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How Do I Protect Things? - 4/27/2017 6:58:59 AM   
jamesbaxter


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TLDR: How do I protect far away mines/research stations/resorts/mining ships?

So let's say I get to the point where I have expanded a bit. I've got mining operations taking place in a bunch of nearby systems. Let's even say I've got enough cash to build up a couple fleets, and i've got one or two smaller fleets with a destroyers, boarders, etc. How can i use these (or spread them out in such a way) as to defend all my far off mining operations?

Once I start breaking my ties with pirates, I've found they come and attack these vunerabilities - and my fleets are far too slow to get there in time. Once I manage to arrive, something else popped up! It's like a game of whack-a-mole where I always lose.

One ship per mining operation doesn't make sense.. And having an enormous stationary force is hardily cost-effective.

I started building a ton of escorts and throwing it on automatic, figuring that the "escort" class would do just that - but to no avail.

Are there any commonly known ways to deal with this?

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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 4/27/2017 7:54:56 AM   
Bingeling

 

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If you really want to defend something, you need a lot of defenses on top of it. Reserve that for valuable colonies, and maybe the "out of the way" rare resource mines. These are worth defending. If you got a really tight shortage of some resource, and no other alternatives, they may warrant something too.

So any sane strategy for those far away stations is "don't defend them". They are not worth having. If they are really valuable, you can buff their designs so they can fend for themselves a bit (resort stations).

So, if I have manual constructors, I won't build "far away mines", and I could care less about mining ships. If they are bothered, they can move. If I have automated constructors, and the AI insists on building "way out", I let him do it, and just watch the mines get busted and rebuilt. The attack messages can be annoying though (the main drawback of automated construction ships).

For actual pirate defense not involving paying them off, only one thing helps: Bust their bases. If their closest base is further away than their attack range, they won't bother you. But this breaks down if you expand your borders with a mine half across the galaxy. When I decide to expand, that includes attention and forces to clear that area of pirates. To get some long range scanners there, and in all normal situations that requires a somewhat supplied spaceport as a base for the fleets doing the cleaning duties. There is my area, and those really close to me, that are pirate free. And there is the rest of the galaxy that is pirate infested.

That is of course after I actually have enough forces to bust the pirates...

(in reply to jamesbaxter)
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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 4/27/2017 7:55:28 AM   
stuart3

 

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screwed this one up

< Message edited by stuart3 -- 4/27/2017 5:22:19 PM >

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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 4/27/2017 8:19:26 AM   
stuart3

 

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As you say, it's all about cost effectiveness. There is usually little point in defending something if it will cost you less in the long run to accept that it may be destroyed.


My suggestions in reverse order are,

Mining ships - They are operated by the private sector. You have no control over their numbers or locations. Escorts or frigates will often escort a private sector ship if automated, or you can order them to do it. The problem is that there will be many more private sector ships than escorts. The good news is that the private sector ships will automatically try to run away from danger and will often succeed.

Resort bases -

Tourists will only choose to visit resorts where the scenery is sufficiently appealing. They also don’t like to travel too far. So build your resort bases at the most scenic locations that are reasonably close to large, wealthy colonies. :- from the galactopedia. Resort bases built too far from home are neither defensible nor greatly profitable. In the early game limit your resort building to locations in defensible systems. Those tempting far away locations with scenery bonuses will still be there later in the game when you have reduced the pirate numbers.

Research stations - As with resort bases, build them close to home in defensible locations. So there is a nice far away location with a 25% energy research bonus. Do you really need that bonus? Are you that close to your research limit? Is it worth the cost of a defence force to patrol it?

Mines. - Try to build them in defensible clusters. There will be times when the only known source of osalia and emeros crystal will be in a single planet system, and you will always want the special resources wherever they are, but you will also find large systems with several economically mineable planets and moons. You may get an extra several percent by picking and choosing locations from around the galaxy, but all those mines in a single system can be defended by a single defence force.



Damn... hit the wrong button halfway through.

(in reply to stuart3)
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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 4/27/2017 11:49:57 AM   
Hattori Hanzo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: stuart3

Damn... hit the wrong button halfway through.



do you know that you can use the "edit" button in that case.. ?????

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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 4/27/2017 2:06:39 PM   
jamesbaxter


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quote:

If you really want to defend something, you need a lot of defenses on top of it.


What would constitute a lot of defenses?

quote:

Bust their bases. If their closest base is further away than their attack range, they won't bother you.


How could you check their attack range?

I get the basic idea though - my problem seems to be that I expanded too fast. If i do so slowly and with defense in mind, I might not run into this issue again.

quote:

Mines. - Try to build them in defensible clusters.


What would a defensible cluster be then? How can I be sure that a place is well defended enough?




(in reply to Hattori Hanzo)
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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 4/27/2017 2:25:56 PM   
Bingeling

 

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To the above.

A lot of defenses to keep something really valuable, must be able to stop an AI fleet. To stop them from destroying a mine is probably impossible. To defend a very rich colony, I would drop a large spaceport, 4 defensive bases, and a fleet stronger than what the AI brings on top of it. With the added ground force large enough to stop a troop transport or two slipping through.

If it is a ultra rare mine, you need it in your zone of control anyways (in the long run). If you have so you can rebuilt it if wasted, but keep a defensive base or two and possibly some ships there if you think pirates may arrive. If it is in the middle of your area, you don't really need defenses, because no pirate will arrive there.

You notice the pirates attack range by them attacking you :) It is probably 2 sectors or so.

What I meant by "Mines in a defensible cluster" is that I place them in my own territory (that I keep clear of pirates), or in reasonable range that I also keep clear. If I need to extend I would probably put lots of mines in the area, and hunt pirates mercilessly. One mine "here and there" outside the home area is not defensible or worth defending.

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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 4/27/2017 4:27:48 PM   
stuart3

 

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quote:

do you know that you can use the "edit" button in that case.. ?????


I do now. Thanks

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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 4/27/2017 4:35:05 PM   
Aeson

 

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Personally, I tend not to defend anything other than the home system in the early phase of the game, and even once I get a strong enough economy to afford to defend other locations I tend to concentrate on defending colonized systems; as bingling suggested, having a force capable of going after the pirate spaceports is a more sure and less expensive way of dealing with pirate problems than building up defensive squadrons, stations, and garrisons all over the place. Still, if you want to defend a system, three to five size ~200-300 ships are usually an adequate force to run raiders off from a colony and protect freighter traffic or station construction in the system (my preference is to use blaster-armed ships and give each ship in the defense squadron a boarding pod; sometimes you'll get lucky and capture a pirate ship), and a garrison of perhaps five infantry units is usually adequate to deal with raiding forces which land on the colony. Five Human or better (12100+ strength) infantry units are also what I consider to be the minimum force necessary to go after a Hidden Pirate Base; ten Human or better infantry units are what I'd consider an adequate force to go after a Hidden Pirate Fortress. If using worse infantry, I'd suggest using ten units to go after Hidden Bases and fifteen to go after Hidden Fortresses. I will add that it is a very good idea to have a fuel source somewhere close to the region in which you expect a squadron of ships to be operating for any significant length of time, preferably in the same system as the squadron is stationed.

It's very unlikely that a new colony is worth giving a full garrison or a defensive squadron immediately, so I would suggest locally recruiting the garrison (you don't pay upkeep on a ground unit until recruitment is completed) and not worrying about posting a squadron to the system unless pirate attacks on freighters and passenger ships going to the system become a significant problem. Of course, if you have the economy to support a defensive squadron or can spare a more significant force for a while, it won't hurt to post ships there at least for a little while. I would also suggest that a defensive squadron is more useful than the garrison for shutting down pirate activity, if you feel you have to choose one or the other, as the ships can kill the pirate ships which launch raiders and protect other things in the system whereas the garrison can only fend raiding forces off, and you can use the army you use to invade independent colonies to eradicate pirate bases from your own worlds if necessary.

Colonies can additionally become completely immune to pirate raids if you complete a Planetary Shield Generator on the colony (requires Massive Shield Projection in the Energy and Construction tree, which is the tech after the final upgrade to Corvidian Shields), though note that Planetary Shield Generators do not protect anything except the colony itself, have a relatively significant up-front cost (20,000 credits, which is probably enough to buy about 5 size ~300 early-game warships or pay the maintenance on five infantry units and a defensive squadron for two in-game years), and can be destroyed by raiders while under construction. Planetary Shield Generators will also not prevent the passive pirate influence generation from the presence of pirate ships over the colony, so even with one on the colony you may still require ground forces to prevent Hidden Bases or Fortresses from going up.

quote:

Escorts or frigates will often escort a private sector ship if automated, or you can order them to do it. The problem is that there will be many more private sector ships than escorts. The good news is that the private sector ships will automatically try to run away from danger and will often succeed.

I am of the opinion that issuing escort orders, or allowing the computer to do so, is a waste of time and resources, though if you're playing with unfleeted automated warships it's an unavoidable inefficiency. It's extremely difficult to successfully intercept a ship which is at hyperspeed and I don't believe that the computer will really even attempt to do so (its ships might take potshots at a passing vessel and will sometimes pursue things which attempt to escape into hyperspace, but I've never seen it camp ships out on a hyperlane to attempt to intercept passing vessels or anything like that), which means that the time that an escorting warship spends accompanying a ship at hyperspeed is mostly wasted, and if the civilian ship's destination already has defenses it's unlikely that there will be a significant difference in how quickly warships will be able to respond to an attack on the civilian ship whether the civilian ship is accompanied by an escort or not.

If you're thinking about using warships to escort private sector shipping, I would suggest that a better use of those ships would be to secure the system(s) in which the private sector shipping will be stopping with defensive squadrons, focusing on securing the systems which see the highest volume of traffic first (the systems which most consistently see the highest volume of traffic are usually the home system and those systems which host active shipyards, major colonies, and fuel mines).

quote:

A lot of defenses to keep something really valuable, must be able to stop an AI fleet. To stop them from destroying a mine is probably impossible. To defend a very rich colony, I would drop a large spaceport, 4 defensive bases, and a fleet stronger than what the AI brings on top of it. With the added ground force large enough to stop a troop transport or two slipping through.

I'm more in favor of providing high-value systems with enough defenses to stall a significant attack long enough for a counter-attack force to arrive, myself. System defenses strong enough to repulse a significant attack without outside assistance are just too expensive for any system you can survive losing, and there's very rarely any single system, aside from the home system (and even the home system can cease to be that valuable later in the game), which is that valuable to me.

< Message edited by Aeson -- 4/27/2017 4:52:14 PM >

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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 4/27/2017 4:54:40 PM   
stuart3

 

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quote:

What would a defensible cluster be then?


As I said, build several mining stations in the same star system where you can defend the entire system with one defence force.

quote:

How can I be sure that a place is well defended enough?


You can never tell in advance. If you are unlucky then you might find a large pirate fleet or a resupply ship, cruiser or capital ship arriving in your system, but it will be more likely to be two or three escorts or frigates with the occasional destroyer. If you click on each pirate ship you will be told some of it's stats. Check out their firepower and shield strength and compare it to your ships in the system. When the pirates return it will often be with the same ships or a similar sized force so you will get an idea whether your existing defense is strong enough or whether you want to beef it up to meet possible future attacks.

(in reply to jamesbaxter)
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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 4/27/2017 9:50:45 PM   
RemoteLeg


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I'm not a bit fan of static defenses, though I admit they do have their place. I prefer mobile defenses of small fleets stationed in vulnerable locations - they can be reassigned once those areas become secure.

I've created a video about defending your mining bases from pirate attacks here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs9H2DLd5V8&index=21&list=PLK2bfr2o2ZkW3OcP3kd-ypVVfLtaT9Y81

Take a look, perhaps you might find some useful tips.

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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 4/28/2017 5:52:01 AM   
Lucian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: jamesbaxter

Once I start breaking my ties with pirates, I've found they come and attack these vunerabilities - and my fleets are far too slow to get there in time. Once I manage to arrive, something else popped up! It's like a game of whack-a-mole where I always lose.


I've found this to be an issue too, although I dont always lose, I feel that over the long term I'm steadily losing ground. The only real solution IMO is to kill the pirates. Systematically track down all their bases and completely annihilate them, wipe them out. Then they stop harassing you. :)

< Message edited by Lucian -- 4/28/2017 5:56:31 AM >

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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 4/28/2017 7:19:00 AM   
stuart3

 

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The short, concise answer to the whole issue is -

"He who defends everything defends nothing."
- Frederick the Great


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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 4/28/2017 9:54:01 AM   
BigWolf


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Personally

Mining stations, I go with one of three options
* For resources that are common in your own space, just build cheap mining bases, let them die as the cost to replace is little, no defences, no weapons - though if you have a weapon that bypasses pirate defences, stick one or two on, so they still have some repairs to do
* For resources that are less common, or important luxaries, build a mining base whose purpose is to survive long enough for backup to arrive - If it's armed enough to do some damage, bonus, but staying alive is more important, though Ion Weapons can useful here
* For resources in strategic locations (Think refuelling gas base for fleets that are outside the main territories), or the rare one planet per game resources, then place a battle station, really tough to knock down, and will do major damage to any attacking force, also attach some weapon platforms next to it as well. The idea here, if the AI wants it dead, they have to dedicate a massive fleet to do so

Research stations - keep in locations that are well inside your own territories, or just place research labs on large spaceports, and leave dedicated labs to bonus locations that fall inside your space

Resort Stations - let them die... honestly, IIRC you only get credits upon tourists coming aboard, meaning once they are full, they become only a drain


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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 5/1/2017 7:04:30 PM   
Unforeseen


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You would be amazed at how effective a simple missile battery can be. Arm all of your mining stations with missiles, and place a missile defense station nearby. Keep em cheap though. Bare minimum components to deal sufficient damage against the most common defenses and just enough defense to survive long enough for the missiles to do their jobs. Keep those for more important resources though, like near refueling stations and luxury resources. And a few around your colonies, particularly those without a spaceport.

Another way to maximize your defenses is to have smaller fleets with a wide range set on automated defend. As well as a large number of independent ships. I actually keep the majority of my ships independent until a war breaks out or I'm preparing for one, keeping only a small number in my defense fleets and in my main battle fleets.

Another thing I like to do, in order to increase the range of my fleets is deploy resupply ships outside of my influence bubble. This gives my ships as many options as possible when refueling so they can pretty much get to wherever they need to be and refuel without having to travel to much. Thus improving response times.

Steal FTL tech.

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RE: How Do I Protect Things? - 5/8/2017 5:46:35 PM   
Edmesa

 

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Personally i prefer picket fleets for locations that are worth defending, if the location no longer needs a defense force i can move it to where its needed.

However i like to give mining stations some self defense by arming them in the early game with a gravitic weapon and couple railguns. The gravitic weapons because it ignores both shields and armor, but its slow firing and for that i have couple railguns and which fast firing and has the capability to partially ignore shields. The big issue with pirates early game is that their shields are quite strong and usually drop on top of the station, so unless you put some really serious firepower on a station you dont have the time to work through their shields and armor to the soft inside. Thats why i favor those weapon systems, when a lucky shot damages a critical component it usually retreats for repairs.

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