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Messages - Steve Walmsley

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C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: Yesterday at 02:02:14 PM »
Any way to consider adding mechs?

Also, maybe consider a "component" for law enforcement applications (like "non-lethal weapons").  The thought being that conventional forces aren't normally ideal for police work.  I think using police units in combat and vice versa might have some trade offs.

You can name the units in any way you see fit. So you could create an ultra-heavy vehicle design and call it a Titan, or Mech, or AT-AT. Whatever best suits the parent race.

C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: Yesterday at 01:58:53 PM »
Sexy! I'm assuming planetary CIWS functions as normal ship CIWS? Would it counter missiles directed against shipyards? Is atmosphere ignored for the STO weapons, and can other beam weapons than lasers be used?

Yes, planetary CIWS is the same as ship CIWS. Atmosphere no longer affects combat. Other beam weapons can be used.

I hadn't considered shipyards. It is effectively the same location though so perhaps planetary CIWS should protect them. I'll give it some thought.

C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: Yesterday at 08:25:24 AM »
First screenshots of ground unit design window. This tab is for the design of individual unit classes (a single vehicle, soldier or gun emplacement). For the STO option, the mount includes the weapon, a reactor of the exact size needed for the recharge rate and a built-in beam fire control with a 4x range modifier. The cost is equal to the static platform, the weapon, the reactor and half the fire control. STO weapons have a 25% bonus to fire control range. The damage shows two numbers, which is the damage at minimum and maximum range.

The next stage (on a separate tab) is combining unit classes to create formation templates. You might have a template consisting solely of 500 Stormtroopers or you might combine different unit classes into a single template. More on that when I finish the tab.

BTW I just noticed a couple of bugs (I don't display the tracking speed of the STO unit class and the cost for the capabilities isn't in the mineral requirements). I'll fix it but can't be bothered redoing the screenshots :)

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 13, 2017, 01:14:58 PM »
The loss of an entire side of armour to a depth determined by range of blast was the model I used for Newtonian Aurora:

This project was based on very detailed mechanics but ultimately it died due to over-complexity. I might convert some of it into a tactical combat game at some point but it won't work strategically. There has to be some trade-off between realism and playability. The current missile damage mechanics work well.

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 13, 2017, 12:27:22 PM »
This isn't really true.  There are two major differences.  First, space is big, and thus you aren't likely to have multiple targets within the damage radius because things are spread out more.  Second, spacecraft are pretty durable.  There are durable things on Earth, too, but most people's perceptions of nuclear weapons are shaped by very flimsy Japanese houses getting knocked over and dramatic test footage that doesn't give a good sense of scale.

My comments were based on the results of testing nuclear weapons in space:

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 13, 2017, 11:32:51 AM »
Please allow energy weapons to use the general missile attack rules as well. On the receiving end the difference is minimal.

The principle is that missiles are area attack weapons while energy is precision. Against ships, missiles cause damage via near misses while energy is a direct hit. This isn't ideal as ships should really take variable damage from missiles in that situation and a direct hit with a nuke should kill the ship. However, missiles are powerful enough without adding one hit, one kill capability. I guess one option when I get to coding ship to ship combat is to double warhead strength and use a range of damage instead of fixed amount (so the new strength is the max) but it might be simpler to leave it alone.

Also, nukes in space are far less powerful than nukes in atmosphere (well, less powerful in heat/blast but more powerful in radiation terms), which means I should vary bombardment damage based on atmospheric density but that adds another complication. So the current missile rules are a balance between realism and game play.

I don't want to have a situation where a ship with a single laser can wipe out an entire civilisation from orbit without any cost, allowing your own colonists to move in the next day. The game play rationale is that while a single nuke could take a out a city, energy weapons are designed to hit specific, small targets.

It isn't perfect but it achieves the game play objective of requiring a ground invasion to take a planet relatively intact, while giving energy weapons a meaningful role in planetary combat (in fact, a much larger role in C# Aurora than VB6 Aurora)

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 13, 2017, 10:43:48 AM »
A question for Steve - would it be hard to have a checkbox in the configuration for 'Simple Ground Combat' that simply follows the old rules and ignore fortification? That'd let people like ChildServices that don't want to deal with ground combat to be able to ignore it as before by plastering the ground units into paste with nukes while leaving something that only glows faintly at night to invade. (As opposed to the new system, where plastering a deeply entrenched army into paste would result in the world having that nuclear glow for the next 10,000 years...)

As this is a complete rewrite the old rules don't exist in the code. You can still ignore ground combat and glass the planet in the new rules.

There will be three potential ways for ships to attack ground units:

1) Direct attack against STO units that have revealed themselves by firing (fortification still applies to the 'to hit' chance). Any hit by a missile or energy weapon will kill the target. Missiles will also cause environmental and collateral damage as they are a wide area effect weapon. Digging out well-fortified STO units with missile attack is going to be very costly in terms of additional damage and probably not worth it if you plan to use the planet afterwards.

2) General missile attack against the surface. Same collateral damage as above. I haven't decided yet exactly how to apply damage to ground units but I will probably choose a formation at random (or formations up to a total size determined by the square root of the warhead strength). I will cycle though the individual units attacked with a steadily decreasing damage strength (to simulate some units being further from the detonation) and use a damage strength vs a combination of fortification and armour to determine if they are destroyed. I may also allow units to 'disperse', which will reduce their effectiveness against other ground units but make them less vulnerable to general missile attack.

3) Orbital fire support with energy weapons. Ships will be tied into a forward fire direction unit on the ground and act as additional bombardment units, with their attack strength based on the weapons used.

In addition to the above, ships will be able to use the current rules for missile strikes on population centres.

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 09, 2017, 01:16:35 AM »
Hi Steve,

Love the additions to planets with more details. I know you specified the extra details are for fortification levels, however are we going to see this translate to plus and minuses for unit types attack and defence numbers.

E.G. Light Infantry has higher attack and defence when fighting on a wooded planet oppose the a barren planet, Heavy Vehicles have a higher attack on a desert planet opposed to a wooded planet. etc etc.

This would add a great amount of detail with limited coding, well you might need more for the AI armies, maybe you cheat here when AI lands you add the army types at that time, with a slightly more favourable army based on the terrain.


I know you going to add Supply mechanics to the Ground Battles, which is great, what are the outcomes for units running low on supplies, I am assuming a no attack mechanic, but on the defensive side will we see surrenders and if so is there a chance to capture heavy mechs from the opposition. Also can we research like in space battles when a mech is lost salvaged?

Thanks for your reply

To hit penalties affect all units. However, certain unit capabilities such as Mountain Warfare or Jungle Warfare are only available to Infantry units.

I haven't decided on the penalties yet, but will probably prevent attack and greatly reduce rate of fire on defence. Surrender mechanics would be possible, in which case you could gain all the defenders equipment.

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 09, 2017, 01:12:47 AM »
C# progress isn't very fast at the moment due to other commitments and I am now away for another week. Hope to get back to normal speed soon :)

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 06, 2017, 10:10:09 AM »
I did have construction speed modifiers in my original version but then removed on the basis it would be too much. Would be happy to put such economic modifiers back in if there is general demand.

Also, when I finally get around to biological warfare, plagues, etc.. there will be some downsides to terrain types such as Jungles.

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 06, 2017, 06:39:43 AM »
Something else that occurred to me was that I am basing the terrain on current Earth. There could be a lot of alien terrain (Giant fungus forest?) or even terrain from Earth's past.

C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: November 06, 2017, 03:29:32 AM »
They don't lose their fortification.

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 05, 2017, 06:17:48 PM »
1 hit every 144 shots against a fully fortified GtO weapon... yeah, that doesn't sound really favourable while it's engaging you anyway. Maybe, maybe if you have shields do tank the blows, but certainly not on an armour paradigm.

Is there any degree of consistency in dominant terrain? I mean, dominant terrain is nice and easy, if not realistic, but do battles on the same planet always have the same terrain barring terraforming shenanigans? If it doesn't a lot of the plausibility disappears. I would've liked to see, say, 6 different 'dominant terrains' on an Earth sized land, but I understand that would get needlessly complex.

I'm curious however; does the existence of a biosphere impact the chances for certain terrains? Because it should, given so many imply a biosphere. And frankly, we need a way to measure the size of a biosphere, and to change biospheres if these are our options. Because to me? It looks like the best option, defensively speaking that is, is to jack up the temperature as far as the settling species can tolerate without infrastructure support and a hydrosphere as extensive as you can get without limiting maximum population to get as much chance of generating a Jungle terrain as possible.

Oh, and another dominant terrain type; Urban, for those planets at their maximum population without hydrosphere based population limitation.

And with high enough tectonic activity, hopefully mountain jungle terrain. Because that's where the best defense values are.

It will be just one dominant terrain type. Not that realistic but much better than now. One interesting question is what is the dominant terrain type on Earth? At the moment I am leaning toward Temperate Forest, although I could perhaps add some form of mixed terrain type with a single set of values.

I like the idea of Urban becoming the dominant terrain type once the population hits a certain percentage of maximum.

There is no biosphere concept at the moment, although I will probably add indigenous lifeforms that could pose a threat to any colony. The new ground combat system will allow a wide variety of potential non-sentient foes. They would have to be cleared, or at least defended against, to ensure the safety of any colony. Any local wildlife would be adapted to the environment and have appropriate capabilities.

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 05, 2017, 06:07:56 PM »
A couple other terrains I can think of:

Ice Crust: Bodies with deep ice sheets kilometres deep.
Glacier: Snowball Planets, Planets in nuclear winter, like ice sheets but have a rocky crust beneath the ice.
Metallic: Planets or asteroids mostly made of iron or other heavy metals.
Molten: Tidally locked planets close to a star, Planets that have recently collided with a large body, Very Seismic planets
Abyssal: Deep water covers the planet.
Neritic: Planets covered in shallow water, with a few small islands.

I did have Molten and Lava Field at one point. However, I decided to remove them as the conditions would be covered by the rules on extreme temperature. Glacier is a possible. Archipelago covers the few small islands terrain and the Abyssal (at the moment I don't have water specific combat on the basis that combat would be centred on land with spacecraft filling the historical role of ships.

C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: November 05, 2017, 06:03:30 PM »
I've updated the terrain post with the impact on terraforming.

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