Author Topic: Replacing PDCs  (Read 7921 times)

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Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #120 on: October 05, 2017, 06:53:09 PM »
Is it >90%?  No.

And I never claimed it was over 90% either...

After looking into it some more I do realize that the around 90% number I remembered must have been for both large bulk and container shipping, so I do apologize for remembering that part wrong. Influenced a bit by the fact that my local port I am familiar with not handling bulk but only containers as well.

Let's get back to topic of ground forces & PDCs.
 

Offline obsidian_green

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #121 on: October 05, 2017, 11:11:18 PM »
If you want depth you should just make every unit it's own ship like entity so that it can range from the size of a company to the size of a brigade, have each unit require it's own weapon design such as a guass rifle, and use a new resource called supply so that PDC's can supply them as well as Logistic units.

Problem here is synergy between troop transport bays and the units that go in them. With ships, we decide the tonnage, but unless the troop transport scheme is altered, a ground unit needs to "fit".

I do think implementing customized unit design in a manner similar to ships is a good idea, but maybe the analogue for a ship component should be a company. We design companies and add them to battalions in the same manner as components are added to ship designs. Perhaps one-component designs are automatically tagged/regarded as special forces so that company boarding actions remain viable. This would allow us to design combined-arms battalions to address specific circumstances. OH! And we could "scrap" old battalions while preserving the companies that comprise them, allowing us to form new battalions with different constituent companies.

Now that I'm over that little burst of enthusiasm (lol), my concern is that the user goes through all this design hassle only to have the end result be analogous to the battalions we already train, but instead of simply researching a single ground combat improvement tech, each time we improve the army we must reinvent the wheel. (On the other hand, upgrading the constituent companies of ship-like battalions might be fun ... if it's hassle free.)
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #122 on: October 06, 2017, 12:20:30 AM »
Every unit type should have some sort of attack and defence values. It has always bugged me how GAR battalions are incapable of dealing any damage at all. Even a value of 1 is good enough. There are so many examples in military history of tuckers, cooks and clerks getting their rifles and being shoved to the front line in an emergency.

Also Steve, 3-way combat resolving, in both 2-vs-1 and 1-vs-1-vs-1 scenarios. Currently Aurora can't really handle it well.
 

Offline TheRowan

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #123 on: October 06, 2017, 05:29:05 AM »
I like the system , as others have said the only issue is with non-battalion sized units.

To allow for the Marine Company, I can see a couple of possible options:

1. Make the company the basic manoeuvre unit, with an additional rank of Major added at the bottom of the ground forces command tree. Then a Battalion would be formed of a number of independent companies, plus a Battalion command company.

2. As suggested by obsidian_green, treat companies as analogous to components and design battalions as a grouping of up to 5 companies, with "battalions" comprising a single company possibly having a Major-rank CO.

3. Have an option when designing units to make them either Battalion size (default) or Company size (1/5 size and stats, possibly reduced weight in brigade command limits). Again, possibility of a Major rank to command companies

4. Keep Marine Companies as a separate unit type, as currently. (I dislike this option)

5. Abolish sub-battalion sized units altogether (I really dislike this option)

To allow for conventional start divisions, the options as I see them are:

1. Break down the conventional divisions into conventional battalions, with brigade and division HQs, and give each conventional battalions a miniscule firepower and armour.

2. Treat the conventional divisions as battalions, and make one of the effects of TN tech to reduce the weight of ground units by 25 times.

To allow for construction brigades, I can also see two options:

1. Make the "construction" equipment increase battalion weight by a factor of 5.

2. Allow construction battalions with 1/5 the output of current construction brigades, meaning you would need to create a full brigade to have the same impact as the existing unit.
 

Offline byron

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #124 on: October 06, 2017, 09:45:10 AM »
Can we get back to the topic of PDCs and separate this discussion on shipping to another thread?
I think we're done with it.

Problem with requiring a Logistics unit is that such a unit would need constant attention as it's drained dry and can get you mostly drained units you need to ship around like they're still full in troop transport bays, while with MSP you can just drop a supply cache on planet for all your troops to use. Either MSP or a separate Ground Supply Point produced in the same manner would be less annoying. Not least of which because you can set MSP production up for basically forever.
Agreed.  I dislike draining logistics units both stylistically and as a practical matter.  That said, I'd rather we had them as well as MSPs, the logistics units serving as one part of the force mix between short sharp assaults and forces set up for drawn-out campaigns. 

Re unit design from scratch, my absolute preferred setup would be to have units designed based on standardized (non-designed) men/vehicles.  Maybe if the unit has a couple different techs, you could pick the level of each.  (Say you decide you only want Level 3 armor on your tanks to save cost instead of putting Level 4 on, but you do want the Level 4 guns you have.)  The unit is built up from that, with the ability to save and import lower-level units.  Given where Steve seems to be headed, company-based builds seem the best option available right now.
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Offline Barkhorn

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #125 on: October 06, 2017, 05:27:00 PM »
How about logistics units take MSP and use it to resupply/reinforce combat units?

It'd be more realistic really.  Rear echelon units don't suffer much attrition in real life.
 
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Offline Father Tim

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #126 on: October 06, 2017, 06:27:29 PM »
I'm in favour of Companies being the building blocks of ground forces.  I love the idea of 'Command Sizes' not being unit based, not the least because I can finally build 'triangular' brigades & divisions without feeling like I'm wasting capacity.

I like PDCs, I use them in all my games, though not all that much.  I find the resoning "because they are exceptions to so much existing code, requiring hundreds of if PDC do X, else do Y statements to be 100% sufficient reason to dump them entirely.  I will miss them, but not much.

The only two problems I have with PDCs are the instant-reload of magazines from planetary stocks (already fixed) and the maintenance-free status (including giant hangars & their contents).  Since I don't use PDCs that way, it's not actually a problem for me.

I would prefer ground units use up Maintenance Supply Points for repair rather than Replenishment units, mostly because I like the elegance of 'everything uses MSPs'.

I don't particularly care if we call them Titans, Combat Walkers, Super-Heavy Vehicles, Air Cavalry, BattleMechs, Artillery, Organic Realtime Combat Synths (ORCS for short) or Kaiju.  I'll be fenaming them to something appropriate to my Empire every game anyways.

Oh.  I'd also really love a smaller version of a Construction Brigade.  Maybe a Construction Battalion that was 1/10th as effective, and a Construction Company that was 1/50th.  Since I usually play conventional starts, I frequently have the problem of "Oh, that's an interesting alien ruin.  When I finally manage to build a Troop Transport big enough to haul a Construction Brigade there 22 years from now, it will be exciting to see what's in it."

Which reminds me of one other suggestion I have (entirely off-topic for this thread).  I would beg Steve to rename 'Conventional' starts to 'Low-Tech(Hard) Mode' or 'Expert Mode' or something.  It seems like every week a new player comes to the Academy forum saying "I chose Conventional start because that seemed easier, or more basic, or to be tutorial mode, and now I'm hopelessly lost."
 
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Offline Felixg

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #127 on: October 06, 2017, 10:40:46 PM »
At the moment, my list comprises:

Unarmoured Aircraft - ARM 1
Light Aircraft - ARM 2
Medium Aircraft - ARM 3


Will it be possible for us to have hangars on ships that allow us to launch and support the ground attack aircraft from orbit?

Would be cool to have aircraft/fighters from orbit able to assist with the beachhead portion of the invasion alongside drop pods until your transport ships can begin unloading more of your army.
 

Offline byron

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #128 on: October 07, 2017, 08:14:47 AM »
I'm in favour of Companies being the building blocks of ground forces.  I love the idea of 'Command Sizes' not being unit based, not the least because I can finally build 'triangular' brigades & divisions without feeling like I'm wasting capacity.
I think that the change to combined arms would almost solve that on its own.  A WW2 US triangular infantry division had about 4.5 regiments worth of troops, 3 infantry, 1 artillery, and a bunch of smaller units that add up to another half a regiment or so.  Today, an infantry brigade has 2 infantry battalions, a cavalry battalion, an artillery battalion, and a pair of support battalions. 
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Offline Person012345

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #129 on: October 08, 2017, 06:36:50 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.

*snip*

Excellent! This is actually really close to what I was imagining, even a little more in depth (I was thinking using existing units and weighting them towards a fighting style with different equipment, but this redesign looks even better). Look forward to trying it out.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 06:39:28 AM by Person012345 »
 

Offline Marski

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #130 on: October 13, 2017, 10:03:57 AM »
I am strongly opposed to removing PDC's, they need a overhaul yes but removing planetary defence installations that you can design yourself is wholly unnecessary. They present a challenge that gives a reason for players to have troop transports and carry out opposed landings to take out the defence installations to pave way for the fleet.

Having played many, MANY 4x and other space-strategy games I can say with absolutely confidence that this is absolutely unique feature to Steve Walmsley's Aurora. In any other 4x game, for example; Sword of the Stars: There's absolutely nothing and I do mean NOTHING to prevent the invading force to just sit back and bombard the planet from safe distance until any and all resistance has been eradicated. Same goes for the rest, not for Aurora.

I understand the reasons and I've read the proposed changes. It is my opinion that the PDC's are given reduced maximum armor options, since the weapons themselfs of course have to be on the surface of the planet or near it in order to use the weapons.
Creating special ground units to handle anti-orbital missions in my opinion is much more difficulty to balance and to keep as relevant unit far into a game's campaign.
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Offline Bremen

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #131 on: October 13, 2017, 11:32:55 AM »
I am strongly opposed to removing PDC's, they need a overhaul yes but removing planetary defence installations that you can design yourself is wholly unnecessary. They present a challenge that gives a reason for players to have troop transports and carry out opposed landings to take out the defence installations to pave way for the fleet.

Having played many, MANY 4x and other space-strategy games I can say with absolutely confidence that this is absolutely unique feature to Steve Walmsley's Aurora. In any other 4x game, for example; Sword of the Stars: There's absolutely nothing and I do mean NOTHING to prevent the invading force to just sit back and bombard the planet from safe distance until any and all resistance has been eradicated. Same goes for the rest, not for Aurora.

I understand the reasons and I've read the proposed changes. It is my opinion that the PDC's are given reduced maximum armor options, since the weapons themselfs of course have to be on the surface of the planet or near it in order to use the weapons.
Creating special ground units to handle anti-orbital missions in my opinion is much more difficulty to balance and to keep as relevant unit far into a game's campaign.

Do people actually attempt to make troop landings in the face of hostile PDC fire? (In as much as one can plan such things, anyways, since AFAIK the AI doesn't use them) You'd be looking at hours to get in from outer missile range, all while the PDCs were firing with their double fire rate missiles. If I were planning an assault on a planet with PDCs, parts 1, 2, and 3 would be "reduce the PDCs to scrap by bombardment, ideally from outside their maximum missile range."

I get the opposite impression, myself; currently bombardment is the cheapest and easiest way to deal with a defended world, but removing obvious targets like PDCs and giving ground units anti-ship weapons will mean the best way to conquer a planet will be with other ground units. You could bombard them with ships, but since they'll be shooting back you'd probably take a lot of damage, whereas PDCs were much more vulnerable to bombardment. Sure they get 4 free layers of armor, but that isn't much against an entire fleet.
 

Offline Barkhorn

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #132 on: October 13, 2017, 12:02:36 PM »
Will units with ground-to-space capability be able to attack ground units on other bodies?  I'm thinking of units on a planet firing at units on a moon or visa versa.  Mars-Phobos is a particularly good example because Phobos is so low.
 

Offline swarm_sadist

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #133 on: October 13, 2017, 05:55:35 PM »
Some suggestions:
1.
Light Infantry 1 Slot
Medium Infantry 2 Slots
Heavy Infantry 3 Slots

So much 'heavier' troops may have more weapons, components or attachments. This can be applied to other units as well.

2.
Surface-to-Orbit units (STO) should require much more massive missile systems to leave larger planets (such as Earth). A small asteroid or moon (like Phobos, *nod to Barkhorn*) could have a very small and cheap missile system, and get away with it.

3.
Have Army and Corps formations which can hold much larger support formations, such as field hospitals, supply dumps, Field Bases, airfields, etc. On an enemy planet, having a Hospital Division or Supply Manufacturing Formation makes sense.

4. A logistics formation should deal out supplies from a pool, not cannibalize itself.

OR

A logistics formation slowly loses readiness but gives out supplies to other units. When it has access to a supply source (IE: a factory or supply dump), it recovers readiness on it's own. A logistics formation with 0% readiness is not destroyed.
 

Offline 83athom

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Re: Replacing PDCs
« Reply #134 on: October 13, 2017, 06:14:33 PM »
2.
Surface-to-Orbit units (STO) should require much more massive missile systems to leave larger planets (such as Earth). A small asteroid or moon (like Phobos, *nod to Barkhorn*) could have a very small and cheap missile system, and get away with it.
As I've mentioned before, anti-starship weaponry for infantry doesn't just include missiles but lasers and railguns as well. It could very well be a mobile tripod mounted weaponry that 2-5 soldiers lug around (possibly with something like a 4x4 jeep) and set up whenever they need to fire. Think something like this;
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/68/Hires_090509-A-4842R-001a.jpg
Heavier soldier types (Power armor, heavy power armor) could potentially mount one of those on its shoulder/back (like my earlier mention of the Dragoon from Ember Wars).

However, with TN technology, a missile actually doesn't need to be all that big if it is only going to be traveling from surface to orbit. It could then load up all of its available mass with a warhead as it doesn't need barely any fuel and even very low speeds is enough to reach orbit within a 5sec increment.

3.
Have Army and Corps formations which can hold much larger support formations, such as field hospitals, supply dumps, Field Bases, airfields, etc. On an enemy planet, having a Hospital Division or Supply Manufacturing Formation makes sense.
Like I said, this is the reason PDCs should stay for C# because they can fit these purposes very well.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 06:16:31 PM by 83athom »
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