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General Discussion / Re: How / do you standardize ship names?
« Last post by serger on Yesterday at 11:54:47 PM »
I have a list of shipnames too (mostly historical shipnames + a list of historical persons I like to honour), yet it's mostly for the beginning of every game, before it accumulates it's own history and therefore a namelist (dead personas, names of colonies and battle locuses, etc.)
This starting list is rather long to have a choice every time, and I don't think it's very useful for other players, tastes differs, yet I think it's really a good idea for every Aurora player just to try to make smth like this before starting their next game.
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General Discussion / Re: How / do you standardize ship names?
« Last post by Arwyn on Yesterday at 11:13:24 PM »
I have some consistent class names that I use pretty much every game.

The Mule class is always my basic freighters
Prospectors = Geosurvey ship
Surveyoor= Survey ship
Hope= Colony ship
Nostromo= Terraformer :)

Beyond that I usually use a one or two standard designations. Class, class name and either a Mark (Mk) number or Mod designation. So something like;
CA Revenge Mod A, or CA Revenge I

The Mark or Mod numbers generally coincide with engine tech. If I make a sub class it would show up as CA Revenge IIc or CA Revenge Mod C1
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General Discussion / Re: How / do you standardize ship names?
« Last post by Borealis4x on Yesterday at 08:10:24 PM »
Frigates are named after random things.

Destroyers are named after people.

Cruisers are named after cities.

Capital Ships are named after battles.

I wish there was an option where the hull designation was part of the name somewhere so you could know what it was on the fly.
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General Discussion / Re: How / do you standardize ship names?
« Last post by Kristover on Yesterday at 08:06:53 PM »
I use a alphanumeric system.  In my last game, I had a class name of S-235A (Asimov).  The break down in my system is as follows:

<Function> <Engine Tech Level> <Last two digits of design year> <Modification>

Function

X = Small Combat Craft (Any Combat Craft under 1000tons)
P = Patrol
E = Escort
D = Destroyer
C = Cruiser
B = Capital
V = Carrier
A = Auxiliary
R = Sensor/Intelligence/Scout
S = Survey/Exploration
J = Jump Ship/Tender
M = Mining
T = Transport
F = Freighter/Cargo

Engine Tech Level

0 = Conventional, 1= Nuclear Thermal, 2 = Nuclear Pulse, Etc.

Year

This is the last two of the design year.  If the ship was designed in 2154, then I would use 54.  To avoid a situation where I have a ship designed in 2198 have a higher number than a ship designed 2215, I'll add a 1 to make it a three digit number - in this case the 2215 ship would be 115 designation)

Modification

Every new design gets an A automatically.  Further modifications on the hull will get a B, C, D.  If I'm updating the engines of a particular ship, I'll reset the modification to A and change engine tech level.

Ship Class Name

The name of the first ship in the class will be the name of the class.
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Anyway, toughts? Critique? Feel free to post any suggestions you may have on my fleet.

My first thought is that this is waaaay too many ships to try and evaluate in one go.

However I am a reckless maniac so I will try anyways. My gut feeling is that so many ships of the same meta-class probably indicates that the overall navy has too many classes with the usual attendant doctrinal weaknesses, but we shall see.

Doctrine

First of all, it's important to establish how much of your fleet doctrine is fluffy roleplay versus the cold hard calculus of gameplay, and for the latter what kind of gameplay we are talking about. Specifically, if you are playing with a single player race against NPRs then you should recognize that your bog-standard NPRs will only use large ships, not fighters or FACs. This may vary for some of the spoiler races but you can work that out on your own. Against multiple player races of course anything is possible, and your doctrinal needs should be expanded accordingly.

An important distinction here is that in Aurora, "point defense" refers more or less exclusively to anti-missile work, and this is a major part of any successful fleet doctrine unless you are playing with zero NPRs and a commitment to use no missiles. Most (but not all) NPRs will use missiles, and short of roleplay limits other player races would be unwise not to do the same. Note that CIWS in particular is usually a huge waste in a fleet setting since it will only protect the ship it is on, while any other beam/kinetic weapon set to Final Fire will fire to defend the entire fleet. CIWS is really only useful on ships that expect to operate truly independently (e.g., survey ships), on large commercial ships as a small deterrent against missile raiders, or on very large, super-critical ships like supercarriers which usually form the singular centerpiece of a fleet (even then, Gauss turrets with SW fire controls are usually preferable as the enemy is likely to target the escorts first anyways).

This means that in very broad terms you will need to have ship classes in two principal categories: anti-ship (offensive) and anti-missile (defensive). Anti-fighter/FAC are a third category if you expect them to be present only, but are extremely distinct from anti-missile defense ships and have more in common, usually, with offensive ships (often, an anti-FAC class can be created by cloning an anti-ship class design and swapping out the sensors and fire controls, plus missile loadout if necessary).

The other key thing to keep in mind is that in Aurora, fleets typically do battle as... fleets. Generally, splitting the fleet up into smaller separate units while it may feel like you are executing a brilliant tactic only makes each smaller unit vulnerable to be picked off by a combined enemy fleet. This is especially true about missiles, since point defense is most effective en masse and not very effective in small groups. Things like formations and escorts are usually most useful when you are using very dedicated, special-purpose ships in these roles. For example, deploying a ring or two of sensor fighters/FACs around a main fleet to act as pickets to warn of incoming missiles or enemy fighters - here the trick is that by using smaller ships, the large enemy sensors that could detect your main fleet will not detect your smaller picket craft and thus cannot fire on them, so they are relatively safe even if detached. If you put your 10,000-ton destroyer out in front of the fleet to "intercept" an enemy missile volley, expecting to whittle it down with area fire before it reaches your cruisers, the enemy will just shoot your destroyer with everything they have and you're out 10,000 tons of point defense.

This means that concepts like flanking, gaps, line-of-battle, etc. have very little place in Aurora, and unless you are committed to a roleplay concept it is a little silly to incorporate such ideas into your idea of spaceship battle doctrine. If you are committed to a roleplay concept, you are probably okay with being a little silly.  ;)

Fleet Composition

Trying to get a handle on the general fleet composition:

Cruisers [8]:
  • CC Overlord: command cruiser, big sensors
  • CA Firestorm: anti-FAC defense beam
  • CA Hammer of Justice: offensive beam
  • CA Harbinger: mixed offensive/anti-FAC beam
  • CA Stormwolf: mixed offensive/anti-FAC beam
  • CA Justicar: mixed offensive/anti-FAC beam, long endurance
  • CLE Vigilant: mixed defensive beam
  • CJ Glyph: jump cruiser
Destroyers [6]:
  • DD Dragonslayer: offensive beam
  • DD Excalibur: offensive railguns
  • DD Sabre: anti-fighter/FAC defense beam
  • DE Fortitude: defensive beam
  • DL Nova: mixed beams + sensors
  • JD Eclipse: jump destroyer
The support ships make sense as they each have an obvious role.

So, 14 ship classes across two hull categories. That is a lot, and the obvious question is why do we need so many ships? I will get more specific when addressing individual ship classes, but generally I feel that there is a lot of duplication between ships that are not substantially different. Looking just at the cruiser group, you have an anti-FAC design, and anti-ship (offensive) design, and three slightly different designs which mix these two roles, and another point defense design which also has anti-FAC capabilities. Granted, each design is slightly different (the Justicar I think would be easily buildable out of a Stormwolf-tooled shipyard), but I don't think they are different enough to warrant such granularity of classes. I would probably focus on designing generalist classes, and using slight refit versions if you really need to specialize.

Less immediately apparent is that you also have excessive duplication between the cruiser and destroyers classes. Usually you do not want to have two classes which do the same thing and differ only in size (except when transitioning between two generations of a fleet). Why build an anti-ship destroyer when the anti-ship cruiser can fulfill the same role and is generally more capable due to being bigger, better-armored, and more resilient to damage? Plus, the cruiser in this case offers a bit of point defense to help a fleet survive missile attacks. Conversely, why build these big cruisers when you have a destroyer that can do the same thing, and you could use your shipyards to build cruisers that do other things like anti-missile defense?

As a general rule, while it does sometimes make sense to duplicate certain capabilities across multiple classes (e.g., every ship could have 1-2 point defense turrets to contribute to missile defense and ensure that the fleet is not vulnerable to losing its escorts, or every ship should have a spinal laser so it can contribute in a close brawl), each ship should have a primary purpose or mission and you should usually avoid duplicating this mission between multiple classes. The main exception I can think of is if you have a very large navy and a "high-capability/low-capability" fleet design doctrine makes sense to duplicate mission profiles between a high-capability main battle fleet(s) and low-capability garrison, patrol, or border squadrons.

Cruisers

To start, I feel it is good to interrogate the premise of "independent operations". What is meant by this term? Clearly there has to be some limit, for example no one in their right mind expects a lone cruiser to sail into an enemy port and seize it by itself as an "independent operation".

Typically, I think there are two principal modes of independent operation. The first is operations by a single ship, and these would rarely be direct combat operations. Examples would be: scouting, patrolling, convoy escort, showing the flag, commerce raiding, or pursuit of smaller targets. The second is operations by a cruiser squadron, in which all the ships have the same or similar capabilities. These could be the same kinds as above or could be more combat-oriented, but as a general rule no one would expect a single squadron to take on an entire enemy battle fleet.

In a broad sense, therefore, cruisers on "independent operations" do not need to be able to deal with whatever targets they run into. They need to be (1) designed for a specific mission or purpose, or at least given capabilities which correspond to specific mission types, and (2) they need to be sufficiently well-armed to destroy, drive off, or deter a smaller target or force, with the emphasis on "smaller" as these cruisers are not really expected to stand against an equivalent force of dedicated fleet combat vessels (which will generally be more efficient and therefore dangerous to an isolated cruiser or squadron).

The cruisers that you have here, despite the ostensible design doctrine of independent operations, strike me as being fleet cruisers instead, in that each one has a designated role and they work together as a combined group to protect a fleet from any threat. This doesn't mean they are a bad design, just that they are designed to work best in a fleet context instead of as independent ships. The problem I think comes when trying to design ships that mix 4-5 different capabilities to be "independent" and they end up being not very good at anything. The Stormwolf/Justicar classes strike me as weak designs because of this: they are trying to mount three distinct classes of weapons (anti-ship, anti-FAC, anti-missile), a good-sized active sensor, and very heavy armor (something like 15-20% of total tonnage is a lot of armor), so they are not going to be particularly good at anything. The best role I can see them fitting is as a convoy escort or maybe a patrol role, but even then the design could be more suited to the intended mission.

TL;DR: "independent operations" is not a synonym for "jack of all trades", and treating it as if it were so tends to lead to mediocre ship designs that do not perform any mission particularly well.

Specific comments:
  • 3,000 km/s fleet speed is okay in a vacuum for INPE era. As a general rule of thumb, 30-40% of ship mass as engines with a 1.0x multiplier will give a range of speeds comparable to what the NPR ships will show at the same tech level, although it is easy to exceed this standard with EP boosting techs. However, for a beam-only fleet speed is critical, so you want to be on the higher end of this scale in any era
  • The shields are uniformly terrible. 30 shield strength is barely 40% of a single armor layer and will absorb very little damage. If you want to use shields, you need to invest into the relevant techs and mount at least 1-2 armor layers equivalent in terms of strength to be effective.
  • For a command cruiser, you have to be careful since the big sensor makes it a big target. Generally, keep a cruiser with the fleet when facing missiles, but detach and keep out of range when facing enemy beams (this is where speed becomes critical!). Also, a big RES-1 sensor is important for anti-missile defense due to the tracking bonus you can gain once you research the relevant tech line, unless you use fighter pickets instead, and a command cruiser is a good place to put that sensor.
  • Generally I would avoid using turrets for anti-ship weapons. Turrets are not tonnage-efficient unless the tracking speed is much greater than the ship speed. For a 5,000 km/s turret on a 3,000 km/s ship, you are paying for 5,000 km/s of tracking speed but only getting 2,000 km/s of benefit - 60% of your tracking speed is wasted which is tonnage that could have been used for more guns or bigger/faster/more engines.

Destroyers

Most of these look good, because they meet the "have a primary purpose" criteria. Fleet speed, shields, etc. - see the above comments.

My main objection is to the destroyer leader class. It is frankly redundant and offers nothing over the command cruiser, and otherwise suffers from the same problems as the Stormwolf cruiser class in trying to do 5-6 different things and doing none of them very well. For the reasons previously discussed, the idea of a detached destroyer squadron going off to hunt targets usually does not come to fruition, and if it does...that is what your cruisers are for!!

If you really want to keep the DL role (and it could have some uses, mainly for smaller colony defense squadrons), I would probably use it primarily as a sensor carrier with some point defense weapons. Even so, I don't think it is terribly necessary.

Support Ships

No objections, these all look well-designed for the most part. This is the correct use of CIWS, as commercial ships can not mount any other weapons and this ensures at least minimal anti-missile protection in the event of enemy raiders.

For the jump tender, as squadron jumping has no place for commercial ships (...usually), I would use the minimum tech values (squadron size 2, max distance 25k) to reduce the size and cost of your jump drive. With the tonnage you save, you could choose to up-armor the class, mount a ship-to-ship tractor beam for emergency rescue/recovery operations, or put on some cryo modules for collecting shipwreck survivors/prisoners after a battle. For that matter, a dedicated tug/rescue ship would not be a bad idea, you only need a few and they are extremely useful.

Final Thoughts

If you have one takeaway from my novel here, it should be this: design fleets, not ships.

In other words, each ship class should fulfill a specific primary purpose or mission in a fleet doctrine, so that the entire fleet works together effectively to accomplish your goals.

Part of this means you need to design a fleet to face an expected opposition, rather than designing spherical ships in an imaginary frictionless vacuum.  ;)  Should you expect fighters? Missiles? FACs? At the start of the game you have to guess about this, usually, which means designing a good generalist fleet which can handle the most common types of opposition decently well, and then tailor the fleet by adding specialist classes once you meet alien races and prepare to kill them. A "generalist" fleet usually means something like 3-5 classes - offensive, defensive, possibly in both beam and missile variants, and often a sensor-equipped class to act as a basic fleet scout. You can of course design and deploy more classes in the early game, but this is really going to be for RP reasons more so than out of any real necessity.
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General C# Fiction / Re: Über alles in der Welt
« Last post by froggiest1982 on Yesterday at 02:50:46 PM »
Enjoying the LP so far!

For colonization, I just slap a emergency cryo on a freighter and let the civilian colony ships handle the bulk of moving colonists. The two hundred delivered are more than enough to start spawning civilian ships. So I just dump a bunch of infrastructure with those people and let them figure it out. RP wise I just consider those two hundred as trained experts being delivered to set up the infrastructure while the civ ships fetch the colonists.

Yes that usually works. I think it is a common way to handle civilian spawn and development.

The problem in my case is that I play a modified DB. Colonies will not produce any "feee" installations until reached the 500 million pop, so pretty much never as I play with 10% terraforming.

Also, the civian are off leaving the colonization effort entirely on the player shoulders. Again this will make eventual installation relocation also a matter of fuel and logistic. It may be easier to produce installations on site or move them from a different and closer HUB.

As my AAR are mostly based on political aspects, it is important to have challenges beyond the classic spoilers or NPRs. The idea is that sometimes the government will have to make choices which will impact both short and long term development.

Thanks for following

 :)
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General Discussion / Re: How / do you standardize ship names?
« Last post by RougeNPS on Yesterday at 02:38:49 PM »
I sorta use a combo of how Battletech does variations and how Star Wars does classes.

For example: A first gen Survey vessel is [Class name] I [Variant ranging from Prime to Z]

The name of the ship itself is excluded normally.
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Hevereyn / Re: Hevereyn: Dark Elven Campaign - Comments
« Last post by El Pip on Yesterday at 02:31:34 PM »
Finally escaped the system. RNG strikes again.
Putting it mildly!

Still there should be other JPs in the home system and hopefully one of them leads somewhere worthwhile. Of course that will take time and I'm not sure how much time the planet has before one of the Houses gets desperate and does something rash.
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General Discussion / Re: Modding cargo size
« Last post by Kristover on Yesterday at 01:47:02 PM »
While I understand the underlying ideas of making minerals take up more space I think you can get the same feeling if you just build your mineral haulers much smaller with 1-5k cargo holds and really slow engines.

I usually automate my mineral hauling with small specialized mineral haulers with very small cargo holds and as efficient engines as possible. I can even specialize them to concentrate in just one or two ore types.

I tend to try and distribute industry so I don't need to move facilities around more than absolutely necessary so moving minerals around to make sure the industry works everywhere is important and require much less logistics in general but is a fun puzzle to solve. I really don't like to have one centralized industry at Earth outside the very start before you have any decently developed colonies.

This is what I do.  I tend to build three types of freighters.  Small cargo ‘shuttles’ that transport minerals within systems as a supplement to mass drivers - I play with a house rule where colonies with atmospheres can’t have mass drivers; only LG vacuum colonies can have mass drivers - or one system over.  They tend to be 2-5K size and slow.  The second type are my massive superfreighters which transport planetary installations.  They are very large and have the most efficient engines I can make.  I then make a few mid size freighters which are much faster than the first two.  They usually can haul 25K are they are for emergencies where I need to get something somewhere fast.
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General Discussion / Re: Modding cargo size
« Last post by Jorgen_CAB on Yesterday at 01:17:26 PM »
While I understand the underlying ideas of making minerals take up more space I think you can get the same feeling if you just build your mineral haulers much smaller with 1-5k cargo holds and really slow engines.

I usually automate my mineral hauling with small specialized mineral haulers with very small cargo holds and as efficient engines as possible. I can even specialize them to concentrate in just one or two ore types.

I tend to try and distribute industry so I don't need to move facilities around more than absolutely necessary so moving minerals around to make sure the industry works everywhere is important and require much less logistics in general but is a fun puzzle to solve. I really don't like to have one centralized industry at Earth outside the very start before you have any decently developed colonies.
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