Author Topic: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet  (Read 5071 times)

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Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #30 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.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #31 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.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2019, 08:51:48 PM by Jorgen_CAB »
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #32 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.
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #33 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!"
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #34 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.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 12:57:27 AM by Jorgen_CAB »
 

 

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