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Messages - Iranon

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1
Bureau of Ship Design / Re: Mission pods and their feasability.
« on: September 07, 2017, 11:58:50 PM »
No problem with docking. Being engineless just restricts you to a speed of 1 km/s, no special restrictions. I don't really see how a minimal engine would help.

No considerations or major headaches I can think of, very much unlike tractored pods.
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2
Aurora Suggestions / Re: Him Vs Her
« on: July 02, 2017, 02:12:58 AM »
If we go through all this trouble, a percentage selection similar to secondary themes would be more appropriate.
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3
Bureau of Ship Design / Re: Ion era fleet design
« on: June 03, 2017, 05:33:27 AM »
Engines too stressed for my tastes. It's actually near the performance-optimum you can get for the tonnage, but you could  halve fuel consumption for only a modest decrease in capability by shifting tonnage from fuel to bigger, lower-multiplier engines.
As it is, you have very long-endurance ships that are hampered by fuel use; I'd accept shorter standalone range and bring a tanker (4000km/s is very achievable with commercial engines - 50% of tonnage at 0.5 power).

Slightly higher beam fire control than weapon range is good, but it seems a bit excessive on some of the ships.
I'm not a fan of slow-firing railguns; at 15s reload rate you're usually better off with 2 fast-firing lasers with the same per-shot damage. For this reason, railgun calibre tech usually trails capacitor tech for me.

The missile cruiser may struggle against point defence, even tough the AI is usually not very good at it one of these ships may not get through.
I'd consider either a higher reduction of launcher size for larger salvos, or one fire control per launcher (expensive at this kind of range, but cheaper in the long run than having a good portion of your missiles shot down).

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On a more general node, Aurora subtly encourages not using the "default" configuration.
4000km/s ship speed with 4000km/s base tracking speed: If your ships go faster, they benefit from faster tracking speed. If your ships go slower, non-turreted weapons still track at 4000km/s.
1.0 power engines are rarely ideal because of the way cost scales. A 1.2 power engine is 1.2 times as expensive, a 0.8 power engine is 0.64 times as expensive.
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4
Mesons have neither the range of lasers nor the volume of fire of railguns or Gauss weapons. Against ships, 1 point of armour-piercing damage may or may not be better than 2-4 points of laser damage depending on the target... but mixing isn't very good:
If you add mesons to a mostly-laser armament, you'll inflict little damage before you burn through shields/armour anyway so you may as well use a weapon that gets there faster. If you add lasers to a mostly-meson armament, chances are they won't do anything before the mesons finish the fight.

Mesons have other capabilities, most of which don't matter: The AI doesn't use armoured missiles, PDCs, and from my experience they don't armour/shield their ships so heavily that they're worth it (one notable spoilery exception, but against that I prefer lasers for different reasons). Mesons are sometimes competitive by cost because their build cost doesn't scale with capacitor tech; not so relevant before capacitor-6 in my opinion.

Generally, railguns and Gauss cannons are more effective for PD than longer-ranged weapons; long-range area defence vessels are useful because they have the advantage of longer beam range and better armour penetration in beam-vs-beam combat. Gauss is your best PD option by tonnage, 10cm railguns are a compromise: competitive at PD on fast ships, and while they don't have range or armour penetrations they have decent firepower at short range.
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5
Bureau of Ship Design / Re: First FAC designs
« on: May 21, 2017, 12:54:40 PM »
Maintenance lives seem excessive for most use and insufficient if you want your designs to not need maintenance ever.

You don't need electronic hardening on your sensors.

You probably don't want Gauss turrets on fast ships. A 10cm railgun tracking at 9600km/s is much better than a 3-shot, half-accuracy Gauss cannon tracking at 16000km/s.

How do mesons fit into your weapon lineup? Those generally don't combine well with other weapons and I see nothing specific that makes them attractive.

For missiles it'd be good to have your MSP allocations.
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6
The Academy / Re: Irrelevant research
« on: May 16, 2017, 02:00:56 PM »
Many techs aren't irrelevant, but do so little that they are only worth picking up when they are very cheap compared to the current levels of bread-and-butter techs. Most egregrious example imo would be reactor power multipliers. Even in pure beam ships, the weight savings are quite modest and there's the trade-off of higher explosion chance.
Less severe, but Sensor Strength should trail Sensitivity (comparable increase in range, but results in more expensive and noisier sensors and no use for passives).
AFAIK, Electronic Hardening isn't useful against current AI designs.

Some techs are optional and only worth using if you use enough. Good armour > bad shields, unless you know exactly what you are doing. ECM/ECCM tech may need a little love before the components are worth their weight (overengineered fire controls > underdeveloped ECCM). You generally don't need redundant beam techs, some individual lines there stand out too: imo railgun calibre quickly stops being worth researching, too throttled by capacitor tech. Currently, something similar applies to particle beams but Lances will change that. Some Missile Launcher and Magazine techs are not very important if you decide to rely on box launchers instead. The entire genetics line can be ignored most of the time, especially the aspects that can be remedied by terraforming.
Some things have their use, but are easy to misuse. Stealth tech on offensive ships is usually wasteful, just split the package on FACs/Fighters. Huge sensors can't be split up on multiple ships though, so while expensive stealth tech does give a relevant option for high-end recon ships.

One example where I've often seen poor prioritising is in power multiplier or fuel efficiency vs. engine concept.
Higher engine concept may give better power than maximum power multiplier tech, without the drawback of increased fuel consumption.
Higher engine concept and correspondingly lower multiplier may save more fuel than better fuel efficiency tech, and in the case of <1.0 multiplier will result in cheaper and less manpower-intensive engines as well.

Increased fuel production generally scales worse than measures to limit fuel consumption; in the upcoming version we have 2 additional logistics tech to exacerbate this one of which directly goes into this: reducing fuel consumption by 20% is much better than increasing fuel production and refueling rate by 25% - you need less weight in fuel tanks and consume less Sorium.
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7
Bureau of Ship Design / Re: Are my designs any good?
« on: April 29, 2017, 05:03:38 PM »
One big point: while your weapons have have target speed up to 10000 km/s, they are just core weapons, not turreted ones. Without turreted the basic target speed of your cruiser is just those 2490 km/s  while your corvette gets 6901 km/s.

Wiki says: "A weapon mounted in a turret has a tracking speed equal to the tracking speed of the turret rather than the speed of the ship".

The tracking speed of unturreted weapons is the higher of ship speed and FC speed rating tech; slow ships will track at the full 10000km/s.
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8
Bureau of Ship Design / Re: engine-less ships
« on: February 14, 2017, 03:24:07 AM »
This would work, only you don't need a world with refineries - harvesting modules turn Sorium of a gas giant directly into fuel.

If you have plan to harvest from a given gas giant for a long time (accessibility and reserves are both good), tractoring engineless harvesting bases there is the cheapest way of exploiting it.
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9
The Academy / Re: Engines and Speed
« on: January 24, 2017, 12:11:34 AM »
You may reduce the speed of a Task Group if that is a concern; of course there's also the thermal reduction tech line.

How this works may not be completely intuitive though:
A 6000km/s beam TG moving at 3000km/s because it's following a TG of that speed will have its full TH output and use 6000km/s for combat calculations, but halve its fuel burning rate (so total range is the same).
Reducing its TG speed to 3000km/s manually doesn't affect fuel consumption, reduces its thermal footprint, but also means it'll be easier to hit and may have a harder time to hit fast targets.
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10
Haji's Fiction / Re: Missile interception chances
« on: January 16, 2017, 12:59:45 PM »
Imo, bending over backwards to make the game work "as it should" makes things less interesting rather than more.
If everyone is still using a "standard" AMM setup, one could...

- use size-1 ASMs, the defender will spend more on ordnance unless they also have significant beam PD
- use multistage missiles to evade most AMMs/reduce engagement window
- oversaturate enemy fire controls, using single-missile salvos. Again, can be adjusted to... but if nobody did yet, this could be devastating.
- match ship speed with one's own missile and screen them with beam weapons in area defence for much of the approach (matching speed also helps achieving the above without excessive fire controls)
- keep the impasse on the approach, then unleash a barrage of missiles from box launchers at point blank range before things other than CIWSs have time to react. Perhaps aim to oversaturate CIWSs with semi-decoys.

I'd be surprised if things were truly as stale as you think they are... maybe things are actually fresher than what you take as the "standard".
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11
Bureau of Ship Design / A formal look at various efficiencies
« on: November 03, 2016, 06:48:48 AM »
1) Let's assume we have a fixed tonnage budget for propulsion, i.e. engines and fuel, and we're interested in the trade-off between performance and fuel efficiency.

Let x be the proportion of fuel in our propulsion tonnage.
(1-x) is therefore our engine proportion. Keeping speed constant, this is proportionate to the inverse of our power multiplier.
Specific fuel consumption is proportionate to power multiplier ^2.5
Our range is therefore proportionate to x(1-x)^2.5
I find it more useful to map fuel use to speed at constant range than to range at constant speed: (x(1-x)^2.5)^0.4
Standardising for 1.0 as the highest possible speed, achieved at x=2/7, we get (x(1-x)^2.5)^0.4*1.4/(2/7)^0.4

Google calculator (just put the last function into a Google search field) gives us a nice graph with value pairs if we mouse over it.
This is ready for use with no further thought, I'm not aware of any hidden pitfalls.

*

2) Now let's look at the effect of engine tonnage on cost and fuel efficiency. Speed is kept constant. We use a standard size for every single engine.
We simplify things a little and think of our ship as consisting of engine and payload, x being the proportion allocated to engines and (1-x) therefore being the payload.

Power is kept constant, so power multiplier is proportionate to 1/x.
Fuel consumption is therefore proportionate to (1/x)^2.5
Fuel efficiency is therefore proportionate to (1/x)^2.5/(1-x)
Standardising for 1 at the most efficient setup at x=0.714286, we get ((1/x)^2.5/(1-x))/8.11686

With power multiplier above 1.0, the engine cost is the same no matter the size. Cost efficiency of the propulsion plant is therefore 1/(1-x), the theoretical optimum being an infinitesimally small engine with infinite power multiplier.

With power multiplier below 1.0, cost of a single engine scales quadratically with power multiplier, so engine cost is proportionate to  1/x. Cost efficiency of the propulsion plant is therefore proportionate to (1/x)/(1-x). Standardised for 1 at our most cost-efficient setup, achieved at x=0,5, we get 1/(4x-4x^2)

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Putting ((1/x)^2.5)/(1-x))/8.11686 , 1/(1-x), 1/(4x-4x^2) into the Google search field gives you these graphs (fuel efficiency, cost efficency > 1.0, cost efficiency <1-0). For a useful overview we may want to zoom to have about 0.15 to 0.75 for x and 0.5 to 6 for f(x).

While I find this useful, this needs a little more caution than 1).
We count everything that isn't engine as payload. That includes bridge, engineering spaces, armour (can't do away with the first layer), and all sorts of other things we may not think of as mission tonnage. So a seemingly very fuel-efficient design with 70% engines may not carry a lot of stuff we actually care about, dramatically lowering practical efficiency.
What we count as overhead and what as mission tonnage isn't even fixed: for a general purpose warship armour may be mission tonnage, if a given speed in nebulae is a non-negotiable requirement some or all may be overhead.
Likewise, our ship will need to carry some fuel at the cost of payload, so our ship with the compact high-power engines may not be quite as cost-efficient as the graph implies. And if we'd need >40% of engine weight in fuel, corresponding to the 2/7 of propulsion tonnage as in 1), we probably dropped the ball.

Comments about correctness, clarity, usefulness or considerations I neglected are warmly appreciated.

EDIT: Assuming 5%/10% of ship size as overhead to be subtracted from the effective payload, one gets
((1/x)^2.5)/(0.95-x)/9.7130565 , 1/(0.95-x)*0.95, 1/x/(0.95-x)/4.43213
or
((1/x)^2.5)/(0.9-x)/11.7365 , 1/(0.9-x)*0.9, 1/x/(0.9-x)/4.93827
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12
The Academy / Re: Problems with targeting
« on: October 24, 2016, 08:16:13 AM »
I believe it's the opposite, high initiative means you move last (which is usually advantageous, as firing takes place after movement and the one to move last gets an advantage at choosing the range).

Regarding the contacts... it pays to have a closer look. If you can see the mass of the contact, you have an active sensor lock. If you just get an EM/Thermal reading, you don't.
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13
The Academy / Re: A Noob's Jorney Of Trial And Error
« on: October 09, 2016, 12:39:47 PM »
Power plants, or they'll only fire a single shot.
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14
The Academy / Re: A Noob's Jorney Of Trial And Error
« on: October 08, 2016, 01:17:31 PM »
Mixed batteries can be sound (different missile sizes are always different salvos, so if the missiles have the same speed it's a method to make the job harder for enemy point defence).

I can't find a good rationale for your choices though.

Why a box launcher? I'd either use full-size launchers for a decent rate, or lots and lots of box launchers and nothing else ("either I can fend off a threat without expending missiles, or it's one massive alpha strike").

why does it have fuel?

Why sensors? Especially the passive ones, Deep Space Tracking Stations do a far better job of that.
An active to paint the target is good, but I would put that into a separate tiny PDC with nothing else... keeps you from wasting resources if you want 30 missiles PDCs and a handful of sensors for some redundancy.

Why a beam fire control but no beam weapons?

Do you actually need the troop capacity?

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I'd recommend something far more simple: base-tech mesons, one beam fire control (defaults will do), enough power for the guns.
Not fancy, not actually that good... but it'll do something against missiles and make people feel safe for cheap when your fleet is away.
I'd rather build the cheapest thing that works, because the money is better spent on a fleet.
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15
Mechanics / Re: Terraforming installations vs modules
« on: October 05, 2016, 07:18:39 AM »
Or even without habitats... one arge civilian yard isn't that expensive. Prefabricate the modules with constuction factories, and the terraformer builds in no time at all - even if you add a few also-prefabricated engines.

I never build the installations. Even if they were significantly cheaper, the manpower requirements are the dealbreaker.
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