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non combat ships


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#1 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3966

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 01:39 PM

It's for some sort of 4X space strategy game (it's not important what kind exactly, things in this topic should fit to several ones).

 

 

I was thinking about shipyards. Not as buildings that generate any resources or "production" but like in a real word, a place where ships are built. Those shipyards would be a limiter of ships production (you have tons of money and resources but you can't build more ships because you have no free shipyards).

 

So far it's all strightforward. But I was thinking of adding some sort of civilian ships. If you are preparing for war you are producing warships, but if not, your shipyards are not idle but automaticly produce some freighters, currier ships, luxury passenger liners, etc. Those help your empire in an economic way (or other). I mean, I don't want it to be the standard "you build a shipyard and then use it at 100% capacity to produce warships".

 

Now the question, how exactly it should work and what kind of non combat ships there should be? And do you think this idea is worth pursuing?

 

 

I can see it as a slider warships/civilian. Or some automatic "use up shipyard if you are building a warship and all free shipyards auto produce civilian ships". Or maybe make three categories: warships, freighters, civilian/commercial. I think it would be nice to introduce some "private sector" :) Like, you pay for warships (gives you military power), you pay for freighters (gives you imperial logistics/transport) and you DO NOT pay for civilian/commercial ships since these are bought by citizens and used for trade/pleasure (gives more money form tax + from selling the ships to population and/or increase happiness).

 


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#2 Waterlimon   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2634

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 01:46 PM

And then you can of course refit the civilian ships into floating nuclear missile launch platforms...

 

You should consider whether it fits in with the rest of the game. If you dont also have civilian activity on land it would seem out of place.

 

 

Maybe not make them completely civilian, but as some kind of military-owned non-military vessels, to provide items (and week long luxury cruises) to your troops to increase battle motivation.


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#3 Hasmond   Members   -  Reputation: 143

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 03:09 PM

The idea certainly sound interesting and I think you should go for it.

 

For non-combat ships I would suggest;

 

Trader ships - They move from your shipyard/resource holder to the edge of the map (or to allied base) then return to your shipyard/resource holder giving you some resources.

 

and

 

Miner ship - Mines asteroids to get resources that they deposit at your base.



#4 TechnoGoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2797

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 03:41 PM

I always assumed a shipyard that built military vehicles didn't do civilian stuff in the same way that a tank factory doesn't build cars.

 

I do kind of like the idea that civilian ships are tied into growth and expansion with perhaps a minimum amount of civilian vehicles are required for your colonies to reach a certain levels of development and having a surplus will speed of growth.   It could be as simple as setting the shipyard to auto build commercial vehicles and then it goes away and does it with no more interaction for you starts producing space trucks, and space buses.  As your colonies develop you start to see more advanced and large civilian vehicles you might even see a luxury casino station open in orbit of a planet.



#5 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1883

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 04:33 PM

I always assumed a shipyard that built military vehicles didn't do civilian stuff in the same way that a tank factory doesn't build cars.

 

I do kind of like the idea that civilian ships are tied into growth and expansion with perhaps a minimum amount of civilian vehicles are required for your colonies to reach a certain levels of development and having a surplus will speed of growth.   It could be as simple as setting the shipyard to auto build commercial vehicles and then it goes away and does it with no more interaction for you starts producing space trucks, and space buses.  As your colonies develop you start to see more advanced and large civilian vehicles you might even see a luxury casino station open in orbit of a planet.

 

The most widely produced tank in history was initially produced in a locomotive factory that was converted for wartime use. The battleship Bismarck was made in the same yard that produced some of the largest civilian liners in history, and now produces warships and equipment for the oil industry. Industrial capacity is industrial capacity. If you can build a heavily armoured warship, then you can likely build lighter commercial ships in even less time.

 

One mechanic that could be interesting to play with is having different classes of production that are suitable for either commercial or military production. Engines and hulls for example. The factories that can build the biggest engines would clearly cost more, say 3x as much as one that could only produce smaller engines (such as those more likely to be used by lighter commercial vessels), but while the 'bigger' factory could also produce the smaller engines it would no do so at 3x the rate. The same could go for hull armour. Yards designed mainly to handle lighter armour would be cheaper, but take far longer to build ships with heavier armour.

 

The economy could be based on a 'merchant marine' and private sector fleets. While most planets would produce at least a little of any given resource, various planets could specialize in production of a handful so they can provide a massive surplus over what they would use internally. You could also include things like ground troops that would need to be ferried between bases and the front line. May even want to include heavy and light transports, where heavy ships would be able to survive combat, while the lighter versions would suffer extremely high losses. The lighter ones could be used to ferry troops and supplies in low combat-risk zones to supply dumps, while the heavier ones would then finish the journey.

 

How you wage war would then depend on how you choose to tool your economy. Build game play up such that a heavy "Fleet" focused warfare style can be played in a way that is just as valid as a more 'ground force' based approach. Where a fleet based warfare would focus on controlling lines of supply and be a siege warfare style, the ground based attacks would rely on a smaller fleet designed to just protect a fist of transports that pour troops into an area. The fleet could respond to threats faster, but the landing force would be exceptionally potent if you are able to move the troops and supplies to forward staging areas fast enough.

 

 

 

Having a strong civilian fleet could offer you bonuses in research, production expansion, general 'happiness', and such, while strong military control over transit could offer a bonus to espionage defence. (Spies and such are more free to move about your empire when there is less oversight.)


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#6 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 10575

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 01:43 PM

Funny, I've tackled this only few weeks ago...

 

My personal take on this is that no 'civilian ship' is entirely devoid a militaristic use.

You can always convert cruise-liners into freighters, or arm that one small vessel in a way where it can contribute.

 

In my game, there are nearly as many 'support/civilian' ships as there are warships, and its impossible for a player to win without constructing a fair amount of these.

 

Aside from the obvious need for freighters, having mobile economic ships help (mining as previously stated, but also transformation of goods).

I've included mercenary ships, tradeships, slave vessels, labour ship, etc.

 

Also, reconnaissance is critical, therefore I have probe-like ships that have long sensor ranges. Even in times of peace, you're likely to want to set up strong comm arrays. Whether they be used for telecom within your empire, or to scout the outskirt of your charted space, this is always a good investment.

There's many more, but I can't leak it all here now can I?



#7 Iron Chef Carnage   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1840

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 02:58 PM

I like the idea of idle (not currently making warships, anyway) shipyards being useful as a source of revenue, with limitations.  How about a contract system, where civilian NPC organizations put in "orders" that you can fulfill.  You spend some of your resources and devote a shipyard to completing a production order on a tanker or a liner or a science ship or something, and in exchange, instead of getting the ship, you get a reward in the form of currency or resources or what-have-you.

 

I don't know much about your specific game, of course, but if there's an economic element where you can buy and sell assets, you could fit this system into the game with minimal shoehorning.  Just have a marketplace where buy and sell orders can be found, a la Eve Online or the X series, and when your yards are idle and you don't have a pressing need for warships, you could browse the list and see that somebody wants a freighter.  Sell a spare ship to fill the order, or build one if your production capacity can accommodate it.  You could use your spy satellite factory to make circuit boards for smart phones or something, instead of furloughing everyone and shutting them down.

 

It would make more sense if your player's faction was a megacorporation, rather than a government.  As Luckless mentioned, it's more common for a civilian company to take government production contracts than for a state-run department to moonlight in the private sector.



#8 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3966

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 04:27 PM


And then you can of course refit the civilian ships into floating nuclear missile launch platforms...
LOL, you know, somehow the similar thought was poping out in my mind as well :)

BTW, I'm not sure what's the proper English word, but there such ships in WWII called "helper cruisers". Inferior, retrofited civilian vessels that had firepower but were slow and sunk at the first hit due to fragile hull.

 


You should consider whether it fits in with the rest of the game. If you dont also have civilian activity on land it would seem out of place.
Good point...

 


I always assumed a shipyard that built military vehicles didn't do civilian stuff in the same way that a tank factory doesn't build cars.
No, there never was something like "miliary shipyard" (althrough I'm not sure about submarines).

BTW, Russians were producing aripnlanes in furniture factory during WWII (and the funnies thing is that these wooden airships were not inferior at all, actually wooden airships (below the speed of the sound) have better characteristic (weigth to durability ratio) than metal ones, but more expensive to produce (metal can be melted, smelted and forged while wood can be only crafted)).

 


One mechanic that could be interesting to play with is having different classes of production that are suitable for either commercial or military production. Engines and hulls for example. The factories that can build the biggest engines would clearly cost more, say 3x as much as one that could only produce smaller engines (such as those more likely to be used by lighter commercial vessels), but while the 'bigger' factory could also produce the smaller engines it would no do so at 3x the rate. The same could go for hull armour. Yards designed mainly to handle lighter armour would be cheaper, but take far longer to build ships with heavier armour.
I had an idential thought. I'm puzzled why it's not used in games, I mean, it's quite strightforward and logical idea (that's how it works in a real world)...

 


In my game, there are nearly as many 'support/civilian' ships as there are warships, and its impossible for a player to win without constructing a fair amount of these.
I was primarily trying to follow the "you don't need to fill your shipyards by 100%" concept. Kind of to allow switch to civilian ships (that are free to produce - free being a very important point) when nothing is produced. Also to even promote not using shipyards to 100% or not all the time. Also to cut down on micromanagement (if you don't tend to your shipyards for a few turns than there is no problem, these will auto produce civilian ships your empire will need anyway). Or as a kind of "forced periodical shutdown of shipyards" (not producing your military/freighter fleet or otherwise directly useful ships all the time).

 


it's more common for a civilian company to take government production contracts than for a state-run department to moonlight in the private sector.
Yes... The whole state production thing in games is overall annoying and not so realistic. But after trying Victoria: Empire Under the Sun I concluded a private sector that the player can't affect is not a very fun game at all...

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#9 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 10575

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 08:04 PM






Orymus3, on 27 Oct 2013 - 3:43 PM, said:


In my game, there are nearly as many 'support/civilian' ships as there are warships, and its impossible for a player to win without constructing a fair amount of these.

I was primarily trying to follow the "you don't need to fill your shipyards by 100%" concept. Kind of to allow switch to civilian ships (that are free to produce - free being a very important point) when nothing is produced. Also to even promote not using shipyards to 100% or not all the time. Also to cut down on micromanagement (if you don't tend to your shipyards for a few turns than there is no problem, these will auto produce civilian ships your empire will need anyway). Or as a kind of "forced periodical shutdown of shipyards" (not producing your military/freighter fleet or otherwise directly useful ships all the time).

 

Ah, well... my system doesn't have much of a 'time stamp' to it, so, really, you just stop building when you can't afford to.

Selling your production capacity to somebody else isn't part of what I'm doing.

That said, the servicing approach is perhaps the most interesting as it reverts an investment into a source for profitability.



#10 bhawk245   Members   -  Reputation: 137

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 11:45 AM

If you want people to use the civilian ships you need to make it the foundation of your in-game economy. Players are not going to use something that isn't deemed necessarily useful to a large extent. For example in Sins of a Solar Empire the trade depots are used widely, because they are your second form of credit generation after planetary taxes.

 

You want to make these civilian ships ESSENTIAL to running your space empire. You need to make their addition to your economy significant enough to a point where it isn't worth it to change a space liner into a nuclear barge. War costs money, you will have to give up your economic growth to have a massive military fleet. To go further you want to make them worthwhile to attack and protect as well, forcing conflict and players to have warships during times of peace. You want to balance the game in that direction. 


Edited by bhawk245, 28 October 2013 - 11:49 AM.


#11 mippy   Members   -  Reputation: 1004

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:10 PM

  • Don't forget tugboats and other forms of smaller vessels. These can add a little bonus to your ports in terms of efficiency. 
  • Icebreakers are crucial if you want to travel in icy areas. In fact, there is a lack of heavy ice-breakers around the north-pole that risks to put research to halt (I think the boat Odin was pulled back into military service or something).
  • Research ships could be important.
  • Large fishing boats produces yummy fish.
  • Ship reparation capacity - both for private and for military service. Also, civilian boats should be possible to upgrade with military tech (machine guns, better radars and com-links)


#12 The Moldy Crow   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 158

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 01:25 AM

Resource gathering/mining would be the obvious system to add, the question you have to figure out is whether these civi ships travel with the military ships. I think you should have them travel together, it would add some cool BSG elements to the combat and you could include ships like:

Food production ship - your military vessels perform better if their crews are well fed. On long expeditionary trips you need to make sure your stores are big enough, or bring a food production ship, which you then need to protect during combat.

Colony ship - optional, you can settle new planets without, but if you bring one along, they get off to a better start.

Recreational ship - well rested crews perform better and work better together. Maybe response time to commands is quicker if you have one of these, think corporate team building exercise ship
If this is destroyed, the negative effect on your fleet is comparatively quicker than the food ship.

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Nothing will work. Everything might. 





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