In the newly imagined hit-series Battlestar Galactica, the capital ship had a very sophisticated Flak defense array capable of projecting a dense Flak shield around the battlestar. Now, I have to ask the Ironclad developers, have they ever seen the Anti-SC capabilities of a capital ship in that series? Well it looks like this:
That is a lot of Flak. Also in the series, we've seen on television how effective these Flak shields can be taking down several cylon raiders on several occasions on television. Battlestars were equipped with hundreds... of point-defense turrents that created the lightshow you see in the above picture.
In Star Wars Episode III, we saw dense capital ship Anti-Aircraft fire from the first minute.
In any canon Star Wars hand-book of ships, it lists major capital ships such as Star Destroyer as carrying several AA-missile batteries and AA-Ion cannons in addition to its TIE squadrons for a secondary line of Anti-SC defense.
In real life, the battleship - the epitome of what is considered a "capital ship" - is literally a moving Flak platform on wheels. The largest battleship ever created The Yamato had over 150 Type 96 25mm cannons, and over 25 type 93 13mm triple AA machine guns, other ships indeed almost any ship worth anything in battle carried Flak guns. Naval battles in the pacific tended to be massive Flak vs. Strike Craft contests with a lot of puff puff clouds covering the sky for miles.
The question is why then can't Capital Ships get Flak in this game? Yes, there are several caps (1-2 for each each) that has an anti-SC ability such the Kol Flak Burst, or the Dunov's Magnetize but does that really make up for Capital Ships not even having a small built in Flak defense system? No, not really.
Yes, there are a specialized type of frigate: the Flak Frigate that is meant to be the primarily Flak defense for ships in SINs but does that mean unless you always bring along Flak Frigates your capital ships will always be completely defenseless against SC? Yes, it does (not counting the starting 1-2 strike craft your non-carrier capital ships get)
What I propose is: give all capital-ships a general weak Flak capability equal to 2-3 Flak Frigates.
Why we should give Capital Ships Flak. (And Starbases)
Capital Ships loved to be focused fired on by strike craft from all types of players. They see the biggest thing on the battlefield and want to take it out. This means, Capital Ships are always in near-constant danger of strike craft every game that goes onto the mid-game. You cannot count on your Anti-matter abilities because you may not have any, and your starting SC will not be able to really protect you unless you've spammed them in the form of light carriers. This extra protection however slight is needed.
The philosophical question really is: Why shouldn't huge capital ships (and even larger Starbases) that are very expensive and valuable not be able to protect themselves against SC without relying on abilities or your own SC - even slightly? They may not even good at it, they may not be effective at it, but they should be able to fire back. In WW2, Flak was nessecarily the best option for taking down planes, and options such as interceptors were better, but that is no reason to completely strip capital ships from having it.
Why Capital Ship Flak is balanced.
The weak to moderate strenght Flak equipped on Capital Ships would only be a second to third line of defense for the capital ships against enemy-SC. Mass Flak Frigates would still be much more effective than relying solely on a Cap's light Flak defense, and your own fighter SC would also be much more effective. Essentially the balance will be unchanged from what it is right now, it'll only be just that now Capital Ships can shoot back and lightly dmg enemy SC swarming around them. Flak Frigates will NOT be obsolete (agent of Karma), Fighter SC will still be more effective, and enemy SC focus-firing on capitals will still be just as effective. Like I've mentioned, this is a humble change.
"We can live without Flak for capital ships, but do we really want to? Also on very principle we shouldn't. We owe it to the Science Fiction Genre. "
Why Starbase Flak is needed.
Everything that applied to capital ships applies here, except that Starbases in addition to being huge, expensive, and valuable, they are immobile. Strike Craft could simply avoid them, and they will be a zero threat. Now, for players attempting to assault these structures, they could send SC but its perfectly flesible and realistic they will take losses. Carrier Strike Craft, should not be able to jump in on the other side of the grav well released their strike craft, wait for a few minutes while the strike craft do their dirty work (without taking any losses, due to the lack of flak guns) then jump out once the Starbase dies. Yes, Starbases can have up to several SC of their own, but that is only available after multiple upgrades you need to buy. Starbases should already start out with built-in Flak or at least make it a cheap upgrade.
Babylon 5 station's defense grid. Interceptor Station Point Defense Guns.
Specifics: Give the Akkan, Progenitor, and the Jarrasul a moderate Flak capability.
All the other capital ships and starbases will have a weak Flak equal to 2-3 Flak Frigates, however the Mothership type capital ship I adovcate for a moderate Flak ability equal to about 3-4 Flak Frigates.
The Akkan should receive moderate Flak abilities.
Again not much of a leg up, but still important. This makes these ships even better and helps protect your fleet in the immediate radius. The reasoning for this is, Flak is a support/defense ability these ships could have in contrast to the battleship capitals with their high hp + dmg and the command caps with their great abilities. This gives player an addition reason to go with these ships as their first capital ship knowing it will be very useful even in late-game battles vs. just slightly useful in combat.
PLEASE NOTE: This thread is not here to discuss Flak balance vs. Strike Craft Carrier balance. That is for another thread, and there are plently of them out there. Please do not post something like: "Great idea, but it's all unless without a carrier fix and a general buff to flak" [I actually agree with this, but keep it in another thread]
This is Silfarion's three criteria for adding in a change to the game. That I agree with.
1. It's balanced.
2. It fits the theme of the game and what the developers had in mind.
3. It works with minimal fuss or change.
1. - Topic for debate. I say Yes.
2. - Yes, and double Yes. I have to ask, do the developers even watch BattleStar Galactica?
3. - Yes, and triple yes. It is easily implemented and won't create much of a fuss, (except for diehards out there such as Hack87, who won't like this idea no matter how humble)
I make sure to make all my trends very specific, full of examples, and with a Rebuttal section to combat the diehards out there, who hate new ideas no matter what they are. It is my hope that most people will see the merits of this humble proposal despite the over-the-topic critics that will surely seek to destroy this thread with everything they can muster.
Objections & Rebuttal COLUMN (read this first for all you diehards out there)
— "This isn't really needed"
Having cherry on a Ice-Cream Sunday isn't needed, but it's good and moreover it's "right". If we were to simply not do a change because it wasn't crucially needed and we only did things when it was absolutely nessecary in today's society then we would not have video games, ice cream, ... toilets. This change really implements the spirt of the genre and a humble change that will not cause any problems for balance.
— "Capital Ships already have 2 things to deal with squadrons ... It's a bad idea then, its a bad idea now."
Some Capital Ships have two thing to try to deal with SC, but with 1 they fail completely, the other is very micro/anti-matter dependent. I'm talking about of course their own SC, and their own capitial ship abilities that some ships have. The flaw in the first one is that the number of squadrons a cap carries (1-3 max) will almost never be enough to really protect it against enemy swarms. Second, the abilities are anti-matter dependent and highly situational. None of these 2 give a good reason why capitals shouldn't have a reliable built in Flak both in game-terms and philosophically.
— "Capital Ships aren't supposed to be a one-ship fleet, they support, and need support... they need Flak Frigates ad fighters already with them. Capital Ships are limited by hardcoding to three weapons systems..."
They're not. Capital ships will still very much need support to be effective. Giving capital ships a weak Flak will not by any means make them one-ship conquer all wonders. Flak Frigate support will still be very much desired, Fighter support will still be very viable. As for hardcoding, there are mods out there that already has this as a feature, so we know its all very much possible.