Author Topic: Running them down...How?  (Read 325 times)

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Offline Paul M

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Running them down...How?
« on: July 03, 2017, 01:50:59 AM »
Actually the NCC is going strong...just my workload making doing write ups harder (I am doing too much documentation work...makes writing for fun, not so much).

Anyway the NCN is engaging in Operation Luytens (Part Deux) and is currently engaged in attempting to get their 6 Starslayer A3 FACs into 15k km range of a hostile wolver contact.   The joy of seeing my ships closing range against a wolver ship in full flight was immense but then odd stuff started to happen.

1.  First at 505k km they stopped closing and just maintained range even though they had the command "follow MD 5k km"
2.  I gave them "move to" orders and they closed to 60k km and then there was radical manuevers all around and the range suddenly was back up to 400k km
3.  I gave them "move to" followed by "follow MD 5k km" orders and again there was my ships and the target moving in dramatically different directions.
4.  I reduced their initiative to 25 so they would move last, then reset it to commanders valvues (not particularily high:155 and 145).
5.  I have tried giving way points and trying to put way points along the path of the wolver ship but it is nearly impossible to get them lined up.

Additionally the ships have 41 and 36 for squadron training so they have delays (that may account for some of this).

But can anyone tell me what it is you have to do to get laser armed ships to close to weapons range and engage?   As my ships are faster I'm baffled and somewhat frustrated right now.   The wolver has not fired back (even when the FACs were at 47k km) and so I'm confused what it is (no sensor emissions have been picked up) but if they can hit an engine or two then the ships will be able to close with it...likely by that time the lasers on the FACs will have chopped it to scrap though.

A priority in the future will be to get a longer ranged weapon on the Starslayers...
 

Offline Detros

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Re: Running them down...How?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2017, 06:05:58 AM »
All of move to Xk km. follow at Xk km and waypoints worked for me decently. My demanded range was around 200k km though.
I guess the initiative is screwing with you there. I wonder, do NPRs change initiative of their ships from time to time, maybe? If that target didn't shoot it may still know about you and just being good at dodging actions.
 

Offline Titanian

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Re: Running them down...How?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2017, 06:46:00 AM »
In my experience, the follow orders can act strange if you loose contact with at least one type of sensors, or maybe your increments are so long that either you loose contact when your target moves first.
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Running them down...How?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2017, 07:53:40 AM »
The wierd bit with the dodging was that it say changed by 30° but my ships changed by 150° and seemed intent on heading off away from the target and this seemed to be happening just as they closed to the point where the next jump may put them in firing range.  It was like the wanted to go back to being 505k km from the target...

It might be somehow related to the time step (30 s in this case)...I can't rule that out.  I just could not figure out how my ships would go from 50k km to 400k km all of a sudden.  Some of it must be due to "waiting for acknowledgment" issues while the sit around sorting out what is going on between the "move to" and "follow MD 5k" orders.

My follow orders on NCN formations are working correctly, the ships end up at the MD eventually.   But when I had them trying to "follow MD 5k km" on the contact they stopped closing at 505k km.   This was corrected when I gave them "move to" oders...but then the weird stuff at point blank range started showing up.

The ships are all sesnsors active and have 1.5m km range sensors plus the contact is located passively from the planet.  Plus they should have it on their own thermal sensors out to 6m km (thermal strength 3000 target).
 

Offline Barkhorn

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Re: Running them down...How?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2017, 11:39:40 AM »
I have had similar problems, though on much longer ranges.  I believe what is happening is that the enemy is changing direction, and your ships are plotting new intercept courses instead of just flying directly at the target.

Basically on one tick, the enemy moves left.  In response, you ships set an intercept course far to the left of him.  Then on the next tick the enemy moves right, and your ships set course far to the right.  So you close distance much much slower than you'd expect, some times even ending up farther away.

Waypoints worked for me, but I didn't need to get within 50k.
 

Offline Detros

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Re: Running them down...How?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2017, 12:44:27 PM »
Yes, Move to and Follow orders actually guess where is the meeting point and aim forward of the target.
Try using only 5s intervals in this case.
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Running them down...How?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2017, 04:03:59 AM »
Ok, I will try with 5s time steps after the distance closes again.   I was under a bit of time pressure as I had plans to go out and wanted to get to the "shooting" before I left for dinner.

I will try again with follow MD 5k km and see how that goes.

The laser range is 30k km but with the wolver ECM that is cut to 15k km due to the reduction in to hit chance.   Clearly the HUD and Laser system will have to improved...and eventually include ECCM on the Starslayers.

Thanks for the assistance.
 

Offline Titanian

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Re: Running them down...How?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2017, 07:04:47 AM »
Some of it must be due to "waiting for acknowledgment" issues while the sit around sorting out what is going on between the "move to" and "follow MD 5k" orders.
That could be the problem here, as TGs will just sit still while waiting for acknowledgement.

How much faster are your ships? If the difference is not much, than target leading might be a problem if the targt changes course rapidly.

The ships are all sesnsors active and have 1.5m km range sensors plus the contact is located passively from the planet.  Plus they should have it on their own thermal sensors out to 6m km (thermal strength 3000 target).
So since the action is all happening inside the detection envelopes of all involved sensors, sensor problems should not be the cause here.
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Running them down...How?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2017, 08:21:27 AM »
The waiting for acknowledgement is likely to be part of what I am seeing but the seperation distances seem in excess of what that would cause.  In this situation I was using the following order:
"move to contact"
"follow contact MD 5k km"


Wolver: 8400 km/s
Starslayer A3:  9100 km/s
closure: 700 km/s or 3500 km every 5 s.  I was using 30s steps, so 21k km jumps.  And again it was working fine in terms of range dropping per 30s until they were ~50k km appart then suddenly things started getting wonky.

So even with 20s waiting for the order to sort itself out:  8400*20 = 170 000 km seperation...I was seeing 400k km seperation, it was quite frankly like my ships were purposely extending the range, and it bothered me that at 505k km seperation they stopped closing under the original "follow MD 5k Km" order. 

I'm starting to wonder if the fact the commanders have 145 and 155 for initiative is also part of the problem.  If they are moving first then they jump to range 0, then the wolver moves randomly but ends ~40k Km away and in principle the range will never drop below 40k Km.

 

Offline Titanian

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Re: Running them down...How?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2017, 08:28:50 AM »
Hm, can you reproduce this? Maybe upload your database somewhere so others can test the same situation?
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Running them down...How?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 02:18:48 AM »
Ok extensive testing results in the following conclusions:

When given the order "move to contact" and "follow contact MD 5k Km"  1st Flight 4th Sqn (FAC) did the following:

Closed distance to  ~50k km, then stopped while "awaiting acknowledgment"  This is consitant with moving to the wolvers location and then the wolver moving away.
5 seconds later the 1-4 adopts a heading of 83° while the target maintains its new heading of 306°.
5 seconds later the 1-4 is moving at 9100 km/s at 83° while the target maintains its new heading of 306° still awaiting acknowledgment.
This continues till the order is acknowledged and then the 1-4 closes on target until it is trailing the target at 46k km and after several more 5 s intervals seems fixed.

2nd Flight 4th Sqd (FAC) did the same, except that I slowed it down so it didn't fly off into la-la land while waiting on its orders.  The 83° heading was the same as the 1-4 so there must be some reason it chose it...perhaps that is the heading to the mother ships, I have no idea or else...since they had standing orders it may be they were attempting to return to their escort positions on 7th SQN (currently "charging up at 1/3 the speed of the contact").

Sooo...I think it can be safely said that process is working.

The 46k km minium gap makes sense.   1-4 and 2-4 have officiers with intiatives of 155 and 145 this seem to mean they are moving first.  So they move to 5k km from the target and then the target move 8100*5 = 40.5k km away.  So total gap becomes 45.5k km.

I detached Starslayer 023 from 2-4 and gave it a CO with initiative 271 from my pool of un-used Lt. Cmdrs.  Yes cheating but that squadron only had one officer assigned while the other had 2 so it is fair and I basically let the program deal with jobs for lt. cmdrs.  Gave it oders to "follow contact MD 5k km"  what happened was exactly the same as above (including the 83° heading but that must be the escort order kicking in).  I also noticed while increasing the time step that 1-4 and 2-4 did the follow command with a greater gap, they were at 88k km under 2m and 30s time steps.  When I dropped to 5s time steps they closed the gap.  That explains the orignial 505k km gap I was observing and the gap was conistant over several time steps as well.

Starslayer 023 closed to 5k km and has been firing away for a few minutes in game.   24% chance to hit though....this will be a long fight given this is a wolver and so is likely an armoured brick.  The good news is that the laser fires every 5s and does 3 damage.   I hit per 5 shots*60 column of armour*8 rows; penetration of the armour around 1000 5 s turns, less due to overlap penetrations but still...this will be a LOOOONG fight.  I have to count on the RNGs tendency to produce correlated results to produce some armour gaps...though I expect I'll still srub away most of the armour before seeing significant internals.  If I get a luck engine hit and internal explosion...that will speed the process up.  Especially of if it means the other 5 FACs can close.

The issue was basically that if your chase ships don't have initiative they can't "run-em-down" unless your weapon outranges the minimum distance of target speed*5s + MD.

Thanks for the assistance/comments.  Often just people saying it works for them is quite helpful as it removes the worry something in the black box is messed up and gives a bit of moral support which is useful for sorting out where stuff is...not to mention that just writing this makes me put the problem through a more rigorous formalism then just clicking 5s turn advance and waiting a minute allows.
 
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Offline Detros

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Re: Running them down...How?
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2017, 06:32:16 AM »
Though according to Task Group Initiative: "Fleets/FGs move in ascending order of initiative", not descending. And, if your target is using INIT100, using INIT155 or INIT271 should not change the results.

 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Running them down...How?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2017, 07:23:46 AM »
Current status:
1-4: Inititive set to 155 does not close on target.
2-4: inititive set to 145 does not close on target.
Starslayer 23 initivitive set to 271 does close on target.

The target seperation of 46k km is held by both 1-4 and 2-4 and has been unchanged for over 30 5 second turns.

edited: removed the comment that the wiki was wrong as I'm fairly sure now the wiki is correct and the wolver has an initiative between 156 and 270.  The wording in the wiki could use improvement though.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 09:44:11 AM by Paul M »
 

Offline Detros

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Re: Running them down...How?
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2017, 08:50:48 AM »
Current status:
1-4: Inititive set to 155 does not close on target.
2-4: inititive set to 145 does not close on target.
Starslayer 23 initivitive set to 271 does close on target.
I would read that as 1-4 and 2-4 is moving first thus they move near and then the target moves away. Sraslayer on the other hand waits for the target to move and then goes to its new destination, thus closing in more consistently. I don't have any idea what initiative NPRs tend to use but if that Wolver has INIT rather around 200 (somewhere between 155 and 271), wouldn't it match the wiki description?

Try lowering Starslayer 23 initiative step by step (one step around 20? 30?) from 270 to 150 and see when it stops being good at closing on the target.
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Running them down...How?
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2017, 09:42:27 AM »
I misred the wiki, what I was trying to say was that to conistantly close with a target you need a CO with a high initiative, the two COs for 1-4 and 2-4 with 155 and 145 must be below the Wolver and so they move first then the wolver moves away.  271 is apparenly sufficiently high that the wolver moves first.

I don't have any desire to play with starslayer 23, the fight is going to be long enough.   

Worse is that even after I slow the wolver down the other ships will never be able to close the distance beyond the 5k + wolver_speed*5s due to the way things work.  Basically to keep them below 10k km I need to slow the wolver to around 1000 km/s.   I need to slow the wolver to 4000 km/s or so to engage (seperation will be 25k km and chance to hit likely 1%) at all.  But this is an artifact of the game system (present in Starfire as well)...
 

 

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