Author Topic: Rework to Ground Unit Construction  (Read 1307 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Azuraal (OP)

  • Petty Officer
  • **
  • A
  • Posts: 15
  • Thanked: 13 times
Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« on: June 18, 2021, 11:19:06 AM »
The Situation: Currently formation construction is conducted by a single construction complex, with additional complexes allowing you to construct more formations in parallel.
I presume the aim is to reflect the fact that no matter how much resources you throw at the problem, a recruit needs to undergo their training.

The Problem: Unfortunately the current system is not only very inaccurate in that (A formation with a single infantryman will be trained in a single construction cycle, talk about express training), it punishes the player for making large formations, despite the fact that after construction those formations can be merged without any penalties into a larger formation identical to one that would have been constructed by just a single construction complex.
So the optimal play is to create very small construction formations that you then merge into formations of normal size, and the only cost is your own frustration, time, and hand pain.

Solution idea #1: Add "training time" to designed units, as a function of the unit's cost and base type. With infantry having the most variable training time (elite genetically enhanced boarding combat specialists vs foot soldier with a gun) and vehicles not deviating much above some baseline.
When player designs a formation template the game will calculate optimal number of construction complexes used for construction based on a rule that the formation can't finish constructing sooner than longest of training times. Then the player can manually set that number down as formations comprised of formations with very short training time would always take all available complexes.

When player orders a construction a number of free construction complexes up to the number set on the template will be dedicated to constructing that one formation, with their construction rate simply adding up together.

Pros: Minimal departure from current system
Cons: Not very elegant solution imo.

Solution idea #2: Redefine ground force construction complex as training complex, which similarly to military academies adds to a empire wide pool of soldiers.  Every ground unit requires a certain number of soldiers to produce based on the base type.
The actual construction of formations is done by fighter factories which would be renamed arms factories or something along those lines. (fighters would still be be produced there)

Pros: Gives purpose to fighter factories and fighter production rate tech for races which don't use fighters.
Cons: Reworking ground construction from the ground up.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2021, 11:21:33 AM by Azuraal »
 

Offline Droll

  • Vice Admiral
  • **********
  • D
  • Posts: 1296
  • Thanked: 367 times
Re: Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2021, 12:00:31 PM »
The Situation: Currently formation construction is conducted by a single construction complex, with additional complexes allowing you to construct more formations in parallel.
I presume the aim is to reflect the fact that no matter how much resources you throw at the problem, a recruit needs to undergo their training.

The Problem: Unfortunately the current system is not only very inaccurate in that (A formation with a single infantryman will be trained in a single construction cycle, talk about express training), it punishes the player for making large formations, despite the fact that after construction those formations can be merged without any penalties into a larger formation identical to one that would have been constructed by just a single construction complex.
So the optimal play is to create very small construction formations that you then merge into formations of normal size, and the only cost is your own frustration, time, and hand pain.

Solution idea #1: Add "training time" to designed units, as a function of the unit's cost and base type. With infantry having the most variable training time (elite genetically enhanced boarding combat specialists vs foot soldier with a gun) and vehicles not deviating much above some baseline.
When player designs a formation template the game will calculate optimal number of construction complexes used for construction based on a rule that the formation can't finish constructing sooner than longest of training times. Then the player can manually set that number down as formations comprised of formations with very short training time would always take all available complexes.

When player orders a construction a number of free construction complexes up to the number set on the template will be dedicated to constructing that one formation, with their construction rate simply adding up together.

Pros: Minimal departure from current system
Cons: Not very elegant solution imo.

Solution idea #2: Redefine ground force construction complex as training complex, which similarly to military academies adds to a empire wide pool of soldiers.  Every ground unit requires a certain number of soldiers to produce based on the base type.
The actual construction of formations is done by fighter factories which would be renamed arms factories or something along those lines. (fighters would still be be produced there)

Pros: Gives purpose to fighter factories and fighter production rate tech for races which don't use fighters.
Cons: Reworking ground construction from the ground up.

I think these are both good ideas gameplay wise, I know that solution 2 wont be adopted on the grounds that I think Steve wants the number of people in a unit to remain ambiguous for RP. So under solution 2 would go against this as now an infantry unit is forced to have a defined number of soldiers in it.

I think having a baseline training time also causes problems because now you cant RP an automated droid army that does not require training.

Honestly all I want is for:
a - Ground force facilities to be aggregate like every other factory, or
b - Allow STOs to be trained using relevant ground components available in the stock pile, subtracting the consumed components cost from the training BP cost.

Because with the way I play at least, the only place where I encounter an unfair problem is when building STOs.
My shipyards can construct a heavy cruiser with 10 of its main battery guns in less than a year but for some reason building just one of those guns takes multiple years on the ground, and I don't but the idea that the ground STO is somehow more complex than a whole starship.
 

Offline serger

  • Silver Supporter
  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
  • Thanked: 72 times
  • Silver Supporter Silver Supporter : Support the forums with a Silver subscription
    2021 Supporter 2021 Supporter : Donate for 2021
Re: Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2021, 02:17:04 PM »
I think it will be nearly ideal to have 3 stages:
1. Equipment production (with Ground Armament Factories instead of GFTF)
2. Recruiting (relatively quick process with some cost)
3. Training (without facilities, just morale/readiness buildup)

Equipment can be produced on other planet.

And I just cannot beleave in training facilities.
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

  • Vice Admiral
  • **********
  • Posts: 1120
  • Thanked: 744 times
  • Radioactive frozen beverage.
Re: Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2021, 02:34:43 PM »
The Problem: [...] it punishes the player for making large formations, despite the fact that after construction those formations can be merged without any penalties into a larger formation identical to one that would have been constructed by just a single construction complex.
So the optimal play is to create very small construction formations that you then merge into formations of normal size, and the only cost is your own frustration, time, and hand pain.

I want to push back on this point, because it really is not true at all. The time it takes to build any ground formation is directly proportional to the build points cost of the formation, which in turn is the sum of the BP cost of the individual units in the formation. To a very close approximation (basically only HQ units are exceptional), it costs the same total BP to build one 20,000-ton formation than it does to build four 5,000-ton formations of the same fractional unit composition. The only difference is that the single formation takes 4x longer to actually appear "on the map" but unless you are in a big rush for emergency forces this doesn't make any difference assuming you're using all of your available facilities, which you absolutely should be if you intend to invade any alien homeworlds.

I don't disagree that the current restrictions on how ground forces are trained/built are overly restrictive, I only want to point out that the current system in no way punishes building larger formations, they simply take longer to complete.

As for the proposed solutions, I don't really think either one is an approach that works well with Aurora's design philosophy. Both add additional complexity to the GU training/building process without really adding anything in terms of gameplay - there's not really any interesting decisions added by requiring an additional "training time" factor for GU construction, it just makes building the formations more confusing and opaque. Realistic perhaps but not a very "Aurora" approach.

Honestly all I want is for:
a - Ground force facilities to be aggregate like every other factory,

I think this is a better solution. Allow GU training facilities to work as aggregate factories just like every other production facility in the game - I think we can abstract the "boot camp" part of training as something happening in the background to maintain a pool of recruits/conscripts, so let's treat the GU training as a construction process.

Quote
or
b - Allow STOs to be trained using relevant ground components available in the stock pile, subtracting the consumed components cost from the training BP cost.

Allowing STOs to be built in a more sensible manner is a good idea, but we do have to be careful as mass-producing STOs could get very overpowered very quickly given how powerful they are as defensive weapons. I think change (a) would be sufficient here, since it doesn't change the actual game balance at all.

I think it will be nearly ideal to have 3 stages:
1. Equipment production (with Ground Armament Factories instead of GFTF)
2. Recruiting (relatively quick process with some cost)
3. Training (without facilities, just morale/readiness buildup)

Equipment can be produced on other planet.

And I just cannot beleave in training facilities.

I think combining 2+3 similar to how we can set academy crew training level for naval crews makes sense, but first we would need a training aspect added to ground forces. Currently we only have morale which isn't related to training mechanically.
 

Offline xenoscepter

  • Rear Admiral
  • **********
  • Posts: 900
  • Thanked: 183 times
Re: Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2021, 03:41:17 PM »
 - Having GFTFs be aggregate would be awesome and would go a long way to reducing micro as well, if we could set up a preferred hierarchy and then have a "Build To Hierarchy" button.

 - Having STOs use ship weapons from stockpiles to cut some of the cost would be nice, and balanced out a bit by the need to use Construction Factories to build said bits first. The FCS, ECCM, Power Plants are to the best of my knowledge specific to the STOs and probably shouldn't be able to be derived from ship board equivalents. In the STO creation process, you use ship-based weapons, so whether they are being converted to a "Ground-spec" if you will, or used as is, this seems a reasonable thing to do. Plus, you could recycle the beam weapons of old ships into STOs for 2nd Rate defense forces.
 

Offline Bremen

  • Commodore
  • **********
  • B
  • Posts: 662
  • Thanked: 117 times
Re: Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2021, 04:30:00 PM »
The Problem: Unfortunately the current system is not only very inaccurate in that (A formation with a single infantryman will be trained in a single construction cycle, talk about express training), it punishes the player for making large formations, despite the fact that after construction those formations can be merged without any penalties into a larger formation identical to one that would have been constructed by just a single construction complex.
So the optimal play is to create very small construction formations that you then merge into formations of normal size, and the only cost is your own frustration, time, and hand pain.

The argument that it shouldn't be possible to train a 1 man formation in a day, makes sense, is totally realistic, and I feel it is completely irrelevant to a game like Aurora. Yeah, it's silly to be tossing out 1 man formations that fast, but it also doesn't matter, and I don't see the point to moving to a more complicated model just to add realism.

Similarly, I don't really agree that larger formations punish the player, at least short of a very specific situation like an ongoing war in a multi-faction start where the difference between getting 1/5th your forces out in a month verse all your forces in 5 months actually matters. And to the extent that it does matter, I think the best solution is found in the followup post:

Honestly all I want is for:
a - Ground force facilities to be aggregate like every other factory, or
b - Allow STOs to be trained using relevant ground components available in the stock pile, subtracting the consumed components cost from the training BP cost.

These, on the other hand, I both really like. While it's not true that all other factories are aggregated (Shipyards being the obvious other exception), I can definitely get behind aggregating ground force training centers. They don't need tooling, after all, and while it does contribute to the unrealism of training formations in a single week as noted above I don't really have an issue with that in Aurora. I don't think this is a super important change but I do like it as a nice simplification that reduces micro for minimal loss.

I also really love the idea of using available components for STOs, not necessarily because of training time, but because it opens new strategies. Historically gun batteries to defend ports were often built using outdated weapons off warships when they were scrapped, because it was cheap and you cared less about your stationary defenses being top of the line. STO units with old guns from warships you no longer care about wouldn't be that useful, but they'd be cheap, and the reduced maintenance of ground units in Aurora makes that an actually tempting option for colony defense.

I'll add a third idea I'd really like to see: Some sort of tool for planning multiple formation hierarchies and building them at once. This is admittedly less of an issue with the removal of ground command rating on officers, but I'd still really like the ability to, say, decide that a Planetary Defense Force Division has 3 Planetary Defense Brigades (each with 4 Infantry Regiments and a Towed Gun Regiment) and 1 Orbital Artillery Brigade, and so on, and then say "Build a PDF Division" and have it queue up all the formations and set them up in the appropriate hierarchy when they're done, so I don't have to drag them around.

I think it will be nearly ideal to have 3 stages:
1. Equipment production (with Ground Armament Factories instead of GFTF)
2. Recruiting (relatively quick process with some cost)
3. Training (without facilities, just morale/readiness buildup)

Equipment can be produced on other planet.

And I just cannot beleave in training facilities.

Let's please not turn this into adding complexity for no real gain. Aurora isn't Hearts of Iron and a detailed process for creating ground units just isn't needed.
 

Offline Nori

  • Bronze Supporter
  • Lieutenant
  • *****
  • Posts: 175
  • Thanked: 30 times
  • Discord Username: Nori Silverrage
  • Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter : Support the forums with a Bronze subscription
    2021 Supporter 2021 Supporter : Donate for 2021
Re: Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2021, 04:55:45 PM »
I like the idea of ground unit training being a pool like factories and such. I have a 25kt infantry unit right now and at my current rate it takes 4ish years to build one. If I could put say, 10 working towards one, I'd get one done it a little under half a year. That sounds nice to me and fits with the rest of the game.
 

Offline serger

  • Silver Supporter
  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
  • Thanked: 72 times
  • Silver Supporter Silver Supporter : Support the forums with a Silver subscription
    2021 Supporter 2021 Supporter : Donate for 2021
Re: Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2021, 01:47:18 AM »
Let's please not turn this into adding complexity for no real gain. Aurora isn't Hearts of Iron and a detailed process for creating ground units just isn't needed.

Well, I agree completely that Aurora needs no complexity for no real gain, but:

1. "Manning" mechanics will add no much complexity: it might be just 1 field in DB added (boolean "formation is manned" to discrete equipmental carcass that can be treated as cargo - and manned formation, that can be transported in troop transports only). I'd say that equipment might be 1/2 of tonnage for infantry and 9/10 for all other types of elements, it's rather simple and realistic enough.

2. Renaming GFTF to armament factories is no adding complexity at all, it's just reducing disbelieve burden.

3. Changing morale buildup is no adding complexity too, it's just adjusting existing mechanics in realistic way to reduce disbelieve burden.

What a gain aside of reducing disbelieve?

Well, now we have no option to build even local police squads or minuteman companies if there is no specialized GF facilities infrastructure with minerals here. With discrete equipment there is even option to make minimal equipment be zero-cost (non-armored local police with sidearms can be just manned and trained - for money only, without dedicated facilities or military cargo unloaded). Adding this option will reduce (aside of disbelieve burden) micromanagement burden too.
 

Offline Azuraal (OP)

  • Petty Officer
  • **
  • A
  • Posts: 15
  • Thanked: 13 times
Re: Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2021, 02:55:56 AM »
The argument that it shouldn't be possible to train a 1 man formation in a day, makes sense, is totally realistic, and I feel it is completely irrelevant to a game like Aurora. Yeah, it's silly to be tossing out 1 man formations that fast, but it also doesn't matter, and I don't see the point to moving to a more complicated model just to add realism.
It is my assumption that the reason construction complexes don't aggregate is because Steve wants that element of realism. Letting construction complexes aggregate would be my preferred solution over adding complexity, but if it didn't work that way from the beginning I'm assuming there is a reason for that.

Similarly, I don't really agree that larger formations punish the player, at least short of a very specific situation like an ongoing war in a multi-faction start where the difference between getting 1/5th your forces out in a month verse all your forces in 5 months actually matters. And to the extent that it does matter, I think the best solution is found in the followup post:
I don't know about your formations, but for me the difference wouldn't be a 5'th every month, vs all in 5 months, but rather all in 10 years with a bunch of ground complexes idle vs actually using the capacity of a interstellar empire's home-world and getting it done in a year.

And especially when it comes to STOs, multiple times I ran into a situation where I order them to be built normally with no rush, but long before the construction is complete I run into an NPR and my outlying colonies are left STO-less.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

  • Aurora Designer
  • Star Marshal
  • S
  • Posts: 10580
  • Thanked: 13560 times
    • http://www.starfireassistant.com
Re: Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2021, 08:45:28 AM »
In my current game, I am splitting a Space Marine combat formation into 2 so I can build it faster, which is micro rather than a meaningful decision, so I don't have any major objection to some form of aggregation of training facilities, either by assigning multiple facilities to a single task (probably easier to implement from current situation) or changing ground construction to be similar to construction, ordnance and fighter factories and operate as a single pool. I intended for GFTF to be similar to shipyards, but you can't combine ships after construction so the analogy doesn't really work.

I wouldn't be keen on pre-built STO components as I think that might be overpowered.

 
The following users thanked this post: papent, Droll, Nori, BAGrimm

Offline nuclearslurpee

  • Vice Admiral
  • **********
  • Posts: 1120
  • Thanked: 744 times
  • Radioactive frozen beverage.
Re: Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2021, 08:54:12 AM »
3. Changing morale buildup is no adding complexity too, it's just adjusting existing mechanics in realistic way to reduce disbelieve burden.

It is a bit more than an adjustment, presently there is no mechanic in place which a training level for ground units can be implemented by. The current morale system is not suitable for interacting with a troop training mechanic which functions similarly to crew training, as morale is not a reflection of troop quality or statistics but rather the current state of a formation in terms of combat readiness. This means a training level would have to be an additional and separate ground unit variable - not prohibitive, but more than an adjustment.

Quote
Well, now we have no option to build even local police squads or minuteman companies if there is no specialized GF facilities infrastructure with minerals here. With discrete equipment there is even option to make minimal equipment be zero-cost (non-armored local police with sidearms can be just manned and trained - for money only, without dedicated facilities or military cargo unloaded). Adding this option will reduce (aside of disbelieve burden) micromanagement burden too.

While I'm not opposed to "zero-cost" units I do want to note that this would require either reworking the ground units system or adding an exception, as currently ground unit costs are directly related to their statistics. The former would be a lot of work, and the latter goes against the stated design aims of Aurora C#.

In my current game, I am splitting a Space Marine combat formation into 2 so I can build it faster, which is micro rather than a meaningful decision, so I don't have any major objection to some form of aggregation of training facilities, either by assigning multiple facilities to a single task (probably easier to implement from current situation) or changing ground construction to be similar to construction, ordnance and fighter factories and operate as a single pool. I intended for GFTF to be similar to shipyards, but you can't combine ships after construction so the analogy doesn't really work.

I wouldn't be keen on pre-built STO components as I think that might be overpowered.

I agree on all points here.
 

Offline Barkhorn

  • Commodore
  • **********
  • B
  • Posts: 709
  • Thanked: 129 times
Re: Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2021, 10:55:31 AM »
We can have the bootcamp period and the aggregate GFTFs by just having a minimum time required, possibly varying based on what the unit is.  So, 1 GFTF might build a formation in a year, 2 GFTF's would take 6 months, but 10,000 GFTF's will still take the minimum 3 months or whatever.

I would think the minimum time would be shortest for infantry, longer for vehicles, longest for ultraheavies.
 

Offline Droll

  • Vice Admiral
  • **********
  • D
  • Posts: 1296
  • Thanked: 367 times
Re: Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2021, 10:56:06 AM »
In my current game, I am splitting a Space Marine combat formation into 2 so I can build it faster, which is micro rather than a meaningful decision, so I don't have any major objection to some form of aggregation of training facilities, either by assigning multiple facilities to a single task (probably easier to implement from current situation) or changing ground construction to be similar to construction, ordnance and fighter factories and operate as a single pool. I intended for GFTF to be similar to shipyards, but you can't combine ships after construction so the analogy doesn't really work.

Speaking of micro, it would also be nice to be able to specify the number of formations of a type to be built, exactly like the SM mode "instant build" button works. Right now you have to spam click and also count to the correct number of formations that you want which can be annoying and prone to mistakes.

A more major thing which I have suggested before is "OOB templates", which allows one to save the hierarchy of formation types so that they don't have to reform their division every time a new one is trained.
As an example, think of a division that you normally put 3 brigades under with more formations subordinate to those brigades. You want to train maybe a dozen of these otherwise identical divisions and instead of having to form the same OOB 12 times, you save the hierarchy to an OOB template that automatically creates the needed formation training tasks so that each division is now a one-click exercise. Such a template would only be used to create the training tasks and initial hierarchy and would not be saved beyond that.
 
The following users thanked this post: BAGrimm

Offline serger

  • Silver Supporter
  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
  • Thanked: 72 times
  • Silver Supporter Silver Supporter : Support the forums with a Silver subscription
    2021 Supporter 2021 Supporter : Donate for 2021
Re: Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2021, 11:38:01 AM »
3. Changing morale buildup is no adding complexity too, it's just adjusting existing mechanics in realistic way to reduce disbelieve burden.

It is a bit more than an adjustment, presently there is no mechanic in place which a training level for ground units can be implemented by. The current morale system is not suitable for interacting with a troop training mechanic which functions similarly to crew training, as morale is not a reflection of troop quality or statistics but rather the current state of a formation in terms of combat readiness.

I don't understand your point. Training is a buildup of combat readiness. Rename morale to readiness and it will be simple and believable thing.

While I'm not opposed to "zero-cost" units I do want to note that this would require either reworking the ground units system or adding an exception, as currently ground unit costs are directly related to their statistics. The former would be a lot of work, and the latter goes against the stated design aims of Aurora C#.

All are tradeoffs.
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

  • Vice Admiral
  • **********
  • Posts: 1120
  • Thanked: 744 times
  • Radioactive frozen beverage.
Re: Rework to Ground Unit Construction
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2021, 11:57:30 AM »
I don't understand your point. Training is a buildup of combat readiness. Rename morale to readiness and it will be simple and believable thing.

"Morale" as it currently exists mechanically is used to calculate breakthrough chances only, unlike crew training grade which influences several aspect of ship operations. It really only represents the disorganization of a formation which has taken combat losses and needs to be withdrawn from the front lines to reorganize. Frankly the commander bonus that affects this, which is called "Ground Combat Training" or similar, is misnamed but that is a different topic.

Note for example that if we tie morale, as it currently exists, to a hypothetical soldier training mechanic, training is basically useless for any element or formation type which is not a front-line combatant, for example artillery or rear logistics formations do not really need morale. This is frankly silly, no modern military would rely on untrained artillerists or logisticians to support their front-line troops. Not to mention, it also makes very little sense for breakthrough chance/resistance to be the only effect of troop training - granted, unit cohesion is a critical and underappreciated part of modern military science but it makes no sense that minimally trained troops handed a gun can shoot just as accurately and use cover just as effectively as well-trained professional soldiers.

In order for a training mechanic to make logical sense it really needs to be a completely new mechanic which operates more similarly to ship crew training. Again, this is a perfectly fine idea, but it requires more than a small adjustment of renaming one statistic.