Action Events

A place to ask and talk about Astrobase Command.
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Action Events

Postby MaxShields » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:46 am

You've described the potential for action events to focus around small squads and have described the potential for regimental scale engagements. Can you elaborate on how you foresee accomplishing this? What challenges are posed in designing a system that can handle the fine scale actions of small teams while successfully commanding and coordinating large operations?

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Re: Action Events

Postby Dave » Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:56 am

MaxShields wrote:You've described the potential for action events to focus around small squads and have described the potential for regimental scale engagements. Can you elaborate on how you foresee accomplishing this? What challenges are posed in designing a system that can handle the fine scale actions of small teams while successfully commanding and coordinating large operations?


In my youth, I was a fairly invested player of Warhammer Fantasy. I really love how the regimental combat played out, and it felt like you were coordinating these grand armies. There was something awesome about using hundreds of models to create your center and flank , and then using cavalry either to screen or charge, using artillery to soften up the opponent. Sending out skirmishers to harass and probe (and otherwise trip up the opponent's formation). I loved building armies in that game, and then seeing how effective they were at the local game-shop on the weekends. I think the space-version of regimental combat could be really compelling.

But you're right, it's a matter of scale. I think Rome: Total War (the original, not the sequel) did a pretty good job of scaling small vs large conflicts with the same basic mechanics.

I also think the challenges in Astrobase Command are mitigated by how units have autonomy. As a bit of a civil war buff, I have a healthy appreciation for the command relationship between Lee and Jackson -- where Lee would communicate his overall objectives and Jackson would make it happen with whatever opportunities on the battle permitted him. The downside is that Lee relied on Jackson so heavily, that the Army of Northern Virginia was fairly crippled after Jackson's death because no other corps commander really had that same talent. (You could say, after Jackson died things really went south! ;))

How I see things playing out in Astrobase Command is that for small engagements, the player has the luxury of saying "this squad go here, hold this... that squad go there, assault that." But for the large battles you'll probably just convey end-states to your commanders (who will try and reach that end-state based on their personality traits!). And then maybe you (the player) will personally lead whatever you want to take a direct hand in. It will be pretty fluid because you can always change the objectives on the fly.

And this is a pretty natural progression, because it means in order to really compete at regimental scale engagements, you'll need to have a bunch of Jacksons and Longstreets lying around that you've cultivated to work well with your command style.


General, I have been a soldier all my life. I have been with soldiers engaged in fights by couples, by squads, companies, regiments, divisions, and armies, and should know, as well as any one, what soldiers can do. It is my opinion that no fifteen thousand men ever arrayed for battle can take that position.

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Re: Action Events

Postby MaxShields » Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:24 am

That does sound very good. Massed formations are very Warhammer 40K/Epic. It would be nice to be able to also have fluid forces that don't necessarily rigidly adhere to massed formations. Perhaps this would be a matter of a selected racial doctrine (and a fair bit of programming, I'll wager?)

Your comments about devolving command and control to subordinate commanders led me to dig up some ideas I jotted down a few years ago that could help stimulate some discussion (forgive the allcaps...it's a cut and paste from an old document that has been gathering a lot of dust over the years):

Observe Orient Direct Act (ooda) loop

THE OODA LOOP IS THE PROCESS BY WHICH AN ORGANIZATION RECEIVES INFORMATION, DEVISES A PLAN, ISSUES ITS DIRECTIONS AND EXECUTES ITS PLAN. LARGE, LUMBERING ORGANIZATIONS TEND TO HAVE LONG OODA LOOPS WHILE SMALL, NIMBLE ONES HAVE VERY SHORT OODA LOOPS. SKILLED PLANNERS AND EXCELLENT COMMAND AND CONTROL TECHNOLOGY WILL ALLOW A LARGE ORGANIZATION TO GREATLY REDUCE ITS OODA LOOP, THEREBY INCREASING ITS ABILITY TO DEAL WITH CHANGING SITUATIONS.

THE ULTIMATE AIM OF STAFF PLANNING EFFORTS IS TO REDUCE AN ORGANIZATION’S OODA LOOP TO SUCH AN EXTENT THAT IT CAN PLAN AND ACT MORE RAPIDLY THAN ITS OPPONENT, THEREBY THROWING THEM OFF BALANCE AND GAINING THE ADVANTAGE.

IN GAME, EACH ORGANIZATION HAS A BASELINE DURATION ASSIGNED FOR ITS OODA LOOP. THIS TIMEFRAME IS ESSENTIALLY A ‘REAL-TIME GAME TURN’ IN TERMS OF ITS ABILITY TO DEVISE PLANS AND DISSEMINATE ORDERS. AN ORGANIZATION MAY ONLY ISSUE ONE SET OF ORDERS DURING EACH CYCLE OF ITS RESPECTIVE OODA LOOP. THESE ‘GAME TURNS’ ARE NOT SYNCHRONIZED WITH THOSE OF OTHER ORGANIZATIONS. THEREFORE, A GROUP WITH A SHORT OODA LOOP COULD COMPLETE 2 OR MORE PLANNING AND EXECUTION PROCESSES IN THE TIME THAT AN ORGANIZATION WITH A LARGE OODA LOOP COULD EXECUTE A SINGLE PLAN.

ANY GROUP OF TWO OR MORE PEOPLE ACTING IN A CONCERTED FASHION WILL HAVE AN OODA LOOP. THE BASE OODA LOOP DURATION FOR EACH SIZE OF ORGANIZATION IS AS FOLLOWS:

Image

THESE NUMBERS ARE VALID FOR MILITARY AS WELL AS CIVILIAN ORGANIZATIONS.

SMALLER ENTITIES WITHIN LARGER ORGANIZATIONS WILL BE ABLE TO CONDUCT THEIR OWN OODA LOOP (WITHIN THEIR OWN CONSTRAINTS) REGARDLESS OF THE LARGER ORGANIZATIONS’ OODA LOOP. ANY CHANGES TO THE LOWER PLAN MUST REMAIN WITHIN THE INTENT OF THE HIGHER COMMAND’S. IN ORDER TO DEVIATE FROM THE HIGHER COMMAND (E.G. MOVE FROM AN ADVANCE TO A RETREAT), A CHARACTER OR ORGANIZATION MUST PASS A CHARISMA OR TACTICS TEST.

MAJOR FACTORS AFFECTING OODA LOOP DURATION ARE:

A. STAFF SKILL;
B. C4ISR TECHNOLOGY;
C. TACTICS SKILL; AND
D. STRATEGY SKILL.

FOG OF WAR / SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

ALL INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO A PLAYER OR AN ORGANIZATION IS SUBJECT TO THEIR RESPECTIVE ABILITIES OF OBSERVING AND ANALYZING GATHERED INFORMATION. THIS INFORMATION MAY BE MISINTERPRETED, LEADING TO THE FAULTY DETECTION OR RECOGNITION OF AN OBJECT, PERSON, SITE, OR ACTION.

FOR INDIVIDUALS, THIS IS LARGELY DEPENDENT ON THE MARGIN OF SUCCESS FOR A PERCEPTION TEST.

FOR ORGANIZATIONS, THE PROCESS IS MORE COMPLEX, AND INFORMATION MAY BE PERCEIVED DIFFERENTLY AT DIFFERENT LEVELS. MAIN FACTORS AFFECTING THIS ARE:

-QUALITY AND SKILL OF ISTAR OPERATORS AND VARIOUS REPORTING METHODS
-STAFF SKILLS
-C4ISR TECHNOLOGIES
-COMMAND SKILL
-TACTICS SKILL

IN GAME, THIS WILL AFFECT THE APPEARANCE OF OBJECTS AND CREATURES/PERSONNEL FOR THE PLAYER. HE MAY NOT NOTICE A GAME ELEMENT ALTOGETHER UNTIL HE IS CLOSE ENOUGH, MAKING THEM APPEAR ONCE THEY HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY SPOTTED.

IF THE MARGIN OF SUCCESS IS GREATLY FAILED, THE OBJECT WILL NOT APPEAR TO THE PLAYER OR ORGANIZATION. IF IT IS SLIGHTLY FAILED, IT WILL APPEAR WITH FAULTY INFORMATION (VARYING FROM SLIGHT COSMETIC ERRORS TO COMPLETE MISIDENTIFICATION OF THE OBJECT DEPENDING ON THE DEGREE OF FAILURE.)

FOR ORGANIZATIONS, THE QUALITY OF THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE WILL AFFECT WHAT IS DISPLAYED ON THE COMMON OPERATING PICTURE MAP. THIS WILL AFFECT PLANNERS’ ABILITY TO PLAN AND DIRECT OPERATIONS AS WELL AS MAKE TIMELY AND EFFECTIVE DECISIONS.

DOCTRINE

DOCTRINE REPRESENTS THE FUNDAMENTAL FRAMEWORK FROM WHICH ORGANIZATIONS DERIVE THE BASIS FOR THEIR DECISIONS AND ACTIONS. CHARACTERS OF SUFFICIENTLY HIGH LEVEL MAY SET DOCTRINE FOR THEIR ORGANIZATIONS, ORIENTING THE PATH THESE WILL FOLLOW. IN PARA BELLUM DOCTRINES PROVIDE VARIOUS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES. WISE SELECTION OF DOCTRINE WILL LEAD TO GREAT BENEFITS IN THE LONG RUN, WHILE INAPPROPRIATE DOCTRINAL CHOICES MAY LEAD TO CATASTROPHE.

What this works out to is summed up below:

Image

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Re: Action Events

Postby MilitantLobster » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:35 am

I'm curious about the combat style Astrobase is going to utilize, this seems like a decent topic on which to raise the question. Are we looking at turn based, real time, or some other method I'm not thinking of?

My brother got me Civ 5 for Christmas, which is tons of fun. The turn based system works great for running an empire, but I don't think it would feel very organic in the Astrobase system.

Real time might be most realistic, but I've never been a huge RTS fan. I guess what I'd like to see is something like FTL where battle happens in real time, but you can pause at any point and take your time issuing commands.

^The half-baked ideas of an expectant fan. Looking forward to Steam Early Access!

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Re: Action Events

Postby daselk » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:26 am

Ilaliya wrote: I think Rome: Total War (the original, not the sequel) did a pretty good job of scaling small vs large conflicts with the same basic mechanics.

I don't think Rome 2 has done a good job of ANYTHING, worst investment since my Bank of Iceland shares.

Seriously tho, i too am interested as to how larger scale combat will be acheived.
I can imagine one of the following:
RTS - ala starcraft/sins of a solar empire/homeworld
Turnbased - Galactic Civilizations/Master of Orion
RTS with pause - Rome/Shogun etc (of course no pausing for multiplayer)

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Re: Action Events

Postby Rat Patrol » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:56 pm

Ilaliya wrote:As a bit of a civil war buff, I have a healthy appreciation for the command relationship between Lee and Jackson -- where Lee would communicate his overall objectives and Jackson would make it happen with whatever opportunities on the battle permitted him.



that is the way a Military SHOULD Work

Meddling Politicians or Generals in the rear generally make a mess of things ..
.. I have a book full of examples : Military Blunders: The How and Why of Military Failure [Paperback]

http://www.amazon.com/Military-Blunders ... y+Blunders

as a leader, you decied to do a thing - you go all in and grind the other fella into paste of die trying ... leaving the local commander to make the choices

Hitler wasted entire Army Groups with his 'no retreat orders'
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