Author Topic: Cost of PPV vs Police  (Read 872 times)

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Offline skoormit (OP)

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Cost of PPV vs Police
« on: June 14, 2021, 08:02:14 AM »
I'm trying to understand the relative costs of providing PPV vs using police to reduce unrest.

According to the updated police mechanics:

Quote
Occupation

    Required Occupation Strength = ((Determination + Militancy + Xenophobia) / 300) * Population Amount * Political Status Occupation Modifier.
    Political Status Occupation Modifier = Slave Colony 1.5, Conquered 1.0, Occupied 0.75, Subjugated 0.25, All Others 0
    Actual Occupation Strength is the sum of the individual element occupations strengths.
    Element Occupation Strength = (SQRT(Size) * Units * Morale) / 10000

Reduction in Unrest

    Police Strength = Actual Occupation Strength - Required Occupation Strength
    Effective Population Size = ((Determination + Militancy + Xenophobia) / 300) * Population Amount
    Police Modifier = Police Strength / Effective Population Size
    Unrest points are reduced by 100 * Police Modifier per year

I have a simple police formation with one element containing 83 size-3 police units
The units cost 0.06BP each. These are the most basic infantry, which should be the most cost-effective unit possible for police purposes.
The cost of one formation is 4.98BP (rounded to 5 in the UI).
The occupation strength of one formation would be SQRT(3) * 83 / 10000 = 0.014.

A 10M+ population requires PPV. If no PPV is provided, the population generates 25 unrest points per year.
To provide sufficient police to reduce that unrest, I need a police modifier of 0.25.
That means that for each 1M of effective population I would need 0.25/0.014 = ~17.9 of these formations, at a total cost of ~89BP (plus 8.9BP per year in maintenance costs).

That seems outrageous compared to the cost of providing PPV.
I can easily provide 7.5 PPV on an engineless fighter for less than 50 BP (plus 30 BP for half a maintenance facility, plus less than 12.5 MSP per year for upkeep).

So, the cost of PPV per 1M effective population would be 80/7.5 = ~10.67BP, plus ~1.67 MSP per year.
That's using a reasonably functional ship design that can also fulfill other minor sentinel roles. It has a fire control and a sensor, 120-month deployment time, 10t of eng spaces (giving an AFR of 10%), and 2 armor. You could instead get 9 PPV for the same size and cost by just jamming 60 launchers on there.
And the cost per ton of maintenance facility support decreases as your tech improves.

The cost ratio between police and PPV is more than 8:1.
Is that by design?

If the costs were roughly 1:1, I would still prefer to provide PPV.
PPV ships in orbit provide incidental value as actual warships (at worst they provide AMM against an initial salvo), whereas these police forces on the surface will provide nearly zero value as actual combatants.
More importantly, ships provide PPV to an entire system. Police forces work only at one population.

Of course, police forces are needed if you actually need occupation strength, rather than just police strength.
And police forces will reduce unrest from other sources, like overcrowding. PPV ships won't help with that.

But for the purposes of reducing unrest from lack of protection, police are far more expensive than just providing the required protection.

Am I misunderstanding the police strength math?
Am I overlooking something else?
Or is this just a case of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure? (Notwithstanding the 8:1 ratio being half optimal in that case.)




 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Cost of PPV vs Police
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2021, 10:18:41 AM »
Morale in the Element Occupation Strength needs to be 100, not 1.0, so your actual police strength for 83x INF+PWL police units is 1.4, which will actually be rounded down to 1.0 in-game based on some quick testing. A gamey 5,000-ton formation of, say, 2x HQ5 and 1,650 policemen will have a police strength of [SQRT(3) * 1650 + SQRT(25) * 2] * 100 / 10000 = 28.

The PPV mechanic really is only there to provide a small push towards providing defenses for your colonies rather than to demand significant investment of resources, regardless of if you use ships or ground units to handle it.
 

Offline skoormit (OP)

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Re: Cost of PPV vs Police
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2021, 10:31:57 AM »
Morale in the Element Occupation Strength needs to be 100, not 1.0, so your actual police strength for 83x INF+PWL police units is 1.4, which will actually be rounded down to 1.0 in-game based on some quick testing.

Can we verify that? That would swing the Police vs PPV cost ratio from 8:1 all the way to 1:12.
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Cost of PPV vs Police
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2021, 12:21:42 PM »
Morale in the Element Occupation Strength needs to be 100, not 1.0, so your actual police strength for 83x INF+PWL police units is 1.4, which will actually be rounded down to 1.0 in-game based on some quick testing.

Can we verify that? That would swing the Police vs PPV cost ratio from 8:1 all the way to 1:12.

I checked in a 1.13 save before posting, yes. You'll also see in-game that Morale is not represented as a percentage, although it makes sense to think of it that way.

The important thing about PPV isn't that the costs are balanced (although a slight rebalancing couldn't hurt), but rather than both garrisoning your colonies and placing defensive fleets are mechanically incentivized. Personally I think it is a good thing for police strength to be easy to generate, because it removes the need to min-max with formations of INF+PWL that aren't very good as actual defensive combat units. A garrison brigade of regular infantry and heavier weapons  does just fine while providing much better actual colony defense.
 

Offline skoormit (OP)

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Re: Cost of PPV vs Police
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2021, 12:47:07 PM »
Maybe I'm not understanding this:

Quote
Element Occupation Strength = (SQRT(Size) * Units * Morale) / 10000

Is that the square root of the size of the unit, times the number of units?
Or is it the square root of the size of the formation element, times the number of units in that element?
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Cost of PPV vs Police
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2021, 01:05:27 PM »
It is the square root of the element size, times the number of that element present at the population.

So for a police company of 100x INF+PWL (3 tons per element) you have SQRT(3) * 100 * 100 / 10000 = 1.7 strength (which is rounded down to 1.0 based on my in-game testing).

If instead you used, say, 12x LVH+CAP (24 tons per element) to represent police on armored cars, you would have SQRT(24) * 12 * 100 / 10000 = 0.59 strength (which is rounded down to zero I would imagine).

The idea as Steve put it was that a heavier element would have greater strength as an individual weapon - a tank for example is much stronger and more intimidating than a carbine - but the lighter elements can be massed more effectively to provide an overall greater police presence, which is why in real life police forces in civilized countries that aren't the United States of America are primarily made up of men with light weapons rather than tank platoons.
 
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Offline skoormit (OP)

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Re: Cost of PPV vs Police
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2021, 03:07:07 PM »
It is the square root of the element size, times the number of that element present at the population.

So for a police company of 100x INF+PWL (3 tons per element) you have SQRT(3) * 100 * 100 / 10000 = 1.7 strength (which is rounded down to 1.0 based on my in-game testing).
...

I guess the term "element" is used loosely?
It seems that element can mean the collection of units of a single type in a formation, or it can mean a single unit of that type.

In this case, we mean the single unit?

And are you observing the rounding down of strength merely in the UI, or in the actual effect on unrest?
 

Offline Droll

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Re: Cost of PPV vs Police
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2021, 03:09:36 PM »
In this case, we mean the single unit?

Yeah, otherwise 4000 police officers would be treated the same as a single police officer for the purposes of unit no. whereas the game treats them as 4000 units. Element is pedantically incorrect to use here.
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Cost of PPV vs Police
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2021, 03:25:45 PM »
It is the square root of the element size, times the number of that element present at the population.

So for a police company of 100x INF+PWL (3 tons per element) you have SQRT(3) * 100 * 100 / 10000 = 1.7 strength (which is rounded down to 1.0 based on my in-game testing).
...

I guess the term "element" is used loosely?
It seems that element can mean the collection of units of a single type in a formation, or it can mean a single unit of that type.

In this case, we mean the single unit?

Admittedly loosely, the terminology for ground forces is a bit messy as "unit" is used to refer to a single, well, unit - however in most military settings a "unit" refers to some form of grouping. Then again, so does "element" in most cases, it's just difficult to find a suitable term I think.

Quote
And are you observing the rounding down of strength merely in the UI, or in the actual effect on unrest?

Only from the UI, as testing the actual effect would take much longer, however you can see quite readily that the rounding down is a real effect if you build multiple small formations. In my test I used a formation of 100x INF+PW which has about 2.23 police strength. Placing multiples of them on the colony only increments the police strength by 2 per formation, even if you use enough formations that adding up the raw values would give a greater result - for example, 5x of these formations should give something like 11.2, however it only shows 10 (rather than 11 rounded down from 11.2).

In any case for "proper" formations of sizes 5,000 tons or greater, the loss from rounding is negligible as your police strength per formation should be a few dozen at least. A formation of 1,650x PWL and 2x HQ5 units would have a police strength of 28.7 for example which rounds down to 28, however this is already sufficient to police a fairly large population since the Resistance value is (DET + MIL + XEN) / 300 * population (in millions), which depends on your racial traits but at worst this formation is sufficient to police a 112m population if I understand the other mechanics correctly. By the time your colony is pushing 100m pop you should probably have some more impressive defenses in place especially if it is outside of Sol.
 
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Offline Droll

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Re: Cost of PPV vs Police
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2021, 03:32:39 PM »
In any case for "proper" formations of sizes 5,000 tons or greater, the loss from rounding is negligible as your police strength per formation should be a few dozen at least. A formation of 1,650x PWL and 2x HQ5 units would have a police strength of 28.7 for example which rounds down to 28, however this is already sufficient to police a fairly large population since the Resistance value is (DET + MIL + XEN) / 300 * population (in millions), which depends on your racial traits but at worst this formation is sufficient to police a 112m population if I understand the other mechanics correctly. By the time your colony is pushing 100m pop you should probably have some more impressive defenses in place especially if it is outside of Sol.

To add to this, if you get a ground force commander with the ground force training skill that formation could police way more, because such officers increase the morale of the formation, which also increases their policing value.
 

Offline skoormit (OP)

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Re: Cost of PPV vs Police
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2021, 08:57:19 PM »
A formation of 1,650x PWL and 2x HQ5 units would have a police strength of 28.7 for example which rounds down to 28, however this is already sufficient to police a fairly large population since the Resistance value is (DET + MIL + XEN) / 300 * population (in millions), which depends on your racial traits but at worst this formation is sufficient to police a 112m population if I understand the other mechanics correctly.

Yes, if you mean sufficient to offset the unrest caused by not providing PPV (which is scaled down by a factor of 4).
For a race with average DET+MIL+XEN, this 5000t formation could offset all of the PPV unrest for a population up to 224m.



Quote
By the time your colony is pushing 100m pop you should probably have some more impressive defenses in place especially if it is outside of Sol.

Well, sure, unless that colony is down a dead-end branch, far from any threats (aside from the vanishingly small chance of a "dormant" JP appearing).
It is for colonies like these that I only want to spend the minimum to keep unrest at bay (plus a de minimis patrol force, sufficient only to destroy any scout that does show up from a dormant JP).

Now, thanks to your help, I know how to do so. Time to crank out some 5kt Five-Ohs.

Cheers!
 

Offline skoormit (OP)

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Re: Cost of PPV vs Police
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2021, 08:59:46 PM »
In this case, we mean the single unit?

Yeah, otherwise 4000 police officers would be treated the same as a single police officer for the purposes of unit no. whereas the game treats them as 4000 units. Element is pedantically incorrect to use here.

Forgive me if I came across as pedantic. That's not my game. (My game is min-maxing; you may freely hate on me for that.)
I'm only after clarity.
 

Offline Droll

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Re: Cost of PPV vs Police
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2021, 09:03:59 PM »
In this case, we mean the single unit?

Yeah, otherwise 4000 police officers would be treated the same as a single police officer for the purposes of unit no. whereas the game treats them as 4000 units. Element is pedantically incorrect to use here.

Forgive me if I came across as pedantic. That's not my game. (My game is min-maxing; you may freely hate on me for that.)
I'm only after clarity.

Oh I didn't mean it in a passive aggressive way, sorry if it came out that way. It's just that element and unit are commonly used interchangeably in discussions whereas the game considers them differently.

It was a fair question to ask.
 
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Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Cost of PPV vs Police
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2021, 03:22:45 PM »
In this case, we mean the single unit?

Yeah, otherwise 4000 police officers would be treated the same as a single police officer for the purposes of unit no. whereas the game treats them as 4000 units. Element is pedantically incorrect to use here.

Forgive me if I came across as pedantic. That's not my game. (My game is min-maxing; you may freely hate on me for that.)
I'm only after clarity.

In 1.14 you might need to think differently though as pirates may appear anywhere and attack both ships and settlements. Initially they might just attack ships but I would not be surprised if they can attack and "loot" other sites as well eventually.

Having some spread out system defence forces might become something we will need to have in most decently developed systems for a more realistic purpose other than PPV.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 06:21:48 PM by Jorgen_CAB »
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Cost of PPV vs Police
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2021, 08:49:22 AM »
In 1.14 you might need to think differently though as pirates may appear anywhere and attack both ships and settlements. Initially they might just attack ships but I would not be surprised if they can attack and "loot" other sites as well eventually.

Having some spread out system defence forces might become something we will need to have in most decently developed systems for a more realistic purpose other than PPV.

The raiders will be happy to capture smaller colonies and carry off the inhabitants as slaves. They have specific ship types for that purpose.
 
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