GrumpyMel -> RE: Space Opera - Test Games (8/24/2009 8:30:09 PM)
Some important notes about game-play.
- Planets are seperated from Space by a layer of "Atmosphere" hexes. Only atmospheric capable units (i.e. Landers, Space Fighters, Space Bombers, etc) are capable of traversing these hexes...this helps keep the Theatres seperated.
- To transition ground units from a Planets surface to space... bring them to any hex which has an airfield (this includes Production cities) and use Landers located there to air transport (e.g. "paradrop button") them to an orbital point or starbase in the system. From there a Jump Transport can pick them up (just like naval transports in a regular WWII game) and move them to other systems.
- To transition ground units from Space to a planets surface. Unload them from your Jump Transports onto an Orbital Point or Starbase in the system and then use Landers based there to paradrop or air transport them to the planets surface.
Most ground SFT's are "para-dropable", meaning that landers can drop them anywhere on a planets surface...except in certain dense/difficult terrain types.
- VERY IMPORTANT.... HQ's are NOT "para-dropable" or air transportable. This appears to be a limitation hard-coded into the AT engine....so nothing I can do about this. Best way I've found to deal with this is to put your staff in a regular formation...transport it to a planet...create a new HQ on that planet and then transfer you staff into it from the formation. The scenerio does not use supply at all ......so HQ's are only important for recieving production and providing combat bonuses.
- Starbases and Orbital Points both function as ports/airbases in space. This means they act as transition points for units between space and a planets surface. Starbases are basicaly fortified space-stations with ship-yards. This is where you build new ships. Orbital Points are simply spots in low orbit around a planet. I put them in so there would be plenty of hexes in a system to transition ground troops between space and a planets surface. They have NO Defenses and most ground troop types fight at a severe penalty in them..... All space-ships have pretty decent bombardment capabilities...meaning if an enemy fleet catches your invasion force in an orbital point....it can really savage it. Starbases are much better protection against this (but most systems only have 1 or 2).
- Starships do NOT currently have any ability to bombard planets surfaces (not sure if I'll try to put this in later or not.... Couldn't figure out how to make it workable with ranges....think of this as some sort of Limited War/Treaty thing.... "No Atomics".... basicaly the Houses don't want to ruin the territory they hope some day to rule). You CAN use Star-Fighters and Star-Bombers to do ground attack missions on a planets surface.
- Both Jump Transports and Star-Carriers (which require a Tech) can be used to transport atmospheric craft (i.e. Star-Fighters, Star-Bombers, Landers, etc)... this works pretty much the way carriers and air-craft do in the regular game. A Lander CAN do a para-drop mission directly from a Jump Teansport/Carrier if it is in an Orbital Point/Starbase Hex. The ground unit being transported has to be unloaded and have some AP's left (meaning you can't unload and drop in the same turn)....however that will use up ALL of the AP's for the Lander (not the Transport) ....as opposed to having the Lander based out of the Orbital Point/Starbase itself...where it only uses AP's equal to the movement points it uses (meaning it can do multiple drops a turn, usualy).
- Atmospheric Craft have enough range to easly reach pretty much any point in space or ground in the system they are based in.... they can NOT reach any point outside of that system however.
- JumpGate hexes are used as transition points between one star-system and the next... they are not considered as being "in" either system they connect.... only Jump-Capable units (i.e. Starships) can enter them. They act as natural choke-points.
- Deep Space hexes are considered "impassable" by all units...they are used to seperate the systems. You can NOT volutarly move into one. You CAN be forced to retreat into one by loosing a space combat (quirk of the engine). If you are forced into one you CAN move out to any normal space hex. There are multiple rows of Deep Space hexes between all systems...so it is not possible to move from one system to another by being forced to retreat in Space Combat.
- All units in the game require resources to build. There are 3 basic types of resources in the scenerio.... Minerals (used to build ground vehicles/equipment), Isotopes (used to build spacecraft) and Organics (used to build foot troops).
Each SFT should list the resource it requires to build it on it's description field.
You produce these resources in resource hexes on your planets and they go into a global stockpile for your House (basicaly similar to the way PP's work in the regular game). You can see how much resources you have in your stockpile (and how many your rivals have) by looking in strategic summary window.
- Ground units (and atmospheric craft) are produced in your Production centers on your planets. Space Units are produced in Starbases...as long as you have sufficient resources and any required tech, you should be able to build the appropriate SFT's there.
- Household Knights and Nobles represents special very powerfull and limited SFT's.....basicaly the elite members of your Household. They each require thier own special resource (knights and nobles respectively) and can ONLY be produced in your House Seat (your starting capital). There are not any resource hexes for them on the map....you get them at a fixed rate.... 1 Knight resource every turn and 1 Noble resource every 6 months .
- All Houses start out at peace with each other....but can declare war on each other at any time. There is an AI faction called the "rebels"....at the start of the game it controls most of the territory on ALL planets in the game (including your starting planet)....most of it's units are fairly weak however (although it has a handfull of stronger ones) and it CANNOT produce any units. It also has no space or atmospheric craft in it's arsenal.
- There is a diplomacy model in the scenerio. There are 3 factions that you can attempt to align .... Minor Nobility (doubles the rate of Nobles/Knights you get), Guild (50 free resources of each type every turn) and Church (5 free PP's each turn). You can play action cards to attempt to gain influence with these factions. Your Houses influence (and that of your rivals) is listed on the strategic summary screen. The FIRST House to reach 100 influence with any faction will align that faction (and gain it's benefits).... once a House has aligned that faction, it cannot loose that allegiance and no other House can align that faction. There is an action card for each Faction that you can play each turn... Playing the action card for a Faction will increase your influence with it by 10 points, but will reduce your influence with the other 2 factions by 5 each (the factions don't like each other much). You can also play an action card to sabotage a rival Houses influence....this costs PP's but reduces that Houses influence with EACH faction by 5 pts. The House will recieve a message stating that it's influence has been sabotaged but it will NOT know who was responsible.
- Once you research some Tech's you can start to build "hover" capable units...and low altitude Gunship (basicaly helicopter) units. VERY IMPORTANT.... such units CAN traverse Sea hexes. However, you should NOT launch an attack from a Sea hex with such a unit....if you do, even if you win the combat, your unit will disappear after the combat.....this appears a quirk of the engine. This should usualy be easly avoidable by moving the unit onto an open coastal hex and launching the attack from there.
I believe that covers the basics....let me know if there is anything you are uncertain of as we play. Note that the scenerio is a work in progress...and some things might not work perfectly yet.