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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 6:57 pm 
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Sorry, the point I was trying to make was that it should be up to the player how they counter tactics like that, not an arbitrary rule about where you can place ships. If there is a buffer area around system exits where the defender can't place ships, its just another rule that the player has to follow. If the player can use different tactics to clear that area, such as the ones you suggested, its that much more fun for the player, and adds a bit more strategy to the game.

Ship entry will take a bit of balancing. IMO that balance should be achieved by giving the player choice, not rules.

But your idea of being able to send ships onto the map at different times in the battle would definetely give the game a more epic feel. Instead of "The whole Terran fleet flew into the Klackon system and everyone started blasting away."

you get

"The Terran light cruiser flew out of the star lane and quickly began to decimate the weaker Klackon destroyers arranged around the wormhole exit. The crews cheered as several Klackon ships burst into flames and exploded, but were quickly silenced by the barrage of thermonukes that came flying out from the two missile cruisers the Klackon fleet had been hiding just beyond sensor range. The Klackons reserve ships moved up to finish the dying Terran cruisers, when suddenly out of the starlane appeared...." and so on.

Even with my weak story telling skills I hope you can see that giving to player more options, instead of rules makes gameplay better. (and sorry for the whole story diversion, but it was the best example i could think of.)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:02 pm 
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I gree

Indeed it might be better to have the defender place their units where ver they want in the system, but the Attacker place their units on a seperate 'Star lane exit point map' which shows WHEN they will appear at the Starlane Exit point.


(also on a side note, this connects to blockades... If you are Blockading a Planet, you merely keep a fleet in orbit around that planet... If you are Blockading a System, you keep a Fleet at each of the Starlane Exit Points... any Transport ship coming in is eliminated)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:43 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
I've added a bit about starlane endpoints to the design doc on the wiki.

Essentially, starlane endpoints are "moderate" sized areas at the edges of systems. They're big enough to deploy a fleet in, but don't cover the whole edge of the system. Ships arriving on the starlane deploy there, and ships have to be within the endpoint to retreat along the starlane.

Leaving on a starlane takes a few battle turns in the endpoint area, and ships can be attacked (and attack back) while attempting to leave.
what about mining the Warp point? It seems like a practical idea to have the option to do that as a way to keep people from running from battle. They attempt to run for the warp point and to actually get there they must go through your minefield to escape.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:23 am 
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In my opinion, this project could take a thing or two from the Starfire games series, and the books based on the game by Steve White and David Weber.

For those unfamiliar with them, interstellar travel is accomplished by ships transiting through starlanes with defined entry and exit points. The majority of combat takes place around these starlanes, as the defender focuses his forces on the exit points and the attacker does his best to force his way into the system. The assaults are especially brutal, as ships generally transit one at a time to reduce the odds of ships appearing on the other side in the same area of space (two ships can't occupy the same space safely, y'know).

Defenders put defensive stations in orbit of warp points, as well as mining the area around the warp point with various types of mines. They would also station their own ships around the warp point in accordance with whatever plan they have for defeating their enemy.

Attackers develop their own techniques for assaulting warp points. One species uses what are basically disposable ships that are the absolute smallest that can be made that are still able to transit a starlane, and sends them through in massive waves, accepting that they will lose a percentage of them. Another species has developed automated missile pods that are of a similar size as the previously mentioned disposable ships. Again, a certain percentage will perish when they reappear, but enough survive to fire their missiles in a pre-programmed firing priority order. The largest, toughest ships they can build follow soon after to exploit any advantages and clear the way for the rest of the fleet.

Combat doesn't always take place around a warp point, though. This generally happens when the defenders lack the strength to defend a warp point or lack appropriate ships to defend a warp point; a long range missile ship being less suited to a close range battle than a ship with a heavy beam armament. The defenders may also allow an attacker to enter a system so they can get behind them and cut them off from the warp point, to allow a full defeat (rather than just a defeat of the ships that made transit to the system).

Not all of this translates exactly to Free Orion. In particular, fleets travel through starlanes together and can't stop an assault by ceasing to send ships through. However, I think much of the lessons on combat around a warp point between an emerging attacker and a prepared defender could apply to this.

So, a few things:

1: Starlane entrances/exits should be fixed, defined points within star systems.
2: Defenders should have the ability to construct defenses around these fixed, defined points. These defenses should include various sizes of stations and minefields.
2a: Minefields should serve mainly to limit a fleet's ability to move by containing them around a warp point.
3: Espionage and/or scouting should play a role in providing an attacker with information on the fixed defenses surrounding a starlane entrance/exit.
4: Attackers should have means of attacking these fixed defenses by using the information gained through scouting or espionage. Targeting information gained through these methods should provide attackers with a preliminary fire phase during combat, where pre-planned fire orders are executed against known targets (mine clearing missiles clear paths through minefields, beams and missiles are fired against stations).

Just my two cents on the matter.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:05 pm 
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I totally agree with the idea of limiting the attacker's deploying to the starlane entry point. One of the most important thing about space combat (at least I think) is that it should have very high costs for the attacker. In MoO2, without considering battlestations and planets, the attacker has the same chances to win of the defender. I think that more realistically the defender should easily (or quite easily) win a battle with an opponent with the same "total firepower" as him.

I usually don't agree with bonuses or things like that, but the idea of "mining" the entry point, or if we implement the possibility for the attacker to plan the "entrance" (first small ships, then one turn later my destroyer, followed by the rest of the fleet...) even randomizing a bit the entering time, could be a good one. This would give the defender a tactical advantage, without unrealistic bonuses to defense/offense attributes.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:13 pm 
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As noted here there will not be mines. To blockade a starlane entry point, it can be surrounded with ships at the start of a battle.

For v0.4, ships will all arrive at the start of the battle and be arranged by players before the battle starts. If we need to complicate things later, we might let them arrive in groups depending on their time of arrival during the turn.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:29 pm 
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Flatline wrote:
I totally agree with the idea of limiting the attacker's deploying to the starlane entry point.
I like the idea of having techs that modify this. Implementing and balancing them... not sure exactly how easy that would be.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:43 pm 
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For the reasons explained here, i think it's important that a retreating ship/fleet can only escape battle via the starlane he entered from (or in the case of a player's fleet arriving from multiple lanes— one of the lanes that his side has used to enter battle.)

The important function systems as "choke points" is compromised if (unstealthed) ships can run through a system (if they survive) and travel to systems further in.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:59 pm 
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I think that chokepoints are still fine if a player can "run the blockade"
if the assumption is that most forces are going to be concentrated near the starlane Entrance/Exit, (which seems the best place to put them) then you would have to go Through (or around) the enemy forces to run the starlane. That seems very risky, as you will be engaging in Intense combat with them... if you survive that combat... they can still follow you through whatever starlane you go through next (so Retreating deeper into the enemy system is a bad idea

Here's the example, Z is the Invader's system, W,X,Y are defender systems
W--X--Y--Z
If the Invaders arrive in Y, and attempt to move onto X (the real Target), then the Battles they will face are

Y fleet in Y (as they Run through)
Combined W,X,Y fleets in X (Y fleet followed them through and W fleet was brought up)

Because once you engage someone, they Know what Starlane you went through

Now if the Invaders are Faster they maybe able to avoid defeat from the W+Y Fleets, BUT that just means the Y fleet has to be able to do enough Damage to a "blockade running" fleet in the Y system.

On the otherhand if you are retreating 'backwards' then there is nothing between You and Escape (unless they cut you off.)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:02 pm 
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I also agree that runningblockades should be an allowable tactic. In fact, I hope the tech tree will allow people to focus on this tactic (hopefully among many others).


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:06 pm 
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tzlaine wrote:
I also agree that runningblockades should be an allowable tactic. In fact, I hope the tech tree will allow people to focus on this tactic (hopefully among many others).

Such suggestions, and alternatives to them, would be good additions to the High-Level Strategic Options thread.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:28 am 
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I just have a few things about Mining and static defenses. Not that their going to be included anyway (Well Mines at least) but (I hope this isn't too much of a realism argument) according to the sheer size of space it would be relatively impossible to mine a starlane exit properly if their large enough to fit a whole fleet of ships.

In tabletop space games the model of a ship does not represent its size, the ships actual postion would be an almost microscopic little speck at the very center of the model. Considering FO includes the whole system in a battle I'm assuming ships won't be on the same scale as planets and asteroids. But rather their actual position would be right in the center of the ship's visual model. In most science fiction books I know, it would be impractical for a ship formation to be smaller than a few thousand miles accross anyway. A ship's sheer speed in space and it's similarly stunning weapons armament means its practiaclly a requirement for ships to have a large personal space otherwise the big guns on board wouldn't be able to draw a bead on a target.

Therefore you would need a ridiculously large amount of 'smart' moving mines just to create a protective cloud over a small moon. As for static defenses, they don't have anything to orbit around at a starlane exit so it just makes more sense to put slow moving system ships ther instead and form a blockade.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:40 am 
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General_Zaber wrote:
In tabletop space games the model of a ship does not represent its size, the ships actual postion would be an almost microscopic little speck at the very center of the model.


Namely, BattleFleet Gothic :P

Quote:
Therefore you would need a ridiculously large amount of 'smart' moving mines just to create a protective cloud over a small moon.


Well, a "mine" could be defined as a "smart missile with it's engine turned off". You just need to put a few of them where you want and set their on-board computer/AI to "turn on as soon as you see a sensor signature like that and then hit it" :)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:56 am 
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The corrent term would be mine field. And the mine field could cover any range of space.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:38 am 
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eleazar wrote:
For the reasons explained here, i think it's important that a retreating ship/fleet can only escape battle via the starlane he entered from (or in the case of a player's fleet arriving from multiple lanes— one of the lanes that his side has used to enter battle.)

The important function systems as "choke points" is compromised if (unstealthed) ships can run through a system (if they survive) and travel to systems further in.

tzlaine wrote:
I also agree that runningblockades should be an allowable tactic. In fact, I hope the tech tree will allow people to focus on this tactic (hopefully among many others).

For v0.4, I think we should allow ships to leave via any starlane entry / exit point in a system during a battle. If this is found to produce a lot of uninteresting battles or to compromise the choke-point function of systems, this should be revisted. Restricting the exits that ships can use should be a relatively easy adjustment to make later, and I can't really judge which argument is (more) correct at this point.


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