug it out against a
stiff area defense network you might give some thought to heavy
but after about one or two games I never gave a terrific amount of
to throwing torpedo bombers for all-purpose use any more.

Whether I change my mind on that in FB2 when people pointed this out...
don't know.  If I'm playing a custom game I can just as easily stick
on my fighters and, while I'll trade off a little bit of anti-ship power
against the unscreened ships, that still means I can assure that I'm
to pile up 24 points of damage per endurance run... though I will have
expose myself to point defense fire more.  I'm not sure that torpedo
are really going to be worth the extra expense over that option, even
the change, because you're still sacking your dogfighting power badly
for them that I can think of two circumstances that I'd have to estimate
the case before I'd throw them in a serious fighter battle:

1.  I can put enough fighters between them and an enemy that I can
them long enough to actually hit someone.  For the number of bombers I'd
probably need to make a difference in a battle, that's going to mean
that I'd
need a lot more fighters than the other guy, such that I'm not convinced
all that you'd win against an all-regulars force with any equal number
combined interceptors/heavies up front with bombers in back.

2.  I'm worried that exposing fighters to point defense fire will get
costly for the amount of damage I'll inflict per attack.

It sort of boils down to what I'm expecting.  If I can expect I'll run
negligible fighter resistance I might throw a lot of torpedo bombers,
If I think I'm up against a dreadnought force that will throw both
fighters to force me to stay honest in a dogfight and enough area
to make it really costly to the bombers coming through, I might not want
try that.  If I'm up against a serious carrier force, I _definitely_
want to try that.

I think all-regulars is still the best all-around option for a carrier
that doesn't want to gamble.
 The Stilt Man
   < We are Microsoft Borg '98.  Lower your expectations and	>
   < surrender your money.  Antitrust law is irrelevant.	>
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