1. What I wanted was to build a fleet of skirantras, assailants, and carriers so I could jump in, kite whatever defenses were there and use the fleet as a long range standoff weapon. I started with the cap as the main ship, engage the grav well, and manuever tight.
What I got was caps rushing up ahead of assailants, carriers not budging once they jumped in, and sc that needed to be remicroed every time they killed their target. I fiddled with the engage range and manuever, but it was never better and often worse.
Am I misunderstanding what this is for? did I go about this the exact wrong way?
This actually sounds like a proper fleet wasn't formed. Here's how fleets and its related settings work:
- When you create a fleet, all ships are put in formation. Close range frigates in front (Cobalts, Kodiaks as TEC), anti-fighter/scouts in the middle, and long range/supports/carriers in the back. Capital ships also have these roles, so a Kol will be up with the cobalts/kodiaks, while a Sova or Akkan will always hang in the back.
- For that reason, battleship types make the best fleet leaders since ships form up behind them. You can also control which ship is made the fleet leader before forming the fleet by using tab to cycle through your selection to set the "primary" ship (the one with the whitest selection circle).
- In a fleet, ships will never be left behind, they'll always try to fall back into formation.
- The "Cohesion" setting for the fleet determines how tight or loose the formation is. A tight formation will see ships return to it after a short distance away, and a loose setting will allow them to chase/get targets a bit more liberally.
- Cohesion still works with the engagement range settings (Grav well/local area/hold position). Think of it this way: engagement range determines which targets are valid for auto-attack, and cohesion determines how far the ship can move from the formation to attack it. So a ship set to Grav well engagement can pick any target in the grav well to attack, but if it's in a fleet, its cohesion setting will prevent it from leaving formation to chase it. On the flip side, a ship set to Hold Position will never leave formation because it only attacks whatever is in range of its guns. Ultimately, the grav well engagement range only matters for the fleet leader, because for the fleet member ships the formation will not allow them to chase across the grav well anyway, so they'll pick local targets.
So, for example, you can set your fleet leader to Grav Well, and the rest of the ships to Hold Position. As long as you don't give the member ships manual orders (which override all auto-settings until the manual orders are executed), the fleet leader will lead the fleet to any target in the grav well, but the followers will never leave formation to attack randomly once they stop.
In the first instance, if I set an LRM as the fleet and everyone else hold position and tight (I found that in another post) would everybody move to the firing distance of the assailant and then attack what's in range? Then I only need to micro the sc, right?
This is basically correct, though with Hold Position the cohesion setting doesn't matter since the ships don't move at all. Cohesion mostly matters on Local Area/Grav Well settings, since it just determines how far ships can stray on their own. If they try to go too far, they'll cancel attack and fall back.
2. I tried to make a fleet with two different kinds of cap ships in it. I had one kortul, one antorak, flak, hc, lf, and support. The antorak was higher leveled, and everytime i selected all the ships to group them in a fleet, it always selected the antorak (which does a piss poor job of blasting into the fray as hard as possible). If selected the antorak to leave the fleet, instead of defaulting to the kortul, it would randomly pick one of the hc's or lf's, and that made even less sense.
I sort of touched on this already above, but basically yeah, just use shift to make the Kortul the primary selection before forming the fleet. Once the fleet is made the only way to change the leader is to reform with the leader you want (which also cancels any waypoints set to that fleet).
Hope this helps a little