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Messages - Michael Sandy

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So the pinnace Morituri, of the class, Expendable, equipped with a sensor named "What Killed Me?" has successfully visited the terraformable moons and the 5 wrecks in the system.

The Morituri was NOT expected to survive.  It was expected to return useful data, about anything scary in the system.  If I had bothered to give the Morituri a ship commander, that commander would have gotten a medal for it.  In the future, I may create the Morituri medal for a ship commander that does something particularly self-sacrificing.

Needless to say, when they get back to Sol, markets are going to be in turmoil.  The speculation bubble in missiles and launcher tech is going to crash for a while, and the colonization related markets will soar.  A lot of people won't think anything has really changed since before the wreck discovery, but the shipyard expansions have already happened.  The shipyards had been largely idle after the first surge supporting the Geo survey effort for Sol, but now there are so many new systems to survey.  All the old geo survey ships are being updated in a civilian shipyard dedicated to them.

One of my logistics guys just hit 40%, and we just finished ship to ship tractors and hangars, so life is good. :)

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. ;)

So, first system I probe, lots of rocks and moons, nothing below 8 habitability.  Second system, nothing below 8 habitability.  Third system... EIGHT 2-2.4 habitability... and a crap ton of wrecks.

As a bonus, the wrecks and the potential colony sites are within 300 million km of the jump point, just inside of Saturn's orbit, so the potential and risk are huge.

So I am making a fighter pinnace with an active sensor.  The sensor is named the "What Killed Me?" sensor.  Basically, I am going to make a pass at the wrecks and the habitable moons with teensy ships that will be lucky if they see what kills them.

Salvage module got bumped up the priority list pretty hugely.  I probably won't shift out of economic expansion techs to war techs until the scout is done.  Most of my shipyards were either building or refitting survey ships, or expanding yards, so my immediate response is limited to purpose built fighters.  The internal debate may revolve around what prospects the other jump points offer, and how overwhelming the threat seems.

Complicating matters is we finally got a decent Bio scientist, to augment our 40 terraforming installations.  The moon is going to be habitable in something like 3 years or so, and the plan was then to terraform Mars and the Jovian moons, to generate internal trade.

RP wise, the idle survey units had created a lobby to get exploration back on.  We have two shipping lines with lots of shipping, which they seem to spend a lot of time competing to see how many colonists they can kill.  Still, as much as I would be amused to see some of the civilian ships get munched, they are a resource I need.

One of the ideas that has to be considered is refitting the missile bases with modern firecontrols, and designing armored missiles for them to deal with whatever is discovered in Procyon.  But given our crappy engine tech, whatever we meet will likely be faster than us, how much faster, we dunno.  We can't get started on really expensive measures until we have some idea of whether those measures would even be likely to work.

Telegraph class Recon Fighter    345 tons     10 Crew     44.12 BP      TCS 6.9  TH 13  EM 0
1884 km/s    JR 1-50     Armour 1-4     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/8/0/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 0
Maint Life 34.26 Years     MSP 40    AFR 1%    IFR 0%    1YR 0    5YR 1    Max Repair 10 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Spare Berths 0   

Pinnace Jump Drive J400(1-50) Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 400 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 1
NP fighter engine 12.8 EP Nuclear Pulse Engine (1)    Power 12.8    Fuel Use 44.88%    Signature 12.8    Exp 8%
Fuel Capacity 30 000 Litres    Range 34.9 billion km   (214 days at full power)

EM 8x1 EM Detection Sensor EM1-8 (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  8m km
This design is classed as a Fighter for production, combat and maintenance purposes

On getting Jump Drive tech, I quickly researched a pinnace drive and a small sensor.  In retrospect, I should have gone with a size 2 sensor, it would have fit well with the size 400 Jump Drive.

Basically, the idea is to use fighter factories to be the first to exploit a new technology, and hopefully they would give information that informs the followup missions, prioritizing which systems will get surveyed first.

Also, the pinnaces will serve as communications relays.  I suppose I should have given them more crew endurance, mostly to avoid getting pinged with messages about crew whining.

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.

Aurora Chat / Re: What's going on in your empire/planet/battlefield?
« on: April 24, 2017, 04:59:21 PM »
True, it will supply Luna with security from the point of the colonists, but I was looking at strategies for speeding PDC construction in general.  See, if I am waiting on a particular tech for my PDC, like sensors, I could still build the launchers for the PDC, and then build the thing when I get my sensor tech finished.  But they don't assemble from ship components.

Probably because they already build from industry, so normally there wouldn't be much point.  Its just, I might get a good PDC AMM launcher pretty early, you only need reload 3 to get PDC launchers every 5 seconds, so I thought I would be clever and just stock up a bunch of them, and then ship them where I would build PDCs and assemble that way, but it doesn't seem to work that way.

So good thing I found out with a small scale PDC project.  I figure I will want SOME AMM bases on every planet of importance to me.  Of course, I can build the AMM launchers long before I can even DESIGN missiles for them, let alone build them.  I figure the colonists can look at the bases as a sign of commitment that those launchers will have missiles eventually.  Bit of a Quaker Cannon thing though.

I am building a 500 ton collier with 5 magazines, so I will be able to ship missiles to my colonies without tying down a shipyard with retooling.  I am likewise building a 500 ton 'tanker', again, so I can shuttle fuel or rescue a stranded ship, without tying down major resources.  One thing I need to do in the future is plan my early shipyard tooling a bit better.  I want my first shipyard tooling to be able to handle geo and grav survey, small tankers and small colliers.  So about 15 HS beyond the commercial engine, or so.  I recall difficulties with getting a shipyard tooled to make 1 engineering space geo survey ships to build ships within its costs and size range that had more engineering spaces was a problem.

Hopefully a yard designed for a slightly oversized ship with 3 engineering spaces can also build geosurvey ships that have 1.

Aurora Chat / Re: What's going on in your empire/planet/battlefield?
« on: April 23, 2017, 05:50:23 PM »
It was odd, do PDCs not build from components if you have them, like ships do?  Or do you need to specifically order them built from available components?

It is annoying that dinky little components don't fit in a small hold, when I can fit 5000 units of minerals, WAY more than needed to build those components.

Minerals take up much less space than the facilities built from them.

Oh well, from an RP perspective, I am not going to mind having built a few point defense missile launchers as PDCs.  Although I wish I could have waited for reload 3 instead of reload 2, and gotten my PDC launchers all the way down to 5 second reload.  Still, 10 second reload should be fine for an early PDC.

Aurora Chat / Re: What's going on in your empire/planet/battlefield?
« on: April 23, 2017, 02:16:43 AM »
So I didn't get a PP scientist for quite some time, but I had a decent C&P and several logistics guys.  So I figured I would get cargo handling and cryo while waiting for a PP.  And I had a good sensor scientist, so surveying early was easy.

I finally get a PP scientist, and get a nuclear thermal commercial engine designed and a commercial shipyard, and that prompted a shipping line to create a colony ship.

Suddenly, colonizing Luna looked MUCH more attractive, as they were paying ME for the privilege.  So I switched to about 25% industry for infrastructure, and built a dedicated Terra-Luna freighter with a small cargo hold.  And 10 cargo handling systems.

Loading a small cargo hold in an hour for a really short jaunt meant that dinky little ship could ship as many installations as I wanted to the moon pretty quickly.  More infrastructure than I wanted to build at that time, so I started on Terraforming Installations.  I watched a couple of videos, and they mentioned that colonies start to want protection at 10 million, so I started planning ahead.

Or so I thought.  I figured I would build the components on Earth and just ship them, but they either don't fit in a small cargo hold, so it won't give the option of shipping them, or I was just looking in the wrong place.  But I could ship the minerals just fine, and shuttling a couple construction factories over, even if they weren't going to stay, was a better option than stopping colonization while I waited for either my large freighter to be built or otherwise diverted construction to Luna.

As a strategy, I do recommend shipping a couple hundred infrastructure to Luna the moment you get Cryogenics and a commercial engine.  That seemed to be the prompt for shipping lines to build colony ships.  Just have a plan for building SOME kind of PDC on the moon, as population growth can be pretty quick with the short travel time.

The Academy / Re: What exactly do officers do?
« on: April 19, 2017, 07:23:31 PM »
So, probably a good idea to put my best diplomats in Communications officer spots, and train a couple of guys for operations and intelligence, but not really a high priority if I have a good crew trainer to get the fleet trained.  I suppose if you have to have an inexperienced fleet, getting good comms and ops task force officers could help.

Aurora Chat / Re: What's going on in your empire/planet/battlefield?
« on: April 19, 2017, 05:52:11 PM »
A bit of an update, I sent xeno and diplomatic teams to the moons that had POWs on them.  I also noticed there seemed to be an option to put the POWs on a ship.   Can you put alien POWs in cryo, or should I just make a 'hospital/prisoner transport' craft to retrieve them?

The POWs are in several groups, does that matter?  combined the numbers are about 2,000, but no group is more than 600.

The Academy / What exactly do officers do?
« on: April 19, 2017, 04:46:18 PM »
So some of the abilities it is pretty easy to see how they work.

Logistics speeds the loading and unloading of ships.  And if you put an officer in a logistics slot in a task force, they train up to >50% in about 10 years or so, so between the fleet command bonus and the ship captain, you can get a 100% increase in loading speed for not much investment.

Fighter bonus increases the accuracy of fighter beam weapons, and if you build a bunch of cost 1 BP 'fighter' PDCs and park your fighter bonus officers there, they tend to train that up.  RP-wise, I am reminded that the Japanese started WWII with a very experienced and well trained fighter pilot force, but because they flew very fragile planes, they tended to lose their pilots over the course of the war, resulting in them having much lower average pilot quality towards the end of the war.  In part because they were so hard pressed they couldn't cycle experienced pilots back to train new ones.

So if you spend 10 years training up a bunch of high quality fighter combat bonus officers, if you LOSE them, suddenly your whole fighter force is a lot less effective, because it takes so long to train up good new officers.

Fighter OPs supposedly was supposed to improve fighter reload time, but I have heard that it is borked and actually increases the time it takes a hangar to reload fighters.

Now, if the task force commander has a mining bonus, do asteroid mining modules get a boost too?  Or sorium harvesters if the TF commander has a factory bonus?  I am also trying to figure out if asteroid mining modules are better or worse than automated mines.  The asteroid mining modules take less space to ship, and benefit from naval mining officers, but the economics of it seem to depend on how far you have to ship them.

What exactly do operations, intelligence, and communications boost?  Is it worth putting early officers into a dummy task force to train them up?

The Academy / Re: Population vs Wealth
« on: April 19, 2017, 04:16:28 PM »
I would argue for the wealth bonus.  I have seen their effects in conventional starts where I had a high wealth bonus leader, and you just accumulate SO much wealth.  Basically, the benefits are a lot more front loaded than pop growth.  You can sustain more buildings with a higher wealth bonus, or buy more minerals, which allows for more growth.

I suggest that after you get the 10,000 research cost C&P techs, go for Sector Command, because that will boost your economy by a lot for the 5,000 research cost.  I figure if you have, say, a +10 miner, +10 construction, +10 shipyard, +10 wealth sector commander, 1/4 the bonus amounts to about 10 points, or roughly comparable to half the benefit you got from the 10k bonus.  And if you have a lot of Naval Academies, you will likely have better leaders than that to choose from.

I wish financial centers were transportable like other installations are.  Then you could just fill up your terraformed but mineral-less worlds with financial centers built elsewhere, and plunk a wealth bonus leader on them.  Pretend the whole planet is a giant call center, cold call selling products made elsewhere to markets all over your empire. ;)

Aurora Chat / Re: What's going on in your empire/planet/battlefield?
« on: April 19, 2017, 03:11:56 AM »
All I know is that my colony had a bunch of POWs on it when I bothered to check them for geo survey team.  I don't know when it happened, I might have other moons with POWs on them, for all I know.

I thought I would have gotten a notice if there were ruins or something.  Certainly there were no wrecks.  All I know is someone, somewhere, is telling a hell of a story in a spaceport bar, and getting free drinks for it.

Aurora Chat / Re: What's going on in your empire/planet/battlefield?
« on: April 18, 2017, 10:42:47 PM »
So apparently either my unarmed survey vessel, or my equally unarmed geo survey team, managed to take several hundred POWs on Ganymede and Europa.

I didn't get any notifications to that effect, at least that I noticed.

The Academy / Re: Civilian contract help please
« on: April 17, 2017, 10:36:39 PM »
Once they establish a mining colony, will they add to it if you do things like put an administrator on the colony?  Do civilian administrators boost the output of civilian mining complexes?

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