Author Topic: Suggestion for introducing Asymmetrical warfare in Aurora  (Read 3241 times)

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Offline Jorgen_CAB (OP)

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Suggestion for introducing Asymmetrical warfare in Aurora
« on: February 05, 2020, 04:28:50 AM »
Now this is not a suggestion for changing anything to the current release as it obviously would be too extensive, instead it is a suggestion for some future major change as it would be a MAJOR change.

I have pondered often about what could make the game even more tactical/strategic and this would be to widen the field in terms of ship engagements and strategic manoeuvrability when engaging an enemy and conducting more of an asymmetrical warfare.

Now, my suggestion as a thought experiment would be to change a bit how ships can jump between systems.

We would still search and use jump point pretty much in the same way as we currently do and utilise the jump points in exactly the same way. In addition to this military jump drives get a secondary way to jump between the stars.

If we look at the old hyperdrive mechanic we could activate a hyperdrive when ships was outside a certain distance from its star, now we could use the same method but instead of using hyperdrive we could actually make a jump to ANY system that has a jump point in this system. As long as the jump ship is placed outside the perimeter it can choose to jump to any of those systems using a military jump drive only, the downside is that the squadron jump would take the ship to a random position that lies outside the hyperdrive limit in the opposing star. Even if you jumped two squadrons at the same time from the same position they would both end up in a random position at the opposing star.

Making such a jump should obviously be allot more difficult and dangerous so the initial jump might require the ship to do some pretty hard pre jump calculations of 20-30 minutes or so and the ships would be sensor blind for allot longer after the jump to, perhaps 10 times longer if not more.

In any way... I know that Steve have pondered similar changes before and if anything like this was considered it obviously would be a huge change.

My reasoning for such a change would simply be to open up the field for alternate strategies of more asymmetrical warfare. Being able to bypass enemy systems and strike deep could force some interesting new choices.

You obviously would still need to know the jump points origins in order to make these jumps... you might also force such jumps to consume some amount of fuel so ships can't jump around unlimited distances this way or some other restrictions how these jumps can be performed. A ship might only be able to make a limited such jump before it need to resupply the ship. So each jump would actually consume supplies as certain parts of the ship are consumed permanently while performing such jumps. Or simply make it so that they have a limited number of jumps before they need to go back to a space port for maintenance or something.. just some limitation on them... something that could be extended with technology perhaps.

But it would now be fully possible to conduct covert operation, surprise strikes and use submarine like warfare against civilian traffic.

It would also help defenders as well as they could more easily respond to an enemy from a far greater distance allot quicker, so it would not only be a tool for the attacker.

Jumping in a large fleet this way also might be a huge risk as the fleet will be scattered all over the place and would need to resemble. While doing so a defender might be able to notice them and react and pick the fleet apart piece by piece.

This system could also be used as a means of escaping... as long as a ship operates close to the hyperlane border they have a decent chance of escaping if the need arises.

Perhaps we could have a discussion on the pros and cons of such a change.. would it add to the game or not... what would the pitfalls be and how would it otherwise impact the game. What type of restrictions should be implemented for it to be a balanced feature and so on.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 04:17:43 PM by Jorgen_CAB »
 
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Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Suggestion for Jump Engine changes
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2020, 05:00:59 AM »
Brainstorming some additional restrictions that could make sense for me:

- Squadron jumps are not allowed at all for this new method of travel. This means you either must design a jump capable massive Carrier ( Which makes detection on arrival likely but keeps the force together ) or have smaller independently acting ships where all of them have jump drives ( acting more like stealthy submarines/scouts that act independently )
- You require some sort of special jump drive design to pull it off which is getting prohibitively expensive for larger ships.
- You end up so far from the target system that it doing it with major forces would risk them being too far away to turn around if a threat materializes on another front.


Another question I feel is very important to ask here is, if submarine type strategic warfare options were to be added, would it actually be fun or just tedious?
Ordering around 100+ smaller raiding ships independently could very well prove to be just as frustrating as trying ( and failing ) to defend your long lines of spread out civilian traffic would be...

If you want to make this work and be fun I feel the biggest challenge might actually be how to automate raiding and convoy sailing + escorting & reaction forces so it does not become tedious, and still remains plausible and meaningful gameplay wise. Even more so when it comes to having AI opponents both conduct raiding and defend against it in an "acceptably intelligent way", which I feel would NOT be an easy task to accomplish..

I certainly love the Idea but I'm still not sure it would be a good idea due to the above reasons.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB (OP)

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Re: Suggestion for Jump Engine changes
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2020, 06:22:40 AM »
Brainstorming some additional restrictions that could make sense for me:

- Squadron jumps are not allowed at all for this new method of travel. This means you either must design a jump capable massive Carrier ( Which makes detection on arrival likely but keeps the force together ) or have smaller independently acting ships where all of them have jump drives ( acting more like stealthy submarines/scouts that act independently )
- You require some sort of special jump drive design to pull it off which is getting prohibitively expensive for larger ships.
- You end up so far from the target system that it doing it with major forces would risk them being too far away to turn around if a threat materializes on another front.


Another question I feel is very important to ask here is, if submarine type strategic warfare options were to be added, would it actually be fun or just tedious?
Ordering around 100+ smaller raiding ships independently could very well prove to be just as frustrating as trying ( and failing ) to defend your long lines of spread out civilian traffic would be...

If you want to make this work and be fun I feel the biggest challenge might actually be how to automate raiding and convoy sailing + escorting & reaction forces so it does not become tedious, and still remains plausible and meaningful gameplay wise. Even more so when it comes to having AI opponents both conduct raiding and defend against it in an "acceptably intelligent way", which I feel would NOT be an easy task to accomplish..

I certainly love the Idea but I'm still not sure it would be a good idea due to the above reasons.

Yes... I think that you should ask if it would make sense to have the need to defend and move more small taskforces around to protect them.

The answer to that probably is a bit more difficult but I could see several things to help with this.

There could be a pool of escort ships that you can give to the civilian AI to use as convoy escort ships that patrol together with the civilian ships in systems you have designated to be patrolled. Civilian ships in such system must follow in strict convoy formations and not move individually around.

You could get better automated patrol orders where you assign way-points in space and the ships will randomly patrol within them until you disrupt them.

It would obviously be more important to build a network of spy satellites and spread out listening posts as a means to detect enemy raiders.

I have played quite a bit of multi-faction campaigns where it was quite common for factions to have bases and colonies in the same systems. I did not find it to be too tedious for those factions to employ similar actions there as I think would be more common with something like this possible.

I do think it should be possible to even program the AI with a decent raider routine.

Beam weapons would also be the preferred weapons of choice to go after civilian targets you would not need a huge amount of raiders to disrupt civilian trade.

Only allowing ships to self jump would be one good way to restrict this method of travelling.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 06:25:21 AM by Jorgen_CAB »
 

Offline Zincat

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Re: Suggestion for Jump Engine changes
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2020, 06:28:21 AM »
Honestly speaking, I'm not much of a fan of this idea. I'm a very defensive and cautious person and a lot of my early game efforts in Aurora are in estabilishing a strong defensive "border", as to claim a certain number of systems as "mine". I often employ substantial jump point defensive fleets.

Unsurprisingly, I would not be a fan of any solution which weakens my ability to defend MY territory.

I suppose I would be ok with something like this, maybe not with this exact mechanism, IF it is strictly limited to "raiding". Basically, if it's strictly limited in size and number of ships. If it's something akin to a "submarine", so to speak. Send a limited amount of ships of limited size to harass civilians and maybe attack a few truly undefended locations, or to scout. That I could accept, I guess.

But I'm vehemently against anything that allows a main invasion fleet to just ignore my borders and get inside my territory. Even if they would get scattered, that's NOT enough, I'd really hate that. Sorry, just the way I play and roleplay my games.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB (OP)

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Re: Suggestion for Jump Engine changes
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2020, 06:38:33 AM »
Honestly speaking, I'm not much of a fan of this idea. I'm a very defensive and cautious person and a lot of my early game efforts in Aurora are in estabilishing a strong defensive "border", as to claim a certain number of systems as "mine". I often employ substantial jump point defensive fleets.

Unsurprisingly, I would not be a fan of any solution which weakens my ability to defend MY territory.

I suppose I would be ok with something like this, maybe not with this exact mechanism, IF it is strictly limited to "raiding". Basically, if it's strictly limited in size and number of ships. If it's something akin to a "submarine", so to speak. Send a limited amount of ships of limited size to harass civilians and maybe attack a few truly undefended locations, or to scout. That I could accept, I guess.

But I'm vehemently against anything that allows a main invasion fleet to just ignore my borders and get inside my territory. Even if they would get scattered, that's NOT enough, I'd really hate that. Sorry, just the way I play and roleplay my games.

No... I agree that this was not really my intentions with this either... it was mainly meant to encourage more asymmetric warfare, scouting and spy operations.

If we only allowed special types of military jump drives to do it... and only self jumps. These drives could be slightly smaller than a normal jump drive but still only allow the ships itself. The drive should also only allow a limited amount of such jump before you need to go back to port.

Equip and jumping in an entire fleet would not be impossible but highly impractical as it would then be scattered all over an entire solar system and you would need to equip every ship with such a drive. The possibility might scare you, but the likelihood of anyone doing it would be rather slim. Rest assured AI NPR would never do it.

You could on the other hand see small task forces of special ops jumping into enemy system to deploy small marine forces on enemy bases or raiders going after civilian targets and things like that.

An attack of a system would generally start by scouts, raiders and special ops being sent in to harass before the main fleet arrive though the JP.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 06:42:31 AM by Jorgen_CAB »
 

Offline Zincat

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Re: Suggestion for Jump Engine changes
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2020, 07:10:42 AM »
Let me expand a bit more as I just found out I have some free time during lunch break  ;D.

The main point for me is the "functionality" of this. I like, generally speaking, the idea of a strongly defined "national border". Systems that are claimed and owned by national powers. Of course, not all systems would have the same degree of "ownership", so to speak, with outlying systems being sort of contested, while strongly inhabited and "central" systems being seen more owned.

As said, I usually spend a rather decent effort in building blockade fleets to picket jump points which lead to the "outside", and especially to other races territories.
The main point is defending what is my "territory" against possible invasions. Of course I also rely on orbital bases and local defenses for important planets or installations, but generally I try to block invasions at my border.

Generally speaking, I would not be against the possibility for enemy powers to operate some "raiding" or "covert scouting" in my territories, and I would certainly not dislike being able to do so, IF that is all it is. As said in my previous posts, if an enemy fleet can just bypass my blockades and stage a serious deep strike against me, then what is even the point of owning territory? Your only viable way of playing becomes slapping strong and numerous orbital bases over any single planet you own, as you cannot defend anything any other way.

I feel that scattering, long jump time and long sensor blind time are simply not enough of a deterrent. Just point your mega fleet to a system, jump, and even if you are scattered you can regroup. Maybe form a few strike groups with the scattered ships and then regroup. Even if you lose a couple who cares, you can inflict massive damage.

Do consider the possibility that a very favourable scatter can results in your ships "randomly" ending close or in a favorable position for strikes against critical targets. In a situation like this, the ONLY possible defense is in having very strong fleets or defenses over anything that is even remotely of value. For example, an enemy battleship might be scattered close to a large civilian mining complex over a comet. Or to a fuel harvester operation on the last planet of the system. Ooops, my economy is severely damaged just because of a random dice roll.

This problem is further accentuated in very large systems. Systems with planets 10+billions km from the star are not rare. In this situation, travel times are very long so scattered ships have a much better chance of survival and regrouping. In fact, it's very likely that most of the "scattered" fleet will be out of sensor range, thus being invisible, and you can regroup at your leisure and then strike with your whole fleet. Keep in mind that sensor changes in c# aurora have reduced the range of detection anyway.

I feel that the only way this could sensibly work is if ships that can make this type of jump are either very costly or severely limited in size/power, or both. Only this way the game balance could conceivably work, as these ships become "elite", costly vessels you make for specific purposes.

Maybe this jump system could be very costly and take a large part of the ship, or very costly and be rather limited in HS size. With of course a tech line to increase that limit, but still never allowing these ships to reach the caliber of normal ships. So you're free to build a few "corsair" raiders, or covert espionage ships, but not just build 100 cheap vessels, point them at an enemy system and wreck their economy.
It is very easy to build a cheap, fast to produce ship capable of killing civilian targets. One large laser, one reactor, one engine, one small fire control, one small sensor, a jump system. No defenses, ultra expendable Cheap, small, fast to produce. And deadly with this type of jump without serious limitations.



« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 07:15:57 AM by Zincat »
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB (OP)

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Re: Suggestion for Jump Engine changes
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2020, 08:42:30 AM »
I do understand this "fear"... but my intention would mainly be raiding and scouting but I would not exclude it as a strike capability either just because... I think that would be too limiting and I don't think it would work effective if it was not at least a possibility given enough resources put into it.

But in general the downside of the force being scattered and the additional cost would be hugely prohibitive to use it as such unless you have such vast superiority in industrial power that it is of not consequence, but then no amount of JP defence would work anyway as you could just use that might to smash right through that anyway.

It would obviously be a question of balance.

I also think that the NPR would probably only be programmed to use raiding, scouting and possibly covert ops, small strike kind of missions anyway. The kind of strike with a whole fleet would be a human player only thing. In SP you could just decide that no one would ever consider such a tactic and simply not do it.

If you are mainly playing against the AI you would never have to fear any such type of attack no matter how the mechanic would work as the AI would not be programmed for it.

On the other hand it would give people that DO like to have the opportunity to play with the notion of deep strike with a larger fleet and could potentially do so, given enough resources invested into it.

The game is after all a relatively open sandbox which is very useful for role-play.
 

Offline Alsadius

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Re: Suggestion for Jump Engine changes
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2020, 08:51:17 AM »
Jumping to any system wouldn't be used nearly so much for raiding as it'd be used for strategic mobility for the defenders, I'd wager. At this point, I don't even need bases or borders - just sensors, and a big fleet to mousetrap anyone who attacks.

If you want this, I'd be more inclined to add the ability for ships that self-jump to get much wider radii around the jump point. Load up a ship with cloaking devices, and use it as an "attack submarine".

Offline Father Tim

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Re: Suggestion for Jump Engine changes
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2020, 09:14:20 AM »
Jumping to any system wouldn't be used nearly so much for raiding as it'd be used for strategic mobility for the defenders, I'd wager.

I expect it would be used almost entirely for ships that are faster with longer-ranged weapons than the opponent, thus removing the only time such ships are forced to battle face-to-face.


- - - - -


The goal of 'more commerce raiding/protection' is laudable and definitely something Aurora should be pursuing.  I don't think this is the way to achieve it, though.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB (OP)

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Re: Suggestion for Jump Engine changes
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2020, 09:38:20 AM »
Jumping to any system wouldn't be used nearly so much for raiding as it'd be used for strategic mobility for the defenders, I'd wager. At this point, I don't even need bases or borders - just sensors, and a big fleet to mousetrap anyone who attacks.

If you want this, I'd be more inclined to add the ability for ships that self-jump to get much wider radii around the jump point. Load up a ship with cloaking devices, and use it as an "attack submarine".

You would not be able to jump to ANY system... only to the same systems that you have JP in that system.

 

Offline Jorgen_CAB (OP)

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Re: Suggestion for Jump Engine changes
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2020, 09:44:33 AM »
Jumping to any system wouldn't be used nearly so much for raiding as it'd be used for strategic mobility for the defenders, I'd wager.

I expect it would be used almost entirely for ships that are faster with longer-ranged weapons than the opponent, thus removing the only time such ships are forced to battle face-to-face.


- - - - -


The goal of 'more commerce raiding/protection' is laudable and definitely something Aurora should be pursuing.  I don't think this is the way to achieve it, though.

I actually think it would be able to do that quite well. If you jump a few beam ships into a system that is basically what raiders is all about... they probably would be relatively fast vessels as speed would be one of their way to stay secure. These ships would be very inefficient as general combat ships, resource wise.

Building an entire fleet of them would be so expensive that building a JP assault fleet would make much more sense.

It obviously would be a balance issue and it would be up to the player how to exploit it in their campaign.
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: Suggestion for Jump Engine changes
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2020, 10:58:51 AM »
I actually think it would be able to do that quite well. If you jump a few beam ships into a system that is basically what raiders is all about... they probably would be relatively fast vessels as speed would be one of their way to stay secure. These ships would be very inefficient as general combat ships, resource wise.

Building an entire fleet of them would be so expensive that building a JP assault fleet would make much more sense.

It obviously would be a balance issue and it would be up to the player how to exploit it in their campaign.

This is, in fact, how I do 'commerce raiding' now. . . I just do it through the regular jump point.  VB Aurora is not great at continually defending (as opposed to picketing) a jump pont to 'enemy' space, so when I throw a couple dozen raiders through at least half of them survive to hide deep out-system.  Most times all but one or two of them survive.
 

Offline Alsadius

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Re: Suggestion for Jump Engine changes
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2020, 12:14:06 PM »
Jumping to any system wouldn't be used nearly so much for raiding as it'd be used for strategic mobility for the defenders, I'd wager. At this point, I don't even need bases or borders - just sensors, and a big fleet to mousetrap anyone who attacks.

If you want this, I'd be more inclined to add the ability for ships that self-jump to get much wider radii around the jump point. Load up a ship with cloaking devices, and use it as an "attack submarine".

You would not be able to jump to ANY system... only to the same systems that you have JP in that system.

Okay, but it still saves you the time spent crossing the system. So instead of jumping, flying a week(or whatever) to the next JP, and jumping again, you could just jump, wait out a ten-minute timer, and jump again. You wouldn't even burn fuel. And I don't care about being scattered across the system if I'm just jumping to the next one from where I stand, so my fleet could be anywhere in my empire within a few hours. Scattered or otherwise, that's a big win.

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Suggestion for Jump Engine changes
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2020, 12:14:32 PM »
Yeah so I'm not a fan of this idea at all. I hated how in Starfire closed war points became ubiqutious once the "galaxy" grew to a certain size so you would routinely have enemy ships popping up in your core systems - and due to travel times, it was impossible to be strong everywhere to a point that you would lose multiple colonies/systems. The problem isn't quite as nasty in Aurora as the galaxy is so much bigger - at least if you're using Real Stars or use the default 1000 stars at game start.

This proposal would make it worse. All the limitations & restrictions you guys talked about are not actually reducing the impact as far as I can see - because once an empire is bigger than twenty colonized systems, it starts getting really expensive to keep each system well defended against real enemies as well as making it take a long time for any reaction fleets to move around as necessary.

Now, I'm all for getting my hand burned when I overextend. I'm not so keen on having a research colony wiped out because the one FlaK-Barge handling the system PPV requirement couldn't stop every planet buster launched from a single ship - because you know that with suitably high tech, a relatively small ship with box launchers can carry a heavy load of really dangerous missiles.

So, not only would every system need surveillance & tracking resources in the form of planetary tracking stations (of which you now need lot more in C# than before due to the new sensor model), but you also need STO and PD ground units to protect every colony that you don't want wiped out, plus you need active sensors so either a sensor ship or sensor satellite (because the old technique of having a cheap PDC that only had a size-50 AS on it is now gone), plus you would need system patrol ships touring the "hyper drive limit" to get some early warning because there's no way you can sensors in the inner system big enough to also keep an eye on the outer system, and then you would need an actual Combat Fleet that can reliably deal with any sort of raiders that the enemy might send out to you. And unless you're really lucky with planets and JP locations, you need that Combat Fleet in EVERY inhabited system, because it'll probably take too long for them to arrive otherwise.

Again, I'm 100% fine for doing that for every front line system. I'm also fine with maintaining that sort of presence at the home world system. But to do it for every system? No thank you.

Also a reminder and to echo what alex_brunius said: the submarine warfare aspect has been the worst thing in each Hearts of Iron game.  It was also the worst thing in both the Pacific War and the War in the Pacific games.
 
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Offline Bughunter

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Re: Suggestion for Jump Engine changes
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2020, 01:27:04 PM »
Do we really want this rapid movement of fleets? I'm not sure it would be an advantage to the defender. As long as you have knowledge of the jump points you could just as well use it to move your attacking fleet through enemy space.

And if ships need a special expensive jump drive it would limit your defensive fleet as much as the attackers.

While I like the idea of jumping further from the jump points a change like this will change a lot more than just raiding.
 
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