Author Topic: Are Carriers Better?  (Read 305 times)

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Offline BasileusMaximos

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Are Carriers Better?
« on: March 19, 2017, 08:32:05 PM »
How do large (100,000 ton) carriers stack up against rail/missile ships of similar size in combat? Are they more effective generally? I know that in Aurora specialization trumps generalization as far as ship roles go so I guess a ship which does both is out. 

« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 08:33:48 PM by BasileusMaximos »
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 10:08:10 PM »
The size doesn't really matter. Everything scales pretty much linearly past a certain point.

Otherwise...it depends on both sides sensor, missile, and engine technology.  If the fighters can strike without response, they win, with caveats about the enemy's missile defense.  If the fighters have to enter firing range to fire themselves, they lose.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 10:10:28 PM by TheDeadlyShoe »
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 01:29:51 AM »
I honestly do not understand most large carrier designs.  They are detectable from so much further away that it gives away the vector the fighters are coming in from.  Now there is a theory of carriers as pod launchers, where their fighters are basically fire control, box launcher and a small engine, and the carrier becomes a missile launcher capable of large volleys.  The fighters don't have to get in range or have any survivability because they are only targetable in the brief moments after launch and before they return to their mothership.

That kind of carrier you would want big in order to have proper defenses, because it would be expected to get into missile range.

But that kind of carrier is going to be more expensive than a missile ship, with a smaller number of launchers, its advantage is that it can reload much more efficiently.
 

Offline BasileusMaximos

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 01:50:21 AM »
Now there is a theory of carriers as pod launchers, where their fighters are basically fire control, box launcher and a small engine, and the carrier becomes a missile launcher capable of large volleys.
I didn't think there was any other kind of fighter (or rather strike craft as I call them). Trying to keeps things <500 tons is difficult.

I also hope that the newer version of Aurora will make it so missiles aren't the be-all-end-all in terms of pure combat efficiency.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 01:52:45 AM by BasileusMaximos »
 

Offline Gyrfalcon

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 02:11:36 AM »
Well, there's nothing saying that fighters have to travel straight from the carrier towards the target - it's well possible to come in at an angle against the target task force. That said, for fighting against the AI it doesn't matter one bit. Fighting between two human-controlled factions (and thus ones that might have anti missile escorts sweeping ahead of the main group), it might make a significant difference.
 

Offline baconholic

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 03:50:10 AM »
Short answer, NO.

Long answer, they are too expensive to build/support early game and it's not effective late game.

While most things scales linearly in Aurora, jump drives does not, it scales exponentially. Building a jump capable carrier or jump tender at early tech level is prohibitively expensive. Not having jump drives available will servery limit the power of your carriers.

Another thing that doesn't play well with large ship is maintenance facilities. For a fleet of 10 ships each 10,000 tons, you only need 10,000 tons of maintenance facility. For a fleet of 1 ship of 100,000 tons, you need 100,000 tons of maintenance facility. Although this is of lesser concern once you get to late game and will become a non-issue with the C# version.

The real downside to late game carrier build is that resolution 1 sensors can easily get into the 1 billion km range, which means even with the best cloaking tech, your fighters will have to fire their missiles before the 1 billion km mark. At that point, it's probably better to just use missile cruisers.
 

Offline BasileusMaximos

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2017, 07:38:20 PM »
So how about beams? Gotta be heavily armored and well protected with point defense and fast cause they have to get in close, but Goddamn if I don't love my Halo railguns.
 

Offline Gyrfalcon

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2017, 02:52:24 AM »
Tactically, beams are pretty much a terrible option. Unless you have a significant speed advantage over your opponent, you'll never be able to close with your opponent. Further, once you close within the missile's 5 second window (where from launch, it can hit your ship within 5 seconds), the ship's missiles become immune to anti-missile fire, aside from (I think) because the defense options require a 5 second pulse to be able to target the missiles. At that point, you're eating whatever size warheads they use, while still being well out of range of being able to return fire.
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2017, 07:03:24 AM »
However, if you have a massive beam advantage even with slower ships you can just roll over an NPR's homeworld or colonies.
" Why is this godforsaken hellhole worth dying for? "
". . .  We know nothing about them, their language, their history or what they look like.  But we can assume this.  They stand for everything we don't stand for.  Also they told me you guys look like dorks. "
"Stop exploding, you cowards.  "
 

Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2017, 07:06:54 AM »
The main advantage of large ships in general is that defenses ( shiels, armor, CIWS ) all scale better. This advantage is mostly wasted on strike Carriers which doctrine wise aim to operate outside the enemy range and hit them before they can launch back.
 

Offline Iranon

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2017, 01:39:19 PM »
Carriers can work well if you want extreme performance on the parasites that makes it impractical to give them the strategic range you require.

If extreme sacrifices are necessary to outrun an enemy that you can outrange with beam weapons, it's an option.
Very fast missile fighters that can keep up with their missiles render most PD ineffective, the required speed may necessitate carriers.
Note that this goes for offensive operations; you may equally well build such extreme ships for system defence and rely on more conservative designs for actions far from your major colonies.

For most craft that don't absolutely need extreme performance to function, giving the craft a decent mission life is usually more efficient than carting them around in a hangar.
 

Offline BasileusMaximos

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2017, 05:12:47 PM »
I feel like beams should have significantly longer ranges. I can understand missiles and ships not all having near-unlimited ranges due to their trans-newtonian physics making a mockery of Newton's laws so they can't just boost once with their engines and continue on until infinity.

However from my understanding the projectiles of railguns do not posses a transnewtonian engine so shouldn't be subject to these conditions. The only thing that should restrict their range is how advanced the fire control computer is at hitting a moving target millions of kilometers away with a non-target seeking projectile.

As it is the solution to everything seems to be "put a missile on it".
 

Online Detros

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2017, 05:45:56 PM »
However from my understanding the projectiles of railguns do not posses a transnewtonian engine so shouldn't be subject to these conditions.
There is an intended hard cap at 5 light secs as there is not enough of handwavium for any laser to get further in 5 seconds.
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2017, 07:01:02 PM »
It takes truely enormous amounts of handwavium to make anything but missiles the primary weapon in a quasi-realistic space setting.  (Or missile-like attacks, like kinetic strikes against immobile targets.)

The most amusing settings are those where missiles are ineffective but kamikaze fighters are the scariest things ever.

 

 

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