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Author Topic: HighFleet - Hammerfight goes dieselpunk and is now a strategy/simulation??  (Read 7051 times)

Cthulhu

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Yeah.  There's a module for it but for whatever reason the Gladiator doesn't seem to actually have the module installed.  It's hard to see in a fight but if you look close it'll shoot down big projectiles.  Doesn't work on anything smaller than 100mm.  Gladiator in particular is really easy to kill with light guns if you get below it, whereas even missiles and big cruiser shells take forever to kill it from the top.  Best combat ship in the game as far as I'm concerned.
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Il Palazzo

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There's a module for it but for whatever reason the Gladiator doesn't seem to actually have the module installed.
I've just done a quick check in the designer, and it's there. Two units, each hidden between the engine and the rocket, pointing down and to the side.
The one thing I learned is that you can see the location of all units of the same type highlighted if you hover the mouse over any one of those. So I just went and installed an extra APS, so that I could see the remaining two.
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Salmeuk

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Alright, I will give you guys a little tutorial on what I've got pinned down so far. I probably phrased my last post poorly, as there is no 'default free slot' on the Gladiator, however with only 6 hull pieces you can make enough space for a cannon and a small ammoloader. This is not true for every ship - most are awkward to modify. Let me show you.

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Some minor things of note that I have found effective:

-Rooks are awesome, the default bomber craft. Very nimble and the bombs are highly effective against larger targets. When I make the decision to attack a strike group head on (usually just for fun..) I send in two rooks first. With enough speed the bombs will carry your momentum and so you can torpedo bomb from below. BRILLIANT

-Special ammunition is broken, all types. I one-shot a freaking armored frigate with a plain old 130mm armor piercing round! Incendiary is a must buy for the smaller calibers and I just buy out the stores of their stock, since it's quite cheap. Prox fuse rounds are also ridiculous against unarmored ships, or if you can get the undershot on a larger vehicle. Essentially shotgun rounds. However, each type has different flight characteristics and so you have to know what you're up against to pick the proper round. I have found that the larger the caliber, the more effective the special ammunition, So 130mm armor piercing rounds are disgusting, but the smaller calibers don't seem to benefit as much.

-Study the enemy and make note of the armor locations for each ship. Don't even bother shooting those places with default HE rounds - they do so little damage you are wasting your time. Armor will block like.. 10 volleys of even the larger calibers. Buy the special ammunition and use it sparingly.

-You NEED to think in terms of having a main assault force, and a smaller, faster strike group... Gepard is good, Lightning is FAST AF but needs modification to be a good fighter, rooks are fast and CHEAP. Skylark or martingale is necessary, but only one - you can support at least two other craft to the max strike group range pretty easily. there is apparently no max range, not sure why I thought this. I currently have two roaming lightning + skylark groups, pretty effective!

-For the strike group, equip at least one ship with infrared detection and one with ELINT. You can use radar too, but it will get you found and killed far to easily on hard difficulty. Infrared can be used to hunt down traders if you park your ships on supply chokepoints and lie in wait. This game is so fucking cool.

-the game is easy peasy until you need to engage frigates. Then, you need to think about what each craft might accomplish as it's deployed, and how long you plan to fight with said craft, until you retreat. Rooks are great because you can cause massive damage and escape unscathed, weakening the frigates for your Novgorod or whatever it's called to clean up with the 6 gun 180mm batteries.

-Long range missiles are really cool but expensive, rare, and moderately effective. I found out that if your missiles fly PAST an enemy squadron they are subject to screening AA fire.

-Nukes are fun, but you just get screwed since the first strike group that sees you will reply with multiple. And you NEED AMM for nukes since their splash is RIDICULOUS.

I modified a lightning to carry an extra two cannons, and DAMN that thing is a great fighter. I think it still had 500+ speed too (from default 700+). I too used to think Gladiator was the best, but armor does not work against frigate level weapons. The Lightning, however, is so fast that you are pretty much hitting blackout G forces on every turn, and so you can dodge those prox fuse battery shots that are small ship insta killers.

Oh, and aircraft carriers are expensive and I haven't figured out if you can launch your own aircraft strike groups. You SHOULD be able to, since as a fighting craft the carrier makes little sense. Holy shit though, the little fighter jets give a great sense of scale for your craft. Literal flying cities!


edit: how not to land

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: August 05, 2021, 07:32:29 pm by Salmeuk »
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Cthulhu

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Palash is automatic, that's the APS I was talking about.  It'll automatically shoot any high caliber shells that enter its range.  Just be careful because it will shoot at missiles but can't actually destroy them in time.  A pretty common issue I have is dodging a missile so it scrapes the APS line.  It'll use all its shots trying to kill the missile, wasting it.

-I've never used Rooks.  They are super cheap, so maybe next round.

-Yeah, incendiary is really strong.  I mostly save my proximity fuze shells for missiles/aircraft though, the game automatically loads them in defense scenes and they'll very reliably pop them.

-Never ever push the infinite radar button outside the very late game when it doesn't matter anymore.  I almost exclusively use the sector sweep and only one ping at a time, and really only when I'm very confident something is there.  Even in normal mode, radar will get you fucked.  A few ships have jammers, they'll make most cruise missiles miss you, but ARMs will fuck you. Enemies can use them too, jammer looks like a fuzzy distortion on your radar.  ARMs have P in their name.  Note that if you've got your radar active, or especially jammers, your own ARMs are liable to turn around and attack you. Turn that shit off before you launch them.

-I think cruise missiles are extremely useful, it's true they're expensive and some won't accomplish anything, but if you shoot two or three usually at least one will get through.  My recent runs I've been able to kill at least 2 or 3 out of the five strike groups before reaching Khiva, by softening them up with cruise missiles and aircraft before finishing them off with the Gladiator.  And...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

-Lightning is crazy strong.  Most of my games I've exclusively used lightning and gladiator as combat ships.  I lean heavily on aircraft and missiles, and only carry around a few combat ships.  Like I said in the earlier post, a lightning standing off between your fleet and a strike group will eat an entire salvo of missiles with barely any damage cause it's fast enough to dodge their aoe.  Doesn't work on nukes obviously, though even it's probably worth losing the lightning vs the nuke hitting your fleet.

-Also yes, you can launch aircraft.  There's a button in the bottom right corner.  If you click multiple times before you launch they'll fly as a squadron.  Aircraft ammo is in the special ammo screen in supply shops.  There's a few types.
  • Cannons are the default, they're useless.  Can kill small ships but you shouldn't waste aircraft on those in the first place
  • Bombs are good for attacking cities.  If you're not on alert (red circle on your clock) they'll be on the ground and easy to hit.  In the air they're still decent at hitting cruisers. Big damage
  • Rockets are ideal for flying ships.  Three planes with rockets can easily take out frigates and potentially cruisers
  • Aircraft missiles are only good for shooting down cruise missiles.  Your planes won't even use them against airships. Very worth it to stop incoming missiles

Also watch out, some weird behaviors:  If you've got one squadron departing and one returning, sometimes the departing squadron will turn around when it meets the returning one.  Make sure you correct it before it lands and goes on cooldown.  Also, if a friendly missile meets a friendly squadron they will usually destroy each other.  Make sure your missiles and aircraft aren't flying on the same vector or you'll regret it.

The game kind of sucks early on but once you've got a bunch of extra money (If you can make it to the endgame that's an easy 100K extra) you can just load up on missile and aircraft carriers and go full aggro.  A vega and an aircraft carrier will piss all over any strike group that spots you.
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Salmeuk

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Thanks for the tips Cthulhu. Please don't eat my dreams, Dark Lord.

You are totally right about missile strikes, they are extremely effective and the cost (1500 per missile) is worth it considering the repair time saved from a frontal engagement. However, you need to send two or three in a row to be truly effective - the game forces the defending squadron to reload after the first missile, which can give you a chance to hit.

I played a weird game where I managed to destroy three strike groups super early on, like within the first few days (playing on normal), only to (actual spoilers)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

All that being said I still had a great time. Every story feels different, with each city containing random events that might genuinely sway your choices. The fact you are making practical decisions, that also come with a corresponding gain or loss in some aspect, is wonderful. Later on, having one or two of these traits at a high enough level becomes important, but there isn't an easy way to game them. As well, the whole story feels influenced by The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and Lawrence of Arabia, so it gets cool points.
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Cthulhu

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I didn't know they'd retreat early like that if you killed enough.  I dunno, that might actually be useful if you've got the resources to survive the missiles approaching Khiva, if you've got enough missiles and aircraft of your own you might be able to wipe them all out on your way in and make the endgame way easier.  The story events late game are fun, the way they interweave the spiritual and practical elements of the storyline like I mentioned before.  Depending on your stats you can be completely matter-of-fact and ignore the religious stuff or basically become the prophet and savior of the qodas, and characters react accordingly.

Also, without spoiling anything, when you're doing the recruitment minigame if you think you know what the target likes it's a good idea to keep going and stack up more reputation rather than end the talk early.  Using their support actions with the intercom button will cost reputation, and there are some other benefits to high rep.
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Il Palazzo

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Goddamnit, I was gonna get back to playing this over the weekend. But the thought of the strike groups hiding out there is giving me too much anxiety.
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forsaken1111

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I had a pretty entertaining stream of the game last night. We did some codebreaking, you don't really need to waste time finding cyphers if you get some good message traffic and can guess word groups.

Saw an ARM woosh by me and fly on when I turned my radar off, which was fun. Figured out that turning your jammer on halves the detection range of incoming missiles, sometimes making them miss if you have deviated from the expected course. Using the jammer also alerts everyone nearby to your precise bearing from them, but scrambles your distance.

Also found out you can take damage while landing if you overheat the engines. You can also run out of fuel while landing if you're on fumes.

Hidden cities are annoying to find but great havens if you need 130+ hours!! of repairs because your cruiser has a hole in it big enough to fit a corvette.
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Ozyton

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I haven't even really done anything in campaign yet, I modified a Gladiator to replace the AK100s with molots and added a CIWS on top, then screwed around in the testing arena against level 10 small enemies for maybe 2 or 3 hours straight. Unusually satisfying. It can also go up against level 5 medium/large, but the tester doesn't simulate fuel use so I doubt it'd have enough fuel to actually stick around long enough to blow everything up.

Salmeuk

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I haven't even really done anything in campaign yet, I modified a Gladiator to replace the AK100s with molots and added a CIWS on top, then screwed around in the testing arena against level 10 small enemies for maybe 2 or 3 hours straight. Unusually satisfying. It can also go up against level 5 medium/large, but the tester doesn't simulate fuel use so I doubt it'd have enough fuel to actually stick around long enough to blow everything up.

Careful, you will get too good at the game and not have any of the strategic enjoyment from the campaign. lol

Similarly, the test editor has been consuming my time as of late. The campaigns take an investment of about 3 hours, and more if I could actually get to the late game without all-inning my fleet just to see the pretty explosions. So the editor has provided me with a lot of stress-free testing of ideas.

So, the way the fights are set up as 1 human  ship vs. multiple A.I., your vessel will most certainly catch fire, lose an engine or generator, and become useless if you let the fight go on too long. This means power and maneuverability will beat armor, even before you consider the additional upkeep cost for a ship that is constantly tanking hits. Simply avoiding missile hits will save you TONS of grief, since the explosion damages components through armor, and those can be very expensive items. So IMO the baseline speed for attack vessels should always allow you to dodge single missles. Or you can equip small guns to act as AA.. but that is ultimately a waste of weight since those guns cannot be used to punch above your weight.

I call this the "brick":

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

If you take the armor off, the thrust weight rises to 8!!! But it's nice to have a little tank ability when needed. The D-80 can kill much larger vessels if you focus weak spots.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

This ship is uh experimental, but looks pretty cool from afar, and can absolutely shred enemy armor. I have found smaller calibers are effective ship destroyers simply because the shells are small enough to work their way into the internal structure, without colliding with the armor that blocks larger shells. Anyways, this thing is vulnerable AF to missiles, but can dodge OK and packs a punch. Here is a gif of it in action, though it's shit quality despite being 4mb, since the game filter does bad things to gif compression.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

pretty explosions *drools*
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Cthulhu

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If you're customizing, another kind of cheesy trick is putting the basic frame pieces offset from the body of the craft to make space armor.  No components on them, just the frame.  The engine didn't anticipate spacing the pieces like that so it has a ton of trouble breaking through and you can survive much worse shit than you would expect with non-armor frame pieces.
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Ozyton

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I haven't even really done anything in campaign yet, I modified a Gladiator to replace the AK100s with molots and added a CIWS on top, then screwed around in the testing arena against level 10 small enemies for maybe 2 or 3 hours straight. Unusually satisfying. It can also go up against level 5 medium/large, but the tester doesn't simulate fuel use so I doubt it'd have enough fuel to actually stick around long enough to blow everything up.

Careful, you will get too good at the game and not have any of the strategic enjoyment from the campaign. lol

I just started playing the campaign yesterday. I had done some reading about how garbage the Sevastopol is with its fuel consumption etc. and so I stole a flagship from Steam with under 1000ton fuel efficiency and about 250kph speed with a flight deck. I'm enjoying my time so far, still learning some things, annoyed at how taking Zeniths off a ship or any minor modification needs to be its own new ship. Launched some missiles and 1-shot a ship in a strike group, crippled another ship in another strike group (afterwards it said '18 hours to repair' on it so I assume they are going to be staying in the next time they're in for a while?). Some of the missiles missed and went on to blow up some ships in a town I wasn't even targeting.

My main issue I'm dealing with now is how aircraft don't seem to dock with the carrier properly. I launched a plane to scout and now all the planes on the flight deck got rearranged so it wouldn't fit back on. Apparently to fix it would cost over 15 grand and 10 hours time. Then later after launching some planes to fend off a squad of enemy planes, my plane arrangement got so messed up that they're clipping into the ship's tower and into the ammo boxes and such. I also found that sometimes when I tried to pick them up and move them in the shipworks I was allowed to place them on the deck standing on their tail end which doesn't seem right.

Salmeuk

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Re: HighFleet - Hammerfight goes dieselpunk and is now a strategy/simulation??
« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2021, 03:57:43 pm »

annoyed at how taking Zeniths off a ship or any minor modification needs to be its own new ship.

Yeah, this sucks. I'm hoping they release an update at some point and let you edit / remove your 'custom' ships from the campaign, or manage these alternative builds in some way. I bet there is a way to delete the literal files in the game directory but I haven't looked around.

I find it kind of immersion-breaking that you can find your custom-built ships as mercenaries for hire. I made a Yars mk. 2 with 4 missile tubes instead of 2, and its simply better than the vanilla Yars. Then again, some of the vanilla ships are designed with questionable purposes in mind. Far too often they are equipped with unnecesary radar or ELINT when your mothership has full capability in that regard. So you end up making the same modifications every game.

Game is still fun, but I have a criticism of the difficulty: I find the fights between small ships to generally be cakewalks, whereas the fights between mid-size and large vessels to be.. suicide. Fights involving large v. large end up being waaaaay too expensive to engage in, since the larger campaign rules force you to repair and this ends up losing you the strategic game, due to lack of funds for fuel, or due to DEATH BY CRUISE MISSLE. Almost every campaign I have lost has been to taking a large fight at the wrong time, winning with heavy losses and limping to the nearest city, then dying to a 10-missile strike moments later.

The reason this is an issue and not just a straightforward showcase of the naval inspired combat.. is that your first 8 fights or so are fairly meaningless, and then suddenly you are thrust into a ridiculously unfair 1 v 3 that will kill or maim whatever ship you choose to pilot. This places a HUGE onus on the player to use strike missiles and planes. Which is fun, but not really the game? more of a point-click-destroy simulator. Without those first strikes, you are always on the back foot in these large v large fights.

Laser guided 180mm will one shot the largest vehicles, when using the 6 barrel cannon.. and that's honestly your best bet in those engagements. If you don't kill one or two vessels before the real shooting starts, you are done.

Here is a gameplay vid I recorded last night, showcasing the smaller kinds of engagements:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJqVcawHXfE
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Il Palazzo

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Re: HighFleet - Hammerfight goes dieselpunk and is now a strategy/simulation??
« Reply #43 on: September 14, 2021, 10:45:54 pm »

I'm simultaneously thinking 'wow, he's eating those missiles like a magnet', and 'wow, that's some impressive evasive action'. ;)
The close-ups definitely help appreciate the narrow misses.
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nenjin

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Re: HighFleet - Hammerfight goes dieselpunk and is now a strategy/simulation??
« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2021, 09:18:18 pm »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RUrBmXUGuU

Gonna bump this because I just watched SssethTzeentch's review of it. I'm not sure it's the kind of game I would play myself, but man, you need some actual video to appreciate just how sick those explosions are. There is so much to like about the style of the game.
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