Author Topic: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics  (Read 6195 times)

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Offline jseah (OP)

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Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« on: July 15, 2012, 10:39:29 AM »
To while away the time and whet our appetites for NA's glorious coming, how about a good game of "Armchair General"?

For the purposes of these scenarios, we will assume neither side as any experience in space combat, so whatever you propose will get accepted.  Cloak technology will cost you 20% of your ship tonnage but is known to hide ships from Bug anti-ship sensors (but not anti-missile), and thermal suppression devices make known Bug thermal sensors detect a small ship at only a hundred million km range.  Note that the Bugs have this same capability. 

Since neither side have experience, this battle will be taken as a proving grounds for theoretical concepts surrounding space war.  A number of them have been proposed, but this is the first large combat that either side will face.  Your job is to create a defense or attack plan on the scale of single systems. 

While we certainly can be more realistic, I would like to keep this limited to what might be acheived in the actual NA game. 

Scenario - Defense:
You are the Admiral of the Human Defense Fleet.  Due to recent rising tensions with the Bug Empire, Earth High Command foresees the need to defend a frontier system from attack.  They are willing to commit significant resources to protect the important mining colony, home to 400 million souls and a substantial construction/maintenance base. 

Without knowing the Bug plan of attack or any of their combat capabilities or doctrines, or even whether a war is going to come at all, you are in charge of detailing and implementing a defense plan to ensure a Bug assault will fail or at least be very costly. 

Political requirements indicate that High Command is more willing to lose control of the system than suffer genocide on the colony, do what you must to prevent to the colony from being shelled.  Diplomats think that the Bugs will prefer not to attack the colony directly, although they do not understand why.  They also know that the Bugs have surveyed this system. 

The colony is situated around an orbit just outside the Goldilocks zone and has been terraformed extensively.  It sports a 1.3 atmosphere pressure, one civilian shipyard, one naval shipyard and a host of maintenance PDCs.  For the purposes of this exercise, you may assume repair and maintenance mineral costs are negligible compared to the colony's output.  Fuel is present in large (40 million litres) but not infinite amounts; for every 8 million litres you do not deploy, you may request another 20ktons of ship tonnage (not including fuel). 
There is significant civilian traffic (about 4 freighters at any point in time) in roughly the opposite direction the Bugs are expected to arrive from. 

There are two other inner system planets.  One a mercury-like world, the other a smallish gas giant around Jupiter's orbit distance that has Sorium Harvester stations.  You may base a fleet from the gas giant or its moons as fuel is present there.  Then there is a largish asteroid belt, you may assume a free asteroid exists in any particular location you need.  Then three more outsystem planets, where one is a gas giant without sorium but with a minor unexploited moon system.  Outside the hyperlimit, there is a loose collection of asteroids that you may create PDCs on. 
High Command is willing to dedicated up to 100 ktons of ship tonnage (not including fuel) to this defense.  Since the fleet is a defensive fleet, jumpdrives are optional.  (High Command will prefer to save the fleet if forced to retreat)  Missiles required to fill 3x the number of magazine space will be provided. 
PDCs have a 25% discount if constructed off the colony, have a 50% discount if constructed on the colony. 

Your task:
1. Create a defense doctrine within the constraints
2. Summarize the size and capabilities of military vessels needed
3. Describe standard tactics and maneuvers that will be used

Goals in descending order of priority:
1. Do not lose the colony
2. Defend the system against the Bugs. 
3. Preserve as much ship tonnage as possible. 

Scenario - Attack:
The Bug Queen has created a Commander-class mind, such as you, for the first time in a long while.  Bug space needs expanding and humans were nice enough to provide a 'tour' of a border system (as detailed above) that is understood to contain significant human presence and mineral resources. 

A fleet is being prepared to claim the system and you will design and lead it.  As humans are juicy meat and make good slaves, the Queen would prefer if the humans and infrastructure were left intact; as such, if they surrender, you are required to honour it.  However, if required to claim the system, you have permission to bombard the colony, even until all the humans are dead. 
Your task is to destroy human opposition in the system so that a ground invasion may be staged to claim the planet (or not if all the humans died).  Your fleet will be reinforced if successful for a further push or to repel human counter-attacks; therefore, your fleet is expendable and should fight as long as there is hope of victory.  Casualties on the human fleet will weaken their counter-attack, thus destroying ship tonnage is a desired goal.  Civilian traffic is to be targeted only once human threats are nullified. 

At present projections, you will have 140 ktons of ship tonnage (not including fuel) for this assault.  Military intelligence estimates this to be slightly in your favour, but you have what fuel and missiles exist in your tanks and magazines, the humans are likely to have ground depots. 
Do not forget that due to poor gravitational surveying, any jump into the system is likely to be inaccurate to about a 60 degrees arc.  Human activities in the system are unknown, except for the one colony. 

You may wait for specific astronomical alignments as the Bug assault in general will take place over a period of 20+ years.  However, certain rare arrangements will try the patience of the Queen. 

Your task:
1. Create an attack doctrine within the given constraints
2. Summarize size and capabilities of military vessels
3. Describe standard tactics and maneuvers that will be used

Goals in descending order of priority:
1. Gain space superiority in the target system and nullify ground to space capabilities of the human colony if any. 
2. Destroy human military ship tonnage
3. Preserve as much ship tonnage as possible
4. Gain the colony's surrender

Scenario - Round 2:
The Bug assault has failed.  Pick anyone's proposed defense doctrine and attack doctrine that you think will have this result and explain a plausible course of events. 

Pick either side and design a doctrine in response to the observations in the battle.  You have three times higher ship tonnage for this round, the humans have also doubled their fuel stockpiles (missiles remain the same). 

My bad, I forgot that fuel fractions in NA are massively higher.  The human defense fuel allocation has been increased to account for this. 
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 03:24:38 AM by jseah »

Offline jseah (OP)

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2012, 08:30:04 PM »
All right, now that I have a bit more time. 

Here's my proposed defence plan, resulting from the main Newtonian Aurora thread.  Assuming ship performance characteristics around the same level as the examples posted. 

A defense in depth, involving having widely spaced small squadrons and PDCs, as well as highly capable combined-arms missile groups.  The idea being that each missile ship only needs to get more than 2 missiles through enemy defences (as one hit is expected to be a mission kill at least).  If you can trade 1 missile ship for 1 enemy ship, the problem then becomes a matter of who has more ships.  IE. whose ships are smaller. 
Hence, the ASMs are large and come with escorts and supporting missiles. 

Ships & Ordnance:
Shipkiller ASM
 - Fragmentation missile (10-20 tons)
 - 50% fuel, 45% engine, 5% bursting charge
 - Engine is fuel efficient, low accel (but accel is at least 2x that of ships)
 - Range should be system wide

Dual-role AMM
 - Small, high acceleration nuke missile (5-10 tons)
 - 70% fuel, 20% engine, 5% warhead, 5% thermal sensor
 - Engine is not efficient, but when matching the accel of the Shipkiller ASM (on/off), has about the same powered flight range
 - Thermal sensor should be able to see a Dual-role AMM on full burn at range of 2 minimum time increments, assuming speed at 40% of max delta-v

Escort Missile (the existence of this missile depends on the ability to shoot missiles at thermal contacts)
 - Sensor drone (30-50tons)
 - Engine has half accel of Shipkiller ASM, powered flight time half that of Shipkiller ASM
 - All excess space mounts a thermal sensor
 - Thermal sensor should be able to see a Dual-role AMM on full burn at 1 minute flight time (same assumptions as above), inflate drone size as necessary

Missile System-ship class
 - Small, maximum 4ktons full load weight; 25% fuel, accel should displace 1-ship length within 10minutes
 - Mounts full-sized missile launchers; ratio: 4x Dual-role AMMs to 1x Shipkiller ASM
 - Has exactly 1 escort missile launcher
 - Offensive launch = 1 launch from all tubes, including the drone launcher
 - Defensive launch = 1 launch from all Dual-role AMM tubes
 - Loadout: 1x Defensive launch to 1x Offensive launch; round off with Dual-role AMMs
 - Try to have at least 4 launches each, 3 is acceptable. 
 - Tiny active sensor, Has massive firecontrol with range at least the whole system
 - At least 2 years maintenance lifetime

Sensor ship class
 - Size 25 active sensor, res 1, in place of weapons
 - Same characteristics as Missile system-ship; inflate size as necessary

Scout ship class
 - Size 25 thermal and EM sensors
 - Same characteristics as Missile system-ship; inflate size as necessary

Missile base PDC
 - Same as missile FAC, without engines or fuel

Sensor net PDC
 - Has a size 50 active sensor, resolution 1kton
 - Has at least 4x Dual-role AMM launchers per 1kton size

Hangar PDC
 - Able to house 4x railgun interceptors

Railgun interceptor
 - Tiny fighter, mounts a single minimum size railgun and associated firecontrol (100 shots if we're counting); fires 2kg shells
 - Accel 2-4x that of Missile System-ship, 25% of delta-v = 10% of Missile System-ship's delta-v

All ships and PDCs have the minimum armour and no shields

Each planet minus main colony gets one missile base PDC (the gas giants get one on a random moon, preferably a moon with CC N/A) and extra missiles = 2x full load; site on moons if the planets have them
If the main colony has moons, one of them gets 4 PDCs; if it doesn't have moons, build a space station with same loadout + maneuvering thrusters (1 tiny engine, able to displace station by 1 length in a day; delta-v to accel/decel 4 times. 
 - Under no circumstances are there to be any PDCs on the colony with weapons
The main colony gets a Sensor Net PDC (minus missile launchers) + Hangar PDC and attendant fighters

Any tonnage leftover goes to Missile system-ships and Sensor ships (1 squad = 3 missile ships + 1 sensor ship); 2 additional missile PDCs are based for every squad, pick 1 suitable asteroid in the belt and outersystem each to base them, space equally.  Also pick one asteroid in the belt or outersystem (alternate) to put one Hangar PDC + attendant fighters. 
Every 2 squads and 4 missile PDCs get 1 sensor PDC placed near a missile PDC.  Also add 1 scout ship. 

Put 5x 1 DSTS equally around the outersystem asteroids, preferably those nearest the hyperlimit.  The rest go onto an asteroid approximately in the direction of their expected approach. 
Squads are based on a rotating schedule for maintenance/crew leave.  1 is overhauling, 1 stays at home, 1 stays at the fuel refineries, the rest spread out around the expected quadrant of attack.  1 scout ship is overhauling, the rest spread in a ring on the edge of the hyperlimit, preferring the expected quadrant. 
All squads and PDCs leave their actives powered down.  Only the sensor PDC on the colony has its sensor online all the time. 

Upon spotting the enemy on thermal sensors:
If an outersystem planet is in the same quarter as them, fire one Escort missile at them.  If they intercept, note the range that the AMM is spotted; if they do not, have the drone follow them.  Otherwise use an outersystem asteroid. 
All PDCs open fire. 

If enemy hangs around the outersystem for more than a few hours, or starts to reverse direction (as if jumping out), all ships begin acceleration towards targets.  Try to divide evenly.  Attempt to coordinate time-on-target salvoes with the outersystem and asteroid belt PDCs. 

If enemy begins heading towards any squadron, it turns away from the enemy.  Nearby squadrons and PDCs attempt to braket the enemy by firing salvos. 

If the enemy begins heading in-system, squadrons in the line of approach begin accelerating perpendicular to them, heading away. The squadron directly in front of them keeps pace.  All squadrons fire at will at targets within powered flight envelope, coordinate time-on-target salvoes. 

All squadrons who too far in-system begin to accelerate out-system towards targets that need re-inforcement. 

Offensive launch:
Dual-role missiles are fired 10 seconds ahead of a Shipkiller; 1 Escort drone is fired at the target at this time.  Each 4 Dual-roles spread out in front of each Shipkiller.  All missiles accelerate at the speed of the slowest missile.  If incoming enemy missiles are spotted by the Escort drone, Dual-roles are to attempt interception using onboard sensor (firing ship's firecon won't be able to see them)
Each group spreads out enough that they cannot be caught by a single nuclear blast (3-5km between missiles)

All missiles continuously accelerate towards target until the lowest delta-v in the group reaches 20% of max, reserved for course corrections and target movement matching. 

Upon reaching target, Shipkillers fragment at maximum distance such at the target profile of the enemy ship is expected to receive at least 4 pieces.  Dual-roles attempt to go for contact detonation.  Escort drones follow enemy fleets at a respectful distance, favour angles that have incoming friendly missiles (so we can spot outgoing AMMs)

Defensive launch:
Sensor ship turns on Active when an enemy Shipkiller fired from their fleet could travel half the distance to the squadron.  Stays Active from there on. 
At this time, missile ships also keep 4 Dual-roles per ship in the vector of the enemy ships.  These match the firing ship's acceleration to keep directly between the enemy ships and the squadron.  Upon detecting enemy missiles, these are to intercept. 

Offline sublight

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2012, 09:47:04 PM »
I think the defense in depth is wasteful. Yes it will probably work, but I think we can do better than trading ship for ship. Missile defense will be easier in Newtonian, and the planet we are defending has enough atmosphere to be immune to rail gun shots. If we set up a fortress system properly the worst they can do is blockade our shipping, but with light harassment they'll eventually run out of fuel and become helpless. Assuming the attackers don't get free fuel and maintenance at least.

So, here's my stab at the defense Scenario. This will be extreamly vague since so little is known.

Memo: Colony Defense
From: General Sublight Hunley (AC)
To: Administrator Goldilocks

Civilian, while I regret I will not personally be able to risk my life in hazards of the coming battle, it is my honor to write the defense tactics on which your life will depend.

However, let this not worry you. With a proper defensive plan the planet can be easily defended with a minimal risk of any population deaths. Saving the shipyards will be slightly harder. Unlike the planet, they will be vulnerable to rail gun attack: and unlike ships they lack the propulsion to dodge. Saving the shipyards will require two small tugs. At the first sign of bug activity, the tugs will accelerate the yards out of low orbit and into an escape trajectory out of system. If the initial burn is completed and the tugs enter emissions control before the the bugs close to sensor range, then the yards can safely hide in the outer system undetected until the conflict ends.

However, to gain time for this to work the bugs must be detected immediately on entry. For that purpose I urge you to mass produce Deep Space Tracking Stations so we can detect the jump flairs of the arrive bugs. Construction of DSTS is so essential that I am willing to sacrifice PDC production tonnage to build more of them if necessary.

Our first construction priority will be for an active scanner PDC. The PDC should have active scanners of resolution 1 and 36. If research costs are no objective I should like a 500-ton resolution 1 scanner, and a 5,000-ton resolution 36 scanner. Pinpointing every bug ship within 1 billion km of the colony would be extraordinarily beneficial. Next, we shall need at least one anti-ship missile PDC, and at least one anti-missile missile PDC.

Laser Warhead missiles will be our weapon of choice. The plan will be to ripple-launch laser warhead missiles 5 seconds apart, three missiles for every ship in a task force.  Wait for results, and repeat as necessary. If the bugs charge in their forward momentum will hinder their own anti-missile missiles, and if they move slowly we have more time to bombard them with nuclear death.

Also, we will need four hunter-killer task forces. One task force each for defense of the colony and harvesters: two task forces lying in wait in the outer system. Lastly, we will have one jump ship. If the defense fails the last hunter-killer team alive will hyper home with intelligence on what went wrong.

This gives us:
1x Emergancy Exit Jump Ship, capable of taking 4 small-ships FTL.
2x Shipyard Tugs

1x Noisy Cricket PDC with a fire control, our Stupidly Large 36-resolution Scanner, and 4x AntiShip Missile Tubes.
2x Anti-Missile-Missile Bases w/ Large Resolution-1 Scanner (one for the colony, one as close to the gas giant as possible)

4x Hunter-Killer Squads (all with stealth tech)
1x Sensor Ship
1x Mine Layer (twin missile tubes, large magazine)
1x Anti-MissileMissile ship
Each hunter killer will also have a small rail gun.

Any remaining construction will be used to build even more PDC missile bases: Two anti-missile bases per anti-ship base, two colony bases per gas giant base. The missile bases will have very large magazine capacity, since the quantity of missiles available will be more important than the rate we fire them at.

Plan of Defense:
When the Bugs show up Team Gas Giant will will be under emissions control. Resolution 1-scanners are difficult to see on passive sensors. The hunter killer team will be in extended orbit to since sitting in an obvious location can get you killed. If the sorium harvesters aren't protected inside the gas giant, half of them will move to extended orbit as well. We have to keep the fuel flowing as long as possible, but we can't risk loosing them all to rail guns either. The hunter-killer team there will try to ambush any Bugs that investigate: starting with hopeful long-range rail-gun pot-shots, and following with missiles.

Hunter-Killer-Colony will also take up an extended orbit. Their job is to launch rail-gun rounds at any charging enemy, or to make a rail-gun attack charge if the Bugs try a slow approach.

The out-system Hunter-killers will launch sensor drones at any bug emergence locations outside of Earth scanner range to discover how many bug ships entered. These Hunter killers will try to find and slay any bug tankers/resupply ships that might try to stay behind, and will also try to flank the bugs. The Hunter-killers are harassment ships they'll flee from any serious fight or when even half their amo is expended. After all, it will be much easier for the defenders to refuel and reload than the attackers.

If the hunter-killers in orbit are ever close to being in active scanner range, they will shift to a slightly higher or lower orbit every half hour as an anti-rail gun dodging tactic.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 09:56:28 PM by sublight »

Offline Shininglight

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2012, 12:52:41 AM »
A quick question, does the colony planet or the gas giant fuel station have any orbiting bodies? That can factor in my Idea for the system defence and attack. Also does anyone know if sitting "on the darkside" of a planet could have any effect on scanner systems or should I assume it doesn't also are gravity "slingshots" viable for gaining extra speed for interception of a target in system?

All of those would help me figure out a defence or attack layout.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 12:54:46 AM by Shininglight »
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Offline jseah (OP)

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2012, 03:26:49 AM »
While we certainly can be more realistic, I would like to keep this limited to what might be acheived in the actual NA game.  I don't think we're about to get sensor degradation in the presence of planets.  And slingshot maneuvers only work well if your speed is around the same as orbital speed of the planet you are slingshoting around, NA delta-vees are far too high. 

I suppose we can assume the main planet does *not* have a moon and both gas giants have many moons. 
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 03:28:36 AM by jseah »

Offline Bremen

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2012, 04:49:27 PM »
Currently everyone's going defense, so I think I'll take a stab at offense.

I may be hazy on a lot of details of Newtonian Aurora, since it's been awhile since I read the threads. Are there meson weapons in NA? If so, attacking a planet would be extremely problematic without a massive missile bombardment.

Mighty Queen, your servant has spent many cycles considering the challenge you have provided.

There are two advantages that must be countered to ensure victory over the humans. First, while defending their planet they will have easy access to resupply of fuel and ammunition. Second, their ships will not require heavy jump drives, and therefor may have better comparative acceleration and more concentrated armor than equivalent jump drive ships.

In order to neutralize both advantages, it is recommended that the jump drive ships of our armada be non-combat ships with non-jump drive tonnage devoted to supplies of fuel, missiles, and spare parts. The rest of the fleet will be a combination of carriers and missile battlecruisers, with a 2 to 1 advantage in carriers. The ships will sacrifice armor and endurance for speed, and the carriers will be designed to match accelerations with the battlecruisers when their hangars are empty. Parasite craft will be slower laser armed gunships and fast railgun armed interceptors, as well as smaller numbers of unarmed sensor craft.

Immediately upon entering the system, the jump auxiliaries will top off the fleet's fuel reserves and then begin a random evasive course outside the system's hyper limit while attempting to remain hidden. Then the fleet will proceed inwards toward the known sorium harvesters in the system, extending reconnaissance pickets on all sides but backwards and with all ships on alert, particularly from missile attack. If incoming missiles are detected by a picket, the gunships of the fleet will form a screen and use their massed lasers to shoot down any incoming missiles. The scout craft will attempt evasive maneuvers, but its primary defense is it's small size; it is hoped that the enemies will not see it. Spare scout craft are requested, and if they are frequently targeted the picket groups will be pulled back closer to the fleet.

If heavy ship elements of the human fleet are detected, they will be targeted by the missiles of the battlecruisers, and the fleet will attempt to avoid a pitched battle. During this phase of the operation, missile reloads will still be available due to the resupply ships, whereas the fighters and capital ships of the fleet are irreplaceable. If combat cannot be avoided, the interceptors will be launched and begin bombarding the enemy vessels with railgun pellets while on a high speed intercept, engaging in high acceleration evasive maneuvers to reduce the accuracy of return fire.

Upon coming into range of the sorium harvesters, they will be destroyed. While their loss is regrettable, the fleet can not afford to commit elements to defend them if they surrender. The fleet will then return to its auxiliaries for resupply.

The second stage will be a feint against the human's home world; the fleet will set an interception course for the planet, then launch a scout craft forward. Once a sensor scan of the planet has been completed, the fleet will break off at maximum acceleration and return to its auxiliaries once again. If any stationary structures are detected in orbit, the interceptors will bombard them with railgun fire from long range. Mobile units will be targeted with missile salvos.

The third stage will be a final assault on the planet itself. The fleet will stop just inside sensor range of the planet and begin a missile bombardment of any detected planetary defense centers. Any remaining orbital or mobile ships of the human fleet in orbit will be targeted by interceptors, while the laser gunships continue to provide point defense for the fleet. As this is the final assault, whatever units are necessary will be sacrificed to achieve victory.
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Offline Bremen

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2012, 05:01:34 PM »
I intentionally left myself unspoiled on the defenders tactics till I was done, and I did note that both have tactics in place to deal with deep space support ships. I suppose a lot depends on how easy they are to find (there's a lot of room for hide and seek in deep space) which might result in an interesting two-front battle.

For the sake of anyone who tries to predict two of them crashing, if the support ships got taken out I'd say the reduction in fuel would mean the bug force would probably have to go with much smaller velocities for the rest of the battle. And of course they'd only have whatever missiles were in their magazines.

Offline jseah (OP)

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2012, 07:47:31 PM »
Very nice!  I suspect whether your attack vs my or sublight's defense will hinge greatly on the relative missile technology levels. 
If the human missiles can dodge Bug anti-missile defences (AMM or pd) at any significant rate (which could be as low as 5% depending on magazine sizes), I can see my small ships defence in depth winning.  If bug laser pd is very good (which it might very well be!), then my missile reliant strategy will become a matter of attrition (where the bugs have an advantage in tonnage) or simply falling apart. 

Of course, this is mainly because I rely solely on missiles, and sublight has alot of them too. 

I still don't have time to think of a proper attack plan.  Maybe soon, maybe never.  Work... T_T
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 07:49:16 PM by jseah »

Offline UnLimiTeD

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2012, 03:26:33 AM »
So, as a side question:
Would it be feasible to just station a few dozen railgun armed pdcs on asteroids all over the system, with just a very small defensive fleet?

And as an attacker, if there's a lot of time, how about probing jumps at low speed, maul a few harvesters or other potentially stationary targets, then leave again?

Offline jseah (OP)

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2012, 05:37:23 AM »
That is, of course, the drawback of PDCs.  They don't move.  

Bugs jump in with a fleet, launch a huge salvo of missiles and railguns, and leave immediately.  You have a very short window to catch them (they need to slow to stop, then accelerate backwards) and you need to inflict damage on their fleet before they leave or they will spend missiles to your ships, which is a losing proposition for you.  

Offline procyon

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2012, 07:12:07 PM »
It has been fairly active here at work so I haven't had much time to formulate on strategies.
The defense scenarios look well thought out.  It may have a few weaknesses, but it may be hard to analyse without actual game time to find out.

For the attack plan, I may make a few changes.  This game is going to be based (to me at least) on something close to the principle of chess.  The winner will be the one to make the next to last mistake.  The trick will be getting the other side commit the telling miscalculation.

To this end - only parasite carriers will be employed.  All tonnage dedicated to battlecruisers/jump drives of support ships will be used to build additional parasites in origin system.

No support vessels will be jump capable.  All will remain in 'origin system'.  All are to be distributed as best as possible to intercept returning carriers to refuel/rearm them in the origin system.  All support operations are to occur in origin system.  Only combat will occur in target system.

I would jump in only a few (probably two or three) jump ships to begin with.  All parasite carriers.  Parasites will mount two 1kg railguns of smallest size, plus single laser mount of minimal size and all need to add at least four AAMs/two shrapnel and two nuclear.  Aim for the maximum possible jump distance from the primary.  Attempt to set initial heading for at least 60 degrees off axis from the primary.  Attempt for even distribution around primary.  Set course as close to possible so that one ship will be moving towards the insertion location of the ship immediately clockwise of it (although counterclockwise would be fine).
The goal here is to have each ship land and be pointed as closely as possible at the landing of the ship immediately clockwise of it.
Jump in will be at maximum possible velocity achievable with 30% of onboard fuel.  Ship will proceed on this course until inbound launch is detected, firing of weapons is detected, or 48 hours have passed.  At this point all ships will make maximum delta v burn at 90 degrees from primary to accelerate to outer system and attempting to create smallest closing speed from any incoming weapons.
Jump prep will begin immediately upon arrival in system.

After outward burn (up to 20% of fuel), half of parasites will be released.  Additional 5% of fuel will be burned to be followed by release of all remaining parasites.  Following each launch the carrier will attempt one degree course alteration preceding next launch to ensure parasite dispertion.  Parasites will be passive release to minimize sensor signature. This will result in two 'lines' of parasites trailing the carrier.

Any and all launches/firing will be recorded by carriers, as will inbound courses of any ordinance.  Carriers will maintain course until any parasite or ship detects incoming ordinance with less than one minute to TOT.  Jump for return to origin system will occur at that point.  Remaining fuel will be used to facilitate rendevous with support vessels in origin system.  New parasites will then be placed on carrier as available.

All 'first launch' parasites will begin burn of no less than 50% of available fuel toward location of any noted PDC or station launches/firings.  At completion of burn all parasites will launch two AAMs (one nuke to be followed by one shrapnel) at any stations or PDC on airless targets.  Missiles will use 5% of fuel to displace current course from target and them burn 80% toward target.  Remaining 15% will be used to ensure intercept of target/evasion of incoming ordinance.  Nuke will precede sharnel missile by no less than 100 km.  Nuke will be used to intercept any incoming missiles/ordinace.  47% of all expendable rail gun ammo will then be expended on same target following AAM launch.  Parasites will them procede to complete burn of 25% remaining fuel to attempt intercept of nearest 'rally point', which will be the location (or as close as possible) to the first follow on group's insertion point.  At this point remaining missiles will be launched on second identified stationary target.  Missiles will follow same displacement/burn as initial launch.  Attempt to coordinate TOT if possible as priority.  Following launch all but 4% of railgun ammo will be fired at second target.  Remaining railgun ammo and laser installation will be used to deal with incoming ordinance.  Remaining fuel will also be used for evasive manuevers and 'landing' with follow on carrier at 'rally point.'

48 hours after initial parasite 'line' expenditure of all ordinance, second line will begin burn using same tactics but reserving 20% of initial railgun load, with priority of fire to #1 - achieve TOT on new vector to previous target / #2 - fire mission on any stationary installation noted as firing on first line parasites or ordinance.  Second line will complete only single launch on stationary target if any mobile targets are identified.  Second line will then complete burn toward any mobile target noted so that no less than three parasites will engage the mobile target from as dirvergent of vectors / coordinates as possible.  Remaining railgun ammo/ AAMs/ and laser will be used at pilot/group leader discretion so as to best bracket mobile targets for destruction.  If no mobile targets are identified second firing using remaining AAMs and 6% of railgun ordinance will be expended according to prior priority listings.

All surviving parasites will attempt to coordinate landings with follow on carriers at predesignated 'rally points.'  Second group of carriers will arrive and follow prior tactics for launch/manuever while attempting to land any surviving parasites of initial wave as possible.  Priority of fire will continue for stationary targets with mobile targets being engaged as possible.

The second and third follow on waves will attempt to identify target installations and ensure maximum expenditure of target system munitions in attempt to intercept our vessels/ordinance.  Priority is also to draw all mobile assets towards our vessels/parasites to ensure vectors away from target population.  When mobile defenses have been committed (at judgement of commanding intelligence in target system) and are judged incapable of further manuevers to intercept any ordinance fired at target population - third wave will broadcast demands for surrender.  If refused - fourth (or fifth) wave will be launched at target population.

This wave (to include all available carriers/parasites) will be placed at closest possible jump distance from target population at max velocity acheivable with 60% of fuel.  All additional fuel other than necessary for jump will be expended toward target population with random 0.1 degree course alterations.  All parasites will launch following full burn or as soon as possible before any detected inbound ordinance intercepts.  Parasites will also complete 100% burn following same evasion protocol.  Following full burn or prior to identified intercepts by incoming ordinance parasites will launch all AAM to ensure as best as possible coordination of TOT for all carrier groups of munitions on target.  All AAMs will be nuclear warheads of no less than 1 MT if possible.  Following launch and displacement manuever of missiles rail gun and lasers will be employed to attempt to intercept/destroy any defenses of population that would be capable of missile intercept.

Carriers and parasites may be considered expendable in final attack if necessary for destruction of target population as necessary.  Any not destroyed will continue past target until jump possible and them attempt return to origin system for rendevous/resupply.


This is just a quick first go at it and will be subject to major revision once I see what you can actually accomplish in the game....

The goal is to get the defender to commit most of his defenses to outsystem vectors, and then jump in and create a wave of death approaching the target population at a speed minimizing target intercept opportunities/time, and that they will be unable to intercept with remaining defenses due to them being committed to vectors that will make it impossible.

It also considers most of the attacking parasites as expendable by nature.


On additional thought - in that the final wave's goal is just population destruction if you are able to draw the defenses out/destroy them - it could be possible to use purpose built cruisers designed simply to punch through the remaining defenses at high speeds and shower the target with a mass of AGMs/AAMs.  So long as they show up as close as possible to the target, have a high acceleration, and enough defenses to unload their weapons before they are destroyed, the missile cruisers could do the job.  They could also mount larger warhead AGMs (SGMs??) than the parasites.
Perhaps if I use strictly carriers they should also have the capability to carry a few 'planet killer' nukes for the final wave...???   8)
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 10:40:53 PM by procyon »
... and I will show you fear in a handful of dust ...

Offline Bremen

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2012, 02:42:56 PM »
If you're just trying to destroy the planet, it would probably be best to just launch a large number of extreme velocity missiles from the hyper limit.

For the scenario, though, the goal is to destroy the enemy space combatants while doing minimal damage to the colony itself.

Offline jseah (OP)

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2012, 05:37:39 PM »
Although I did specify that if clearing the colony was required to kill the human forces, then the Bugs consider this an acceptable loss. 

Depending on diplomatic intelligence, if the Bugs know that the humans will defend their population as top priority, then it might make a perverse kind of sense to send a wave of missiles against the planet.  Stoppable missiles that will force the humans to intercept them so their ships can be defeated in detail.  =D

Workable?  Maybe. 

Offline procyon

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2012, 12:48:18 AM »
Quote from: Bremen link
If you're just trying to destroy the planet, it would probably be best to just launch a large number of extreme velocity missiles from the hyper limit.

For the scenario, though, the goal is to destroy the enemy space combatants while doing minimal damage to the colony itself.

The massed launch from the extreme limit would give the defender a great deal of time/opportunity to plot interceptions and organize a defense.  But it would make destroying the bug ships very difficult - if not impossible.  But from the fiction I have read, it seems that building big and fast missiles is expensive and time comsuming.

And if you can make 'extreme velocity missiles', they will only get faster if you ramp up the launch vehicle's speed before releasing the missile.

The whole drive of my strategy was to deploy a large number of expendable targets at the edge of the system in an attempt to draw mobile defenses out, get stationary ones to reveal themselves so they can be destroyed, and get the defender to expend most of their ordinance trying to 'swat bugs'. 
Sorry about the pun...   ;)

After three or four waves, my goal would be to have most of the stationary defenses along several corridors destroyed, and most mobile defenders committed to outsystem courses that will be difficult to reverse.  The actual damage to the more 'valuable' (to me) assets of the system would hopefully be minimal.
The surrender broadcast would be sent in the hope that a defender would realize they were committed to a defense that would no longer be capable of intercepting a determined attack aimed at the inner system.  If the last jump was made, the goal would be to rush past any mobile defenders so that any ordinance they send at my ships will have substantial inertia carrying it away from my ships.  Hopefully the combined velocities/accelerations will make intercept impossible.
Then the goal would be to deal with the remaining stationary defenses.  The thought of accepting a surrender at this point could be considered by some players - if the enemy realized that defeat could be waiting in a nasty way.
Unfortunately if I were the bugs, once the final wave arrived, there would be no turning back.  The plan is pretty much an all or nothing set up.  If you accept the surrender, you could end up losing many of your vessels simply to inertia/lack of fuel/inability to make it back safely to the origin system.
I wouldn't throw away my weapon and leave an enemy behind.  I don't think the bugs would either.

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Offline jseah (OP)

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Re: Newtonian Aurora - Strategy and Tactics
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2012, 02:46:43 PM »
An fighter or missile heavy strategy would be a good counter to this though.  Your strikes launched at long range could be intercepted by small mobile elements, AMMs and pointdef FACs, so the humans might not be drawn into a combat towards the outsystem. 
Even if they need to move ships around, intercepting the shots can be done from where they currently are. 

Especially if you only jump in with a fraction of your force, if the commander knows what he's doing, he will not commit overly to chasing light skirmishing forces with the majority of his defences.  Especially when it looks likely they will bug out before anything can reach them. 

Multiple waves won't do anything to change it.  If I decided that 20% of my forces is enough to take your skirmishers on if they hang around, when the 1st lot jump out and the 2nd lot comes in, that same 20% will be tasked to take on the new guys. 

It strikes me that this is a good thing I just learnt. 

Forces can be committed solely as a function of their current movement vector, not their current position. 
Do not over commit forces against inferior enemies in case he's drawing you into a trap or out of position.  Use as much as you require to win, but have reserves, especially if you are required to defend an important target. 
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 02:49:06 PM by jseah »


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