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Posted by: L0ckAndL0ad
« on: November 07, 2019, 11:50:03 AM »

Uhm, yeah, I'm going to need to watch out for mineral spending better now. Thank you for optimization the tips.

The biggest problem right now for me is figuring out the mineral balance for all the sources. The way Aurora tracks and displays minerals separately for each colony makes me simply ignore it for the most part and keep an eye on the overall balance on Earth, where the maintenance bases and shipyards are. Well, this is how I got into this situation really. And that's considering that I only have a few mining colonies, compared to what I've seen others manage...

Another thing to think about is what ships I keep in active fleet. They also require minerals to maintain, and that may not be the most cost effective things due to change in technologies.

Actually, I find the tech jumps to be so significant between the tech levels that all the older stuff becomes obsolete every 5-10 years. Obviously, the further I advance the slower it gets, but still, the difference between tech levels is just too big to ignore it.
Posted by: misanthropope
« on: November 07, 2019, 10:19:45 AM »

at the speeds you've specced, you can shave about 25% off your gallicite expenditure (at the same aggregate "mission tonnage") by going with commercial engines.  there are lots of secondary trade-offs, though i regard them as on balance favoring low-power engines. 

maybe i've eyeballed your ships wrong (not so much time for aurora these days) but i think they're 25% (by volume) made of 1.0 power engines?

for sheer gallicite minimization (ignoring all the secondary effects) your optimal power ratio is a nice simple 2F, where F is (speed spec)/(engine tech "nominal" speed);   5000 kkps using internal fusion (nominal speed = 20000 kkps) gets you a target power of .5.  you can improve with a little twiddling but i personally don't find the extra tinkering to be fun or very profitable, so "50% of weight= engine DONE".  nb my formula breaks down if F isn't below .4 or so; for fast but not extravagantly fast ships usually there is another local max around mult 1.25. 

gallicite crunch is just about the easiest crisis to inflict on yourself, and they LINGER, are existential threats, and worst of all are *boring* because you just sit there for years unable to build your ships (ahem).  after about the second time a campaign died that way i got really obsessive about gallicite as the end-all be-all of fleet management.
Posted by: L0ckAndL0ad
« on: November 06, 2019, 01:36:01 PM »

August 27, Year 64

Gallicite is at 2000 units on Earth, and slowly growing. Uridium and Tritanium are at 15 and 30 thousand respectively, and doing somewhat better. All the construction of new generation of ships was stopped and still never continued due to this shortage. There's not that much I can do about it for a while.

CV Enterprise stopped training its fighter group and is pretty much ready to sortie out at moment's notice.

Our spies have stolen two MAJ ship blueprints. Both ship classes I already encountered. Tromp (now called Gathis) was a Jump Destroyer Escort, of which I destroyed 3 ships. Beastjuggler (Milamber now) is indeed a civilian freighter.

Gathis looks really underwhelming.
Off-Topic: show

Milamber class Freighter    31 500 tons     83 Crew     295.5 BP      TCS 630  TH 250  EM 0
396 km/s     Armour 1-88     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
MSP 6    Max Repair 15.625 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Spare Berths 0   
Cargo 25000    Cargo Handling Multiplier 10   

62.5 EP Commercial Nuclear Thermal Engine (4)    Power 62.5    Fuel Use 13.26%    Signature 62.5    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 150 000 Litres    Range 6.5 billion km   (188 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gathis class Jump Destroyer Escort    9 600 tons     281 Crew     812 BP      TCS 192  TH 275  EM 0
1432 km/s    JR 3-50     Armour 2-40     Shields 0-0     Sensors 5/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 4     PPV 41.4
Maint Life 1.61 Years     MSP 211    AFR 184%    IFR 2.6%    1YR 95    5YR 1422    Max Repair 183 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 6 months    Spare Berths 2   

J9750(3-50) Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 9750 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
25 EP Nuclear Thermal Engine (11)    Power 25    Fuel Use 95%    Signature 25    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 400 000 Litres    Range 7.9 billion km   (63 days at full power)

Twin 10cm C1 Infrared Laser Turret (5x2)    Range 20 000km     TS: 5000 km/s     Power 6-2     RM 1    ROF 15        3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Fire Control S02 10-5000 (1)    Max Range: 20 000 km   TS: 5000 km/s     50 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Pressurised Water Reactor PB-1 (5)     Total Power Output 10    Armour 0    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor MR4-R1 (1)     GPS 90     Range 4.5m km    MCR 490k km    Resolution 1
Thermal Sensor TH1-5 (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  5m km

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

Current diplo rating with MAJ on my side: -716. There's been no contacts with them. They still don't know where the Earth is. And that's good.
Posted by: L0ckAndL0ad
« on: October 13, 2019, 01:50:34 PM »

June 17, Year 62

Not much to write about. Enterprise received its last batch of new generation fighters and began TF training. However, due to mineral shortage none of the 4th Gen warships are complete yet. All stuck between 49-79% completion. Gallicite supply starts growing into positive numbers, but it's gonna take years for the ships to finish construction, let alone building a decent mineral reserve.

In other news, 2nd Grav Survey Squadron found a new entry into MAJ system HIP 21932 (the one I recently visited with CVL Ranger). Fortunately, the jump point leads into the same system I came from, so it changes little in strategic sense. Well, not exactly... It can be used for a quick assault on HIP 21932 planetary system, because it comes out @ 182m km away from HIP 21932's sun. I'll keep looking for other ways MAJ can get into Union space, but it's now trickier due to unfortunate demise of the entire 1st Grav Survey Squadron.

Oh, also, a great thing happened. First civilian Union colony outside of Sol was established on Bernards Star A-III. Total mineral count there is 357 mil, but only Duranium and Boronide are decently accessible (1 and 0.4 acc respectively). I love civilian colonies! I will gladly keep paying civilians to mine. Capitalism at its finest.

ADDED:

Right... I conveniently forgot to report you that I accidentally spaced 30 MAJ POWs, while trying to relocate their hibernation capsules. It is totally not a war crime. Well, I do have ample supply of study material for autopsies now... :(
Posted by: L0ckAndL0ad
« on: October 05, 2019, 03:22:25 PM »

As I was busy, I had time to think...

Political statements

  • United Systems recognizes MAJ's right to defend its borders and colonies, even in such an uncivilized way.
  • United Systems should not resort to any sorts of blockages against neutral or friendly nations, even if this policy is enacted and enforced unilaterally.
  • Military options, both offensive and defensive, should only be used against nations/entities that show hostile intent or act aggressively against United Systems, its allies or neutral third parties, as deemed necessary, according to the scale of the threat.
  • United Systems will cease offensive acts in MAJ space and will assume defensive posture to allow diplomats resolve the conflict.
  • United Systems reserves the right to monitor activities in MAJ space and around MAJ borders in a civilized manner, even under threat of violence, to ensure safety of its citizens.
  • United Systems would not, under any circumstances, seek to harm civilian population and shipping of MAJ or any other nation/entity and will make its best effort to identify them as such.

Therefore:

  • United Systems diplomats should seek making peace with MAJ.
  • As long as the relations between our nations remains hostile, USN should back away from MAJ's borders and not attack any ships unless fired upon (or shown intent to do so), to allow peaceful resolution of the conflict, but still continue monitoring the activities on the border to prevent any offensive action that can be undertaken by MAJ.
  • "The red line" of the defensive blockade should be moved away from MAJ's borders as far as USN would consider comfortable while ensuring safety of United Systems ships and colonies.
  • If this conflict can be resolved peacefully, trade treaties between nations (and construction of jump gate networks) will be considered.

ps: If only I could trade minerals....
Posted by: Garfunkel
« on: October 01, 2019, 11:53:58 AM »

Nice going.
Posted by: L0ckAndL0ad
« on: September 26, 2019, 01:44:58 PM »

August 24, Year 61

TG 1.1 Ranger heading home

I decided to use older ASM-41s against Echo 4. Newer missiles are more precious.

1st salvo of VA-51... failed to connect with the target. Being launched from 45m km away, it ran out of fuel before reaching the enemy. 50m km max range + target moves in the opposite direction = wasted missile salvo. Ughh....

Next salvo destroyed two ships immediately. Successful re-targeting allowed ASMs to blow up a third vessel.

Third and the last salvo... Mmm... Well, let's say it went better than expected. Remaining 4 ships of Echo 4 group had only 1 layer of armor and no AMM capability. I came up with an idea to spread the damage around (8 missiles per target), to be able to finish any remaining stragglers with R-fighters. Third salvo destroyed two ships and heavily damaged the last two. Both survivors stopped emitting active sensors and slowed down to 700-1000 km/s. VF-51 closed in and finished them off quickly and efficiently.

After that, CVL Ranger and its escorts set course to JP, heading home.

Results of TG 1.1 raid: 12 enemy ships destroyed (9600t each), 298 POWs captured. No friendly casualties.

I got a bit of useful intel out of this sortie. HIP 21932 must have some sort of colony that civilians travel to. I'm yet to find it though. Overall, I'm not sure if this whole conflict is worth anything to me other than combat experience and entertainment. Maybe I should allow diplomats to try and smooth it all out....
Posted by: L0ckAndL0ad
« on: September 25, 2019, 02:15:42 PM »

August 6, Year 61

01:09

Several hours ago I've sent VA-51 to yet another strike mission. But suddenly, TG 1.1's passive sensors picked up radar emissions from a new enemy contact. 280m km away from the CVL Ranger, in the direction of the inner planetary system. Temporary nickname Echo 4. Headhater class ship, estimated 9600 tons, known to be able to fly at 2734 km/s, was emitting str 90 res 112 (5600t) signature, corresponding to 100.8m km detection range. The best MAJ ship we've seen so far. TG 1.1's max speed is 2556 km/s. Oooops!

Another problem is, both my Beholders were out of action due to flight crew exhaustion. Jump scouts were also showing some strange crew rest stats, probably because I did not put any engineering modules on them. Strikers were too far away and in the opposite direction to be able to contribute their radars. So I had no idea how many enemy ships were out there in group Echo 4. Fighter ammo on Ranger was getting to 50% so I immediately recalled VA-51 back to the carrier.

Ranger attracted too much attention. It was time to go home.

Couple of hours later strikers returned and I sent out somewhat rested Beholders to investigate Echo 4 contact. As per EMCON 1, Beholders weren't allowed to turn on their radars until they've moved at least 100m km away from the carrier.

Well.. That was a mistake. Sort of. Now I know how many ships were in group Echo 4. Seven. Bad news is, they've managed to sneak up within 88m km from TG 1.1. As soon as they turn on their radar again, they'll spot Ranger and its escorts. And I can't outrun them.

What am I going to do? I do not want to turn on actives on my destroyers. No need to reveal TG 1.1's position before it's actually necessary. I will deploy R-fighters to watch out for missiles, covering Ranger. Their radars should not be detected this far out. In the mean time, I can make at least one strike against Echo 4 before.... Wait a minute.. If Headhater is not a multirole ship... They won't be able to detect or intercept my missiles. Unless they have CIWS. Hmm..

I need to think about what weapons to use against Echo 4. In total, I have 96x ASM-41 Falling Star (WH 9) for fighters, and 136x ASM-64 Sledgehammer (WH 16) on four DDGs. That's it. Closest supply ships are 7.2 billion km away, in adjacent system. I need to think... And get some sleep..
Posted by: L0ckAndL0ad
« on: September 24, 2019, 02:16:28 PM »

August 4, Year 61

17:48

Big slow Beastjuggler ships were buzzed and somewhat scratched by VF-51 Squadron. They emit no active sensors, fire no weapons (I did risk my fighters by going point blank range, hoping these are not monitors/slow battleships). They move from the gate to the inner planetary system. Verdict: civilian ships. Even though I did ahem... a test firing on their armor, I did not destroy any civilian ships.

By now, VA-51 Madhatters destroyed two more ships and severely damaged third one. R-fighters of VF-51 finished the straggler. I was afraid it would fire back with beam weapons (it was Tromp class, known to have lasers), but it did not do anything but blew up in 5 seconds after meeting our Angry Horsemen.

Rescue Shuttle got ~100 surviving MAJ crews from the pods. After landing on CVL Ranger, I was unable to move the survivors. Now that there are additional life pods out there, I'm not sure what to do with all of them. For now, I'll keep sending the shuttle to pick up the rest, but I'm not sure it's not going to bite me with life support failures on the shuttle (unless I figure a way to transfer the survivors).

There are 4 Zwaadvis and 1 Poolser left on the battlefield. Ranger's got enough ammo for Banshees to finish them all off. But.. should I?  I start feeling sorry for these poor bastards.

Oh, yeah, actually, the presence of the civilian ships means there's a colony in this system that I've failed to detect previously. I should definitely find it. Don't have any strong thermal sensor-equipped fighters on Ranger to do so. Will either have to use one of the escorting destroyers, or send fighters to point blank range to all the possible locations.
Posted by: L0ckAndL0ad
« on: September 22, 2019, 03:20:11 PM »

02:34

As MAJ's lone Horsejuggler class warship was getting right in the way of returning strike package, a somewhat risky plan of attack came up. All Banshees and Beholder 2 changed course to avoid possible ASM range of the bandit, while five good old railgun-equipped F-4R Rays vectored right onto the Horsejuggler.

What the enemy vessel could be armed with? I was betting on missiles, due to corresponding active radar signature. Defeating a missile salvo from a single 9600 ton ship should be easy for five R-fighters. Chance of encountering beam weaponry was small. So the risk was negligible. Reward? Getting intel on an enemy ship type. Allowing trigger-happy fighter pilots to horse around. He-he.

Horsejuggler did not fire a shot. No missiles. No other weaponry. VF-51 "Angry Horsemen" approached the target galloping at 12k km/s and whipped it to death in under two minutes. So... was it just a sensor ship? A mustang? Is this the reason why it traveled alone? Or was it just out of ammo? Why would it be? This encounter raised more questions than it gave answers to. But it's still an intel data. And that's what the Ranger's TG was here for.

Meanwhile, as VF-51 dealt with a lone MAJ vessel, enemy warship group split into two. Both Poolser class ships detached from the formation, flew in the opposite direction for a minute, and then came around to follow the other ships. Why? Hmm.

Now that the Horsejuggler was destroyed, all fighters were ordered back to the carrier, except for the Beholder 1 that had to remain in the area to keep tracking enemy movement.
Posted by: L0ckAndL0ad
« on: September 21, 2019, 03:32:33 PM »

August 2, Year 61

13:46

New bandits on screen! Nine Beastjuggler class vessels, speed is just 395 km/s! Cross section 630, last known thermal signature 250, estimated 31500 tons each. Suspected to be civilian ships, with at least 28 vessels of this class marked in intel records.

Beastjugglers were spotted by Beholder 002 277m km away from Ross 594 JP, moving in the direction of the first enemy group. Also in the direction of the planetary system.

Meanwhile, enemy warship group stopped emitting and is trying to follow the scout at 1432 km/s. Strike package is still 300m km out, ETA 8 to 10 hours.

August 3, Year 61

00:26

Banshees closed within 45m km range of the enemy warship group and opened fire, focusing Tromp 001 with 32 ASM-41 Falling Star (WH 9, speed 20.8k km/s). These ASMs have tiny heat seekers and should potentially be able to retarget other ships if Tromp 001 goes down too early. But I don't think it will.

01:01:46

Enemy warship group turned on its medium range sensors! Just as the missiles approached them, 217k km out.  I guess I just couldn't detect Tromp's short range AMM emissions (GPS 90), and they switched the Poolser's and Zwaadvis' sensors on upon detecting the incoming missiles. Neat trick that I can't replicate with my multi-role warships.

NOTE TO SELF: low speed high-endurance fleet escort PD fighters for such a role, maybe?

01:01:51

New active sensor contact! Horsejuggler class, suspected medium range ASM ship (exactly the same intel data as Poolser and Zwaadvis). 78m km west of strike package.... That's gotta be another enemy warship group, popped up BETWEEN the strikers and the carrier. Damn... Fighters have already expended all the ammo, and their fuel reserve is limited. Beholder 001, that is part of the package, will have to temporarily turn on active sensors to see how big the second enemy group is. Damn...

01:01:56

Splash! 10x ASM-41 hit the enemy ship and it explodes! 20 missiles are still maneuvering. Secondary explosion and life pod ejection detected. Beholder 001's active sensors indicate that Horsejuggler 001 is a loner. It moves at 1432 km/s in the direction of the strike package. Sensor data reveals that Tromp class has an armor of at least 2. That's better than I expected! And no ECM!

01:02:06

7x energy weapon impacts detected. 12 missiles are still in flight. I guess that's enemy PD fires at work. Range between them is 15k km. I'm not sure if heat seekers will allow successful re-targeting.

01:02:16

No re-targeting. The remaining missiles gone wasted. CVL Ranger launches rescue shuttle to try and snatch the enemy crews from the life pods first. RV-1 Willie is relatively small and stealthy (cross section 2.94, thermal sig 14.4), and fast (20.4k km/s), so it should be fine on its own.

To be continued...
Posted by: L0ckAndL0ad
« on: September 21, 2019, 01:40:18 PM »

18:41

Radar on. Nine bandits in single group, on screen. 2x Poolsers, 4x Zwaadvis', 3x Tromps. All ships estimated 9600 tons, group's speed 1432 km/s.

Intel indicates Poolsers and Zwaadvis have medium range (67m km) resolution 112 (5600t) radars. Tromps are known to have primitive (0.9m max range) AMM-rated (res 1) radars  and at least 5x lasers each (damage 3, ROF 2). If I had to guess, I'd say Poolsers and Zwaadvis carry medium range ASMs. But lets not allow them to reveal if it's true.

Enemy group changed course to 359, but it's not trying to intercept the scout. Regardless, they're too slow for that. EW-3 Beholder 002 ordered to shadow the group @ 105m km. Meanwhile, CVL Ranger launched all available combat fighters: 8x Banshees and 5x Rays. Banshees carry weak WH 9 size 4 ASMs (4 each), but that's all there is available to them. Newer strikers have size 6 launchers to be able to fire USN's standard ASMs, of all generations. But Ranger is stuck with Banshees for a while. Five F-4R Rays escort the strikers, leading them just 10k km ahead, with AMM radars turned off for now. Another Beholder (001) will trail 100k km behind the strike package and will monitor the surroundings in passive mode.

Tromps are priority targets, due to their suspected AMM capability. Previous combat experience with Nails tells me I should focus fire on one ship at a time. I don't want to break up their group into smaller ones yet, because I only have two 150m km reaching EW ships to cover the battlefield.

Strike package is launched from almost max range (950m km), so it's going to take Banshees at least 25 hours to reach their target at their max speed of 10k km. This would put endurance of all the fighter craft to the test, especially Beholder 002 that has to shadow the enemy. I should try doing that in passive mode, if possible.
Posted by: L0ckAndL0ad
« on: September 21, 2019, 12:19:17 PM »

August 1, Year 61

Continued...

18:05

Poolser 001's movement is worrying me. Located ~610m km from Ross 594 JP, it is traveling on 296 deg course. It leads to.. nowhere. Not to the other JP, not to TG 1.1's location, not to any system body. It is seriously off course, if it was going from JP to JP. But the course looks much similar to interception of TG 1.1 than going to JP or system body.

TG 1.1 is 950m km away from Poolser 001. It must have str 555 thermal sensor to be able to detect 1800 signature of the light carrier at such distance. Which, obviously, can't be happening here. The only sane answer would be MAJ's Deep Space Tracking Stations that could be hidden on some planet or moon. There are no asteroids or comets here.

Well, or it could be just patrolling. Looking for my scout that revealed its position hours earlier. But even then, it is a bit too far from its last location... Hmmm...

Anyway.. EW-3 Beholder 002 is 123.5m km away from Poolser 001. Within range of the radar. But I think I should track it for a bit longer before going active.
Posted by: L0ckAndL0ad
« on: September 20, 2019, 02:41:50 PM »

August 1, Year 61

Ranger's incursion into enemy territory: HIP 21932

As there was no sign of MAJ activity in EG 290 (beside the existence of the EG 45 gate), TG 1.1 was ordered to probe HIP 21932. 'DingerCat (guess why it is called that way!) jump scout went in and out without a problem. CVL Ranger and its escorts turned off all active sensors and jumped into HIP 21932.

HIP 21932 is a relatively small system. One star, six planets (outer most is 470m km away from local star) and only two known JPs - EG 290 and Ross 594 (MAJ home world). Distance between JPs - 3660m km.

As TG 1.1 went in at EMCON 1 (radio silence), scout fighters (2x Beholder class in total on Ranger) were sent out forwards several times (due to their limited range), to improve the security of the task group. TG 1.1 was directed to Ross 594 JP on an indirect course, masking the approach vector.

As Ranger came within ~1600m km of Ross 594 JP, one of the scouts was already sniffing around the JP itself (50m away). Scouts had also their active sensors turned off, meaning only str 28 passive EM sensor can be used. And there was nobody at JP. As time passed, JP stayed clean.

Lack of targets made me somewhat desperate. Scout's actives (5Kt res/150M km max range) were turned on temporarily. Still nothing. Couple of hours later - still nothing around JP. Sensors were turned back off and scout was ordered to return to the carrier. But on the return leg, passive sensors finally detected an enemy ship, ~180m km out. One Poolser class ship (out of two known). My old intel records suggest 9600 tonnage, observed speed 1432.

Two notes to myself. First, non-JD scouts need even more range. Existing 4b km range is very decent, but the more the better. Speed is always a tradeoff, but it's something to really think about in the future. Second, lack of thermal sensors on my scouts prevents me from passively figuring out how many ships accompany the ones I can find with passive EM sensors. I know I removed them because their effective range is too small for comfort (when limited by 500t fighter size), it may be worth while to think about a dedicated thermal scout, or a bigger sensor scout - FAC sized instead of fighter sized. I stopped using Early Warning FACs a while ago, but maybe I should reconsider.

TBC...
Posted by: L0ckAndL0ad
« on: September 19, 2019, 02:24:55 PM »

February 6, Year 61

Mineral shortages

Due to 4th Generation Warship construction program, as predicted, United Systems started running out of some types of minerals. Gallicite is almost at 0, Uridium is at 15k, and Tritanium is at 33k units. There are no better sources of these anywhere close by, so the existing ones are being improved. Construction schedule will be seriously affected.

Meanwhile, TG 1.1 Ranger keeps sitting in EG 290 system with idle engines but active sensors turned on and waits for the enemy. No contacts so far. However, I'm almost sure MAJ's ships are present in the next system, HIP 21932.

MAJ's diplomats are trying to improve Union's diplo rating, but I have recalled our own diplomatic team. We are still at war, but if these mineral shortages will continue, I may have to smooth it out with MAJ. Still, for now, no diplomacy.
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