Ship Balance Discussion Thread

General discussion for the game Anacreon
Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:35 am

We should have an Undine vs Minotaur combat simulation at equivalent cost, as opposed to low tech vs high tech. It does seem like missileships are still only competitive if they have the range advantage against cannonships e.g. hypersonics with R:25 vs. R:15 gunships.

The most important tests to get done are jumpcruisers & starcruisers vs. anything else, because missiles are evidently acting strange currently.
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Militia Captain
Militia Captain
Posts: 803
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:22 am

So I've had some thoughts about transports lately.

Right now it almost never not makes sense to send infantry-laden transports along with a primary attack fleet, especially when fighting another player. Transports are too vulnerable to defenses, don't fire back at attackers and are a priority target for counterattack by enemy ships. You are likely to lose much of your invasion force even if you win the space combat handily.

In Old Anacreon there were attacking and defending groups, and enemy forces trying to get to your transports in deep space would have to get past attacking and defending groups first, often taking heavy casualties in the process. In new Anacreon it's much easier for a couple ships to slip through and savage the transports without any counterattack because orbital regions are large and wings won't make a meaningful effort to keep orbit with and defend transports. If there are a lot of defending ship wings involved in combat, one of them will probably get at the transports. Even a couple hundred explorers can seriously mess up a transport fleet.

Instead, it's usually better to send transports in a second transport fleet:
  • If you are attacking a planet within jumpbeacon range, you can keep this fleet wherever you want until the attack fleet clears away defenders and in practice it will probably be completely safe, especially if the enemy is AFK and you have a couple minutes in which you know the enemy won't reinforce. (Reinforcing is unnecessarily risky for the enemy right now but that is a separate issue).
  • If you are attacking a more distant planet, you can bundle your transports with a couple of gunships and have this fleet "hover" outside of attack range by bringing it within a few watches of arriving at the target planet and constantly issuing new destinations for it on opposite directions to keep this fleet close to the world without actually being on it.
    • Once your attack fleet has cleared the defenses, you can send the transport fleet to the target world and it arrives quickly.
    • The enemy never has a chance to attack the transports separately from the attack fleet because they are always in open space until they arrive.
The problem with these strategies is that they make warfare unnecessarily convoluted. Game resources (e.g. the description of autocannon constellation) seem to think that transports travel with attack fleets, and it makes intuitive sense that they would be "defended" by them, but in practice it is almost always better to keep them apart.

Jumpmissiles do complicate things somewhat and I think that we will see more use of them as the game progresses.

I think it would be better from a gameplay perspective if:
  • Transports orbit at 30 ls, out of range of all defenses except the apex defense technology (battlestations).
  • Ship wings don't target transports during combat unless the transports are on a landing approach.
  • Winning an ordered ship attack (not defensive combat or an ordered attack by planetary defenses only) against a fleet that includes transports orbiting one of your worlds or a third party world (not belonging to the transports' sovereign) results in some or all transports and their contents getting captured
    • Maybe this could depend on the number of ships you attack with?
    • This would give bold counterattacks a valuable upside (prizetaking!) and enable players to squat Mesophon worlds in order to steal transports from unwary sellers, which would be interesting gameplay additions
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