Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

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What should ship weapons usually target?

Planets, ships and fighters equally
0
No votes
First target ships and planets. If no planet or ships: target fighters
2
25%
Target only ships and planets. (Also remove fallbacks for other weapon types)
3
38%
Something different (please explain)
3
38%
 
Total votes: 8

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Ophiuchus
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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#31 Post by Ophiuchus » Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:22 pm

Telos wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:37 am
..decoys are much cheaper to mass, so their damage-absorption impact is much larger than that of drones. ...
Second, there's the problem of stealth carriers, who can launch their drones while facing no danger themselves.
You should start a recent build, it looks you have outdated data. E.g. stealth carriers are solved(in my opinion).

fighters (esp. Interceptors) can be cheap and easy to field and "regenerate" in supply so they have the cannonfodder problem in special way.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#32 Post by Telos » Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:47 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:22 pm
You should start a recent build, it looks you have outdated data. E.g. stealth carriers are solved(in my opinion).
I've played the most recently released build ( 0.4.8 ). The only more recent github change I know of that would affect this (#2343) keeps fighterless carriers from maintaining blockades. That is definitely a move in the right direction, but, in my opinion, it doesn't solve many of the problems of stealth carriers discussed in that thread, esp. that stealth carriers have too much power relative to their cheap cost, including the power to whittle down arbitrarily large fleets with absolutely zero losses, and without much recourse for the opponent, esp. not any recourse that the AI knows how to use. Are there other recent changes I don't know about? If so, why haven't they been released?
Ophiuchus wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:22 pm
fighters (esp. Interceptors) can be cheap and easy to field and "regenerate" in supply so they have the cannonfodder problem in special way.
I agree that, over a long run, drones could be replenished repeatedly, making them more economical cannonfodder than straight decoys like comsats are. This is one reason, among many, to think that there are problems with stealth carriers who can be assured of surviving for that long of a run. However, I don't think this consideration applies to non-stealth carriers, as they require a heavy upfront investment to maybe get this long run payoff, and they face a serious risk of getting shot down in Round 1 of each combat, and so on average, I think they provide fewer decoys/cost than straight decoys do, and certainly not many more. Of course this may vary depending upon how well armored your carriers are, how many other ships including straight decoys are screening for them in Round 1, which opponents you fight, whether your straight decoys are cheap comsats or more expensive flux ships, etc... But most ways of keeping your carriers from getting blown up on round 1 cost further PP, and hence reduce the cost-efficiency of using carriers to provide decoys for later rounds. So, again, I'm not convinced that (non-stealth) carriers pose a special separate problem here, so I would encourage that a solution to whatever problem targetable drones might have be bundled together with a solution to the decoy problem, e.g., reducing the targeting priority for *both* drones and unarmed decoys.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#33 Post by Oberlus » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:12 pm

Telos wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:47 pm
I've played the most recently released build ( 0.4.8 ).
I recommend playing the weekly test builds.

That way you won't miss changes like the one you're asking for :D
Carriers become visible after launching.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#34 Post by Telos » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:31 am

Thanks, I stand corrected. :D

I think that'll be an improvement over the previous system of completely untouchable perma-stealth carriers. Stealth will still be potentially worth having, though, to keep the carriers alive through the perilous Round 1 before they'll have a screen of drones to help take the heat off. Since it takes a long time for an expensive carrier to have sucked up as much damage as an equivalent cost of straight decoys could, it'll be crucial that the carrier survive long enough, on average, to have been worth its cost, and I still think stealth will likely be the most effective way to do that. So I'd still predict that stealth carriers would be the biggest suspects for abuse of replenishable drone decoys. Still, my experience has been that non-stealth carriers don't have a long enough life expectancy for this to be a problem, and (though I obviously haven't tested it), my feeling is that the new semi-stealth carriers won't be all that much worse, since they'll have a higher upfront cost for the cloaking device, and will still be vulnerable to unlucky hits in Rounds 2 and 3.

Regardless, I'd still push to try to bundle a solution to whatever imbalance there might be with targetable drones together with a solution to the clear problems that there are with straight decoys, since both of these problems have the same underlying cause: that there are very cheap ways to flood the field with targets that strategically shouldn't deserve as much targeting priority as the game currently gives them.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#35 Post by Ophiuchus » Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:32 pm

Telos wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:31 am
Regardless, I'd still push to try to bundle a solution to whatever imbalance there might be with targetable drones together with a solution to the clear problems that there are with straight decoys, since both of these problems have the same underlying cause: that there are very cheap ways to flood the field with targets that strategically shouldn't deserve as much targeting priority as the game currently gives them.
Sure, soft targeting can help here, also varied targeting, and also player-configurable targeting. You could come up with some FOCS code to show that it is worth implement these features?
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#36 Post by Ophiuchus » Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:14 pm

So I have a suggestion for bombers if fighters do not act as smokescreen and only target ships.

Bombers are now similar to ship weapons so they are quite comparable to those.

Launch bay + 2 bomber hangers should cost only 50PP instead of currently 75PP (10PP launch bay instead of 20PP, 2x 20 PP bomber hangar instead of 25PP).

Damage: 6-9-12-15 (basic-laser-plasma-death ray) instead of currently 5-8-12-19.


Properties:
MD-Bombers (even if cut down) are more effective than MD weapons against shield 3. Mostly underwhelming until you upgrade the tech.
L-Bombers (even if cut down) are more effective than Laser weapons against shield 5.
If you manage to keep your bombers from being cut down, profit.
..TBD..

Fighters are not like ship weapons, but making them the same power level like Bombers if only fighting ships is a reasonable starting point: Fighter hangar cost 15PP instead of 20PP

Damage: 4-6-8-10


Interceptors hangars, this is a bit harder without more analysis. But I go with my intuition here.
Interceptors hangars cost at 10PP instead of 15PP. As Interceptors only target fighters, damage does not mean anything. They act as a mixture of point defense against fighters and as cannonfodder shield for own Bombers and Fighters against enemy point defense and as cannonfodder shield for own ships against enemy Fighters.
I would suggest for now to ignore pilot skill and launch a complete hangar per launch bay. With each weapon tech hangar capacity and launch capacity get increased by one.
Basic Interceptors Hangers start comparable to fighters (3 interceptors instead of currently 4), but launch 50% faster.

So Capacity/Launch Capacity: 3/3-4/4-5/5-6/6 (i.e. death ray fighters double the effectiveness of the part compared to the basic version).

edit1: added Fighters

edit2: added Interceptors
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#37 Post by Ophiuchus » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:10 pm

Added the aforementioned balancing to the PR-2665 which implements Krikkitone's KISS hard targeting.

(commit 1414ac5d944c390e481590d45dc0af23b6e6ac0d)

Buffing fighters as they are no smokescreen against ship weapons

Making launch bay and hangars cheaper and slightly less effective (but more cost efficient).


10 PP: Launch bay (CHEEEEAP!)
20 PP: 2 Bombers, 6 damage, get a +3 damage bonus per tech level.
15 PP: 3 Fighters, 4 damage, get a +2 damage bonus per tech level. Ignoring launching and targeting Fighters have a comparable power level to Bombers.
10PP: 3 Interceptors only kill fighters. Can launch 50% faster compared to Fighter. Each tech gives one extra Interceptor and launch capacity.
Last edited by Ophiuchus on Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#38 Post by Oberlus » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:34 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:10 pm
10 PP: Launch bay (CHEEEEAP!)
20 PP: 2 Bombers, 6 damage, get a +3 damage bonus per tech level.
15 PP: 3 Fighters, 4 damage, get a +2 damage bonus per tech level. Ignoring launching and targeting Fighters have a comparable power level to Bombers.
10PP: 3 Interceptors only kill fighters. Can launch 50% faster compared to Fighter. Each tech gives one extra Interceptor and launch capacity.
I'll love to test all this with the combat simulator, sooner or later.
For now, I'd say that fighters, more versatile than bombers (need more flak/interceptors to be countered, and also able to counter other bombers/fighters, unless the launch capacity is still on par with bombers), should have a lower total damage, but not sure of it until extensively tested.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#39 Post by Ophiuchus » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:30 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:34 pm
For now, I'd say that fighters, more versatile than bombers (need more flak/interceptors to be countered, and also able to counter other bombers/fighters, unless the launch capacity is still on par with bombers), should have a lower total damage, but not sure of it until extensively tested.
The other side of that versatility is that you can distract Fighters from attacking space ships. And that is the only way fighters can influence battles.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#40 Post by Oberlus » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:46 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:30 pm
The other side of that versatility is that you can distract Fighters from attacking space ships. And that is the only way fighters can influence battles.
Good point!
If you distract the fighters with interceptors it's clearly advantage for bombers for not getting distracted: bombers will hit enemy ships at least once while fighters could die while killing interceptors and do no harm to ships.
If the only distraction are bombers, the advantage maybe leans towards bombers: each bomber will get at least one shot each on an enemy ship and soak at least one fighter shot, but there would be more fighters than bombers so it could be balanced. Although for multi-turn battles outside of supply that would be better for fighters: bombers die while fighters only if there were flaks.
If the distraction are other fighters, again advantage for bombers on supply or single-turn battles but advantage for fighters otherwise.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#41 Post by Oberlus » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:48 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:43 pm
Here is the PR-2665 implementing Krikkitone's KISS hard targeting (the changes are only in folder default/ )
Possible bug (maybe just an UI glitch): the increase of launch bay capacity seems to be added several times when multiple launch bays are present.

Tested with DR-fighters (actually whole research tree researched):
Bays installedLaunch capacity of the ship
16
224
354
496
5150
The shown number seems to correspond to N*N*C (Number of launch bays, individual launch bay Capacity), while it should be N*C.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#42 Post by Oberlus » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:01 pm

First problem I see:

In FT_HANGAR_1.focs.txt

Code: Select all

                SetMaxCapacity partname = "FT_BAY_1" value = (PartsInShipDesign name = "FT_BAY_1" design = Target.DesignID) * (
                    4 +
                    Statistic If Condition = OwnerHasTech Name = "SHP_FIGHTERS_2" +
                    Statistic If Condition = OwnerHasTech Name = "SHP_FIGHTERS_3" +
                    Statistic If Condition = OwnerHasTech Name = "SHP_FIGHTERS_4"
                )
First: if it says 4 + 1 (laser) +1 (plasma) +1 (DR), why do we get 6 launch capacity end game instead of 7?

Second: the fix would be to remove the PartsInShipDesign call?

Code: Select all

                SetMaxCapacity partname = "FT_BAY_1" value = (4 +
                    Statistic If Condition = OwnerHasTech Name = "SHP_FIGHTERS_2" +
                    Statistic If Condition = OwnerHasTech Name = "SHP_FIGHTERS_3" +
                    Statistic If Condition = OwnerHasTech Name = "SHP_FIGHTERS_4"
                )

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#43 Post by swaq » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:12 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:48 pm
Ophiuchus wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:43 pm
Here is the PR-2665 implementing Krikkitone's KISS hard targeting (the changes are only in folder default/ )
Possible bug (maybe just an UI glitch): the increase of launch bay capacity seems to be added several times when multiple launch bays are present.

Tested with DR-fighters (actually whole research tree researched):
Bays installedLaunch capacity of the ship
16
224
354
496
5150
The shown number seems to correspond to N*N*C (Number of launch bays, individual launch bay Capacity), while it should be N*C.
I think this might only be affecting the interceptors. I also confirmed that in combat my Titan launched 18 interceptor fighters (three hangars) in one round despite only having two launch bays.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#44 Post by Ophiuchus » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:21 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:01 pm
Second: the fix would be to remove the PartsInShipDesign call?

Code: Select all

                SetMaxCapacity partname = "FT_BAY_1" value = (4 +
                    Statistic If Condition = OwnerHasTech Name = "SHP_FIGHTERS_2" +
                    Statistic If Condition = OwnerHasTech Name = "SHP_FIGHTERS_3" +
                    Statistic If Condition = OwnerHasTech Name = "SHP_FIGHTERS_4"
                )
Yes that will probably the fix, the part types behave differently/inconsistent with regards to capacity and number of parts. (And i also think depending if you use Value in the ValueRef (i.e value = <ValueRef>) )
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#45 Post by Ophiuchus » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:25 pm

It would also help if you guys state your preference if the pilot skill should affect interceptors (my gut feeling was no).
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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