Use of corvettes in later game stages?

Polaris Sector is a sci-fi 4X game that offers exciting exploration, detailed resource management, unique research mechanics and intense tactical combat.
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mianmar
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
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Use of corvettes in later game stages?

Post by mianmar » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:24 pm

Have you guys find any meaningful uses of corvettes once you research frigates and destroyers?

It feels kind of bad design that corvettes are so much useless later in game.

I would love to have ability to assign some special role to corvettes within fleets but they are too slow to move with big frigate/destroyer fleets, and if you give the speed somehow, then you either sacrifice too much already or they start to cost too much plutonium compared to their combat ability, making them even worse at fulfilling some tasks.

I'm not sure if corvette fleets could be useful for defending planets either, since satellites are far more powerful in all areas for this role.

I just can't find place for them except scrapping all corvettes and just forget about their design.

Darvin3
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Re: Use of corvettes in later game stages?

Post by Darvin3 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:16 am

For the most part I'd concur, Corvettes do lose most of their relevance once frigates come around. They don't seem to have any particular niche to call their own. The Magellan Corvette is the only real exception I've found, since that thing has lots of little nooks and crannies to fit extra fuel, leaving enough room to build a well-rounded combat ship. For most other factions, they become very niche units after a short while. Not bad enough to be completely unviable, and they'll still work, but they just feel like a poor man's frigate.

The problem with Corvettes is that they're too big. They're actually not much smaller than frigates on the two-dimensional battle map (despite having significantly less internal space), cannot effectively swarm a larger ship as a result. Combined with bad pathing that can cause them to trip over each other, and they just get shredded by bigger and more heavily armed/armored ships. If they were half the size so you could get a denser formation of them, they might have a more meaningful purpose. As it stands, they just can't do it.

With regards to satellites, personally I've just stopped using them altogether. They have a very long build time, you need to build specialized cargo ships to ferry them around, they can't go hunt down pirates for you, you must retrofit them any time longer-range weapons become available since they're impotent if outranged, and when deployed on worlds without orbital shipyards you'll need to send repair ships to heal them after combat. It's just too many downsides, and I'd rather take the weaker but more flexible Corvette as my defensive unit. If they die towards the mid-game, I tend to replace them with frigates anyways.

Darvin3
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Re: Use of corvettes in later game stages?

Post by Darvin3 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:48 pm

On a related note, do you think the Interceptor has a similar problem? There doesn't seem to be a good selection of weapons to put in a medium pylon, so for the most part it's using the exact same weapons as a Fighter would. There are a few races with bad Fighters for whom it makes sense to pay a bit more for a better design, but for most of them the Fighter has enough internal space to fit all the components you'd need (shielding, missile traps, and afterburners, for the most part). That kinda leaves the Interceptor pointless when you could just have more Fighters instead.

mianmar
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Re: Use of corvettes in later game stages?

Post by mianmar » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:39 pm

I second that, indeed why loading carriers with interceptors while you can load them with more fighters.

in addition to carrier space and mostly same loadable weapon types as fighters, interceptors also have almost the same amount of hull points as fighters, only slightly more.
If a player really wants to use interceptors he would need at least frigate class carrier which would dedicate at least 70% of its space to hangars, meaning fully specialized carrier.

however let's look at the other side the coin!
Interceptors are superior to fighters in combination with defender structures and stationed around a planet for defense, since in that case they don't consume any space and their somewhat better hull turn out to be useful.

also note that interceptors can load most expensive EMP defense modules which fighters can't.
also interceptors can mount reactive armor improving their hull points which consumes energy, fighters can't really do that as well.

I can't find any other meaningful place for interceptors other that defense, and I personally think corvettes should be able to achieve same goal in some future game versions.

Darvin3
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Re: Use of corvettes in later game stages?

Post by Darvin3 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:24 pm

mianmar wrote: however let's look at the other side the coin!
Interceptors are superior to fighters in combination with defender structures and stationed around a planet for defense, since in that case they don't consume any space and their somewhat better hull turn out to be useful.
Being on the defense doesn't escape the problem, it just shifts it from carrier space to production speed. Fighters are faster to build and cost fewer resources than Interceptors, so you can still have more of them even on defense.
mianmar wrote: also note that interceptors can load most expensive EMP defense modules which fighters can't.
also interceptors can mount reactive armor improving their hull points which consumes energy, fighters can't really do that as well.
This is probably more of an AI weakness than anything, but I've found it's pretty easy to avoid ships with EMP weapons while picking off the others, then bring in the capital ships to clean up what's left. I ended up cutting EMP protection from my fighters altogether in the game I finished over the weekend because I found I just never needed to send them into the range of EMP weapons.

As for reactive armor, my experience has been that Fighters can afford it. Maybe it's just been the factions I've been playing recently (I was playing Urgans in my most recent game) but I just never felt like I had insufficient space on my Fighters for my purposes.

mianmar
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Re: Use of corvettes in later game stages?

Post by mianmar » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:25 am

Darvin3 wrote: This is probably more of an AI weakness than anything, but I've found it's pretty easy to avoid ships with EMP weapons while picking off the others, then bring in the capital ships to clean up what's left. I ended up cutting EMP protection from my fighters altogether in the game I finished over the weekend because I found I just never needed to send them into the range of EMP weapons.
heh, things like this are achievable thanks to the AI being predictive, (the AI follows always the same rules, uses always the same designs, uses same tactics each time etc...)
so exploiting AI weaknesses is something we all do, that's how we win the game and then move on higher difficulty :D

just imagine how good the AI could be by just implementing design learning and performing random tactics (having several tactics presets) in each fight and just being more random at doing regular tasks?

I believe it's not really hard to code such an AI, it's just that games are not paid that much money so game designers don't invest too much effort into that area :(

FireStorm1010
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Re: Use of corvettes in later game stages?

Post by FireStorm1010 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:43 pm

I think much depends on race you are playing. I do remember playing Sharatar or Gavakens and using corvettes in late game as fast anit-fighter platforms From what i remember they were going like 15 speed with a full deck of long range lasers, IR lasers or blasters. I would concentrated like 5-6 behind the fronmtline ships.
Last edited by FireStorm1010 on Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

shawkhan2
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Re: Use of corvettes in later game stages?

Post by shawkhan2 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:54 pm

I generally do not build more than a dozen of any class. Corvettes and Frigates I use strictly for defense in the later stages of the game as they lack shields hence are too brittle to attack the hordes of fighters I encounter when assaulting AI planets. They do good work as fire brigades, hastening to any vulnerable point about to be attacked and augmenting the defenses already there. Right now I use only cruisers and battleships for offensive purposes. With three vortex shields each they can take a licking and keep on ticking.

W8taminute
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Re: Use of corvettes in later game stages?

Post by W8taminute » Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:07 pm

Corvettes in the late game make excellent system patrol ships. Use them to target roaming enemy scout or espionage freighters.

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