Aurora - Dwarf Fortress In Space

From experience, I would suggest against putting active sensors onto your carrier. If you happen to be not detected (make sure you run your motherships at very low speed once in hostile territory), then you won't be attacked. You have impressively low thermal signature on those monsters, so try to stay invisible. No shields. No actives. Build either gunboats, or fighters with sensors. Maybe fighters that are faster than enemy. Because they will chase your sensor ship.

Another thing to consider are sensors on your missiles. If you're shooting at very small fragile targets, of which there are many, you'll want your missiles to re-acquire to new targets when their original target is destroyed.

That mothership is huge. Massively huge. Does it really have to be? If it weren't so huge, it wouldn't need such a huge jump engine, which would lessen its maintenance costs, which would lower the number of engineering needed, which would cause less crew quarters, etc. Why not keep the carrier be just that. Then offload the sensory equipment to a sensor ship. And collier function to a collier ship (along with maybe a supply and/or tanker function). You carrier can lug along a support ships on its own jump engines. You can still keep the necessary amount of magazine space to reload your fighter wing. But reload those magazines from the separate collier ship.

You should be able to lower your mass to no more than 20k tons. That will also mean you need less engines to push it around, which will cause you to have less visibility. And if the ship gets destroyed, it will be a lesser loss.

You also have no active sensor to properly detect the Star Swarm fighters. Your fighters have the proper targeting sensors, but there are no active sensors to paint enemy to start with. Your mothership has resolution 120 and 1 sensors, which means that the closest you can detect those fighters is 2m km, even though your missiles can do 5m km. This, of course, can be fixed if you build some sensor fighters and send them in with your missile fighters.

Thanks for the thoughts MoonDragon and Yonder.

I should have mentioned that a dedicated sensor ship is planned to operate along with this carrier/fleet. Those sensors on the carrier I just threw on because, I dunno, thought it might be a good backup if the sensor ships get blown up. I like the idea of using a fast figher sensor ship against the Star Swarm, but once I'm done with them I'll probably go with a bit of a bigger dedicated platform. The only sensor ship I currently have is a kinda long range recon/independent scout type with its own jump engine. Might be overkill for fleet operations, but at least there is a dedicated 25m km range 16 resolution sensor designed specifically for those Star Swarm guys.

Hadn't thought of on-board guidance for the missiles. I'll have to take a look at that.

Concerning the ridiculous size of the carrier, yeah I must say that I agree. I'll monkey around a bit with less magazine space and other stuff if I can.

Sadly I've had almost no time to try these things out over the past few days. Hopefully by Monday or so I should be able to though. Expect a complete report then!

Edit: Taking into account these considerations, behold the new and improved Gaius Marius class carrier and the Buzzard class Swarm Scout gunboat.

Gaius Marius class Carrier Mk. II 21350 tons 1235 Crew 3292 BP TCS 427 TH 600 EM 0
1873 km/s JR 3-50 Armour 3-68 Shields 0-0 Sensors 40/1/0/0 Damage Control Rating 30 PPV 0
Annual Failure Rate: 121% IFR: 1.7% Maint Capacity 2891 MSP Max Repair 756 MSP Est Time: 2.05 Years
Flag Bridge Hangar Deck Capacity 10000 tons Magazine 640

J22000(3-50) Military Jump Drive Max Ship Size 22000 tons Distance 50k km Squadron Size 3
Magneto-plasma Drive E6 (10) Power 80 Fuel Use 60% Signature 60 Armour 0 Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 250,000 Litres Range 35.1 billion km (217 days at full power)

'Gladius' Size 3 Assault Fighter Missile (213) Speed: 37,300 km/s End: 2.2m Range: 5m km WH: 5 Size: 3 TH: 161 / 97 / 48

Thermal Sensor TH5-40 (1) Sensitivity 40 Detect Sig Strength 1000: 40m km

Strike Group
40x F/A-1 Eagle Assault Fighter Speed: 10322 km/s Size: 4.65

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a military vessel for maintenance purposes

Buzzard class Swarm Scout 700 tons 64 Crew 200.2 BP TCS 14 TH 120 EM 0
11428 km/s Armour 1-7 Shields 0-0 Sensors 1/1/0/0 Damage Control Rating 0 PPV 0
Annual Failure Rate: 7% IFR: 0.1% Maint Capacity 89 MSP Max Repair 105 MSP Est Time: 4.16 Years

GB Magneto-plasma Drive E60 (1) Power 160 Fuel Use 600% Signature 120 Armour 0 Exp 15%
Fuel Capacity 110,000 Litres Range 47.1 billion km (47 days at full power)

Active Search Sensor S105-R16 (1) GPS 1680 Range 16.8m km Resolution 16

This design is classed as a military vessel for maintenance purposes

The new Marius is 25% smaller, 450km/s faster, 40% cheaper, and much better maintenance-wise. There's also some room left on the hull for adding some CIWS later. I'm happy with it.

Each carrier has just enough room to carry one Buzzard in addition to its fighter complement. Plan is to have something like four of them who will rotate out of the docking spot to refuel. There will also be a bigger fleet sensor ship with really big passives and a missile detector radar that will sit with the carriers.

One final question for now. What's the deal with adding sensors to missiles? I played around with it a bit, but the best range I was realistically able to get was about 80,000km. Seems like that wouldn't be enough to be useful considering that they're moving at 37k km/s.

Sensor on missiles do a couple of things. First they can act as heat seeking missiles or a type of friend or foe missiles. They can also act as space mines or probes. The second stage of one of my missiles is a missiles without warheads and just a sensors basically a probe I can launch from a safe distance.

Gunner wrote:

One final question for now. What's the deal with adding sensors to missiles? I played around with it a bit, but the best range I was realistically able to get was about 80,000km. Seems like that wouldn't be enough to be useful considering that they're moving at 37k km/s.

I haven't messed with them yet but I was under the impression that the ship's targeting computer fired the missile towards its initial target, and if the missile arrived there and found its target destroyed it would use the sensors to find a new target. I think that 80,000km would be a large enough range to target different ships in the original target's fleet.

LtWarhound wrote:
Yonder wrote:

I haven't messed with them yet but I was under the impression that the ship's targeting computer fired the missile towards its initial target, and if the missile arrived there and found its target destroyed it would use the sensors to find a new target. I think that 80,000km would be a large enough range to target different ships in the original target's fleet.

Nope. Having fired salvos at multiple targets at the same time, I can definitely say that if the missile's target is destroyed, it self-destructs if if has no sensors.

If it has no sensors, or if it doesn't see any additional enemies in its sensors? I assumed that if it had any sensors at all it kept going in the hopes that it would pick up a target later.

Yonder wrote:

I haven't messed with them yet but I was under the impression that the ship's targeting computer fired the missile towards its initial target, and if the missile arrived there and found its target destroyed it would use the sensors to find a new target. I think that 80,000km would be a large enough range to target different ships in the original target's fleet.

Having fired salvos at multiple targets at the same time, I can definitely say that if the missile's target is destroyed, it self-destructs if if has no sensors. I haven't used missiles with sensors in a fight yet, but what Yonder says is my understanding of how they would work.

Fire missile. Missile arrives where target should be, doesn't find the target (its dead, Jim) and looks for a new one. No target in range, loiter until fuel runs out or a target arrives in range.

Sorry, was editing that post when you posted.

5.0 is out
Also, patch for 5.01

High level changes for 5.0:

Changes to Civilian Detection for v5.0
New Naval Organization Structure
Automated Fire for Player Ships
Popup Fleet Menu
Jump engines and maybe more.

...but you will need to dig through the forums to figure out what the changes actually are.

Also, 5.0 is a database change and will kill your old game, so beware!

Nice!

Though in that first link he warns that due to the large number of changes it may be a bit buggy. I'll wait until the weekend or so to give him time to get the worst of it ironed out.

I also tracked down a couple of the forum threads where he talks about the new stuff.

Change to Civilian Detection: Basically you can always see your own civilian ships now, even with transponders off. They are no longer viewed as a separate alien race so the game won't be tracking them or estimating their capabilities.

Automatic Colony Creation: Now when you order a fleet to drop off installations or teams it will automatically create a colony on the body in question, instead of making you do that ahead of time.

New Naval Organization Structure: This actually appears to be a fairly meaty change, I skimmed through it but haven't had a chance to read about it in any depth.

You can also now right-click on ships in System Maps view (F3) to bring up their appropriate pages in other views. I can't wait to get a chance to play with 5.0.

Hi everyone, I've been following this thread for awhile, I'm fairly new but I have most of the basics down, would anyone be interested in chatting on steam or something while playing?

My steam is: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/7...

Tnx wrote:

...would anyone be interested in chatting on steam or something while playing?

I often fire up Vent and sit in the Single Player Coffee Shop channel while playing Aurora.

Vent? Hm I don't have a mic and I like to play music while playing aurora, is there a chat function on vent? I pretty much would like to talk for some pointers in the game from people who know alot more.

Vent does chat typing style also. Probably be better off just posting whatever questions you have but whatever floats your boat.

On a different note I just read about the time bubble that will put all solar system on hold while you do your thing. So if you are micro managing a battle and don't want some other races you can't even see slowing your game down you can put them on hold.

No more AARs? How can i vicariously enjoy this game if you guys stop posting? I've been patiently waiting......

Took this for a spin today, and was defeated not by the complexity of the game systems, but by the fact that running it on a widescreen laptop means that half of the game screens are off the bottom of my screen, and a quick browse of the forums shows that the only fixes for this are eldritch and complicated.

Yay for PC gaming!

Jonman wrote:

Yay for PC gaming!

That's a little harsh, no? It's an app made by one guy for himself. He shared it with the world, thinking some other people may enjoy it as well. Dissing PC gaming for one guy's way of making his own entertainment is a bit of a stretch. Don't you think?

Markly wrote:

No more AARs? How can i vicariously enjoy this game if you guys stop posting? I've been patiently waiting......

Sorry Markly. I haven't had a chance to play much. I did run a test game where I'm somewhat cheating. I've been just running research and resource gathering in the background, without any extra-Solar exploration. I figure I can run up my tech high before starting to explore the universe. And since nothing spawns until I actually explore the JPs, I should be relatively safe. But knowing that no baddies spawn until I "generate" their systems by entering them, and counting on that for my safety, is a bit of a cheat in my mind.

Naming your task forces DFS and WFS is hilarious.

Heh. Makes it easier for me to figure out which one is which, without having to see what they are composed of.

So I finally justified my non-expansionist, research and collect culture as isolationist and xenophobic. But the cultural attitudes slowly changed. I stayed in the solar system until I had colonies on Mars (fully terraformed) and Titan (slowly terraforming). Earth has long ago ran out of mines, but my other planets have critical resources in millions, so there was no reason to rush. Instead, I researched. A lot. As the age of enlightenment comes, so does the need to expand.

My current exploration doctrine calls for two types of exploratory vessels. I call their task groups Depth First Search (DFS) and Width First Search (WFS). DFS task groups jump through jump gates the moment they discover them. WFS task groups survey the whole system before moving to the next equally distant system, from the previous. My DFS TGs are intended to be the point of first contact, and hopefully survive such contact. While WFS TGs are my primary means of geological survey.

In order to accommodate both methodologies without too much overhead, I went with modular ship design (i.e. hangars). My main survey platform are jump capable grav survey vessels.

Eagle class Gravitational Survey Vessel 4000 tons 300 Crew 1074.2 BP TCS 80 TH 40 EM 0 3125 km/s JR 3-50 Armour 3-22 Shields 0-0 Sensors 180/180/2/0 Damage Control Rating 3 PPV 0 Annual Failure Rate: 42% IFR: 0.6% Maint Capacity 504 MSP Max Repair 180 MSP Est Time: 3.14 Years Hangar Deck Capacity 1000 tons J4000(3-50) Military Jump Drive Max Ship Size 4000 tons Distance 50k km Squadron Size 3 MaConfi Drive Type M/E4 (2) Power 125 Fuel Use 40% Signature 20 Armour 0 Exp 5% Fuel Capacity 150,000 Litres Range 168.8 billion km (625 days at full power) Thermal Sensor TH10-180 (1) Sensitivity 180 Detect Sig Strength 1000: 180m km EM Detection Sensor EM10-180 (1) Sensitivity 180 Detect Sig Strength 1000: 180m km Improved Gravitational Sensors (1) 2 Survey Points Per Hour

Depending on the type of deployment, they will either carry two missile armed fighters (for DFS role) or a geo survey parasite (for WFS role). The geo survey ship:

Mole class Geological Survey Vessel 1000 tons 90 Crew 487.4 BP TCS 20 TH 20 EM 0 6250 km/s Armour 3-8 Shields 0-0 Sensors 90/1/0/3 Damage Control Rating 1 PPV 0 Annual Failure Rate: 8% IFR: 0.1% Maint Capacity 305 MSP Max Repair 200 MSP Est Time: 5.68 Years MaConfi Drive Type M/E4 (1) Power 125 Fuel Use 40% Signature 20 Armour 0 Exp 5% Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres Range 225.0 billion km (416 days at full power) Thermal Sensor TH5-90 (1) Sensitivity 90 Detect Sig Strength 1000: 90m km Advanced Geological Sensors (1) 3 Survey Points Per Hour

My "smack the living heck out of them and run" fighters, that accompany the DFS role survey vessels:

Resolution class Fighter 467.5 tons 20 Crew 115.4 BP TCS 9.35 TH 12 EM 0 8021 km/s Armour 1-5 Shields 0-0 Sensors 1/1/0/0 Damage Control Rating 0 PPV 6 Annual Failure Rate: 6% IFR: 0.1% Maint Capacity 39 MSP Max Repair 36 MSP Est Time: 5.08 Years Magazine 40 FTR Magnetic Confinement Fusion Drive E300 (1) Power 75 Fuel Use 3000% Signature 12 Armour 0 Exp 25% Fuel Capacity 20,000 Litres Range 2.6 billion km (3 days at full power) Size 10 Box Launcher (4) Missile Size 10 Hangar Reload 75 minutes MF Reload 12.5 hours Missile Fire Control FC29-R50 (1) Range 29.2m km Resolution 50 Size 10 Anti-ship MIRV (4) Speed: 18,700 km/s End: 26.7m Range: 30.5m km WH: 0 Size: 10 TH: 62 / 37 / 18 Active Search Sensor MR32-R50 (1) GPS 1800 Range 32.4m km Resolution 50

Where the missiles carried by it are:

Missile Size: 10 MSP (0.5 HS) Warhead: 0 Armour: 0 Manoeuvre Rating: 10 Speed: 18700 km/s Endurance: 32 minutes Range: 35.9m km Cost Per Missile: 21.0586 Second Stage: Hornet ASM S-S1-4 x8 Second Stage Separation Range: 750,000 km Overall Endurance: 32 minutes Overall Range: 36.5m km Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 187% 3k km/s 60% 5k km/s 37.4% 10k km/s 18.7% Materials Required: 8x Tritanium 10.7926x Gallicite Fuel x1250

And:

Hornet ASM S-S1-4 Missile Size: 1 MSP (0.05 HS) Warhead: 4 Armour: 0 Manoeuvre Rating: 18 Speed: 62500 km/s Endurance: 0 minutes Range: 0.8m km Cost Per Missile: 2.2417 Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 1125% 3k km/s 360% 5k km/s 225% 10k km/s 112.5% Materials Required: 1x Tritanium 0.9897x Gallicite Fuel x2.5

The doctrine for DFS vessels calls for fighters to exit the ship upon detection of hostiles, while the MS hightails it towards the jump point. If possible, the fighters engage their missiles at the target and follow after the MS. I don't intend to stick around for the details. Overall, this doctrine was borne out of too many survey craft getting ganked by random hostiles that shoot first and ask questions later.

I am yet to encounter hostiles (out of about 10 systems explored). But I'm actually interested if I'll be able to survive and carry on my doctrine.

Jonman wrote:

Took this for a spin today, and was defeated not by the complexity of the game systems, but by the fact that running it on a widescreen laptop means that half of the game screens are off the bottom of my screen, and a quick browse of the forums shows that the only fixes for this are eldritch and complicated.

Yay for PC gaming!

Same for me, looks incredibly awesome and this thread hyped me for it, but It's a no go unless I put my laptop on it's side.

My exploration doctrine has been serving me fairly well. I had to slightly embellish on the DFS aspects, mainly because I didn't want my map to span 20 systems to the left and right of Sol, without filling out some details. So every time my fuel would drop to about 60%, I'd end the depth search and run the squadron back home for an overhaul. Then start it on its way a different route.

Turns out that my ships have high enough engine tech, and are small enough, that they are nearly stealthy. And so, I almost ran into a stationary alien fleet, that I finally encountered. It seems they are 3 ships, each of 880 thermal signature (compared to my carrier ship's 40). So, either they are HUGE, or their tech isn't as good as mine. I'm hoping that they may be precursors. That way I don't have to deal with a repeated war effort. Just a one time blowing up. And no need to worry about jump points either. But I don't think I'm so lucky. My diplomatic team has been sent and they are slowly struggling. We'll see how it goes. I've suspended the operations in that system. I don't think they even knew I was there. Now I have to decree creation of some sensor and weapons platforms to interdict the jump point.

One amazing thing about my current game are the systems I've been getting. Every major planetary system I've so far found has had resources in millions. Some were more hospitable than the others, but it is incredible as to how many resources are to be had. Even Sol was packed. Both Mars and Titan--which have been colonized--are quite rich, along with Io and Europa. Two jumps from Sol, I found a system even richer in materials, with a perfect planet that had 10 out of 11 resources on it (all in millions), and 200k of the 11th resource have been discovered by the Geology team. Unfortunately, they are mostly low accessibility, but other nearby planets have the materials in high accessibility and high volume. Most likely I'll transfer the bulk of my industry to New Hope. Earth can remain as an administrative and financial center, but the industry is moving on.

In my reasonably limited experience having planets with millions and millions of resources is very common. Having planets with accessibility on those resources greater than .5 or so is the kicker.

Your story about running into the large thermal signature makes me think of the possibility of building a ship with large engines that didn't use any of your "lower thermal signature" techs. Seems like something like that may be useful in giving ships the run around or leading them into ambushes by your stealthier attack ships. Used in conjunction with a tug with efficient engines (so that the hot guy could shut down his engines and be pulled to safety) I think that you could get into some interesting shenanigans.

You can do that--and I think more effectively--with active sensors. Have a super fast ship that's nothing but engines and a big active sensor. You don't even need to get close. Just fire up the actives and if the NPR has an EW passives, they'll see you. Then fly your ship wherever you want them to follow you. It's also easier to switch off the active sensor than engines, if you want to escape.

As far as the 800 thermal signature, I'm guess that they may have similar tech level to me, but that their engines do not use the thermal signature reduction tech.

I still check in on this game occasionally, though I haven't played in awhile. There have been some updates recently. The 5.02 to 5.10 release breaks save games, but from there the 5.1 to 5.12 is safe. I'll probably dive into it again soon, since for some reason I think it grabs me more that Distant Worlds has been. Tough choice though.

Aurora 5.20 is out right now, it includes two major game play changes that I can see (I have been monitoring development, but not super closely.) First of all there are some changes to active sensors: Active sensors can now see objects that are smaller than their specified resolution at significantly greater ranges. There is also a new type of sensor, the "Narrow Band" sensor, that can detect objects at much greater ranges than normal active sensors, but can only sense a narrow band of ship sizes, ships smaller [i]and[i] larger than this scope are penalized. Discussion of these new mechanics can be found here (unfortunately a long thread that includes a lot of discussion about what the new mechanics should be in addition to what they were finally narrowed down as.)

Even more importantly this release includes very large scale orbital habitats. You can now have a large civilian population living in massive habitats. People can't live in them while they are traveling, but once they are attached to any system body (asteroids, comets, planets that are too hot, too cold, anything) your population works at the body out of them. Basically going to work normally during their shift, and then coming back to recuperate in a perfectly habitable environment when they come home. Now if you wanted to you could go entirely without automated mines, asteroid miners, or terraforming ships. You could have 10 million people living over Venus operating the manned terraforming installations on the surface. The corresponding thread is here.

I got back into it recently (with v5.14 actually, which I’ll stick with because my game is going well) and am happy to announce that it's much, much more stable than it has been in the past, I have been able to play for many decades now without any breaking bugs. I have been writing up some of the adventures of the Dwarves of Armok's Hammer this time around, and will start posting them soon.

Thanks for the update, Yonder!

I've been thinking about this game recently. Haven't dived into it in a while, but may do it now that they have finally created hab-stations. I still wish that they could be free-floating and not only attachable to grav wells, but hey... one at the time.

It was a fell mood that began it all. A young dwarf was the first victim; he was a prospective student at the foremost University of the time, separated from the rest of the tour group. Hearing footsteps behind him he turned to ask for directions, but the sight of the dwarf that approached him stunned him into silence. He died with his mouth agape.

A guard at his post saw the attack on his surveillance cameras and sounded the alarm. Security procedures that had been fine-tuned over millennia went into motion. All civilian dwarves were called deeper into the complex, massive titanium doors slid into place and locked. Some hallways--perfectly airtight--were flooded with highly toxic biological agents; others were bathed with powerful radiation. A small, elite squad of military dwarves was dispatched to bring the lawbreaker to custody.

They found him in the hallways on the way back to his office. His bloodstained arms were filled with a variety of supplies and equipment he had taken from the nearby storage closet.

"Halt!" shouted the squad commander, leveling his assault rifle at the Professor's chest. "You're under arrest!"

The Professor's stride didn't falter; his only response was to look up at the noise. His gaze locked onto the Commander, who flinched away with sudden realization. This was no tantrum, there had been no crime. This was a strange mood. He had never witnessed a strange mood before--no living dwarf had. There had not been a strange mood since Dwarves had conquered the atom so long ago. But deep in his bones, in that purely Dwarven place he entered during a martial trance, he knew what he was seeing, as did his squadmates.

As the Professor approached the military squad lay down in the hallway so the Professor could step over them. The hallway was more than wide enough for them all, but this encounter triggered their ancient dwarven instincts to submit and recognize the Professor's duties as more pressing than their own. As the Professor stepped over them his murmurings crashed over them like a collapsing tunnel. The room spun, and they could not have stood even if they wanted to. They could not understand the words; they were too dark and majestic to comprehend.

***

The Dwarven population galvanized at the news of a strange mood, it had been so long since the last one that many had believed that there would never be another, that they were a relic of ages past. The full industrial and bureaucratic might of the planet Dolomite was brought to bear in order to ensure that the Professor's marvelous work brought fruit. Every raw and worked material that could be thought of was flown into the University and cataloged. When the Professor paused in his unearthly mutterings and returned to Dwarvish to bark out a required material it was located and brought to him as quickly as possible. A medical team tended to him night and day, monitoring his alcohol levels and other vitals as well as feeding him intravenously when he was still for long enough.

Meanwhile the defenses of the University were checked and rechecked, should the worst happen and one of the Professor's needs go unprovided.

***

After more than two years the Professor strode from his lab, blinking. "Duranium! Mercassium! Vendarite! Boronide!" he shouted hoarsely.

The technicians outside looked at each other fearfully at these unfamiliar demands, and started searching for the terms in their computers.

"NO!" the Professor exclaimed, "My work is done. Those are the materials our race will need, to put it to practice.

The Trans-Newtonian age had begun.

Very nice Yonder, more please.