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Children of a Dead Earth spectrum thread


Toxn
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During the lockdown I found myself getting into space games for some reason, mainly Stellaris and Children of a Dead Earth/CoaDE/ChoaDE. These are both fairly... technically-focussed games, but ChoaDE takes it to the next level*.

 

As such: here is a thread to talk about/post for discussion/brag about your designs for 100km/s railguns, 1GW reactors, 1MT pure fission bombs and the like.

 

Children+of+a+dead+earth+comp_92e3a0_696

Fuck your framerate...

 

*The rarified sperglord level where one of the common complaints is how the ballistics modelling package doesn't model barrel thicknesses properly rather than the fact that, you know, the game looks like something dug up from the early 2000s and yet eats system resources like it was sent from the future.

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So a few things experience hath wrought:

  • For those of us who want to use NUCLEAR FIRE to cleanse the solar system: big nukes are for bragging rights, but are otherwise useless. I'm really hoping to be proved wrong on this front.
  • I've had very little success making mega-lasers, but hear that they are dominate if done right.
  • Sandblasters FTW
  • 100km/s railguns FTW. Seriously, these things are soooo good that they make some fights boring - just plinking away at 100+km while the other guy frantically tries to lase the weapon off. Which makes for slow, boring battles.
  • Big guns aren't worth it: I made a 12' gun to spec (if massively overweight because fuck barrel profiling) and discovered that it will bounce off of ships.
  • Ramming things, surprisingly, does almost nothing.
  • Don't trust anything related to armour - the material science seems to be a bit wonky in this game. My best results so far are: a thin anti-nuke layer (TiC backed with spider silk) on the outside, silica aerogel interlayers between everything, at least 2 layers of thin whipple shields* with silica aerogel between them, and a base layer of boron fibre. A good armour design is exponentially better than those on the stock ships, and allows you to laugh off some of the more challenging missions.
  • Cover your turrets in silica aerogel for anti-laser protection. For a balance of anti-laser/anti-kinetic, basalt fibre is a good but expensive option. For anti-kinetic only I've heard that chrome-vanadium steel is good.
  • For missiles, the stock armour is balls. Put them in ship armour (thick silica aerogel layers are a must) and watch them laugh at multi-megawatt lasers for minutes at a time.
  • All the really optimum stuff fucks your framerate: micro missiles, missile swarms in general, flack payloads on guns, using radiation shields to make APFSDS rounds, 10 000 rpm sandblaster guns and so on. In general: lots of small stuff, moving fast > a few bit, slow things, but this is also a recipe to have every battle play out at <1 frame per second.
  • The two shapes which seem to work well are long and pointy (because angling armour is absurdly effective), and an umbrella up front (which offsets some of the weight from thicker armour by confining it to the first 5% of the hull). Of the two, I'd say that angling is much better overall except when dealing with sandblasters, which is where hiding your radiators behind a front umbrella is aces.
  • Budget a lot more power than you think you need: 13.5MW is good for running 2MW weapons, but will choke hard if you put in a 13MW gun. Generally I try to have at least double the rated power on hand.

 

*Aluminium, because I'm too basic to use gold or whatever the cool kids are optimising with.

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So here's a fun (ie: not hyper-optimised) design:

 

33FyVa0.jpg

It has decent armour, the obligatory baby sandblaster armament for scrubbing radiators and guns off, and a supremely entertaining set of 2km/s micronuke micromissile guns.

 

This thing can take fleets on while giving the viewer epilepsy from all the white flashes.

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So I've been futzing around a bit more with laser monsters, and the legends are real: absolutely unbeatable destruction per kg, but very vulnerable to eye-popper counter-lasers.

 

I might have a go at making a broadsider and see if it works better than the umbrella/hammerhead approach.

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4 hours ago, Toxn said:

So I've been futzing around a bit more with laser monsters, and the legends are real: absolutely unbeatable destruction per kg, but very vulnerable to eye-popper counter-lasers.

 

I might have a go at making a broadsider and see if it works better than the umbrella/hammerhead approach.

   Not sure i understood those things. There are counter-lasers in this game that fries your ships optics/targeting systems?

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17 hours ago, LoooSeR said:

   Not sure i understood those things. There are counter-lasers in this game that fries your ships optics/targeting systems?

No, optics and comms are magic and don't degrade.

 

There is a strategy where you can use a small, relatively low-powered laser to attack a large laser and successfully disable it at range by shining into the laser's focussing mirror. As the low-powered jobs don't require a giant reactor and massive radiator farm to work, this means that it's a decent counter to plonk a few down on your hull just in case a mega-laser hoves into view.

 

Apparently making your big laser's aperture smaller can ameliorate the issue, but this costs you in terms of effective range (which is half the point of the sodding things).

 

Edit: so in researching to see if the meta has changed it turns out that the min-max kings are using engagement ranges of 1000km (for comparison, a stock ship engages at something like 20-50km). Which means that my 150km test ranges might not mean squat in terms of giving useful info.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...
On 8/26/2020 at 1:37 AM, Toxn said:

Don't trust anything related to armour - the material science seems to be a bit wonky in this game. My best results so far are: a thin anti-nuke layer (TiC backed with spider silk) on the outside, silica aerogel interlayers between everything, at least 2 layers of thin whipple shields* with silica aerogel between them, and a base layer of boron fibre. A good armour design is exponentially better than those on the stock ships, and allows you to laugh off some of the more challenging missions.

 

On 8/26/2020 at 1:37 AM, Toxn said:

The two shapes which seem to work well are long and pointy (because angling armour is absurdly effective), and an umbrella up front (which offsets some of the weight from thicker armour by confining it to the first 5% of the hull). Of the two, I'd say that angling is much better overall except when dealing with sandblasters, which is where hiding your radiators behind a front umbrella is aces.

 

CotDE seems to be intensely enamored of armor sloping: 

 

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/spacewardefense.php#armortheory

 

[quote]

Sloped armor: deflects projectiles instead of absorbing them—an incredibly important and obvious tactic. Also, increases the effective thickness by the secant of the angle. Space warships should have long, thin nosecones. The primary battle tactic is flanking, to get a better attack angle. This is best accomplished by spreading out groups during attacks, since it is impossible for defenders to face in multiple directions at once.
[/quote]

 

I'm not actually sure thats how it works, since I'm pretty sure modern APFSDS isn't stopped by slope unless its really extreme.  And Jane's Technology of Tanks says slope won't do anything against a shaped charge jet: 

 

[quote]

To increase the effectiveness of armour and in particular of the frontal armour,
the original, vertical arrangement of nose, superstructure and turret plates was
generally abandoned during the Second World War in favour of sloped armour.
When well sloped, that is inclined at more than about 65° from the vertical,
armour offered the advantage of causing some projectiles to ricochet, or to shatter,
and of being able to avoid being perforated even when relatively thin. Very highly
sloped armour has also degraded the performance of some shaped charge war-
heads by interfering with the symmetry of the collapse of their liners into jets.


Sloping of armour to a lesser degree also makes it more effective against most
kinetic energy projectiles, because this causes it to offer resistance to penetration
which is non-symmetrical and, therefore, deflects projectiles from going straight
through the armour into a longer path. However, the advantages of sloping armour
are small, if any, when it is inclined at less than 10 or 20 degrees from the
vertical (15.5). This and the general effectiveness of sloped armour is illustrated in
Fig. 15.4 in terms of the ratio of its effective or equivalent thickness to the actual
shot-line thickness and the angle of inclination from the vertical.


In contrast, sloping of the armour makes generally no difference to the penetra-
tion of it by the jets of shaped charge warheads, except for the interference in some
cases with the formation of the jet mentioned previously. There is therefore little to
be gained by it in their case. This is true even though the sloped armour can be less
thick for protection against a particular size of shaped charge, because the thick-
ness in the path of the jet has to be the same whether the armour is sloped or not.
Consequently, its weight per unit of the vertical area to be protected does not vary
with the slope of the armour. The long-rod penetrators of APFSDS projectiles are
similarly unaffected by the slope of the armour.

[/quote]

 

Kind of hard to imagine it would be ineffective against shaped charges and APFSDS, yet somehow be super effective against hypervelocity impacts.

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14 minutes ago, A_Mysterious_Stranger said:

 

 

CotDE seems to be intensely enamored of armor sloping: 

 

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/spacewardefense.php#armortheory

 

[quote]

Sloped armor: deflects projectiles instead of absorbing them—an incredibly important and obvious tactic. Also, increases the effective thickness by the secant of the angle. Space warships should have long, thin nosecones. The primary battle tactic is flanking, to get a better attack angle. This is best accomplished by spreading out groups during attacks, since it is impossible for defenders to face in multiple directions at once.
[/quote]

 

I'm not actually sure thats how it works, since I'm pretty sure modern APFSDS isn't stopped by slope unless its really extreme.  And Jane's Technology of Tanks says slope won't do anything against a shaped charge jet: 

 

[quote]

To increase the effectiveness of armour and in particular of the frontal armour,
the original, vertical arrangement of nose, superstructure and turret plates was
generally abandoned during the Second World War in favour of sloped armour.
When well sloped, that is inclined at more than about 65° from the vertical,
armour offered the advantage of causing some projectiles to ricochet, or to shatter,
and of being able to avoid being perforated even when relatively thin. Very highly
sloped armour has also degraded the performance of some shaped charge war-
heads by interfering with the symmetry of the collapse of their liners into jets.


Sloping of armour to a lesser degree also makes it more effective against most
kinetic energy projectiles, because this causes it to offer resistance to penetration
which is non-symmetrical and, therefore, deflects projectiles from going straight
through the armour into a longer path. However, the advantages of sloping armour
are small, if any, when it is inclined at less than 10 or 20 degrees from the
vertical (15.5). This and the general effectiveness of sloped armour is illustrated in
Fig. 15.4 in terms of the ratio of its effective or equivalent thickness to the actual
shot-line thickness and the angle of inclination from the vertical.


In contrast, sloping of the armour makes generally no difference to the penetra-
tion of it by the jets of shaped charge warheads, except for the interference in some
cases with the formation of the jet mentioned previously. There is therefore little to
be gained by it in their case. This is true even though the sloped armour can be less
thick for protection against a particular size of shaped charge, because the thick-
ness in the path of the jet has to be the same whether the armour is sloped or not.
Consequently, its weight per unit of the vertical area to be protected does not vary
with the slope of the armour. The long-rod penetrators of APFSDS projectiles are
similarly unaffected by the slope of the armour.

[/quote]

 

Kind of hard to imagine it would be ineffective against shaped charges and APFSDS, yet somehow be super effective against hypervelocity impacts.

The really funny part, again, is where a highly-sloped whipple shield somehow allows a ship to shrug off battleship shells.

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2 hours ago, A_Mysterious_Stranger said:

 

Sloping apparently is also effective against laser weapons according to some.   That is 'Hard Sci Fi Realism' (tm).

 

That I can at least imagine working with my smooth brain - it turns your spot into an ellipse and distributes the energy over more material.

 

The day I executed a heroic kamikaze ram on another ship and just sort of donked off, on the other hand, was where my immersion really got ruined.

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12 hours ago, Toxn said:

That I can at least imagine working with my smooth brain - it turns your spot into an ellipse and distributes the energy over more material.

 

The day I executed a heroic kamikaze ram on another ship and just sort of donked off, on the other hand, was where my immersion really got ruined.

I think it would depend on how you think lasers work.  Maybe with a heat ray (to borrow Luke Campbell's term) but a pulse laser might be another matter since that stuff can be closer to shaped charges and APFSDS.   I don't think CotDE go for pulse lasers though. 

 

And yeah, when scifi fans get pedantic about how it 'must' work, it gets less fun. 

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