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How things will go pew pew, part II

Hey everyone!

This is part 2 of the military system blog. Let’s get into it…

First, I wanted to get into the tactical of what happens when two Forces move into combat range and start firing at each other. Here’s what happens:

Combat Basics

Combat takes place in the turn resolution phase (i.e. after the player has clicked ‘next turn’). In combat, units on each side do damage of various kinds to units on the other. All combat is fought simultaneously – across the universe, all targeting is done, then all rolls to hit, then all damage allocated – so a unit which is destroyed in a turn’s combat will still get its attack off. (NB: this means the turn sequence must be such that each force engages in at most one battle each turn.) In a given turn, a unit might be attacked from the ground and from space, by however many different enemies, but each individual unit can only conduct one kind of attack in a turn, once. So (with the exception of orbital combat, where each unit gets three space-to-space attacks against units in the same Planetary Orbit location for the price of one) units only ever get one attack per turn.

First, units pick targets. The target unit each unit picks is, by default, random. If there are more than two sides involved, all of a side’s enemy units are treated as one big mass of enemies for them to target, without distinction as to controller. In space battles, non-transports are more likely to be picked than transports, due to being in front of the ‘battle line’.

The units then roll to hit. The actual rolls required vary by the type of combat. Devastation damage in ground combat doesn’t target units, and is rolled separately to other damage.

Damage is then dealt. Units have a set amount of damage they do per hit. This is reduced by the target’s relevant armor (a percentage) to give the actual damage done. Any excess damage after the target is destroyed is discarded with no further effect. (Some units have the Multi-Target ability. This means that any damage left over after any of their targets is destroyed is passed on to another random enemy unit, which then counts as another of their targets this turn, so if they are destroyed, the cycle continues. This continues until they have run out of damage to allocate. Multi-Target units’ hits’ damage is resolved after non-Multi-Target hits’ damage, to make sure the best use is made of their diabolical power, and the excess damage is not affected by previous targets’ armor.)

If a Force is trying to do something else as well as fight, their chance to hit is reduced, and their effectiveness at doing the other thing is also reduced, whatever that thing may be.

MILINT (Military Intelligence)

Many aspects of combat rely on military intelligence, or MILINT. MILINT – info on Force movements, etc – can be gained by infiltrators in enemy war plans or spies on territories through which a Force’s supply lines pass. (The former provide more information on orders, and higher MILINT Quality than the latter, all else being equal – see below, and also the Subterfuge system.) Both infiltrators and spies are ordinary characters, with whom the controller has engaged in a Plot to Spy On War Plan/Troop Movements.

When you successfully Spy On War Plan or Spy On Troop Movements, as well as receiving some information about supply lines and future orders, your ‘MILINT Quality’ on that force increases. Despite the name, this is actually a quantity. The Quality of your MILINT on a Force decays over time, falling by a fixed amount every turn, down to 0. Even if your info about a Force’s future orders goes out of date, your MILINT Quality is unaffected, as it reflects information about formations, officers, troop morale, and so forth which is not modeled in the game systems.

War Effects

Pillaging and attacks on Planetside targets do Devastation damage to the planet. This causes civilian casualties, wrecks facilities and buildings, causes public anger against the perpetrators, and in extreme cases reduces the Bio rating of the planet. Each point of Devastation damage done has a random chance of killing a Pop or wrecking a facility, and increases that planet’s public resentment of the perpetrating Force’s controller, general, and Culture (if different from pops/planet’s majority) by a percentage point or so. The defending forces get their resentment production reduced by 75%, with exception of Pillaging Devastation, which causes Resentment at the full rate. Resentment means both Love reduction towards characters and increase of Animus against cultures and religions. Additional Resentment is created when a planet is conquered.

Resentment is not restricted to the affected Pops if the Force, their commander, or their controller are of a different culture or religion to them. A certain amount of Resentment grows – either globally, or throughout the area you’ve explored, or throughout the area with trade access to the planet – among Pops of the same Culture/Religion as the Pops affected. This will be less than the Resentment accrued at the source, but still a non-negligible amount, proportional to that inflicted.

Certain especially devastating war machines, such as nuclear weapons, will have the Bio Damage special rule. This means that the Devastation they inflict will also reduce the planet’s Bio rating fractionally.

Garrisons

A planet may have Military pops but no Force based there. These Military pops represent reserves, militia, police units and so forth. They are there to do two things: defend against invaders and suppress restive locals. If combat breaks out on the planet, and the planet’s Viceroy is not neutral in the conflict, they become troops under that character’s command. They may not leave the planet, although they may go In Hiding as usual. Indeed, they will have a Home Field Advantage since they are fighting on their Homeworld. The units they become will be a distribution of the cheapest units that Civ has suited to fighting on that planet type – most likely units will be flagged as ‘militia – planet types XYZ’ and which forces appear will be selected from the available appropriate units, using support units and cheap generic militia units if no appropriate fighting units are available.

In Hiding units

Some units (such as local partisans) can go In Hiding (hiding among the local population or otherwise evading detection). This means they cannot be attacked or make attacks, and are invisible to the enemy. Forces can be ordered to move their units to and from the In Hiding space on the board. A unit in a planet’s In Hiding space still counts as being in that planet’s Planetside location.

In Hiding units may be exposed by any enemy that has units Planetside on the planet. Said enemy’s chance of detecting your In Hiding units on a planet (all of them at once) and thereby forcing them out of the In Hiding into the ordinary Planetside space is proportional to their highest single MILINT level or quality against any of your Forces that have units In Hiding on the planet. Their forces may increase this chance by engaging in Counterinsurgency Operations. Enemy spies on the planet increase their MILINT on your Force as usual. Detection checks happen before combat, so if your units are detected, they will immediately enter combat with the enemy, that turn.

When you attempt to send units In Hiding, the enemy immediately makes a detection check, with a bonus. If they succeed, you fail. Your troops will keep trying to obey the order every turn until and unless it is cancelled by you or by your commander. Units attempting to go In Hiding will not make attacks, but if they are detected by this check, the enemy can attack them.

All this can also be conducted with the roles reversed, so you can find yourself looking for In Hiding enemies.

Attached Inquisitors

An Inquisitor can be attached to a Force in a commissar-type role, to purge them of spies and traitors. This is Tyrannical, increasing Fear of you among their Homeworld’s military pops, and reducing their Love for you. It does, however, increase your chances of getting Secret parts about spies in the Force’s War Plan, and about plots by the Force’s commander. They also slowly reduce your troops numbers in that Force as they imprison and execute ‘subversives’.

How are ships/ground units built?

New units are ordered from a Force’s ‘Manage Force Composition window, accessible from the action zone when the Force is selected. This window allows new units to be recruited, existing units to be upgraded, and units to be disbanded or mothballed. Troops and crew are always recruited from the Force’s Homeworld, but their ships, vehicles and equipment may be purchased from other worlds, which can be chosen manually by the player or auto-selected to minimise either cost, production time, or time to arrival at the Force’s deployment zone (including production time). Ships are built using starship factories (using BPs as with any other construction) and ground units are built using ground factories. The units will be automatically built as the request is made IF there is not already a suitable Unit in garrison or available status that can join the Force.

Units can only be built up to the number of military pops on the Homeworld divided by a constant factor. The number of pops different units ‘take up’ may vary. If the number of military pops falls below the required number, they will suffer under staffing penalties as described in ‘On Duty/Off Duty’, above (despite On Duty/Off Duty not applying in general), and no further units may be built whilst this state of affairs persists.

Garrison/protection

A planet that is near enemies whom the populace do not Love or with whom they share no cultural affinity, or which has been recently Pillaged by an enemy, will be flagged ‘People demand protection!’. This means their Love and Fear for their controller will fall if a garrison or Force of a certain minimum anti-Space strength is not stationed on the planet. Ideas will also play a large part, specifically Xeno-Tolerance and Tolerance in general.

Intimidation

A force can be instructed to enforce martial law on a planet. This increases the Fear of the force’s controller and its commander among the population, whilst reducing their Love for them; it is Tyrannical. It is useful on a newly-conquered planet, as there’s not a lot of Love going around there anyway. (Once Fear has built up, martial law can be ended without the planet rebelling again, which will allow some Love to grow.) If the Force does this to its own Homeworld, they will not build up as much Fear among the Military Pops there. If the Force doing this is of a different culture or religion to the majority on the world, they will build up Resentment against them on that world just as though they were dealing Devastation damage to it.

Whew! Lot to cover, so much that I’m going to write a Part III to go over military reforms and how you can build/discover the technology required to defeat the Xyl (and your enemies!) once and for all!

-Steve

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How We Go Pew Pew: The Military System, Part I

Hello everyone!

So as we make the march to .8, a question that has come up frequently is ‘how is the pew pew going to work?’ Well, given that AotSS is a 4X at its core, that is certainly a fair question! Let’s get into a little more detail about how that will work.

To start, please note that AotSS is about grand strategy. The normal process of building individual ships, kitting them out, naming them, and grouping them with a leader to send to a planet to take it over doesn’t necessarily apply to AotSS. You are the Emperor, after all, and you would have little or no interest or say in that process. What you would be involved in is setting up high-level target priorities – i.e. “I want to take that star system by force” or “I want to show military might to the people of planet X” or “I want to improve our military presence in the northernmost constellation of our Empire”. This is called a Military Plan, and will be discussed shortly.

The Emperor would also be responsible in a broad sense for making sure that logistical/supply networks are built and maintained where he/she expects to see conflict, so building logistical networks and expanding them to systems where forces are expected are critical.

Finally, the Emperor would want to make sure that forces are being raised from planets that are loyal to the Empire, and not likely to rebel, and that the general who is in charge of that force does not ‘go rogue’ with the most advanced force in the Empire.

So let’s first talk about Forces.

No, it’s not the Star Wars trope, but a combined space/ground unit that is assigned to perform a mission. Forces may contain up to 6 different Units, which are basically Fleets (space warfare) and Armies (ground warfare). Forces are named, gain experience, are commanded by a General, and move and fight together on the Galaxy View.

All units have hit points. All starships have Speed and Defense values. Anything that can attack starships in space has Sensors and Space Damage stats (referred to simply as Damage in the discussion of space combat, because we know it’s in space already). Anything that can attack units planetside has Tactics, ie. chance to hit, and Lethality and Devastation stats, which describe how much damage they do to units’ hit points and the planet’s infrastructure respectively. All starships have Space Defense, and all planetside units have Planetside Defense and Space Defense.

Starships

  • i. Space-to-Space

These craft are there to attack other spacecraft. Some can be used for Space-to-Ground attack too, at reduced effectiveness.

ii. Space-to-Ground

These craft are designed to bombard ground targets from orbit. Some can also attack other spacecraft, at reduced effectiveness.

Planetary troops

These include aircraft, ground troops, and naval vessels. Different units will gain bonuses and maluses on different kinds of world – naval units, for example, will be very effective on water worlds, moderately effective on terrestrial-type worlds, and useless on worlds without oceans.

  • i. Planet-to-Space

These are planetside forces that can attack ships in orbit. Some may also be used against other planetside forces, at reduced effectiveness.

  • ii. On-Planet Combat Units

These are planetside forces that can attack other planetside forces. Some may also perform Marine duty, i.e. fighting in boarding actions against starbases.

So where can a Force go? They can exist in one of 5 possible locations: Planetside, Planetary Orbit, Interplanetary Space locations, Starbases, and Deep Space. These will be explained in more detail in Part 2.

So as Emperor, you want to be sure that Forces are kept up properly. This requires 4 things per Force:

  • Crowns (money)
  • Food
  • Energy
  • Ammo (built from heavy and rare materials)

These resources come from your Empire Stockpile (the money comes from your Military Budget). When Forces are inactive (i.e. not part of an active Military Plan) they only consume Money and Food. When deployed, they also consume Energy. When actively in combat, they consume Ammo.

Now, let’s talk about Characters that can be involved in your Military. There are 4 different types of Characters:

  • Commander – This is the main leader of the Force. Their military skill has a large impact on the success of combat.
  • Captains – These are the leaders of your notable ‘capital starships’ that have additional impacts on their abilities (and thus your Force’s ability)
  • Coordinating Commanders – These are the leaders of other Forces who are involved in the Military Plan but are waiting for a trigger to proceed (aka wait for order x to be executed by force y)
  • Plan Commander (PC) – This is the overall leader of the Military Plan, and the Coordinating Commanders are subordinate to them.

Finally, let’s talk about Military Plans. As Emperor, you will set high-level targets and it is up to your Plan Commander to create a Plan that gets that done. You will have an overall strategic objective which consists of a Target and an Military Action. Targets can be the following:

  • Planets
  • Systems
  • Provinces
  • Pops on a world
  • Starbases not owned by you
  • Logistical stations not owned by you
  • Ground Forces
  • Space Forces

Once you have selected a Target, you can generate an appropriate Military Action to act on these targets. Military Actions are as follows:

  • Attack (Forces)
  • Destroy (Starbases, Logistical Stations)
  • Pillage (planets, systems)
  • Invade (planets)
  • Bombard (planets)
  • Enforce martial law (planets, systems)
  • Conquer (systems, provinces – basically chains numerous Invade orders)
  • Engage in genocide (Pops – specific Pop cultures)
  • Gather intel (planets, systems)

From there, the PC will generate a Military Plan. You can also specify specific Forces you want to participate, but you don’t have to – you can simply specify a force level from ‘Minimum’ to ‘Overwhelming’ and the PC will try to add enough Forces that can engage that Action to meet your force level.

Coming in part 2: Inquisitors, Spies, Building Military Units, effects of Warfare on Planets, Science considerations, and more! That’s coming tomorrow!

Enjoy!

-Steve

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The Military System

Hello everyone, Oliver here. Today I’m going to be talking about a part of Imperia I know many of you have been wondering about – the military system.

The way combat and logistics work in Imperia are quite unlike what you might find in a conventional 4X. My main consideration, putting the design together, was to make a system that had a realistic, hard-sci-fi feel to it, while meshing with the intrigue-and-subterfuge gameplay at the heart of the game. I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve come up with.

The basic control unit of your military is a Force. This comprises, troops, starships, transports, aircraft, landers – everything: it’s a combined arms force under the command of a character, imaginatively called its Commander. Each Force draws all its troops from a single Homeworld, on which Military Pops support it. This is important for two reasons: firstly, the loyalty of the Military Pops on the Homeworld determines the loyalty of the Force’s troops; and secondly, to operate, a Force must maintain supply lines between its Homeworld and wherever it’s deployed. To maintain these supply lines, the Force’s controller – ie. you – must make deals with the sovereigns or administrators of the planets its supply posts will be located on. These characters, along with the force’s Commander and its sponsors (because you can make deals with characters to pay for your wars) are admitted to the Force’s War Plan.

The War Plan is basically a series of orders the Force is set to carry out in sequence. It’s in your interest to issue orders in advance for two reasons: first, there’s a flat cost for giving a Force orders in any given turn, no matter how many orders you issue that turn; and second, it takes a Force a few turns to get ready to carry out those orders, meaning that if you wait for them to reach one star before ordering them to move to the next, they’ll spend several turns fannying around in solar orbit before doing it, whereas if you give them the order several turns in advance, they can do it straight away when they get there.

The point of this system is to provide space for spying and subterfuge. Characters admitted to your War Plan can pass details of it on to your enemies, allowing them to find and break your supply lines, intercept your fleets in interstellar space (which is only possible with this advance knowledge of where they’re going to be – space is big!) and discover and target your Force’s units more effectively. And, of course, you can (and should) pull the same tricks on them. War therefore becomes as much about probing your enemies’ political weaknesses as hitting them really hard in the goolies. You’ll be working out which of your enemy’s allies can be bribed or blackmailed into selling them out, feeding your own dubious characters misinformation, and trying to cut off your enemy’s supply lines, whilst they do the same to you.

The combat system itself is pretty simple. There are no tactical battles: they would break up the flow of the game, but, more importantly, a good general wins before the battle by tilting the odds heavily in their favour, which is why tactical battles in 4X games are so often so dull. Here, units in each Force simply target units in the other Force, and deal damage against their hitpoints, mitigated by armour. The exact rules differ slightly between interstellar space, interplanetary space and planetary orbit, with MILINT becoming progressively less important and sensor power mattering more as we pass from the former to the latter. Orbital combat is particularly gruelling, as spacecraft (assisted by ASAT units planetside) repeatedly batter one another into high-speed dust, afflicting the planet with Kessler syndrome, whereas combat in interplanetary and deep space is much more like jousting – high-speed fleets taking preprogrammed potshots at one another as they hurtle past. Planetside, troops devastate and pillage the worlds they fight over, damaging facilities and causing the locals to resent the invaders and their culture. Ships in orbit can bombard enemy ground units, further adding to the carnage.

This is really only scratching the surface of what makes Imperia’s way of war unique. I could have mentioned military exercises, tours of duty, sending troops underground to hide among the local populace… But it’s twenty past 1 on a schoolnight, so I’ll leave it here. I hope you’re looking forward to making war amongst the stars as much as I am!

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Some new art and some new concepts!

Hey all! In preparation for the new LP that will post very soon, I wanted to show some new stuff off!!

First, the updated astrography (main screen) UI:

Here is the latest version of the Astrographic UI.
Here is the latest version of the Astrographic UI.

 

The continued evolution of Pavlos’ vision is at work here, with a clean, clear, yet ‘retro’ imperia look. Next, we look at the updated military tab, showing a selected army and unit within that army:

Picture of the new military tab. Yet to be added are the action buttons such as disband, move to reserve, and make flag unit.
Picture of the new military tab. Yet to be added are the action buttons such as disband, move to reserve, and make flag unit.

 

As you can see, you will have a listing of all units on the left side, where you can see both the unit detail and unit listing. When you select an army only, the army’s stats will show on the right side detail window. The fleet review screen will look slightly different, but be essentially the same idea. You can access your general here with a tooltip showing basic stats, or through the character mode of the Intel screen.

Now, let’s move to an exciting first feature of the eventual relationship system between characters: pressure and persuasion! In this instance, Cyra has a problem: even though there are enough jobs to go around, the pay is so low and the job prestige is so low that people would rather sit around and collect their unemployment then get out and work. Now, we could just cut unemployment, but this is Tyrannical and I don’t want to go that route. So perhaps making the sector more appealing is in order. I plan to ask June Grayson (the viceroy) to raise agriculture wages in order to make the sector more attractive to job-seekers. First I look at her basic stats:

June Grayson Ex. 1

 

I already know quite a bit about her, but she doesn’t have any pro-agriculture tendencies, and since the sector is already losing money, she will probably be reluctant to spend more money in the sector. So I look to other means. I could pressure her, which would be a lot more effective but is very Tyrannical (and causes a lot of friction between both you and the character and the character doing the pressuring and the character), so I choose to simply Persuade. After looking at the chain of command, I choose to let my sector governor persuade June. First, I ask her:

June Grayson Ex. 2

 

Turns out she is willing to persuade. Great! I then check June’s character window to see how persuasive Kelly was…

June Grayson Ex. 3

 

Whoa! Kelly’s good at this! Now, before you think that you’ll just merrily pressure and persuade people hither and yon, there is a fatigue stat that increases as a character persuades and pressures others. After a certain point, they will simply refuse to do any more. This fatigue represents not physical fatigue per se, but finding out information, asking confidents of the target to help, calling in favors of the target, etc. and it takes time to recharge those sources. So next turn, I will apply most of those points (they decay over time, which is why it is important to plan ahead) to my request and hopefully, it will be granted!

Stay tuned!!

-Steve

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Imperia Concepts V – Military Stances/Fear

Hello and happy Sunday! I hope those of you in America had a great Thanksgiving and if you’re into that sort of thing, Black Friday (sorry, England!)

I wanted to talk a little bit more about how the military will work in Imperia, and more specifically, what you as the emperor will be able to do, what your limitations will be, and what you must consider as you direct your ground and space forces. Before I do that, however, I wanted to touch on a mechanic that will be introduced after .410, but will be absolutely critical to the political model of Imperia: fear.

FEAR, simply put, is a number that is tracked concurrent with your Popular Support (PoSup) on each planet. For purposes of maintaining your hold on power, fear only has an effect when it is higher than your PoSup. It then takes the place of your PoSup, but is notated as Fear instead of PoSup and will be in red. Note that you need to have sufficient intel in order to see this specific effect on a planet. As long as your Fear rating is higher than your PoSup, it will act as your PoSup for purposes of unrest, economic effects, and most important, your hold on power. For an example, think of the Empire during Star Wars IV-VI – the populace was loyal, but only because they were cowed into obedience. Creating fear generally requires a large and loyal military, with a substantially loyal military leadership and viceroys/governors who are willing to go along and not incite a rebellion. Once you have made the decision to rule by fear, it is very difficult to rule any other way without significant nationalist policies and significant reforms for your people.

Now, to GUNS, GUNS, GUNS!!!

Every force in the game, whether ground or space, has 2 essential factors that determine what they will do on a given turn, and how they will perform:

STANCE– All forces can have one of 5 stances when at an Empire world, which you as Emperor have nominal ability to manage:

  • PEACEKEEPING – This is a general ‘protecting your people’ stance. People will feel safe and protected if there are combat factors equal to the security rating of the planet. The required security rating will fluctuate depending on the size, population, ADL of the planet, and several other factors. Very Tyrannical commanders may actually not allow this stance, or at the very least be very unhappy about it.
  • GARRISON – The same general stance, but more prepared for action. People are not quite as happy about a garrisoned force, but they are still positive. Slight readiness bonuses are given.
  • STANDBY – This is a ‘neutral’ stance. Your forces are prepared to act either for or against your people. The fact that they are not designated as explicit security forces causes concern among your pops, generated as Fear.
  • SUPPRESSION – At this stance, your forces may act against your pops or your leaders as needed. Fear is generated from this action, as well as significant unrest control. Military forces who are not loyal to you or whose commander is significantly Nationalist (or just, or planner, or benevolent, etc) will not generally support this action and will not be able to be issued this stance. This stance also provides diminished protection against hostile forces.
  • INTIMIDATION – The ‘stormtrooper’ stance; you are actively working to create fear and root out disloyalty on your worlds. This stance provides maximum fear and unrest reduction, but provides very minimum actual protection against hostile forces. Only very loyal commanders will allow this stance to be enacted.

Depending on the size, tech level, and skill of the force and the commander, it may take several months to change the stance of a given force. This represents not only the logistics of the change, but the psychological effects of taking time for your populace to actually see and believe in the change.

Fleets have 2 additional stances: IN TRANSIT, which allows fleets to move between stars, and INACTIVE, which essentially holds the ships in a mothball status and provides no bonuses or maluses, It costs somewhat to keep an inactive fleet in the process, but less than building an entire fleet from scratch. Fleets in INACTIVE status lose ability over time, reflecting lack of practice or action. Commanders in charge of inactive fleets also tend to be annoyed at their loss of station. There will be combat stances when you send a fleet to attack a hostile system/planet, but that will be discussed in a later blog under Battle Plans.

You will be able to see your fleets/ground forces in each system using the War Map view, which will show you the fleets, ground troops, and planetary defense bases (PDBs). You will be able to select fleets for quick action using a right-click to bring up a fleet list, which will then open up the Fleet Command System as a pop-up window, similar to the Edict window and the Character window.

Last, let’s talk more about commanders.

There are actually 2 ‘commanders’ of a force: a direct admiral of a fleet/general of a ground battalion, who is a character and will have all the normal characteristics as well as tactical and strategic ratings that will determine how effectively fleets will fight and conduct their stance orders.

The other commander, the one actually giving the stance and movement orders to the fleets/divisions is normally you, but you have the option to ‘loan’ military forces to system and sector overnors (you can not give fleets to viceroys!) This will have the obvious benefit of placating them and increasing their Loyalty, but once you give a fleet to a governor, taking one away will be very damaging to their prestige, and depending on their personality, they may not choose to give the fleets back at all! At that point, you are forced as Emperor to declare war on that governor for defying the Empire, or allowing the refusal to stand.

If you allow the refusal to stand, you stand a tremendous risk of rebellion from the affected system/sector since they see weakness from the Empire, while they see strength from their governor. This will also have ripple effects throughout the Empire as other characters will be emboldened by your timidity,

Building new forces on a planet requires the necessary facilities – a military base to build divisions, and a starship production facility to build fleets. Creating a division or fleet takes one or more Pops – they are moved into a Military role. This also assumes the families and support staff for these divisions, which is why it takes at least one Pop to create a division or fleet. Military Pops will fight harder for their world of origin and will be less effective for suppression/intimidation roles.

Next: a peek into the Science system!!

-Steve

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It’s Been a While… But Worth the Wait!!!

Hello everyone!!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, but I promise there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes. Here’s where I get everyone up to speed.

First of all, our team continues to grow! Besides Pavlos, our talented artist whose work you will be about to see, we have added a scienc guy!! Thiosk hails from California and is a research assistant at Stanford, and has offered some amazing thoughts on population ideas and is working on the science system, which I will talk about both in a later post.

The upcoming .410 update will be massive both in terms of content and what’s changed. From a UI standpoint, one word will describe it: everything. Here are some example shots – actual in-game screens, not mocks:

Astrography UI V4.0
New quadrant screen
Uncolonized System View
System view with uncolonized planet box showing. Now you click on a planet to show a info box on that planet.
New Starbases
Updated planet view with contextual starbases.
Updated Intel Screen
Updated Intel screens with clickable/sortable columns.
New System View
New Terra, with their shiny new fleet in orbit
New Character View
The updated character screen (buttons have not all been converted to the new font yet) showing conversation type and possible Nationalist/Tyrannical effect

There are a lot of changes; I will add the post with the changelog tomorrow. But the two biggest by far are the UI and the military system starting to be added. That system is actually very complex and the roots are already in the game.

When a new game is created, your empire is ‘rolled up’ a value n numerous science fields, including missiles, railguns, kinetics, lasers, defense systems, engine tech, warp tech, armor tech, etc. and from those values components are created dynamically. Once your empire has a starting component list, fleet designs are generated based on your military rating and the size of your empire.

For example, home fleet might have 3 capital ships, 5 cruiser ships, and 8-9 picket ships (destroyers, escorts). At the same time, designs for each ship size in the Empire are created based on a type of role (raider, scout, combatant, missile boat, EW ship, etc). Not all roles are created – this is somewhat random, but important roles such as ships of the wall, escort ships, picket ships, etc. are always generated.

Hull designs are created based on role, and from that a ship template is created. The difference between a hull design and a ship template is that hull designs only specify hard points, base defense/HP/crew ratings, and size, while the ship template actually plugs components into those hard points, creating a template that multiple ships can be generated (and built) from.

Finally, ships are generated off the template based on the number and roles needed for the fleets, and they are personalized with names, designations, crew ratings, and commanders, and stationed at your capital planets.

Ground troops will also be in the .410 build. They will be able to be used as garrison troops and peacekeepers, all the way to shock troops and stormtroopers to keep the public in line. They will have a loyalty rating both to you (known) and to your viceroy (known with intel). Be careful that you do not lose the loyalty of your troops! You can send troops that are loyal to you to your planets, but your viceroy can be given the authority to raise troops if they deem it necessary – but beware, troops raised locally are loyal to their viceroy first, then you!

In the next update, I will talk more about the military system and how it ties into both the character system and the science system.

-Steve

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IMPERIA CONCEPTS – Military/Ships

Hey all!

With version .4 and beyond we’re going to take a bit of a break from the characters and move to the ships and military that will be so instrumental in your character’s power!! This post will talk about the ships under your command.

Basics

In Imperia, all military ships will have the following:
*Engines (warp, sublight ratings) warp speed rating determines number of distance units able to move per month
*Weapons (missiles, cannons, lasers)
*Defensive systems (armor, shields, ECM)
*Subsystems (ECCM, tactical system, counter missiles)
*Cargo capacity (for supplies and Marines)

Ships have a extended range, long-range, medium-range, and short-range attack rating, derived from their weaponry plus AI bonus plus leadership bonuses, as well as corresponding defensive ratings. These ratings are compared to each other during each phase of a battle.

So for example, the USS Hawking, with an extended range attack rating of 20 (they have 2 long range missile systems which at the extended range and hit probability work out to 10 each) goes up against the ISS Fubar, with an extended defense rating of 5 (they have no ECM and very basic AMM capability). Dividing the attack rating into the defense rating gives the extended range attack a 75% chance of succeeding (5/20). All attacks are considered salvos for simplicity, but each weapon fired in the salvo is checked against this hit percentage. Continuing the example, one missile system hits, and one does not. Next, damage is checked. Missiles do not have a ‘fall off’ amount with range, so the calculation is simple – damage points (say 50) minus average shield rating minus average armor rating = damage done to the ship itself. Armor damage is taken if damage points get through the shields. If no damage points get through the shields, no armor damage is taken. From that point, there is a determination of which systems are affected and taken offline.

Each battle round, each side determines if they are going to break off, meaning that the combat is over if the attacker breaks off, and the defender must endure additional rounds without firing back equal to the range they have entered plus one attack in the current range. So if the defender decided to break off when the ships were in medium range, the attacker would get 4 ‘free’ attacks (medium + medium + long + extended) In certain situations (usually when there is drive damage) ships can not break off. After any determination of break off is made, the range of the next attack is determined by several factors, including the attacker’s preferred range, the engine ratings of both sides, and the tactical ratings of the leaders of both sides. Generally, the attacker has the advantage to ‘force’ a range, but this can be offset by the defenders maneuverability and superior leadership. Combat continues until the sides reach disengagement range or one side is destroyed. Alternately, one side can surrender if your empire military policy allows for prisoners. (no quarter vs. no mercy)

Ratings are adjusted by type of ship, technology level, and crew efficiency. So if a missile system has base attack ratings of 10/20/40/30, an exceptional tactical AI may increase those ratings to 20/40/80/60, while a crew may adjust it further. You will always know the modified ratings. The same holds true for defenses ratings, and these are affected by the type of weapon being used.

All ships will have names above destroyer. They will be generated from a random file (that will be modifiable as a simple text file). As Emperor, you would not be involved in naming every ship, but you will have the ability to name one of your ships after yourself. You will also be able to designate a fleet flagship.

Fleets

Ships are organized into fleets–>task force–>squadrons. The only ships that are run as singletons are system defense ships. Even destroyers must be designated to a squadron to be considered active. Newly built ships are placed in reserve until assigned and are inactive. They must be assigned to a sector fleet, Prime fleet (the emperor’s fleet) or system defense forces. Ships that are sublight are considered system defense ships and may not be assigned to a fleet. If ships are assigned to Prime Fleet above a certain amount, it is considered tyrannical. Your Empire will use your capital planet’s Admin to run fleets that are not assigned specifically to a sector command, such as Prime Fleet or Empire-designated fleets. Task forces are usually the largest force that can be assigned to a sector, since they usually have fewer Admin points to use. A sector governor may, at their discretion, assign part of their sector task force to a system and place those forces under a system governor, but this is rare. Ships will never be commanded by a viceroy.

All fleets are run by an admiral, as are task forces. Squadrons are considered to have inherent command structure but generally would be run by commodores or lower. Ships are crewed by trained crews that gain experience as they fight and train.

Building Ships

All ships are built at starship production centers (SPC); maximum ship size that the SPC can build depends on the SPC level. Damage can be repaired at starbases or SPCs, depending on level. So it is entirely possible to have a damaged dreadnaught that was built by a planet that you no longer own, with only one place to repair it (the empire capital). You must plan for your support infrastructure when you are designing your Navy.

Planet Attacks

Ships can attack planets with kinetic strikes if they have railguns. While this is very effective to quell unrest, it is obviously a Tyrannical act. Sector governors and system governors (if they have ships under their command) can do this independently if they feel the need (and if they are Cruel or Craven enough; most leaders would not resort to this). You can also send missiles at a planet; however you alone have that ability and many admirals will simply refuse to do so, as this is considered an atrocity against your people and causes tremendous damage to the planet itself (bio rating) as well as the population and economic sector ratings.

Ship sizes

System defense ships: Size 0
Frigates, destroyers : Size I
Light, heavy cruisers: Size II
Battle cruisers: Size III
Battleships, dreadnaughts: Size IV
Superdreadnaughts: Size V

Component types

Weapons
Missiles
Railguns
Gauss cannons
Lasers
Defense
Armor
Shields
AMM systems
ECM
Engines
Warp engines
Sublight engines
Transport
Cargo bays
Troop bays
Tracking
Radar
Lidar
AI
Tactical AI system
Defense AI system

Ship Design/Assignments

Ships generally are designed by your Military Prime and their staff. As Emperor, you can ask for a certain type of ship to be built (“I want a very powerful superdreadnaught class available!”) and after a certain amount of time that design (as your military perceives it) will be available to build. You may create build orders as a military Edict, so for example, if you have 2 classes of ships, the Wasp Class (destroyer with good ECM ratings and speed) and the Hornet Class (heavy cruiser with good missile ratings and excellent armor and shields) and you want to create a sector defense task group down the line, you can ask for 2 Wasps and 4 Hornets to be built as a build order. Your military will designate which SPCs are used to build the ships, and when they are done, you may designate them to a specific organization or create a new organization and assign an admiral from your military character pool. Fleet organization actions use Admin, but they are not considered Edicts, but Military Actions, similar to Character Actions.

To be continued…

-Steve