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ALL The Launch Assets?

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Admiral JCJF

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ALL The Launch Assets?

PostFri Oct 20, 2017 2:25 am

Hi ladies and gentlefolk,

I'm here to talk about throwing out the most launch assets you can possibly get into your fleet.

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Obviously that's a different number depending on the size of game your are running. In a Skirmish of 500-999pts you can have up to 10 launch assets, while a Clash of 1000-1999pts allows up to 15 launch assets, and a Battle of 2000pts or more allows 20.

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But does that make it better to maximise when you are running in smaller games? It certainly seems like a more impactful strategy when your opponent has less opportunity to counter with an investment of their own.

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However you can also make the argument the other way, if you are at the top end of your cap you've got the points to spare to invest in a "gimmic" while still covering the necessary basics, allowing maximising launch without penalising your fleet in other areas (usually direct gun fighting in orbit).

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But counter-arguments exist at both the top and the bottom too, with the massive investment of max launch making the rest of your fleet anemic at the bottom end while even max launch may not have sufficient impact at the top end of the bracket. Perhaps then it's more worthwhile to pursue when you're comfortably in the middle of a bracket?

So, what do you guys think?

Is launch amazing no matter what?

Is there never any good reason NOT to max?

Or is launch too naff to bother with anyway?

Is waiting 'till the end of the turn just costing you too much damage from lost ships?

And what about those carriers anyway, are any of the big ones good? How about the "fleet carriers"? Or the cute little Andromeda? Any favorites, or any you think are just too trash to bother with?
Why would we waste words on Prey?
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Shikatanai

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Re: ALL The Launch Assets?

PostFri Oct 20, 2017 11:04 am

I don't think maxing launch is a good thing right now. You'll lack other important ships (either drop capability or direct firepower suffers) if you do so.
Imho a good mix of direct weaponry and Launch Assets can work out. I use 8-10 Launch if I do so or completely abandon Launch. In addition I think that it is competitive viable only for PHR (Mainly Bellerophons, maybe Andromedas) and Scourge (Hydras) right now - I would not bring UCM or Shaltari Launch.
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LiamK

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Re: ALL The Launch Assets?

PostFri Oct 20, 2017 12:57 pm

Like Dropzone, Dropfleet is all about balance. Spamming launch assets won't necessarily win you a game straight up as the majority of your damage will happen late in the turn.

As a UCM player, I happen to value a small amount of Launch assets as ours are the worst :( However I back that up with Jakartas, arguably the ship that makes up for them. I just make sure I take some fighter/bomber capability to give me some flexibility in defending myself. Also it is extremely nice to pull the Atmospheric bombers command card and take out some unsuspecting strike carriers with them ;)
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Admiral JCJF

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Re: ALL The Launch Assets?

PostSun Oct 22, 2017 12:31 am

To be fair, I mostly am asking if it's worth doing at all not if it's the best way to win.

It's strange that there IS a hard cap if there is no advantage to running high launch.

Why does it exist, if many bombers isn't effective?
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Shikatanai

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Re: ALL The Launch Assets?

PostSun Oct 22, 2017 8:09 am

Admiral JCJF wrote:To be fair, I mostly am asking if it's worth doing at all not if it's the best way to win.

It's strange that there IS a hard cap if there is no advantage to running high launch.

Why does it exist, if many bombers isn't effective?


If you can bring more it might get out of hands as you only shake off on 5+
I think we are in a good place... either more would be OP or it would not be worth taking I guess, so why bother.
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swampsheep

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Re: ALL The Launch Assets?

PostSun Oct 22, 2017 9:16 pm

Admiral JCJF wrote:It's strange that there IS a hard cap if there is no advantage to running high launch.

Why does it exist, if many bombers isn't effective?


Maybe I can provide another perspective on the reason for the cap.

In other games, I have sometimes seen that extreme strategies can be all-or-nothing affairs. The give you clear victories like 60 % of the time, a hard-fought open battle 10 % of the time and clear losses 30 % of the time.

Is this a good army? Maybe, maybe not depending on your succes criteria. Is it an interesting army to play against? Most likely not.

So the reason to introduce a cap is not necessarily just to limit something that is "too good" - it could also be to limit a strategy that is decent but very, very boring or annoying to play against.


And then on to the original question; is it worth doing a launch-maxed list.

I have written quite a bit of fighter/bomber analysis around both the offensive (http://linkedbroadsides.com/bomber-offensive/) and the defensive parts of it (http://linkedbroadsides.com/defending-against-bombers/ and http://linkedbroadsides.com/more-on-bomber-defence/).

My evaluation is, that having 2-3 of total launch, is not really worth it - you can just as well have none. If you go for bombers, you need to have 4+ before it starts to get really relevant.

I have played launch-maxed-out 999p lists (10 bombers) as PHR a couple of times, and it has its advantages - you don't much care for spikes, firing arches or scan ranges, which can be very helpful. At the same time, however, you also have some severe limitations. A lot of your damage potential happens at the end of the round meaning only the ships that survive that long actually get to deal damage, and in the first 1-2 rounds where you are often on long range, your opponent has plenty of tools to defend himself against your bombers (see the articles above about defending against bombers).

My evaluation is, that you can run a launch-maxed-out list as PHR, but it is not as good as running only 4-6 launch assets and then have more normal firepower. Having both simply gives you more flexibility.

Scourge and Shaltari have as similar situation as PHR in this case, but for UCM I think their launch assets are too lousy for it to be a proper strategy - the only real argument for them is that all their carriers also have decent firepower, so the tradeoff is not that great.

In short; I think it is viable, but it having a mix is the stronger option.
http://linkedbroadsides.com - My blog with analysis, tactics and thoughts about dropfleet. Updates Mondays and Thursdays.
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Admiral JCJF

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Re: ALL The Launch Assets?

PostMon Oct 23, 2017 12:32 am

I don't see 20 launch in a 1250 game being any more boring to play against than all-BTL UCM or all-Oculus Scourge and we are getting plenty of those.
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Lorn

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Re: ALL The Launch Assets?

PostMon Oct 23, 2017 8:23 am

Admiral JCJF wrote:To be fair, I mostly am asking if it's worth doing at all not if it's the best way to win.

It's strange that there IS a hard cap if there is no advantage to running high launch.

Why does it exist, if many bombers isn't effective?


Some things used to be different in the Beta. :lol:

German space magic for PHR would you like to know more?
http://www.hawkforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7017
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Admiral JCJF

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Re: ALL The Launch Assets?

PostMon Oct 23, 2017 8:25 am

Sure, but what?

Is the limit the only change?

Because if it is then I guess I'm struggling to see what the problem was in the first place.
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Nicius

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Re: ALL The Launch Assets?

PostMon Oct 23, 2017 6:37 pm

The only point about UCM carriers is their firepower. The launch assets are more a bonus then something else. I cannot remeber the last time I had a succesfull bombing run. They are usefull to shut down PHR and Scourge bombers occasionally.
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