Author Topic: Static vs Mobile Ground Units  (Read 1156 times)

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Offline liveware (OP)

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Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« on: June 27, 2020, 12:05:16 PM »
I have been theorycrafting a new ground combat army configuration. In doing so, I developed the following two units:

Code: [Select]
Light Armored Personnel Carrier
Transport Size (tons) 24     Cost 1.2     Armour 2     Hit Points 3
Annual Maintenance Cost 0.15     Resupply Cost 6
Crew-Served Anti-Personnel:      Shots 6      Penetration 5      Damage 5

Desert Warfare

Vendarite  0.96   
Development Cost  60

Code: [Select]
Machine Gun Nest
Transport Size (tons) 24     Cost 1.2     Armour 2     Hit Points 3
Annual Maintenance Cost 0.15     Resupply Cost 6
Crew-Served Anti-Personnel:      Shots 6      Penetration 5      Damage 5

Desert Warfare

Vendarite  0.96   
Development Cost  60

The first is a light vehicle and the second is a static unit. Is there any advantage to using the static unit instead of the light vehicle? They both appear to have identical performance parameters.

For RP purposes static units appeal to me, but from strictly performance-based point of view I would expect that the light vehicle would always be superior unless the static unit gets a fortification bonus (or something like that).

It seems that, according to the wiki article at least, static ground units are strictly worse than mobile ground units as they have increased chance to be hit by hostile fire during combat:

http://aurorawiki.pentarch.org/index.php?title=C-Ground_Units
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 12:17:07 PM by liveware »
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Offline Droll

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Re: Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2020, 12:28:59 PM »
The static unit has no evasion which means the enemy will hit it with more ease, in contrast light vehicles have 0.4 hit chance which means that they are the hardest unit type to hit (infantry has 0.6). Static units will also not have any breakthroughs.

However, defensively static units can fortify to the same level that infantry can which means that the evasion advantage of the light vehicle gets is overshadowed by the fortification of statics.
 

Offline liveware (OP)

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Re: Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2020, 12:43:24 PM »
Ah, perfect. So there is a fortification advantage for static units. That will synergize nicely with my plan to use construction units only with larger formation templates.
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Offline SevenOfCarina

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Re: Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2020, 12:56:17 PM »
The static unit has no evasion which means the enemy will hit it with more ease, in contrast light vehicles have 0.4 hit chance which means that they are the hardest unit type to hit (infantry has 0.6). Static units will also not have any breakthroughs.

However, defensively static units can fortify to the same level that infantry can which means that the evasion advantage of the light vehicle gets is overshadowed by the fortification of statics.

I understand that fortification and evasion stack, so this is not actually true. Statics at fortification six have a (1 x 1/6 = 16.67%) chance of getting hit, while light vehicles at fortification three have a (0.4 x 1/3 = 13.33%) chance of getting hit. It gets worse if you only allow self-fortification. (33.33% versus 20%)

Static units are strictly inferior to light vehicles with the same armour - their relative cheapness is where they shine.
 

Offline liveware (OP)

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Re: Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2020, 01:54:44 PM »
In the case of the unit designs I posted originally, they have identical cost, so statics are not always more cost effective than light vehicles it seems.
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Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2020, 04:17:56 PM »
The static unit has no evasion which means the enemy will hit it with more ease, in contrast light vehicles have 0.4 hit chance which means that they are the hardest unit type to hit (infantry has 0.6). Static units will also not have any breakthroughs.

However, defensively static units can fortify to the same level that infantry can which means that the evasion advantage of the light vehicle gets is overshadowed by the fortification of statics.

I understand that fortification and evasion stack, so this is not actually true. Statics at fortification six have a (1 x 1/6 = 16.67%) chance of getting hit, while light vehicles at fortification three have a (0.4 x 1/3 = 13.33%) chance of getting hit. It gets worse if you only allow self-fortification. (33.33% versus 20%)

Static units are strictly inferior to light vehicles with the same armour - their relative cheapness is where they shine.

The evasion stat is only used when units are on the attacking line while the fortification stats is used in all the other positions in terms of how hard a unit is at hitting. As soon as a unit starts fortifying it is no longer able to use its mobility and will for a time be easier to hit until the fortification level is higher. The To-Hit modifier only stack for terrain penalties.

From the ground combat rules by Steve...
Quote
To-Hit Modifier: Used to modify the chance of the unit being hit during combat (based on the mobility of the unit). This only applies if the unit is not fortified.
 

This actually mean that through self fortification a light vehicle will actually be easier to hit than if they are attacking the enemy as self fortification on light vehicle is only 2 and their evasion is 0.4... if there are no terrain bonuses as well that is.

Static units is straight up much better at defence as they can fortify up to 6 and light vehicle only to 3. Another benefit is also that Static can use heavier armour which make them allot less susceptible to light units and artillery if you know that is what you are likely to face allot of. They obviously will be more expensive but that can still be highly beneficial.

Light vehicles are still highly valuable as you can potentially use them to very good effect on offensive actions if or when you start to have a good chance of a break through. If you are on a defensible position I would generally allow my armoured forces to be attacking until I see them being able to generate breakthroughs on the enemy, then I would throw in my mechanised forces to provide an even more likely breakthrough chain and start overwhelming the opponent. This is a tactic for defensive armies that is. If you are attacking a colony I would just put all my mobile forces on attack and only formation with static units into defensive line to start fortifying.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 04:35:54 PM by Jorgen_CAB »
 
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Re: Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2020, 05:38:00 PM »
I do think the balance between static units and vehicles isn't great, but a defensive line with high fortification and preferably fortification-boosting terrain is the one context where statics stand a chance.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2020, 06:09:30 PM »
I do think the balance between static units and vehicles isn't great, but a defensive line with high fortification and preferably fortification-boosting terrain is the one context where statics stand a chance.

In what way is it not balanced?

Static benefits: High maximum fortification level at 6, potential for higher armour values which are great against light units and especially artillery.
Static drawbacks: Can't make any breakthroughs and only have a 1 evasion bonus so are very bad at attacking.

Light Vehicle benefits: High mobility and a 0.4 evasion bonus when not fortified.
Light Vehicle drawbacks: Low max fortification level at 3, strongly susceptible to enemy artillery (medium and heavy)

As long as you allow both units to fortify to max level then static units will win in every scenario if everything else is equal otherwise light vehicle wins... that seems fairly balanced in my book. They both serve an important function in an army.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 06:50:52 PM by Jorgen_CAB »
 
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Re: Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2020, 07:33:16 PM »
Sure, they can have better armor than light vehicles. They also can mount better weapons than light vehicles unless you're an autocannon devotee.

But medium vehicles have more armor and hit points per unit. And also carry the big guns (probably not the super-big guns?) And are lighter and nearly as cheap on a per-weapon basis. They're bad if you're expecting the enemy to throw up a huge pile of MAV weapons, but otherwise?
 

Offline Droll

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Re: Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2020, 07:40:29 PM »
Sure, they can have better armor than light vehicles. They also can mount better weapons than light vehicles unless you're an autocannon devotee.

But medium vehicles have more armor and hit points per unit. And also carry the big guns (probably not the super-big guns?) And are lighter and nearly as cheap on a per-weapon basis. They're bad if you're expecting the enemy to throw up a huge pile of MAV weapons, but otherwise?

Medium vehicles also have less evasion which makes the fortification vs. evasion argument favour statics more.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2020, 07:46:29 PM »
Sure, they can have better armor than light vehicles. They also can mount better weapons than light vehicles unless you're an autocannon devotee.

But medium vehicles have more armor and hit points per unit. And also carry the big guns (probably not the super-big guns?) And are lighter and nearly as cheap on a per-weapon basis. They're bad if you're expecting the enemy to throw up a huge pile of MAV weapons, but otherwise?

Well... no they are not...


Code: [Select]
Static Fortification with Medium Anti-Vehicle weapon
Transport Size (tons) 44     Cost 2.64     Armour 30     Hit Points 30
Annual Maintenance Cost 0.33     Resupply Cost 16
Medium Anti-Vehicle:      Shots 1      Penetration 40      Damage 40

versus

Code: [Select]
Medium vehicle with 2x LVA weapons
Transport Size (tons) 50     Cost 4     Armour 40     Hit Points 40
Annual Maintenance Cost 0.5     Resupply Cost 12
Light Anti-Vehicle:      Shots 1      Penetration 20      Damage 30
Light Anti-Vehicle:      Shots 1      Penetration 20      Damage 30

or

Code: [Select]
Medium vehicle with 2x MVA weapons
Transport Size (tons) 82     Cost 6.56     Armour 40     Hit Points 40
Annual Maintenance Cost 0.82     Resupply Cost 32
Medium Anti-Vehicle:      Shots 1      Penetration 40      Damage 40
Medium Anti-Vehicle:      Shots 1      Penetration 40      Damage 40

In both cases the static still win on a cost to efficiency level by quite the margin every time with the same conditions above. Size only really matter when you drop troops on a planet and even with size statics will still be more efficient as long as you allow them to fortify to max level.

There are some interesting effects with how armour and penetration work. LAV is not tough enough to penetrate heavy static armour while medium pay allot of extra to kill the static unit so are not an efficient weapon to use from a cost perspective. Add in that static is much harder to hit and it will be very cost inefficient to use medium vehicles to destroy static fortifications. MAC weapons probably are them most efficient at destroying heavy static units but still not efficient enough.



« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 07:55:06 PM by Jorgen_CAB »
 

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Re: Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2020, 10:53:29 PM »
YMMV, when I look at those numbers I see the medium vehicle with 2xMAV being not that much more than double the cost of the static, and having nearly four times as much resistance against light weapons as one of the static units.

If you're expecting to die from MAV or bigger hits the extra protection is meaningless, but if you're worried about losses to infantry weapons or autocannon the vehicle soaks better. (Medium or larger bombardment slightly favors the static, since bombardment has high damage that negates medium vehicle HP.)
Medium vehicles also have less evasion which makes the fortification vs. evasion argument favour statics more.
Yes, but the fortification vs. evasion already is completely crushing as far as it goes. If you're fortified, light vehicle vs. static is no contest. If you're not fortified, it's just about no contest in the opposite direction, but I would be surprised to see static units in any offensive formation.

Unless maybe your enemy has an all super-tanks with big AV guns all the time doctrine and you really need the utmost in spammable heavy anti-vehicle units.
 

Online Ulzgoroth

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Re: Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2020, 11:05:58 PM »
There are some interesting effects with how armour and penetration work. LAV is not tough enough to penetrate heavy static armour while medium pay allot of extra to kill the static unit so are not an efficient weapon to use from a cost perspective. Add in that static is much harder to hit and it will be very cost inefficient to use medium vehicles to destroy static fortifications. MAC weapons probably are them most efficient at destroying heavy static units but still not efficient enough.
I'd agree medium vehicles vs. static MAV isn't a great match-up for the vehicles.

What is a great matchup against static is LAV infantry.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2020, 03:40:42 AM »
There are some interesting effects with how armour and penetration work. LAV is not tough enough to penetrate heavy static armour while medium pay allot of extra to kill the static unit so are not an efficient weapon to use from a cost perspective. Add in that static is much harder to hit and it will be very cost inefficient to use medium vehicles to destroy static fortifications. MAC weapons probably are them most efficient at destroying heavy static units but still not efficient enough.
I'd agree medium vehicles vs. static MAV isn't a great match-up for the vehicles.

What is a great matchup against static is LAV infantry.

Not it you have a CAP or HCAP in the Static instead it is not... ;)

In terms of defending then Static will almost always be the best possible answer. Against infantry with LAV weapon then a static with no armour and an CAP is straight up better if both are fortified. You can always find a version of Static that is better than anything else depending on the weapon you put in to it.

If you then also mix troops then the Static usually shines even better as you can combine its good offensive and defensive ability for both cost and size well with especially infantry which enhance their killing power with the protection of the infantry against heavy weapons.

There is a few instances where infantry usually are straight up better utilising certain weapons and that is if they are specifically trained in Mountain, Jungle or Rift Valley training and using lighter weapons as the infantry will hit twice as often. On such planets statics are only better using heavier weapons in the defensive line which the infantry can't carry.

YMMV, when I look at those numbers I see the medium vehicle with 2xMAV being not that much more than double the cost of the static, and having nearly four times as much resistance against light weapons as one of the static units.

Double MAV medium vehicles are allot more expensive than Static units so you can get more than twice the number of Static units or you could imagine more both infantry and static units as a combination of units can often make allot of difference and enhance your strength considerably. This is why you generally have vehicle with a mix of weapons woth both anti infantry and anti vehicle.

Where vehicles really shine is their power to weight ratio which in terms of attacking power. On the defence then actual weight almost have no impact on anything other then mixing troops and here static are still quite space efficient for the cost of both infantry and the static units itself.


I would also add that you are not really going to see two fortified sides every fight, in fact I would not really allow that in my games and I would not abuse a passive NPR so I can fortify my troops and then fight, that is a bit abusive of the game mechanics (in my opinion). In multi-faction games I certainly don't allow that when factions are on the same body at the start of a war. If you play like that then statics are even more powerful as a defensive structure.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 03:55:06 AM by Jorgen_CAB »
 

Online Ulzgoroth

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Re: Static vs Mobile Ground Units
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2020, 04:02:50 AM »
There are some interesting effects with how armour and penetration work. LAV is not tough enough to penetrate heavy static armour while medium pay allot of extra to kill the static unit so are not an efficient weapon to use from a cost perspective. Add in that static is much harder to hit and it will be very cost inefficient to use medium vehicles to destroy static fortifications. MAC weapons probably are them most efficient at destroying heavy static units but still not efficient enough.
I'd agree medium vehicles vs. static MAV isn't a great match-up for the vehicles.

What is a great matchup against static is LAV infantry.

Not it you have a CAP or HCAP in the Static instead it is not... ;)
If you're willing to spend money on infantry, CAP and HCAP lose a lot of their punch. Heavy power armor and genetic engineering make a seriously strong bullet sponge.

Also, some medium bombardment behind that strong bullet sponge is well-suited to plinking static emplacements.
In terms of defending then Static will almost always be the best possible answer. Against infantry with LAV weapon then a static with no armour and an CAP is straight up better if both are fortified. You can always find a version of Static that is better than anything else depending on the weapon you put in to it.
Citation needed...and how are you expecting the static force to be the one that gets to cheat at rock-paper-scissors?
I would also add that you are not really going to see two fortified sides every fight, in fact I would not really allow that in my games and I would not abuse a passive NPR so I can fortify my troops and then fight, that is a bit abusive of the game mechanics. In multi-faction games I certainly don't allow that when factions are on the same body at the start of a war. If you play like that then statics are even more powerful as a defensive structure.
Yeah, I'm not clear why you've been talking about the situation where both sides are fortified considering how that is nearly impossible in actual gameplay. (Outside the SM'd up situation of sharing a planet peacefully.)
 

 

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