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Author Topic: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle  (Read 3926 times)

Morbo513

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Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« on: February 19, 2020, 12:21:09 PM »

Something that hasn't sat right with me is how trivial it is to take a planet. The only prerequisites are 1: Destruction of the station if present, 2: Exceeding the defenders' force strength with Marines and Heavy Equipment.

I propose that invasions be changed into months-long endeavours - You only destroy the station to deploy your first wave of Marines. Both you and the defending faction can reinforce and resupply their planetside troops throughout the course of a planetary invasion, with victory determined by control of simulated "objectives" both sides' troops fight over, those being industries, structures and a couple other things. Every few in-game days a battle can be fought to decide control of a given objective - both the native force and invaders can attack or defend. Fighting over an industry can result in varying degrees of disruption to it. Capturing all the objectives results in the invasion succeeding, but if the invaders are pushed back to their drop-zone they can no longer receieve reinforcements.

There's a lot of possibilities in the details of how it works. Things like investing supplies, crew, heavy weapons and machinery to fortify objectives. Determining the disposition of your troops, ie are they acting defensively because you're bringing them reinforcements, or are they launching assault after assault because your marines outnumber the civilian population? Launching an orbital assault wave from your fleet for a bonus against an objective, or providing fire-support throughout a battle increasing the risk of disruption. The capture of a planet, but failure to wipe its defenders resulting in an insurgency that reduces stability, increases demand for marines and heavy armaments. Mid-invasion tactical bombardments that risk damage to industries and friendly forces. Passively reducing the population of the planet via recruitment and collateral damage.

Long story short, the invading faction must maintain a presence in the target-system as if they already owned that planet, to prevent reinforcement of the enemies' troops and maintain open lines of supply and reinforcement to their own. Planets no longer change hands in the blink of an eye, their capture must be a sustained effort from the faction (or individual) conducting it - making invasions themselves dynamic; They take time to complete which affords both sides the ability to take actions that influence of successfuly capturing a market or repelling an invasion of one of their own. I know some of the ideas I have above are convoluted, but this paragraph is the ultimate aim.
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SCC

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Re: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2020, 12:39:36 PM »

The only prerequisites are 1: Destruction of the station if present, 2: Exceeding the defenders' force strength with Marines and Heavy Equipment.
3. Having the Nexerelin mod installed.
I think you can see an issue here.

I do think that raiding planets is too easy, but that's because major factions don't really protect their planets well. Majority of fleets is far away, patrolling, and after you destroy whatever's in the orbit in the target, you can raid it however much you need and then get away scot-free.

Megas

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Re: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2020, 01:39:04 PM »

It would be nice if planetary defenses were better if only so pirates cannot successfully raid over and over and over again until their planets eventually decivilize if player does not intervene to stop them.  I want to be free to explore and do what I want, not be yanked back to core time and again to defend helpless core worlds from pirates (if I want to save core).

It is silly when so-called expeditions, and named bounties, have bigger fleets than their owning faction's system defenses.  It is easier to raid or destroy their capital worlds than to defend mine without battlestation backup.
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bobucles

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Re: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2020, 01:42:54 PM »

Planets can't be conquered in vanilla. You can only raid a planet until it turns into a desolate wasteland.

Plantissue

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Re: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2020, 03:32:04 PM »

If you don't like a modded function, maybe you should post it in the mod thread?
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Thaago

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Re: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2020, 03:39:55 PM »

It would be nice if planetary defenses were better if only so pirates cannot successfully raid over and over and over again until their planets eventually decivilize if player does not intervene to stop them.  I want to be free to explore and do what I want, not be yanked back to core time and again to defend helpless core worlds from pirates (if I want to save core).

It is silly when so-called expeditions, and named bounties, have bigger fleets than their owning faction's system defenses.  It is easier to raid or destroy their capital worlds than to defend mine without battlestation backup.

I agree with this in principle, though I've never personally seen any core world decivilize from pirate activity. Defense fleets of the larger planets like Chicomoztoc or Jangala should be the nastiest things in space.
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Morbo513

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Re: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2020, 04:26:25 PM »

The only prerequisites are 1: Destruction of the station if present, 2: Exceeding the defenders' force strength with Marines and Heavy Equipment.
3. Having the Nexerelin mod installed.
I think you can see an issue here.
I think the issue is I'm a dum-dum. If invasions are ever implemented though, I'd hope it's something along these lines. In any case call it food-for-thought.

On raids, these could be similarly changed up. I don't like that there's no way for the faction whose planet you're raiding to prevent you from successfuly carrying it out once you've destroyed the station and orbital fleet, again assuming you exceed the threshold of marines. Of course a raid is of a much smaller scope than a full-on invasion, and is meant to be completed within hours I'd imagine, but I think it could be reasonably extended to a few days - Finding a suitable, safe landing zone, assaulting the facility/ies, extraction. This would give both players and NPC factions that window of opportunity to stop a raid-in-progress - if they're able to destroy/foce retreat of the raider's fleet(s), and have marines of their own to counter-deploy.
Once the raid is complete, the player is given the option of having the marines stay on the planet and conduct another - increasing the payout, but increasing the rate at which marines are lost, risking that the raider's forces are wiped-out and all the loot is reclaimed by what's left of planetary defenders.
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Vind

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Re: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2020, 05:10:39 PM »

I imagine nothing combat-ready really survives after tactical bombardment - the disruption is purely game play thing instead of rebuilding anew. Increasing fuel amount for defense batteries neutralization maybe a good idea. Right now defenses is very low-cost in fuel to neutralize.
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Megas

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Re: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2020, 06:50:22 PM »

When I attack a planet for a reason aside from raiding for blueprints and nanoforges, it is usually to wipe the planet off the map with multiple sat bombs.  For that, I do not want loot and do not want to send marines, but nuke them for orbit and make them disappear.

@ Thaago:  I have seen pirates decivilize a world after I ignored them for years.  That incident spawned my anti-pirate crusade of killing them at every opportunity unless I want them to raid a system.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 06:52:13 PM by Megas »
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Thaago

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Re: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2020, 08:54:57 PM »

Makes sense - I tend to bounty hunt pirate stations for cash, and also don't tend to play games that last that long after I'd stop killing them.
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StarScum

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Re: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2020, 11:41:57 PM »

Nexelarine's invasions make no sense, I'll give you that. At least for planets that are bigger than size 5. Otherwise 1,000 marines after tactical bombardments are more than enough to conqueror even the largest colonies, and that's silly.

They could work like in Mount and Blade where you have to stay in place for a few hours or days while your raiding a village.

Frankly I think there should be more passage of time in general. You should be allowed to have shore leave at stations, for instance, to advance time without consuming supplies.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 11:53:53 PM by StarScum »
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Histidine

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Re: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2020, 06:53:39 AM »

Partly photoshopped mockup of something I'd been designing over the weekend. Inspired partly by the "Raiding for Fun and Profit" blog post.


(not shown here, but deploying units also costs supplies)

The idea is that you can only deploy/move around a limited number of forces each daily turn, so you have to plan a bit on where and how much you want to commit your forces. Taking one industry at a time lowers your initial losses but gives the defenders (both surface and space) more time to respond, while hitting multiple targets at once speeds things up at the cost of higher losses. And if you concentrate all your forces in one place and the enemy hits you elsewhere...
Also it lets me partially decouple invasion difficulty from the game's ground defense strength displayed on the GUI, if I need to.

I suspended work on it when I realized it had an inconsistency with vanilla raid mechanics (both current and upcoming), and removing that would render the whole system pointless. Specifically, vanilla raids don't even pretend to have a concept of lift capacity; you can deploy All the Marines in a single drop if you want.

Fun fact: The original design before I started actually coding it was even more wackily complex. It tracked "horizontal" and space-to-surface/surface-to-space lift costs separately, and you had to drop supplies with the force on each industry and regularly resupply them (and if they ran out, bad things would start happening).


Anyway, my current simplified idea for next Starsector version is to just tweak the vanilla raid system a bit.
You disrupt all the industries you don't need to use immediately after with disruption raids, then the invade option requires you to do a disruption-like raid (that doesn't actually disrupt) on all the non-disrupted industries (including Population & Infrastructure) simultaneously, with a minimum strength requirement for each. This means that for a large and/or well-defended planet you'll likely be spending a lot of time in orbit disrupting industries one by one till you've whittled them down enough for the actual invasion, and even afterwards the planet will be pretty trashed (i.e. not such a great prize, at least not immediately).
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bobucles

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Re: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2020, 08:14:53 AM »

I can't say I'm fond of the idea of running a planet invasion spreadsheet simulator. The main meat of the game is always about the exciting space battles. If the gritty details of planet combat don't make space battles more fun and satisfying, then what's the point?

Morbo513

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Re: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2020, 08:40:47 AM »

I can't say I'm fond of the idea of running a planet invasion spreadsheet simulator. The main meat of the game is always about the exciting space battles. If the gritty details of planet combat don't make space battles more fun and satisfying, then what's the point?
To me, something along those lines would make space battles more fun by being another possible context.
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shoi

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Re: Planetary Invasion - It's war, not a battle
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2020, 09:28:00 AM »

I can't say I'm fond of the idea of running a planet invasion spreadsheet simulator. The main meat of the game is always about the exciting space battles. If the gritty details of planet combat don't make space battles more fun and satisfying, then what's the point?
I don't know if i understand you, trading doesn't make space battles more fun or satisfying either, but it's mechanics can drive conflict (read: space batles)
it probably can be the saem with raiding, or for nexterelin invasions, because these events can generate fleet in response, or to intercept and stop it
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