View Full Version : Cargo/launch bays
September 6th, 2000, 04:42 PM
I previously noted that Satalite and fighter bays on transports labled as TYPE Weapons Carriers were treated by the Population Transport minister as regular cargo pod and filled with colonist,, Well I have now used Sat, Fighter, Mine Layer pods in colony ships and the Colonization Minister fills them with additional colonists when it send them off to a new planet.
September 6th, 2000, 06:03 PM
Along this same line. Why require that every "transport" ship have a minimum of 50% specifically "cargo pods"???
In reallity there are many different kinds of specialized cargo ships. This is particularly true of military support vessels. Seagoing Navys and presumably space Navys are always going to need ships with specialized cargo areas for specialized cargo.
You don't usually carry fuel in general cargo ships and weapons are rarely carried in general cargo spaces. Unless we are also going to have a cryogenics tech area ,, then people and troops are not going to fare well in general cargo holds. Planes (read fighters) are a very specalized cargo that basically cannot be carried in anything not specially equiped or must fly individually to new locations.
Almost all si-fi predictions about space travel envision "freighters" as being more like tugs (a very well built engine and control vessel) that can be connected to specialized cargo containers.
In the real world this means that as cargo capacity goes up,, speed and manurability go down.
Because of the low speed and manuvering ability, cargo vessels rarely had expensive attack weapons but often had cheap defensive systems. It must be noted that almost all great Naval powers have created specalized decoys using Cargo/freighters during time of war though. (Both the Japanese and the British used specially fitted freighters as submarine hunters. The US experimented with a freighter that was actually an anti-aircraft platform and almost every Navy has used freighters and cargo vessels for spy/sabatoge missions.) There have long been international treaties that have limited the "offensive" weapons that "civilian" vessels could carry. No reason why the game cannot be set up the same way.
A limit of say 10% of total space used for offensive weapons would be acceptable and in keeping with the spirit of being able to creat "decoys" and "surprises".
Adding an "anger" factor into the AI regarding how alien races react to these "decoys" would be a nice touch too...
September 6th, 2000, 09:00 PM
The Q-ships idea is a great one, IMHO, especially for multi-player (nasty tricks are even more fun when there's a real pair of human teeth grinding together over them <smirk> ).
I think it'd work better once the proposed ability to see your opponent before deciding on combat is in place.
"A transport? Easy prey! Charge 'em, boys!"
<a moment passes>
"What the . . . ?!? ARGH! <squeak of teeth>"
September 6th, 2000, 09:59 PM
I would imagine the rule that cargo ships must have 50% of their space devoted to cargo bays is a play balance issue. When everyone else is flying around in escorts, a small transport hull filled with weapons would be extremely powerful, even if it would be a tad slower than military ships. That said, it is too bad that satellite bays and minelayers don't also count as cargo. This isn't much of a problem, though, because you can also put mines and satellites in regular cargo bays, so you really only need one mine layer or satellite bay per ship.
I also like the idea of Q-ships, which would be especially nasty against someone who has a "don't fire on" order about transports. Still, since transports are cost half as much per kT of space as military ships, there needs to be some restrictiont that prevents all of a player's transports from being Q-ships. A limit on spaces that could be devoted to offensive systems would prevent you from building Q-ships just as much as the current system, and in fact might be even more restrictive.
September 7th, 2000, 12:32 AM
Well,, the game balance should be maintained since a transport with a lot of weapons should have prohibitively high maintanance costs.
The other way to achieve game balance is to follow the real world example. Until very recently ,, warships were almost always larger than merchant ships during time of war. The super tankers and super container ships didn't become technically feasable until the military had build the first super carriers. A war would likely result in the military ships again surpassing the merchants.
September 7th, 2000, 06:50 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by wingte:
Well,, the game balance should be maintained since a transport with a lot of weapons should have prohibitively high maintanance costs.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I don't know about you, but I don't pay much attention to maintenance costs. At least so far, I don't usually have much trouble getting enough resources to pay for my fleet. (Sometimes, my problem is to use them all up because I don't have room to store the excess!) Nowadays I avoid this by turning all but the best (140-150%) mineral planets into research stations and the like.
At any rate, if there were no component restrictions, a heavily-armed transport would still be cheaper to maintain than warship of equal tonnage and armament, because the transport hull is cheaper. Admittedly, the transport is a tad slower than a warship. However, as I said, in the early game when you otherwise wouldn't be able to build a ship that big, being able to make a transport that's armed to the teeth would make it hardly worth the effort to build escorts.
September 7th, 2000, 08:31 PM
Heh. I did run into resource trouble in one max-tech/max-power game -- not due to ship maintenance, but because of the simultaneous construction of many, many Atmosphere Converters. Had to suddenly halt ship production (fleet was already sufficient, anyway, so not a problem) and start cranking out org/rad facilities like crazy (minerals were never a problem. IIRC, one usually starts with more mineral-producing facs than org and rad). Came within several turns of running out of those two before the trend reversed. ;-)
[ But I *did* end up with ca. 130+ planets, almost all with oxygen atmospheres by game end, for perhaps many, many turns of potential pop growth]
-- The thing that goes bump in the night
September 7th, 2000, 09:30 PM
I perfectly agree about the necessity of restrictions on CargoVessels, and would definitely prefer a restriction on the weapons than % of cargo holds... On the other hand, I would use it to make self-sustaining (many solar collectors), long-range-scanning transports, or even colony transports (wait, cruisers allow for a starting pop. of 94M ;-)
It would deballance things a bit... Perhaps the best way is to have Satelite/mine launchers count as cargo holds...
BTW, how can you research Atmosphere converters? Is it in the demo??
September 7th, 2000, 10:26 PM
Re: converters (Atmospheric Modification Plant the official name, my bad) --
They're in the demo, at least 0.56, The slowest Version needs level 7 Planet Utilization (9 max) and 15k each resource, and 30 turns; Version III takes the same resources, +2 tech, and 20 turns. Very nice if you can afford it and start early enough (that's at least 20% of the demo's length...), since it can make even the smaller worlds useful.
-- The thing that goes bump in the night
September 8th, 2000, 12:53 AM
"I perfectly agree about the necessity of restrictions on CargoVessels, and would definitely prefer a restriction on the weapons than % of cargo holds"
I like the cargo hold restriction, but think it should be altered so supply storage components counts are cargo for this calculation.
"It would deballance things a bit... Perhaps the best way is to have Satelite/mine launchers count as cargo holds..."
They do. Go into the ship designer and add 14 Cargo Storage III components to a medium transport. When you add a fighter, mine, or satellite bay, the 50% requirement disappears.
A Medium Transport with the following:
Bridge, 2 Life Support, 2 Crew Quaters, 1 Shield Generator V, 15 Fighter Bay I, 4 Jacketed Photon Engine I, and 1 Cargo Storage III
has room for 40 fighters, meets all design requirements for a transport, and costs 400 minerals less than a light carrier with the same amount of cargo space (of course, the CVL has room left for more stuff, but that's besides the point).
September 8th, 2000, 01:26 AM
One restriction on fighter bays:
You can only launch so many fighters a turn in tactical (well both) combat. So a transport with cargo bays and one fighter bay would launch fighters very slowly (but it doesnt affect your normal ability to launch fighters in the normal view)
Use a carrier in junction with a transport as described above. The carrier could provide defense quickly, while the transport launches reinforcements.
September 8th, 2000, 05:19 AM
Hmnnn,, I don't use fighters at least in the demo since they are too small to carry a decent weapon and max engines.
But my question is,, what would happen if you used the "dump cargo button" and dumped the whole fighter load. Having one fighter launch bay would let you recover all of them I bet.
Hmnnn,, I am considering satalites though. If I can do the "dump" trick that would be as good as a space station and by manuvering arround them I would have the chance to get the enemy in a cross fire. Hmnn
I have to go test this one..
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