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Messages - Person012345

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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.

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C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 06, 2018, 08:08:11 AM »
not optimal but ... ground combat with all the detail the new design mechanic opens up will be highly complicated, a system wich Steve has a lot time to invest but proofs to be "the same as before", too complicated, too one-sided, too broring or too stressful etcpp would be lost time and even more unsatisfying as it would be "lots of work with nothing gained" ... better to make it workable  for the moment and plan to make it "really work with all the details" and rightly planed in C#1.1

Part of the reason for the more detailed ground design process is to give players more investment in, and attachment to, their ground forces. Other reasons includes creating more interesting invasion mechanics at a strategic level, replacing PDCs, having more interesting planetary environments and making planets harder to conquer. It isn't primarily about detailed combat mechanics at the same level as naval combat. They mechanics need to give the player some consequential decisions during combat and be heavily influenced by the player's strategic design choices. There is quite of lot of detail during combat resolution, with the various factors influencing the to hit role, but most of that happens after the player makes his decision.

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C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: December 02, 2017, 04:42:17 PM »
I've been giving the 'ground unit aircraft' vs 'space fighters providing close air support' some more thought.

If we use an amphibious invasion as an analogy, any air support in the early stages would be provided by carrier-based aircraft (or from land bases nearby) due to the lack of basing facilities where the invasion is taking place. Once engineers get ashore they can build an airbase and aircraft can operate from there.

My current line of thinking is to have aircraft operating from carriers but with equipment specifically designed for non-nuclear ground combat (if nukes are needed, they can be fired at ground units as part of normal combat, as in VB6, by any type of ship). This equipment would be on the lines of 'Heavy Bombardment Module' or Medium Anti-Tank Module', etc. and would have a limited ammunition supply (set during module design) that can be replenished at a carrier using maintenance supplies (instead of tracking actual bombs, missiles). The fighter would also need a special sensor for precision targeting of ground units. In general, the fighter modules would be more powerful than normal ground unit weapons, but with limited ammo supply (think 1000 lb bomb vs 155mm shell). You could design fighters specifically for ground combat, or hybrids that can fight against ships and ground units.

The fighters could be given an order of 'close air support' for the population location. They would fly to that location, taking fire from any planetary defences on the way in, but on arrival would be assumed to be operating at low altitude and therefore could not be targeted by planetary defences. Once their ammunition is exhausted they leave the planet, potentially taking fire on their return journey to the carrier for re-arming. Any fighters in 'close air support' mode could be linked to fire direction units and would act during ground combat phases. As they attack, they would be vulnerable to anti-air units.

Because this is dependent on being at low altitude, the modules would have to be restricted to fighters only. Larger ships could still use their main armament to provide support from orbit, where they would be vulnerable to fire from STO units but safe from anti-air.
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C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: November 25, 2017, 04:54:01 AM »
There is only 1 thing that encourages invasion over glassing; the cost vs benefit analysis of occupation versus obliteration.

That is true for VB6 Aurora. It probably won't be in C# Aurora. When you can churn out CIWS ground units to protect a planet for less than 50 BP each, it is going to be hard to get missile strikes on a well defended planet. Taking on the CIWS units with beam-armed ships is going to be hard if there are numerous, well-fortified energy weapons on the planet (plus the CIWS will be fortified too).

In this scenario, the best way to take the planet could be a single, large wave of drop ships to deliver an invasion force. Those invading ground forces can't be harmed by the CIWS and STO units, so the planet's defending ground forces will have to be sufficient to defend the CIWS and STO units.

As these are ground units and not PDCs, you can also quickly deliver a substantial defending force to a new colony, which is much harder in VB6 Aurora.

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C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: October 02, 2017, 10:11:38 AM »
A high level update on the new ground combat system. This isn't really about the detail, as I am still sorting that out, but more about some of the overall concepts.

My direction at the moment is to have a component system for ground unit design (which will replace all existing units including Titans). There are four base unit types (Infantry, Vehicle, Combat Walker, Aircraft), each of which has several sub-types based on the level of armour. 'Combat Walker' in this context is down to player interpretation. Could be a WH40K Titan or a Star Wars AT-AT, etc.). At the moment, my list comprises:

Unarmoured Infantry - ARM 0
Light Infantry - ARM 1
Powered Infantry - ARM 2
Heavy Powered Infantry - ARM 3
Unarmoured Vehicle - ARM 1
Light Vehicle - ARM 2
Medium Vehicle - ARM 4
Heavy Vehicle - ARM 6
Light Combat Walker - ARM 3
Medium Combat Walker - ARM 6
Heavy Combat Walker - ARM 9
Super-Heavy Combat Walker - ARM 12
Unarmoured Aircraft - ARM 1
Light Aircraft - ARM 2
Medium Aircraft - ARM 3

The armour strength (ARM) is a baseline, which is modified by the best available racial armour tech. So, an advanced civilisation may have 'light' vehicles with better armour than the 'medium' or even 'heavy' vehicles of a lower tech civilisation.

Each base type has 1-3 component slots (Infantry 1, Vehicles & Aircraft 2, Walkers 3). This components can be combat-related or support-related. This list (so far) includes:

Light Anti-Personnel
Medium Anti-Personnel
Heavy Anti-Personnel
Light Anti Vehicle
Medium Anti Vehicle
Heavy Anti Vehicle
Super Heavy Anti Vehicle
Light Bombardment
Medium Bombardment
Heavy Bombardment
Light Anti-Air
Medium Anti-Air
Surface to Orbit (Variety of weapons)
Brigade HQ
Division HQ
Combat Engineer
Forced Labour
Orbital Fire Support Controller

So for example, you could create a 'Medium Tank' using a Medium Vehicle with Medium Anti Vehicle and Medium Anti-Personnel. Or a 'Tank Destroyer' by going heavy armour and double anti-vehicle, etc.. The non-combat related functions will function in a similar way to now. Logistics will be a ground unit that is slowly consumed over time by other friendly units, acting as a form of ground unit supply. Orbital Fire Support Controller will be able to direct the fire of ships in orbit to support ground forces.

The light, medium, heavy concepts for weapons are based on rate of fire and armour penetration. So a light weapon will fire more often and therefore engage more targets, while a heavier weapon will fire more slowly but have a higher chance of destroying the target. Essentially, you will need light weapons against numerous, lightly armoured targets and heavy weapons against armoured opponents. Penetration and rate of fire will also be affected by base racial technology in weapons and capacitor recharge rates. I might combine some of the anti-personnel and anti-vehicle descriptions as (for example) heavy anti-personnel and light anti-vehicle may not be that different.

Ground combat will now take place in the same time frame as ship combat, with each unit firing at specified intervals (except that time won't slow for ground combat - it will instead run multiple cycles depending on turn length). It will still take a while for ground combat though as hit chances will be very low.

Ground unit design will have an individual unit type and a formation type. For example, you might design an 'Armoured Battalion' formation with the unit type as the 'Panther Tank'. There will be a set number of units within a formation and they will fire and take damage individually. So you may start with 50 Panther Tanks in each Armoured Battalion but after combat, some will be damaged and some destroyed. These can be repaired or replaced. Each unit will have a size, so the size of a formation will be number of units x unit size. I haven't decided yet whether to allow units of any size or have a 'battalion size' and have a number of units that will fit within that size. In the case of the former, then Brigade HQs would have a total command size, rather than commanding a set number of units. This would also allow minor units, such as a mortar company (light infantry - light bombardment) held at Brigade level.

Within combat, each formation can be placed in one of four positions. Advance, Front-line, Support or Rear Echelon (names might changes). The default position for any formation is Front-line. Front-line formations will engage in direct combat and can be given orders regarding the type of enemy unit to target (as combat takes place, information will be provided about the base types of enemy units engaged).

A number of formations not exceeding the number of front lines units can be placed in the Support position. This would typically be bombardment or headquarters units, or a resting combat formation. Any ground-based unit (infantry, vehicle, combat walker) in the support position can use its bombardment strength against enemy units in the opposing front-line position or may be allocated to counter-battery fire against enemy units bombarding from a support position.

A number of formations not exceeding the number of support units can be placed in the Rear Echelon position. This would typically be aircraft, ground-to-orbit, logistics, repair or replacement units. Any aircraft in any position can target any enemy position, although it can be engaged by each position which it attacks or passes over. So an aircraft attacking the support units of an enemy can be engaged by anti-air units in the front-line or support positions I will probably make this any anti-air unit in the same hierarchy (divisional or brigade).

A number of Vehicle or Combat Walker formations may be assigned to the Advance position. This cannot exceed the number of front-line units. These formations are attempting to break through the enemy front-line formations. If they can maintain their advance position for a certain amount of time (TBD) without being forced to withdraw (withdrawal will be based on casualties and formation morale), they will be considered to have broken through the enemy lines and will be able to either attack support formations directly, or attack front-line formations with double strength (flanking them). After another specified amount of time (TBD), they can also choose to attack rear echelon units directly, or support units / front-line units at double strength. Any unit in an advance position will be identified by name and type to the enemy and can be attacked specifically (as opposed to just targeting a position).

Infantry formations can be fortified. This can done to a minimal level by the formation itself, given sufficient time, or enhanced further by combat engineer units. This will greatly improve the formation's resistance to damage.

CIWS and Ground to Orbit units will be based on existing naval weapons, along with sufficient costs for reactors, fire control, etc.. They will not be able to attack in ground combat but will defend based on their base unit type.

In addition to the components, units will also have abilities that modify their cost and their combat strength in different circumstances. This will include boarding combat, extreme temperature combat, mountainous terrain, ocean terrain, etc.

Garrison Strength will be heavily based on the number of units in a formation, so a light infantry formation, will be a more effective garrison unit than a heavy armour formation, despite being considerably cheaper.

The above is an outline of where I am heading and will probably change a little once I get into the detailed coding. At the moment, I am starting on a unit / formation design window. After that is complete, I will look at the combat mechanics.
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The Academy / Re: Rename a Faction?
« on: February 16, 2016, 01:05:31 PM »
If it's your faction go to race details (ctrl+F2) and on the left bottom side you have rename. It will allow you to change your full name and the short name.
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