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The KSP Caveman Challenge 1.11.x - 1.12.x


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After some playing around, and JAFO confirming that launch window calculators are OK, I decided to go ahead with a quick excursion to Duna for the last 19 science that I need. Sure, Duna is going to be a little over-kill, but it's in keeping with my efforts to keep doing something new, rather than grinding science out of the same celestial body. Apologies to those who want pretty pictures of rockets - nearly all the screenshots are from the navigation screen, as it is there that the real work happens.

 

Flight #20 - Duna Flyby

This is the same variant of the launch vessel that I used for the Kerbol orbit. I'm getting a little better at flying it and after reaching LKO I had 2,195 m/s in the tank; I've done slightly better in some practice runs, but that's not bad, and far more than I need for the flyby. The launch window planner suggested year 1 day 229 for minimal propellant usage, so I left Jeb in orbit nomming some snacks while I timewarped. Despite notes to "be careful and take it easy" I nearly overshot the launch window, coming out of timewarp only 5 hours before burn time. After a few orbits I used the sundial to burn "about" 155 degrees from Kerbin's prograde direction. The first thing I do after the transfer burn  is check how the exit looks compared to prograde, and burn radial in or out to visually make the exit parallel. In this case it was a bit of radial out. After that I adjusted apoapsis to 19.8 Gm which I've found reliable for a Duna encounter.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NprDg2Errf6KYj6W1v72U_IJ0S-CkDK0/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1T9vtcXVMbrYQZbM2w67oPJozctnxJFT0/view?usp=sharing

 

The actual Duna encounter was about the same as practice flights. The 12.81 Mm periapsis relative to Duna was well inside the sphere of influence, but not close enough to significantly affect my overall orbit around Kerbol.  I switched to the ship screen and did all the science experiments, then let Jeb coast out of the Duna SoI and back to Kerbol orbit.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Nd1nZQ70lYH7rHpM_xUKdY7t1B_XWPUt/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VWTB-jWfulMqLolYP8BzveTUwIg2SVoX/view?usp=sharing

 

After a lot of playing on low delta-v ways to get Jeb back to Kerbin, I settled on a method that works for me. I adjust periapsis to match Kerbin's orbit, then grab some numbers to do a calculation with. I note the time when Kerbin passes the ship's periapsis, and the time when the ship reaches it's periapsis. The difference tells me how far around its orbital path Kerbin is, so given Kerbin's orbital period, I know the duration I need to make the ship's orbit so that the ship and Kerbin both arrive at the ship's periapsis at the same time. A quick calculation and I burned to set my apoapsis to the calculated value of 18.7146 Gm to get the desired orbital period. I actually messed up this time, made an error, and used about twice as much propellant as needed; in practice runs this normally takes under 120 m/s delta-v whereas I used 217 m/s this flight.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BtTb1OkFx2fWjuwMvZyZXAmt8faVKU2X/view?usp=sharing

 

After that Jeb got to eat some more snacks while we waited for Kerbin to catch up. The encounter looked about what I've typically seen, and had a 12.4 Mm periapsis over Kerbin. Some radial-in at the edge of the SoI dropped that to 40km for re-entry. Surface speed is a little scary when you arrive at Kerbin's atmosphere, but the revised rocket keeps the Service Bay which does a great job of acting as a heat shield. Despite my error there was still 681 m/s worth of propellant in the tanks when I staged them away.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SSWEe0kPWzY-1bEfnYp3woI-V4P0yg7l/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16Yrka6vChwDH3cW6knBMgVenJbWPbLhF/view?usp=sharing

 

So that was that, Jeb home safe and sound with an experiment lunchbox full of Duna science. The flight got 180 science from experiments, 3.2 science for "Recovery of a vessel returned from orbit around The Sun" and 4 science from the WKRS, giving a total haul of 187 science. I don't understand why I was credited with recovery (second time) from around the Sun rather than the more valuable Duna flyby, but given that I only needed 19 science, the overall total was far in excess of requirements, so that's fairly immaterial.

My next post will just be the pictures of Research and Development, Archives etc.

 

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Here's the summary of my flights for the challenge - I find this gives an easy view of where science came from :

# Area Experiment Recovery WKRS Total
1 Launch first vessel 5.4 3.0 2 10.4
2 Science flying high 14.0 0.5 1 15.5
3 Pressure scan flying low 5.0 0.1 0 5.1
4 Pressure scan flying high 6.5 0.0 0 6.5
5 Science in space low 22.8 4.8 3 30.6
6 Science in space high 34.2 0.8 1 36.0
7 Materials flying low 13.4 0.0 0 13.4
8 Materials flying high 17.2 0.0 0 17,2
9 Materials space low 19.2 0.1 0 19.3
10 Materials space high 28.7 0.0 1 29.7
11 Kerbin orbit 0 6.0 3 9.0
12 Minmus flyby 90.0 9.0 7 106.0
13 Minmus orbit 144.0 15.0 3 162.0
14 Minmus landing 180.0 22.5 2 204.5
15 Mun flyby 72.0 7.2 4 83.2
16 Mun orbit 108.0 9.6 2 119.6
17 Mun landing 48.0 18.0 3 69.0
18 Mun landing and science 132.0 3.0 0 135.0
19 Kerbol orbit 72.0 19.2 6 97.2
20 Duna flyby 180.0 3.2 4 187.2
  Totals 1,192.4 122.0 42 1,356.4


 

Here's the screenshots of my science archives :

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15Q-HFP4leApU32dZhKDQlnuw0H4tUoh5/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BL-MaaPCg4RPS7xY0eQy7h7DBSCu04Ea/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14r85K7Unz7PPpCVywg9g6XkeuHyDgpSE/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/11hlpsVL9qZAYsK_SWw-1AbkGQ3R-O50Z/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zft02EJrPeR_IEBcUD2Eytb0tzP2GR2S/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ytlK7oceZCsIentmPNaSxb5UEOMgdysj/view?usp=sharing

 

Here's the screenshot of the pristine (primitive) KSC :

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yr4pogR7jA-JFgi6Vsy0C69loU_WsNMG/view?usp=sharing

 

Here's the screenshot of the tech tree completed to level 5 :

https://drive.google.com/file/d/11LYGBL8Gngq7OAI9G9MQbgc5pneGxXe_/view?usp=sharing

 

That's the challenge complete with my three aspirational goals intact  and achieved :

No science at all from the KSC (area biomes or structure biomes).

No science at all from Kerbin biomes, not even an accidental temperature scan flying low (which is biome specific).

No contracts taken at all, so no science from contracts.

Further, I never set foot in Mission Control (contracts) or Administration (strategies) and I mostly managed to stick with my thoughts on "visit new places, don't farm places you've already been". I did do two Mun landings (different probe designs) but I'm happy to think the surplus science from Duna makes up for that.

 

I'd like to add that this has been great fun. Designing these "primitive" ships has been remarkably advanced to get the required performance, and flying them with limited propellant budgets has taught me more than I knew about orbital mechanics. Loads more still to learn though!

A big thanks to Mr Peabody for his original work on the challenge and paul_c for his helpful feedback. Most of all, a big thankyou to JAFO for taking over the challenge administration, and for his encouragement to keep going. Cheers guys!

 

Edited by WarSprite
Typos.
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Thanks Minimal :)

I need to wait for confirmation from JAFO for my Caveman badge, but can't see a reason for a problem.

Regarding NCD, you're a braver man than me. I may be wrong, as I've not even made an attempt, but NCD *looks* to be more about the grind, and less about individual rocket designs. There's always a couple of MMOs I can go back to if I want more "grind" :rolleyes:

I'm actually kind of disappointed that my run is over. I was loving the challenge of stretching those 18 tons as far as I could. It kind of makes a mockery out of my 150 ton first Mun lander in the regular game ;)

If anyone has thoughts on some of the other "Heritage Challenges" that keep you really focussed on craft design, I'd love some input folks!

 

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, WarSprite said:

That's the challenge complete with my three aspirational goals intact  and achieved :

No science at all from the KSC (area biomes or structure biomes).

No science at all from Kerbin biomes, not even an accidental temperature scan flying low (which is biome specific).

No contracts taken at all, so no science from contracts.

Further, I never set foot in Mission Control (contracts) or Administration (strategies) and I mostly managed to stick with my thoughts on "visit new places, don't farm places you've already been". I did do two Mun landings (different probe designs) but I'm happy to think the surplus science from Duna makes up for that.

Congratulations, @WarSprite!

Not only have you completed the challenge at Topaz level, and qualified for an Order of the Trilobite award, you've also pushed the knowledge boundaries of what Cavemen can achieve, by proving that even on Hard setting, it's possible to complete the challenge without any KSC science, without any Kerbin biome science, and without taking any contracts! Several of us, myself included, didn't think it could be done, and you've proven us wrong in spectacular fashion.

It is now my great honour to present you with the Topaz Badge for completing the challenge on Hard difficulty setting, and with the Order of the Trilobite for reaching Duna!

Your name has been carved on the cave wall and added to the List of Trilobite Awardees, and your badges will be in your inbox shortly.

Ooga-booga!

Edited by JAFO
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In case you're morbidly curious, NCD is a lot of things at once. The pressure on science is so high that even getting every single kerbin+mun+minmus points of science isn't enough, you HAVE to go interplanetary, maybe even twice. Getting all the biomes in the KSC, as well as doing everything to the max is all but vital, and while it is possible, it is an absolutely grueling task. If you want a more reasonable, yet bigger than what you've done challenge, try Corundum. And yes, it means starting with zero fund, so be careful with which contract you take or you WILL get softlocked in just a few moves.

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Catching up on this thread after a break from KSP...

Has anyone found a really compelling way to use kerbal konstruction for Caveman?  There was a pretty quiet update that lets kerbals add their strength together to lift heavier parts on Kerbin, which should help.  When I left my quasi-NCD run, Bill was floating in polar orbit of Minmus awaiting a EVA propellant re-supply.  Infinite EVA prop is now easy by store/recover jetpack from nearby craft.  The extended EVA prop tank comes too late (Adv Exploration, 160 Science) to be used though

Upcoming changes in 1.12: built-in transfer window planner, was always allowed as an external tool (?) but not an in-game mod.  Will need a slight adjustment of the rules...

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3 hours ago, fourfa said:

Upcoming changes in 1.12: built-in transfer window planner, was always allowed as an external tool (?) but not an in-game mod.  Will need a slight adjustment of the rules...

I'm not sure it will. After all, no rule change was needed when dV info was suddenly built into stock. Basically, the rules have always been, "you may use any tools supplied by stock."

Or are you suggesting that after 1.12, we ban the use of external transfer planners?

3 hours ago, fourfa said:

Has anyone found a really compelling way to use kerbal konstruction for Caveman?

Not that we've seen yet. But I suspect it may require one of the "old hands" to explore the possibilities. Newcomers to the challenge tend to have their hands full just getting to grips with the challenge itself, without getting fancy.

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1 minute ago, Space Nerd said:

The stock maneuver app will not affect the caveman challenge, as you need a level 3 tracking station to use it.

Good to know.. thanks.

Hmm.. I think it's time I go read up on the upcoming release.

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On 6/12/2021 at 7:51 PM, MinimalMinmus said:

In case you're morbidly curious, NCD is a lot of things at once. The pressure on science is so high that even getting every single kerbin+mun+minmus points of science isn't enough, you HAVE to go interplanetary, maybe even twice. Getting all the biomes in the KSC, as well as doing everything to the max is all but vital, and while it is possible, it is an absolutely grueling task. If you want a more reasonable, yet bigger than what you've done challenge, try Corundum. And yes, it means starting with zero fund, so be careful with which contract you take or you WILL get softlocked in just a few moves.

It's been a while, but I did an analysis and for NCD you either have to go interplanetary or get almost all the EVA Reports in the Kerbin SOI.  Which means flying a Kerbal (usually Bob the Scientist) outside from launch on until all EVA Reports on the current mission have been taken.

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On 6/11/2021 at 8:29 PM, WarSprite said:

 

Its a little late to mention this now (seeing as you finished your run, and congrats on the badge :D), but you can use google-drive-direct-link-generator to make images display here in the thread (it also has a chrome extension)

Remember to set share to public (so that any user here can see the image), and i just wrapped mine in spoiler-tag to condense them for easy reading

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, fourfa said:

Has anyone found a really compelling way to use kerbal konstruction for Caveman?  There was a pretty quiet update that lets kerbals add their strength together to lift heavier parts on Kerbin, which should help.  When I left my quasi-NCD run, Bill was floating in polar orbit of Minmus awaiting a EVA propellant re-supply.  Infinite EVA prop is now easy by store/recover jetpack from nearby craft.  The extended EVA prop tank comes too late (Adv Exploration, 160 Science) to be used though

I had a really quick play with it while I was designing my first probes and running into part count issues. It seemed like the ideal time to use EVA construction - lots of small light parts on a probe. With three Kerbals assisting Bill could manipulate 0.24 tons on the launchpad (Kerbin gravity). The Oscar B was my heaviest probe part at 0.225 tons, so that was manageable. The Hitchiker Storage Unit holds 1,500 liters per can *and* your four Kerbals, so even just one part (the Hitchiker can) was handling all the parts and the assembly team for building the full probe. The Hitchiker Storage Unit is a bit heavy for a caveman to include in the launch vehicle, but nothing to stop you building a crawler to carry the Hitchiker and assembly crew out to your rocket that's already on the pad.

There were some issues. It worked fantastically for parts that were directly in the stack. However, I couldn't find a way in the UI to do symmetry in the assembly, so although I could individually place Micro Strut lander legs, the craft came out looking a bit deformed. The same symmetry issue affected placing fins (another great light small part to beat part count issues) at the bottom of the launcher.

Bill has a limited range for assembly, so for probe assembly (top of the stack) so you need to get the can to "something like the right height" and have plenty of ladders on the can so the Kerbs can move around, which uses some part budget in your assembly vehicle that's carrying Kerbals and parts out to the pad. The benefit is that Bill has *some* range, so it is far less sensitive to being the exactly correct height like a docking port for traditional lawn assembly.

The killer for me that stopped me playing with it was that I couldn't find any way to build inside an existing fairing (which seems reasonable) or to build a fairing up from a fairing adapter after I had constructed the probe. That may be me missing something in the EVA assembly UI, or may be a limitation. Due to all those draggy probe parts, and my flying ineptitude I really did need a fairing on the probe launchers to sort out CoM / CoP issues and get a flyable launcher.

Overall it seemed like something with potential, and worth another play, but personally I just ended up stripping things down to fewer parts and (just) getting inside the normal part and mass limits.

 

1 hour ago, Blaarkies said:

Its a little late to mention this now (seeing as you finished your run, and congrats on the badge :D), but you can use google-drive-direct-link-generator to make images display here in the thread (it also has a chrome extension)
Remember to set share to public (so that any user here can see the image), and i just wrapped mine in spoiler-tag to condense them for easy reading

Oh good grief.  Thanks for the pointer Blaarkies! Totally unaware of that. Yep, I'm a social media noob, and that includes good ways of sharing posts inside forums.

Good pointer on the spoiler tag too.

I did (around my last post) see another thread where someone suggested "Post Image"  site https://postimages.org/  as a good way of getting images into the forum for those of us who are allergic to creating new accounts on services such as Imgur.

 

 

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It's not so much this mod as what @linuxgurugamer mentions as a new feature in KSP 1.11:

Quote

KSP 1.11 got a new option in the overall game settings to control whether Kerbals can walk/slide off of the end of ladders.

 

I'm not playing KSP at the moment.  But I wonder what this means for KSP Caveman?  Does it make carrying a Kerbal on a ladder easier in 1.11 ?

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Yep, this was also listed in the patchnotes for 1.11, and was tweaked again in 1.11.x (not sure).  In my testing so far, the kerbals are more resistant to sliding on ladders (though they do still a little over time) and MUCH more resistant to actually sliding off ladders and floating free.

When they do slide such that the helmet comes in contact with a solid surface on the craft, there are still phantom forces that can slowly knock your craft out of orbit.  But overall, it's reduced due to the reduced rate of sliding

The reason to have a kerbal on a ladder is to collect EVA science, and other than ladder-sliding, the limited amount of EVA propellant was the big limiting factor.  Now, the kerbal can get back to the craft, grab on a ladder, put their jetpack inside the craft, retrieve it magically full of fuel, and go on their merry way.  This part of ladder riding is now MUCH easier to manage on long (even interplanetary) missions

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Jacke said:

But I wonder what this means for KSP Caveman?

So far as the mod that LGG made to toggle this goes, I think we'd have to classify it under "No mods that alter gameplay".  But if someone already has it set 'on' in their main settings.. well, I'm not sure... Is this yet another thing we're going to have to ask for a photo of, to prove it's 'off'? Or, like so many other adjustments Squad have made to KSP over the last few versions, that have made Caveman life easier, do we simply bow to the inevitable?

Speaking personally, I'm inclined to simply allow it, but I'd very much like to hear other viewpoints. Especially from those who've had to do ladder-riding missions, extended or otherwise.

 

6 hours ago, fourfa said:

When they do slide such that the helmet comes in contact with a solid surface on the craft, there are still phantom forces that can slowly knock your craft out of orbit.  But overall, it's reduced due to the reduced rate of sliding

Interesting. And good to know that phantom forces have been reduced. I well remember the "fun" Cavemen had on interplanetary trips, having to ensure Bob was always correctly oriented on the ladder, to prevent things going off course. I can't imagine anyone missing that "feature", but since it comes at a price... well, I think some discussion is warranted.

6 hours ago, fourfa said:

In my testing so far, the kerbals are more resistant to sliding on ladders (though they do still a little over time) and MUCH more resistant to actually sliding off ladders and floating free.

Thanks for doing the testing, and reporting on it. But the thing I really want to know is, how do you feel about it? Do you think we should embrace it, or insist that it be turned off?

And in the spirit of how issues were traditionally dealt with in tribes, I'd like to convene a Clan Meeting of all Cavemen and Cavewomen, especially the senior members, to hear what they think.

@GoSlash27, @Superfluous J, @Moesly_Armlis, @micha, @Terwin, @Bev7787, @joshudson, @Rakaydos, @IncongruousGoat, @ManEatingApe, @dvader, @Muetdhiver, @Speeding Mullet@Mr. Peabody, @MinimalMinmus, @fourfa, @Jacke.  As senior Clan members, you are all invited to share your thoughts on this development, and how we ought to handle it.

Everyone else is welcome to express their opinions/ideas as well.

Edited by JAFO
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2 hours ago, JAFO said:

As senior Clan members, you are all invited to share your thoughts on this development, and how we ought to handle it.

WOW! Just reviewed some of my old pics/vids, and damn, but KSP sure has come some way since then!  It looks like it would be a heck of a lot easier to try it again - maybe for 1.12..?

As regards this ladder slide setting, no opinion either way - but since I haven't been an active Caveman for 6 years now, I don't think it matters either way what my opinion is ;)   ED: Although I am absolutely (and unexpectedly) honoured to be a Clan Elder! ;) 

Remember to keep banging the boosters together!

Edited by micha
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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, micha said:

WOW! Just reviewed some of my old pics/vids, and damn, but KSP sure has come some way since then!  It looks like it would be a heck of a lot easier to try it again - maybe for 1.12..?

Yes, some things certainly have gotten easier in recent years.. no having to calculate dV and TWR by hand any more, especially. And we'd be honoured to have you take another shot at the challenge!

Edited by JAFO
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6 minutes ago, JAFO said:

no more having to calculate dV and TWR by hand any more, especially. 

A real caveman never did that anyway - throw a rocket up and see how far it goes, then try again butwith MOAR BOOSTERS ! ;)  LOL

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I'm similarly removed from my cavemanning (I just made up a word!) but I will admit, I still hold this little subset of the community dear to my heart. I've never really done much ladder riding and I've surely never done it for caveman purposes, but I will go with what I've said before: If it's a stock option it's fair game, so long as we know the version the player was using.

This sort of meta discussion will likely become moot after the next (and final ;.; ) update coming out soon, but maybe we need a "completed in version x.y.z" note on each entry just so people can know what the person did or did not have available to them.

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2 minutes ago, Superfluous J said:

we need a "completed in version x.y.z" note on each entry 

Agred, version number, DLCs, and all settings.  Whether individual stock settings (or even DLC) is allowed or not I leave up to the organizer.

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8 minutes ago, micha said:

A real caveman never did that anyway - throw a rocket up and see how far it goes, then try again butwith MOAR BOOSTERS ! ;)  LOL

Fair point.. but at the Nano-Crystalline Diamond difficulty level, there are times when the budget is too tight for that approach!

Just now, micha said:

Whether individual stock settings (or even DLC) is allowed or not I leave up to the organizer.

Already covered. Check out the current rules on the OP. :D

8 minutes ago, Superfluous J said:

maybe we need a "completed in version x.y.z" note on each entry just so people can know what the person did or did not have available to them.

That's more-or-less the reason why we have 5 different Caveman Challenge threads. Any time the game has changed enough to warrant it, a new thread was started, and the rules evolved to suit.

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12 minutes ago, JAFO said:

Already covered. Check out the current rules on the OP. :D

What, we have to READ now?  Bah, all this new-fangled stuff!! :-D :-D :-D

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