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Posted by: Michael Sandy
« on: May 05, 2017, 06:11:11 AM »

The investment in pinnace scouting tech is really cheap, and is a reason I strongly recommend it.  You can get it with the base jump tech efficiency, but you get a much more capable scout with efficiency 5.

The idea is that since you can't afford good sensors, get something that can get close without support.  I had a REALLY bad encounter where my survey vessels were detected on entering the system by a 5 mothership swarm fleet.  That let them into the next system.  A size 8 or 10 pinnace is unlikely to be detected on transit, unless the stellar mechanics are really odd lucky, but a size 65 survey ship is much more likely to be detected.

And unfortunately, *I* blundered in with my size 300 civilian jump ship.  Why 15,000 tons for a ship to allow survey ships to transit?  Because the smallest civilian jump engine I could build was pretty massive, and I knew I would want lots of jump stations around to transit my survey and later combat fleets.  I didn't and still am reluctant to spend the research points for a large military jump drive.

Basically, the jump tenders just fly to the jump points and sit there, with their massive tanks available to refuel the survey fleet, or later allow military expeditions with less fuel efficient engines.

But anyway, pinnaces are awesome.  They cost about 60 BP, they give you justification for building up fighter industry early, they provide pretty decent evidence nothing is in the system by visiting every planet with active sensors on, and then I put a note on the Galactic Map that a particular system has been scouted, allowing me to send in the geo and grav ships.

I intend to build a probe launching pinnace, for the next stage, finding out ship sizes and speed for the Precursors and Swarm ships, in order to better design search sensors and missile fire control.  I am probably going to exploit the fact that the Swarm Carriers are HUGE, and build a missile fire control designed to launch from very far away, and take them out with a Fast Collier design.

Get a ship class that can hit from 200 million km or so, fire missiles at the same velocity as the collier, they don't need to be fast to hit a Swarm Carrier.  Build missiles for range, ability to hit a 1km/s target, and lots of warhead.  I figure size 2 or 3 missiles, depending on what my reload tech is like when I finally go after them.  It won't kill the Soldiers, but if I can take out the carriers, the soldiers won't have a long ranged sensor platform to direct them.  Yeah, with my crappy missile tech it would probably cost 2000 MSP worth of missiles a kill, or over 130 HS of magazines space.

I would be reluctant to develop a really specialized ship that is only useful vs one race, but the difference between a lightly armed fast collier and just a fast collier isn't all that much.
Posted by: Michael Sandy
« on: May 03, 2017, 08:28:11 PM »

Mathew Moss, you are renamed!  And the adventures of the Survey Force continue to draw huge ratings.  Most of the exciting adventures end in tragedy, but at least information is gained.  This one, we actually get a rescue.  Imagine the ratings!

Even if the followup probe gets massacred, and the Grav Ship still stranded in the alien home system is frakked.  At least they have several years worth of life support and maintenance supplies.

Awarded the first Medal I bothered to create.

Stood Watch When Called.  For following very dangerous orders for the purpose of securing VITAL information for the realm.
Posted by: Michael Sandy
« on: May 03, 2017, 08:24:50 PM »

It is my new religion.  Pinnace scouts WILL visit every planet BEFORE survey assets enter the system, OMFG.

K, 3 precursor systems, 2 found by scouts, with valuable information gained, 1 found by a blundering geosurvey ship, the only information discovered was that they had missiles.

And 1 system discovered with Swarm, this before I have ION drive.  Fortunately there is a loop of systems, so my fleeing survey ships won't lead it back to Earth, they are faster than the carriers and will eventually get out of range.

And miracle of miracles, while we lost a pinnace to ramming and the Grav Survey ship left on the Jump Point for the purpose of finding out IF the aliens did indeed know about Jump Points, and actually rescued life pods this time, with 2 days left on their life support.  Even better, the rescuing pinnace was my long endurance one, and actually has the life support to take the 32% survey commander and 13 crew to safety, with only mild strain on the life support.

Said commander is probably going to be renamed Mark Damon or Matt Watley. ;)  (Thanks to Drgong for THAT idea)
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