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Cost-effective Fighters' Showcase

Discussion in 'Community Creations' started by russo_bolado, May 2, 2017.

Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. russo_bolado Junior Engineer

    Hello, fellow Engineers!

    There are a lot of good ships out there, but most of the time they care more about looks and less about cost (some of the best content creators, such as @Ravric and @Tristavius, mostly work in Creative). I'd like to see what people build that looks modestly good (considering the available amount of materials), with average to good firepower while still keeping general functionality. Here are the guidelines:

    - Space environment;
    - x1 Cargo settings;
    - Cockpit/Fighter Cockpit (no Drones) - but you can still include a Remote Control block;
    - Minimal pathfinding capability (Antenna/Beacon, Camera);
    - Average of 10000-12000 Kg (without cargo weight);
    - Total weapon count;
    - Enough power to maintain ship at peak usage;
    - Full conveyoring;
    - Oxygen infrastructure OR refueling by bottles (appropriate conveyoring);
    - Scripts are optional;
    - If your ship has other specific functionalities, please list them;
    - If possible, link to workshop;

    I'll post my ship in a few days. If you think that there should be more/different guidelines, please comment. Show us your ships!

    Edit1: added "environment" word for disambiguation purposes, added "Minimal pathfinding capability", replaced "Maximum" with "Average" to endorse more designs, added "Total weapon count" to facilitate weight/weapon ratio, removed block list;
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  2. Arcturus Senior Engineer

    Mass 3585 kg

    Cockpit, 6x ion thrusters, 1x gyro, 1x small reactor, 1x landing gear, 1x small conveyor, 2x gatling guns, 1x camera

    Pros: VERY cost effective, excellent for sniping, VERY short construction time
    Cons: Weak, dies quickly, underpowered, slow acceleration, ugly, uninspired

    A: add more reactors and thrust to allow evasive maneuvers. Still dies quickly if hit.
    B: add more weapons (i.e. rocket tubes or wall of gats) for burst damage.

    EDIT: added photo
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. AutoMcD Senior Engineer


    In its base form, a general purpose craft that is lightweight and easy to pack along on a larger ship. I usually use it more for scouting and setting up projector builds than anything combat related.. basic space truck.

    Projector build an ion sled to greatly increase speed, and it adds a few rockets.
  4. PyreStarite Junior Engineer

    Valkyrie V Utility Gunship (v5.1)

    - Space? Do you mean room or environment travel?
    - 41 Small Containers + 3 Medium Containers + 2 Connectors
    - Just a little over 100,000 kg
    - 35 Small Reactors + 6 Batteries
    - Fully conveyor'd up
    - O2 Gen + O2 Tank
    - List of blocks in the description
    - Designed to be able to carry and haul large cargo hauls either inside of its containers or a cargo module which can be attached via the ALMs.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. russo_bolado Junior Engineer

    Your ship is very cost-effective (approx. 1,75 ton / weapon) but a little bit suboptimal, mostly because there's no conveyoring, which means all reloading must be done by hand.

    Assuming that the cockpit holds 1000L storage volume (and 60L of O2), and filling this inventory with 40-45 ammo containers, plus 8 ammo containers (4 for each Gatling Gun) and 2 Oxygen Bottles, this adds ~1,8 tons worth of cargo, which is approximately half of your ship's total weight. When loaded, your fighter will probably slow down.

    In my tests, I figured out that, in sharp manuevers at space, the ship's thrusters fire in 3 directions at once. So, your ship's single reactor won't handle your thursters at peak usage, as you pointed out in upgrade A. To test better your ship's handling in Creative, add 100 Steel Plates (total weight: 2 tons) and see if the thruster count gives a good acceleration rate.

    About Rocket Launcher tubes, I must confess I'm not a fan of them. Although they're very cost-effective, considering mass & block size x raw firepower ratio, having to reload manually is a killjoy for me. In my not-so-cost-effective fighter (32 tons without cargo + 4 weapons, which nets 8 ton / weapon), I opted for using a Rocket Turret instead; it's very slow, but more precise (it can fire during manuevers) and automatically reloadable, not to mention continuous usage (Rocket Launcher tubes are more like a one-shot wonder). But I'll consider adding 2 Rocket Launcher tubes to my cost-effective fighter (which I built mostly as a scout) to increase its damage output.

    About resistance, there's not much you can do with 10-12 tons of total weight. You can plate a little more around the core systems (specially the single Gyroscope), but you can't expect to fight a Large Cargo Ship with your little dude - don't bring a knife to a gunfight, people say. Small cost-effective fighters are mostly for sniping turrets, scouting and, eventually, harassing ships (people can't build and plan accordingly if they have to deal with a pesky fighter firing at them), considering that multiplayer will work properly some day.

    Also, considering 2 Oxygen Bottles + Cockpit tank + Suit tank, you'll have at best 1,4 hours of air before stifling to death. Add 1300 kg to Your ship (300kg Oxygen Generator + 1000 Kg Ice) and you'll have ~107 hours (roughly 4,5 days) of air, with the possibility of supplying hydrogen if necessity arises and, in a pinch, mining some Ice to supply the ship in loco.

    You're a seasoned player, so this kind of tech won't be new to you. But I'll expect that can be useful to others :)

    When I said "Space", I was talking about the environment, not inventory. I don't play in planets for performance reasons, but of course you can make a cost-effective craft in a planetary environment. If I were going to build such a craft, I'd add 1-2 Air Vents (depending on planet) and reduce Ice amount to 500 kg, since O2 would be supplied by the planet itself (this would still render H2 to jetpack). You can also use the down-facing thrusters to add in propusion and use your fighter craft mostly as a VTOL; this is why I limited to Space environment, because planetary crafts have their peculiarity in design choices considering the existence of natural gravity.

    Anyway, your fighter looks superb, but waaay overcosted (100000Kg is quite hefty), and not too cost-effective (10 ton / weapon). When I set 10000-12000Kg as weight limit, I used the Fighter from Easy Start in space as a benchmark - it has ~22000Kg of weight without cargo. If people could cut 50% of this weight and still keep - or increase - functionality (Fighter has 4 weapons, 2 of them being Rocket Launcher tubes, giving a 5 ton / weapon ratio), it'd be very cost-effective IMHO.

    To summarize: your craft is very nice and functional, but seems a little out of scope in this thread.

    It's a very nice, functional and cost-effective craft, but... We're talking about fighters. Show us something weaponized :D

    Edit: WHOA! The Gatling Gun is very well-hidden! I'm estimating a 3-5 ton mass without cargo (I'm using weight in a very broad sense, considering that, physically, weight depends on gravity), which gives a good 3-5 ton / weapon ratio. However, being fueled by hydrogen means that your little dude chugs a lot of Ice to move around...

    Edit2: If Wiki values are correct (they're very outdated, though), Small Ship Oxygen Generators produce 166 H/s at a rate of 1kg = 4H, while Small Ship Small Hydrogen Thrusters burn 109,2 H/s. This means that, if Wiki values are correct, your ship eats 41,5 Kg of Ice per second to barely maintain 2 thrusters OR fly with bursts + clever dampener usage, which requires a bit of skill. Although your craft is cost-effective when it comes to construction, it's not very resource-friendly when it comes to upkeep.
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  6. Arcturus Senior Engineer

    Yes, it is deliberately in the low-cost, low-effort, low-quality corner. The mere act of firing the guns makes the ship rotate off-target due to recoil, unless you use gyro override! This one is disposable, not optimal.

    It would be interesting to see some optimal 10-12 ton fighters.
  7. Lt_Duckweed Apprentice Engineer

    I present to you the Adikia Light Vacuum Interceptor.


    It is a bit over weight, but it is well used. It clocks in at 16,535.6 kg, but with a forward acceleration of 34.83 m/s^2, this ship can move.
    Has Whips artificial horizon and MMaster's LCD's.
    4 gatlings, 2 gyros, one large reactor
    Ammo is stored along with bottles in the cockpit, and the pilot is expected to store a few bottles on his person.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. AutoMcD Senior Engineer

    The H2 setup is so it can be built without platinum for early game. For purpose of this thread you should expend its capability by building the ion sled. On my Workshop there's one with it pre-built if you're feeling lazy. ;)
    It's still not very armored, just fast. I've still got to make a proper fighter, but again I virtually never encounter the need for it in survival. This is more suited to pick off turrets and dance around the return fire.

    The original mini was all ions, before the H2 thrusters got added. Slow utilitarian.
  9. russo_bolado Junior Engineer

    Wow... Just wow. Very good looking, fast and agile. And very cost-effective too, topping at ~4,25 ton / weapon. Just something I've noticed: no Connector?

    Edit: does Adikia's Large Reactor withstand the thrusters' peak usage?

    Anyway, very nice. That's the spirit. And inspired by your nice design, I'm supporting people to post their designs regardless of weight limit or functionality (with reasonability, of course). 10-12 ton would be nice, but if any of you have your 18 ton cost-effective dude, show us!

    Most of the cost-effective designs posted here won't be suited for direct attrition (with a few exceptions, like Adikia). 10-12 ton weight limit doesn't leave much room for armor, speed, firepower and functionality at the same time. Compromises must be made, I'm aware of that. But still, I'm trying to evaluate designs with a survival mindset (No offense here, Ok?).

    If needed, I can insert "general survival mindset" as one of the guidelines - which aren't strict rules, but just references for a broad sense of cost-effectivess. You (and other players) can also suggest changes or new guidelines for other builds.

    I'll try to upload my build in a few hours - I'm at work right now.
  10. Lt_Duckweed Apprentice Engineer

    Adikia's Reactor does indeed have enough power for full 3-axis burn.
    And yeah, no connector, Adikia was built with one goal, 4 guns and a cockpit strapped onto an engine. Anything that didn't further that goal was ditched.

    I also have a 35 ton planetary fighter with ~67 m/s^2 acceleration. Again, 4 guns and a cockpit strapped to a huge engine block.

    EDIT: As an aside, here is the definition of Adikia; the Greek goddess and personification of injustice.
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
    • Like Like x 1
  11. SaturaxCZ Senior Engineer

    If you make drone, its all time less material consuming and beter in combat ( but you dont have sound around drone, because there is no block sending sound back to your control chair.... :()
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. russo_bolado Junior Engineer

    Another silly question: you left an accessible hatch to the Large Reactor, right?
    Drones are indeedly cheaper, but I was thinking about manned spacecraft. I'll include "Cockpit" in the guidelines.

    Edit: minor typos.
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  13. Lt_Duckweed Apprentice Engineer

    The large reactor is connected to the small port on the underside of the cockpit, everything can be loaded through the cockpit.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Vaskadar Apprentice Engineer

    • Like Like x 1
  15. russo_bolado Junior Engineer

    As you guys have already noticed, I'm using weight/weapons ratio as a general comparison measurement. Since everybody is showcasing their cost-effective crafts, I believe this is a good standard because it relates the total weight with the total weapon count, with a linear principle: the more weapons a ship has, with the lesser weight, the more effective it will be; so, the smaller is the weight/weapon ratio, the more effective the ship is. There are more status to be considered (acceleration being one of the most noticeable), but for a general comparison, it's suitable so far.

    I'll post my ship soon. I was busy tomorrow, and I'm still a bit today. Anyway...

    A bit old, but a very nice ship. Some insights:

    - 12000 Kg + 3 Gatling Guns. Very cost-effective, topping at ~4 ton / weapon;
    - No Connector?
    - No Camera?
    - About thrusters, I believe you'd shave some small thursters (-1 at front, -1 top, -2 bottom, -1 each side) and focus on forward thrusting. Maybe doing that, and adding 1-2 Small Reactors, you'd cut 1 Battery and sensibly reduce total weight. If breaking/crashing is an issue to you, there are some nice scripts that can help;
    - Although aesthetically nice, I'm not a fan of exposed Gyros, but it's a matter of preference. And generally, when I use redundant Gyros, I set them to 50% performance, because I don't like twitchy ships. Personal taste;
  16. odizzido Junior Engineer

    Played around a little...unfortunately I started to get to know the ship I was fighting as I tested something, redesigned, tested combat, modified, tested, modified etc so I didn't get to take any damage on the final take once I fixed all the problems. I wanted to post the video first so you would see the performance before the appearance.

    -Anyways it has a weight/gun ratio of(unloaded) 610kg/gatling....or something close to that. It has 51 gatlings total so it carries over 10 tons of ammo. Fully loaded it's still below 1 ton/gatling
    -Two layers of heavy armour protecting all vitals from frontal fire, supported from multiple sides to keep it secured in place
    -Five cameras, each socketed inside the armour plate to increase their survivability
    -Large hydrogen thrusters on each side to allow you to dodge fire more easily
    -Fully conveyored with multiple redundancies
    -Ugly as shit

    Yeah I know it's ~30 tons so it's overweight, but I couldn't make it any smaller without losing protection of my systems and still using hydrogen. The vast majority if this fighter can be made with an arc furnace though since there is no ion and a small reactor is more than enough to power it....do I get bonus weight for that? :p
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
    • Like Like x 1
  17. russo_bolado Junior Engineer

    Well, it took a while before we saw our first wall-of-gats. Since @odizzido 's ship doesn't have a name, I'll call it "Dizzy Beast".
    Sweet mother of God, this thing is really ugly... But absurdly effective nonetheless, topping at ~0,5 ton / weapon! Some insights:

    - Just like I said in a few posts above, I was expecting designs with a "general survival mindset", which means designs that are feasible considering building cost and upkeep. I was looking for your thrusters and realized you're using a Large Hydro per axis, backed up by 2 Hydro Tanks (as far as I could see in the video). If wiki values are correct, Small Grid Hydro Tanks have 80000 L, while Small Grid Large Hydro Thrusters consume 514,1 L/s. Doing some math, your ship has, approximately, 5min 11s of total flight time (in a single direction) or 1min 43s at peak usage (3-axis burst) before running dry. You can extend 2-3x flight time with clever dampener usage, but it does require a bit of skill and reduces your agility... But even then, we're looking at 10-15 min top;

    - Your Gatling Guns deal an absurd amount of DPS, but run dry very fast. Considering your Medium Cargo Container (3375 L) as ammo storage (each crate occupies 16L of volume), you'd hold approx. 210 ammo crates. Dividing by 51, each Gatling Gun would have 4 boxes available. If you add the 4 crates each Gatling Gun already can hold, you'll have 8 crates / Gatling Gun, which will yield 20-24 seconds of continuous fire according to Wiki. Using the same reasoning as flight time, you can extend 2-3x the total firing amount by firing in short bursts instead of continously, but it does add a delay to the firepower (Gatling Guns spinning time) and, even then, we'll have approx. 1min firing time;

    - Beside having a wall in front of it, your design is very brittle. A pot shot on the cockpit (or even an accidental bump) will tear your ship in half;

    To summarize, Death Cubes have their own niche, and they're very effective, but their build and upkeep costs are very heavy, which means they're out of scope in this thread.

    Haha, it's not a competition... We're showcasing our designs to see if we can make the most out of a tight amount of resources. There's no winner/loser here. Currently, I've realized that most designers here in this thread are opting to sacrifice armor and functionality for speed and firepower. I believe this is a mindset expected for disposable fighters.

    Edit: minor typos / firing time.
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  18. odizzido Junior Engineer

    I design everything with survival in mind...I use hydrogren all the time in survival and you can see I started at 90% fuel and ended at 78%, so I used only 12% of my fuel to disable that ship. Obviously my design would be terrible for long missions but for undocking and putting some hurt on some attackers before you explode I think it does the job which is what I was thinking of when I designed it. I honestly don't think my ship costs much as it's mostly made of iron(the benefits of hydrogen).

    And yeah my ship has zero armour on the sides/back, but pretty decent armour on the front. It's up to the pilot to keep the armour facing where the damage is coming from. I can have more effective armour and less weight but it does as you say come at the expense of having incredibly weak sides. It was a design decision for increased maneuverability and reduced cost.

    Also 100% full of ammo including the connector and cockpit all of those gatlings can shoot for 2mins 36 seconds without stopping. I just tested it. I actually tested it on my heavy armour cube block which is just a solid 22x22 mass of large grid heavy armour. Was enough to punch through it over three times. I am not sure I like carrying that much ammo though because it slows you down a lot.

    plus you're likely not going to live long enough to use all the ammo heh
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    12,000 kg is a bit artificial even for a lightweight fighter. The strength of the small block fighter is being able to pack a big punch in a small/cheaper platform. I go for very fast forward acceleration as well as lightning fast gyro response. Being able to dodge incoming turret fire as well as out turning other fighters is key. Being able to take out multiple turrets quickly is paramount.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. russo_bolado Junior Engineer

    Well... Here's my take on a cost-effective "fighter": the SF-115 Pioner ("explorer" in russian).
    It has 10702 Kg (without cargo) with 5 weapons (2 Rocket Launcher, 2 Gatling Guns and 1 Gatling Turret), topping at ~2 ton / weapon. The Pioner works mostly as recon and scouting, being equipped with an Ore Detector to prospect mining sites. It's modestly armed and it has a very low acceleration (4,8 m/s²), but when the 2 Hydrogen Thrusters are activated (hotkey'd to action bar), the accel rises to 19,9 m/s²; the H2 Thrusters are mostly for "nitro", giving an extra boost when needed (escape/sharp manuevering). List of relevant blocks:

    - Antenna/Beacon;
    - Camera;
    - Ore Detector;
    - Projector (easy build/repair);
    - Oxygen Generator;
    - 2 Gatling Guns;
    - 1 Gatling Turret;
    - 2 Rocket Launchers;
    - 1 Gyroscope
    - 2 Timer + Programmer Blocks (Floor Plan Script & Automatic LCD's 2);
    - 4+1 Small Reactors (1 reactor is off the conveyor network, to jumpstart the system in case of total power down);
  21. odizzido Junior Engineer

    Ah you use hydrogen as well. Thumbs up for that, since it's so underrated.
  22. russo_bolado Junior Engineer

    Your design has a clear purpose, and it does fulfill it... But this portion of text grabbed my attention. 12% of your total fuel (assuming your total fuel is 160000 L, which is 2 Hydro Tanks filled to the brim) is 19200L of H2. To produce this amount of fuel (in a Large Grid Oxygen Generator, with a 1 Kg = 9 L H2 ratio according to wiki), you'd need 2133,33 Kg of ice. Which means, if my math is correct, your ship burned 2 tons of Ice in less than a minute. That's a hefty upkeep, maybe feasible for an end-game scenario, but unfeasible for the early game, in which the cost-effective fighter is useful at its most.

    Just for a small comparison, with almost half of this amount (1000 Kg), you can keep Mr. Treebeard alive for 4,5 days (in a Small Grid). If you use Large Grid, it jumps to 18 days.

    As told before, I set 10000-12000Kg mostly as a guideline, and endorsed people to post designs regardless of weight limit. If more designs come across, we'll see what's the weight basis for a cost-effective fighter.

    Agreed with all the rest.

    Edit: minor typos
  23. Sentinel-Ghost Apprentice Engineer

    I think 12,000 kg is waaaaaaaaaay too low. Most fighter aircraft are above 12,000kg (and that's when NOT fully loaded), nor are they designed for space-flight.

    For reference:

    Name//Weight (when empty)//Fully Loaded Weight
    F22 Raptor // 19,700 kg // 29,410 kg

    PAK FA // 18,000 kg // 25,000 kg

    Chengdu-J20 // 19,391 kg // 32,092 kg

    Su35s // 18,400 kg // 25,300 kg

    Eurofighter // 11,000 kg // 16,000 kg

    F35 // 13,199 kg // 22,470 kg

    A10 Warthog // 24,959 kg // 30,384 kg (included this because unlike most of the planes on this list an A10 can actually sustain hits.

    Space Shuttle // 78,000 kg // 110,000 kg
    • Informative Informative x 2
  24. Lt_Duckweed Apprentice Engineer

    Ah the A-10 Brrrt-brrrt. Truly a king among planes.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  25. Ronin1973 Master Engineer


    Purpose built to do ONE thing and do it WELL. The current US military needs to study this doctrine.
  26. Lt_Duckweed Apprentice Engineer

    And now they are retiring it and trying to shoehorn in it's place the flaming trashcan of a plane that is the F-35.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  27. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    Money can't out perform physics.
  28. halipatsui Senior Engineer

    I wish SE had that BRRRRT too.

    But instead we have SHUuUUuUuUHiIIiIii ShuUuUuU
  29. Veritas Apprentice Engineer

    Everyone wants an Avenger on their ships. The drum is only as big as a VW bug :woot:
  30. russo_bolado Junior Engineer

    Yeah, it's low. "Fighter" ship, included in Keen-made scenarios, has ~22,000 Kg unloaded. 25,000+Kg fighter ships are IMHO more like dedicated fighters, usually outfitted with heavy armor plating, lots of cargo space, covered cockpits, redundant systems, and other specs suited for ships engaged in direct attrition.

    When I made the thread, I was aiming at cost-effective crafts, i.e. ships with reduced cost while keeping some modest effectiveness, which would be mostly useful at early game and retain their functionality in mid-to-late game. I was measuring (or at least trying to measure) people's skills to make the most out of limited resources, and still retain good looking ships. I came to the following conclusion (in a very crude chart):
    To reduce cost/weight, you'd choose 3 and sacrifice the other. Most players opted to sacrifice functionality (manual reloading/exposed gyros come to mind), while I opted to compromise durability (a single gyro) and speed (low acceleration, but Hydro Thrusters as nitro). Some players didn't even include Antenna/Beacon in their designs, in a straight-forward approach to cost-effectiveness.

    Maybe I wasn't clear on the thread's scope, or maybe my guidelines were too strict, I can't tell for sure. What do you guys think?
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