( cross-posted from the main GSB forum here )
I’d like to know that, also.
Yes, the planetary defense in MoO3 was a sad joke. I’m advocating something much more like the SoaSE method!
Now I’m seriously thinking about fortifications for Campaign GSB. They would add some flexibility and interest to the game. I think that fortifications are too important an aspect of the game to be left out – not only do they make sense rationally, but frankly players are going to expect them in some form. I’d like to offer some thoughts on what extent of fortifications would be either too great or too small.
Since the ebb and flow of who’s controlling which worlds with which production facilities is the heart of the campaign economy, then the method by which you gain or lose planets in battle is literally the hinge upon which the entire game turns – for better or for worse:
If it’s too easy for the defender to hold his position, then the attacker is at a major disadvantage and the game’s combat becomes static WW1 trench warfare in space, with real estate changing hands slowly…if at all, as battles are bloody affairs with high casualties. Front-line forces become expensive “sacrificial lambs” and the reserve forces become decisive, being the only elements able to capitalize upon breakthroughs created by the front-line forces. Most of your navy becomes tied-down, which isn’t very fun; on garrison duty if you’re the defender, on siege duty if you’re the attacker.
If it’s too hard for the defender to protect his world(s), then the advantage goes to the attacker and the game becomes something like WW2 tank combat in North Africa, with great fluidity of movement and a maddening lack of persistent control over terrain…worlds changing hands frequently as well as quickly. Overall strategy becomes one of hit-and-run raids as the defender cannot be strong everywhere and in fact is weak mostly everywhere. Decisive battles mostly occur only where major tactical forces of each side blunder into one another unawares.
Those are my worries about what could happen if “the hinge” is either rusted too badly or oiled too freely. As long as their balance is handled with care, neither of the extremes detailed above should be possible. I imagine that the presence of defense bases (or whatever you choose to call them) would still increase a world’s loyalty level, albeit slower than if ships were also stationed there. If both ships and bases are present, then the loyalty level should rise faster than your present baseline of having ships alone.
If using something as simple as defense satellites, then having only that level of protection (no friendly ships in-system) would raise the loyalty level very slowly, perhaps also with an absolute cap on how far. At least the def-sats would provide some benefit for the planet below if no starships were available.
If there was also a larger, tougher, better-armed kind of orbital defense base there in quantity plus the existing def-sats, loyalty would rise faster and to a higher number.
Both of the above fortifications plus naval warships on-station would provide the greatest boost to the loyalty level.
Depending on how large the biggest kind of defense base was and how closely you choose to tie it into your economic system, that largest base could also have some kind of construction/production capability to add to that down on the planet’s surface, as well as possibly offering repairs to naval units at a cheaper cost or faster speed.