Multiple times i have encountered the following scenario:
I use a fleet that is based mostly around strike craft spam.
Factions that i personally used with this tactic:
- Imperial Navy
- Dark Eldar
(they are different than the rest, and thus not included in the following analysis)
It would appear that in its Beta1 state, the strike craft spam is overperforming.
As far as my experience goes, i have the impression that it is a tactic that has just two softcounters, one of which is itself (strike craft spam)
I have played over 20 games using this tactic alone on orks, and probably total of 20 games with the non-ork factions from the list above (combined)
These are the doctrines which have proven to stand up to the strike craft spam:
- Mass strike craft
(requires 'just right' management of fighters to work)
- Using stealth
(requires careful play, otherwise losses inevitable)
The problem with this is that not only the tactic counters itself, which is fertile ground for a meta to develop.
The problem is that losing a fleet to this tactic feels infuriating; it does not feel like you even had a chance, as the enemy fleet never came into any reasonable proximity.
While playing the strike craft fleets, i (not exagerrating) knew i will win depending on which faction i faced.
Thus, the current state of the strike craft mechanics leads me to believe that if left as it was in beta1, it will encourage a quick (within 1-3 months, faster if shared in the community) development of a strike craft meta, in which the fleets will consist mostly of launch bay vessels, and every vessel without those launch bays would be considered a liability / an easy kill.
I suspect that would result in decreased game longevity in ranked gameplay.
I would like to recommend carefully revisiting the following aspects of the strike craft gameplay:
- Ability of ships to send launch craft off to unidentified detected ships
- Prices of ships with few hangar bays
- Prices of ships with many hangar bays
- Ship turret effectiveness boost in "Brace for impact" stance
From my current perspective,
the ideal change would be:
- Disable the ability to send strike craft off to unidentified detected ships ("red blips")
- Decrease the relative price of ships with few hangar bays (relative to similiar vessels without hangar bays)
- Increase the relative price of ships with many hangar bays (relative to similiar vessels without hangar bays)
- If post beta2 the changes would not be enough, increase the effectiveness of the "Brace for impact" stance further (specifically against fighter craft), to allow any one ship in the abovementioned stance to repel one full set of fighters procurable with one ship of the same class with its turrets alone, without strike craft support (adjusted for faction differences)