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Messages - Michael Sandy

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Spoilers / diplomacy with Precursors
« on: Yesterday at 02:41:15 AM »
I got to open communications with the Precursors.  Conveniently, that changes the name in the database to the Precursors.  Haven't been able to move diplomatic relations further to the positive.  I have a couple espionage teams on one of their outposts without any complaints or results.

I am not sure if they ever detected by 250 ton scout on actives, but their outpost should have detected it on passives since it orbited their outpost.  I am torn, they haven't done anything hostile, but I don't know what will provoke them at this point.  So for now, I am exploring on other chains.  I will prob use missile drones to survey their outposts.

I expect I will attack them at some point, but there is a minor difficulty:
Unlike games where they attack my scouting and survey forces, I won't have a way of determining either the number of armed ships in the system or what they are armed with.  All I know about is one active sensor, and the speed of one ship that was able to track that active sensor.

The very first grav survey point in a system revealed two jump points.  Very convenient having 3 jump points very close together.

The Academy / Re: Conventional Start Tech choices
« on: October 17, 2017, 06:33:16 PM »
One of the things I do in a conventional start is create a whole bunch of dummy task forces.  I put officers with ranks in Diplomacy in the Communications slots, and officers with Communications in Public affairs, so that I can get a Diplomacy team which has combined Communications/Diplomacy about 60, to make a good first contact team.

This also helps train up good survey officers before they are needed.

Discovered something amusing.  My carrier survey ships, with 3 grav survey fighters on board, each with officers, sometimes results in those officers gaining 1/3 of a point in survey. I will probably not bother with giving them survey officers after a while, but while I have enough I will use them.

Having good logistics officers can greatly speed the development of the Luna colony, as most of the time in shipping for that is loading and unloading.  A 50% task force logistics officer and a 50% ship officer reduces load time a lot.

The Academy / Re: Best commanders, administrators
« on: October 17, 2017, 06:24:15 PM »
What exactly does Intelligence do?  What information do you get from it, and how often does it check?

The Academy / Re: Conventional Start Tech choices
« on: October 17, 2017, 01:23:55 AM »
By having the jump point monitors carried by the Grav Survey Carrier, it is often a very short trip for the surveying carrier to go to the newly discovered jump point and place a Long Watch.  It is a very nice synergy, in my opinion.

My fleet doctrine is going to have a hangar on every ship.  That way, I won't need separate variants for sensors or point defense.  I will have sensor pod 'fighters'.  Until I am several tiers up in sensors, I do not expect to build any sensor system larger than 9 HS.  I don't see the point until the cost for researching the system would be less than researching a new tier.

If something eats a survey ship, I like the idea of his fellow survey ships coming back loaded with the most recently developed tech in their fighters.

I have also revised my scouting doctrine.  Because my scout pinnaces rely on close range and basic sensors to spot sensors, populations, they can often miss small pops (like Precursors) if the subpulse is too high.  So either I have to send the scouting orders one planet at a time, or more likely, when doing moon flybys, set the subpulse very low.

Bureau of Ship Design / Re: tractor abuse
« on: October 17, 2017, 12:22:56 AM »
True.  But it would be great for moving terraforming stations, each that has their own tractor.  So one tractor force could move the entire terraforming force all at once, very fast, thereby wasting very little terraforming time.

Might be amusing to have strategic mobility this way, a whole bunch of driveless carriers with tractors and a commercial tanker or two in the mess, be a heck of a fast response option.

Aurora Chat / Re: What's going on in your empire/planet/battlefield?
« on: October 17, 2017, 12:04:00 AM »
I decided to have this conventional start game have two ruins in Sol, just to see how it changed things for me.

Had an amusing situation where I had JUST started research on my first missile, a geo survey buoy, and I get an ordnance factory from the ruins.

The big difference in my game so far is that I pushed for troop transports and construction brigades way earlier than I normally would, and will have a lot more of them when I first push out new colonies.  Should make establishing PDC carrier bases easy, even in systems with nothing easy to colonize.

The Academy / Re: Conventional Start Tech choices
« on: October 16, 2017, 06:12:01 PM »
Littlewolf, I RP it as an automated station that is deployed from a Boat Bay/Hangar.  Since life support and research centers both use Mercassium, I RP it that it is a material that is also used in computers somehow.

Or a brain in a box scenario, where a dying person transfers their consciousness.  I figure there are some people who wouldn't mind living in a box if they had a good enough Internet connection/library and the time to use it.

The Academy / Re: Conventional Start Tech choices
« on: October 16, 2017, 05:08:21 AM »
I figure with a Long Watch on either side of all jump points, I will at least see someone with active sensors approaching the Jump Point on the passive EM.  I might miss it if the subpulses are too long.

I may also back them up with active sensor buoys, on the theory that if my gates are crashed, I want to get information about the size of the enemy ships.

The biggest cost to any sensor network is the cost in time for the deploying ship, and the time the player has to spend on it.  Long Watches take very little research, or refitting, and I generally rename the Long Watch task groups into the name of the specific Jump Point they are set to.  Makes it easy when checking a system to see if I have watches on all jump points.

The Academy / Re: Conventional Start Tech choices
« on: October 15, 2017, 10:00:38 PM »
'''JPM Long Watch class Sensor Platform    15 tons     1 Crew     2.6 BP      TCS 0.3  TH 0  EM 0
1 km/s     Armour 1-0     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 0
MSP 0    AFR 3%    IFR 0%    Max Repair 6 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 600 months    Spare Berths 0   

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes'''

Hope that formats right.  High density duranium is the only tech needed to build, and Boat Bay is the only tech needed to get them deployed.  You can build them with just duranium, but it will be bigger.

15 tons corresponds to 6 MSP in size, so it should be as hard to see as a missile.  I also had a 10 year endurance design at 10 tons.

Bureau of Ship Design / tractor abuse
« on: October 15, 2017, 03:38:30 AM »
There was a really distant binary that I wanted to explore, for completeness, and I came up with an abusive way to get there.

2 ships with 1 size 50 HS maximum boosted engine, tractor, large fuel tank, enough engineering systems to fix an engine mishap.
1 commercial ship with large fuel tank and tractor
1 carrier, large enough to hold the aforementioned tugs, no engines, lots of engineering systems, and a tractor
1 commercial jump drive ship, tractor, and lots of fuel tanks, big enough to jump the carrier.

I call it a push me-pull you.

One military tug is always in the carrier, not advancing its maintenance clock.  It tugs the commercial relay tug, so you have a tug pair of roughly 100 HS (80 HS military tug, 20 HS relay tug) setting the speed of the whole squadron.

I figure you could get this to about 15k with magnetoplasma, maybe a bit higher.  You could theoretically move a whole fleet of commercial engined or engineless ships this way, if every component has a tractor.  It is silly, and cheating, but I thought it was an amusing idea.

The Academy / Conventional Start Tech choices
« on: October 15, 2017, 03:22:04 AM »
A lot of people talk about waiting to explore or build a military until Ion drives or MP.  Which makes sense, because you probably want at least the 10k Construction techs researched before going for the approx 15k worth of techs needed to get jump drives and surveying.

But I like to get geo survey done early, so the civilians can start popping mines for me.

I made a mistake in my last start.  Get cargo handling before you get the civilian economy going.  As a result of not doing that, I have a lot of civilian ships without cargo handling.  They are fine for longer haul, I suppose, but it is still a bit inconvenient.

My theory is to be as cheap as possible in terms of the necessary techs to get started on surveying.  Boat bays instead of going all the way to hangars.  I would feel differently if I had a decent Logistics scientist.

So small engineering bay, which is vital to my scouting pinnace strategy.  Efficiency 5 jump engines, so I can have a 250 ton pinnace design, and a 500 ton EM sensor equipped longer endurance version.

Then I shift almost completely to construction techs, (and improved command and control), to improve my economy.  So I will be exploring on a shoestring, scouting carefully, dropping 15 ton Long Watch satellites (50 year endurance) at all jump points, because my Grav survey ships are actually carriers.  Theory is I want a cheap jump point watch that doesn't take much room to store.  And microfighters compare well to sensor missiles, and don't require launcher overhead in terms of how many you can carry.

Theory is to build somewhat more carriers than I have grav sensor pods to put in them, and just cycle the carriers in for maintenance and shore leave when a new carrier comes available to take the survey pods.

While I am researching construction techs up to the 20k or 40k level, I have scientists in all the major categories with 1 research lab, to try and get their skills up.

My long term plans is have a continually expanding civilian ship yard to get to very large size, to eventually build Terraforming Module ships, either making them engineless and also build a large tug design, or cheese it with two small tugs in a tractor chain.  Once I have a large enough Terraforming fleet, I can switch it over to making asteroid mining ships, I suppose.  Because there will be extrasolar high availability rocks that won't ever become civilian mining complexes.

Last game, I wanted to have missile sensor buoys at all jump points, but the tech available for that was so much after my survey techs that I had 40 systems scouted before I started.  This way, I can put the long endurance 'fighters' in the leftover space in the boat bays and later hangars.  And I know the grav survey ships are going to be going through every jump point I encounter eventually, so they make a great candidate.

This also meant that I could build a couple fighter factories early, and pre-build a large number of Long Watch satellites, keeping them employed until I got the techs to build grav survey pods and pinnaces with my fighter factories.

So that is my conventional start tech theory, what are your approaches?

Mechanics / Re: What's the cargo cost of ship components?
« on: October 13, 2017, 03:53:59 PM »
Keep in mind that you can not put components in SMALL cargo holds at all, only standard holds.

On the general subject, I use civilian shipping for a lot of stuff, so I keep track of the exceptions.

You can't ship Ground Force Training Facilities, components, PDC parts, tracking stations (I think, not 100% sure), salvaged tech points through the civilians.  And you can't ship fuel directly either, but you can let the civilians build fuel harvesters, merge them into a task group, suck the fuel out of them, and destroy them so you can scrap their wrecks.

So I plan my commercial ship building around what I can not do with civilians.

The Academy / Best commanders, administrators
« on: October 13, 2017, 06:28:11 AM »
So, 20 years into a conventional start, I see a report that one of my officers hit 75% fighter combat bonus...

And my planetary governor is not bad with 35% shipyard, 35% factory, and 25% mining, with a small amount of wealth bonus and pop growth bonus as well.  Not the best I have had, but pretty good for this early in the game.

What is the highest bonus to a scientist you have seen?  60%, 65% seem about the top I get.  I think I saw a 70% once.

Aurora Chat / Re: What's going on in your empire/planet/battlefield?
« on: October 11, 2017, 03:52:39 PM »
As far as I can tell, civilian mining complexes only show up on uncolonized sites with .8 Sorium or Duranium or better.  I have had beautiful rocks with .7 duranium in huge quantities and lots of other stuff, but the damn civilians were too picky for it.

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