Ariadne with drone haulers

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fireanddream
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Ariadne with drone haulers

Post by fireanddream » Fri, 9. Feb 18, 19:49

Got bored and decided to try the Ariadne, with actual drone haulers. For RP reason. Have to use the argon one (450m/s, 20ish m/s accele, 23.5 rpm turning, 4mj shielding, 1.5k hull) with 4 IRE.

Tested against a terran fleet.

They performed completely differently than anticipated, both in a good and a bad way.



The goods:

1) They actually did a good job attacking M6s and below. An RRF claymore had its shield (175mj) gone seconds after it jumped in.

2) They can carry 12 dragonfly missile, which is the only non-dumbfire missile compatible. 60k damage in total.

3) They survived a lot longer than fighter drones. At least against a whole terran fleet plus the RRF goon. Might not do so well against the commonwealth flamethrowers or PSGs.


The bads:

1) They crashed. I don't have Bounce installed and two died to the jump gate immediately after the group flew by one. They don't crash into each other thanks to the small hitbox. Thanks to great (poor) accel/decel they don't stop dead in the water like those discoverers, but rather do "fly-bys".

2) They are actually not that small. Upon inspecting their relative size in X3 model viewer I found them to be about the same size of a Xenon N. Which is much larger than fighter drones. If you have no idea what they look like I highly recommend checking them out; in short, cool af.

3) They died like flies to SSC. With 450m/s top speed I had hoped they might dance around capitals. Nope. One shot, one dead.

4) Poltergeist is their arch enemy. The fact that this missile is the only small missile the terran have, and that it reaquires targets, means terran ships big or small are extremely effective in killing them. I had 5 or so casualties seconds after an RRF yokohama jumped in. I thought it was the SSC, but a full screen of blue missiles confirmed otherwise.

And then I repeated the same test with fighter drones MKI and II.

Basically drones did a much poorer job of keeping themselves alive. 24 fighter drones were gone in less than 30s but half of the drone haulers are still lollygagging after 2 minutes. One poltergeist kills 8 drones.

Total cost of one fully outfitted drone hauler (argon):
PHQ production cost:
65*16+2*156+484+2*128+2*504+1684+13476+19390 = 37650 cr
armament:
4*5193+4*4608+12*1012 = 51348 cr
total: 88998 cr

which is about the cost of 22 fighter drones or 3.4 MKII. I know we all have a few billions but still.

It's economically a good decision to give them 12 dragonflies. As they only add up to 13% of the cost of the drone hauler itself but magnify their offensive capability. I'm thinking of giving them only 1 IRE but 15 dragonflies instead.

No I'm not running MDM on them. The point of those drone haulers is the ease of outfitting/replacing them. Manual activating/checking of MDM? No thank you.

In the future I'll probably deploy a fleet of the split drone haulers (600m/s top speed but slightly lower turning rate and accel, 3mj shielding and 15 cargo). With three 1mj shields and 1 IRE they can still carry 11 dragonflies. The Ariadne will serve well as a decoy carrier and arrive at the scene slightly earlier than my main fleet.

Nanook
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Post by Nanook » Fri, 9. Feb 18, 21:17

I'm not familiar with what you call 'drone haulers'. Are they part of some mod? If so, this topic belongs in the S&M forum, in the appropriate thread.
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Alan Phipps
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Post by Alan Phipps » Fri, 9. Feb 18, 23:28

Basically the Drone Haulers are a type of special M4 super-drone that were intended for use and production on the race M7C Drone Carriers (those originally were conceived in a major X3 mod and later introduced into X3AP vanilla). The Drone Haulers never actually made it into use in-game vanilla in that exact fashion.

However, they do rarely appear as randomly-selected M4s in NPC patrols early on in the vanilla X3AP game and so are available for bailing and capture. They can then be RE'd at the PHQ for use in quantity and can be role-played with the M7Cs if desired.

I have captured and produced the Argon, Boron, Paranid and Split Drone Haulers in my vanilla game. I don't know if there are Terran and Teladi ones in the game, but if so I didn't find them despite some serious satellite surveillance and searching.

As an aside, there are broken Drone Hauler equipments pre-installed in the race M7Cs if you look at their info and stats screens. These are not the special M4s spoken of above but were presumably something to do with their intended production there.
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Nanook
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Post by Nanook » Sat, 10. Feb 18, 02:41

Thanks for the info, Alan. I did not know that. I'm currently doing an AP playthrough so I now have something new to look for. :D
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UnknownObject
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Post by UnknownObject » Fri, 16. Feb 18, 19:05

Alan Phipps wrote:I don't know if there are Terran and Teladi ones in the game, but if so I didn't find them despite some serious satellite surveillance and searching.
The Teladi Drone Hauler is in the game (escorts a Teladi M6, invading a Xenon sector, or an OWP).
The Terran Drone Hauler used to be in X3AP in older versions, as I have seen on a screenshot, but I can't find it now.

Alan Phipps
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Post by Alan Phipps » Fri, 16. Feb 18, 19:55

Thanks for that additional info. :)
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DrSuperEvil
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Post by DrSuperEvil » Tue, 8. May 18, 17:05

Terran drone haulers do make rare appearances but due to the differences in the escort jobs used by the Terran they are a pain to find.

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