Astro Galaxy - a realistic space exploration game
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Author Topic: AG battle system  (Read 5882 times)
SirEmi
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« on: September 17, 2012, 11:04:36 AM »

The Astro Galaxy battle system incorporates ship combat, station combat and planetary combat into a universal battle system.

Attacks can be initiated either by a ship towards an enemy ship / station / planetary structure or by a station against planetary structures.

When an attack is made, all units belonging to the attacker and the defender in that location (planet / moon / belt) will enter combat. Every ship, station, planetary force is a unit in the battle. Units are ordered from highest power to lowest, with the most powerful units going against each other.

When two units battle, there are 4 phases to the attack.

Phase 1: Combat speed initiative is determined to see who attacks first. For ship vs. ship, the ship with the highest combat speed goes first. If equal combat speed, the chances are 50% - 50%. For ship vs. station or ship vs. planet, the combat speed is irrelevant so chances are again equal on witch unit fires first.

Phase 2: Weapons assault. If the unit has weapons installed and manned by personnel, it will fire the weapons. Damage is done to target shields, armor, manpower. Once the damage gets past shield and armor, it begins to kill personnel on board.

Damage:
Ships enter emergency warp and flee if 25% of the crew is lost. Planetary units and stations do not have that luxury. Planetary structures can be either captured or destroyed when all personnel is killed. If destroyed, some resources can be recovered from the wreckage. Stations blow up and are destroyed when all personnel is killed. From stations, cargo bays can be looted and resources from the station wreckage.

Phase 3: Boarding assault. Marine assault units are sent to the enemy unit in order to sabotage and do damage. Marines are trained soldiers, tougher then civilians. If the marines successfully defeat the enemy unit, enemy personnel can also be captured as POW (prisoners of war). The POW can either be disembarked at Sol->Earth for a bounty, or incorporated into the crew at 50% the personnel costs.

Phase 4: Civilian boarding: Civilians try to sabotage / do damage to the enemy unit. Rather weak assault, but could work if there are many personnel. Rather costly though. Kind of like a desperate assault.

When ships are defeated and it flees / enters emergency warp, sometimes the fleet looses cargo. The victor can then scoop this cargo if there is available cargo bay, in case of ships / stations. This way resources, fuel, modules can be looted from the defeated ship cargo bay.


The use of weapons such as viper / laser / railgun / etc is recommended as the weapons will fire first. While you can not capture POW if you annihilate the enemy unit with weapons, it is an effective means of ensuring minimal casualties. Mining outposts and stations that do not have weapons can easily be defeated by a ship with a few weapons installed on it, so it is recommended that all facilities be defended by weapons.

Shields are great in defending a ship, but are generally weaker then armor. The shields will replenish after each battle, while armor needs to be repaired. Armor can only be installed on ships / stations. Shields can be installed on ships / stations / planets. If damaged, the armor will need to be repaired using resources and it may also take time.

If you want to create a boarding platform ship, it's good to use shield / armor to protect against incoming weapons fire and then have Marine Assault Units for boarding.



The Attack timer to position / maneuver

The attack position / maneuver time is directly influenced by the ship power involved in the battle. This serves as a warning to the defender as well as a way to match out forces. Basically, if you have a very powerful ship and attack a tiny ship, the tiny ship will have ample time to escape.

It is of course possible to optimize this attack / maneuver time by the attacker in order to reduce time it takes to attack. What you need to do is try to power down weapons if you can, by shifting marines from manning the weapon to the Marine Assault Unit module, this will effectively reduce your ship power rating, making the attack faster, though it will also decrease your winning odds if you're too closely matched with the opponent. Also, powering down shields may also decrease your power, again with a risk of less defense 1

For example, if you have a ship with just an FTL, Cargo, MAU with 0/1000 pers, and 5x Laser MK I module with 50/50 personnel. Powering down the 5x Laser MK I modules by assigning personnel from the laser module to the MAU, making 250/1000 marines will greatly reduce the ship's power and lower the attack time to position, but the Laser modules will not fire in combat as their power will be 0, so only the marines will enter combat.

Having many weapons on the ship and attacking different targets, a ship captain can estimate how many weapons are needed online to ensure victory, thus optimizing attack timers.

So the attack time to position is in no way affected by the size of your ship, just by the power rating it generates. Thus you can have a highly flexible ship that could be modified for combat speed, boarding, weapons etc. depending on your target. It makes for interesting strategies.


« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 11:18:59 AM by SirEmi » Report to moderator   Logged

Sydney
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2012, 04:00:32 PM »

Id like a little more information about how much damage things can take. Im a little confused.

I just had nine modules with a combined power rating well over 11k taken out by a single hit that did 8k damage

Incidentally that was a 9 slot planet instalation that had 3 SHG's A Viper Squad, a Marine unit and only 4 civillian MIF/ATH units.

I very much doubt id have been any better off with an extra SHG, and an extra VIPER or MAU unit as the guy that attacked i know has at least 2 more military units on his ship.

It seems to me that the battle balance ship to planet is very heavily weighted in favour of the ship. particularly in terms of risk reward. The ship captain has minimal risks, if he looses he looses some crew, must do a few repairs to armour and can get straight back into it. the planetary forces however are destroyed completly... Id estimate sunk costs of around $100k or more for that planetary instalation, and profit extracted at a small fraction of that. It makes me think that there is very little point in colonising planets other than those that you have a station at... and even then that wont de safe for long.

And all of this is with an attacker whose ship only has the tutorial reward laser plus a couple of vipers... how are we going to possibly defend a planet and even a planet - station pair against a larger ship with more lasers.

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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2012, 10:31:27 PM »

Well the Laser MK I is a very very powerful weapon. It has 6000 attack and if you set it on "pulse" it has 75% accuracy, so 1 in 4 shoots will miss but it will do 120%, so that would be 7200 attack.

When firing a weapon, 6 hit types can happen, each with 100/6 = 16.67% probability chance

1. Minor hit that does 5% - 15% damage
2. Light hit that does 16% - 25% damage
3. Hit that does 26% - 50% damage
4. Direct hit that does 51% - 100% damage
5. Excellent hit that does 101% - 125% damage
6. Critical hit that does 126% - 150% damage

So an attack of 7200 with a lucky excellent or critical hit could cripple the installation.

On the other hand, if you had a laser on the surface the odds would have been more balanced. The planetary surface personnel will fight to the last man, so they have better odds of victory but more to lose if they get defeated. The ships are more mobile, but if it's a major installation you should also have some orbital stations and maybe a ship in orbit.

An Electromagnetic shield module gives you 500 shield and costs 1,500 solars to sell it.
A Laser MK I weapon costs 45,900 solars to sell, and gives 6000 attack.

to get an accurate picture, you should have about 20-30 shield modules on the surface to match the Laser module cost.
Those modules will be more then enough to repel the attack 20x500 = 10000 shield, 30x500 = 15000 shield.

With 15000 shields, you're almost impervious and can withstand up to 2-4 Laser MK I hits easy.


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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2012, 10:37:09 PM »

This is a battle that did no go as planned for the attacker, so you can see it's hit and miss even with the laser.

Attacker opened fire!

ShipX Vs. ShipY
Weapons assault
ShipX maneuvers into fire range and attacks first.
ShipX attacks with Laser Cannon MK I using standard mode.
The attack missed the target completely!
ShipY attacks with Viper Squadron MK I using standard formation.
Critical hit on target, doing 2580 damage!
Target shield is down!
EMERGENCY JUMP!
ShipX has retreated from the battlefield due to heavy damage!
Cargo bay at full capacity! Cargo search aborted.

Attacker defeated!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 11:00:02 PM by SirEmi » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2012, 03:49:56 AM »


to get an accurate picture, you should have about 20-30 shield modules on the surface to match the Laser module cost.
Those modules will be more then enough to repel the attack 20x500 = 10000 shield, 30x500 = 15000 shield.

With 15000 shields, you're almost impervious and can withstand up to 2-4 Laser MK I hits easy.


Sure, but the planet only has 9 slots, Where am i going to put all these Shield generators... or is there something im missing here?


Even if i have a 16 slot planet, and a 15 slot station above it. that gives me 31 slots total to play with. I can install the exact same stuff that a ship can. so to be equally matched against a class 5 ship warship i probably need to devote around 13 slots to military use. But that only gives me a 50/50 chance in battle. If i loose i loose it all, if the ship looses, it looses a few crew, maybe some cargo, and must repair its armour. If i want to have a decent chance i need to devote considerably more to military use, perhapes 20 slots, and then i may have 2:1 odds in my favour still not great and it leaves only about a 1/3 of the instalation left over for economic use... which after all is why id build a station like this in the first place. to generate some profit. But then you have to look at how much it would cost me to put together something like that, It will take me many weeks to break even, and in that time our beloved pirate has since upgraded his ship to a class 6... which turns my once reasonably well defended instalation into a smorgasboard of cheap minerals to our wouldbe pirate.

Ok so if the basic shields are so weak then i should upgrade to advanced Shields, but wait, that takes 17 marks at who knows what science cost, and in that time all my SLB's have been wiped out because the guy investing research in weapons has allready got laser, and built himself 3-4 of them, against which i stood no chance. But even if i did manage to hide some away and survive then the whole picture becomes even more bleak when we start talking about rail guns vs Advanced Shields... one rail gun has +12000 attack, one Advanced Shield has +2500 defence. Id need a ratio of 9:1 just to ensure i can absorb 1 critical hit from a Mark-1 rail gun... so with all 9 slots on my 9 slot planet filled up with shields im kind of wondering what the point is...


IMHO the risks to the ships captain need to be increased when he is attacking a stationary object, ie a planet or station and in additon the planets and stations need to get a significant bonus to defence. Can this not be explained through scale... planets are well... really bloody big things. Where as the ships are tiny, what does the largest have 100 * 100m3 double it for the glue in between and its still just a speck next to a planet.


For the moment i will adjust my game play tactics. But the unbalance now makes the game pretty newbie unfriendly, and we all want lots more new players dont we. In the long term it will be almost unplayable, we will certainly have no permanent planetary installations. Even if we find ourselves a nice 100 slot rock home world... pitched against just a small fleet of war leviathans it will stand little chance. You cant say keep your ship in orbit...because well if all your ships are in orbit to protect your planet, what is there left to do?

FWIW I think the ship to ship combat can stay as it is... ships can escape, and the playing field in terms of investment vs Risk is level. If the other guy simply has a more powerfull ship then he can expect to defeat me and perhapes capture a little of my cargo, etc.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 01:28:31 PM by Sydney » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2012, 03:06:46 PM »

Hm, yeah there could be some fortify bonus to offset this advantage the ships have...

The personnel on stations and on surface will be able to absorb 3x more damage because of the fortified position.
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2012, 09:52:10 PM »

We got a few questions on the SOL Corp board:

Q: In a battle, 2 ships against 1, for example, will there be 2 battles if the winner is undecided from the first battle?
A: There will only be one battle. The strongest ship of the 2 will battle the other ship. If the other ship is still standing, it will fight the second ship.

Q: Am I right in thinking that defences on the second ship, planet or station will not protect whichever unit has been selected as strongest for each battle round?
A: Each unit will use it's own defenses and shields to protect itself. The strongest units fight first. The second ship will not affect the defenses on the first ship in any way.

Q: Oh, also, if one ship retreats due to damage, will the fight continue with what is left?
A: If you have 2 ships and the enemy has 1 ship, then your strongest ship will fight the enemy ship. If your ship retreats, the enemy ship will fight your second ship.


Battle order and how units enter battle:

The units are ordered by power with strongest unit on the top. Each attacker unit is matched with a defender unit on the same position, e.g. unit in position 1 attacks enemy in position 1, 2 vs. 2, 3 vs. 3

If either the attacker or defender has more units then the other, the remaining units will be attacked by the strongest enemy unit standing.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2012, 09:55:15 PM by SirEmi » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2012, 06:28:24 PM »

When firing a weapon, 6 hit types can happen, each with 100/6 = 16.67% probability chance

1. Minor hit that does 5% - 15% damage
2. Light hit that does 16% - 25% damage
3. Hit that does 26% - 50% damage
4. Direct hit that does 51% - 100% damage
5. Excellent hit that does 101% - 125% damage
6. Critical hit that does 126% - 150% damage
how does it look like now? the news say
Quote
- Weapons: minor hits do more damage, critical hits do less damage. Same weapons damage overall but more closer to the average. 75%-125% instead of 50%-150%. Applies to both weapons and boarding attacks.
and my laser just did 58%

The units are ordered by power with strongest unit on the top. Each attacker unit is matched with a defender unit on the same position, e.g. unit in position 1 attacks enemy in position 1, 2 vs. 2, 3 vs. 3

If either the attacker or defender has more units then the other, the remaining units will be attacked by the strongest enemy unit standing.
so its 1v1, 2v2, 1v3, 1v4... ?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 06:32:13 PM by norill » Report to moderator   Logged
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 07:51:46 AM »

Q: Am I right in thinking that defences on the second ship, planet or station will not protect whichever unit has been selected as strongest for each battle round?
A: Each unit will use it's own defenses and shields to protect itself. The strongest units fight first. The second ship will not affect the defenses on the first ship in any way.

In other words what happens is that its all very gentleman like.

Despite outnumbering the opponent 10 to 1 you will all dutifully line up single file and each take a turn to see if you can defeat them...

There will be none of this attacking or defending together nonsense its all mano a mano. Ship against ship... Even if youve lost the first 6 ships you lads/lemmings will not cotton on that it might be a better idea to actually work together.

Still If your lucky there will be tea and biscuits while your waiting your turn.

The upshot is, if you have a ship that individually outclasses each opponent, then your Significantly better off removing everything else but it from the battle. Currently you can safely ignore the combined power capabilities of an opponent, its their individual units capabilities that are important. There is absolutely no advantage in numbers, In fact there can be a significant tactical advantage in using only a single unit.

.. go figure.

@Emi, If combat stays like this its really going to nerf Corporate/Group Combat when it is added to the game. The whole point of fighting as a group is numerical advantage, but if the combat system actuallyeliminates or even punishes that then well...theres not much point.
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2013, 01:27:24 AM »

Can't believe I am going to agree with a Pirate, and especially on something that will help him more than me, but he is right about not having combined strength factor into battles. It is kind of a kindergarten way to do battle.
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2013, 01:46:41 AM »

Can't believe I am going to agree with a Pirate, and especially on something that will help him more than me, but he is right about not having combined strength factor into battles. It is kind of a kindergarten way to do battle.


Though the system has changed a bit since then. Now weapons can only fire once per battle.  The exception being marines. So it would be possible to swarm larger ships. Bad news is the attack timer would be so long they could easily escape unless you spent a bunch of QP to speed up the attack.
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2013, 12:48:33 PM »

QP are starting to strike me as being way too much wild cards in a game of poker...
In an effort to 'enhance' the game, they actually kill it. They create a chaotic situation in which logic is thrown out the window, only to be replaced by a multitude of bad beats. QP usage in a battle would be very lopsided to the older players, and to the cash players. I have no problem with bonuses given to VIPs, but they should not be in places that direct, head-to-head conflicts between players can get dictated by who has them. They should be advantages that enhance "back ground" play, if that makes any sense. Extra fuel, ships to command, extra starting Tech, stuff like that. But being able to play them like like "off the table" poker chips (to stay with the analogy) is like...well...off the table poker chips with no 'All In" rule. They let one have an unfair opportunity to simply buy the pot. It is hard enough to conceive of how much an advantage 33% is for actions, where 10% or 15% might have been plenty. But to have the QP advantage in combat seems like a recipe for player mis-matching that could be overwhelming.

This is just my take on it form the outside looking in. I have yet to engage in combat here, so I haven't seen it up close and personal. For what it is worth, I am not sure I like QP for travel enhancement, either. I would rather just have a tech tree for computers that allows me to speed up calculations. I love the calculation being the time issue here. It is a great idea for replacing "turns" and "bio-fuel growth" and other such silliness. And it leaves the door open for various other enhancements to be added later.
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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2013, 02:03:09 PM »

QP are starting to strike me as being way too much wild cards in a game of poker...
In an effort to 'enhance' the game, they actually kill it. They create a chaotic situation in which logic is thrown out the window, only to be replaced by a multitude of bad beats. QP usage in a battle would be very lopsided to the older players, and to the cash players. I have no problem with bonuses given to VIPs, but they should not be in places that direct, head-to-head conflicts between players can get dictated by who has them. They should be advantages that enhance "back ground" play, if that makes any sense. Extra fuel, ships to command, extra starting Tech, stuff like that. But being able to play them like like "off the table" poker chips (to stay with the analogy) is like...well...off the table poker chips with no 'All In" rule. They let one have an unfair opportunity to simply buy the pot. It is hard enough to conceive of how much an advantage 33% is for actions, where 10% or 15% might have been plenty. But to have the QP advantage in combat seems like a recipe for player mis-matching that could be overwhelming.

This is just my take on it form the outside looking in. I have yet to engage in combat here, so I haven't seen it up close and personal. For what it is worth, I am not sure I like QP for travel enhancement, either. I would rather just have a tech tree for computers that allows me to speed up calculations. I love the calculation being the time issue here. It is a great idea for replacing "turns" and "bio-fuel growth" and other such silliness. And it leaves the door open for various other enhancements to be added later.

I agree with you too.  When Emi made it so we could use QP to speed up battle times I was outraged.  I actually posted complaints on here about it.  I pointed out how unfair it really is.  But he didn't listen and to this day continues to not listen on that issue.  QP usage for battle timer speed up needs to be removed and instead perhaps create some modules that help to speed up the timer/decrease it.  Perhaps give the combat drives some more use in this manor. Maybe combat drives could decrease the timer when used on the offense while perhaps some sort of sensor modules or whatever on the other ship could influence the timer in a way that could increase it. That way things can be balanced out.
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« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2013, 02:17:41 AM »

Use of modules, tech trees and the like are always more successful in the long run than gimmicks and tricks. They put the decision inn the hands of the player. You can choose to research or spend hard earned solars on advancements or not. They become a strategic decision. The best games always put as much decision making as possible into the hands of the players, on a level playing field. That is what makes a game special.
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« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2013, 03:55:59 PM »

Boy we are opening up some really old topics here. Anyway, as usual i need to weigh in as a counter-balance lol

Quote
I agree with you too.  When Emi made it so we could use QP to speed up battle times I was outraged.  I actually posted complaints on here about it.  I pointed out how unfair it really is.

This quote makes me laugh and shake my head all at the same time. Will the REAL JamJulLison please stand up? You point out how unfair it is, but are probably one of the biggest advocates of the wanton use of QP i have ever heard of. (and that is probably only because you are one of the biggest comment-makers in the game forums to give you some dues back)

I also agree QP to resolve battles should never be a part of a combat game. Tactics, resourcefulness, stealth and cunning should be factors for winning a battle. In a game where the combat is pretty much resolved on a roll of dice and odds anyway (derived from raw power), QP battles takes away to right of a defending pilot to gather his defences in time, which may only be an orbit or a system away. However, it is really a nice way to catch a pirate napping before he can run for the hills! LOL
Unless there is a system to lock a combat down with a "fully commit troops, no backing out" button which locks combatants into their choice to attack, then there is likely no other real easy way(scratch that, NO WAY) to catch a pirate and bring him to justice other than a sudden QP donation to either get troops in to defend, or to strike at an opponent quickly. He will just see stronger forces and as all bully-boys do, run away and live to fight another day on a weaker meal ticket.
I have never heard of any battles where the commander issues the order, " errrmmmm sorry chaps, i seem to have made an awwwfull miscalculation here about enemy strengths and defences. Lets stop and have a re-think" as they rush down the hill to attack. Push the cancel button. Now its all right no hard feelings guys lol
The aggressor should be locked into committing his troops at least to a full combat round providing the defender doesnt run. No speed ups, no unfair advantage because one player has a credit card and the other players mum wont let him have hers. After that initial combat, if there are still forces left to give another order to, commit or withdraw, only then should they be allowed to. Locking in a combat shouldnt mean you cant juggle your forces around however. Bring in a unit, remove another unit, to suit the battlefield and the commanders order, providing there is time to do so left on the counter.
This system still doesnt allow for a good solution to pirate HUNTING, but would help defend against pirate attacks, and gives us a chance to add a scar or two back and a bruised ego at a failed raid attempt.
And the other thing to consider is that if the QP is obtained from a direct donation of real hard cash, then it is in the game's (and Sir Emi's) best interests to milk the cow to help pay for the development and upkeep of the game.
So where do i stand on this QP combat debate?
Get rid of QP donation ONLY if the combat system is revisited to allow for a defender to catch an aggressor off-guard. Otherwise, we just all become sheep to stand there and take it as our lot to be next on the dinner table of the feasting warlords. (actually, QP aside, lets revisit the combat system mechanics anyway)
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