`AstroEmpires recently changed the Fighter Rules against units it would normally be shield-raped by—in the interests of fairness. As this article points out, the real affect is to empower established players over newer players, and to try to imbalance the tenants of the Small Fleet Doctrine, which in reality remain effective. Odd that “fairness” advantages the elite. My analysis shows that the actual impact is misstated because of weak examples.
This rule only applies to Fighters against shield-raping units. This benefits advanced players who have capital units. This is a misguided effort to make capital ships matter.
My complaint is secondarily against the shoddy explanation on their part. They use worst-case examples rather than real-life. They imply abilities that were meant to be game-balancing. They zeroize technology, again ignoring real-life differentials. Finally, one example mixes the fact, hiding the real ratio impact.
With planetary rings, they show the “worst case” example of a planet, not the “average case” of moons. The actual average actual average of the three types is 29,167 when looking at the raw costs. However, there are fewer planets than moons as a truism. Seasoned players favor moons and asteroids over planets because of this lower cost. Bases will tend to be on moons and asteroids. Therefore, their hypothetical overstates actual gameplay by at-least double.
Assuming moons are the average, AE would only allow 25,000 FTs to attack prings. This reduces the damage per wave to 1100 points, from 10,752. This severely reduces the efficiency of Fighters, significantly increasing the cost of conquest with Fighters. However, the real impact is against pshields, where the impact is much more severe. The table below shows the cost-ratio, which helps show the impact.
The abstract example further conceals the practical. If a capital can carry, say 1000 FTs in the case of a Titan, then that affects the combat ratio. In real life, an naval aircraft carrier or battleship has escorts and fighter coverage. So, too, in `AstroEmpires are there escort units and Fighters.
They describe the “Fighter shield-crossing ability,” which is not an ability at all. It was an effort to give Fighters a chance, an effort with the unforeseen advantage in massive amounts. Other units have a similar ability. One could construe this phrase to suggest a special ability.
They baselined the examples with zeroized technology. Any player who has played for 2 months should have Armour of at least 22. Capital units require higher armour tech, tilting the real values in favor of the capitals by as much as 15 percent in the case of a Death Star. It also ignores the impact of derb harvesting afterward.
The example of the Fighters attacking the Battleship shows, at least, sloppy reasoning. In the original example, only Fighters are attacking. In the second example, Bombers are added, trebbling the attacker’s ratio. The real loss to the defender would have been only 6,875 credits. The attacker’s losses is uniform in either case at 4,200. So, the real ratio is 1.63:1; the example had 3.17:1. This error is double the example. The example shows a one-third reduction in the ratio. The real reduction is two-thirds.
So, we see in the examples the misstated impact by at-least double is uniform. This seems to suggest an awareness of the true impact, and an effort to minimize reaction to that impact.
Shields are useless against massive attacking units, that is what AE admitted. Just throw a few mio FTs and all opponents are toast. This is a ploy I have seen used since I started playing in Summer 2007. This is nothing new, just something they decided to change. But, AE is basically saying the cost ratio of a unit’s armour is the fundamental determinant. That allows us to put some real analysis into the impact on the game.
To distill their analysis, divide your unit’s armour by its cost (or cost, by armour). Let’s look at a the cost-ratio of units.
|Unit||Cost Ratio||New Cost Ratio|
|FT||0.88 (4.4 / 5)||0.29|
|BO||0.44 (4.4 / 10)|
|HB||0.29 (8.8 / 30)|
Using the table above, if you want to kill a shielded unit, just make sure you use a lot of shield-raped unshielded that have a lower cost-ratio. As this applies only to shield-rapers, it weakens the Cruiser only slightly. They weakend Fighters to the same level as Heavy-Bombers, but still greater than all capital units.
|Unit||Fighters Needed||Fighters Allowed||Waves Required|
Corvettes and Destoyers Ascendant
Looking at the table above, you see that Corvettes, Destroyers and Bombers are the new most-efficient units against capitals and planetary defenses. As Bombers are poor defensive units and require transportation, I omit them from this ascendancy. However, as these units are vulnerable to FTs, you must first denude capitals of their FT escort.
Looking at the FT v TI example they gave, the ratio was 5.88 : 1 (reduced to 1.70 : 1). This suggests that the FT’s cost-ratio is reduced to 0.29 against Battleships and Capital units. Against a Dreadnought, this is still a 2.63:1 ratio.
Against prings, Corvettes and Destroyers are now the master. To remove Pring-1, one must deliver 11,260 Power. Against pringles, one must deliver 33,780 Power. The example below compares old Fighters, new Fighters, Corvettes, Destroyers and Cruisers.
|Unit||v. Prings||v. Pringles|
|Needed||Losses||Conquest Cost||Needed||Losses||Conquest Cost|