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The KSP Caveman Challenge 1.11.x - 1.12.x


JAFO
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23 hours ago, Rakaydos said:

Tried to take manual control during entry, ended up killing bill today.

I may need to reset after all.

We must be the KSP kings of dangerous re-entries. Who apart from a caveman would try to bring a top heavy rocket back through the atmosphere with one parachute and no reaction wheels?

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

On 8/26/2021 at 1:22 AM, MinimalMinmus said:

Drogues? Why use a drogue when you already got a perfectly good cargo bay?

Cargo bays are pretty much the caveman challenge special sauce magic ingredient ^_^

Thermal shield, aerobrake and may also serve to protect delicate gear, all for a measly 100kg ? Best part ever.

 

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My NCD was detailed back on page 12 (and its own thread too: 

 )

I remember, the key to being able to earn money was taking on the "test part ......." contracts and recovering 100% of the craft, so the only cost was the fuel. Thus, so long as you keep on and on at those, they earn money. And I built up a 2 dimensional table of TWR & deltaV and their "performance" in terms of height gained and speed achieved. So I was able to reliably hit those contracts 1st or 2nd time (and sometimes do 2 in 1).

I never ever took on tourists - the rocket cost more than the earnings.

After every 10 or so money-earning contracts, I'd do a bit more 'exploring' and very gradually earned the science. 

I also used contracts strategically, for example every "satellite in orbit of Mun" contract was also coincidentally a relay in part of a constellation......or part of a trip there etc.

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  • 1 month later...

So, although I’m in the middle of the Kerpollo challenge, I realized that I need to practice certain skills in this game.  So, I’m going to take on this challenge at the same time.  I have the following mods installed, none of which alter gameplay:

L35RmDC.jpg

Not sure if the Atmospheric Autopilot violates the terms of the challenge, but I don’t see it listed in the rules.  And the settings for the new career on Normal difficulty:

glbSjyJ.jpg

Ui94bnw.jpg

 

I’m not sure if reverting flights is allowed or not.  I don’t see anything in the rules post that states they aren’t, but I do wonder about it.  If they aren’t, I can easily enough alter the settings to be that way.

One note on the science points gained here:  I will invariably forget to state when I earn science points for breaking a world record or doing a world first.  This is not intentional, nor am I trying to hide anything.  I simply forget, plain and simple.  Please assume that, should anyone go through my math and find that I am off, I simply forgot to announce the world’s firsts.

From the start, need to farm some science from the KSC.  Goo container on both the launchpad and the runway, with crew and eva reports, nets 13.8 science points; this is enough to unlock Basic Rocketry and Engineering 101:

Jp5UpDI.jpg

Now to farm more science from the launchpad and runway with the thermometer unlocked, which nets 4.8 science.  Not enough to unlock anything else yet, so let’s pick up that contract to launch our first vessel and do some science gathering right above the KSC.  Lots of science points (relatively speaking) for the goo container, thermometer, crew report, the contract completion, and the world’s first launch (along with speed and height records); netted 27.1 science points with this little beauty flying straight up:

20Q00Gx.jpg

I did this with 25% thrust and 50% fuel; I don’t want to be screaming up into the atmosphere just yet.  I could very well have done that, but I am just trying to farm science at this point.  This gives me enough science points to unlock General Rocketry and Survivability:

uO37QC0.jpg

And now with the barometer unlocked, I can now farm science at the launchpad and runway with that component, as well as another straight up flight (like the last one).  This in total nets me 16.4 science points, which leaves me just a bit under the amount needed to unlock Stability.  Thankfully, I can pick up a couple of contracts:  Test Heat Shield (0.625) landed at Kerbin, and Test TD-12 Decoupler landed at Kerbin.  These are gimme’s for science points; just strap the parts onto a capsule and test them at the launchpad.  This nets 2.6 science, which now allows me to unlock Stability:

GmRJd5z.jpg

2 more gimme contracts:  Test LV-909 Terrier Liquid Fuel Engine landed at Kerbin, and Test RT-5 “Flea” Solid Fuel Booster at the Launch Site.  And I’m going to combine this with flying due east, landing in the water.  Why?  Farm science there from the goo container, thermometer, barometer, crew report, and an EVA report.  This nets a total of 22.2 science points.  Not enough yet to unlock anything on the next tier, so I’ll fly due west and get some science off the grasslands – 11.9, which is still not enough to unlock anything else.  One more run to the west, this time with a Hammer engine at 85% thrust; this is enough (with a world’s first speed record) to get me to land on the mountains and farm out 15.9 science.  This is enough to unlock Basic Science:

XsseuRQ.jpg

And now I have the SC-9001 Science Jr. unlocked…which means I get to farm that data from the launchpad, runway, flying straight up, flying east to the water, and flying west to the grasslands.  This, in all of its glory and entirety, nets me 50 science points.  This allows me to unlock Advanced Rocketry:

aKQK3gY.jpg

Now it’s time to head to orbit.  Although I’ve flown several times to this point, they don’t really count, do they?  I mean, I never got above 11km, so I don’t really consider that flying in this game.  That’s just the appetizer; you know, it’s what we eat before the meal to make us more hungry.  Anyhow, there are 2 contracts we can pick up here:  Escape the Atmosphere, and Orbit Kerbin.  I’m headed that way, so this is just free science for doing what I was gonna do anyhow.  I built this bad boy, taking a page out of the existing caveman posts:

HVKHMl6.jpg

3634 dV sitting in the VAB (or on the launchpad), with 22 parts at a mass of 17.928t.  Now, I’m not all that good without MechJeb, so not having it available is going to make this a bit more difficult than I’d like it to be.  But, I gotta learn somehow, right?  And away we go:

mRfMmlC.jpg

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Stable Ap of 72.1254km, and a stable Pe of 70.9824km.  The bare minimum, but that’s orbit.  With 384 m/s dV remaining to boot.  That’s better than I thought I’d do, considering no MJ.  Anyhow, gather some science and return to the surface for a net of 74.0 science points.  Wow!  Spending 45 on Aviation.  Why?  Well, I need wheels so I can farm science all over the KSC.  But before I do that, I’ve got 42.3 science points right now, and I only need 45 to unlock something else in R&D.  I’m going to pick up a contract:  Test TT-38K Radial Decoupler in flight over Kerbin.  Doing this gets me 3 science points, which means I can unlock Flight Control; this now leaves me with 0.3 science points.

FYdVMT2.jpg

I now only have General Construction left to unlock in Tier 4.  That's not bad for about 2 hours worth of playing, starting from scratch and not being able to update any buildings.  I'm going to try finishing this off in the next couple of days, in-between working on the Kerpollo challenge.

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So I'm taking on multiple challenges at once, both this one and Kerpollo.  Which means I end up flipping between them to do stuff.  And today it's Caveman day.

This career keeps giving me these gimme contracts.  Test LV-909 “Terrier” Liquid Fuel Engine at the Launch Site, and Test LY-10 Small Landing Gear at the Launch Site.  That’s an easy 2 science points that I can’t pass up.  But now, it’s on to bigger and better science points.  Need to farm all the science out of the KSC that I can, using this little doohickey:

k3NhAnv.jpg

I’m basically rolling around the KSC with Bob on board so I can hit all the distinctive areas in 1 run:  Administration Building, Astronaut Complex, Mission Control, R&D, SPH, Tracking Station, and the VAB.  Netted myself 141.3 science, with which I was able to unlock General Construction and Advanced Construction. 

Only 9 nodes to go, which means I need another 810 (90 x 9) science points to finish off the challenge.  Where to get that tasty science from, though.  Have to look through the contracts and see what I’ve got there.  And a check there shows I’ve got a contract to do a fly-by of the Mun.  So it looks like it’s time to send Jeb towards the Mun and gather some science.  I’m gonna need ~4000 m/s of dV in order to do this (3400 to get into orbit, and at least another 600 to do a fly-by).  And without maneuver nodes and other such nonsense, I get to eyeball this.  Yay me!  Here’s ship on the launchpad:

99Bu4Vg.jpg

I know that the dV for stage 3 will go up as I ascend, so this ship should get me to the Mun and back.  Not a landing, but just a fly-by for those tasty science points.  And away we go.  Orbit achieved:

JiL7aHO.jpg

And near the Mun:

QC0OhVo.jpg

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And back in Kerbin’s SOI:

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Now, in the Kerpollo challenge, one of the statements made is to take pictures like you're on vacation.  So I took this one:

DvwxONb.jpg

If you zoom in on the Mun there, that crater looks like the front of the Death Star.  At least, it does to me.  So no, that’s no Mun; that’s a space station.  Anyhow, back to the ground game:

RIr8yfN.jpg

Yeah, I forgot to take the shot of Jeb in the water before recovering the vessel, so the shot of the Mission Summary will have to do at this point.  Took me 9 aerobraking rotations to get back on the surface; it’s kind of hard to slow down when you’re out of fuel.  Although, I’d really only count 8 of them; the last one I barely got back out of the atmosphere.  And by barely, I mean the Ap ended up being just over 70km.  Anyhow, I netted 122 science points on this run, which allows me to unlock Electrics.  The tech tree now looks like so, after all the science gathering and spending today:

E2uTyxS.jpg

So I've now got 8 nodes to go.  At 90 science points per, that's another 720 science points to go.  But I now have probe cores, which mean I can now go get science in space with the SC-9001, and then do a fly-by of Minmus.  I will save almost a full ton of weight by using the OKTO, which will really help.  I might also have to create a plane to fly around Kerbin and see about hitting the Desert Launch Site...and maybe do some of those survey contracts.  But, for now, the above is where I stand!

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On 10/25/2021 at 4:55 PM, Scarecrow71 said:

Not sure if the Atmospheric Autopilot violates the terms of the challenge, but I don’t see it listed in the rules.  And the settings for the new career on Normal difficulty:

Autopilots most certainly alter gameplay and are disallowed. (Note that mechjeb is explicitly disallowed.) Reverts are fine in lower difficulty levels. 

@JAFO, what do you think?

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26 minutes ago, Mr. Peabody said:

Autopilots most certainly alter gameplay and are disallowed. (Note that mechjeb is explicitly disallowed.) Reverts are fine in lower difficulty levels. 

@JAFO, what do you think?

To be honest, I don't even use the Atmospheric Autopilot, so it's not breaking me if I have to uninstall it.  I'm not even sure why I have it installed, to be honest.  Assuming it only impacts low-altitude flight (flight under 70km, after which point we'd be in orbit), I haven't even used it as I'm not flying planes just yet.  I copied over my install into a second location so I could run both Kerpollo and Caveman at the same time without having to install/uninstall MJ every time I fire up KSP; I simply was not aware that this was game- or challenge-breaking to the point that it isn't allowed.  I do see the red notice that mods that affect gameplay aren't allowed, but seeing as KER and MJ are explicitly called out, I guess I just assumed that everything else I had was cool.

I'll go ahead and uninstall it just to be on the safe side; no harm, no foul.  I'm not using it anyhow, so it's not like it's a major deal.  But if this invalidates this entry I guess I can start over?

Edited by Scarecrow71
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  • 1 month later...

If I try a challenge, I try it at the highest level.

One year ago, i considered the nanocristalline diamond. I gave up soon, stating "too much grinding, I don't like it".

After that, I went and did a 320-year mission with life support. Greenhouses require manual harvesting twice every year, and I had 19, so i clicked "harvest" over 12000 times. The mission also required manually servicing the nuclear reactors every three years, again, that's over 100 times. Afer that, I felt I really can't complain about grinding.

So here I am, trying the nanocristalline.

If it's ok, I'll update by editing this post. Caveman is not glamorous enough to deserve a proper mission report

Part 1: the low-hanging fruits

Spoiler

Normal beginning with a roller to get science from the ksc biomes. I got 5 science, I teched engineering 101, to get the thermometer. Made another roller with the thermometer, got another 5 science.

At this point, I took basic rocketry. Maybe it would be possible and effective to harvest more science and get the barometer too, but with basic rocketry i can get to orbit. and in orbit I can at least get my 5 science back. Got some early funding mostly by testing stuff on the ground.

So this is my first orbiter: a tested and true design.

8lPhXTL.png

I'm playing it safe here. It is possible to reach orbit - even high space - with only 14 fuel tanks, but I put in 15 because I know I am unlikely to hit an optimal launch profile the first time. And it is possible to avoid the decoupler, keep the whole rocket together, and recover it all. But a small mistake in reentry profile would flip the rocket, which would then have too little drag to brake properly, and it would kill Jeb. I can make more money with some time, better to avoid unnecessary risks.

So, this orbiter went to orbit, as it was supposed. I keep launching a bit too vertical, but I did include some extra fuel for that. unfortunately, upon reentry the goo canisters and thermometer melted for the heat. I still got plenty of money for world first, though

At this point I realized I am treating this as a no contract career challenge, which is not. I don't need to actually get to orbit. i only need to get to space to conduct some science. So I made a cheaper, weaker rocket for suborbital jumps

fekIVnZ.png

It did reach space, and it was slow enough that reentry wasn't dangerous. With this I got the low space experiments.

Then I decided to try and do something adventurous: test a thermal shield at a certain altitude and speed. I did regret it, because I kept missing the altitude or the speed, by very narrow margins.

And at some point I tried to keep the spent booster attached to recover it, messed the reentry, and exploded Jeb. Had to restart the career; fortunately, it's still early, and I learned the lesson. Never try to recover heavy machinery on a manned vessel.

I ended up launching half a dozen suborbiters. on the plus side, they fall down at random, and i got ground science from a bunch of biomes. With that, I could unlock survivability.

So I picked the barometer, I made another roller, and I finished mining the ksc for early science. At this point I'm still missing a handful of experiments, but the ksc is mostly spent. I've still got a lot of kerbin biomes, but going there would require launching an orbiter (which is relatively expensive) and trying to deorbit it in the right place. I'm not looking forward to that. If possible, I'd rather tour the kerbin biomes in an airplane. So I try to move away from Kerbin, to avoid the risk of locking myself.

I have a rich contract for making a Mun flyby, but it would require reaching orbit with 850 m/s. Make it 1000, for safety. I tried some designs, but ultimately I am unable to make it without the terrier; having to use a swivel for space manuevering increased my dry mass too much. Unlocking the terrier itself is out of the question, but if I unlock general rocketry I'll eventually get some contract to test the terrier.

I need a few more research points, which I can get from high orbit. Just strap a booster on my regular orbiter

fXCyYo7.png

this rocket got space high science and brought it back to kerbin. Reentry was adventurous. I forgot the cargo bay open, and the thermometer exploded for the heat. then the capsule flipped, and the crew pod has really low drag and was plummeting to its doom very fast. Fortunately, leaving the cargo bay open generated just enough drag that the parachute could open at 1500 meters from the sea. if I had reentered over mountains, I'd have been toast. I was aiming for desert, but I missed it by a good 1000 kilometers. i really do not want to be stuck mining the kerbin biomes by deorbiting over them.

Anyway, I recovered enough science to unlock general rocketry.

Then some more money grinding on easy contracts - included sending a roller a few kilometers away from the ksc to take ground measurements. Those things hare hard to control, the first one run out of electricity before reaching all the targets. but the contract paid 8000, so it was worth the effort.

ngzdYwz.png

Once I got enough money, I started looking for a contract that would give me a terrier to test. Sure enough, I got one soon.

Now I'll try to make a mun flyby and collect some science there. I'm confident I can at least land on Minmus with those techs.

Part 2: flyby season

Spoiler

Introducing the moonshooter. It does exactly what it says: shoot for the moons

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the first stage launching

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and the second stage, aiming for mun

this rocket has 1500-2000 m/s left once it reaches orbit, which are enough to get a flyby with a lot of extra. i do need that extra, because there's no way to plan a return trajectory

NpcIDaT.png

On the first try, I hit Mun square on. I needed some course corrections. And then I was on a course to exit kerbin's SOI entirely, and had to burn retrograde with everything I had to avoid losing Jeb in interplanetary space. After that, I was in a 70 km apoapsis; I was about to fall back on Kerbin, but what if the moonshooter came too close to Mun along the way and got steered off course? I gave moonshooter an inclination, so that it would not cross Mun's orbit. And it used the last of the fuel. I had 50 m/s left when i jettisoned the rocket for reentry.

But the mission was successful, and I got 17 science back home. And an additional 4 science granted by the contract "explore Mun". At this difficulty level, everything counts.

Unfortunately, all the biome-specific experiments are stuff I can't run in caveman, which greatly limits the science value of space. Can't do anything more on Mun for now. I must go for Minmus too.

o9fZC77.png

Minmus is a lot more difficult to pinpoint accurately, so I made myself a tool. I put in apoapsis and periapsis of my orbit, and the tool returns me the orbital period. In this case, I figured since Minmus orbit is 50 days, and it has to make about 1/4 of it, it will be crossing Moonshooter's path in 12 days. And if I raise apoapsis enough that I have an orbital period of 22 days, then I will reach apoapsis in 11 days, just before minmus. which will let me catch the moon on the way back.

Everything was correct, except the last sentence. Moonshooter spent longer at apoapsis than I estimated, and Minmus was starting to slip away. So I did the only thing I could try: I pointed the rocket more or less in front of Minmus - without even being able to make a targeting to align properly - and fired.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take screenshots of that part. Of course, it was a very difficult manuever to pull off, mostly coming down to random luck. On the plus side, orbital velocities that far from Kerbin are slow, and Moonshooter still had 800 m/s, so by trial and error  I had enough fuel to eventually succeed.

I entered Minmus orbit with 250 m/s left. I had 30 when i reentered on Kerbin.

but again, mission was a success, and it got a lot of science. Enough to unlock basic science.

Basic science gives a couple of fundamental parts. One is the science jr, the most valuable science experiment. So I went back to mining the KSC for everything that was missing before

Unfortunately, the science jr is also extremely fragile. Putting it on a roller is unsafe. I tried many ways to mitigate this fragility

HTkqWPb.png

Project 1: the onion pods are keeping the science jr away from the ground. It failed, because this thing can't steer

sqPCcUo.png

Project 2: the science jr is very well protected. But this roller doesn't roll very well, and it can't go uphill

i tried many other projects to keep the fragile material bay away from the ground, but none worked. In the end I had to do with a conventional roller, and try to drive it very carefully. Never exceeding 4 m/s.

I still broke no less than 5 science jr, maybe a few more. Those things are expensive. Ouch.

08PF0T3.png

To compensate, I took this contract that required somebody to walk 3 kilometers to collect eva reports. To my shame, I didn't think to use 4x time warp until nearly the end. It paid 8000, though

Once more, I run out of easy science, and I barely got 30 science. Can't make any more breakthrough.

Good thing is, there is another part unlocked with basic science that will allow me to land: the stayputnik. By cutting down on weight, it will let me increase deltaV. Equally important, it allows me to take risks I couldn't afford to take with a pilot. I took the contract to land on Mun; it's worth some more science when completed. And now I can't take any more contracts, and must hurry up with this landing.

In retrospect, it will be shown to be a terrible idea.

 

this is getting very long. I decided to open a thread for this after all

https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/206163-stars-to-stones-my-nanocristalline-diamond-caveman-attempt/

Edited by king of nowhere
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5 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

A question on the rules: what does

mean?

In separate games? what do separate games have to do with anything?

 

At one point users were using cheat menus in separate games to test the functionality of their spacecraft. (Before DV was incorporated as an in-game mechanic.)

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6 minutes ago, Mr. Peabody said:

At one point users were using cheat menus in separate games to test the functionality of their spacecraft. (Before DV was incorporated as an in-game mechanic.)

is that not allowed?:confused::o

I mean, I am testing the functionality of my spacecrafts in another save. I build the craft in the other save, try it, fix what's wrong. when i have a functional design, i take it to the career. seems only sensible; much better than spending hours to mine money to pay for those experiments. not to mention the risk to pilots. At least, I do that if the original design fails a couple time and i realize it would take a lot more trial and error.

or is the specific use of mods on other saved games to get information that's not allowed?

and if getting informations from outside this career is not allowed... how is that any different from knowing a biome map? or a deltaV map?

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1 hour ago, king of nowhere said:

or is the specific use of mods on other saved games to get information that's not allowed?

While not the admin of this challenge, I'd say that using mods on other saves to get information you wouldn't have in the Cavemen Challenge, while not explicitly banned, would be against the spirit of the challenge itself.  But I'm neither @JAFO or @Mr. Peabody; one of them would have to allow or nix that.

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1 hour ago, Scarecrow71 said:

While not the admin of this challenge, I'd say that using mods on other saves to get information you wouldn't have in the Cavemen Challenge, while not explicitly banned, would be against the spirit of the challenge itself.  But I'm neither @JAFO or @Mr. Peabody; one of them would have to allow or nix that.

well, the problem is deciding what's "information that i wouldn't have in the caveman challenge".

because, for example, a deltaV map or a biome map is definitely information that i wouldn't have in the caveman challenge. All my baggage of experience coming from other challenges is stuff that I wouldn't have in the caveman challenge.

and ok, it should be easy: "silly gamer, of course you can use the stuff you already know". But it leads to the paradox that, for example, i am not allowed to show biomes on the map. But, if I already know the biomes for having seen that with alt-f12 in another career, then it's fine, because it's stuff that i know from before.

Or, I can't use a mod to get special information on a ship i'm making. But, if I made a ship in a career, I can remake it as it is, and i have that information.

 

Personally, I believe that all challenges should have the assumption of perfect information, unless there's some clear boundary to make. Because assuming otherwise would lead to all kind of problems.

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Well, now you are starting to split hairs on what you would or would not know based upon previous games you've played.  And while prior knowledge is encouraged, I think where the line gets drawn is using another save to build a craft and test it with mods...and then once you've fully tested it moving it to the caveman challenge save to use.  It is the nevthing to know you need x amount dV to get to the Mun, but an entirely different thing to use another save with all the mods to optimize said craft to get the most dV out of it.

I guess using you best judgement in the spirit of the challenge is probably the way to go.  :shrug:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another attempt at a Caveman challenge career.  In the last one I got several steps away from finishing…and then the science just bottomed out.  I could have continued to grind away, but I’m not sure I could have done anything to actually finish.  So I start again.  My settings:

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Just your ordinary, average Normal settings.

Tier II

Spoiler

First thing to do is farm some science at the KSC, at both the launchpad and the runway.  All we’ve got right now is the Mystery Goo container, but when we couple that with the Crew Report and EVA Report, we end up generating 13.8 total science.  This allows us to unlock both nodes in Tier II, needing only 10 for that.

Tier III

Spoiler

By unlocking Engineering 101, we have opened up access to the 2Hot Thermometer.  So we go get science points from the runway and launchpad with that, which gets us to a total of 8.6 science points.  Not enough to unlock anything in Tier III, so now we get to start actually building and flying.

Checking Mission Control, we get the contract to launch our first vessel.  And we do so with this little number:

CeOTpw8.png

 

You will notice that I have the Scientist on board and not either pilot.  The reason for this is because I’m going to collect science while in flight…and then after I splash down in the water.  While either pilot could collect the data, only the scientist can reset the goo container.  So he’ll do that after splashing down and then collect more goo data.  Far more efficient.  And after this launch, we end up with a total of 52.1 science points.  We got points from the actual science gadgets, but also from the contract AND a few world’s firsts for flight, speed, and distance.  It takes 53 total science points to unlock all 3 nodes, which we don’t have.  However, being efficient about this one, we unlock Survivability and General Rocketry, leaving us with 17.1 science points.

We need 18 science points to unlock the last node in Tier III, and by having unlocked Survivability we get a new science gadget – the PresMat Barometer.  So we farm science on the runway and launchpad with that, ending with a total of 24.3 science points.  We now unlock Stability, and we are done with Tier III.

Tier IV

Spoiler

So we start this tier with 6.3 science points.  And everything on this tier costs 45.  5 nodes at 45 science points each equals 225 total science points needed.  So let’s get cracking.

We check Mission Control, and we see contracts for all of the following:

  • Test Swivel at the launch site
  • Test Hammer at the launch site
  • Test Swivel at the launch site (again?!)
  • Test TD-25 decoupler at the launch site
  • Test TT-38K radial decoupler at the launch site

This gets us to a grand total of 11.3 science points.  And now that we are out of these cheese contracts for the time being, we get to start with the real playing.  There are 2 contracts in Mission Control that we absolutely have to grab:

  • Escape the atmosphere
  • Orbit Kerbin

We are going to do both of these anyhow, so picking up the contracts get us extra funds, science, and reputation for something we are already going to do.  And we will do these with this craft:

jvgFXTY.png

Man, that’s one ugly rocket.  Tall, slender, and probably destined for failure.  But let’s launch and see what happens anyhow.

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And we are in orbit! Let’s take some science readings, and then get back on the ground.

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Forgot the shot when I hit the Highlands.  But this is what I was talking about with Bob earlier.  I took the science reading for the Mystery Goo in space…but then couldn’t do another one when I landed.  Bob – or any scientist, for that matter – helps you be more efficient in gaining science points.  Anyhow, I ended this flight with 98.2 science points, with which I unlocked Basic Science and Advanced Rocketry.

Once again, we have unlocked a node that grants us access to a new science gadget – the SC-9001 Science Junior.  So guess what we are gonna do now?  Right – farm at the launchpad and runway.  While we are at it, let’s launch into the water with this gadget, taking readings both in flight and in the water.  We end with a total of 51.5 science points.  We’ll use these to unlock Aviation, which now leaves us with 2 nodes remaining in this tier.

A check of Mission Control, and I see that there is a contract to Explore the Mun.  Just do a simple fly-by.  And I’m going there anyhow, so let’s get to it!

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Notice how I’ve got 2 of all the science gadgets?  It’s because I’m going to get science for high in space above Kerbin AND high in space above the Mun.  And we can’t do EVA in Caveman off Kerbin, so I need to double up on the gadgets.  Won’t have to do this again, though, unless I end up high and low over Minmus.  Anyhow, here we are doing a Munar fly-by.

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I actually overshot my initial transfer, which put my trajectory directly at the Mun.  Which I did not want this time; I may use that technique to land at some point.  But for now, I had to correct, which cost me some dV.  I took the readings while still high over the Mun, even though I’ve got a Pe of 28.3km.  I will be back to get that sweet science near the Mun at some point.  But for now, let’s get home.

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I ended this trip with a total of 163.5 science points, which is more than enough to purchase the remaining 2 nodes on Tier IV.

Tier V

Spoiler

I’m starting this tier with 73.5 science points, and each node on this tier costs 90 science points.  There are 10 nodes here, so I need a total of 900 science points to finish this tier off.  I need to get to 90 points to unlock Electrics (I need solar panels), so I’m going to launch a small rocket west and collect all that science from the Grasslands biome.  This gets me to a total of 94.1 science points, 90 of which I will use to unlock Electrics.

Now I need to farm the KSC and the nearby Kerbin Shores for science points.  I will be using the vehicle in the screen shot that follows to farm science at Kerbin’s Shores and the KSC locations:

  • Administration Building
  • Astronaut Complex
  • Mission Control
  • R&D
  • SPH
  • Tracking Station
  • VAB

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I won’t be flying this thing; the liquid fuel engine is there to get me rolling and moving forward.  And the solar panels are there to insure I don’t run out of electricity when turning this thing.  Rolling around the KSC, I ended up with a total of 167.3 science points.  Doesn’t seem like much, but when you think that I started with 4.1…that little run allowed me to unlock Fuel Systems, and I’ve got 77.3 science points remaining.

We check Mission Control, and there is a contract for Gather Science Data from space around Kerbin.  This is perfect, actually, because I need to collect:

  • Materials Study from space low
  • Materials Study from space high
  • Crew Report from space high

I have to do these anyhow (2 separate flights), so I am going to pick up this contract and get the first one (in space near/low Kerbin) done.  The best part is about the first flight is that I don’t need to get into orbit; I need only exceed 70km in altitude.  So I end the first flight with 113.3 science points, which allows me to unlock Heavy Rocketry.  I end the second flight (in space high over Kerbin) with 69.6 science points.  Again, this doesn’t seem like all that much…but in this challenge, every little bit helps.  I only have 7 nodes to go at this point, and I’m well on my way to opening the first of those 7.

Checking Mission Control, I see that there are 2 contracts I should pick up:  Gather Science Data from space around the Mun, and Explore the Mun (orbit and return).  I know for a fact I can get there and back…it’s the orbit that has me a bit concerned.  But, I’ll give it a try with this guy:

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Remember earlier, when I went to the Mun and collected science data?  I did it high in space over the Mun.  This time, I have to get under 20km to collect science.  Which I did, and I ended this flight with  213.6 science points.  That allowed me to unlock Advanced Flight Control and Landing.  This now leaves me with 5 nodes to go; I’m halfway there!

I’m going to do some contract farming now:

  • Test Launch Escape System on the launchpad
  • Test Mk16 parachute in flight over Kerbin
  • Test RoveMax Model S2 splashed down at Kerbin
  • Test TD-12 decoupler landed at Kerbin
  • Position satellite in a specific orbit of Kerbin
    • Note that this requires a thermometer on it, and I’ve got a contract also for Gather Science Data from space around Kerbin

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9mgs6hm.png

  • Test Bobcat liquid fuel engine at the launch site

So, I am actually thinking about going to Minmus at the moment, so I’m going to do that in addition to getting the contract completion here.  I use Bobcats all the time at this point, so I’ll just head to Minmus too.  And I’ll use the same rocket that I orbited the Mun with above…except I’m just gonna do a fly-by at this point.  I’m also bringing 2 of every science gadget (except the SC-9001) so I can get both high and low science gatherings.

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Well, I ended up orbiting Minmus anyhow.  I was also able to pick up a contract to Gather Science Data from space around Minmus while in flight, which is also awesome.  I ended this flight with a total of 289.1 science points, which allowed me to unlock Advanced Construction, Miniaturization, and Propulsion Systems.  This now leaves me with just 2 nodes to unlock to complete this challenge.

A check of the archives shows that I need to get the following:

  • Materials study in space high over the Mun
  • Materials study in space near the moon
  • Materials study in space high over Minmus
  • Materials study in space near Minmus
  • Crew report in space near Minmus

I launched the first flight, and ended up doing the materials study in space near the Mun.  That was 75 science points, so when combined with what I had left after the last round of node unlocking, I ended the flight with 96.1 science points.  This allowed me to unlock Space Exploration, leaving only 1 node remaining to unlock in Tier V.

Seeing the value for the near-Mun reading, attempted to get to near-Minmus for the materials study.  Unfortunately, I could only get to high over Minmus; the craft I’m using for these flights is just too heavy to have enough dV to get to near-Minmus.  It’s all good, though; the materials reading in space high over Minmus landed me 62.5 science points.  On re-entry to Kerbin, I was over the desert and thought I should take a crew report to see what happens.  Got 4.5 science points for the crew report in Kerbin’s upper atmosphere, which is science points I wasn’t even counting on.  All told, I ended this flight with 88.1 science points.  A mere 2 points to go, which means I don’t need to do the rest of the flights I pointed out above.

A check of Mission Control shows that I have 2 contracts I can choose from to earn the remaining 2 science points.  I am going to do Test Size 1.5m Decoupler splashed down at Kerbin.  After completing this contract, I had 90.1 science points, which is just enough to unlock the last node of Tier V, Aerodynamics.

Final Screenshots

Spoiler

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Assuming I have read and followed the rules appropriately, this completes the Caveman Challenge on normal.  I would like to get verification/validation from @JAFO or @Mr. Peabody as they are the ones who were/have been running this challenge for some time.  In their stead, should either of them be unable to verify/validate, if I could get someone who has successfully completed this challenge on normal or harder to check my work, I would be forever grateful!

I will say, in semi-closing, that this challenge was fun as heck to do.  I totally dug having to think outside the box a bit to get those sweet science points.  Once this entry is validated, I might turn the heat up and try again!

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On 12/29/2021 at 10:58 PM, king of nowhere said:

is that not allowed?:confused::o

I mean, I am testing the functionality of my spacecrafts in another save. I build the craft in the other save, try it, fix what's wrong. when i have a functional design, i take it to the career. seems only sensible; much better than spending hours to mine money to pay for those experiments. not to mention the risk to pilots [no mods are involved]. At least, I do that if the original design fails a couple time and i realize it would take a lot more trial and error.

or is only the specific use of mods on other saved games to get information that's not allowed?

@JAFO @Mr. Peabody

I did not get a clear answer to this question. I've been testing stuff in a separate save whenever it was too dangerous or time consuming to do it in the career. I've been doing that because it was my understanding that the rules allow it. But, reading the caveman jool 5 mission thread, I saw people having different interpretations. I would like a final answer on this.

 

I also suggest that the "no mod or cheat menu in separate games" line in the first post be clarified.

 

Finally, I haven't yet done anything where testing in another save was too intensive or game-breaking. I only used the cheat menu to transfer a rover from the runway to the launchpad, to save some minutes. I would want to know: if you rule that this kind of testing is now allowed, will my submission still be acceptable if I stop that kind of testing now? Or is my entry already disqualified?

 

Please, answer. I am about to build a Jool 5 mothership. I still have to build the landers and test them. I will have to launch close to 100 fuel canisters in orbit. If you tell me I'm good, I will keep with the slow grind. I will wait to test the landers on laythe and tylo for your greenlight, or lack thereof.

If you tell me I'm already disqualified, I'll cheat myself a huge amount of money, and - after launching a handful of fuel canisters in orbit normally - cheat the rest of them there, skipping most of the boring part.

It would really suck if I went through all the slow, boring grinding parts, only to be told at the end that I was disqualified anyway due to a misunderstanding in the rules

Edited by king of nowhere
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5 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

@JAFO @Mr. Peabody

I did not get a clear answer to this question.
...
It would really suck if I went through all the slow, boring grinding parts, only to be told at the end that I was disqualified anyway due to a misunderstanding in the rules

My apologies to everyone for my long absence. Details later. Suffice to say my free time is short these days, and has been for months.

This is a topic that, as you pointed out, different people have different opinions on. I'd like to hash it out with everyone a bit, before making a final ruling.

However.

Since you've been rolling along in this challenge for a while without any clear guidance (and Jool is a bloody long way to go and then end up disqualified!), I'm going to say, carry on as you were. We'll sort things out properly once the dust settles. But no, I won't disqualify this particular run, regardless of what's decided on.

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On 1/9/2022 at 10:20 PM, JAFO said:

My apologies to everyone for my long absence. Details later. Suffice to say my free time is short these days, and has been for months.

This is a topic that, as you pointed out, different people have different opinions on. I'd like to hash it out with everyone a bit, before making a final ruling.

However.

Since you've been rolling along in this challenge for a while without any clear guidance (and Jool is a bloody long way to go and then end up disqualified!), I'm going to say, carry on as you were. We'll sort things out properly once the dust settles. But no, I won't disqualify this particular run, regardless of what's decided on.

Then I'm going to only run testing in the kerbin system. I'm not sure what the spirit of the challenge is anymore, but I am limiting myself to tests that I can run at home, because those I could do within the career at just the cost of more time and patience. I started testing the tylo lander on kerbin (mostly to check if the modular structure made on multiple weak small docking ports could survive some shacking and the impact with the ground without tearing itself apart), and I will test the Laythe lander on Kerbin too.

I am using the sandbox mode to test them, because they are modular with high part number and it would take a lot of launches and assembly to run the testing in caveman.

Edited by king of nowhere
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