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1
The AI tends to be quite good at radio silence. Many ships I was tracking in previous games sailed with their actives being off.  I used a lot of passive sensors in a particular game and they occasionally picked up fleets of the starting NPR consisting of 10 identical ships out of which one or two were pinging with their actives.
This is why I use thermals to track ships. EM sensors are good to identify command vessels though. They can be a prime target at range.
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The Terran Federation spans over a dozen inhabited systems and likely twice as many systems with some other form of minor presence such as mining facilities, stations and/or military installations.

In order to keep track of all civilian traffic and make sure no alien presence threatens the federal operations in any part of space many different classes of ships have been designed to defend this vast space. Below are one small aspect of this described in the brand new class of small patrol and reconnaissance vessels in military circles known as the Raven class Frigate.


RV-300  Raven class Recon Frigate
The Raven is a small recon and patrol ship with the main role of reconnaissance. It has some defence capabilities but are not support to engage any military armed combat ships. They do have some defence against torpedoes and a small railgun for point defence and to engage small crafts at close distances. The class came about in order to have a cheap and effective ship able to provide sustained control in a system. The class is also designed to operate with military strike groups to act as advanced scouts, they can then be operated from the Tigris class Support Carrier.

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RV-300 "Raven" class Recon Frigate      2,500 tons       71 Crew       540.3 BP       TCS 50    TH 122    EM 0
4876 km/s      Armour 3-16       Shields 0-0       HTK 14      Sensors 66/84/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 6.52
Maint Life 2.92 Years     MSP 185    AFR 50%    IFR 0.7%    1YR 32    5YR 483    Max Repair 182.8125 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 100 tons     Magazine 24   
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 months    Flight Crew Berths 2    Morale Check Required   

SAAB  Ion Star Drive  P650-S (1)    Power 243.8    Fuel Use 145.01%    Signature 121.875    Explosion 15%
Fuel Capacity 178,000 Litres    Range 8.8 billion km (20 days at full power)

Rheinmetall 10cm Railgun V30/C3 (1x4)    Range 30,000km     TS: 4,876 km/s     Power 3-3     RM 30,000 km    ROF 5       
West Electronics BFC  Tyoe-X  R64-T5k (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 5,000 km/s     84 69 53 38 22 6 0 0 0 0
Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor R3-PB40 (1)     Total Power Output 3    Exp 20%

Class-15  AMM  Fixed Launcher (16)     Missile Size: 1.5    Hangar Reload 61 minutes    MF Reload 10 hours
Ashton-Harrison AMM-FC  C7 (1)     Range 7.6m km    Resolution 1
Viper  Mk-II  Anti-torpedo-missile (16)    Speed: 37,467 km/s    End: 0.3m     Range: 0.7m km    WH: 1    Size: 1.500    TH: 312/187/93

Active Search Sensor AS5-R1 (1)     GPS 8     Range 6m km    MCR 537.4k km    Resolution 1
Active Search Sensor AS38-R50 (1)     GPS 1200     Range 38.1m km    Resolution 50
Thermal Sensor TH6-66 (1)     Sensitivity 66     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  64.2m km
EM Sensor EM6-84 (1)     Sensitivity 84     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  72.5m km

Strike Group
2x SC-150  "Orion"  Type-C Recon Craft   Speed: 5159 km/s    Size: 0.48
2x SC-150  "Orion"  Type-S Recon Craft   Speed: 5159 km/s    Size: 0.48

Orion class Recon Craft
The Orion is the standard recon craft platform of the Federation, the Raven class Frigate have room to house four Orion class shuttles.

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SC-150  "Orion"  Type-C class Recon Craft      25 tons       1 Crew       10 BP       TCS 0    TH 3    EM 0
5159 km/s      Armour 1-0       Shields 0-0       HTK 1      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 10.31 Years     MSP 5    AFR 5%    IFR 0.1%    1YR 0    5YR 1    Max Repair 10 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 15 days    Morale Check Required   

Boeing Ion Star Drive  EP25 (1)    Power 2.5    Fuel Use 3394.11%    Signature 2.50    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 3,000 Litres    Range 0.66 billion km (35 hours at full power)

Active Search Sensor AS22-R200 (1)     GPS 640     Range 22.1m km    Resolution 200

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SC-150  "Orion"  Type-S class Recon Craft      25 tons       1 Crew       10 BP       TCS 0    TH 3    EM 0
5159 km/s      Armour 1-0       Shields 0-0       HTK 1      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 0
Maint Life 10.31 Years     MSP 5    AFR 5%    IFR 0.1%    1YR 0    5YR 1    Max Repair 10 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 15 days    Morale Check Required   

Boeing Ion Star Drive  EP25 (1)    Power 2.5    Fuel Use 3394.11%    Signature 2.50    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 3,000 Litres    Range 0.66 billion km (35 hours at full power)

Active Search Sensor AS13-R50 (1)     GPS 160     Range 13.9m km    Resolution 50


SS-230  Tigris class Support Carrier
This commercial class ship is built to support small corvette or frigate sized craft in remote places in the form of repair, refuel, rearm and transportation. The class have three large hangars each capable to support up to 2500t of ships and a minor 500t bay for servicing minor utility crafts. The Federation currently have three ships in active service (Tigris, Mekong and Volga).

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SS-230  "Tigris" class Support Carrier      30,848 tons       273 Crew       2,019.4 BP       TCS 617    TH 750    EM 0
2431 km/s      Armour 4-87       Shields 0-0       HTK 55      Sensors 11/14/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 3,540    Max Repair 187.5000 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 8,000 tons     Magazine 300   
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Flight Crew Berths 160   

SAAB  Ion Star Drive  C500-X (3)    Power 1500.0    Fuel Use 3.75%    Signature 250.000    Explosion 5%
Fuel Capacity 1,300,000 Litres    Range 202.3 billion km (962 days at full power)

Viper  Mk-II  Anti-torpedo-missile (92)    Speed: 37,467 km/s    End: 0.3m     Range: 0.7m km    WH: 1    Size: 1.500    TH: 312/187/93
Barracuda Mk-I  M-Class  Torpedo (23)    Speed: 28,543 km/s    End: 24.3m     Range: 41.6m km    WH: 9    Size: 7.000    TH: 114/68/34

Active Search Sensor AS22-R200 (1)     GPS 640     Range 22.1m km    Resolution 200
Active Search Sensor AS13-R50 (1)     GPS 160     Range 13.9m km    Resolution 50
Thermal Sensor TH1.0-11.0 (1)     Sensitivity 11.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  26.2m km
EM Sensor EM1.0-14.0 (1)     Sensitivity 14.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  29.6m km

What type of patrol and recon do you employ to provide security or general awareness aside from ground based detection centres?!?




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The goal of the current system was to disincentivize the use of nuclear weapons for profit, which kind of works. Standard warheads destroy everything on the planet, while making it kind of uninhabitable. ERWs kill the population by radiation, but does not kill the ground forces. You would still have to land with grunts to capture the stuff. This is completely in line with the intended goals. It makes the ERWs kind of pointless though, as they do not offer anything of value for the upfront investment.
Maybe orbital bombardment should be reconsidered and there could be weapons with higher and lower collateral damage to damage vs ground forces ratios.

PS: On the other hand ERWs could be removed and replaced by salted bombs. These weapons would create huge amounts of short lived radiation. Cobalt-60 is something that is sometimes discussed IRL.
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ERW could still have its niche because the planet would remain uninhabitable due to radiation. So, there would be a meaningful decision to make: use ERW to preserve as many installations as possible while reducing ground combat casualties but then have to wait few years before being able to settle the planet OR launch a major ground invasion to preserve the planet itself while suffering (possibly) large casualties OR glass it from space and forget about it.

Currently ERW's are completely pointless - I cannot think of any situation where I would want to use them. Even if the population size is too large to police, I'd rather ship in more PWL grunts and/or make forced labour units rather than use neutron bombs to wipe out the locals.
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The one big caveat I see for this is that collateral damage is supposed to be reduced for ground combat in 1.14 by about 80%, so the need for ERWs may not be very pressing after this change. Playtesting would be needed to confirm whether or not there is a useful niche here.

Hold on does that change also apply to orbital bombardment? The impression I got was that the reduction was for the ground combat itself only. So stuff like artillery, tanks etc.

I don't think it does. My point is more that if Steve is trying to make ground assaults a more viable option, buffing the nuclear war crime button might be a bit at counter purposes.
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C# Suggestions / Re: C# Suggestions
« Last post by Droll on Yesterday at 09:55:51 PM »
I think ground support fighters should be built as ground equipment instead of as space fighters.

It would be less time-consuming by having them baked into a formation to support from the start like artillery is. Having them under the Army's direct command also makes more sense, as would their reduced size. The smallest GSF I could build was still 50-75 tons, and even that seems too large for a bomber/fighter meant to operate in atmosphere.

Only problem then is simulating GSFs operating from space-borne carriers. Perhaps they have to be loaded in to a new type of hangar and then provide air support automatically when its mothership is over a world?

No need for a new type of hangar, just use troop transport bays except they don't unload like the rest. Especially since if they're ground equipment like the rest of the army you shouldn't have to worry about MSP, repairs etc. normally associated with what is otherwise a fun sized spaceship. Don't forget that with spoilers you don't necessarily have all ground battles happening under a significant atmosphere, hell there might not be an atmosphere on the body at all.

Edit: Honestly I'm happy with what space fighters are, just that they seem too hard to micromanage at any significant number that can influence the tide of battle. You can probably manage about 60-100 fighters without going completely insane but those fighters are going up against 1000s of AA units, which limits their usefulness by a lot.
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The one big caveat I see for this is that collateral damage is supposed to be reduced for ground combat in 1.14 by about 80%, so the need for ERWs may not be very pressing after this change. Playtesting would be needed to confirm whether or not there is a useful niche here.

Hold on does that change also apply to orbital bombardment? The impression I got was that the reduction was for the ground combat itself only. So stuff like artillery, tanks etc.
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C# Suggestions / Re: C# Suggestions
« Last post by Borealis4x on Yesterday at 09:48:20 PM »
I think ground support fighters should be built as ground equipment instead of as space fighters.

It would be less time-consuming by having them baked into a formation to support from the start like artillery is. Having them under the Army's direct command also makes more sense, as would their reduced size. The smallest GSF I could build was still 50-75 tons, and even that seems too large for a bomber/fighter meant to operate in atmosphere.

Only problem then is simulating GSFs operating from space-borne carriers. Perhaps they have to be loaded in to a new type of hangar and then provide air support automatically when its mothership is over a world?
9
I think probably a simple and sufficient change to give ERWs a useful niche is to have the radiation modifier be a multiplier rather than divisor for damage done by missiles to troops. I believe presently a ERW will deal reduced damage to ground troops compared to a normal missile, when it should probably deal increased damage instead. This would be a relatively simple change to make, I would assume, and doesn't require adding a new mechanic for radiation damage.

So basically, if you have ERW 5, instead of a ERW missile doing 20% damage to ground troops it does 500%, while keeping the 20% damage dealt to industry and other 'hard' targets. Actually, this might be rather extreme so maybe it is sufficient to say that ERW warheads deal the same damage as normal missile to ground forces, while keeping the reduction of industrial damage.

The one big caveat I see for this is that collateral damage is supposed to be reduced for ground combat in 1.14 by about 80%, so the need for ERWs may not be very pressing after this change. Playtesting would be needed to confirm whether or not there is a useful niche here.
10
Currently the main reason to deploy enhanced radiation warheads is roleplay - they are only really useful if you want to make an NPR home world glow in the dark and watch its surviving population fall into Mad Max anarchy.

However, one of the original use cases for the development of the neutron bomb (the original enhanced radiation warhead) was as a tactical weapon in support of ground forces - the bomb would cause reduced physical collateral damage while still irradiating enemy combatants. From this 1981 article:

Quote
The long years of engineering grew out of a notion originated by Samuel T. Cohen, a Defense Department consultant, in the mid-1950’s.  Around 1957, at the instigation of Edward Teller at the Lawrence Livermore weapons laboratory, work began that led to the development of a device which, according to Defense Secretary Caspar W.  Weinberger, ”enables infantry to fight closely behind it, as with conventional artillery.” Army experts interviewed at the Pentagon admit that the Secretary is exaggerating. But they do believe that the neutron bomb could be used in a way that would cause less collateral damage and radioactive contamination than standard fission weapons.  General Fulwyler says, ”The enhanced radiation weapons offer even greater possibilities for use than the weapons of the past.”

Quote
The chief Congressional proponent of the neutron-bomb plan is Samuel S. Stratton, a Democratic Representative from upstate New York. ”The tactical nuclear weapons that we have at present,” he says, ”are 10 kilotons. You need 10 kilotons to destroy a tank. A neutron weapon is one kiloton, and you can explode it without touching the ground. As a result, there is no fallout whatsoever. All you have to do is be in a basement away from the immediate blast and you’re safe.” While Representative Stratton’s technical brief would appear to be at odds with Pentagon statements about how the bomb would be used and scientific analyses of its effects, his political logic has proved powerful in Congressional debates. ”The neutron weapon is essentially defensive, simply because it kills tank operators without destroying the German countryside you’re trying to defend,” he says. ”A weapon that is primarily limited to just killing soldiers and goes out of its way to preserve the invaded territory is offensively useless. The Russians are opposed to it because they cannot profit from it even if they could build it.”

I think that one way to improve the appeal of ER warheads could be specialize them into the planetary bombardment niche. One way to do this could be to make ground forces suffer damage from warheads' explosions and their radiation output. "All you have to do is be in a basement away from the immediate blast and you’re safe” could presumably be simulated by making GU fortification extra-effective against radiation attack.
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