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Posted by: Jorgen_CAB
« on: November 13, 2019, 08:36:07 PM »

Most scout cruisers/science vessels can usually have hangars and provide their own scouts, geo survey shuttles or probes. So it really does not matter.

These ships also fill a dual purpose role and can be recalled for active duty in the military as advance scouts as well as provide the majority of front survey work on their own.

It does not require a military for support and the only thing it usually then have available is a refuel/supply group tasked with providing logistical support for the survey cruisers with fuel, supply and probes as they need them. But a single support group can usually service several cruisers operating on their own each in a their own systems several systems away.

I'm not saying your way is bad by any means... just that I don't believe for a second it is more efficient as you need to factor in more than just build points, fuel usage and all that. Time is one factor as is strategic use of the resource in more than one operating field as situations change.

I also don't just use one way of doing this... an efficient and useful survey fleet and doctrine develop over time. Different factions might adopt different doctrinal way of doing it that suits them better depending on availability of yardspace, logistical needs and overall strategical goals. This is not that simple in a rather complicated set of conditions and a diplomatic jungle.
Posted by: Michael Sandy
« on: November 13, 2019, 02:46:37 PM »

Scout ships are less likely to get eaten. First off, they are smaller, so they are more likely to detect enemy anti-ship sensors before they themselves can be targeted.  Second, depending on whether they are fully independent long ranged scouts (60+ billion km range), or parasite scouts with boosted engines, they may be able to outrun the enemy. 

One of my favorite scout classes is an 80 ton ship that is a 1 HS boosted engine, 10,000 liters of fuel, and a .1 HS active sensor.  Very fast, decent range for their speed.  And cheap enough to have several on a survey support carrier.

I RP it that the scout crews get rewarded for their huge risks by insider trading on knowledge of what systems and bodies are likely to become economically viable colonies.  They take huge risks, and their stories get huge coverage.  The jobs of grav and geo survey are much more methodical, less glamorous, and less risky.

Adventure is for the fleet scouts that have 50% of their mass in max boosted engines.  A scout flight could have an active sensor variant and an EM variant, which probe an enemy for months, finding out how they react.  The enemy gets used to chasing off the scouts, not knowing that THIS chase gets them way out of supporting range from their planet, and they get drawn into an ambush.  Adventure is the scout crew looking hungrily at the large flotilla chasing them, knowing they get a share in the salvage to come.  "Come along, little fishy who doesn't know they are a little fishy!"
Posted by: Father Tim
« on: November 12, 2019, 04:37:05 PM »

Most of the cost of a Survey Cruiser (10,000+ tons) is all that other stuff.  If I have, say, one military shipyard, I can leave it building surveyors forever and only retool when tech advances make it worthwhile.

Why anyone would spend more than five or six clicks on targetted survey I can't understand.  Check out the habitable real estate, sure, but for everything else there's default orders "Survey next location" and "Survey next 5 bodies".

Building each type of ship in a dedicated yard does promote a little bloat, but I find it much more satisfying to produce one surveyor every fifteen months, and two destroyers a year plus a destroyer leader every two-and-a-half years, and a six-turreted heavy cruiser every forty-two months, etc., rather than a 'flight' of twenty feighters, then five tugs, then six asteroid miners, etc.

An exploration ship like the Beagle going off on a five-year mission to map the stars is an adventure!  Dozens of speedboat-equivalents running around stellar backwaters is paperwork.  If you're willing to let your scout ships get eaten rather than giving a survey cruiser the armour to move in a nebula, the engines & fuel to run away, and the point defense to handle six-missile salvoes from hostile Bug-Eyed Monsters, well, that's a very different philosophy than I go with.
Posted by: Jorgen_CAB
« on: November 12, 2019, 04:16:48 PM »

On the other hand you can design a science vessel to be able to go by themselves and enough equipment to survive an encounter. That way you can survey gravitational points and new systems allot faster. These ships can also double as military scouts when needed in a war.

In most of my play-throughs I would not loose many survey cruisers that way unless they come up against something way more advanced than themselves, but in that case even a small military escort might get smoked as well. These ships are not that expensive either, around the cost of a regular frigate scout.

The initial survey cruisers would only survey some planets depending on the type of system. The point being for strategical reasons.

After this unarmed commercial GEO survey ships would take over and survey systems as I want to start exploiting them once they are secured and beacons dropped at all warp points.

There are little reason to completely survey every system all the time immediately. I tend to completely concentrating on GRAV survey to map the surrounding so I can plan my colonies and need for the infrastructure. Finding worlds to colonise, fuel sources to harvest or mineral rich planets with large reserves at decent accessibility is priority.

Keeping a dedicated GEO ship following along does not make allot of sense. I often end up putting a small GEO surveyor in a hangar on the exploration cruiser to survey some close by planets as the cruiser survey the system.

I also find that small ships tend to be rather slow so I rather build them with big fuel efficient engines and put a few GRAV sensors on them and perhaps then one GEO sensor or a shuttle with a GEO sensor. This means that the ship is fast and very fuel efficient, they also easily can fit a bit more sensory systems without compromising fuel economy that much. Some survey cruiser can be like 50-70% engines at times depending on technology level and what other system I want on there.

Early GRAV surveyors often are allot smaller (while a naval yard is growing) and I always survey like there are NO threats out there until I find a threat. The people making the decisions don't really expect dangerous aliens out there until they actually find any...  ;) ...I hardly have a military until there is a real need for one either for the same reasons.

Using build points and cost is often a very bad way of reason as that does not say if a bigger cost with yield a bigger return down the line. The cost of increasing the size of a yard also mean little as a yard can be used for other things down the line. You are not going to continually churn out survey ships all the time.

In C# you will make them all military anyway and small engines will not be very fuel efficient any more, so you will want bigger surveyors going forward. It is also easier to exploit good commanders for survey bonuses on bigger more capable ships in C# as well. These ships will survey much faster than several small ships.
Posted by: Michael Sandy
« on: November 12, 2019, 03:29:58 PM »

Most of the cost of a survey boat (800-1000 ton survey ship) is going to be its sensor.  If I have, say, 1600 BP to put into survey ships, I can have 10 geo and grav survey boats, or 5 combined geo and grav ships.

If I have limited shipyards, I would MUCH prefer to retool a 1000 ton naval shipyard for grav survey, or a 10,000 ton commercial shipyard for the geo survey, than have to retool a 5000 ton naval shipyard.

The argument that a combined ship is more efficient in terms of clicks, that I can understand.

Building my geo survey ships in a commercial yard does promote a little bloat.  I tend to put extra fuel tanks and military jump engines on my second generation geo survey ships.  That way, if they run out of stuff to survey, at least they can provide survey support to the grav survey ships.  My grav survey flotillas tend to be a minimum of 4 survey boats with a survey support carrier to drop off jump point surveillance and carry a flag bridge.  My geo survey ships are more often operating independently after a system has been thoroughly scouted.

Which is probably the core issue.  Scouting every moon and planet involves so many clicks that managing survey assets is a minor load by comparison.  If you are scouting by having your survey ships get eaten, well, that is a very different philosophy than I go with.
Posted by: Father Tim
« on: November 12, 2019, 01:03:25 PM »

This is rocket science!  Well, no, you're right.  We don't use Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation, so technically it's not rocket science, it's pretend-spaceship-science.

- - - -

You're choosing a very narrow definition of 'efficiency' -- per sensor -- and using circular reasoning to declare separate types better.  If I have a 5000 ton (grav only) surveyor and stick 500 tons of geo sensor & overhead on it, I now have one ship that is better than one single-type surveyor.  If you want to argue that twenty such ships are 'less efficient' than eleven each of single-type 5000 ton ships, you need to demonstrate 91% efficiency with split types.  Because we're defining 'efficiency' by hull spaces.  We can also define it by cost, by minerals, by number of ships, by crew. . .

If we limit the empire to 100 survey ships, then 100 combined surveyors are better than 50 grav only and 50 geo only.  That's the logocal fallacy behind your claims of innumeracy -- you're comparing one 5000-ton geo ship plus one 5000-ton grav ship to one 10,000 ton combined ship.

I suspect the vast majority of Aurora players care most about time -- as long as they don't break the bank of money, minerals, or crew in the process.  Which means if an empire can make all their surveyors both geo and grav for an extra 5-10% cost (whether we're defining 'cost' as wealth, minerals, crew, or all of the above) per ship, the eighteen or nineteen combined surveyors are "more efficient" than ten geo and ten grav.
Posted by: misanthropope
« on: November 12, 2019, 08:41:40 AM »

good lord, this isn't rocket science, people. 

jorgen, you don't have to be able to calculate distributions, just estimate them well enough to be confident which one has a higher expected value, which is in many cases quite easy.  allow me to demonstrate.

father_tim.  one of your ships is only slightly inferior to having a dedicated geo ship and a dedicated grav ship duct taped together.  if your ship is operating 100% of the time, that isn't 100% usage, that's 50% usage.  my worst case is having a fraction of my geo ships doing some busywork, like surveying asteroids in a system with no colony site, and that amounts to something like 85% usage on primary tasks.  my average case is nearly twice as good as your best case.  a perfectly valid argument can be made that the absolute gains aren't worth the QoL hit, but the efficiency argument is innumerate.
Posted by: Jorgen_CAB
« on: November 12, 2019, 01:43:31 AM »

I am at a loss as to how people can think putting both geo and grav sensors on a ship could be more efficient.

Consider a dummy system that masses 5 HS and costs 100 BP.  If you put it on a dedicated grav survey ship, it will move slower and cost more.  A ship that is grav surveying can't also geo survey, and vice versa.  All the time that a ship is doing one task, the other survey equipment is dead weight.

The extra cost in shipyards, retooling costs and time might very well be enough of a factor to make it worth the hassle of some few extra fuel costs for "dead weight".

Using a single ship for many things is a strategic consideration and not about mathematical efficiency in one single instance.

Let's say you run an exploration vessel that also incorporate sensors and a small hangar with possibility of either some scouting vessel or perhaps a GEO survey shuttle. the point being that the ship are suppose to operate on it's own for an extended period of time.

One ships role are basically to do the grav survey and only geo survey any interesting terrestrial or potential fuelling spots, any dedicated geo survey will come much later if you deem it interesting. You are NEVER going to be able to exploit things in the same pace you can survey new space anyway so no real need to keep pace with the geo survey entire systems anyway, just the most interesting stuff. In these cases geo surveys are done much quicker than grav survey so having a dedicated ship for that (outside s shuttle) are probably pointless and a waste of fuel for the time being.

The point is to find the good strategically important systems and plan your general infrastructure, where to build the gates and where to send your real geo surveys and survey teams later.

Bringing a whole fleet for the purpose of scouting is also dead weight if one ship can find and potentially detect and avoid an enemy given they have the tools they need. It also means these ships can be drafted into military scouting when the times comes.

Any military ship that is not out doing military stuff is also dead weight in much the same way. So it certainly is not dead weight to bring along sensor equipment and weapons either.

There are allot more to consider than pure ship for ship cost for ONE specific purpose, the same goes for every ship that you create. The possibility of ships to multi-purpose in many roles simply make your strategic decisions far more flexible and overall less resource and time sensitive.

The only way a ship dedicated for one purpose make sense is if they can do that one thing none stop without wasting time moving about too much. In some cases I would agree a single purpose grav or geo survey vessels make sense too. But if your intention is not to geo survey every body in every system you encounter all the time it makes less sense to send more than one ship. You are never going to perfectly time when a grav or geo survey finish in synch anyway either.

So... calculating efficiency is almost impossible as it all depends on the situation and doctrines.
Posted by: Father Tim
« on: November 11, 2019, 09:46:31 PM »

Whereas I know my survey cruisers are going to spend their service lives surveying.  When I dispatch one through a jump point, I know it's going to spend however long it takes to completely survey the ground & space in that system, report back all it's findings, and proceed through the next jump point.  Repeat.

When it runs low on fuel, and maintenance, and crew morale (all at the same time, if I've done my job right desigining it), it's going to come home to rest, refuel, & refit before heading out along a different warp chain.

I know I'm not going to be stuck with a geo fleet doing nothing because it's in the wrong system, or because the new system is a starless nexus, or because a grav surveyer was lost with all hands and now there are no unsurveyed bodies left in my empire.
Posted by: misanthropope
« on: November 11, 2019, 09:10:29 PM »

when i assign a ship to grav survey, i know it is going to be doing grav survey every moment of the rest of its life.  i operate on big expansions at regular (predetermined) intervals.  so my grav ships don't have any time for a secondary role.  my geo do, as that work is a lot more irregular, but there's no value in the side hustle being grav survey.

generally speaking, though, overexpanding is a real thing in aurora (as opposed to starfire) so your survey fleets tend to be quite modest, meaning the "value per click" of specializing isn't substantial.
Posted by: tobijon
« on: November 11, 2019, 04:26:21 PM »

To me its a question of technology, in early game, when your fuel efficiency is low youre dragging a lot of extra weight around by putting an extra sensor in since you can only use one at a time. By the time you have researched 0.2 power modifier and 0.5 fuel consumption, fuel consumption is so low an extra 300 tons doesnt matter anymore so you can combine them in one ship. Its still less efficient though.
Posted by: Steve Walmsley
« on: November 11, 2019, 03:50:49 AM »

I used to be in the separate ships camp. Over time, mainly through experimenting with different design philosophies for different races in campaigns. I've moved into the combined camp.

I'm not positive its economically more efficient - that depends on the amount of work available for geo and grav sensors - but it is definitely far more convenient.
Posted by: Father Tim
« on: November 11, 2019, 12:26:47 AM »

The same way people can think putting them on separate ships could be more efficient. . . by making assumptions.

Consider a dummy ship, that masses 100 hull spaces and costs 2,000 BP.  If you send it all round your empire following a combined survey cruiser, it will burn a lot of fuel and cost money.  A geo-only ship that isn't surveying and isn't moving to the next location is dead weight.

- - - - -

If it consistently takes 30 days to geo survey everything, and 55 days to grav survey everything, that's a lot time a dedicated geo-survey ship isn't doing anything.  If you separate your fleets and assign jump support to move your geo ships independently 'round the map, that's a LOT of player brain-power spent managing logistics.

Put geo sensors on my grav-only survey cruisers (if I built such a thing) and I don't even have to change the jump drive it's such a small size increase.  Bring an entire second ship, and now I need a second self-only jump drive, or a larger squadron drive.

Unless your ship is 50% survey sensors -- such as the fighter or FAC survey swarms carried by jumping motherships -- you save a massive amount of space, materiel, fuel, money & time by building 115% of a combined surveyor instead of 2x100% of dedicated ships.
Posted by: Michael Sandy
« on: November 10, 2019, 09:44:48 PM »

I am at a loss as to how people can think putting both geo and grav sensors on a ship could be more efficient.

Consider a dummy system that masses 5 HS and costs 100 BP.  If you put it on a dedicated grav survey ship, it will move slower and cost more.  A ship that is grav surveying can't also geo survey, and vice versa.  All the time that a ship is doing one task, the other survey equipment is dead weight.
Posted by: Garfunkel
« on: November 08, 2019, 11:58:11 AM »

Having re-read this old thread,it struck me that having A Geological Survey Sensor and a Gravitational Survey Sensor on one ship was cheaper than building two ships each sporting one sensor (or even two of them). That's double the engines, double the fuel, double the life support, double the armor, etc. It really only makes sense if your using FACs or Fighters and can hangar them, since you build the big expensive carrier once, then deploy the minions as needed; allowing ease of mix and match to suit the mission at hand. The carriers also carry some inherent military value.
The reason why most people separated the two is that Geological Survey Sensors are a commercial component whereas Gravitational Survey Sensor is a military component. So it was very much possible and recommended to build a commercial GeoSurveyor that didn't have to worry about maintenance, and a streamlined GravSurveyor that would return to maintenance facilities every 2 years.
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