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Posted by: Starmantle
« on: January 16, 2018, 05:23:52 PM »

You could certainly have freighters and colony ships that are pulled by tugs and that's a fine and fun choice, but this is pitched more at people who don't do that and who instead just run one-piece freighters.

(I realize, though, that the word "module" might be causing people to miscue because sometimes people talk about tractor-payload vehicle combinations like that, which is cool.) 

The "module" in this case is just 1 HS of the ship.

And because we tend to run fleets of freighters all together, it cuts down on redundancy and gives you more field capabilities to rotate out what you're doing with those 50 tons, while not having to retool or create a whole new shipyard. 

But sure, I think it would be fun to run "tractor" freighters and throw in a single military tractor to the convoy.  I might have to try that and appreciate the suggestion!
Posted by: Jorgen_CAB
« on: January 16, 2018, 02:45:19 PM »

I always imagined cargo transport in space more like trains rather than trucks as it is right now. Each wagon would be a small module and you could then add more or less an unlimited number of modules. You could then add a number of engine section based on the speed you would like the whole thing to be transported in.

Transports would be completely automated, no point in a crew. I think you would rather send out a repair and support crew to the ship if something happens during its travel to its destination.
Posted by: TCD
« on: January 16, 2018, 10:03:20 AM »

If you're going to go with this approach wouldn't it make more sense to use a tug and cargo pod system? They you can have one tractor unit with your fancy sensors on, and 35 cargo pods in your "convoy". That would even allow you to add an armed military module for convoys through dangerous space?

Probably more realistic as well.

Of course you do have some extra micromanagement to deal with with towed ships.
Posted by: Starmantle
« on: January 15, 2018, 02:19:54 PM »

Freighters aren't all that exciting. If you're like me, you design them, run them mostly in big packs. Sometimes, I design them with no sensors or frills at all, and sometimes (occasionally for roleplay reasons because the shipping guilds want protection) I add one or more sensors like below.

Quote
Gemini class Freighter mod 1-R170 50 000 tons 255 Crew 1428.75 BP TCS 1000 TH 4050 EM 0 4050 km/s Armour 1-120 Shields 0-0 Sensors 1/1/0/0 Damage Control Rating 1 PPV 0 MSP 18 Max Repair 101.25 MSP Intended Deployment Time: 24 months Spare Berths 1
Cargo 25000 Cargo Handling Multiplier 20

450 EP Commercial Internal Fusion Drive (9) Power 450 Fuel Use 2.72% Signature 450 Exp 4% Fuel Capacity 805 000 Litres Range 106.5 billion km (304 days at full power)

Active Search Sensor MR65-R170 (1) GPS 6120 Range 65.7m km Resolution 170

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

But then you have to deal with the idea that you're running 36 freighters all in a pack and they all have the same sensor, where one or two would have done.

When I'm feeling extra-detail oriented, I make slightly different versions of my freighters with different modules to get more functionality for the same cost. The above ship is Mod 1-R170, which means that it carries a sensor designed to spot a certain class of alien destroyer that my shipping guild is especially fearful of.

But here are some other mods:
  • Mod 2-R100 - Res 100 sensor for detecting frigates
  • Mod 3-R1 - Small target sensors for fighters and missiles
  • Mod 4-TH - Thermal sensor
  • Mod 5-EM - EM sensor
  • Mod 6-EXT - Extra fuel pod
  • Mod 7-Res - Rescue station for 100 life pods
  • Mod 8-Ecn - Economy (no module and slightly cheaper)

It's a little fidgety, and I know you can stretch this principle much farther, but it's a fun detail to think through.

Cross-posted to /r/Aurora4x on Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/aurora4x/comments/7pigor/freighter_modules/

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