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Making History parts and engines

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Hi there,

I haven't bought the DLC yet, but I'm thinking about it.
I'm a career player, thus, the mission builder is not of intereset for me (at the moment).
I like the progression of career and that  you have to care about using a well-sized engine for your current task.
When using mods, I try to make things more complex or harder to stretch my fun ;-) (that's why I'm using KIS/KAS, USI-LS, USI colonization...)

I could not find a comprehensive list of the parts added in Making History.
The wiki (https://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/Category:Making_History_parts) seems incomplete.

But what I've read here there are some engines which are, lets say... overpowered?
I do not remember the name (maybe Wolfhound), which has high ISP and thrust and can be used for everything when higher than 8km on Kerbin.

I don't want to throw away my crafts because there are new shiny (and more powerful) engines.
Is there a good overview of the new parts?
What do you think about the new engines?

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Okay there are basically three engines worth mentioning in MH:

Wolfhound: A very OP vacuum engine, it is somewhere between a LV-N and a Skipper in its performance, almost as heavy as a LV-N (2.5t), but with much more thrust (375kN) and much less ISP (412), but still much more ISP than other vac engines, it is also extremely cheap (1680). It essentially make the Poodle totally redundant (good riddance I say) and the Skipper largely redundant as a second stage engine. Basically with the Wolfhound you wont use the Poodle anymore and you will use the Skipper less. You might also use it when once you would've used several LV-N's, but of course, an LV-N still gets much more deltaV out of a given amount of fuel so you could say it competes with the LV-N but doesn't replace it. The Wolfhound is fairly low powered for a 2.5m engine and is very fat, so if you don't like clipping it's hard to fit a bunch of them to an engine plate (i.e. it has a poor power to cross section ratio). It's super draggy but that only matters when it's not shrouded (i.e. if you use it as a Spaceplane engine, it'll produce a notable amount of drag, but it wont matter as a second stage in a serial staged rocket because it's shrouded).

Next up is the Skiff, which is basically a straight-up upgrade to the Reliant or Swivel (technically it's a 2.5m engine, but it's too weak for a 2.5m stack and the actual nozzle is quite narrow and it comes in a 1.25m variant, it's good for bundling on engine plates). It's lighter (1t), more powerful (300kN) has better ISP (330) and barely any more expensive (1500 funds). But it's a high tech engine, so you'll still use the Swivel or Reliant before you've unlocked the Skiff. I never used to use Reliant/Swivel anyway once I had higher tech so I don't mind the Skiff. It doesn't exactly replace any engines I would use: except maybe Aerospike or Vector, even then it has normal impact tolerance (6m/s) so doesn't directly compete in that regard with other small high tech engines.

Finally is the Cub, which is a Vernier engine which unlike every other radially mounted engine doesn't have a significant ISP penalty. It only produces 40kN of thrust, but with an ISP of 320 (270 ASL) - it weighs the same as two Puffs and produces the same thrust as two Puffs, but with +70 ISP. It is horribly expensive per unit of thrust (costing 1000 funds) so unlike the previous two engines it's not exactly a "better and cheaper" type deal but if you need a small-medium vernier engine you wont feel bad paying for it.

Then there are a bunch of engines which are either equivalent to or worse than vanilla engines in their performance but do tend to look more realistic. Naturally they are slightly different sizes and stuff (except the Kodiak which is exactly the same in every way to the Reliant, except it has very slightly worse ISP, is slightly draggier, has a worse alternator and is slightly more expensive - it's better than a Reliant in literally no ways though not so much worse you'd feel bad using it if you like the looks). The other engines at least have different thrust levels or sizes or something, like the Cheetah basically has the weight, power and performance of two Terriers while being a little more expensive than two Terriers and targetting the 1.8m stack size (though it has a variant allowing it to be used in a 1.25m stack). Notably there are NO good launch engines added (except some 1.8m options which on-par with vanilla engines and fit a 1.8m stack), the Twin-Boar remains the cost-champion, and the Mammth/Vector the power champions. The Skiff is usable as a launch engine but has fairly poor ASL ISP (265). The Mastodon is a 2.5m launch engine which is just embarrassingly bad in every way, its ISP is crap, power density is poor, it is as expensive per unit of thrust as a Vector (!!!!!!!!!!), there's just no reason you'd use it in career - I could go on about how bad it is, it costs more than fully fueled Twin-Boar, while having worse ISP (!!!!!) and much less thrust - okay it has a crappy alternator and more gimbal, but those are hardly reasons to use it when you can get much more power for much less funds with other engines.

Edited by blakemw

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On 4/9/2018 at 4:09 AM, blakemw said:

The Wolfhound is fairly low powered for a 2.5m engine and is very fat, so if you don't like clipping it's hard to fit a bunch of them to an engine plate (i.e. it has a poor power to cross section ratio).

Not really.  Remember, it has variants.  The "Bare" variant is only 1.875m, which is quite a bit of power for a 1.875m stack.  Or you can cluster several of them on a 5m stack, so handy for big rockets.

Two of them fit nicely side-by-side on a 3.75m stack, which works pretty well for an upper stage.

On 4/9/2018 at 4:09 AM, blakemw said:

Next up is the Skiff, which is basically a straight-up upgrade to the Reliant or Swivel (technically it's a 2.5m engine, but it's too weak for a 2.5m stack and the actual nozzle is quite narrow and it comes in a 1.25m variant, it's good for bundling on engine plates)

Not quite.  Its "bare" variant is 1.875m, not 1.25m.

It is kinda weak for a 2.5m stack... but it does have more thrust than a Poodle, and is a lot lighter.  So it actually isn't a bad upper-stage engine for 2.5m stacks, for small upper stages where the weight of the engine is a significant factor.  For a small enough craft, it's actually a better choice than the Wolfhound.  (Yes, the Wolfhound has that overpowered 412 Isp... but it's also a big heavy engine, and if the craft is fairly small, the 1.5 tons you save by using a Skiff instead can more than compensate for the reduced efficiency.)

On 4/9/2018 at 4:09 AM, blakemw said:

Mastodon is a 2.5m launch engine which is just embarrassingly bad in every way, its ISP is crap, power density is poor, it is as expensive per unit of thrust as a Vector (!!!!!!!!!!), there's just no reason you'd use it in career

Remember, it has variants.  The bare variant is only 1.875m.  Which means, unlike the Mainsail, it works well for clustering on bigger rockets.

Agreed, that's a somewhat minor advantage, compared with all the drawbacks you mention, and I find myself not using it often because usually the Mainsail works better for me.  But the clusterability does help in certain cases, and I do find myself using it from time to time.

On 4/9/2018 at 4:09 AM, blakemw said:

Finally is the Cub, which is a Vernier engine which unlike every other radially mounted engine doesn't have a significant ISP penalty. It only produces 40kN of thrust, but with an ISP of 320 (270 ASL) - it weighs the same as two Puffs and produces the same thrust as two Puffs, but with +70 ISP. It is horribly expensive per unit of thrust (costing 1000 funds) so unlike the previous two engines it's not exactly a "better and cheaper" type deal but if you need a small-medium vernier engine you wont feel bad paying for it.

It also has a nice amount of thrust while being compact.  It packs a lot more punch than a Twitch, without being as huge / bulky / heavy as a Thud (I find that I almost never use Thuds-- for cases where I need a radial engine, they're usually overkill.)

I find that the Cub is really handy as a lander engine; a pair of them has more thrust than a Terrier for less mass.

They also have a really huge gimbal range (albeit on just one axis), so they're even useful as actual vernier engines, i.e. as small stability-assist engines on big stacks.

I love the Cub, I think it fills an excellent niche and is a really handy engine to add to the lineup.

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On 4/9/2018 at 4:09 AM, blakemw said:

Notably there are NO good launch engines added (except some 1.8m options which on-par with vanilla engines and fit a 1.8m stack)

That "except some 1.8m options" is a significant caveat, though.  One of the things I really like about Making History is the fact that 1.875m stacks are now a thing-- I find that to be a convenient size, and works well both as a central stack and as a radial booster for a central 2.5m stack.  In particular, the conical Soyuz tanks, with their built-in sepratrons and wickedly good streamlining, I find to be a godsend; asparagus just got fun again.

So, in places where I used to use SRBs all the time, I now find that I often use a radial booster which is a Soyuz tank, sitting on top of a small-to-medium 1.875m tank to give it a bit more volume, sitting on top of a Bobcat (for folks who don't have MH, that's the main 1.875 lifter engine, 354 kN of ASL thrust with reasonable lifter Isp; think of it as a Skipper for a smaller stack).  That makes a great radial booster, and I use it all the time.

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Yeah I was mainly replying in the context of stock engines which are made completely redundant by MH engines, not so much whether the new engines are good or not.

Maybe the Rhino should be added to the redundant list, clusters of Wolfhounds badly outperform it for any payload where a Rhino would be justified, granted the Rhino has higher power-area density if you don't like clipping engine bells together, but vacuum stages can often get away with not being sleek.

 

4 hours ago, Snark said:
On 4/9/2018 at 2:09 PM, blakemw said:

Mastodon

Remember, it has variants.  The bare variant is only 1.875m.  Which means, unlike the Mainsail, it works well for clustering on bigger rockets.

 

Really? When I try to use it it'll only ever give a 2.5m shroud regardless of variant. It's true it's a bit smaller visually though.

With stack sizes there seem to be three different things:

1. The available shroud sizes, for example, Mastodon only has 2.5m, Skiff has 1.875 and 2.5m.

2. The available base sizes, for example, Skiff variants actually fit only the 2.5m and 1.25m parts: you need to use a 1.875 to 1.25m adapter piece to fit the Skiff smoothly to a 1.875m stack.

3. The visual size, how good it looks attached to a certain stack and how much it visually clips. Largely irrelevant to physics since the game doesn't mind a bit (or sometimes even a lot) of clipping. Like the Skiff will clip a little if you stuff it into a 1.25m tube, but it doesn't look disproportionate on a 1.25m rocket.

Edited by blakemw

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22 hours ago, blakemw said:

Really? When I try to use it it'll only ever give a 2.5m shroud regardless of variant. It's true it's a bit smaller visually though.

Whoops!  Yep, you're absolutely right, I was misremembering.

And of course, the reason whty I was misremembering is that I so rarely have a reason to use the Mastodon.  After all... if there's a 2.5m stack, there's basically no reason to ever use a Mastodon in any circumstance because the Mainsail is simply better, by a lot.  Which means that basically the sole use case for the Mastodon is when you're clustering multiple of them under a big 5m stack.  Which is not most launches.

So yah... I think the Mastodon needs some attention to make it more generally useful in some niche that's not currently well-served.

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On 9/4/2018 at 6:09 AM, blakemw said:

It's super draggy but that only matters when it's not shrouded (i.e. if you use it as a Spaceplane engine, it'll produce a notable amount of drag, but it wont matter as a second stage in a serial staged rocket because it's shrouded).

LPT: Put a nosecone under the engine, turn off the shroud if not desired, and use the offset tool to tuck the nosecone inside the engine body so it doesn't occlude the thrust. Boom-drag free engine!

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