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Messages - Iranon

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C# Aurora / Re: New sensor model and small fighters. Problem?
« on: Yesterday at 03:40:58 PM »
I'm hung up on specifics because it's easy to overlook things otherwise.
If your sensor is optimised for 250t fighters and the true quarry is 180t, the sensors don't need to be 8x as large for parity... since it loses almost half its range, it needs to be 30x as large.
In this case you'd need a 54HS sensor, which isn't even possible. Even if you have scouts that can paint compact fighters without being shot down (dubious because the same concept applies in a less extreme form), Resolution-5 fire controls would have to be 18HS each. Certainly possible... but if you want a pair as you stated earlier, that's quite huge. How big is this ship going to be?

If hunting fighters alone, a cloaking device can give a larger ship the advantage without getting the size of their quarry exactly right. Obviously, this wouldn't work for escorting an unstealthed fleet.

Of course, one missile fighter is no threat, the question is how they perform for their cost. The missile fighters are aoubt 3.6x as expensive as their ordnance, quite a bit but imo still acceptable for mass production given stealth and salvo dispersion. They don't need much locistics support (30b range, 18 months deployment time; performance is going to suffer or size is going to go up in C#) beyond spotters.
If we don't increase the range, larger bombers would be considerably cheaper for a given amount of ordnance... but would lose much of what makes the fighters attractive.

C# Aurora / Re: New sensor model and small fighters. Problem?
« on: Yesterday at 05:50:51 AM »
@ alex_brunius:
ECM can be somewhat negated by overengineered fire controls (sensors are a harder limit than FCs because they are larger fo the same range)... but they can force a guessing game and will generally force measures costlier than themselves so still a win.
Cloaking device would work reliably, especially coupled with a cloaked sensor craft specifically made to detect small fighters instead of small scouts.
So fair points on both.

Cloaks especially face the same problem as building the destroyer like an oversized fighter though: heavy specialisation and considerable expense (both tech and build cost). I stated possible solutions to a hard reliance on small fighters myself; cheaper ones too albeit with less room for error.
The main point is having to jump through hoops and getting things exactly right to counter something basic.

In the current version, I've had tiny fighters trying to use their small footprint engaged successfully because the AI invested into surprisingly large and powerful AMM sensors. Craft designed to outrun and outrange beam threats came under fire because the target matched one of these, had superior E(C)CM, the enemy had missiles in reserve when I thought that phase of the battle was over, or simple because they didn't execute their orders flawlessly. The "nearly tactically invincible" things aren't economically appealing (e.g. "throw enough size-1 missiles at any problem until the problem blows up" or "oversized sensors + stealth + long-ranged missiles including decoy systems").
Most things have various incidental soft counters that can realistically crop up even when the opponent isn't playing optimally or using extremely tight designs. I think this is different.

@ Jorgen_CAB:
A size-1 sensor would seem quite small. If we have a 1.8HS sensor on the sensor variants, we can fit a matching fire control and a size 8 box launcher on the offensive variants, 180t on my example design (will need slightly more fuel in C# to maintain reasonable performance and enough endurance to not need a carrier, but definitely below 200t). This is actually slightly on the large side for what I had in mind; if it was possible to build non-missile engines <1HS I'd go considerably smaller.


Admittedly, all this assumes sensor range will remain relevant.
With the changes to missile fuel consumption, this will probably require multistage missiles for any acceptable performance... another aspect where the new system will likely require much more thorough knowledge of the mechanics to come up with something in any way functional.
But that's probably something for a different doomsaying thread :)

C# Aurora / Re: New sensor model and small fighters. Problem?
« on: Yesterday at 01:16:02 AM »
I'd encourage a close look at the new sensor range table and consider what ranges ships of various size can pick up others. Obviously not restricting this just to perfect sensor matches.

Will your missile destroyers sport size 10+ fire controls of the right resolution to have adequate range to enemy fighters?
Will your scouts/interceptors have sensors/FCs very close to the ideal resolution (1 and 5 won't do if 3 is needed)?
Will your scouts have a high percentage of sensors (which pretty much rules out performance; endurance is cheap)?
All of these need to be answered with "yes" for this to work.

You are aware of the advantages of small sensor footprint in the current version. What you seem to be missing is how in the future, any larger ships expected to fight them need to be just as ruthlessly optimised for range:footprint ratio as the fighters themselves. If the destroyers have one huge FC and a modest missile armament and absolutely no frills, they might work (being hugely expensive for the capability and still being vulnerablet to having their spotters are shot down before their own missiles arrive). With several fire controls, a decent missile loadout respective to FC tonnage, a hangar and other niceties, the size of fire controls needed to match fighter sensor range to them balloons, driving up the mass of the rest you want etc. The tyranny of the sensor equation... you can have an advantage at large size, but it's hugely expensive.

Unless facing an almost-ideal counter build, a concentration of small fighters with various resolution sensors (cost is no issue. Fighters don't require retooling, and half a dozen different 1.2HS sensors for 3HS fighters or so are no more expensive than the sensor for a single FAC) are very likely to see any enemy before they are seen, both considering actives vs. actives and a mutual emissions control scenario.

For scouting purposes when area coverage is desired rather than a concentrated fleet, a ring of sensor fighters (in a formation around a central task group; maybe the main strike group, maybe a single dummy craft) would do that very well with rather limited investment for the capability.

C# Aurora / Re: New sensor model and small fighters. Problem?
« on: February 19, 2018, 10:05:50 AM »
@ TheDeadlyShoe: In the current version, a big res1 ensures nothing small will slip in, but is easily outranged by coarser sensors of modest size. In C#, a dummy craft surrounded by a formation of sensor fighters adds some novelty, but that solution will be much more dominant and cheaper. For initial contact, a ring of coverage is sufficient. Once contact is made, small craft are better at maintaining coverage without exposing themselves.

Long strike range to large ships isn't necessary, the main obstacle will be small scout craft if present. Even on tiny fightes, fitting dual fire controls to attack large assets from outside their range is a neglegible investment... compared to the huge sensors/FCs of exactly the right resolution those would need to fight back. Simply building variants with differrent resolutions seems more expedient though.

@ Jorgen_CAB: I was focusing on actives for now, as those determine who can actually shoot at whom. Emissions control adds some complex and interesting considerations, but by and large I also see mostly advantages for relatively smaller craft (for a given total expense).

This is what I think is the thing that you can't rely on. If the world technology functioned the way that it does in Aurora a navy would never build ships to one set standard size so there are no perfect sensors and fire-controls to use. A navy could easily have a mix of scout crafts ranging from anywhere at 200-2500t, how would you know what type of scout you are up against before scanning it?!?
Hitting that precise spot is what getting a small advantage with a somewhat larger craft depends on, and just missing it means larger craft will be at a considerable disadvantage despite spending several times as many resources. Without prior information and with sensible assumptions, smaller is better.

Another thing is... how much forces are you willing to risk exposing for taking out a lone scout craft when you have no idea of what other enemy forces are in the vicinity? Or how do you know it is alone before you put actual sensors on it? Perhaps it is a rather powerful destroyer flotilla whose specialty is to engage fighter/corvette class ships using a combination of interceptors and long range anti-fighter craft missiles. How do you know before hand what sensors/weapons the enemy ships in the vicinity will possess?
The risks seem rather small. Something needs to provide their active sensor lock, and small fighters are very difficult to outrange... they can afford to keep their actives on if armed variants are nearby for some recon in force (trying to be sneaky is also an option, and small fighters are good at that too. My point is that they don't even have to be cautious). Those hypothetical destroyers would have to be very specialised to have a range advantage, with a ludicrously expensive electronics suite, and even then they can throw it away by getting the resolution slightly wrong ,e.g. looking for 250t fighters when they are 150t.

In my opinion the game will become richer for having more option in regards to sensor size and making both large and small ships viable in different ways.
Agreed in principle... only that's what we have at the moment! I find all sizes quite viable. The proposed solution encourages more one-dimensional gameplay, even though I suppose the natural appoach is fiddly and looks pretty on the map.

@ alex_brunius: Considering the freedom we have... I find Aurora surprisingly robust, single- or multi-player. Playing around many tacit assumptions is possible and allows trivialising some challenges, but often enough you can prod the mechanics with a sharp stick and find an interesting niche rather than something broken. I find this very pleasing.
Some of the new/changed mechanics look a lot more fragile or not quite balanced though, encouraging shortcuts formerly useful in niche as a default. Regrettably if those essentially play around something that was supposed to become more fleshed-out.

C# Aurora / Re: New sensor model and small fighters. Problem?
« on: February 18, 2018, 04:59:16 AM »
@ Jorgen_CAB: I am not worried about my fleet. Your advice should be directed against the AI, because it will need to be competent in fighter operations (quite the challenge) or become a sitting duck. Your doctrine already works... with the proposed changes it's going to work so well it's going to be boring.

Current sensor system:
Assuming equal tech, a 250t scout fighter and a 1000t scout FAC devoting the same percentage to a resolution-10 sensor (the geometric mean of their respective sizes) will  detect one another at the same range.
The FAC will have 4x the sensor range against the designed 500t target.
If the size of opposing scout craft is known and the ideal sensor resolution is chosen instead, the FAC will detect the fighter from twice the range (at 4x the expense).

C# sensor system:
If both craft devote the same percentage to a resolution10-sensor, the 250t fighter will pick up the 1000t FAC at twice the range it's detected itself.
The FAC will have twice the sensor range against the designed 500t target.
If the size of opposing scout craft is known and the ideal resolution is chosen instead, the FAC will detect the fighter at 25% longer range (at 4x the expense).

The current system seems quite balanced, all sizes from huge sensor platforms to tiny spotter craft have their use. The player has choices with interesting trade-offs, and a straightforward approach works well enough to keep the AI from being helpless.

The C# model strongly encourages tiny spotters (and probably missile combatants). The theoretical advantages available to larger vessels are very narrow, require near-perfect information about the smallest relevant enemy size, and come at a ludicrous price. Less interesting design trade-offs, good implementation becomes more important, and I don't expect the AI to be up to the challenge.

C# Aurora / New sensor model and small fighters. Problem?
« on: February 17, 2018, 06:00:20 PM »
Currently, I find small missile fighters quite useful, as they can often get quite close to their prey without being detected.
The sensor model in C# Aurora is going to be very kind to the very small variants, to an extent I consider problematic.
Using Steve's example table from the C# Changes List:

A size 1.2 Resolution 100 sensor (equivalent FC leaves space for a size 7-ish box launcher for the combatants; enough for an efficient 2-stage missile if missile range would otherwise be more limiting than sensor range. This should fit into 150t with long endurance.) has a range upwards of 40 million.
A sensor with the ideal resolution of 3 would still need to be about 17HS to illuminate the fighters at this range.
At Resolution 1, the sensor would have to approach 30HS, at Resolution 5 50HS wouldn't be enough.
And if the ships carrying them are above 5000t, the fighters could use a coarser sensor and increase their range.

Such fighters don't have to rely on bulky, visible carriers:
A dozen years of maintenance life or so is cheap, a fighter-sized engineering bay will do.
Long deployment time would be somehwat expensive in terms of weight, but we don't need to match maintenance life (colonies, commercial hangars in the future)
If the fighters aren't likely to be seen, they don't need performance, months of fuel endurance and multiple systems worth of range should be achievable.

Small  fighters require considerable overhead in fire controls... currently a bit of a drawback. In the upcoming version, a sensor to match their combat range needs to be 40-200 times as big/expensive as one of them, and the matching FC 10-50 times as much. Larger ships either don't shoot back, or they spend several times as much on electronics without matching the fighters' redundancy and salvo dispersion.

Aurora Chat / Re: What's going on in your empire/planet/battlefield?
« on: February 15, 2018, 01:02:38 PM »
As I prepared a puntive/recon mission against the Madras Collective who had been preying on my shipping, they turned up in Sol with a small fleet of 15 9100t- and 3 18200t-ships.
Not a single missile was fired. The beam cruisers could easily control the distance (10000 vs. 3450km/s). Despite the speed advantage and giving my cruisers the finest fire controls and a compact ECM/ECCM suite, some hostiles responded effectively at long range, with what appears to be 20cm soft X-ray lasers to our 15cm/FUV.
One of our 12000t tinclads was lost to a catastrophic engine explosion, several others damaged. We overwhelmed their long-ranged assets eventually, after which cleanup was trivial.
The next generation will sport some real armour and full-size ECM, reducing propulsion tonnage while maintaining performance.

Scouts will keep searching for them and trying to warn of any future attacks while we test the waters in the Precursos-held system next to Sol. We could use some spoils to augment our weapons and electronics.

Aurora Suggestions / Orders delay with inexperienced fleets
« on: February 12, 2018, 05:17:55 AM »
Currently, the most practical way to control the range is to move to a waypoint away from the enemy and simply adjust speed as needed instead of changing orders. Assuming the enemy is willing to engage, which it usually is.

Otherwise, you risk having your ships sit motionlessly when something entirely predictable happens, like destroying the target you're keeping a set distance from. "Let's keep perfectly still until we figure out just how far we want to stay from whom" doesn't seem realistic. Suggestions:

1) maintain speed and heading until the new order processes
2) if reasonably easy to implement, let us choose "closest hostile" instead of a specific target.

C# Aurora / Re: Replacing Teams?
« on: February 12, 2018, 03:55:27 AM »
For tech acquisition, one problem with something ship- and sensor-based is balancing it with the salvage system...
no amount of scans should be as useful as having a functioning sample that you can test to your heart's content.
"Human" intelligence being more useful than a functioning sample is plausible - blueprints, insight into underlying principles or manufacturing process that aren't obvious in the final product etc.

I think it would also be interesting if it was possible to reverse engineer alien equipment without gaining all the underlying techs, maybe with the chance of the clone being something slightly different. That'd make spoils/relics of a more advanced faction very useful without allowing the beneficiary to equalise effortlessly.

C# Aurora / Re: Replacing Teams?
« on: February 11, 2018, 03:22:25 PM »
Don't like teams as they are, too little depth to them - mostly mindless busywork that doesn't lend itself to automation.
Expanding the concept to be meaningful seems fine, but so does straightforward deletion.

Aurora Chat / Re: What's going on in your empire/planet/battlefield?
« on: February 04, 2018, 05:32:39 PM »
Thank you! This may become a very short game...

Aurora Chat / Re: What's going on in your empire/planet/battlefield?
« on: February 04, 2018, 09:43:10 AM »
An infrastructure shipment to a ruins/anomaly colony 4 systems away from earth was ambushed, all freighters lost. Strength-24 energy impacts are well in advance of anything we are capable of.
We haven't yet found any major colonies of the NPR responsible.

Admirality is nervous about stretching our forces thin - there's a precursor stronghold we can't deal with one jump away from earth, and it is currently unknown whether a stable wormhole 2 systems away is a threat.

Current fleet capability is focused almost entirely on beam PD and one decisive missile strike just out of beam range, all on slow ships with commercial engines. A fast wing of beam cruisers is currently under construction. The military is pushing for torpedo bombers to acquire some ranged strike capability, despite the total lack of ordnance reserves. The civilian administration wants a focus on boarding technology since everyone encountered so far seems to be ahead of us in weaponry.

Aurora Suggestions / Re: Designing ship hulls instead of ships
« on: January 30, 2018, 09:12:17 PM »
My problem with placeholder hulls to get an advantage in the current system is that taking it to the logical conclusion eliminates retooling entirely.
Retool to the most expensive thing you can build, usually fitting only (hardened?) sensors/fire controls, and you should be able to use it for any practical design forever.

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 30, 2018, 05:48:59 AM »
Tax vs. happiness is an old standby of strategy games that doesn't really make much sense in Aurora. We currently have no way of increasing our citizens' happiness with civil projects and happiness isn't a prominent gameplay mechanic.

I'd be interested in having the economic model expanded with more attention given to the private sector, but doing that properly would interlock with other parts of the game in rather tricky ways.

Bureau of Ship Design / Re: Ships
« on: January 30, 2018, 05:34:36 AM »
To elaborate a little on the concerns voiced:

1) That jump drive is good for 3 ships, so you want it on a third of your ships at most, the rest could get more firepower. Personally, I prefer to put them on commercial hulls featuring an oversized propulsion package (so they can keep up with your military ships), basic sensor package and enough fuel to serve as a tanker.

2) I actually like your power plant in terms of size/performance/efficiency. However, I probably wouldn't pay extra for thermal reduction for a general purpose combat ship.

3) I don't mind the shields either. You gain little, but you also invest little... and protecting the paintjob from a single leaker seems fine. My main issue with tiny shielding: Is it worth my attention to switch them on and off as needed?

4) Mission life is peculiar but not bad. If you want to keep this ship at the edges of your empire, it makes a lot of sense: You only need to return for overhauls every few years, R&R can be done locally. If this is intended to sit at home until an extended mission is called for, a third of the maintenance life would still be fine.

5) Agree on what others said about the turrets, you really need to fit enough tracking gear to get the most out of your sophisticated BFC. This is one part where your lack of specialisation hurts, that BFC is expensive and I'd want it to control more than 4 barrels.

6) Your electronics probably don't need hardening, afaik the AI doesn't use microwaves. And even if it did - you're trying to outrange that kind of threat, if hardening becomes relevant everything is falling apart already.

7) You probably want to bring a dedicated sensor vessel for situational awareness, especially for a longer detection of enemy missiles. The onboard sensor capability seems a very reasonable backup though, you can fight capably without outside help.

In general, a very nice ship for an early attempt! the only major problem is the mismatch between BFC and turret tracking speed. Apart form that, it seems a little overengineered with very many "nice-to-haves" for the size; leaner and more focused ships may be more efficient.
If "no single point of failure, everyone should be able to do everything" is important to you, that's not even a problem.

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