Author Topic: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough  (Read 22361 times)

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Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« on: March 06, 2013, 05:30:06 AM »
Hello, I am writing this walkthrough to give new players a basic overview of the game. If you follow the steps provided below, you should learn the basics of game setup, colonization, research, technology/ship design, spacemastering, and getting your fleet pulverized by aliens.  This walkthrough is valid for version 6.21 of the game, and you may need to futz details if you are using it for an earlier or later version.  You can tell what version you are using by looking at the top right of the game information screen when you start Aurora. 

If you need to install Aurora still, this post contains the base game while this post contains the patch and race images upgrade.    Make sure to read the relevant post(s) entirely before installing the game.   If you are running Windows 7, you will likely need to install this program to get full functionality from the game. You can uninstall the program immediately after installing it.



Welcome to Aurora!  It's a big universe out there, and unfortunately for your sanity it's all contained in spreadsheets.  This game can be daunting, but it can also be tremendously rewarding.  Ancient ruins and hideously powerful enemies await among the stars, and internal political intrigue is limited only by your imagination.  But first things first.

Creating your first game

When you start up Aurora you will be greeted by a "Game Details" screen.  This shows information and options for the currently selected game. For the moment, it shows information about a game named "Space 1899." Space 1899 is a game being run by Steve Walmsley, the creator of Aurora. There's a lot of cool stuff in there, but it's not what we're after today.  We want our own universe, for our own adventures. :) 

Press "New" at the bottom left.

This opens up a game creation screen, where we can do some basic setup.  At the top left there is a Game Name field. This defaults to "New Game Name", which is rather bland to say the least.  Change it to anything you wish - if you can't decide, you could just name it "Terran Federation."  For now, we're going to leave most of these setting at default. But there are a couple we want to change.   First is in the bottom left, in the "Starting Tech" box. Uncheck "Assign starting tech points automatically."  This will start us with no technology already researched, giving us a bit of Tabula Rasa that is far easier to write a walkthrough for.  :)   

The second thing we're going to do is turn off starting NPRs. NPRs are "Non-Player Races", controlled entirely by the computer.  A 'Starting NPR' begins at the same time as the player, and will often to get into adventures of its own.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it introduces some unpredictability to the game.   For now, this is undesirable. In the "Computer-controlled Empires" box in the  middle right, uncheck "Create one or more computer-controlled opponents" and change "Number of computer-controll opponents at game start" from 1 to zero.  This may seem redundant,  but without orbital nuclear weapons it's the only way to be sure.  Leave the final box checked.

Now hit "Create Game" at the bottom right. After a short pause, a box should pop up informing you that "Race Generation is Complete." Click okay.  It will now do some more processing while it doesn't set up computer empires. (Don't ask.) Eventually it will tell you that "Game Setup is complete. Clicking okay at this point will bring you back to the Game Details screen. Your new game should be selected. If not, select it from the drop box at the top left.  When your game is selected, click Select at the bottom right.

Congratulations! You've set up a game. In most games you would now be puzzling over menus. Since this is Aurora, first you must puzzle over locating the menus.
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 05:46:47 AM »
Welcome to Sol

What you see now is the basic menu bar.  It affords access to most of the screens in Aurora, and is the only way to access certain functions.  However, most of it's function is duplicated by the System Map, which you should open now by going to "Empires" and selecting the second entry "System Maps."  This can also be accessed from most Aurora screens by pressing F3.   

Aaaand here we are.  You likely are now staring at a blue field with a bunch of confusing blue and green mishmash in the middle.  This is the Solar System, zoomed waaaay out.  We can fix that.  First click "Min Zoom" under "Zoom Map" near the top left to insure we are all at the same base point. Then click the top magnifying glass icon 7 times, until the zoom number just to the right reads "174m km."  Reset to Min Zoom and do it again if you mess up your count.

This affords a view of the inner system.  You can probably see Jupiter, the Asteroid Belt, Mars, Earth, Venus, Mercury, the Sun, and assorted Comets and Trojans.  Right now, they are all labeled. To reduce the clutter a bit, we're going to turn off names for asteroids. On the left is an array of 9 tabs under a drop down box that says "Sol".  The currently selected one should be Display.  One of the lists is "Names" - uncheck Asteroids. Now you can see again! Isn't it wonderful?

Every blue dot on this screen is what's known in Aurora as a "Body".  Every asteroid, moon, comet, planet and Kuiper Belt Object is a Body.  Bodies orbit either another Body or a Star and ships can park at Bodies.  Every colony (or 'population') in Aurora is associated with a body.  Only one body concerns us at present: Earth. 

At the top of the System Map screen you will see an array of icons. Each is associated with an important screen of some kind.  Click the icon at the far top left that looks like several skyscrapers.  This will bring up the "Population and Production" screen.  Almost every economic task is accomplished in one of the tabs of this screen.

Population and Production

You should see at the top the selected Empire - the Terran Federation. Below that you see a list of its Populated Systems, and the colonies associated with those systems. Right now we just have one item list: Earth - Human (Capital) 500m.   It's a Human colony of 500 million on the body Earth, that happens to be the racial capital.  To the right you can see summary information for the selected colony, such as its population breakdown and industrial facilities.   

Your starting empire is pretty well equipped with futuristic industry, as you can see from the list on the right. It even has 80 fully automated mines, which don't require human workers.  But looking at the top there is only 1 military academy. This is worrisome, as all your officers, crew, scientists, and civilian administrators are educated in military academies.  We need more if we want the Federation to be fully staffed.  To do this we need to construct a new Military Academy... simple enough.

Near the top of the Population and Production window you will see an array of tabs. Select "Industry."

This tab shows you the current status of your construction projects.  It's divided into 3 sections - Construction, Ordnance, and Fighter Factories.  Fighter factories build fighters, which are defined as most craft 500 tons and under; Ordnance is the production of missiles in Ordnance Factories; and Construction is for everything else but ships.  We want to build a Military Academy, which is a type of Installation built by Construction Factories. You should see Military Academy in the list on the left.  Selecting it displays the cost in minerals at the bottom left. You can easily afford a single academy out of your existing stockpiles, let alone your future mining! So let's do this. Press Create just to the right.  Military Academy should now show up in your list of construction projects, with an estimated completion date of 26th July 2025.   It's the 1st of January 2025 now, so it will be some time before the academy is finished.  Note that Aurora uses 12 months of 30 days apiece, giving it a 360 day year.

In the mean time, let's get this space age into space where it belongs. :)
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 07:46:57 AM by TheDeadlyShoe »
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 06:39:18 AM »
Playing God, Part 1

Click on the "Mining/Maintenance" tab.  Here you can see your stockpiles of the 11 Trans-Newtonian minerals and the rate at which you are mining them at this particular body.  This minerals are all used for various purposes. Two are special: Duranium and Sorium. Duranium is the basic construction material, and is used for nearly everything.  Sorium can be processed into Fuel, which is burned by the engines that propel ships and missiles.  As you can see, there are limited stocks of these minerals available at your homeworld. Some sources may be depleted in only a handful of years.  It's of great importance that we begin exploring the solar system for more stockpiles of these minerals!

For that we need to build a survey ship.  Unfortunately, we don't have any ship designs yet, nor components to mount on it.  Our first task is to research and design the necessary parts of a basic survey ship.   Go to the "Research" tab in the Population and Production screen.

This screen lists active and potential research projects. Research is conducted by special officers called Scientists, who have a specialty field, a research bonus, and a maximum # of labs they can control.  The research _bonus_ is quadrupled if they are researching within their specialty field. For example, a Power/Propulsion scientist with a normal bonus of 15% would produce 60% bonus RP if she was researching a Power/Propulsion project.  Research labs are a type of Installation that produces a base amount of Research Points every year that depends on your technology.

You can also see a box at the bottom right labeled "Starting RP."  This is a pre-defined number which gives you a rough idea of how much 'free' RP you should allocate yourself at the start of a game.   We can't actually use it, though. For that we need to be in Spacemaster Mode.

Lords of Creation

Spacemaster mode (or "SM Mode" for short) allows you alter many aspects of your game experience. You can give yourself free stuff, take it away, alter planets, create and delete star systems, teleport ships, manipulate your officers, and many other tasks.  This is not cheating, unless you want it to be. Aurora is a free form game that really depends on the player to give it shape.  Spacemaster gives you the tools to do so.  The name comes from the "Dungeon Master" of traditional role-playing games.  The DM was responsible for shaping the adventure and had both the power and responsibility to alter things for the sake of the game experience.  SMs don't have quite that much power, but they come close!

It's important to create a story with your game, even if it's only in your head. You could mess up and accidentally let an alien battleship into Earth orbit, where it starts bombarding.  Instead of just saying "Oops" and killing it, you could imagine that a virus shut down your sensors and defenses allowing it to get close.  Then Jeff Goldblum flies up in a shuttle and counter-hacks the alien battleship, reactivating your defenses and allowing you to fire back.  There's lot of occasions where things that happen in the game don't fit your notion of how the story is going to go, either for better or worse.  So you create a new alien nation, or a group of rebel space pirates, or a ragtag fleet of converted warship-freighters to defend an isolated colony. 

In this case we need to turn on Spacemaster mode to give ourselves some starting technology, so this game gets off the ground. :0

Close the Population and Production screen, then close the System Map.  You should be back at the starting menu. You'll see a dropdown labeled SpaceMaster - select "Spacemaster On". It will ask you for the SM Password.  There isn't one int his game, so just hit enter orpress okay.  Now in the starting menu it should say "Terran Federation (SM)" after the date.   Press f3 to open the system map again, then click green beaker icon at the top left. This brings you directly to the Research tab in Population and Production.

Full power, Scotty!

You'll notice some new buttons now that SM mode is enabled. "Instant" researches the selected technology instantly, while "Instant RST" researches all proposed race-specific designs instantly. "Delete" un-researches a particular technology.

The first thing we want to do is to create an engine.  First, go to the research dropdown and select "Power and Propulsion".  You'll be presented with alist of potential technologies.  Select "Pebble Bed Reactor Technology" and click Instant.  This unlocks Nuclear Pulse Engine Technology, which now appears in the list. Research that technology as well.

Once you have these two technologies, find and click the "Design" button on the bottom of the Population and Production window.  This opens the Create Research Project window, which lets us design race-specific technologies that are used as ship components.  At the top right, there is a dropdown labeled Research Project Type.  Select Engines from the list.

Engines have many properties that you can see at the bottom. For now, the important ones are Engine Power (thrust provided) and Fuel Consumption per Engine Power Hour (fuel efficiency).  We want a highly efficient engine, since our survey ship will be traveling all over the solar system and could potentially burn a lot of fuel.  There's a couple ways to accomplish this: we can increase the size of the engine as bigger engines are more efficient, and we can reduce the power multiplier of the engine which increases efficiency at the expense of thrust.  We're going to do both. Change "Engine Size" to 25 HS, and "Engine Power" all the way down to x0.50.  This changes our fuel consumption per EPH from 0.95 litres to 0.133 litres - a massive improvement!

Note that the engine has changed from a "Military Engine" to a "Commercial Engine", since we've met the requirements.  Commercial engines can be used in commercial designs, which don't require maintenance or any of the other headaches generally associated with military vessels.  Most non-military tasks can be accomplished with commercial vessels, with a few exceptions.

Let's also change the name. "100 EP Commercial Nuclear Pulse Engine" is descriptive, but hardly fun.  Let's call it the "Prototype Atomic Rocket."

Click Create, then close the Create Research Project screen. You should be back at the Research tab of Population and Production, and you should see Prototype Atomic Rocket in the Power and Propulsion list.  Use Instant to research it. You've now created your first race-specific technology. :D

With this, we can create our survey ship.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 08:16:52 AM by TheDeadlyShoe »
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 08:56:13 AM »
Ship Design, part 1: Geo-Survey Ship

Close the Population and Production window and go back out to the System Map.  The seventh icon from the left looks like a space fighter on a stick.  This is the Class Design screen, and can also be accessed by pressing f5.  Right now all the fields are blank. Click "New" at the bottom left. This will create an empty chassis named the "Tribal-class Cruiser". The name Tribal comes from the Terran Federation's default naming theme.  But it hardly seems appropriate for a survey ship..  Click Rename at the bottom left, and change it to Magellan.  Now it's the Magellan-class Cruiser.  Cruiser doesn't seem appropriate either, though.  Select "Geological Survey Vessel" from the "Hull" dropdown at the top of the screen.  Hull type has no effect on gameplay, and is just as cosmetic as the name.  But it sure helps for keeping track of what ships do, and it looks cool!

Now to actually put some components on it. Go to the "Design View" tab.  You will see a number of systems sorted by category. The second listed category is Engines, and the only thing in it should be our Prototype Atomic Rocket. Double click to add one to the design.  Now you can see 1x Prototype Atomic Rocket in the component list on the right.   The ships stats have been updated accordingly.

That gives us thrust.  Next we want to add "Geological Survey Sensors", listed under Passive Sensors. Without at least one Geo-Survey Sensor we can't actually survey. The more sensors we have the faster we can scan large planets, but the vast majority of the Solar System's bodies are tiny dustballs. One sensor would probably be fine, but let's use two for speed's sake.

Now we need to think about the range & deployment time of our vessel.  Deployment Time is a combination of life-support endurance and recreational areas for supporting the crew. Once a ship exceeds its Deployment Time without going on shore leave, it's morale starts decreasing. Morale penalizes several important tasks, most notably in our case survey speed.    We don't really want to worry about that, so by God we're doing the Star Trek standard: five years.  Enter 60 in "Deployment Time" in the top left.  This will automatically add (or remove) Crew Quarters components such that your ship supports missions of the specified length.    Even more important is probably Fuel Capacity. Right now our ship can hold 50,000 litres of Sorium fuel, giving it 157 days of maximum thrust and 34.8 billion kilometers of range. That's more range than most ships need, but not enough to support an extended survey mission.  Add 5 "Fuel Storage" components from the Basic Systems list. In addition to the default Fuel Storage component, that gives us 6 total for 300,000 litres of fuel.  The range of the Magellan is now 162.9 billion kilometers, or 942 days at fuel thrust.  This is less than the 5 year deployment time of the vessel, but that's okay. The Magellan won't spend all of it's time moving around, and it's a lot easier to refuel than it is to conduct extended shore leave.

The vital stats of the Magellan should look like this.

Code: [Select]
Magellan class Geological Survey Vessel    2,500 tons     42 Crew     354.5 BP      TCS 50  TH 100  EM 0
2000 km/s     Armour 1-16     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/2     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
MSP 89    Max Repair 100 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 60 months    Spare Berths 0   

Prototype Atomic Rocket (1)    Power 100    Fuel Use 13.26%    Signature 100    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 300,000 Litres    Range 162.9 billion km   (942 days at full power)

Geological Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

If not, try adjusting the design until it does. If you can't get it to work, select "Delete" from the bottom left and start over with a new design.

Note that the Magellan is a Commercial Vessel. This means it doesn't require regular maintenance and overhaul, which makes it significantly easier to manage.  Our single Atomic Rocket gives it enough thrust to sustain 2000 km/s speed, more than enough for our purposes right now.

I'd like you to note two important statistics: the "Build Point" cost in the main stats and the "Build Time" in the bottom left.  Every Trans-Newtonian mineral used in a design costs 1 Build Point and 1 Wealth to construct at a shipyard.  Build Time represents how long a shipyard of the appropriate size will take to construct your design.

The next step isn't strictly necessary to constructing the vessel, but will add to your gameplay experience. Go to the "DAC / Rank / Info" tab.  There is a drop down labeled "Name Type".  This lets you associate a list of pre-defined names with a ship class. In our case we'll pick Explorers, since that seems appropriate for the Magellan. 

In any case, congratulations!  You have your first working space vessel.  Now we need to actually build it. :)

Close the Class Design screen.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 12:28:58 AM by TheDeadlyShoe »
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 09:42:07 AM »
Commanding Heights: Starship Construction

Go back to Population and Production. Ships are built in Shipyards, appropriately enough. Go to Manage Shipyards.

Shipyards are rated by their maximum construction tonnage and come in two flavors, Naval and Commercial.  They also have a number of "Slipways" which let them build multiple ships at the same time. Commercial shipyards get a 10x size bonus for the same cost, but may only build Commercial ships.  Naval shipyards can build either military or commercial ships.  Your starting 4 shipyards are random in size and type, so instead we will create a new shipyard using SM mode. (Normally you need to construct them in the Industry screen.)  Click "SM SY Mod" on the right side of the screen, then click Add. This creates a new Naval Shipyard named "New Shipyard" with a number following.  That's hardly exciting so let's click "Auto Rename."   I'll refer to this as the "Named" shipyard from here on out.

Our survey ship is Commercial, but it's only 2500 tons. So instead we'll stick with a Naval shipyard.  Select your named shipyard and return to the SM SY Mod panel. Change Capacity from "1000" to "2500" and click Update.  The shipyard should change to 2500 tons capacity in the shipyards list. Click SM SY Mod again to close the menu.

Next we need to retool the shipyard to be able to build our ship.  A shipyard has to have the appropriate equipment and supply chain to construct a ship and all of its components, and this is represented in Aurora by the Retooling cost.  This can get very expensive in time and resources if you change your tooling often, but fortunately for us a shipyards first retooling is always free and instant.  Go to Shipyard Complex Activity / "Task Type" and select "Retool for Selected Class".  The GEV Magellan will be automatically selected, so click Set Activity.  The shipyard should now list "GEV Magellan" as its Assigned Class.

Go down to Create Task / Task Type, and make sure Construction is selected.  You'll see that the ship has been automatically named the Amerigo Vespucci because of the name-type we selected earlier. Click "Add Task".  Available Slipways should change to 0.

Go to the Shipyard Tasks tab of Population and Production. You'll see our one construction task listed, "Build GEV Magellan."  It won't be finished until July of 2026!  This is a sad state of affairs.  We don't really want to wait that long, nor should we really. it's expected you start the game with a limited array of ships, and you get a starting ships allocation similar to your starting RP. To access this we'll need to go back out to the main menu bar.

Select "Fast OB Creation" from the Spacemaster dropdown.  This should open the "Create Racial Order of Battle" screen, which lets us quickly and easily add new ships to our race.  The Magellan should already be selected, so just click Add.  Your Ships allocation should decrease by the build cost of the Magellan. Click Close.

Sidebar: Important notes about shipyards

You've probably noticed that increasing shipyard tonnage and adding slipways is listed in the Shipyard Complex Activities.  This is how your shipyards improve their industrial capacity.   It is important to note though that shipyards don't gain much benefit from construction ships smaller than their maximum tonnage, so don't expand your shipyards gratuitously unless you have resources to spare. Also, it rapidly becomes more expensive and takes increasing lengths of time to modify a shipyard as its number of slipways increase.   Use 1-slip shipyards for ships you won't build many of, and reserve multiple-slipway yards for major classes you are building a number of.  Additionally you cannot start new ship construction at a shipyard that is retooling to another class, so plan your shipyard retooling carefully to avoid unusable construction slips.

 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 11:35:13 AM »
At this point, we'll start advancing time. You may want to back up the game database at this point in case you muck something up.  If you wish to do this, go to your Aurora install directory and copy the "Stevefire.mdb" file. Rename the copy to Walkthrough1.mdb.

If you plan on making a habit of backups you can use the launcher/backup tool by Erik Luken.

The Cydonia Mission: Task Group Basics

Close every window except the System Map.   You should now see some yellow text near earth saying "Battle Task Group".   Ships in Aurora are always assigned to a Task Group, the basic organizational unit. Task Groups can have any number of ships in them of any size and purpose.  Basically, ships can't have orders, but they can belong to Task Groups. And Task Groups can have orders.

Our Magellan-class GEV automatically landed in Battle Task Group because alphabet.  This seems a little inappropriate, so we'll transfer to him to our already existing Survey Task Group.   Right click on the Earth in the map. It should be to the left of the "Battle Task Group" text.  From the list provided, select Battle Task Group from Fleets.  This will pop up the Task Groups window (f12) with the Battle Task Group selected.

This first task group screen shows you a list of ships, extant orders, destinations, and possible orders for your task group.  Also a bewildering array of buttons with various functions. Select the "Special Orders / Organisation" tab.  On the right is a "Move Ships between Task Groups" panel.  Select "Survey Task Group" from the drop down on the right, then select the your Magellan from the list and click the right hand arrow. Your ship should now show up on the right, and is no longer in our currently selected TG.

Go to Name at the top left and select Survey Task Group from the drop down. You should see the Magellan in your ships list again.  You'l note it's got a generic name, instead of one from your name-list. This is because it was SM-created. The first thing we're going to do is rename our ship. You've probably noticed it's just a class and a number. Ships come out of Fast OOB this way.  Double click on the ship on the list, this will open up the Ship Details screen.  This screen does a lot of stuff but all we care about is getting a name. Make sure the Magellan is selected then click Get Name from the buttons on the bottom left.  The ship should automatically be named the Leif Ericsson. Once this is accomplished, close the Ship Details screen so that you are back on Task Groups.  It won't show up as Leif Ericsson yet but that's only because it hasn't refreshed.

We don't want to keep issuing survey orders to this ship - there's hundreds of bodies to survey in the Solar System.  On the left side of the Special Orders tab are the Default and Conditional orders lists. Change the Primary default order to "Survey Next Five System Bodies".  If the Ericsson lacks an order, it will now automatically generate an order to survey the nearest unsurveyed bodies. But first, we have a particular body in mind. Go back to Task Group Orders.

The Terran Federation has discovered some disturbing arrangements of TN minerals buried beneath the martian surface through long range scanning.  The quantities arn't large but... they appear to be artificial. The Ericsson's priority is therefore to scan Mars in detail!  Select Mars from the target list on the left.  Select "Geological Survey" from the Available Actions list, then click Add Move at the bottom left.

The Leif Ericsson will now proceed to Mars, survey it, then automatically survey all nearby bodies.  :)

Now let's make my little plot a reality.

Wrack and Ruin

Close the TG screen.  Near the middle of the icons list there's a cartoon drawing of a sun. Click it to open the System View (F9).  It may take a few seconds to load.

This screen lists every body in the system, along with vital statistics.  Select Mars from the list.  You get a number of interesting vital statistics, but you can't see Mars' mineral content because you haven't scanned it.  At the bottom right there are a lot of buttons. Click Random Ruin. Nothing will happen, visibly.

Bodies in Motion

Close the System View for now and return to the System Map.  At the left, check "Show Events".  At the top of the map are a number of buttons with various time units on them. Don't click them yet! Above and to the right you'll see a box labeled Auto Turns. Check this box, then press "1 Day".  The game should automatically execute 5 1-day turns. You'll see your Survey Task Group fly to Mars and begin surveying it. You'll see the major planets rotate on their orbits. The game will then stop and notify you that there are '20 inactive research labs on Earth.'    This is one of those helpful nag screens.  The reason this happens after 5 days is that the game (by default) abstracts many things into 5-day 'construction cycles'.   Construction and research projects advance during these cycles, and bodies rotate on their orbits. Skill changes and ground combat are processed.  But mostly we need to deal with these idle research labs. Click the "Inactive Lab" message, this will center the view on Earth.  Right click Earth, then from Populations select Earth. This will bring up the Population and Production screen with Earth selected.

Go to the Research tab and go to Construction and Production. Select "Asteroid Mining Module".  This is a system we can add to a ship that counts as an automated mine when the ship is orbiting a small, airless body.  It will be invaluable for mining any rich finds. Select one of your scientists from the list on the right that can manage at least 20 labs, ideally one that specializes in Construction.  Change the number of Research Labs to 20, then click Create.  The research project is now underway. :)

Shocking news, everyone!

Close Population and Production.  Click 1-day in the System Map to start processing time again. Sometime during this cycle, you should get an interrupt that says "Ruins Located".  (If you don't, advance time again.) If you're lucky, you'll also get a message that says "Minerals Located".  Both will provide some details, but hey. BONANZA! Evidence of alien life!   We are not alone, and the value of my authentic X-Files props just went through the roof.  Mission accomplished, baby!

The Terran Federation council is impressed with your find.  They charge you with establishing a colony on Mars to help probe the mysteries of the Cydonian ruins.   Hoo boy, the reward for good work is more work....figures.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2013, 01:23:31 PM by TheDeadlyShoe »
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 02:11:08 AM »
Suborbital to Willamette: Basic Colonization

Now we're going to put all the previous lessons to work.  To colonize Mars, we're going to need to create a population there, create 2 new ship designs, and set up some task group orders. We'll also need some Infrastructure so our colonists can survive the hostile environment. 

First things first: we need a cargo ship to haul infrastructure, and a colony ship to haul people.  Fortunately, we already have all the technologies for both.

Open the Class Design screen (f5). You should see our existing Magellan-class design.  It's not much use to us at the moment, so click New.  This gives a blank design named the "Victory-class Cruiser".  Let's change it to the Albatross class Freighter.  Remember that Rename is at the bottom left, and you change the hull type at the top.  Once that's accomplished, switch to the design screen.

Birds of Burden: Ship Design Part 2

The first thing to do is to give it 10 Prototype Atomic Rockets.  This may seem like alot, but colonial infrastructure is not lightweight! You can add ten of a system at a time by selecting the "10" bullet under the components list, then double click the component in question. Once you do this, select the "1" bullet and scroll down to the Transport & Industry category of components.  We want 1 "Cargo Hold - Standard" and 5 "Cargo Handling Systems".  The Cargo Hold - Standard gives your ship 25000 cargo space.  This is enough to hold 1 standard facility such as a mine, or 10 points of infrastructure.  Certain facilities such as Research Labs and Terraforming Plants take up more space.   The Cargo Handling Systems affect the Load Time stat at the bottom left.  Load Time is how long it takes your ship to load or unload goods at a planet without a commercial spaceport. Neither Earth nor Mars has one, and it would take 10 days to load or unload. With 5 handling systems it should only take 10 hours.

This leaves us with a 39,450 ton design. Go ahead and add 10 additional Fuel Storage components, which brings us up to the nice round number of 40,000 tons.  The 550,000 fuel capacity also gives us almost 19 billion km range, which is enough to go most anywhere in the Solar System and back without refueling.    This design should get the job done without too many headaches.

You'll note we didn't adjust the Deployment Time.  A Freighter doesn't do anything that is affected by morale, so there is little downside to exceeding deployment time.  3 months minimum is still required for a design to count as Commercial, however.

Now of course the most important part, the auto-name type. Switch to DAC / Rank / Info and select Birds for the naming type.

The final thing we want to do is go to the series of check boxes at the top right and mark "Conscript".  Conscript means that the ship doesn't draw from the naval academy pool of recruits.  This causes a penalty to its Grade, reducing the effectiveness of its weapons fire.  But we don't really care about that, do we?  No need to use military personnel on a freight shuttle. :)

Alright, now we have a freighter!  It should look like this.

Code: [Select]
Albatross class Freighter    40,000 tons     185 Crew     638 BP      TCS 800  TH 1000  EM 0
1250 km/s     Armour 1-104     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
MSP 10    Max Repair 25 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Spare Berths 2   
Cargo 25000    Cargo Handling Multiplier 25   

Prototype Atomic Rocket (10)    Power 100    Fuel Use 13.26%    Signature 100    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 550,000 Litres    Range 18.7 billion km   (172 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

Stacked like Sardines

Now for the colonist transport.  For this walkthrough, the design will be substantially similar to the Albatross, so to save time we're going to use the Copy function at the bottom left.  This will create a design named "Albatross - Copy" with the same components as the Albatross.

Once you're back in the design view, remove the Cargo Hold - Standard and add 10x Cryogenic Transport modules.  Make sure you arn't adding the "Small" or "Emergency" versions, as they are much smaller and slightly less efficient.   A Cryogenic Transport module consists of 10,000 cryo-tubes capable of keeping their human cargo alive indefinitely.  10 modules gives our colony ship a capacity of 100,000 people, and clocks our ship in at 40,100 tons. The slight discrepancy is because the Cryogenic Transport modules have increased crew requirements compared to the Cargo Hold.  To compensate, we'll remove 2 Fuel Storage modules. We get a nice round number again, and we don't need as much range on this ship anyway - the inner system is far more hospitable than the outer gas giants.

We don't really want the ship to be named Albatross - Copy so we need a new name.  Each of these ships carries as many people as a city so we'll call it the City class.  Change the hull type to "Colony Ship".  Then go to the DAC / Rank / Info tab and change the Name Type to Cities.

You may note that in the "Eligible Additional Classes" box below Name Type it says Albatross.  This is because the shared components and identical size make it relatively easy to install a cargo hold in lieu of the cryo-units. This means that a shipyard tooled to produce the City can also produce the Albatross.  You'll note, however, that if you select the Albatross from the Class list at the top that you can't build a City from an Albatross yard.  This is because of how the game determines refit costs.

Your final City-class should look like this:

Code: [Select]
City class Colony Ship    40,000 tons     280 Crew     1595 BP      TCS 800  TH 1000  EM 0
1250 km/s     Armour 1-104     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
MSP 25    Max Repair 25 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Spare Berths 0   
Cryogenic Berths 100000    Cargo Handling Multiplier 25   

Prototype Atomic Rocket (10)    Power 100    Fuel Use 13.26%    Signature 100    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 450,000 Litres    Range 15.3 billion km   (141 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

You might note that it costs almost 1600 BP. The Albatross only costs 638 BP. Colony ships are expensive and time-consuming to construct, and shouldn't be built on a whim. 

Where's the beef?

Now that we have 2 valid ship designs, lets create several of each.  Close the Class Design window.  Open Fast OB Creation, located in the Spacemaster drop down of the basic menu.  The Albatross should be selected by default, as it is the first ship alphabetically. Go to "Task Group" on the left and select the Cargo Task Group, then change Number to 5.  Click Add. You should now have 3456 ship points remaining. Admire the mathematical coincidence, then change Task Group to Colony Task Group and Class to City.  Change Number to 2, and click Add.  That should leave you with 266 Ship Points.  Close the Fast OB Creation window.

That gives us a good basic hauling capacity, but we're going to need more in the future. Open Population and Production and go to the Manage Shipyards tab. Use SM SY Mod to add another shipyard. Select the new yard, and click Rename SY. Call it Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Select the shipyard again, uncheck "Military SY" in the SM SY Mod panel, change capacity to 40000 and slipways to 2. Click Update.

Now use the Task Type drop down to select Retool for Selected Class. Select the "CS City" from the new drop down.  Now that it's been tooled, select the shipyard again and construct 2 new Albatross-class Freighters. They should be done by early 2026.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 09:47:44 AM by TheDeadlyShoe »
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 04:29:55 AM »
Red Mars

Now that we have the ships, we need the destination.  Go to the System Map and press F9 to enter the System View.  Select Mars from the list.  You'll note that you see a picture of Mars, an analysis of factors that affect colonization, and mineral content (if any.) Click the "Add Colony" button at the bottom. The game should pause momentarily, and Mars should now say "Federation 0m" in it's population list.  This means that there is now a population there that you can ship colonists, infrastructure, ground troops, and other installations to. 

Mars is listed with a colony cost of x2.00.  It's benign compared to hell-worlds like Venus or Titan, but the lack of breathable atmosphere and low temperature means the colony still requires some Infrastructure to keep the colonists alive.  Colony Cost represents the amount of Infrastructure in hundreds that it takes to keep 1 million inhabitants alive.  Earth has 0 colony cost, and no infrastructure is required. Mars and Luna take 200 infrastructure per million people.  Venus requires 2500 infrastructure per million people.

In addition, planets with high colony costs require more effort from their population to stay alive, and have a smaller percentage of population that can be employed in industrial tasks.

Before we can ship the infrastructure, though, we need to construct it. In the interests of time, we're going to use SM mode for this as well. Close the System View and open the Population and Production screen.  You should see both a Mars and Earth colony. If you don't close the screen and open it again. If you still don't, run through the population creation steps again, or right click Mars on the System Map and create the population from there.

Mars is listed as an Archaeological Dig, because it's an empty colony located at a body containing Ruins.  Ruins can be recovered to gain facilities and technology, but for now that's outside the scope of the tutorial.   Select Earth.  Click the button at the bottom right labeled SM Mods. This will open up a window where you can cheat stuff into existence.  Change Infrastructure from 0 to 2000 and click Save Changes, then click Close. Click Earth again to verify that it has 2000 infrastructure, listed in the "Current Infrastructure" line of the Summary.

Close the Population and Production window and open Task Groups (F12).  Select Cargo Task Group from the Name dropdown. You should see your five Albatross class freighters here.  Select Earth and double click "Load Infrastructure" from the list of available actions.  Then click on Mars and double click "Unload Infrastructure".  Finally, click Earth again and select Refuel from Colony. The Albatross won't come close to draining its tanks with this journey, but it's better to keep topped off.  Now click "All Orders" next to Time and Distance in the middle left.  You can see that it is a journey of some distance and some days to make the round trip.

Your 5 Albatross freighters have 125000 cargo space between them, which will let the task group carry 50x Infrastructure per trip.  They need 20 trips to ship all the infrastructure, so we might as well schedule them to take all of it.  At the bottom right you'll see a box labeled Repeat. Select the number in the box and press backspace to delete it. Now type 19 into the box and click Repeat.  The commands should have repeated themselves 19 times, giving 20 total trips. That should ship all 2000 infrastructure in about the specified timeframe. 

Now select the Colony Task Group.  You have 2 colony transports that can carry 200,000 people between them.  The freighters travel at the same speed and carry enough infrastructure to support 250,000 people per trip. The colony transports also load and unload somewhat slower.  So there should be little chance of your colony ships shipping more population than your colony can support.  Set up a similar route, except using the Load Colonists and Unload Colonists commands rather than Load/Unload infrastructure. Make sure to add the Refueling command again.

Don't do Repeat just yet. Take note of the Cycle Orders checkbox.  This is will order a task group to repeat its commands indefinitely so long as they are possible and so long as the commands begin and end in the same system.  This is very useful for these situations, but for now let's set up the same 20x cycle as on the freighters.  Do another 19x repeat on the 3 base commands. 

You're done! Your ships are now shipping infrastructure and colonists to Mars. Feel free to go into ship details and use the Get Name function on your new freighters and colony ships.

Time is...

This would be another good time to backup your game, as we're going to advance time. Name this file Walkthrough2.

Close Task Groups and go to the System Map. Make sure Auto Turns is unchecked and press 1 Day to advance time. Keep pressing 1 Day until you reach February 1st.   You should see your ships loading goods, flying to Mars, unloading, then flying back.    You will also see your survey ship flying around surveying bodies. It may report mineral finds occasionally. :)

Now go into the Population and Production screen and select Mars.  It should have some population and infrastructure now, and is no longer listed as an Archaeological Dig.   Congratulations!  You've established your first populated colony.  :D
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 04:36:51 AM by TheDeadlyShoe »
 

Offline gekkoguy82

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Re: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2013, 03:36:52 PM »
Thank you so much for posting this! I've been struggling with getting started, even though I've read (or watched) through some of the other walk throughs.    For whatever reason, this one really clicks for me.    For all the money I've dropped on 4x games, this game is the one I've finally found that really covers everything.    Most of them have certain features that I really like, but there's always something I really want that's inevitably missing.    Aurora has everything I had been looking for and then some, which is great, albeit a little overwhelming.    This walk-through will really aid me in wrapping my head around how to get moving.    Thank you!!  8)
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2013, 02:01:19 PM »
You're very welcome.   :)

A Note on Civilians
From here on out you may start getting notifications about civilian ship launches.  Once a civilization has more than one colony, Civilian shipping lines may form and launch ships. They can create 4 types of ships: Freighters, Colony Ships, Fuel Harvesters, and Luxury Liners.  They use their own designs, separate from what you create.  For more on civilians look elsewhere on the forums or on the wiki.  The important part for you is to know that they aren't under your control and they may start shipping more colonists and infrastructure to Mars on their own.

I Can't Believe It's Not Sol: Grav Surveys

Analysis of the ruins at Cydonia has conclusively demonstrated that the aliens are not Martians as originally assumed.  The ruined hulk of a great colony ship was the center of their civilization.  Translation efforts have been futile so far, but a monument made from pure Duranium implies that the vessel was fleeing an apocalyptic war... and arrived at Mars via what the scientists have described as a 'wooshy tunnel thing.'  The implications of both events are sobering: It's a hostile galaxy out there, and we don't even know where the enemy might come from.  While the United Parliament debates warship construction. the Federation Survey Office has authorized funding for a science vessel designed to detect minute anomalies in Sol's gravitational field.

Ship Design Part III: Grav-Survey Ship

Open Population and Production (F3), and go to the Research tab.  We'll need a couple of new technologies for our survey vessel. Use "Instant" to research Jump Point Theory, in Power & Propulsion.  This unlocks a number of other technologies.  Next go to the Sensors and Fire Control section and research Gravitational Survey Sensors. Close Population and Production and open Class Design (F5).

Select the Magellan from the list of designs and click Copy at the bottom left.   Go into the Design View. Remove the Geological Survey Sensors by double clicking on them in the component list, then add 2x Gravitational Survey Sensors in their place.  They fit just fine, but you may notice that the design is now listed as a Military Vessel.  This is because the Gravitational Survey Sensors count as a Military component owing to their sensitive nature and high maintenance requirements.  The listed Maintenance Life of 2.75 years is fairly adequate,  but far shorter than the 5-year cruising time of the Magellan. To even it out a little let's remove a Fuel Storage and add an Engineering Spaces.  This reduces the cruising range a little, but it kicks our Maintenance Life up to 6.15 years. Very convenient. :)

Rename your ship to the Galileo, and change it's hull to Gravitational Survey Vessel. On the DAC / Rank / Info tab, change Nametypes to Classical Astronomers. Your final result should look like this:

Code: [Select]
Galileo class Gravitational Survey Vessel    2,500 tons     47 Crew     358.5 BP      TCS 50  TH 100  EM 0
2000 km/s     Armour 1-16     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/2/0     Damage Control Rating 2     PPV 0
Maint Life 6.15 Years     MSP 179    AFR 25%    IFR 0.3%    1YR 8    5YR 122    Max Repair 100 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 60 months    Spare Berths 0   

Prototype Atomic Rocket (1)    Power 100    Fuel Use 13.26%    Signature 100    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 250,000 Litres    Range 135.7 billion km   (785 days at full power)

Gravitational Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

Close class design. It's getting easier and faster, isn't it? :)

Break Shot: Setting Up a Grav Survey

The first thing is to understand what is going on in a Grav Survey.  Grav Surveys, when completed, tell you where all of a systems Jump Points are.  Jump Points allow you to instantaneously transport to another star system, so long as you have a Jump Gate or appropriate Jump Drive to enable you to do so.   Every system has 30 "Survey Locations" arranged in a fixed pattern around the primary star. The size of this pattern - and the difficulty of the survey - depends on various attributes of the primary star.  Generally speaking, larger stars have bigger patterns and require more Survey Points per Survey Location to complete.   Every Jump Point is associated with a particular survey location, and scanning that survey location will immediately inform you of the jump points location. 

Go to the System Map and zoom out four times using the lower magnifying glass icon with the -.  The zoom level should say 2.8b km (0.003LY). This shows pretty much the entirety of the Solar System, from Hale-Bopp to Mercury. You can see 30 white circles each labeled with a number. These are the survey locations.  Select the Display 2 tab and check the box labeled "Hide surveyed Survey Locations."  This will hide the survey locations once they are scanned.  Now zoom back in two levels so you are at 695m km.  This should give us a decent view of both our survey and colonization efforts.

Our task is to create and send one or more survey ships to complete Sol's jump point survey.   Go to Fast OB Creation, located in the Spacemaster tab of the basic menu.  Add 3 Galileo-class GSVs to the Shipyard TG. You'll note this sends our Ships points into the negative, but it lets us do it anyway. This is because those numbers are guidelines, not rules :). Close Fast OB Creation.  Open Task Groups (F12) and go to the Shipyard TG.  First thing is to use a little trick.  Over the course of an Aurora game you will be going to the Shipyard TG a lot. To make this easier, we're going to make sure that it defaults to the top of the TG list.  Click "Rename TG" at the bottom left and put a space in front of Shipyard.  The name will be " Shipyard TG" precisely.  Space comes before all other letters as far as Aurora is concerned, and the shipyard TG will now always be at the top of the list. :)

Go to Special Orders / Organization. You'll see the three Galileos in the "Move Ships between Task Groups" list. We're running short on TGs so we're going to make a new one. Select the Galileo 001 from that list, then hold shift and click Galileo 003.  All 3 Galileos should be selected.  Click "Split TG". Split TG creates a new task group with all the new ships while leaving the old TG intact with its unselected ships, if any.  This makes a new TG called " Shipyard TG #2".  Hardly inspiring.  Use Rename TG to name this group "FSO Grav Survey."  Then go to default orders and change Primary to "Survey Nearest Survey Location."  Since this ships are a little underfueled, and will often be going into the outer system, we're going to set a Conditional Order to automatically refuel. Below Default Orders you'll find two boxes for Conditional Orders.  Set Conditional Order A's condition to Fuel less than 30%, and set the orders to Refuel at Colony within 4 Jumps.  This should greatly reduce the headaches you receive from survey ships running out of fuel in the outer system.  :)

Now, it doesn't make much sense to have all 3 ships together. A lot of the survey time is actually traveling between points rather than conducting the survey itself.  So we're going to use the Divide command to split into 3 TGs. Select Galileo 001 from the Move Ships list.  Now press Divide TG at the bottom.  The selected ship will remain in the original TG, while the other two ships will create their own TGs (GSV Galileo 002 and GSV Galileo 003) that each have the same default and conditional orders as the original.  You can change the TG names, or not, as you like.  Also feel free to use Get Name on the new ships. :)

Backup your database as Walkthrough 3, and then go to the System Map. Make sure "Auto Turns" is uncheck, then advance time 1 day at a time until February 14th.  Your ships should have time to reach survey locations and begin surveying.

At any time after this, you may see a report about a Jump Point being discovered.  We won't do anything with these for now, but it sure is interesting. :)
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2013, 02:06:33 PM »
Just a note... If you remove the last ship from a TG, the TG gets disbanded. So your Shipyard TG might get disbanded at some point.

And my personal preference is a _ rather than a space. :)
 

Offline panzerde

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Re: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2013, 11:53:58 PM »
Thanks for this tutorial.   I'm really getting a good understanding of how to play from this.   Can't wait for the next installment!
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2013, 06:03:01 AM »
Great tutorial! Please keep going :)
 

Offline Zed 6

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Re: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2013, 04:43:18 PM »
Yes, Please keep going

ps: I hope the guy above me doesn't really need lessons   :D
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Aurora 6.21 Basic Walkthrough
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2013, 07:56:01 PM »
Yes, Please keep going

ps: I hope the guy above me doesn't really need lessons   :D

You might be surprised. It wouldn't be the first time I came on here and asked where something was :)

Steve
 

 

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