Pinned Fleet composition

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  • Fleet composition

    Fleet composition

    A balanced fleet is one of the cornerstones for any successful fleeter, especially mid game and late game, but it also plays a role in early game of course. The first thing you need to understand is that there is no general perfect fleetratio. What your fleet should look like depends mainly on how you´re planning to use it, i.e. if you mostly attack other fleets, raid or crack turtles. Or like most successful fleeters, all of the above. It also somewhat depends on what community you´re playing on and of course in which "stage" the universe is in.

    The first part of the guide will explain the different stages of a universe from a fleeters point of view and how the fleet should be adapted to changes in these different stages. The time periods in which it is divided is not to be taken literally since these may differ a lot between different communities and universes, they´re just there to illustrate roughly in which time period these things occur. In the second part there will be a more in-depth explanation of the different ships, the pros and cons and how they work alone as well as in combination with each other.


    Start of the universe (0-3 weeks)
    The very first days of a universe the only kind of fleet you will be building are SCs and maybe a couple of LFs to get through those 2 RLs that most people have early on. As the game progresses the fleet builds vary a lot between different players and universes and it´s very hard to say what kind of fleet should be built because it depends very much on the opposition. Generally though, SCs, LCs (because they are faster than SCs before impulse lvl 5) and either HFs or cruisers will be all you need the first couple of weeks. Some people like to build HFs because they work well against all kinds of defenses except those who contain gauss and plasma, however from mid game and on there really is no use for them (explained in "The importance of fodder") so building them early game may not be a good idea. Since mines have such a fast pay-back time early on, you shouldn´t have a large percentage of your points in fleet by this period in time.


    Early game (3 weeks - 4 months)
    When you see a lot of gauss popping up on your farms it´s time to build some BS'. They will normally be your main raiding ship until people start building a bunch of plasmas. When you reach a couple of hundred BS´, LFs start to be profitable to build, still mainly not for defenses but for fleet crashes. This might also be the time to start building some BCs if you're hunting fleets a lot. Since most players around this time have mainly BS' and cruisers, BCs are extremely effective. However if you're mainly raiding up until now it's probably a good idea to put the LFs and BCs on hold and keep building BS´ for the time being.

    Once your BS' have become your main raiding ship you should probably stop building more HFs if you decided not to do so earlier, because at a later stage in the game they're not really effective. It's really hard at this point in time to say what ratios of different ships to use because your ratio could and probably will shift drastically over just a couple of days. You just need to analyze the easiest way of getting as much res as possible from raiding and crashing and build the ships that will allow you to do that in the shortest amount of time possible.

    Mid game (4 months - 1 year)
    This is about the point in time when your fleet ratio really start to matter a lot, there are many different builds and a lot of them are "right", it all depends on what you're using the fleet for and how your opposition looks. If you haven't built any sizeable fodder fleet up until now, it's about time to do so. How much fodder you should have also depends on how the rest of your fleet looks, but to effectively act as fodder you will need at least 5 times more LFs than BS´ and as the game goes on that ratio should generally increase to about 10:1(or more).

    After a couple of months plasmas are starting to show up on your farms and when a lot of them start to become non-profitable you will need destroyers with or without bombers to get through with profit. However the bombers are extremely slow until you get hyper engine lvl 8, so the bombers shouldn't really be used until they have the same speed as the destroyers. But either way, you should normally hang on to the BS as main raid ship as long as you can because you're going to need a bunch of destroyers to match them against defenses. Destroyers are of course not only used against defenses but because they are so slow, especially in the beginning, doing p&s against fleets is not going to be easy. The alternative is to build LFs instead, because they are way faster and works well against the same kind of ships (and mostly defense too).

    The fleets that are seen now are probably going to consist mainly of BS, BC, Cruiser and LF. A lot of players however underestimates the need of cruisers and LFs and that is exactly why you shouldn´t. How many cruisers you should have depends a lot on how much fodder your average opponent has, but normally it should be at least 1:1 ratio vs BS´. This ratio should generally increase also as time passes so that when one year has passed the ratio should probably be closer to 2 or 3:1. This is not in any way a general rule that applies in every uni, you should calculate what will give you the best results against your average opponent and build accordingly.

    In mid game even if you´re in the top 10 you will often face fleets that are pretty close to the size of your own and if those fleets have too little fodder or not enough cruisers, your fodder will rip them apart (explained in “The importance of fodder”). However even if your opponent has a fairly balanced fleet, the best weapon against it is also a balanced fleet.

    After about a year
    At this point in time the defenses start to contain a lot of plasmas so the BS start to lose its effectiveness against defenses and the cure for this is destroyers + bombers. Although neither of them is crucial to a balanced fleet, they can really help out a lot. The bomber of course is only used for defenses but the destroyer is a pretty well rounded ship (however slow), that can be very effective against fleets as well as defenses.

    There are really no recommended ratios for these ships, although in mid game you should probably not have more than 0.5:1 destroyer vs. BS and the bomber usually a bit lower than that. If you decide to build them that is. About the same point in time as the destroyer start to become profitable as raidship, so does the LF, assuming that you have a bunch of them.

    Late game (1 year+)
    After about a year the universe slowly starts dying and the activity in general drops significantly. This means that you have to adapt to the fewer targets that are available. You can´t expect to do 3-4 raiding rounds every day at this point, at least not with a nice profit each round. This decrease in players generally means that easy resources is a lot harder to come by and fleeters are forced to attack turtles to a much greater extent than before. When going after turtles in the late game the fleet of choice is normally destroyers (with or without bombers) or large LF fleets. Many players prefer LFs for a lot of reasons (which are explained below) but destroyers are not a bad choice either.

    Which of these two combinations you have available to you has a lot to do with how your fleet is used the rest of the time, if you prefer speed attacks you will probably have a lot of LFs for instance.

    In late game large rip-fleets also start to appear and the destroyer is by far the best choice against these, even though you can get profit without them. If you prefer to use destroyers over LFs that doesn´t mean that you should have no fodder at all though, it just means that your fodder ratio will be slightly lower. The same doesn´t really go for destroyers, although having no destroyers at all late game is not recommended. Against fleets with no rips, you can do without destroyers, but against rips you generally want at least some destroyers to weaken the shields.

    In late game if you´ve been around since the beginning of the uni you are going to be a lot bigger than many of your opponents and that means to crash their fleets you would normally have to send only a fraction of your fleet. This is where the BCs come into play. When you are far superior to your opponent sending only BCs often works out to be the most profitable choice. This doesn´t mean that you should only build BCs late game (or any other ship for that matter), it´s just something to keep in mind. Many players usually have BCs at about a 1:1 ratio vs. BS´ from midgame and on but it has a lot to do with personal preference. The most important thing is that you understand how different ships work alone and together and build a fleet that suits you.


    The importance of fodder

    The most common mistake I see in inexperienced fleeters is that their fleets often almost completely lack fodder. Without understanding how the battles of Ogame work it´s easy to wrongfully assume that: The more powerful ships I have the better my fleet is. Trying not to go too deep into the workings of the battle system I`ll explain why that assumption is incorrect.

    Every ship, regardless of its weapon power, can only shoot down one ship per shot (round), i.e. it doesn´t matter if a rip hits a light fighter or a destroyer, only one ship is lost. This is not the whole truth though, you also have to consider RapidFire. Since the ships choose their target completely random in the battle it´s much more likely that your fodder will take a hit than any other ship (assuming that you have a sufficient fodder ratio). So the fodder is used to protect your stronger ships in the fleet, but also to prevent your opponents rapid fire against the heavier ships.

    However light fighters sole purpose is not to act as fodder, it´s also one of the absolute best raiding ships, it´s cheap to fly, gets relatively low losses against a typical defense, you lose res to a ratio of 3:1 metal:crystal, but most importantly it protects your small cargos which considerably increases the speed of the attack compared to using large cargos. A “typical defense” means a defense that consists mainly of RL/LL and plasma. Most times you would profit more attacking that kind of defense with a large light fighter fleet than you would with for example bomber+destroyer. Maybe not always in pure losses, but in deuterium cost of the attack. Note that the LF as a raiding ship start to become profitable around the time most defenses start to contain a bunch of plasmas.

    Why haven´t I mentioned the heavy fighter, isn´t that also considered fodder? Well yes, the HF can be used as fodder, but it´s too expensive to replace the LF and when it comes to protecting the LF, SCs does a way better job. So the heavy fighter can be used as fodder but it´s not the optimal choice. And the optimal choice is what we´re looking for right?

    So if they´re not used as fodder what are they used for? In early game when most defenses mainly consist of RLs, LLs, HLs and ICs they are by far the best raiding ship because they take small losses against these kind of defenses as well as protects SCs in the same way as LFs (which significantly speeds up attacks after impulse 5 have been researched). However the problem with HFs is that after these defenses are gone and gauss and plasmas are plentyful, you will practically have no use for them. So if you´re planning to use them as an early game raiding ship keep in mind that these shouldn´t really be built in huge numbers since they very, very rarely are the most effective choice in any situation later on.

    Light fighter
    Disadvantages: Fairly slow
    Advantages: Cheap, good all-round ship
    How and when to use them: Battleship + light fighters works very well against for example battlecruisers and destroyers. If you don´t have a lot of destroyers it also works well against rips assuming light fighters are placed in ACS slot 2 with a bunch of heavy ships in slot 1 to take out the shields. When attacking fleets, LFs should generally only be used if you´re taking heavy losses by just using the heavy ships or if you want the attack to go faster than bringing destroyers.
    Good against: BCs and destroyers as well as RLs, LLs and plasma
    Bad against: Cruisers, HLs and ICs

    Heavy fighter
    Disadvantages: Fairly expensive both to build and fly. Is very rarely the best choice to send against anything, on its own or in combination with other ships.
    Advantages: Fairly fast
    How and when to use them: LFs+HFs or just HFs on their own can work pretty well against certain kinds of defenses, generally when there´s a lot of HLs and/or ICs
    Good against: Does fairly well ship vs. ship against all ships except BCs and rips. Does very well against; RLs, LLs, HLs and ICs
    Bad against: BCs, gauss and plasma



    The heavier ships

    The cruiser is also a ship that inexperienced players build way too few of. It´s the only ship aside from ds that have rapid fire against LFs and is therefore extremely important to have against fodder heavy fleets, but also a huge help against certain types of defenses. Some players claims that the cruiser is the best raiding ship, however if there´s gauss or plasmas present, the cruiser as a lone raid ship is most often a way worse choice than many other fleet combos. And if there are no gauss or plasma the HF for instance is in fact the better choice. The amount of cruisers you should have at one point in the game could differ a lot depending on how much fodder your average opponent is using, but 1:1 ratio vs. BS is generally the absolute minimum in mid game and in late game it´s not uncommon that about 3:1 is optimal.

    Cruiser
    Disadvantages: Not very durable, often takes heavy losses without the protection of fodder
    Advantages: Extremely fast, Cheap
    How and when to use them: The cruiser is a ship that very rarely does very good on its own and pretty much need the protection of fodder to work well in battle. The cruiser is mainly used against heavy defenses and large fleets (relative to your own) with fodder
    Good against: LFs and RLs. Does pretty well against: LLs, HLs and ICs.
    Bad against: Battlecruiser, Battleship, Gauss and Plasma


    The battleship is sort of the basic ship of the fleet, it costs 3:1 (metal:crystal), it has relatively high attack strength and is fairly durable. It´s probably the most popular ship to build for newcomers and is very often overrepresented in the fleet partly because of the favorable cost ratio. Even though the battleship is an important part of the fleet it shouldn´t constitute a too big of a part of the fleet. Early game and to some extent also mid game it´s a reasonably good raiding ship, but it´s also common to use it mainly in combination with battlecruisers for fast attacks against smaller fleets. Since the battleship completely lacks rapid fire it´s often very ineffective on its own. It´s normally used in combination with other ships to either take down battlecruisers or destroyers but also as a type of fodder against certain fleet combos. In full-fleet attacks it´s well protected by the fodder and is a cheap way of dealing massive damage to the other fleets heavy ships.

    Battleship
    Disadvantages: No rapid fire
    Advantages: Very fast, cheap, fairly durable
    How and when to use them: Since the BS has a pretty high attack strength but no rapid fire whatsoever it generally works best in combination with other ships that have rapid fire, like the BC for instance. If you have a much larger fleet than your opponent the BS+BC combo works very well and is also very fast. The BS is also very good in combination with LFs against BCs and destroyers. It generally does very well against early game defenses (before plasmas)
    Good against: Bombers and gauss.
    Bad against: LFs, BCs and plasmas


    There are those who claim that the battlecruiser is expensive to build and that it´s extremely overrated, which is true to a certain extent. Sure it´s expensive to build, both in metal:crystal ratio and in deuterium, but on the other hand it uses virtually no deuterium to fly and it´s also one of the fastest ships in the game. Since inexperienced fleeters, as was mentioned earlier, often build way too little fodder, the BC is as opposed to the battleship many times a good ship to send off on its own on account of its rapid fire against multiple ships. However you need to be aware that the BC on its own does very poorly against fodder heavy fleets and destroyers as well as plasma.

    The ratio of the BC vs other ships is not really something that considerably affects if your fleet is balanced or not. It does have a significant RF against cruisers and BS´ but that will barely be noticable in fullfleet attacks against a fleet that has a "right" amount of fodder. However, late mid game and late game you will not be sending a lot of fullfleet attacks. You´d normally attack fleets that are much smaller than your own and that is when the BC is at its best.

    Battlecruiser
    Disadvantages: Expensive
    Advantages: Very fast, rapid fire against numerous ships, very low fuel consumption
    How and when to use them: As mentioned earlier, with a superior fleet to your opponent it´s good in combo with BS. If you´re attacking a fleet (other than rip-fleet) the BC should generally be part of any combination you send because of its rapid fire. If you have a far superior fleet, sending BCs on their own often yields the highest profit fleet vs. fleet
    Good against: SC, LC, HF, Cruiser, BS
    Bad against: LF, destroyer and plasmas


    Bombers and destroyers are in fact the only combat ships (aside from heavy fighter) that are not crucial to have in your fleet, it simply depends on what your priorities are. If semi-inactive miner/turtles are one of your favorite targets they´re usually a good idea to have, but if you´re mainly living off of other players´ fleets it may be a good idea to prioritize other ships. This is mostly due to the increased speed of your attack if you don´t have bombers or destroyers. One of the exceptions are if you´re attacking a rip-fleet, then having destroyers would lower your losses significantly because of the rips´ relatively low rapid fire against it. BS´+LFs in ACS slot 2 works pretty good too though. The heavier ships are placed in front of LFs for instance, to avoid the “bouncing-effect”.

    There´s really no ratio to be recommended here either, other than that you normally shouldn´t be building a massive amount of destroyers or bombers until late game. This generally means one or two years into the game, depending on the universe.

    Destroyer
    Disadvantages: Expensive, slow, high fuel consumtpion
    Advantages: Very durable, high attack strength
    How and when to use them: Bomber + destroyer work well against pretty much any defense. Destroyers generally work well on their own too against a defense unless there is too much RLs for instance. If you don’t have enough destroyers when attacking a rip-fleet, adding LFs to the fleet works well.
    Good against: BCs, rips, gauss and plasmas
    Bad against: Any kind of fodder, both ships and defense (with the exception of LLs). Also bad against BS.

    Bomber
    Disadvantages: slow, high fuel consumption
    Advantages: Fairly durable, very good against defense on account of its rapid fire
    How and when to use them: As mentioned above, destroyer + bomber.
    Good against: All defense except plasma
    Bad against: All Combat ships except BC, also bad against plasma.


    Most players use rips solely for fleetsave. Because of its low speed you can go on a 7h+ harvest mission towards your own debris field, thus saving a huge amount of deuterium compared to fleetsaving against any other debris field in the system. Rips are also popular to raid turtles with in greater numbers. The problem with the rip as a raidship is that it´s very, very slow. This will lead to a lot of missed raids, but more importantly it gives other players a very long time to plan to get you on the way back from your target. Miners/turtles using rips in this way often have enough defense to make it unprofitable for pretty much any fleet to attack the rips on the planet, eliminating the risk of blind phalanx/phalanx. However the advantages of rips are that they´re extremely durable and will normally tear the defense down with no-loss even if the battle is a draw. They are also of course a very good defensive ship. You just have to weigh the pros and cons and decide whether it´s worth investing a large amount of resources on a rip-fleet.

    Deathstar
    Disadvantage: Extremely slow
    Advantages: Extremely durable, extremely high attack strength (will “one-shot” all defense and ships except rips), rapid fire against most defense and ships
    How and when to use them: Unlike other ships the rips almost exclusively works best on their own, the only exception is if you´re getting a lot of losses by attacking with rips alone. Rips are generally used to get a no-loss against a turtle that you can´t get profit on with regular ships and also as defense by turtles.
    Good against: Pretty much everything
    Bad against: Not really anything aside from other rips


    Civil ships

    How many large cargo ships you should have in the fleet solely depend on how much resources you normally keep around. Small cargos though are mainly used for raids and followups and should generally be at least 1.5:1 ratio vs. battleships. As mentioned in the beginning, small cargos are also a good fodder late game, assuming that your opponents have fairly balanced fleets. Small cargos role as fodder is to prevent the cruisers rapid fire against LFs. If you want to use small cargos as fodder you could effectively do so at a ratio as high as 3:4 vs. light fighter. It´s however more realistic to aim for 1:4 to 1:2. The amount of recyclers you should have depends a lot on how easily you could get recycling help when doing a solo hit, but recommended is to have at least 1:1 vs. battleship (generally a bit more).


    Conclusion


    Having a balanced fleet is always important to a fleeter, however a balanced fleet could mean a lot of things. What you should keep in mind while building your fleet is that your own fleet should be able to face every possible fleet combo, i.e. effectively prevent the other fleets rapid fire and at the same time do some damage to it. The recommendations in the guide are the general consensus of experienced fleeters but that doesn´t mean that everyone share these opinions as a "correct" fleet ratio is somewhat subjective. But what´s really important is that you understand how the different ships work together in attacks and how you get as much profit as possible from attacking your target.

    ______________________________________
    Written by Azgaroth on the Origin board.

    You did *not* just call me chubby!