Drop? garrison? carrier loss question


So I am in a game and something happened that I didnt expect, perhaps this has changed since I last played or?

I was under the impression that dropping all my ships on a Star was the best way to avoid losing carriers in combat.

but during this combat I lost both carriers, then my ships on the star fought.

I understand during combats my largest fleet will face their largest fleet, but if I cant be assured that a drop/collect sequence will play out correctly when two fleets arrive at a star,
and dropping all my ships to the star doesnt work,

how do I avoid carrier losses at stars?


To avoid losses putting zero on the star should work. Ships on the star are used last for some reason.

Not sure why it works this way.


Jay changed the combat algorithm many months ago. There were many tests.

I think now the losses from combat are distributed proportionally.


well proportionately isnt accurate, I won the combat and killed 50$ of carriers against my opponents 25$
im fine with it working either way, I just need to know whats going to have the best outcome.
dropping all used to save my carriers from destruction.

the real question is, has the movements phase in the tick order been set in stone?
previously it was almost impossible to predict whether a drop and pickup would occur in the right order and you had to wait a full tick to ensure that all ships would be dropped and then picked up.
if the drop(s) all occured first and the pickups all occured second, that would allow me to
arrive multiple fleets at the star at the same time, transfer all ships to one carrier. thus reducing carrier losses in all but ‘Last man’ standing’ situations.


this also significantly slows down a player who wants to arrive for a combat, and then depart next tick.
because if you cant drop your ships when you arrive, and have to keep them in the carrier to avoid losing the carrier.
that then means you have to drop/transfer on the next tick
then wait another tick to depart.
so If I was flying to a star to arrive for combat, its a 2 tick wait to depart with the right amount of ships.


The code was changed many months ago. Carrier drop actions occur before carrier collect actions.



Ok so that means when arriving at the same time for combat on a controlled star i just have to have one ship set to collect all, and all the rest set to drop all
and then all ships will be assigned to a single carrier before combat occurs.

Ill have to test to see if that function will work for the attacker arriving at an enemy star.


Combat is resolved first to determine who owns the star, before any other activity.

Carrier transfers occur later.


How so?
drops occur before combat, at least for the stars owner.

according to the faq all carrier movements occur before combat during the tick order.
What order do things happen each game tick?

All carriers move, and if they complete a jump they do garrison transfers.
There is a combat at every star with enemy carriers in orbit. The winner claims the star.
Industry then produces new ships.
Each player conducts research.
If this is the last tick of a galactic cycle, players earn money, then scientists conduct experiments.
The game tests to see if anybody has won.


All carriers move, but I think this next part of the help Codex may be out of date.

Then combat occurs.

I think carrier transfers occur after Industry manufactures new ships.


well drops certainly occur for the star owner before combat, otherwise I wouldnt have lost my 2 carriers,
if pickups dont occur before combat then it will be much harder to minimise carrier losses. as I could have 1000 ships at the star, and fly in reinforcements for a battle, and if i dont collect the 1000 ships at the star im very likely to lose any carriers in orbit


yeah I still think the garrison has to fight first.
if the largest fleet fights before the garrison, any carrier which arrives at the same time as an enemy and drops ships is HIGHLY likely to be destroyed.
which basically means any heavily defended star will almost always sustain carrier losses against a far smaller force.

it may seem like a small thing but it makes a big difference.

a carrier cant drop ships and depart on the next tick if an enemy is arriving at the same time

if I have a loop or multiple loops setup to dump ships on a high value star I wish to defend, any looping harvest carrier which happens to arrive at the same time as an enemy fleet will be destroyed instantly as the largest fleet in orbit.

(unless I change its orders to collect the whole garrison,wait a tick and then drop it and leave.)
OR unless I have another carrier on that star on an endless loop with no other destination keeping all its ships and all dropped ships in orbit instead of garrisoned)

adding an extra tick to a loop makes it almost impossible to synchronize chained loops without delaying all carriers in that synchronisation another tick as well.

which basically defeats the purpose of looping, and having set and forget harvesting.
If you have to be constantly watching andmanaging your loops to avoid offloading ships while combats occur…

it also doesnt make much sense thematically either.
a star with a 10000 ships garrisoned to it would lose a carrier to a force with 2 ships more than the weaps level?


Depends where they garrison the ships. If the ships are grounded or in orbiting maintenance yards then it would take some time for them to launch to enter the fight. Other ships are already part of a fleet so ready for battle.


you are attacking a star system, not a planet.and have scanning
a garrison by its very definition is a standing force.


I never said anything about planets. You can be grounded in any gravity well, planet, asteroid, etc., and maintenance yards can orbit any gravitational body.

The terminology was changed from Fleets with a strength, to Carriers containing ships. This implies an aircraft carrier like system where each ship is actually a small fighter like craft. These craft would have a short flight time and must be kept somewhere.

define garrison: "a group of troops stationed in a fortress or town to defend it.“the entire garrison was mustered on the parade ground”

The key here is they are stationed somewhere. When you apply this to ships this implies they are in a hanger/yard/etc. and will not be able to immediately respond.


yeah, they are stationed where they can effectively defend it
if they are unable to defend it, they arent garrisoned, theyre demobilized.
theres also the question of why the carriers would be put at risk on the front line of a battle when they contain only one ship compared to a huge garrison.
they have obvious value, they would only be used at the end of a battle.


Sure, they can defend the system. That doesn’t mean they can defend visiting carriers which may be orbiting the system in a wide orbit.

Just because empty carriers should not be used to defend does not mean the enemy will not target them if able.

You can get around this mechanic easily enough as you mention above. So I don’t even think it harms game play that much. Just create guard fleets with looping pickup or garrison commands. It costs $25 but completely removes the problem of losing carriers.

Ship manufacturing happens after combat. This allows single ship fleets to guarantee capturing a system if all forces leave on the same turn. Most of the time this is used in strategically giving stars to an ally. It can sometimes result in humorous takeovers though.


yeah but its a game of efficiency.
25$ is 25$. not spent on something else, early game thats a big difference.
and it doesnt fix the situation where a fleet cant drop a large percentage of its ships to the garrison and then leave within the hour without great risk of being destroyed.

I still havent tested it yet, but if an attacker is unable to drop with one fleet and pickup with another upon arrival at an enemiy star before combat, that is a massive disadvantege. for launching attacks from multiple stars.


A star is either unclaimed or owned by one empire. Never owned by two empires.

Carrier drops and carrier collects may only be performed by the empire that owns a star, but not while the ownership is being disputed by a visiting enemy carrier, so combat must occur to first determine ownership of the star, before carrier transfers.

This means that an attacker can not drop or collect ships at an enemy star.

The tick begins by moving carriers, and determines arrival at stars.
First combat determines who owns the star, ( read the combat report )
then Industry manufactures new ships for that owner,
then star owner may do carrier drops,
then carrier collects occur after carrier drops.
That same tick examine the results from the carrier transfer orders.
Then the owners carrier may move about on the next tick.

Do some tests. I could be mistaken, but I am pretty sure I have not seen it differently.

The defender carriers will not be able to drop or collect at the same tick before combat, only after combat.

The owner defender carrier may do carrier transfers one tick before combat.


On the keyboard, hit “C” to experiment with the combat calculator. This can predict future combat.
Need 4 pieces of information. Defender weapons and ship count vs attacker weapons and ship count. It will report loss of ships, which in the real combat will be distributed proportionally among the carriers and star garrison, rounded to nearest integers.

Cash spent on carriers is a separate consideration unrelated to the combat event. Losing carriers can be a cash investment concern.

Do some experiments and tests.