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Pulse Engines


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It would appear I have a pirate on my borders who favors Fighters and Drones and  NOT diplomacy.  I have a lot of catchup to do to stiffen my defense.  My particular weakness is Pules Engines.


Can someone educate me on the problems I am going to face if my enemy has Mark XXV antimatter pulse engines and I only have nuclear pulse engines?   Draco rules confuse me on these issues and I never truly understood them in Andromeda.  Am I at a HUGE disadvantage and need a crash research program or is it a non-issue?

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Pulse engines make your fighters/drones/gunboats more difficult to destroy.  Your best pulse engine tech sets the base in that formula, to which is added a bonus based on all of the pulse engine technologies you have researched.

  • For example, suppose you research Mk I Nuclear Pulse Engine tech and no other pulse engine techs.

In this case the formula would see Mk I Nuclear Pulse Engine tech as the base, and then a bonus is added onto that based on only Mk I Nuclear Pulse Engine tech (because it's the only one you have).  That bonus would be much smaller than the base, but it still adds in.  It does take into account the best one, because it simply looks at every tech you have that adds any amount of pulse output, so it includes everything from the worst all the way up to and including the best one.  The bonus formula is not linear, so it adds a smaller amount than the best, but it's a nice way to make use of otherwise inferior Pulse Engine technologies because they still contribute even after being outdated by some superior version.

  • Now you research Mk II Nuclear Pulse Engine tech.

In this case the base would be set by the Mk II Nuclear Pulse Engine tech, and the bonus added to that would be calculated by tossing both of the Mk I and Mk II Nuclear Pulse Engine techs into the bonus grinder.  Again this will be smaller than the Mk II Nuclear Pulse Engine tech base value, but it all adds up.

  • Let's say you don't research any more technologies until you get to Mk I Antimatter Pulse Engines.

In this case, Mk I Antimatter Pulse Engine tech would set the base which would be much higher than the old Nuclear Pulse bases.  To that would be added a bonus based on Mk I Antimatter Pulse Engine, Mk I and Mk II Nuclear Pulse Engines.

As a result, the idea is to research the best Pulse Engine tech that you can, in order to set the highest possible base value.  After that you could research every other Pulse Engine tech that you have available (or none if you simply don't have the research slots available for such things), and all of them would help out even if they are quite inferior otherwise.  It would take a lot of effort, but if you wanted to really push it, you could research Mk III, Mk IV etc Nuclear Pulse Engine techs.  Fusion Pulse Engine techs would help as well.  Either way, the base would be set by Mk I Antimatter Pulse Engine tech, but every other Pulse Engine tech that you have, whatever they might be, would get chucked into the bonus formula and that would be tacked onto the base.  To repeat, that bonus is non-linear (some players have speculated that it is a square root type of thing, but I leave it up to them to make their own guesses on that score), but since it adds to the base, more is always better.

A true fanatic in terms of making his fighters/drones/gunboats more difficult to destroy would research every possible Pulse Engine tech at his disposal. There are also some fighters and drones that are more difficult to destroy than normal (and which try to soak incoming damage to the best of their ability, effectively "tanking" incoming damage), so he would build a good number of those.  Their raw "hit points" are very high for their tonnage, so they would act as solid screens for his other fighters/drones/gunboats, but they don't have much (or possibly any) offensive punch.

Finally, you could just ignore all of the above :) and simply build more of your own fighters/drones/gunboats and eat the enemy point defenses the hard way.  Alternatively, you could build extremely heavy point defenses of your own to eliminate enemy fighters/drones/gunboats (not to mention giving your ships solid defense ratings against incoming missile firepower which might comprise much of the enemy fighter/drone/gunboat firepower).  Such decisions depend entirely on the composition of the enemy force, naturally.

Uh, one more finally (somehow). Your enemy's superior Pulse Engine tech just makes his fighters/drones/gunboats more difficult to destroy.  Maybe that isn't an issue for you, or it's not the biggest issue you face.  It could be that you have bigger problems, like inferior ship armor <gulp> which can easily dominate success in space battles.  You could outfit your ships with superior point defenses which can not only dramatically reduce incoming missile firepower (which is what many fighters/drones/gunboats use) but would also destroy said enemy fighters/drones/gunboats out right.

There are probably more finally's ;) but I'll leave those up to you to puzzle out.

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2 hours ago, RTGPete said:

Pulse engines make your fighters/drones/gunboats more difficult to destroy


Good to know!

So my low pulse tech is not directly compared to my enemies?  This is somewhat helpful and makes researching pulse engines not immediately necessary.

Does ones pulse tech also make missiles and torpedos harder to kill more or more effective against a low tech enemy?   Seams like a high tech pulse engine on a missile would be far more effective against a low pulse engine on an enemy ship.

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Point defense systems act as any other defensive system, reducing incoming damage in this case against incoming missile firepower.  Pulse Engine technology on either side has no effect on this calculation.  Against any particular damage type (cold, coherent beam, gravitonic, missile and so forth), a ship suffers damage = incoming_damage / (1 + the_appropriate_defensive_modifier).  Without any defensive systems installed, the ship would therefore suffer full damage from that damage type (dividing by 1+0, or 1).  If it was, say, a 200,000 ton ship, and had 200,000 point defense strength (from however many point defense system of your tech level that might achieve that), then it would suffer half damage from incoming enemy missile damage.  When I say "missile" damage, that's a type of damage, so any weapon system that delivers "missile" damage would be affected.  That might be missile launchers, torpedoes, many fighters and drones and so on.  Point defense systems have no effect on incoming "cold' damage, for example.

Point defense systems are somewhat unusual for defensive systems because they provide defensive mitigation as described above, and they also destroy enemy fighters/drones/missiles every combat pulse (in addition to mitigating incoming enemy "missile" damage.


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Oh , and the drones and fighters are almost over the horizon attacks for those of us who remember the older versions of SuperNova from RTG . Make your fire control high , and the jump drives low on your carriers to save them from unnecessary damage . Do the jump drives or transwarp engines high for your screens to shield your carriers against damage . 

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