Orbitals and GSV's

knightdt
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Re: Orbitals and GSV's

Postby knightdt » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:08 pm

Here's an interesting concept related to strategic retreat.

There comes a certain point in many wars where failure is imminent. Your main fleet has just been obliterated by the enemy and their remaining fleet is would take many many turns for you to even be able to face again. They are going to take some time eliminating your planetary defenses on the outskirts and taking over your colonies bit by bit. You have time to do something, but there is no way you will be able to put up enough of a fight. You don't have any allies to call on for support, the enemy technology may not be superior but you don't have anything special to use against them.

But you are a die-hard. You aren't going to suck it and quit. The game isn't over yet. You're going to do like Tel and use all your productive power focused on building a giant colony ship (not a colonizer, but an actual mobile colony). It may strip your planets bare, take all your resources and possibly even result in the overworking and starving deaths of some of your population - but those colonies are going to die anyway. You take your massive ship (named "Revenge" because, you know, you really are like Tel) and slip out the far end of your colonies. Your remaining ships and colonies put up a fight to give the ship a chance to get out of range.

As the colony ship travels toward the outer rim (as yet uncolonized) it stumbles upon a new, peaceful, technologically advanced race. This race makes for good allies and neighbors as they provide a buffer to the inner rim and make peaceful trade partners. The enemy that took your space has a tepid relationship with this peaceful race, but that enemy will not be able to follow you through since they do not have an agreement with the tech race.

As time goes on, you find rich planets, a splinter colony of another race with slightly diversified planetary preferences - they join your empire allowing you to optimize populations among colonies. Over time, you have built your empire up to nearly the same size as it was before being conquered.

Then it happens. The race that defeated your empire has gotten greedy. They have just declared war and begun to invade your peaceful technologically superior neighbors. The time has come to return. Since the science race knows they are incapable of defending against the superior force they call for your help. In negotiations, you come to an agreement that you will have your homelands restored and even some incredible defensive technologies that will help in the war.

The attackers are surprised to find that their intelligence on the science race was correct - they have a modest fleet that doesn't stand a chance... but it isn't alone. The fleet they find is more powerful than their own because it includes your new fleet. The tides have turned.




There are a few things necessary for this to be a reasonable scenario:

1. Colonies must be expensive. If they are cheap, then people will go around colonizing everything and there won't be any empty space. Even with 1500 star systems.
2. The massive colony ship must be even more expensive --- but cannot take FOREVER to construct. Resources yes, time not so much. Other penalties to remaining colonies? Sure. It should be more expensive, difficult, and foolish to build a new colony ship (not colonizer ship) than it is to expand existing colonies or colonize a poor quality moon. The colony ship should be limited in what resources it can take in based on the quality of the star system it occupies and the number of planets/moons already taken by a colony (so an empire in the core with no where to expand would have little to no incentive to build these ships to form new colonies once all their planets and moons are colonized). If construction resulted in reduced productivity and/or population on several remaining planets or permanently reduced the value of some remaining planets then it would be an awesome tool (scorched earth even) for a retreating small empire, while being painfully useless for huge empires. Huge empires can build a massively expensive super-titan world-destroyer (with a vulnerability to a torpedo entering an exhaust port...) instead.
3. Experiencing major set-backs must not be game ending. There must be ways (possibly even specific game mechanics) to allow smaller and less powerful races to catch up to ones that are already strong. And I'm not talking about how the big races get involved in wars and weaken each other, I mean that all other things being equal - the simple fact that an empire is smaller and in more dire need that they will be more productive/inventive (necessity is the mother of invention - the biggest empire has no need to become more massive to survive).

Teleros
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Re: Orbitals and GSV's

Postby Teleros » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:51 pm

Masaq wrote:Giving the player the option to lead a semi-nomadic existence in their GSV's and Orbitals (which often aren't moved, but can be) would be an interesting twist. I think it would allow for a greater and deeper game-play and possibly a more exciting outcome - you think you've destroyed a race and lose contact, but yet maybe they have a few GSV's wandering in a very distant part of the universe that you simply don't know about, waiting, watching, rebuilding and ready to strike back once more.

I'd certainly love this, but balancing it would be hard. The best way I can think of would be to do this...
  • GSVs are big building projects.
  • GSVs are very high-tech building projects.
  • GSV populations, like regular colonies, must grow.
  • GSVs must build their "structures" like colonies.
  • GSVs must get resources from being inside a star system.
  • There must be a delay between arriving in-system and mining at 100% efficiency.
  • GSVs can't get resources from inhabited planets, or from all bodies in a star system: they must pick & choose.
  • You can't build more GSVs than you have X (whatever "X" is).
I admit that an early-game nomadic race would be fun to play, but the problem is balancing it, first against all the planet-bound races, and second against GSV spam as a means of ramping up your population (and thus tax base) to ludicrous levels.

As for Orbitals, I suggest using them as a late-game means of adding population to star systems. See that planet-less star over there? Let's build a dozen orbitals around it and claim it as our own! You could conquer them like regular planets, or use planet-killers on them (and believe me, if you can make a Culture Orbital, you're material tech is so good you'd NEED a planet-killer to break it up :P ).
Clear ether!

ANGLVD3TH
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Re: Orbitals and GSV's

Postby ANGLVD3TH » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:32 am

hmmm, I'm seeing a really neat potentially for a separate colony race. Build colonies that have certain base stats, then when they arrive at planets one of 2 things could happen. A they gain a small percentage of the resources provided on top of their own. Or B, they gain full bonus (or even more). However, each turn reduces the resources on that planet until it's barren. I actually really like the second option, except think that the space station has no resources of it's own, and must continually hop from system to system a la SGU. Except instead of a few kilos of sodium they abolish planets..... Could either be a race option or an advanced colony tech option. Would be neat to have that be one of the things an empire could buy in your customization before a map... perhaps you can even choose to buy either option A or B.

Teleros
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Re: Orbitals and GSV's

Postby Teleros » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:27 pm

ANGLVD3TH wrote:Or B, they gain full bonus (or even more). However, each turn reduces the resources on that planet until it's barren... must continually hop from system to system a la SGU. Except instead of a few kilos of sodium they abolish planets..... Could either be a race option or an advanced colony tech option. Would be neat to have that be one of the things an empire could buy in your customization before a map... perhaps you can even choose to buy either option A or B.

Hmm. Certainly MOO2 never had any real non-population resource limit. Sounds a bit overpowered: send in your colony ships near enemy worlds, drain them, and starve them of resources.

Also, if you're literally strip-mining planets as a mobile faction... dear god :shock: . Do that to *one* planetary system and you can literally throw warships at the other factions until they're defeated :lol: .
Clear ether!

VenomStorm
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Re: Orbitals and GSV's

Postby VenomStorm » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:01 am

There's a crazy race that does that in Glen Cook's Starfisher trilogy, only on a galactic scale. Good reads.

Masaq
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Re: Orbitals and GSV's

Postby Masaq » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:51 pm

I've been away for a bit, but checking in and seeing how the game is coming along. Would really love it if this made it into the game - also, stealth bump :p


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