I really appreciate your posts and all of the time you spent in detailing this! Thank you!
You probably won't believe it, but I am still having a bit of a problem understanding / getting it all to work. Do you mind if I post here a couple of questions?
Basically, I think it boils down to: when do I hit "automate"?
- If I want to coordinate an attack, I get my groups of fleets, set "Attack Target" for each which tells that fleet to go after that target (basically, up to here, as if I were manually telling it to attack without posturing, right?), then I set its range (which tells it what to attack AFTER it is done attacking the thing I set for "Set Attack Target"), then I hit "Attack Mode" (sword icon), which sends it on its way? Or do I need to hit "Automate" to send it on its way? Or do I need to hit "automate" after it is underway? Or do I not need to hit automate?
Basically, I am confused as to what is actually the status of my ships when they are sitting around in their fleet positions with "no mission".
- Is "Set Home Base" important for an attack fleet? (When will it go back to its home base? If they need to retreat? Refuel?)
- If I want my fleets to defend, I need to set home base, which is like a "defend target" to the attack posture's "attack target" (right?), then set range -- then hit automate? Or will they be defending if I do not hit automate?
- When I fleet is postured to defend, and set on automated, will it refuel when needed? (Or how can I tell it: when "needed" is really needed?!) When postured to attack also ditto?
- I sometimes have resupply ships which I deploy to gas clouds underway so they have a stock on fuel; is there a way to set my fleet to that ship as a home base? I can't seem to make that work.
Thanks so much!
While I still do not know the answer to these questions, I have further confused myself in the week or so since I posted: I have noticed that the fleets I have set do "defend" --> "system" have really let me down. In a new game, still fairly early (late early game), I got into conflict with a really close neighbor, and had 4 fleets to defend my 4 colonizes near / around his. These fleets had about 4 ships each in them, each set to defend base + system. I got the warning message that an attack fleet of his was set on an attack vector to my moon X; so to make sure, I set that fleet to defend base only (to make sure it wouldnt wander around too far). About 20 minutes later, I find that fleet way out in deep space. A second fleet of mine was likewise deep in space, far away from its home system. My only guess was that they were chasing an escaping attacker or civilian ship. I really doubt that they were attempting to refuel or so, since they had lots of fuel and there was nothing out in space towards which they could go to refuel. But why? I thought "defend" + small area = they don't go wandering? What am I doing wrong?