How good are defense posts?
The quick answer is: if you want to defend a planet, put a ship around it, or build a starbase. Against races such as the Fascists and Rebels, who cannot be attacked by planets, you’re best to use a ship. The Empire’s Super Star Destroyer (SSD) cannot be attacked by a planet, regardless of which race owns the SSD, and can capture any planet (if the SSD is undamaged) by merely dropping 10 clans.
http://www.phost.de/~stefan/pcc2.html – VCR simulator
Defense post breakpoints
0 – 100 kt. Still cannot be killed by a ship with 2 Lasers or X-Rays. The battle will time-out before the ship kills the planet.
1 – Laser. Kills freighters using NUK friendly code (which isn’t very friendly in this case…)
13 – 2 Plasma bolts
19 – 3 Plasma bolts (defeats small scouts)*
25 – 3 Blasters
37 – 4 Blasters
41 – 4 Positron Beams**
61 – 5 Disruptors (approx. 200 clans)
85 – 5 Heavy Blasters, 9 Fighters*** (1275 clans)
91 – 6 Heavy Blasters, 10 Fighters*** (2550 clans)
127 – 7 Phasers, 11 fighters (5979 clans – either a really good native planet, or you’re Cyborg): 3 fighters get 1 good pass, and then are killed. Planet still loses, but damages most 4/2 Mark 4 ships past 50%. Light 4/4 Mark 4 ships, like the Cygnus, will beat the planet 50% of the time, with heavy (85%+) damage. Even at this defense level, what you’re hoping for is that the ship runs out of torps (needs 20-24 torps), or is light enough that one round of fire with the 7 Phasers is enough to finish off the ship.
* Even at this point, a planet can destroy any 2-beam scout that attacks it (the toughest one being a Swift Heart Scout with Heavy Blasters and 45 kt mass). Even 4 or 6-beam light warships will die to the planet at 19 defense posts. However, as soon as torps or fighters are introduced, the planet loses.
** In my sims, I found a dramatic difference between 37 and 41 defense posts. The Positron beams do enough damage to take out a White Falcon, Lady Royale, or BR5 with Mark 4’s and X-Rays (which is why your should equip your 1-Torp ships with Disruptors). You don’t get much of an upgrade from here until 85 defense posts, as Disruptors aren’t really any better than Positron beams for ship-killing.
*** I only start listing fighters here because most light ships (except HYP ships) will have at least 4 beams, and will be able to shoot down 6-8 fighters before the fighters engage. Even planets at 85 defense are likely to die to any ship with Mark4 torps or higher (and more than 1 torp tube).
Okay, I have a Starbase. Now What?
You still want to increase the Defense Posts on the planet to maximum. These defense posts give extra combat mass to the planet, and are cheaper than Starbase Defense (because they don’t cost Duranium), and also slightly increases the Ground Attack ratio of defenders for every defense post (see http://www.vgaplanets.ca/vgapcalc.php#ground_combat ).
The only basic benefit a starbase gives a planet is 5 more fighter bays. This means nothing if you don’t have extra fighters to launch. However, a starbase DOES allow you to store up to 60 more fighters on the planet, and you can increase the mass of the starbase (using Starbase Defense) by 200 kt. The minimum beam level of the starbase is also equal to the beam tech level of the base (thus, Amphibian bases will always fire Heavy Phasers).
In general, you want to add fighters to the starbase if you’re really serious about defending the planet. Even 10 additional fighters makes a difference, and 20 fighters will usually mean that you’ll kill the first ship that attacks, unless it’s a Battleship or large Carrier. That said, the starbase fighters are killed off first, so at 100 MC / fighter, you’d better be serious about the planet!
This is one reason NOT to pull the 20 fighters off your home world starbase – a surprise attack could wipe out your main source of colonists. Even if you have a defensive ship, it can be towed off using a cloaker, and another medium-sized warship (or two) could easily defeat the planet.
Simulations and Conclusions
Used 40,000+ sims.
- Adding Fighters is always better than adding Starbase Defense.
- 20 SB Fighters will beat almost all medium torp ships (except Resolute / Emerald / Illwind)
- 30 SB Fighters will defeat any medium warship in the game (SSC / Illwind / Instr. still wins)
- The Instrumentality is a beast for its tech level of 6. Only a 350+kt starbase-planet with full fighters will defeat it.
- Beam-count is very important against Starbases, which is why Fascist 2x beams is so powerful.
12 Fighters, 61 defense posts, 0 SB defense; ships with Disruptors, Mark 7s:
Vs. Cygnus/MCBR – Planet wins 100%, loses 8 fighters
Vs. Cobol/Ruby/D7 – Planet wins 100%, loses 12 fighters
Vs. LCC – Planet will break even against an LCC with Mark 7s and Blasters (both die).
Vs. Patriot – Ship wins 23%, with 93% avg dmg
Vs. Nebula – Ship wins 37% with 89% avg dmg
Vs. Firecloud – Ship wins 100%, with 22% avg dmg (Disruptors and Mark 7’s)
Vs. D7 (fast beams) – Ship wins 100%, 16% damage
Vs. Resolute or Emerald = Ship wins 100%, with 30-50% shields left
*Conclusion: beam-count is extremely important against starbase planets.
15 Fighters, as above
Vs. LCC – ship dies, planet will survive 98% (stalemate otherwise)
Vs. Patriot – ship wins 12%, with 102% avg dmg (stalemate)
Vs. D7 (fast beams) – Ship wins 100%, 57% damage
Vs. Firecloud – ship wins 96%, with 57% avg dmg
Vs. Resolute/Emerald – ship wins 100%, with 2% avg dmg
20 Fighters, as above
Vs LCC – planet wins 100%
Vs. Firecloud – planet wins 100%, with 20 fighters lost
Vs. D7 (fast beams) – Ship wins 13%, 99% damage, kills 18-20 fighters, kills planet 22% (9% chance of stalemate).
Vs. Resolute/Emerald – ship wins 100%, 52% avg dmg
Vs. Ill Wind – ship wins 100%, 15% avg dmg
20 Fighters, 50 Starbase defense, 62 DPs
Vs. Resolute/Emerald – Ship wins 100%, 60% avg dmg
*Conclusion: Still better to add fighters, but 20 Fighters will beat most medium warships 1v1.
20 Fighters, 50 Starbase defense, 86 DPs (dump a LDSF of clans on planet)
Vs. Resolute/Emerald – Ship wins 99%, 66% avg dmg
*Conclusion: Still better to add fighters
25 Fighters, as above
Vs. Resolute/Emerald – ship wins 67%, 86% dmg avg
30 Fighters, as above
Vs. Resolute/Emerald – planet wins 100%, loses 23 fighters
Vs. SSCarrier – ship wins 72%, 62% avg dmg
Vs. Ill Wind – ship wins 94%, 51% avg dmg
Vs. Instrumentality (80 fighters) – ship wins 100%, 7% avg dmg.
60 Fighters, as above
Vs. Victorious – ship wins 100%, 40% average dmg
Vs. Victorious (fast beams) – ship wins 100%, 11% avg dmg.
Vs. Instrumentality (40-80 fighters) – ship wins 100%, 7% avg dmg.
Vs. Instrumentality (30 fighters) – ship wins 63%, 45% avg dmg.
60 Fighters, 100 Starbase defense
Vs. Victorious – planet wins 89%, costs 40 fighters and 40 sb def
Vs. Victorious (fast beams) – ship wins 100%, 16% avg dmg
Vs. Instrumentality (80 fighters) – ship wins 100%, 9% avg dmg.
60 Fighters, 120 Starbase defense
Vs. Victorious – planet wins 96%, costs 40 fighters and 40 sb def
60 Fighters, 150 Starbase defense
Vs. Victorious – planet wins 100%, costs 40 fighters and 40 sb def
Vs. Instrumentality (80 fighters) – ship wins 99%, 21% avg dmg.
60 Fighters, 200 Starbase defense
Vs. Victorious (fast beams) – ship wins 100%, 10% avg dmg.
Vs. Instrumentality (80 fighters) – ship wins 14%, 95% avg dmg.