fighters useless in early game?

  • Crusader Kings II Expansion Subscription

    Subscribe to the CK II Expansion and enjoy unlimited access to 13 major expansions and more!

  • Paradox Space Exploration Sale has arrived! Up to 75% off

    How's the space on your hard drive? Paradox wants to challenge your galaxy brain with a great selection of space exploration games - and they're all on sale for some very down-to-earth prices! The sale runs from May 4th until May 10th at 17:00 CEST / 08:00 PDT.

    May 4th - May 10th
  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.

    Real Strategy Requires Cunning


First Lieutenant
Aug 25, 2005
Now after a bit of research, I actually came to a shocked conclusion that building fighters with a minor is actually stupid. I played finland and in preparation for winter war, I thought I'd build some fighters to gain air superiority because at first I thought fighters would give me an edge against russian airforce, which I thought would be using interceptor III.

anyhow, this didn't work, and here's my analysis (with finland slider discounts: max hawk, one step from max free market)

a Fighter costs 9.1 IC for 98 days which means 891,8 IC days
an interceptor III costs 7.8 IC for 98 days which means 764.4 IC days

now we can state that we can build either 5 fighters or 6 interceptors, right, they cost the same.

now, a fighter has 9 air attack and 4 air defence this gives for my 5 fighters 45 air attack and 20 air defence
and interceptor also has 9 air attack but has 5 air defence. this gives the 6 interceptors 54 air attack and 30 air defence.

So I have come to the conclusion that interceptors have about 17% more attack/IC than fighters and have an amazing 50% more defence per IC then fighters.

now my question is, are there other reasons to build fighters? I can see none, so fighters seem rather useless


First Lieutenant
Aug 25, 2005
just to go on with this, fighters do get an extensive range bonus.
this range bonus is not exactly astonishing in the early models, but gets enormous once you reach model III.
Now, however, i cannot see that this problem shouldn't be able to be solved, and in a cheaper way, by building airfields, so the advantage of fighters over interceptors disappears, again.


Oct 3, 2003
Visit site
You've probably figured this out by now, but there is a sticky on this forum called, "Effective Use of Air Power" that covers this topic. It references a WIKI article of the same name, Effective Use of Airpower .

On defense, as you've discovered, Interceptors are the way to go. If you are planning to go on offense, and conquer ground however, then you need something with more range.

Escorts are really needed for the very long-range missions, like Strategic or Naval bomber missions.

Fighters seem to fall somewhere in the middle, they out-range CAS, but they don't have the range of TAC. I usually send them in groups on "sweeps" to their maximum range in a region or area of interest to me. There they will draw the interceptors to them and they can then degrade the local interceptor forces. Use extra interceptor forces in a similar manner just across the border area. After your fighters have gone to work for a while, you can then send off your TAC to do its thing in the same district.

Then, if your TAC gets 'jumped', the enemy interceptors are degraded so the TAC doesn't take much damage. During the engagement your next fighter sweep will show up and pile into the air battle and the enemy interceptors will be driven off.

One thing is that airbases tend to be few and far between out there on the board. Air strategies need a lot of basing capability. I usually have between one and three "Airbase" construction runs in my production queue on very long runs (infinite, really). That way, every couple of months I can start a new airfield, or add to an existing one. Very handy during an advance to have an airfield come up for placement! Caution, just be sure to deploy them as soon as they are announced--the TC load for carrying them in the reserve column is fearsum!

By the way, the Finnish record against enemy aircraft, even with obsolete aircraft was simply amazing! So go get historical! Happy hunting! ;)



5 Badges
Oct 1, 2007
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
It seems that fighters are useless as defence force to me, got the level 2 german fighters defending the bordering france provinces in 1939 and they are getting defeated all the time. :eek:
I should have researched interceptors :p


Jun 17, 2006
ruckel said:
It seems that fighters are useless as defence force to me, got the level 2 german fighters defending the bordering france provinces in 1939 and they are getting defeated all the time. :eek:
I should have researched interceptors :p

I think that has more to do with you not using enough of them; against the AI it's easy to use 16 fighters or interceptors per area and kill everything.
I'd also try to base them as close as possible to the front and use leaders of sufficient rank.

If your fighters are getting defeated all the time that has nothing to do with their worse performance vs bombers compared to interceptors.
Fighters should be more or less equal as interceptors vs other fighters/interceptors/escort fighters.


Old Guard
6 Badges
Apr 11, 2007
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Darkest Hour
  • For The Glory
  • Rome Gold
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
Interesting analysis, and I think it's true. I never use long-range fighters, only interceptors are useful.


sexy shoeless god of dice
51 Badges
Feb 6, 2007
  • Steel Division: Normandy 44
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Steel Division: Normand 44 - Second Wave
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Steel Division: Normandy 44 -  Back to Hell
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Semper Fi
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
If you are talking about Doomsday you are quite correct.

Note however that the AirDefensive value is not quite that important. For instance if 1 Fighter meets 1 Interceptor (both at 100% ce) then the Fighter gets 14 shots, the Interceptors 13, so the difference is somewhat small (8%) for the impressive looking 25% increase in this stat.
Fighting Tactical bombers or fighting with MTE included is likely to reduce the use of the stat even further.

If you are however talking abut Hoi2 (considering the forum), then this is not that correct anymore. Fighters have a higher Airattack per unit, (IIRC even per ICd) which makes it easier to project force and quickly disable the enemy.

Range is not much of an issue in my experiance. Basically when you fight on ground you will always have an airbase in the area, being further away just worsens the combat time ratio, so i try to avoid that anyway.
The obvious exception is strategic bombing, and possible the support for a landing.