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Armor and Shield Usage

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Balance Guru

Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:22 am    Post subject: Armor and Shield Usage Reply with quote

I'm looking to get some data on armor and shield usage. More specifically about how much you guys are using on your combat and non-combat ship designs, especially in more developed games. For simplicity, just posting how many kT of armor/shields you have for a ship size is enough. Additional caveats about why you have those ratios are welcomed... ie enemy is using PPBs and you don't have phased-shields etc.

Space Empires Depot | SE:V Balance Mod

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Virtual Guru

Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I generally devote about 15%-40% of a warship's hull mass to shields and/or armor - whichever has more HP/kT, generally, unless my opponent has shield or armor skipping weapons. So a 300kT ship would get anywhere from 1 to 4 shield generators, or 2 to 6 heavy armor plates. Ships which are expected to soak a lot of damage (such as planetary bombardment ships, troop transports, and point defense ships) tend to get more defenses, while ships that will sit on the sidelines (such as missile ships and carriers) tend to get less. As for non-combat ships (population transports, colony ships, and the like), I generally don't bother putting any shields or armor on them at all, except maybe a plate of emissive, stealth, and/or scattering armor, for the bonus effects.

That's no space station - it's a spreadsheet!

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Space Emperor

Joined: Mar 24, 2008

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stick at least a little on everything. You never know when a destructive warp point will be in the path you want to take.

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Space Emperor

Joined: Mar 20, 2012

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know that this will be helpful...but, I tend to fill all the armor slots on one 'deck/level' of the ship, and throw in 1 shield gen for frigates, 2 for destroyers, etc.. Dunno if it really works that way, but it usually feels like armor is more useful than shields against AI players...

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Space Emperor

Joined: Jun 17, 2009

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mostly shields plus rechargers here, using 10% up to 25% of available hull size. PD destroyers have 2 shields + 2 rechargers, missile frigates get 1+1. The biggest I'm building is a light cruiser, but mostly I work with frigates and destroyers.
Non-combat hulls get 1 shield for realism ...

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Space Emperor

Joined: Mar 14, 2015

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shields are goodversus fighters and some missile absorp.but on base ship i had around 4k shields points 4-5 regen.and 3k armor+-. but its in late game.on the begining is armor/shield very good versus at least 30-60 kt is need on every ship. (1-2 shield generator or 1 shield generator + armor).

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Space Emperor

Joined: Feb 02, 2011

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some examples of my designs can be found in my fanfic

I believe at least minimal defenses are necessary, but offense is more likely to prevail in a single battle, so weapons usually get more kt.

Shields are more important than armor, since all versions will at least regen between turns. I like regen, even during combat, and my rule of thumb is to add a second regenerator before adding a second generator. One rarely encounters shield-skipping weapons, so by default I don't bother with phased shields either.

That said, I like to mix things up a lot, and experiment. I'll go short on weapons and shields to build an armor monster, and then at least see how it fares in the simulator, even if I don't build many examples.

I believe analysis of what's in the game should support my tendencies. There are Crystalline empires, against which armor is wasted kt. There are no empires with an array of default weapons that work like that against shields. To go heavy on armor, as a general policy, would be to bank on not fighting a Crystalline empire.

One shouldn't be superficial. There is Temporal tech, which can wear down shields fairly quickly. That's why I prefer regen over gross shield strength. It also narrows the window of opportunity for enemy boarding ships, although that's not a significant enough threat to really factor in.

For AIs, I prefer to have them throwing several "looks" at a player. I think they're stronger that way, and it also should help new players learn to cope. AIs should have the potential to go heavy in any area - weapons, armor, or shields. (Not every last AI empire need have all the potentials, of course; it can be divided up, and some individual empires might prefer a "balanced" approach.)

Non-combat ships? Give 'em a shield if convenient; otherwise some token armor, 10 to 20 kt, 5 in a pinch. Those that have a shield generator should still get 5kt of armor.

Troop transports are NOT non-combat ships for these purposes. They need protection. Regen isn't a factor for them, since they head straight in, and if they come under fire they won't get a break. I prefer some straight shielding, and loads of armor, since it usually delivers more protection per kt. PD is vital, multiple PD. If they have a medium or large freighter hull, I'll give them a single runty direct-fire gun too, a sort of token to protect them against already-damaged frigates and such, and maybe chip in a little if they arrive at a planet that still needs to be shot.

I like to use one or two emissive armors on just about any ship. It can do wonders against fighter weapons, even providing full immunity sometimes. Too much emissive armor, however, drives up the cost of the ship, and slows down production. If two isn't enough, twelve probably won't be either, in the long run. The technology should certainly be used, but sparingly.

Boarding ships need more shields and armor, since they need to survive without killing. They also need less weaponry, since they need their targets to survive; so it kinda works out. One or two tractors, one or two "normal damage" weapons, and whatever's available to knock down shields quickly. After that, pour on the shields and armor (and some boarding parties, of course)!

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Balance Guru

Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so far for the discussion guys.

Is it possible to get back a little more data on the actual % space being used on your current in-game designs? I'm looking to revise some of the AI's design rules.

Space Empires Depot | SE:V Balance Mod

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Space Emperor

Joined: Mar 29, 2014

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a general formula for damage vs HP. What is the % increase for adding an additional item? Example:

3 20kt 100hp armor = 300hp
2 20kt 100d weapon = 200d
Adding 1 armor increases hp by 100/300 = 1/3
Adding 1 weapon increases d by 100/200 = 1/2
So adding a weapon is better.

When close the hull counts for something. I run a sim to be sure. A ship with no weapon should have no defense

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Space Emperor

Joined: Aug 02, 2015

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The battleship I'm using at the moment has 27% shields/regen, but it's loaded with PD to go up against a Graviton Helbore loaded battleship so.. I'm still learning how to design ships well so I'm probably not that much help

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