Part 7: Something Something Plan Enemy Contact With Ever Survives The NoSomething Something Plan Enemy Contact With Ever Survives The No
It's fitting that this ship has been auto-named the Cheetah, because everyone knows they never prosper.
Yep, I went there. Anyway, we've had a beam weapon now for a bit, the ubiquitious Laser Cannon. So we need to talk about modifications and firing arcs. It can get rather complicated combining the two. Let's use a standard mount - neither of the two mods are selected - and a Forward firing arc as our baseline. Note the damage, cost, and space required. These will be a-changing. Forward and Back firing arcs work the same on each end of the ship, coving the one-quarter of the ship in those facings. Anything outside of that, you can't hit.
The Heavy Mount increases maximum damage by 50%, while doubling cost and space. In MOO1 these were listed as separate weapon systems - doing it this way cleans up this screen a fair bit. That's important with all the new stuff. Doesn't seem like heavy would be worth it most of the time - before it was an increased range thing. But I'll need to see how combat goes. The full 360-degree Arc adds another 50% to the cost and space requirements.
Personally I'm a fan of these 'extended' firing arcs. They allow covering all but the area directly behind - or in front - of the ship, for only slightly more cost/space - 20% more at least in this setup, dunno how much rounding there is there. The PD modification appears to halve max. damage and space, and about a third of cost. Again I'll need to play with more weapons to get a more clearly defined ratio there. Clearly it's designed to cram more on for anti-missile, anti-fighter, and such duties.
Main thing here is that with beam weapons there's a lot of freedom to customize a ship's role with combinations of firing arcs and modifications. Also, additional mods are available - they are unlocked by advancing a tier or two beyond the weapon's tech level. In this way, a fresh-off-the-line weapon system has basic functionality, but won't reach it's maximum effectiveness for a while. That part of it at least I think is fantastic; simple and elegant design.
But none of that is what I want.
The book on early-game combat is basically this. At least, that's what I've read - somebody else here said lasers are the best early-game weapon so whatevs, they can tell me why this is wrong or whatever. Anyway, for space monsters, lots of small missile boats. Monsters tend to have one big beam weapon, so the idea is to take them down with massed ballistic firepower. Having said that, there are I think five types of space monsters, some are tougher than others, and I don't even know if I can build enough of these to take down the Space Crystal. I do know that it's my best chance, and I don't think I can afford to wait. So live and learn.
2-shot racks because either way, these battles aren't going to last long enough for a larger one. I'm going to max out the fleet with these, and then go for Rav if nobody else has done so yet. The computer adds only 3 to the cost, so it seems worth it to me to keep it on there.
I notice that the old 'relations descriptors' are still there. On accident, I moused over the gauge. How I played through several games of this before without noticing - well, the less said about that the better. Anyway, their report screens indicate they have not yet deployed any spies against me. So I'll stick with the two here.
For several turns closing the first decade of play then, Sol I builds Cheetahs, Callisto IV is on to a Marine Barracks, and everything else just sort of waits.
SD 3509.6. So, budding theorycrafters, what exactly does a Space Academy do with all those silos? Obsessive zero-G training?
Lacking a better approach, I'm going with two points in research strategy:
** Generally go for what's cheaper.
** Focus on Construction and Chemistry, since that's where the research/production upgrades hit.
In this case, that means Fusion Physics because it's fast. I don't think weapons for the ground troops is as important as weapons for the ships, so Fusion Beam it is. My fighters need something worth shooting with.
Oh look. He's calling himself a 'Commodore' now. Leaders level up over time, based on beatsmewhattheheck. We don't have the money. More importantly, the fleet is ready. I also send another citizen to Callisto, which has the barracks up and is working on a lab.
The fleet .. ahem, the clinking, clanking, clattering collection of colligenous junk ... is en route. And the rocks have claimed a fifth system in Opus.
Ok, that went horribly. And as you can see, I've got some work to do with the interface, but some things are familiar. The Space Crystal is 'unarmored', but by super-early-game tech it is a tank with 500 SP. Missiles on small ships is the proper approach I think, I just need more of them than I can field at the moment. Like 15-20 of them, or better missiles or something. Three Cheetah frigates are lost to the void of space, but two of them did escape. Near as I can tell, we did only fairly superficial damage to the creature. I don't know if you need any special gear to 'Scan' - it doesn't appear so.
Using advice from the thread, I decide to switch to grabbing the planets in the systems I already have as incubators - a Colony Base is next in Sol and soon we'll start one in Callisto as well. First though, let's plop an Outpost on that rich ocean world in Praxis to try to dissaude the Silicoids there. Right now I don't fancy my odds of winning this struggle much.
Note the 'continuous' and 'enveloping' options that we'll get to. Eventually.
I'm highly tempted to go with Soil Enrichment, which increases food per farmer by 1. Barren, Radiated, and Toxic worlds are excepted. But I go with Battle Pods instead, which increase the space on a ship by 50%.
** Troop Pods allow double the marines on a ship, for boarding actions or defense against them. That's something else I want to try out eventually, the boarding mechanics.
** Survival Pods are for keeping legendary officers - aka leaders - alive if you lose a battle.
Well that was anticlimactic. If you click on the planet afterwards, you get a popup informing that 'praxis prime is an Outpost planet'. Yeah I knew that. I thought there'd be a cinematic, but it makes sense to reserve those for colonies. Ok then.
Also, outposts apparently count against the command point reserve even after being deployed. Didn't know that either.
Or not. I get the point back the following turn. Grr.
If I were good at this game, I'd have sent my Recon along to be in position for further scouting. I'm not, so I didn't. But I do get it moving now.
SD 3511.3. I just noticed that outpost systems are not capitalized. As the Meklar take Sulcus. Still, that's a cool way to distinguish.
Passing by Rosemund, the recon spots this. Three destroyers, a frigate, and three transports. So they could take praxis anytime they felt like it. I hope they don't feel like it.
Ignore everything after the first 12 seconds of that video. I don't know why I ran it that long. Also ...
Lolwut? And they are headed for Praxis anyway.
Yep. We're all gonna die. This is the whole schtick where the AI tells you how you've screwed up - in this case, a larger military fleet would have prevented the attack.
Sol II Colonized
But at least there's that.
Nothing too interesting. At the moment, I just want to not be the first empire eliminated.