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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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  #1  
Old February 5th, 2016, 11:13 PM
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Default tankers and refuelling

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now as pendragonman points out, even a modest tanker can support quite a few (what I would consider) scouts and auxiliary vessels. depending on how a campaign plays out (should such a campaign ever occur, I would like to try one but can't even get four players much less the dozen or so a serious campaign would require) such tanker-supported fleets in the absence of serious warships could play a major role in strategic outcomes.
While I prefer a small ship universe (10 K and under) I also consider those ships I listed as tin cans and escorts/anti piracy patrols. On the other hand, 5000 tons of spare fuel will completely refuel a J4 10, 000 ton vessel. Which in my preferred universe is a Battlewagon/Heavy Carrier/Fleet Centerpoint.

Even at J4, that tanker would have enough loiter to refuel itself and purify a full load, still allowing to refuel that 10,000 T J4, just has to arrive on station a couple days for itself to gather unrefined fuel to transfer.
I see three issues with this. 1) this supposes a full tanker dedicated to each major combatant. is this an efficient use of resources? 2) the combatant may be refueled, but now the tanker is empty. if the combatant is to be refueled to allow a withdrawal, what about the tanker? 3) if the tanker can loiter and refuel, surely the combatant can as well?
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Old February 5th, 2016, 11:35 PM
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The purpose of a tanker is to carry fuel so the fighting ships dont have to spend space on carrying fuel making a cheaper faster spacecraft .
Its the Same reason battle riders are more effective they dont need the extra 11%space wasted per jump number
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Old February 6th, 2016, 12:14 AM
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so, what we want is riders and carriers, not combatants and tankers?
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Old February 6th, 2016, 01:58 AM
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JDrives give the fleet strategic speed, tankers can't help that. J1 ships with 4J of fuel are not the same as J4 ships in terms of strategic speed. Battle Riders get their speed from their carriers.

Tankers help fleets cross deep space, and refuel in hostile systems. They can also provide a strategic retreat mechanism for a fleet. Tankers however don't help much if they can't reserve enough fuel for themselves to escape a system, since they're basically defenseless.

Truth is on larger ships, they can be just as worthy a turret and bay platform as most any other ship, but they tend to lack armor.

While a strategic move across deep space can be important, how important is strategic retreat capability.

If a fleet can consistently and reliably refuel from an asteroid belt or the Kuiper belt, there is little need for tankers. A fleet can jump in to even an enemy system and refuel at the asteroid/Kuiper belt and engage any internal system targets long before a reinforcing fleet can be notified and arrive. This then reduces tankers solely to need to cross voids of space.

If they can consistently and reliably refuel from the Oort cloud, then there's nothing to stop an invading fleet from penetrating deep into enemy territory, since the Oort cloud is effectively impossible to defend. Its similar for the asteroid/Kuiper belt, but asteroid belts are closer to defending fleets. The enemy will see the fleet jump in, maybe get scout near it to get some sensor readings, but that's about it.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 04:20 AM
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While the point about asteroid and Oort refueling is well taken and I am going to be exploring the full ramifications of that (essentially you can never get rid of pirates and outlaw weirdos/tech/orgs), there is an element to those that good ol water/gas giant refueling is superior to.

Time.

You're going to have to break down the ice/slushballs into enough liquid/gaseous form to refine, a sort of smelter, and in the case of asteroids dig the water out, using even more time.

And time is something most fleets do not have to waste.

From a time perspective, you would be better served by a tanker that pulls from stellar gas, such tankers would be heavily armored and would be problematic for most light raiding forces to engage given the environment.

As to the battle rider bit, don't forget the fuel tank option of HG2, for a price one can have strategic flexibility in fueling/design options.

Also don't forget strategic fuel dumps, both attacker and defender can prepare years in advance by having fuel in place ahead of time in deep space or at otherwise nondescript rock/ice facilities far from detection.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 04:36 AM
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Jump 1 battleships carried strategically by tenders. Oilers carry spare drop tanks and lots of fuel purification plant.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by flykiller View Post
so, what we want is riders and carriers, not combatants and tankers?
That is what I would prefer, yes. But your proposed "hanger bay" rules make them even more prohibitive than a tanker system.

Further, the logistics train for any fleet is always much larger than one tanker. In fact, to resupply Halsey's Fleet in the Pacific took upwards of 50 Liberty ships alone per resupply.

My proposed tanker would take a couple of days to refill itself AND the 5000 tons of donor fuel. It takes about half a day to resupply its own jump needs. The couple of days is to fill ~7000 dtons of fuel, it only needs 1000 to jump 1 away, 2000 for jump 2.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 04:13 PM
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Further, the logistics train for any fleet is always much larger than one tanker.
not sure that's an argument in favor of tankers.

which would you rather have, 10 combatants and 10 tankers, or 15 combatants?

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My proposed tanker
what would this tanker do that the combatant could/should not?
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Old February 6th, 2016, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
But your proposed "hanger bay" rules make them even more prohibitive than a tanker system.
not the right subject for this thread, but I'll address it. just did a quick review of my hg2 fleet, the carrier/assembly is .28 rider vs .72 carrier by volume, and .35 rider vs .65 carrier by cost, roughly. your ruleset and construction configuration may vary - but I doubt by much. the rule I propose is less costly than this.

in comparison with the real world a modern aircraft carrier and modern air wing cost roughly the same, the ship has little function other than aircraft support, and approximately 3/5 of the ship by volume is devoted to that tasking.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 07:36 PM
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I'll add that my hg2 fleet tankers refuel their target ships at, oddly and not intentionally, a ratio very similar to that in the refueling rule in the in-system game.
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