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Messages - Steve Walmsley

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1
Aurora Bugs / Re: Official v7.10 Bugs Reporting Thread
« on: Today at 05:30:03 PM »
I've run into "Error: WP Link not found in GetWarpPointData" while opening the galaxy screen.  Also, when I do anything in the galaxy screen, such as zooming or moving systems, I get an Error 5.  What I think happened is that I found a new system and started to grav survey, completing some points.  I then discovered that it was inhabited by a new NPR, so I pulled out pending diplomacy, leaving the system's survey incomplete.

This is caused by a jump point believing it is connected to another jump point that doesn't actually exist. It could be caused (for example) by deleting a system via the DB rather than via the UI.

2
C# Aurora / Re: Alpha-testing
« on: Today at 03:24:47 AM »
Literally I recall Steve saying that one of the impetus for starting the upgrade to C# was that he wanted something to do during his campaign turn times and decided to code C# aurora in the breaks whilst he was waiting for turns to process.

Yes, this is true :)

Then it gained a life of its own and I started concentrating on C# Aurora instead of campaigns.

3
C# Aurora / Re: C# Ground Combat
« on: Yesterday at 12:56:52 PM »
Pods won't be expended, so you will need to carry enough for a single loadout. If you want more flexibility you need multiple pods to support different loadouts.

Fighters already have maintenance requirements (maintenance facilities or hangars, plus maintenance supplies) so they won't need additional maintenance during combat. Ground units outside combat will require wealth but no consumable supplies or basing. I still haven't finalised ground unit in-combat logistics.

I know pods in box launchers seems a little odd but it provides a non-efficient way for space fighters to contribute to close air support. Having said that, it probably won't be common because even light-weight pods are likely to be size 8 or more.

4
C# Aurora / Re: C# Ground Combat
« on: January 14, 2018, 10:24:50 AM »
This means that effectively there are 9 ranks. It'd be nice if we had an option like with naval forces for there to be an administrative command system.

There are 9 HQ 'components' but you can have more than 9 ranks if you wish because you can use the same components for different units at multiple levels. It is up to you to define your own command structure. That being said, it probably isn't necessary to have more than six or seven. The HQ system is the equivalent of the naval admin command system.

5
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 14, 2018, 07:37:56 AM »
I'm a bit worried about feature creep, both for the sake of my sanity and my processor.

Will C# get some performance upgrades?

C# will run a lot faster than VB6.

6
C# Aurora / Re: C# Ground Combat
« on: January 14, 2018, 07:37:06 AM »
Are there going to be extra officer positions for ground forces like there are for ships? Will there be smaller and larger organization of ground forces available (companies, armies, etc).

Yes, you can have any formation size you want, from company or platoon up to army or army group.

7
C# Aurora / Re: C# Ground Combat
« on: January 14, 2018, 07:36:03 AM »
How far up does the chain of command go now? Do we finally have four tiers to make use of all four army officer ranks?

As far as you want. There are unlimited army ranks now and nine different HQ sizes.

8
C# Aurora / Re: C# Ground Combat
« on: January 14, 2018, 07:34:54 AM »
So, question, maybe this was answered elsewere and I just forgot, how will basing fighters at planets work now? Obviously they can't be based in PDC hangers and it would seem odd if you couldn't base atmospheric fighters on a planet at all (not to mention this would give an attacker a major advantage if having space dominance totally precludes the use of atmospheric fighter support for the defender).

Also forgive me if this question is stupid, I've never actually used fighters so far and am under the impression that right now if you want to base fighters at a planet then you use PDC hangers, if that's not how it works then my question is ignorant.

You will be able to base fighters at planets using maintenance facilities. However, I may add some form of airbase as well.

9
C# Aurora / Re: C# Ground Combat
« on: January 14, 2018, 07:33:39 AM »
Do fighter pods get a techlevel modifier? They'll probably need one because otherwise you get insane podsize requirements to pierce enemy armour as technology develops.

Yes, the pod ratings are modified by the racial weapon modifier in the same way as ground units. I've added that to the original post.

10
C# Aurora / Re: C# Ground Combat
« on: January 13, 2018, 05:03:09 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback on the proposed interactions between fighters and ground combat. I think I have now found a good way to make this work.

A new component, the Fighter Pod Bay, is similar in function to a small Box Launcher, except it will only hold Fighter Pods (see below).



Fighter pods are created on the Missile Design window. The various pod options, such as bombardment pod, autocannon pod and air-to air pod, will appear when the requisite technology has been researched. When one of those options is selected, the warhead strength field is replaced by a pod size field. The player can choose the pod size, with larger pods being more effective. The pod capabilities will be similar to the capabilities of equivalent-sized ground unit components, although the fighter pods have more flexibility in design. For example, a bombardment pod will have three shots, armour penetration equal to Racial Weapon Modifier * ((Tons / 20) ^ 0.6) and damage equal to Racial Weapon Modifier * ((Tons / 20) ^ 1.6).

Fighter pods are ordnance, in exactly the same way as missiles. They are built by ordnance factories, transported in magazines and loaded onto fighters. Unlike missiles, they are not expended when fired and will function during ground combat phases.





A fighter can be designed with fighter pod bays. Different pods can be assigned to those bays while the fighter is in a hangar, providing flexibility of loadout. The same fighter could be used for bombardment or autocannon pods, as long as the pods bays are large enough and the parent carrier has both types of pods available. The pods can be assigned to the fighter using the normal ordnance loadout.

Pods can also be assigned to normal box launchers, so a fighter designed for space combat can also be used for ground combat in an emergency. However, box launchers are three times larger than the missiles (or pods) they are designed to fire, while fighter pod bays are equivalent in size to the pods, making fighter pod bays are a much more efficient way to mount the pods. Because of this efficiency and no requirement for fire controls or sensors in ground combat missions, dedicated ground support fighters can be much smaller than their space combat equivalents. It is also possible to have hybrid designs mounting both pods and box launchers. Due to the requirement for smaller engines for dedicated ground support aircraft, ship engines can now be designed from 0.1 HS in size.




11
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 09, 2018, 07:27:18 AM »
I think we need a way to have the ground combat module work for all ground targets (including atmospheric fighters).  In real life, practically every fighter can carry every type of ordnance.  The F18 Hornet can carry dumb bombs, GPS-guided bombs, laser guided bombs, unguided rockets, multiple kinds of air-to-air missiles, multiple kinds of anti-tank missiles, multiple kinds of anti-ship missiles, gun pods of varying calibers, extra fuel tanks, and ECM pods.  And these are all attached shortly before take-off.  You don't have to buy totally separate plane if you want to change from dropping bombs to shooting rockets. 

I think instead, we should have one ground combat module that, when the fighter is launched from the mothership, must be set as to what kind of weapon it will carry.  I would give fighters a higher chance to target their preferred target type as well.  As a trade-off I would require the fighters to return to their carrier and rearm, draining MSP (or a new kind of supply, called "Conventional Ordnance" or something) from the carrier.

I prefer the dedicated modules for a couple of reasons. Partially because I am aiming for a more WW2 / WH40k feel to ground combat, but mainly for consistency. If the fighters can have multi-purpose modules, why can't the ground units? Think of this of more like F-15 vs A-10 vs SU-25, etc..


12
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 09, 2018, 07:23:49 AM »
I think that the idea is that having logistics units means a fleet can just drop the infantry units and leave orbit without also needing an order to drop x MSP.

Instead, would it be possible to just set an MSP stockpile for a formation in the same way that you set deployment time while designing ships? Ideally it would then show you an estimate on how long the supplies would last for normal usage and combat. Then the formation's cost and transport size could increase proportionately (but without any additional units/elements in the formation), and when you landed the units they would take the MSP with them. If on a planet with an MSP stockpile ground units would then attempt to refill up to their designated stockpile size.

The issue with the MSP stockpile concept is getting the MSP to the planet. For cargo, colonists and troops, you need time to unload. I haven't decided whether to extend this to maintenance yet. Even so, it doesn't seem realistic to instantly dump a large stockpile of maintenance during an invasion, which is then impervious to hostile attack. The logistics units represent the challenge of establishing the required logistical support and the requirement to defend that logistic support, plus they create a significant decision regarding the division of transport lift between combat and logistical formations.

13
The Academy / Re: Random POW's
« on: January 08, 2018, 09:33:37 AM »
Its a bug. The POWs are from a previous game and they were not deleted when the game was deleted. The program has created a population which happens to have the same ID as a pop from the previous game and is therefore picking up the POWs.

14
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 07, 2018, 02:45:00 PM »
I've been working on a new component for fighters (the fighter combat pod), which would be used by fighters on ground combat missions. A fighter with the appropriate order would fly to a planet (facing any defences en route) and enter low-level ground combat mode (which makes it immune to STO units but vulnerable to AA units during the ground combat phase). The pod is designed in the Create Research Project window and replicates some of the functions of the ground combat components, such as bombardment or anti-air. Anti-air in this case effectively allows the fighter to dogfight hostile fighters near the planetary surface. Each pod would fulfil one function so you would need to design different fighters to fulfil different missions (air superiority, ground support, anti-tank).

My initial thought to was to make the pods one use only but much smaller than the equivalent ground combat component (20% size), so the fighter would have a significant impact and then return to reload. However, that raised some issues.

1) If it is one use only, that means stepping through the increments necessary to get the fighters to and from the planet (past the planetary defences), which means ground combat involves a lot more micromanagement.
2) Depending on the interval of ground combat phases (and I am thinking hours not days), with the necessary micromanagement the fighter could actually return and reload for every combat phase, which would make it very powerful in situations without planetary defences.

So, I think the fighters will have to have modules similar to those of ground units, which allows them to stay in the fight until shot down or they choose to pull out. Effectively energy weapons rather than bombs. I would like to have some limitation though on their endurance though so I have a couple of ideas:

1) They also use MSP when firing so would be limited to how much MSP they carry
2) Being in low level combat uses fuel (although less than in space) so once their fuel runs low they would need to return home.

In either or both of these cases, the fighters would stay in combat for a while, which removes a lot of the micromanagement but still create the flavour of sending carrier-based fighters to support the ground battle.

How does that sound?

15
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 07, 2018, 02:26:27 PM »
For what it's worth I entirely agree with Steve on this.

Planetary warfare is a completely different beast then galactic warfare.  In small thinking, it does not matter if you do have the best aircrafts in the world if you not able to take ports or structure on the ground with as effective troops.  This option will bring an actual different thinking level while planning invasions.  My guess is AI will use different formations and doctrines as well therefore just drop unit or bombard a planet will not guarantee your success like it was pretty much done with the old system where only a few units were available.  @Steve Walmsley sorry to bother you, but are you also thinking to introduce some sort of exhaustion to ground units? I've seen the terrain modifiers, but I believe a sort of exhaustion factor will simulate the logistic/supply penalty of long wars with the possibility of introducing an engineer or logistic division able to mitigate such effects adding an extra layer of strategy/planning.  Basically, these units will provide the required supplies to carry on daily operations.  The possibility of having these units "mandatory" (not only for invasions but pretty much used as maintenance supply works for warships) will probably make it easier to program rather than a separate mechanism which I guess will be hard for you as for anybody to set up.

Thanks

There will be some form of logistic units. I've been holding off on exactly how they work because of issues around tracking supply point usage but it finally struck me how to do it. Each logistic unit (probably static base type) will use up a set amount of maintenance supply points (MSP) during creation. When combat takes place, each side will use up a certain amount of MSP (to be determined) during each combat phase, based on that type of units engaged.

Lets assume that each logistic unit includes 100 MSP. If combat consumes 230 MSP that would use up two logistic units with a 30% chance of a third unit being consumed. Over time, that will work out fine with no record-keeping needed. If no logistic units remain then combat will become far less effective (major penalty to hit, or perhaps no offensive fire at all). This will give an incentive to land a number of logistic units with the initial invasion, plus the potential for resupply runs against hostile defences.

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