Acharis

Relation of fleet and army in a space 4X

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Acharis    5979

In SF 4X game you have fleets and army. And I found relation between those quite odd. Typically only one (basicaly always the fleet) is dominant while the other is not so important. For example in MOO2 you can use fleet to bombard the planet and effectively kill all enemy troops, so if you can accept the devastation of the infrastructure you can ignore army and focus on strong fleet alone. Basically, once you won the space combat the planet will be conquered eventually, enemy ground troops can only prolong it.

Or the other way round (extremelly rare, actually I know only one example). In Chapter Master it's all about ground troops, if your legions can win ground combat you get the planet. Space ships are mostly for transport and occasional skirmishes.

How to make it so both fleet and army is important?

 

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Scouting Ninja    3951
1 hour ago, Acharis said:

How to make it so both fleet and army is important?

Difficult question because you can't even look into real life war for this one. Controlling the sky has always been more important than controlling the ground.

 

What about making the parts destroyed by fleets uninhabitable and making the fleets expensive. That way the player can use it as a way to disable enemy planets at the cost of reduced production for the player.

Don't make it a temporarily effect, 4X games are slow so players will wait if that is what it takes.

 

A other way would be to place a shield around planets. So ships focus attacks on one point allowing ground forces to break in, then they can focus on breaking the shield around important targets as ground forces rush the other targets.

This is how medieval war worked with siege engines and castles.

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suliman    1652

Yes the key is probably something like that: make conquest two parts. First destroy the defending fleet, then you need to deploy ground troops to disable shields/ conquer cities and kill of garrisons.

Simply put: don't allow fleets to do "everything" required to expand your empire.

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Acharis    5979

Thoughts:

A controversial question, can ground troops invade an enemy planet without orbit control by their combat fleet? It's not as weird as is sounds, imagine a single ship (super battle cruiser) protecting a planet, does it mean that a group of 100 quick small transporters (assault gunships) can't get through? Such super battleship could maybe shot down like 5 of those (or less), so it would mean that 95 got through...

Similarly about blockading a planet. Isn't it weird that a single ship (no matter how powerfull) can effectively prevent all transports coming to the planet? Sure, trade would be disrupted, especially when it comes to large tranpost ships, but medium sized frigates (not to mention smuglers) could get through without loses in such scenario.

How about this unusual mechanic: combat fleets orbiting a planet provide coverage (10%, 50%, 90%, etc) depending on number of ships (not technology or power, only quantity, maybe also affected by speed since faster ships can intercept transporters more efficiently). You can invade a planet without any orbital supremacy, but each ground troops transport would suffer casualties equal to enemy orbital coverage.

 

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Polama    1105

From a realism standpoint, the main issue is that if you can land a soldier you can probably land a nuke (or drop a big rock) and if you aren't overly concerned with collateral damage that's likely to be a much cheaper option than waging war on a distant world.

Dune uses technomagic shields that only let slow moving objects through. Something similar could be used to hand-wave in an army requirement. Alternatively, if you make the value delta large enough a developed world and a destroyed one, you could just make invasions far more profitable (although with potentially tricky-to-balance impacts on the value of settling new worlds).

You could also make this the "rules of engagement". Since dropping rocks on all alien planets is so potent, this could be outlawed by convention with everyone agreeing to destroy a transgressor. If you think too much this creates weird situations (false flag bombardments and such) but it could work as a hand-wave.

The flip side (armies without fleets) is easier to solve by making them easy to destroy in transit or by making it hard to wage war without orbital support. I'd be less concerned about sneaking a fleet onto a planet than waging war without a large, slightly removed source of supplies. Assuming a scorched earth policy by your foes, how would you ensure a war's worth of supplies at single landing, without just landing large supply depots for the defenders to bomb?

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LorenzoGatti    4442

War might also evolve toward low collateral damage and negligible destruction because inhabitable planets are extremely valuable. It only takes a little bit of rules enforcement (e.g. an overly powerful civilization or faction of arbiters or an empire or federation embracing all warring factions) to make destroyed planets and genocidal wars a non-issue.

If letting a damaged enemy ship fall on the underlying planet is an unacceptable hazard, if nobody uses anything more harmful than small firearms with non-polluting bullets, if leaving behind arrows or bullet cases is a war crime, conquering or defending a planet becomes a very labor-intensive activity both in the air and on the ground, with fair battles and prudent engagement rules.  

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Acharis    5979
On 31.07.2017 at 7:30 PM, Polama said:

From a realism standpoint, the main issue is that if you can land a soldier you can probably land a nuke (or drop a big rock) and if you aren't overly concerned with collateral damage that's likely to be a much cheaper option than waging war on a distant world.

Indeed... So, the only solution is:

- planetary shields that prevent bombardment but not landing troops (which is a bit weird but I suppose acceptable), also, in such case can the planet have ground installations that target orbiting fleet (missiles, fighters garrisons, etc)?

- a convention prohibiting bombardment

 

How about blockade and starving the planet off? Should a planet surrender after prolonged blockade? Does prolonged blockade reduce troops combat efficiency? Can blockaded planet build defensive installations (like ground missile launchers)?

 

On 31.07.2017 at 7:30 PM, Polama said:

The flip side (armies without fleets) is easier to solve by making them easy to destroy in transit or by making it hard to wage war without orbital support. I'd be less concerned about sneaking a fleet onto a planet than waging war without a large, slightly removed source of supplies. Assuming a scorched earth policy by your foes, how would you ensure a war's worth of supplies at single landing, without just landing large supply depots for the defenders to bomb?

Yes, for a traditional army control of the orbit is required due to supply requirments.

Except for rare races, like a big transport ship which warp out, launches several hundred landers and warp out. Then those landers crash on the ground and it holds alien like eggs which spawns and the fun begins. No supplies needed in such case.

Edited by Acharis

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