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Dranak

Foxtrot Gameplay Video

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Hmm, never had a 90 degree encounter ever. Guess it's my luck- always been head on.

Regardless, someone had the idea of longer roll distance coupled with a lower recharge. That might be a good way to go. Fighters could reliably counter fighters, but would still be weak vs capital ships, but torpedos would be the opposite..

I've posted this as a mod over on the mods board. From doing some testing, it works really well for what I want it to do - you now need Condors to take out alien fighters while Foxtrots are needed to take out larger UFOs.

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The point is that you're not meant to use torpedoes on everything. You shouldn't be using them on the fighters. Because the fighters take two missiles to bring down, a long re-arm time (unrealistic or otherwise) would prevent players from using torpedoes against fighters.

The advantage of the Condor is meant to be that it has a cannon, which will make short work of the fighters. Therefore it doesn't need to use missiles against them. Thus a Foxtrot and two Condors should have 2 x Torpedoes, 4 x Light Missiles and a load of cannon rounds left to deal with the main ship once the escorts have been shot down. Three Foxtrots would only have 2 x Torpedoes left after shooting down both escorts.

Would that not work? I've not played the mid-game air combat for a while so I'm not completely up-to-date on what's happening there.

In any case, you're not meant to be able to use the same planes to shoot down all the UFOs in a wave, so we'll have to nerf the re-arm times so players actually have to make decisions about where to send their planes rather than just using the same squadron to get them all.

In my experience, the statement about the cannon being able to make sure work of the fighters is only true if you can get into range and not get killed first. My Condors are usually blown to pieces well before they ever get in range of the fighters with a cannon. It's why we invented missiles. So you didn't have to do that.

The alien fighters perform better than the Condors in every aspect (which is fine they are alien fighters!).

So the tactic I would use in this case would be to engage the aliens on multiple vectors with greater numbers and then overwhelm them with volume of fire. Since we can't do that, the player response has been to use torpedoes all the time. They allow you to actually survive the engagement rather than paying the 4 day penalty of having dead fighters.

The way I see it, the aggressiveness of the UFO invasion dictates that it's never acceptable to lose an air engagement. So why would I ever not reload my save game?

Edited by Ishantil
typos

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The point is that you're not meant to use torpedoes on everything. You shouldn't be using them on the fighters. Because the fighters take two missiles to bring down, a long re-arm time (unrealistic or otherwise) would prevent players from using torpedoes against fighters.
If that's track you are taking then the Condors need to be able to "roll" more often and flight algorithm needs to be changed to have them naturally try to get into the fighters six o'clock position and they will need to be able to manuever better so it actually happens. Right now, it's fairly suicidal to engage in cannon combat from the 12 o'clock position and getting behind a fighter is nearly impossible.

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Chris, the cannon is a joke. An honest-to-goodness joke. It is a weapon of last resort, when everything else has been used and there is no choice but to use the cannon. The most glaring issue with using the cannon as a main weapon verses anything above a Scout is the fact that an alien X will first use its long range weapon, and then start shooting with its own main cannon long before the Condor can engage with the cannon, meaning the Condor will die. The second (to restate StellarRat), is that if you want to use the cannon without dying, one aircraft has to kite the UFO while the other shoots it. That's not going to happen when facing an escorted UFO.

And in any case, why on earth would I bother with short range light missiles or even shorter ranged cannon? Okay, let's say that aircraft are summarily benched for a minimum of 12 hours after going out on a sortie. Fine. I build 4 hangars and have 4 foxtrots, which is entirely doable early game. When I face a UFO wave, I will ignore the small fry and go straight for the escorted medium-sized UFOs. My Foxtrots will fly in pairs, one slightly after the other. The first one engages, takes out the escorts, retreats. The second one engages, takes out the now defenceless UFO. They are then benched for 12 hours. After 12 hours, the small fry are still around, so I can go after those as well. As the 2 condors and the foxtrot would be benched for 12 hours as well, and 1 extra aircraft, Foxtrot or Condor won't make a dent in anything other than a scout or an idiot lone fightercraft, I haven't lost anything and I have optimised my aircraft usage.

I mean, I can go one further - Foxtrots from a base in Indo-China can support a base that's seeing heavy activity in Northern Africa. It's not hard to set up mutual layers of support. You're not going to change anything by benching aircraft for longer periods. All that will change are the strategies for optimising Foxtrot usage. The problem is not with the Foxtrot. It is with the torpedo. Level the playing field, and you will shake up how UFOs are approached.

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I've thought on this a while myself; maybe if different aircraft had their own refuel/re-arm/repair times. Like, not just as a percentage ratio, but different rates for each craft. That would allow a much more fine-grained honing of this sort of thing, and would naturally incline people to use certain aircraft for certain situations.

This is an interesting idea; maybe make Condors refuel more rapidly than Foxtrots?

I agree with Max_Caine here; we need to level the playing field.

Giving all missiles the same range would certainly help do that.

I recommend buffing the cannon as well, or at least creating situations where they would be useful. Making Condors (and other dogfighters) circle around to the 6 o'clock position instead of simple barreling straight for the blazing plasma cannons would help.

A more effective way to increase the valuable-ness of cannons:

I support buffing the evasive roll; it seems kind of ridiculous that both Xenonaut dogfighters and the UFOs have such a long cooldown time for such a basic evasive maneuver. By making the roll more powerful/effective, we would no longer be able to time missiles so easily (though it'd still be possible), and we would be able to dodge incoming fire/missiles much more effectively, allowing the dogfighters to actually dogfight and get in close to the enemy, allowing effective use of the cannon.

I recommend giving UFOs a slight cooldown for the roll; perhaps less than what they have now.

However, our own dogfighters should have a significantly lower cooldown for the roll, perhaps even no cooldown at all (besides what time it takes to execute the roll itself). For one, our craft are designed to operate in an atmosphere, the UFOs are not and thus it makes sense that our aircraft would work better in air (read: be more nimble) than their spacecraft do. Also, we wouldn't be able to simply spam the evasive roll as much as we want because it consumes fuel, and fuel is a valuable commodity. So, I suppose, if you really wanted to simply spam the evasive roll you could, but you'd run out of fuel.

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I agree with Max_Caine here; we need to level the playing field.

Giving all missiles the same range would certainly help do that.

I'm not sure that would work. If there's no way for Foxtrots to avoid getting shot (because they can't roll, which is the only thing you can do to avoid missile attacks), they'll become useful. They need the extra range, because that's the only defence they have.

Having played around with a buffed evade (with a 1 second cooldown), I'm not sure spamming it is a problem. I've still taken hits, especially in larger fights when my attention's all over the place, and sometimes even a second isn't enough to dodge (particularly against alien 'cannon' fire).

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Personally, I like the idea of buffing the evasive roll more than the increasing missile range.

I just saw your aircraft balance mod, and I think that something like that could help out significantly.

I support making the torpedoes slower and less able to turn; the xenopedia description supports this as well. At the moment, I can't actually see much difference between them and sidewinders, to be honest.

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Well kabill, what are Foxtrots supposed to be crap at/good at fighting? What are Condors and Corsairs supposed to be crap at/good at fighting? As it stands, Foxtrots are good at fighting everything. If Foxtrots are supposed to be crap at fighitng interceptors (as the Xenopedia indicates), then they should be crap at fighting interceptors.

EDIT: Foxtrots are good at fighting everything because in the minigame, range is king. I assert there is nothing more important in the minigame than range, and I present my evidence Dranak's vids and kabill's mod as proof that range trumps everything unless you seriously dial down several other factors at once.

Having said that, I can see the situation where the interceptors swoop in and take out the escorts while the foxtrots wait their turn to have a crack at big n' tasty. If the intention of the minigame is to have everyone on the field at once, i.e. a 3-on-3 Thunderdome, then I think there needs to be a serious re-examination of how each ship works in each era.

Edited by Max_Caine

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Making torpedoes very slow and able to be dodged easily by anything that can do the evasive roll consistently would really help out a lot. They should be used like, well, like torpedoes; useful against large boats, but useless against speedboats.

So, maybe halving the speed and turning ability of the torpedoes as well as reducing the cooldown for the evasive roll would help with that. Also, making the torpedoes have a cooldown so we can't fire one right after the other (making that cooldown the same as the evasive roll cooldown could produce some nice results). Just make it so that if any weapon has been fired (including a sidewinder) you cannot fire a torpedo within X seconds (and make the evasive roll cooldown X seconds as well). However, light missiles shouldn't have a cooldown. So, a foxtrot loaded with two sidewinders could fire them off one after the other, but if it had two torpedoes or a torp and a sidewinder it couldn't force a roll with one torp/the sidewinder and then immediately fire the other torpedo.

It could be explained that weapons fire messes with the weapons lock for the torpedoes somehow, so firing anything will reset the torpedoes firing lock and require gaining a new lock.

By implementing this, enemy fighters could simply roll out of the way of the first torpedo and by the time the second is coming they could simply dodge that one as well using the evasive roll. However, if you'd want to get up close with a Condor you could force an evasive roll with a single sidewinder and still hit the fighter with the other sidewinder (as there would be no cooldown). If you timed it extremely well you could force the roll with a Condor sidewinder and hit the UFO with both torpedoes from a Foxtrot. Initially this may seem like a bad thing (because you can still hit fighters with torpedoes), but it would still force you to use a dogfighter, making it a win in my opinion.

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The advantage of the Condor is meant to be that it has a cannon, which will make short work of the fighters. Therefore it doesn't need to use missiles against them.

> implying

The lower-tier cannons are nearly worthless as they stand.

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> implying

Even if the implication is there, the cannon isn't effective enough. Rather, the planes themselves aren't effective enough. We need to get behind the enemy somehow to avoid getting shot to pieces, or at least out of their firing arc.

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Notably, there is no real reason a Foxtrot should not be able to perform a roll. So I assume this is for balance reasons?

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I think we're starting to get into two different problems here. The first is that torpedoes are a straight upgrade over sidewinders, and the second is any possible issues with Foxtrots. Changing sidewinder range would still leave torpedoes as superior because they have more damage. Sidewinders would need something that makes them at least competitive to torpedoes to make worth using. Maybe a payload of four sidewinders versus two torpedoes, with the sidewinders adding up to more damage, but lower range? That would make them a risk/reward choice, which would at least make the choice interesting.

Or heck, just make torpedoes be a researchable upgrade to standard missiles. Have a Corvette Datacore end with comments along the lines of "Our current air to air missiles seem inadequate in the face of alien warships. I have some ideas for new missiles purpose-designed for penetrating alien ship armor," and add a Improved Air to Air Missiles research following it. Have them require a manufactured launcher which can be installed on any aircraft (or not). That would create a bit more progression on air weapons, and would probably allow Foxtrots to be outright removed, which would smooth out the progression of plane upgrades, and also make Corsairs useful.

I guess this discussion is just making me wonder why do we need to have a divide between escort killers, and main UFO killers? Does it really add anything to the gameplay, other than punishing players that don't know what the correct ratio of planes to build is?

Edited by Dranak

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Making torpedoes very slow and able to be dodged easily by anything that can do the evasive roll consistently would really help out a lot. They should be used like, well, like torpedoes; useful against large boats, but useless against speedboats.

So, maybe halving the speed and turning ability of the torpedoes as well as reducing the cooldown for the evasive roll would help with that. Also, making the torpedoes have a cooldown so we can't fire one right after the other (making that cooldown the same as the evasive roll cooldown could produce some nice results). Just make it so that if any weapon has been fired (including a sidewinder) you cannot fire a torpedo within X seconds (and make the evasive roll cooldown X seconds as well). However, light missiles shouldn't have a cooldown. So, a foxtrot loaded with two sidewinders could fire them off one after the other, but if it had two torpedoes or a torp and a sidewinder it couldn't force a roll with one torp/the sidewinder and then immediately fire the other torpedo.

It could be explained that weapons fire messes with the weapons lock for the torpedoes somehow, so firing anything will reset the torpedoes firing lock and require gaining a new lock.

By implementing this, enemy fighters could simply roll out of the way of the first torpedo and by the time the second is coming they could simply dodge that one as well using the evasive roll. However, if you'd want to get up close with a Condor you could force an evasive roll with a single sidewinder and still hit the fighter with the other sidewinder (as there would be no cooldown). If you timed it extremely well you could force the roll with a Condor sidewinder and hit the UFO with both torpedoes from a Foxtrot. Initially this may seem like a bad thing (because you can still hit fighters with torpedoes), but it would still force you to use a dogfighter, making it a win in my opinion.

Changing torpedo speed doesn't seem like it would change much of anything, unless you slow them down so much that a fighter/heavy fighter would close with a Foxtrot before the second torpedo would impact. But that would just seem silly to think any guided missile would be incredibly slow. Turning radius would have 0 effect. And my second video already simulated how changing the cooldown (unless it was taken so low it could be constantly spammed, which would probably look silly), or a lockout on firing a second torpedo would just be worked around. You would just use one Fox to force the roll, and a second to get the kill, then disengage. It would make Corsairs have a minimal role, with 1 per base to be deployed versus Heavy Fighters (which are too fast for Foxtrots to safely disengage).

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If the enemy fighters could shoot down torpedoes that would change things. Then you'd have to send in Condors or use missiles on Foxtrots and remove the escorts BEFORE you tackled the big ships. Or switch to missiles only when tackling a figher sweep. But, to make that change, the Condors need to be more adept at killing small ships, which is not how it is right now, in-spite of the Vulcan.

Edited by StellarRat

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Condors are capable of cleanly killing a Fighter with no missiles (just tested again), but it's far from reliable. There's just so much more risk in using them for no reward versus a Foxtrot.

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Hello kabill,

Let me make a point here...

back in RL, phoenix is capable of

a) self-homing electronics (is radar based, near impossible to miss unless using ecm)

b) range of 212 kilometers

c) mach 5

and sidewinders is capable of...

a) infra red homing (could miss thus waste)

b) range of 18 kilometers

c) mach 2.5

so for game style, avalanche and sidewinders (v19.x) lost at least 2 of 3 features making game play bit convoluted

Dev made aircombat easier in order to "test" crashed ship missions. I suspect they already have planned with original specs that will be returned in beta, and might clash with your mods.

Just that I wished dev's would include mid-weight missles, like the sparrow or falcons.

R

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Well kabill, what are Foxtrots supposed to be crap at/good at fighting? What are Condors and Corsairs supposed to be crap at/good at fighting? As it stands, Foxtrots are good at fighting everything. If Foxtrots are supposed to be crap at fighitng interceptors (as the Xenopedia indicates), then they should be crap at fighting interceptors.

EDIT: Foxtrots are good at fighting everything because in the minigame, range is king. I assert there is nothing more important in the minigame than range, and I present my evidence Dranak's vids and kabill's mod as proof that range trumps everything unless you seriously dial down several other factors at once.

I never meant to imply that range wasn't important, only that adjusting the game so that the range on all missiles/torpedoes is the same is unlikely to work because it creates new problems (Foxtrots just die). And (as you've implied yourself) it *is* possible to make range less decisive.

I guess this discussion is just making me wonder why do we need to have a divide between escort killers, and main UFO killers? Does it really add anything to the gameplay, other than punishing players that don't know what the correct ratio of planes to build is?

If I'm honest, I never really liked the air combat game much. Mainly because there's relatively little you can do to influence the outcome - either you joust with Foxtrots, or you kite with condors. That's about it. One of the few differences you can make is what you bring to the fight in the first place; if you remove that, I'm not sure there's a lot of the air combat game left.

In any case, there isn't necessarily an 'exact ratio' of planes. We talk about Foxtrots exclusively in terms of torpedoes, but they can be equipped with missiles as well. At risk of going on about this, in the mod I made the missiles are actually effective at hitting evasive UFOs, which means that equipping a Foxtrot with them - although not as useful as a Condor would be against a fighter - can still give you a bit of extra strength when you need it. Furthermore, a squad of Condors might not be able to take out a large UFO, but throw a Condor in with some Foxtrots and the Condor will still be able to do some damage. It's not entirely all or nothing.

Changing torpedo speed doesn't seem like it would change much of anything, unless you slow them down so much that a fighter/heavy fighter would close with a Foxtrot before the second torpedo would impact. But that would just seem silly to think any guided missile would be incredibly slow. Turning radius would have 0 effect. And my second video already simulated how changing the cooldown (unless it was taken so low it could be constantly spammed, which would probably look silly), or a lockout on firing a second torpedo would just be worked around. You would just use one Fox to force the roll, and a second to get the kill, then disengage. It would make Corsairs have a minimal role, with 1 per base to be deployed versus Heavy Fighters (which are too fast for Foxtrots to safely disengage).

You are right, but in combination these changes make a workable solution. It can, as I've already indicated, 'look a bit silly' but only when you get into cannon range. In any case, I'd rather it look a bit silly and work, then the other way around.

EDIT: @rynait - you're quite possibly right and if what I've done is redundant, that's fine. I made it because I was encouraged (by this thread!) to look for alternatives to the extant system and having found a solution I liked, figured I might as well put it here to. In any case, the file changes take two minutes, so there's hardly any loss!

Edited by kabill

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@rynait - The Phoenix has basically no combat history and was not thought to be a good missile against fighters, only big unmaneuvable bombers. If I remember correctly, the two or three times was fired in actual combat it missed.

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If I'm honest, I never really liked the air combat game much. Mainly because there's relatively little you can do to influence the outcome - either you joust with Foxtrots, or you kite with condors. That's about it. One of the few differences you can make is what you bring to the fight in the first place; if you remove that, I'm not sure there's a lot of the air combat game left.

Agreed, I'm not really much of a fan of it either. It's a minigame, so once you know how to solve it, it becomes completely trivial.

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Hello Stellarat,

I am talking about how convoluted game missles (per xenopedia) versus RL. I suspect dev had original plans that will change the air-combat plans.

R

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Agreed, I'm not really much of a fan of it either. It's a minigame, so once you know how to solve it, it becomes completely trivial.

I guess, in fairness, it's not worse than the OG's offering - Plasma Beams did precisely what you can do with Torpedoes now.

Agreed, I'm not really much of a fan of it either. It's a minigame, so once you know how to solve it, it becomes completely trivial.

Are the Xenonaut missiles convoluted? There's basically two types, with increasingly more powerful warheads*. One is a long-range, in theory not very accurate weapon, while the other is a short-range, in theory more accurate weapon. That seems to map broadly onto the kinds of missiles which were used in the 1970s.

*I actually don't get the explosives research upgrades at all, realism wise. You could get bigger and more powerful weapons by using tactical nukes, surely?

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*I actually don't get the explosives research upgrades at all, realism wise. You could get bigger and more powerful weapons by using tactical nukes, surely?
True, but if you don't have to spread fallout all over the countryside it's always better and blinding thousands of innocent civilians is not highly thought of and EMP effects ditto. Also, I'm assuming the Alenium warheads are much smaller/lighter for the bang you get.

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