Recent Posts

Pages: 1 ... 8 9 [10]
91
C# Aurora / Re: Collateral Damage
« Last post by Steve Walmsley on October 14, 2018, 08:14:03 AM »
I think having it scale exponentially with damage works well.

Trying to guess at the absolute damage that should be inflicted is really hard without testing, though. So much depends on emergent gameplay; for example, it's unclear to me whether an average fight will be between 1000 infantry or 100,000, since it will depend on just how much production spent on ground units works out being cost effective.

Actually, it also occurs to me that some sort of diminishing returns (well, not returns in this case, but diminishing) is probably the way to go. A fight between 100,000 infantry should cause much more collateral damage than 1,000, but not 100 times more. Similarly, it should be very hard to complicate erase a planetary population by bombardment, since some will be hiding in bomb shelters/caves/etc.

Yes, this will definitely need testing. I am running some experiments at the moment using formations I created for test purposes to get an idea of scale. However, as you say, it needs a full campaign to see how this will work in reality. I am getting fairly close now to running my first test campaign. Probably 5 player races plus precursors and I will start adding NPRs once everything seems to be running OK. I need to finish a few more areas, but I now have a growing to-do list for 'after campaign starts' :)
92
The Corporate Federation / Republic: Log of the Cabot
« Last post by Kurt on October 14, 2018, 08:11:45 AM »
Log of the Gravitic Survey Ship John Cabot, Commander Robert Holmes
Commanding Officer’s personal log

October 8, 2133, 2332 hours:
We’re cut off.  We just received word that Admiral Bevan on the Madrid has ordered the group to jump out after detecting an Obscura ship.  His orders to me were short and can be summed up as follows:
1.   Do your best. 
2.   Go into low emission mode immediately. 
3.   Survive. 
4.   We will return. 
We are currently seven hundred million kilometers from our target, the second planet of the system.  The only planet in the system that might be reasonably habitable, and it might as well be light years away.  I’ve ordered that the ship’s speed be reduced to station keeping, to reduce our thermal signature, and I’ve ordered all EMCON procedures to be followed.  There is little else any of us can do except hope that they return soon. 

October 29, 2133, 0745 hours:
Oh god.  The listening watch picked up transmissions from the jump point just a few minutes ago.  The first transmission was a wide-band broadcast meant to let us know that the Federation had returned for us.  As soon as Colby got the message he broadcast it throughout the ship, in violation of my orders.  I couldn’t blame him, though.  After all, we all needed to hear it so much, after being cut off for the last three weeks.  Our relief didn’t last, though.  Mere minutes later, as everyone on the ship was listening in, there was a second, more panicked broadcast.  They were under attack, and they were leaving.  They didn’t even promise to return.  They just left. 

We all had our hopes pinned on the Militia coming to get us, and when they came for us morale went through the roof.  Now, though, morale is worse than ever.  Colby blames himself for this, but I can’t bring myself to condemn him. 

January 3, 2134:
Colby killed himself today.  He never got over the relief fleet leaving without us, and his part in getting all of our hopes up.  I’m worried that this may be only the beginning of this kind of thing, and I’ve spoken with Doc Ang about the matter.  She has some ideas, but our resources are limited, floating out here in deep space. 

March 20, 2134:
Three more ended their lives today.  That brings us to eight so far.  I want to find some way to bolster morale, but its hard to see what I can do when the days just stretch ahead of us endlessly.  Very few believe that the Federation will return for us.  Some think that some massive disaster has happened back home and that we might be the only ones left.  Surely that’s not true. 

July 16, 2134:
I’ve lost seventeen crew so far, and I’ve had it.  I’ve been as lethargic as everyone else, but that ends today.  I’m going to give them purpose again.  If the Federation isn’t going to come back for us, then we will just have to find a way to survive on our own. 

November 27, 2134:
The suicides have tapered off now that I’ve got everyone focused on long-term survival.  I’ve got the crew divided into teams.  The engineers and those with engineering inclinations are making sure that all of the ship’s systems are in tip top shape, and are working on developing long-term strategies to deal with the inevitable depletion of our maintenance supplies.  I’ve got the survey people studying possible strategies for long term survival in this system.  Everyone else is working on making our living conditions more festive and interesting.  At least it’s something to do. 

June 16, 2135:
Engineering has everything in hand, for now.  Unfortunately, with us floating out here is space there is no way to replenish our supplies and there is nothing that the engineering team can do about that.  The survey team is focusing on the second planet.  The planet has everything we need to survive.  The problem is that we won’t be able to see the Obscura until its too late.  We don’t dare move. 

March 4, 2136:
The suicides have begun again.  People are losing hope, and I can’t blame them.  It has been so long.  Still, as long as anyone remains I have to keep trying. 

October 2, 2137:
Our maintenance supplies are almost gone, and the engineering team tells me we are almost to the end.  Critical systems are going to begin breaking down, and once they do the end will come quickly.  It is time to implement the survey team’s plan.  The survey team has spent years observing planet #2, which they have dubbed “Refuge”.  The planet has gravity that’s somewhat less than Earth’s at 81% and a thin oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere.  Unfortunately, its very cold, but beggars can’t be choosers.  Both the survey and the engineering teams have looked at it, and they assure me that if we can get there, they will be able to create a largely self-sustaining base on the surface of the planet by cannibalizing the Cabot.  I don’t like to think about tearing the old girl apart, but we may be the last humans left.  Its been over four years since we were abandoned here.  Who knows what happened back home.  I’ve decided, we’ll start in four days.  In the meantime, the engineering crews will examine the engines top to bottom and make sure that they will get us there.  There are one hundred and seven of us left out of the one hundred and thirty people that started this voyage.   I will do anything to ensure that we survive as long as possible.  This is a gamble, but we have no other choice at this point. 

October 6, 2137:
We’ve started towards Refuge.  I’ve decided to hold our speed down to 200 km/s to keep our thermal signature minimized.  It will take us over forty days at this pace, but the engineering crew says we have enough fuel and supplies to make the voyage.   If we are detected by the Obscura it is all over. 

November 15, 2137:
Disaster!  As we neared orbit over Refuge, our sensors detected what can only be an Obscura listening post on the planet’s innermost moon.  The senior surviving sensor tech, Rachel Obata, assured me that, assuming the Obscura had technology similar to our own, we had been visible to their listening post for some time. 

I made the only decision that I could.  I landed the Cabot on the inner moon, as close to the Obscura station as I could.  A team of us, armed with every weapon we had, entered the Obscura base.  Aside from a few automated security systems, there was no resistance.   After stripping anything that might be useful we used some demo charges from the exploration supplies to disable the listening post.  Hopefully it hadn’t gotten around to reporting us, or if it did, the Obscura ships are either gone or not curious enough to come and look when the base stops reporting. 

Once that was done there was a division among the crew.  Some, a small minority really, wanted to retreat to deep space and hide again.  The rest want to go down to the planet and try the original plan, in the hopes that the Obscura have abandoned the system.  I was forced to decide, but it really was a no-brainer.  Going back to deep space isn’t an option.  We’re out of supplies.  We are going to Refuge. 

November 17, 2137:
I landed the ship in a shallow crevasse that will hopefully hide it from direct observation from orbit.  Once down the crew immediately set to work cannibalizing everything that we wouldn’t need any more, including the engines, survey instruments, and active sensors.  The crew has tasted fresh water, melted from the ice surrounding the ship, for the first time in years.  It feels good to be doing something again!  Even those that wanted to run have been seen with smiles on their faces.  We have a purpose again.  We are making this place into a home. 

November 18, 2137:
I fear we are doomed.  Our passive sensors detected three Obscura ships racing towards Refuge.  I have ordered the engineering team to launch their makeshift satellite into orbit before the Obscura get here.  On my orders they had constructed a small satellite to carry our transponder into orbit, where I intended it to listen for anyone that came to look for us.  Now it will carry these logs, and as much of our data files as I can fit into it, in the hopes that it is recovered some day.  It might be all that survives of us, and I want our story to be known.  Every single one of the people that set out on this voyage four years ago was a damned hero.  This will likely be my last message.   
93
The Corporate Federation / Republic: Return to Honolulu
« Last post by Kurt on October 14, 2018, 08:11:02 AM »
March 1, 2139:
Thirty-seven warships leave Earth orbit for the jump point to the Boston system.  They are followed by three fleet support ships and a tug, which is towing the fleet’s lone sensor pod.  The long-awaited return to the Honolulu system has begun. 

March 14, 2139:
Republican R&D teams have completed development work on the magnetic fusion drive.  Work is started almost immediately on developing new engine systems for the fleet.  The Admiralty has already decided that no existing classes will be upgraded with the new engines or other systems that are being developed.  Instead, all new ship designs will be developed to take advantage of the latest technological developments. 

March 15, 2139:
The Fleet has assembled on the jump point to the Boston system.  After refueling from UNREP ships waiting there for them, the fleet jumps through to the Boston system and sets out for the Honolulu system. 

March 18, 2139, 801 hours:
The Fleet is assembled on the jump point to Honolulu.  The UNREP ships are back in the Solar System, awaiting refueling from a fuel tanker before coming forward to support the fleet.  This means that the thirsty frigates must be refueled from the fleet’s bigger ships, so the fleet pauses to share fuel with the smaller ships.  Once the refueling is complete the attack begins.

With the bulk of the fleet remaining behind, ready to repel a counter-attack, two attack groups moved forward towards the jump point.  Group #1, led by the jump cruiser Bihar, consists of the patrol cruisers Assistance and Intrepid.  The second group, led by the jump cruiser Tennessee, consists of the Brooklyn class FFG Birmingham and the Lake class FFG Nairobi.  Together, they moved through the jump point. 

The two groups materialize in the Honolulu system, each about forty-five thousand kilometers from the jump point and about eighty thousand kilometers from each other.   Sitting directly on the jump point are two Obscura ships.  These thermal contacts had a different signature than the Obscura ship encountered in the New York system, but had the same thermal strength, indicating that they were likely 9,000 ton ships like the other Obscura ship. 

The Obscura ships immediately set out on a tangent away from the human ships, while the crews aboard the patrol cruisers struggled to get their ships underway.  Fifteen seconds later, while the human crews were still trying to get their sensors, weapons, and engines online, the Tennessee was hit by eleven strength six missiles, greatly reducing her shields.  Just after the salvo hit, one of the human ships finally got their sensors up and the two alien ships were pinned by human active sensors. 

The next salvo of Obscura missiles is detected as soon as the Obscura ships launch, and human ships begin dumping anti-missiles into space.  The Aegis V’s do their job and the Obscura missiles are swatted down before they can reach their targets.  Even as that salvo is destroyed a second salvo appears on the human ship’s sensors.  The Assistance and the Intrepid fire their lasers at the fleeing ships even as the new missiles close on the human ships, but they both miss due to heavy interference from Obscura ECM.  The Nairobi has now had enough time to get its sensors and weapons up, and it launches thirteen Thunderbolt III’s at one of the Obscura ships.  Five seconds later the Nairobi launches twelve additional Thunderbolt III’s at the second Obscura ship.  Aegis V’s launched from the jump cruisers and the two FFG’s continue to shield the human fleet from further damage from the Obscura missiles as the Thunderbolt ASM’s race towards their targets. 

The first salvo of human missiles slam into one of the Obscura ships, and once again there are no tell-tale atmospheric leaks to indicate armor penetrations.   Five seconds later the second ship was hit by most of the Thunderbolt III’s launched at it, and was slowed to 1,955 kps.  Even as the Thunderbolt III’s slammed home, the Assistance carved a divot into the side of the slower Obscura ships with its spinal weapon.   The slowed Obscura ship had no chance to escape before, and now, slowed, it had even less.  The Assistance began relentlessly pounding the Obscura ship with its lasers.  In short order the Obscura ship died after one of the Assistance’s lasers hit a magazine and caused a large internal explosion.  In the meantime, the Aegis V’s from the FFG’s were still covering the patrol cruisers, shielding them from the Obscura missiles that the aliens continued to launch every fifteen seconds.   The Assistance changed its focus to the other Obscura ship and the pursuit was on. 

Immediately after the first Obscura ship died, an Obscura ASM managed to avoid everything the human fleet threw at it and hit the Assistance, but the cruiser’s shields held up.  In return the Intrepid was beginning to score repeated hits on the last Obscura ship.  The Intrepid was the next to be hit by Obscura missiles, but the cruiser’s shields were only slightly depleted.  The Intrepid suffered through another two missile salvos, but that would be it.  Massed laser fire from the two patrol cruisers pounded the Obscura ship into oblivion. 

The jump point was now clear, and the frigate’s sensors showed no contacts out to 256 mkm’s.  The jump cruisers jumped back to begin bringing through the rest of the fleet.  With the rest of the fleet in the Honolulu system, including the sensor pod, the area around the jump point is now secure out to 425 mkm’s.  Shortly after that ten frigates set out towards the inner system, which was the last known location of the survey ship John Cabot, lost here six years ago when it was cut off from the jump point by Obscura ships. 

March 22, 2139, 1006 hours:
Just as the detached group of frigates entered orbit over Honolulu’s second, marginally habitable, planet, the sensor pod at the jump point detected an Obscura ship headed for the jump point.  The frigates over the second planet were making a momentous discovery even as the Obscura ship made a heedless run at the human ships assembled at the jump point. 

Honolulu’s second planet was slightly smaller than Earth, and with at a distance of 226 mkm’s from Honolulu’s cooler primary, much colder.  The planet was covered by an ice sheet, but, it possessed a reasonably thick atmosphere consisting primarily of nitrogen with enough oxygen to be considered breathable, if it wasn’t so bitterly cold.  Upon entering orbit, the frigate’s sensors immediately zeroed in on a section of the ice sheet in the northern hemisphere.  There were multiple overlapping craters consistent with ASM’s, and at the center of the craters was a wrecked starship.   Commander West, CO of the Nairobi, made a momentous discovery when he ordered his sensor officer to ping the wreck with an IFF pulse, in an attempt to discover whether or not it was the Cabot.  The wreck didn’t respond, but a small object in orbit, previously dismissed as a minor navigational hazard, did respond to the ping.  The object was too small to carry a crew, but after contacting it the Nairobi was able to download a set of logs and datafiles belonging to the Cabot.  A team sent to the wreck discovered nothing but destruction and a few bodies, all of which were carefully recovered for return to Earth.  As soon as the download of the logs was complete they were transmitted to the mission commander, Captain Harvey Webster aboard the Mars. 

Two and a half hours later three missile boats attempt to launch their missiles at the incoming Obscura ship but fail to obtain a targeting lock due to the Obscura ship’s ECM.  Four hours later, with the Obscura ship now 335 mkm’s away, the missile boats finally obtain a lock and launch their missiles.  It took the missiles two and a half hours to reach their target.  It only took seven of the eighteen to wipe it from space. 

March 22, 2139, 2311 hours:
As the frigate group settles into orbit over Honolulu-III, a small airless planetoid, the ship’s thermal sensors set off alarms.  Direct observation confirms that a small Obscura sensor outpost is located on the planetoid.  Commander Wright, the squadron senior officer aboard the FFG Delhi, sends a contact report to Captain Webster at the jump point, and requests orders.  Captain Webster’s orders return promptly.  She is to leave the installation for later examination by the Republic’s scientists. 

On their way to the jump point the frigates examine the wreck of the obscura ship destroyed while approaching the jump point.  A team is sent to the wreck to make a cursory examination.  During their examination they discover the bodies of seventeen humans, including the commanding officer of the Cabot, Commander Holmes.  It appears that the survivors of whatever had happened on the second planet had been taken aboard the Obscura ship.  The medical officer’s examination showed that the crew had been vivisected by automated equipment on the Obscura ship, perhaps in an attempt to understand humanity.   
94
C# Aurora / Re: Collateral Damage
« Last post by Bremen on October 14, 2018, 08:07:51 AM »
I think having it scale exponentially with damage works well.

Trying to guess at the absolute damage that should be inflicted is really hard without testing, though. So much depends on emergent gameplay; for example, it's unclear to me whether an average fight will be between 1000 infantry or 100,000, since it will depend on just how much production spent on ground units works out being cost effective.

Actually, it also occurs to me that some sort of diminishing returns (well, not returns in this case, but diminishing) is probably the way to go. A fight between 100,000 infantry should cause much more collateral damage than 1,000, but not 100 times more. Similarly, it should be very hard to complicate erase a planetary population by bombardment, since some will be hiding in bomb shelters/caves/etc.
95
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Last post by Steve Walmsley on October 14, 2018, 07:43:04 AM »
Here are the new vs old values when attacking a heavy vehicle. This assumes equal tech.

All shots assumes all shots to kill the same target. In reality, this is on the low side because multi-shot weapons could target something else if they kill the first target and have shots remaining.

96
C# Aurora / Collateral Damage
« Last post by Steve Walmsley on October 14, 2018, 07:32:54 AM »
Next issue to resolve is collateral damage from ground combat. In VB6, it is based on readiness losses, but that doesn't even exist in C#.

My current line of thinking is for combat to generate a total damage value, then that is applied against a population as an energy weapon attack. This would be based on attacks, not hits. So if you use heavy bombardment weapons, it should have an impact on the population regardless of whether you hit any hostile units.

The collateral damage probably should not be linear with damage. So personal weapons fired 6 times should not be equal to a shot from a heavy anti-vehicle weapon or a heavy bombardment weapon. My current thinking is to ignore AP value and use the damage value cubed as the baseline, then divide by a large number, maybe a million.

Using that example and assuming a base ground combat tech of 10 (about TL4),
  • An infantryman with personal weapons would generate 0.001 collateral damage per combat round (damage 10, shots 1)
  • Light anti-vehicle (damage 20, shots 1) is 0.008
  • Light bombardment (damage 20, shots 3) is 0.024
  • Medium anti-vehicle (damage 40, shots 1) is 0.064
  • Medium bombardment (damage 40, shots 3) is 0.192
  • Heavy anti-vehicle (damage 60, shots 1) is 0.216
  • Heavy bombardment (damage 60, shots 3) is 0.648
Putting that in terms of regiments, 1000 infantrymen would generate 1 collateral damage per round while 50 heavy tanks (about the same size but 2x cost) would generate 11.2 collateral damage, assuming HAV and HCAP. To put that in perspective, vs energy weapon fire a construction factory has 20 HP and a research facility has 400 HP.

Another consideration could be how densely the planet is populated. For planets close to capacity, ground combat should cause a lot of damage. While for frontier colonies, damage should be relatively minor. However, even in the latter case it is unlikely the population is evenly distributed so there should be some minimum modifier. If this was a factor, the base collateral damage should probably be higher or it would be almost irrelevant except for very large populations.

Comments welcome.
97
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Last post by Whitecold on October 14, 2018, 07:28:27 AM »
I've been experimenting with the attack vs armour values, along the same lines as previously discussed, trying to balance the various weapons such as LAV vs HCAP. I finally realised the easiest way to handle this was to treat damage in the same way as penetration. If armour is penetrated, the damage calculation is now (weapon damage / hit points)^2. With both penetration and damage now using the same calculation, differentiation in weapons is much easier.

I've changed LAV to AP 2 Damage 3 and MAV to AP 4 Damage 4, to match the HPs of the respective light and medium vehicles.

I also adjusted light and medium bombardment weapons to AP 1 Dam 2 and AP 1.5 Dam 4 respectively.

I'll probably still adjust a little after campaign testing but i am much happier with it now.

Somehow that feels quite counterintuitive to one expects hitpoints to work. I would be very worried about troubles introduced at larger size difference, as armor roughly scales with HP, so you now end up with p^4 scaling in survivability. I'd expect HAV or similar to still preform reasonably well against the largest vehicles, but like that they could  become impervious against anything but themselves.
Would not increasing the amount of HP on vehicles do the job? Give 50HP instead of 30HP to light vehicles? (And add some more HP down the line for vehicles)
The only real gap seems to be at anti-infantry where multishot weapons exist compared to light anti armor.
98
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Last post by Steve Walmsley on October 14, 2018, 06:50:35 AM »
Hum. That makes high HP units considerably tougher, which I think is probably a good change. One thing I was struck by with my own theorizing was that lots of light weapons were surprisingly effective against heavy units.

I'm interested to see how balance testing goes in the campaign.

Yes, that was exactly my problem :)

It stemmed from the discussion on HCAP vs LAV and I just kept going back to it.
99
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Last post by Bremen on October 14, 2018, 06:31:09 AM »
Hum. That makes high HP units considerably tougher, which I think is probably a good change. One thing I was struck by with my own theorizing was that lots of light weapons were surprisingly effective against heavy units.

I'm interested to see how balance testing goes in the campaign.
100
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« Last post by Steve Walmsley on October 14, 2018, 06:15:14 AM »
I've been experimenting with the attack vs armour values, along the same lines as previously discussed, trying to balance the various weapons such as LAV vs HCAP. I finally realised the easiest way to handle this was to treat damage in the same way as penetration. If armour is penetrated, the damage calculation is now (weapon damage / hit points)^2. With both penetration and damage now using the same calculation, differentiation in weapons is much easier.

I've changed LAV to AP 2 Damage 3 and MAV to AP 4 Damage 4, to match the HPs of the respective light and medium vehicles.

I also adjusted light and medium bombardment weapons to AP 1 Dam 2 and AP 1.5 Dam 4 respectively.

I'll probably still adjust a little after campaign testing but i am much happier with it now.
Pages: 1 ... 8 9 [10]