Author Topic: Combat  (Read 4753 times)

Offline Gwmngilfen

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Re: Combat
« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2015, 05:43:46 PM »
Not sure your idea would work, considering that  PC is not dumb and targets your actual military buildings in construction, you would have pretty small chances to establish covering with camps. This forces to farther confrontation already with camps and lucky military  building survivors for next territory, so basically your main military sorta never fights, but rather stands behind.

The counter-attack buildings intercept incoming attacks (I think; it happens quite quickly). Therefore, if you have enough deployed, attacks will not reach the under-construction military buildings.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Combat
« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2015, 05:46:15 PM »
Well, currently one part that you don't seem to know about is the ability of your opponent to declare war against you... and they do so by "holoporting" saucers to kill whatever objective they're after. Basically that means that your barracks ain't safe. Sorry if I assumed wrongly  :-[.

My idea and Gwmngilfen could work because they allow your base to be defended as well as allowing attacks - and because attacking means lowering your defenses. But, yours could to. It currently feels strange in the game because the enemies defend themselves... but they don't really attack back, at least yet. I expected saucers to appear the turn after I "declared" war but I'm still waiting for them. Maybe it's for later.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 05:48:05 PM by kasnavada »

Offline Gwmngilfen

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Re: Combat
« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2015, 05:50:16 PM »
I expected saucers to appear the turn after I "declared" war but I'm still waiting for them. Maybe it's for later.

That's a really good point - I haven't seen any saucers arriving after my declaration of war either. That might lead to a simpler solution to my stalemate situation (from my other thread) - if killing saucers consumed buildings (i.e the saucers are the result of the AI "camps"), even temporarily, then I'd be able to destroy some resources that might then enable me to move in on the captured territory. Maybe we just need to see how the AI reacts to war once the new diplomacy is in place...

Offline Shrugging Khan

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Re: Combat
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2015, 03:44:50 AM »
So, with Diplomacy and Trade getting some much-needed attention in the coming times, I'm guessing combat development is on ice for now. But to be quite honest, I feel that combat is in an atrocious state. It's tolerable on the defensive, but offensively it just feels like there is no design behind it at all.

So what are some minimalist changes that could be shoehorned in during the Diplomacy/Trade phase, that would still significantly improve combat play? Cooldowns, long-range special attacks, movable buildings?

Any small yet potent ideas?
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Offline nas1m

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Re: Combat
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2015, 04:03:27 AM »
I feel like the omission of attack range aside from territories combined with unlimited military buildings and easy to come by crowns is too much. Limiting the number of total military buildings a given territory can support based on size/tech/whatever as well as possibly their total number based on e.g. city population might help to remedy this e.g. by forcing the player to decide where to place his limited buildings as well as what to place in a given territory (Focus!).
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 04:04:59 AM by nas1m »
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Offline Rythe

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Re: Combat
« Reply #35 on: July 19, 2015, 08:55:08 PM »
Well, I haven't played the game at all, but from reading this thread, I get the strong sense that combat is going to be a huge 'bleck' for me.

I also don't think that a separate combat phase is going to do any good, really.

So what seems to be the problem is that range is everything, and that range is tied to static structures that have a build time. This makes fortified areas all but impossible to invade as said fortifications just blow up the 'attacking' buildings under construction.

The easy but bland solution would be to prefab military buildings, place them as a non-attackable icon on the map that the opposing factions can see, then have them appear fully built in a turn or two. Following turns would have the military installations shoot each other up as normal. Someone mentioned invulnerability period somewhere in here I think, so basically that.

I don't think that setup will ever be particularly interesting or satisfying though. It's just a slight extension of a brute force economic battle.  The only real wrinkles would be to get another faction to sabotage or sap your opponent's economy while you're attacking them directly. But if the AI understood the system, they would understand that in doing so, they are handing you territory as well as hurting a mutual enemy. The only way for them to really break even in the exchange is if they gobble up as much territory as their contributions to the fight merit, but if they're not interested in territory, then it's a matter of trusting you more than whoever you're attacking and desiring the fall of the faction you're attacking.

I think a better solution would be to create defensive fortification buildings and offensive military bases. Defensive fortifications can project their umbrella of protection into neighboring territories while offensive bases can possibly project an attack up to two territories away. This would fix the range issue. At a strategic level, you could specify what facilities are protecting/attacking what territories within their range.

I would also like to see logistic and production added into the equation, rather than it being simple resource and money income being turned into buildings wherever. So have factories produce pseudo units that get posted at the fortification and base structures that would modify the capabilities of said structures. And said structures having a limit to how many of these pseudo units they can support. Easy unit categories for our rock/paper/scissors types (people who aren't me) would be attack type units (2 territory range), defensive type units (1 territory range but tougher), and siege type units (can blow up buildings good, 1 territory)*. By 1 territory range, I mean 1 territory outside of the territory the structure is located in.

And now that I think about it, a better way to separate fortifications and military bases would be to have the fortifications provide a passive defense bonus to the territory they're in while military bases can house more units. The units themselves would decide military power at which range (in units of territory).  And when combat happens, it's the pseudo units that die first, then buildings in the defending territory, probably with some nod to collateral damage if the defenders aren't overwhelmingly dominant. Fortifications could reduce collateral damage as one of their possible passive bonuses.

...Is there spying and espionage in this game? Because if there is, you could use spies to determine where units are being posted by other factions with the strategic 'decide which territory your military structures are attacking/defending' part.

*That I consider this a 'RPS' setup might tell you how much I despise actual RPS setups.

(Edited to clarify and add a few ideas)
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 09:18:25 PM by Rythe »

Offline Shrugging Khan

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Re: Combat
« Reply #36 on: July 20, 2015, 03:30:11 AM »
Right now, Defenders can defend within a territory while attackers can attack neighbouring ones.

Your suggestion contains the idea that it would be better if defenders could defend neighbouring territories, while attackers could attack two territories out?
Isn't that pretty much the same situation, just with extended ranges?
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Offline bormoth

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Re: Combat
« Reply #37 on: July 20, 2015, 09:55:31 PM »
Right now, Defenders can defend within a territory while attackers can attack neighbouring ones.

Your suggestion contains the idea that it would be better if defenders could defend neighbouring territories, while attackers could attack two territories out?
Isn't that pretty much the same situation, just with extended ranges?
Not particulary true. Using his idea, defender can encroach and use defence of established base to build attacking base and pepper enemy offences, infrastructure, or defenses.

With way it is currently in you stuck on territory you are in, and endlessly may contest neighboring territory because, building defences and offences are destroyed as soon as they ordered to be built, on contested territory.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Combat
« Reply #38 on: July 22, 2015, 04:26:52 AM »
I don't see where this does not end in being the same situation with extended range. However, for me the main issue is that it slows the gameplay even more than what's currently in. I mean, to attack, if at war, it means that "first step" you have to build enough defenses to be able to build, then "second step" to build "attack" buildings. I agree completely that the current system has issues though.

Yet, there is possibility (when diplomacy is in) that the combat is going to move toward "artillery" combat, in the sense that most factions are at peace most of the time (therefore the issue of not being able to build things is irrelevant), and just "declare" war for "small scale" and short guerrilla-style wars rather than the full blown annihilation wars that 4X typically implement. In which case minor adaptations to the current system would be enough. And, while I've no idea if the combat would be "exciting" this way, it would push the game toward diplomacy being important rather than "just" military conquest, like most other games.

Thing is, while changing combat is fine because it has issue, I think that SBR already has a rather strong and rather complex city-building component, that Chris aims to have a strong and complex diplomacy system... If the combat system gets complex too, it will focus the game away from diplomacy and city-building elements (for me, that's bad), and could just become too complex as a whole.

For me it's "fine" if the combat system is "simple" with some "issues" because it's not supposed, AFAIK to be the focus of the game.

Offline bormoth

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Re: Combat
« Reply #39 on: July 23, 2015, 05:42:31 PM »
Current -- you build 3 military buildings on newtral territory(am I right? You have amout of buildings per territory.) They are blown up, at time you build them, due to lack of defences.
Or you build 3 military buildings and they covered with enough defences to neutralise agression. And they finish.

Other then that there is no large difference,except efficiency. Each building still defends once per turn except over wider area. so you still need the same amount in the end, except you can frontload your defences, with his idea, while as it is now you just need to establish new base under the bombardment.

Maybe I misunderstand and AI cities don't have bombardent anymore?

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Combat
« Reply #40 on: July 23, 2015, 07:33:00 PM »
About proposing "larger range for defense buildings"

Mostly what you're proposing is useful if at war, and makes war (if at war) a 2 stage scenario : first, build defense, then expand. That means 2 scenarios if at war:
- you build defences the AI can't ever hope to hit anything you're building, and create territories they can't even touch, then you build attack buildings which can ever be touched, and kill him without any hope for retaliation ever.
- on the other side, if an AI decides to expand and has strong defenses in place, you can't scratch a thing toprevent him from advancing.

Basically... it means that offense is unstoppable. And, since it's a 2 stage war, it's going to be a long war.
Currently, I agree it's the opposite, offense is nearly impossible to advance if at war. The issue is that since it's basically impossible to advance ever unless highly overbuilding your opponent. So, basically, it's going to be a very long war.

The whole "territory" change was AFAIK in part due to offense being unstoppable and boring (because higher range building can level anything with little to no retaliation).


If at peace - no matter the system spoken of in my post here - before starting the war, the problem is that currently since you have a complete view of the opposing forces, you just build everything needed to "one shot" it, then grind it into dust on the following turns.


That's why I don't see the difference, except there is an extended range. For me to think that the combat system is different, it needs middle ground, and not to move from one extreme to the other.

Offline bormoth

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Re: Combat
« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2015, 06:55:49 PM »
You are speaking true( even with leaky defences and if they done correctly you would still be able to hit something unless you sacrifice economics for military pressense.
Thats's why never liked Risk(they are too simple mechanics, and don't give too much place for maneure and covert actions ). Pretty much same mechanics. No way to threaten other then have more adjacent territories to attack.
    . 2
1 x 2

Empire 2 would win territory "x" due to larger coverage, and pssible contest of territory "." provided deffences and offences shared ad work only once per turn.

That's why my idea was proposed, because it generally gives counterweight between offence and deffence, as well some sabotage, and decoy actions, I don't think it would even make hard to programm AI(AI war level would be sufficient). At this point i personally think enviormental hazards, and planet reaction through events, as well as economic competition would work better(even static).

There was one excelent disaster/economy colony building RTS called Outpost 2. They nailed awesomely eviormental and economicmissions, but failed with combat in general, so missions with combat were worst missions. And the more I think the more I sorta convince myself (from point of my really limited knowledge of the game) that combat not really fit as it is in this game. You can still use military to fend off agression events, but hardly useful to take strategic and tactical decissions of let's say "AI War" levels. And wars would really look lame.

While game would look much better with you want their lands:
  • just start encroaching with your media
  • sell products there (more precious for race, and larger variety the better)
  • forging or make trade,scientiffic, or cultural deals and giving away your passports in region
  • maybe invest in region providing building capacity on ai projects(AI can give free building to build as extra to your construction cap
  • Spread deseases, eco terrorism(ruin ecology or other way around make forests or agressive vegetation, and fauna to ruin cities), inciterebellions, commit terracts, framing goverment
Mash it up against region stability(people more likely to listen someone who promices better when they are at bottom), development, police rating. Maybe with only way of ultra expensive agression of Cobalt bomb(ruins region completely or large chunk of it to be any use for anyone) for times it is only option.

For me looks much better direction to work then combat as it is now, here i less becomes like small not maching but necessary separate game element, but long term way to unswer to events,tool if you wish, and possible social or diplomatic agression.(kill rebells,  seek and jail diversants, combat indiginous life forms coming to say hi to your cities as reaction to your pressense in region, e.t.c.). Also as bonus no annoying every turn click 20 buildings to kill that target.

Offline Rythe

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Re: Combat
« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2015, 03:17:00 AM »
There's one part of my proposal that seems to be largely overlooked here, and that's the part where factions would have to designate which territory their military structures are attacking or defending. A defensive building could only defend one territory per turn, even if six were in its range of protection, and the faction needs to designate where that defensive power sits for the turn (defaulting to previous selection or origin territory of course, so only need to fiddle for changes) This way, defense isn't able to be impenetrably deep across a whole cluster of territories just by being a cluster of territories. Defenses would either be poor to mediocre across or consolidated into a select few very powerful territories among them.  The other thing is, attack structures would act as defense structures until turned to the offensive. The units 'housed' at the offensive military bases would default to defending the territory they're in if not positioned to defend somewhere else or attack. Same for defense structures being able to send their more limited number of housed units on the attack.

This creates a situation similar to Risk where you may have a few frontline territories with loads of units on them whereas your rearguard areas and secondary territories have relatively few.

It's also been mentioned that Chris wants military expansion to be slow and expensive, which I imagine is part of the reason for the tower setup now. That's also why my proposal ties units to structures too, because it slows down and disperses the Risk-style death clumps, but it also keeps the Risk-style death clump weakness of having a lot of relatively under and basically undefended territories that can be attacked when things get concentrated for a roll. If the attacker has the forces to win their objective, the defender still has the option to strike back somewhere, and relatively easily given the 2-territory units.  The idea is that defenders would use their heavier, 1-territory units to try and soak up or slow an assault force while sending their 2-territory units to hit back at the same time in some (hopefully) under-defended territory, which includes the option of the defender just dumping all their units from their defending territory(ies) into the territory(ies) launching the attack for some mutual destruction and hopefully buy themselves time to build up their military into a more effective response. A possible outcome here is the attacker's bases get destroyed which could send their assault forces back to other territories that can still support them (potentially degrading them in the process).  Attacking is an invitation for reprisal in this system, and I think there's a much better chance for that reprisal to actual be an effective one compared to a lot of systems I've seen.

Another aspect that seems a bit overlooked is dealing with the pseudo units themselves. It's not just about plopping new military bases and fortifications in your new territory and continuing the roll. You also have to have the production capabilities to cover your unit losses in the march forward, and the defender can shift their own units from other territories to cover loses and oppose your advance that way.  To keep momentum, an aggressive attacker has to have the capability to replace units and continually build a whole slew of new bases each time it advances, whereas the defender can concentrate more on units and improving their economy to tip the scales back in their direction. If the defender breaks the attacking army, that actually weakens the defenses of the attacker's territories and gives a better chance of reprisal and turning the situation around too, especially if the attacker uses up their 1-territory units trying to take an adjacent territory.

Thirdly, if a conflict concentrates units on a particular battlefront risk style, this gives better opportunities for a strike from another direction and even from another faction.

I'm essentially trying to blend the economic and force projection complexities of traditional, unit-based 4X military models with the more static and streamlined structure-based model SBR is currently in while adding a bit more strategic flexibility to the mix than is typically possible in either.

The biggest weakness I see is giving the defender at least the opportunity to counter a spearhead attack where the attacker has only one territory in reach while the defender has multiple ones, in that the attacker could draw defending forces to one territory then shift its forces to another and decimate it. Would probably have to implement something to show enemy unit movement out/through territories you own with units only able to move one territory a turn as an addition to the spying bit revealing the marching orders of other factions on success.

Edit: To answer kasnavada a bit better -

Why should you be able to see what units are housed in enemy military structures? Unless you have really good spies of course.  In my system, having a base or fortification in place doesn't mean said structure actually has any teeth at all. It could have none. (Ignoring possible passive bonuses with fortifications for the territory they're in).
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 03:51:47 AM by Rythe »

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Combat
« Reply #43 on: July 25, 2015, 07:56:55 AM »
Hum, sorry if I'm being misunderstood on one point. About "building and housing" units, setting places and so on, I'm not contradicting that part. I think it's a good source of inspiration actually. I'm worrying that it's too complex, but that's about it and probably can be tweaked.

Since some were in favor of "just" increasing the range of defenders, I'm just stating "just that" does not work, at least for me.

2 minor points here:
- I hate the combat system in risk, the way troop movement is handled, and the elimination system. So I'm probably not the best person to speak about that part. If taking units into account, I think SBR could take inspiration from games like Rune wars, with other AIs fulfulling the role of other players.
- I think that Chris went for unitless, and this implements units.


Documentation (for those that don't know the game):
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/59294/runewars

=>The victory conditions not tied to the elimination of others. Actually it's tied to "capturing" some artefacts, which grant you victory when you control 6 of them. They can be gotten via quests, military conquest (as they are tied to a territory, capturing enemy territory can capture them) and some other conditions.

Runewars "wars" are set via orders. On a very short explanation, basically on a turn you "target" places and you move available units. This is rather similar to what you said Rythe. There is a limit of unit per territory which is there to prevent massive amount of troops at available places and a limit of the quantity of each kind of troops (to prevent anyone from controlling the whole map). It's still possible to "concentrate" troops when attacking but, but "survivors" have to respect the "limitation / territory" otherwise they move back (and die if there is no place to move back, if I remember well, it's been a while since I played).

This basically means that the attacker is "winning" if it concentrates troops, but the movement mechanic and limitation / territory means that attacking creates flaws in your defense for counter attacks if you concentrate too much. Also there is no point controlling every part of the map as it's not a victory condition in the first place.

Adapting it to SBR could mean a change to the territory mechanics, with the possibility of leaving them, conquering them, and having a "faction-capped" (with research ?) limit of "units". "Units" are necessary to control a territory, so if you overexpand, you're vulnerable. Then have diplomacy limit the quantity of attacks and movement. It would also require that the "core" of any faction can't be captured (but that doesn't mean it can't be subdued). To do that I'd propose a split between "core" territories where you can actually build and "held" territories, from which you extract resources, and can conquer things, but can't build. With a rather "low" limitation of the number of "core" territories" and a limitation of "held" territories by your "units".

(The Runewar system is a bit more complex than this, but it's been a while since I played that game. The rules are available online though).
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 08:00:25 AM by kasnavada »

Offline nas1m

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Re: Combat
« Reply #44 on: July 25, 2015, 10:09:55 AM »
There's one part of my proposal that seems to be largely overlooked here, and that's the part where factions would have to designate which territory their military structures are attacking or defending. A defensive building could only defend one territory per turn, even if six were in its range of protection, and the faction needs to designate where that defensive power sits for the turn (defaulting to previous selection or origin territory of course, so only need to fiddle for changes) This way, defense isn't able to be impenetrably deep across a whole cluster of territories just by being a cluster of territories. Defenses would either be poor to mediocre across or consolidated into a select few very powerful territories among them.  The other thing is, attack structures would act as defense structures until turned to the offensive. The units 'housed' at the offensive military bases would default to defending the territory they're in if not positioned to defend somewhere else or attack. Same for defense structures being able to send their more limited number of housed units on the attack.

This creates a situation similar to Risk where you may have a few frontline territories with loads of units on them whereas your rearguard areas and secondary territories have relatively few.

It's also been mentioned that Chris wants military expansion to be slow and expensive, which I imagine is part of the reason for the tower setup now. That's also why my proposal ties units to structures too, because it slows down and disperses the Risk-style death clumps, but it also keeps the Risk-style death clump weakness of having a lot of relatively under and basically undefended territories that can be attacked when things get concentrated for a roll. If the attacker has the forces to win their objective, the defender still has the option to strike back somewhere, and relatively easily given the 2-territory units.  The idea is that defenders would use their heavier, 1-territory units to try and soak up or slow an assault force while sending their 2-territory units to hit back at the same time in some (hopefully) under-defended territory, which includes the option of the defender just dumping all their units from their defending territory(ies) into the territory(ies) launching the attack for some mutual destruction and hopefully buy themselves time to build up their military into a more effective response. A possible outcome here is the attacker's bases get destroyed which could send their assault forces back to other territories that can still support them (potentially degrading them in the process).  Attacking is an invitation for reprisal in this system, and I think there's a much better chance for that reprisal to actual be an effective one compared to a lot of systems I've seen.

Another aspect that seems a bit overlooked is dealing with the pseudo units themselves. It's not just about plopping new military bases and fortifications in your new territory and continuing the roll. You also have to have the production capabilities to cover your unit losses in the march forward, and the defender can shift their own units from other territories to cover loses and oppose your advance that way.  To keep momentum, an aggressive attacker has to have the capability to replace units and continually build a whole slew of new bases each time it advances, whereas the defender can concentrate more on units and improving their economy to tip the scales back in their direction. If the defender breaks the attacking army, that actually weakens the defenses of the attacker's territories and gives a better chance of reprisal and turning the situation around too, especially if the attacker uses up their 1-territory units trying to take an adjacent territory.

Thirdly, if a conflict concentrates units on a particular battlefront risk style, this gives better opportunities for a strike from another direction and even from another faction.

I'm essentially trying to blend the economic and force projection complexities of traditional, unit-based 4X military models with the more static and streamlined structure-based model SBR is currently in while adding a bit more strategic flexibility to the mix than is typically possible in either.

The biggest weakness I see is giving the defender at least the opportunity to counter a spearhead attack where the attacker has only one territory in reach while the defender has multiple ones, in that the attacker could draw defending forces to one territory then shift its forces to another and decimate it. Would probably have to implement something to show enemy unit movement out/through territories you own with units only able to move one territory a turn as an addition to the spying bit revealing the marching orders of other factions on success.

Edit: To answer kasnavada a bit better -

Why should you be able to see what units are housed in enemy military structures? Unless you have really good spies of course.  In my system, having a base or fortification in place doesn't mean said structure actually has any teeth at all. It could have none. (Ignoring possible passive bonuses with fortifications for the territory they're in).
I would love to see and try out the overall flow of combat you outline here in-game.This might well be what Chris is after - going from what he outlined on previous occasions. Especially the dynamic and by default hidden routing of power/defenses definitely sounds like a significant step in the right direction!
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 10:14:21 AM by nas1m »
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