...and we're back. On with the show!
War and Peace:
Moving on, let's say that the player has achieved space superiority around an enemy colony. In most 4X games there's really only two ways to go from here, orbital bombardment or planetary invasion. Both tend to be very dull affairs and usually involve siege-like tactics mixed with systematic destruction. The way I see it though, a player in this sort of situation should really have three options. First, they could knock out any connections the colony has with space, essentially making it a non-contributor to the war effort. Second, they can devastate the planet from orbit (an act that will likely upset empathetic being everywhere). Third, the player could enter negotiations with the colonists for the surrender of the planet. When you get down to it being a colonist in an interstellar empire is a bit like being a peasant in medieval fiefdom - the lord of the land may change, but what's expected of you will most likely remain the same. As for invasion...it's a logistical impossibility for anything bigger than an asteroid base or miniscule outpost. One thing the original Master of Orion got kind of right was the number of troops needed for full-scale planetary conquest. Typically the armies were measure in the tens (if not hundreds) of millions. The lack of large-scale ground combat might sound like a turn off to some traditional 4X fans, but I think this unorthodox approach has some interesting gameplay mechanics baked in.
Next time I'll continue this section on War and Peace by going into detail on leaders, diplomacy and espionage...
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Friday, April 20, 2018
Continuing where we left off...
Next up is spaceship design...
Next up is spaceship design...
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Go. Compared to Go, chess has a fairly limited moveset; hence the reason it's good at the latter and not so hot at the former. Lanes also create some interesting strategic options that are lacking in the other two forms of FTL. That said, I don't think Warp and Gates should be excluded entirely. When you get down to it trying to travel from one planet to another, even within the confines of a single star system, can be a real headache both logistically and in terms of resources needed. Therefore, I think having some kind of Warp drive, even if only capable of sub-light speeds, would be an extremely useful component of any interstellar empire wanting to accomplish things on human timescales. As for Lanes and Gates, I think combining the two technologies could create some interesting choices for the player. Assume for a moment that each star system (on top of planets, moons and asteroid belts) has a bunch of nodes that connect to other nodes in neighboring systems. Building a gate at a node opens up that connection...here's the catch though, it's a one-way trip until a gate is set up on the other end. So instead of sending scout ships or a science vessel (depending on the 4X) the player must mount a resource intensive expedition complete with a survey team and construction ship to set up the gate on the other end. In this way it becomes very important for the player to consider where they want to focus their "stellar cartography" efforts. Some nodes with more distant connections require more advanced gates to utilize which can only be accessed through technological advancement. In this way new routes will become available as the game progresses, creating shortcuts and unlocking new areas for exploration or avenues of attack while still keeping things within the star cluster generated at the start of the game. In fact there's a lot this sort of FTL arrangement adds to wartime strategies, but I'll discuss that in more detail in the section on warfare.
Whew! Long post...expect more in about a week where I'll continue this space 4X examination by continuing with the next item on the list - colonization.