Author Topic: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies  (Read 2514 times)

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Offline sadoeconomist

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2021, 05:08:00 PM »
Because there are no special construction advantages to not having an engine on a military station, you might want to put a small commercial engine on them so they can put themselves in position slowly or take themselves back from a jump point to a colony for refitting, and also so they can use commercial jump tenders, since they might be too large for your military jump drives to handle.  Then you have something like a pre-WW2 coastal defense ship, which makes a lot of sense as a pure colony defender.  Something like that packed full of weaponry has probably one of the best PPV/tonnage ratios you'll be able to build, too.

There are some other things I recently discovered the hard way about basing fighters on planets - you need to make sure your colony-based fighters have enough onboard MSP capacity to cover a max repair, otherwise they might break their most expensive part (probably the engine) and not be repairable without a ship-based military hangar, which you probably don't want to keep idle at an outlying colony.  The fighter design in the OP has that issue - if you're building them before any building carriers, they might break in a way that can't be fixed, especially if you're training them.  One fighter maintenance storage bay is probably all you need to avoid that.

If you intend to train colony-based fighters at all, you'll run into serious issues with deployment time, too - their clock will increase at double speed unless they're inside a military hangar, and bad morale will ruin their training speed and cause other problems, so either you need to ratchet up their deployment times and frequently cycle them in and out of your training NAC (don't do this, it's micromanagement hell) or only train them on carriers/fighter bases.  Apparently repair facilities and R&R for fighter crews in training are available on warships but not on planetside bases?

Then if you build a fighter training base, make sure it has plenty of deployment time and fuel capacity even if it doesn't have an engine and never leaves orbit, and give it a standing order to refuel when it gets low, since fighters will burn lots of fuel while training even inside of a hangar.  I haven't tried it yet but I think it might also potentially make sense to build trainer versions of fighters with super-long deployment times and high efficiency engines, train your fighter crews on those, and then refit them into combat models at a minimum-size military shipyard.  It might be impossible to refit the engines on most fighters, though.

After your fighter squadron is done training, you can then use a commercial fighter transport to drop them off at a colony.  But first make sure you have enough maintenance facilities for them and also probably stocks of duranium, uridium, and gallicite so those facilities can produce MSP.  They'll also need some stocks of fuel and replacement ordnance as well as a cargo shuttle station, ordnance transfer station, and refueling station, if you don't have a spaceport, which you probably shouldn't at a small outlying colony.

Basing fighters directly on colonies requires a lot of infrastructure on the ground compared to having them on bases in orbit above those colonies, which can have long deployment clocks and large onboard stocks of fuel/MSP/ordnance and can be periodically resupplied and overhauled by visiting support ships.  But if you have that infrastructure anyway, you can save resources and keep your fighters arguably somewhat safer by cutting out the base and putting the fighters on the planet.  It's also good to be able to support fighters directly on a planet because that lets you use ground support fighters as well.  You'll probably have ground forces on your colonies before you put any defenses in orbit around them because they don't require the same kind of enormous chains of logistical support, so ground support fighters should always have something to assist.

If you have STOs with PD weapons and long-range beams, fighters with AMMs and ASMs, and adequate ground forces to protect your STOs during an invasion, you can have a pretty tough colony with a complete set of layered defenses and nothing sitting vulnerable in orbit without it costing much in mineral upkeep.  An enemy would either have to destroy the planet through mass bombardment through your PD and AMMs or land a large number of troops under fire to seize the planet.
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2021, 05:39:06 PM »
Because there are no special construction advantages to not having an engine on a military station, you might want to put a small commercial engine on them so they can put themselves in position slowly or take themselves back from a jump point to a colony for refitting, and also so they can use commercial jump tenders, since they might be too large for your military jump drives to handle.  Then you have something like a pre-WW2 coastal defense ship, which makes a lot of sense as a pure colony defender.  Something like that packed full of weaponry has probably one of the best PPV/tonnage ratios you'll be able to build, too.

While you can do this, an engine + fuel load (and you will need enough fuel to get where you want to put the thing) does take up a good bit of tonnage (minimum ~1,500 tons which is not negligible on a 10,000-20,000 ton orbital platform) and introduces a potential for secondary explosion damage although this is admittedly a rather small (<5%) chance. Additionally, with only one commercial engine you will have speeds in the 100s km/s which may require months or in the worst case over a year to actually get the platform into place. A sizable tug with a tractor beam and more engines than a Formula One race will get you there much faster and has plenty of other utility once built.

Your other points are excellent considerations.
 
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Offline Borealis4x

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2021, 01:44:42 AM »
So what I'm getting from this thread and the other thread on the subject I started is that the best bang for you buck is a hearty garrison with STO weapons. These can stop all but the most determined invasions dead in their tracks unless the NPR chooses to nuke you which would deprive them of the planet's resources due to dust.
 

Offline sadoeconomist

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2021, 04:24:19 AM »
Quote from: Borealis4x link=topic=12227. msg145836#msg145836 date=1609746282
So what I'm getting from this thread and the other thread on the subject I started is that the best bang for you buck is a hearty garrison with STO weapons.  These can stop all but the most determined invasions dead in their tracks unless the NPR chooses to nuke you which would deprive them of the planet's resources due to dust.

I don't think you can stop with just a garrison covered by STOs.  The problems with only having garrison+STO are

1.  the enemy can just fly past your planet and ignore you and you can't reach out and punish them unless they get into beam range
2.  they can bombard you with missiles and you can't hit back, if they don't care about seizing your colony intact they can just nuke it back to the stone age without risking a single ship
3.  an attacker can concentrate their ground forces to take one planet at a time, a defender has to spread ground forces throughout all their vulnerable planets, so they totally can just get all their dropships together and invade and conquer the defender's colonies one at a time with a massive ground force if they want to, a garrison can at best hope to hold out against an invasion and delay the invader's army from moving on, it can't really win unless it's relieved by friendly forces in space
4.  if you have no mobile defenders whatsoever you can lose all your other system infrastructure to even a small enemy attack, a small marine transport could cruise around and board all your mining stations and sorium harvesters or whatever

Not having a garrison at all is a severe problem, because then an attacker can take your whole colony just by getting a dropship into orbit, and not having STOs to support that garrison is a severe problem, because then an attacker can just laser your garrison to death from orbit at their leisure, but that's not where it ends, you need to have some way of striking back at ships beyond STO beam range so you can keep them from bypassing your colony, delay their fleet and army there as long as possible, and make them pay a steep price to take it

You also need some kind of naval presence in your system to provide PPV or your colonists start getting antsy

I suggested using fighters as an initial defense force because fighters assigned to provide ground support at colonies are untargetable in naval combat, so unless the ground invasion has already begun they can be kept completely safe at your colony until you're ready to send them out - specifically fighters with ASMs in box launchers can punch well above their weight, can potentially hit targets without getting hit back, cost relatively little to set up and maintain, can have enough range to cover most of a system, and can contribute to ground combat if you equip them with pods

You can then upgrade by adding defense stations and eventually small system and/or sector defense fleets which can complement fighters and each other, to handle minor threats without needing to call in the main fleet, and delay major threats long enough for the main fleet to arrive
 

Offline Bremen

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2021, 11:33:07 AM »
So what I'm getting from this thread and the other thread on the subject I started is that the best bang for you buck is a hearty garrison with STO weapons. These can stop all but the most determined invasions dead in their tracks unless the NPR chooses to nuke you which would deprive them of the planet's resources due to dust.

Well, it's a bit more complicated than that I'd say. Ground forces are the cheapest and easiest defense (aside from maybe mines if those get fixed), but they're also one of the most limited. Even if you had so many ground forces you could shoot down incoming missiles and withstand a siege, enemies can go after any other ships and mining colonies in the system. Or, as noted, simply fly on to the next system, though I'm unsure if the AI would be smart enough to do that.

But, to quote Winston Churchill, "To try to be safe everywhere is to be strong nowhere.” Trying to defend every colony perfectly will be next to impossible, and even if you succeed it means all your military is locked up defending your stuff. Defending most colonies with ground forces risks them being overrun (or simply nuked), but it means your fleet is free to fly around reactively responding to threats, or go out and proactively attack enemies.
 

Offline dersavage (OP)

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2021, 01:40:56 PM »
I will make summary here how to defend colonies.  I'm still learning, but these advices and tactics here helped a lot to understand what can be done. 

1.  Ground Forces.  You can make beam or missile STO, good against fleets.  Also you need some boots on the ground, regular infantry, vehicles and so on.  Maybe 3000-5000t not sure how big units have to be.  Construction forces can make fortifications and units can dig to terrain better.  STO's have +25% range, but not sure what fire control they use or can I upgrade them. 

2.  Orbital Platforms and stations.  These are designed like ships, if 'no armour' is clicked it will make the class station so it can be build by industry.  Better make them without engine and tow them.  Stations and ODP/ODB need maintenance if military.  With hangar and maintenance module these can be military stations and support ships. 

3.  Fighters & FACs.  I tested and these seems very good option in the early game.  They are cheap and fast to produce.  Few squadrons of these.  Maintenance is the problem in colonies, so ships or stations with maintenance module or make sure your planet have refueling and maintenance facilities to support these.  Commercial carrier hangar is good for transport these.

4.  Fleet.  Any defence on planet will only slow the enemy.  So make fleet and prepare to attack bigger enemy forces.

It seems there are so many options how to defend your colonies and you can prioritize so ultimatelly make your own strategy and tactics.
 

Offline dersavage (OP)

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2021, 01:46:08 PM »
I have one question about ground forces. . .

I'm still trying to make units.  Just figured out the HQ-problem.  All my HQs are 1,000.  So when you make HQ, you need to adjust 'Headquarter Capacity' number when in 'Unit Class Design'.  Finally when I figured that I can change this number I can make different size HQ units. 

Is this HQ capacity number in tonnage?
 

Offline Droll

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2021, 01:48:27 PM »
I have one question about ground forces. . .

I'm still trying to make units.  Just figured out the HQ-problem.  All my HQs are 1,000.  So when you make HQ, you need to adjust 'Headquarter Capacity' number when in 'Unit Class Design'.  Finally when I figured that I can change this number I can make different size HQ units. 

Is this HQ capacity number in tonnage?

HQ capacity is the TOTAL tonnage its hierarchy can have without debuffs. Note that this total includes the formation containing the HQ as well. So a Battalion formation that is 1000 tons and has a 10k HQ can support an additional 9000 tons of other formations under it.
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2021, 10:59:49 PM »
I start off by considering detection, what does the colony absolutely need to detect.

So I have surveillance satellites on both sides of all known jump points.  That isn't going to help vs a newly opened jump point, but it will help contain the threat.

For the colony in question, asking a new colony to have the capacity to get a sensor lock over a large area is also a very expensive proposition. The absolute minimum sensor station is one capable of detecting any missiles before they hit the planet.  The first actual defense capability I want for my colonies is missile defense.  Because if I can exhaust the enemy missiles, that yields an advantage for my fast response force.  If I can merely exhaust enemy missiles, I may force the enemy at least into my active sensor range so I can get more information about them.

So I want to have some independent ship which operates with their active sensors down, until an enemy closes enough so they can get a sensor lock.  Since we are talking fighter or LAC sized craft, this isn't a very expensive defense force yet.

When designing a ground force to protect my colony, I want it to either be able to fight for a long time, or to require a significant tonnage of enemy troops, more than would be in a casual scout force, to overwhelm it.  The historical purpose of a castle is to hold until relieved.  If so much is invested in the castles that there is no relief force, it isn't very effective.  My scale goes from tripwire scout forces up to fleet anchorage.

A fleet anchorage colony is going to have MASSIVE passive sensors.  I generally research very few large sensors, because the cost for doing so is huge.   And because it is so expensive to retool shipsyards for size 50 sensors.  But one-offs built with planetary industry don't have that issue.  In VB6, you could just build a PDC with your max sized sensor, in C# you just have a spacestation with it.  A fleet anchorage is a place your fleet can stay in place for a long period.  Not necessarily indefinitely, at least not the whole fleet, but it allows for a higher tempo of offensive operations in the area.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2021, 01:36:01 PM »
I would agree with missile defence as my first priority of exposed colonies.

The first priority for defending colonies is some garrison troops, but another problem is the propensity of the AI to use missiles against colonies even when that makes little sense from an escalation perspective most of the time, not to mention the mass murder of another species and the retaliation that would entail realistically.

But, aside of that, putting a good beam PD and some long range beam defences on the colony is priority one. You will also want at least one colony in an important system to hold a decent contingent of FAC so you can protect other resources in that system along with some scouting element.

I would never bother with building large passive sensors and rely only on DSTS to do that for me, they are cheap and easy to build. I also never build large military anchorage in deep space as that is too expensive, only as a temporary supply point would I do that and then I would just put sensor probes in a ring around it to deal with passive observation. More permanent large naval bases I always locate on a system body of some kind.

In terms of stations I always put at least one proper Space Station at the primary populated colony in each system and then a cargo station around the rest of the colonies. The primary colony will then get the system defence force but all colonies need to have basic point defence system in place or they can be nuked to the stone age by the AI.
 

Offline TheTalkingMeowth

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2021, 01:55:25 PM »
I start off by considering detection, what does the colony absolutely need to detect.

So I have surveillance satellites on both sides of all known jump points.  That isn't going to help vs a newly opened jump point, but it will help contain the threat.

For the colony in question, asking a new colony to have the capacity to get a sensor lock over a large area is also a very expensive proposition. The absolute minimum sensor station is one capable of detecting any missiles before they hit the planet.  The first actual defense capability I want for my colonies is missile defense.  Because if I can exhaust the enemy missiles, that yields an advantage for my fast response force.  If I can merely exhaust enemy missiles, I may force the enemy at least into my active sensor range so I can get more information about them.

So I want to have some independent ship which operates with their active sensors down, until an enemy closes enough so they can get a sensor lock.  Since we are talking fighter or LAC sized craft, this isn't a very expensive defense force yet.

When designing a ground force to protect my colony, I want it to either be able to fight for a long time, or to require a significant tonnage of enemy troops, more than would be in a casual scout force, to overwhelm it.  The historical purpose of a castle is to hold until relieved.  If so much is invested in the castles that there is no relief force, it isn't very effective.  My scale goes from tripwire scout forces up to fleet anchorage.

A fleet anchorage colony is going to have MASSIVE passive sensors.  I generally research very few large sensors, because the cost for doing so is huge.   And because it is so expensive to retool shipsyards for size 50 sensors.  But one-offs built with planetary industry don't have that issue.  In VB6, you could just build a PDC with your max sized sensor, in C# you just have a spacestation with it.  A fleet anchorage is a place your fleet can stay in place for a long period.  Not necessarily indefinitely, at least not the whole fleet, but it allows for a higher tempo of offensive operations in the area.

How are you building space stations with sensors bigger than 50tons? Wouldn't that make them military and prevent using industry to make them?
 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2021, 07:33:52 PM »
Oh, my bad.  I guess the trick I used in VB6 is no longer relevant.
 

Offline Rince Wind

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2021, 06:16:08 AM »


2.  Orbital Platforms and stations.  These are designed like ships, if 'no armour' is clicked it will make the class station so it can be build by industry.  Better make them without engine and tow them.  Stations and ODP/ODB need maintenance if military.  With hangar and maintenance module these can be military stations and support ships. 



You cannot build military stations with industry. If you click "no armor" you are unable to add military components. You'd also want your stations to last for a while and not die to the first salvo, so having more than 1 layer of armor is basically mandatory. Without speed they are easy to hit.
 

Offline Jethro_E7

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2021, 07:27:32 PM »
How do I build ground STO's?
When I look to build them, under ground unit design, construction, static - I can't see that option?
What are the prerequisites?
 

Offline StarshipCactus

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Re: New player here wants to know how to defend colonies
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2021, 08:14:10 PM »
How do I build ground STO's?
When I look to build them, under ground unit design, construction, static - I can't see that option?
What are the prerequisites?

Have you designed a weapon you can put on an STO? For example, if you want a railgun STO, you design a railgun in the same way you would for a warship.
 

 

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