Capital Ships, Nice But...

How to Use Capital Ships

By on April 5, 2009 1:47:03 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Fleet101

Join Date 12/2008
+2

For all of you who love to spam cap ships I have a message for you. CAPITAL SPAM IS DUMB!

Let me clarify... for all the money you put into cap ships and upgrades in fleet capacity and capital ship command upgrades you could build a whole fleet of carriers, light frigs, crusiers, and defences. Not to mention the aditional support costs that weigh down your economy.

So please do some math on the resorces and cash you spend in comparision the firepower you get in your gameplan.

I agree 1-4 cap ships is worth it, heck mabye even 5-6 on large maps.(I am not talking about huge maps where cap ships are vital to win with a 100 planets to conquer) After that though they become very expensive and almost pointless.

Capital ships are also very easy to take out when you concentrate your firepower onto them. No single ship can defend against 30-50 ships, or a swarm of bombers/fighters, attacking it. So if you do have capital ships you MUST bring support ships to repair and resupply them.(resupply as in antimatter) They also need additional firepower with tech upgrades in longer matches. Armor upgrades are also needed but make them seconary to increasing firepower.

I often use capital ships as meat shields by allowing the enemy to attack them first while my smaller ships do the real damage. Normally everyone first reaction to capital ships is to worry about them and not the 20-40 escorts. This is dumb. Those smaller ships are the real threat in that case.

Sure when I lose a capital ship I think "Crap this isn't looking good... mabye I should pull back."  But, durring all that time it took you to wipe out my capital ship with its repair support ships is time you gave my smaller ships and bombers to chew at the edges of your fleet. But, dont underestimate this little mind game either. When you can put thoughts like that into your enemy do so. I have made guys with superior firepower retreat because I took out their capital ship/s.

So, yeah thats my rant.  Please Comment with your thoughts, contradictions, advise, or w.e!

Fleet101

P.S. I didn't spell check.

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April 5, 2009 2:17:18 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

To every trust in one ship type (even a Marza with MB) is foolish and such ones deserve to be pasted. Even the tough and mighty caps cn be brought down by the multitudes of smallers ones (from the tinest SC to the biggest HC). Flipside caps do bring things to a fleet that can change the game. So a balanced fleet is always ideal.

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April 5, 2009 2:57:38 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Kol Battleship  50 logistics points

16 Kol Battleships   800 logistics points

Bunch of Frigate factories cranking out Hoshikos/Cielos/Kodiaks  1200 logistics points

 

Smashing an empire with a fleet of Kol Battleships...priceless.

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April 5, 2009 3:12:04 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting CoBBQ,
Kol Battleship  50 logistics points

16 Kol Battleships   800 logistics points

Bunch of Frigate factories cranking out Hoshikos/Cielos/Kodiaks  1200 logistics points

 

Smashing an empire with a fleet of Kol Battleships...priceless.

 

keep in mind that the experience points will be split 16 ways, meaning you'll have some..err..pretty badass level 2 caps?

Awesome?

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April 5, 2009 3:13:24 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

See this post:  http://forums.sinsofasolarempire.com/337682

I generally agree with you, however I think I build far less capital ships than you do (only 1 per game, ha ha).  The only cap that is automatically worth its weight in gold is the marza with the ridiculously OP missle barrage.

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April 5, 2009 3:17:29 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

By the time you reach that point, you'll have enough money and tech reserached to pump them all to level 4 and send them individually to seperate enemy systems, gain experience points in battle and have them all use Finest Hour at the enemy homeworld.

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April 5, 2009 8:12:09 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting CoBBQ,
By the time you reach that point, you'll have enough money and tech reserached to pump them all to level 4 and send them individually to seperate enemy systems, gain experience points in battle and have them all use Finest Hour at the enemy homeworld.

 

 

can't i nova the shit outa him instead?

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April 5, 2009 10:23:00 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Agreed. The math is pretty simple. Example TEC, 50 fleet for one cap with 40 to 55 DPS or 10 LF with a combined 90 DPS. Use LRMs and it's crazy with 132. If you have resources the frigates and cruisers are your main source of fire power. Caps take too long to level up. I only get them for the special abilities I can use right away late game and I consider them expendable. Donovs are nice for keeping the 1st valuable, leveled up and free cap alive.

A person new to the game may spam caps at first. I did. Caps give your fleet a cool Babalon 5, or Star Wars look. But you quickly learn that it puts you at a disadvantage. Even if you were to get all 16 caps you still have lots of room to fleet up to supplement them. 16 caps are dangerous. Add Hoshikos and Celios though and they would be much more so.

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April 5, 2009 10:48:52 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Capital ships are very powerful early on, and lose a lot of appeal the larger your empire grows.

I think this is okay. It is about a Solar Empire, and not about about a battle of cap ships with some frigates and cruisers mixed in to provide some flavor.

Enjoy finding the right mix of frigates, cruisers and cap ships. This is part of the fun, too.

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April 5, 2009 1:57:51 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Yea, capital ships are not all they're made out to be. Personally, I think they should rid the game of the required fleet training thing for capital ships since it can actually be more beneficial to just build your initial battleship or whatever and then just continue on with frigates and cruisers; thus you quickly go 'what's the point of even having these big ships anyways?'

Oh...and interesting idea...maybe they should add a single dreadnaught class for each race that actually can take on an entire fleet on its own and provide certain benefits and powers, but each empire may only build one at any given time

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April 5, 2009 2:14:09 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The only faction that can get away with cap ship spam (and even then you want some other ship types in support) is Advent.  Mass transcendance means you get level 4 for free, plus more experience to go around.  It's actually feasible to get a full fleet of 16 caps all higher than level 6 as Advent in a two-three hour game.  However, you really can only start building them in such large numbers after researching mass transcendance, and will always need units like guardians, illuminators, and drone hosts to round out your army.  Oh, and disciples, can't forget transfer anti-matter.

Even if you're going cap heavy, you're always better off mixing it up.  Caps are great, but they aren't the best at everything.  Although once you get them to higher levels, they get pretty amazing

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April 5, 2009 2:41:59 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Caps are great if you get the real capital ships mod. It increases all of their stats. W\the mod ships like the kol can realy make a difference.

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April 5, 2009 2:58:42 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

cap ships make frigates good. frigates make fleets good. 

 

cap ships offer strategic weight to a fleet in a way that frigates are almost incapable of. you'd have to bring a wrecking crew of like 10 siege frigs and 1 or 2 colony frigs with a fleet to simulate the strategic effects of bringing some cap ships along. 

 

still, you reach a limit on the usefulness of caps pretty quickly. there's rarely much of a point to having more than 3 or 4 cap ships in a single fleet. if its a really big map and i've got 2 fleets i'll sometimes have 4 caps in fleet 1 and 2 caps in fleet 2. its extremely rare to require more than that. 

 

i agree with the OP though, which is that building caps just for the sake of having them is not a good idea. frigates are the bulk of the fleet and do most of the fighting. caps support them and make the fleet stategically potent. it doesn't take all that many cap ships to achieve this. 

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April 5, 2009 8:33:32 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I am an Advent player. As I play more and more I notice that I use caps less and less, but the caps I do use (most notably, the Progen) and indispensible. I see no good reason for capital ship spamming. I do see good reason for having a couple of cap ships performing specific support roles (which have been previously describled). Makes sense, right? Caps are supposed to be special (in purpose, and rarity) because they are only really good at certain things and are expensive. To me, the tactical advantage that comes from those few ships is where Cap use becomes fun.

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April 5, 2009 9:02:04 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I agree with most of your comments but I have noticed one thing. It seems we forget that fleet capacity sucks up your funds the larger the fleet gets and capital ships suck up WAY too much to be useful to your economic objectives.

Today I played a game and decided to make 16 capital ships at the end of the game. When I did I noticed that it sucked up all my funds through support costs and my economy actually dropped by 20-30% through crystal,metal, and credits for the last hour of my game. Even though I was expanding my empire and upgrading my planets to the fullest I never had as good of an economy as I did at the lower levels of support. So my high point was when I had 7-8 capital ships with around 70 frigets and support vessals.

So basicly those capital ships just dragged my economy down to the dirt. Does this really make since? Shouldn't capital ships be nearly self supporting? Like I guess a battlestar galactica sort of thing where each capital ship can take care of itself and not need additional supplys would make these ships FAR FAR FAR more valuable.

What do you guys and gals think?

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April 5, 2009 9:12:08 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

well, at high levels capital ships tend to outperform a similar quantity in Fleet Logistics worth of regular frigates/cruisers, so in that regard they impact your income less than frigates. i'm not counting the cost of researching more capital ship crews mind you, which is a high cost in its own right but it is a fixed cost, it doesn't take a bite out of your future income in the same way that upgrading your fleet logistics does. 

 

the most straightforward example is that of a Level 6 Kol. the Kol doesn't really do anything fancy. it just shoots stuff. it shoots ships, it shoots squadrons (with Flak Burst), thats what it does. in order to replicate the effectiveness of a Level 6 Kol in combat you'd probably need something like 6 or 7 Kodiaks and 6 or 7 Gardas, which is in the neighborhood of 80 logistics, which is more than the 50 a cap ship takes.

 

and thats not even counting the bombing abilities. if you want to include that go figure that its like 4 or 5 Krosovs to match the bombing power of a level 6 Cap. that makes the cost comparison really come into perspective since siege frigs are so expensive and use so much fleet supply. 

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April 5, 2009 9:36:07 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Also the support = to economy brings home the idea of war footing. In other words, how much are you willing to spend to defeat your enemy.

If it is a small skirmish your eco will barely take a tap from the battle.

If it is a whole scale war your eco will take a huge hit.

This allows for strategic thinking to be brought in. Each increase of support makes you think, should I hold back and turtle and develop myself better or go for broke and hit him with the biggest hammer I have.

So having 16 caps with supporting vessels does create a lot of stress on your eco but you get to bring a much bigger hammer.

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April 5, 2009 10:41:02 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Thats a very good way to look at it. I hadn't thought of it that way.

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April 5, 2009 10:51:22 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Actually I dont agree with you that it takes 5 heavy crusiers to = a capital ship level 6. I know for a fact that I could win that fight.

Also to get to level 6 for a capital ship is VERY hard. Even if you dish out all that money to upgrade and get the civilian upgrades for the level 4 upgrade. Although I do agree that it costs less support all the other factors I beleve its still too much of a stress. Also when you lose a lot of capital ships all that money you spent for capital ship command is worthless unless you rebuild the entire fleet.

I lose 20 frigets BIG WOOP!

I lose two level 4-5 capital ships. ...

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April 6, 2009 5:07:52 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Many people think that Caps are a bit underpowered for their cost, but I think you should consider this: there are already quite a bit of players who quit if they loose their first Cap. If capitals would be even more powerful, losing the first one would be an even bigger setback. This would make the early game a more delicate balance and less games might make it into mid game. The first guy to loose his capital would be very likely to loose if caps were more powerful then they are now. If anything, I'm in favor of a price reduction than a stat boost for capitals. Or maybe they should just make the research for capital ships crews less expensive. I don't really see why it needs to be much more expensive than all the other upgrades.

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April 6, 2009 5:54:12 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Wow, so many of you look at capital ships for the simple DPS factor they bring to a fleet...they bring more to it than that...

Abilities, for one. Who doesn't find it important to grab the colonizer cap in those huge, multi-system games? Sure, the frigates are available...but they're slow to travel, slow to act, and slow to recharge. A colonizer cap-ship can single handedly net you three planets by the time you've cleared the way for the frigate to take its first. Aside from the obvious Marza Missile Barrage, a Kol with flak burst can cripple an opponent who relies on swarms of Strike Craft. The Akkan's Targetting uplink can drastically empower all the support ships within range (accuracy and damage). And a pair of Dunovs recharging shields is usually considered crucial for TEC when fending off Advent players. The Radiance's Cleansing Brilliance...or maybe the Advent's "shield recharge" bubble...the Vasari Marauder's speed-up ability... if you turn off autocast and manage those abilities, you'll find out why a few capital ships backing a smaller fleet will rape a huge-number fleet.

Tanking/meat-shielding. Even though your heavy cruisers are the first things in the line of fire, a capital ship becomes an instant target due to its abilities and firepower. If you have a capital ship backed by repair ships, then the enemy fleet must choose whether they sacrifice a chunk of their fleet taking on the repair ships while the capital ships take them out (if possible...the Advent's Telekenetic Push is quite aggrivating about this) or you just pound away at the cap ship and hope you can pull off a high enough DPS while the rest of his fleet is engaging you. Cap ships are SUPPOSED to be targets. They're the psychological backbone of any fleet.

Now that doesn't mean capships are the be-all, end-all. Just because you can have 16 doesn't mean you should...but I will invariably prefer an Akkan/Marza pair as opposed to the ridiculous amounts of seige frigates and that almost-useless colony frigate. They can both withstand much more abuse and will get the job done so much faster. Don't believe me? Watch your planetary assault fail when strike craft effortlessly eat your seige frigates alive.

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April 6, 2009 1:37:53 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

This has been alluded to in several posts, but never stated straight out:

    Caps are nearly worthless if they are not properly microed. I realize I'm saying this to players more experienced than I, but you experienced guys take micro for granted. When I first started playing, I didn't micro at all (not an RTS player, didn't even know what it was). I quickly realized that my cap abilities were rather crappy with out me giving orders as to when to use it.

So, when I started playing with friends, they would throw a fleet (Marza + LFs) against mine (Progen + LFs) and I wouldn't lose any ships simply because I used my abilities intelligently, and they just watched the battle.

So, for anyone out there who hasn't realized it yet: micro can make those abilities worth while.

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