Basic guide to fleet specs

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Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby xJudicatorx » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 10:21

I've received many questions about fleet specializations, or specs, over the years and it's not a question you can answer quickly or easily. In truth, the answer is not even the same from day to day as new things are always being tried. So from now on, when you ask me about fleet specs, you'll get a link to this topic. These specs will not include recycler counts, but keep in mind that about 15% of your fleet should be recyclers. While it is possible to mix these specs, it is generally not recommended as this is like having 2 half-power mobiles.

I. Basic specs

1. Fighter swarm
The fighter swarm works on the principle that fighters are the most armor/cost efficient unit in the game and that all units deal 1% of their damage regardless of shield strength. Therefore enough fighters can kill anything for incredible ratios.

What you should have:
Fighters
Fleet Carriers

What you can add if you want:

Leviathan - Used only when the 5% armor bonus can save more than 40K fighters.
Heavy Cruisers/Battleships - Can be used to improve ratios against very large capital fleets, should be a very small portion of your total fleet.

What you should not bother with:
Carriers - Fleet Carriers are much more versatile and cost efficient and I would not recommend mixing the 2 together.
Frigates/Cruisers - Share all the same weaknesses as fighters, these will dilute your fleet for no gain

Pros:
Great ratios against everything
Quick to rebuild
Great against rainbow(farm) fleets

Cons:
Must have a great deal more fleet than your target
Large portion of your fleet is non-combat
Susceptible to shield rape
Weak against base defenses for a large part of mid-game


2. Frigates
Frigates give outstanding speed and give extremely good ratios with a relatively small amount of fleet.

What you should have:
Fighters
Frigates

What you can add if you want:

Battleships/Dreadnoughts - Can be used to finish capital fleets or to shield rape small fighter fleets, should be a very small portion of your total fleet.

What you should not bother with:
Carriers/Fleet Carriers - Defeats the entire purpose of having frigates, your frigates are your carriers
Corvettes/Destroyers - contrary to popular belief, these actually worsen ratios for frigate fleets

Pros:
Great versatility, lots of target options
Incredible speed
Can be used like a fighter swarm when necessary
Can one-shot most fleets of the same size.

Cons:
Must calculate fighter drops carefully
Extremely weak against P-shields and dreadnoughts
Extremely vulnerable when offline


3. Cruisers
The workhorse fleet of AE, it is incredibly versatile. While almost never ideal, it is fair against almost anything.

What you should have:
Fighters
Cruisers
Carriers(1 for each 5 cruisers)


What you can add if you want:

I would not add anything to this fleet spec, it is already very versatile and can be weakened significantly by dilution.

What you should not bother with:
Fleet Carriers - Loses the speed advantage of cruisers versus HC's.
Corvettes/Destroyers - Do not improve ratios enough to justify the increased fighter drops necessary to make them effective.
Other primary spec units - Mixing these absolutely ruins your ratios.

Pros:
High versatility, able to attack nearly anything effectively
Decent speed
Fighter drops can be calced very loosely

Cons:
Doesn't get ideal ratios against any target
Weak against dropper specs


4. Heavy Cruisers
Probably the most important spec in any blob crash. These are essential to kill large fighter fleets before they can deal their damage to more vulnerable fleets and are also great or killing capital ships.

What you should have:
Heavy Cruisers

What you can add if you want:
Fighters/Fleet Carriers(1 for each 15 HC's) - Improves ratios against capitals and bases, but weakens shield raping strength.
Corvettes/Destroyers - Improves ratios against capitals and bases without fighter cover. Should be a very small portion of your fleet.

What you should not bother with:
Carriers - Fleet Carriers are much more versatile and cost efficient and I would not recommend mixing the 2 together.
Other primary spec units - Mixing these absolutely ruins your ratios.

Pros:
Very strong against fighters
Essential for defeating leviathans in blob crashes
Good versatility
Very difficult to one shot or get good ratios against

Cons:
Relatively slow for it's power level
Gives awesome ratios when it is one-shot



5. Battleships
A stronger, but less efficient alternative to Heavy Cruisers.

What you should have:
Battleships

What you can add if you want:
Fighters/Fleet Carriers(1 for each 8 BS) - Improves ratios in some cases. Only carry enough fighters to fill your FC and leave your BS hangars empty as shield raping is too essential to the Battleship spec.
Corvettes/Destroyers - Improves ratios against capitals and bases without fighter cover. Should be a very small portion of your fleet.

What you should not bother with:
Carriers - Fleet Carriers are much more versatile and cost efficient and I would not recommend mixing the 2 together.
Other primary spec units - Mixing these absolutely ruins your ratios.

Pros:
Very strong against fighters, corvettes, destroyers, and in some cases frigates as well
Essential for defeating leviathans in blob crashes
Good for shield raping sniper fleets

Cons:
Very target-specific, poor versatility



6. Leviathans
The ultimate shield raping unit - this spec is slow, but extremely powerful. Used almost solely for destroying fighter, frigate, and cruiser fleets for little to no loss. Use a small number of titans for meatshielding if it will save leviathans from being lost to bleedthrough damage.

What you should have:
Leviathans
Titans

What you can add if you want:
Fighters and Cruisers or Heavy Cruisers - These are primarily for shielding your recyclers, but can be used for meatshielding against p-rings and heavy cruiser fleets.

What you should not bother with:
Any significant amount of off-spec fleet. Because capital ships have low power/cost, it is important to have a larger fleet than your target.

Pros:
Can derb very large fleets for very little loss
Instant repair effectively increases production capacity

Cons:
Low armor/cost and power/cost
Extremely slow
Vulnerable when offline



II. Advanced Specs

7. Dropper
With careful calculation this spec can be extremely strong against fleets parked on stronghold bases. When used as a pre-dropper for guildmates, can greatly improve ratios and make unprofitable targets suddenly very profitable.

What you should have:
Fighters
Heavy Bombers
Fleet Carriers

What you can add if you want:
Ion Bombers - The mix of these 3 bombers makes you able to kill anything for outstanding ratios.

What you should not bother with:
Carriers - Fleet Carriers are much more versatile and cost efficient and I would not recommend mixing the 2 together.
Any other spec - This spec needs to be carefully maintained in readiness for the perfect opportunity.

Pros:
Great ratios against any other spec
Can hit targets that most others can't

Cons:
Must be very carefully calculated
Difficult to maintain correct amounts of each fleet type
Extremely vulnerable when offline

8. Ion Frigates
This fleet gives the armor/cost ratio of a HC fleet with better speed and better anti-capital strength, but loses the ability to shield rape fighters.

What you should have:
Ion Frigates
Fighters

What you can add if you want:
It is a bad idea to mix anything with this spec.

What you should not bother with:
Carriers/Fleet Carriers - Defeats the entire purpose of having frigate speed.
Other primary spec units - Mixing these absolutely ruins your ratios.

Pros:
Very strong against capital ships
Some limited versatility
Excellent speed

Cons:
Extremely vulnerable when offline


9. Dreadnoughts
This spec gives great versatility but is rarely ideal for any situation. I don't believe it will become a staple spec unless Death Stars are finally buffed.

What you should have:
Dreadnoughts

What you can add if you want:
Fighters/Fleet Carriers(1 for each 2 DN) - Improves ratios in some cases. Only carry enough fighters to fill your FC and leave your DN hangars empty.

What you should not bother with:
Other capital ships - These share the same strengths and weaknesses, but DN travel twice as fast

Pros:
Shield rapes frigates and below and occasionally cruisers as well
Improved speed over Levi specs
Good ratios against other capital ship specs

Cons:
Extremely vulnerable to Middle strength fleets
Still fairly slow
Targets can almost always be killed more efficiently by other specs
Last edited by xJudicatorx on Sat 25 Sep, 2010 10:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby xJudicatorx » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 10:21

Fighter Swarms additional info

Base Power(Laser): 2
Base Armour: 2
Base Speed(HC/Warp): 3

The fighter is the premiere unit in AstroEmpires. Compare its 2.5 credits per point of armor to the 8.33 credits/armor for cruisers or 30.3 credits/armor for a leviathan and you can see what a great bargain they are. While shields can soak up their damage, 1% of all damage crosses shields no matter how strong they are. With enough of anything you can kill anything in this game. When using fighters, you simply take fewer losses to accomplish this. The real trouble with fighters is having the "enough" - it takes about 2500 fighters(12.5K fleet + hangar space) to kill a single heavy cruiser.
Corrupt wrote:you need to be at least top 100 fleet to be really effective with fighter swarm


Here is the basic breakdown of a 1M fleet fighter swarm:
76K Fighters (380K)
5K Recyclers (150K)
190 Fleet Carriers (475K)

As you can see, less than 40% of your fleet is really useful in combat. And since often you need to have a great deal more combat fleet than your target, you can easily end up needing 20 or even 100 times as much fleet as your target has. The good news is that fighters are always useful even if you don't have enough for extremely large targets. Many times, I've dropped 100-300K fighters so that another person in my guild can kill all of the shielded units and then we share the profits. And once you have over 500K fighters, the real fun begins. Since you are taking much less loss for each attack you make, the profit is higher, almost everything is a viable target, and you rebuild to full strength much faster than other specs.


Common Targets:
Unshielded or lightly shielded fleet
Bases with large fleets or good econ, particularly if they do not have p-shields
Small capital ship fleets

What to watch out for:
Heavy Cruisers and other heavily shielded units
Ridiculous amounts of command centers
Overextension(spending too much of your fleet to defend your pile)
Last edited by xJudicatorx on Sun 03 Oct, 2010 01:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby xJudicatorx » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 10:22

Frigate Fleet additional info

Base Power(Missile): 12
Base Armour: 12
Base Speed(Stellar): 5

The important thing to remember about frigate fleets is that they are a fighter swarm also - one which gives up carrying capacity for super fast speed. The addition of frigates to your fighters allows you to take on many more targets with a smaller fleet - in fact, given equal amounts of fleet, they get positive ratios against anything less than dreadnought level shielding.

Frigates are surely the easiest fleet to do a 1M fleet breakdown on.
34K Fighters (170K)
5K Recyclers (150K)
8500 Frigates (680K)

I like to use Battleships as a sideline for my frigate fleet because everyone should have the ability to shield rape stuff in a pinch. Frigates and fighters also make fine meatshields if you need to use your BS to take out capital ships - the major weakness of the frigate fleet. Heavy cruisers are another option, gaining some efficiency but losing some versatility. And of course, there is the pure frigate fleet which uses the above ratio with no bells or whistles.
Hottie Parms wrote:Frigate Fleets are *beep* fast
While HP was being facetious, he is quite correct. Frigates are extremely fast and it's important to make the most of that. Keep your fleet moving and force targets into long flights that you can catch on both ends with the same fleet. The main trouble with the frig fleet is that you must have a blob to sit on. Without someone to constantly watch you while you are offline, your fleet is just too easy to drop away.
Sea_Dawg wrote:God does not make mistakes, But if your not active enough, going frig spec will be a painful one


Common Targets:
Any non-capital fleet
Any base which is profitable by the 50 econ per pring rule

What to watch out for:
Capital ships(including extremely large and tech heavy BS fleets)
Fighter drops
Last edited by xJudicatorx on Tue 05 Oct, 2010 06:39, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby xJudicatorx » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 10:22

Cruiser Fleets additional info

Base Power(Plasma): 24
Base Armour: 24
Base Shielding: 2
Base Speed(Warp): 4

There are 2 significant advantages to the Cruiser spec. One, it is spectacular for taking bases or almost anything else because it breaks all defense and most combat unit shields. Two, it is great against fighters, particularly on a base or with supporting units, so it can be extremely loose with fighter drops. Cruisers make an excellent balance of speed, power, shielding, and cost efficiency. Unfortunately, the excellent balance means that you will rarely be ideal for any situation. They are more susceptible to cap stacks than frigates or fighters because of the lower efficiency, but can't break levi shields like HC or above. Overall, the cruiser spec makes a great first mobile or a good sideline for people that want a blob crashing mobile but still want to farm bases locally.


The basic 1M Cruiser Fleet:
37.6K Fighters (188K)
5K Recyclers (150K)
2350 Cruisers (470K)
470 Carriers (188K)

Some people suggest adding BS to your repertoire with Cruisers, similar to the frig spec, but I do not recommend this. There is only one fleet spec that a cruiser fleet needs help against and you have guildmates for that. Additionally, Frigates make great meatshields for BS attacking capitals and Cruisers do not. With all the targets available to you, just let someone else handle the Titans and Levis. Remember that while Cruisers get good ratios against most fleets, it is important to one-shot them - otherwise the ratios can rage from poor to lolsuicide. So large amounts of fleet(as with really any spec) are important.
I absolutely do not recommend you build CV/DE to meatshield your hits against bases as this forces you to drop away all fighters before attacking, negating one of your major advantages.


Common Targets:
Bases with large fleets or good econ
Any non-capital fleet half the size of your own or less, particularly HC's and BS's

What to watch out for:
Capital stacks, including ridiculously large or well teched DN fleets
Fighter swarms large enough to destroy all of your meatshielding
Heavy bombers and CV/DE snipers
Last edited by xJudicatorx on Mon 11 Oct, 2010 04:17, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby xJudicatorx » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 10:23

Heavy Cruiser Fleets additional info

Base Power(Plasma): 48
Base Armour: 48
Base Shielding: 4
Base Speed(Warp): 3

I absolutely love the Heavy Cruiser spec. It's great at any stage of a server and can get optimal ratios on a huge variety of targets. The ability to shield rape fighters and the excellent shielding/credit can often give heavy cruisers good ratios even against more efficient units as long as you have a large enough fleet. They are also the most efficient unit to break leviathan shielding and this makes them invaluable in blob crashes where a single capital fleet can deal huge amounts of damage if left unchecked.


The basic 1M Heavy Cruiser Fleet:
31.2K Fighters (156K)
2500 Corvettes (50K)
5K Recyclers (150K)
1250 Destroyers (50K)
900 Heavy Cruisers (450K)
60 Fleet Carriers (150K)

The alternate 1M Heavy Cruiser Fleet:
2500 Corvettes (50K)
5K Recyclers (150K)
1.6K Heavy Cruisers (800K)


As you can see, the alternate build of this spec is focused on shield raping fighters. This allows you to focus your production capacity on your finisher unit only during the important early stages of the game. This build is particularly important in the early stages of a server because many people will have bases with thousands of fighters to make up for their lack of defenses. There are also many people using a fighter spec at this point of the server while waiting to unlock a capital spec. It's simple to change between these 2 builds as neccessary.


Common Targets:
Bases with far too many fighters for the defense level
Fighter fleets
Capital fleets

What to watch out for:
Large frigate fleets
DE or HB snipers
Death Stars
Last edited by xJudicatorx on Sat 30 Oct, 2010 18:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby xJudicatorx » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 10:23

Battleship fleets additional info

Base Power(Ion): 168
Base Armour: 128
Base Shielding: 10
Base Speed(Warp/HC): 3

The Battleship spec is really borderline between the basic specs and advanced. It's a difficult spec to use effectively and every guild needs a few big ones if they don't want to be Levi food. In many ways they are like Heavy Cruisers, only more so - instead of shield raping fighters, they shield rape FT/BO/CV/DE/CA plus low tech FR and some small defense turrets; instead of swarming Capital fleets, they break Levi shields easily. Unfortunately, they have less power/credit and armor/credit and therefore lose effectiveness against P-ringed bases. This means that you cannot always get a break-even hit when you really need one to keep queues running.


The basic 1M Battleship Fleet:
16K Fighters (80K)
1.5K Corvettes (30K)
5K Recyclers (150K)
320 Battleships (640K)
40 Fleet Carriers (100K)

Battleships can be incredibly effective if gotten early enough. The power to shield rape destroyers, carriers, and small frigate fleets is very important in a contested galaxy. They can also usually make a profit off of common HC base targets - i.e. a base with 10 disruptors and 8K fighters for defense. However, they are most important when Leviathans start to roll off of the lines. Between killing Levi fleets and shield raping fighters and rainbows, they are essential any time a blob crash is going down. As always, having a significantly larger fleet than your target is important - a handful of BS will not kill a Levi or survive the bleedthrough from a large vette fleet. Therefore, I recommend long periods of fleet simming from the time p-rings start to go up until large Levi spec fleets become more common.


Common Targets:
Bases with far too many fighters for the defense level
Fighter fleets with or without CV/DE/FR backup
Capital fleets

What to watch out for:
Large or well teched FR fleets
Any CR or HC fleet without CV/DE shielding
Simming so long that you forget to scout
Last edited by xJudicatorx on Sun 14 Nov, 2010 06:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby xJudicatorx » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 10:23

Leviathan fleets additional info

Base Power(Photon): 10K
Base Armour: 6.6K
Base Shielding: 40
Base Speed(Warp): 1

Leviathans are not quite the strongest unit in the game, but when you consider that death stars take weeks to make even the shortest flight, one can certainly consider them so. They have the ability to survive most base defenses and shield rape all but the hardiest of fleets. The 5% bonus to armor even makes them useful as an actual capital ship - following a swarm of smaller units in order to improve ratios.

Tangent: The 5% bonus mod. A single leviathan costs 200K credits. It gives a 5% bonus to armor(and weapons) meaning that a single leviathan can greatly improve your ratios with other specs when making extremely large attacks. Roughly speaking, if you expect to lose 4 million fleet in an attack, it is worthwhile to suicide a Leviathan for the 5% armor bonus.

OK, back to actual Levi spec fleets - these can afford long periods of simming or constant activity either one since most of the turnover is through repairs rather than actual fleet loss. The use of repairs effectively increases your production rate - repairs are comparable to turning over fleet with 25 armor(slightly less profitable at higher armor levels) except that they are instant rather than having to be "turned over" - changed from your mobile into debris into credits into production into fleet into a part of your mobile. Levi's are also the only spec which can really afford double production when fed enough: if you double prod, you have to make 100% profit on every hit just to break even, but Levis always make ridiculous profit ratios(when they get a hit at all).

Showing a 10 million Levi fleet since 1 mil isn't really enough for a proper example.
50K Recyclers (1.5M)
2 Titans (100K)
42 Leviathans (8.4M)

The titans are a meatshield for your leviathans - if you will barely lose a Leviathan due to bleedthrough, sacrifice a single titan in order to make sure it survives. You don't need many - just a couple for just in case. Remember that scouting is incredibly important for leviathan fleets. It takes huge amounts of debris in order to make your account grow while still producing leviathans non-stop. I also lean a bit toward using a small secondary mobile of CR or HC spec in order to keep fleet turning over when you just can't get any food for your levis.


Common Targets:
Bases with millions of fleet or no prings
Fighter, Frigate, and cruiser spec fleets and some small HC fleets

What to watch out for:
Large or well teched HC fleets
BS/DN spec fleets
Ion Units
Simming so long that you forget to scout
Last edited by xJudicatorx on Sun 14 Nov, 2010 10:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby xJudicatorx » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 10:24

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Re: Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby xJudicatorx » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 10:24

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Re: Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby xJudicatorx » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 10:24

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Re: Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby LesCrow » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 11:56

Im glad im not the only one who thinks an ideal HC/BS fleet should be almost entirely if not entirely made of HC/BS.

EX: (-o-)/DS(G), SPORK/LOVE(H), I: WL/AUDI(I), UFP/1st(J), SoT(K), DREAM(L)WL(M).
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Re: Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby Hash » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 13:55

Nice read.

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Re: Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby Callisto » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 14:50

You know they will delete your posts right logical?


Nice guide

Reported to move it to the guide section faster

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Re: Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby Spamhead » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 14:51

The fighter swarm part should probably mention that they're usually the best spec for hitting base defences very early game and late game.

I disagree with never using FC with a FR fleet. A lot of FR stackers (myself included when I had one) use FC to obtain a 6:1 FT:FR ratio. This allows you to fight until your last unit in a blob crash and for casual use makes doing your own FT drops easier, because you don't run out of fighters.

Other than that, very nice.

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Re: Basic guide to fleet specs

Postby Ikari » Sat 25 Sep, 2010 17:30

Cleaned up and moved to guides and tutorials.


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