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Opting for volume efficiency while maintaining efficiency - SynthTwo - 2017-11-13 01:38 AM

Thread's for sharing ideas on how to make smaller craft viable. I would like to make carriers and drone ships and similair more hilarious FtD things, but I am having difficulty because the optimal way to play the game is to be incredibly volume inefficient, everything gets bigger and better with size.

I would LOVE an engine that is stupidly costly up front, gives an actually decent PPBB, but somehow breaks down if the craft volume is above a certain threshold. I like to play the campaign with limited resources and typically run max enemy spawn, 0 or 0.01 salvage, and localized resources. Playing in this way your logistical train is just as important as your actual combat ships.

The problem is that between explosions clipping through things, inline turbo engines being the only real engine solution, and empty space being the worlds greatest armor (in FtD), I find that I am forced to build bigger and bigger and it is making me lose interest because my creations are basically the same thing, enhanced, and made bigger.

I would like to go back to making effective microfighters and small craft, so does anyone have ideas for how to power them?


So far my best solution is to use a mothership with a powerful efficient engine, and run all the little things off of battery power sourced via the resource system. However, these aren't really carriers as you can't really project any force with them since the innate flotilla accompanying the carrier has zero range away from the mothership.

The barracuda is a good example, albeit a poor execution.


RE: Opting for volume efficiency while maintaining efficiency - Blothorn - 2017-11-13 02:18 AM

I would like to see smaller vehicles be more capable, but such hacks as magic small-vehicle-only engines seem a bad way to do it. That just encourages volume cheese (no aesthetics, no cheap-but-volume-inefficient armor, etc.), and is the sort of game mechanic that inspires a ton of bug reports of "why did my engines stop working when I added a totally unrelated block?".

But really, I think the problem is not that small vehicles need more efficient engines to be competitive, but that a lot of components (APS, engines, lasers, etc.) all have fairly large minimum efficient sizes. I do not have any good ideas for how to lower that without compromising mechanical complexity, however.


RE: Opting for volume efficiency while maintaining efficiency - Normal69 - 2017-11-13 09:08 AM

Small rtg + battery + electric motor is 4 blocks.
If you think about a small airship, not powered always up dediblades can keep it up as passive balancing.
As an example, you can look at my Monk small terrorplane in my "Strange questions..." thread.


RE: Opting for volume efficiency while maintaining efficiency - Blothorn - 2017-11-13 10:28 AM

And what is the power output of that setup? Efficiency is worthless if you cannot power the thrust needed to stay alive.


RE: Opting for volume efficiency while maintaining efficiency - Normal69 - 2017-11-13 11:05 AM

(2017-11-13 10:28 AM)Blothorn Wrote:  And what is the power output of that setup? Efficiency is worthless if you cannot power the thrust needed to stay alive.

Yes. That is natural, or not?
What meaning would you like to convey?

It does not need much power, I think is has just a few jets. It even has some surplus to radiate over other units in my fleet.
Click on my name, my threads, seek "Various strange questions", scroll to see my campaign videos, there are all the units I used in them as attachments, download "Monk", see in designer, be satisfied.


RE: Opting for volume efficiency while maintaining efficiency - Comrade Jenkens - 2017-11-13 12:02 PM

I'd like to see improvements for small vehicles as well. They are really fun to build and it is a pity they are ineffective.

The FS hull system looks perfect but it isn't coming to FtD which is a massive shame. It would open up more space internally for tiny vehicles like tanks or planes.


RE: Opting for volume efficiency while maintaining efficiency - Lincrono - 2017-11-13 12:04 PM

What are you attempting to accomplish with these craft? Here's why i'm asking:

-you can generate enough power for a decent tiny craft with very little space devoted to engines. Some examples:
-2 x 2m RTGs + 2 battery beams + generator can generate enough power for a micro-jet indefinitely
-1-2 fuel boxes with a 400 power generator will sustain a microjet for long enough to see most battles through
-you can pack very high power steam engines in a relatively small space with enough materials to fuel them for a period similar to the fuel example. usually you can get somewhere around 2k power with 20ish blocks (in almost any shape).
you can also usually have enough power left for light shields

the issue I personally have always run into is the weapons I can fit an engine with enough power, but very few weapons, especially since the armor change, can be made small and damaging. The ones i've found best are:
-HE torpedoes, these are easily both the smallest, most damaging, and most likely to hit the target, but they don't work on airships
-CRAM bombs
-Simple lasers

If suicide craft are on the table:
-nukes
-self-replicating nukes
-recoil-based suicide craft like the one the pandemonium (WF) has. Hats off to the creator of these, they are easily the most damaging tiny craft i have ever seen.

Concepts that i have yet to test:
-self-replicating drill/ram craft

In my experience the smallest viable craft start at roughly 1000 blocks if you are seeking to use them effectively past the DWG. The core of my middle game fleets are fairly simple 2500 block frigates with missiles and APS cannons, pretty standard surface ships that fight on the water and normal ranges. if you are open to it the best category are purpose-built hard counters. things like stripped-down laser sats, standoff missile ships, and forward-broadsiding snipers. because you gain such huge defensive advantages hard-counters allow you to avoid most active and passive defenses as well as heavily armored hulls letting you keep the block-count down, but battles using them can get stale.


RE: Opting for volume efficiency while maintaining efficiency - MizarLuke - 2017-11-13 07:07 PM

I just use some small 4-6 block frag missiles for my smaller jets. CRAMs or missile mines for bombers. Simple weapons I haven't tried on fighters, but I figure they would do well.


RE: Opting for volume efficiency while maintaining efficiency - SynthTwo - 2017-11-13 09:23 PM

So far my best prototype is a 3x3x7 APS 150mm system set up so that it fires a six round burst in a second then cools down for seven seconds. The long range, high power, and large cool down allow the plane plenty of time to zip around and it stays much safer than a smaller caliber solution due to the small time it must stay on target. I basically have tried to recreate the A10. Pendepth rounds at 150mm with a small 180 degree frag payload murder tanks, especially when fired from obtuse angles.

The purpose behind this thread was to gather ideas for powering it. Steam is great but too inefficient to use in any real capacity, fuel seems to get too large for too small an efficiency at this size.


It seems the best option will be two variants, a carrier based variant with higher power thresholds running off of a mother ships battery power, and a smaller variant using RTGs.


RE: Opting for volume efficiency while maintaining efficiency - TheShadowKick - 2017-11-14 05:18 AM

I see a lot of suggestions to use RTGs, but if I'm putting something as expensive as RTGs on something I want it to survive a battle. And in my experience very small craft just don't have any survivability.