Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

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What should ship weapons usually target?

Planets, ships and fighters equally
0
No votes
First target ships and planets. If no planet or ships: target fighters
2
40%
Target only ships and planets. (Also remove fallbacks for other weapon types)
3
60%
Something different (please explain)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 5

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Krikkitone
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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#16 Post by Krikkitone » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:39 pm

I think you should have weapons distinguished on what they Can target rather than what they Tend to target.

Standard Weapons Only target ships and planets, even if all that is left is fighters they can't attack them
PD Weapons Only target Fighters/bomber/interceptors and missiles/torpedoes if they go in (they cannot attack ships/planets)

Interceptors and flak would be PD weapons
Bombers would be standard
Fighters could be PD+attack ships (but not planets)

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JonCST
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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#17 Post by JonCST » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:42 pm

Hi all. Morlic said:
Morlic wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:43 pm
Fighters as cannonfodder would be fine with me if they were actually removed as combat targets after being shot down. Since they are removed at the end of turn, they can block an arbitrary number of shots.
And Moric corrected that in a later post to "bout/round". The result i just got in a multiplayer game:

Two carriers (mine) got into a fight with 12 laser ships (theirs).

First round:
8 fighters launched.
Both carriers destroyed, no damage to laser ships, no shots fired at fighters.

Second round:
8 fighters * 8 damage = 64 points of damage to laser ships.
4 laser ships destroyed.
All eight fighters destroyed.

Third round:
No combat at all.

So, if i understood what this is saying, the fighters do not block an arbitrary number of shots.

What i believe they do is exist as a target for any ship to choose until they are destroyed.

Since ships fire simultaneously, fighters can be "overkilled", i.e. draw more fire than required to destroy them in that round.

But, they disappear at the end of the round in which they are destroyed.

Does that make sense?

I don't object to this behavior, any more than i object to Many SGHs all targeting a single opposing ship and "overkilling" it.

It's kind the nature of the combat system.

Jon

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#18 Post by Oberlus » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:32 pm

JonCST wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:42 pm
So, if i understood what this is saying, the fighters do not block an arbitrary number of shots.

What i believe they do is exist as a target for any ship to choose until they are destroyed.
Until they are destroyed at the end of a combat round.
So, in your example, the 8 fighters were shot down by 26 (or 39) shots of laser ships, and each of them took an arbitrary number of hits.
One fighter can take several hits in the same round, that is the problem pointed out.
I myself don't have a strong position here.
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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#19 Post by JonCST » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:43 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:32 pm
Until they are destroyed at the end of a combat round.
So, in your example, the 8 fighters were shot down by 26 (or 39) shots of laser ships, and each of them took an arbitrary number of hits.
One fighter can take several hits in the same round, that is the problem pointed out.
Right, but isn't that true of any ship? It can be hit by multiple shots far beyond it's destruction? Then disappears at the end of the round?

The fighters were targeted while they still existed. If a (normal) ship is destroyed, the shots don't get re-targeted, correct? Why should fighters be different?

Am i missing something?

J

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#20 Post by Oberlus » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:02 am

JonCST wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:43 pm
Right, but isn't that true of any ship? It can be hit by multiple shots far beyond it's destruction? Then disappears at the end of the round?

The fighters were targeted while they still existed. If a (normal) ship is destroyed, the shots don't get re-targeted, correct? Why should fighters be different?
Maybe they should, because they are able to soak much more damage in relation to their initial number of hit points (1).
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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#21 Post by JonCST » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:16 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:02 am
Maybe they should, because they are able to soak much more damage in relation to their initial number of hit points (1).
If that's the concern, maybe the weapon targeting should change, rather than when ships are destroyed?

Maybe only flak target fighters, "real weapons" aim for "real targets"?

I seem to remember a couple of discussions like this in other threads. Similar concerns about SAC, too. Something like "why should a SAC target a little ship when there's a planet or a big ship available?"

I've also heard something about classifying weapons as "point defense" or "offense".

Point defense: flak, interceptors, fighters
Offense: bombers, MD, Laser, PC, DR, SAC

So, a prioritization scheme for weapons, something like:

Point Defense: Fighters, ships
Offense: Ships, planets, fighters.

And some would request:

SAC: Planets, ships, fighters.

and change targeting logic to something like:

Case weaponType A:
if object in targetClass t1 exists, target it
else if object in targetClass t2 exists, target it
...

Case weaponType B:
...

Not sure how awful it would be to implement this, nor what the run-time burden would be.

J.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#22 Post by Ophiuchus » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:35 pm

I added the suggestion from Krikkitone as an option.

This reset the current poll which was

Planets, ships and fighters equally
1
14%

First target ships and planets. If no planet or ships: target fighters
3
43%

Something different (please explain)
3
43%

The voices for different I think were from Krikkitone (which i added as an option), alleryn (which I read as "give me more info about the options"), and ???

Please everybody, revote!
Last edited by Ophiuchus on Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#23 Post by Ophiuchus » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:40 pm

JonCST wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:16 pm
Point defense: flak, interceptors, fighters
Offense: bombers, MD, Laser, PC, DR, SAC

So, a prioritization scheme for weapons, something like:

Point Defense: Fighters, ships
Offense: Ships, planets, fighters.

...

Not sure how awful it would be to implement this, nor what the run-time burden would be.
The way you imagine implementation would be awful (because freeorion conditions do not work that way).
But it is actually easy to implement the intended result and run-time burden would be neglible.

Also please compare with Krikkitone's suggestion - it sounds a lot like what you write.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#24 Post by Oberlus » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:52 am

Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:35 pm
The voices for different I think were [...] and ???
And me. I'm rather busy and didn't get the time to come back and post my thoughts. I haven't got the time to sit and reflect on this to really get to a position. Now is the time.

The alternatives I consider worth trying:

Krikkitone's:
Each weapon class has a subset of possible targets. All possible targets of a weapon class are targetted with uniform probability. Other targets can't be targeted.
- Cannons (including SAC) target ships and planets (pure Offense)
- Bombers target ships (and planets but not ignoring shields?) (pure Offense)
- Interceptors and flaks target drones (pure PD).
- Fighters target ships and drones (mixed role).
This is mostly standard FRO combat system (before preferential combat system) with some adjustments (make cannons do not target drones). It is indeed the most KISS alternative, and I can't find combat scenarios with a exploit. Having removed drones as targets from cannon weapons remove the seemingly OP damage-soak property of the drones.

Preferential approach (Ophiuchus'?):
Each weapon class has a subset of primary targets and a subset of secondary targets. Primary targets are targetted first, secondary targets only when there are no primary targets.
- Cannons: primary ships and planets, secondary drones.
- Bombers: primary ships, secondary drones.
- Fighters: primary ships and drones, no secondaries.
- Interceptors: primary drones, secondary ships.

Probabilistic approach (mine some time ago?):
- Each weapon class has a subset of primary targets and a subset of secondary targets. Primary targets are targetted with double (or triple) probability than secondary targets.

Exampli gratia:
10 cannon ships VS 10 carriers and 20 bombers
* Standard system:
- cannons target 33% carrier, 66% bomber.
- bombers target 100% ship (there is anything else to target, this is the same in every system).
* Krikkitone's:
- cannons target 100% carrier (and once there are no ships, bombers are still untargetted).
* Preferential:
- cannons target 100% carrier (once there are no ships, bombers are targetted 100%).
* Probabilistic:
- cannons target 10*2/(10*2+20*1) = 50% carrier, and 20*1/(10*2+20*1) = 50% bomber.

I could live with Standard system if drones where removed from combat round as soon as it gets one hit, so that following shots in the same round can't target it (i.e. no multi-hit soaking). That is meassing with combat implementation.
I could live with all other designs while drones are still allowed multi-hit soaking, but Krikkitone's is the simplest (KISS) and straightforward to implement (I think so), plus it has one good advantage: it gives actual importance to flak cannons, currently under-powered. The only advantage I could see of the Probabilistic method over Krikkitone's, and I'm not sure it is a real advantage, is that it allows for extra randomness in combat, but it comes with the actual drawback of a more complex implementation (and maybe more CPU usage).

So I go for Krikkitone's approach.
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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#25 Post by Ophiuchus » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:48 am

Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:35 pm
I added the suggestion from Krikkitone as an option.

This reset the current poll which was

Planets, ships and fighters equally
1
14%

First target ships and planets. If no planet or ships: target fighters
3
43%

Something different (please explain)
3
43%

The voices for different I think were from Krikkitone (which i added as an option), alleryn (which I read as "give me more info about the options"), and ???

Please everybody, revote!
Not many revotes. There are 2 votes now for Krikkitone's suggestion. I guess these are from krikkitone, and oberlus. The one vote for the second option is still mine.

So I guess the other votes stand:
One vote for equality (pro smokescreen)
Three votes for preferred targets (contra smokescreen)
Two votes for specialised targets (also contra smokescreen)
One vote (alleryn) for something different/need more input. (maybe/maybe not smokescreen)

So most are against smokescreen, so i start working on that.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#26 Post by swaq » Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:33 pm

Is it possible for there to be no enemy ships but still fighters? (option 2)

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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#27 Post by Oberlus » Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:35 pm

swaq wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:33 pm
Is it possible for there to be no enemy ships but still fighters? (option 2)
Yes.
On round one the carriers launch their fighters. Those fighters won't be targetted that turn, but the carriers will. So it can happen that the carrier launches fighters and is destroyed in the same turn, and those figthers without carrier will be fighting until they are destroyed or the combat ends. Then they will try to be "rescued" by any carrier with space in their hangars.
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Re: Should fighters really act as cannonfodder?

#28 Post by Ophiuchus » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:12 pm

So first results. If boats are not valid targets they need a buff in order to compete.

Balancing wise I start with the assumption that Laser Fighters should lead to a similar cost efficiency as similar MD4 design against unshielded targets.

Balancing is all affected by the number of boats in a hangar, the launch profile, the damage per boat and the cost of hangars and launch bays.

I have also two starting points - UI wise it would be good if e.g. the damage value could give an impression of power level. E.g. if laser fighters are on a level as MD4 they should have a damage value of 5 or 6.

The other starting point is - costwise should carriers be rather for expensive or cheap hulls?

I will assume three bouts so a boat launched in bout-1 does 2*dam and 1*dam if launched in bout-2. I would prefer to up the number of bouts to four because it will help balancing the boat types but i think that is definitly out of scope for 0.4.9.

And the last axis is balancing slots and hangar vs launch bay costs.

I will have a look at a few designs. And think how to split and reason the two combats systems (E.g. ships and planets shoot ships and planets; boats shoot boats and ships).
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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