Box of Stardust

Air Superiority Competition Unlimited Re-Continued - Now in KSP 1.4 and BDA 1.2!

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The bdac emp missiles have a max blast radius of 100m, which in other words mean that if you get too close, you blow up yourself too.

And 1 single emp can knock out planes that are too close.

@Box of Stardust yeah, you guys decide.

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8 minutes ago, Xd the great said:

The bdac emp missiles have a max blast radius of 100m, which in other words mean that if you get too close, you blow up yourself too.

And 1 single emp can knock out planes that are too close.

@Box of Stardust yeah, you guys decide.

100m is not a very big blast radius in air combat. The firing plane will 99% of the time be out of that zone.

But since we love finding out what new parts do and how they exactly work and what unwritten quirks they have, we'll test it when it happens.

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Just now, Box of Stardust said:

100m is not a very big blast radius in air combat. The firing plane will 99% of the time be out of that zone.

But since we love finding out what new parts do and how they exactly work and what unwritten quirks they have, we'll test it when it happens.

They are just a usual missile, radar guided, but instead of blowing up enemy planes they disable the AI.

And every battery/RTG/Solar panels.

Wait, who uses solar panel on planes?

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1 minute ago, Xd the great said:

They are just a usual missile, radar guided, but instead of blowing up enemy planes they disable the AI.

And every battery/RTG/Solar panels.

Wait, who uses solar panel on planes?

Right, that's all the written stuff. But there's a decent chance there's intended/unintended side effects in actual usage due to interactions of different programming quirks. 

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8 minutes ago, Box of Stardust said:

Right, that's all the written stuff. But there's a decent chance there's intended/unintended side effects in actual usage due to interactions of different programming quirks. 

Like lower manouverability?

AI behaves strangely?

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Just now, Xd the great said:

Like lower manouverability?

AI behaves strangely?

We don't know. That's the fun of it. Lots of different things could happen. We have to learn it and experience it to really know what's what about it, and mess around with it to know what's really possible with it and what isn't. What kind of weird things we could do with it, and so on.

It's about both the function of the item, and potentially how we use the item. So, for another example, the routing devices we use here.

 

I'm telling you all this by the way so you can get an idea of what, I think, makes ASC so special compared to the other BDA competitions out there. It's not just about the battles, but doing really weird things with BDA and finding out all the little things it can and can't do, and how to do those things or how to cause those things. And all without the restrictions of special construction rules like 'must have a cockpit and radome and weapon type limits, etc...'.

 

So some more fun reading if you want; the idea for the multiple missile launcher (which you may have seen on a few planes here) starts around here:

 

We had a problem in the last major BDA patch with the AI generally being pretty dumb and doing jousting stuff. There was only one person that really realized this at the time, and that was the guy that built this thing: https://kerbalx.com/juzeris/Cookie

That didn't have much of a run in the series though; only one or two battles, so no one else picked up on that quirk until a few more battles with @dundun92's Du-3, and then I guess I picked up on it?

At that point in time, I'd noticed that the BD AI pilot had a quirk where it would light the afterburners above 300m/s regardless of the craft's actual thrust capability. Now this was a weird random thing in BDA's AI pilot programming that most people wouldn't have noticed as a problem at all, but I happened to by chance because I set my max speed to exactly 300m/s... for no other reason than it seemed like a good number at the time. It was at this time that I reported the weird AI programming to the BDA devs, and they fixed it up in the next major patch. So that's one great thing for us. But another thing I discovered during this time was how exactly heat worked with BDA, with the help of the debug labels setting.

Afterburners, naturally, are hot. But you wouldn't really think that if all you're doing is speeding around and stuff. But I was testing my craft against another very similar plane, but that one had a max speed of 325m/s. So its afterburners were on, but its throttle was all the way down at like, 20% or something because it didn't need all that thrust. But it was still 'running hot'. So I was always getting my Sidewinders off first at a fairly significant distance.

Not just this, but I was also setting my guns closer so my missiles could do more work before the AI switched to guns, whereas everyone was just leaving their guns at 2500m, since a hit with guns in BDA 1.0 pretty much caused instant aircraft explosion.

This lead to the whole consideration of 'thermal stealth' and trying to get missile locks first to break up the enemy formation instead of doing a jousting match. But that darn Du-3 was still really good!

Well, it turns out, even if Panthers are pretty hot engines, if they're not on afterburners, they're still kind of 'cold'. By the time Sidewinders could fire, both teams would enter the 2500m default gun zone and the Du-3s would start firing before they reacted to any missiles shot at them. And the AI was pretty dumb (still kinda is with weapons) and the delayed switch time between trying to lock+fire missiles and switching to guns meant potentially losing a plane or two to the Du-3s. So, the dilemma was: how do you keep your missiles to deal with the rest of the leaderboard, while surviving the Du-3 which didn't have weapon switch times and was really deadly because of it and was not guaranteed to be missile-locked in time to split up the formation?

Then I realized that a really good solution might just be the Du-3 method- but run even colder. Tiger engines, which we've already been using, run really cold. Heat lock distance under 2.8km or something and another few seconds for the AI to confirm and fire missiles meant ensured gun range firing. So I came up with Gunbrick: https://kerbalx.com/Box_of_Stardust/Gunbrick

It's a dumb idea that boils down to this: small frontal profile to help avoid damage, symmetrical design in case of damage, and 10 guns to throw a wall of 20mm at the other team.

And the worst part is: it worked. Jousting matches apparently do happen if you don't bother with missiles or can avoid having missiles being fired.

Here's another hilarious example of my other gun-jousting craft in action, from PFC, another BDA dogfighting competition, which had construction rules, so I couldn't spam guns, but the idea is still there:

 

So yeah. That's partially the BD AI being really dumb, and the damage model from BDA 1.0 causing planes to have zero durability. But... it's still kind of a problem that we had to get rid of. Planes flying at each other with some random deaths in between... is pretty unfair and un-fun. We want actual dogfights, not cheesing with some overpowered thing that kills things before a dogfight develops.

So someone else came up with that funky Modular Missile Manager device that just drops missiles and just fires them. The missiles aren't aimed or locked; they're just unguided rockets basically. But the AI reacts to that, meaning jousting was no longer fully a thing.

And that's the fun story behind the things that happen in ASC and how we discover the weird ins-and-outs of BD Armory.

 

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16 minutes ago, dundun93 said:

Yeah. Also @Box of Stardust when will the next dogfight be? (Can't wait to see the HSC in ACTION!)

I'm actually just working on trimming down some of the recorded battles and then going to do the reports on those.

There's going to be a few more tonight, but the videos won't be posted until later. Any results, however, will naturally be on the leaderboard.

Next match will be interesting. Du-4A vs Mini Shark III (which none of you have seen footage for yet). Stats are up for the MS3 though, so place your bets.

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Okay, we have battles:

 

Spoiler

@ZLM-Master's Support Light Guard continues its series, now against @53miner53's Fighter 3 Mk4:

 

 

 

 

After Action Report:

Spoiler

Battle Report:

9W5flWR.png

Analysis:

This match was really annoying because the SLG was prone to damaging itself with its pre-routing device. And the entire F3-4 team offed itself once trying to launch the RBS. Also, the SLG would not turn in to fight. Maybe that's the F3-4's problem though, causing weird AI quirks. Don't know how though.

Other than those mishaps, once an actual match got going, the biggest flaw was in the F3-4's handling. It would stall out and spin in the air, making itself an easy target even for the slow SLG. And that's pretty much it.

The Support Light Guard finally takes a spot on the Tier 2 Leaderboard.

 

Next battle:

Spoiler

@ZLM-Master's Mini Shark III starts its run against the Tier 1 board, first up against the Lure Target:

 

 

 

After Action Report:

Spoiler

Battle Report:

jMTLRxT.png

Analysis:

So finally the Lure Target encounters another target it can't keep up with.

The Mini Shark III isn't the most maneuverable, but it does have thrust to spare. And as we've learned from the SLG, depending on the situation, having more thrust is all that's needed.

Having plenty of Sidewinders gives the MS3 good staying power throughout a match, and its guns easily tag the large Lure Target.

The MS3's speed gives it control of the match, and the Lure Targets are largely on the defensive.

The Mini Shark III will advance on the Tier 1 Leaderboard. The Lure Target, I will bring down into Tier 2 since it kind of only got its Tier 1 spot due to being one of the first crafts to enter the BDA 1.2 series. But it's still a really tough plane to beat...

 

Next battle:

Spoiler

@MDZhB's Lumia Doll is the first to go up against the Tier 2 Lure Target of @ZLM-Master...

 

 

 

 

After Action Report:

Spoiler

Battle Report:

2mZM81e.png

Analysis:

The Lumia Doll is the first victim of Tier 2 Lure Target. It has decent armament, but the Lure Target has a routing device and two more Sidewinders over it, with the Lumia Doll's only advantage being one more Vulcan.

In terms of the airframe, neither of these aircraft take hits particularly well. The LD has the advantage in thrust and a little smaller airframe size, but the LT has the advantage in maneuverability and flight control.

This battle mostly came down to who was taking hits though, and the Lumia Doll lost out. When damaged, it would fly away uselessly. If a Lure Target was damaged, it would usually spin out where it was flying, maybe spin to a death down to the water, and fire off remaining Sidewinders.

When faced against the offensive capacity of the Lure Target, the Lumia Doll didn't have enough strengths to match up. It had to fire off a Sidewinder in the initial merge, while the Lure Target had a dedicated routing device, which left it more missiles in reserve. And friendly fires didn't help either.

The Lure Target stubbornly holds onto its spot and the Lumia Doll continues downwards.

 

Next battle:

Spoiler

@ZLM-Master's Mini Shark III continues up the Tier 1 board against @53miner53's P-5a Flash:

 

 

 

After Action Report:

Spoiler

Battle Report:

OYLJIlz.png

Analysis:

The Mini Shark III dominated this match.

The P-5a did not have the same kind of offensive potential as the MS3s, and could not take control of the battle. The MS3s were also faster.

It's really kind of down to that. Mini Shark III continues upwards.

 

Next battle:

Spoiler

@ZLM-Master's Mini Shark III meets the first 'true' Tier 1 aircraft, in my opinion, @dundun92's Du-4A:

 

 

 

After Action Report:

Spoiler

Battle Report:

4AuGgO5.png

Analysis:

Analysis:

I actually ran more matches than shown here. Judge's decision; it was so close, I had disregarded two matches that went more definitively to one team's favor. However, after watching all of these matches, I agree with the outcome.

The MS3 has the edge in the battle.

Slight caveats though. A lot of it depended on whether or not the Du-4As could fire off a missile in the merge or not. If the Du-4As could, they could halt the attack of the MS3s and regroup, instead of being assaulted by the fast, heavily armed drones. If they couldn't, the MS3s would throw the Du-4As into disarray with a quick assault.

Once the dogfights developed, the two aircraft were on par with each other. The Du-4A has the clear edge in maneuverability and flight control, while the MS3 has thrust on its side, as well as a minor size advantage and durability. The Du-4A has less armament, but does use it very efficiently, even with only four Sidewinders. Still, the MS3 has the quantifiable weaponry advantage, and is able to maintain missile capabilities late into a match.

The Du-4A performed better in 1v1 situations, but lost out when another MS3 would come in with a missile assist or forcing a chasing Du-4a on the defensive. And unfortunately for the Du-4A, it just ran out of fuel a little too early, with the MS3 in the third match able to grab a crucial second kill to lower the odds into a 2v3 in the final match.

The Du-4A loses its #3 spot to the Mini Shark III. The MS3 will continue against the X-Fighter Hunter... but I think the stats sheet has already predicted the next one.

 

And that's that for now. Two series are to be continued, which will be recorded later.

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@ZLM-Master's Mini Shark III continues upwards, now against the X-Fighter Hunter.

Spoiler

 

After Action Report:

Spoiler

Battle Report:

5SFapBH.png

Analysis:

This was a bit of an interesting one.

There were still friendly fires, annoyingly, but I think that's mostly the X-Fighters. Also they tended to damage themselves trying to launch missiles.

The MS3s were more prone to taking critical damage. But I'm not really sure what this match came down to. Maybe just who got luckier with missiles, missile hits, and not damaging themselves.

In a dogfight though, the MS3s could actually keep up with the X-Fighters most of the time. The stats sheet has been adjusted to reflect this change. And in general, you'll see that the MS3 and X-Fighter are close in performance in almost all aspects.

But in the end, it seems like the final count goes to the X-Fighter. The Mini Shark III will sit at a solid #3 on the Tier 1 board.

 

On that note, I'd like everyone to watch this helpful video by JollyRogerAerospace concerning missiles and how to make sure BDA doesn't cause your plane to kill itself:

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by Box of Stardust

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Okay, so more battles have happened. Leaderboard updated.

The HSC has started its run, and I can say that it now has THE BEST moment in ASC ever. Moreso than the Lancer vs P-5a.

Funny enough, the P-5a stars in the new best moment too. But the poor P-5a is again, the victim in this event.

Be excited for the footage. It's hilarious.

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2 hours ago, Box of Stardust said:

Okay, so more battles have happened. Leaderboard updated.

The HSC has started its run, and I can say that it now has THE BEST moment in ASC ever. Moreso than the Lancer vs P-5a.

Funny enough, the P-5a stars in the new best moment too. But the poor P-5a is again, the victim in this event.

Be excited for the footage. It's hilarious.

Ooooh! Can't wait!...

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@Box of Stardust  have you downloaded the updated version yet? I only see one download.... did you re-download it?

Look what it says...

HSC
by dundun93
Follow
 
uploaded 2018-07-27
 
1 downloads / 
1
 
points

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7 hours ago, Box of Stardust said:

Okay, so more battles have happened. Leaderboard updated.

The HSC has started its run, and I can say that it now has THE BEST moment in ASC ever. Moreso than the Lancer vs P-5a.

Funny enough, the P-5a stars in the new best moment too. But the poor P-5a is again, the victim in this event.

Be excited for the footage. It's hilarious.

Looks like I need to add a battering ram!

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Battles have happened.

 

Spoiler

@ZLM-Master's manned ZPF is up against @53miner53's diminutive P-5a:

 

 

After Action Report:

Spoiler

Battle Report:

rmPAh51.png

Analysis:

Well, the ZPF is... an interesting manned fighter. It's not optimal at all, and it's a bunch of random weapons with weird ranges. Especially the .50 cals.

It's pretty comical though- the one kill the ZPF got in this battle was with the M2s.

Because of weird ranges and not really competitive weaponry, it couldn't take down the P-5a's. Too small to hit with the Vulcans. The ZPFs were adequately maneuverable though. The tendency to dogfight though meant not much running away with the superior thrust.

Due to Veteran restrictions, the ZPF can't be tested against the Tier 2 board.

 

Up next:

(You will want to watch the first one.)

Spoiler

@dundun93's HSC, a violent block of weapons, vs @53miner53's P-5a Flash:

 

 

After Action Report:

Spoiler

Battle Report:

Pf0g1i1.png

Analysis:

The HSC enters its run swinging, with a hefy gun armament and good missile armament to complement it. It is still clearly a gun-focused dogfighter though.

The HSC has some difficulties hitting the small P-5a, a difficulty most planes have trying to gun it down. However, the 8 guns definitely help it shred the P-5a in the millisecond moments given to it.

What appears to be the HSC's primary weakness shows itself already: the AI tuning on it seems a bit... 'loose'. It's a very maneuverable craft, and the AI lets it be maneuverable, but gives it a tendency to spin out. We'll see if this affects it any in the battles to come.

The HSC is also pretty tanky against gunfire apparently. The single Vulcan on the P-5a can't output enough damage to down the HSC. Overall damage mitigation though? Hm... to be determined. But if it's hit right and symmetrically, as long as it sheds the layers equally, it can take hits apparently.

Also, that collision. Like... what?! ADVANCED DOGFIGHTING TACTICS. CAN'T BE ATTACKED BY THE ENEMY IF YOU'RE IN THE ENEMY. But yeah, the HSC (and P-5a) survive getting phased through one another, so... that happened.

P-5a loses its #5 spot and drops to the Tier 2 board, and the HSC continues on.

 

Next battle:

Spoiler

@dundun93's HSC continues its run against @dundun92's Du-4A:

 

 

After Action Report:

Spoiler

Battle Report:

h8qGvQO.png

Analysis:

Well, the HSC again hits the enemy hard.

The Du-4A hardly put up a fight. Its biggest weakness, low thrust, meant it couldn't escape the HSC easily. It also had few missiles to put the hurt on the HSC, or at least cause routing.

The maneuverability of the Du-4A couldn't be exploited, as the HSC seemed to always be in the chase position.

The Du-4A is also a fairly large target, lots of surface area to get hit by the heavy weight of fire from the HSC.

The HSC continues upwards.

 

Next battle:

Spoiler

@dundun93's HSC is up against @ZLM-Master's Mini Shark III, another small drone, but with firepower

 

 

After Action Report:

Spoiler

Battle Report:

NMvhx9e.png

Analysis:

The HSC seems unstoppable.

The Mini Shark III seems a little hindered by not being able to use its missiles correctly; some of the missiles always seem to launch wrong and destroy the adjacent missiles.

If it's out of missiles, it can't fight the HSC effecitvely. In a gunfight, the MS3 does okay, but the HSC is a little too maneuverable for it.

Meanwhile, the HSC also deals with the fairly small MS3 well enough with its 8 Vulcans and 6 Sidewinders.

 

Next battle:

Spoiler

Now in the top 3, @dundun93's seemingly unstoppable HSC faces what might really be its first tough threat, @ZLM-Master's X-Fighter Hunter:

 

 

After Action Report:

Spoiler

Battle Report:

bUdYBVH.png

Analysis:

And like a switch, the tables turn on the HSC hard. The X-Fighter stood its ground very firmly. Honestly, even I didn't expect the X-Fighter to perform this well against the HSC.

I think what made this match was the X-Fighter's reliable missile spam. The HSC is still more gun-oriented. It had the new standard six Sidewinders, but that's it. The X-Fighter is heavily-armed in terms of missiles: it has its Alpha Prime routing device, and eight Sidewinders on top of that.

The X-Fighter used its missiles a lot better than the Mini Shark III; less self-detonations. That played a huge role. The missile hits really messed up the guts of the HSC if they hit right. A few kills were actually 'core' kills; killing the weapon manager or causing the AI pilot to shut off (not sure what causes this exactly).

Alongside the X-Fighter's good missile capability was good maneuverability, unlike the MS3. It could actually dogfight the HSC well. Its small size helped it avoid damage as well.

The HSC's big weakness of spinning out was also caused by having a maneuverable opponent, causing it to steer hard a lot, and then causing it to stall. This weakness was then exploited by the quick X-Fighter, getting a few hits in while the HSC was recovering from the stall.

The HSC's heavy weight of fire did help it down the durable X-Fighter once or twice. But missiles are what's really needed to reliably damage the X-Fighter; the X-Fighter, like the HSC, is durable, but can be damaged to the point of being disabled.

The HSC actually has much better damage mitigation than the X-Fighter, but does still seem to be able to be damaged into a disabled state with relative ease. It's just one step behind the PEGASys in terms of damage mitigation.

Still, the X-Fighter Hunter is proving to be the new Squirrel of BDA 1.2, posing a hard barrier to the top spot. Don't forget to test your planes against all opponents, people!

The HSC sits at a solid #3 on the leaderboard, and will definitely be a decent barrier to entry to the top 3 spots.

 

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Yep ;) 

Hard to comment all i've seen today , well ! Good surprising crafts especially the HSC now in 3rd Spot . As a sentinelle , it will be hard to pass through ^^

Lure Target still make me laugh ;) the flying fish ;)

MSIII & SLG lake of fine tunning , well that's the game !

I've make some test against the DU-11 and it should clim up in the top tier fast soon ;) ( Yes Sir )

I need to tune more my next craft , there's no longer place for hazardous crafts in the Top board , MMmmm ;)

Thx for all these Uploads !

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4 hours ago, Box of Stardust said:

The HSC sits at a solid #3 on the leaderboard, and will definitely be a decent barrier to entry to the top 3 spots

I'm not surprised. I actually expected it to march straight up to first place like the TFD. But the X fighter was the one plane that I never tested mine against. Mine even beat the PEGAys. But I didn't realize how good @ZLM-Master was... Just need to defend 3 more aircraft and try again.

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@Box of Stardust, if you havent recorded any du-11 fights, could you wait until I update it in an hour or two? I found some design issues, and AI tweaks are needed.

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25 minutes ago, dundun93 said:

I'm not surprised. I actually expected it to march straight up to first place like the TFD. But the X fighter was the one plane that I never tested mine against. Mine even beat the PEGAys. But I didn't realize how good @ZLM-Master was... Just need to defend 3 more aircraft and try again.

We're in a weird spot like in ASC-BDA 1.0. The TFD wasn't really a particularly hard plane to beat if you built against it... but your plane also had to get past the Squirrel.

The HSC might be able to beat the PEGASys, but the X-Fighter couldn't- twice, and even in a 5v5... but the HSC can't get past the X-Fighter.

28 minutes ago, dundun92 said:

@Box of Stardust, if you havent recorded any du-11 fights, could you wait until I update it in an hour or two? I found some design issues, and AI tweaks are needed.

I mean, you guys could just check the queue if you want to know if things have happened. 

But no, Du-11 is a little bit more down in the queue, plus I gotta do some Tier 2 matches.

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1 hour ago, Box of Stardust said:

We're in a weird spot like in ASC-BDA 1.0. The TFD wasn't really a particularly hard plane to beat if you built against it... but your plane also had to get past the Squirrel.

The HSC might be able to beat the PEGASys, but the X-Fighter couldn't- twice, and even in a 5v5... but the HSC can't get past the X-Fighter.

The only way to find out... GET @ZLM-MasterS X-FIGHTER!!!!

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