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Anyone else think the BHG is way over powered?
It allows for some really cheesy tactics, like sending in suicide ships to whittle down large stacks of enemy ships.
Also, the AI can't use it properly. When facing stacks of similar ships the AI usually attacks the smallest stack, thus not utilizing the full power of the BHG.
It has kind of soured my enthusiasm for MoO, so I think I'll stick to Medium maps from now on, as they are more likely to be decided before the BHG comes into play.
Large stacks of fighters are not intended to be the only thing that matters in MoO. The BHG is just the most blatant weapon system to attempt to trump what is, against default weapons, the absolute best way to build your fleet - to strap your best weapon system onto a fighter and build a bazillion of them.

The AI being unable to either use the weapon effectively or defend against it is sad, but if that's the worst flaw in the AI you are finding, you are not really testing the AI very much.
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rakenan: Large stacks of fighters are not intended to be the only thing that matters in MoO. The BHG is just the most blatant weapon system to attempt to trump what is, against default weapons, the absolute best way to build your fleet - to strap your best weapon system onto a fighter and build a bazillion of them.
I wonder...one huge battleship has space for more weapons than an equivalent BC's worth of fighters. So at least in the beginning of the game, when one battleship can last long enough to either destroy the enemy or escape after some rounds, I'd say a huge ship is preferable.
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rakenan: The AI being unable to either use the weapon effectively or defend against it is sad, but if that's the worst flaw in the AI you are finding, you are not really testing the AI very much.
I never said it was the worst flaw in the AI I could find.
The worst was probably when one of my battleships equipped with a repulsor beam was able destroy this invading fleet without taking a single hit: http://i.imgur.com/cBKZufg.jpg
I just parked my battleship in one corner and they just kept coming round after round.
Post edited February 18, 2013 by PetrusOctavianus
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rakenan: Large stacks of fighters are not intended to be the only thing that matters in MoO. The BHG is just the most blatant weapon system to attempt to trump what is, against default weapons, the absolute best way to build your fleet - to strap your best weapon system onto a fighter and build a bazillion of them.
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PetrusOctavianus: I wonder...one huge battleship has space for more weapons than an equivalent BC's worth of fighters. So at least in the beginning of the game, when one battleship can last long enough to either destroy the enemy or escape after some rounds, I'd say a huge ship is preferable.
Are you sure about this? Engines take up a huge amount of space IIRC on larger hulls, smaller hulls look less efficient but end up winning out just because they spend less space on engines. I may be confusing things. I know the winning strategy every time I played MoO in the past was pretty much what I said - build a bazillion fighters and swarm the enemy under.

The advantages of larger ships are resilience and versatility. You can fit oddball systems like your repulsor on a battleship, as well as heavy shields. But for simply getting the firepower into space and blowing things up, fighters have always been the thing. Among other things, because you can actually build them and have them finished before you've already lost the war.

Regardless, everything is MoO is a matter of adapting to available tech. What was awesome one or two tech levels ago can be worthless now, not merely because of simple obsolescence but also because some technologies completely change the game. The Black Hole Generator is one of them. I'm pretty sure it's intentional, although the effect may be exaggerated beyond what the designers actually intended.

Edit: Note that I'm going by memory - it has been a very long time since I fired MoO1 up, so it's possible I am remembering some details wrong. I'm pretty sure of my position on the value of fighters vs. larger ships, though - when dealing with standard weapons that are not designed to beat fighters, fighters reign supreme.
Post edited February 20, 2013 by rakenan
I did a little test in my current game, where tech levels are about lvl 15.
I can design a Fighter with 1 Laser that costs 22 BC to build.
I can design a Battleship with 141 Lasers that costs 3468 BC to build.
Both are equipped with Mark II Computer, Zortrium I Armour, Sub-Light Engine, Class III Manouverability, and an Inertial Stabilizer. The Fighter build is not quite optimal, though, since it has 5 space unused.
For the same amount of BC I can build one Battleship with 141 Lasers or 157 Fighters with 1 Laser each.
So it turns out you were right.

Still, I think in the early game Battleships are preferable, if you can build one fast enough, but once enemy stacks or missile bases can one shot your Battleships the balance tips in favour of the more expendable and harder to hit Fighters.

OTOH, another thing to factor in is that Fighters can not use the best weapons, and will be pretty usesless against heavy shields or ships with Repulsor Beams.
And it takes some advanced tech before you can cram both an Anti-Missile Shield, Intertial Stabilizer and a bomb on small fighter bombers with the best available engines and manouverability.
So the best use for Fighters may be to equip them with missiles and retreat them after their missile(s) are spent
Post edited February 20, 2013 by PetrusOctavianus
Fighters remain viable even late game, because miniaturization lets you get better and better weapons into that little hull. Things like the Neutron Pellet Gun are especially nice just because they pierce shields, which are always a pain for fighters, especially if your beam weapon tech has lagged behind your enemy's shield tech.

They only reign supreme, however, in the early game. That's when there are no known anti-fighter weapons to kill them in job lots, and when planets are unproductive enough that even building one battleship is hard, much less enough of them to deploy everywhere you need some firepower.

Best will be a mixed strategy, with a pile of fighters, supported by some missile cruisers, maybe a big battleship or dreadnought to sweep things out of the way, escorting some bombers. My experience, however, is that the fighters do most of the work. Also most of the dying, of course, but since they're made to be expendable, it doesn't hurt much when you expend them.