View Full Version : Strategic Combat Tactics
October 19th, 2000, 01:50 AM
I have seen some great tactics people use in tactical combat to really pummel the AI. Some I used myself before I read about them and some I use now. http://www.shrapnelgames.com/ubb/images/icons/icon7.gif
But many of tactics demand specialised designs of ships and fighters. Given the extremely limited control you have over events in strategic combat these designs wouldn't work very good in many cases in multiplayer games as strategic combat is the only combat available. So how do you make your ships do what you what want them to do in strategic combat? As far as I can tell the only thing you can do is give the ships very limited movement orders and somewhat more advanced targeting orders.
I want to give them "If that happens do this" type of orders. And assign combat Groups before combat and give them different formations and orders. The same with fighter Groups. In strategic they just launch and move against the enemy.
It's just a shame all these tactics people work out in single player won't work in multiplayer because you can't give your ships detailed orders.
October 19th, 2000, 02:36 AM
I think this Combat system is fine for me, okay PERHAPS a little more control on something but I enjot the system as it is, especialy when Ive created a vessel like AMS that makes a Races best Starship Impotent http://www.shrapnelgames.com/ubb/images/icons/icon7.gif
Before AMS: Taking a hard pounding lost 2 systems of 12 fleet being beaten back (Before I liked using Meson guns, And other Beam weapons with Shard cannons)
Then I brought out 3 new Vessels:
1: AMS Frigate hull one Shield generator 6 engines, then the rest of the space became for the Point Defence Cannons
2:Line Cruisers Designed with Wave motion guns, Seeking PLasma Torps and ECM with tonnes of Shields and Armour (Crystal)
3: Raye Class Light Cruiser
Armed to the teeth with Crystalline Weapons Armour and ECM Fast and Hard
With in 2 years (and the end of the demo) I had the Terrans down from 18 planets to 7 and demolished thier 34 "Amolinsk" class Cruisers in thier Fleet however....they had brought out some new vessel that did seem to challenge my vessels but I'll Never know http://www.shrapnelgames.com/ubb/images/icons/icon9.gif
October 19th, 2000, 06:21 PM
Tactical is always the better choice. Two cases in point, I had 1 ship defending a warp point. The enemy would send 2 ships against it, in tactical I blew them away. Accidently hit strategic and lost battle, warp point control and had to intercept the ships before they found a colony to attack. In demo 0.56 I used strategic to clear colony planets. With WPs now used, I had taken to tactical and was clearing them that way. Well old habits die hard and hit strategic without thinking and ... minus 1 ship.
The best thing to do to get ready for multiplayer is to use the combat simulator to test and retest designs and battle plans. Select tactical combat, then "resolve combat" so you can follow the details.
October 19th, 2000, 06:53 PM
Another misfeature is that the tactical AI does not understand space control.
This is particularly notable when you have a vessel that is either the same speed or just barely faster than an unarmed victim. The victim will run... but to exploit the victim's behavior, you generally should NOT chase *directly* at it early on.
For instance, suppose you are both on the same horizontal row. The victim will rush towards an edge and then start dodging vertically. However, if you move one row vertically (in the direction of more space) and then chase in the same horizontal direction with the rest of your MPs, the victim will run away from you, *diagonally* towards a corner. Because the grid system is bounded, and uses squares, you should then be able to reach a position where you are 2-4 squares away, firing, and the victim will not try to break away. The AI is poor for the victim in this case (it should try to either break away or ram the attacker), and nonexistent at exploiting this (it'll often try to follow too closely and end up never even shooting at what should be a free kill).
Also, suppose your vessel is going in a one-on-one with a single enemy. Your ship has movement rate M1 and effective weapon range R1 (effective meaning likely enough to hit and cause damage); your enemy, M2 and R2.
If weapons are equal or nearly so, then who gets first hit may be crucial (particularly with the nastier toys like armor/shield-piercing Time weapons, engine-destroying foo, massive WMGs...). This means that if you are fairly close and R1 ~ R2, it may be in your interest to stop advancing at exactly (M2+R2+1) squares away. The enemy vessel will generally close to (R2+1) squares, too far away to hurt you -- and then you can advance, fire, and retreat.
If you have far larger bigger guns, then the enemy vessel should not only be worried about where you can shoot, but also where you can move and *then* shoot from.
This is particularly nasty if you have advanced propulsion or another source of speed advantage. However, it is NOT done by the AI, at all.
I had an LC, using only a CSM-V launcher and a couple of Time beams, defeat a fleet of 7 CSM-V LCs without taking a single point of damage (The crew survived to the end of the game, with +50% from experience...) In strategic mode, it probably would have been chewed up, running directly away from enemies and towards the borders only to be blocked by sheer numbers...
-- The thing that goes bump in the night
October 19th, 2000, 09:02 PM
I wasn't going to share the stop short trick, but you're right it works like a charm. This is really true if you have any early game escort vs escort or frigate vs frigate battles.
October 20th, 2000, 04:26 AM
I wish MM would add the ability to put units on "overwatch". It'd help balance space station immobility as well as making some more realistic tactics possible.
October 20th, 2000, 10:56 AM
Overwatch? As in escort/protect? That would be helpful if you mean what I think you mean. What do you mean?
October 21st, 2000, 05:11 AM
As in opportunity fire. If a unit didn't move or fire during your turn, you could set it to wait and it'd open up at the first valid target that moves inside its range.
October 21st, 2000, 05:23 AM
The opportunity fire option would be interesting. The code exists... it's what the Point Defense Cannons do now. Making it a strategy option could make things interesting. And it would certainly make defenses more effective. For one thing, it would decrease the effectiveness of "jump in, fire, jump out" in tactical combat.
October 21st, 2000, 02:48 PM
The beta testers have been pushing for opportunity fire for some time. I'm sure it will come once they get to it. The priority was to get a stable, playable game with great gameplay ( which they have ) and tweak it as time moves on. They have committed to continue to support the game until it is as close to perfect as they can get it and I believe they will.
October 22nd, 2000, 01:06 AM
Making combat work like simultaneoues turns would be better methinks. Both sides gives movement and firing orders at the same time but nothing happens until you hit end turn. That way you can't fire away at a single ship until it dies and then switch target but you have to try and anticipate the enemys moves and decide if you want to massively overkill a few targets or spread your fire and try to cripple several targets. Would be way more fun imo. And it wouldn't be so important to get in the first shot as everybody shots at the same time. The scoot in shoot scoot out tactic wouldn't work either.
[This message has been edited by Jubala (edited 21 October 2000).]
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