The Killing Floor, 1997, by Dale
Pope is an addon to VGA Planets (using host version
3.22.015 and up, or Phost 3) that is designed to do only
one thing: To resolve combat in VGAP using fleet battles;
rather than the single ship combat that we all know and
changes totally the way that one must look at general
strategy, and more importantly, battle tactics. It makes
the most fundamental changes to almost every aspect of
the game: ship building, combat, economic expansion, diplomacy,
ship trading... the list goes on. Get the Killing Floor
viewer or the host addon at the TKF
home page; or view
the documentation directly. Host, Viewer. TKF ship bitmaps and the
TKF home page are by B
A N E, and are automatically installed with KFVIEW.
is the most waited for, and most revolutionary addon yet,
and the only one that I feel deserves its own web page
detailing just how important it is. :). Perhaps the most...
vital part of it is, it will prepare us, in many ways,
for the manner of combat in VGA Planets 4.0. People who
learn how to use fleet battle now will be in a better
position to win games early in 4.0, and gain that edge
on other people.
Race Strategy under TKF
Note that I will be updating specific race strategies
as I play them, or if someone who has played them submits
TKF, the smaller ships in a game are given more emphasis.
Since they can attack en masse they can simply overwhelm
anything in their path; ie, 3-4 Patriots (8 beams, 24
fighter bays, 120 fighters) can take out any individual
ship, including the positively monstrous Federation heavy
carriers (when they get them).
biggest individual general change to game strategy is
One of the base principles of war set out by Sun Tzu was
to outnumber your enemy at the point of contact; TKF makes
this worthwhile, where VCR could not. If you can concentrate
your firepower, when the enemy must divide his, you will
win every time. Under the old VCR program, concentration
of forces was far less important, since the point of contact
was limited to ONE SHIP fighting. It doesn't matter if
you have a fleet of Biocides orbiting the planet; if the
frieghter goes in first, it goes in first. Sure, you can
play around with battle order, but that hides the most
basic flaw of VGA Planets, that of shoddy combat. Since
the point of contact is limited to ONE SHIP, a single
really big ship under VCR can in some situations take
any size fleet of weaker ships, limited only (argh) by
under TKF, general strategy is made simpler. Less mind-numbing.
Far more intuitive, the way that combat with VGAP was
always really meant to be. We just have to learn how to
think slightly differently, think a little bit against
the way that we've always had to with VCR installed. For
newbies, this will be easy, but for people who've lived
and breathed single ship combat for years, it could prove
difficult.Using TKF requires a fundamental difference
in the way that we approach combat using VGAP, the impact
is especially felt in the mid and end games... and if
you haven't prepared for it...
roles of fighters and torpedoes are different now. Fighters
are best used when the enemy doesn't have them, and the
best defence for a fighter, is more fighters.
to avoid combat, obviously. As Sun Tzu put it and Picard
is fond of quoting, "The acme of skill is to subdue
your enemy without fighting." The best combat is
one that does not take place; try to negotiate to get
what you want, and THEN fight if you can't achieve your
objectives any other way. And, as Garreck put it once,
"Don't let your morals get in the way of your work."
Fight ruthlessly, relentlessly, never miss an opportunity.
The reason for avoiding combat is that no one ever comes
out of VGA Planets combat stronger than when you left.
You may come out in a stronger strategic position, but
your ships will always be the worse off for it. If you
can accomplish your goals with the minimal loss of ships,
you can save them for when you really need it.
rules of thumb:
Schneider: Forget everything you know about the racial
pecking order. There is no "big 3" club anymore
- the klingons and romulans with their cheap ship designs
can now compete with the traditional heavy hitting races
on equal footing.
If all things are equal, the 3 dark wings that can be
built with the same minerals and cash as one death star,
even without cloaking intercept - the 3 dark wings will
win every time. In a low-mineral universe, the smaller
races havean even easier time of getting the upper hand.
- Concentrate forces at the point of contact as much as
possible. It doesn't matter how large the enemy fleet
is, if he must divide, while you can concentrate and
wipe out a chunk at a time, you WILL win every time.
For instance, in a test game playing the Crystals, I
split a fleet of Emeralds and Rubies to lay multiple
mines around a major world; and then after a few turns,
moved in 3 Rubies, 3 Emeralds, and two captured (but
very weak) Trexes to hit it all at once. Lost only one
Ruby to a major starbase. So, concentrating your forces
not only allows you to win decisively, it allows you
to minimise your losses. Try doing THAT with VCR.
of frieghters are that much less vulnerable to standard
combat, you can send them in groups with a few guardian
ships, and feel safe doing so. For real defense, use
should be assembled with a specific goal in mind, such
as taking starbases, and send it out. Such a fleet might
use several small ships with good firepower in tubes
or fighters to provide fighter cover and deflect firepower
from the heavies, combined with a couple of heavy carriers
or fleet of cruisers to do the real damage.
tick off the Birdmen.
the Borg alone until turn 50; they are totally harmless
and cannot bother you... your time is better spent developing
your own economy.
The Federation benefits quite a bit from fleet combat;
they have an excellent shiplist composed of medium and
heavy-medium, multipurpose ships that complement each
other very nicely in combat.
Federation player has cursed VCR's interface because of
its limited support for fleet battles; the fact is, the
Solar Federation is a fleet race; anything that makes
that more important in combat will inevitably help them
out. Federation ships simply are not meant for combat,
they are ships that are designed to fulfill many purposes,
according to the Star Trek universe. It is because of
that that they work very well together.
major Federation advantage under TKF is that during combat,
most races will lose out their weapons as they get damaged;
i.e., if you have 10 beams to start with, each 10% damage
you lose (15 for the Lizards) will knock out one of them.
Not so for the Feds! This is their single greatest tactical
advantage. Running some sims, we see an Anni and a Nova
on VCR, alternating sides, Anni wins about 60% of the
time with 90some damage, while when the Nova wins, it
alternates 92-96-98% damage. The major limiting factor
here is likely the 200tw difference in shield strength
favoring the Anni. Under TKF however, when the torps start
to impact on the hull, the Anni starts to lose its firing
capacity! When the Nova hits 60% damage, the Anni is around
80%, meaning it can only fire two torps each round, while
the Nova is still able to lock and load all of its weapons.
Essentially, Federation now wins 100% of the time against
an identical ship, even with a minor disadvantage at the
start, and gets away scot-free with 70% or so damage in
Nova vs. Anni. Just keep in mind that the "Scotty"
bonus, long laughed at by enemies of the Federation, is
now worth something, something very nice indeed.
major federation advantage is that of the fighter bay
bonus on carriers; Federation carriers get a +3 advantage
over all the other races. Gorbie gets 13 bays in Federation
hands, for instance. Used properly, this can be a decisive
advantage. Not only does Federation not take battle damage
to weapons, they get that bonus. So get that carrier,
they can be useful, especially if you are fighting a carrier
race, you will need them to quickly establish air superiority
over enemy carriers. Even the Romulan Red Wing Carrier,
a fairly minor carrier when most races have them, can
be a great weapon in Federation hands. Decent mass, 60
fighters, and 5 fighter bays make it a nasty ship to drop
out of cloak in a surprise attack in combination with
a few friends. Several of them dropping out of cloak are
even less fun.
The Lizards really do get a boost from TKF, due mostly
to their cloaking ability and the availability of cheap
battlewagons. A typical invasion by the Lizards, with
fleet combat installed, might consist of a vanguard of
small cloaking ships (Reptiles?) to wipe out frieghters
and lightly populated planets, a second wave of LCCs to
take out the more heavily populated planets and/or lightly
defended starbases, followed by fleets of Trexes to take
out ships and the really heavily defended starbases.
VCR, a lizard ship over 100% damage had no weapons at
all; if they started combat with 100%, they were nothing
more than a very expensive frieghter. This was a bug,
plain and simple, in the game. The Lizards are described
to be a very tough race, and can be very fearsome in the
correct hands. Their ability to take 150% damage is a
decent advantage over the other races, meaning that in
any given equal combat, the Lizards will win first.
a cloaking race, the LCCs can, in emergencies, group to
form deadly strike forces to take out key military targets
that can't wait for the third wave. 10 LCC's coming at
ya... 40 beams, 20 torp tubes will take out all but the
most.. shall we say recalcitrant of warships, and the
ability to cloak intercept means that they can direct
their firepower to an extent that is more than adequate
to the task; and especially effective against the fighter
races. 10 LCCs equipped with Blasters can wipe out 80
fighters on their first volley of beams, and 40 with each
consecutive volley, not counting the occasional torpedo
hitting a fighter battle group (mark 4 torps and up will
destroy three fighters each).
T-Rex, as a cheap battleship, can usually be created by
the keen Lizard player in large numbers. Under single
ship combat, you would usually spend several T-Rexes to
destroy the larger carriers; now, in swarms that only
the Lizard with their superior economy can dish out, you
will not only be more successful, but also minimize your
losses to a great extent.
seeing you on the floor...
The Birds get a great boost from TKF, as do all cloaking,
relatively weak races, mainly from the "Concentration
of Firepower" principle. The Birdmen have the best,
and most powerful cloaking battlewagons available, and
combined with cloak intercept, are a race to truly be
feared. For instance, in the standard Borg 2 Bios &
an anni in the mid game, the Birds can easily take no
damage by cloak intercepting the Bios with teams of Darkwings,
and then work over the Anni after cloak intercept phase
is over. Basically, the Birds have far more options during
combat than any other race due to the unique combo of
powerful and cloaking ships.
Resolute is an excellent ship to use with fleet combat;
it is the primary component of a Romulan fleet, and fills
a place that even the Darkwing cannot. 7 beams and 3 torps,
combined with a very, very large fuel tank make it a ship
to be feared in standard combat; but in fleets, this ship
is no less than frightening. It can cloak intercept ships
and direct firepower to an extent that, when combined
with the heavy firepower of the Darkwings backing them
up, could make the Romulan enemy look somewhere else for
a fight, as well as having a fuel tank that will take
it pretty well anywhere in enemy territory. Advance cloak
is just the icing on the cake; it can sit and wait for
an ideal target, or await fuel/torpedo resupply.
Darkwing is a very very very nice ship, especially under
TKF. It is a cloaking battleship. It can cloak intercept.
It can fight, in teams, ships that really should not be
fought against in teams. Two or three Darkwings can fight
very well, providing they only have to fight one ship,
and cloak intercept can do just that. Set two Darkwings
to intercept that Nova, and watch it go boom, and then
the Darkwings can take the support ships with little trouble.
This is a very dangerous ship when you have fleet combat
available; use it wisely, and build lots of them. Its
only crippling factor is the small fuel tank; but this
can be made up for somewhat with a Resolute escort; no
other Bird cloaker has a larger fuel tank.
did I mention Red Wind's?? Never seen them used yet? Not
surprising in VCR, but now they form the fighter escort
for your cloaked DW's - very, very useful! And the Fed's
will probably pay a bit to get hold of them too, as will
the other cloaking races!
- cloaked intercepts now let cloakers pick exactly which
ships to fight against, and with which of their own -
2 Bio's and an Annie coming at ya
hadn't occurred to me; I find this to be a very interesting
concept to deal with. The Red Wind Carrier is usually
mincemeat to any decent ship; after all, it has an eye
popping 85 fuel holds, and 60 cargo holds, and a pathetic
2 fighter bays, you would be hard pressed to think of
a practical use for this ship that could not be fulfilled
much better by a Resolute or even a Swift. With fleet
combat, it could probably have its role as fighter support
for a fleet... that is, cloaking fighter support for a
fleet. If you have an allied fighter race, it would have
its role primarily as a resupply carrier, getting new
fighters to the attack force quietly and quickly. The
Birds can use it to quietly equip advance starbases if
they need to. Those purposes aside, it makes a good ship
trade to the Federation, as they get three extra bays
out of the deal, and you could get, perhaps, a real fighter
carrier, or terraformers, or some cash. Otherwise, the
Feds have little to offer you. :).
The Fascists, as a cloaking race with an astounding array
of versatile ships, pull quite a nice advantage out of
TKF; I really enjoy playing this race as they take a lot
of skill and, quite frankly, chutzpah to play and play
well. They have an 8:1 ground attack ratio, cloakers,
a great high-medium torp ship, Glory Devices... the list
goes on. Their biggest disadvantage used to be their total
lack of ability to take out large carriers and torp ships
with minimal damage; now, they can! The phrase "Coupla
GD's followed by a fleet of Vickys" actually means
something, using TKF.
Fascists benefit a lot from having such a versatile fleet;
in a combat situation, they have options galore. A fleet
of D7 Coldpains could be well used to cloak intercept
some of the ships in the enemy fleet and tip the balance
of combat in your favor. In combat, little can match a
well conceived Klingon fleet; Glory Devices can hit the
entire enemy fleet, followed by cloak intercept ships
to take out key ships, followed by a (planet excluded)
mass attack by all ships on all defending ships, followed
by the final wipe of the starbase.
TKF is installed, the fourth combat phase (If one ATT/NUK
immune ship is present, the planet is excluded from combat)
allow a decisive use of the Pillage mission in combat.
For instance, if you wanted to take out the fleet around
a starbase before attacking the starbase itself, set one
of your ships to Pillage. If even one of your ships are
set to Pillage, it will trigger that rule in TKF combat;
all of their ships will fight all of your ships, excluding
the planet... and if you win that combat, you get to fight
the planet itself with all remaining non-NUK immune ships.
the biggest problem with the pre-KF Fascists is their
annoying propensity toward ship attrition. Since they
have relatively weak ships taken alone, they fight best
in fleets, preventing losses that would have been absolutely
devestating under VCR. TKF fixes that.
The Privateers are mostly unaffected in games with fleet
battle installed, you will be avoiding combat like the
plague as it is. A friend of mine put it best: "If
you have to fight playing the Pirates, you're doing it
wrong." The way you fight is dependent on the ships
when you do fight, TKF gives you a bit of a boost. Meteors
are good, fast ships, and they can mass in wolfpacks to
take out a target quite easily. Before, the Meteor was
mincemeat for any ship that caught it alive; now, the
Pirates can "wolfpack" in combat as well as
in rob. Few single ships can stand up to five MBR's...
and that's just how it'll be fighting.
Privateers are brought more into the forefront via TKF
as a guerrila race, hit and run, rob, take what you want
and use it against the enemy.
always have been a guerrila race, but now, I predict some
very interesting games from the Privateer alliance in
the near future.
"concentration of firepower" rule makes your
defence a whole lot easier, but you shouldn't be on the
defensive as it is. You know the drill--Go out and steal
his ships before they come to you and play hell with your
will stand down and escort us to sector 0-0-1, where we
will begin the assimilation of your species; your technological
and biological distinctiveness will be added to our own.
Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.
We are Borg.
gives Borg a greater resistance in the beginning of the
game; but only slightly. In cases where you are being
attacked by an enemy with limited resources, Borg has
cheap, high-beam ships, and plenty of money. We can afford
to swarm the single enemy ships with B222 Destroyers in
fleets, which is really a decent ship, 85 kilotons and
7 beams. It is mincemeat to a decent torper; but against
light fighter ships, it really can be a godsend, especially
when coupled with the Firecloud or Quietus(if you're really
in a bind).
Firecloud is not really a fighting ship, that's fairly
obvious from its design... however, in fleets, they have
some teeth that they've not had before, and combined with
less valuable cover ships (the Quietus/B222) are quite
the end game, as always, is where the fun comes in. Any
self-respecting Borg can have huge fleets at their command,
the Borg Fleets of Doom are a very, very, lethal thing.
'Round turn 100, two teams of 75 cubes each chunnel into
the soft underbelly of an empire, and crunch... Protect
those damned Fireclouds, as always, and now it is a hell
of a lot easier. Watch out for cloak intercept, it's a
bitch, I'll lie not to you about that.
remember, we are Borg. we will be hunted down from TURN
ONE by anyone with any sense at all. Find an empty section
of the universe, and assimilate it. During the height
of the game, we should have more Borg running around than
there are ants living in your kitchen. Assimilate EVERYTHING
IN SIGHT. Don't let anyone else get it. When we find that
Insectiod Unity, thank your lucky stars that no one else
found it, and then ASSIMILATE it. You know the drill.
Playing the Crystal empire is a lot easier when fleet
battle is in place. Crystal web mines are the ideal; the
absolute ideal, tool for preventing enemy fleets from
coming together; and under cover of webs, your ships are
free to move with impunity. For the most part, standard
tactics hold for the Crystals; since combat isn't really
much of a factor even in the best Crystal's combat bag
the Emerald and Ruby class ships, you have medium ships
with high mass, good firing capacity, and lots of beams;
all of which are important in fighting the carrier races;
except for the Colonies, Crystal will fare very well against
these races, since a fleet of, say, five Emeralds (40
beams, 15 torp tubes) has enough beam capacity to take
out 80 fighters in their first volley (assuming Blasters)
and 40 with each consecutive volley, all while firing
their torps at a rate that few could match; and with web
mines in place, most of the time, you will never have
to fight against very large fleets, surprise and overlapping
web fields are very good to take care of that. Against
cruiser races, the Crystal's ability to concentrate forces
while tactically (not strategically, for instance forcing
the enemy to send their forces to another combat arena
rather than using a web field) dividing forces with their
webfields makes them a very hard race to invade without
able to capture and use enemy ships is just the icing
on the cake, so to speak. Cloaking minelayers are not
something that you want to see in Crystal hands; and if
you do, you will rarely be able to do anything about it.
The Evil Empire really benefits from this add-on. The
Emperor has always been frustrated by the clumsiness of
VCR, considering what a beautifully balanced fleet he
has. Face it, this race was born ready for fleet combat.
Carrier size no longer means as much, if the starbase
can only afford to build H-Ross carriers, great! Pair
them up with your other more capable carriers, they may
be the first to blow up, but they'll get a majority of
their fighters in the air, and the surviving ships will
rescue the left-over fighters. Also the Star Carrier,
Cruiser and Destroyer if used in groups are really powerful,
in fact think of a task force composed by 1 Gorbie,2 Cruisers,1
Destroyer,2 H-ross,2 Moscow and try to count the fighters
you can launch in battle...
SSD is a great ship when TKF is installed. They are just
that much harder to take out, when coupled with some decent
carriers and torpships. The standard method of taking
them out, mines, is now less effective since the SSD can
afford to carry all supplies, and rely on their subsidiary
ships to keep them safe and supplied with clans.
use for the SSD is, as a NUK/ATT immune ship, is to prevent
combat with planets. If a NUK/ATT ship is present, all
ships will fight, excluding the planet. This can work
for or against you, and mostly for you. Take an SSD along,
and exclude that nasty starbase from combat, preserving
your fighters... and then when phase four of combat rolls
around, assuming you won the third phase, then you can
wipe out the starbase with all the remaining, Non-nuk
you don't think this is important - think again. If the
host has turned "Planets Fire Torps" ON, you
will have one hell of a fight on your hands taking over
anything over 75 defense posts. Leaving the planet or
starbase out of the fight can often make the difference
between winning or losing an engagement.
The Robots have always been a very tough race. Extremely
heavy ships, cheap fighters, 4x minefields... but you
already know that.
got a few things to note about robots. They are a pure
brute force race. However, one should use their force
slightly differently with TKF.
First, instrumentalities are now better ships than golems.
You can build 2 for every 1 golem you can make(it costs
about 40 more duranium, a bit less money), and they are
much more versatile. 2 ships can cover 2 planets, or meet
up and take out any heavy carrier. Also note; the iron
slave isnt a bad ship. Dirt cheap, low mass so great engines
arent needed. THey can make 7 fighters a turn while on
standby, and when combined, they can launch quite a few
fighters. 5 of them are about equal to a rush(5 * 1/2
= 5/10), and cost only 100 each of duranium and tritanium.
Other than that, life goes on for the robots. Lay tons
of mines, hit your enemies with lots of big tough ships,
that this is true for every race... medium ships are more
versatile for several reasons, the most important as detailed
above... you can split them up when you need to to get
maximum coverage, and you don't bear more firepower than
you need at any given location.
The Rebels have a couple of things going for them, like
they've always had... they can build cheap fighters automatically,
they have a low-tech, cheap torp ship, and the medium-tech
Patriot, with extremely heavy firepower for its size.
They also have a nice, cheap heavy battleship.
more could a player ask for? Well, some subtlety would
be nice. The Rebels have to fight with brute force only,
they don't get any special tricks to help them out. Sure,
RGA, but what good is that past a mass surprise attack
with Falcons? A one shot pony at best. Where fleet battle
comes in is to make the Rebels' cheap battlewagons effective.
The Patriot is a nasty, effective little ship, and, in
numbers, deadly. They can get their entire load of 30
fighters in the air quickly and effectively. Same with
the Cygnus... it can launch 4 torpedos with one volley...
not too bad at all for a tech one ship. Build these in
large numbers (when you can't build Patriots) and send
them in battlegroups... they are your cheap, expendable
firepower... and in combo battlegroups with the Patriot,
extremely useful not to say intimidating.
have a ship mission which makes them immune to planetary
attack, the RGA, "Rebel Ground Assault" mission.
The third phase of combat has, if NUK/ATT immune ships
are present, all ships fighting against all ships. This
essentially means that if you want to fight just the ships
in orbit around the planet set one or all ships to RGA...
you won't have to deal with it last phase of combat. This
is especially useful because it applies the principle
of concentration of force to an extent that only a few
races can achieve. Once the third phase is finished, all
of the remaining, non-NUK immune ships will be dumped
into battle with the planet.
Ah, the Missing Colonies of Man. Cheap ships, cheap fighters,
and lots of both. As with all things VGAP related, exploit
your advantages. Forget all about your Cygnus/Virgo combo's,
or any other little favorites you had. Build big, healthy
ships brimming with fighters, send an escort of little
torp ships to weaken the shields, and pour on the fighters.
en masse can help out with your initial attack, but you
shouldn't plan on keeping them around, after they launch
their cargo they are sitting ducks. As mentioned elsewhere,
6-8 mk7 torps will reduce a patriot to ashes, so send
along a big brother or two to pick up the leftover fighters
after a fight. Read this again: A 6-pack of Patriots can
be chewed up with ease by a 4-pack of moderately armed
torp vessels. Bring along a Virgo for mop-up and survivor
the Colonies battle cry: "Fear No Minefield".
Anyone who flies a carrier around without mission minesweep
deserves to take a mine hit.
Colonies are, like all the other fighter races, oriented
around brute force. Go in and kick ass.
Fleets, under TKF, are versatile, easy to work with, and
deadly... when they are used correctly. This is a very
touchy subject, something that comes with experience,
which people simply do not have yet. However, through
exhaustive simming, we can get a good idea of what actual
real-type combat will be like.
most effective fleets are ones that use a balanced mix
of ship types; a balance of ship aggressiveness, ship
firepower, and decisive usage will make, or break, the
mission of a good fleet. For instance, in the oft-quoted
example, a fleet with a screen of aggressively set small
or medium ships makes a very effective screen for the
carriers, which will form the primary weapon of the attack
group, pumping fighters into the fray while remaining
relatively unharmed. In a torpedo fight, one may want
to use a solid-mass screen of several cheap, heavy ships
that can take a lot of damage set aggressively to take
most of the damage while the larger ships can wipe out
the enemy ships at their leisure, and relatively scot-free.
The most interesting battles, by far, are those that use
primarily fighters; these can get expensive, for both
sides. I would prefer, as a torp race, to avoid the use
of fighters, period, but one can not always do that. A
fleet with some fighters as cover will provide enough
to allow your cruisers to do the dirty work with little
interference, and thereby survive just that much longer.
This section will not be finalised until the 'official'
version of the Killing Floor comes out. Fighter combat
is something that has yet to be finalised; for instance,
the recent addition of agressiveness in determining carrier
combat is very, very useful... play with it, you'll see.
Rule of thumb: Launch a LOT OF FIGHTERS, establish air
superiority quickly, and you win.
fleets are not as all-encompassingly powerful against
heavy cruisers as they used to; TKF beta one comes to
mind... a single Patriot could easily take out a Nova,
and under VCR, a single heavy carrier could take out squadrons
of 3 to 4 medium cruisers and still limp away. They have
their well-defined role in the VGAP universe as a support
ship, a cover ship, a fighting ship, but these days of
ruling the skies are clearly over.
are, by nature, not as versatile as a cruiser. They cannot
lay minefields, they are usually fuel hogs (with a few
happy exceptions) and cannot fight effectively by themselves
(although more effectively than a lone cruiser). Carriers
are limited in that most of them have little use other
than fighting, which they do exceedingly well. These are,
for most races, a mid-end game ship, not the primary component
of an army; mostly because fighters are so damned expensive.
Outfitting a Biocide, 10,000 credits, not counting minerals
and the astronomical cost of the ship itself. Then again,
since when was money a problem for the Borg... :)
thing is that carrier battles are a lot of fun to watch.
I kid you not, it really is cool to watch all the different
types of fighters duke it out while the carriers fly around...
not so with torpers, all THEY do is spit antimatter at
fighters do relatively invariant damage to a ship regardless
of size, they are better used against larger ships, just
as in VCR. They are good for taking down the shields of
smaller ships, but take quite a while to wipe out the
hull, in fact, almost the same amount of time is required
to take out a large cruiser as a small one. For the sake
of efficiency, carriers really should not be wasted on
low mass, high-beam ships. (OTOH, this makes a good argument
for using them as carrier decoys) They will usually beat
them, but in the process, you've wasted your big carrier
for a turn where it could have been somewhere else far
cruiser fleets, carriers are not absolutely necessary,
but can have a good impact on the survivability of your
ships... Torpers have a particularly hard time dealing
with large enemy carriers. Carriers are not as effective
against small cruisers as other, more powerful cruisers
are, but against the larger ones, they are an absolute
lifesaver. Using lots of small carrier, agressively set,
can overwhelm torper ships very quickly and concentrate
firepower very effectively.
carrier fleets, carriers are absolutely necessary. A lot
of fighters are absolutely necessary, to quickly take
out large carriers and prevent them from launching their
full complement of fighter craft. Whether you fight against
light or heavy carrier fleets, the amount of fighters
you can launch in the air, fastest, will determine who
wins. This is why cheap, light carriers are so valuable.
When defensively set, these small, light carriers can
launch fighters as fast or faster than the heavy carriers,
they can last as long or almost as long as the heavy carriers,
and they are dirt cheap. Their primary purpose in combat
is to get their clip of fighters in the air as fast as
they can, and establish early superiority over the enemy
fleets' fighters; the defender fighters will shoot any
fighters that they encounter, and if it is done quickly
enough, will prevent fighters from being launched against
your primary ships. This is a nasty tactic, I might add,
but not always effective.
instance, agressively set ships will, given equal forces,
win. When you have an overwhelming advantage in fighters,
set defensively to prevent damage.
Cruisers are the bread and butter of TKF; the most versatile
ships in the game. Most races use them for almost everything,
almost all of the time. The cruiser is a scalpel, a difficult
ship to use well and wisely, a ship of precision and a
ship of intelligence, more for some races than others.
They fight best and most effectively in groups, they are
the primary ships of economy, patrol, exploration, intelligence,
of almost every race. Cruisers can lay minefields, they
can fight, they can drop clans, they are really the best
ships available. And, in fleets, they can actually be
used for combat against the more serious ships effectively.
Federation cruisers are especially effective, (I won't
go into Fed carriers... ugh) Lizards nearly so, and, used
judiciously, very effective. A battle fought with torpedoes,
is, sadly, just not as fun as watching a battle with carriers.
What fun is it to watch a fleet of torp ships spray each
other with antimatter when you can watch those little
fighters go after each other and the enemy carriers? Still,
as unglamorous as it might seem, this is an important
thing to learn.
big debate over which type of torps to buy, and which
is better (more torp ships, vs. better quality weapons)
is the biggest concern here. The following is my opinion.
The primary rule for fighting with torp fleets against
heavy ships is, more is better. It doesn't matter how
small the torpedo is, once your high-tech torps have taken
down the shields, torps will do a MINIMUM of 1 percent
damage to the hull of an enemy ship, no matter how big.
So, if you are fighting the really, really big ships,
the more tubes you have available, the faster this is
going to go. So, my advice to taking down a large carrier
or heavy cruiser using torp ships is to use ships with
high-tech weapons to go in fighting aggressively and take
down the shields, and LOTS of medium, versatile ships
to take down the hull with their cheaper torpedoes, which
will for the most part do the same damage as the higher-tech
for smaller enemy ships, high-tech torpedoes are far more
effective, since you can take down their shields, and
their hull, quickly and effectively. Fleets of small ships
are especially vulnerable to high-tech torpers with carrier
backup; including carrier fleets. The Patriot, in the
exhausted example, is a very weak ship, it can be finished
off by five direct hits with a mk7 torp, so, at default
65% miss rate, it will take only 8 torps, one volley to
do it, and the sooner the Pat goes, the fewer fighters
it can launch.
heavy carrier fleets, heavy cruisers simply do not have
much of a chance. A large ship can't outrun a fighter,
they don't have enough beams to take them out, and they
can't afford to waste torpedoes on small groups of fighters.
When you are fighting carrier or mixed fleets with cruisers,
you had better make sure you have a LOT of firepower backing
you up; because one carrier is easily the equal to two
heavy cruisers in combat; three medium ships. Keep that
ratio in mind if you must fight with cruisers instead
conclusion, the best use for a cruiser in combat is against
lighter and medium ships. High- tech is better when dealing
with these ships, but sometimes a tradeoff for more firepower
against better firepower is worth your time.
Mixed fleets are the most important part of TKF combat
strategy; under VCR, limited use could be made of them,
very limited use indeed, for instance, the standard one-two
cruiser-carrier punch was spouted to newbies and anyone
who asked how to take out large carriers. Well, now, the
best way to use heavy carriers is to not use them. Carriers
by themselves are mincemeat when TKF is installed, it
takes only a few medium ships, or several small ships,
to do the same job that would have required the minimum
loss of a heavy, high-tech torp ship under VCR.
are several points of view when using mixed fleet combat,
and usually it boils down to the simple principle that
the mixed fleet is the versatile one; it can deal with
almost any situation. The "standard" mix that
we'll be seeing, for combat purposes, will likely be of
a few medium cruisers and a heavy carrier. This combination
can take any heavy ship with no damage, and is a good,
solid unit when dealing with other fleets.
Are a real, immediate threat under TKF. Don't get me wrong,
I'm not just saying this to get your attention. Cloaking
ships are something that you really have to worry about
when you are playing a game in which The Killing Floor
first phase of combat is the Cloak Intercept phase; that
is, all ships that have a cloaking device, that intercept
a ship, will be dumped into the combat "meat grinder"
before all other ships. What does this mean for combat?
It means... that you have more options in combat than
any other race. Resolutes get a huge boost from this,
as if they didn't have enough of a boost already, because
they can pick apart the fleet during the combat phase
to make your life a lot more difficult. Say you are the
Birdmen; you have a swift heart scout around a planet,
and lo and behold, there are two heavy carriers. You know
that if you just send your three Darkwings in, they will
be nuked. So, you decide to intercept one of the heavy
carriers with all three Darkwings. Those three get to
decloak, dump their cargo into the gut of that carrier
while taking minimal damage; and then work over the other
carrier and the planet.
just one of the many applications of cloakers... there
are still the standard applications: Minelaying, terror
attacks, tow splitting a fleet, but now they can intercept
and swarm targets in a more favorable combat arena. Cloakers
have always been a precision instrument.
Wolfpack tactic is now just as valuable to the Fascists
and Lizards as it once was to the Pirates. If you don't
want to have to fight that other nasty carrier, just tow
what you do want to fight out of orbit to a waiting wolfpack;
and if you want to, you can split your fleet (you're a
cloaking race, you can do that), and tow both to waiting
ships. Your options under TKF are just that much easier.
usual, the Loki will cause you the occasional headache.
Now you know what the Pirates have had to put up with
all this time.. :) At the same time, the appearance of
a Loki is actually a good thing. They signify the location
of a very valuable planet, or starbase, or set of ships.
If you make it a habit to "trip" the loki sensor
by flying to within 10ly of a planet and then pulling
out, you will increase your opponent's paranoia - eventually
he will stop building warships and start building loki's.
And I'd rather fight those little ships than big hulking
carriers any day.
Firecloud Class Cruiser
This particular ship deserves its own section.
find that there is one rule that you should follow when
dealing with the Firecloud, above all else: If you do
not have a Firecloud, get one and destroy all others.
If you cannot get one, destroy them all. You will thank
me for that advice.
you have one, well, great. The Firecloud is the best friend
you can possibly have under TKF. The principle of "concentration
of firepower" is taken to extremes with this little
ship under your control. Any other race must send their
warships out and hope for the best; any other race must
split up their fleets to create an adequate defense, for
any purpose. A good chunnel net eliminates this need;
you can have all your ships, wherever you need them, at
a moment's notice. That lone Firecloud making its way
around your flank can chunnel in its buddies at a moments'
notice, and make a devestating attack where and when you
least want it. When you've committed your forces to an
operation, any race with the Firecloud is able to deploy
their fleets wherever the Fireclouds are. Even the Borg,
with the Firecloud, can defend themselves quite effectively
against fighter races in the beginning of the game, using
only fleets of beam ships and a chunnel net spread throughout
their empire; and any race with medium torp or carrier
ships can do an absolutely devestating job using this
simple, innocent little ship of death. If you are Borg,
use any means at your disposal to prevent any one with
a better fleet from getting hold of one of these. Even
if they can not clone the ships themselves, they can find
someone who can. The Firecloud is the genie in the bottle;
and by extension, so are the Borg. If you can't GET one,
destroy them all.
The final interface has not been implemented into the
TKF betas yet; all we have control over is the agressiveness
display. Use it anyway. :).
Explosive power > 0 can kill one fighter.
Explosive power > 45 can kill two fighters.
Explosive power > 92 can kill three fighters.
from a message from Dale Pope:
uses these two formulas:
= (explosive * 40 / (Ship_Hull_Mass + 1)) + HostCfg_MinimumDamage)
DamageToHull = (DamageToShields * 80 / (Ship_Hull_Mass
+ 1)) + HostCfg_MinimumDamage)
= (explosive * 80 / (Ship_Hull_Mass + 1)) + 1
DamageToHull = (DamageToShields * 80 / (Ship_Hull_Mass
+ 1)) + 1
formulas are actually equivalent when you take into account
this: if a beam weapons has a 45 explosive value and it
is 50% charged, VCR gives "explosive" a value
of 22 (45 * .50), but TKF fills "explosive"
as 45. At 100% charge, VCR uses 45, and TKF uses 90. For
torpedoes, VCR uses double the explosive power listed
in infolist, TKF uses 4 times. It all works out to be
have four times the explosive power as in VCR.
that all types above the Mk3 can take out an entire fighter
wing with each torpedo; the mark four is most efficient
for the purpose of killing fighters (Hmm... A Thor, with
8 mk4 tubes, could conceivably with 100% hits take out
24 fighters. A fleet of three Thors, combined with a couple
Kittyhawks, would be sight to sicken the most resolute
Beam weapons fire when at greater than 50% charge.
Beam weapons start battle at 100% unless involved in a
previous battle the same turn.
Beam weapons at 100% charge have twice the explosive power
as 50% charge.
Note that the Blaster, positron beam, heavy blaster, phaser,
heavy disrupter, and heavy phaser can destroy two fighters
on their first shots; and one fighter on each concurrent
shot. This makes the blaster the most efficient for its
purpose ; but the heavy phaser, if it gets a chance to
tick over a 50% charge, will be able to take out two fighters
with every shot.
a little background on fighters under TKF: They can be
of two types, attackers, or defenders... defensive fighters
will shoot at anything within range, including other enemy
fighters, while they are heading to their target, while
attacking fighters simply head toward their target, oblivious
to whatever might be shooting at them. The percentage
of fighters that are declared attackers versus the percentage
that are declared defensive is determined by the agressiveness
setting of the carrier in question. A value of 500 will
throw 50% of each type, a value of 100 will throw out
10% attackers, a value of 900 will throw out 90% attacking
fighters, and a value of 1000 (non-numeric FC) will throw
all fighters into combat.
Fighters are launched in wings of three fighters each.
001 is extremely agressive; 999 or a non-numeric FC is
friendly code from 000 to 499 will go toward the enemy
to try take them out, while a friendly code from 501 to
1000 will hang back. Since beta 4, there is a significant
difference between the speeds 499 and 501.
friendly codes are considered to be 1000 in speed; that
is, they will stay in the rear of the fleet, and 500 in
fighter launching (they will launch 50% attackers/defenders)
agressiveness rating, determined by friendly code, is
a limited method of controlling the way your ships act
in combat, somewhat akin to battle order. The ships with
the lowest friendly codes will start combat slightly closer
to the enemy and move into combat faster; while those
with higher value friendly codes will tend to hang back
in combat, much like the VCR battle order.
use the agressiveness rating to determine the amount of
the two types of fighters used in combat. There are two
fighter types, as explained earlier, attackers and defenders.
Carriers with high aggression(low FC) will tend to go
for the jugular, launch more attacking fighters, while
carriers with low aggression will launch most of their
fighters to defend their home carriers, firing at anything
that comes in range, be it other fighters, or other ships.
This forms a very nice defensive screen.
instance, an agressiveness rating of 225 will launch 22.5%
defenders, and 77.5% attackers.
ships use the agressiveness setting to determine torpedo
usage. A torp ship set on high-defense mode will fire
torps at incoming fighter squadrons, with blast damage
similar to the beam damage table. I am not sure why anyone
would want to use torps on fighters, unless you really
want to punch a hole in someone's line for your own fighters
to get through.
As I understand, via notes with TKF's author, there are
four phases to combat. So up to four KF combats can occur
at one waypoint.
1. All cloaking ships on intercept mission VS all intercept
(of cloakable ships)
Cloaked ships with p.e. set VS p.e. ships (no planet)
IF ATT/NUK immune ships present all ships VS all ships
All survivors VS all survivors.
a fleet has its advantages in that, by breaking it up,
you can deal with the individual components. On the other
hand, there are situations in which it is far better to
leave the ships as they are, where you can take them out
all at once. The rule of thumb in this scenario is that
if you can take out the entire fleet with minimal losses,
do so, but if your forces are insufficient to the task,
split them apart and deal with the components. It is not
wise to split up a fleet when you cannot deal with even
the individual components.. for instance, if a fleet of
Fireclouds arrives en masse and splits in such a way that
you cannot take them all out in a reasonable amount of
time, you are pretty well screwed when the BFOD come in.
A good fleet-splitting tactic is to use the technique
known as the "forced move" in chess. You place
your ships in such a location that he MUST split his fleet
to protect two important targets.
all, what would YOU do if a large fleet was coming towards
you, and you had to make a choice between defending your
starbase and the bovinoid planet next door?
reverse, the firecloud allows you to cause near-death
brain meltdowns in other players - send in 3-4 fireclouds,
with a small escort of course, and march in line abreast
about 40 ly apart. The enemy KNOWS that a BFOD (Borg Fleet
of Doom) is going to pop in with ONE of them, but which
one? Then as you get closer fan out a bit more, so he
is REALLY spread thin. A good follow-up tactic on this
is to chunnel in the big fleet to one location, wait one
turn (you can hear all the enemy ships pulling an e-brake
turn to close on you, then chunnel AGAIN to one of the
other fireclouds. You can play a galactic game of 'hot
potato' this way for a while. Some players will scoff
at this and complain that the bogr are not for intimidation,
they are for devastation. Get in there and attack him.
But the whole idea behind this posturing is to force the
enemy into a defensive posture - wagons in a circle, if
you will. After all what you want to do is minimize the
chance of a deep-space confrontation (which always carries
the threat of a dozen glory devices wiping you out entirely)
by forcing him to hole up around his key planets and starbases.
No self-respecting player goes POP over their homeworld.
major fleet splitting tactic is the judicious use of web
minefields. Since ordinary minefields do not actually
stop ships with engines that are over a certain tech level,
they are fairly useless in that regard (although they
are helpful in preventing weapon charge... it could mean
that a couple extra fighters survive the battle).
up a fleet can also be achieved most easily by the cloaking
races. CIA (Cloaker Intercept Attack) allows them to attack
selectively any component of a fleet they so choose to
fight, while preserving the rest of the fleet at the same
location; as well, the ability to tow the weaker components
of a fleet away from their larger buddies is also quite