Author Topic: How big an Army do you need?  (Read 2376 times)

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Offline Polestar

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2020, 05:47:31 AM »
I've had a fair amount of experience with conquering planets, including one defended by an army roughly 2 million in size on a forested rift valley world too cold for my species to live on, so I'll chime in with a few thoughts.

The size of the army you need depends most crucially on relative technology level. From fighting enemy ships, and possibly from a raid or two on an outpost or minor world, you should be able to make a decent guess about how this stacks up against your own. I'll throw out some estimates based on the assumption of equal tech, but having better armour than the enemy has guns will improve the situation drastically.

The second most important factor is planetary environment. You must always plan around this, because the size and composition of the hammer you need to wield will depend importantly on, for example, whether the temperature is too hot or cold for your species, or the presence of jungles or mountains.

Now, let's get to some estimates.
You see 10k enemy ground force signal on a flat, unforested world with a temperate climate.  First, multiply this value by your best guess about fortification level. This will range from x2-3 for mechanized units to x6 for infantry or static with construction equipment. I usually use a multiplier of 4. So, guess 40k-worth of opposition.

Now, multiply again by the greater difficulty of hitting fortified troops. We won't get into math better explained in a guide, so let's just multiply by 2 (same firepower, roughly 4x as hard to hit). So, a 10k signal means the equivalent of very roughly 80k in an even fight.

If you drop an equal-tech army at least 2x that, then provided you have an effective unit mix and you include enough supplies, you can ordinarily expect to win comfortably. So, that's a call for 160k troops to defeat a 10k enemy ground troop signal.

Now, consider a planet with unfavorable environmental conditions. It might be too cold or hot. It might have rift valleys or mountains. It might be covered in jungles or deserts, have low gravity, or even have a Venusian atmosphere. I use the following multipliers; other players will use somewhat different ones.
Too cold or hot: 1.5x, unless your units have the Extreme Climate capability. This condition is quite common - watch out for it.
Forested: 1.25x, and bring 1.5x-2x supplies.
Jungle: 1.33x, and bring 2-3x more supplies. If your army has jungle training, then the modifier drops to not much more than 1x, because enemy non-infantry units are much less effective here.
Mountain: 1.5x, and bring 1.5-2x more supplies. If your army has mountain training, then the modifier drops to 1x or a bit more.
Rift Valley: 1.25x, and bring 1.5x supplies. Same comments as with jungles and mountains on the great advantage of well-trained infantry.
Dense atmosphere: 1.5x, unless your units have the Extreme Pressure capability.


Finally, let's talk about tech. By the time I get around to invading other races, my tech tends to be quite a bit higher than theirs. For every tech level you have over the enemy, multiply the size of the army you need by (very roughly) two-thirds. This varies depending on how carefully you maximize your advantages in penetration, damage, armor, and hitpoints over the enemy.

That two million-size army I mentioned earlier? Using an only partially optimized force, I took it down pretty comfortably with a total drop of about the same size (including all supplies), because I had at least a three tech level advantage over the defenders.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2020, 06:03:20 AM by Polestar »
 
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Offline vorpal+5

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2020, 07:47:06 AM »
Would you like to post some of the OOB with tips or quirks you found?
 

Offline Vastrat

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2020, 04:36:29 PM »
An Example OOB would go be very welcome. Also how much supply would you need for the invasion? Thanks.
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2020, 09:07:07 PM »
"How big an Army do you need?"

A few thousand INF-PWL on each colony for unrest suppression, and an invasion force at least thirty (30) times the size of the defenders to conquer a planet.
 

Offline ydirbut

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2020, 09:30:41 PM »
Apparently, fortified troops are obfuscated on your sensor readings.  So if it says there are 10,000 tons on a planet there are probably more than that. 

As for NPRs, I just invaded a (forested mountainous) NPR homeworld that had a 120,000 ton (sensor reading) ground force defending it.  I had a pretty significant tech edge (Heavy Power Armor against infantry and tanks with some PA) and I invaded with about 500,000 tons of combat troops (in two waves) with probably 250,000 tons of extra logistics troops. 

Honestly, running out of supplies was a huge issue for me because of how long the combat lasted.  I would heavily recommend using logistic vehicles instead of infantry just to make the micro easier on you.  I tried orbital bombardment with my gauss/missile fleet, but honestly I found it really ineffective and I wouldn't recommend building any FFD at all (I think it would be more effective with a laser fleet but I don't know).  Also, the combat lasted so long that it destroyed literally every building on the planet, so I guess maybe I should have destroyed it from orbit.

I used some super-heavy tanks against the NPRs and it seemed very difficult for the NPRs to damage them.  A cheesy tactic might be to drop a bunch of heavily armored tanks in your first wave and have them waste all of their supplies on them. 
 

Offline the obelisk

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2020, 03:43:53 PM »
On the subject of ground combat against precursors, do they use aircraft?  Also, how might I go about dealing with their STO weapons?  Should I just shoot from orbit until I've gotten them, and write off the ruined installations?  Drop in a vanguard and hope they kill the weapons before I bring in the main force?
 

Offline DFNewb

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2020, 04:30:30 PM »
Question for ground combat veterans:

When you land your troops, are they on defensive front by default? Will they not attack unless fired at in this stance? Does the NPR attack your landed units first?

I am wondering if you could land troops on a planet over a longer period of time and just defend until they are all there.
 

Offline Droll

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2020, 11:57:10 AM »
Question for ground combat veterans:

When you land your troops, are they on defensive front by default? Will they not attack unless fired at in this stance? Does the NPR attack your landed units first?

I am wondering if you could land troops on a planet over a longer period of time and just defend until they are all there.

From what I understand defending troops will fire at units that are on attack mode and will not make pushes of their own - this is useful because units on the attack wont the fortified and allows you to start defensively while you establish your own foothold.

Attacking troops will pick a target and attack, attracting reaction fire from any defending formations.

Another thing I noticed is that the NPR ground forces are much more aggressive during the initial stages of your landing, this is mostly because your troops have not fortified yet. Once your construction vehicles have dug your guys in you might expect defending NPRs to back down on their aggression and start digging in themselves.
 
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Offline liveware

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2020, 07:21:46 PM »
Apparently, fortified troops are obfuscated on your sensor readings.  So if it says there are 10,000 tons on a planet there are probably more than that. 

As for NPRs, I just invaded a (forested mountainous) NPR homeworld that had a 120,000 ton (sensor reading) ground force defending it.  I had a pretty significant tech edge (Heavy Power Armor against infantry and tanks with some PA) and I invaded with about 500,000 tons of combat troops (in two waves) with probably 250,000 tons of extra logistics troops. 

Honestly, running out of supplies was a huge issue for me because of how long the combat lasted.  I would heavily recommend using logistic vehicles instead of infantry just to make the micro easier on you.  I tried orbital bombardment with my gauss/missile fleet, but honestly I found it really ineffective and I wouldn't recommend building any FFD at all (I think it would be more effective with a laser fleet but I don't know).  Also, the combat lasted so long that it destroyed literally every building on the planet, so I guess maybe I should have destroyed it from orbit.

I used some super-heavy tanks against the NPRs and it seemed very difficult for the NPRs to damage them.  A cheesy tactic might be to drop a bunch of heavily armored tanks in your first wave and have them waste all of their supplies on them.

I had exactly the opposite experience with regards to logistics units. I invaded a much smaller world mind you, approximately 15k tons of hostile troops against my 18k tons. But of my 18k tons of ground troops, I had approximately 4k tons of logistics troops. So our overall formation compositions are comparable. I found that I had WAAAAAAY too many logistical units.

My formations were primarily infantry (with heavy power armor) and a single platoon of light CAP vehicles. So possibly heavier vehicles are more GSP intensive than infantry?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 07:23:27 PM by liveware »
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Offline Droll

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2020, 07:29:17 PM »
Apparently, fortified troops are obfuscated on your sensor readings.  So if it says there are 10,000 tons on a planet there are probably more than that. 

As for NPRs, I just invaded a (forested mountainous) NPR homeworld that had a 120,000 ton (sensor reading) ground force defending it.  I had a pretty significant tech edge (Heavy Power Armor against infantry and tanks with some PA) and I invaded with about 500,000 tons of combat troops (in two waves) with probably 250,000 tons of extra logistics troops. 

Honestly, running out of supplies was a huge issue for me because of how long the combat lasted.  I would heavily recommend using logistic vehicles instead of infantry just to make the micro easier on you.  I tried orbital bombardment with my gauss/missile fleet, but honestly I found it really ineffective and I wouldn't recommend building any FFD at all (I think it would be more effective with a laser fleet but I don't know).  Also, the combat lasted so long that it destroyed literally every building on the planet, so I guess maybe I should have destroyed it from orbit.

I used some super-heavy tanks against the NPRs and it seemed very difficult for the NPRs to damage them.  A cheesy tactic might be to drop a bunch of heavily armored tanks in your first wave and have them waste all of their supplies on them.

I had exactly the opposite experience with regards to logistics units. I invaded a much smaller world mind you, approximately 15k tons of hostile troops against my 18k tons. But of my 18k tons of ground troops, I had approximately 4k tons of logistics troops. So our overall formation compositions are comparable. I found that I had WAAAAAAY too many logistical units.

My formations were primarily infantry (with heavy power armor) and a single platoon of light CAP vehicles. So possibly heavier vehicles are more GSP intensive than infantry?

Troop composition is key to supply consumption - I need absolute shedloads of supply because I love to have heavy artillery support on the ground. Generally speaking, the higher the per-shot damage of its weapons, the less supply efficient a unit is and will eat through your trucks.
As you stated, since your infantry do no have massive weapons they tend to eat up less supply on a per-ton basis, hence you didn't need as many trucks.

Its probably a good idea to have some less armored fast transports explicitly made to ferry logistics formations into combat zones. You can't really predict how long a fight is going to last so you need a way to bring more if needed.
 

Offline Droll

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2020, 07:31:35 PM »
1 FFD = 1orbital ship bombardment OR 6 Bombardment Pods

Not 6 Bombardment/autocannon pods, its 6 fighters per FFD
 

Offline liveware

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2020, 08:11:32 PM »
I tend to go with more of an infantry/artillery approach to my main army composition, with some armor added in for exploitation of breakthroughs. The artillery is definitely the most GSP intensive portion of my ground formations.
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Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2020, 07:44:52 AM »
My general advise is to always bring twice the number of troops you think is necessary if you are able to do so. The more troops you bring the faster you end the battle and the less troops you loose in the process.

I do think it is important, as pointed to a few times in this thread, to understand that the amount of troops on any body does not really mean that is the amount of troops there really is. So you need to multiply the amount with at least 4 and then even more depending on the terrain and conditions of the world. If you don't that is when you get surprised.

If you want to invade some really big colonies you probably will need millions of troops deployed, while smaller outposts then half a million might suffice.

Obviously Vehicles are really effective per tonnage that you bring for assaulting any enemy, especially NPR... might not work really well in a campaign where a human selected the defences though.
 

Offline liveware

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2020, 02:09:56 PM »
That would not be very realistic if the "main lines" units in the army had to be tailored to be either offensive or defensive. That would be as if you had only stosstruppen (or stormtroopers for a star wars reference) and static/fortress garrison. I hope that' s not the case!

From my understanding of the game mechanics, the game allows for several different situations where the concept of 'ground units' is applicable. Some examples:

1. Planetary defense against hostile ground forces. Here you probably want a mix of infantry, vehicles, and artillery set to different field positions, probably in some sort of mutually supporting roles.

2. Planetary garrison forces. These forces exist only to reduce unrest, and generally don't require the heavy weapons or artillery that planetary defence forces would carry.

3. Planetary invasion of hostile colonies. Here you probably want a mix of infantry, armor, and artillery, similar to planetary defensive forces. However you probably want more armor with your invasion forces than your defensive forces since your invasion forces will almost always be in a front line attack field position.

4. Ship boarding combat. Here you are restricted to infantry and will probably want to optimize your own boarding parties with an abundance of anti-personel weapons and forgoe any artillery, anti tank, or supply units.

To summarize, I can see arguments for custom designing ground troops based on their intended role. In fact, I do exactly that in my games.
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Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: How big an Army do you need?
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2020, 03:57:00 PM »
That would not be very realistic if the "main lines" units in the army had to be tailored to be either offensive or defensive. That would be as if you had only stosstruppen (or stormtroopers for a star wars reference) and static/fortress garrison. I hope that' s not the case!

From my understanding of the game mechanics, the game allows for several different situations where the concept of 'ground units' is applicable. Some examples:

1. Planetary defense against hostile ground forces. Here you probably want a mix of infantry, vehicles, and artillery set to different field positions, probably in some sort of mutually supporting roles.

2. Planetary garrison forces. These forces exist only to reduce unrest, and generally don't require the heavy weapons or artillery that planetary defence forces would carry.

3. Planetary invasion of hostile colonies. Here you probably want a mix of infantry, armor, and artillery, similar to planetary defensive forces. However you probably want more armor with your invasion forces than your defensive forces since your invasion forces will almost always be in a front line attack field position.

4. Ship boarding combat. Here you are restricted to infantry and will probably want to optimize your own boarding parties with an abundance of anti-personel weapons and forgoe any artillery, anti tank, or supply units.

To summarize, I can see arguments for custom designing ground troops based on their intended role. In fact, I do exactly that in my games.

Yes... i think this is pretty accurate.

If you want to defend a planet from invasion there probably are a few things you want to consider. Are their role to just delay the enemy or are the forces suppose to be able to actually defeat an invasion on its own unless it is really dedicated.

Most colonial forces probably are in the category of being large and difficult enough to eliminate so reinforcements can arrive and chase of the invading forces. In this case you just want as much cheap infantry as you can get on the planet. Doing actual damage to the enemy is not even considered in that case. You might have some artillery or static anti-tank or anti-infantry but in general as much light infantry as possible to extend the time necessary for an enemy to take over the planet. These troops also would be trained to operate on that planets specific conditions as well.

A colony with a large population and industry probably are too important to leave just a token force and might actually hold both offensive and defensive forces as it might be a place to recruit new forces. This probably is wise as loosing such a world from a random invasion would be a disaster.

When it comes to invading forces you probably want to make them as heavy as possible so you can fit as much high grade troops unto a limited drop capable space as possible. Defensive armies don't care about the size of the army as you can bring forces there over a very long period of time so a single troop ships could bring millions of ton there with no problem if needed. When you attack something you want to pack as much protected firepower into as small a size as possible as drop capable troops ships are relatively expensive. A high quality drop capable Assault Carrier with a capacity of 100.000t might cost as much as 10.000BP depending an engines, armour and other defences you prioritise. If you want to invade something well defended you might need millions of tons of troops and that is quite the investment in both troop cost and ship cost. This means the ships you carry the troops in is almost as expensive as the same tonnage of only heavy tanks you could carry inside it. Although , once a ship is built it can be used for a very long time and it does not cost you any maintenance (I think all government owned ships should have the same maintenance cost as troops does).
 

 

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