Space 4X - military bases

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Let's say it's a 4X in space where the player controls quite a lot of star systems (like 30-100) even at the erarly stages of the game.

I'm thinking of some sort of "military regions" mechanic. Like, the player can build up to 8-12 military bases total on certain planets. Then military actions are done by those bases depending on the proximity to those. So, the player does not concern with defending individual planets, but rather strengthen "northen secrtor military base" if the planets in proximity to rthis base is in danger. Such miliary base would station troops, fleets, special forces, officers, equipment, fuel, that is used by nearby planets. The base would also perform offensive operation vs target systems in their proximity.

The main advantage of such system is that the player has to deal with up to 12 "military entities" so it's all manageable even in case of huge empires. The disadvantage is of course lose of a direct control (the player would not be able to control those forces directly), but that's the price I'm willing to pay :)

How exactly such system of military bases could work?

 

Things to consider: How to "move bases"? The player would need to move those as territory expansds, but it can't be too easy (otherwise the player could move all bases to the most dangerous front and then move those back; so there must be a mechanic that allows moving those but prevents them from being "mobile reaction forces"). What happens when a planet changes miliatry region (military base that protects it) due to moving bases, does it mean that temporarily that system is not protected (when forces from the old base retreat and from the new one have not arrived yet?)

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The first thing that popped into my head was you pick an HQ system (or planet). Pick a radius, (or select systems arbitrarily) to say which systems this armada is in charge of. The more systems, and the further away from the HQ, the more resources it takes to defend and patrol a certain area. You can alot a budget of funds and let the AI build and maintain the appropriate ships for you. Or maybe you could assign fleets directly to that region.

Maybe you could show different "standard" levels of effect for a given amount of resources. Light or reactionary means you have enough fleets to deal with problems as they come up with reasonable losses to pirates or invaders. Medium means you have enough fleet power to prevent most things from happening, surprise attacks would still deal some damage here. And Heavy has enough fleet power to react quickly even to surprise attacks because you have so many fleet resources allocated. 

Just clicking the start HQ button and adding planets and funds doesn't solve your problems immediately. It takes time to transport and build fleets. Over time the different armadas shift ships around, build new ships, and based on what they currently have available determines how effective they are at dealing with problems.

- Eck

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I like the idea of radii, which makes it a bit more like police protection in SimCity rather than fleets in MoO.  You choose a planet to be a military base, and planets within a certain volume are protected.  (Or, if your space map consists of a graph of jump lanes or something similar, planets within jumps are protected.)

Maybe have two systems of protection, each pretty simple.  Bases are permanent, and can have as many military bases as you can afford, and those give a certain radius and degree of protection.  You can also have up to twelve non-base "fleets", which need a base to support them.  Fleets are treated as an atomic unit (you don't know or care about the specific ships in them) that give some specific bonus (like wider radius, or better protection, or increased reinforcements, or better morale, etc.) to the base they're stationed at.  You can reassign a fleet to a different base at any time, although (of course) there's a period of some weeks where the fleet is in transit and doesn't give any bonus anywhere.

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Hmmm, I like the concept of "assigning special forces to a base", very in the mood like "there is trouble, move the unique 1st regiment of elite heavy infantry lead by colonel Arbar to base 63 near Xylons border". If you have only like 8-12 of such unique forces it feels very distinct, also each such unit could then have unique special abilities.
 

Questions:

- does every planet "belong" to one base? Like each planet can be protected by one (nearest) base only?

- do bases protection stack? Is being in range of 2 bases better than in range of one?

 

 

 

 

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Hmmm.  I think base protection has to not stack, or else the player is incentivized to build a base on every planet.  (Like, oh, here are five planets within a radius, I'll build five bases to get a 5x bonus.)  I mean, you could do diminishing returns, like having protection increase logarithmically rather than linearly, but I think it's just easier to say "you're covered or you're not".  

(Or if you have different levels of bases as technology improves, "you're covered by whichever base is strongest".  So the maximum of local protection rates, rather than the sum.  But I like the simplicity of "bases provide a standard level of protection, and all bonuses to that come from special mobile units with personality.)

What about special fleet bonus stacking?  I think special fleet bonus stacking is fine; you only have a few of those anyway, and if they all have a different bonus it's interesting to try different combinations.

Two more questions:

  • Can one base host several special fleets, or should it be exclusive?  (Or maybe it's a matter of planet size, or technology, like advanced bases can support one more special fleet.)
  • Can a base be destroyed while a special fleet is headquartered there?  Like, if the base provides 100 resistance points, and  Admiral Smou's Irregulars multiply that by 1.25 or extend its radius by 20 light years, what happens if the base is destroyed?  Is there no protection?  But presumably the Irregulars themselves provide some resistance, so maybe they offer both a multiplier bonus and some resistance of their own.  Or, just, make it so that the special forces are always the first to die, so it never comes up that they're left on a planet without a base.

 

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On 3.08.2017 at 3:55 AM, valrus said:

What about special fleet bonus stacking?  I think special fleet bonus stacking is fine; you only have a few of those anyway, and if they all have a different bonus it's interesting to try different combinations.

Two more questions:

  • Can one base host several special fleets, or should it be exclusive?  (Or maybe it's a matter of planet size, or technology, like advanced bases can support one more special fleet.)
  • Can a base be destroyed while a special fleet is headquartered there?  Like, if the base provides 100 resistance points, and  Admiral Smou's Irregulars multiply that by 1.25 or extend its radius by 20 light years, what happens if the base is destroyed?  Is there no protection?  But presumably the Irregulars themselves provide some resistance, so maybe they offer both a multiplier bonus and some resistance of their own.  Or, just, make it so that the special forces are always the first to die, so it never comes up that they're left on a planet without a base.

Fleets could retreat to nearest base if their is destroyed. Od it can be handled in different ways, personally I don't think it would be an issue.

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In a way you're kind of mirroring the province system from the later Total War games. - In short you're abstracting control over a larger area with multiple points of interest/production into a more unified interface. 

 

I don't think that having effective overlap is a terribly bad mechanic, it just has to be balanced economically. If bases are expensive, then you aren't going to build them on EVERY planet by the simple virtue of you can't actually afford it anyway.

 

Maybe have different levels to bases - Outposts, Bases, and Strongholds or something?

Sectors are created based on strongholds and are where the user does the majority of their interactions, and all planets/points of interest are controlled by one Sector/Stronghold. Strongholds are where your largest projects are done, your major capital ships, or maybe your ship engines/important components are made. 

Under those would be Bases/Outposts. Bases would be an upgraded outpost with a larger effect, possibly with added function like raising/training garrison units or armies, and probably with features like rearming/repairing fleets. Outposts would be points that offer a minor bonus and maybe do things like support sensors.

 

All Outposts/Bases/Strongholds could be based on the same Core Entity, and their state would be based on what upgrades/features are stationed there. If you base them on modular parts, then you could move those parts around, at a cost, as the needs of your empire changes. Move parts from a 'base' to an outpost as your empire pushes outward, or eventually decide to upgrade a base to a new stronghold. Downgrade bases in central/secured areas to mere outposts to free up resources to deploy elsewhere. - Slightly 'fleet-like' in a way if you can move them around at a cost, but could make for a very flexible gameplay design. 

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On 28-7-2017 at 4:48 PM, Acharis said:

The main advantage of such system is that the player has to deal with up to 12 "military entities" so it's all manageable even in case of huge empires.

If you do not want the player to deal with 30-100 entities, limit the # of colonies to 12.

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