Tactical Settings

Major change in Patch 7

Tactical Settings overview

Every fleet has fleet tactics that you can set in advance of combat. Which tactics your fleet operates under has a great impact on the battle, as it dictates the actions your ships will take. In a battle with multiple fleets, the highest ranking commanders' tactics will be used.
You can access the fleet tactics menu from the fleet management menu.

Target Priority

Target priority influences which enemies your ships will preferentially target. If no targets are in range, the best-possible target will be used instead. Ships will only move forwards outside of their range to find a better target if all targets in range have been 'claimed' by other ships.

  • Firepower will take out the ships with the overall highest damage output first. Keep in mind that this is a relative value, and that the ship with the highest total might not be the ship doing the most actual damage.
  • Least Hull will normally take out the smaller ships first, or the ships that are already severely damaged.
  • Most Hull will try to take out the really though ships first. These are also usually the types that deal a lot of damage. Keep in mind that focusing on tough ships can leave you vulnerable to a lot of incoming damage from smaller ships while you work on the big ones.
  • Least Manoeuvrability will take out the slower ships first. These are generally also easier to hit, and your relative effectiveness with all weapons will be higher. Slower ships are also likely to be father back on the field of battle, and you may need to move a lot to get there. Utility-ships are not targeted while there are other available targets..
  • Most Manoeuvrability will focus on the fastest ships first, and try to eliminate them. If you have a high targeting on your ships, this can be useful. Keep in mind that if you have low targeting values on your weapons, you will be wasting a lot of your shots early on in the battle.
  • Closest Ship will simply let each ship on the field fire at the ship that is closest to it until it is destroyed. This is the default setting. For smaller combats, this is ideal. Once combats get more complex, the other options may yield better results.

Also note that the order in which your ships pick their targets differ per priority tactic:
Total Firepower - Ships with the highest primary weapon damage pick targets first.
Least Hull - Ships with the highest manoeuvrability pick their targets first.
Least Manoeuvrability - Ships with the lowest primary weapon targeting pick their targets first.
Closest Ship - Ships with the lowest primary weapon range pick their targets first.
Most Hull - Ships with the longest primary weapon range pick their targets first.
Most Manoeuvrability - Ships with highest primary weapon targeting pick their targets first.

Re-evaluate targets

This setting selects whether or not your ships should consider shooting at a different target than the one they have selected, even though they have not destroyed it yet. It relates to the chosen target priority. For example, if a ship moves closer to one of your ships that the one it is currently firing at, it will change to the closest one if target switching is set to yes. If set to no, it will keep firing at its original target. In short: If target switching is enabled, each ship will re-evaluate targets every round, according to the priority setting.

Fighter Priority

These are specific orders for fighter-ships only (see also Minor ships).

  • Corvette defence – Fighters will work to eliminate fighters targeting your corvettes and intercept incoming secondary weapons that passes within range. Fighters in this mode can shoot down up to 2 missiles per turn.
  • Capital ship defence – Fighters will assign themselves to protect capital ships by eliminating fighters/corvettes that come within range, and shoot down incoming secondary weapons fire. Fighters in this mode can shoot down up to 3 missiles per turn.
  • Defend all – Fighters will assign themselves to protect both Capital Ships and Corvettes, and shoot down incoming secondary weapons fire. Fighters in this mode can shoot down up to 3 missiles per turn.
  • Ship-to-ship – Fighters will engage other fighters/corvettes at will, concentrating on taking out hostile minor ships. Fighters can still shoot down incoming missiles, but to a much lesser degree. Fighters in this mode can shoot down up to 1 missile per turn. Note that 'tier 1' fighter ships (70 strength) will preferentially hunt other fighters ahead of corvettes, while tier 2 fighters (90 strength) will hunt corvettes first.

Corvette Priority

Corvettes behave a little differently, as they will always attack the closest capital ship. Again this is to maximize their damage-output and deliver those missiles successfully. They will thus NOT follow the target priority set for the whole fleet, but focus on the enemy front-lines.

  • Defence - Corvettes will work in the same way as the fighters, selecting a target to escort/protect, and work to take out incoming secondary weapons fire, at the same time firing their own missiles at the nearest hostile capital ships within range. Corvettes in this mode can shoot down up to 2 missiles per turn.
  • Offense - Corvettes will actively move towards and engage the nearest enemy capital ships. Corvettes can still shoot down missiles, but to a lesser degree. In this mode they can shoot down up to 1 missile per turn.

Retreat Condition

This section sets the rules for leaving combat. Keep in mind that retreat is not instant at the start of a battle. During the first 3 rounds, retreat is not possble for the attacking force. The percentage value reflects the chosen stat to monitor for retreat. The default setting is 60% of Capital Ships, which means your fleet will retreat when 40% of your capital ships have been lost. Note that the 'hull' setting includes the hull of all ships in the battle, including non-combat ships such as transports.

There is also a selection for avoiding a retreat if both sides are losing an approximate equal amount, thus keeping the fleet from leaving a battle that could be won, even if the retreat-criteria are met.

The retreat if unwinnable option is for those instances when the opposing force is overwhelming, thus reducing potential losses.

The Status indicators in the battle view will show you where the retreat thresholds for each participant in the battle is from round 3 onwards.

Note that Commanders will die if you have 0 capital ships left at the end of a battle to carry them home, unless the battle is on your homeworld.

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