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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Skills and Story Points (07/08/19)

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Author Topic: Add a phase hauler  (Read 1350 times)

Megas

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Add a phase hauler
« on: June 09, 2019, 06:38:05 AM »

Basically a destroyer or cruiser-sized freighter (or troop transport for marines instead of loot) with phase cloak designed to sneak into ports and smuggle stuff like cargo or haul goodies stolen from raids.  Due to its nature, civilian-grade hull is probably not appropriate, but needs some downside to put it on par with hybrid or even dedicated haulers.  Probably should not haul as much as conventional haulers, but having a phase ship with more capacity than other combat phase ships' lack of capacity (without hullmods) would be nice.

Sure, we have stuff like low-tech ships with Shielded Cargo Holds, but this idea is for those rich crooks who want to show off or for governments that have bigger plans in mind.

Handy for pure phase fleets that want to sneak around and do less fighting and more robbing or illicit trade.  Could be handy for smuggling bombs or a planet killer for special campaign hooks.
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Alex

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Re: Add a phase hauler
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2019, 08:58:28 AM »

Hah, funny - I just added this to the todo list yesterday based on the conversation in that other thread!

So, needless to say, yeah, I like the idea :)
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Tei

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Re: Add a phase hauler
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2019, 09:06:34 AM »

Imagine phasing a planets worth of recreational drugs in a modified Atlas through a stations armor plating just as a patrol rounds a corner to confront your dubious possibly smuggling related actions.

Except they dont find anything because you just phased a superfreighter into a isolated dedicated offloading bay with no exit for normal ships.

The Ghost Freighter strikes again!
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xenoargh

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Re: Add a phase hauler
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2019, 09:22:10 AM »

I like this idea; it'd also solve a lot of the whackiness with making the Pirate bases... approachable, lol.
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Thaago

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Re: Add a phase hauler
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2019, 11:16:02 AM »

Nice! Sounds fun.
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Schwartz

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Re: Add a phase hauler
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2019, 11:26:29 AM »

Considering what phase space does to people (and flux), do you think they'd actually run a cargo hauler in phase for long enough to approach a station? How long is that, considering how fast time moves on the strategic view?

To me this is a combat system that does serious psychological damage to the crew - and that's only the damage we know about. Putting it on a cargo ship feels wrong. Except for expensive black-ops.
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Megas

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Re: Add a phase hauler
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2019, 11:33:58 AM »

A phase hauler will not be used by general public for commerce.  It will be used as black ops or simple piracy (and smuggling before the raid).  Bringing a full phase fleet to rob stations (of their blueprints) is acting like a pirate.  Of course, raiding also coughs up more loot than blueprints, and it is a shame I cannot take that too because phase ships have terrible capacities to haul anything more than few special lightweight items.

Also, nobody said the phase cruiser that hauled Tri-Tachyon's planet killer in one of the missions/scenarios was a Doom.  Doom is the logical choice because it is the only phase cruiser.  But the cruiser can be something else, something built to haul stuff while using phase field for the least profile.

Think of it as a phase ship specially designed to haul stuff, not a modified civilian freighter with phase coils strapped on and gaining built-in Ill-Advised Modifications.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 11:39:13 AM by Megas »
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Baqar79

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Re: Add a phase hauler
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2019, 08:56:55 PM »

Imagine phasing a planets worth of recreational drugs in a modified Atlas through a stations armor plating just as a patrol rounds a corner to confront your dubious possibly smuggling related actions.

Except they dont find anything because you just phased a superfreighter into a isolated dedicated offloading bay with no exit for normal ships.

The Ghost Freighter strikes again!
What a cool visualization 8)
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AxleMC131

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Re: Add a phase hauler
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2019, 11:30:47 PM »

If I may raise my hand here, phase freighters are one of those concepts that's fairly volatile in the modiverse. I've tried to make one, and I had a bunch of people tell me it wasn't a good idea, and as it turned out they were right. A phase freighter, in the simplest sense it can be, is a tad broken because it's nigh impossible to catch, so suddenly all your fleet's cargo is 100% safe no matter what.

Not saying the idea is inherently bad! But it's a risky one, as other folks who've tried it will no doubt tell you. Definitely needs to be treated with caution.

Generally, if you're going to go with a phase freighter, you want its capacity to be very limited - good for a phase ship, perhaps even good for a warship, but rubbish compared to a good old civilian hauler. It has to be very specialized, in order to not be "the best" at its job.

(If you want a sneaky "spec ops" freighter or personnel carrier though, I'd just go with the Phase Field hullmod. It doesn't need a full-blown phase cloak to get the point across.)
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Hrothgar

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Re: Add a phase hauler
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2019, 12:45:21 AM »

Make it incerdibly slowly outside phase and not able to make it phase indefinitly. Problem solved.
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Megas

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Re: Add a phase hauler
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2019, 04:53:07 AM »

Cannot be anymore "broken" than a Hound or other ship with Safety Override, Unstable Injector, and possible mobility system and outrunning everything.  But fleeing phase ships are no match for almighty auto-resolve, which is my typical go-to method of cleaning up fleeing ships after a fight.  I am not exactly worried of a few pip-squeaks escaping occasionally.  More where they came from - a lot more.  Sector is always burning with lots of fires to put out.

Phase Field/Delicate Machinery only is not a bad idea itself.  Wonder how it would fit in with the Warship/Carrier/Phase trio.  If it is a phase ship, it should go all the way.

The main point of phase hauler is zero profile on campaign to compliment phase ships.  Fleet doctrine has Phase Ships as one of the three options among Warships and Carriers.  Even carriers have a hauler, the Gemini.

It would be nice if there were more brawly smaller phase ships like Doom or the old-fashioned ghost tanks, but that is beyond the scope of this topic.
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Hrothgar

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Re: Add a phase hauler
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2019, 05:13:13 AM »

It even can be a midline/low tech phase testbed. Something like Shadowsword from Dickersons, which is basically a prototype testbed for some high-tech components.
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Megas

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Re: Add a phase hauler
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2019, 05:42:54 AM »

It even can be a midline/low tech phase testbed. Something like Shadowsword from Dickersons, which is basically a prototype testbed for some high-tech components.
Sounds like the Gremlin, in terms of prototype tech.  Not something I want to pilot, but if I wanted phase ships to raid stations, but did not have the high-tech ones to build, I probably would build Gremlins, which are among those known from the start.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: Add a phase hauler
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2019, 06:56:42 AM »

If I may raise my hand here, phase freighters are one of those concepts that's fairly volatile in the modiverse. I've tried to make one, and I had a bunch of people tell me it wasn't a good idea, and as it turned out they were right. A phase freighter, in the simplest sense it can be, is a tad broken because it's nigh impossible to catch, so suddenly all your fleet's cargo is 100% safe no matter what.

Not saying the idea is inherently bad! But it's a risky one, as other folks who've tried it will no doubt tell you. Definitely needs to be treated with caution.

Generally, if you're going to go with a phase freighter, you want its capacity to be very limited - good for a phase ship, perhaps even good for a warship, but rubbish compared to a good old civilian hauler. It has to be very specialized, in order to not be "the best" at its job.

(If you want a sneaky "spec ops" freighter or personnel carrier though, I'd just go with the Phase Field hullmod. It doesn't need a full-blown phase cloak to get the point across.)

Yeah the concept of a phase freighter applies to the strategic layer. A tactical phase on a freighter is absurd - it's the phase field that's relevant.
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Megas

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Re: Add a phase hauler
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2019, 08:00:39 AM »

It is not necessarily absurd, especially if a hypothetical destroyer-sized phase hauler could haul only 150 cargo but is unable to fight effectively much like a dedicated hauler.  Or even 100 capacity to act as a phase Mule with limited fighting ability.  The player would be paying extra for no profile and guaranteed security (but only if the fight is not auto-resolved.  Phase is no protection against auto-resolve, only chance).  If it is the player that is fleeing, he has bigger problems to worry about (e.g., lost big war fleet, big setback, and would reload but decides not to for some reason.)

But, yes, the important part is the strategic layer, which was the main reason why I posted the OP.  Phase fleet that cannot haul what it wants to smuggle or take what it raids and steals is not very useful, especially when Phase is one-third of the fleet doctrine triangle, and it is possible to crank that to 5.  Phase fleet forced to bring loud transports is not much of a sneak fleet (and might as well bring a full war fleet that can crush what it cannot sneak by).  Phase fleets have low variety, and most are optimized for one-shot (or small series of) bomber runs, with Doom being the sole exception.  (Doom is the only viable brawler of the phase ships.)
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 08:03:16 AM by Megas »
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