What makes UV lasers such good planet killers?

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Re: What makes UV lasers such good planet killers?

Post by Question » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:30 pm

How are you doing your calculations?

Mass drivers 0.05 infra damage per 80k pop killed. 8 mill pop killed per 5 infra, 160 pop killed per 100 infra.

True that particle beams will do less pop killed per infra, but large turrets are generally a luxury unless you are playing zuul (or using certain racial war sections). You can get a lot more UV lasers.

Ive easily rendered planets uninhabitable (1k+ climate) just from heavy drivers, so theres not much point unless i want to destroy a planet fast...when i can just bring in 5 laser CRs and take a near full intact planet.

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What makes UV lasers such good planet killers?

Post by DukeA42 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:30 pm

Eh I still think its not the weapons doing damage but the lack of home worlds and other fully developed planets able to resist any damage. I keep coming up with more ideas for this I'll have start a suggestion topic on.

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Re: What makes UV lasers such good planet killers?

Post by Unkn0wnx » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:32 pm

Blah. Last night I used what I called STD-Diarrhea combo (one AI researched hardened structure; so heavy assault shuttles does little damage). One DN CNC with eight mine layers and then switch to shielded Bio cruisers with assimilation plaque. I jump from colony to colony. Enemy colonies become my with almost full infra and zero CH ratings. Think about that. Even X ray laser is better than UV.

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Re: What makes UV lasers such good planet killers?

Post by ZedF » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:32 pm

Question wrote:How are you doing your calculations?

The math to show the ratio of laser to mass driver damage (population per second and infrastructure per population) is very simple.

If we use the numbers from the wiki rather than from the data files, mass drivers do 0.05 infra per 80k pop and UV lasers do 0.001 infra per 8k pop. Mass drivers without VRF have a 5 second recharge, UV lasers have a 3 second recharge, and can fit two per medium turret. Thus:

DPS (bombardment) ratio, mass driver : UV laser is
(80k/5s) : ((2*8k)/3s) = 16k : 16/3k = 3:1 -- mass drivers kill 3x as fast.
Collateral damage (infrastructure) ratio, mass driver : UV laser is
(80k/0.05i) : ((2*8k)/(2*0.0001i) = (80/5) : (8/0.1) = 80/5 : 80 = 1:5 -- UV lasers kill 5 times as many pop per infra damage.

The same principles apply to the other math I did previously, which should be provably sound.

Mass drivers 0.05 infra damage per 80k pop killed. 8 mill pop killed per 5 infra, 160 pop killed per 100 infra.

Not strictly true as there must be other factors. If that were absolutely true and there were no other factors involved, your laser fleets would do only a few million pop per minute and be unable to wipe any reasonable size planet in a round, as per your own calculations in the OP. Moreover I would almost always see planets lose all infrastructure when bombarded with ballistics, which is not the case.

The assumption is that whatever other factors are magnifying pop damage over time compared to what is listed in the .gob, they apply equally to all weapons (or at least most of them.) This seems to be a reasonable assumption.

To prove the point that there must be another factor involved:
I just took a random save game where I knew I had ballistics available for bombardment: in this case, a Zuul fleet attacking a Hiver planet, using almost exclusively mass drivers (not heavy mass drivers) and stormers (which do almost no population damage, but do an appreciable amount of infrastructure damage.) When I originally fought this battle I also had assault shuttles and slave disks available, but for this test I did not send them in and simply used the ship-to-ship weapons on my slave ships and combat cruisers to bombard the planet. In one combat round I was easily able to eliminate over 600M population (including civilians) even though I didn't use the shuttles and slave disks. During that time I destroyed only 17 points of infrastructure and did no damage to the climate hazard.

According to your 100 infra per 160M pop, I should have wiped out the planet's infrastructure 4 times over, but instead I did only a relatively small amount of damage to it.... more than I would have with lasers, granted, but not extremely more.

Reverse engineering from 17 infra, according to the wiki I should have landed about (17/0.05) hits and killed about (17/0.05)*80000 population (ignoring the stormer damage for simplicity as this is just a rough approximation.) That would be about 27.2 million population according to the wiki, when in fact I did more than 20 times that much population damage. So whatever this missing factor is, it's quite large.... which explains why comparing weapon performance to other weapons is much more useful than just doing some math using the figures in the data files or the wiki to get a damage estimate. Without context, the numbers just don't tell the whole story.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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Re: What makes UV lasers such good planet killers?

Post by BlueTemplar » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:35 pm

That's quite interesting, I wonder what the missing factor is... maybe just a flat x20-x25 multiplier?

(BTW, who is going to use Mass Drivers without VRF? Especially when assaulting planets when you'll probably have PD researched...)

That spread sheet seems to have less info than the wiki sadly.

Oh? What info is still missing? I thought I covered pretty much everything...

- It doesn't cover the problem of inaccurate weapons in a tactical battle (weapon spread, slow moving bullets, fixed mount weapons), so it overweights the dps done by mass driver line, railgun, fixed heavy beam weapons, even lasers and AM cannons, compared with the very accurate instantaneous weapons like turreted beam weapons, phasers and emitters. But that isn't an issue at all when you are looking at planetary damage or even Autoresolved battles.

Since this is something that is quite difficult to estimate, and will greatly vary depending on your ships and strategies, I preferred to leave it out entirely. You'll have to use your combat experience to figure out whether the higher DPS is worth the accuracy hit.

- It doesn't give you the population, infrastructure or CH damage per second for different weapons, only damage per shot, so you have to work out damage per second yourself

It does since versions 2.4 and 2.5 : D:Pop/sec, D:Infra/sec, D: Infra/Pop, D: Clim/Pop in addition to the basic info.

- For some of its effective damage per second calculations (Eff Dps 7, 8 and 9) it is using its own weird "turret coefficient" which I think is based on the number of turrets on a Human DN, or something, I never quite figured it out because it says it's a Human CR but it seems to have 18 railguns and 13.5 medium turrets ....

I got a bit carried away there...
I did this because I realized that while having the DPS for each weapon was nice, in a real fleet the turret density plays an important role too. For instance, you can only have up to 5 Large Turrets on a CR (for instance a Morrigi Battle Bridge / War / Antimatter), but you can fit 8 Heavy beams on a Morrigi Assault / Blazer!
So, some weighting is needed to account for that discrepancy, taking into account that besides the Large Turrets / Heavy Beams, those ships carry other weapons too...

Here's my reasoning for the coefficients actually used, if you want to know :
I tried to estimate the density of firepower on a typical human CR.
A human Hammerhead/Armor/Fusion has:
0+5+0=5 small turrets, 3+4+2=9 medium turrets, 0+1+0=1 large turret. Assuming a small turret = 1/2 medium and large = 2 medium, we get 5/2+9+1*2=13.5 medium turrets.
Now, a human Impactor section carries 6 small, 2 medium, 1 large turrets, and 2 Railguns. Leaving aside the Railguns, that's the equivalent of 6/2+2+1*2= 7 medium turrets on the Mission section, while an Armor mission section has the equivalent of 5/2+4+1*2=8.5 medium turrets.
So an Impactor is actually "worth" (8.5-7)/2=0.75 medium turrets! (Yeah, I know, that's stretching the logic a bit thin...) And a Hammerhead/Armor/Fusion is "worth" 13.5/0.75=18 Railguns!

I'm not really sure if that feature can find any use with the coefficients actually used (since having a Railgun worth less than a medium turret is kind of counterintuitive), but feel free to input your own coefficients in the blue fields on sheet 2, and maybe you'll be able to get better estimates...

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