Ship Crew

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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Tortanick
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Ship Crew

#1 Post by Tortanick »

This thread is to discuss ships crew, mainly should ships have a value for crew and how should it work, the effect of crew on experiance can be discussed too?

My view is as follows

Crew is a good idea to have, since it is a sort of HP for boarding operations, without crew then every boarding attack is judged individually, rather than on the basis of what attacks have gone before.

The amount of crew in a ship is chosen by components, not hull size. This allows players to give extra make there close range fighters with a high risk of being boarded and a skeleton crew to their support ships that probably won't get boarded.

If you loose to many crew then components shut down, the AI inteligently chooses witch components and can move crew around the ship for a small time penalty.

Redshirts always get shot before the officers, so crew death has no effect on a ships exp.

For Crew in a largely alien race: Technobable it and screw realism, an AI race may have one AI per crew quarter (really a large supercomputer), but the more AI's per ship the more attack robots they can command at once so the better defended.

In the battle between attack robots and boarding parties shots will damage the network running through the ship. As a result the AI's will find it harder to work with their components. etc, etc.



Do you think crew should be divided into marines and normal crew, or there be one value for crew that fights and works the components?

Kitsune-dono
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Re: Ship Crew

#2 Post by Kitsune-dono »

First of all: Crew? I didn't know the ships were going to have crew. To me that seems like over-complicating things.

But if they are...

Well, then there should be some crew specifically made for repelling boarding parties and boarding other ships. All military vessels should have armed crewman, it'd be pretty stupid not to. I'm sure that yes, ship operators and techies can take up weapons, but they aren't trained for it. You really can't train for both, because if the operators are fighting, who's running the ship? O_o

I can just imagine...

"Sir! We have boarders!"

"Fight back!"

*Half hour later*

"Well done crew, we have repelled the boarders!"

"YAY!"

"But...wait...Who's flying the ship?" O_O

"Crap..."

That's where the U.S.S. Whatever crashes into the planet Naboo because nobody was steering it or somebody didn't get around to restoring those faulty braking systems because they were too busy getting happy on the enemy with a repeating rocket launcher.

So if you were to have a crew, it would be stupid not to have soldiers on board. Technically, if we really wanted to be accurate... Something the size of a Star Destroyer from Star Wars carries... Oh, I have it, that old Star Wars fact book, around here somewhere... Found it.

The standard Star Destroyer carries around 5,000 people on board to keep it running. That's just the gunners, pilots, system monitors, mechanics, etc. It also carries a garrison of around 3,000 troops. That's realistic, especially in the Star Wars universe where the number of people in a single solar system numbers in the trillions.

That would mean realistically, you don't want to board it. That would take days, weeks, to take something that size and that heavily-manned. But I'm guessing players don't wanna wait that long to board right? Maybe a minute at most before they get impatient. Then again, I guess this game's population doesn't number in the trillions per solar system, so ships would have to be manned by less people.

Or maybe boarding should be a rare occurrence. I mean, in order to board, wouldn't you first have to not only disable their engines, but also their weapons as well? To get close enough to board, you're giving their weapons a large target to hit. Effectively, you'd have to entirely disable the ship and hope you don't destroy it in the process in order to board it. Maybe boarding should happen after battle, just the act of looting ship hulls for resources.

You see, before you can even really consider the crew, you have to consider what the crew can do and the possibilities of that. I'd say that boarding doesn't really have to happen, because realistically, how would it happen short of nearly destroying the targeted ship? Sure you can use some sort of special ship that pierces the hull and lets a few troops in, but realistically, they'd lose every time due to lack of numbers, thus defeating the purpose of boarding.

In my view, after typing all this up, I don't think you even need to consider crew a part of the ship's integration.

All that to say I don't like it? O_o Yah, sure, you bet'cha.

Rho
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Re: Ship Crew

#3 Post by Rho »

It all depends on how much people is required to run all that's needed to run on those ships. If guns are handled by remote from a gun control, the number of gunners could be severely reduced, and if the computer does most of the manual labor and the bridge weapons officer is all it takes to tell the computer what to target and when to shoot, the crew could be as little as less than a dozen for a significantly large ship. Defenses could be computer-controlled as well, or simply a number of blast doors preventing anyone from reaching wherever the crew lives and works.

A troop transport is a completely different matter, and a ship with troop pods that serves other functions too (such as shooting ships) should be able to function even after it's dropped off whatever space marines it carried.

A Star Destroyer serves a number of purposes, but depending on how much is automated, the size of the crew on a FO ship can vary greatly. Besides, the right equipment can cripple a ship's systems if someone manages to sneak aboard and install it. Depending on what computer the ship uses. An electronic computer is going down with EMP, an optronic computer could likely be overloaded by sending some really harmful rays through its optic fibers. Some kind of bio-based computer is even more sensitive. Whatever else can be conceived probably comes witha weakness or two any boarders could exploit.

The right approach could take a small team of SEAL-ish boarders to the bridge or another command center and start screwing with the ship and its crew, like venting atmosphere or just sealing the crew somewhere. So boarding a huge ships regardless of the size of the crew is possible, says I.

How to implement it is more difficult, but separate meters and whether or not there's any intel on what kind of computer the ship uses and where the bridge and other key locations are (this is what military espionage is really about... I think)... it says something, doesn't it?

And who says sneaking explosives or a computer virus aboard a ship isn't an option? FO _is_ gonna have espionage and saboutage, right?
--
.rho

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Krikkitone
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Re: Ship Crew

#4 Post by Krikkitone »

The way I would define a crew is anything inside the ship that interacts with the inside of the ship... whether they are mechanical arms scattered throughout theship that move around on rails or complex internal gravity fields that move things around.

A Crew would be required on pretty much any ship for maintenance purposes [but not necessarily for control, a single super computer could be tied to all the weapons/engines/shields], and if something can breach the hull, then you need something Inside the hull to deal with it.

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utilae
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Re: Ship Crew

#5 Post by utilae »

My idea on the crew is to make them components.

eg
You can have your lasers, shields and "Han Solo - Pilot" who gives +50% bonus to engine speed and point defense weapons.

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Krikkitone
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Re: Ship Crew

#6 Post by Krikkitone »

A good Idea someone else mentioned in regards to crew experience is to have it be empire wide.

A few reasons for this.. (real life..but they then tie into gameplay)

1. Crew members either get experience from battle or training at an empire level
2. Crew membrs slowly get replaced, and can be shifted among ships

I'm imagining

By being in a Battle, ship 'Control elements' (whether they are crew members, shipboard super computers or the local branch of the Hive mind) get Combat experience.

Their Combat experience gives their ship bonuses but it slowly leaks into an empire wide pool (they get transferred between ships, they retire to teach new troops, Central Control assimilates the lessons)

That Empire wide pool is used to 'purchase' new 'Control elements'... so if you want an Elite ship, it will cost you a whole lot of Imperial combat experience.

Also the Imperial Combat Experience should slowly decay (it would get replenished either from ships or through 'Training Facilities' (Buildings)..perhaps some small amount generated based on total Imperial population)

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utilae
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Re: Ship Crew

#7 Post by utilae »

Hmm that idea is nice and simple.

krum
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Re: Ship Crew

#8 Post by krum »

Nice idea. I can imagine an Imperial Starfleet Academy that gives you -50% experience decay.

yoshi
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Re: Ship Crew

#9 Post by yoshi »

i say unleash the magogish swarm ships. only a few in such a shiop you saw? yeah sure there is only a few in one. but you could have dozens latch onto the hull in minutes. and as said above drop in seali-ish type of squads to disable internal defenses and external weapons would prove effective

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Bigjoe5
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Re: Ship Crew

#10 Post by Bigjoe5 »

I think everyone except Rho and kitsune-dono is forgetting about one of the major roles of the crew: boarding enemy ships. kitsune-dono's argument is composed of realism and therefore void. Rho's argument responds with realism, making it just as pointless. I think that for the purposes of pure fun, the only gameplay function of a ships crew should be for ground combat/boarding. In fact, I think that regular ships shouldn't be able to board or deploy troops.

Boarding in combat would probably be fairly rare due to the phased time system. The ship would actually have to dock if it didn't have transporters. You would probably only try to board a ship in a situation where it would give you a strategic advantage outside of the battle. I think boarding should be fairly rare and only used in circumstances in which you planned it before the battle to get a strategic advantage in the game instead of just being "oh look, I think I'm going to randomly capture a ship". There should be a special troop carrier that you use to take over planets and enemy ships.

The battle system we have already encourages ship to ship boardings being fairly rare. I think it's a good idea.
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yaromir
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Re: Ship Crew

#11 Post by yaromir »

I like Krikkit's idea as it keeps the focus empire-wide instead of ship-by-ship.

It is also reminiscent of EU3 General system
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utilae
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Re: Ship Crew

#12 Post by utilae »

Bigjoe5 wrote: I think everyone except Rho and kitsune-dono is forgetting about one of the major roles of the crew: boarding enemy ships.

I think that regular ships shouldn't be able to board or deploy troops.

I agree.
Bigjoe5 wrote: Boarding in combat would probably be fairly rare due to the phased time system. The ship would actually have to dock if it didn't have transporters. You would probably only try to board a ship in a situation where it would give you a strategic advantage outside of the battle. I think boarding should be fairly rare and only used in circumstances in which you planned it before the battle to get a strategic advantage in the game instead of just being "oh look, I think I'm going to randomly capture a ship". There should be a special troop carrier that you use to take over planets and enemy ships.
I don't see how the battle system limits the frequency of boarding. You see in Moo2 (Master Of Orion 2) you could only board a ship if the target ship was immobile, or if you used transporters or assault shuttles. So we can certainly create more technologies that can make boarding easier, such as assault shuttles.

yoshi
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Re: Ship Crew

#13 Post by yoshi »

they had assault shuttles on moo2 as well :)


so why make boarding rare again??? i mean sure you can say i am randomly going to capture a ship and i honestly dont see the problem with that. or you could go hmmm i will try this raiding thing and see if i cant get thier weapons offline or some such. pre planning will always make your chances better but shouldnt be required

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utilae
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Re: Ship Crew

#14 Post by utilae »

yoshi wrote: they had assault shuttles on moo2 as well :)
Yeah, thats what I just said :)
yoshi wrote: so why make boarding rare again??? i mean sure you can say i am randomly going to capture a ship and i honestly dont see the problem with that. or you could go hmmm i will try this raiding thing and see if i cant get thier weapons offline or some such. pre planning will always make your chances better but shouldnt be required
The one problem I see with needing anything to involve planning, is that it might slow down space combat.

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Bigjoe5
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Re: Ship Crew

#15 Post by Bigjoe5 »

Well, I personally think its better if there are more specialized strategies rather than many instant strategies that you can just do at any given time. Basically, if you capture a ship in a battle, the purpose of that battle would probably have been to capture the ship, or else you brought along the necessary means just in case. For example, in a large scale planet seige, you might have brought along troops to go disable their missile base in mid-combat, but you might not have the necessary stuff to immobilize their ships for capture. I think planning ahead should be important in battles to relate them to other parts of the game like espionage and diplomacy.
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