Author Topic: What do you develop before exploring JP's?  (Read 1633 times)

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Offline Michael Sandy

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What do you develop before exploring JP's?
« on: April 24, 2017, 11:20:44 PM »
Just kind of curious, especially for those starting from a conventional start, what systems and ships do you develop before popping into another system?

My incomplete list:

Sensors capable of detecting a populated planet from pretty far out.  This can mean large sensors, or it can mean long ranged sensor probe missiles.  Which means a ship to launch them, and all the missile technology that means.  Of course, you don't need a very big missile to detect a civilization, once it gets close.

Getting your missile shot down counts as a successful 'detection'.

My planets must have SOME missile defense.  Maybe meson PDCs if I had a good EW scientist, but more likely it will be PDCs with AMM launchers.  And again, I feel I need anti-missile sensor systems developed before I probe another system.

I figure I absolutely have to have a jump drive capable of getting my survey ships through, and possibly my small freighter/colony ship, the ones under 12k or so.  I definitely want a tanker of some kind, to set up a forward fuel base, although I generally survey with such efficient drives that my survey forces will complete the survey before they run low on fuel, at least for small to average systems within a jump of my home system.

I also want the capability of building a fleet in a hurry.  And while I really like missiles, it is kind of difficult to build up both ships and missiles at the same time.  If I am building a fleet in a hurry, I would be doing things like mass producing lasers, power plants, and engines with planetary industry, in order to turn out ships as fast as possible.

The next issue has to do with economic exploitation.  What distance do you exploit at what engine tech level?  Do you build jump gates so your civilians can get in on the exploitation, or just build a civilian jump ship to escort convoys?

If you started with missile bases, do you build real missile fire controls for them, and build some size 24 missiles to shoot from them, or do you go with smaller, easier to research missiles?

What kind of shortages prompt you to head out early?  What kind of resources would prompt you to significantly delay?

For example, I am contemplating a serious mercassium shortage.  Venus has lots at .2, along with duranium at .6 and some other stuff, so it is economically mineable, sort of.  But there isn't another deposit larger than 10k in the solar system.  Teching up in the solar system isn't possible without more mercassium, or without building a crap ton of automated mines for a .2 accessibility resource.

Offline Mastik

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Re: What do you develop before exploring JP's?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2017, 10:02:34 AM »
Basic engines and sensors.  I just go exploring.

Offline Titanian

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Re: What do you develop before exploring JP's?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2017, 01:11:04 PM »
Basic engines and sensors.  I just go exploring.
Same here.

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: What do you develop before exploring JP's?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2017, 06:09:14 PM »
In my latest campaign, I build some pinnaces to scout, in order to plan which jump point would get attention first when my jump ships came on line.  I discovered a system with 8 terraformable moons and several large wrecks.

Scouts and geo survey missiles and active sensor probe missiles coming up.  Plus, we will be switching to a wartime research priority just as soon as our scout ship gets eaten.  Unless it gets eaten by something so scary that nothing we have available soon can beat it, in which case, focus on the economy and hope it doesn't probe jump points. ;)

Offline Sarganto

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Re: What do you develop before exploring JP's?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2017, 06:28:25 AM »
As I have never been invaded by anyone yet, I really don't bother with setting up any kind of defense before I go exploring. How much I explore, which means how far out, is only limited by the technology and survey ship designs and my willingness to micromanage all the survey ships.
Also, I put a jump gate on everything asap. I really only put jump drives on my survey ships, not even my main fleet.

So far I have always been able to build up a capable fleet, even after meeting the first NPRs.

Plus, as soon as you have a bit of stuff explored, you know where your focus will lie and you can optimize for that. In example when you find a suitable colony three jumps out and in total 80bn kilometers away, you can make freighters and colony ships that have 160bn range and are able to make a loop in a for you suitable time, e.g. under 1 year.

I push hard for extrasolar colonization when I have smegty Duranium and Corundium deposits in Sol. These two will limit your growth above all others. Sorium comes third, as not having any fuel left might bring your whole empire to a halt. But usually Saturn or Jupiter has ample deposits which you can tap with some harvesters.

Offline Drgong

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Re: What do you develop before exploring JP's?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2017, 06:28:54 AM »
Due to one of the spoilers, I generally wait till Ion age to explore JPs.
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Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: What do you develop before exploring JP's?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2017, 07:36:24 AM »
My theory about (spoilers) is to build a bunch of pinnace probes once you can build a jump engine.  It costs a lot less research points, and you don't need to retool, so building the probes with your fighter factories gets your probes done as much as a year sooner than they would otherwise.

I have one pinnace stay at the jump point, while the other advances with active sensors on.  The idea is to get as much information about a potential hostile as possible.  We don't want to switch to a war footing when we don't have to, and we definitely don't want to stay trapped in fear in our home system, afraid of things that might not be there.

But what I was also curious about was approximately how many shipyards, and of what type, would you have before probing another system.  I am trying to have one shipyard sized to produce jump gate constructors, another, larger, to produce terraforming ships, and a size 12,000 to produce commercial jump engine ships for my survey fleet.

And I want something that can build tugs as well.

But I am a bit lost as to a good strategy regarding Naval shipyards.  I want to avoid tooling it til the last minute, when I have a design I know I am going to churn out a lot of.

Offline Arwyn

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Re: What do you develop before exploring JP's?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2017, 09:01:53 AM »
I build three to four cheap survey vessels, good passives, some armor, a CIWS and lots of speed. They are also small and dirt cheap, like 4500 tons small.

They are like Doritios, crunch them, I will make more. Needless to say, the Survey Corps can be a risky career choice in my games. At least early on.

What I notice is that I lose far more Geosurvey ships than Gravsurvey. I make them cheap as a result, at least early on.

Offline Lamandier

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Re: What do you develop before exploring JP's?
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2017, 01:32:19 PM »
In a TN, unified-Sol start, jump point/jump drive research is usually my priority, though I do make sure I've got enough shipyards/industry to start cranking out warships and fighters before I start getting serious about exploring JPs. I tend to build up my survey fleet a little bit before I start sending expeditions out of the home system, so by the time I'm ready start exploring in earnest, I've got my shipyards and industry built up to the point where I can switch over from survey ships to warships fairly seamlessly.

My current three-nation Sol conventional start is going in a slightly different direction, though. With all three powers having none-too-good relations with each other, I decided to RP a new space race between them, so I've had each nation focusing on logistics research and weapons technology. 15-odd years in and none of the three powers have even researched jump point theory yet(and NATO/the Russians are only just now getting around to even researching nuclear thermals, because I want to RP a war between somebody here within a few game-years and I'm kinda curious as to what mostly-conventional-tech war would look like. I've already discovered a couple oddities, like having shuttles that can go faster than the fastest missile I can build at this tech level).
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Offline Garfunkel

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Re: What do you develop before exploring JP's?
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2017, 12:15:23 PM »
Depends on what kind of campaign I run. In my current game I have 3 TN powers on Earth, so they are all just racing each other to create a working infrastructure in Sol. I've RPd it that Jump Theory is too esoteric so nobody went for it at start - now the Russians are researching it because they are getting left behind by the other two powers.


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