Aurora 4x

New Players => The Academy => Topic started by: Iestwyn on November 20, 2020, 07:15:19 PM

Title: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: Iestwyn on November 20, 2020, 07:15:19 PM
When I played Aurora ages ago, I set up unmanned mining bases by shipping automatic mines and mass drivers to the body and shooting them at the biggest base in the system. Looking at the C# AARs, it looks like most people are towing large orbital mining platforms to the body and using freighters to ship the materials where they're needed. In fact, I'm not seeing reference to mass drivers in any of the threads.

Are there advantages/disadvantages to either tactic? Do people even use mass drivers anymore?

Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: nuclearslurpee on November 20, 2020, 08:20:46 PM
Behold!

Code: [Select]
Obsidian class Orbital Mining Platform      150,000 tons       1,225 Crew       3,621.7 BP       TCS 3,000    TH 300    EM 0
100 km/s      Armour 1-251       Shields 0-0       HTK 195      Sensors 6/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 15    Max Repair 120 MSP
Cargo 25,000    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 2   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Orbital Miner: 23 modules producing 276 tons per mineral per annum

Fokin Drive Systems NPE-100 Skywalker (3)    Power 300    Fuel Use 8.94%    Signature 100    Explosion 5%
Fuel Capacity 1,184,000 Litres    Range 15.9 billion km (1838 days at full power)

Arslangiin-Damdinsuryn AD-6100K Mark 6 Waveform Detector (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Angulo-Guindo AG-6M T6 Series Infrared Scanner (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

Designed to be completely self-sufficient for an almost indefinite length of time, the Obsidian-class orbital mining platform comes equipped with a 25,000-ton cargo bay expressly for the purpose of lugging around a Mass Driver as it lumbers from asteroid to asteroid mining up minerals for my empire.

Is this optimal? Probably not, but it was fun to build and now you know that at least one person uses mass drivers.  ;D

More seriously I suspect there's a few reasons that most people use the platform/tug/freighter setup instead:

That said, my setup is perfectly fine, as the only issues are needing a "big" shipyard (eh) and "wasting" tonnage on engines and cargo handling, but the logistics are a lot simpler with only one ship instead of three (please ignore the fact that I then promptly complicate things by having my tugs fly around the galaxy towing sensor platforms into place...ah, simplicity...  :P )

EDIT: I do also use the AM + Mass Driver setup early in the game, mostly to mine comets. It works in the early game, but AMs are more expensive than both regular mines and OM modules (240 corundium versus 120 for the others) so it's better once you get going to conserve AMs for use on worlds where conventional colonies are too expensive but the body is too big for orbital mining. In those cases you can either use AMs or use normal Mines plus habitat modules if you're scraping the bottom of your corundium barrels or just want to build more big space stations.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: froggiest1982 on November 20, 2020, 08:21:36 PM
I always use a combination of both as it depends on the situation.

There are systems where u need a unique centre to stockpile minerals and so you will use Mass Drivers to ship them there to pick them up later.

On the other hand, sometimes you need to exploit only tgat particular mineral at that location and so Orbital solutions are the way to go.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: misanthropope on November 20, 2020, 10:49:26 PM
automines are so expensive, it's worth going pretty far out of your way to minimize your construction of the things.  in the same vein, CF are expensive and should really only be built for, and used for, critical tasks like building more research facilities.  a lot of commercial SY capacity can be had for cheap, so using that to build orbital miners and terraforming just seems like the winning option, to me. 

theres going to be the occasional rich venusian hellworld you have to pass over, but a little conquest and/ or excavation will net you a decent number of automines to go back and exploit those.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: Iestwyn on November 20, 2020, 11:04:00 PM
Makes a lot of sense. Thanks guys!
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: Malorn on November 21, 2020, 05:04:34 AM
Uhhh... both?

You park orbitals over a comet/asteroid to mine it, and build the space station with one cargo bay to hold a single mass driver. It drops off the mass driver, which ships out the ore, then picks it back up when it's done to be moved by tugs to a new location. Upside is ease of management and not using any freighters at all. Downside is that it can be blown to hell easily by hostile aliens.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: Iestwyn on November 21, 2020, 08:46:05 AM
Uhhh... both?

You park orbitals over a comet/asteroid to mine it, and build the space station with one cargo bay to hold a single mass driver. It drops off the mass driver, which ships out the ore, then picks it back up when it's done to be moved by tugs to a new location. Upside is ease of management and not using any freighters at all. Downside is that it can be blown to hell easily by hostile aliens.

Yeah, that's the same design that Mr Slurpee posted. A little cumbersome, but it looks like it would work.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: Michael Sandy on November 22, 2020, 03:31:02 PM
Put at least 1 engine on all your mining stations so they can make use of commercial jump engined jump tender/tugs.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: Iestwyn on November 22, 2020, 04:26:06 PM
Put at least 1 engine on all your mining stations so they can make use of commercial jump engined jump tender/tugs.

I've been able to move space stations with commercial tugs before, no engines included.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: TheTalkingMeowth on November 22, 2020, 10:09:08 PM
Put at least 1 engine on all your mining stations so they can make use of commercial jump engined jump tender/tugs.
I'm pretty sure engineless ships can transit via a (commercial) tender just fine.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: alex_g on January 16, 2021, 03:45:55 PM
On-topic: I use mass drivers to send all the minerals from a system in a single collection point from which my freighters will load them and take them where they need to be.  I never build orbital mining platforms because I have no idea how to automate the process.

Off-topic: The problem I'm confronted with towing orbital stations is that if the tugger tractors the last ship in the fleet the fleet disappears, so the SY or planet production will no longer place new orbital platforms in the default fleet (which just disappeared) and thus the you can no longer cycle turns because that fleet no longer exists.
With automated mines I don't have this problem because even if there are no mines on the planet all I'll get is a log message and the cycle goes on.

Is there a way to make this automation work with orbital stations?
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: Jorgen_CAB on January 16, 2021, 04:59:06 PM
On-topic: I use mass drivers to send all the minerals from a system in a single collection point from which my freighters will load them and take them where they need to be.  I never build orbital mining platforms because I have no idea how to automate the process.

Off-topic: The problem I'm confronted with towing orbital stations is that if the tugger tractors the last ship in the fleet the fleet disappears, so the SY or planet production will no longer place new orbital platforms in the default fleet (which just disappeared) and thus the you can no longer cycle turns because that fleet no longer exists.
With automated mines I don't have this problem because even if there are no mines on the planet all I'll get is a log message and the cycle goes on.

Is there a way to make this automation work with orbital stations?

To be frank this has never been an issue for me because it takes so long to build large orbital miners that I just issue a separate order to each one when they are completed. But I suppose there are no way to really automate this process in the same way you do with standard ground based mines.

I don't tend to put more than one orbital base on each body either so that is one other reason I don't experience this problem. I don't like to strip mine bodies to fast. I want to build up a large network of stable low yield income as much as is possible. It is way easier to balance the production versus income that way. So I rather have low yield income from hundreds of asteroids and comets than strip mine a few and go through the hassle of constantly move them around.

I then either set up a small freighter with a 5000t cargo hold to keep picking up minerals from all the places in a timely fashion or use mass drivers... usually small cargo freighters is enough and I don't meed the mass drivers as they become expensive when you are just mining asteroids.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: StarshipCactus on January 16, 2021, 08:01:19 PM
Off-topic: The problem I'm confronted with towing orbital stations is that if the tugger tractors the last ship in the fleet the fleet disappears, so the SY or planet production will no longer place new orbital platforms in the default fleet (which just disappeared) and thus the you can no longer cycle turns because that fleet no longer exists.
With automated mines I don't have this problem because even if there are no mines on the planet all I'll get is a log message and the cycle goes on.


Do you have some sort of defence fleet in orbit of your shipyard world? If you do, have your orbital miners be built into that fleet. If you're worried about needing to move that fleet elsewhere, you could use an old, obsolete ship to hold the fleet in place after the last orbital miner gets tugged. You could also get a fighter to do that job.

Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: liveware on January 16, 2021, 11:39:24 PM
Off-topic: The problem I'm confronted with towing orbital stations is that if the tugger tractors the last ship in the fleet the fleet disappears, so the SY or planet production will no longer place new orbital platforms in the default fleet (which just disappeared) and thus the you can no longer cycle turns because that fleet no longer exists.
With automated mines I don't have this problem because even if there are no mines on the planet all I'll get is a log message and the cycle goes on.


Do you have some sort of defence fleet in orbit of your shipyard world? If you do, have your orbital miners be built into that fleet. If you're worried about needing to move that fleet elsewhere, you could use an old, obsolete ship to hold the fleet in place after the last orbital miner gets tugged. You could also get a fighter to do that job.

If you constantly have shipyard tasks building new stations into your 'idle station' fleet then the 'idle station' fleet should not disappear even if you tug away all of the stations. That works for me at least. I use a mix of automines and orbital mines as both have niches in which they excel.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: alex_g on January 17, 2021, 03:26:22 AM
Do you have some sort of defence fleet in orbit of your shipyard world? If you do, have your orbital miners be built into that fleet. If you're worried about needing to move that fleet elsewhere, you could use an old, obsolete ship to hold the fleet in place after the last orbital miner gets tugged. You could also get a fighter to do that job.

As far as I know there would be nothing to stop the tuggers from tractoring that obsolete ship as well once there are no orbital miners left in the fleet.

If you constantly have shipyard tasks building new stations into your 'idle station' fleet then the 'idle station' fleet should not disappear even if you tug away all of the stations. That works for me at least. I use a mix of automines and orbital mines as both have niches in which they excel.

Are you sure? I remember when I first started tugging terraformers that if the default fleet for their SY disappeared when I wanted to build the next ones the default fleet would be reset because the original default fleet no longer existed. However, I don't remember if I already had terraformers building when the fleet disappeared and what happens to them, I will give it a try later, if it works the way you say it's huge. Thanks!
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: MuthaF on January 17, 2021, 08:56:09 AM
Strange that no one else seems to be building giga stations with tugs.  I mean i prefer auto-mines for actual mining, mostly because it helps a lot with actually creating enough demand for expansion.
When i build stations tho', i go big.  Since ground construction is so powerful, terraforming stations go with 100 modules, and that only because bigger stations will greatly overshoot when terraforming small worlds.
Mining on the other hand. . .  I usually aim for stations that can mine most asteroids in year or two, meaning hundreds of mining modules.
Its so easy to build and tug stations weighting several millions tons with just ~50 000 ton tug.  Speaking of easy, is it just me or is tugging much bigger object easier than in old Aurora?
I just dont ever use mass drivers as they feel just too. . .  magical to me.  I mean the catching part, not the shooting one.
Like others said, its mostly preference/role-play choice.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: TheTalkingMeowth on January 17, 2021, 09:10:21 AM
Strange that no one else seems to be building giga stations with tugs.  I mean i prefer auto-mines for actual mining, mostly because it helps a lot with actually creating enough demand for expansion.
When i build stations tho', i go big.  Since ground construction is so powerful, terraforming stations go with 100 modules, and that only because bigger stations will greatly overshoot when terraforming small worlds.
Mining on the other hand. . .  I usually aim for stations that can mine most asteroids in year or two, meaning hundreds of mining modules.
Its so easy to build and tug stations weighting several millions tons with just ~50 000 ton tug.  Speaking of easy, is it just me or is tugging much bigger object easier than in old Aurora?
I just dont ever use mass drivers as they feel just too. . .  magical to me.  I mean the catching part, not the shooting one.
Like others said, its mostly preference/role-play choice.

Small #s of giant stations are easy to manage and make better use of skilled commanders. But from an industrial perspective they are significantly worse than large numbers of smaller stations.

Why?

Two reasons.

1. Shipyards are much better at mass production than construction factories because they can simultaneously build stuff and expand their capacity (by adding slipways). In my last game, even devoting between 10 and 30% of my factories to expansion at all times, I had a single commercial shipyard that could outproduce ALL my factories. Combined. This sucker could spit out 7x100,000 ton stations every year.
2. Giant stations take a long time to build, and until they are finished, they are producing NOTHING. This is particularly noticeable for terraforming stations. Given the choice between building a ten module station or ten 1 module stations: the ten module station takes about 9x as long as the 1 module station, so it will be done before the ten solo module stations. But we get 8x build time output from the first solo module, 7x build time from the second, etc. before the ten module station does ANYTHING.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: MuthaF on January 17, 2021, 09:20:52 AM
I guess im only one to research construction rate then; all my station are build under 1 year. 
Also, i run with as few shipyard as possible.
There is no point arguing for "efficiency" in a game where is almost impossible to lose against AI unless you really, really try HARD.
Aurora was created and still is remains a mostly Roleplay gaming tool, not game per se.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: liveware on January 17, 2021, 09:44:16 AM
Strange that no one else seems to be building giga stations with tugs.  I mean i prefer auto-mines for actual mining, mostly because it helps a lot with actually creating enough demand for expansion.
When i build stations tho', i go big.  Since ground construction is so powerful, terraforming stations go with 100 modules, and that only because bigger stations will greatly overshoot when terraforming small worlds.
Mining on the other hand. . .  I usually aim for stations that can mine most asteroids in year or two, meaning hundreds of mining modules.
Its so easy to build and tug stations weighting several millions tons with just ~50 000 ton tug.  Speaking of easy, is it just me or is tugging much bigger object easier than in old Aurora?
I just dont ever use mass drivers as they feel just too. . .  magical to me.  I mean the catching part, not the shooting one.
Like others said, its mostly preference/role-play choice.

Small #s of giant stations are easy to manage and make better use of skilled commanders. But from an industrial perspective they are significantly worse than large numbers of smaller stations.

Why?

Two reasons.

1. Shipyards are much better at mass production than construction factories because they can simultaneously build stuff and expand their capacity (by adding slipways). In my last game, even devoting between 10 and 30% of my factories to expansion at all times, I had a single commercial shipyard that could outproduce ALL my factories. Combined. This sucker could spit out 7x100,000 ton stations every year.
2. Giant stations take a long time to build, and until they are finished, they are producing NOTHING. This is particularly noticeable for terraforming stations. Given the choice between building a ten module station or ten 1 module stations: the ten module station takes about 9x as long as the 1 module station, so it will be done before the ten solo module stations. But we get 8x build time output from the first solo module, 7x build time from the second, etc. before the ten module station does ANYTHING.

Another useful aspect for station building is that NAVAL shipyards can also build new commercial space stations, which gives idle naval yards something useful to work on if nothing else is needed.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: liveware on January 17, 2021, 09:47:11 AM
Do you have some sort of defence fleet in orbit of your shipyard world? If you do, have your orbital miners be built into that fleet. If you're worried about needing to move that fleet elsewhere, you could use an old, obsolete ship to hold the fleet in place after the last orbital miner gets tugged. You could also get a fighter to do that job.

As far as I know there would be nothing to stop the tuggers from tractoring that obsolete ship as well once there are no orbital miners left in the fleet.

If you constantly have shipyard tasks building new stations into your 'idle station' fleet then the 'idle station' fleet should not disappear even if you tug away all of the stations. That works for me at least. I use a mix of automines and orbital mines as both have niches in which they excel.

Are you sure? I remember when I first started tugging terraformers that if the default fleet for their SY disappeared when I wanted to build the next ones the default fleet would be reset because the original default fleet no longer existed. However, I don't remember if I already had terraformers building when the fleet disappeared and what happens to them, I will give it a try later, if it works the way you say it's huge. Thanks!

I'm fairly certain this works as I've described (I'm on version 112). I've been testing out station building extensively in my most recent game and I have been building mining stations, terraforming, stations, and orbital habitats from my commercial shipyards almost continuously for about 50 game years. I set up my original station fleets (one of each station type) and leave them in earth orbit and occasionally assign a tug to move stations to new colonies/asteroids as needed. As long as there is an active construction project building new stations into the station fleet when the tug pulls away the last station the station fleet does not appear to disappear.
Title: Re: Which mining combo is better: autos and mass drivers or orbitals and freighters?
Post by: Droll on January 17, 2021, 11:10:01 AM
Do you have some sort of defence fleet in orbit of your shipyard world? If you do, have your orbital miners be built into that fleet. If you're worried about needing to move that fleet elsewhere, you could use an old, obsolete ship to hold the fleet in place after the last orbital miner gets tugged. You could also get a fighter to do that job.

As far as I know there would be nothing to stop the tuggers from tractoring that obsolete ship as well once there are no orbital miners left in the fleet.

If you constantly have shipyard tasks building new stations into your 'idle station' fleet then the 'idle station' fleet should not disappear even if you tug away all of the stations. That works for me at least. I use a mix of automines and orbital mines as both have niches in which they excel.

Are you sure? I remember when I first started tugging terraformers that if the default fleet for their SY disappeared when I wanted to build the next ones the default fleet would be reset because the original default fleet no longer existed. However, I don't remember if I already had terraformers building when the fleet disappeared and what happens to them, I will give it a try later, if it works the way you say it's huge. Thanks!

I'm fairly certain this works as I've described (I'm on version 112). I've been testing out station building extensively in my most recent game and I have been building mining stations, terraforming, stations, and orbital habitats from my commercial shipyards almost continuously for about 50 game years. I set up my original station fleets (one of each station type) and leave them in earth orbit and occasionally assign a tug to move stations to new colonies/asteroids as needed. As long as there is an active construction project building new stations into the station fleet when the tug pulls away the last station the station fleet does not appear to disappear.

Yeah when the tug pulls the last ship in a fleet the fleet will dissapear. Since it usually takes a while for the tug to finish what I do is detach the stations I wanna tug into their own fleet and tug from that instead.
If I want to tug more stations to the same destination all I have to do is drag a station from the default construction one to the transit fleet.
When all the tugs to that destination have arrived and the tug is finisheds, the transit fleet auto-deletes but the construction fleet remains.