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Submarines and Aircraft Carriers

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  • Submarines and Aircraft Carriers

    Submarine and Carrier Deck abilities only appear with Nanometallurgy. This is just wrong. Submarines and full deck carriers were well understood in WWII! How does the SMAC fiction explain this?

    Matthew Greet
    Windows 98 - still not 32 bit.
    Matthew Greet

    You're just jealous because the voices are only talking to me.

  • #2
    I don't know Firaxis is stupid. Tanks are a well known war machine these days but it takes until some unmentionable tech (I'm not sure which one) to get them.


    • #3
      I never use carriers or subs in SMAC anyway.
      My sorry excuse for a website


      • #4
        Keep in mind, you're not just researching the tech break through, you're re-learning how to make the steel and such to use the tech break thru. This is a 'lost colony' situation.. they have to re-invent the automobile (speeder).. its not that they don't understand an air craft carrier, it was just they didn't have the needed materials to build them till nanometalurgy.



        • #5
          That's right, TigToad - consider what the eminent Colonel Corazon Santiago herself has to say on the matter:

          "I have often been asked if we have travelled between the stars, why can we not launch the simplest of orbital probes? These fools fail to understand the difficulty of finding the appropriate materials on this planet, of developing adequate power supplies, and in creating the infrastructure necessity to sustain such an effort."

          So Firaxis is certainly aware of the problem. How they choose to tackle it is another question. From the answer Santiago gives above, one would actually presume that wealth and stability, not technological knowledge, is the defining factor of how far you can go.

          But in any case, it's a game and therefore only an approximation. If you want the Real McCoy, I suppose you could always give a shot at world domination yourself. That may well include being at Vendetta with all major world nations, and being ultimately Planet Busted out of existence. But it would be a laugh to watch.

          "In all creation, there can be no task more onerous or tedious than that of playing God." - Stephen Fry, 'The Liar'.
          "lol internet" ~ AAHZ


          • #6
            I think what they are saying is that Nanometalurgy is too high up yhr tech-tree for Carrier Decks & subs. You get the technology (and infastructure) to build a blue-water navy with "Doctrine:Inititive". They can produce steel for hulls long before nanometalurgy (Maybe SilkSteel should be enough) Obviously you couln't produce subs right away even though we have built them since the early 1900s, because of this is a new colony on a new world (see Col Santiago's quote in an earlier post)


            • #7
              Actually, "Tank" is simply a name denoting a Hovertank unit, so we weren't building those just recently
              The church is the only organisation that exists for the benefit of its non-members
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              All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.
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              • #8
                In CIV's 1 and 2, Aircraft Carriers were almost essential. Many times, there simply was no other way to get airpower across the vast oceans. However, in SMAC, I have never built a carrier due to two factors. First, one can stage airpower in allied bases. And second, one normally begins an offensive against nearby enemies and then later to enemies further distant. This permits the constant application of airpower.

                I have never had a game where the distances from friendly base to an enemy base were greater than my air range. Thus, aircraft carriers seem completely unnecessary.



                • #9

                  Originally posted by Ned on 02-27-2000 04:23 PM
                  I have never had a game where the distances from friendly base to an enemy base were greater than my air range. Thus, aircraft carriers seem completely unnecessary.

                  I was in the same situation until recently. I've found in my current game that an effective defence/offence where the aliens are concerned is to nerve-gas their close cities out of existence. This applies pre-Flechette/ODP and where they are building missiles every couple of turns.

                  This means that the attack range increases quickly and I'm now desperate for carriers. I've established bases on their continent, but it's a slow, creeping attack and I want to press my advantage ...

                  As soon as I get the tech, I'll be trying out carriers for the first time.

                  - Mis

                  Team 'Poly


                  • #10
                    Carrier + Repair Deck


                    • #11
                      I think Aircraft Carriers might come in very handy in multiplayer situations. The AI is so easy to out-manuever that secrecy about troop placement doesn't matter much; however, when playing against a human being, it could matter *very* much.

                      Say you have a city with a garrison of two units connected by two road spaces to an enemy human player's city. You're currently at peace, and your opponent is keeping their city lightly defended, as your garrison of two doesn't look like much of a threat. But what he doesn't see is the aircraft carrier bringing 3 needlejets over!

                      Anyway, that's just hypothetical. The advantage of doing it that way would be that, even if your opponent has infiltrator information on you, they can't tell where you're keeping those planes.

                      Just a thought.


                      • #12
                        I have "a little" experience with airpower and power projection in SMAC multiplayer.

                        I'm finishing a PBEM, MY 2220, where I now have 6 active carriers, and about 40 air units, all X-Shard-Fusion, about half choppers. Last turn, I killed 31 enemy units without loss, took six bases, destroyed one. The turn before, I killed 38 units for 5 losses, destroyed 3 large enemy bases, and crippled 3 others, leaving them undefended size 1 or 2 nothings. In game, my total kills are about 350 units across four factions, to about 60 losses, not counting 12 or so worm losses, with over 35 enemy bases captured or destroyed, mostly the latter.

                        I don't care about the design philosophy, but here's a few pointers about air power in MP games.

                        If you've got a tech edge and aren't squeamish about gas (God, I love sunspots!!!!!), you don't need carriers to do damage at a distance. Gas needlejets on kamikaze missions can do a serious amount of damage at long range, far in excess of their mineral cost. Choppers are even better, especially against a builder-style enemy with formers and crawlers everywhere. Plinkplinkplinkplink - and you can either pull out to a remote area, hoping to remain undetected and repeat the carnage next turn, or bomb a borehole, sensor or other improvement, or get in the middle of some non-combat units and self destruct, taking them all with you if you have a decent weapon. I've used these tactics to rip crawler parks 25 squares from my nearest base, and to otherwise cause havoc in enemy rear areas - intercepting probe teams, colony pods, and creating a siege mentality when the other guy can't even touch me.

                        Carrier deck and deep hull don't work together, nor do transports and deep hull - you lose the lower visibility benefit when a unit is stacked with the deep hull ship.

                        Carrier deck and repair bay is a waste of the second SA slot. You can repair units by having the most damaged ones take empty bases, or using monoliths. If you have enough air units, the ground units can just go into empty bases.

                        Ideally, trance is the best second SA slot for carriers, with one escort best armor / AAA / Deep Radar for observation and defense, and another escort best gun / best armor / SAM / AAA for both cleaning out patrolling enemy air units and defense. The escorts are expensive as hell, but you have a lot riding on that carrier to risk losing it.

                        Use choppers heavily in your air mix - I use 50% choppers, 25% attack jets, 25% fighters. Have the carriers hover just out of enemy range, then run in and release their air units the next turn.

                        For land based crawler and former plinking, 2-3 choppers per turn, sustained, is ideal. When you get to carrier ops, concentration is ideal - hit the other guy with 12-18 air units at a time. In delivering carrier attacks, I like to pair carriers, one with all choppers, the other all jets. Both end a turn just outside enemy air range from their closes ports, or just outside range of the best ship hull the enemy has, if the poor victim doesn't have Doc: Air Power. Run the chopper carrier all the way in, to maximize the turns the choppers have to hit targets, and/or their penetration into enemy territory. Run the jet carrier halfway in, launch the jets, then run the carrier back out to safety. Do the same thing the next turn, when recovering the jets.

                        Chopper colony pods are also wonderful, especially in pairs, and in conjunction with drop defensive units and drop probes on transports. Use one chopper pod to found a base on the coast, the next to found one up to eight squares inland, in the heart of the enemy, then run a fusion cruiser transport full of drop probes and drop units into the new port, and drop the essential units into the advanced base. If you create a specific class of drop unit for your advanced base, depending on the Design Workshop upgrade rules for your multiplayer game, you may be able to instantly upgrade your drop defenders to AAA / ECM. Now you've got an advanced base in the enemy heartland, heavily defended, and a refueling point for your air units. If the other guy doesn't have PB's or missiles immediately available, that forward base is going to be damned expensive to take out, and in the meantime, you will make your enemy bleed profusely.

                        If you're on the receiving end of large air attacks, beware of using fighters to defend - they will always be picked to defend first by the AI, even if 95% damaged, which can be extremely lethal if you are attacked by a gas chopper. Always retreat damaged fighters to the rear. In most cases of various relative tech levels, a AAA unit in a base with a sensor and an aero complex will have better defensive odds against gas attacks. Even if you build gas capable fighters (which I do for offensive purposes), the AI will never defend with the gas setting.

                        Beware of the common trick in SP games of defending against missile attacks by designating a scout unit as defender. Instant death in a gas attack.

                        When one player has the tech, economic and industrial ability to field significant air forces, the game is soon over. It is simply an irresistable threat, and far more potent than PB's, because you can use it at greater range, over a greater area, and you can quickly crank out air units all across your society, in comparison with the enormous individual costs of PB's.

                        AIR POWER RULES!!!!
                        When all else fails, blame brown people. | Hire a teen, while they still know it all. | Trump-Palin 2016. "You're fired." "I quit."


                        • #13
                          A repair deck gives your air forces a fallback should you establish a foothold within range of enemy artillery.

                          Overwhelming numbers do I guess obviate the need for a repair deck.


                          • #14
                            So, okay, now that I'm totally terrified of air attacks (being something of a builder), does anyone have any good advice on *defending* against that kind of blitzkreig?


                            • #15
                              Vi Vicdi - A repair deck doesn't do squat for air units - I assume you meant ground units?

                              Practically speaking, if you have damaged units and feel compelled by enemy pressure to retreat them to ships, the other guy is likely to overrun and kill them.

                              Better to have a good unit mix of air, ground based defensive AAA, and stack those to provide rallying points for any damaged units.

                              Personally, I never retreat.

                              Helium Pond - there is one defense to that kind of attack, and only one. Be far enough ahead in techs, industrial output and economy that your effective strength in armor + airbase + AAA + sensor significantly beats the best gun + nerve gas of anybody in the game. Otherwise, say yer prayers.

                              More little details - put fighters on airbases, not in bases, to keep them from scrambling, and getting half your base pop killed, or keep them in small, expendable bases. Crawler parks are undefendable - a good weapon, self-destructed, will take out non-combat units in adjacent squares, even if they're stacked with AAA units, and no matter that the chopper is any amount damaged - BOOM, bye-bye crawlers.

                              The ultimate advice is to kill any SOB before he gets that powerful, or be in position to do him before he does you.
                              [This message has been edited by MichaeltheGreat (edited February 29, 2000).]
                              When all else fails, blame brown people. | Hire a teen, while they still know it all. | Trump-Palin 2016. "You're fired." "I quit."