Author Topic: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet  (Read 5060 times)

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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2019, 05:01:41 AM »
I used to be in the 'separate ships' camp when it came to geological and gravitational survey sensors. Over time, as I have designed combined ships to try races with different design philosophies, I have moved into the 'both sensors on one ship' camp. I have no idea if that is more efficient because I have never run the numbers, but they just seem so convenient, both tactical and strategically.

I'm not advising that is the route people go down, just mentioning it is the one that appeals to me (for the moment anyway). You should design your ships based on what appeals to you. This is a single-player, role-playing focused-game, not a design competition. If the 'personality' of your race means it would most likely use large armed survey ships, then build them. From my own experience, you will get a lot more out of the game if you adopt a certain style for your race, rather than trying to make each ship individually 'efficient'.

As the game unfolds and your race encounters threats or problems, you designs will naturally adapt to those situations.
 
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Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2019, 07:45:23 AM »
What is in my survey flotilla:
1 jump tender/tanker
1 survey support carrier with scouts and jump point monitor satellites and a flag bridge
4-6 grav survey boats (~800 tons)
1-3 geo survey commercial engined ships.  My 3rd gen geo survey ships also have jump engines.  I tend to build somewhat too many geo survey ships as I often have too little for them to do, but they can at least serve as jump tenders for my grav survey expedition.
1-2 independent jump probe fighters
 
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Offline bankshot

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2019, 08:28:20 PM »
Initially I surveyed without scouting first.  However after encountering my first wreck and ruins my doctrine changed.  I send a gate builder to the jump point to explore along with a jump capable scout carrier (1 hanger plus engines, a bit over 2K tons).  The jump carrier holds two 400ish ton EM and thermal scout fighters, and one 150 ton jump point scout (engine, jump engine, active & passive sensors, and a bit of fuel). 

The 150 ton scout jumps in to survey the jump point and if the jump point is clear I jump the carrier in, recover the jump point scout and launch the system scout wing.  While the scout wing clears examines any potentially habitable planets I build the jump gate into the system.   Once that is constructed the jump gate constructor jumps in and I start my grav and geo surveys.  So far I haven't encountered any live aliens but should I do so I'd hopefully have some idea of what my fleet would have to handle. 

My grav survey ships are equipped with one size 6 launcher and an 18 capacity magazine.  The size 6 missile has a low power engine and a bit of fuel to place a size 5 res 1 active sensor buoy onto the jump point - that way I can continue surveying the system without having to divert the survey ship to drop off the buoy. 

My empire is still fairly young (Internal Fusion tech, 20 systems explored, 22 cost 0 worlds, another 20 in the terraforming queue) so I have a significant delay between explorations.  I don't see a need to expand much faster than I can terraform and colonize as that would mean taking extra risks without much potential reward.
 

Offline xenoscepter

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2019, 04:26:28 PM »
Having re-read this old thread,it struck me that having A Geological Survey Sensor and a Gravitational Survey Sensor on one ship was cheaper than building two ships each sporting one sensor (or even two of them). That's double the engines, double the fuel, double the life support, double the armor, etc. It really only makes sense if your using FACs or Fighters and can hangar them, since you build the big expensive carrier once, then deploy the minions as needed; allowing ease of mix and match to suit the mission at hand. The carriers also carry some inherent military value.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2019, 02:47:11 AM »
I'm fairly certain that both GEO and GRAV sensors now are military in C# so splitting them up for that reason might be a moot point. I might remember wrong and if I am I would suggest they both are military for consistency sake in the future.

In any way I use all variation of ships and tactics for deploying and using survey ships in the game and they all have their merits in some way.

First of all in every game I play the people in that world don't get MY experience of what happened in other "games". So they usually start surveying with relatively small and cheap ships and provide no military scouting support of any kind.

In any way no one start providing military support until they actually find any relevant recent alien life. A ruin that is a few millions or even billions of years old are rarely cause for concern for most factions.

Depending on the faction the loosing a survey ship can and will be an accepted thing or not. Some factions might consider having really valuable people on those crafts and will consider it a strategic value for scouting with military craft first, or some just value all life and want the most suitable craft to scout that have the greatest chance to survive hostile contact.

I do like the Survey cruiser variant that provides everything which usually include a hangar with small GEO survey crafts. These would generally operate alone.. so the cruiser itself conduct the Gravitational survey while the smaller crafts run around surveying the planets, moons and asteroids. These ships are usually out four about 24 month tours.

I also think it is hard to say which is the more "efficient" way of doing things. Everything counts as does naval yards, build times, number of crafts, overall needs, resources, research and how much these ships can perform in other roles. Perhaps a survey cruiser can be drafted into becoming a decent military scout once a war is imminent, double roles makes ships more dynamic and useful in many ways.
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2019, 11:58:11 AM »
Having re-read this old thread,it struck me that having A Geological Survey Sensor and a Gravitational Survey Sensor on one ship was cheaper than building two ships each sporting one sensor (or even two of them). That's double the engines, double the fuel, double the life support, double the armor, etc. It really only makes sense if your using FACs or Fighters and can hangar them, since you build the big expensive carrier once, then deploy the minions as needed; allowing ease of mix and match to suit the mission at hand. The carriers also carry some inherent military value.
The reason why most people separated the two is that Geological Survey Sensors are a commercial component whereas Gravitational Survey Sensor is a military component. So it was very much possible and recommended to build a commercial GeoSurveyor that didn't have to worry about maintenance, and a streamlined GravSurveyor that would return to maintenance facilities every 2 years.
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2019, 09:44:48 PM »
I am at a loss as to how people can think putting both geo and grav sensors on a ship could be more efficient.

Consider a dummy system that masses 5 HS and costs 100 BP.  If you put it on a dedicated grav survey ship, it will move slower and cost more.  A ship that is grav surveying can't also geo survey, and vice versa.  All the time that a ship is doing one task, the other survey equipment is dead weight.
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2019, 12:26:47 AM »
The same way people can think putting them on separate ships could be more efficient. . . by making assumptions.

Consider a dummy ship, that masses 100 hull spaces and costs 2,000 BP.  If you send it all round your empire following a combined survey cruiser, it will burn a lot of fuel and cost money.  A geo-only ship that isn't surveying and isn't moving to the next location is dead weight.

- - - - -

If it consistently takes 30 days to geo survey everything, and 55 days to grav survey everything, that's a lot time a dedicated geo-survey ship isn't doing anything.  If you separate your fleets and assign jump support to move your geo ships independently 'round the map, that's a LOT of player brain-power spent managing logistics.

Put geo sensors on my grav-only survey cruisers (if I built such a thing) and I don't even have to change the jump drive it's such a small size increase.  Bring an entire second ship, and now I need a second self-only jump drive, or a larger squadron drive.

Unless your ship is 50% survey sensors -- such as the fighter or FAC survey swarms carried by jumping motherships -- you save a massive amount of space, materiel, fuel, money & time by building 115% of a combined surveyor instead of 2x100% of dedicated ships.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2019, 03:50:49 AM »
I used to be in the separate ships camp. Over time, mainly through experimenting with different design philosophies for different races in campaigns. I've moved into the combined camp.

I'm not positive its economically more efficient - that depends on the amount of work available for geo and grav sensors - but it is definitely far more convenient.
 

Online tobijon

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2019, 04:26:21 PM »
To me its a question of technology, in early game, when your fuel efficiency is low youre dragging a lot of extra weight around by putting an extra sensor in since you can only use one at a time. By the time you have researched 0.2 power modifier and 0.5 fuel consumption, fuel consumption is so low an extra 300 tons doesnt matter anymore so you can combine them in one ship. Its still less efficient though.
 

Offline misanthropope

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2019, 09:10:29 PM »
when i assign a ship to grav survey, i know it is going to be doing grav survey every moment of the rest of its life.  i operate on big expansions at regular (predetermined) intervals.  so my grav ships don't have any time for a secondary role.  my geo do, as that work is a lot more irregular, but there's no value in the side hustle being grav survey.

generally speaking, though, overexpanding is a real thing in aurora (as opposed to starfire) so your survey fleets tend to be quite modest, meaning the "value per click" of specializing isn't substantial.
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2019, 09:46:31 PM »
Whereas I know my survey cruisers are going to spend their service lives surveying.  When I dispatch one through a jump point, I know it's going to spend however long it takes to completely survey the ground & space in that system, report back all it's findings, and proceed through the next jump point.  Repeat.

When it runs low on fuel, and maintenance, and crew morale (all at the same time, if I've done my job right desigining it), it's going to come home to rest, refuel, & refit before heading out along a different warp chain.

I know I'm not going to be stuck with a geo fleet doing nothing because it's in the wrong system, or because the new system is a starless nexus, or because a grav surveyer was lost with all hands and now there are no unsurveyed bodies left in my empire.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2019, 01:43:31 AM »
I am at a loss as to how people can think putting both geo and grav sensors on a ship could be more efficient.

Consider a dummy system that masses 5 HS and costs 100 BP.  If you put it on a dedicated grav survey ship, it will move slower and cost more.  A ship that is grav surveying can't also geo survey, and vice versa.  All the time that a ship is doing one task, the other survey equipment is dead weight.

The extra cost in shipyards, retooling costs and time might very well be enough of a factor to make it worth the hassle of some few extra fuel costs for "dead weight".

Using a single ship for many things is a strategic consideration and not about mathematical efficiency in one single instance.

Let's say you run an exploration vessel that also incorporate sensors and a small hangar with possibility of either some scouting vessel or perhaps a GEO survey shuttle. the point being that the ship are suppose to operate on it's own for an extended period of time.

One ships role are basically to do the grav survey and only geo survey any interesting terrestrial or potential fuelling spots, any dedicated geo survey will come much later if you deem it interesting. You are NEVER going to be able to exploit things in the same pace you can survey new space anyway so no real need to keep pace with the geo survey entire systems anyway, just the most interesting stuff. In these cases geo surveys are done much quicker than grav survey so having a dedicated ship for that (outside s shuttle) are probably pointless and a waste of fuel for the time being.

The point is to find the good strategically important systems and plan your general infrastructure, where to build the gates and where to send your real geo surveys and survey teams later.

Bringing a whole fleet for the purpose of scouting is also dead weight if one ship can find and potentially detect and avoid an enemy given they have the tools they need. It also means these ships can be drafted into military scouting when the times comes.

Any military ship that is not out doing military stuff is also dead weight in much the same way. So it certainly is not dead weight to bring along sensor equipment and weapons either.

There are allot more to consider than pure ship for ship cost for ONE specific purpose, the same goes for every ship that you create. The possibility of ships to multi-purpose in many roles simply make your strategic decisions far more flexible and overall less resource and time sensitive.

The only way a ship dedicated for one purpose make sense is if they can do that one thing none stop without wasting time moving about too much. In some cases I would agree a single purpose grav or geo survey vessels make sense too. But if your intention is not to geo survey every body in every system you encounter all the time it makes less sense to send more than one ship. You are never going to perfectly time when a grav or geo survey finish in synch anyway either.

So... calculating efficiency is almost impossible as it all depends on the situation and doctrines.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2019, 01:53:38 AM by Jorgen_CAB »
 

Offline misanthropope

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2019, 08:41:40 AM »
good lord, this isn't rocket science, people. 

jorgen, you don't have to be able to calculate distributions, just estimate them well enough to be confident which one has a higher expected value, which is in many cases quite easy.  allow me to demonstrate.

father_tim.  one of your ships is only slightly inferior to having a dedicated geo ship and a dedicated grav ship duct taped together.  if your ship is operating 100% of the time, that isn't 100% usage, that's 50% usage.  my worst case is having a fraction of my geo ships doing some busywork, like surveying asteroids in a system with no colony site, and that amounts to something like 85% usage on primary tasks.  my average case is nearly twice as good as your best case.  a perfectly valid argument can be made that the absolute gains aren't worth the QoL hit, but the efficiency argument is innumerate.
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: Conventional Start Exploration Fleet
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2019, 01:03:25 PM »
This is rocket science!  Well, no, you're right.  We don't use Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation, so technically it's not rocket science, it's pretend-spaceship-science.

- - - -

You're choosing a very narrow definition of 'efficiency' -- per sensor -- and using circular reasoning to declare separate types better.  If I have a 5000 ton (grav only) surveyor and stick 500 tons of geo sensor & overhead on it, I now have one ship that is better than one single-type surveyor.  If you want to argue that twenty such ships are 'less efficient' than eleven each of single-type 5000 ton ships, you need to demonstrate 91% efficiency with split types.  Because we're defining 'efficiency' by hull spaces.  We can also define it by cost, by minerals, by number of ships, by crew. . .

If we limit the empire to 100 survey ships, then 100 combined surveyors are better than 50 grav only and 50 geo only.  That's the logocal fallacy behind your claims of innumeracy -- you're comparing one 5000-ton geo ship plus one 5000-ton grav ship to one 10,000 ton combined ship.

I suspect the vast majority of Aurora players care most about time -- as long as they don't break the bank of money, minerals, or crew in the process.  Which means if an empire can make all their surveyors both geo and grav for an extra 5-10% cost (whether we're defining 'cost' as wealth, minerals, crew, or all of the above) per ship, the eighteen or nineteen combined surveyors are "more efficient" than ten geo and ten grav.
 

 

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