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 Post subject: Ground Combat Thoughts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:34 am 
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Space Krill

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Before I even begin, I'd like to ask: Is there a ground combat section planned for FreeOrion? I've seen references to landing troops et al but I'd like to know exactly how involved it is going to be. MOO-style, GalCiv II style, EFS style?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:58 am 
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Ground combat is scheduled for v0.6 in the roadmap. Beyond that, there's nothing established yet about how ground combat will work.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:15 pm 
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Ah yes, I see. Thank you. Should I wait until 0.4 is complete and 0.5 being worked on before offering thoughts?

Pardon my ignorance, I've only once been vaguely associated with a professional 'part time' project, if you will, and have no idea how this all works.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:36 pm 
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You can post whatever you want (within reason) in the brainstorming forum.

There's no general rule for how community volunteer projects such as this work; each group sets its own rules and conventions, and these vary with time within a group.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:44 pm 
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Minalkra wrote:
Ah yes, I see. Thank you. Should I wait until 0.4 is complete and 0.5 being worked on before offering thoughts?

Pardon my ignorance, I've only once been vaguely associated with a professional 'part time' project, if you will, and have no idea how this all works.


Feel free to offer your thoughts on ground combat or any topic scheduled for the future. This is the right forum for that.

You should just be aware that topics unrelated to v.4 will generally receive less attention. But quite a few people (including me) have put down their thoughts on various topics before that topic comes up for official work.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:52 pm 
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Well, thank you for answering my questions. Looking at everything, my concept of ground combat would be far too involved for this game. While it might be possible, with ad hoc maps created based on the current buildings, population and other 'resources' of the game, it would be difficult. I'm not even sure you WANT this level of interactivity. Let me try to describe the marriage of my original thought to what I perceive your current system is. I'm sorry if I'm wrong in my details, however.

Firstly, units. Currently, the world has an excess of military power. If we were to try to split the army of a single nation, say, Germany into separate, distinct 'Units,' we'd have quite the excess. At first, I was all for a huge number of troop types but now I think it would be best to use a more generalized system. A troop 'Type' (tank corp, artillery, regular troops, et al.), a 'Tech' level (tech I, II, II, IV, V . . .), and an 'Experience' level (Guard, Green, Veteran, Elite). Then I thought of all the ways you can harm another person on the battlefield. I figure there's direct (someone shoots you with a gun), indirect (a bomb lands near you), anti-armor, anti-air, biological and nuclear. Really, anything else can be separated into those categories. Each unit would have an offense in each of these (even if it's 0) and a defense in each of these (it might even be 100). There can even be PSI or something. PSY, for psychological. SHIP for anti-space weapons . . . eh, lets not make it complex.

Ground combat would initiate whenever an attacking fleet manages to get an intact troop transport vessel to interact with the planet itself, essentially beginning a decent. Then, these would be fired upon by any planetary anti-ship weapons. I don't know if it should be only those that did not fire in the previous battle in orbit (if there was one) or if it should be decided in that battle.

Well, regardless, any surviving would disappear from the space map and the actual ground battle would commence. Before the attacker has a chance to do anything, the defender is offered a map of his troop placement in regards to 'cites' and other terrain features, 'tiles.'. These can add bonuses to his troops (defense increase in mountains) or determents (movement decrease in mountains). He can also 'dig in,' providing a large defense bonus but also essentially 'locking' his troops down in that location. This might also be a temporary 'tile state.'

Then the attacker would get to land his troops. If he lands directly on a troop concentration, his ship is under fire from anti-air. Then, the invading troops are under fire. Only when that stops do his troops 'land.' Great advantage for the defender, but only in the beginning. He can land away from troops, thus allowing his to create a beachhead by 'digging in' some of his own troops. Any plot of land or 'city' that he takes is taken offline. The defender can destroy it as he retreats, scorched earth. He can sabotage it, giving -xx% to whatever it did (most 'cities' will be population and other infrastructure buildings). Or he can just hope he can wrest it back from the invader. Any plot that had units 'dug in' automatically causes any unit that enters to become dug in as well (the ditches and tranches and bunkers being used but also hindering movement).

Turn based combat that would be resolved in a simplistic manner. Each unit has a 'stance,' whether it is aggressive, defensive or neutral. They add to their pool but subtract from the opposite (I'm thinking +/- 5%. nothing big, but enough to give an edge). This would represent previous orders. It can be modified by the player or it can be just a continuation of previous orders. Anyway, units fight to the death or until the moral breaks, in which case they are 'captured' and effectively die.

If the attacker is driven off, the map chooses a number of temporary tile states (dug in, radioactive, bio hazard, bombarded, ransacked, et al.) equal to the number of unused PP and removes that state (the people trying to rebuild, even if there are more attackers coming). Dunno if the fight should be lost at planet capital capture or if it should just go to the invader with the remaining troops becoming the 'invaders.'

Anyway, sorry for the rambling and semi-coherent nature of my post. I really had very little time to organize these thoughts. Besides, I don't think this exactly fits in with the game ideal you guys are striving for.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:03 pm 
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Seems like Good Ideas, they probably just need to be abstracted more

For example, I do think basic 'types' of "ground troops" might be good ... I'd put them into three categories
Fast (Air units, high speed grav vehicles).. advantage is speed
Heavy (Tanks, Battleships, Battloids).. advantage is raw combat power
Infantry ('Individual' units) ... advantage is Cover and Numbers ... best at suppressing rebellions with minimal collateral damage
I would give them bonuses like in MOO2, although the bonus would depend on the Unit type (stealth suits would help infantry more, animatter power cores would help heavy more)
Experience levels might also be good.

You definitely need collateral damage while combat is going on.

"Terrain" effects might be good
first of all Environment, if the planet is better for one group than another, the group mor at home will have an advantage
second Infrastructure and population levels ... higher construction meters and population mean that more of the 'terrain' is city... a good defender bonus... assuming the attacker wants to avoid collateral damage
Thirdly 'natural terrain' (mountains/caves/oceans/weather, etc.) it can be assumed all planets have the same basic distribution of this, unless they have some special.

I would like combat to be 'inconclusive' ie two enemy forces can exist on the same planet for a long time... depending on how aggressive they are. (The planet can be under the control of either force with the other being the invader/rebel OR the planet could be contested... meaning it probably produces nothing for export)

There should be a bonus from the 'Space situation'
1. Access to supplies from Orbit
2. Access to Recon/Communications from Orbit
3. Access to fire support from Orbit* (requires Planetary Shields to be down)

And finally Ground Troops should generally have a 'Mission'
Control Planet
Destroy
Raid (attempt to steal tech/get information)
Lower Planetary Shields
(Support Rebels?, Disrupt planetary operations [guerilla warfare])

With some setting as to how much Collateral Damage you will risk in the process


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:53 pm 
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My thoughts on ground combat were originally to make it super simple.

Ground combat units get a mission, eg destroy pesky missile base that threatens my ships in space combat. Little progress bar moves to 100% if successful over 3 turns. Ground combat over. Now my space ships can approach. This would all take place is space combat, and ground combat would be nothing more than a type of weapon effect. This would mean only space combat has to be worried about per turn (combat time limts and number of combats), instead of ground combat and space combat.


But I would like a ground combat to exist as much as a space combat. It would be fun, though we would have more problems on the issue of time limits and number of combats per turn, ie to keep the turns rolling instead of having to wait for players get through various combats.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:59 pm 
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On this topic, you could also do it kinda like... I don't remember which one, but one of the masters of orion games where you could choose tactical combat (for ships) or allow the computer to figure it out. If the player chose to let the computer do it then it was something akin to numbers and what not (so if you have a huge fleet at that time and know you can take it, poof done). but for those cases where you are still fairly even matched and you wanna play it out, then take the slow route. Personally as a game gets more complex to play it can be even more fun (granted only if you are some how rewarded for playing the complex stuff through) though would deff add a lot more to the actual code to build this sorta system in.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:15 am 
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I had my own idea of incorporating ground and space combat:

All ships would have an inventory of assets they could use against planets, orbitals and other stationary installations. This would include ordnance (bombs), strafing and bombing runs from the ship's fighters as well as troop pods (representing a single unit such as an infantry platoon).

These assets would be used in the same way as weapons are used against ships. However once troops had arrived on a planet, you would be able to double click that planet and it would come up with a window split into four sections:
A rotating image of the planet showing vague locations of where troops and military structures are located
A list of troops and assets that you can use on that planet.
Another list showing a number of missions you can assign the selected unit/s and/or asset/s
Finally a short queue showing what missions the selected units and assets have been assigned.

This way you could give orders to your ships each turn and mouse over planets and stuff to set priorities for troops stationed there. When you click "turn" the ground combat would be resolved at the same time as space combat.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:16 pm 
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All valid points. Ground combat is often overlooked in these games though, and I can't say I blame them. Perhaps there are some games out there we can take a hint from.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:24 pm 
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Take a look at "Imperium Galactica 2".
It has space AND ground combat. It just uses tanks and no infantry but same as
space combat you can build defense towers on ground (the better the more you tech)
and you can also get assist from orbit surrounding warships or bombers (has to be teched too)

Maybe you can find some good ideas there, it's a very cool game, have a look.
http://www.digitalreality.hu/index.php? ... ame&item=3
at the bottom a playable demo is linked


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 Post subject: Imperium Galactica II
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:16 am 
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I remember that game! It was fun rolling those tanks around and blowing stuff up. It was no command and conquer or warcraft, but I would much rather fight ground combat in Imperium Galactica II than Space Empires V.

What I began to notice though is that after the novelty wore off, watching was all that you cared to do. The ground combat "minigame" had no depth, though it ran very nice and smooth graphically. I think Gal Civ has the practical approach, seeing how space combat is really what the players care about.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:17 pm 
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Indeed, and its that what should be priority in a space simulating TBS like FO.
The only question is, SHOULD ground battle be integrated, and if yes, how?
The idea of making a groundbattle interactive is very cool. But it also could look
like one of the first two parts of MoO, just send troops....the rest works all alone.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:23 pm 
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