Build up your escort fleet and hold on an external deck attached to your ship.
First you must buy Escort Deck equipment then you will see an attached platform in your aft view.
A deck provide 4 landing pads for escort ships with max. 130t mass, 70m width, 29m height and 135m length: Adder, Asp, Cobra Mark I, Constrictor, Fer-de-Lance, Gecko, Mamba, Moray, Sidewinder and Viper.
If your ship is over 130t mass like Cobra Mark III then can hold another two small ships like Adders (max. 15m height, 39m width and 65m length) on the sides of the deck.
The mass of your escort must be less than 40% of your ship's mass. For example an Asp (75t) can hold 4 small escorts below 30t: Adder, Gecko or Sidewinder. You should use a ship over 40t mass to be able to use Adders (16t) as escorts. Ships below 30t mass can not get Escort Deck.
Beware of replacing your large ship to a smaller one, all of your escorts will be salvaged which isn't fit into the smaller limits.
Ships over 260t like Python receive wider deck variant to hold escorts up to 95m width like Krait or Tiger Ray.
You can buy escorts in the ship outfitting (F3) screen. These are not available in the local shipyard but ordered from a remote owner so your time will forwarding a lot if you buy one, but in this way you can buy advanced ships in the low tech worlds also.
Name Cost Energy Recharg Speed Pitch Mass t Eqipment Adder 80000 85 2 240 2 16 Pulse laser, Injectors, Shield booster Asp 400000 350 4 400 1 75 Beam Lasers forward and aft, ECM, Injectors, Shield booster Gecko 100000 250 4 300 1.5 25 Beam Laser, ECM Sidew. 76000 240 2 370 1.6 26 Beam Laser Viper 600000 180 4 320 1.8 34 Military Laser, ECM, Injectors, Shield booster and enhancer
- Adder Escort can utilize the mini landing pads on the sides of your Escort Deck. This special design can hold a Pulse Laser only and no cargo but has Injectors and Shield Boosters.
- Asp Escort is the fastest and most enduring core escort ship what you can purchase with forward and aft Beam Lasers, ECM, Injectors and Shield Boosters.
- Gecko Escort is a pirate ship so not available at main stations but strong, small and equipped with a Beam Laser and ECM.
- Sidewinder Escort is a small and agile ship, useful if your ship isn't large enough to hold heavy escorts. Equipped with a Beam Laser but can not use Injectors.
- Viper Escort is an used GalCop ship, available at main stations only and if your status is clean. This old ship has much lower speed and energy than the modern Interceptors but contain many military equipments.
There are very good pirate escort ships (more if you install EscortPack) but these are not purchaseable in main stations: you must force to eject the pilot or find in the outfitting list in alternative stations.
There are rumors about ace sniper pilots in pirate stations with better ships than an Asp, but these surely costs more than 1MCr if you want to hire them into your escort fleet.
You can pick up derelict ships: put your target lock on, go nearer than 500m and with less than 100m/s speed difference. If you can not target it (due to the target has jamming device) then you can collide very slowly to trigger the pickup.
If an "usable" message shown in your console when target a derelict ship (Combat MFD show it also) then you can use this ship as your escort, else transfer it to a dock on your deck and you will get some money for the salvage.
If you have Towbar OXP then you will get reputation also for the delivered salvage.
There are heavy escorts around 120t mass, these are multipurpose ships modified for escort jobs which mean removed cargo capacity and some bonuses (please install EscortPack OXP to get these).
You need a ship with 325t mass to be able to use all escorts up to the maximal 130t, so an Anaconda or special (OXP) Pythons can hold heavy escorts but a Cobra Mark III (215t) or a Boa (182t) can't.
You can prime Escort Deck with Shift+N then activate with "n" key to launch or call back your escorts. The mode key "b" select a single escort for launch or callback. There is an auto launch if you enter into red alert and auto callback when changed to green.
You can prevent the launch of any ship if you select it by the mode key then activate once only: the first press will change the status to "LOCKED". The second activate will remove the lock and launch it, but you can call back instantly with a third keypress if you want to stay on the deck without the lock.
There is an auto launch if you enter into red alert and auto callback when changed to green.
There is a Multi-Function Display of Escort Deck, you can turn it on using the ":" and ";" keys.
This show the list of current escorts, a "->" mark before the selected one, name, energy, fuel (if this escort has working Injectors), distance, bearing (^> mean up left) and activity:
ATTACK: Attack a hostile ship (your target first) DECK: Landed on the deck FLEE: Flee from a missile or recover some energy (from 40% to 80%) FOLLOW: Follow your ship at 2km range GOTO: Go to a hostile ship using Injectors if available until arrive within Beam Laser range (15km) INJECT: Attack using Injectors until distance is over 10km LANDING: Landing approach, will not do anything else until landed LOCKED: Stay on the deck and will not launch with the other ships SALVAGE: Unusable ship, will be salvaged in the next dock for a few thousand credits SNIPER: Sniper attack, need a forward laser over 15km range, like Military Laser
You can pick up a new escort even if there is no more free landing pads listed on your MFD if you select a pad and maintain a target lock on the new ship when try to land or an escort is not in your deck. In these cases the old one will be replaced and you will find it bit farther behind your ship.
The released escort will follow you (if it is not derelict) while you stay within the same system and don't take a rest (reload the game), but will not defend you by itself. So you can pick up a derelict ship by replacing one of your escorts, transfer it into a station for payment, then leave the station and relock your old escort to the deck.
If you dock or enter into a wormhole while some of your escorts are not in your deck then those that is within your scanner range will be docked also. Others can be lost, especially if travelled far from you.
If you want to exchange the positions of two escorts on your deck then do these in order:
1. Select an escort by mode key (b) if Escort Deck is primed with Shift+N and all escorts landed. 2. Launch it with the activate key (n) and wait a few seconds for it to go out of landing distance. 3. Press activate (n) again to order it back to landing and turn your ship to keep it in your screen. 4. Press mode (b) until you select the second escort to flag the wanted landing position. 5. Put your target lock to the launched ship: press "r" and aim well with your crosshairs. 6. Wait for landing when the exchange will be done.
The MFD can show the ship on Towbar in the last line, maked as T: . You can release the towed ship by selecting and activating it in this MFD. If no ship on your Towbar then show the maximal mass which your ship can tow (1.6 times of the mass of your ship).
Your escorts will be refuelled when you buy fuel for your ship.
Cost: 2000.0 Cr. Techlevel: 1
Escort Deck XL
If your ship is over 400t like an Anaconda then you can buy XL deck instead of the common deck can hold 8 escorts behind you, but the mass limit is lower: max. 60t, so you can't use Asp and heavy escort ships.
If you have Towbar then you can't pick up any ship there due to the long XL deck occupy the same space behind you. The simple escort deck is shorter and Towbar compatible so if you plan to salvage larger ships than small escorts then you should choose the normal deck.
Warning: your ship can be "uber" if you use 8 escorts, so if you want limit yoursef then stick with the smaller deck and avoid the XL variant.
Carriers can hold 10 escorts on the internal XL deck (the "neck") and the mass limit is 130t as in the normal deck. Moreover the first two pads (on the top) can hold wider and heavier ships up to 378t (40% of Carriers' mass) and 130x35x95m including Cobra Mark III, Krait and other large ships also. This is even more "uber" but intentionally: a Carrier should be able to hold stronger fleet than others.
Cost: 2000.0 Cr. Techlevel: 1
In F4 screen you can view, rename and salvage your current escorts. Moreover if Hyperspace Hangar is installed then you can buy esorts from the main shipyard (F3F3) using the following steps:
1. Buy a small ship from a shipyard which fit into your deck and save your main ship into the Hyperspace Hangar. 2. Equip it for combat as you wish, just avoid player-only tools like Railgun. 3. Save the escort into the hangar by switching into your main ship. 4. Go to the Escort Deck interface, select an empty deck and get the escort from the hangar.
The hangar is usable as a temporary storage to rearrange your escorts as well as fix damaged equipments or buy new ones, just store your main ship into the hangar:
1. Select a ship in the EscortDeck Interface. 2. Put into Hyperspace Hangar. 3. Go into the interface of Hyperspace Hangar and switch into the stored escort. 4. Equip or fix it. 5. Switch back into your main ship in the hangar interface. 6. Go to the EscortDeck interface, select an empty deck and get your escort from the hangar.
If you acquired an OXP escort ship which is not designed for player then you can not switch into.
You can upgrade the whole escort if you buy another ship in shipyard (F3F3) while you are switched into an escort. The old ship will be counted into the cost of the new one, regardless of you found (or just forced to eject) in the deep space.
The trade-in value (75% of ship price) is displayed in the interface (see the top left corner in the screenshot above) due to this reason. But you are not able to sell an escort and get this big money directly (to keep up some balance).
Ship mass table
Adder 16 Moray 51 Cobra Mk I 52 Fer-de-Lance 53 Asp 75 Boa 182 Cobra Mk III 215 Boa2 216 Python 267 Anaconda 438
NPC: Gecko 25 Sidewinder 26 Constrictor 28 Viper 34 Mamba 36 Krait 94
Escort Deck variants
You will get one of the following variants depending on the mass of your ship.
- Below 30t: You can not use any decks.
- 30t-130t: Small deck without side pads.
- 130t-260t: Normal deck with side pads for two additional mini escorts (Adder).
- 260t-: Wide deck which can hold ships up to 95m width (Krait).
- 400t-: You can choose either the wider deck or XL deck.
- Carriers can hold the most powerful escort fleet, using the big hull as a deck.
For more information see the regarding discussuion.
Escorts released to counterattack a bad guy:
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License version 4.0. If you are re-using any piece of this OXP, please let me know by sending an e-mail to norbylite at gmail.com.
The 3D models of decks are derived from Leviathan Platform in Aquatics OXP, thanks to Thargoid and P.A. Groove.
Escort locked sound is equal with Towbar locked which is based on bgs-m_fx_shipyard1.ogg in BGS OXP.
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2022.12.14. v1.12 Updates escorts' AIs and scripts to avoid closing too fast at landing. Increases TL for equipments and escort ships. Adds configuration for launching/calling back when going in/out of red alert. Adds configuration for base usable derelict probability. Configuration via Svengali's Library 'Config for AddOns'. Takes NPC_equipmentDamage OXP's equipment damage into account for usable derelict probability calculation (reduces base probability of being usable). Makes Towbar not salvage usable derelicts if Hyperspace Hangar is installed. Optimizes mass factor (degradation of ship maneuverability by ship's total mass) updates. Tests for a functional escortdeck in the player ship in event handlers. Updates shipAtackedOther event handler to handle Laser Reductor presence and be compatible with use as a ship event handler for the escorts. Puts a random factor into awarding equipment to usable derelicts, and those equipment could be damaged. Uses ShipStorageHelper OXP for ship serialization if installed. Sets event handlers in the escorts' ship scripts to use Laser Reductor. Fixes bug in scrolling along the pads in the MFD. Makes Towbar's Tug Drone store usable derelicts in the Hyperspace Hangar. Performance updates to FCB. Adds status of escorts' shields to MFD. Adds menu entry to refuel escort to EscortDeck Station Interface. Sets current galaxy number and system ID to the shipdata array when storing an escort in Hyperspace Hangar. 2016.07.17. v1.11 Updated for Oolite 1.84 where player can not be the leader of a group. 2016.06.25. v1.9 Fixed long message bug at salvage without Towbar, thanks to Strato1. Too heavy message is not repeated too often anymore. Deck is drifting away after player died. Improved landing code based on the similar part in Fighters OXP. 2016.03.13. v1.8 Interface menu display the names of ships in deck. Fixed value in "you paid" message in costly non-main stations. Aft Sniper Gun will not move the deck too far anymore, needed by Asp SG and Python SG. Escort Deck can hold the long Asp SG and Fer-de-Lance SG, Wide Deck can hold Krait SG also. Carrier top deck can hold Cobra Mark III SG, main deck can hold Krait SG. Typo fix in shipdata, thanks to phkb. 2015.10.14. v1.7 Interface functions: rename, salvage, put into Hyperspace Hangar and get back. 2015.10.04. v1.6 Escort Deck Interface added into the F4 screen. Deck positions can be locked to avoid launch of some ships. Deck cost raised to 2000cr as suggested by Vincentz. Escorts start with heat shield for sunskimming, requested by QCS. Chance to find an usable derelict escort is reduced, salvage increased. MFD show the ship on Towbar in the last line, maked as T: . You can release the towed ship by selecting and activating it in MFD. Show the mass of attached salvage ships on MFD. Fixed for the change of weaponPositions to array in Oolite 1.83. Escortship personality is restored from Oolite 1.81. 2015.04.14. v1.5 MFD show max. mass and sizes of empty decks depending on player ship. Further increased distances on deck before Oolite 1.81. Fixed maximum mass check of escorts, must below 40% of owner ship's mass. Hard and Granite escorts counted with original mass (without double density). Fixed equipment restore on escorts if depends on another equipment. 2015.04.11. v1.4 Collision fixes, needed before Oolite 1.81. Granite ships on deck do not prevent hyperjump anymore. From 1.81 slower steering and acceleration in proportion with the mass on deck. 2015.04.06. v1.3 Increased distance around player without Injectors to 5km, thanks to QCS. Workaround against escort terminated by Witchpoint Beacon. 2015.03.20. v1.2 Refined escort landing sequence to prevent collisions, thanks to QCS. Added a collisionException between the Witchpoint Beacon and escorts. Fixed rollback price of unsuccessful escort purchese in Rock Hermits. 2015.01.20. v1.1 No escort launch at injector speeds nor autolaunch at maximum speed. Fixed escort equipments after load game. All escorts got a missile pylon to workaround a bug with Carriers' sit into feature. Escort view positions added. 2015.01.11. v1.0 First release.
- Escort Pack adds another 24 possible escorts to choose from
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