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Engine choice for minelaying frigate Fri, 18 January 2008 16:34 Go to next message
gwellman is currently offline gwellman

 
Petty Officer 1st Class

Messages: 66
Registered: January 2007
Location: Seattle, WA

Presumably once a person starts building minelaying frigates, they only want one design, so choosing the right one is important.

A race with IFE will use the FM, period.

An IT race, in a small, packed universe without IFE or NRSE has a few choices.
DLL7, AD8, RadRam or TGFS.
The IT will generally gate them around, or move them short distances to make new fields, so I'm thinking of the cheaper DLL7 or RadRam. I think the TGFS uses too much G for a factory-using race. On the other hand, the AD8 allows for faster repositioning/evasion - but it's a packed universe so there's usually a planet near.

What engine would you use in this case?

Oh, and I assume you wouldn't bother with a shield because if your minelayers are being fired on, you've already messed up Smile

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Re: Engine choice for minelaying frigate Fri, 18 January 2008 17:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ptolemy is currently offline Ptolemy

 
Commander

Messages: 1008
Registered: September 2003
Location: Finland

One - I definitely wouldn't bother with a shield - if the ship is shot at - it's dead anyway.

Two - I HATE having ships run out of fuel - I'd use the RadRam - just be careful not to include the ship in fleets with people or your people die - unless you have very high, pegged right rad settings. You certainly WILL need to fuel boost the ships at times so be prepared to have some spare ships areound to move with them when necessary. Not usually a problem for an IT.

Ptolemy





Though we often ask how and why, we must also do to get the answers to the questions.

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Re: Engine choice for minelaying frigate Sat, 19 January 2008 04:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
iztok is currently offline iztok

 
Commander

Messages: 1211
Registered: April 2003
Location: Slovenia, Europe
Hi!

When designing your minelayer you need to know, how you'll use it. If you intend to keep it sitting over planets, then you can go cheap. If you intend to mine also the space among stars, then a decent engine comes handy. It will also help it to escape an early skirmisher. So IMO there are two possibilities:
1) you use decent engine with decent battle speed, and shield your FF (1 cheap shield). Example: FF, 3 minelayers, DLL-7, one mole shield, cheap scanner.
2) cheap, almost throw-away design. Example: FF, one minelayer, QJ-5 or FM.

Since minelaying modules aren't cheap, is the cost of better engine and a cheap shield only a small addition to the price, so I usually use the first one design. I've also found that warp speed 6 engine isn't really appropriate for mining among stars, because 36 LY distance quite often isn't far enough from the center of existing minefield to the center of the future one. You'll also not build them in thousands. In most my games I had from 50 to 150 of them. So the increased investment isn't such a burden.

BR, Iztok


[Updated on: Sat, 19 January 2008 16:12]

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Re: Engine choice for minelaying frigate Sun, 20 January 2008 18:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dogthinkers is currently offline Dogthinkers

 
Commander

Messages: 1316
Registered: August 2003
Location: Hiding from Meklar
Radram is really, *really* nice for minelayer.

When I'm sending minelayers out to build a defensive network of fields, typically my minefields will be under 36ly apart... So radram minelayers will not only be cheap, they'll be able to manage these fields *forever*.

If I had a choice between using the FM and the radram for my minelayers (assuming not SD here,) then I'd use the radram without hesitation.


I favour cheap designs like:
FF + radram + 1 minelayer pod (lately I'm starting to think 2 pods might be a bit better - less MM to do)

If I have the DNA scanner, I'll add that to the design. Other scanners I think add too much cost for a cheap design like this.

Highly cloaked galleon layers are great fun too, in mid-late game, with good scanners and lots of pods. They would need a much better engine Smile


[Updated on: Sun, 20 January 2008 18:09]

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Re: Engine choice for minelaying frigate Sun, 20 January 2008 20:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
gible

 
Commander

Messages: 1343
Registered: November 2002
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

the only times speed matters with mine layers are 1) when you're laying multiple fields and 2) evading skirmishers

for 1) you want you layers effective speed to be enough that you can get clear of the current feild to lay the next.

for 2) only you map speed matter, there's no way you're going to get enough battle speed to make a difference.

ultimately, you get what you pay for, and you're usually going to be building a lot of layers.

feild radius = sqrt ( mines )

a single FF with 3 standard layers:
150 mines/year = ~13ly radius
290 mines/2years = ~14ly radius
430 mines/3years = ~21ly radius
570 mines/4years = ~24ly radius
710 mines/5years = ~27ly radius

...so you can see that even engines like the radram or FM are still very cost effective.

Personally, if I have it, I'd use the FM, since unlike the radram it *can* do W9 effectively if needed and put up with the minor refueling hassles.

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Re: Engine choice for minelaying frigate Sun, 20 January 2008 21:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dogthinkers is currently offline Dogthinkers

 
Commander

Messages: 1316
Registered: August 2003
Location: Hiding from Meklar
Just a note

FF+Radram+1pod can do 101ly at warp 9 with IFE, 86ly without.
FF+FM+1pod can do 184ly at warp 9.
FF+FM+2pods can do 110ly at warp 9.
FF+FM+3pods can only do 78ly at warp 9. (note: 236ly range @ w6 - that's 6.5 jumps)

So... If you like 1 pod per ship, FF and radram is fine if you only need the ability to do an unassisted warp 9 jump occaisionally. If you like having more pods, then you have to use the FM *if* you want to be able to make bigger jumps (but then have the added MM of refuelling them periodically.) Personally I'd cut the MM and take the radram unless germ is very tight.


While I'm thinking about max speed / range...

If you like using scout hull for minelayers (cheaper in the early game)
SS+Radram+1pod (IFE) = 65ly@w8, 145ly@w7
SS+Radram+1pod (-IFE) = 55ly@w8, 123ly@w7
Both taking two years to refuel from empty @ warp 6
SS+FM+1pod = 111ly@w8, 153@w7
Three years to refuel from empty @ crappy warp 4

If I were using the scout, I'd use the radram because it'd get stuck at w4 way too often (and 16ly isn't enough to move to a new minefield to create/top up, unlike the 36ly you get to travel while refueling a radram)

I just finished my first big game where I've had ramscoops available... And I gotta say, I *loved* not having to even think about the fuel on my 140 minelayer scouts. Whenever I built any I just boosted them at warp 9 to roughly where they needed to be (didn't cost me anything, they just tagged along with ships heading the right way) then was able to just forget about them. Think about that - 140 minelayers. Managing their fuel would've been a major hassle.

Of course, if you are NRSE, the decision becomes very, very easy Wink


[Updated on: Sun, 20 January 2008 21:38]

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Re: Engine choice for minelaying frigate Sun, 20 January 2008 21:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dogthinkers is currently offline Dogthinkers

 
Commander

Messages: 1316
Registered: August 2003
Location: Hiding from Meklar
lol, and I just realised...

The original poster is asking for opinions on design for a -IFE -NRSE race.... So I'm wavering off topic comparing the FM and the radram Smile

Agree: no sheild.
Agree: radram if you are using frigate or scout hull.



[Updated on: Sun, 20 January 2008 21:46]

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Re: Engine choice for minelaying frigate Mon, 17 March 2008 15:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
david9926 is currently offline david9926

 
Crewman 2nd Class

Messages: 15
Registered: December 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon, US
I have been fighting two hyper-expander races and we have been using a lot of mine fields against each other. It reduces the number of ships I have to have in inventory. Can defend itself. Can lay mines as it clears. But the expensive engine means it's not a throw-away.

Here's what I made: http://s268.photobucket.com/albums/jj33/david9926/

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Re: Engine choice for minelaying frigate Tue, 18 March 2008 03:19 Go to previous message
iztok is currently offline iztok

 
Commander

Messages: 1211
Registered: April 2003
Location: Slovenia, Europe
Hi!
david9926 wrote on Mon, 17 March 2008 20:16

CC "minelayer"
... we have been using a lot of mine fields against each other. It reduces the number of ships I have to have in inventory. Can defend itself. Can lay mines as it clears. But the expensive engine means it's not a throw-away.

Ummm, this CC of yours is really a Jack of all trades, master of none:
- too expensive to be produced in numbers to lay serious amount of mines,
- too slow and heavy and vulnerable and expensive to be a skirmisher,
- too easily counterdesigned. Anything with 3+ weapons range and decent speed would eat it alive. Heck, I could even use my "standard" DD sweeper with a gattling gun to hunt it.

The ONLY reason I'd use it instead of two designs is I'd be HEAVILY pressed on free ship slots.

BR, Iztok

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