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Messages - Iranon

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Aurora Chat / Re: How Many Types of Missiles Do you Need?
« on: Yesterday at 05:29:28 AM »
The considerations that make me choose a particular size don't tend to change much with tech.

Size 1 for AMMs and saturation attacks.
Size 7 for something just large enough for a sensor or a 2-stage approach, a small footpring and 1HTK in a box launcher.
I may have one larger size which be pretty much anything, size 25 seems a good compromise - large enough for most complicated things I may want to try, not excessive for single-stage use.

While I may design multiple versions (different sensors, different ranges for fighters and warships etc, different splits of warhead and agility), standardising on size seems good.
Also, I don't generally upgrade things very much... old ammo will be expended liberally, obsolescent ships will be used on the fringes in peacetime and be used for risky missions in war.

C# Aurora / Re: Magazine Explosions
« on: March 13, 2018, 05:40:43 AM »
IMO, what Graham is "ignoring" is simply not relevant to his point.
Beam vs. missile concerns don't enter the problem that too explodey magazines would make full-size beam ships unattractive compared to splitting the tonnage.

Blowing up from small damage doesn't only happen with mesons. It can happen from shock in a missile vs. missile fight. I don't see an obvious advantage for the larger ships here that more than mitigates the explosion risk. With the new sensor system, large ships will actually require a lot of support to not be blindsided by smaller ships, cutting into any efficiency gains (a 150t fighter hunting for 5000t+ ships will not be picked up at its weapon range by a 50HS sensor looking for 250t fighters).

C# Aurora / Re: Magazine Explosions
« on: March 12, 2018, 03:27:24 AM »
I'm wary:

Changes to sensors already greatly favour fighters in missile combat, this will add to that.

A quirk of the damage model aiui (encouraged to have different magazine types to prevent a chain reaction) becomes more pronounced.

While box launchers aren't as safe in the upcoming version, they can be emptied instantly in case of danger, ideally at a target. So if ordnance on board becomes a bigger risk, they may still end up too good.

Last not least, I don't want "fair" designs to become any more vulnerable, battles tend to be quite one-sided as it is.

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: March 09, 2018, 01:41:48 PM »
Things shouldn't be too fiddly or too expensive; reusing existing components seems reasonable.

Expanding logistics is turned on its head if it is too onerous and hence encourages playing around logistics entirely:
Design for fuel efficiency, no fuel logistics beyond the bare minimum.
Long-lived disposable designs instead of maintenance.
And so on. Doing things "as intended" should have upsides.

Bureau of Ship Design / Re: Stealth Battlecruiser
« on: March 05, 2018, 02:11:34 PM »
I consider stealth mostly for sensor vessels and other ships that can't split their mission tonnage. For offensive craft, the effect can be had more cheaply by splitting up the weapon package, possibly onto FACs/fighters.
CIWS would cease to be effective, but the example ship is fast enoug that 10cm railguns would be just as effective and much more flexible.
TBH, I'm not even sure what tactical advantage this gets from stealth. Missiles will comfortably outrange it and defences aren't great for the cost. Beam combat will occur at ranges far too short for stealth to matter.
Also, slow-firing railguns don't strike me as attractive weapons.

But good to see you're taking the setbacks in stride :)

Aurora Chat / Re: What's going on in your empire/planet/battlefield?
« on: February 27, 2018, 03:26:20 AM »
If it greatly reduces enemy hit chance and/or allows you to force a favourable engagement range, speed is priceless.
If it doesn't and you need to fight on your enemy's terms, speed is worthless. You'd be better off with armour/firepower/numbers.

You never know against NPRs, but against the usual suspects 6000km/s is either too fast or too slow. If I had to deal with 15000km/s enemies at Ion tech, I wouldn't try to compete on speed at all. Priority 1 would be heavy beam PD, priority 2 an offensive plan for when the enemy is out of missiles but still wants to play (several options, none of them without problems).

Counterpoint: As I understand it, small craft ECM is mostly useless.

The vessels that'd use it rely on being too small for most sensors/fire controls.
If that assumption is incorrect, small craft ECM won't be enough to make any difference.
If that assumption is correct, ECM is not worth the tonnage. Increasing your size from 125t to 150t would increase enemy sensor/FC range by 44%.

You gain something specifically against AMM fire controls and in beam combat. Is that relevant and worth the increased general sensor footprint?

Bureau of Ship Design / Re: Terran Imperial Navy
« on: February 24, 2018, 08:08:19 AM »
This looks familiar, I might have commented on this elsewhere.
If I read this correctly, the Wellington Mk.IV has 293HS of fuel and 200HS of engines. That is quite wasteful, and individually larger engines would also improve efficiency.

9 Engines of 50HS and 0.8 power multiplier would give you better speed and range, while reducing fuel consumption by almost 90%.
8 engines of 50HS and 1.2 power multiplier would give you 60% more speed at comparable range, at less than a third of the original fuel consumption.
7 engines of 50HS and 1.4 power multiplier would be even faster, but imo gain too little for the additional fuel consumption.

The Gauss armament also doesn't seem quite right. 10cm railguns would be better against everything, faster-tracking Gauss turrets (preferably in quads turrets to save on turret gear) are an alternative if missiles are the main consideration.

C# Aurora / Re: New sensor model and small fighters. Problem?
« on: February 21, 2018, 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: February 21, 2018, 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: February 21, 2018, 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.

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