Author Topic: Crippling maintenance costs  (Read 1139 times)

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Offline Zeebie

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Crippling maintenance costs
« on: February 01, 2014, 05:13:06 PM »
I'm 32 years into a game, with a fleet of about a dozen destroyers, a dozen DEs, three carriers, and three cruisers (plus support ships of various sorts).  The maintenance costs on these have become crippling.  When they are on station guarding jump points, patrolling or training, it is virtually impossible to keep them in MSP.  My maintenance ships are themselves breaking down from constant shuttling, and Earth is spending 30% of its industrial capacity on making MSP.  If the fleet is in orbit, huge amounts of minerals are consumed (and I'm in a big mineral crunch right now to boot).  Am I doing something wrong, or is this just what happens when you have a functional fleet?

Some thoughts:
- is there a way to increase MSP production rate (eg, techs or research)?
- just don't have a big fleet?
- always have lots of engineering spaces (I usually put in three)?
- don't train/patrol?
- be super aggressive about overhauls? How high do you let the clock get before overhauls?
 

Offline Mastik

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Re: Crippling maintenance costs
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2014, 05:32:45 PM »
I have 17 engineering stations on my 14,000T destroyers, roughly 5 yrs Maint life, MSP 1700, 95% AFR, max repair 500.   Of course i have not been playing long either, but it seems to me you need to spam them.
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Crippling maintenance costs
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2014, 05:43:51 PM »
Generally you add maintenance supplies until annual failure rate hits about 100%, or until maintenance life hits some level you feel is appropriate for the vessel, I believe average maintenance life most people go for is 2-4 years. For jump point pickets you might want a higher maintenance life, and of course scouts and survey vessels need much longer life. Also supply ships( those carrying MSP) you should put engineering on until the failure rate hits 100% also, sure the maintenance life listed will be in the decades, but that's considering the use of all the valuable MSP inside to support itself.
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Offline Wolfius

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Re: Crippling maintenance costs
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2014, 06:25:13 PM »
I just design ships with enough maintaince life that, barring combat damage, they'll generally be back home in overhaul before they need more than they carry; usually just need engineering sections.
 

Offline Zincat

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Re: Crippling maintenance costs
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2014, 06:57:46 PM »
- always have lots of engineering spaces (I usually put in three)?

That's the problem. 3 engineering spaces is absolutely NOT enough, unless the ship is very small. Your ships will break all the time and use a ton of supplies.

You cannot simply choose a number and use that, it heavily depends on how big the ship is. Engineering spaces both add maintenance supplies AND make component failures less common, thus saving maintenance supplies.

I add engineering sections until I hit about 2 years maintenance life at the LEAST for ANY kind of military ship. No exceptions but fighters and FACS. Civilian ships instead need just one no matter their size to last forever.

After that it heavily depends on the type of ship.

- Ships intended for system defense: After task force training to 100%, these will generally stay in orbit around a maintenance facilities equipped world. As such, 2 years is enough because the maintenance clock will not increase, so no maintenance supply consumption.

- Mobile/offensive fleets: minimum 2 years as above, but if the deployment time is longer, maintenance life MUST be a bit higher than deployment time. If deployment time is 3 years, for example, I add engineering spaces until it is 3 years and half or something. These fleets will be expected to spend some time away from home regularly, they must be capable of doing so without breaking down all the time. If they are not being used at the moment (no enemy, no hot spots, no interceprion), these too get parked in orbit around a maintenance facilities equipped colony after TF training to 100%. Use the lulls between fights to overhaul them, but NEVER do so if you fear a strong attack, and never of the whole fleet at once. I try to never have more than 33% of my fleets in overhaul.

- Gate guard/other immobile ships away from colonies: if the design allows it, I go for at least 5 years maintenance life. Overhaul once the maintenance counter comes close to maintenance life, in the above example I'd overhaul every 4 years or so.

Please note there are other bonuses to having more engineering spaces: the ships will repair faster after combat if there is ship damage, AND you can repair more/bigger components. That's the difference between a damaged ship marooned in enemy territory and one who can repair the engine and get back home.

You will use a lot of minerals for overhaul anyway,but that is the price for having a fleet. But no industrial capacity will be needed (except in rare cases), and your ships will last longer.

P.S for long time operations you will eventually add dedicated ships o your fleets, like tankers for fuel, colliers for spare missiles and supply ships to carry maintenance supplies. These ships will be left behind generally during the heat of combat, and rejoin the main fleet in the pauses to refuel/resupply/rearm your combat ships.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 07:11:50 PM by Zincat »
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Crippling maintenance costs
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2014, 11:33:28 PM »
In my current game I started with 3 25 ton cruisers I didn't have maintenance facilities for, their clocks are up to 7 years out of their 2 year maintenance life, thus far the MSP usage isn't too bad but i think i have used up 7,000 msp out of the 25,000 I started the game with.
I'll probably scrap them before I end up with maintenance facilities for them, which is a shame one of them at least was meant to be my flagship :(
" Why is this godforsaken hellhole worth dying for? "
". . .  We know nothing about them, their language, their history or what they look like.  But we can assume this.  They stand for everything we don't stand for.  Also they told me you guys look like dorks. "
"Stop exploding, you cowards.  "
 

Offline Rich.h

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Re: Crippling maintenance costs
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2014, 07:11:54 AM »
Sorry to hijack this somewhat, but am I right in understanding that if a planet has enough maintenance facilities to support ships up to 50.000tons then any ships that size or less in orbit will not consume supplies from the planet? If so then any supplies I construct are just for ships either away from orbit or larger than my support size?
 

Offline Charlie Beeler

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Re: Crippling maintenance costs
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2014, 07:45:49 AM »
Maintenance supplies are not consumed by maintenance facilities supporting orbiting ships.  But mineral stocks are. 
Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics - paraphrase attributed to Gen Omar Bradley
 

Offline Nathan_

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Re: Crippling maintenance costs
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2014, 12:14:37 AM »
Construction rate tech increases MSP construction I believe, but yeah you need way more than 3 engineering spaces. It is the overall engineering percentage on your ships that dictates how often components fail,in addition to size, so adding more will lengthen the time between failures, I shoot for 5% engineering space(1 ebay per 1KT of ship).
Quote
My maintenance ships are themselves breaking down from constant shuttling
Fleet supply vessels can be made as civ craft with civ grade engines and the rest of their space devoted to engineering bays rather than the maintenance bay component.
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Crippling maintenance costs
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2014, 09:35:09 AM »
Construction rate tech increases MSP construction I believe, but yeah you need way more than 3 engineering spaces. It is the overall engineering percentage on your ships that dictates how often components fail,in addition to size, so adding more will lengthen the time between failures, I shoot for 5% engineering space(1 ebay per 1KT of ship).Fleet supply vessels can be made as civ craft with civ grade engines and the rest of their space devoted to engineering bays rather than the maintenance bay component.

To expand on this (because it's been counter-intuitive to people in the past):  At fixed engineering space percentage (e.g. 5%), bigger ships will have more frequent failures, but this will be counteracted by having more supplies to fix them on board, so that the overall deployment time before supplies are exhausted will be the same.

Imagine two ships Nimitz and Spruance, with Nimitz being 10x bigger than Spruance and both having 5% engineering spaces.  Nimitz will experience failures 10x as fast as Spruance (because its got 10x as much equipment that can break), BUT it has 10x as many engineering spaces (supplies).  So the expected time for Nimitz to run out of supplies will be the same as for Spruance.

John
 

Offline Zeebie

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Re: Crippling maintenance costs
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2014, 11:50:08 AM »
Fleet supply vessels can be made as civ craft with civ grade engines and the rest of their space devoted to engineering bays rather than the maintenance bay component.

How does this work? As soon as I add a maintenance supply bay the design switches to military. 
 

Offline Nathan_

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Re: Crippling maintenance costs
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2014, 12:29:50 PM »
How does this work? As soon as I add a maintenance supply bay the design switches to military. 

Don't use Maintenance supply bays, use the engineering storage components instead.
 

Offline Iranon

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Re: Crippling maintenance costs
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2014, 12:49:23 PM »
My solution: commercial tugboats hauling engineless modules.

These toting Maintenance Supply Pods are usually more efficient than supply vessels relying only on engineering spaces.
Tugboats hauling Weapon Pods gives us fuel-efficient, low-maintenance pseudo-warships. That approach has its own issues though.
 

Offline Zeebie

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Re: Crippling maintenance costs
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2014, 01:06:21 PM »
Don't use Maintenance supply bays, use the engineering storage components instead.

ZOMG! That's brilliant, thanks!
 

 

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