Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Sectors & battles (strategy)


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
12 replies to this topic

#1 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3718

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:43 PM

Please give me an overall feedback (like if it make sense). Also you can post something similar or a better idea how to do something in that style.

 

 

It's for a game where you play as a space emperor. The focus is on high level stuff, since you are an emperor and not a mere admiral (so no moving single units). Also, I wonder if the "I give an order to my generals to conquer the universe and they do it" concept could be used here (I would not want to go too far and make it boring, but on the other hand such a game could be fun as well assuming the player have other things to do). The game will also be assymetric, which means the enemy AI will not be simulated the same way as player (there need to be simplifications, because I simply have no resources to make a full blown 4X game).

 

The map is divided into sectors (5x5 or 7x5 or 7x7), the central sector is the core sector of the empire with the imperial capital (we are the most important of course, so we are in the very center :)). The most fight is for the border sectors, because there are other empires (not shown on the map) that want these border sectors as well (because these are their border sectors as well). The difficulty would be balanced so defending the center is far easier than outskirts (because the other empires are not that interested in our center and are not ready to make big sacrifaces to conquer it).

 

 

Now, how the battle system could work. I think, from the player's (emperor's) point of view there are only sectors and fleets. The player moves a fleet symbol over a sector and eventually the fleet will arrive there and AI admiral will start fighting for the planets. So, basicly the player just allocates resources (ships) to each sector.

Fleets are just a proportion of ships, like if you have 1 fleet it consists of 100% of your ships, if you split it there are 2 fleets 50% each (I'm not sure if there should be types of fleets, with different composition).

 

Another (and probably more important) player's interaction with space battles would be ship building. The emperor will decide what kind of ships to build and in what quantities (but not where, the emperor is too important to deal with minor details like which shipyard builds what, it will be either automatized or abstracted). Once build, the new ships will automaticly reinforce fleets.

 

So, the player can affect these aspects of warfare:

- diplomacy which determine with whom there is a war

- positioning of fleets (in which sector)

- fleet composition and total number of ships (military budget)

- assigning AI admirals to fleets (who will do all the fighting)

 

 

 


Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


Sponsor:

#2 powerneg   Members   -  Reputation: 1463

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 23 June 2013 - 06:41 AM

i read other parts of that game and when building fleets, why not have a company offer building type X ships for Y credits every now and then



#3 mippy   Members   -  Reputation: 1002

Like
2Likes
Like

Posted 23 June 2013 - 02:14 PM

  • You could use "AI:s of different quality" for fleet control. Better AI means larger fleet.
  • Just because it's space - don't go 3D. I know Homeworld made this but its really so hard that it's not really achievable.
  • I like the fact that a lot is abstracted away.
  • One sector should not be able to block another sector. It is space and you can travel around-behind-above to reach the target. I think an abstract influence radious would be a better model. If you enter the radious you will get into trouble. 


#4 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3718

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 23 June 2013 - 04:45 PM

i read other parts of that game and when building fleets, why not have a company offer building type X ships for Y credits every now and then

Heh, I had a very similar thought smile.png

But building ships is a big thing deserving a separate topic later. For now let's focus on the map representation, fleets and battle. Assume the ships were already constructed for now.

 

  • Just because it's space - don't go 3D. I know Homeworld made this but its really so hard that it's not really achievable.

I agree million percent, I loathe 3D representation in strategies.

 

  • One sector should not be able to block another sector. It is space and you can travel around-behind-above to reach the target. I think an abstract influence radious would be a better model. If you enter the radious you will get into trouble. 

Yes... I want ships to be able to fly unintercepted anywhere (it's required for automatic reinforcement). As an incentive to not go "too far" I would use supply depots instead of influence radius (note the map is very small so radius would not work here). Fleet use supply points, these are generated by controlled planets and military bases, if the supply is insufficient a portion of combat vessels would need to carry suplies instead of fighting or to escort transporters that do so.

 

But more important would be the combat system. I don't want to make it like a "grid in space" where a grand battle occurs whenever two fleets meet. On the contrary, each sector is a vast space and if the enemy has very few ships it could be even impossible to ever track them and force to fight.

My plan is like that:

- each sector consists of 15-20 planets, these planets can be controlled by different empires

- the AI admiral decide on a strategy which could be "conquest" (enemy planets), "defend" (own planets), "grand battle" (try to force enemy to a big space battle with a lot of ships taking casualities - if you have a superior force and want to get rid of enemy ships), "hit and run" (avoid all battles, attack unarmed ships, disrupt enemy supply lines)

- based on the strategy choosen AI admiral give operational orders which is sending ships on "missions". Each ship can do one mission per turn. It can be "patrol" (track convoys, scout for ambush attempts), "ambush" (try to find a portion of enemy ships - preferably unarmed - and attack them with an ambush bonus), "escort" (make sure supply ships have an escort which is nice during ambush), "attack a planet" (start invading the planet and attack all defending ships), "defend a planet" (stay in orbit and intercept all invading ships), "attack enemy fleet" (send ships to battle enemy ships directly - require sufficient patrol missions and generally this one is tricky to pull off unless enemy has a big and easy to track fleet)

- each turn there would be several combat phases: patrol, ambush x5, supply convoy x3, planetary invasion (one per planet), grand battle x2

 

Note that there is no concept of attacker/defender, all empires involved are perfectly symetrical during combat, it's quite possible for both AI admirals to set "defend" strategy for example (if they have similar forces and similar number of planets under control and their emperor does not insist on an immediate conquest).

Also, AI admiral personality might affect the decision (so not only objective criterias are taken into account, one might simply like to attempt conquering enemy planets no matter the loses).


Edited by Acharis, 25 June 2013 - 04:46 PM.

Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


#5 lithos   Members   -  Reputation: 413

Like
2Likes
Like

Posted 24 June 2013 - 04:33 AM

While it will make things more of a pain one thing the modern military is concerned about is where to put the latest technology and newest equipment.



#6 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3718

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:40 AM

While it will make things more of a pain one thing the modern military is concerned about is where to put the latest technology and newest equipment.

I'm not sure how to approach this. And what level of control over military to give to the player (the game is about being a space emperor, so military can't preoccupy you fully).

 

Should there be different kind of fleets (units composition)? Or should the player just decide what percentage of fleet (where each fleet has identical composition, just different amount of ships) should be positioned in a sector?


Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


#7 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3342

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 27 June 2013 - 06:16 AM

When you have a defined limit of resources you need to determine the distribution/allocation of these resources carefully. For example utilising the military aspect of conquering a neighbouring "empire". You might initially dispose more resources to smaller, faster ships that act as scouts to investigate the empire and it's existing military strengths as well targets of strategic importance - another form of scouting might be utilised by investing in merchant ships which trade in that area gaining access to other forms of useful information -- the more resources invested into this prior to an actual engagement might contribute to the effectiveness of your invasion.

 

Post-invasion you might invest resources in the form of Fortification ships which remain around subjugated worlds until as such time as they are no longer rebellious in which case what resources might you expend utilising propaganda to shape the new conquered territory into obedient subjects of your empire? This might be done via merchant ships supplying goods or "entertainment" (i.e. interplanetary circus) ships or even factory ships which provide quality goods to the world etc.

 


I'm not sure how to approach this. And what level of control over military to give to the player (the game is about being a space emperor, so military can't preoccupy you fully).

 

That would depend on the type of emperor - An emperor might be completely obsessed on the military aspect and simply regard the remainder of the empire as servicing this need. His advisors/governors performing the normal roles of government subservient only to feeding the machine of war. Another type of emperor might be economically based and utilising such financial leverage to obtain mercenaries as well invest into logistical superiority. Another type of empire might be hedonistic and self-absorbed and any military action taken might be haphazard as well randomly brutal. It really comes down to how much you wish your player to have freedom to express their form of emperorship. 



#8 lithos   Members   -  Reputation: 413

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:22 PM

 

While it will make things more of a pain one thing the modern military is concerned about is where to put the latest technology and newest equipment.

I'm not sure how to approach this. And what level of control over military to give to the player (the game is about being a space emperor, so military can't preoccupy you fully).

 

Should there be different kind of fleets (units composition)? Or should the player just decide what percentage of fleet (where each fleet has identical composition, just different amount of ships) should be positioned in a sector?

 

 

If I were playing a board game I'd expect there to just be a simple token that says +10% bonus to an attribute of the fleet(number of units, attack/defense power, or just changing how the AI will approach/flee the fleet).

 

I personally would limit the player to having only one of them(that can be rebuilt/reclaimed after making a new fleet).   Essentially you'll make it more valuable, and don't get false optimizations from the player getting more than they should.



#9 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3718

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 29 June 2013 - 03:20 AM


That would depend on the type of emperor - An emperor might be completely obsessed on the military aspect
Good point. Let's for now say it's a military kind of an emperor :) He does the most high level military stuff and leaves the details (like: how to conquer a sector) to AI admirals.

 

More about the actual control. There are 4 alien empires (one per corner) they try to conquer part of the map that "rightfully" should belong to us.

 

Now we can create fleets. Each has 2 parameters: strength (percentage of total ships we have that are allocated to that fleet) and priority (higher priority fleets get's the best ships and crew available). Now, the player can create 4 fleets and send them to the corners of the empire to fight, let's say one enemy empire is more advanced than others so the fleet sent agains them is high priority (best ships) while the rest will face slightly outdated (yet better than theirs) ships.

 

I wonder if this is fun... Or if shouldn't there be some "special forces" that could be allocated to fleets somehow (like one alien uses distortion waves so we send ships with special resistant hulls; another alien uses some electronic warfare equipment so we send additional ships with scramblers to protect the fleet). Or maybe we should create special squadrons and assign them? Or maybe the fleet should be composed of squadrons?


Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


#10 Archbishop   Members   -  Reputation: 258

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 02 July 2013 - 11:36 AM

I'm assuming a few things when I write this, so please forgive me if these ideas aren't applicable to your topic.

One of the biggest questions I have is what is the say...metagame, of your game? Perhaps that's not the right word. You have a predefined 'strategy' where AI Admirals lead fleets of ships to accomplish tasks in a number of ways. However, what are some of the long term means of accomplishing your task of conquering the galaxy?

Are the turns slow and meticulous, meaning that not a lot happens during each turn, IE, your scouts get spotted and a battle begins, but you have plenty of time to route them away from their massive fleet that's bumbling about, or do you just get a message telling you that they've been spotted and promptly stomped in to dust? Is the game going to take long enough to where research is something real that you care about, or is it just about using the ships you have / persuade to be on your side to duke it out and hope you manage them well enough to win in the end?

How much in detail do you want the battles to be? Personally I think having turns be small periods of time would be a better thing seeing as it allows for more 'tactics' in traditional combat. Though, this kind of depends on what the typical ship is like and whether it would make sense in the realm of turns for the rest of the world. To explain better, combat between a squad of space fighter jets would probably not last as long as combat between space battleships, so to speak. It kind of depends on the world that you want to build and the feel for the game. Having battleships slug it out for multiple turns is feasible if a turn is a couple of hours, but doing the minute per minute turn that dog fighting would likely be manageable with seems really tedious, and would probably be suited better to a more tactics style game (Final Fantasy Tactics, those kinds of games).

I'm just trying to imagine what combat would be like when two similar sized fleets collide with the intent of killing one another. Sure, there are pros and cons to the admiral leading the fleet, and fleet composition, (Which I think you should rethink a bit, but I'll get to that.), but what is there to do other than to watch them duke it out? Would the battle be a single turn, or would it be Mount and Blade style (I'm sure there are other games that do this)? In M&B, when an NPC battle begins, every 'tick' of time that passes the armies would lose an appropriate number of troops depending on their relative strengths, and the weaker / stronger army might retreat and pull back based on any number of things (Horse riders can flee foot soldiers, but the opposite is not so true. A larger army can almost always pull back from a weaker force even if slower, mainly because engaging is pretty much suicide for the smaller team.) Would the player have time to react with another admiral / fleet that was close by, or would there possibly be actions that could be performed on a more micro level to help out the combat. You made mention of having different squadrons and such of unit types...

That brings me to your fleet composition. I'm not designing your game, so perhaps I don't know how simple you want it to play. (Maybe this is for mobile, so having tons of stuff rather than a little slider that decides their 'budget' isn't really an option.) If I were doing this myself, and possibly to give you some ideas, here's what I might implement.

Ship Types - There are perhaps 4-5 different classes of ships, each with their own unit of 'size', a concept I'll get to in a moment. Things like Battleship, Cruiser, Destroyer, Space-Artillery, Frigate (Basically Scouts) might be appropriate.

Ship Size - Each of those types has their own size. Battleships and Space-Artillery would probably be the biggest of the group, followed by Cruisers, Destroyers, then finally Frigates. This is what determines how big the fleet is when they're combined (10 Frigates = 2 Battleships in relative size, something akin to that. )

Fleet Size - The total size of the fleet. Split in to 4-5 groupings. (Tiny, Small, Medium, Large, Grand/Huge/Whatever) Maybe if you don't have perfect intelligent you'd get this, or a range? (Smallish Fleet, which could be Tiny or Small, that kind of thing) I don't know if this would be relevant, and so it might not be applicable to your vision. Though, this could come in play with your admirals. I don't know how important they are to your game, but I've become very attached to the idea of having 'people' that matter leading armies that don't. Maybe some admirals are better at leading tiny and small fleets, and get bonuses / special tactics that they can use while in such a thing. Perhaps the fleet size restricts actions they can take? Huge fleets can do sweeps of an entire area with great success, while tiny ones could perform reconnaissance missions and things of that nature?

This brings me back to the combat. Perhaps it would be neat to be able to split a fleet at any time, but ships that are moved to a new one suffer a penalty for not having a proper admiral? Or maybe you can just do this whenever. Say this particular combat will take six turns to finish, and neither side can flee effectively, so they're going to duke it out to the death. Could you split a fleet and tell a few ships (Think two Huge fleet groups initially, then one side becoming a Tiny and a Large respectively) go elsewhere, only to round about on the next turn and flank them? Maybe that could just be a special action the admiral could automatically perform, but that doesn't sound very 'fun' so to speak. Maybe that's just me, and perhaps I'm going to much in to the micro, which might not be what you want for the game. Maybe they should do that automatically, or perhaps if you didn't have another group nearby you were hosed and shame on you for putting all your eggs in one basket.

This whole idea kind of ties in with your 'fleets being made up of squadrons' that you mentioned above mind you, so if you don't think that's a good idea, I'm not sure how applicable this all is. An iPhone/Android game? Yeah, probably should keep it simple and determine fleet composition some other way than micro-ing ships to a fleet (Unless that's what you really want of course! Not saying it can't be done, but it would be a very 'rich' phone game in comparison to others). Dekstop? I'm sure there's a game someone made where you manage 1000 ships down to the individual crew member, so doing small groups of Cruisers and Destroyers to more than manageable.



#11 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3718

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 02 July 2013 - 12:54 PM

Whoa! What a big post (I love reading these), thanks :)

 

 

First, I don't have this game planned yet, I just have read in other topics that some people might like the idea of "giving an order to AI to conquer the world and then watch it do it". I'm trying to find out if this is a good idea or an idea that sux :) If this will be fun (and under what conditions it would be fun) or not fun at all.

 


but what is there to do other than to watch them duke it out?
Nothing :) Well, almost nothing.

 

- you build ships/form fleets FOR THE AI

- the AI use the fleets to conquer/defend the sector (which also include deciding which planet to attack next - within the sector)

- all you can do is give very, very, very general orders (like send 60% of our forces to the north sector and 40% to the southern)

- the whole point of watching the actual battle (and you can't even watch them all, there would be like 20-50 military operations initiated by AI each turn) would be to evaluate if your decision on fleets composition/quantity and admirals assignment was correct.

 

You basicly deal with "constructing" your military, not with using it. Well, you also decide on the most high level strategic stuff (like with whom we are at war with and what percentage of our forces fight for each sector).

 

but I've become very attached to the idea of having 'people' that matter leading armies that don't

Can you expand this thought? Especially in terms of your likes/dislikes as a player.


Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


#12 Archbishop   Members   -  Reputation: 258

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 02 July 2013 - 02:29 PM

I personally think there's a market for these kinds of games, but to be fair, there aren't a lot of them out there (Or not a lot that necessarily suit my needs or wants) and I'm not sure why! The biggest issue I think is that there's a lot of room for making a bad game in this department. Too much micro and it becomes tedious and deal with every little decision. Too little and you have a game that doesn't appeal to those who want to dive in to the specific aspects of running / managing whatever you're dealing with.

Regardless, back to the topic!

Also sorry, I couldn't figure out how to quote properly. This will have to do.

- you build ships/form fleets FOR THE AI

- the AI use the fleets to conquer/defend the sector (which also include deciding which planet to attack next - within the sector)

 

So perhaps then the player has a few options that they can select for any given fleet. They have two or three immediate, and important options that I can tell.

  • What is the fleet made up of?
  • What is the fleet's current task?
  • Who is leading the fleet? (Optional)

This is just the military side of thing, and I think depending on the other points of the game really determines how much detail the developer might want to go into assuming these are all the things they can do in this regard.

Personally unless the game were meant to be ultra simple, I think simply allocating percents to each of your fleets is not particularly exciting game play. Having some level of granularity of the fleet compositions I think is almost required. Although this ties in with resources, which is something I'll also mention later. Perhaps in the most simple model let's say we have three types of ships. Scouts, Combat Vessels, and Supplies? 

Scouts can supply increased vision to the fleet, don't die easily to combat ships (but aren't killing stuff either really), and are really fast. They'll fight other scouts in combat if left to their own devices.

Combat Ships are slow and destructive, designed to kill other combat ships and bombard planets. They will kill a scout one on one, but can easily be swarmed by the smaller ships and killed.

Supply Ships are...well, I'm not perhaps entirely sure what their purpose is. If there's no energy weapons, perhaps ammunition. They can also carry materials / boarding parties / weaponry / upgrades / repairs for the other ships in the fleet. They can defend themselves against a single scout or two (Maybe) but if for some reason they're alone, they're hosed against a combat ship. 

More complicated fleet models could perhaps use the classifications I made in my previous post, but I think assigning 'units' of these ships to fleets would be better than a simple % composition. (20% supply and 20% scout is not appropriate for a home fleet so to speak if they're banging on your doors. Your combat ships are close enough to home where they can just pull back / resupply at a friendly planet, and presumably you'd have vision from planets or something of that nature.)

It would be easy to keep it simple though. Say you have 5 scout units, 5 combat units, and 3 supply. 
Fleet one with a tough aggressive AI gets 3/3/2 and the dumb passive AI gets 2/2/1 to deal with it. Each of those units though could represent X number of ships depending on the unit type. (20 scouts per scout unit per say)

This brings us to resources!

In the game there are at least two types of resources, if not a third.

  • Raw Materials - Build ships, trade, buy stuff. There can be multiple types of raw materials, but it's basically the equivilant of gold/metal/whatevers in other games. For the military side of thing, it's probably gained from conquering worlds, capturing supply ships, and simply over time from peaceful planets.
  • Ships - Use raw materials and other things to acquire these, either by building them with a time penalty, or purchasing more directly for a high cost from whoever.. Ships should be a limited resource, as there has to be some penalty for throwing a weak fleet at an obviously superior force.
  • Admirals - Optional - Not everyone can lead a fleet of ships. This is an optional component, but is important in terms of splitting your fleets if this is a resource that you have to manage. You shouldn't be gaining or losing them all that often, and it ties in with my people comment from earlier. Perhaps events can get you a new admiral, and losing them is pretty much if you suicide an entire fleet in to the enemy.

It depends on the game being developed, but one of my favorite aspects of any game is having characters I can get attached to. In this case, it's the admiral. In a lot of 4X games (Not saying this is one) you can do things like name your ship, and that ship keeps track of its kills and things of that nature. Ships are...well, fragile in a huge military, and I don't think that makes a ton of sense to have a ship level up / get stronger / have those things tabulated. Maybe it's important, but in a game like this, you won't have that level of attachment. Instead, why not those leading your fleets?

To have your armies do different things at once, you require admirals. One admiral per fleet, each with their own stats (If applicable). Even if it's just a name, it's something the player can get behind. Personally I think it helps build a story, even more so if it's kind of a procedural game that can be played many times. Who remembers when they sent fleet A against B and won a big battle, as compared to when Admiral Slackoff led a force half the size against a superior and won because he's the best admiral in your empire? Chances are more people would remember the latter event. Any sort of level up system is just a 'bonus', and certainly not required by any means, but forcing the player to make a set of decisions based on this could be an interesting choice. Only have three admirals but have four enemies that need to be dead? Oh well. Perhaps dealing with ships in your home world is always free and requires no one (but perhaps if the admirals supply bonuses, obviously your home system ships wouldn't get any, but it's not to say they'd be less organized or anything like that, just no extras. Or maybe you get penalties! Who knows?)

Back to fleet composition real quick though before I'm done posting. Depending on the style of game, and just based on what I and you have posted, I can see two solutions to 'upgrading' a fleet to tackle a specific problem. I'm sure there are infinitely many more though!
 

I wonder if this is fun... Or if shouldn't there be some "special forces" that could be allocated to fleets somehow (like one alien uses distortion waves so we send ships with special resistant hulls; another alien uses some electronic warfare equipment so we send additional ships with scramblers to protect the fleet).

In the totally percentage based model, one might be able to acquire tokens of sorts that represent a fleet wide upgrade, and each fleet can only have one token at a time. Perhaps you buy improved shields from a merchant and apply them to a fleet, using your token slot. These shield prove extra effective against an alien race who uses ballistic weapons, but otherwise does nothing against the laser using schmucks on the other side of the galaxy. Other 'tokens' could include things like Planetary Death Ray (Improves capture rates of planets or something), Improved Tracer Modules (More damage to tiny ships), Sensor Module Booster (Higher and more accurate vision/reports if that's a mechanic you use), etc etc.

If you aren't using that model, there's simply acquiring new ships that can accomplish these tasks. In the unit per ship compositions, you could buy a 'Sensor Boosted Scout' ship that you can apply to your fleet. The AI would take care to give survival priority to these ships, and use them intelligently and such. This also ties in to the players caring about specific ships and the admirals leading them. Perhaps an admiral has a bonus to ship firing range, so you throw the fancy Long Range Bombardment Battleship Unit in to his fleet and watch him melt his adversaries from afar. (Assuming the AI isn't dumb!)

I don't think that there should be modules targeting a specific alien race, but rather a specific ship 'style'. In my previous instance, if there's a alien species where all of their fleets have -30% range but +40% damage, then equipping upgrades / modules / special ships that give +20% range is useful everywhere, but crippling to that army because your AI in theory would kite them and kill them unless they got the jump on you! (Shame on the player for not having scouts!)


Edited by Archbishop, 04 July 2013 - 03:01 PM.


#13 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3718

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 04 July 2013 - 02:53 PM

OK, let's simplify it even more.

 

The player can decide only on:

- What is the fleet made up of (ships)

- Who is leading the fleet (assigning ranks to officers)

 

The player CAN NOT affect what is the fleet's current task (not even deciding on a percentage). It's done by AI. When the war starts the AI will create separate flotillas (made of ships built by you), assign to them admirals (based on the ranks the player assigned) and send them to fight as AI see fit (against those you declared war with). The player has zero (direct) control over it.

 

Do you think it would be fun?


Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)





Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS