In Space Empires IV, Fighters are small, miniature spacecraft that can be carried as cargo and deployed into combat by ships, planets or bases. Fighters count as units rather ships.
Differences between fighters and ships
There are numerous differences between fighters and ships:
- Fighters can be carried as cargo. Ships cannot.
- Ships can use warp points. Fighters cannot. See 'Fighters and movement' below for more information.
- In early versions of the game, fighters cannot be used to "fire on" other ships, even if the fighters have weapons. This is fixed in the 1.91 patch.
- Fighters cannot be used to blockade a planet.
- Although they still cost resources to build, fighters cost nothing in maintenance, because they are units.
- Once launched, fighters can stack together: This means that a group of them occupy the same combat square, move together and fight as a single combat piece. To unstack a group of fighters, they must be brought back into cargo.
Fighters and movement
- Fighters can move on their own in a system if provided with standard movement ability but cannot warp through warp points.
- To move fighters from one system to another (ie via a warp point) the fighters must be placed in a ship's cargo, and the ship moved through the warp point.
- Fighters can be transferred freely between ship/base/planetary cargo without the need for launcher components.
Fighters and supply
- Fighters can join fleets, but do not share supplies in fleets. Unlike ships, fighters use 5 supplies per turn when sitting still (This amount can be modified in settings.txt).
- Bug: after 1.84 patch, if fighters are added to a fleet with ships, the fighters will quickly suck down the fleet's supplies. Recommend not doing this until it is fixed.
- When a fighter runs out of supplies in space, it is destroyed.
Fighters in combat
- Ships and bases need fighter launchers to launch and recover fighters from space. The number and type of launchers available dictate how many can be launched in a game turn or combat turn.
- Any colonized planet can launch and recover fighters without launchers. They are automatically limited to 1000 fighters launched per game turn. This limit could theoretically be increased by modding 'fighter launch' facilities.
- Fighters will be launched automatically in combat, as long as launchers are available. The size of the stacks launched can be specified in the combat strategies window.
- If a planet, ship or base launches fighters during combat, any surviving fighters are automatically picked up once combat ends. Combat damage which reduces cargo capacity, or damage which reduces launch capacity to zero, will cause any excess fighters to be left in space. Fighters only automatically return the the vehicle that launched them, and will not look for alternatives.
- There is no limit on the number of fighters in a battle - large numbers of fighters can overwhelm fleets with inadequate Point Defense.
- If any 1 unit in a stack of fighters has an ECM or Combat Sensors, it applies to the whole stack until that unit is destroyed. Note that it is possible to have more than 1 kind of fighter in the same stack, but it is not easily controlled because the launch command does not differentiate between different types of fighters.
- Bug: Shield generation counts double on fighters. Presumably once as shields, and again as hull structure.
| Manual (SEIV)