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 Cargo Ships

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Captain Patrick T. James
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PostSubject: Cargo Ships   Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:02 am

Cargo Ship Analysis
Research Conducted by Captain Patrick T. James

Introduction

In this article, I am going to make a comparative analysis of small and large cargo ships. I will attempt to answer the age-long debate: Which type of cargo ship should I use for my empire?

First, let me state that the analysis begins after we've researched impulse tech level 5. Before then, large cargos have an advantage over small cargos in every single way imaginable, except fuel consumption. They are faster, stronger, and can carry more. However, I'd also like to note that this article will not take fuel consumption into consideration for your cargoes. The consumption should be insignificant, as it is only a difference of 30 between the two. Actually, small cargoes have a higher consumption cost per cargo space. You'll spend twice the amount of fuel on them as you will an equal amount of cargo space with heavy cargoes, but the total cost should still be insignificant compared to the rest of your fleet.

Analysis of Each Ship

Small Cargo
Pros
-Faster
-Less Cargo per Ship
Cons
-Weaker
-More expensive per cargo space

Large Cargo
Pros
-More Durable
-Cheaper per cargo space
Cons
-Slower
-More cargo per ship

Conclusions

You probably noticed that it was strange that I would list more cargo space on a ship as a bad thing. This is because during a battle, you want your eggs all in different baskets, so to speak. If one large cargo is targeted and destroyed, you've lost 25.000 units of resources to capture, but only 5.000 units of resources if a small cargo is destroyed. Now, the only time that the ship's armor and shields will come into play is early game. Late game we see much less heavy fighters because they are more expensive fodder than light fighters, and heavy fighters happen to be the only ships that have rapid fire against small cargoes but not against large cargoes.

So what does all this mean? Small cargoes are best used during raids. Because you must use more of them, they double as fodder (fodder that only has rapid fire from deathstars, heavy fighters, and battlecruisers. Two of these you will rarely see used against you). But there is another factor that makes them better suited to raids than heavy cargo. Speed. Because you will most certainly be attacking players who are currently offline, it is imperative that your attack lands before they come back online and spend their resources or fleetsave them away. Because of the slow speed of cargoes in general, your attack will often be limited on their speed, since the speed of the attack is based on the slowest ship in the attack. And for diehard fleeters, faster attacks means more attacks each day.

So what should we do with our large cargoes? The obvious solution is to use them on missions that are not time sensitive. This gives us four options that I can see: Expeditions, Transports, Resource Saving, and Attacking Inactive Players. The reason you would want to use large cargoes instead of small cargoes here is the fact that large cargoes are simply cheaper per cargo space. However, players who are not concerned about the extra resources required to build an equivalent number of small cargoes may wish to do away with large cargoes all together, because small cargoes could carry out all of the above four missions just as effectively (though arguably large cargoes have a better chance of finding better ships on expeditions).

Summary

Small cargoes are better than large cargoes when raiding active players, but the cheaper cost per cargo space of large cargoes makes them an economical choice for expeditions, friendly transports, saving your resources, and raiding inactive players without defenses.

Thus concludes my analysis. May the information provided here serve the alliance well. Long live the Empire!
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PostSubject: Re: Cargo Ships   Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:39 pm

and thus another good job by sir patrick Very Happy

you never stop to amaze me sir ^_^
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PostSubject: Re: Cargo Ships   Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:36 pm

Very nice
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arcturusk1
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PostSubject: Re: Cargo Ships   Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:33 am

Do you feel that the significantly increased numbers of SCs would be a drawback in terms of inflating your fleet score? I farm both inactives and actives near me (with 10 systems on each side) and use strictly LCs. In numerous cases, I'm finding inactives (with no defense) and actives (with no or weak defenses) with upwards of 400k-500k in resources just waiting to be plucked. I run with approximately 45-50 LCs and have made it a habit of sending 5 LCs per raid. I find that that allows me to pack my LCs while still taking half the planet's resources in one go. I send 2-3 waves at the ones sitting on the 400k-500k to really clean house.

Since it is a 5:1 ratio of SCs per LCs in terms of cargo space, and since my LCs pull all duties (I don't use SCs) that means I would need 225-250 SCs to fill the same roles! So for 250 SCs, I'm looking at:

500k metal
500k crystal

With a 30% res to DF, that's 150k metal and 150k crystal. Not a bad fleetcrash and they're just SCs so they're very weak.

With 50 LCs, I'm looking at:

300k metal
300k crystal

With the 30% res to DF, that's 90k metal and 90k crystal. Less, but still not so bad.

Perhaps it's a psychological thing, but what I'm getting at is that I feel that attacking 250 SCs appears like a more fun and more economical (and it is more economical) choice than bumping off 50 LCs. At least to me, I'd get more of a kick out of blasting some sucker's 250 SCs than some dude's 50 LCs. Bigger numbers -> more wow factor -> inviting more attacks, I suppose.

The fuel costs to FS both SC and LC fleets is minor, <1000 deut easily when I quickly tested it in SpeedSim. So, as you already stated, fuel is not that big of a deal.

The other factor to be considered is planet defense. If you're packing some serious defensive heat (which both Capt and I enjoy building, he so more than I, I'm sure) then getting crashed is less of a concern. But again, I go back to tempting a high-level player to come by and smack your little 250 SCs vs your 50 LCs. Of course, most defenses are going to be moot against a guy throwing 500+ destroyers at you. Neutral

In terms of speed, if I use a nearby inactive as an example, with combustion and impulse both at level 6, it would take 5 LCs 23 minutes one-way. With 25 SCs it's 17 minutes one-way. This is a reasonable time improvement, meaning a round-trip of 34 minutes instead of 46. I then wanted to find out if improving the engine techs would markedly improve one over the other. Using the same planet, I found that improving both combustion and impulse to level 10 dropped the combustion one-way time to 20 minutes and the impulse one-way time to 15. So, it doesn't seem like improving a particular engine tech makes one drastically different. Not only that, but improving impulse tech to level 7 is far more costly than improving combustion to level 7.

They're faster, yes, and you're correct that it's always better to snag the res and run before they come online, but with the 4x speed, I find that it's not really an issue. And if they even have any defenses, the entire race there is hampered by needing to send an attacking fleet or build IPMs to nuke.

As for res-saving, I would never even consider SCs. I agree with you that LCs are better but disagree that SCs can effectively fulfill that role.

Well, I'm going to close this post out. I'm rambling a bit. I may give an all-SC raiding fleet a shot soon, but I wanted to offer a perspective from someone using strictly LCs.
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Captain Patrick T. James
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PostSubject: Re: Cargo Ships   Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:00 am

It seem to me that you are strictly raiding inactive, in which case I've said that LCs fulfill that role better. As far as fleetcrashing goes, as long as you have the same amount of resources invested, the numbers would make no difference (IMO). I suppose not all players are pro's (like myself Cool ) but I choose targets based on profit (precalulated with a sim), not on "wow factor" of total ships destroyed.

Plus, you shouldn't ever worry about your fleet being crashed if you are a pro player. Always make safe fleetsaves. Don't let your fleet sit on your planet when you are offline.

In the end, the difference really isn't all that much, but some people want every little edge they can, and that tiny extra is what this guide aims to provide.

Also, you're right about the x4 speed thing. If you are raiding people within 50 systems of you, it really doesn't make much of a difference. However, if you like to make raids to other galaxies (something a speed server makes reasonable) then the differences in speed will make a huge difference.
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