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 AE Fleet

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CHERUB
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PostSubject: AE Fleet   Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:09 pm

MAKE SURE TO LOOK AT THE NEXT POSTS!There are more guides pertianing to this subject below becuase I cnat put them all ina separate thread because that would be IMPOSSBILY TOO MANY THREADS. Smile
Fleets are what your ships are grouped together in. Each group of units, when dispatched is organized into a campaign fleet or fleet. The fleet size is calculated by the number of Credits you spent for the total production of all the ships in the fleet. You are able to name each fleet with a unique name, which can make it easier to find each ship.

Fleets are important to everyone, as they can defend you or an ally, or attack an enemy.

Movement

It is fairly simple to move a fleet. All you have to do is, when you've selected a fleet, click Move, type in the destination and choose which ships should move there. You can move your fleet anywhere but it can often prove very slow. Therefore it advisable to make use of Jumpgates and/or Wormholes to get to your destination faster. If two or more different fleets by the same owner reside at a given astro/base they are automatically combined into a single fleet.


Fleet Number


The number of separate fleets you can have is determined by three things. The first is the number of bases you have, you get +1 to your fleets for every base you own. The second is the number of planets you occupy. Again you get +1 per planet you occupy. Finally is Computer tech which raises your fleets by 1 per level researched.


Mobile Fleet


Mobile Fleets are fleets that are not defensive but offensive fleets. They are often moving, hence the term 'mobile'. You can only have a certain amount of mobile fleet but that's why you build CCs. A fleet takes time to move from one spot to another. You can reduce this time by using Jumpgates. A fleet may also be recalled to its original location or starting point.


Fleet Combat


If two or more fleets form different players in different guilds (or one in a guild one not, or none in guilds), the option "attack" is given. Steps for Fleet Combat Once you follow the link saying "attack", you are brought to the fleet attack selection screen. Here you can choose which fleets to attack if there are more than one. Select the fleet you want to attack and you are brought to the pre-battle screen. this screen tells the statistics of all the ships in the other players fleet, as well as the amount of ships on either side. On the pre-battle screen, you are given the choice to cancel the attack, but if you follow the link that says "attack" (boxed in red), you are brought to the BR, or battle report. The battle report simply states what units are left (if any), the exp gained on either side (if any), and the debris left in space (if any units were lost).

If, indeed, you choose to cancel the attack, you are brought back to the fleet attack selection screen. If you made a mistake before, you can fix it now and choose the right fleet.


LOLs Fleet


Ah, the LOLs fleet. A new and unmistakeably original aspect of combat. Where the useless-in-combat ships are put to use in such an unprecedented way.

What is a LOLs Fleet?A LOLs Fleet is made primarily only for laughs, though it may have its uses to you if you want it to. This type of fleet is constructed out of one type of the non-combat ships available in AE such as scouts or recyclers. Though these types of ships are near useless on their own, they can put out a rather large force when in large enough amounts.


How do I Make a LOLs Fleet? LOLs fleets are simple but expensive to make. Scouts are the weakest units in AE and dont put forward much of a fighting force when low in amount. On top of that, scouts cost 40 credits each, so making them takes time and money, things that older members tend to have.

Scouts have speed, recyclers are stronger and have the ability to gather debris after battle, and outpost ships have the same power as a fighter, though, outpost ships are not recommended. Recyclers have a lower speed but make up for this with stronger power, while the scouts' speed is perfect for get in, get out types of missions.

Uses of a LOLs FleetLike the name suggests, LOLs fleets are more for laughs than for practicality. Occupying a base with a DS over it using only scous is quite the feat, though, it takes 3,398,423 scouts to take out a DS with one hit, which costs 13,593,920 credits, a very large investment. However the circumstances, having any fleet is power, and with 3mil scouts, you will have quite the power.
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PostSubject: SHip Stats   Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:45 pm

Ships, like Bases and Astros in AE have stats. These stats show what is good and bad about the ship or what special abilities it might have. Examples of these would be their attack power, armour, shields, speed, etc. This article explores these stats and what they mean.

Drive

Drive is the type of engines your ship uses. This does not make a huge difference to its speed but does define which research bonus is added to your ships speed. There are three types of drives,

* Inter
* Stellar
* Warp


Inter is the most restrictive drive type and ships using it cannot move between planets, even in the same solar system, without the use of other units that have hangar capacity (such as Carrier and Fleet Carrier). Each of these units contain a certain amount of hangar space which restricts the number of Inter drive units you can have moving in your fleet. You will find this type of drive on Fighters and the different classes of Bombers. That said, the Inter drive units, once they arrive on a planet, do not need a hangar in order to attack or defend an astro, they only need hangar space when moving between astros. There is no technology associated with Inter drive.

Stellar drive ships are restricted to being able to move inside the galaxy and not between galaxies. That said, stellar ships can use a Jumpgate to move between galaxies. Stellar drive ships get a 5% increase to their speed per level of Stellar research level.

Warp has no movement restrictions and gets a 5% increase in speed per Warp research level.

Weapon

Weapon Types

* Laser
* Missiles
* Plasma
* Ion
* Photon
* Disruptor

The weapon the ship uses only determines which technologies will give you a 5% bonus per level. For example if you have a ship with a Disruptor weapon, then the level of Disruptor research will give that ship an extra 5% power per level.

Power

Power is effectively attack power. It is the power your ship hits the enemy ship with. Power is the amount of armour taken off the enemy ship when your ships fires. This is of course assuming there are no shields (view shields section below for details). So if you had a ship with 5 Power and an enemy with 5 armour you would destroy it. If his armour is higher he will survive, less he will be destroyed and the rest of the power will be channeled into the other ships in the battle.

Things get a little more complex when shields and multiple ships are thrown into the mix, but in its simplest form this is how AE's combat works.

Now power is not set. The weapon used by the ship can be improved by research which improves their power. For example if the ship used Laser tech researched to lvl10 there would be a 50% increase to the ships base power, 5 becomes 7.5. This keeps tech important, even when all units and structures have been researched.

Attack bonus's can also come from other sources. The most common of these would be Command Centers which offer a 5% increase to your ships power per level, but only when they are in orbit of the planet with the Command Centers. This allows you to improve your bases defensive fleets massively.

Finally Leviathans and Death Stars offer a 5% and 10% increase to power for fleets they are present in respectively. These bonuses do not stack, only one applies.

Armour

Armour is effectively the hit points for your ship. Whatever power passes through the shields gets taken off the armour. When the armour reaches zero the ship is destroyed. Armour for ships smaller then Heavy cruisers automatically returns to full when the battle is over (assuming the ship survived) while larger ships need to be repaired.

Armour is raised by Armour tech, each level of this technology will raise all your ships and defensive armour by 5% of the base rate. Defence Commanders can be added to a base which increase the armour of your defenses only, by 1% per level.however Leviathans and Death Stars give a 5% and 10% increase to the armour of ships in the same fleet as they are in respectively.

Shields

Shields protect ships from attack soaking up the power from enemy ships. They work quite simply. The power of the attacking ship has the defending ships shields taken away from the power. Whatever power is left hits the ship and is taken away from the armour. So if you had a ship with 4 power attack a ship with 2 shields only half of the power will make it through to damage the armour. This means that some types of ships are almost entirely ineffective against others. If a ship has less power than the shields only 1% of the power makes it through.

This allows players to employ the tactic which has been lovingly called Shield-raping in which a player attacks with a ship or ships with such high shields that most of the defenders power cannot harm it.

Shields across all your ships is increased by 5% per level of shielding technology. There are no ships, commanders or buildings which increase shields.

Hangar

Hangar is the number of Inter drive ships (i.e., Fighters and Bombers) a ship can carry along with it. All ships larger than Frigates can carry some inter ships along with them. There are also specific ships which specialize in carrying Inter ships (Carriers and Fleet Carriers). Inter ships can take up 1 or 2 hangar spaces depending on the size of the ship. There is no way to increase Hangar space.
Speed

A ships speed is controlled by two things. First the ships base speed and second the drive type. The ships base speed will lower as the ship becomes more expensive, each ship has its own speed. The drive will affect the speed as research in the ships drive type will increase the base speed by 5% per level. Ships will stellar drives can be improved by stellar drive research, while ships with warp drives can be improved by warp drive research. Ships that uses Inter drive cannot have its speed increased, because they need another ship with hangar to move. Majority of the units that have hangar uses warp drive, and frigates and ion frigates are the only stellar drive units with hangar.


The Jumpgate can also be used to increase a ships speed. A ship leaving from a base with a Jumpgate will have its speed increased by 100% per level of the gate. Death Stars cannot use Jumpgates. A logistics commander at the base will further decrease the traveling time by a percentage equal to the commander's level (so a level 10 commander will decrease the fleet's traveling time by 10%).
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PostSubject: Small Fleet Doctrine   Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:10 pm

SMALL FLEET DOCTRINE

Astro Empires is a game of military economy. This guide advocates deploying a more efficient fleet than one's rival under the term “Small Fleet Doctrine.” Historically, the Small Fleet Doctrine was developed by the French to counter the naval supremacy of the Britsh Royal Navy. Rather than focus on capital ships. the French devised a solution wherein Escort ships could be used.

There are two dominant fleet doctrines in Astro Empires: Balanced and Efficient. The primary one is balanced, which mandates a balanced ratio of each unit in the fleet. The Efficient Doctrine is similar, but it looks at the relative efficiency of units in suggesting which units to add to your fleets. Ironically, the Efficient Fleet Doctrine demurs in the use of capital ships; much like the French Small Fleet Doctrine. Therefore, this guide honors the naval heritage of a doctrine that advocates for more efficient, smaller units and labels it the Small Fleet Doctrine.

At its core, AE is still a rock-paper-scissors game. Unit efficiency is relative to the units used by your rival. Efficiency is an economic term that describes a condition without waste. So, a more-efficient fleet is one that produces less economic waste. The objective is to cause the most damage to your opponent for the least cost—cost-efficiency. This guide, therefore, discusses the different units and their relative efficiency to one another, and how to develop an efficient fleet. The first section discusses the role of each fleet unit. The second section touches on base defense structures. The third section discusses implementation of the Small Fleet Doctrine. Once you have read through this article, we encourage you to read about how to manually plan attacks.

All you need to know. If you do not care to read the entire article, then here is all you probably need to know. Build Fighters to take out meat (support) ships. Build Heavy Bombers and Cruisers to take out escort ships. Ion Frigates, Ion Bombers, Battleships and Heavy Cruisers (in that order) are ideal against Capitals. In high numbers (think thousands), Cruisers are the most efficient shielded unit against Escorts, Planetary Rings and Capitals. In high numbers (think hundred-thousands), Fighters are the most efficient unit against everything. In keeping with this doctrine, do not build anything larger than a Battleship. On the offensive, always bring with you enough Recyclers to mop up all the debris at the tick.

Fleet Composition

The core problem with balanced fleet doctrine is that it convinces people that they need to build and use units that are unnecessary in a fleet. This gives your opponents an opportunity to destroy your fleet more efficiently. Balance is important. However, building units merely to create balance means you will spend too much to build a fleet. Your combat will suffer as you will not earn as much as you spend—the Pyrric victory. In this Section, we discuss each unit and their role in an efficient fleet. This precedes a short set of points to remember.

General Unit Advice

This sub-section provides general comments on the fleet units in Astro Empires.

There are four ship classes this guide recognizes:

* Support (Meat) Ships: (Fighers to Frigates).
* Escort Ships: These are large, units (Cruiser, Heavy Cruisers and Battleships).
* Capital Ships: These are massive units (Dreadnought and larger).
* Utility Ships: These are units you should never put into combat.


Generally speaking, your support fleet should be mostly Fighters with some Destroyers. Escort ships should comprise a balance of Cruisers and Heavy Cruisers. In the Small Fleet approach, capital ships are generally not built because of their inefficiency.





Generally speaking, there are three support (meat) units you want in battle: Fighters, Heavy Bombers and Destroyers. Fighters are the best in killing unshielded units. Heavy Bombers are effective in killing Escorts when there is no enemy Fighter support. Destroyers are also highly effective against Escorts; again when there is no enemy Fighter support. Corvettes are useful in raider, emergency resupply roles.

* Fighters: Anti-support
* H.Bombers (Bombers): Anti-escort
* Destroyers: Anti-escort (until you have H.Bombers)
* Corvettes: Fast Raiders


We now look at the support units in greater detail.

Fighters (FT)
Build this unit. These are the staple of all fleets in AE—defense, offense, everything. Fighters are the single most efficient ship in Astro Empires. The damage they absorb per credit is unparalleled. That makes Fighters your primary unit for use as cannon fodder. It is literal to say that you can never have too many Fighters. A fleet that runs out of Fighters will take far higher losses, and can be defeated in detail for obscene exchange rates by anyone who manages to catch them. Build thousands for base defense, and then keep building them for use with offensive fleets. You go through Fighters at an obscene rate because Fighters are basically designed to die. Application of Fighter waves in combat can significantly improve your exchange rate.

Bombers (BO)
Consider this unit. Bombers have the same armor as Fighters with twice the firepower and twice the cost. This makes them slightly less efficient. While less efficient, they can still be slightly efficient meat. Their ability to harm Cruisers makes them especially handy in the offense until you have Heavy Bombers. Use them in an anti-Cruiser role. Their relative efficiency over Heavy Bombers makes them more useful than their counterpart in an offensive role.

Heavy Bombers (HB)
Build this unit. Heavy Bombers are primarily offensive units. They carry enough punch to take out escort units—Cruisers and Heavy Cruisers—but their vulnerability to other support units and cost makes them poor defensive units. Enemy Fighters will cut them to ribbons. Heavy Bombers are best used in waves after your Fighter waves destroy the enemy's unshielded units.

HBs are ideal units for breaking occupations, if you have a proper amount of Command Centers.

Ion Bombers (IB)
Consider this unit. Ion Bombers support an anti-capital role but are highly vulnerable to Fighters due to their low shielding. Ion Frigates, below, have a substantially higher ratio against Capital, however.

Corvettes
Consider this unit. The Corvette utility lies in its speed. They are not very useful in a battle fleet because they are too expensive compared to other support units. They are as efficient as Bombers, but their unique ability makes them better suited elsewhere. Because of shielding, CVs are considered inefficient against shielded units; unless high enough numbers of CVs are present.

Corvettes are also generally viewed as an armed scout, able to pick off rival Outpost Ships and Scouts (generally early in the game). Being smaller than Scouts, they are detected only briefly before landing. However, they lack Warp ability, preventing them from trans-galactic travel without a Jump Gate.

Corvettes are also good in a raider role. Build 500 or more and camp them at a Jump Gate for Recycler hunting and emergency resupply. They can also be used to hunt naked Frigates, if so inclined. They do not need hangars to travel between astros. Therefore, emergency resupply might help a fleet with insufficient Fighter support.

Destroyers (DDs, tin cans)
Build this unit. Because Cruisers and Destroyers share the Plasma weapons system, Destroyers are useful. They are very efficient in destroying naked Cruisers and Heavy Cruisers. They are inefficient against Battleships and Capital ships. They are also very inefficient against Fighter waves. So, when your opponent has a large Cruiser/Heavy Cruiser fleet, Destroyers are your counter-balance.

One tactic is to keep a lot of Destroyers at a Jump Gate to rush Cruisers or strengthen base reinforcements. They are especially useful with Command Centers, playing havoc with the enemy ratios. Their speed makes them handy at Recycler hunting. Because they are unshielded, do not leave Destroyers in hostile territory when you have to be offline.

Frigates (FR)
Consider this unit. Frigates have a mixed reputation. Small Fleet used to discourage Frigate construction. However, the value of Frigates is not that cut-and-dried. Lacking shields, they are highly vulnerable to Fighters. They have a .33 cost/armor ratio to a Fighter's .88 ratio; which shows what you stand to lose when caught off guard. However, diligently used, Frigates are a decent tool, marginally efficient against Cruisers (.33 to .28 cost/armor ratio), and can carry Fighters (raising the overall efficiency). A Frigate/Fighter mix costs 100 credits, requires 10 Recyclers to support, and can be a lethal, quick combination…with diligence.

Escort Ships

Escort ships are shielded units that are generally capable of warp travel. They retain some vulnerability to support ships but primarily serve in an anti-capital, anti-escort role. This is a small class of ships, but your fleet should comprise a considerable percentage of it.

* Ion Frigate: Anti-Capital
* Cruiser: Anti-Escort
* Heavy Cruiser: Anti-Fighter, Anti-Capital (Titans and smaller)
* Battleship: Anti-Fighter, Anti-Capital (Titans and larger)


We now look at the escort units in greater detail.

Ion Frigates (IF)
Consider this unit. Ion Frigates are units of limited utility. With a high-enough Ion level (e.g. over 15), they provide the best ratios (upward of 3.9) against Levis and Death Stars—all capital ships. Combining them with Ion Bombers (two per IF) packs a stronger punch, but with a lower ratio (2.6); requiring fewer units.

* Against LV: 1200 to 1250 Ion Frigates per LV
* Against TI: 350 to 400 Ion Frigates per TI
* Against Dreads: about 100 Ion Frigates per Dread


Cruisers (CR)
Build this unit. In Small Fleet Doctrine, Cruisers serve a critical role. You will want to build these by the hundreds. They are the efficient killer of escort units (Heavy Cruisers and Battleships). They are less efficient against Fighters than Heavy Cruisers, and should never be used to “naked rush” Fighters. They are inefficient against Titans and larger when your plasma tech is optimized. Cruisers protect your support fleet from Heavy Cruisers and Battleships. They are vulnerable against Heavy Bombers and Destroyers.

Cruisers are the most efficient shielded unit for taking out Planetary Rings (Prings), but it takes a hundreds of them. Make sure you have enough. Regardless, Cruisers should be the backbone of your main battle fleets.

Heavy Cruisers (HC)
Build this unit. Heavy Cruisers are the bruiser of Astro Empires. Their shields are high enough to let them nakedly rush Fighters. They are inefficient against Heavy Bombers and Destroyers, and should have Fighter support in that attack. Heavy Cruisers are efficient killers of capital ships (Dreadnoughts and Titans). When your rivals start building capital ships, then start building this unit. They are less efficient in main fleets where there are no capital ships. Titans are massively inefficient against Heavy Cruisers.2 However, Leviathans are massively efficient against HCs. Death Stars are immune to Heavy Cruisers, but Death Stars are floating credit banks.3 Therefore, you do not need build these until you start seeing Dreadnoughts and Titans.

Battleships (BS)
Consider this unit. As ships get larger, they tend to become less efficient. They are significantly efficient against support units, able to destroy more than 12 times their value in Fighters and Heavy Bombers. They are inefficient against escort ships. Therefore, use Battleships to destroy support fleet in coordination with Cruisers and Heavy Cruisers.

In an anti-capital role, Battleships are generally grossly inefficient. They are balanced against Dreadnoughts. They are less efficient than Heavy Cruisers against Titans. They are the most efficient escort ship for killing Leviathans (but still require nearly three times the fleet). They are very efficient against Death Stars. Therefore, do not build Battleships for in an anti-capital role until you are faced with Leviathans and Death Stars.

Capital Ships

Captial Ships are the massive units that provide bragging rights to senior players. To younger players, they provide shock-and-awe. However, the bigger units get, the less efficient they are. The big stuff is best used against things that cannot hurt it. Small Fleet Doctrine discourages building any of these units until you have a firm grasp on their use and can effectively destroy your rival's capital units and defend your own.

Dreadnoughts (DN)
The strength of these units is their shields. They are great for attacking bases that have defenses weaker than Disruptor Turrets, provided the defense fleet is not large enough to have a chance at killing the Dreadnought.

Dreadnoughts are a fair addition to combat fleets when attacking things that cannot kill them and are willing to tolerate the long travel times. If a Dreadnought would be destroyed in the attack, it is preferable to leave it out. Otherwise, a safe Dreadnought will help soak damage that would otherwise destroy other units. Therefore, think of Dreadnoughts as inefficient, floating shields.

Dreadnoughts find their best value in trade route defense. When coupled with a pring, a Dread can efficiently defend 7,400 paces of trade routes. While a Dread may efficiently be destroyed by Heavy Cruisers and Battleships, the prings would kill whatever was brought in to kill the Dread. This causes at best a break-even situation for the attacker.

Titans (TI)
Titans are massively inefficient against Heavy Cruisers and Battleships. They are able to destroy Cruisers effectively because of the Titan's shielding. However, the terrible speed and terrible efficiency of the Titan mean you should leave them off your list. Twenty Battleships will kill a naked Titan, as will 130 HCs; assuming technology is the same. The HCs should yield about a 2:1 kill ratio, while the BBs will yield around 1.5:1. Titans are great to send out solo to smash bases with defenses less than rings.

Leviathan
Levianthans are allegedly useful for taking bases with Disruptor Turrets. However, they are still massively inefficient against a determined escort force. One should accept that taking bases is a terrible objective. The real objective is destroying your opponent's fleet and collecting the debris. Levies are best used in stacks to chomp opposing fleet. However, if caught off guard a destroyed Levi stack might make the owner cry.

Utility Ships

Utility Ships are those ships which you need, but should never be used in combat. This guide does not discuss Outpost Ships as they have one obvious, limited role.

Always retreat utility ships before attacking. They are not meant for fleet operations.

Recyclers (RC)
These are not combat units. However, they are critical to successful fleet operations. Resource denial is key to waging war in Astro Empires. You should probably have at least 1000 for effective hit-and-run tactics.

Carriers (CA)
Support ships (mostly Fightes) are useless outside the base that built them because they need transportation. Carriers are the smallest unit that can carry Fighters by the boat load. They have less survivability than Fleet Carriers, but they are also faster. Keep a group at your jumpgates for rapid reinforcement.

Fleet Carriers (FC)
Fleet Carriers sacrifice speed for survivability and portage. They have strong enough shields to shield-rape small units. If you have a calculator and you are very careful, it's possible to include FCs in attacks to improve ratios. This is dangerous, though. Avoid this unless you are experienced. You should have lots of FCs to move all your Fighters around. Although, if speed is your goal and you are hunting with Cruisers, keep using Carriers.

Major Points to Remember

Here are the most important parts for review:

* Fighters and Cruisers should be the bulk of your fleet—70 percent your total fleet size.
* Keep enough HCs around to deal with the big stuff, with more than that if you want to use them in main fleets.
* Do not build Frigates, Ion Frigates, or Ion Bombers. You are wasting your production time and money.
* Bigger is not always better. The bigger you get, the less efficient you get. Do not build too much of the big stuff.


Small Fleet Doctrine Applied

From the previous sections, we learn that the most efficient units are Fighters, Cruisers and Heavy Cruisers. We also learn that other units can be efficient under the right circumtances. The essence of SFD is to know thine enemy. This requires you intelligently determine your rival's technology levels. You investigate his fleet to determine where the chinks in the armor are. However, Small Fleet assumes that Heavy Cruisers are generally the largest unit you will build.
Spying on Your Rival

How do you find your rival's technology? Sneak a Scout or Corvette into his fleet. You run through the attack sequence, stopping at the point where you would have to confirm the attack. You are rewarded with the power, armour and shield of his units. Cancel the attack and recover your spy. Use the values to calculate your needs.

What is his compostion? If there are a lot of Fighters, you will have to operate inefficiently to get rid of them. Calculate how many Fighters you need to kill his. That is your first wave. Are there many Cruisers? Then bring more Destroyers. If there are many Heavy Cruisers, then bring more Cruisers. Et cetera.
Normal Fleet Strength

In a defensive role, you should plan to cover your weaknesses. You will want a heavy Fighter support. Normal doctrine suggests 35 percent of the point value of your fleet will be Fighters. Another 40 percent should be Cruisers and Heavy Cruisers.
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