Author Topic: Sensor Buoys to Pre-Scout new System  (Read 643 times)

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Offline TMaekler

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Sensor Buoys to Pre-Scout new System
« on: May 21, 2018, 03:54:10 AM »
Came up with the idea for new system exploration, not only to send in a small carrier which then launches several shuttles which go geo and grav exploring, but also to load the small carrier with a passive sensor buoy which it can launch at the planets to see, if there are aliens present. After arriving in the system I linked the buoys to the Fire Control and in the Task Groups windows cycled through the planets and added the command "Launch Missile at" for each planet.

Now comes the strange part. Instead of shooting a missile at the target, the ship began moving towards it. So I clicked several cycles but no missile was launched. The ship finally arrived at the first planet, then went to the next, without ever shooting any of its buoys. So not quite what I had intended. Anybody an idea, what went wrong? Since I cannot target the planets in the Combat Assignments Windows... how do I do it?
 

Offline Conscript Gary

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Re: Sensor Buoys to Pre-Scout new System
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2018, 04:22:37 AM »
Well, the first thing to understand is that the "Fire missiles at" does not mean 'fire missiles towards from where you are', it means 'fire missiles once you're at that location'.
In order to target arbitrary planetary bodies from the combat screen, it's necessary to use waypoints. First, select the system body in the system map window. Then, in the Waypoints tab, click 'Add to SB'- this ensures that the created waypoint will move with the body's orbital motion.
You can then select the waypoint as a target in the Combat Overview, and hit Open Fire.
 

Offline TMaekler

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Re: Sensor Buoys to Pre-Scout new System
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2018, 05:55:32 AM »
Thanks. That way it works.
Does that "fire missile once you're at that location" make any sense? In what circumstance can that be senseful?
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Sensor Buoys to Pre-Scout new System
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2018, 06:11:27 AM »
Thanks. That way it works.
Does that "fire missile once you're at that location" make any sense? In what circumstance can that be senseful?

It is useful for dropping sensor buoys or mines.
 

Offline Conscript Gary

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Re: Sensor Buoys to Pre-Scout new System
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2018, 05:32:19 PM »
I've made good use of it for minelaying, yeah. Create a set of waypoints in the pattern you want to drop at, set up the string of 'launch missiles at' orders, and increment through.
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Sensor Buoys to Pre-Scout new System
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2018, 07:28:19 PM »
I have not been able to use geosurvey missiles effectively.  Comets tend to move out from under the geosurvey missile before the job is done, and pretty much anything else worth surveying requires too many survey points to do them from a missile.

However, I make use of jump scout fighters a LOT.  Including ones with reduced sized 1 MSP launchers that make use of active sensor missiles, thermal missiles, and EM missiles.  Those are great for spotting enemy ships stationed at a body.  (not so good for spotting ships that patrol at some distance from a body).  You can safely pick up information about ship sizes, speeds, sensors, and which have anti-missile capability.
 

Offline TMaekler

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Re: Sensor Buoys to Pre-Scout new System
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2018, 06:29:43 AM »
I have not been able to use geosurvey missiles effectively.  Comets tend to move out from under the geosurvey missile before the job is done, and pretty much anything else worth surveying requires too many survey points to do them from a missile.
That was my basic idea: launch missiles at the planetary bodies to be able to tell if there are aliens present in the system. The missiles itself have no geosensor, only passive to detect populations.
That way, I would not risk crew and ship senselessly while eploring the system.
 

Offline linkxsc

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Re: Sensor Buoys to Pre-Scout new System
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2018, 10:48:59 PM »
Thanks. That way it works.
Does that "fire missile once you're at that location" make any sense? In what circumstance can that be senseful?

It is useful for dropping sensor buoys or mines.

I've used it for years now. But thinking about it, it gave me a few brain farts back in the beginning.

Perhaps change the description of the command to "Launch missiles upon arrival" for C#?

"Send message" is also like this. It sounds from the getgo like you're going to send some message to the planet? When really its a very handy command to tell future me what the heck this fleet is supposed to be doing after it finishes whatever it was doing. (past me knows just how forgetful future me can be).


Quote
That was my basic idea: launch missiles at the planetary bodies to be able to tell if there are aliens present in the system. The missiles itself have no geosensor, only passive to detect populations.
That way, I would not risk crew and ship senselessly while eploring the system.

You can do it if you wish. I highly recommend if you do, make sure that before you jump into the system you're going to launch your sensor probes, you manually throttle down the speed of the fleet. This will lower the TGs thermal sig. Not much of a point trying to play hide and seek using missile probes, when your fleet is idling with 1500+ thermal sigs.

*Edit, just remembered, there's actually a "Picket(1km/s)" command that when the fleet arrives at its destination, it will drop to 1km/s automatically. Do that before jumping in, and your fleet basically won't have a thermal sig when it pops in for you to fire your missiles. Just don't forget to throttle them back up when you're sending them elsewhere.

Though my experience in using sensor missiles for scouting has been lackluster at best.

On the 1 hand you can build incredibly small missiles that you fire 1 at each planet, and they'll detect for the planet only... but what happens when you jump into a massive system with dozens and dozens? Easy enough to carry, but very tedious to make orders to send everywhere. Also they're not worth much in detecting ships transiting between planets.

To counter this we just build big ones with big sensors. Well now you're making missiles literally the size of fighters, that under perform to a fighter based scout (missile engines are inefficient, can't be throttled, can't have reduced thermal tech. Sensors work the same but require ~20% more weight due to the missile needing a reactor. Can't be reused, can't be sent to scout a different location if the first location was clear).
On top of that, no ship other than maybe a minelayer will be able to launch the things due to their sizes generally being much much larger than you will want on any normal combat ship.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 01:20:37 PM by linkxsc »
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Sensor Buoys to Pre-Scout new System
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2018, 11:05:24 PM »
You don't scout every planet. You scout planets with low colony costs, to check if NPR spawned on it or not. For that purpose, small missiles work well and you'll only launch them every now and then.
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Sensor Buoys to Pre-Scout new System
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2018, 07:16:03 PM »
Another trick you can use with sensor missiles is to gauge enemy sensor sensitivity.  First, there is the cheesy way, where when the missile is fairly close to a known alien inhabited body, switch to 5 second sub-phase, and see at what distance you get a detection interrupt.

You can also just send a series of them in ahead of your fleet as you are moving in, and thereby detect when their fleet leaves their planet, presumably upon detecting your fleet.

It won't detect everything, because some enemy ships patrol.  I put notes on the galactic map of what ships and number I detect in various systems, especially for Precursors, because I have noticed that the smaller ships tend to patrol.  Which is great programming, in my opinion, because it means you can't count on Pearl Harboring them with a 2-stage missile barrage fired from across the system, counting on homing missiles to kill everything.

That said, I have encountered systems with such massive Lagrange point networks that launching 2-stage missile bombardments from a Lagrange point and then jumping billions of km away was an option
 

 

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