Classic: Fighters obsolete late game?

Playing the classic campaign, I’m around bridge of sighs and It seems whenever I scramble my interceptors and attack bombers, they get ripped to shreds by enemy heavy corvettes almost instantly.

Now, if I let my destroyers take out the corvettes, and send my own multi-gun corvettes after the fighters, I find the same happening to the enemy. They get picked off one by one, and my corvettes return to the carrier with minimal damage.

Are Fighters obsolete at this stage or am I just doing it wrong? My carrier strike group consists of two carriers loaded with multiguns and salvettes, escorted by a handful of destroyers and cruisers, with an unholy amount of captured support frigates healing everything.

My destroyers take out corvettes, I scramble multiguns to keep fighters away, and my cruisers tank hits while my salvettes move in, and blow up anything they can’t get their claws around. But I can’t seem to find a good use for fighters, am I just wasting resources?

late game there’s just two much big stuff for anything much smaller than a corvette to have any impact on, by that stage strike craft can work better in a diversionary role in smaller numbers, I don’t expect them to cause much damage but if they can pull the enemy out of position ideally showing there sides and rear to my heavy guns then they’ve done a good job in my book.
Also the enemy AI is pretty straight forward and readily falls into the trap of pursuing fighters as long as you don’t let the fighters outpace them two much. have them kite a bunch of frigates sufficiently under the plane of a carrier with a hold full of salvage corvettes. as they pass under give the launch command and the bad guys just don’t have the time to bring there weapons to bare before there on the way to your waiting carriers paint shop :slight_smile:

All in all they can be a good way of breaking an attacking fleet into smaller bite sized chunks even if they can’t do much damage themselves as long as they’re the first units the AI spots and reacts to in your engagements.

1 Like

Interesting, I think this makes the ghost ship the last real place to use fighters. It’s also conveniently placed to reduce all the strike craft you will inevitably bring with you after the Kadeshi missions. “We’re sorry for blowing up all your capital ships, now it’s time to blow up your fighters, and give you some capital ships for free!”

I’m not having any trouble salvaging, my capital ships tend to keep the enemy distracted, and it’s not like ion friggates can even hit corvettes (although destroyers are remarkably accurate with their ion beams) Quick question, is there any reason not to bring all those Ion Frigates with you or should I scraps some of them? I like recreating LOGH tactics.

Only problem is if you get too far away from the mothership, my Salvage Corvettes lock up and refuse to bring super capital ships home. They just sit there disabling the enemy ship but not towing it. Also, I passed my heavy cruiser cap before I could build heavy cruisers, so I’m stuck with the but ugly Kushan cruisers and can’t build the sexiest ship in the game.

1 Like

yeah… that happened to me a lot :slight_smile: I didn’t own a kushan heavy cruiser till I tried a Taiidan play through and stole one from the other side.

kiting all those ion frigates was a challenge all on its own but rewarding just the same, there is/was an issue with the sphere of frigates slowly drifting out of range if you took too long but I don’t know if that still occurs in gearboxes iteration of the classic game (I’m assuming all released patches are already installed).

I can think of two reasons not to use them on mass, one of which probably wont apply any more.

  1. My old system though brand new in 1999 would see the frame rates crash out when 75 plus ion frigates in wall formation turned to bare and let rip on a target. Though on todays systems that shouldn’t be an issue.

  2. The end mission is just to darn easy with that much firepower at your disposal there’s simple nothing the computer has at that point that wont just melt away under that sort of concentrated firepower. Interestingly the remastered versions scaling enemy fleet could see that final conflict turn into a battle of truly epic proportions if you were to rock up with that kind of fire power :smile:

By that point in game if you’ve captured a good chunk of your fleet and been cautious with your losses your unlikely to need the R.U’s from frigates so best decide your role for them based on how hard a challenge you want the end game to be that’s my best advice.

As to that salvage issue with the capitals as long as you can stagger there attack I found not being too squeamish about letting them pound on the Mothership a bit whilst she’s protected by support frigates gives the salvage corvettes cover and a short run for some blatant thievery. she a tuff old bird and can take quite the pounding that and the attackers can get a little myopic when they’ve got here in there sights.

I found myself short on RUs at that stage because while I did a good job of protecting my capitals (at least the ones I cared about anyways) most of my RUs were spent on strike craft, and I did a bum job of caring for them.

As for captured ion frigates making the game easy. I figured that out in Great Wastelands,I vaguely remember being caught off guard by the Ion Array frigate ambush, and being intimidated by the enemy assault frigates emerging from the mist in line formation.

Now the ions emerge to find salvettes waiting for them, and the assult frigates are met by a wall of ion arrays. I wish it was possible to forget the first time I played so the story can effect me again.

:smile:

2 Likes

I was always mildly bummed out when after sending in overwhelming numbers of stikecraft to knock out any enemy fighter formation to then end up loosing one guy to a stray ship collision as the formations passed though each other…Goose !! Noooooo !! :cry: :slight_smile:

I miss the collision aspect of the old ballistic system. the way in a pinch you could knock out a troublesome destroyer by having one of your carriers sit on it still can raise a chuckle :slight_smile:

1 Like

If you are careful, it is possible to do Bridge of Sighs (the Ghost ship, no?) without losing too many strike craft. I had maybe twenty, thirty Attack Bombers in two small Claw formations, set to Neutral tactics attacking the Ghost ship. A handful of Scouts and Intercepters, maybe ten of each, were set to Evasive, attacking the Missile Destroyer.

Really all you have to do is keep it busy while the Attack Bombers do their work. Once the Missile Destroyer is distracted enough, you can probably set your Attack Bombers to Aggressive.

People have I guess done “strike craft only” in the campaign. You might try a skirmish match and only use strike craft and support vessels to get a better grasp of it.

1 Like

I thought Bridge of Sighs was the one with the massive sphere of ion canon frigates…

1 Like

Hence,

That is right, the ghost ship was Sea of Lost Souls. It is quite possible to easily distract probably around ten ion frigates with a hand full of scouts and or interceptors. With probably the same number of attack bombers as I mentioned in my previous post. you can easily remove large numbers of those ion frigates.

Note both of these strategies are completely useless in “Remastered” because of the lack of tactics, larger, more expensive ships being more effective always than groups of smaller ships, strike craft being completely pointless, lack of formations, et cetera.

1 Like

Bridge of sighs is the one with a million ion frigates guarding the hyperspace inhibitor. They just waiting for you to salvage them if you have the patience to kite them out of formation.

As an added bonus they come in black.

1 Like

Yes. The paragraph in my above post mentions that one. I captured at least thirty of them before the sphere drifted out of playable range.

Edited for punctuation.

20 or 30 scouts on evasive will last a long time against any capital ships and distract strikes, making them at the mercy of Heavy Corvettes or Multiguns. The scouts are basically there to go in first and cause mayhem, giving you a focus fire and positional advantage.

It is usually better to use corvettes - unlike in Remastered they have 1700 armor (for Heavies) and can survive a hit from both destroyer ion beams. You just send in some scouts first so that the ion frigs/DDs are not pointed at your Corvettes as they approach.

For me, that ion cannon frigate is one of the most detailed ships. Looks amazing! I captured about 50 before I got bored and just hyperspaced into the next level.

Even better when it’s the Kushan elite guard type. I’m normaly a huge Taiidan fan, but I make an exception for the Kushan Ion cannon frigate, carrier, and destroyer (it makes up for there other frigates and heavy cruiser being so ugly)

i use strike craft to chase down ions, destroy carrier/HC modules, and just swarm a target to soak some damage (like beams which can’t hit them). a swarm of 30 of them will easily kill a heavy cruiser.

which btw reminds me. you know in HW2, the final missions? those used to be really hard and required you to destroy the carrier modules on the vaygr ships, or you wouldn’t stand a chance. now you just slaughter everything ;o (or maybe it just my imagination).

i think the unit scaling algos are off. i went into that mission with 6 HCs and 6 destroyers. lmao. and over the cap on captured ions ;\ you’d think, what would be waiting for me on the other side would be a gigantic swarm of capitals. but nope, mostly frigates. i chewed thru the only line of capitals in like 2 minutes, and proceeded to the frigates, with a a buncha ion platforms in tow ;o lost 1 destroyer? and maybe a few ions/strike craft.

they had maybe 2 carriers. i think in original there were 3-4 carriers, and at least 15-20 heavy cruisers… huge diffference in difficulty.

however, my favored HC defense are gun platforms… so watch out for that ;o (just park a bunch in its vicinity, it can control a large area).

That won’t work in classic though. Destroyers and HC can hit fighters (or at least corvettes) with their beams, and modules do not exist.