Oberlus wrote: ↑
Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:17 pm
I am too against player-controlled (i.e., interactive, played in a board like chess or star craft) tactical combat. But I am utterly bored of current non-interactive combat system where ships are like sitting ducks shooting randomly.
May I try once again to interest you in my formation combat mechanic? viewtopic.php?f=5&p=95945#p95945
Yes it's quite classical but it solves imho some of the questions that are discussed here:
- It's a good compromise between player-controlled combat (not possible in multiplayer) and deterministic combat without player input.
- It makes point-blank weapons (like rams) work differently, and imho much more interestingly, as they can either not strike at all (so being useless) or strike for the last three turns, depending on whether they find enemy ships on their tier or not, which itself depends on what orders each fleet (or more exactly, each parts of each fleet) would have been given.
- Obviously close-range and medium-range would work in a similar way, even if the change will be less important.
- With a six-tiers system (three for each fleet at the beginning of the first round) it makes for six possible different ranges for weapons (from point-blank to 5 tiers away). I mean, we can still have close, medium and long range for simplicity's sake if we want to (by using a step of two tiers per range), but we will be able to create more weapons with more specific ranges later if we need it.
- It gives combat speed a meaning (high speed ships could move up to three tiers in a turn with a "charge" order if they don't get opposition).
- Launching fighters/interceptors/bombers after the initial turn would become an effective strategy, as fighters would not leave their tier if they fight in it and move to the next tier only if they did not find suitable targets (which can be different for interceptors, who targets enemy drones, and for bombers, who target enemy shielded ships). So having more hangars than launch bays would be an interesting ship design.
- Stealth could be less binary, as ships being in the same tier than enemy ships would be able to detect them more efficiently. Actually using the same six-tiers system, a ship with X stealth would have X+5 stealth for ships that are 5 tiers away, X for those 4 tiers away, X-5 three tiers away, X-10 two tiers away, X-15 one tier away and X-30 against ships on the same tier (remember that ships can move between tiers if they get the order to do so during a round). Ships detect enemy ships individually (while the current system has the Empire as a whole detecting a ship or not) but ships which detect an enemy ship and still survive the round gives a bonus to all other ships to detect the detected ship. To allow for scaling, it's possible to get all tiered ships detecting (or not) an enemy ship rather than having each ship detecting each enemy ship.
- The way stealth works in this mechanism makes for a "noisiness" meter for ship parts (already in discussion for Galactic view apparently) equally work for space combat: instead of firing/launching drones revealing a ship, it would make it lose stealth for a value depending on the weapon (Lasers being absolutely not stealthy so something like -50 or -100 while kinetic weapons are not particularly noisy so something like -10). It can be combined with the distance to enemy ships: shooting a kinetic weapon while an enemy ship is in the same tier would reduce stealth by -30 for example. So it's still possible to detect and fight enemies with much higher stealth, but it requires sending a lot of assault ships into their lines ("scouting by combat" as WWII's USSR practised).
- It allows for much more different weapon designs as each weapon would have a cost, a number of shots, a damage per shot, a noisiness, the ability or not to shoot while moving, a range and even a damage per range (allowing either to inflict small damages at long range or big damage at short range) and per size of target (acid spores do much more damage if they are splattered on all the left flank of a large hull).
- It allows for much more strategic objectives given to a battle, like bidding time (either to wait for reinforcements or to give time to other fleets to achieve their tasks), sniping easy targets, hit-and-run tactics, attrition wars, protecting wounded ships, disorganizing enemy attacks, and so on.
- It can be later used to add manoeuvring which would allow to use ships facing. Not that ship facing is that interesting by itself, but it makes for a very much more interesting Ship Design process: do I add all the armor front? Does my ship need rear-facing guns? Do I use a rectangular hull with a lot of front-facing slots for offensive weapons or a triangular hull that is hard to hit from the front but can only fire sideways?
- Considering that the main way to avoid "doomstack against doomstack" as a combat strategy is making battles vary greatly depending on their precise situation, which includes making terrain account for a lot, this formation combat mechanism could be later adapted to real system-wide battle maps where being the first to reach an asteroid belt or a gravity well would be of utter tactical importance.