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The KSP Caveman Challenge 1.11.x - 1.12.x


JAFO
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What was supposed to be some basic funds-farming off suborbital tourisim almost ended my NCD run 3 times today.

First tourist loaded up fine with val, went up, entry burn went fine, drogues deployed, got a good angle for some highland science angled my craft for a nice even touchdown... and realized 200m up that I forgot to deploy mains. Didnt react in time, loss of contract AND loss of vehical, AND loss of my last pilot.

I had enough funds left to take another tourist up if I stripped the science gear, but Bill has to do the flying now. Hand sufficently burned, this went well, and the process repeated enough to get some science on the flights. Made it to 20 science exactly, unlocked the next rocket tech.

Feeling I had enough reserve, I wanted to clear out a contract I picked up for the Hammer tech, before getting the requisite tech tree. Test hammer in basically suborbital. (50-off km with enough velocity to get suborital) A hammer without fuel is the same mass as the tourist pod, so I tried a simple substitution. stability problems caused by the additional length, however, required 2 non-paying flights before I succeded in clearing the contract.

I go to load up the next tourist... and oops, I never actually bought the hammer part that is the first stage of my tourist ship. Stripping the science back off, getting another part contract(decoupler splash down) just barely let me buy the hammer back.

Made it past that tried to build up funds reserve... and a poorly angled landing in timewarp broke an engine bell. This one was so close, it came down to losing a FL100 worth of entry burn fuel and stripping parachutes and EVA packs from the tourists. But it was survivable.

I've stabilized, but I'm not out of the woods. I have less funds than when I started this "funds farming", down my last pilot kerbal, and still need to pay for the FL200 tank I just unlocked. Also the siren song of the BACC, which has killed my run every time I've used it so far. 

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Rakaydos,

 If I may...

 I would recommend that unless you have some financial or other motive for using SRBs, you should refrain from using them as much as possible in a caveman run. They're simply too heavy and inefficient to work in your favor, especially at caveman tech levels. All they do is rob you of dV and payload fraction.

 Best,

-Slashy

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To get around the 30 part count limit, i tried adding the extra parts on-launchpad instead. This worked pretty well; so the robotics easily hoisted up Bill to the command pod to add some batteries, a parachute and anything else I wish.

This is the 3rd drive up to the rocket though: I learned that parachutes are too heavy for 1 kerbal to handle, so Bill had to come back with Valentina close by.

It seems promising, i want to test post-building inside of fairings later on. I hope you can build the entire probe part with tiny engines on the launch pad

uc?id=1ju2lQnzqsRa0XSFZOBwIj1oajylgXrSN&

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5 hours ago, GoSlash27 said:

Rakaydos,

 If I may...

 I would recommend that unless you have some financial or other motive for using SRBs, you should refrain from using them as much as possible in a caveman run. They're simply too heavy and inefficient to work in your favor, especially at caveman tech levels. All they do is rob you of dV and payload fraction.

 Best,

-Slashy

Check the prices and get back to me on that. NCD isn't like regular caveman runs. You don't have the money for optimized designs.

I tried sticking a radial chute on the lower stage, but there was nothing to recover. No point in spending more on a forced disposable stage than nessisary.

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1 hour ago, Rakaydos said:

Check the prices and get back to me on that. NCD isn't like regular caveman runs. You don't have the money for optimized designs.

I tried sticking a radial chute on the lower stage, but there was nothing to recover. No point in spending more on a forced disposable stage than nessisary.

Yeah, I realize how difficult NCD is. Remember, you're talking to the dude who invented the caveman challenge. ;)

I'm just pointing out that using SRBs because they're cheap is a bit like losing your car keys in an alley and searching for them the next block over because the light's better.

But hey... it's free advice. Nobody says you have to take it.

Best,

-Slashy

2 hours ago, Blaarkies said:

To get around the 30 part count limit, i tried adding the extra parts on-launchpad instead. This worked pretty well; so the robotics easily hoisted up Bill to the command pod to add some batteries, a parachute and anything else I wish.

This is the 3rd drive up to the rocket though: I learned that parachutes are too heavy for 1 kerbal to handle, so Bill had to come back with Valentina close by.

It seems promising, i want to test post-building inside of fairings later on. I hope you can build the entire probe part with tiny engines on the launch pad

uc?id=1ju2lQnzqsRa0XSFZOBwIj1oajylgXrSN&

When did they start to allow voltronning? That used to be expressly forbidden back in the day.

Best,

-Slashy

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3 hours ago, GoSlash27 said:

voltronning

First time i heard of this term, i love it! :D

Ground based docking has become harder since 1.12, until the docking port strut issue gets fixed. Ever since Engineer in-flight construction became stock, there has been so many possibilities for getting larger, more complex parts to LEO

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11 hours ago, GoSlash27 said:

Rakaydos,

 If I may...

 I would recommend that unless you have some financial or other motive for using SRBs...

Figured out where we were talking past each other. My financial motives have been front and center in my recent posts. Until I get 45 science (or a stayputnik contract) I'm stuck with losing my first stage, and when I'm explicitly trying to farm funds, I can't afford to throw away a swivel every flight.

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1 hour ago, Rakaydos said:

Figured out where we were talking past each other. My financial motives have been front and center in my recent posts. Until I get 45 science (or a stayputnik contract) I'm stuck with losing my first stage, and when I'm explicitly trying to farm funds, I can't afford to throw away a swivel every flight.

I gotcha. Not really trying to get to orbit, just farming funds. Makes sense.

Best,

-Slashy

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Another day, another near run ender. goodby bill. It's all on bob now. No pressure.

I have finally cleared out those random part contracts... and promptly filled it with the part contract I really wanted- 401 days use of the Terrier, followed by testing on the launchpad.

I'm not going to try pushing for orbit yet, though. A new pilot will run me over 20 times the most funds I've ever had in this run, but I've got a system for these bezos contracts now, and I dont want to mess with a good thing by demonstrating a SpaceX package. Probably a whole weekend of tourist farming, if I can stand the repetition.

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Hour 11 update.

My High Mun science probe is just about to circularize for the return burn. Science has already been collected and stored.

AdAvDqG.jpg

My low Mun science probe is on its escape trajectory back to Kerbin. Thanks to a 'happy accident' (I inadvertently fumble-fingered the x key while retrograde) the science aboard will have a "munar suborbital" bonus.

gNgUowW.jpg

I'm hoping not to need it though, because...

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I have 86 points remaining to complete the run. Between the two biomes at Baikerbanur, The ice cap biome, 2 splashed biomes I speculate may exist and the remaining science I haven't stripped completely, I *may* have enough outstanding science to complete the run before the probes arrive.

Best,

-Slashy

Edited by GoSlash27
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On 7/2/2021 at 10:06 AM, Rakaydos said:

4th and final day of main caveman:

  Reveal hidden contents

 

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A nifty minmus lander with separate ascent stage.

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Getting it into orbit might be a bit difficult, though, given it's mass and part count.  1 solar panel, 1 parachute.

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this really shouldnt work. But I dont have the part budget for a second one.

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took a few tries, but Jeb was able to follow prograde softly enough to avoid plume impingment and off-axis roll.

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orbit

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fuel pods are much simpler, and give me the part budget for a third booster engine. I didnt bother duplicating the solar panel, though

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launch one

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rendevour 1 (with launches 2 and 3 visible)

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who needs RCS?

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Who needs a second solar panel? this guy... fast foward to the 3rd rendevous...

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lets check back in with the last fuel pod...

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...good enough to get control back.

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not good enough to avoid making the same mistake again.

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Operation rocket boot 2 is a go.

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rocketboot 2 successful in setting the remaining fuel pod into a spin, restoring power and control, before the rendevous window is over.

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so, not quite as well balanced as planned.

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But nothing a bit of spin-stabilization cant help with...

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rendevous boosters depleted

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counterweight had a little fuel left in it as well, but from here I needed to activate the main tanks.

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found my shadow!

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What is that? it cant be! (It isnt)

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detuned my engine a bit for more control on langing. Got plenty of fuel, might as well check out that object

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Just a rock. (first time playing since they were added)

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Lets get some highland science.

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forgot about the detuned engine. Landing was a bit rough,

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Still have plenty of fuel

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Now the main tank fuel is getting low. 

unknown.png Activating departure tanks and engine

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why not?

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And one more for the road.

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That's all I'm going to need.

 

Proof of completion

  Reveal hidden contents

 

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Not my first caveman run, but the first time I've bothered to document it. a nice warmup to get back into kerbal after a long hiatus.

Congratulations on obtaining your Apatite badge, @Rakaydos!

I've added your name to the Cave Wall, not sure if you'd like the badge to go with it or not, since you don't currently have your earlier ones in your sig. Let me know what you'd prefer.

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On 7/20/2021 at 3:47 PM, Blaarkies said:

I can't get enough about how awesome the Waterfall mod looks! I swear even my framerate is better as well:happy:

That looks amazing! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Also, congrats on what I'm fairly sure is the first ever Caveman Rover on Minmus!

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32 minutes ago, JAFO said:

Also, congrats on what I'm fairly sure is the first ever Caveman Rover on Minmus!

I didn't realize this part, thanks! :o

I'm in the works on doing the same thing on Mun, it just takes more fuel tanks (and launches) to get the rover on the Mun's surface. I hope the wheels hold under the stronger gravity. I still need like +-280:science: to complete my NCD run.

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2 minutes ago, Blaarkies said:

I'm in the works on doing the same thing on Mun, it just takes more fuel tanks (and launches) to get the rover on the Mun's surface. I hope the wheels hold under the stronger gravity. I still need like +-280:science: to complete my NCD run.

To date, the only Caveman Rovers on Mun have been probe-core only, so a crewed one will be another first.

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and NCD run failed, due to another budget cutting attempt to use the BACC. Though I still have funds, I have noone to fly my ships anymore.

Tourst farming was down to a routine, though. I'm pretty sure I can catch up to this point with less dead astronauts, which will make "space over x" science possible.

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1 hour ago, Rakaydos said:

and NCD run failed, due to another budget cutting attempt to use the BACC. Though I still have funds, I have noone to fly my ships anymore.

Tourst farming was down to a routine, though. I'm pretty sure I can catch up to this point with less dead astronauts, which will make "space over x" science possible.

Thats a bummer:(. I made most of my funds from tiny contracts, the kind where you test at launch pad, and/or parachutes at <5km. I used these while farming KSC science so that everything is recoverable. It probably takes longer than the roller design, but it makes money on every launch.

Once I get a Terrier contract, i keep that and start tackling satellite contract (but you still have to build extremely cheap on those, because you only have 1 usable contract slot then), so i only started this when i had some capital to fall back on.

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And I'm already back to having a functional suborbital spacecraft. Taking my first VIP now.

I'm thinking I'll try for wings instead of tanks. If I can get some of the observational science contracts, that'll help.

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Bob on Jeb's Mun rover! ...knocking a golf ball off a solar panel, what could go wrong?

It wasn't all that hard since Bob was still in an elliptical orbit between Kerbin and Mun, the biggest problem is limiting thrust to at maximum 1g for fear of Bob losing his grip during landing. I should have added some foot-pad with engineer construction when i had the chance :blush:

The wheels hold up ok, but they seem under more stress than i'd like (also more grip would have been nice). In hindsight i would try 8 wheels instead (symmetry would be a nightmare with in-flight construction). The main craft fuel tank is still full, so driving will become easier after 1-2 hops.

The mission has a half-size fuel tank waiting in orbit to be used to get back to Kerbin, so i can hop around with most of this fuel

uc?id=1JdQRj2CEirF1k24cRNJQ1HiOTAFvbe5R&

 

 

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End of day 2 update:

This was a busy hour for me, fitting in short missions to mop up stray science in between points where I had to maneuver my probes.

ARWKBfv.jpg

I was able to shoehorn a 'sci-bomb' mission to the icecap into a tight landing area towards the end of the hour, and this was my big haul.

CRFs0UE.jpg

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My 'Mun Lo' probe is now on course for a Kerbin reentry with a periapsis of 30 km.

hFhd0Wl.jpg

My follow-up 'Mun Hi' probe is now on escape from the Mun.

kJKOhO0.jpg

That puts me at 45 points to go at the end of day 2. My personal best caveman speed run record is 3 days and 6 minutes. I'm on track to blow that out of the water. My plan right now is to take some fast, low yield hops to clean up loose science while the sun is still too low at Baikerbanur, then fly out there.

Best,

-Slashy

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I think the wings may be a dead end after all. It's not like I can get a juno contract without air intakes, and the swivel's ISP is too low for a flight to the island airbase.

Also, I tried to expand my optimized suborbital shuttle to a crew and 2 passangers to speed up fund/rep farming, but it had to use reserve/ballast fuel to hit the karman line and was too unstable tail first anyway  to manage entry. Not quite a run ender, but I think I might reset anyway.

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Lucky hour 13 update (final):

I headed straight out to Baikerbanur and hit up the launch pad.

sjXpr3u.jpg

p1Hq2j9.jpg

5noeiah.jpg

This put me 27 points short, easily enough for another visit to Baikerbanur's main building to finish. Pondering what I should do with my remaining 12 minutes this hour, I decided to visit the Cove and see if I could perform the EVA science experiment splashed. Oops...

9MHQPZH.jpg

It turns out that Cove Launch Site splashed is an entire other biome! Game over.

baILQOF.jpg

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So that's it; Normal skill level caveman speedrun completed in 2 days, 55 minutes. I'm sure I can improve upon this without discovering the other hidden sites, and improve even more with them.

Best,

-Slashy

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