General Issues / "Feel" of Space Battles

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Tobi-Bo
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#46 Post by Tobi-Bo » Sat Aug 14, 2004 3:08 pm

I dislike hassleing the player with no-brain decisions in the name of realism. Fighters (and missles and ammo) should more or less automatically replenish.
I meant, that a carrier had unlimited fighters in one battle. Every two minutes the next wave of fighters were attacking, even if the former were destroyed.

But anyway: what about refilling squadrons with ships from other squadrons combined with slow self-repair for bigger ships??

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#47 Post by Ellestar » Sat Aug 14, 2004 3:36 pm

drek wrote:
So then the last ship is "destroyed" in tactical combat, then all damaged ships in this squad immediately blow up in frustation? Either squad (or a single ship for that matter) must be fully repaired after a victory or it shouldn't be repaired at all.
When/if ground combat gets into game, will each individual soldier be a game object? Each tank? Each jeep? How about tanks that are the size of a corvette? When these units "heal", where's the extra manpower/tanks/whatever coming from?
drek wrote:If a battleship loses most of it's hitpoints in combat, do we really care where the material is coming from to repair it?
For carriers with fighters, if a fighter or three is lost do we really want to bother the player with the details involved in replacing those fighters? How about ships that carry giant, fighter sized missles?
It's coming from a Production Point total of the next turn, less will be spent on production of other things. Maybe there should be a delay depending on a range from a supply base (planet, shipyard or whatever we'll count for a supply base).
drek wrote:If Petty Officer Jones on Battleship X dies, should we model finding his replacement?
Crew loses experience i suppose (average experience drops). If we have trained crew (or training facilities), then crew will lose less experience.
drek wrote:Treating a group of indivdual military entities as a single cohesive unit is par for course in wargames.
The difference is that a single space fighter or tank can't fight alone. It don't have a supplies/supply units, staff, long-range communication etc. On the other hand, a small starship can do it. So then a fleet loses some missiles, starfighters or pilots, they can be replaced and it seems logical because it's just a bigger supplies.

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Re: General Issues / "Feel" of Space Battles

#48 Post by guiguibaah » Sat Aug 14, 2004 4:04 pm

B) Assuming a non-abstracted combat system, should fleet battles be turn based (eg. Advance Wars), real time (starcraft), or some sort of pausible or discrete time-chunk hybrid of turn based and real-time, perhaps like Baldur's Gate battles?
I think the combat could be an improved Birth-of-The-Federation combat model, where all ships are given orders from both sides on the same turn, then when the turn button is pushed, they fight for a short period of time, then the combat stops and all sides are asked to submit new orders. Most combat would be over within 5 turns.

You avoid the 'who goes first' problem in moo2 with this one. As for usefulness of smaller ships, since both sides go at the same time, smaller and faster ships would have faster firing initiative over bigger ones.
D) What is the general "pace" of ship combat? Is the battle a ranging chaotic melee, or a sporadic game of cat and mouse fleet manourvres where actually firing on enemy vessels is only happening for a small fraction of the time? (This mostly applies to non TBS systems)
I think this could depend on the specific terrain.
1. Open space combat would be a chaotic melee since there is little place to hide. A fleet of large, cumbersome ships would work best in this region. 5-6 turns most.

2. Cluttered space combat in asteroid belts / planetary rings / Solar Coronas or Black holes / Nebulas would allow small ships to attack, then to a secure area, making the game a cat-and mouse chase.
E) Should there be in-battle terrain? Asteroid belts, planets, moons, the star, spatial anom....
As mentioned above, yes.
F) How many ships in a battle? Someone had a thread about this a while ago... Basically, are fleets composed of dozens or hundreds of ships?

G) How "solid" do ships feel? Do ships blow up when hit by a few missiles, or do they take a beating and keep on ticking?
I think the two are dependant on each other. Armadas of 500+ ships would have battles where ships would pop left right and centre like popcorn due to concentrated fire. Smaller fleets make ships a little tougher. Personally, I would prefer smaller fleets, but tougher ships, with something that would put a penalty on a player who targets all her fire on one ship. It would put the focus more on the ship design, as opposed to the ship quantity.
H) How long should combat take? Should combat from one turn roll over into the next turn if not completed on time? Is combat real-time or compressed-time, so that a minute of combat game time is "really" an hour / day of game-time.
As with BOTF, most would last 5-6 turns (although in late game BOTF battles ended up lasting only 1-2, which was a shame). Since both players push TURN after they give ship orders, you could have a setting in for

A) Scenic combat resolution (camera pans to different ships, animations are slower, etc)
B) Quick Combat (no camera pans, resolution is fast-forwarded)
C) Instantaneous (no animation - almost like skipping ahead 10 seconds in a movie. a brief 1 second explosion to show who fired and what ships died).
I) How much detail should be involved? Should ships have ammo, numbers of crew, damage to specific systems or general damage, fuel, etc.? Should this information be persistant between battles?
Again, I feel this depends on the number of ships for each battle. There isn't much point in having a lot of data for a ship in a 500 ship armada that will pop with 100 other ships in one combat turn, nor do I need that much focus on detail for that ship. All I care about is how many of them I can churn out each turn. If we have small fleets, then each ship is important to me and how it fares could well sway the way a battle goes.
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#49 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sat Aug 14, 2004 4:42 pm

drek wrote:Battlefield reserves, like in Total War.

There's no way the graphics engine can have infinite ships on the tactical field, so there will have to be a cap on the number of units in combat.
I've never played a Total War game. How do battlefield reserves work?
The important thing is that it cost nearly the same to build a scout unit, a corvette unit, a frigate unit, and a capital ships unit. Or rather, that the build and maintaince costs are in the same ballpark. Meaning if a scout ship costs 200, a battleship might cost 1000. If a scout ship costs 5 and a battleship costs 1000, the results are: an incredibly screwed up build queue, more clutter on the galaxy map, the typical 4x game problems in balancing small ships vs. large, and a confusing counterintuitive "point system" for dragging ships in and out of the battlefield reserves.
We can accomplish this without forcing small ships to be built in groups (or "units" if those are something different).
In battle, I don't expect that multiple smaller ships will always work as a tight team... they'd likely spread out around the big ships / search for enemy fleets as many semiautonomous ships, not as a clumped group of ships....
Try out hw2 to see how it plays out in practice. There are also movies and screenshots of hw2 gameplay.
How it works in hw2 is irrelivant. We're making FreeOrion.
drek wrote:Of course smaller ships need to be able to fight larger ships. Building small ships exclusively ought to be a viable strategy.

I said:
Geoff the Medio wrote: Small ships generally wouldn't be used to fight big ships, unless that's all you had to fight with, in which case an RTS-like control group could be easily made by drag-selecting a bunch of ships and giving them an order all at once.

IMO in a mixed size fleet in a battle, the smaller ships would be designed to be the pickets and scouts and hit-and-run harassment ships. The larger ships would be the carriers and battleships and command ships. The only time you'd want, in such a fleet, to use small ships as a tight group, would be hit and run. The other roles would have many autonomous ships spreading out to scan, or surrounding the bigger ships. In the former, each ship would be working independently. In the latter, the small ships would be effectively in a formation with the larger ships, which would be a battle control group (as opposed to a group that has just the small ships).

Also, keep in mind that we can balance larger ships' better combat abilities with smaller ships' galaxy-map travel speed / efficiency.

What's the point in having small and large ships both be viable strategies if they're essentially the same thing anyway? I'd imagine that if you're building just small ships, you'd often view a few of them to be expendible. You'd have lots of small fleets of them roaming around continually cutting off supply lies or raiding production shipping, preventing the enemy from building the larger ships easily.

And yes, it does need to be possible to use small ships to kill big ships at some point, as you can't avoid direct confrontation forever if using small ships only, but that doesn't meant he big ships can't have a combat effectiveness per PP cost advantage. With range tradeoffs, it's harder to get your big ships over to the other empire to attack, but you need to get over more small ships to actually do damage, so it balances out.

Guiguibaah also makes a good point:
guiguibaah wrote:1. Open space combat would be a chaotic melee since there is little place to hide. A fleet of large, cumbersome ships would work best in this region. 5-6 turns most.

2. Cluttered space combat in asteroid belts / planetary rings / Solar Coronas or Black holes / Nebulas would allow small ships to attack, then to a secure area, making the game a cat-and mouse chase.
So if you wanted to fight with only small ships, you'd try to lure the enemy's big ships into combat near lots of obstructions that give you an advantage. Maybe in that situation, small ships do have a combat effectiveness per PP spent advantage.
drek wrote:When/if ground combat gets into game, will each individual soldier be a game object? Each tank? Each jeep? How about tanks that are the size of a corvette? When these units "heal", where's the extra manpower/tanks/whatever coming from?
Why do we need a "health" number for a ground unit? Armies should just have a single number for how many squads / platoons / battillions are in the army of each type of ground troop, say 47/205/24/63. There would be no subdivision below this level, and squads / platoons / battillions would be dead or alive, and not have health tracked below that level. Smaller degrees of damage would be abstracted. You wouldn't "heal" ground troops, but would just build more.

This assumes ground combat without any sort of RTS game, though...
If Petty Officer Jones on Battleship X dies, should we model finding his replacement? If a battleship loses most of it's hitpoints in combat, do we really care where the material is coming from to repair it?
Petty Officer Jones would be a crewmember like any other. Ship's would have a number of crew. Damage to the ship that kills crew would take away form this number, but there is no details concerning which crew member or what their job was for those who die. Replacing the crew would happen at a starbase or shipyard, or perhaps by redistributing crew from other ships in the fleet.

I'm not sure what your point about the source of the materials is...
For carriers with fighters, if a fighter or three is lost do we really want to bother the player with the details involved in replacing those fighters? How about ships that carry giant, fighter sized missles?
Fighters and missiles can be replaced at starbases or shipyards at some cost. The player doesn't need to deal with each one, but would have to spend whatever prorduction or money cost it takes to replace them.

If you don't want to ahve to fly back to a base to resupply, consumables like fighters and missiles are part of the cost of keeping a fleet resupplied while in the field. You'd only be able to replace fighters / missiles if you have a viable supply route and supply ships stationed with the fleet. (See the supply thread.)

Having the available missiles / fighters tracked for fleets is rather essential to make keeping your fleets supplied important. Needing to keep your fleets supplied is rather essential to giving smaller ships some important roles outside of direct combat: raiding and protecting supply lines.

If you're using small ships only, it's easy to leave a few behind your main group to secure the supply lines from enemy raiders. If you're using big ships, it's too expensive to leave a bunch behind you to secure the supply line, so you need some smaller ships as well, or will have to do without resupply for a while. The latter should be impractical in most cases. (If possible, we should probably avoid getting into a fleet supply debate on this thread... use the fleet supply thread for that)
Treating a group of indivdual military entities as a single cohesive unit is par for course in wargames.
And treating any group / unit that can operate somewhat independently as a single cohesive unit is also par. In Warcraft, you don't build a group of 3 footmen later in the game. In a game with fleets of ships, each ship can, in a battle, work as a separate entity, so should be buildable that way.
If damage types that can't be repaired in the field are desired, then include critical damage. If a ship in a squadron (or a fighter on a carrier) is destroyed the damage would be "critical" and must be repaired at a shipyard.
Expendables such as fighters and missiles should be tracked separately from structural damage to the ship that launches them. Between battles, the results can be summed up and stored for a fleet, rather than each ship. Critical damage that must be repaired at a starbase/shipyard is fine though.

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#50 Post by drek » Sat Aug 14, 2004 6:51 pm

I've never played a Total War game. How do battlefield reserves work?
It's exactly what it sounds like. You can take a number of units into the combat (as many as the engine can handle, basically). The rest are regulated to the reserves, popping out when units in combat quit the field (or are destroyed).
We can accomplish this without forcing small ships to be built in groups (or "units" if those are something different).
It can, but I'm assuming most players would balk at a single corvette costing almost as much to build as a single capital ship. The multiple numbers of corvettes are just an explanation as to why the cost is so high.

Again, ships are just abstractions anyway. In moo2 (or civ or smac) a single ship on the map *does not* represent a single ship in the game world.
How it works in hw2 is irrelevant. We're making FreeOrion.
hw2 is the finest example of tactical starship combat you are likely to find; it's only rival is the original homeworld. Designing a tactical starship combat game without playing hw2 is like designing a platformer without ever playing the mario games or a fps without ever playing the quake series.
Fighters and missiles can be replaced at starbases or shipyards at some cost. The player doesn't need to deal with each one, but would have to spend whatever prorduction or money cost it takes to replace them.
Sounds like a pain in the arse, and an unprecedented one. None of the moo or civ games (nor hw2 or most rts games) force the player to worry at all about rearming ammo. Totally outside the scale of what the player should be worried about. The player's the emperor, not the quartermaster.

Ammo should certainly (and automatically) replace itself after combat. Fighters (and perhaps troop pods) would be considered another piece of ammo.

Maybe ammo is "infinite". Maybe ammo replaces itself instantly. Maybe it takes a number of turns dependant upon whether the fleet is in a friendly system or not. But it shouldn't be something the player has to constantly concern himself with.

Realism can be an inspiration, but it shouldn't be something that shackles us to tedious gameplay.

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#51 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sat Aug 14, 2004 9:01 pm

drek wrote:
We can accomplish this without forcing small ships to be built in groups (or "units" if those are something different).
It can, but I'm assuming most players would balk at a single corvette costing almost as much to build as a single capital ship. The multiple numbers of corvettes are just an explanation as to why the cost is so high.
The numbers you gave of 200 for a small ships vs. 1000 for a big ships are probably reasonable for ships of roughly the same tech level. Ratios of costs could be 2 to 3 times more expensive for each hull size up you go. The combat effectiveness would go 3 to 4 times per size, but the range / speed / fuel efficiency per "unit" of combat effectiveness would be worse by a factor of 1.5 to 2 per size. (rough numbers obviously).

Also, if you're building nothing but small ships, you presumably didn't have to research in hulls to learn to make big ships. Thus your tech level in small ships is probably a bit higher, allowing you to make higher tech and more expensive small ships, which are more efficient in combat effectiveness / PP than low tech small ships, and which reduces the scale of difference between the bigs and smalls.

And rather than worrying about late game players making dozens or hundreds of small ships simultaneously, why not make huge, collosal, and larger ships take a very long time to complete, and small ships plateau at taking a reasonable number of turns and reasonable cost to make. ie. you have to protect the big ship while it's being built, or else the rebels will show up and destroy the death star before it's operational. Building a really big ship would be something spies could find out about, allowing you to attempt to stop it.

Building multiple copies of ships simultaneously (for simultaneous delievery) at a reduced cost compared to building just one several times is also fine. This would also clear up any queue messiness, since the order would be for "12 missile destroyers" and not 12 separate orders for a single missile destroyer. What's not fine is forcing the player to use them as a group, or move them as a group. That is, the player should still be able to build a single missile destroyer to replace one that was destroyed in a fleet, without this being part of the ship repair system, which has different rules.

If necessary, I would be ok with having to build smaller ships in multiple copies in the late game (we can think up fluff reasons for this if we'd like). What I'm not ok with is having them assigned and move on the galaxy map as a forced group, or even worse, having them work in battle as a group, which doesn't make sense in certain battle situations.
Again, ships are just abstractions anyway. In moo2 (or civ or smac) a single ship on the map *does not* represent a single ship in the game world.
I disagree. To me, the icons on the map just represent the smallest force that can operate independently. A legion or modern infantry unit is several thousand men, a tank unit is a few hundred tanks and an air unit is dozens of aircraft. A ship, however is actually a single ship. (Though I admit this is very unclear issue... I can see how you'd think of things the other way. My point is that it could very easily be my way, and it's not clearly/obviously your way.)
How it works in hw2 is irrelevant. We're making FreeOrion.
hw2 is the finest example of tactical starship combat you are likely to find; it's only rival is the original homeworld. Designing a tactical starship combat game without playing hw2 is like designing a platformer without ever playing the mario games or a fps without ever playing the quake series.
Perhaps, but the fact that the only use for small ships is in a group in hw2 does not mean this has to be the case in FreeOrion. Whatever the merits of hw2's design are that we'd like to copy, that doesn't mean necessarily have to copy its flaws as well.

I gather that hw2 has a rock-paper-scissors balancing between sizes of ships, thus necessitating building some of each size to have a balanced force, but rendering each individual size useless except in groups of about the same firepower as the largest ship size.

This is not how I'd like to see FreeOrion battles work. I'd much rather model mixed-fleet battles after modern naval combat, in which smaller ships protect and escort the larger ones, and but don't actually directly engage the big ones, as doing so would be suicidal.

Again, this does not mean that multiple small ships can't every be able to kill a single large one... it just means that doing when you have the option to used a mixed fleet is less efficient in PPs. The range and supply limitations give reason to do so, however, as moving your big ships around is expensive and slow.
Last edited by Geoff the Medio on Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#52 Post by Sandlapper » Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:13 pm

I like the strategic implications of supply lines, however decision free automation needs to be in place.

I love the idea that an invading armada can have it's supply line cut from behind it. The defending empire can send and resupply its own fleet while defending, and send a token force to the invaders rear and cut supplies.

I suggest first, assuming supply lines are used, that the fleet UI have a fleet supplied signal. A simple green checkmark for yes, yellow ? for unknown, and a red x for no supplies would suffice for quick visual reference.

Second, to automate things, I would have the AI automatically create some type of inexpensive starlane/system sentry, that moniters the system after a fleet leaves without establishing a colony, outpost, or some type of troop or fleet garrison.

It simply alerts for any enemy/unknown race prescence; an alert halts supplies until a ship/fleet arrives to secure the system.

If no alerts, then supplies continue unhindered. Ships get repairs, replacement ammo and fighters automatically after any battle.

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#53 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:12 am

Please put discussion about how to impliment supply lines in this thread:
viewtopic.php?t=754

Details of supply mechanics aren't really relevant to a thread that's supposed to be about general issues / feel of combat. The issue of having limited ammo and supply lines vs. not tracking ammo at all is relevant. UI issues about markers for supplied / unsupplied systems is not, imo.

FYI, I've moved my own reply to drek's comments on supply to that thread: viewtopic.php?p=14018#14018

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#54 Post by BreadMan » Sun Aug 15, 2004 6:58 am

Rather than make a big post, I'll just go ahead and say I agree with everything Geoff said in his first post. My ideal space combat would be...

Slow paced, preferrably with the ability to pause (though I think the coolest thing would be if rather than bring everything to a complete standstill time still progressed at a very slow rate when paused). Tactical, not warcraft style "throw everything at the enemy and the bigger force will win" twitch gameplay. Something more in the vien of the Total War games. I think task forces are a key to making it tactical, and you can get the coolness factor of having really big fleets but still have them be manageable. Task forces with specific missions, being able to give general orders/set ai behavior (defend carriers) as well as detailed (kill this task force). Real-time, strategic, tactical, less-micro-more-macromanageable, is what I'd like to see.

Some specific personal requests (may have been said before, didn't read every single space combat thread sorry)

-A warmup phase to position your fleet before battle commences.
-Ability to cede control and autocalc any time during a battle (so you don't have to spend 10 minutes searching for that last surviving carrier)
-Fighters that skirmish, as opposed to just flying straight past eachother and attacking the cap ships

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#55 Post by Phooka » Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:20 am

I agree with the idea of giving new orders and then having the fight play out but I would suggest a change.
Make it so each ship has a reaction speed, the larger ships would be slower to react, the smallest would be fastest because of the efficiancy of the command chain.
Every ship would be given commands and then a number of "seconds" (arbitrary amount of time actually) would have to pass before new commands could be given to that ship. Wenever a new order phase for a ship came up you could either choose to have it contiue untill you click the ship or have it pause the battle until you gave it new orders.
So you could have MK1's getting new orders every 7 seconds, up to MK4's getting new commands every 10 seconds (this time frame is probably a bit fast but it's the idea I am trying to get across).
This would be modified by commanders -1 or -2 to reaction speed, crew quaility +1 for green crews down to -2 for ace crews, and maybe some ship systems like "intetegrated command displays" or "predictive battle management" for another -1 or -2.
This would also allow you to have weapons cycle in descrete time periods rather than having it tied to a turn.

I personally really like the feel of MOO2 combat, one thing I would change however is how the ships are lined up in the beginning, there should be a long range screen where you can choose your approach to a situation, and perhaps long range bombardament (wich should be fairly innefectual if there are defensive ships to shoot down incomming missiles).

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#56 Post by emrys » Mon Aug 16, 2004 8:37 am

Oops. I think I may have realised what's caused a bit of a communications gap between some of us. My fault for using the word "corvette" for the smallest ship class and forgetting that Homeworld uses that for what is in effect a heavy fighter. I suspect there are two groups here, one who sees "corvette" and reads "smallest independant (i.e. can form a fleet all by itself) ship" and one group who reads it as "trivially small unit".

For simplicity sake, lets drop the confusing "corvette" entirely and use "frigate" as the smallest size-name for 'small ship'. I.e. It's vastly larger than "fighter" and actually capable of picking a fight on it's own with a capital ship and not getting slaughtered instantly (say 5 seconds till it's a gutted ball of flame :) ).

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#57 Post by Daveybaby » Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:26 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:I've never played a Total War game.
You should. You really, really, really should. Best strategy games on the market today. Pretty sure you can pick them up on budget by now, i doubt very much you would consider it money/time wasted.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
So if you have 1 carrier, 12 frigates, 6 destroyers and 4 battleships, the game has a think and decides something like:
1 group of 1 carrier
4 groups of 3 frigates
3 groups of 2 destroyers
2 groups of 2 battleships
= 10 groups
This strikes me as somewhat odd... it appears that the only type of battle-group recognized by the combat system would be ones with all of the same ship in them. Some types of ships work like this (battlecruisers maybe), but most ships work better in mixed groups with a few ships designed for each role. IMO the in-battle UI groupings should (at least be able to) reflect this.
Thats just an example. However the organisation would work, the basic principle is the same, i.e. the AI creates some default groups that the player can tweak if they so desire. W.r.t. battlefield reserves (if the total number of ships exceed what the combat engine can handle at once) the player would decide which groups to field initially, and which would be held in reserve. Again, this is pretty much how total war handles it.



@Drek : i really dont get what you are trying to say here...

What exactly is the problem with telling your shipyard : build 17 corvettes (or frigates, or whatever). Once it pops them out, you can drag all 17 into a new fleet, or just use 10 of them and keep 7 in reserve. If 5 of your 10 ships get destroyed in a battle, then you create a fleet of 5 more from your reserve and send them out to join them.

The game can be coded so that the ships are either completed in serial (i.e. they pop out one at a time) or in parallel (i.e. the all pop out at the end). Conceivably the player could be given a choice, with economies of scale coming into effect in the parallel version (i.e. cost/time per ship decreases the more you build), but with the benefit that you will get *some* ships sooner in the serial version.

I really dont see how this creates any more hassle for the player than your version. This is how it works in Moo1/2/3 and to my knowledge none of those games have ever been problematic with regard to constructing/moving/maintaining fleets (except for Moo3 with its stupid inability to refill/merge task forces).
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#58 Post by Odi » Mon Aug 16, 2004 6:58 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote: Guiguibaah also makes a good point:
guiguibaah wrote:1. Open space combat would be a chaotic melee since there is little place to hide. A fleet of large, cumbersome ships would work best in this region. 5-6 turns most.

2. Cluttered space combat in asteroid belts / planetary rings / Solar Coronas or Black holes / Nebulas would allow small ships to attack, then to a secure area, making the game a cat-and mouse chase.
So if you wanted to fight with only small ships, you'd try to lure the enemy's big ships into combat near lots of obstructions that give you an advantage. Maybe in that situation, small ships do have a combat effectiveness per PP spent advantage.
well, remember Freespace 2 - those open space combats aren't a chaotic melee, weapon ranges are quite short, you can still play cat and mouse, keep some small and fast TF's out of sensor range and sorround the enemy while opening weak point in your mainfleet to lure the enemy into it...

oh, yeah, almost forgot:
I fully agree to BreadMan's post :D
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#59 Post by BreadMan » Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:03 pm

Hey thanks Odi :)

Some more thoughts:

Whether you give the player the option to pause in combat, or have combat regularly pause automatically, I see no reason to have both. If you can pause at any time then auto-pause will just be an annoyance. But, perhaps you could choose which you prefer as an option set at the beginning of the game, especially when you consider multiplayer. If there's going to be realtime multiplayer battles, the best way to do it is the regular pausing (if any pausing at all), probably with a timer for how long you have to issue orders before automatically returning to real time. Letting people pause independantly and indeffinitely will just cause problems.

Also, I realize I just raved about how great tactics are, but didn't really make any contributions as to what exactly makes a game tactical. So to follow up: strengths and weaknesses, measures and countermeasures, rock-paper-scizzors. Make it so shields defend well against beam weapons but are penetrable by missiles, but make missiles do less damage to counter over-usage, then have anti-shield weapons to make beam weapons useful. Make optimal use of sensors a key element. Make special gadgets like cloaking that take up the majority of a ship's capacity to use, but provide an advantage if used right. Everything's got to have upsides and downsides. And of course, these should all be well documented or people are going to be frustrated when they come out of combats with no idea why their beam-only fleet just got worked over by something half the size.

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#60 Post by Impaler » Tue Aug 17, 2004 6:38 am

Just wanted to throw in a comment on "Corvettes" as I see its been proposed that we scrap these guys. Let me give you my definition of what a Corevette is. Its esentialy its the smallest ship that has continous life support capabilites for its crew (in the sense that a Capital ship has). A Fighter on the other hand needs to dock with a support ship atleast once a day (if for no other reason then the pilot needs sleep). In an alalogy to real world navel warfare a Corvette can be though of as a PT boat and a Fighter as a Small Aircraft, as a "boat" their is a crew rotation that Fighters lack. Corvettes had greater endurance but are pound for pound weaker then fighters but being larger this tends to balance them out. In a Space setting Corvettes would usualy have some kind of Interstellar Travel capability ware as Fighters might not. This is only a general rule ofcorse.

To sum it all up Corvette = The Millunium Falcon which is in every way the quintisential space opera Corvette with interstellar travel, a "crew" rather then a pilot, living areas onboard and its still capable of docking to and being carried by a capital ship. X-Wings and Tie Fighters being excelent examples of the destinctly differnt Fighter class.
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

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