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Topic: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships  (Read 1992 times) previous topic - next topic

  • Jack Knife
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Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
So as several of you are aware I've been planning strategies mostly pertaining to Capital Ships with a few people and in that pursuit gained various amounts of information about the game and about other Orgs (I will not be naming them throughout this post,but will submit Org names via PM if asked by OPPF Staff.) in my pursuit of this information. I've previously discovered forum posts elsewhere about people plotting on capturing or stealing Vanduul ships and some even speaking of "theoretical" betrayal in order to posess spoils of war relating to OPPF and today I found another in the form of using OPPF as a distraction from members of a large Org. This accumulation of information has lead me to finally make this post and tell you all my thoughts on the matter and they will be long winded so there is a TLDR at the bottom aswell.

Capturing a Capital Ship in General
In general this requires significant assets and manpower dedicated to only this purpose on a large scale. A Vanduul Hunter Destroyer has 300 Vanduul inside. That's the equivalent for an entire medium sized Org. Even if you match that in Marien power you still require the pilots and ships for boarding,but even before that you need to disable the target's shields,engines and defense turrets requiring bombers and fighters further increasing the manpower and assets required just to capture a small capital ship that is theoretically acting as a screen for a fleet. The smart way to do this is to eliminate the fleet in order to focus on your target or the potential losses will be massive.

Now imagine these potential losses multiplied by Orgs who look at an entire Vanduul Fleet as capturable spoils of war. Losses would be overwhelming if Orgs simply acted on base greed and could jeopardize the goals of OPPF. Now take into consideration the ratio of Pilots to Marines. The general player base wants to be a pilot in a space game. Simply disabling a capital ship hopping out of a fighter and looking or a hull breach is not the best move especially if you think of instancing due to lack of singular large troop transport ships like a Genesis. Taking this into account it is not even possible for a large Org to capture a capital ship without prior significant planning without twofold heavy losses of personnel and ships.

OPPF Planning atm done by me and discussed with others currently gives us a simple template for a Battalion of 500(This is ~10% of currently registered members on RSI.) volunteer Marine Personnel from any Org based on equipment rather than specialization so people can simply a show up and volunteer to go do their job. That being said 500 Marines can guarantee a Lightfire Capital Comms Ship or a Hunter Destroyer through superior numbers even with the loss of a few troop transports en route. A Mauler Cruiser with an unknown Vanduul personnel count however would be risky let alone a Kingship which is our dream goal stated at 7,500 Vanduul Personnel on the Star Citizen Wiki( http://starcitizen.wikia.com/wiki/Kingship ) which was formerly 1,300 Vanduul Personnel. To capture a Kingship it would require the entirety of OPPF to be reallocated and mustered for the capture of a Kingship which is not guaranteed to succeed when comparing numbers and potential for theft after the operation ends.(See below.)To even entertain the thought of capturing a Kingship we must escalate our Marine plans to allocate more personnel to multiple Battalions and outfit them with Titan Armor as a force multiplier bearing in mind not all the Vanduul are equipped for infantry combat it would still be extremely risky. The safest bet is to destroy it and not even attempt a boarding action if we want the goal of liberating Orion to succeed as the sheer amount of diverted assets and manpower to capture a Kingship is unacceptable and potentially impossible in our current state. Still not convinced? How about potential internal strife to spice up an already complicated situation.

Whispers of Betrayal and Distraction
So some time ago I read in a forum how to potentially capture and man a Kingship according to other Star Citizen theory crafters. What I found was a discussion on capturing a kingship and dividing it among the alliance of people that they would muster to do so and divide voting power amongst those who committed the most manpower by percentage for decisions to use said ship similar to the Bengal Carrier many pirates want to capture as a mobile city base for Pirates in order to make a shared investment to keep it under their control so there cannot be betrayal or a take over as it would cause all of the involved Orgs to come to the defense of their grand prize and keep operating it instead of their enemies or one big Org. It sounded innocent enough until they spoke of how to get it again and started talking about stealing it after OPPF finishes with personnel already on board when things quieted down and run away to a heavily defended UEE system where one could not simply mass assault it. This is outright betrayal that I dismissed at the time and surely some other Orgs have thought about it aswell,but we have Blue Fire Protocol right?

Next we have certain members of a large Org talking about Bengal Carrier wrecks in the verse. Supposedly there are 3 you can find and repair as a daunting task for large Orgs. How does this involve us? Well other than it being a good idea to potentially find and repair one for OPPF theoretically the majority in the discussion were betting one exists in the massive debris fields of Tiber. They've stated they have not committed to OPPF,but that they could use us as a distraction for the entire playerbase to find and repair such a ship in Tiber while we're fighting and dying in the name of humanity hoping that we hold off the Vanduul long enough. How could a large possibly sneak by us to find and repair such a ship? They theory crafted joining to scout and then divert small repair crews,but thought it would be insufficient and take too much time which is in all likeliness correct. So then they thought what about as a whole and that would publically make them traitors. So they then theory crafted doing so to minimum operational status then running for Sol or McArthur(Heard of it,but don't remember where it is.) where people would not attack. From what I gathered they have not found a way to stealthily,but have mentioned in this thread that they should theory craft in their own forums as the one they're in is public and rightly so,because I found it and bookmarked it.

TLDR or Conclusion
-At this time it is impossible to capture a Kingship which now has 7,500 crew and was formerly 1,300 which is still out of acceptable parameters for asset and personnel diversion. Only a Lightfire Comms Ship or Hunter Destroyer can be captured with current boarding plans.
-In the event we have the opportunity to capture a Kingship betrayal at some point after the operation is likely.
-Members of a large Org stated an opportunity to use us as a distraction in order to capture an unconfirmed derelict Bengal Carrier in Tiber through various means. These members are of unconfirmed rank and it is unknown if the plan was further discussed or approved. This Org has not pledged to OPPF which if plans are acted upon could potentially lead to human on human fighting in Tiber or desertion by this Org in Tiber leading to the potential loss of several thousand people in manpower if this goal is confirmed and met by this Org should they join us in the future.

Personal Recommendations
-Abandon plans for the capture of a Kingship or capturing capital ships all together and focus on their destruction.
-If a capital ship is to be captured I would recommend a Lightfire Comms Ship as it is well within our parameters and would provide us potential intel and technology which is or was a goal of OPPF stated long ago. A Hunter Destroyer is more or less just firepower in a different Vanduul shaped package and not worth capturing in my opinion. It could however be a good morale boost and isolated practice event for boarding during the Special Forces Wing operations leading up to V-Day should we decide to capture a Vanduul ship and need such an action to occur for learning and intel purposes.
-An OPPF registered staff member contact me for the Org names and references I spoke of to mitigate future potential risks from said Orgs during OPPF.

Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #1
I find it hard to believe that CIG can manage to put 7500 proper AI inside a ship. There'll be some sort of trick there for sure. In any case, since any ship to be boarded is most likely going to be "softened", a percentage of the crew will be dead by the time the marines hit the deck.

There's also the game-factor to be considered. Even in games like the ARMA series (extremely realistic war simulator) the player vs AI kill ratio has a huge gap. Statistically speaking, how many Vanduul do you think a player can kill before he falls? 3? 5? 10? 100? The problem here is learning what kind of FPS experience CIG wants to give us. Will it be a super realistic ARMA like simulation or is it going to be a tea-bagging Halo fest?

But lets get down to the core of the subject: Is it worth our time and resources to try and capture Vanduul ships? IMHO? Depending on game mechanics the only two units worth capturing are going to be the Comm Ships (might not only have enemy fleet positions but also information about unknown jump points) and Carrier-type ships. If no information can be recovered from the comm ships or if the carriers aren't needed to help us in our advance towards enemy space (as logistic strong points), then there's really no point other than the bragging rights. OPPF is simply not organized enough to be able to maintain and crew a ship that allegedly takes 7500 AI to operate. Even if we were able to cut said numbers to 10%, it'd still be too many people to coordinate.

Now, going back to your other point: Possibility of Betrayal. Yes, it is there and we should be worried. My experience playing and reading articles on EVE have taught me treason can wreck an army faster than a defeat on the field. The fact that we are so loosely organized and that we rely on so many people of whom we have no actual knowledge of puts us at great risk. BUT, understanding their objectives could help us minimize the effect. After all, what are these people after? Capturing a kingship? Well, we are after destroying it. If they manage to capture it then fine, for all intents and purposes its out of the battle and no longer a direct threat to us. If they wish to take off with it (better said, if they CAN take off with it) then so be it. They helped us along the way. The real problem would be organizations who betray us by turning their guns on us.

Finally, we have to consider that this is a game and people are going to do what's fun for them. I'm pretty sure that the possibility of taking part in a boarding action on a Vanduul kingship appeals to a lot of us (me included), no matter how unlikely success may be or how strategically pointless it ends up being.

As I've said before, we aren't organized enough to be able to do anything about things like these.

That said, I agree with you. We shouldn't bother with boarding until we have completed our objectives.
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Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #2
Not related to capturing ships but with betrayal. I swear I've seen pirates talk about raiding our supply lines since we're going to have a really hard time adequately protecting them. Not sure what to do about but I thought of it and so I typed.

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Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #3
Not related to capturing ships but with betrayal. I swear I've seen pirates talk about raiding our supply lines since we're going to have a really hard time adequately protecting them. Not sure what to do about but I thought of it and so I typed.

As a pirate I've thought of that and it can be easily be solved diverting 5-10% our 80% fighter composition as escorts and still have a massive compliment of thousands of fighters. Additionally Orgs who bring their own supplies are likely to blob themselves up and come to our rally point or fleet deterring pirates from fighting a full Org in the initial setup. The in between times though where people are going back and forth is when we would need the 5-10% fighter escorts.

A smart pirate plans everything out quickly banking on experience,skill and equipment. By weighing the odds at a glance you can determine if you have easy prey or a fight on your hands. If you have a fight on your hands you must calculate how long you think the fight might take,if the freighter will escape as a dogfight is going on,how long it will take to capture the ship in FPS combat,off loading the cargo and if that all takes long enough for the Advocacy or more ships from the same group to show up before your done and cause more problems for you. Large convoys with with a few hundred escorts moving from Vega to wherever in Vanduul space is one hell of a deterrent and it's feasible,because it gives our fighters something to do preventing boredom since there are thousands of them.


Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #4
Well for those pirate orgs planning on attacking us... Before OPPF the possibility of just absolutely crushing them into the point of submission exists?

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Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #5
Well for those pirate orgs planning on attacking us... Before OPPF the possibility of just absolutely crushing them into the point of submission exists?
A preliminary strike does not encourage loyalty. Bluefire Protocol(which has already been written.) is the answer at this time.

Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #6
A preliminary strike does not encourage loyalty. Bluefire Protocol(which has already been written.) is the answer at this time.

Loyalty from people already saying they're going to back attack us? o.O

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Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #7
Loyalty from people already saying they're going to back attack us? o.O
You misunderstand. The others involved in OPPF not the potential traitors. Regardless we have protocols and countermeasures for this.

Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #8
I agree entirely with your logic, Jack Knife. Not to try to toot my own horn or anything, but I've long had the opinion that trying to capture Vanduul ships would be a manpower nightmare, and be far more trouble than it was worth. I didn't even know about the whispers of betrayal, so that makes me even more against it. Looking over the Blue Fire protocol, though, it will probably be enough to handle griefers, but I'm really not sure about the moles. However, I don't have a good way to ferret out those that would not compromise the integrity of the Pitchfork Armada.
  • Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 06:37:11 PM by Ogi_the_Great
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Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #9
Well, regardless of whether we can capture a Kingship or not, boarding them is still a good idea. Marines and dropships can lock down their fighter bays, sabotage systems, interfere with repair and logistics, etc..

The most fun idea would be to take over their primary gun. Really, what could be better than using a Kingship to attack all of their other capital ships? Either they sit there and get destroyed, or they start attacking the Kingship. Either way, we win. And our marines could definitely kill the Vanduul in and near the turret, and there are probably only a few corridors that lead in to it, so it would be relatively easy to keep secured. And when we're done, we can turn the gun on the Vanduul's bridge, and/or make more holes for entry.

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Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #10
Well, regardless of whether we can capture a Kingship or not, boarding them is still a good idea. Marines and dropships can lock down their fighter bays, sabotage systems, interfere with repair and logistics, etc..

The most fun idea would be to take over their primary gun. Really, what could be better than using a Kingship to attack all of their other capital ships? Either they sit there and get destroyed, or they start attacking the Kingship. Either way, we win. And our marines could definitely kill the Vanduul in and near the turret, and there are probably only a few corridors that lead in to it, so it would be relatively easy to keep secured. And when we're done, we can turn the gun on the Vanduul's bridge, and/or make more holes for entry.
Your ignoring alot of factors which were already explained above. In short the fact that under how OPPF will operate ALL the Orgs are operating independently on a Tactical Level under our Strategic Level direction means the odds of casualties will be high due to lack of coordination between Orgs due to the high numbers of marines REQUIRED from multiple Orgs to even be capable of capturing the ship essentially wastes manpower and time while it is still shooting at us in space. Even then that is only if marines are organized specifically by these Orgs without us telling them to be sent to the ship AND survive all the incoming fire. That still doesn't mean they can get into the hangars let alone the MASSIVE numbers inside the Kingship. The obstacles to even get inside a hangar and hold it is far more complicated then firing a hundred torpedoes at a Kingship.

Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #11
You refer to me saying I wanted to capture a Kingship. That is not what I said. I am talking about capturing it's main turret, which is about the size of an Idris. Totally doable with 10-20 good marines. Locking down the hangar doesn't mean gaining complete control, either, it just means making it a contested environment - a hangar in that condition is practically worthless to the Vanduul. Taking it is irrelevant.

There are going to be many different battlegrounds, even if instancing is a thing of the past. This option is clearly for a battleground with more organized and experienced players.

You also have to think about leveraging players to do what they are best at. There are gonna be lots of participants who are bad at flying, but good at running and gunning. Relegating them to pilot or crew positions is not only less fun for them, but also not a good use of their skills.
  • Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 04:53:59 PM by Knightcrawler

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Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #12
You refer to me saying I wanted to capture a Kingship. That is not what I said. I am talking about capturing it's main turret, which is about the size of an Idris. Totally doable with 10-20 good marines. Locking down the hangar doesn't mean gaining complete control, either, it just means making it a contested environment - a hangar in that condition is practically worthless to the Vanduul. Taking it is irrelevant.

There are going to be many different battlegrounds, even if instancing is a thing of the past. This option is clearly for a battleground with more organized and experienced players.

You also have to think about leveraging players to do what they are best at. There are gonna be lots of participants who are bad at flying, but good at running and gunning. Relegating them to pilot or crew positions is not only less fun for them, but also not a good use of their skills.

I stated the hangar as a default entry point as it naturally opens and closes so potentially one could fly straight in with luck and controlling it would allow a foothold to land more troops. The problem remains the same however. You need a breaching point to get into the ship in the first place with enough marines to get to the turret and then hold it. 10-20 marines is guaranteed suicide. At the lowest number count there are 1,300 Vanduul on the ship and at the highest 7,500.(Also stated far above with references.) 10-20 would not survive the breaching action the moment they set foot inside they would be swarmed within a minute if not less.

You also claim those experienced in running and gunning would benefit here which is not the case. Vanduul ships are low gravity and we know this from the SQ42 on set footage and interview. It's also dark inside and the Vanduul are bio luminescent changing colors on their body with mood to add a scare factor of a glowing aliens in the dark literally jumping at you in low gravity at higher than average speed with guns and knives. This is a different combat environment entirely than from normal FPS games.

On this last part of allocating and leveraging players to do what they are best at I will repeat that we do not have control on a Tactical Level to do this. The Tactical Level is controlled by Orgs who will do this themselves to their own level of efficiency.(I'm very aware it's not ideal,but such a level of control is not only impossible,but unwanted by most Orgs.) Our control factor is the Strategic Level where we direct missions and Orgs(Think of them as divisions.)who accept them for the operation to nearly run itself. This is one of the factors as I previously stated would make the attempt of even breaching and boarding a Kingship for whatever purpose highly costly in manpower. Therefore in the simplest of terms as I said before firing 100 torpedoes to eliminate the Battle Carrier and deathtrap that is a Kingship is much easier.

Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #13
A Vanduul Kingship may or may not have 7,500 crew. Since they're Vanduul, I'm gonna say they are all armed and dangerous. But here's the point (the entire point of my post) you're still missing: you don't have to fight all of them to turn their ship against them. Those 7,500 Vanduul are not all waiting behind whatever door you open. The Vanduul aren't Droopy. ;-P Here's what 20 Marines vs. 7,500 Vanduul will look like, in engagements: 20 Marines vs. 40 Vanduul, 20 Marines vs. 40 Vanduul, 20 Marines vs. 40 Vanduul, etc. for a day. You just need people who are good enough to not lose those fights. You can't scratch a diamond with a tree. It doesn't matter if there are 7,500 Vanduul or 100,000, as long as the team can keep moving. Attrition is of course a concern, but that is why they will be very focused on getting to the turret quickly, where they will find a defensible position. If the AI is very good, or CIG directs the Vanduul's movements, they might try to set up a battles where they have a momentous numerical advantage. But that's easier said than done when said marines are unpredictably moving quickly through the ship. Maybe CIG will read our posts to glean our battle plans, but there will be more than one way to get to the gun (and if not, it'll just be really easy to defend when it's taken). Depending on the entry point, the Marines could reach the turret very quickly.

The known conditions you mentioned of the interior of the Kingship don't really matter. Dark? Low gravity? Stuff like that is no impediment to experienced FPS players. If you're worried about the low gravity or high speed, check out some Quake gameplay sometime. Besides, Star Citizen players specializing in on-foot combat can practice for low-gravity using the low-gravity environments that will be in the game naturally. And if the Vanduul glow, that just makes them even easier targets. As if their size wasn't enough of a disadvantage for them.

Yes, the Operation Pitchfork org exists as a loose, high-level superstructure, giving general orders. But this forum - and Operation Pitchfork in general - also exists as a place to formulate tactics that orgs can decide to use. I put this idea here so that people could mull it over for their own specific tactics, not to tell Johnny McNoob to try to pull off. I also put the idea here to put the brakes on this trend of thinking boarding actions against large Vanduul capital ships are necessarily impossible and unproductive.

There's also the fact that this event is largely for fun, and NOT boarding a Vanduul Kingship would be an huge wasted opportunity. Think of the drama! ;-) Think of the views the marines would get while streaming! The fact is that we can tell people not to board Vanduul ships, but there will be plenty of people who will try to anyway. At least by accounting for the possibility, we can make use of that effort instead of being hampered by it.

As for just launching 100 torpedoes at the Kingship, I assume you mean with Retaliators/Idrises/etc.. So you mean at long range. If the UEE's history of failure is any indication, that's not enough. Taking one look at that ship makes me think it excels at long-range fights, at least when compared to what we have available. Its fighters and point defense systems will probably shoot down most torpedoes launched at long range, especially if they're launched uncoordinated. Long range bombardment is a crutch we should not lean on so early into planning.

Perhaps we can at least agree that a fight with a Vanduul Kingship in it is one that less experienced/coordinated players should not be taking part in at all. They should remove themselves from the battle and find a new battleground, or support at the very edge of that battle.
  • Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 11:41:49 PM by Knightcrawler

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Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #14
I understand what your saying,but again to simply get to the Kingship will cost lives that don't need to potentially die without even touching the thing.  I also understand that you want to use a specific part of the ship to shoot at other Vanduul ships,but again inside the ship more people will die and I don't expect the Vanduul to just sit in grouped mobs in portions of the ship to be farmed like some MMORPG. They are designed to be intelligent and react. A fine example of this is the Vanduul ships that rarely spawn in the Alpha PU which are more difficult than wave 18 of Vanduul Swarm and these are normal ships. They will react and go to the area of conflict be it 1,300 or 7,500 both numbers are beyond acceptable to fight without at least a Battalion of 500 which I mentioned and wrote up a long time ago due to the number of breaching charges and medical equipment needed to keep going. The very idea of 20 men being able to get to and hold a turret control station which is a focal point mind you without being swarmed is not even an arguement. Titan armor would not even save them.

These factors still exist and cannot be ignored. Given time people will adapt,but again a much higher amount of manpower would be required for boarding that would be better served in a ship. Fighting fleet around the Kingship then assisting in it's destruction.

Yes everything here is a suggestion which is why I'm highly concerned about the high potential losses of an attempt to take a Kingship. Entire Orgs can die trying for vainglory and greed which does not help us at all even if they consider dying fun,because fun is a goal of OPPF,but so is Armitage and a floating graveyard does not help us reach that goal. Additionally I understand your an advocate for a Kingship boarding action stating your here to put the brakes on this "trend" but this "trend" is built from information compiled by us and IRDAC(Information,Research and Data Analysis Center.) that have brought us to this conclusion. Ogi and myself have been speaking over Commander Deathcall's Battleplan for a while and are well versed in the information at our disposal and possible strategums to achieve our goals. I respect you have an opinion,but I am firmly against it.

I've already stated our two goals are fun and Armitage. NOT boarding a Kingship is an ease of tension on our manpower and logisticsif anything else. If launching a civilian invasion into hostile space is not dramatic enough for people they need to calm down and realize we can actually win back red systems for the UEE permanently in the game. This long term benefit is more important than a short term thrill for some streamers who wants entertainment. That is their priority not ours and if they die so be it,they will not witness the rest of the operation and miss out on the drama as you put it. Plenty of people will try it anyway and they will die unless they have massive numbers(again 500+ by estimates.),enough breaching charges for the hull and doors and medical equipment to live as the horde comes for them. This is why I want to deter them. We don't have enough overall manpower to attempt this effectively and the attempt overall is simply not worth it when we have literally 1,000+ bomber craft that can destroy it.

So if 100 torpedoes doesn't tickle your fancy over 1,000(with torpedoes to spare.) should from Retaliators,Gladiators,Vanguard Harbingers and soon Polaris Corvettes. Not to mention all the other ships in the fleet surrounding the Kingship we also have to kill that will be shooting at everyone including anyone attempting to board anything. Those fighters and point defense systems you mentioned would also kill anyone trying to board. I also doubt fighters have the capability to shoot down torpedoes as they're not slow and with the surprisingly high number of bombers we have long range bombardment is not a "crutch" it is the only thing capable of damaging capital ships besides the large guns on the Idrises and Javelins which are too small and too few in number for open conflict with a Vanduul fleet. Even if the Vanduul point defense is competent we can fire about ~4,000 torpedoes total before having to rearm and those massive numbers cannot all be shot down by point defense it is a statistical impossibility. I call that an advantage not a crutch.

Yes we can agree on this,however we still have no control over it which is why I've been trying to steer people away from situations which will cause more casualties than necessary like trying to board a Kingship instead of blowing it up as it will take hours for people to return to the front lines when they die and they are far more useful alive and fighting.

Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #15
Well first of all, there are a few more goals to Operation Pitchfork - to stress-test the game, and to make Vanduul technology more widely available to everyone. That last goal is probably the least important, but it seemed important to Sailor back when he founded OP - probably because there were a lot fewer ships in the game, and grey market demand for Scythes was absurd. The most likely way we can get Vanduul technology distributed to more players is simply by capturing Tiber's space factories. Making sure we get at least a few of these factories might be a good goal for ordinary marines (although they'll probably have to be ready to halt self-destruct sequences).

As a correction to myself, I think the FPS game I meant was actually Unreal Tournament, but Quake is pretty fast, too.

I haven't seen any Vanduul in the PU. Are you sure they weren't players in Scythes and Glaives? Heck, I've flown my Glaive in the PU, and I know there was a group out there that intentionally harassed players in the PU using their Vanduul ships.


Just wanted to get that bit out of the way before I get back to the main track for this conversation. Whatever Chris Roberts has in mind for the new networking system, there will always be a bandwidth limit of some kind. If he can get us more than 100 players in an instance as he's hinted, that's incredible. But there will be a limit. Simply getting 1,000 Retaliators into a single fight is not something we can expect to be possible, especially considering each of those Retaliators is optimally crewed by 7-9 players. Then you consider that each Retaliator should have at least two fighter escorts, and you're looking at 11,000 players in an instance, before capital ships, interceptors, or support roles. So uh... you're not seriously expecting a game with 12,000+ players in a single battle, are you? Even if a lot of those roles are filled by NPCs, it doesn't help.

No, we won't be able to bring 1,000 bombers into a single battle. Even if it was possible, that assumes everyone is online, bringing their bombers as opposed to their other ships, on the same day, at the same time. But throwing that out, let's say we bring as many Retaliators as we can. What would we call that? We'd call that scrap metal. The Vanduul would tear such a single-role fighting force to pieces.

What kind of formation should these Retaliators be in? If they're tight-knit, the Vanduul might actually be able to fire long-range, anti-capital ship weapons into the formation and hit several craft at once. The Vanduul might also have area-of-effect weapons such as mines (and they surely do have mines), flak cannons, or their own torpedoes. A single explosion in a tight formation can again take out several craft. And what happens if intercepted torpedoes explode violently? We could have a chain reaction on our hands, with each torpedo setting off a few more. What a waste!

Okay, should they spread out or even surround the Vanduul, then? No again, because this allows the Vanduul to use all of their point defense guns to intercept torpedoes, doubling their firepower and defenses. It also makes it impractical to escort the bombers, they can each be singled out and focused down, and a wider formation intersects more static defenses.

So obviously there is a sweet spot in terms of the formation that we'll want to hit, but depending on the sensor and torpedo range (which will vary from player to player, unfortunately), and the size of the bomber formation, the formation starts to look more like the later scenario. And with the varied loadouts of the bombers, their torpedoes will be launched at different times, at different speeds, at different angles. The further away they launch their torpedoes, the more these differences propagate. If the torpedoes don't all come in at once, they'll just be intercepted one at a time. Long story short, larger formations have more problems. And I can tell you from experience that larger formations require more discipline, which is exactly what you agree most of us will be lacking.

What about waves of smaller formations? Again, this spreads out your ordinance over time, allowing more of them to be intercepted, and allowing their shields time to regenerate.

Now, on the subject of torpedo interception: we don't know their capabilities in terms of point defense. You assume their point defense is missile-based such that they can run out. That may be true, or it may not be. I can tell you that a Kingship is huge and could realistically carry tens of thousands of missiles capable of destroying torpedoes. An interception missile only needs to be large enough to destroy a torpedo. More than likely, they can shoot down missiles with their cannons. And if they have a flak-based point defense system, it could destroy many torpedoes in a single shot. It is incorrect to assume we can simply throw torpedoes at them until they get tired of shooting them down... especially when torpedoes are going to be incredibly expensive, we'll probably be using old navy surplus torpedoes, and we will probably cause a supply shortage in the UEE. As far as your doubts of shooting down torpedoes in Star Citizen, Chris has already stated he wants it to be possible to shoot down *missiles,* which are several orders of magnitude smaller than a torpedo. In fact, the chin guns on a Scythe/Glaive seem like they're well-spaced for doing just this.

And even if a ton of torpedoes do hit, unless they are launched at short range in conjunction with other players on comms, they are unlikely to hit the same parts of the ship. This means the full force of the torpedoes will be absorbed by the shields, with none of them slipping through to damage the hull below until the entire shield has been reduced to zero health. This is not efficient, and means you only do damage to the ship if that many torpedoes get through; until that point, you're technically accomplishing nothing.


So let's sum up. Due to uncertain formations filled with eclectic builds and ordinances, with undisciplined pilots/crews, and a probably very-capable torpedo interception screen, a very small percentage of damage will hit the shields, with possibly no damage hitting the hull. (Remember what I said before, about being unable to scratch a diamond with even a tree) This leads me to believe that it does not matter how large a force of noobs is, it will always fail. If they targeted smaller capital ships with weaker defense screens, they could actually take opponents out of the battle. So let's take the strategy of just piling units onto an enemy off the table - that's the most dangerous strategy in my eyes.

Instead, we need a phase to open the enemy up. To do this, we need to get closer to the enemy before we launch torpedoes. This will drastically reduce the effectiveness of point defense, and make it much easier to concentrate fire on a single location. It should also allow for more detailed scans of the enemy, to look for vulnerable systems or openings. At close range, cannons should also be able to pelt the opponent, allowing ships to use all of their firepower, not just their warheads. Opportunities where enough Gladiators/Harbingers (this is not a job for Retaliators or capital ships; they'd simply get shot down this close to the fully-functional enemy for protracted periods) are available and in position to attack simultaneously will be rare, so it's a matter of staying alive until an opportunity to attack presents itself.

During the resulting momentary and local collapse of the shields from this kind of attack, we have two options: A) Continue attacking through the shields to destroy whatever components are there, or B) Slip boarding craft through the shields to wreck havoc on the enemy from within. Option A requires having more Gladiators/Harbingers in place to fire more torpedoes, Option B requires having Redeemers/Hoplites/Prowlers in place and nearby to slip through before the shields reform. Option A has some utility in that it does immediate damage, but that damage is localized and limited. Option B is riskier, but a successful (or even unsuccessful) boarding operation could shut down or hamper many essential systems...

...like those point defense systems, for instance. Or the hangar, or the main turret. Yeah, boarding operations are dangerous, but it's not going to be completely safe in space, either. Players are going to die either way, but it's guaranteed for nobody. You could take advantage of Option A to destroy a few point defense guns or turrets (creating a zone of safer space near the Kingship), but Option B can spread out and cause damage to a variety of targets, limited only by the skill and creativity of the boarding parties. Once Option A or B does enough damage, you can proceed to pelt the Kingship with torpedoes (although I'd still suggest getting as close as possible before launching).

Risk vs. Reward is fundamental to game design. The solution for this problem will never be something easy like "just fire all your torpedoes from maximum range" because it carries very little risk. That would be bad game design, and we don't want that after all this waiting.

I'm making plenty of assumptions about the details of the game, but those assumptions are based on a lot of other flight simulators and other games. I'm also basing these assumptions off the fact that the UEE is phasing out the Retaliator in favor of the Gladiator. We can't really decide what we're going to do yet because we don't know enough, but after Squadron 42, we'll know a LOOOOT more.
  • Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 01:14:40 AM by Knightcrawler

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Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #16
TLDR
To sum everything up Orgs on a Tactical Level are out of our control,firing torpedoes is easier than the multistep process of boarding a ship and there are bits and pieces of information that we do not know mainly around instancing.



Those are secondary,but doable goals.

I thought they weren't in the Alpha PU either when I was told about them,but I was told otherwise by several people in the OPPF chat above. It is a rare spawn chance though thankfully as they're all vicious aces.

The instancing atm is a "Russian Nesting Doll" system where the inside of a ship is separate from player count or ship count. For example say you have a Bengal with 100 unspecific ships inside and several hundred crew and pilots. The Bengal's interior counts as an instance and in the greater instance it only counts 1 ship the Bengal,but all the ships and personnel can deploy in the same instance because it counts the ships and not the people inside. There are also rumors of interlocking instances "skyboxing" what appears like ships or battle in the distance and allow you to fly between instances,but this part is just rumor. More or less I would see an org taking up an instance or several instances which would not hinder our Strategic Level C&C methods much. Quite frankly though we don't have enough information to accurately speculate on instancing until we are in the Beta phase of SC.

This paragraph is just nitpicking an example. Assuming 1,000 bombers are deployed for a Kingship though I would expect less ordnance being needed hence the original example that turned into this one. In waves accounting for an instance limit whatever the number is we can send that number or less with escorts until a target is destroyed. It's not that much of a problem. As for people being online and bringing specific ships that's up to the Orgs and Freelancers on a Tactical Level which is out of our control and quite frankly unlikely since as I stated torpedoes are the only thing that can hurt capital ships other than capital ships themselves of which Orgs have few of.

Again this is the responsibility of Orgs on a Tactical Level out of our control and not using bombers is utterly moronic due to my statement above of relating to what can hurt a capital ship.

Again this is the responsibility of Orgs on a Tactical Level out of our control. It's also not wise to expect enemy point defense to be impenetrable or extremely effective when we don't have any actual point defense in game to reference yet.

This is overthinking and further nitpicking on variables that we lack information on.What I agreed on was less experienced/coordinated players being seperated or integrated from high coordination scenarios ,but again this and discipline is another thing that is the responsibility of Orgs on a Tactical Level out of our control.

This kind of touches on my bomber waves method above,but it's still mostly nitpicking.

First part yes we don't know which was a point above. Secondly "You assume their point defense is missile-based such that they can run out." I have said nothing of the sort sir. I expect rapid firing precision weapons,but flak,quick burn instant contact laser systems or missiles are a possibility although a less likely. I also do not expect the enemy to "Get tired of shooting them down." It's a matter of numbers and statistics. The more torpedoes in transit the more targets there are to shoot and this increases the probability of torpedoes breaking through point defense to hit a target. Obviously we lack information of how many and what type of point defense systems on a Kingship or how many bombers we can fit into an instance,but this math still carries over in every scenario. The possibility of a supply shortage is extraordinarily unlikely due to the sheer volume that would need to be consumed factoring in the NPC economy and civilian sales policies which outnumbers us to even begin with. Shoot down missiles yes,but with what? I do not have the source of what your referencing,but he is likely referring to point defense and if he was talking about using standard direct fire weaponry the sheer difficulty of such a thing is incredibly high and I know,because I've tried in Arena Commander with head to head fire,but chaff and flares is far easier as would be point defense. I would also cast doubt on the AI targeting torpedoes in combat as it is not their primary or secondary role let alone the potential difficulty.

Parts of a ship are planned to be targeted,entire shield health does not have to go down only a side as evident in the game right now. The thought of bypassing shields to fire torpedoes is also a possibility although a costly one which mind you also means marines attempting to board would also die in transit before touching the ship itself with stealth being an impossibility due to the number required to effectively hold a location or full capture of a Kingship. I find it funny you diverted the conversation to how torpedo based destruction would be ineffective as opposed to supporting boarding. Your presentation defeats the possibility of destroying or boarding a Kingship by your logic.

You can't scratch a diamond with a tree,but you can't cut a tree down with a diamond without taking a hell of a long time. Also Goonswarm which is now Imperium would beg to differ with your quantity versus quality assessment.(Also Soviet Union and People's Republic of China if you prefer irl references.)

Aside from my earlier rebuttle on these topics again this is the responsibility of Orgs on a Tactical Level out of our control. Also as I said before the capital ships with cannons capable of damagin a Kingship are few and far between which is why Torpedoes are more viable.

Again this is the responsibility of Orgs on a Tactical Level out of our control. Also to repeat myself again bombers daring to get that close and boarding craft which are larger and slower targets would be annihilated by not only fighters,but point defense, ASA and STS turrets.

Again this is the responsibility of Orgs on a Tactical Level out of our control.

Risk and reward is what I've been calculating this whole time. As for game design having ridiculous point defense or allowing the logistical nightmare that is boarding to be as you expect is also poor design. "Just fire all your torpedoes from maximum range." that is exactly what they are designed to do and it is far easier that the step by step process and higher ship requirement of cracking a Kingship open then inserting marines into it alone not to mention the fleet around it,the fighters, and all the turrets in between. Firing torpedoes at longer range is intended to be lower risk that the LOGISTICAL NIGHTMARE that is boarding a Kingship.


To sum everything up Orgs on a Tactical Level are out of our control,firing torpedoes is easier than the multistep process of boarding a ship and there are bits and pieces of information that we do not know mainly around instancing.

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Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #17
Well, we just gained a very useful tool for attacking capital ships- the Polaris corvette. It might not be ready for OPPF and it's probably safer to assume it won't be, but it might. And regardless it'll be useful for the Guardians of Orion.

The Polaris corvette is looking like a very good cap killer and a squadron of corvettes attached to a squadron of Tali's simultaneously provides an escort for the bombers, and drastically increases it's firepower. Just 4 corvettes means you can have 16 torps going downrange at once, plus whatever Tali's can throw out. The smaller Vanduul cap ships likely wouldn't be able to easily stand up to such an attack. And those corvettes have 5 turrets that can fire forward, 4 S4 and 1 S5, which means you have a lot of secondary firepower that can be used up close if need be. And the corvette, with the hanger, can provide safe haven for an escort fighter if it gets hairy. Making a combat landing in space doesn't sound fun but it might be necessary sometimes. Seriously I was dubious about that hanger but it's ability to repair and refuel ships makes it incredibly useful in sustained combat situations.
  • Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 01:01:58 AM by Jatzi

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Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #18
Well, we just gained a very useful tool for attacking capital ships- the Polaris corvette. It might not be ready for OPPF and it's probably safer to assume it won't be, but it might. And regardless it'll be useful for the Guardians of Orion.

The Polaris corvette is looking like a very good cap killer and a squadron of corvettes attached to a squadron of Tali's simultaneously provides an escort for the bombers, and drastically increases it's firepower. Just 4 corvettes means you can have 16 torps going downrange at once, plus whatever Tali's can throw out. The smaller Vanduul cap ships likely wouldn't be able to easily stand up to such an attack. And those corvettes have 5 turrets that can fire forward, 4 S4 and 1 S5, which means you have a lot of secondary firepower that can be used up close if need be. And the corvette, with the hanger, can provide safe haven for an escort fighter if it gets hairy. Making a combat landing in space doesn't sound fun but it might be necessary sometimes. Seriously I was dubious about that hanger but it's ability to repair and refuel ships makes it incredibly useful sustained combat situations.

All of this.

The sheer volume of torpedoes is amplified by the Polaris carrying 28 with the same capability to fire 4 at a time as the Retaliator with interlocking turret defense coverage in a formation. The only difference is the Retaliator is dry when it shoots 4 and the Polaris can unload 7 volleys with the addition of being able to carry an escort fighter if necessary. The Polaris only amplifies our anti-capital ship capabilities in every way.

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Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #19
All of this.

The sheer volume of torpedoes is amplified by the Polaris carrying 28 with the same capability to fire 4 at a time as the Retaliator with interlocking turret defense coverage in a formation. The only difference is the Retaliator is dry when it shoots 4 and the Polaris can unload 7 volleys with the addition of being able to carry an escort fighter if necessary. The Polaris only amplifies our anti-capital ship capabilities in every way.

Let's hope it's finished by the time we do OPPF. In not then it'll be a great asset afterwards.

Re: Hard Truths About Capturing Capital Ships
Reply #20
we can probably simply disable a cap ship or drag one from Grinder using argo srvs. Maybe disabling the ship's power and then venting it to atmosphere will be enough to kill everyone inside.