Author Topic: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike  (Read 7221 times)

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Offline Anarade Relle

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2011, 03:29:14 PM »
Another factor to consider is the possibility that you won't know where the enemy HW is. Considering how the new FTL system seems to work you could very well run only into colonies or have a faulty idea of where the HW is. Naturally if you take the time to do scouting or get lucky this may not be the problem, but if you decide for in-character reasons to launch the war (or was attacked first) before knowing the strategy is already decided for you. At least in the beginning.
 

Offline UnLimiTeD

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2011, 06:05:07 PM »
Even more reason to not establish notable colonies unless absolutely necessary.
Decreases detection risk. ;)
And hell, do we get a new solar system?
Terraformable Titan, that tenth nearly planet, etc.
With a bit of requirement shifting, we could go as far as to have "homeworld minerals" to only include those that are needed, with everything else that may only be required for missiles or the like by as random as any.
Maybe have a "home system algorithm" that makes sure there's at least a small concentration of everything in system.
I'd say it'd be thrilling if at start you first have to find that damn mineral you need for the jump drives.
 

Offline o_O

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2011, 01:23:29 AM »
1 - Ships could suffer gradual light damage while in hyperspace based on some combination of traveling speed, tech level, time in hyper and components that mitigate it.   Damage could include one or all of internal damage, armor damage, crew dying.

2 - Add a 'maintenance yard' that can repair and maintain ships, but not build them.   

1+2 together would strongly encourage developing partially self sufficient forward bases to resupply, launch attacks from and retreat back to.    Maybe military FTL's could have a higher safe speed or get to travel longer without harmful effects.    Habitable planets would be strategically valuable as military bases and to service the civilian trade routes. 

The flavor could be anything from harmful radiation to vengeful hyperspace gods  :)
 
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 01:26:40 AM by o_O »
 

Offline Mel Vixen

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2011, 03:42:08 AM »
Even more reason to not establish notable colonies unless absolutely necessary.
Decreases detection risk. ;)
And hell, do we get a new solar system?
Terraformable Titan, that tenth nearly planet, etc.

With some gene-modifications i came to iirc 7 full working 0 infrastructure worlds alone in Sol. I reached 50 non-habitat collonies after a dozen jumps :P

I could see that production also gets diversified and moved to other locations if there are enough suitable locations. I mean we have to do that anyway with shipyards to ensure we dont loose to much repair and building power in a singe strike. I think that even Orbital habitats will be more usefull to get an extensive trade and shipping network running where you dont rely on single sources, production-centers or routes. Instead of 1 Shipyard with 20 slipways for 3000 ton Frigates we might have 10 with each 2 slipways and so on. What would be needed for such a network to work would be civilian Shiping of minerals and a better overall trade and shipping structure.

Didnt the mineral-content of system hinge on the mass of it(s) Star(s) thus higher mass = more minerals? Anyway dont think that the current sol needs any rework minerals wise.
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Offline UnLimiTeD

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2011, 10:22:31 AM »
Minerals wise?
It's completely random.
It just needs a rework in general.
it is a set figure instead of generated, and the values don't match with todays view of this very system.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2011, 10:36:27 AM »
I just saw a picture of the galactic map in the map question thread, and that reminded me of a conversation about Honorverse military strategy I had late at night at a con many years ago, probably sometime after Ashes of Victory.  The point I was making was that in the early HH books, the "island hopping" strategy that Weber was pushing was all wrong for their hyperspace mechanics. 

In the early HH books, the war with Haven focused on battles for forward operating bases between the two powers.  The problem is that forward operating bases only matter if they can be used as bases for interdiction, or if the combat radius of combatants is small enough they're needed for refueling/staging.  In StarFire or Aurora, this works because you've got choke points at the jump points, so there's a high probability of detecting and fighting transiting bad guys.  In WWII pacific, the islands were used as bases for air power.  The aircraft gave the bases a significant range both for detection (search planes) and attack (bombers).  In other words, the forward operating bases could at least detect ships in a significant fraction of the available (2D) space.

In the HonorVerse, however, you can go from anywhere to anywhere in hyperspace, and there are no significant fuel restrictions on range.  This means that the bases will have a search radius that's effectively zero (even considering the compressing effects of hyperspace and the channeling effects of grav waves), and ships don't need to stop off to gas up.  This in turn means that forward operating bases are almost useless - the correct strategy would be one of "deep strikes", where you send a large fleet/TG to lay waste to an important enemy system.  It is interesting to note that in the most recent books, Weber has transitioned to deep-strike strategy, with a little bit of white-wash dialog to explain why things have changed :)

The reason I'm going here is that I just realized that Newtonian Aurora will produce a strategic environment that is MUCH closer to Honorverse than to SF or Aurora.  If Steve doesn't want the game strategy to be a collection of deep strikes (i.e. if he wants to encourage forward bases), he'll have to think of something that makes forward bases useful and/or able to interdict enemy transits in hyperspace.  The obvious knob to twirl is fuel - if it's expensive to jump vast distances then ships will have to make refueling stops (fuel scoops and gas giants, anyone?).  Another possibility might be to make fuel consumption go like the square of the distance, and require that you can only exit hyperspace at a point where the gravitational gradient has a certain value, i.e. at a specific distance from a particular star.  This would encourage jumps that are hops from one system to another, while still avoiding jump points that are strict choke points.

Note that I'm not invested in any of the ideas above, I'm just trying to point out some possibilities....

John

Yes, this is a good point. I have so far avoided any restriction on the distance of hyperspace travel to make things simpler for NPRs/AI, especially now they will have to worry about fuel. One of the reasons for changing to a non-jump point system is that jump points made managing NPR Empires a lot trickier than an open space universe. In fact, quite a few of the mechanics decisions I make have to bear the AI in mind. It was so much easier when there was no AI and I could create whatever I wanted on the basis that a human brain could easily cope with it :)

Having said that, some type of restriction is probably inevitable for the reasons you mentioned above and for any concept of borders, or spheres of influence, to exist. I'll read through the thread and see what suggestions have been made.

Steve
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2011, 10:51:40 AM »
A possible thought, which I will cross post to the main NA thread, might be this.

Under current rules, the 'deep strike' would be the way to go.  Other than the fact that you won't know where the enemy's main bases are without looking.

Perhaps part of the jump drive tech could be a max duration of the drive to maintain itself in hyperspace.  I am not sure I would tie this to fuel use as you could simply build larger fuel reserves to make these deep strikes.  Perhaps the drive begins to generate a 'sub-space charge' that will damage the drive after a certain level - forcing the ship out of subspace/hyperspace after a certain amount of time.  This would of course increase with research.

So civ ships designed with lower delta V budgets would have lower speeds at jump and would jump shorter distances.  Mil ships with higher delta V budgets could afford the high speeds to make longer jumps - but not infinite ones.  In this way you would need to operate forward bases to stop - refuel/resupply - reorient on the next system - then jump.

Some ships could be designed to make very long jumps by being very fast, but this would likely require a smaller ship with a large percentage of fuel to reach the required speed for the long jump.  A small ship that is mostly fuel probably isn't an ideal warship.  A good scout probably, but not a planet killer.

Just a thought.  Any opinions?

I too am a little reluctant to have fuel involved in hyperspace jumps for a couple of reasons. Firstly fuel is going to be a LOT more important in Newtonian Aurora so having to reserve fuel for FTL as well is going to make life very difficult. Secondly, one of the major points of the game is that you don't need fuel to retain speed - you only need it to accelerate or decelerate. With that in mind, I can see an argument for expending fuel to enter hyperspace or leave it, but not to maintain speed while in hyperspace. If you don't need fuel to maintain speed in hyperspace then it is no restriction on distance.

As you mentioned, one option is a tech line that restricts max hyperspace range, although that would lead to deeper strikes as tech advanced so I am not sure if that would resolve the problem or just delay it.

Another is the hyperspace race mentioned in a different thread, or just a general hyperdrive failure rate (either in transit or on arrival). If the chance of detection/failure was dependent on distance (or maybe even the square of distance) then that would tend to make races favour shorter jumps.

Another one that just occured to me is making the length of the jump a factor in whether you could be detected in the arriving system. Maybe the square of the LY distance in hours, so a 5 LY jump would give the defenders 25 hours warning of arrival, while a 10 LY jump would provide over four days warning. Although I guess that would eventually lead to you being detected before you jumped :).

Steve
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2011, 10:53:50 AM »
If you go for more realistic, useful colonies that evolve without you telling them to, you'll also have to calculate that those people won't magically reproduce faster.

They don't reproduce faster solely as a game mechanic. Less developed populations and colonies historically have a higher population growth than developed countries.

Steve
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2011, 11:00:02 AM »
After reading through the other replies, at the moment I am leaning toward a chance-based penalty for long hyperspace jumps. This could be FTL Drive failure in deep space, an optional hyperspace race, or other mechanic to be decided. This allows long jumps if you really want to try them but with a risk involved.

Steve
 

Offline PTTG

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2011, 11:14:21 AM »
They don't reproduce faster solely as a game mechanic. Less developed populations and colonies historically have a higher population growth than developed countries.

Steve

That of course assumes that the environment is friendly to the population. Presumably, as a population approaches the carrying capacity of the infrastructure/environment, population growth slows due to more accidental death and fewer successful pregnancies, regardless of education and economic freedoms.

I would encourage you to tie the safe jump range of a vessel to, in some way, the mass of the ship. Having ships with significantly different strategic movement capabilities is an interesting gameplay element. I forsee using light ships to scout out ahead of a major military force, followed by the civilian support fleet, each group taking different routes to maximize survival.
 

Offline Elouda

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2011, 11:22:56 AM »
Steve,

One option to diversity FTL movement a little is to base 'safe' FTL range on target star mass. This means that you can easily jump to more massive stars, which then by nature end up as 'nexus' points on the map, at the expense of being harder to grav survey which seems rather elegant in my opinion. There is no penalty for exceeding the max range, except for a chance for something to go very 'wrong'.

Things that could go wrong on a jump include emerging at another system along the same vector some time later, getting lost in hyperspace or falling out of hyperspace somewhere in the middle of nowhere, and maybe letting things from beyond into this side?

Drives could be specialised in two directions; commercial drives which have large drive flares, and possibly large early warnings (if you decide to go with that), but are very stable up to a certain range, but inaccurate unless the system is surveyed.

Alternatively, military drives, which reduce flare and warning signal, but are generally shorter range, and are more precise exit wise even in unmapped systems (though never as good as in a mapped system).

These would be on some kind of sliding scale.

Scout/survey designs could either mount the commerical drives and suffer the flare, but have longer ranges, or mount the military kind for increased stealth, but pay for it in safe survey range.

This means the commercial drive would also be more delta v efficient in the long run since you would not have to realign at systems along the jump path.

An extra idea is that of the hyperspace gates for linking surveyed systems (possibly requiring a 'second stage' survey?), at the risk of letting enemies through too.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 11:28:59 AM by Elouda »
 

Offline PTTG

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2011, 12:07:49 PM »
Quote
One option to diversity FTL movement a little is to base 'safe' FTL range on target star mass. This means that you can easily jump to more massive stars, which then by nature end up as 'nexus' points on the map, at the expense of being harder to grav survey which seems rather elegant in my opinion.

That's actually really cool. It could also work in the reverse, so that it's easier to jump away from large stars. That would make them useful as major stopping points without making them attractive invasion targets.

The jump safety could even be based on the average of the two stars.

This does seem like it might bump against the AI's capacity.
 

Offline byron

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2011, 04:44:30 PM »
After reading through the other replies, at the moment I am leaning toward a chance-based penalty for long hyperspace jumps. This could be FTL Drive failure in deep space, an optional hyperspace race, or other mechanic to be decided. This allows long jumps if you really want to try them but with a risk involved.

Steve
The problem is that short hyperspace jumps need to have less cumulative chance of trouble.

I do have one point about deep strikes:
Delta-V.
Deep strikes are problematic for a very simple reason.  The ship has to have enough fuel to get up to speed, then decelerate at the end of the jump, fight, and come back.  If you try a deep strike, I would imagine that it would be wise to get there and back as quickly as possible to minimize maintainence and vulnerability.  That requires a lot of delta-V.  If you have a forward base in the area, it's not as much of an issue.  Shorter distance lets you get away with lower hyper speed, and you can transit to home about twice as fast.
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Offline Anarade Relle

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2011, 05:16:04 PM »
Even more reason to not establish notable colonies unless absolutely necessary.
Decreases detection risk. ;)


Indeed. I can't but imagine some Empire going around and instituting some kind of colonial camouflage/stealth scheme. Automated mining colonies with more heat dampeners (or whatnot to reduce thermals) then mines.
 

Offline UnLimiTeD

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Re: Island Hopping vs. Deep Strike
« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2011, 06:50:11 PM »
It's called Atmosphere.  8)
 

 

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