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Enforced air combat retreat is very very bad


llunak
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The air combat retreat forced by running low on fuel is VERY bad. So bad that it's worse than if it didn't exist at all. I've lost more interceptors to it doing something stupid than to all other possible reasons combined.

If I select 'Yes' in the out-of-fuel-retreat dialog, one of these things happens:

- the aircraft gets redirected out of the air combat area in such a poor way that the exit point is so far that the aircraft runs out of fuel completely and crashes. I haven't figured out how exactly the exit point is chosen (it doesn't seem to be towards the base), but sometimes the choice is obviously wrong - I've had already a case where a far corner was chosen and the aircraft would need to fly at least 5 times the distance it was from the nearest end of the air combat area.

- the aircraft gets redirected in a way that it'll get in the sights of a UFO that'll take down this sitting duck. As there's no way to cancel this retreat, the aircraft just has to take it. Presumably if there was a squadron of 3 Condors going after a single UFO and this happened to them, the UFO would just shoot them all down for without any hassle, even though it'd make much more sense to sacrifice one of the Condors to cover the retreat.

- the aircraft actually manages to get away. Listed for completeness. I actually now usually chose 'No' in the dialog and let the aircraft crash, since that way it'll at least crash after doing something useful, such as shooting down the UFO, instead of just mostly crash after doing something stupid.

Given that aircraft cannot stay indefinitely in the air combat even if retreat is chosen and the game counts down the fuel until the aircraft will crash, I fail to see why this is enforced at all. It just doesn't make any sense, as it doesn't add anything except for trouble.

I suggest to alter the retreat the following way:

- it is always possible to redirect an aircraft, even if it's retreating

- possibly alter the automatic retreat dialog to just inform about the situation and suggest what to do

That should be all the magic needed, problem solved.

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The retreating aircraft could just "pull up" and vanish from the combat area...?

That's rather obviously exploitable (get Foxtrot in range, release torpedoes, magically retreat despite all incoming fire).

The air combat retreat system IMO works just fine, except for this one problem that makes it horribly broken.

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That's rather obviously exploitable (get Foxtrot in range, release torpedoes, magically retreat despite all incoming fire).

The air combat retreat system IMO works just fine, except for this one problem that makes it horribly broken.

I already suggested that the retreat logic is bad. Your fighters should never retreat across the firing arc of a UFO. Also, there is a bug in the fuel calculation for Condors that will cause them to run out of fuel about every 10th time when you say "Yes" to the low fuel warning.
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I've also had situations where I was doing some manoeuvring near the edge of the air combat map and accidentally clicked outside of it, at which point my plane was locked onto a retreat pattern and I could not get them back. The option to cancel a retreat order would be very useful.

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I've also had situations where I was doing some manoeuvring near the edge of the air combat map and accidentally clicked outside of it, at which point my plane was locked onto a retreat pattern and I could not get them back. The option to cancel a retreat order would be very useful.

It's a bug. As a workaround, click first on any UFO, that'll cancel the retreat.

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