Designing Ships (SEIV)

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Manual (SEIV)

2.1 Misc. Components
2.2 Mounts
2.3 Weapons
2.4 Shields
2.5 Armor
2.6 Engines
2.7 Vehicle Control
2.8 Combat Systems
2.9 The Colonizer
2.10 Ship Design Strategies
2.11 Upgrading Ships
2.12 The Combat Simulator
2.13 Maintenance
2.14 Transports

Introduction

Every ship or unit hull (except mines) requires certain components to make them legal designs. Every ship needs to have a minimum of vehicle control components. These can be a combination of a bridge, life supports and crew quarters. Additionally some ships have more requirements. Examples: Colony ships require colony modules, transports require cargo components, carriers require fighter bays, troops require a troop cockpit, weapon platforms require a weapon platform computer core, etc. These requirements are listed when you design your ship, base or unit. See also section 2.7. (Slick)

After the absolute requirements by the game, there are many other components that are very important to make your designs survivable. They are too numerous to name, but it's worth mentioning that it's all too easy to spend dozens of turns constructing a fleet of brand new ships, only to discover when you attempt to launch your attack that you designed them without any engines...

Pay attention to combat offensive and defensive bonuses and which components stack with each other. These are discussed throughout this section.

Hull Sizes

As "Ship Construction" is researched, larger hull sizes become available. Researching "Fighters" makes various carrier hulls available. Researching "Base Construction" makes larger base hulls available. (Slick)

Speed

In general, smaller ship hulls are faster than larger ship hulls because larger ship hulls have a restriction that limits the maximum number of engines they can have installed. (Slick) Many mods (particularly those that utilize QNP) emphasize this.

Benefits of Small Ships

In general, smaller ship sizes get a defensive bonus and larger ship sizes get a defensive penalty. (Slick)

Thus, small ships are still useful. They can be a bugger to hit, especially when they have ECM and your enemy doesn't have CS. --Kythorak

Many mods emphasize this even more, attempting to make small ships still play a major role later in the game. (B McLean)

Benefits of Large Ships

In general, larger ships perform better in combat for a couple of reasons. Larger ships can use larger mounts for their weapons making their weapons do more damage. See also section 2.2. Larger ships also need to dedicate proportionally less space for vehicle control components (Engines, Bridge, Life Support, Crew Quarters; or Master Computer) so more space is available for offensive and defensive components. (Slick)

Light Carrier as a Warship Exploit

Light Carriers, which are cheaper to research than Light Cruisers, have 420 more hitpoints, the same speed, a slightly improved weapon mount (though you might wish not to use it actually), and an adequate cargo capacity. They do lack the +10% defense bonus of the Light Cruisers however, and are somewhat more expensive. And of course, being able to add or remove fighters to your fleet at will is always nice; drop the fighters if they are fond of PDC, and put them back once they become lax with PDC. (Alneyan)

Uses of Small Ships in Late Game

One use for obsolete frigates is to add a repair component to them and make them repair ships that still can be useful in the line of battle. Another use for obsolete escort and frigates is to add cargo components and use them as troop transports or faster transports for units, since they can have more engines than the traditional transports (while the traditional transports are more cost-effective, these "fast transports" can help you to transport badly needed units faster to the front). (Makinus)

They can also make effective "scanner" ships to patrol or orbit a planet to watch for cloaked vessels. The 400kt Light Cruiser is ideal for this role. Dispatch them with fleets so you can see cloaked enemies. Tag on a cloaking device and the enemy won't be able to see it, but you can see them. Of course, there's no point if they have a detector too. --Kythorak

Some Questions

Question: How do I build Spaceyard / Repair ships? I have the medium transport hull available but it seems when I choose the "Space Yard ship" vehicle type it demands I use 50% of my tonnage in cargo holds. This leaves no component slots or available tonnage for a repair bay or a space yard component. What am I missing?
Answer: (by Atrocities & Parasite)

  1. You would need to use a cruiser or larger hull size. The combat vehicles do not require the cargo minimum that transport ships have. You cannot use the transport ships for anything but hauling cargo or colonization. I would use the transport to make a multi habitat type colony ship instead.
  2. In the default rules, space yard and repair bay components don't have the "Cargo Storage" ability. To fit them onto a transport hull like that you'll have to go into the components.txt and add the "Cargo Storage" ability (recommend using 0 for the amount) to each space yard and repair bay component. Otherwise, you'll have to use a standard hull big enough to hold them.
  3. Key word in hull type being 'transport'. In the stock hull type, anything with 'transport' (small, med, large) has the 50% cargo requirement. The easy way 'round it is what Sinapus recommends: add the cargo ability to the component. The stock game wants you to use them as transports and not support vessels because of the tonnage available at the lower tech levels (vs. standard hulls).
  4. Medium Transports are good for carrying a repair bay and can still carry enough cargo to design correctly.


Preceded by:
Game Start-up and Empire Creation
Manual (SEIV)
Section 2.0
Followed by:
Research and Technology