Author Topic: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level  (Read 3370 times)

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Online Snoman314

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2023, 08:24:26 PM »
Sorry to keep on the CAS topic, but I'm going to anyway..

Is the current problem an issue of mechanics, or an issue of balance / scale mis-match?

Would tens of fighters be expected to make much difference in multi-million ton land battle in the first place? I feel like in terms of cost per unit, and speed, fighters are out of place in planetary combat in the first place. That makes me feel like the damage and armour are mis-matched as well.

I kind of like the mechanics the way they are, just not the micromanagement.

I'm just spitballing here, but what about a re-balance of fighter stats when operating in ground combat, combined with some QOL to help manage assigning them. After all, 1km/s is faster than most fighters today. I'm imagining hangars filled with loads (hundreds?) of fighters that are all tiny compared to space fighters, that are still able to actually survive and have an impact in ground combat due to stats being buffed. Managed with some QOL tools to auto assign squadrons to go and support ground formations, or go on interdictions tasks.

I don't know, as I've not really messed around with CAS myself. My feel is that it's a balance and micromanagement problem though, not that the CAS mechanics are broken per-se. (Well, other than AI not using them).

Please explain how I'm wrong if I am.
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2023, 10:16:27 PM »
Sorry to keep on the CAS topic, but I'm going to anyway..

Such is the way of the forum, this it always has been, and thus it always will be...  :P

Quote
Is the current problem an issue of mechanics, or an issue of balance / scale mis-match?

Both. In some cases the mechanics more or less force a balance issue which cannot be resolved since those mechanics are present in other parts of the game, unless you change the mechanics entirely.

An example is AA damage, which is modeled basically as a missile hit with a certain damage value. The only way to solve the problems here RE: armor penetration and shock damage is to rebalance those mechanics for the entire game, which is excessive. The way AA weapon damage is calculated is also not really balanceable unless we change it entirely - right now, for example, LAA is useless until Racial Attack tech level 10 or higher, but due to quadratic scaling AA damage (particularly MAA, since HAA is not as widespread) quickly becomes overwhelming beyond this. The ends of the scale are both too extreme by nature of the mechanic design, it is not a simple tweaking-of-numbers problem.

Quote
Would tens of fighters be expected to make much difference in multi-million ton land battle in the first place? I feel like in terms of cost per unit, and speed, fighters are out of place in planetary combat in the first place. That makes me feel like the damage and armour are mis-matched as well.

To be honest, this is an argument in favor of a new GU class, which is the easiest way to resolve these mismatches.

The "tens of fighters" issue is actually as much a logistical/strategic problem as a micromanagement problem, as to be frank actually developing the carrier/deployment capacity to bring 100s or 1000s of fighters to a ground invasion is  almost prohibitively expensive... notably, unlike troop transports it doesn't really work to build GSF carriers as commercial vessels because the fighters need to be maintained which requires military hangar bays. As building a large dedicated wing of GSF carriers is usually going to be impractical this limits the use of large GSF forces to fleets which already have carriers and can swap the fighter loadouts as needed.

However, at this point... does it really make sense that only a few very rich and arguably over-developed navies can deploy an air force, when in real life air forces are a critical element of every major military force? Why is such an ubiquitous combat arm locked behind so many gates and hurdles? By making air forces into another GU class you resolve this problem as well.

Quote
I'm just spitballing here, but what about a re-balance of fighter stats when operating in ground combat, combined with some QOL to help manage assigning them. After all, 1km/s is faster than most fighters today. I'm imagining hangars filled with loads (hundreds?) of fighters that are all tiny compared to space fighters, that are still able to actually survive and have an impact in ground combat due to stats being buffed. Managed with some QOL tools to auto assign squadrons to go and support ground formations, or go on interdictions tasks.

The problem is, how do you do this without creating exceptions to the existing fighter mechanics? Analogously, the major reason that fighters in Aurora are not tiny (~10-ton) space-based analogues of airplanes - unlike in most sci-fi settings - is because it creates exceptions in the rule where tiny fighters can bear far more firepower (per ton) than large vessels, which doesn't make sense (if, for example, a 2-ton fighter autocannon is as effective as a 300-ton Gauss cannon, what prevents large ships from mounting dozens of the 2-ton weapon instead?).

Under the current rules, I've generally found that you can create fighter pods which are about as efficient as the corresponding ground component (B, AC, or AA types) if they are about the same size as said component (e.g., ~20 tons for light and ~40 tons for medium). This practically limits GSFs to around the 50 to 100-ton range depending how heavily you want them to hit. If you want to push GSFs down to about 10 or 20 tons, you need to have effective fighter pods which are significantly more size-efficient than the corresponding ground components, which is the same kind of problem I described above. If you instead use an aircraft GU class, it is very straightforward to implement mechanics which are naturally balanced and self-consistent, once the actual mechanics are coded in for air units (which I will acknowledge is a big pile of work for Steve).

Quote
I don't know, as I've not really messed around with CAS myself. My feel is that it's a balance and micromanagement problem though, not that the CAS mechanics are broken per-se. (Well, other than AI not using them).

Related to the AI non-usage problem, another big issue is that with the current mechanics, only one side can use an air force and it is the side which has space superiority - in practice, always the attackers as space superiority is required to launch a planetary invasion. This means a defender can pretty much never deploy an air force which is pretty limiting (and makes AA basically pointless for offensive formations, which is silly). If air forces can be modeled by ground formations a lot more space opens up for use of air forces generally, which is at least a big benefit for roleplay.
 

Online Snoman314

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2023, 01:55:11 AM »
Good points. Thanks for taking the time to type that out.

Under the current rules, I've generally found that you can create fighter pods which are about as efficient as the corresponding ground component (B, AC, or AA types) if they are about the same size as said component (e.g., ~20 tons for light and ~40 tons for medium). This practically limits GSFs to around the 50 to 100-ton range depending how heavily you want them to hit. If you want to push GSFs down to about 10 or 20 tons, you need to have effective fighter pods which are significantly more size-efficient than the corresponding ground components, which is the same kind of problem I described above. If you instead use an aircraft GU class, it is very straightforward to implement mechanics which are naturally balanced and self-consistent, once the actual mechanics are coded in for air units (which I will acknowledge is a big pile of work for Steve).

I think this here is a key part I hadn't thought much about. It guess it makes sense that a pod be the same effectiveness as the same tonnage of GU weapon. In my head, the fighter pods could be a couple of tons on a spacecraft and compete with a tank cannon. I guess because in real life a tank cannon doesn't weigh 50 tonnes.
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2023, 02:08:07 AM »
I think this here is a key part I hadn't thought much about. It guess it makes sense that a pod be the same effectiveness as the same tonnage of GU weapon. In my head, the fighter pods could be a couple of tons on a spacecraft and compete with a tank cannon. I guess because in real life a tank cannon doesn't weigh 50 tonnes.

Canonically, the tonnages for ground units in Aurora are meant to reflect the amount of mass or volume needed to transport the unit to a battlefield or deployment posting, which means it includes things like crew, weapons, ammunition, supplies, fuel, gear, etc. This is why a INF+PW, which is basically just a guy with an assault rifle, takes 5 tons instead of, like, 0.1 tons. When I say "canonically" I mean "Steve has said that he looked up these kinds of numbers when he wrote the GU tables in the DB", although I don't have a link ready at hand.

This is yet another abstraction that doesn't work super well for GSFs in the current model, but would make good sense for an aircraft GU class as all of that tonnage for a "50-ton fighter" is a 10-ton aircraft and 40 tons of grounds crew and equipment back at the airbase.
 
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Offline Marski

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2023, 09:33:39 AM »
I think this here is a key part I hadn't thought much about. It guess it makes sense that a pod be the same effectiveness as the same tonnage of GU weapon. In my head, the fighter pods could be a couple of tons on a spacecraft and compete with a tank cannon. I guess because in real life a tank cannon doesn't weigh 50 tonnes.

This is yet another abstraction that doesn't work super well for GSFs in the current model, but would make good sense for an aircraft GU class as all of that tonnage for a "50-ton fighter" is a 10-ton aircraft and 40 tons of grounds crew and equipment back at the airbase.
Well, this would be understandable if the aircrafts didn't have radar cross-section and signature
 

Offline Droll

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2023, 07:21:52 PM »
What is this urge to take over an existing thread about X and make it about Y? This is the second of my ground combat threads where this exact thing has happened  :P

I blame Droll

You'll never take me alive!

Jokes aside I probably do need to chill on the CAS problem, I've mentioned it quite a few times across multiple threads now.
 

Offline Garfunkel (OP)

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2023, 06:29:57 AM »
Nah, it's fine, the CAS/GSF issue is a major problem that does need fixing. It's just completely divorced from the problem&solutions I'm proposing here. And it's funny that this is the second this derailment has happened to a ground combat thread of mine.

I've previously been opposed to the "air force as separate GU type" but I've changed my mind - the reasons have pretty well been explained in this thread to. What is annoying but doable for space combat is painful and impossible for ground combat. And one problem that hasn't been brought up is that every AAA can fire at every GSF because geography (and thus horizon) is not a thing, again a thing that promotes "air force as separate GU type" over them being actual fighter-type ships modelled like every other ship in Aurora. I mean, I understand why Steve did it that way, it's the logical thing to do but reality has by now shown that it isn't really the best way.

However, there are few issues that needs to be solved. First of all, we need to be careful to be fairly specific on what an "air unit" is. Because remember combat can occur on barren rocks without an atmosphere, as well as Venusian hellholes with 300x Earth's atmosphere. A normal jet engine is not going to do the trick. Now this isn't a problem for all the other units because the locomotion is left up to the imagination of the player. LVH can be a jeep and VEH can be a truck and a HVH can be a tracked tank but they could as well be a helicopter, a walking mech and an anti-gravity using floating orb shooting lightning. Or steampunk machines or whatever you want them to be. Air units will require a little more work in the 'handwavium department'. And they would also need to not be a copy of heavy bombardment and/or long-range bombardment. Those can already attack any enemy formation on the body which means they probably utilize not just ballistic artillery but cruise/ballistic/supersonic/sci-fi missiles. What would make an air unit mechanically different from HB and MBL?

Remember, there is no point for Steve to spend his limited time on making something that does not offer anything new mechanically. Adding a unit type that can only work in certain atmosphere compositions that does the same thing as HB and MBL but does 10% less collateral damage but is vulnerable to AAA? Yeah, probably not different enough to justify its existence unless Steve somehow falls in love with the concept.
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2023, 08:23:11 AM »
What would make an air unit mechanically different from HB and MBL?

Remember, there is no point for Steve to spend his limited time on making something that does not offer anything new mechanically. Adding a unit type that can only work in certain atmosphere compositions that does the same thing as HB and MBL but does 10% less collateral damage but is vulnerable to AAA? Yeah, probably not different enough to justify its existence unless Steve somehow falls in love with the concept.

I would actually think of air units as able to bring MB/HB targeting mechanics with other kinds of weapons (CAP, AC, AV, AA possibly in an intercept role), which is basically the role of GSFs right now (except we do not have AV fighter pods).

I do suppose the "air units in different/no atmosphere" thing is a bit tricky, but to be honest it is not like current ground units are at all immune from such handwavium. I highly doubt for instance that an infantryman with basic body armor specced for Earth combat is equipped to survive zero-G, zero-atm asteroid combat and 40-atm Venus combat as well, but we can handwave that our units are re-equipped for their deployment zone behind the scenes. I think air units would just fold into these kinds of cases, for instance swapping out different types of engines while at base, maybe in real life that is impractical but then so are giant laser turret battleships in space.
 

Offline Droll

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2023, 12:57:00 PM »
What would make an air unit mechanically different from HB and MBL?

Remember, there is no point for Steve to spend his limited time on making something that does not offer anything new mechanically. Adding a unit type that can only work in certain atmosphere compositions that does the same thing as HB and MBL but does 10% less collateral damage but is vulnerable to AAA? Yeah, probably not different enough to justify its existence unless Steve somehow falls in love with the concept.

I would actually think of air units as able to bring MB/HB targeting mechanics with other kinds of weapons (CAP, AC, AV, AA possibly in an intercept role), which is basically the role of GSFs right now (except we do not have AV fighter pods).

I do suppose the "air units in different/no atmosphere" thing is a bit tricky, but to be honest it is not like current ground units are at all immune from such handwavium. I highly doubt for instance that an infantryman with basic body armor specced for Earth combat is equipped to survive zero-G, zero-atm asteroid combat and 40-atm Venus combat as well, but we can handwave that our units are re-equipped for their deployment zone behind the scenes. I think air units would just fold into these kinds of cases, for instance swapping out different types of engines while at base, maybe in real life that is impractical but then so are giant laser turret battleships in space.

Capabilities sort of cover this high/low grav, extreme pressure etc. But otherwise yeah I think it's important that the air GSFs actually have some sort of unique offensive niche instead of just "vehicle but dies to AA instead of AT".
 

Offline Bobcloclimar

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #39 on: January 24, 2023, 12:02:13 AM »
As much as I love the idea of being able to design conventional aircraft, I'm not sure if adds any meaningful gameplay decisions to ground unit design.  Bringing in a quote from another thread:
Quote from: nuclearslurpee link=topic=13173. msg163715#msg163715 date=1674405486
I think this is what people tend to miss with the ground combat mechanics.  Ground combat in Aurora is designed to simulate at the operational and strategic level, not the small-unit tactical level that is ubiquitous in military science fiction.  The granularity of ground formations is really more of a roleplay tool which mechanically supports this goal, albeit with a few cases that it still doesn't quite hit the mark yet but Steve improves the mechanics in every patch so it is getting closer with every release. 

Extending this argument a bit to conventional air power, I don't see that inserting another ground unit type adds much when the current mechanics support roleplaying <vehicle> types as aircraft.  For example, strategic bombers could be modeled as artillery, with strategic AA or dedicated interception squadrons as counter-battery.  CAS and its vulnerability to ground fire is easily mapped onto light vehicles in frontline attack.  The occasional hits AP weapons inflict on heavier armor can be thought of as organic AA that's below the resolution of the unit designer (e. g.  MANPADs carried by an infantry team otherwise equipped with PWs). 

From this perspective, the current "AA" role is more like a souped-up version of strategic AA or missile defense that may not be able to engage anything below several thousands of meters. 
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2023, 12:25:58 AM »
As much as I love the idea of being able to design conventional aircraft, I'm not sure if adds any meaningful gameplay decisions to ground unit design.  Bringing in a quote from another thread:

Extending this argument a bit to conventional air power, I don't see that inserting another ground unit type adds much when the current mechanics support roleplaying <vehicle> types as aircraft.  For example, strategic bombers could be modeled as artillery, with strategic AA or dedicated interception squadrons as counter-battery.  CAS and its vulnerability to ground fire is easily mapped onto light vehicles in frontline attack.  The occasional hits AP weapons inflict on heavier armor can be thought of as organic AA that's below the resolution of the unit designer (e. g.  MANPADs carried by an infantry team otherwise equipped with PWs). 

From this perspective, the current "AA" role is more like a souped-up version of strategic AA or missile defense that may not be able to engage anything below several thousands of meters.

Alternate take: we already have a ground support fighter (GSF) mechanic, which does occupy a space between ground-to-ground and space-to-ground, and the fact that no one is really saying "let's take this out of the game entirely" does indicate that it adds meaningful gameplay - or at least that people think it would if it worked worth a damn. Mechanically, the idea of a flight-capable unit type would be to keep the same or a parallel set of mechanics, and just reframe that in terms of a ground unit class to eliminate most of the reasons why the current GSF mechanic doesn't work (unreasonable micro, poorly-scaling logistics, clash between AA and ship-to-ship combat mechanics, etc.).

In terms of gameplay role, I think the comparison has to made against the heavy bombardment (HB) component type as this is the parallel the existing GSF mechanics draw (sharing the same targeting rules). In this case, a GSF/air force mechanic provides the ability to strike in a HB-like manner with non-bombardment weapons (AV, CAP, AC, etc.) while only being countered by the presence and firing of enemy AA units (providing an interesting defensive decision - how much AA, and how to distribute it? - which goes beyond the existing aggregate damage mechanics and adds a new dimension to force composition). Presumably this is balanced by any number of factors - build cost of the base unit class, fragility in armor/HP, large transport size representing extensive basing requirements, etc. I think there are plenty of options to make these an interesting and unique unit class from the mechanics perspective which is not too dissimilar from the current GSFs.

Besides, even if it is not mechanically distinctive, I think it is an important roleplay niche to enable air force modeling in a way the current GSF system has so far not lived up to. As someone who does like to model his ground forces in some detail, I don't like the idea that a LAV is both anti-tank and "anti-air", simply put a FGM-148 Javelin and a FIM-92 Stinger are not the same thing at all beyond both being man-portable launched missiles, nor does it really work for roleplay consistency if a LVH+CAP is an APC but a LVH+LAC is an A-10 Warthog equivalent.

The challenge of course is no matter what is done, much programming is needed to implement this on Steve's part, including revising the ground combat rules to accommodate this new unit class which could run afoul of the "reduce exceptions" principle for C#. As Steve has not much commented on the subject I am not sure how he feels about that.

As an aside: I would still like to see one mechanic from the existing GSF implementation preserved. While fighters should play by the same rules as all the other spaceships, I'd like to see the ability to link a squadron of several fighters to a single FFD unit preserved, so there are sensible alternatives for naval bombardment besides using the biggest battleships you can find.
 
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Offline Vivalas

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #41 on: February 07, 2023, 08:44:32 AM »
Small necro to this since I only stalk this forum every now and then, but would love to see more ground combat love.

Someone brought up manpower, and I think that could be a good place to start. Someone may say "but even the largest armies only use maybe a million soldiers in the game", but those are frontline soldiers. Consider that the modern military is something like 1:7 for combat vs support personnel, and then probably like 1:10 for military personnel vs civilian bureaucrat staff and you can get like a 1:70 multiplier for population needed to "support" a formation in Aurora. This could potentially approach the point where population becomes a reasonable limiting factor on formation size and maybe push between two design choices of quality vs. quantity that we see a bunch in wargames.

As for planes, I think that would be redundant as far as GSF goes, unless it's like literally just a unit that ground factories can make that would operate similarly to GSFs. Air combat needs a rework in general and seems largely unfinished still, so it's hard to say at this point. Personally I just really want to see the "vertical envelopment" mechanics someone else posted on the forum in the suggestions thread, if nothing else because I want to play Ride of the Valykries while my first cav dropships annihilate the aliens.
 
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Offline TurielD

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #42 on: February 07, 2023, 03:17:00 PM »
I'll go along with revitalizing this thread: People really like fighters, and GSF are just way too micro-intensive. Not to diminish Steve's work in making the mechanic, sometimes an experiment just doesn't produce the results you're hoping for.

Since people seem to be gunning for air as a ground unit type I'm left wondering what would be their specialty vs the other vehicle types besides interaction with AA? Attacks rear-echelon and support formations unless providing support for a frontline unit? What about targeting rules when there is enemy air involved? What about unit capabilities for these air units? I don't think "jungle fighters" works in this context, as funny as the pun may be.

It's surely some programming work for Steve, but I think you mostly move the existing GSF rules and mechanics into an aircraft GU class as far as targeting rules, probably modifying a bit so that AA in a targeted formation does an appreciable amount of mitigation and counter-attack. I think an aircraft class should have a fairly large size (aircraft may only be ~10 tons, but we have to account for the amount of maintenance and support crew+equipment to be shipped around with them) and limited armor options, probably similar weapons choices to LVH as well. Targeting enemy air would probably work similar to how counter-battery fire currently does. As far as unit capabilities, same rules as apply to other non-INF types should work well enough.


This isn't thinking about unit types in the fill in the blanks with your imagination style that Steve prefers.
Thinking more along those lines, I actually think 'flyer' would be quite simple to implement:

Make 'aerospace' a capability similar to 'Boarding Combat' - this capability could be connected to any vehicle type.

The capability would do the following:
  • Provide superior evasion either a simple HitMod*0.1, or (Hitmod^2)*0.1 - flyers are fast/high and hard to hit; AA weapons should inherently ignore this modifier and revert to HitMod
  • Reduce armor by a factor of 0.25 - the main problem with flying platforms is they need lift, more of their structure is given of to that relative to armor.
  • Increase GSP Resupply Cost by a factor of ~2.5  maybe depending on technology - Flyers eat fuel.
  • They cannot benefit from Fortification - a flyer may sit in an underground hangar, but if it is its not fighting

This achieves 2.5 things:
  • It continues Steve's design philosophy that labels are roleplay-agnostic.
    Use a Light Vehicle to imagine an ornithopter or an unmanned drone; Super-Heavy can be anything from steampunk attack-blimps to flying Gundams; whatever you can imagine.
  • You (Steve) would barely need to mess around with unit types or weapon types!
    • Fit your 'aerospace heavy vehicle' with bombardment weapons if you want it to be a durable, RE-stationed bomber
    • Fit your 'aerospace light vehicle' with Light AA if you want a front-line interceptor designed to take on other flyers.
  • As an extension of [2] you fix the 'AA Horizon' problem: AA units are now only engaging hostile forces that their formation is in combat with, and their combat doesn't need a separate mechanic

Hell if you want to go crazy, forget about GSF having their own mechanics altogether, and fold them into normal Ground Combat: Allow fighters to be assigned (as a group) to any formation in your OOB, and simply count them as S-Heavy vehicles with their weapon loadout counting as something equivalent to the weapon tonnage, an armor of Heavy Vehicle * Armor_build_material_tier, and the Aerospace capability. That would let you deploy your space fighters on the ground without needing to individually assign them to an FFD, and you could still divide them up by placing 10 of them in this formation or 20 of them in that formation as support or all 200 fighters as their own unit, whatever you want.
 
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Offline Vivalas

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #43 on: February 07, 2023, 03:57:35 PM »
I'll go along with revitalizing this thread: People really like fighters, and GSF are just way too micro-intensive. Not to diminish Steve's work in making the mechanic, sometimes an experiment just doesn't produce the results you're hoping for.

Since people seem to be gunning for air as a ground unit type I'm left wondering what would be their specialty vs the other vehicle types besides interaction with AA? Attacks rear-echelon and support formations unless providing support for a frontline unit? What about targeting rules when there is enemy air involved? What about unit capabilities for these air units? I don't think "jungle fighters" works in this context, as funny as the pun may be.

It's surely some programming work for Steve, but I think you mostly move the existing GSF rules and mechanics into an aircraft GU class as far as targeting rules, probably modifying a bit so that AA in a targeted formation does an appreciable amount of mitigation and counter-attack. I think an aircraft class should have a fairly large size (aircraft may only be ~10 tons, but we have to account for the amount of maintenance and support crew+equipment to be shipped around with them) and limited armor options, probably similar weapons choices to LVH as well. Targeting enemy air would probably work similar to how counter-battery fire currently does. As far as unit capabilities, same rules as apply to other non-INF types should work well enough.


This isn't thinking about unit types in the fill in the blanks with your imagination style that Steve prefers.
Thinking more along those lines, I actually think 'flyer' would be quite simple to implement:

Make 'aerospace' a capability similar to 'Boarding Combat' - this capability could be connected to any vehicle type.

The capability would do the following:
  • Provide superior evasion either a simple HitMod*0.1, or (Hitmod^2)*0.1 - flyers are fast/high and hard to hit; AA weapons should inherently ignore this modifier and revert to HitMod
  • Reduce armor by a factor of 0.25 - the main problem with flying platforms is they need lift, more of their structure is given of to that relative to armor.
  • Increase GSP Resupply Cost by a factor of ~2.5  maybe depending on technology - Flyers eat fuel.
  • They cannot benefit from Fortification - a flyer may sit in an underground hangar, but if it is its not fighting

This achieves 2.5 things:
  • It continues Steve's design philosophy that labels are roleplay-agnostic.
    Use a Light Vehicle to imagine an ornithopter or an unmanned drone; Super-Heavy can be anything from steampunk attack-blimps to flying Gundams; whatever you can imagine.
  • You (Steve) would barely need to mess around with unit types or weapon types!
    • Fit your 'aerospace heavy vehicle' with bombardment weapons if you want it to be a durable, RE-stationed bomber
    • Fit your 'aerospace light vehicle' with Light AA if you want a front-line interceptor designed to take on other flyers.
  • As an extension of [2] you fix the 'AA Horizon' problem: AA units are now only engaging hostile forces that their formation is in combat with, and their combat doesn't need a separate mechanic

Hell if you want to go crazy, forget about GSF having their own mechanics altogether, and fold them into normal Ground Combat: Allow fighters to be assigned (as a group) to any formation in your OOB, and simply count them as S-Heavy vehicles with their weapon loadout counting as something equivalent to the weapon tonnage, an armor of Heavy Vehicle * Armor_build_material_tier, and the Aerospace capability. That would let you deploy your space fighters on the ground without needing to individually assign them to an FFD, and you could still divide them up by placing 10 of them in this formation or 20 of them in that formation as support or all 200 fighters as their own unit, whatever you want.

I really like the airplane approach here. I love the general roleplay agnostic approach, and while you can technically just name ground vehicles as airplanes at the moment, without separate mechanics it's indeed a stretch of the imagination.

Personally though I think space fighters, GSF, and ground "air vehicles" need to all have the same mechanics and keep their separate "domain" that they have currently, just with mechanics fleshed out.

I haven't played too much with them, but if I understand right, is a lot of the macro just assigning them to FFD?

We have squadrons now so just having a "assign squadron support" option to a formation would solve this, essentially just automatically splitting fighters among all FFD in a chosen formation and lower, and if there's more FFD than fighters, equally distributing them as best as possible.

This should clear up as much micro as possible while allowing granularity, eg, if you want something more specific, you can do this assign all approach and move a few fighters around, but over all micro is reduced and outside of a few niche players who want that control, suits the needs of what most people want out of air support.

But personally I just love the space/ground overlap with fighters from a roleplay standpoint, since it's such a strong theme in scifi (TIE Fighters in Star Wars, napalm bombing runs in Starship Troopers)
 

Offline StarshipCactus

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Re: Ground combat - morale, organization and training level
« Reply #44 on: Yesterday at 02:42:34 AM »

Make 'aerospace' a capability similar to 'Boarding Combat' - this capability could be connected to any vehicle type.

The capability would do the following:
  • Provide superior evasion either a simple HitMod*0.1, or (Hitmod^2)*0.1 - flyers are fast/high and hard to hit; AA weapons should inherently ignore this modifier and revert to HitMod
  • Reduce armor by a factor of 0.25 - the main problem with flying platforms is they need lift, more of their structure is given of to that relative to armor.
  • Increase GSP Resupply Cost by a factor of ~2.5  maybe depending on technology - Flyers eat fuel.
  • They cannot benefit from Fortification - a flyer may sit in an underground hangar, but if it is its not fighting

This achieves 2.5 things:
  • It continues Steve's design philosophy that labels are roleplay-agnostic.
    Use a Light Vehicle to imagine an ornithopter or an unmanned drone; Super-Heavy can be anything from steampunk attack-blimps to flying Gundams; whatever you can imagine.
  • You (Steve) would barely need to mess around with unit types or weapon types!
    • Fit your 'aerospace heavy vehicle' with bombardment weapons if you want it to be a durable, RE-stationed bomber
    • Fit your 'aerospace light vehicle' with Light AA if you want a front-line interceptor designed to take on other flyers.
  • As an extension of [2] you fix the 'AA Horizon' problem: AA units are now only engaging hostile forces that their formation is in combat with, and their combat doesn't need a separate mechanic

This is the most elegant solution I have seen so far. The least work from a programming perspective while allowing for the maximum RP, as is the point of this game. I really like how this solution easily allows you to use any weapon you normally would, so you can make your Interceptors, AC 130 Gunships all the way up to air battleships, armed with several AV and Artillery weapons. Just one button and it's sorted.