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Minimalistic space empire building game


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#21 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3459

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:07 PM

I was thinking. Non combat focused game is nice, but combat foused is not bad either... But the thing I find a bit annoying and overused is the "everything in the end boils down to how many ships you can construct per turn". That, along with moving thousands of units on the map each turn, is my greatest complain about combat.


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#22 LorenzoGatti   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2622

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:28 AM

But the thing I find a bit annoying and overused is the "everything in the end boils down to how many ships you can construct per turn". That, along with moving thousands of units on the map each turn, is my greatest complain about combat.
If you don't want a direct causal link between quantitatively successful manufacturing and successful combat thanks to superior numbers, there are a number of plausible measures:
  • Restrict the number of units in each fight, effectively capping the useful industrial capacity of the player if the number of battles per turn remains limited.
  • Make ship quality more important than ship quantity in combat rules (apart from limiting fleet sizes, you can exaggerate rock-paper-scissors patterns or offer super-effective but specialized weapons and armor choices), so that the player needs to build the right ships and bring them to the right battlefield.
  • Balance fleet maintenance costs to allow players to build fleets and shrink them with the losses of military campaigns, but strangle them into eventual bankruptcy if they keep too many ships around; players would only build just enough ships for their needs.
  • Restrict fleet movement, more or less explicitly, to make any ship built far from the front line relatively useless.
Regarding movement, issuing orders to fleets (up to a few dozens) rather than to thousands of individual ships is the standard; rules that don't reward micromanagement, automation (e.g. newly built ships from these places join this fleet) and long movements (e.g. fleet X, en route to planet Y, will bother the player only in N turns when it arrives or if it is intercepted) greatly reduce the number of orders per turn from the worst case of one per fleet (which might be acceptable).

Edited by LorenzoGatti, 02 January 2013 - 02:30 AM.

Produci, consuma, crepa

#23 DtCarrot   Members   -  Reputation: 327

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:25 AM

But the thing I find a bit annoying and overused is the "everything in the end boils down to how many ships you can construct per turn". That, along with moving thousands of units on the map each turn, is my greatest complain about combat.

 

Maybe the amount of ships one can build depends on the population. The higher the population, the more active ships one can afford to have. In this sense, the game can also be realistic. In order to have a higher population cap, the player has to expand his empire by colonizing other planets with people or implement strategies to get your people to have more children which helps to increase the population in the long term.

 

Also, probably the game can focus more on the strategic elements such as the geography which can give a defensive or offensive advantage to the players. For example, ranged sniper mecha hidden behind asteroids armed with devices which prevents the radar from identifying them. When the enemy is approaching, they can launch a surprise snipe attack and destroy several ships which may help in reducing the numerical advantage. In combat games, no matter how powerful a fleet or ship is, it is bound to have weaknesses. Therefore, the intel war plays a significant role in battle. Players can thus deploy spies into each other's airspace be it using long range radars or stealth ships which does not appear on the radar. When you have discovered the troop composition of your enemies, you can build ships which directly counters that of the opponent. 

 

Therefore, players who are able to manipulate these strategic elements to their desire will be able to battle effectively even though they may suffer from a deficit in numbers.



#24 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3459

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:09 AM

Hmm, after reading the posts above I discovered more personal greviances :D Oh well, making ones hate list is just as good as making the love list in terms of deciding features :)

 

Restrict fleet movement, more or less explicitly, to make any ship built far from the front line relatively useless.

Well, I really dislike that one. I mean, in all these games you just move around reinforcements all the time. Produce, send, wait. Maybe it's just me and you love that part of strategy games? Or maybe you find it a "necessary evil"?

 

For example, ranged sniper mecha hidden behind asteroids armed with devices which prevents the radar from identifying them.

It's tactic level, not strategic level. I have nothing against this kind of mechanic in general, it can be very fun, but... In this game I'm the emperor of a galactic empire. A powerful person who rule the stars. Why should I command where some lone sniper hides and at whom he shoots at? I could give commands to whole star flotillas, not to mere units! It's below my dignity and importance. I'm the emperor you know :D

I think I would go for a higher abstraction level when it comes to fleets and combat (like appointing an admiral, give him a task force and an order to go and conquer that part of the galaxy :D).

 

 

 

Now the things I liked:

 

Maybe the amount of ships one can build depends on the population. The higher the population, the more active ships one can afford to have.

 

Balance fleet maintenance costs to allow players to build fleets and shrink them with the losses of military campaigns, but strangle them into eventual bankruptcy if they keep too many ships around; players would only build just enough ships for their needs.

 

Yeah, I think there should be some natural limit on the fleet size. Like, you don't build more ships, but maintain a fleet of more or less the same size most of the time and care about switching outdated ships with new ones (upgrade less by quantity and more by quality).


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#25 Unduli   Members   -  Reputation: 866

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

Why no one thinks of a new K240 / Fragile Allegiance ?

 

I think it is still a great concept with open possibilities.


Edited by Unduli, 07 January 2013 - 06:20 PM.


#26 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3459

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:19 PM

Why no one thinks of a new K240 / Fragile Allegiance ?

 

I think it is still a great concept with open possibilities.

I have played only the old K240. What fun (and compatible with space empire theme) was in the Fragile Alliance?

 

 

 

About fleet

 

I wonder how useful a real life model would be here...

 

For example how the german fleet construction in XIX century looked like (by admiral Tirpitz).

First, he took several small vessels (that pretended to be big ships of the line) and made various tests. He concluded the optimal group is an escadre made of 8 warships. So he made a plan of building 1 flagship, 2 escadres of 8 ships each and 2 reserve ships (19 ships). Then, when the support for building fleet among population and the parliament increased he went for 2 flaships, 4 escadres of 8 ships each and 4 reserve ships (quite interesting is the reserve ships part). There was also "ship replacement speed". At first a ship was supposed to serve for 25 years then be scrapped (yep, no destroyed in combat, no upgraded, just removed as useless junk even if it never fought in a ny battle and was not damaged at all), then they got scared by British fleet and decide to go foe 20 years in service (so the ships would be more modern) and therefore the production plans were increased (even though the total number of ships was not increased).

 

It's quite interesting... In real life they build ships as a discardable thing with a short expiration date (just like eggs :D), even the biggest warships. Also the whole (or almost whole) fleet is always no older than around 25 years. So, it's not like you build a ship in the first turn and then use it over and over again until it got ancient and then you send it to a suicide recon mission (maintenance/upkeep maybe?) I wonder if something like that could be used...


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