I am currently playing through "Force Projection" and am attempting to intercept the laser frigate head-on (retrograde) with my missile salvo to maximize closing speed. However, the auto-intercept seems to default to prograde, and there does not seem to be a "precise intercept" available in retrograde.
Post by AtomHeartDragon on Jul 13, 2020 16:21:13 GMT
Retrograde intercepts actually tend to be very effective against stock designs, and almost mandatory using stock missiles (due to combination of flak bug, poor delta-v and weak PD resistance) and drones (negligible laser resistance and damage resilience).
Three ways that I can think of: automatic fly-by, automatic match orbit, manual intercept.
This. Automatic intercept attempts to limit velocity (it's almost a hostile join). Flyby doesn't do that.
Manual intercept and matching orbit (when done retrograde this results in perfect heads-on intercept) generally are better option with one caveat - automatic intercept/fly-by tries to reintercept dodging enemy.
If I remember correctly, the auto-flyby and auto-intercept options both expend approximately the same dV (2.5 km/s), which seems to mean that both incorporate a burn to achieve prograde orbit. It does seem like the game wants to achieve a low relative velocity (like you said, a “hostile join” rather than approaching head-on), but this leads to my missiles getting taken out by thr laser frigate due to their low closing speed.
Are you saying the auto-flyby should be retrograde by default?
Auto-flyby works prograde, retrograde and IIRC out of plane too. The game likes to do hard burns close to intercept (using more dV than necessary) and doesn't minimize perpendicular velocity (essential to make missiles work, expecially stock ones), so in the long run you'd just be better off learning how to do a manual intercept (or just match orbits in retrograde).
Strange - the delta-V estimate for the auto-flyby in retrograde is 2.5 km/s, but the actual expenditure is much lower (0.6 km/s) for the missiles.
I also noticed that a retrograde intercept with a missile salvo was able to mission-kill the frigate significantly quicker than the record (3 days, 2 hours); I only took 14 hours and much less delta-V to do this. Is this an exploit, or is there something about the record that I am missing?
My approach was simply a burn to match orbit with my fleet, launching missiles while in a retrograde orbit to the laser frigate, and then burning tangentially to obtain a wider fleet orbit (so that my missiles went out ahead of my ships). However, this would obviously change with a defensive enemy, as they would also burn dV to change their orbit.