Thanks Divine for your quick answer
well the reaons for my disknowledge is that previously I played for MV score and also mostly ZYW and there you don't have to warfight at all. On very fast techspeed just build the SCC declare war, take all planets. Besides, for score, all the modules are completely irrelevant as they aren't taken into the MMR.
I recommend that you don't use fleet modules to make a meat shield. I consider that cheating since you can do that in ways that make targeting the meat shield a bad idea, but you enemies must target it anyways.
That's exactly what I intend to do^^ I don't know why that would be cheating anyway? Why should it? These fleet modules are pretty costly to research and also expensive to build so at least they can have a positive function. Usually I wouldn't bother because most of them are rather weak....
Your suggestions won't work anyway, first off on suicidal the boni the AI's get are so brutal that you can't keep up with that. you need at least 2 times more planets as all your current opponents combined equally developed and then it wouldn't even be even (you would still be at loss) but the way how a human player is winning a warfighting game is by micro managing and tactics.
Let me give you an example. The AI usually sends out fleets from their shippoints to clear out your guarded planets, once this is done he send out Troop Transports to invade (and will retreat them if you guard again). Now what you can do is let your central planets unguarded so he, with sufficient range (which you can provide him^^) he will send Transports to these planets and as they pass you terrain you can shoot them down draining his population.
The AI has no way of dealing with this tactic and it can be safely said that a human player won't make this mistake? So is that cheating? I'm pretty much using something for my advantage.
Another thing is that the AI's attacking fleets/ship will usually not alter their target destination (they are locked on target) so with sufficient speed you can lure him away at a great distance or circle around him. A good tactic if he's stronger ie you can't really beat him in a direct confrontation.
If you are looking for a non-cheating solution, I suggest you invest in larger hulls and put powerful defenses on them. A single ship with powerful defenses (with proper defense type) can effectively defend itself well against many ships (lets say 5 or more) assuming the combined firepower (evenly distributed) does not greatly exceed the defenses (combined attack more than 2 times the defense). Don't forget hit points (or single moment of bad luck is all that is needed to kill such a ship).
Alternatively, you should invest in large fleets for combined firepower (to kill all enemies in one turn, there by eliminating damage in later rounds) and for their combined defenses (while you may lose ships, having many makes it difficult to kill them all quickly).
That's not a good solution but would actually lead to my downfall. Because of a number of reasons. I will name a few.
- Fleets are already maxed at around 45 logistical points. If you take 2 different builds of fleets - the first with an all attack build and the second with a defensive or mixed approach then in most cases the all attack fleet will pretty much destroy the second one even if their defenses match. Now I'm sure you know this pretty well.
- The AI has 10* the amount of research as me because I play an all-facs strat but he also able to outproduce/outmilitarize me because the aforementioned boni in a suicidal game are really brutal. On general planets he has a "normal" output of my specialized planets, besides the economic boni he gets from the suicidal factor means he don't have to build any Stocks Markets at all simply fill everything with Invention Matrix/Industrial Sectors and still make a surplus of money all the time. Maybe THAT could be called *cheating* but I don't complain since it is my choice. I played some games on masochistic (I'm new to some TA techtrees/races so that's why I reduced difficulty a bit) but found the AI pretty boring and non-competetive.
- My enemy AI's already have researched bigger hulls than me (Medium Hulls fo rme but Large Hulls for them) and they pretty much release a Frigate/Battleship EVERY TURN on every planet they have and tragically, they have 2 times more planets than me^^^^ so just researching something then building some ships and going into a normal fight doesn't work.
However, I appreciate your input. So I think I'll in the future put my Troop Transports into the fleets as well and maybe design a special unarmed support class of ship which has those fleet modules on it - might safe me some maintenance cost.