Fleet resupply

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Krikkitone
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#46 Post by Krikkitone » Fri Jun 25, 2004 7:57 pm

Essentially, we have two ways to deal with a supply route (in the sense of the supply route getting longer or of it getting more dangerous)

1. Increased cost off 'supply/maintenance'
2. Decreased availability of 'supply/maintenance'

I'd say mix the two... Increased cost AND decreasing supply availability
so

% Supply ... Cost Factor (at increasing levels of 'difficulty reaching fleet' measured in Turns..with raiding fleets adding a certain number of 'Turns')
100..........1
95............1.5
90............2
85............2.5
down to
10............10

Each system would have a certain number of 'turns' added to it based on the level of 'piracy' v. 'security' (piracy being a semi-spontaneous factor based on your own internal 'oppression' as well as being a result of enemy empire's raiding ships.. and security being the strength of your patrols in the area)

This way a solid enemy presence in a system would be like adding 100 turns of travel time through that system...allowing for a simple calculation of 'best route'. (this could also be used to model the impact of pirates/enemy raiders on trade routes if those are in.)

'faster/cloaked/armored and armed/escorted supply ships' would then be modeled by a comparison of your tech level to that of the raiders/pirates to determine how many turns they would impose on your ships (a group of modern supply ships wouldn't worry about pirates with Roman era technology in general..almost no matter how many of them there were)

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Geoff the Medio
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#47 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sat Jun 26, 2004 5:00 pm

Krikkitone: Can you spell things out a bit more clearly? What are the effects of "% Supply" and "Cost Factor"?

"% Supply" could be the % of your total capacity, determined by the number of supply ships assigned to a fleet, that arrives at the fleet each turn. It could also be the % of what your fleet "needs" that arrives that turn. Is this modelling some of the supplies being lost to piracy, or just the longer / more difficult route requiring a larger portion of the supply ships to be in transit, rather than making (finishing) their deliveries each turn?

Cost factor, is this a multiple? I assume it's a multiplication factor for a cost in $ or PP determined by the number of PP sent (not number of PP arriving, if they are different). Presumably this account for the extra cost to delievering each unit of supply to a fleet that would be a consequence of taking a longer route... or is it something else?

If you're separating cost factor and whatever % supply is, is it necessary / beneficial to have them be always pegged to eachother's values?
Krikkitone wrote:(piracy being a semi-spontaneous factor based on your own internal 'oppression' as well as being a result of enemy empire's raiding ships.. and security being the strength of your patrols in the area)
Can you thorougly spell out what determines the strengths of security patrols, raiding ships, what an area is and how you imagine these and opression affecting the piracy rating... and how/why piracy affects supply time.

I'm not really keen on piracy being a factor of your internal politics... I had thought of it as being part of the tactical game with the enemy, not something determined by your internal social/fiscal policy (opressometer setting). I suppose this might have it's place though...
This way a solid enemy presence in a system would be like adding 100 turns of travel time through that system...allowing for a simple calculation of 'best route'.
It seems simpler to just say a system is passable / blocked.
'faster/cloaked/armored and armed/escorted supply ships' would then be modeled by a comparison of your tech level to that of the raiders/pirates to determine how many turns they would impose on your ships (a group of modern supply ships wouldn't worry about pirates with Roman era technology in general..almost no matter how many of them there were)
If modelled as "turns" and not "% lost to piracy", this also seems, to me, better modelled as a go/no go for whether a supply route can pass through the system. (particularily for your 100 turns example... it seems sufficiently bad to not warrant going at all... so it might as well be declared "officially" blocked. Any really, after a certain point, you're never going to get any ships through a really good blockage, no matter how many you send in undefended...)

I imagine supply ships as being essentially defenceless, so if you're so advanced you don't need to worry about an enemy attacking your non-combat ships, then you probably don't need to worry about tactial strikes behind enemy lines and the whole concept of supply anyway. That said, cloaking type effects are certainly reasonable... though I'd expect them to just let you ignore any enemy ships in a system, rather than reduce their effect partially (fits better with go / no go). I suppose there could be various levels of stealth and detection tech that are only fractionally effective... but still inclined to prefer go / no go for simplicity / clarity.

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#48 Post by Krikkitone » Sat Jun 26, 2004 7:02 pm

% Supply: I was thinking of as the % of the maximum that could be used by the fleet (so at 80% supply a ship could only be repaired 80% of its normal amount repaired hp, only restock 80% of its missile supply each turn, only have its crew 80% as comfortable)

Cost: I was thinking that that would be a factor of the increased PP (probably) cost per unit of supply that was used (each unit of repairing the ship/missile reloaded, as well as a multiple on the normal maintenance cost [actually normal maintenance multipler would probably be % Supply* Cost Factor]


The idea is they are not pegged to each other's values but both pegged to the 'total turns distance'.


Piracy either of the Imperial or spontaneous kind (If we have it) is made similar to distance in that Both make it harder/more expensive to get supplies there.
*Note: in my model supply ships are not even modeled as an 'imperial capacity' like MOO2 freighters. Essentially, they are instantly build and disbanded (or bought from and returned to other use) as needed.

Essentially The Raiding 'Turns' for a system would depend on comparing the 'Search and Destroy' abilities of the two 'fleets' present (if 'nonaligned' pirate ships exist then their effect of course is mathematically generated). and then the 'Escape values' of the Supply Ships of your empire (basically Engine, Armor, and Cloaking Techs)

So Weapons and Armor of course as well as significantly Sensors + 'Cloaking' (or decreased Detectability) and Speed

Note2: my Model also allows a combat model where enemy fleets can inhabit the same system without fighting/knowing about each other.
If modelled as "turns" and not "% lost to piracy", this also seems, to me, better modelled as a go/no go for whether a supply route can pass through the system. (particularily for your 100 turns example... it seems sufficiently bad to not warrant going at all... so it might as well be declared "officially" blocked. Any really, after a certain point, you're never going to get any ships through a really good blockage, no matter how many you send in undefended...)

Well That is true, but the point there is the extreme one.. The idea would be that at a lightly defended enemy outpost with a small enemy raiding fleet might only add 3 or 4 turns and thus might be worth going through rather than going around. (you run the minor blockade and lose a few ships but most are able to avoid being picked off, and make it through to the other side).. more productive/cheaper than going the long way around

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#49 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sat Jun 26, 2004 9:00 pm

Krikkitone wrote:% Supply: I was thinking of as the % of the maximum that could be used by the fleet (so at 80% supply a ship could only be repaired 80% of its normal amount repaired hp, only restock 80% of its missile supply each turn, only have its crew 80% as comfortable)
I'm not really fond of any system that changes the amount of supplies you can send proportional to the amount you need. Your capacity to send should have nothing to do with your need to fill, imho.

From this arises the suggestions to either:
a) let the player send more than is needed by picking an amount to send, or
b) always sending as much as is required to ensure that the fleet gets 100% of what it needs.

if a), then that's either 1) an overly broad setting like a civ tax rate that has to apply to all fleets, meaning many get oversupplied so that you can ensure all fleets get what then need, or 2) a load of extra micro either i) for the player or ii) to automate away. if i), you incur the wrath of the micro-phobics. if ii), why bother with 2)? if 1), that's really annoying, since you waste a lot, but I guess that would be acceptable to some / most.

if b) then distance to supply directly translates into increased production to supply, and piracy just acts like an extra cost. This would pretty much remove any need to be strategic about fleet movements, since you could always just pay a bit more to avoid the issue. Thus production always wins, and there's no tactical strategy really required.

I'm also not too keen on the ability to repair ship damage away from spacedock, or at least the ability to instantly and fully repair ship damage away from spacedock without special purpose repair ships or race abilities and without significant cost, much more than tyipcal "supplies" would represent, in my mind... Supplies should, i think, be missles, fighters and generic supplies for point defence ammo, if applicable, and consumables (food, air, widgets) that keep a ship and crew running well even when the ship is undamaged, but which can't actually fix major physical damage to the vessel.
Cost: I was thinking that that would be a factor of the increased PP (probably) cost per unit of supply that was used (each unit of repairing the ship/missile reloaded, as well as a multiple on the normal maintenance cost [actually normal maintenance multipler would probably be % Supply* Cost Factor]
No objections to incerased PP cost per unit supply sent. I'm not sure if "sent" is different from "used" however. Also, could you give an example or three to explain the "maintenance multiplier"? I would have thought (cost) = (basic maintainance) * (multiplier), but you've said (multiplier) = *% supply) * (cost), which seems like a circular definition... unless "cost" is "cost factor", but I want to be clear.
The idea is they are not pegged to each other's values but both pegged to the 'total turns distance'.
What's the difference between pegging to values to eachother, and pegging both to the same third value? They're still effectively pegged, as you showed in that chart...
Essentially The Raiding 'Turns' for a system would depend on (...) Weapons and Armor (... and ... ) Sensors + 'Cloaking' (or decreased Detectability) and Speed
(Sorry if I misrepresented by editing) This might be too complicated... Though it might be worth it (see below) even if it is...
Note2: my Model also allows a combat model where enemy fleets can inhabit the same system without fighting/knowing about each other.
No objection to this in priciple, as hiding in asteroid fields / cloaked observing is cool, but if you started raiding someone's supply shipping, I think they'd notice you and take you out...
[/quote]
The idea would be that at a lightly defended enemy outpost with a small enemy raiding fleet might only add 3 or 4 turns and thus might be worth going through rather than going around. (you run the minor blockade and lose a few ships but most are able to avoid being picked off, and make it through to the other side).. more productive/cheaper than going the long way around
Certainly a good point... and it avoids any issues with being able to block supply through a system with "just" a single raider ship or somesuch, which would be really irritating if cutting supply lines was only an all or nothing (destroy a full turn's supply ships if you cut the line) situation...

Though, when I think about it, in WWII for example, if the allies had send all their shipping to europe through the straight of gibraltar, and a signle u-boat had been there, and there were no allied escorts, the single u-boat could have taken out quite a lot of defenceless shipping.

Are you particularily opposed to having supply ships (pre built) "assigned" to a fleet as previously discussed? You wouldn't be manually flying them around or anything.

~~~~~

It seems to me that we could use a system that combines pre-built supply ships assingned to a fleet, as well as the ship stats and % destroyed rate for raiders. Each individual supply ship has one or more stats for blockade running (as well as cargo capacity etc). Each raider ship on its path would have a similar set of stats. These would proably just normal combat values (defence and cloaking and speed for the supply ship) and would perhaps use dependent on an advanced rock-paper-scissors mechanism for balance, if normal ship combat also does so (as I hope).

Every turn, the next (total supply ships) / (round trip route travel time) supply ships attempt to "run" the blockade. They follow the supply route (see below) from the nearest supply point to the fleet, and each raider fleet on the route gets a "shot" (pun) at the supply ships. If the make it past that ship, they go to the next system in the path (and maybe the next fleet), etc. If they are destroyed, then that ship's portion of the turn's supplies don't get to the fleet that turn, and the player loses that ship from those assinged to the fleet (it's destroyed). Replacing the supply ship would require rebuilding.... perhaps with better cloak / speed / armour. This is probably better than all or nothing supply route cutting in any case. Also, I'm suggeseting that (round trip route travel time) be just that, and not dependent on raiding. Raiding destroys some ships, but doesn't directly affect how many per turn can try to get to the fleet (... that turn anyway... less would try next turn if some are destroyed).

The path of the supply route is still an issue... it would be really annoying for the player not to be able to reroute supply ships to avoid the known location of raiders. I'm not sure how to do without massive micro and UI problems though. The altnerative is to say the supply route is always the shortest path to the nearest supply source (a friendly habited system?). Raiders could be stationed along this route in enemy systems or neutral systems (uninhabited) that your supply route passes through. (Your supply route could pass through systems colonized by enemies of yours). ... probably some better system to determine supply route needs to be thought of... it may be difficult to say what would be bad UI or micro without seeing it implimented though...

Another issue is determining and correctly implimenting the % success that a raiding fleet has to shoot down your supply ships passing by. I don't think there needs to be a distinction between regular combat ships and raiders... and a large fleet should probably stop any and all supply ships foolish enough to cross its path. It's the middle area of a few raiders and a few supply ships of comparible technology that needs careful balancing... though I guess all combat issues need careful balancing...

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#50 Post by Krikkitone » Sat Jun 26, 2004 10:15 pm

I'm not really fond of any system that changes the amount of supplies you can send proportional to the amount you need. Your capacity to send should have nothing to do with your need to fill, imho.



Well the 'amount sent' is perhaps better refered to as the amount Used (the assumption being that because you don't know exactly what a fleet is going to need (missiles/repair parts if applicable/new crewmen), you
1. Send a whole bunch of stuff (Cost increase)
2. Only use some of it (% used)
From this arises the suggestions to either:
a) let the player send more than is needed by picking an amount to send, or
b) always sending as much as is required to ensure that the fleet gets 100% of what it needs.

if a), then that's either 1) an overly broad setting like a civ tax rate that has to apply to all fleets, meaning many get oversupplied so that you can ensure all fleets get what then need, or 2) a load of extra micro either i) for the player or ii) to automate away. if i), you incur the wrath of the micro-phobics. if ii), why bother with 2)? if 1), that's really annoying, since you waste a lot, but I guess that would be acceptable to some / most.
Essentially my solution would be like a) BUT with the amount 'extra' sent predetermined (essentially automating that part of the logistics chain)
ie a)ii)

I'm also not too keen on the ability to repair ship damage away from spacedock, or at least the ability to instantly and fully repair ship damage away from spacedock without special purpose repair ships or race abilities and without significant cost, much more than tyipcal "supplies" would represent, in my mind... Supplies should, i think, be missles, fighters and generic supplies for point defence ammo, if applicable, and consumables (food, air, widgets) that keep a ship and crew running well even when the ship is undamaged, but which can't actually fix major physical damage to the vessel.
I would agree, but I assume there may be Some 'Field repairs' that can be made (and the % would be compared to the max that could be used for field repairs)
No objections to incerased PP cost per unit supply sent. I'm not sure if "sent" is different from "used" however. Also, could you give an example or three to explain the "maintenance multiplier"? I would have thought (cost) = (basic maintainance) * (multiplier), but you've said (multiplier) = *% supply) * (cost), which seems like a circular definition... unless "cost" is "cost factor", but I want to be clear.
Well that's partially ambivalence on my part. It could work 2 ways
1. Cost= Base * % Used * Cost Factor
OR
2. Cost= Base * Cost Factor

Where Base=Normal maintenance cost (ie ~5% of ship cost)+ cost of used ammo/fighters+cost of repair parts (if applicable)

I think I'd favor 1 just because that would mean your not wasting too much money on stuff that's not useful (on the principle that it might be useful in future turns

What's the difference between pegging to values to eachother, and pegging both to the same third value? They're still effectively pegged, as you showed in that chart...
Just the point of cause-effect

Note2: my Model also allows a combat model where enemy fleets can inhabit the same system without fighting/knowing about each other.
No objection to this in priciple, as hiding in asteroid fields / cloaked observing is cool, but if you started raiding someone's supply shipping, I think they'd notice you and take you out...

Not necessarily... after all if you raid someone's supply lines, you shoot up the supply ships and go back to hiding in the system before the 'cavalry' gets in range. The idea is that You know there are raiders in the Centauri system.. but you can't find them because they run away before your fleet gets there.

now if every supply ship fleet is escorted by a strong local patrol group from starlane exit to starlane entry then it is viable but then it is strength of patrol group v. strength of raiders.. and the more traffic there is in a system, the more the local patrols will have to split up.






Though, when I think about it, in WWII for example, if the allies had send all their shipping to europe through the straight of gibraltar, and a signle u-boat had been there, and there were no allied escorts, the single u-boat could have taken out quite a lot of defenceless shipping.
That is where the whole concept of patrolability of the raider v. maneuverability of the supply ship comes in. If starlane exit/entry is at points, then a raider (that isn't worried about being discovered itself) can easily kill all the ships that come through.

On the other hand, if the raider has to Find the supply ships (because starlane entry/exit is from a wide area) then it becomes more complicated and supply ships can slip by in large numbers unescorted.
Are you particularily opposed to having supply ships (pre built) "assigned" to a fleet as previously discussed? You wouldn't be manually flying them around or anything.
Not in principle, but if you have to continually reassign them to fleets then it would readily get boring, and if you don't... then I think it only complicates the internal computer math. (since it becomes too simulationist, in a Very incomplete way..because having the computer simulate military logisitcal principles.... Very complicated... I think this is a region where it is better to work from the result backwards.

~~~~~
It seems to me that we could use a system that combines pre-built supply ships assinged to a fleet, as well as the ship stats and % destroyed rate for raiders. Each individual supply ship has one or more stats for blockade running (as well as cargo capacity etc). Each raider ship on its path would have a similar set of stats. These would proably just normal combat values (defence and cloaking and speed for the supply ship) and would perhaps use dependent on an advanced rock-paper-scissors mechanism for balance, if normal ship combat also does so (as I hope).

Every turn, the next (total supply ships) / (round trip route travel time) supply ships attempt to "run" the blockade. They follow the supply route (see below) from the nearest supply point to the fleet, and each raider fleet on the route gets a "shot" (pun) at the supply ships. If the make it past that ship, they go to the next system in the path (and maybe the next fleet), etc. If they are destroyed, then that ship's portion of the turn's supplies don't get to the fleet that turn, and the player loses that ship from those assinged to the fleet (it's destroyed). Replacing the supply ship would require rebuilding.... perhaps with better cloak / speed / armour. This is probably better than all or nothing supply route cutting in any case. Also, I'm suggeseting that (round trip route travel time) be just that, and not dependent on raiding. Raiding destroys some ships, but doesn't directly affect how many per turn can try to get to the fleet (... that turn anyway... less would try next turn if some are destroyed).

The path of the supply route is still an issue... it would be really annoying for the player not to be able to reroute supply ships to avoid the known location of raiders. I'm not sure how to do without massive micro and UI problems though. The altnerative is to say the supply route is always the shortest path to the nearest supply source (a friendly habited system?). Raiders could be stationed along this route in enemy systems or neutral systems (uninhabited) that your supply route passes through. (Your supply route could pass through systems colonized by enemies of yours). ... probably some better system to determine supply route needs to be thought of... it may be difficult to say what would be bad UI or micro without seeing it implimented though...

Another issue is determining and correctly implimenting the % success that a raiding fleet has to shoot down your supply ships passing by. I don't think there needs to be a distinction between regular combat ships and raiders... and a large fleet should probably stop any and all supply ships foolish enough to cross its path. It's the middle area of a few raiders and a few supply ships of comparible technology that needs careful balancing... though I guess all combat issues need careful balancing...
This could work, except I think it might be too much micromanagement.
A player would be encouraged to change the supply allocated to a fleet based on how far it was away...
If this is automatically done.. then why have seperate supply ships?
There is the issue of the fact that raiders Do have a different effect than distance. Partially, in both cases more supply ships are needed and supplies are lost, either to maintaining the supply ships for a long route or to destruction by raiders.

And I think you hit the nail on the head with the problem of determining Route. Unifying Raiding and Distance into a single effect allows a simple 'shortest path algorithm' to be used (although the 'cost' of crossing a system used in determining a route would be the forces Believed to be there.. but the effect would be based on the forces actually there.. which would update the forces Believed to be there for next turn)

One might still be able to design fleets for deep operations but more likely by reducing their penalty for having low maintenance (self supporting systems, etc.)

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#51 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Jun 27, 2004 12:01 am

Krikkitone wrote:
I'm not really fond of any system that changes the amount of supplies you can send proportional to the amount you need. Your capacity to send should have nothing to do with your need to fill, imho.
Well the 'amount sent' is perhaps better refered to as the amount Used (the assumption being that because you don't know exactly what a fleet is going to need (missiles/repair parts if applicable/new crewmen), you
1. Send a whole bunch of stuff (Cost increase)
2. Only use some of it (% used)
This is far too confusing. I think you're suggesting that the amount of supplies you send, and thus the cost (cost factor), would depend on the distance and level of piracy along the supply route. These extra supplies don't actually arrive at the fleet however. The number that actually arrives is some % of what the fleet needs, dependent on the same factors as the cost factor. There's also something calle "% used" which has to do with the fact that you sent too much to the fleet, which seems to contradict a fleet always getting a % (less than 100) of what it needs.
a) let the player send more than is needed by picking an amount to send, or
b) always sending as much as is required to ensure that the fleet gets 100% of what it needs.
if a), then that's either 1) an overly broad setting like a civ tax rate that has to apply to all fleets, meaning many get oversupplied so that you can ensure all fleets get what then need, or 2) a load of extra micro either i) for the player or ii) to automate away. if i), you incur the wrath of the micro-phobics. if ii), why bother with 2)? if 1), that's really annoying, since you waste a lot, but I guess that would be acceptable to some / most.
Essentially my solution would be like a) BUT with the amount 'extra' sent predetermined (essentially automating that part of the logistics chain)
ie a)ii)
Predetermined to be how much? Assuming the answer is "as much as is needed" then really you're just using option b) always send as much as required to ensure the fleet gets 100% of what it needs. The key point of a) is that the player can / must pick an amount to send, which is a tedious task if it can / must be adjusted frequently, to take into acount piracy losses on what's sent or to change automatically made decisions. You're suggesting having the computer make the decision for how much to send, and that it is a predetermined amount. This means the only consequence of having your supply line blocked is some lost PP producing my sacrificial supply ships. This is bad, for reasons previously given.
I assume there may be Some 'Field repairs' that can be made (and the % would be compared to the max that could be used for field repairs)
What % would be compared? I feel KISS is the best way to go here: repairs are done at shipyards, not while away in battle (excepting special cases).
1. Cost= Base * % Used * Cost Factor
OR
2. Cost= Base * Cost Factor
...
I think I'd favor 1 just because that would mean your not wasting too much money on stuff that's not useful (on the principle that it might be useful in future turns
If you go with 1), then it seems that shipping out supplies that you don't need didn't cost you anything? If a ship "needs" supplies, then I assume that means it can use them (eg. if repairs are allowed) or store them (ammo). There's no extra storage to carry more ammo than you can carry just because some supply ships brought it, so you can't deduct the cost from future turns beacuse of that. If it's sent, and not usable or storable, it's wasted.
What's the difference between pegging to values to eachother, and pegging both to the same third value? They're still effectively pegged, as you showed in that chart...
Just the point of cause-effect
Which means there's no difference...
after all if you raid someone's supply lines, you shoot up the supply ships and go back to hiding in the system before the 'cavalry' gets in range. The idea is that You know there are raiders in the Centauri system.. but you can't find them because they run away before your fleet gets there.
What are your ships doing in the system if not guarding passing supply ships? The supply ships passing through a system would do so either one at a time, or all at once. They wouldn't show up then string themselves out across the system nice and far apart, but no so far that there's not more than once place in the system that needs to be guarded simultaneously. The friendly in system fleet would have no problem guarding cooperative supply ships passing through, no matter how well hidden the raiders are.
now if every supply ship fleet is escorted by a strong local patrol group from starlane exit to starlane entry then it is viable but then it is strength of patrol group v. strength of raiders.. and the more traffic there is in a system, the more the local patrols will have to split up.
First half yes, secondhalf no. A system is a tiny portion of the travel distance between stars, even with the speedup of starlanes. Even a busy system would only have one fleet at a time passing through, unless the fleets were stopping in system for more than at turn. If that was the case, the friendly fleet could easily split into two groups, or have the supply ships that are sticking around go back and forth between incoming and outoging jumppoints, so they don't have to be left unguarded.
Are you particularily opposed to having supply ships (pre built) "assigned" to a fleet as previously discussed? You wouldn't be manually flying them around or anything.
Not in principle, but if you have to continually reassign them to fleets then it would readily get boring, and if you don't... then I think it only complicates the internal computer math. (since it becomes too simulationist, in a Very incomplete way..because having the computer simulate military logisitcal principles.... Very complicated... I think this is a region where it is better to work from the result backwards.
Use of the word "continually" is a bit phobic. You'd build a fleet, which would include some supply ships. If you want it to be a long range fleet, you say so, and the macro tool builds extra supply ships. This isn't that complicated, and certainly doesn't involve "continually" reassigning things.

Your objection seems to be quite "in principle", and you don't seem to mean "too simulationist" so much as "simulationist at all". The system I propose is a very abstracted system... not much less so than what you're proposing. Abstraction can be good for some things, but things are becoming "too abstracted" if you start replacing strategic / tatcital choices with increased production costs you can't do anything about, which you are proposing. Working from the result backwards is fine... but not if the result is less interesting / robust / strategic than could be achieved with a system based on emergent characteristics.

~~~~
This could work, except I think it might be too much micromanagement.
What micromanagement? The whole system of ships assigned to the fleet giving supplies each turn was suggested to eliminate the micro of dealing with individual ships ferrying supplies around on the map.
A player would be encouraged to change the supply allocated to a fleet based on how far it was away...
A player would have to have done this beforehand, and would not be able to make the change after the fleet is away. The player would have to plan ahead, and would have no opportunity (thus no need) to "micro" things afterwards, every turn.
If this is automatically done.. then why have seperate supply ships?
I was considering this myself the other day, regarding the proposal I support, before your own was made. There are two main reasons:
1) they can be destroyed. This is significant because they can't be replaced easily. Thus you must guard your supply lines, and can't overcome partial blockage by just immediately spending more. A side benefit is that in battles with the fleet itself, the supply ships give a target of opportunity that needs to be protected. You can also wear down a fleet that's in your territory without attacking it directly, but by taking out its supply ships en route.
2) they give a clear justification for the amount of supplies your fleet is capable of receiving each turn. If you want a fleet that can fight a lot of battles a long way from home, and which can get lots of refills on missiles, fighters and general consumables, then you'll need to put more supply ships with the fleet.
There is the issue of the fact that raiders Do have a different effect than distance. Partially, in both cases more supply ships are needed and supplies are lost, either to maintaining the supply ships for a long route or to destruction by raiders.
I'm not sure what your point is here...
Unifying Raiding and Distance into a single effect allows a simple 'shortest path algorithm' to be used
True. (depends on supply ships themselves being disposable, though)
One might still be able to design fleets for deep operations but more likely by reducing their penalty for having low maintenance (self supporting systems, etc.)
Or, say, adding more supply ships to the fleet?

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Krikkitone
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#52 Post by Krikkitone » Mon Jun 28, 2004 5:59 pm

OK, lets see if I can condense, under your model,

You build a Fleet with a Certain number of supply ships assigned to it. The fleet's design is fixed (ships that are destroyed can be replaced) but you can't change the composition of the fleet without disbanding it, sending all the ships back home and reassigning them.

The supply ships/distance determines the total supplies available to the fleet.

The cost equals the Minimum of (amount of supplies available to the fleet OR amount of supplies the fleet can use)

Question:
Does this include the supply ships themselves? ie would they require/use some supply?


The problem with this model I think is that production reigns supreme.. assuming your combat ships to imperial industry ratio is low enough, all of your fleets will always be fully supplied. If that is what you want, then a simple 'distance'* converts to an extra cost modifier gives the same effect (unless supply ships take a Very long time to build, no matter what size they are)

The other one is that with your model, if a 'long range fleet' is operating close to home it is being inefficient.
And it 'feels wrong' that the supply ships it has can't be reassigned to another fleet that you want to send farther. (after all, the supply ships aren't 'with the fleet' in any sense except game wise)

*By that I mean a physical distance + raiders model


In my model

The 'distance' a fleet is from a home base determines how many supplies are 'lost' along the way (lost to either raiders taking them, replacement of supply ships destroyed by raiders, maintenance of large numbers of supply ships required to reach that distance, or lost to waste due to supplies that you don't need being included)

There are two effects of the 'lost supplies'
1. The supplies that ARE used by the fleet cost more because it is the cost of the 'supplies sent'
2. A lower % of the supplies sent reach the fleet


To deal with 2, you would Automatically be sending more to more distant fleets (the amount more that you automatically sent wouldn't be enough to Totally fund the fleet since that would be impossible but it decreases the effect of distance to give you... whatever 'distance'-'% supplies' relationship we would end up using.)

Ie you wouldn't automatically send enough to reach 100% you would automatically send enough to reach the '% supplies available' setting for that distance (that would be in the nice little table ie 0 turns=100%, 0.5 turns=95%, 1 turn=90%, or something like that.)

In my model the 'supply ships' assigned to a fleet would depend on how far the fleets were away, rather than being determined at the time of fleet creation. You always 'send' a bit more than would be needed if it all is efficiently used there but it isn't all efficiently used there (some is lost en route some isn't what the fleet needs) so the amount available is less than what is needed
ie at some particular 'distance'
you send 150% of what could be used (this number doesn't actually exist anywhere in the game except in the minds of the people designing the 'distance' effect)
50% of that both reaches the fleet and is needed (cost factor of 2)
therefore the fleet at that distance is 75% supplied.


The idea would be that due to logistical complexity, greater amounts would have seriously decreasing levels of return.




As for Field Repair: I would expect the game to have Some degree of field repair (because maintenance is a degree of field repair) but that is sort of irrelevant to How the supplies for field repair get there/what they cost, etc.

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Geoff the Medio
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#53 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:55 pm

Krikkitone wrote:OK, lets see if I can condense, under your model,

You build a Fleet with a Certain number of supply ships assigned to it. The fleet's design is fixed (ships that are destroyed can be replaced) but you can't change the composition of the fleet without disbanding it, sending all the ships back home and reassigning them.
There's no reason a fleet's composition needs to be fixed. If you want to send a few additional ships in a smaller fleet to meet up with the one already out in the field, there's no reason you couldn't. You'd just give the new fleet a "intercept and join" order pointing towards the old fleet. This replacement fleet could include supply ships if you wanted. (It might also be possible to assign a supply ship to ferry supplies to a fleet without actually sending it to meet the fleet... but this somewhat complicates matters and undercuts a number of strategic issues, so should probly not be allowed)
The supply ships/distance determines the total supplies available to the fleet.
Basically. You would probably still have to spend PP to make the supplies, but the number you can send depends on what kind and how many supply ships are assigned to the fleet, and how far away you are from a supply point.
The cost equals the Minimum of (amount of supplies available to the fleet OR amount of supplies the fleet can use)
Question:
Does this include the supply ships themselves? ie would they require/use some supply?
Whether or not supply ships need supplies themselves doesn't really matter. I'd suggest not, for simplicity. If the supply ships have a cost, then it doesn't change depending on how far the fleet is from the supply point. The cost of the supplies themselves could actually drop when the fleet is further, since you're actually sending less supplies each turn (more ships are busy in abstracted transit between fleet and supply point, less are actually getting loaded up with fresh supplies each turn, which is what actually costs PP to do)
The problem with this model I think is that production reigns supreme.. assuming your combat ships to imperial industry ratio is low enough, all of your fleets will always be fully supplied.
You're ignoring several key factors: 1) You have to build supply ships, 2) Supply ships can be destroyed / intercepted, 3) Supply routes can be blocked, and 4) Supply rate / capacity falls very quickly with distance.

1) Building supply ships takes time, meaning if you want a fleet ASAP, you might decide to skip building a lot of supply ships for it. If you want to use this fleet long range later, you'll have supply limitations, unless you build some supply ships to add to the fleet.

2) Intercepting supply ships en route destroys some of them. If you lose too many, you'll have supply limitations.

3) If there's no viable route from your supply points to the fleet, you get no supplies.

4) I'm suggesting a falloff of (capacity) = (max capacity) / (round trip turn time). If you go two turns away, your capacity is halved. If you go 5 turns away, it'd down to 20%... 10 -> 10%. You'd have to build a lot of supply ships to have a large fleet be able to replenish all its ammo after fighting a lot of battles really far away. This is sort of the whole point of having a supply system.
If that is what you want, then a simple 'distance'* converts to an extra cost modifier gives the same effect (unless supply ships take a Very long time to build, no matter what size they are)
I don't want fleets to always be supplied fully. I want it to be possible to supply them fully, but doing so requires planning ahead of time, and ongoing protection of the mechanism that allows it to happen (supply routes).
The other one is that with your model, if a 'long range fleet' is operating close to home it is being inefficient.
This is a good thing. If you want a short range fleet, don't put so many supply ships with it. If you want to change a long range fleet to a short range, send some of its supply ships to do something else. And No, this isn't horrible micro, since you don't have to usher them back and forth and back and forth each turn, or even guide them all the way from old to new fleets. You just select a few and say "intercept and join" their new fleet. Alternatively, you could send them to the nearest shipyard, to wait for another / new fleet to join.
And it 'feels wrong' that the supply ships it has can't be reassigned to another fleet that you want to send farther. (after all, the supply ships aren't 'with the fleet' in any sense except game wise)
I concur, obviously...

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#54 Post by Krikkitone » Tue Jun 29, 2004 8:08 pm

A few issues,

First If the number of supply ships in a fleet is not fixed, then you will Not build 'long range fleets'. Instead every smart player will reassign supply ships Every turn that his fleets move farther or closer to home base. (to allow operation with the minimum number of supply ships)

You Could have a mechanism that automatically did this, Have an Imperial pool of supply ships, and each fleet has those supply ships assigned to it based on

1. a rating you give that fleet (player controlled)
2. that fleet's standard supply needs (determined by the type and cost of the ships in the fleet, ie missiles+fighters would add more to standard supplies needed)
3. that fleet's distance from a home base


Of course this would mean that all fleets (assuming no raiders) would have the same level of supply available.

That method might work and even make sense.

An overstretched imperial military would be under general logistical strain.

A fleet whose supply route was being raided would be under additional strain due to lost resources (and the raiders would be chipping away at the Imperial stockpile of supply ships as well)

The only problem comes in chosing routes.

And in choosing specialized supply ships for running past raiders. (of course you could assume all supply ships throughout an empire are standardized to solve that problem)


Chosing routes is still a problem though.

Perhaps systems being raided at certain levels are on/off with ones at low levels of raiding open to player discretion whether to route through them or not.

This would result in most fleets being
1. supplied at the 'general level'
or
2. Cut off (even if off roading still allows supply ships through it would be very slow)

most of the time

As long as the penalties for being cut off aren't too high (ships with long term power supplies/beam weapons/recycling life support might be able to hold out for several turns) this could be ok.

This would still allow pre planning of your war logistics but it would be Imperial (making enough supply ships) rather than fleet based (the only 'fleet based' portion would be guarding the routes).

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#55 Post by emrys » Wed Jun 30, 2004 12:15 pm

Krikkitone wrote:A few issues,

First If the number of supply ships in a fleet is not fixed, then you will Not build 'long range fleets'. Instead every smart player will reassign supply ships Every turn that his fleets move farther or closer to home base. (to allow operation with the minimum number of supply ships)
I think I see the problem here. Krikkitone, you seem to be missing the point that 'reassigning' supply ships is done in the same way as 'reassigning' normal ships, i.e. you can only add supply ships to a fleet if they are in the same place as the fleet you are assigning them to.

It is important to remember that supply ships under Geoff's model can be in one of two states:

Either they are 'not supplying' in which case they are just like normal ships, located at a specific location (and can probably be moved around the map on their own in a fleet made purely of supply ships) (n.b. they would be in this state if the fleet they are attached to is at a friendly supply source).

Or they are 'Supplying' the fleet they are part of, and that fleet is not at a friendly supply source, in this state they are not all with the fleet, but their exact locations are abstracted out. They would show up as 'greyed out' on the fleet screen.

In order to assign supply ships to or from a fleet they would have to be at the same location as the fleet, in the 'not supplying' mode.

So to assign extra supply ships to a fleet in deep space, whoose supply needs you had underestimated, you'd actually have to fly those supply ships out to join up with them (hopefully with an escort, unless a player were really that stupid...), or you'd have to bring the fleet closer to home.

Equally you would only be able to unassign 'supplying' supply ships from a fleet by transfering them to the main body of the fleet first, i.e. taking them off supply duties. They would then be stuck in the middle of nowhere along with the main, and would have to actually fly to anywhere else you wanted them (and you could only transfer an Xth of them off duty each turn, where X is the round trip turn time.)

Note that this is the least restrictive, most micromanagy it could get, If that's too much, we could equally say that they can only be attached or detached from a fleet if the main fleet is actually AT a friendly supply location.

Or another step down the abstraction route we could use your suggestion from your last post, which I think would probably do as a first cut suggestion.

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#56 Post by Daveybaby » Wed Jun 30, 2004 1:32 pm

emrys wrote:Equally you would only be able to unassign 'supplying' supply ships from a fleet by transfering them to the main body of the fleet first, i.e. taking them off supply duties. They would then be stuck in the middle of nowhere along with the main, and would have to actually fly to anywhere else you wanted them (and you could only transfer an Xth of them off duty each turn, where X is the round trip turn time.)
That is, indeed, way too micromanagey.

If a player wants to reassign all of the supply ships in fleet X to fleet Y then it should be doable quickly and easily by going to fleet X, selecting all of the supply ships in it (which should still be visible and selectable even if they are out travelling) and tell them to move to fleet Y.

Job done. The supply ships then move (yes, all of them) to fleet Y, at which point they begin to supply it.

Modelling the 'back and forth'ing of supply ships is ONLY worth doing if its going to be used to allow raiding, interception etc. Thus it should ONLY be done while a fleet is in supply.

When supply ships arent supplying just have them all move instantly back where they are based (i.e. with their fleet). When they start supplying they all spread out instantly along the supply line (and thus can be raided etc). If the supply line changes, they all instantly relocate to spread out along the new route. Yes its very abstract and unrealistic, but its the only way of dealing with the supply lines without turning it all into a micromanagement nightmare.
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#57 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Jun 30, 2004 4:30 pm

Daveybaby wrote:That is, indeed, way too micromanagey.

If a player wants to reassign all of the supply ships in fleet X to fleet Y then it should be doable quickly and easily by going to fleet X, selecting all of the supply ships in it (which should still be visible and selectable even if they are out travelling) and tell them to move to fleet Y.

Job done. The supply ships then move (yes, all of them) to fleet Y, at which point they begin to supply it.
Unless fleets X and Y must be at the same location, this would lead to even more micromanagement than if you had to normally fly a ship to a fleet to join it (more micro because you can change the supply ship deployment each turn without penalty). It would also remove all the planning and strategy involved in deciding ahead of time how much supply a certain fleet will need. If you can instantly redeploy your supply ships anywhere, then what's the point of having supply ships? I'd rather have supply ships completely abstracted away than this... which perhaps was your plan all along?!?! :shock:
emrys wrote:we could equally say that they can only be attached or detached from a fleet if the main fleet is actually AT a friendly supply location.
This would definitely require planning and reduce (opportunity for) mico, but would lead to some inconsistencies... (like two fleets far from a supply point, one with many ships and no supply, one with few ships and much supply... why couldn't they equalize their compliments of normal and supply ships? If you can merge and separate fleets, then the at-supply-point-only rule is circumvented...)
Modelling the 'back and forth'ing of supply ships is ONLY worth doing if its going to be used to allow raiding, interception etc. Thus it should ONLY be done while a fleet is in supply.
This isn't the constant back and forth of ferrying supplies we're talking about. It's something you'd only need to do if you're changing the supply ship compliment of a fleet, which should be something you don't do constantly, or because you want to make your short range fleet long range *this turn*...

The main strategic point needs to be that you can't change the supply capacity of a fleet without restriction. If you can do this, then there's no point to having a supply system at all, really. It would just becomes an increased production cost issue, or would be too simplistic to bother including, I think. If it's going to be a "in supply = fully supplied, no limits" and "not insupply = no supplies, big combat penalties" type situation, then we might as well just say you can only resupply at a supply point, and have ships carry a moderate amount of ammo, so that they can fight for a while away from home, but not indefinitely.

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#58 Post by Daveybaby » Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:22 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:Unless fleets X and Y must be at the same location, this would lead to even more micromanagement than if you had to normally fly a ship to a fleet to join it (more micro because you can change the supply ship deployment each turn without penalty). It would also remove all the planning and strategy involved in deciding ahead of time how much supply a certain fleet will need. If you can instantly redeploy your supply ships anywhere, then what's the point of having supply ships? I'd rather have supply ships completely abstracted away than this... which perhaps was your plan all along?!?! :shock:
No, the ships still have to travel to the other fleet, i.e. they must still move from fleet 1 to fleet 2. What i'm saying is : once movement between fleets starts (and thus supply stops) you take all of the ships shuttling back and forth to supply fleet 1 and instantly place them all back at fleet 1's location. The supply ships then all move to fleet 2's location, taking, say, 3 turns. Once they get there they start supplying fleet 2, and become instantly strung out between fleet 2 and home.
The main strategic point needs to be that you can't change the supply capacity of a fleet without restriction. If you can do this, then there's no point to having a supply system at all, really. It would just becomes an increased production cost issue, or would be too simplistic to bother including, I think. If it's going to be a "in supply = fully supplied, no limits" and "not insupply = no supplies, big combat penalties" type situation, then we might as well just say you can only resupply at a supply point, and have ships carry a moderate amount of ammo, so that they can fight for a while away from home, but not indefinitely.
No argument from me there at all. To change the supply of a fleet you need to move supply ships to/from it. All i'm saying is, ignore the shuttling back and forth at this point, and just have supply ships in the location which they are supplying.
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#59 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Jun 30, 2004 11:42 pm

Davebaby: I misunderstood what you'd posted before... I think we more or less agree.

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#60 Post by Krikkitone » Thu Jul 01, 2004 5:59 am

The problem is where you've got that 'supply ship imbalance'. The player has to notice it, merge the fleets (what if they are in only slightly different locations?) and then reseperate them if he wants to do something different. (and especially if Reseperating is allowed, you can easily use a small scout with a bunch of supply ships as a local rebalancer.)

The idea is If supply ships are thought of as moving back and forth, then they should get reassigned when they pick up supplies from home, ie they are 'assigned' on a permanent basis only to the empire.

The empire assigns the supply ships to individual fleets as needed, so you have
1. Global shortage (not enough supply ships for the distance all your fleets are at and supplies they are using)
AND
2. Local shortage (due to raiders that hurt every fleet 'down stream' for one turn and possibly cut off a route for future turns)

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