Author Topic: Military Doctrine  (Read 491 times)

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Offline Jay2Jay

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Military Doctrine
« on: June 02, 2017, 09:46:21 PM »
First of all, hi there! I'm both new to the forum and to the game, so I apologize in advance for any stupid mistakes.  For instance, I could not find a "before you post" or similar topic describing any rules for new topics, so if that exists please send me a link.

Formalities and hand washing aside, I present to you my questions regarding the 'best' theories, strategies, etc in miliatary fleet composition and ship building.  I understand that there isn't a single best design however, I would like to discuss military doctrine in terms of 'better' and 'worse'.

For instance, lets take multi-role ships/FACs.  I understand that it is possible to create multi-role ships/FAC that perform at the very least adequately, but which ships lend themselves best to having multiple roles? What sizes, which roles, at what times, and in what locations?

I personally like to design ships as small as possible while still preforming their role well.  Can ship B do the same job as well or nearly as well as ship A despite the fact that ship B is significantly smaller? If so, then replace ship A with ship B.  Any thoughts on this mentalities effectiveness?

Note that I enjoy the debate in of itself, I don't really care about going through a game with THE most effective and efficient designs as the RP value and experiment-i-ness of Aurora is what attracts me to it.  In other words, think of me as. . .  chaotic neutral, everything I do is for fun and I have no emotional investment so EXPRESS YO SELF DON'T REPRESS YO SELF.
 

Offline Barkhorn

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Re: Military Doctrine
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2017, 11:29:05 PM »
The smaller a ship is, the harder it is to adequately fill multiple roles.  I've found a great way to get multiple roles out of a single ship is with carriers.  A carrier can carry fighters specialized for any role it might need to fulfill.  You can have long range, ship killing bombers armed with big missiles, interceptors armed with fast, small missiles for killing enemy fighters, gauss or railgun armed fighters for point defense against missiles, unarmed relatively slow, efficient shuttles for ferrying geology and xenology teams around, the possibilities are endless!

Another thing I've found is that your jump ship is often perfect for fulfilling multiple roles.  It needs to be the biggest vessel in the task group for the jump engines to work right, so you're practically penalized for NOT cramming as much onto it as you can.  A good combination is jump engines and all the sensors your fleet will need.  This is good because a jump engine takes up a lot of space, so you often won't have room for much else, and sensors don't need too much space.  It's bad because it's kinda putting all your eggs in one basket.  Big, powerful active sensors tend to draw a lot of fire, and if you lose it, you're blind AND you can't flee the system.    Another good one is jump engines and beam-based point defense.  This is good because you can never have too much PD, and it makes your ship with the jump engine less likely to die.  So you will be able to flee or give chase across jump points easier.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2017, 12:03:02 PM by Barkhorn »
 

Offline Iranon

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Re: Military Doctrine
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2017, 04:41:34 AM »
Larger ships become attractive when you start add optional things; smaller ships will probably be more heavily armed per ton while larger ships favour passive defences or supporting systems.

- Armour scales well with size (more layers, so longer until penetrating hits are achieved)
- Shields scale well with size (if one ship is targeted instead of 10, all shield generators contribute to recharge rate)
- Big expensve fire controls and ECCM get higher returns when they control a dozen weapons
- ECM is a fixed investment, on a battleship you just need 1 rather than 10 for an equivalent destroyer flotilla
- Redundancy can go either way. A certain size to duplicate all necessary components is helpful to avoid being taken out of combat by a lucky shot, but if you have explosive components many small ships limit the impact of catastrophic hits.

Small ships have an advantage in flexibility, sensor footprint, build times and (for now) required maintenance facilities. Generally, I find around 10000t a useful size for a basic warships; I go smaller mostly when sensor footprint matters (scouts, missile fighters) and larger when I have branched out enough in tech that I want many optional components. Sometimes FACs for forward bases where a few automines/maintenance facilities can support a considerable force (no longer viable in the upcoming version).
 

Offline 83athom

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Re: Military Doctrine
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2017, 11:57:18 PM »
Here is checklist of ship roles I try to fill when starting off a game;
1) Sensor ships. Fast, agile, and cheap.
2) Damage dealers. These fit as large and/or as many guns on the ship as reasonably possible.
3) All rounders. They deal damage, can spot and mark targets, they swat down missiles/fighters, and generally can do most roles you could think of. However it is usually not a master of any role and can be outclassed by a specialist.
4) Tank. These are meant to take most of the damage while still dishing out some of their own.
5) Support. Pick up lifepods, repair/refuel ships, some anti-missile capability to pitch in. These are generally non-combat ships yet still are vital near the fighting.
Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Military Doctrine
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2017, 02:37:21 AM »
I also like using fighters for flexibility.

It started with pinnaces.  I built fighter factories so that I could scout newly discovered jump points with pinnaces.  Fighters in general are nice for exploiting a new technology without the wait to retool.  Once I was using fighters, I realized that I could always make a specialized design on the fly.  Need a tanker to rescue a ship?  NP.  Need a collier?  Want to build a flagship later, but don't want it to be so different you need to retool?  Put the flag bridge on a carrier.  (RP was that it was originally intended as a corporate headquarters on the go, repurposed for the navy).

Need more ammunition storage? 9 HS of magazine on an empty fighter.  I have a whole bunch of size 9 sensors that I stick on fighters, and while they are in their hangars, I don't have to worry those rather expensive systems will have a maintenance problem.

Now, carriers are at a bit of a disadvantage in jump point assault, so this naval philosophy will be replaced in my campaign.  Probably after I terraform the +100% energy weapon anomaly world that is about 11 billion km out from my homeworld.

Someone else pointed out a while back that a flexible fleet was almost by definition not efficient.  But efficiency isn't generally as important a military goal as comprehensive coverage of risks.  Efficiency matters when you need every ounce of performance or the empire dies.  If you have a dire and immediate threat, or the likelihood that a dire and immediate threat could appear at any moment.
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Military Doctrine
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2017, 02:49:15 AM »
These are the factors that went into determining the "smallest warship my empire is likely to field"

First, I wanted efficient engines, size 50s.  That way, I could have the largest range possible for a given amount of boost, or the smallest ratio of fuel tanks to teeth.

Second, I needed enough engineering spaces so that I could fix the largest system at least once, generally more than once.  And for my boosted engine ships, that meant that they would have to have at least 2 size 50 engines.

Third, I used 15,000 ton civilian jump tenders/tankers to support my exploration.  So I would have a great deal of flexibility with military ships with civilian engines that were smaller than 15,000 tons.  I finally built some 22,500 ton tenders, but bigger is going to have to wait for better jump engine tech, and suddenly everything has a higher priority than that.

So there was a feedback loop, I have the infrastructure to move size 15k and below military ships everywhere in my empire on short notice, to move bigger ships, I would need a new tech and a new infrastructure.  But I have built a lot of smaller ships, so I don't have a demand for the new tech and infrastructure.  So it keeps getting put off.  And so as a result, I am not adopting a fleet strategy that requires the largest possible ships either.
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Military Doctrine
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2017, 03:00:22 AM »
So I do not argue that my fleet doctrine is the best, but that it evolved naturally and logically from my early decisions.

A philosophy of 'build as small ships as possible' will run into a couple of snags, not big ones, just ones to think about.

First, some ships really have to be big.  You want terraformers to be big because you want them to make use of a limited supply of good terraforming officers.  And because you don't want to have to have a huge number of tugs to manage shipping them about.

Jump gate construction ships have to be a certain size, as do troop transports that can carry construction brigades.

There are going to ships that are vital to your expansion effort that are a lot bigger than your military ships.  I would argue that you will want salvagers capable of going anywhere your warships are capable of going.

And that means you will at some point need jump ships capable of handling at least the salvagers, and maybe a number of other missions as well.

As you get the potential infrastructure for moving large military ships strategically, that increases the demand for them.  If you can build 100,000 ton tugs, limiting yourself to 15,000 ton ships seems to be a waste of them.  If your smallest civilian yard is 100,000 tons, that is likely the size of the tankers you will build.  And it seems a poor idea to have the tanker have such a huge footprint compared to your fleet.
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Military Doctrine
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2017, 03:06:59 AM »
My philosophy is to use commercial ship designs for every possible purpose I can, given their capacity is so much greater than naval yards.  I really like armored tanker designs.  Every hull space I can get off my military hulls is that much more weaponry for the same maintenance costs in engineering spaces, maintenance facilities etc...

So my jump engines are on commercial ships, my tankers are commercial, my tanks (sort of, no firepower) are civilian, the engines for my carriers are commercial tugs.
 

 

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