From: My Own Private Hell
Defensive Fleets - These work fine, except when the AS (Artificial Stupid) decides to ignore operational range limits. The Fleets AI is definitely susceptible to the "Oh! SHINY!" condition as they hare off after some bit of glitter on the scanners and completely forget what ever it was they were supposed to be doing.
Having been a GalCiv player for many years when I first found DW the first thing I did was put a defensive fleet on every system, with ROTS and Legends it was a bit of an empty gesture as the AI would very rarely attack my worlds, still the case with Shadows but it has got a little better in that regard but with the introduction of the faction pirates in Shadows I am glad I never gave up on the idea, even more so since the introduction of the pirate strength slider.
I did extensive tests on the subject as I was also getting clobbered and I found that to really scupper the pirates and still have a good functioning economy the only way was four destroyers in a defense fleet with a homebase and the stance set to nearby systems or just the system (if you play prewarp then set the fleet to planet only with no warpdrive, then set it to system with the warp bubble and as soon as the Gerax is researched switch to nearby systems, as the stance set to system only does not really show up on the main map I now use the nearby systems one (do wish Elliot would add a filter in the Galaxy Map to show defense stances like it does with influence), I tried a number of games on a 700/10x10 with the independents on there top setting so there was a good stock for the pirates to grow on, pirates to many and set to nearby then when the slider was introduced I set that to strong and the checkbox for pirates to respawn on. If you have the stance set to sector the ships just do not get there in time (I even created a race that used the Velocity Drive so I could see if the speed was an issue), even more so mid to late game, I played quite a few games where I just let the pirates grow so I could see where the problems were and the sector stance is next to useless for them, I still get raided but nowhere near as much as I used to, in fact I would say it has cut it down to a pretty tolerable limit. I have had over a 100+ defense fleets in some of the test games and the old sector stance setting was just not working, try it yourself and see the difference, just remember to keep the destroyers with fleet counter measures and targeting, warp inhibitors, good engine speed (+28 is a good level), EMP defenses etc, weapons I found that really work fast and get the job done are Phasers and Plasma Torpedoes, the over beam weapons are not as good and I have found them lacking when it comes to trying to take out shielding on space ports, also have one or two large 10 ship fleets of capitals, I have one 10+ fleet positioned at the N,S,E,W edges of my empire and use those to clear any bases that pop up to close to any of my systems.
< Message edited by Darkspire -- 9/17/2013 7:59:10 AM >