Attacking, repair and starlanes

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Attacking, repair and starlanes

#1 Post by haravikk » Thu May 27, 2004 5:11 pm

I was just thinking earlier about how starships in FO would repair themselves.

I find that in MOO3 the immediate repair, although handy, is extremely unrealistic and doesn't create the kind of 'feel' of being out there in hostile territory that I would like.

So what I'm throwing about is this:

Repair materials/crews
Each ship will have so many repair materials on board with which your repair crews may fix damage that is sustained in combat. Customisation could allow you to pick how much space to give to these materials, and how many repair crew you want. Technologies would also allow you to improve the amount of materials fit per 1 unit of space and how effective your repair crew is.

Quite simply, every turn the repair crews on a ship can repair so much damage up to a certain point. Every turn the repair crew(s) in your fleet will use some of the available materials on your ship or on other ships to repair what they can. Repairs are obviously more difficult and more resource intensive on very damaged ships, so the crew/resources required for a ship would probably grow exponentially depepending upon how much damage the ship has suffered.

Repairs would only be able to take place between two limits, if the ship is too badly damaged then it will require access to a space station for the needed repairs. Similarly ships would only be repairable to a point (based on how far down they were taken?), to repair 100% would again require a repair trip somewhere, a planetary advance or building like 'repair stations' would suit this so you don't have to go all the way to a shipyard.

Repair crews/resources would be pretty cool, adds another element to fleets and ships as you could design a ship for keeping the fleet in shape away from home.

Supply convoys
Obviously if you keep sustaining damage and using resources to repair this then you are going to eventually run out and be unable to repair further. Some sort of advanced replication tech could solve this, but until that time ships will be required.
These ships would be invisible (much like freighters) and are simply re-supply ships, they bring fresh repair crews and resources (mb even fresh ordnance for indirect fire ships?). However, it isn't easy for them to do this.
Two main factors affect the amount of resources you would get per turn from re-supply:
Distance - the obvious one, if the ships have to go really far then it will take them a long time to get to you. An empire with high military spending could of course send them more frequently to counter this.
Hostility - if the quickest route to your fleet is a hostile one through enemy held systems then it will also be perilous (unless a longer, safer route is found). As such many supply vessels may be lost on the way in, and some convoys may not arrive at all!

What supply vessels carry
Along with the primary repair materials supply vessels could carry a few other things.
Ordnance - this is a good one. It would be a bit of a blow to ships that rely on missiles as it would mean that missiles can run out unless new supplies get through. But it is also a good excuse to have missiles as a pretty powerful weapon. But a race which relies heavily on missile ships to attack can screw themselves over.
Upgrades - if ships at the front are becoming outdated then it could also be possible for supply ships to bring shield upgrades, newer weapons and so-on. Effectively refitting a ship on the job. Similar to repair though this would have its limits, many upgrades would require a full refit before they can be added so supply ships wouldn't be able to bring those.

It may seem that the attacker gets the short straw with this idea, however the defender is a bit stuck too unless all their worlds have everything they and their fleets require.
As a result the defender can find themselves unable to repair/upgrade etc while in orbit around a blockaded planet.
If the planet has repair facilities, and produces enough industry/whatever to keep these functioning then there is of course no problem. Facilities such as missile defences could allow for the re-supply of ordnance, again if the planet is able to do so.

Tactical possibilities
This brings up some interesting tactical possibilities for both the attacker and the defender.
Firstly the defender would be able to disrupt or cut off supplies to that massive fleet around their home-world with a few picket ships/scouts. Forcing them to deal with the problem (thereby weakening their hold on the system) or be unable to repair and reload normally. In either case this opens them up a bit for the defender to cause some hurt.

For the attacker it would be possible to do much the same. By blockading a system with a big fleet with your own fleet you can wither away their ships. If you know that you are no match for their fleet AND planetary defences, or feel you may lose more than you gain in massing an assault then you can just use some sneaky tactics instead.
By sending in small groups to launch missiles and lure enemy missiles as they withdraw again you would be able to damage the enemy ships, and lower the number of missile salvos aimed your way. Once you've got them beaten down a bit it is then much easier for you to waltz in with your luxuriously supplied fleet and bust some heads.

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#2 Post by Hexxium » Thu May 27, 2004 6:14 pm

Some very nice ideas, however I think all this may be too complicated. Isn't everyone here complaining about micromanagment? In the end the question is how important/complex the repair system should be. If we decide we want a complex repair system, I think your ideas are a very good starting point.

Instant ship repair is a bad thing, but there are some very easy ways to add ship repair to game mechanics.

Automatic but slow repair in space, faster repair at shipyards, starbases, or repair stations. Tech or, if it will be in, crew experience may speed up repairs.


Scotty: Captain, we are so badly damaged, it will take at least 2 months at the dry dock to get repairs done! :shock:
Kirk: You have six hours. :x
Scotty: Ok Sir, I'll do it in two. :lol:

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#3 Post by Krikkitone » Thu May 27, 2004 6:57 pm

I think this is best done as an addition to the Maintenance Cost

A ship far away (long supply train)
costs more to maintain (multiplicative factor)

A ship that used up some ordinance costs more to maintain (additive factor)

A ship that is going to be repaired in the field costs more to maintain (additive factor)
(some repair should not be doable in the field.. that is when the ship is marked as 'wounded' and may be set to retire itself back to a starbase for an inactive turn of repair (which it would do automatically if given that command))

A ship that is cut off from the supply lines costs Nothing to maintain (but it cannot repair itself beyond regaining some minimal functions, its ordinance does not reload, and its performance will take a hit ie accumulating spontaneous 'damage'.)

I do feel that repair should be an all in one turn deal.
In the field, the ship would repair to a certain point in one turn automatically (if it wasn't cut off). In a starbase/Fleet support base, outpost, etc. it would repair entirely in one turn. (of inactivity)
Last edited by Krikkitone on Thu May 27, 2004 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#4 Post by drek » Thu May 27, 2004 6:58 pm

Hexxium wrote: Automatic but slow repair in space, faster repair at shipyards, starbases, or repair stations. Tech or, if it will be in, crew experience may speed up repairs.
Sounds about right to me.

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#5 Post by haravikk » Thu May 27, 2004 7:51 pm

Yeah that's pretty much what I'm gunning for, I wouldn't want the re-supply ships to be visible, but it explains how everything is happening. Could mb be given as a figure in fleet info screens so you know that fleet X has Y amount of supply ships providing it with materials out of its requirement of Z for maximum repair speed.
I wasn't proposing actual ships to handle this though I probably confused the issue by mentioning ships outfitted to allow your fleet to repair for longer without supplies.

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#6 Post by Hexxium » Thu May 27, 2004 9:24 pm

I think it's too early to think about ship repair anyway, as long as we don't know how ships and fleets will be like.

If there will be mostly huge fleets like in MoO3, managing ship repair would be a pain. If there will be few but powerful ships, ship repair and ship/fleet organization in general can be more complex.

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Good idea

#7 Post by guiguibaah » Thu May 27, 2004 9:45 pm

- I like that idea - maybe here's a few other options...

1. Standard races auto-repair their ships each turn. However, the most they can repair them is at 75%. More than that, and the ship must be dry-docked.

2. Special race #1 cannot repair their ships, but ships are tougher

3. Special race #2 auto-heals ships immediately, but a bit weaker.

4. Some races need a supply / transport ship in the fleet to auto-repair to 75%.

Anyhow, just tossing some ideas..
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