This is something I’ve noticed for a while and have been using to beat challenge fleets, but just encountered for the first time in an enemy fleet. It happened to be Lokis’ Grand Challenge Missile Quest.
The first thing you’ll notice when playing against this fleet is that it has no engines. Given that there’s no way a game can end in a draw, it forces the other player to have engines. This means engine modules, possibly more power plants, etc. Also notice that a ship with no engines can stack armour and not worry about speed.
In short, there’s almost no reason not to make a challenge fleet that can’t move. The only problem is range. Someone can make a fleet which moves, and is positioned such that it can attack the challenge fleet from the side, thus limiting incoming fire at any one time.
The counter to this is to cram a fleet in the corner of the map. I can easily foresee this being a problem. The obvious solution is to require that every ship have an engine. Even if it’s a weak engine, this should remove the possibility of stalemates. And realistically, the only way to move around a ship with no engines is to tow it; so are we towing around entire fleets? It’s rather weird.
Given that every challenge fleet I’ve seen has had engines, I’ve been placing fleets without engines, designed so that certain ships receive fire, allowing missile ships behind to outrange enemy fire. It’s currently valid, but it’s silly, and I’d like to see it gone.
I asked awhile ago to have a stationary space station model. I think it is certainly valid. Especially in a level called Defend such and such. Personally, I have been trying to get a missile thing to work consistently for awhile. The one that I posted is the only really viable missile platform that I have been able to make. Guess it was a bit of a game breaker considering peoples reactions. However, I did choose a model that looked like a space station. I see no reason why a no engine option should not be viable. Personally though, I would prefer that there was a space station model and that all ship models should come with a least thrusters that move you a small bit. These, given everything, should not occupy a space if you are going to make it mandatory. Maybe consider them maneuvering thrusters or something.
As I’ve said before, I do think that fleets without engines should be possible. I’d just prefer that the game work in such a way that it’s generally a bad idea to use completely immobile ships for your entire fleet. There are various ways to achieve that, from making standoff missile tactics more viable to improving retreat-&-repair behaviors to making immobile targets even easier to hit. Whatever it takes, when I see engineless ships, I should be saying “Oh ho! They’ll be sitting ducks for my [devious counter-strategy]!” rather than “Well crap, this is going to be a pain in the ass…”
That being said, if the goal of balancing engineless ships is too difficult to achieve, I would be in favor of requiring engines. As it is, it’s inordinately annoying to deal with.
I’d be happy either way. Either make engines mandatory, or make ships without engines inferior to ships with engines. Having a superior fleet then your opponent simply by not having engines is cheese with a capital cheddar.
I agree with you two. As for Lokis’ idea, it’s certainly cool if weapons platforms are feasible in certain maps. It’s just brutal if they’re feasible everywhere. As for the Lokis fleet that was difficult to deal with, it was actually not that bad. I played against it once with a fleet with no engines, and found that his fleet had no engines as well. I took the loss and left the game, and made a new fleet positioned at the bottom, with missiles, so as to focus all of my fire on one of his ships at a time (while only taking minimal fire back). I won with at least 80% of my fleet left.
So maybe it’s fine, as long as the win/loss conditions in the game are changed. These are broken anyways; I’ve lost a battle because I only had fighters left. I sped up the game and let it run in the background, and they went and killed everything. I’ll surely complain about this in another thread, but my point is that maybe there should be a “draw” option. Or that fleets without engines should be allowed in the Survival mode, and in specific Defend maps only when you’re the defender, but otherwise not allowed. Using immovable weapons platforms in an attack doesn’t make much sense anyways.
I’d just like to say that I also agree that stationary ships should be viable as part of some fleet designs, possibly only in certain maps. There are interesting strategies that you could build around them, like using fast, fragile ships set with cautious orders to try and lure enemy pursuers into range of your platforms. I just don’t want to see entire fleets of them (or even have them show up in a large proportion of fleets, for that matter).
The problem with letting even a single ship without engines is that both players could have one and those ships would probably be hard to kill (essentially free superheavy armor) so they could be the only ones left at the end, leading to an ugly draw.
This is true. I’m not sure if there’s a good way to guard against that short of some fairly arbitrary restrictions, such as…
… this, which would basically work. Not that maps with “Defend” in the title are any more about “defending” anything than any other map, but whatever. :-p
That being said, there is already a mechanism in place to deal with stalemates - if the game goes long enough without something happening (presumably a ship blowing up, to be precise), it ends, with victory awarded to whoever has the most HP left on the field. You’d need that regardless of whether or not engines are required in order to deal with the odd case where both sides end up with ships that have had all their engines destroyed, or where neither side has enough firepower left to overwhelm the opposing side’s shields.
So it’s not that there’s no way to deal with immobile ships on both sides, but it’s still perhaps something to be avoided if possible.
A challenge is a challenge. If someone sets up an engineless fleet, then it’s up to you, as the challenger, to find a way to beat it. If that requires engines, it requires engines. Personally, I’d like to see a small output boost to engines to make them a bit more effective rather than removing the option to create a ‘turret’ ship. If someone creates a turret, you should be able to stack engines to better effect and improve your survivability so you can get in close and use high-dps weapons.
It might also help if stationary ships were easier to hit.
That last idea is good. Maybe give a two times bonus to ships without engines to hit rate. Such that builds without engines or ones with all engines destroyed are hit at twice the listed hit probability.
I beat his engine-less missile fleet… with another engine-less missile cruiser fleet. No joke.
Engineless ships are interesting but… odd. While I make heavy use of them, I find it to be rather immersion-breaking when my fleet sits in a corner for the entire battle, going nowhere, yet enemy shots still miss frequently. Hello, I’m a giant honking immobile target, how are your targeting computers that bad? There should be a penalty for choosing to avoid using engines.
I blame the hit calculation for that. A huge, immobile object should be impossible to miss (except maybe at extreme range). Right now, the hit calculation makes missing a definite possibility and doesn’t at all account for range.
I agree with that. A ship without engines should be an easy target (baring ECM of some kind).
I also wouldn’t be opposed to only allowing engineless ships on one side. It’s too easy to get a stalemate if both sides can just field a bunch of engineless ships that stare across the playfield at each other and hurl nothing but insults.
If you’re changing the hit calculation, the problem is simple. ‘Range’ becomes ‘effective range’, which means ‘can hit ordinary target’. All weapons should have a significantly higher ‘actual’ maximum range that’s useless against anything moving. Weapons should still miss (especially slugthrowers) due to inaccuracy, but the idea that missiles or beams magically stop at range 1100 when the target is totally predictable in motion is the issue.
Implementing ‘space stations’ should invovle new hulls or new modules (perhaps, very heavy armour or something) to improve survivability against the fact that they’re giant predictable targets that anyone with a lookup-table could hit. This combined with an order to ‘keep distance’ would mean engineless fleets are useless unless designed properly and effective when used well.
Ultimately, steal EVE’s range/signature/speed + tracking/accuracy model which means the accuracy gradually changes with speed/size/range in a reasonable fashion, then let stations use ECM or stealth or decoys or whatever to reduce their signature.
That sounds like a good system. However, we need to keep in mind that ships that do have engines are often not moving, particularly if they pick a large target (such as a space station) that has heavy armour. They’ll move within range, and then stop and shoot at it. So suddenly, in that case, the space station doesn’t have much of a disadvantage except against enemies with the “keep moving” order. And that order should not be needed on every ship.
Unless the game mechanics are changed so that ships are moving more often, I don’t think what you’ve given is a solution to the problem of “forcing” people to use engines.
That being said, I do agree that more bonuses for fast ships are in order.
I am really liking this, a space fleet that moves 1 inch per hour would just get avoided and have their home planet raped.Not to mention It makes for boring gameplay when placing more then one minimum engine on a ship leads to auto-failure versus someone who just made a floating fortress.