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Author Topic: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses  (Read 28901 times)

Inventor Raccoon

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #45 on: August 17, 2018, 05:52:02 PM »

one thought on a meaningful tactical decision that could be made. You could choose whether the raid is covert or overt. a covert raid reduces chances of success but adds a chance that it won't be realised that you conducted the raid (maybe has to pass additional skill check), an overt raid has a higher chance of success but you will always be known as the culprit. This should only be allowed for raids, it makes no sense for bombardments.
That seems kind of similar to the existing distinction between transponder-on raids and transponder-off raids.
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Cyan Leader

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #46 on: August 17, 2018, 08:43:27 PM »

I've read your thoughts thoroughly and I understand the massive undertaking it'd take and the potential underwhelming results implementing a combat scenario for this purpose could yield. I do, however, want to expand where I'm coming from.

One of the reasons why station battles feel very exciting is because you are putting the ships/skills you acquired in a different scenario. It's like a new toy to play with, a new problem to tackle. Currently on the game we have station battles, regular combat and retreats (both sides). Those are basically all the types of battles we can engage though with obviously with a lot of variation, I don't want to downplay that. When originally thinking about station assaults I (and others I'd wager) imagined fighting massive structures with reinforcements coming in or even having hangers spawning destroyers or such. A battle that would play out a different way and would push our skills/fleet to the limits. Implementing that is another story, but what I want to highlight is that such a scenario would be a real game changer to battles, which in turn makes it memorable and exciting. Now don't get me wrong, I'm pleased with the current station fights (and I imagine .9's are going to be great too), but it makes me wonder if more different/unique ideas/scenarios couldn't be implemented in the engine. For example, consider some different situations like:

-> Raiding transporters/cargo ships while the rest of the fleet defends it
-> Protecting mining operations from attackers
-> Escorting scenarios
-> Boss fights (unique ship encounters)

These would all have unique variation and their own quirks to consider, which I believe to be a very positive thing. So when reading about raiding I can't help but imagine what could have been done with the combat engine, since that is the crowning jewel of the game. Now, from your post I can see that implementing a lot of these isn't feasible nor desirable, but I do think some different types of battles for future updates of could add a lot to the game. If it is possible and you think it could create interesting gameplay, please consider it.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 08:45:11 PM by Cyan Leader »
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The Soldier

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #47 on: August 17, 2018, 08:52:14 PM »

And oh, the Prometheus suddenly appears in a completely new light ;D
A totally more sinister light. A giant tanker built to supply all the fuel you need to bombard a planet back to the stone age... it might be disturbing to see one enter your system, wouldn't it?

A "Fuel Production" industry requires a "Synchrotron Core" to boost fuel output beyond a fairly low level. This is a rare item that Sindria has, and it can be stolen.
I assume a Synchotron Core is Domain-era technology?  If it is, all the more reason to bust open the door and take it right from under their noses. :) Though that also makes me wonder if factions can be extra-aggressive for getting back such rare and precious technology, as well as search for the missing equipment after the fact.  It sure would be suspicious if your Synchrotron Core was stolen only for another one to conveniently be acquired by an economical opponent.  The Sindrian Diktat might think that some ham-fisted raiding of their own might be in order to reclaim such material, no?

Hmm, I'm curious as to what gives you that impression. I feel like e.g. the raiding mechanics are all abouth how it fits in with everything else. Like, it's totally not a mechanic that works at all in isolation. If I was looking at it like that, I probably wouldn't be happy with what it looks like!
For me at least, it's that we don't learn about connections to other mechanics until later, when the last blog post about all the mechanics in the update are done.  Of course, I don't know how much else you have planned out that you don't talk about (because you have a habit of talking only about things you're confident in releasing, give or take), so there's always that.

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Retry

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #48 on: August 17, 2018, 09:33:18 PM »

That stuff is just gone. You could, however, set up a tech-mining operation in the ruins, which could theoretically yield these kinds of items.
Minor: these ruins (as a planet modifier) don't actually care what tech was there before, do they? Are they even all the same (in terms of chances for tech) or are some weighted to yield more or better stuff?
(Oddly enough, I did already change "Hand Weapons" to something else! They're now "Heavy Armaments", covering stuff from heavy squad-level weapons to hovercraft, tanks, mechs, and so on. Currently only used to boost the effectiveness of ground defenses - that is, ground defenses have demand for those, and suffer if it's not met.)
The new name bothers me somewhat, I thought there's a better term for thing you're describing, but besides "materiel" I couldn't find anything fitting.
<runs away screaming>
I know it's not happening, for good reasons, but Starsector's mighty nice shoot em up, even when it isn't!
I did consider it, but the logical endpoint of that is "projected marine losses: 3,000 credits" and, uh, I don't want to present things that way.
That's how the things are, though. You just need enough marines for whom you just pay once and spend them where it's needed; they don't level up or affect anything else (I'm still sad by having crew veterancy gone, but I digress). They ARE numbers and the sector IS a place where people no longer care for others. You may not like it, but I really like that it sounds so casually.

On the renaming of Small Arms to Heavy Armaments, yeah it's rather difficult to sum up that into 1 or 2 short words since it encompasses so many things.  If it was just 'Mechs, Hovercraft & tanks you could sum that all up into Armour or AFVs, but including squad-support weaponry torpedos that idea.

Maybe "Weapon Systems"?  But then it's a bit vague as that could also describe ship-based weapons.

Then "Planetary Weapon Systems" would be more precise and leave less room for doubt, but then that's a rather wordy title for one commodity, I would guess the longest in-game.

Maybe "Defense Products"?  It's vague enough and with appropriate artwork one can represent that the products are any manner of vehicles and heavy infantry weapons, and their variants.  I dunno, it's hard to pin down.



I've been liking these blog posts.  Looks like the game is very close to a completed, or at least complete enough for public consumption.

I think there's at least two other options, either instead or in addition to using a commodity as ammunition to explain why bombardments aren't common.  (I'd have liked to see Transplutonics or Volatiles as the "ammunition" myself just to give them a use, but I digress).

One involves taking a page from Nexerelin's book: Reserve Fleets.  In Nexerelin, reserve fleets are stationed at planets or stations, hidden until the player or an AI invasion/raid fleet arrives at the planet and begins their invasion, in which case a large reserve fleet scrambles to interrupt the invaders and must be defeated to finish the invasion process.

Reserve fleets could be a way to force someone who wanted to do very significant hostile actions like bombardment to directly engage with the more active gameplay element (fleet battles) instead of sort of relying on a few unreliable faction patrols on engaging you en-route, as it's actually fairly easy to run laps around them using sustained burn with only a few skills in Navigation while they putter around trying to catch you with standard & sustained burn.  W/O a reserve fleet type mechanic I worry it'll be too easy to "bombard" extremely big and important planets with little more than Drams & Valkyries, which would only have to worry about being extremely unluckily ambushed by a conveniently spawning.  It'd also explain why a Tri-Tachyon official wouldn't even consider invading Chicomoztoc even though all their patrol fleets are off chasing one poor pirate sod in a Hound; their fleet probably couldn't get through the Hegemony's defensive garrison without massive casualties anyways.

If wanting Raids to be much more common than Bombardment, I think it wouldn't be too hard to handwave that reserve fleet away for raids.  The raiding marines are lightning fast, in & out of whatever supply depot or refinery and back to their shadowy dropship in minutes.  By the time the reserve force can scramble, the offending fleet is already pulling away with their spoils of war.  Meanwhile a fleet that's engaged in bombardment has to linger by definition, and thus the reserve fleet can maneuver to engage them and save their homeworld.

Another option is to have planetary defenses play a slightly more active roll than just increasing "ammunition consumption":Planetary Defenses causing CR drops or even hull damage to the offending fleet.  That would give another potential cost that could be controlled by, say, fleet composition: A fleet with more combat vessels like Eagles, Paragons, Etc would be better able to suppress planetary defenses and ultimately take less CR/Hull damage than a theoretical "Prometheus of Doom" fleet with mostly tankers, troop transports or even just civilian haulers filled with Marines, and the occasional Frigate.

I think it's possible to do something like that without getting hugely detailed.
Say, civilian vessels like the Starliner, Atlas and Prometheus are worth 0 on the Suppression Scale
Military vessels like Hammerheads, Eagles & Onslaughts are worth their value in recovery cost (8, 22 & 40 IIRC) before adjustment.
Optionally:Vessels get an additional modifier based on their size class.  Say, arbitarily, FFs are worth 0x(handwaved as too small & flimsy to reliably stand up to counter-battery fire), DDs are worth .5x, CLs and CAs are worth 1x, and BCs & BBs are worth 1.5x(Making the Onslaught just as terrifying to see in orbit as it is from the bridge.).  So the Hammerhead, Eagle & Onslaught of the previous example are worth 4, 22 & 60 suppression points if I recalled my recovery costs correctly originally.
Optionally:Vessels can get additional bonuses/maluses based on hullmods.  May be a modular hullmod, or could probably be added to the Valkyrie in addition to its other upcoming bonus.
Finally, the Fleet's suppression values are compared to the planet's Defense value.  Let's say the defense value is an arbitary 50 on Kanta's Den.
If the Fleet's net suppression is equal to or exceeds the defense value, little or no CR/Hull damage is taken.  So, say, a handful of Eagles would allow you to bombard the den safely.
Otherwise, the fleet takes some CR/hull damage which will require time and supplies to repair.  So, say, a few Hammerheads would not be enough to bombard the den safely.

The end result is basically a soft cap needing overcome with combat craft and a reason why barrages aren't more common: Even if one could sneak into the port past all the patrols in nothing but a Prometheus and two Valkyries with a battalion of marines, you still can't safely dump your fuel onto defenses even if you theoretically have enough to knock them all out without the dedicated combat craft doing suppressive work.  Safely suppressing the defenses would need a big fleet of big combat ships.  Big fleets are expensive, big ships are expensive.  Thus, a properly outfitted bombardment fleet, with all the ammunition and marines and battleships for suppressive fire, would be expensive to procure and maintain, and thus rare.

But that's just my ramblings.  

(Man, I spent way more time than I wanted to with that whole bit).



On a final note, how about Aerospace Fighters?  Could we see a fighter design that can operate both in an atmosphere and in space?  Mechanically there wouldn't be much of a difference in the Fleet battle part, maybe the Aerospace design is slightly weaker in space combat but grants a bonus to raid strength when raiding planets (able to provide Close Air Support to the Marines on the ground)  I don't think any current fighter is fluffed as an atmospheric-capable fighter though, so it'd require either adding that to an existing fighter or creating an entirely new one.  Maybe something armed with something that's not too useful in space but presumably more useful against soft targets, like the Thumper?
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Madao

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #49 on: August 17, 2018, 10:02:34 PM »

A "Fuel Production" industry requires a "Synchrotron Core" to boost fuel output beyond a fairly low level. This is a rare item that Sindria has, and it can be stolen.

Sindria and I have always gotten along quite well, I don't see this relationship continuing into the future..

On another note, and sorry if this was answered and I missed it;
If say there is only one of these Synchrotron Cores in Sindria and I was to successfully swipe it in a raid, does that mean that I now have the only synchrotron core in the game now and forever? Or do factions have mean to eventually restore their collection of relics or are they just permanently hamstrung?
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Bribe Guntails

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #50 on: August 17, 2018, 11:02:41 PM »

Another exciting and long-awaited blog post!


Small-scale raids a-la Firefly train heist are probably going to be relegated to the much smaller worlds like Asharu. Such worlds won't have sophisticated and heavily-embedded defense systems throughout all of their infrastructure.

Heavy Armaments could be called Military Hardware instead; squad-level weapons, vehicles, and such fall under that latter name pretty well.

I think everyone denouncing Orbital Bombardments is not seeing it as the late-game, bird-flipping, wreck-their-*** mechanic it very much looks to be.
Expensive, arguably inefficient, maybe impractical. Also devastating, expedient, and consequential.

The Synchrotron Core sounded like something out of Artistic License to me until I looked such a thing up. It's a nice surprise to discover something real.


Alex, have you added tooltips for unexplained mechanics in 0.8.1 such as Armor? I'm very sure there's no (combination of) tooltips which explain how Armor works in the game; I have had to rely on external sources for reminders.
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The Soldier

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #51 on: August 17, 2018, 11:39:11 PM »

(Oddly enough, I did already change "Hand Weapons" to something else! They're now "Heavy Armaments", covering stuff from heavy squad-level weapons to hovercraft, tanks, mechs, and so on. Currently only used to boost the effectiveness of ground defenses - that is, ground defenses have demand for those, and suffer if it's not met.)
The new name bothers me somewhat, I thought there's a better term for thing you're describing, but besides "materiel" I couldn't find anything fitting.
I do agree that "Heavy Armaments" doesn't quite carry enough oompf.  If either of you are looking for a more fitting name for such a variety of weapons, "Military-Grade Weapons Systems" covers the bill fairly well, if a bit long - cutting off the last word would also leave you with a good name.  The name itself fits into the criminal underworld wanting such high-grade weapons to back their words in shady backroom deals, as I expect the Organized Crime of Chicomoztoc would still like to get their hands on such items. :)
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Gothars

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #52 on: August 18, 2018, 04:40:26 AM »

Having thought about this some - and there are a few "raid for rare items" raid option leftovers - I do like the idea, but I'm not sure how it would work.

Let's say it's possible for a heist - with relatively minimal investment - to pay off big. Then either it's an explotable mechanism for getting way too much money too quickly, or it has to be rate-limited somehow. One way to do that is having a small chance of success, but that's not very fun. Another way would be through suspicion, somehow - maybe you can do it in one area, but have to wait for things to cool off - but that seems still vulnerable to being exploited. And there's always the potential for it to go from "unlimited exploit" to "something you ought to do whenever it comes up as being available", i.e. less a major exploit but just a chore disguised as an easy opportunity to get good stuff.

What I'm getting at is, as cool as the concept is, I'm not sure how this would work as a core mechanic without running into these problems. I think this sort of thing would work better as a one-off, or perhaps very rarely repeating, bar-mission type thing. (And, hey, that'd tie this into missions and raids, too.) Open to ideas, of course, as far as how it might work as a core mechanic - at the very least, that'd be interesting from a design analysis point of view.

The easiest way I see is to make the reward so small that its not worth it past the early game, outside of missions. If in a self-planned heist you get like, ten luxury goods or illegal drugs, that's nice for a frigate captain, but not worth the bother for an admiral. The bother being mainly the necessity to sneak past patrols and inducing a high market suspicion (so patrols will still come to scan you later on).

Once the mechanic exists, it could be used for heist missions, were you e.g. get inside info on the time and place of an AI core transfer taking place, and thus much better rewards. 



(Oddly enough, I did already change "Hand Weapons" to something else! They're now "Heavy Armaments", covering stuff from heavy squad-level weapons to hovercraft, tanks, mechs, and so on. Currently only used to boost the effectiveness of ground defenses - that is, ground defenses have demand for those, and suffer if it's not met.)
The new name bothers me somewhat, I thought there's a better term for thing you're describing, but besides "materiel" I couldn't find anything fitting.
I do agree that "Heavy Armaments" doesn't quite carry enough oompf.  If either of you are looking for a more fitting name for such a variety of weapons, "Military-Grade Weapons Systems" covers the bill fairly well, if a bit long - cutting off the last word would also leave you with a good name.  The name itself fits into the criminal underworld wanting such high-grade weapons to back their words in shady backroom deals, as I expect the Organized Crime of Chicomoztoc would still like to get their hands on such items. :)

My issue with all of these terms is that they don't really exclude ship weapons.
Maybe just "Firearms & Vehicles". Or "Army Materiel".
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SCC

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2018, 05:07:29 AM »

Heavy Armaments could be called Military Hardware instead; squad-level weapons, vehicles, and such fall under that latter name pretty well.
I was going to say the same! But sleep interrupted me... Anyhow, I think Military Hardware does cut it. It sounds well and it covers pretty much everything, from fire arms to space-ground dropships.
The Synchrotron Core sounded like something out of Artistic License to me until I looked such a thing up. It's a nice surprise to discover something real.
Oh ***, it is, and it's also the thing (particle accelerator) that is used to create antimatter on Earth, right now. I'm so used to inaccuracies in games that I can't see nuggets of truth.

Madao

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #54 on: August 18, 2018, 05:28:05 AM »

On the "Heavy Armaments" topic, how about the plain and simple "Small Arms"? It's nice and familiar, also accurate. Just a thought.
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kuketski

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #55 on: August 18, 2018, 07:33:15 AM »

Having thought about this some - and there are a few "raid for rare items" raid option leftovers - I do like the idea, but I'm not sure how it would work.

Let's say it's possible for a heist - with relatively minimal investment - to pay off big. Then either it's an explotable mechanism for getting way too much money too quickly, or it has to be rate-limited somehow. One way to do that is having a small chance of success, but that's not very fun. Another way would be through suspicion, somehow - maybe you can do it in one area, but have to wait for things to cool off - but that seems still vulnerable to being exploited. And there's always the potential for it to go from "unlimited exploit" to "something you ought to do whenever it comes up as being available", i.e. less a major exploit but just a chore disguised as an easy opportunity to get good stuff.

What I'm getting at is, as cool as the concept is, I'm not sure how this would work as a core mechanic without running into these problems. I think this sort of thing would work better as a one-off, or perhaps very rarely repeating, bar-mission type thing. (And, hey, that'd tie this into missions and raids, too.) Open to ideas, of course, as far as how it might work as a core mechanic - at the very least, that'd be interesting from a design analysis point of view.

It could be high-risk, high-reward type of mission.

Heist mission involves a limited amount of people (split in several teams, team size increases chances of success, but also increases chances of being detected) and chances are MUCH better if you use your officers as team leaders. Before mission you designate a vessels that would be used for infiltration (hullmods bonuses for stealth and speed+omni shield bonuses for getaway unde rfire), spoils transportation (cargo capacity should be considered) and teams` exfiltration (same as infiltration?).

Stronger defences would require more teams (each additional team increases chances of success) - 'power grid disable team', 'security network hacking team', 'diversion team', 'object dismantling team', 'perimeter security team' etc.

Team leader`(Officers`) personalities define how well they assert risks and situation. Their level and skills define how well they do their part. If one of the teams raises the alarm, team leaders can decide to go power-through and try to steal the item anyway. If noticed, team could manage to keep it stealthy, take casualties (including officer) in process or be wiped out. If operation is blown, vessels involved are being looked for and hunted.

So, in short - you could try to steal something of high value, but you would need to risk your fleet - officers (without officers as team leaders chances of success are miniscule) and your ships (one for each team plus at least one for loot hauling and some for space distraction) and your reputation if you are discovered.

On pro side, you could create a heist missions not only for nano-forges etc, but also for credits (casino heists?).
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The Soldier

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #56 on: August 18, 2018, 08:17:30 AM »

My issue with all of these terms is that they don't really exclude ship weapons.
Maybe just "Firearms & Vehicles". Or "Army Materiel".
Thing is, there's a pretty blurry line between what we see as, say the armament on a tank, and then the armament of something like an Enforcer.  Most Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) today have a 120mm (or larger) smoothbore cannon.  The Guass Cannon is 300mm in caliber, which honestly isn't even as large as the largest cannons that humanity has used - Schwerer Gustav, a German railroad gun in WWII, was a massive 800mm cannon.  The Hephaestus Assault Gun has a pair of L/89 barrels, or barrels that are 89 times the caliber in length - and accounting for the rather long and thin looking barrels, these are (relatively) small caliber.  Not to mention the usage of Light and Heavy Machineguns on ships, which I assume are the same as down here on Earth.  And I think before some description updates the Light Autocannon and Light Assault Gun used to be a 40mm cannons.  All of these are very common weapon types and calibers in ground warfare, at least in the modern sense.  If you include ground batteries, well, humanity has this penchant of just taking turrets off battleships and using them as shore batteries.  "Firearms & Vehicles", while it tells you exactly what it is, doesn't really sound appealing, and "Army Material" doesn't really imply weapons of any sort, rather supplies.  "Military Equipment" would work though.
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Chaos Blade

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #57 on: August 18, 2018, 08:22:17 AM »

a very interesting blog post.
I actually like the bombardment limitation and costs. even the fuel, it can be made make sense, you are going to be firing weapons in "orbital bombardment mode" say an overpowered mode for energy weapons and sligs or using specialist weapons that might be energy hogs, while performing movements either to avoid ground guns/disrupt them or to move in and go "point blank" in low orbit or even skimming the upper atmo (or both)

Mayhaps the saturation bombardment cost should be lower (fuel wise) but much, much higher in reputation (I mean, it is a crime against humanity and outside a very, very narrow set of circumstances, should make you an instant pariah).

Though I think it would be intersting to see it happen, the latter, in case of a bitter faction war or as a way of plague control? In the former, standard morality has flown out of the window and people are killing each other with gusto, in the latter would be more akin to amputation (mostly I am trying to figure scenarios where either would be acceptable or have reduced penalties)

it is not the sort of thing I would use, but I really like lore limitations and exceptiosn in game, which is why I like this blog post so much, sure the in universe reason for the costs might be stretched, but I prefer having some sort of framework that could justify it, as opposed to a very plain balance/gameplay issues (like the lance limitation in the recent Battletech game... when your dropship has enough bays for a company and change of mechs or the one skyranger limitation in firaxis nucom and in the latter is even worse because you have tons of VTOL interceptors all over the world... but only one dropship and make mechancis based off that artificial limitation... which is something that pisses me off in games, I can understand game balance, but to purposely reduce your options? talk about artificial difficulty)
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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #58 on: August 18, 2018, 08:35:23 AM »

one thought on a meaningful tactical decision that could be made. You could choose whether the raid is covert or overt. a covert raid reduces chances of success but adds a chance that it won't be realised that you conducted the raid (maybe has to pass additional skill check), an overt raid has a higher chance of success but you will always be known as the culprit. This should only be allowed for raids, it makes no sense for bombardments.
Don't we have this already with the transponder on and off stuff?
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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #59 on: August 18, 2018, 09:06:42 AM »

There’s a single word term for the next thing bigger than arms.

Ordinance.

The word ordinance covers things like artillery, anti aircraft guns and missiles. It’s not as beefy sounding, but you could add military in front for greater effect. Military Ordinance.



Alex, thanks for the detailed “no” it’s nice to know “why” and I appreciate it, talk about more complex than assumed!


One more thing, could a raid also apply to persons? Say kidnap pirate Commander Bob, for interrogation, ransom, or for the bounty?  Doing a bounty raid on a civilized world would I think be a good early game option, local forces would be much more welcoming (lower consequences) to someone picking up a dangerous outlaw rather than someone stealing a nano forge. Also raiding a hostile pirate base for a bounty would be a good step up in risk before you start raiding other factions.

And another thing, what’s the point of individual relations with commanders?
Couldn’t they be helpful in a situation like this? A Station/planetary commander could delay the authorities response times, foul up investigations into who raided them, or even turn a blind eye entirely, perhaps even lend a hand if high enough.  heck could a good reputation with a commander allow you to smuggle more without suspicion?
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