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Basic Survey Ships [Solar 6.02]

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan 2021 07:26
by Lomn
These are the starting points I've settled around for starting fund survey designs and near-term follow-ons.

The cheap-as-possible X-class FT0. Good for bulking up survey fleets. Cannot be upgraded past Xa. That's your trade-off. I'm OK with accepting that I'll be scrapping these later on in exchange for more flexibility with the survey fund up front.
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X-class FT0    (AC)    5 HS / 4 TS
[2] H Xa Qa (Ica) [4/4]
Trg: 1    Def: 0    Cost: 58.8 / 8.9    SL 1

Longer term, this is lots more useful than the X-class. Initially, it carries Y as well, which is good for sanitizing WPs. I seed a few of these into survey flotillas -- unarmed survey fleets could treat this as a flotilla flagship; other fleets can take advantage of the Y for specific roles.
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XY-class EX    6 HS / 5 TS
[2] H Xa Ya Qa (Ica) [4/4]
Trg: 1    Def: 0    Cost: 88.0 / 13.2    SL 1

...Why is this in the survey fleet list when it's an incredibly boring no-sensors FT0? Because sometimes you want a completely expendable ship that reveals nothing at all about the tech base of the empire that built it. These are great for low-cost pickets, couriers, and other support activities. Have them with your survey flotillas. Remember it has to be built from the Other fund!
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H-class FT0    (AC)    5 HS / 4 TS
[2] H×2 Qa (Ica) [4/4]
Trg: 1    Def: 0    Cost: 29.8 / 2.3    SL 1

Similarly, here's a very cheap Y platform if you want to beef up your flotillas' sensor capabilities. The up-front cost of an X-class + a Y-class is higher than a single XY-class, but the ongoing maintenance is basically the same and you get the flexibility of two hulls. The Y-class shown here mounts a (Bsa) as an eventual drone launcher. It makes a very good second-ship-through-the-WP option for system probes. Must be built from the Other fund.
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Y-class FT0    (AC)    6 HS / 5 TS
[2] H (Bsa) Ya Qa (Ica) [4/4]
Trg: 1    Def: 0    Cost: 61.5 / 4.7    SL 1

Much discussed and debated in the forum, this is one version of a planetary surveyor. It cranks out 17 SP / pulse with MSS 3 (51 SP / month) on planetary body surveys. I prefer to spend the extra hull capacity on engines; speed 5 more effectively moves to high-priority regions once the empire begins to branch out. Shuttles have to be built from the Other fund (or Battle).
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Bs-class CTf    16 HS / 10 TS
[2] (Bsa)×8 Xa Ya Qa (ica) (Ica) (Ica) [5/5]
Trg: 1    Def: 0    Cost: 249.2 / 37.4    SL 1
14 HTK


On to upgrades!

This is the first upgrade on the XY-class EX. That H put in initially can be refitted into an Xb (and Xe). If you're cautious about maintaining your tech advantage, you could swap [Xb Ya] for [S Xb] so long as you're comfortable with Y coverage elsewhere. Or just build the ship to 7 HS initially! That's the usual tradeoff of how much you pay for maintenance early for the flexibility later.
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XY II-class EX    6 HS / 5 TS
[2] Xb Ya Qa (Ica) [4/4]
Trg: 1    Def: 0    Cost: 95.0 / 14.3    SL 3

I like having long-range sensor coverage. You can run Yb (1 LM) easily on an FT1 and have some extra utility space in the hull to play with. Maybe a (Bsa) for drones, like the Y-class.
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Yb-class FT1    (AC)    10 HS / 7 TS
[2] H×4 Yb Qa (ica) (Ica) [4/4]
Trg: 1    Def: 0    Cost: 85.0 / 6.4    SL 4
You could build an Xb FT1, but I wouldn't -- with the full maintenance rate, there's very little monetary incentive for the FT1 over the EX, and the EX has more utility with the Y present as well.

Do you want capital sensors with your survey flotilla? I don't know; it's expensive. But they sure see things a long way away. Better go with the shields on this one to protect that tech from casual scanning.
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Yc-class CT    16 HS / 12 TS
[2] S Yca Qa (Ica) (Ica) [4/4]
Trg: 1    Def: 0    Cost: 239.2 / 35.9    SL 2
5 HTK    S×1

Re: Basic Survey Ships [Solar 6.02]

PostPosted: Sun 31 Jan 2021 10:17
by Antares
Shuttles have to be built with the Other fund? I thought we were able to build shuttles for ships from the same fund as where the ship came from for some reason. Extra shuttles... I agree though.

Re: Basic Survey Ships [Solar 6.02]

PostPosted: Sun 31 Jan 2021 19:48
by Lomn
Survey Fund: "Units purchased from this fund... must be equipped with Science instruments". st are a unit and do not have X. No other mention of small craft is made.

Battle Fund: "Bases and small craft can also be built...."

Other Fund: "This fund is used for building... shuttles." Interestingly, gigs aren't allowed.

And for the general case, the contents of bays are never assumed by the unit and shouldn't be rolled into unit cost. You might want gigs or buoys in that (Bsa) instead of a shuttle. You might plan to put a GBa squadron in to that (Bgb) because you've got spare squadrons around. None of the contents would count against the various cost modifiers in M4.

That said, as an SM, I allow some slop between funds and I wouldn't nitpick where a reasonable number of smcft get bought.