Author Topic: Beam Cruisers  (Read 1341 times)

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Offline Felius

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Beam Cruisers
« on: July 16, 2018, 10:23:07 AM »
So, in my current game finally decided to go for heavier usage of beam weapons, and got this pair of designs for my basic fleet block:

The Jump Tender
Code: [Select]
Amazon Mk3 class Jump Cruiser    18 000 tons     508 Crew     4876.7 BP      TCS 360  TH 2400  EM 2700
6666 km/s    JR 6-50     Armour 9-61     Shields 90-300     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 10     PPV 106.5
Maint Life 1.61 Years     MSP 1693    AFR 259%    IFR 3.6%    1YR 761    5YR 11416    Max Repair 1200 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Spare Berths 0   
Cryogenic Berths 1000   

Jarvis Aeronautical J18000(6-50) Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 18000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 6
Brooks & Heath Research Inc 2400 EP Inertial Fusion Drive (1)    Power 2400    Fuel Use 41.34%    Signature 2400    Exp 15%
Fuel Capacity 3 000 000 Litres    Range 72.6 billion km   (125 days at full power)
D'Aoust-Villon  Omicron R300/432 Shields (15)   Total Fuel Cost  270 Litres per hour  (6 480 per day)

Quad Bellemare-Astruc R21/C6 Meson Cannon Turret (2x4)    Range 210 000km     TS: 32000 km/s     Power 24-24     RM 21    ROF 5        1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Quad Carrier -Balzac  Gauss Cannon R5-100 Turret (2x20)    Range 50 000km     TS: 32000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 5    ROF 5        1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
van Dijck Ordnance CIWS-320 (1x10)    Range 1000 km     TS: 32000 km/s     ROF 5       Base 50% To Hit
Fouqué-Silvestre Electronics Fire Control S01 30-32000 (2)    Max Range: 60 000 km   TS: 32000 km/s     83 67 50 33 17 0 0 0 0 0
Cardigan -Goodge Fire Control S03 120-24000 (1)    Max Range: 240 000 km   TS: 24000 km/s     96 92 88 83 79 75 71 67 62 58
Boyer-Rivard Inertial Confinement Fusion Reactor Technology PB-1 (2)     Total Power Output 48    Armour 0    Exp 5%

de Witt & van Dijk Active Search Sensor MR11-R1 (1)     GPS 48     Range 11.5m km    MCR 1.3m km    Resolution 1

Compact ECCM-4 (3)         ECM 50

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

And the actual cruiser:
Code: [Select]
Illustrious Mk3 class Cruiser    18 000 tons     548 Crew     7041.8 BP      TCS 360  TH 2400  EM 2160
6666 km/s     Armour 8-61     Shields 72-300     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 10     PPV 142.89
Maint Life 1.61 Years     MSP 2445    AFR 259%    IFR 3.6%    1YR 1103    5YR 16543    Max Repair 1200 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Spare Berths 0   
Cryogenic Berths 400   

Brooks & Heath Research Inc 2400 EP Inertial Fusion Drive (1)    Power 2400    Fuel Use 41.34%    Signature 2400    Exp 15%
Fuel Capacity 3 000 000 Litres    Range 72.6 billion km   (125 days at full power)
D'Aoust-Villon  Omicron R300/432 Shields (12)   Total Fuel Cost  216 Litres per hour  (5 184 per day)

Cameron & Franklin 75cm C10 Far X-Ray Laser (1)    Range 480 000km     TS: 8000 km/s     Power 147-10     RM 8    ROF 75        147 147 147 147 147 147 147 147 130 117
Cameron & Franklin 35cm C8 Far X-Ray Laser (3)    Range 480 000km     TS: 8000 km/s     Power 32-8     RM 8    ROF 20        32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 28 25
Quad Bellemare-Astruc R21/C6 Meson Cannon Turret (1x4)    Range 210 000km     TS: 32000 km/s     Power 24-24     RM 21    ROF 5        1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Quad Carrier -Balzac  Gauss Cannon R5-100 Turret (2x20)    Range 50 000km     TS: 32000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 5    ROF 5        1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
van Dijck Ordnance CIWS-320 (1x10)    Range 1000 km     TS: 32000 km/s     ROF 5       Base 50% To Hit
Bonnaire-Delorit Fire Control S02 240-8000 (1)    Max Range: 480 000 km   TS: 8000 km/s     98 96 94 92 90 88 85 83 81 79
Cardigan -Goodge Fire Control S03 120-24000 (1)    Max Range: 240 000 km   TS: 24000 km/s     96 92 88 83 79 75 71 67 62 58
Fouqué-Silvestre Electronics Fire Control S01 30-32000 (2)    Max Range: 60 000 km   TS: 32000 km/s     83 67 50 33 17 0 0 0 0 0
Levengood Marine Inertial Confinement Fusion Reactor Technology PB-1 (1)     Total Power Output 60    Armour 0    Exp 5%

de Witt & van Dijk Active Search Sensor MR57-R1 (1)     GPS 240     Range 57.6m km    MCR 6.3m km    Resolution 1

ECCM-5 (1)     Compact ECCM-4 (1)     Small Craft ECCM-2 (2)         ECM 50

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

The idea is to have them operating in Task Groups of 6, one tender and 5 cruisers, that could be combined if needs be. I've only faced Precursors with them so far, and my experience with them is that, aside from some annoyance to actually close in to the target (lots and lots of small time increments while the enemy launch and while the PD deals with the missiles), they are much more effective than I'd have expected before.

For the specific of the ships:
Two quad gauss cannon turrent each firing 20 shots and controlled by a different fire control, for both the tender and the cruisers, meaning 40 final defense PD shots per ship, 240 per fleet, with a capability to fire up against 12 different Salvos.
One quad meson turret for each cruiser, and two for the tender, giving some area PD capability, better ability to handle armored missiles and some medium range damage capability specially against heavily hardened targets, as well as giving good capabilities to handle fighters and other faster ships.
And finally, for the main damage dealer, one 70cm spinal laser and 3 35cm lasers, giving a more than decent damage output at any range where I can conceivably *hit* the enemy ship, with a rather large alpha damage capability, but a ROF slower than I'd normally prefer.

For purely defensive aspects, all of the ships are decently armored and have enough shields that to minimize armor damage against other beam enemies that manage to close in and/or against AMM spam that might manage to get through the PD. And every ship has some CIWS, for the missile I don't see (launched too close for example) and for a little bit of of jump assault hardening. It's hardly a dedicated gate assault ship, but it's shouldn't be completely useless against more lightly defended jump points.

Main vulnerabilities I feel it has so far are against fast enough meson ships in enough numbers, since each ship is rather expensive, but that's a rather big vulnerability of any large beam ship. Theoretically enough missiles should also be able to hit it, but we are talking about "macross have nothing on me" levels of missile spam here. And even then, frakking huge amounts of missile spam could also be handled by fusing multiple TGs together, increasing their already rather large missile capability. Alternatively, ultra close range missiles might be able to bypass most PD capability of the ships, only having to handle the CIWS before going for shield and armor, but that would mean massed lighter ships being used in a rather expendable manner to actually pull off. And of course, there's always the possibility of enemy ships that simply outclass and/or outweigh mine, even for cheaper. A dedicated beam ship that lacks the extensive PD capabilities mine have for example, might be able to be better armored/shielded while being faster than mine while still having similar damage capabilities against other capital ships.

Personally, if I had to face this, my first guess would likely be massed meson fighters, the cheapest I manage to design. They will die in droves to the meson canons, but enough should get close enough to damage the ship. Alternatively, massed ultra close cheap bombers could work, lacking the (more expensive than I'm comfortable for an expendable ship) beam fire control. The missile fire control in question could be the worst possible one, since they'd be expected to launch the missiles at point blank range. Still rather expensive, even if only because of the engine requirements, but might be able to work. And if that didn't work, the idea of a anti-capital ship ironclad might work. With how armor depth works, enough layers of it should make the ship capable of handling an equal exchange of fire for much longer, and so long it's fast enough to keep out of meson range, only internal damage would be due to whatever impact manages to shake the ship by impacting armor.

So, thoughts?
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Beam Cruisers
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2018, 10:50:09 AM »
I'd double up on the fire controls to provide some shielding against combat damage and to engage more than one target per ship.

I'd probably add another power plant or so, again for combat damage. And another sensor.

Anything you have only 1 of that is a mission-critical item, is a point of failure. :)
 
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Offline Felius

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Re: Beam Cruisers
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2018, 10:55:57 AM »
I'd double up on the fire controls to provide some shielding against combat damage and to engage more than one target per ship.

I'd probably add another power plant or so, again for combat damage. And another sensor.

Anything you have only 1 of that is a mission-critical item, is a point of failure. :)
Doubling power plants is probably a good idea, but the beams fire controls are rather a bit too expensive already, doubling them is not really an easy choice.
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Beam Cruisers
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2018, 12:37:50 PM »
I'd double up on the fire controls to provide some shielding against combat damage and to engage more than one target per ship.

I'd probably add another power plant or so, again for combat damage. And another sensor.

Anything you have only 1 of that is a mission-critical item, is a point of failure. :)
Doubling power plants is probably a good idea, but the beams fire controls are rather a bit too expensive already, doubling them is not really an easy choice.

But if you lose the FC, you are sitting on 18k tons of target. :)
 

Offline misanthropope

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Re: Beam Cruisers
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2018, 01:09:11 PM »
fighters are the most dangerous form of attack the AI employs, and you seem uniquely vulnerable, since you engage so few salvos.

6666 kkps isnt fast for the tech level.  there are magneto-plasma fleets to be found on this site where your plan would have to be "absorb every missile in his entire empire and then hope his yards are in the contact system".

extravagant uridium and gallicite costs, and a fast ugly slide from state-of-the-art to total obsolescence are AFAIK unavoidable problems with beam fleet concepts in aurora.  i know of no build trick that helps much;  on the strategic side your main advantage is maximizing your odds of fuel-cost-only victories, so you play to that by expanding in a fashion that lets you bring 100% of your fleet to the attack at the instant of first contact.  its all i got, sorry.
 

Offline Kurt

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Re: Beam Cruisers
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2018, 08:35:06 PM »
The only thing I'd change if I designed it would be multiple smaller power plants, so that you don't lose power all at once, and changing the engines from just one to at least two (half size) smaller engines.  That way you don't lose motive power if your only engine is damaged.  You will lose efficiency, but the resilience should more than make up for it. 

Kurt
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Beam Cruisers
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2018, 01:54:06 PM »
I play beam cruisers a lot more specialized.  I don't build many of them, but I build them fast enough to out speed and outrange enemy beam ship encountered.  But a slugger philosophy, where you expect to meet enemies with similar ranged weapons, and want to beat them by having more weapons or more armor/shields, is workable.
 

Offline Felius

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Re: Beam Cruisers
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2018, 06:08:50 PM »
Thinking on the next iteration, was considering dropping the Gauss turrets from the main cruiser and create a dedicated PD vessel, getting something like:

Code: [Select]
Illustrious Mk4 class Cruiser    20 000 tons     621 Crew     8159.6 BP      TCS 400  TH 4800  EM 5400
12000 km/s     Armour 9-65     Shields 180-300     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 10     PPV 98.22
Maint Life 1.3 Years     MSP 2550    AFR 320%    IFR 4.4%    1YR 1602    5YR 24034    Max Repair 1200 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Spare Berths 1   
Cryogenic Berths 400   

Brooks & Heath Research Inc 2400 EP Inertial Fusion Drive (2)    Power 2400    Fuel Use 41.34%    Signature 2400    Exp 15%
Fuel Capacity 3 500 000 Litres    Range 76.2 billion km   (73 days at full power)
D'Aoust-Villon  Omicron R300/432 Shields (30)   Total Fuel Cost  540 Litres per hour  (12 960 per day)

Cameron & Franklin 75cm C10 Far X-Ray Laser (1)    Range 480 000km     TS: 12000 km/s     Power 147-10     RM 8    ROF 75        147 147 147 147 147 147 147 147 130 117
Cameron & Franklin 35cm C8 Far X-Ray Laser (3)    Range 480 000km     TS: 12000 km/s     Power 32-8     RM 8    ROF 20        32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 28 25
Quad Bellemare-Astruc R21/C6 Meson Cannon Turret (2x4)    Range 210 000km     TS: 32000 km/s     Power 24-24     RM 21    ROF 5        1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
van Dijck Ordnance CIWS-320 (1x10)    Range 1000 km     TS: 32000 km/s     ROF 5       Base 50% To Hit
Bonnaire-Delorit Fire Control S02 240-8000 (1)    Max Range: 480 000 km   TS: 8000 km/s     98 96 94 92 90 88 85 83 81 79
Cardigan -Goodge Fire Control S03 120-24000 (1)    Max Range: 240 000 km   TS: 24000 km/s     96 92 88 83 79 75 71 67 62 58
Boyer-Rivard Inertial Confinement Fusion Reactor Technology PB-1 (1)     Total Power Output 24    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Levengood Marine Inertial Confinement Fusion Reactor Technology PB-1 (1)     Total Power Output 60    Armour 0    Exp 5%

de Witt & van Dijk Active Search Sensor MR57-R1 (1)     GPS 240     Range 57.6m km    MCR 6.3m km    Resolution 1

ECCM-5 (1)     Compact ECCM-4 (1)         ECM 50

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes
Still only one fire control for each group of guns, but thinking on it, we while it'd mean a loss of range, I could have them use the other weapon fire control. Will probably trade the reactors for multiple size one reactors too, and might increase the tracking speed of the Meson fire control to equal that of the meson turret, although that's also a bit costly for not that much gain when they can already use a different fire control system. An increase in the laser FC speed might be in the books though, to match that of the ship itself. Might drop a few shields for extra engineering spaces too.
 

Offline Iranon

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Re: Beam Cruisers
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2018, 05:08:51 PM »
Still a bit too much overhead on fire controls for my liking.
I don't get the meson weaponry, they don't mix well with lasers. 15cm lasers would match your maximum FC range and work quite well as dual-purpose weapons - turreted or not. They'd probably be my main armament, but big guns and especially the spinal monstrosity have their appeal.

Propulsion plant is overstressed and inefficient. 3 engines with power between 1.0 and 1.3 and 2.5m fuel would achieve considerably better performance (almost twice the range or 30% higher speed or a bit of both) at lower fuel consumption.

Better armoured and less well armed than I like similar ships, but not unreasonably so. With the above caveats, it looks quite functional.
 

Offline Felius

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Re: Beam Cruisers
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2018, 06:50:35 PM »
Still a bit too much overhead on fire controls for my liking.
I don't get the meson weaponry, they don't mix well with lasers. 15cm lasers would match your maximum FC range and work quite well as dual-purpose weapons - turreted or not. They'd probably be my main armament, but big guns and especially the spinal monstrosity have their appeal.

Propulsion plant is overstressed and inefficient. 3 engines with power between 1.0 and 1.3 and 2.5m fuel would achieve considerably better performance (almost twice the range or 30% higher speed or a bit of both) at lower fuel consumption.

Better armoured and less well armed than I like similar ships, but not unreasonably so. With the above caveats, it looks quite functional.
For the Mesons, it's my "to go" weaponry for mid range combat and PD, since I tend to assume armored ships for targets. Also same reason why the I'm using big lasers, including the spinal monstrosity. More armor have a rather exponential effect on how hard a target is to penetrate, since it's not all that likely to consistently hit the same spot, specially against bigger vessels. As such, smaller guns will end having to either sandblaster the enemy or luck out on shock damage. I am considering dropping the mid size lasers for other weaponry, since while they do allow for some extra weight of fire they don't really offer greater penetration, although they help against shields. Might consider plasma cannonades or microwaves for shield depleting, but I need to think about it.

On the engines, I somewhat agree, but having trouble keeping the ship light. If I can find the tonnage I might reduce effiency to 2/3 of what it currently is, and go for 3 1600 engines instead of 2 2400 ones. Still, the ship is already a bit underarmored for my tastes (yes, I do like overly armored ships  :P ), so I'm unsure if I will find the tonnage for this iteration. Maybe next time I accept a general size increase in my fleets.
 

Offline Iranon

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Re: Beam Cruisers
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2018, 02:52:33 AM »
Seems I messed up the calculation. 3 Engines at default power would leave 1m for fuel at the same tonnage, not 2.5m... so you'd lose 20% range compared to your setup which consumes 2.76 as much fuel and has 3.5 times the fuel load.
In other words, you'd need to find 5HS for additional fuel if range isn't negotiable... that's not much at all. You can probably cut an engineering space while keeping your maintenance life (Max Repair seems to be your engines). I'd be willing to lose 2-4 shield generators or a tiny bit of endurance for much better economy.
 

Offline Felius

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Re: Beam Cruisers
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2018, 10:40:36 AM »
Seems I messed up the calculation. 3 Engines at default power would leave 1m for fuel at the same tonnage, not 2.5m... so you'd lose 20% range compared to your setup which consumes 2.76 as much fuel and has 3.5 times the fuel load.
In other words, you'd need to find 5HS for additional fuel if range isn't negotiable... that's not much at all. You can probably cut an engineering space while keeping your maintenance life (Max Repair seems to be your engines). I'd be willing to lose 2-4 shield generators or a tiny bit of endurance for much better economy.
Might be a good idea for when my fleets start becoming much larger, but right now fuel economy is not really a concern. Hell, I've turned the refineries off because I had too much stored fuel given my current usage.
 

Offline misanthropope

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Re: Beam Cruisers
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2018, 02:58:55 PM »
with the faster chassis, the turrets provide less value for the mesons.  off the top of my head beam fighters seem the only target running between 12 and 32 kkps, at your tech level.  and i would think your ECM is going to make life pretty hard on those guys, if you ever even see them.
 

Offline Felius

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Re: Beam Cruisers
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2018, 10:51:59 PM »
with the faster chassis, the turrets provide less value for the mesons.  off the top of my head beam fighters seem the only target running between 12 and 32 kkps, at your tech level.  and i would think your ECM is going to make life pretty hard on those guys, if you ever even see them.
It can also theoretically handle missiles, but your point is acknowledged. I might drop the mesons and see if I can find the tonnage to add Gauss for pure PD back.
 

Offline misanthropope

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Re: Beam Cruisers
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2018, 10:36:18 AM »
you need *something* to hit targets on planets, but mesons have such anti-teamwork with your primary suite that you want to keep them to a minimum

conceivably you could make hull-mounted 10cm railguns a fairly heavy component of your weaponry.  your ships are fast and armored enough to be willing and able to knife fight, where the rails make a very good supplement for the big laser gashes you're going to do.   2.5 (ish) railguns at tracking speed 12000 are darn close to an equal substitute for one four-shot gauss turret tracking at 32000 in pure point defense mode. 

i probably owe iranon royalties for this post :)

i am very *very* much in favor of mixing roles as much as practical.  there is no economic case for specialization, and you're just gratuitously adding a point of failure to your entire fleet if you concentrate your missile defenses onto one ship.
 

 

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