several ideas on making little ships useful in late game

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MareviQ
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several ideas on making little ships useful in late game

#1 Post by MareviQ » Mon May 29, 2006 8:13 pm

Lately I've been playing heroes of might and magic V and it got me thinking... it is a game where you actually use all your units all the time. Example: basic (upgraded) units of dungeon are pretty lame damange-wise at the end of the game, but their poison ability makes them still usefull... and the same goes to most different units. And that got me thinking, as in most MoO games, any player using small craft at the end of the game would be considered a fool. So it got me several ideas:

1. small ships can support ground troops during planetary attacks (that would counter any bonuses the defenders get for being on their own turf, having bases there, etc.)

2. some weapons can't be mounted on large ships (dunno, mass issues? - their carefully-designed internal structure makes any larger gravitational fields render them useless?) - those would not deal damange, but rather disrupt other ships internals (lowering shield recharge, messing with their combat computers to lower accuracy or even strike at their own allies, changing the fabric of space-time so that one of our units deals more damange, etc.)

3. some particulary strong armor types cannot be mounted on bigger ships (technical inability of creating such a large structure that would be perfect on molecular level - like a perfect crystal)

4. anything can hit large ships. but smaller are harder to hit the bigger guns you have. ("Sir, their ships are avoiding our turbolasers!" or something like that...) But then again, only larger ships can carry forces necessary to attack a planet. Note: a big ship could carry an uber-weapon, capable of destroying many little ships, but only if it takes several turns to fire and it is clearly visible during that time that it plans to fire (like the main cannon of SDF-1 from Macross/Robotech: Macross Saga)

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#2 Post by pd » Mon May 29, 2006 9:06 pm

5. The size of small ships shields is a lot smaller than those of big ships(they are exponential smaller, aren't they?) Therfor they could reload faster(if there is reload) or are simply stronger than on big ships. To compensate this you could put more shield generators on big ships of course, but you would need to do this exponential too. This will be not easy though, since you gain more slots with bigger ships in a linear way, I guess.

I really would like to be able to use a lot small ships(sort of a swarm) against some big ones, and still be able to beat them with ease, provided that I have the technology and amount of ships.

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siron
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Re: several ideas on making little ships useful in late game

#3 Post by siron » Mon May 29, 2006 10:48 pm

MareviQ wrote:And that got me thinking, as in most MoO games, any player using small craft at the end of the game would be considered a fool. So it got me several ideas:

4. anything can hit large ships. but smaller are harder to hit the bigger guns you have.
First of all, it didnt really matter what ships you used against AI in Moo2. Its design couldnt compete anyway. And I disagree with your statement with respect to Moo2. Small Ships are usefull in MP games. They are faster than large ones, therefore:

Better Beamdefense (your 4th point)
Better Initiative-Value (quite important in combination with tactical thingies like transporters, tractors, emg or even to launch the first missile salvo to gain space on battle map......etc.)

The tradeoff was that they were costly with respect to command points...but still....a battleship-destroyer combo is even used in late game. In close MPgames you wouldnt even research the bigger hulls Titan and doomstars since the other trees with better weapons are far more important.
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#4 Post by utilae » Tue May 30, 2006 1:41 am

6. (this was in effect in Moo2)
[A fleet of small ships can replenish each ship quicker than a fleet of big ships can, creating an advantage for the small ships]

Let's say your army has 10 small ships and theirs has 2 big ships. Your army looses 5 small ships, while their army loose 1 big ship. In this example 5 small ships = 1 big ship, so combat would be a tie. Both players return to their bases to build more ships. You build 3 more small ships (2 left), they are still building their big ship. Since you don't have to wait for the other two small ships to finish, you can go and attack with a greater force (he would only have 1 big ship).

If you were building a big ship instead of five small ships, you would not be able to get the advantage.

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maelstrom512
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#5 Post by maelstrom512 » Tue May 30, 2006 6:06 pm

7. Smaller ships can target subsystems of larger ships.

So if there's a huge ship with a particular weapon that is wreaking havoc on your fleet, you can use your fighters to take out just that weapon.

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#6 Post by Skaro » Tue May 30, 2006 6:16 pm

I'd go about it like this:

Big ships:
- Can carry tons of weapons and sometimes can lay waste to complete planets (really late game).
- Big ships can carry far more cargo.
- Big ships are slow with just their systems drives.
- Big ships have tons of armor (even without a special armor attached)
- Big ships are a lot harder to hide with cloaking/stealth tech (needs more energy to work)
- Big ships can carry tons of additional equipment, you can have various sensor arrays in addition to weapons and what not.

Small ships:
- Small ships can carry only a limited amout of weapons.
- Cargo is going to be a problem.
- Small ships are really fast, infact, they are harder to hit.
- Armor is going to be light.
- Small ships are easy to cloack.
- There's only limited room a small ship, so pick your equipment wisely.


Basicly it comes down to this, big ships have roles like Star destroyers (Star Wars) and Galaxy class (Star Trek) ships.

Small ships function like Jem Hadar attack ships or Defiant class ships.


You should watch the DS9 episode "The Die is Cast", in it we see hundreds of Jem Hadar Attack ships beat a Cardassian/Romulan fleet which consists of capital class ships.


This also ties into research, you could possibly only research items that help your fleet (depending on your building style). This gives rise to various types of fleets like these:

1. A mixed fleet (well rounded, but it doesn't really excel in any area).
2. Small attack ships fleets backed up by some capital ships.
3. Capital ships with some smaller escorts.
4. Medium sized ship fleets to combine some advantages of big and small ships.
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#7 Post by marhawkman » Wed May 31, 2006 1:37 am

I find masses of small ships to be useful for scouting purposes. Using them for Electronic warfare in combat sounds like a cood idea. Maybe make it so a group of them can cloak a capital ship? Of block missiles from hitting it?
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Sheldar
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Point Defense

#8 Post by Sheldar » Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:43 pm

Using small ships for missile defense would be like integrating them into the capital ship's Point Defense system.

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#9 Post by snakechia » Fri Jul 28, 2006 5:38 pm

I always thought it would be cool to take over one of your one man fighters and play the combat out like a Tie Fighter or X-Wing game. That would be really cool. Not possible probably, but really cool. If you were in control of one of your ships, it would definately make at least having one, one man fighter worthwhile.

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marhawkman
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Re: Point Defense

#10 Post by marhawkman » Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:43 pm

Sheldar wrote:Using small ships for missile defense would be like integrating them into the capital ship's Point Defense system.
That is the basic plan. Personally I don't like the idea of having fighters be able to target specific systems, heck I don't like targetting at all. EMG was THE cheesiest weapon in MoO2.
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#11 Post by pd » Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:02 pm

snakechia wrote:I always thought it would be cool to take over one of your one man fighters and play the combat out like a Tie Fighter or X-Wing game. That would be really cool. Not possible probably, but really cool. If you were in control of one of your ships, it would definately make at least having one, one man fighter worthwhile.
That's a fun idea, probably not very useful but fun.
Once the 3D engine is running, I don't think it would be that hard to come up with some code which allows to fly a vehicle from a first person perspective.

This might be stuff for a mod/addon after v1.0

The question is, how could this be fitted into a turn-based combat(to some extent). Let's see what Aquitaine has to say about space combat in his hopefully soon to be released design document.

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Pasi
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#12 Post by Pasi » Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:38 am

3 and 4 sound good :)

3) I think big ships should have the ability to use such a strong armor, BUT, it would just be damn expensive to implement one onto a big ship ...

Also an idea would be to have smaller ships with complete stealth (for a limited time due to power needs) and have something like "one shot sniper lasers" ... meaning one strong weapon taking out or severally damaging a big ship with one blow, and the weapon would need a long time to reload ... also such small ship wouldn't have any other means of defence or offence, ans after firing would come immobile for a short time ;)
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#13 Post by Redaxe » Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:01 pm

How about having a particular unique feature/s for each ship size. Now I know that were all for customization in ships. But perhaps a few other advantages besides the ones already listed above might help.

Eg Corvettes can hide in asteroid fields in enemy systems and only be detected by enemy corvettes after 3 turns maybe. The corvette whilst hidden in asteroid fields can spy on enemy forces in the system. If the corvette is detected only ships smaller than cruisers can engage it. If the system is unguarded the corvette can maybe blockade the planet or attack convoys or bomb plantes with missiles. Covettes would also have superior velocity and thus may be able to escape from large ships without being engaged.

Corvettes may also have the option of holding superior jamming equipment mods and countermeasures against enemy missiles that target larger friendly ships

Frigates may have capability of carrying a larger array of missiles/torpeodes than normally possible for its size as well as anti fighter/bomber IFF missile racks. This makes them useful support ships.

Destroyers although more costly than frigates + corvettes to produce are should be far more cheaper and economical than cruisers to build for the dollar. Thus destroyers whilst being a jack of all trades ship arent spectatular but they are easily replacable and dangerous when in groups.

I guess thats all for small ships.

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