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Ideas of auto-combat system for spaceships game

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Hello!

I am looking for auto combat system ideas. 

 

little background to my case

[spoiler]I am very green in game design (two weeks old) and working on my first GDD. It is space strategy for browser with focus on developing your colonized planets mostly but there is combat too. As of now it is planned to be automatic, round based and very simple, so you can play being everywhere(desktop or gadgets).
Combat starts when your spaceship meets enemy spaceship. Each round it calculates all cannon damage (there are 2 types of damage) and distributes it to shields(two types). Combat lasts till last ship. Multiple round system is to prolong combat so anyone nearby can join it with their ships even if has already started. [/spoiler]

 

For example I am currently studying VGA planets combat system which reference I found thanks to this thread:

http://www.gamedev.net/topic/670332-degenerated-combat/

 

I would be very grateful for any other ideas or references to games with auto combat system and mechanics.

 

P.S.

I am apologize if I created this post in a wrong thread.  

Personal sorry to Tom.

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As with anything it ranges from extremely complex solutions (Gratuitous Space Battles) to totally abstract systems. Endless Space basically had this, a giant Rock Paper Scissor battle, which did its job decently well. In the more ancient indie side, I'd look into Starships Unlimited too, old as it is.

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One advise I can give is that if its allowed to stack spaceships endlessly than this easily degenerates into an attackers game: The attacker uses a massive army that overwhelms enemy ships fast enough to have almost no or no losses while the defender can not focus his troops in one region cause he leaves others undefended.

 

So limit shipstacks(possible trough supply issues) ,give ships ways to do meaningful damage before beeing taken out(torpedos, drones or explosive selfdestruct for example) limit the maximum number of ships that can focus fire on a ship(minimum range to be in for example) and give defenders a military advantage(spacestations, minefields etc) as the often have to spread their forces thinner.

Edited by Wush

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So limit shipstacks(possible trough supply issues) ,give ships ways to do meaningful damage before beeing taken out(torpedos, drones or explosive selfdestruct for example) limit the maximum number of ships that can focus fire on a ship(minimum range to be in for example) and give defenders a military advantage(spacestations, minefields etc) as the often have to spread their forces thinner.
Older discussion: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/658767-how-to-avoid-stacks-of-doom-in-4x/

 

Possible solutions:

- double/tripple damage during the first combat round (so the weaker one can deal more significant damage before being destroyed)

- smaller fleet gets an ambush/maneuverability bonus

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Guys, many thanks for your advices and the link to previous discussions.
According to my game's setting spaceships are very huge (more like mothership). The smallest class has large city size. So you can not afford much per planet and the total number of planets you can control is also limited. At the moment I am thinking how to make such limited ship numbers fun for player through its detailed construction piece by piece and high level customization. And auto battle visualization has to be also carefully designed.

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