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Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 7:00:29 AM   
Shark7


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OK, I've thought about this a lot lately.

Right now in my game, I have troop transports that can carry 5 troops each. I have 12 of these in a fleet, and 3 of these fleets. I can effectively put 180 troops on the ground in a matter of minutes at any planet I wish to invade. It is a for-drawn conclusion.

The Problem: It is often far to easy to eliminate an AI empire via invading their home planet. Once this planet goes, they are doomed, period.

The Symptoms:


  • Not enough defending forces
  • Too easy to load an overwhelming force for an invasion
  • Too easy to build transport capable of carrying entire armies


The solution:

1. The AI needs to be coded in such a way that it maintains a set number of troops on a planet based on population. These troops will not be laoded onto a transport, it is the planetary garrison. Any troops above the minimum number can be loaded. This way the AI does not load all its defensive force onto transports and leave its home colony undermanned (works for the player AI as well).


  • Up to 100m population: Minimum of 1 troop
  • 101m to 250m: 2 troop Min
  • 251m to 500m: 3 troop min
  • 501m to 1b: 5 troop min
  • 1b to 5b: 10 troop min
  • More than 5b: 20 troop min


2. The troop transport component needs to be increased in size to 50 just like the fighter module. This will limit the number of troops that can be transported on a ship. If the troop transports were bigger, you could only put a 1 on the starting ships (when the AI is at its weakest) and would need to research construction to build bigger transports.

3. Bigger defensive bonus.

I think if these 3 things were inplemented it would go a long way to alleviating the problem with AI home planets being over-run so easily early in the game.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 7:11:04 AM   
Kayoz


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180 troops at a moment's notice? Let's see - 600 or so maintenance per troop, so that makes - 108,000 for the annual maintenance for the troops alone - and let's be generous here - say half that amount for maintenance of the troop transports. Let's round it off to 150k maintenance.

Ouch. The maintenance alone on that mob is close to the economic output of a homeworld. Is it any surprise that you can swoop in and take over a planet?

I agree that the invasion mechanics need work - but you're looking at a situation which is vastly imbalanced already. Given your numbers, I don't see how it's possible to balance the game. Any action which would balance your situation would inevitably cripple the AI with outrageous garrison fees.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 7:23:03 AM   
Shark7


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Actually my troop maintenance is running 154k, but I've got a few racial troop maintenance bonuses due to capturing planets. Also, you can see I have 466 total troops.

Screen shot of economy stats...this is at 97 colonies, basically its mid-game at this point.




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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 7:28:33 AM   
Shark7


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And here are my top colonies. I've highlighted the Haakonish homeworld, which was the first I took over. To take over this colony, I only needed 36 troops, and it was done early in the game when my transports were only capable of carrying 1 troop each (before I upgraded and redesigned). And it was still too easy to take it over. I should have required 3 to 1 odds to win...if a minimum of 20 troops were on that world, I'd have needed twice the number of troops I actually landed...instead the Haakonish Homeworld was defended by 7 troops...it fell easily.




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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 9:14:33 AM   
Data


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i'm right there with you Shark, +1

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 9:21:55 AM   
J HG T


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Agreed on all suggestions! My main strategy to destroy pretty much any empire is still taking their homeworld by force. This always negates the enemys economical and population advantages, even in late game.


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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 11:43:05 AM   
feygan

 

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All great ideas with perhaps one slight change. I'm not sure how hard it would be to code, but what about defensive forces in addition to regular troops. These would be unable to leave a planet for invasions and cost less to build and maintain.

Still have there numbers based on population just use them rather than troops, as every nation on earth currently always has reserves.

Give them identical fighting stats as they are essentially the same as tropps cost less as they don't need food supplies letters home etc etc. From the players side just add an extra button call them anything at all so you have a "troops" recruit button and a "militia" recruit button. This way you still get the defensive bonus to worlds we all seek but at the same time it doesn't stifle the economy for the player or AI, and also doesn't involve any nasty kind of cheap freebies for the AI either.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 12:11:34 PM   
Data


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offtopic....how many of you feyan guys are here? feygan could come from faeyan gaalian? or am I seeing things?

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 2:34:43 PM   
Shark7


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On further thought, the defending bonus needs to be scaled based on population as well. If it is your home, you will fight to defend it....unless you are the epitome of a peace-loving hippie. This should make it infinitely more difficult to do two things:

1. Conquer the indigenous population.
2. Pacify the indigenous population.

Basically, use the same scale as the troop numbers scale. Base a defensive bonus on that, and then the population needs to require more troops left on the ground for a longer time to be assimilated, with a much, much higher chance of rebellion if that number of troops are not maintained.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 3:23:30 PM   
Simulation01


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I think that another thing that would help is if the AI recognized the threat that Troop Transports pose.  The AI should target Troop Transports first and foremost...and I also think that a kamikaze option should be added to the game overall.  Any ship should be able to make Kamikaze runs.  I've said it before as well but there should be more options for bombarding and when defending a planet.  An attacker may land more troops but if they are assaulted with chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons then their numbers mean nothing.  The planetary defense forces should be able to utilize such things when defending.  Even if the defending planet loses most orbital facilities...in theory they would still be able to use artillery that is capable of lobbing nuclear, chemical, and biological shells.  Also, if your using robotic defenders then they should be far more resilient in battle and to orbital bombardment.  There are many ways to improve the current situation.  They just have to do it.  The current patch list for the 1.05.2 Beta does not go far enough.  


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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 3:44:03 PM   
gmot


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Like the idea of needing overwhelming odds to successfully invade a planet. It should be a lot harder to take over planet - it's a whole planet! Look how much trouble troops have currently with pacifying a single city.

Would also like to see the ability to recruit different types of specialized troops - marines for invasion (but useless for defence), garrison troops (good on defence, but can't go off planet), regular troops that are useful for both (but not as effective in as the specialized in either capacity). And militia as well, which are generated automatically based on planet population and the player doesn't control them at all.

Perhaps even ship marines specialized in boarding other enemy ships - that would be a great feature but probably too complicated to add in easily.

Also agree the AI should agressively target troops transports as posing the greatest threat to their planets.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 4:32:02 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Simulation01

I think that another thing that would help is if the AI recognized the threat that Troop Transports pose.  The AI should target Troop Transports first and foremost...and I also think that a kamikaze option should be added to the game overall.  Any ship should be able to make Kamikaze runs.  I've said it before as well but there should be more options for bombarding and when defending a planet.  An attacker may land more troops but if they are assaulted with chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons then their numbers mean nothing.  The planetary defense forces should be able to utilize such things when defending.  Even if the defending planet loses most orbital facilities...in theory they would still be able to use artillery that is capable of lobbing nuclear, chemical, and biological shells.  Also, if your using robotic defenders then they should be far more resilient in battle and to orbital bombardment.  There are many ways to improve the current situation.  They just have to do it.  The current patch list for the 1.05.2 Beta does not go far enough.  



Agreed, enemy warships and defensive bases should concentrate fire on troop transports first, then warships. And even though warships can carry troops, they aren't specialized like the transports and don't carry as many troops.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 4:44:58 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: gmot

Like the idea of needing overwhelming odds to successfully invade a planet. It should be a lot harder to take over planet - it's a whole planet! Look how much trouble troops have currently with pacifying a single city.

Would also like to see the ability to recruit different types of specialized troops - marines for invasion (but useless for defence), garrison troops (good on defence, but can't go off planet), regular troops that are useful for both (but not as effective in as the specialized in either capacity). And militia as well, which are generated automatically based on planet population and the player doesn't control them at all.

Perhaps even ship marines specialized in boarding other enemy ships - that would be a great feature but probably too complicated to add in easily.

Also agree the AI should agressively target troops transports as posing the greatest threat to their planets.



I like this idea, to further refine it:

1. Marines: Specialized landing forces. Increased attack power, lower defensive power. Must be researched.
2. Army: Standard troops, decent attack and defense, but excel at neither. Base tech level troops.
2. Garrison: Strong Defense, weak attack, cannot be moved from the planet. Bae tech level.
3. Militia: appear only when the colony is attacked...automatically generated at full strength, but strength is low compared to other troops. However they cost no maintainence...these are the unruly mobs of torch and pitchfork wielding citizens defending their homes. Either base level tech or level 1-2 tech (similar to the Robotic troops).

Stat Comparison (if I were going to add them, I'd use this scale...based off the DW 50 to 150 scale):


  • Marine: Attack 150, Defense 100, Cost 1000, loadable.
  • Army: Attack 100, Defense 100, Cost 750, loadable.
  • Garrison: Attack 50, Defense 150, Cost 500, not loadable.
  • Militia: Attack 50, Defense 75, Cost 0 Automatically generated on attack, at Planet minimum troop level * 10, to a max of ~60-75. Go away at battles end.


< Message edited by Shark7 -- 1/21/2011 4:48:26 PM >


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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 5:08:37 PM   
Setekh


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Something tells me you people will continue to complain about invasions until the devs make it to impossibly hard that normal players like me won't be able to do it without having to build the ridiculous invasion fleet mentioned in the OP.
Seriously people, this is a game and games will always be exploited at their weakest point. I don't know about you but when I play I like to keep it somewhat realistic, not see what the easiest thing to exploit is and then build hundreds of the damn things.


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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 5:39:46 PM   
Simulation01


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Setekh

Something tells me you people will continue to complain about invasions until the devs make it to impossibly hard that normal players like me won't be able to do it without having to build the ridiculous invasion fleet mentioned in the OP.
Seriously people, this is a game and games will always be exploited at their weakest point. I don't know about you but when I play I like to keep it somewhat realistic, not see what the easiest thing to exploit is and then build hundreds of the damn things.




well, recruiting millions of different troops is what an interstellar empire would do.....don't you think? I don't think that represents an exploit.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 5:40:18 PM   
gmot


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Shark7 - with the small exception of making the marines defence a little lower (otherwise not much reason to use regular troops), I think you've got it perfectly. Hope the devs take a look at this.

Setekh, something like this could scaled in difficulty/optional so that invasions would only be harder/more complicated if the player wanted them to be.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 5:50:11 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Setekh

Something tells me you people will continue to complain about invasions until the devs make it to impossibly hard that normal players like me won't be able to do it without having to build the ridiculous invasion fleet mentioned in the OP.
Seriously people, this is a game and games will always be exploited at their weakest point. I don't know about you but when I play I like to keep it somewhat realistic, not see what the easiest thing to exploit is and then build hundreds of the damn things.



The thing is, its not an exploit, and I'm not doing anything over powered. Right now, it is simply too easy if you use just a little common sense. A minor redesign of the transport to add a few extra troop modules (which do not take up enough space), build a standard number of them (36 transports is not unreasonable for a player that plans to war).

Secondly, if it is exploitable as you claim, then the ability to exploit it would need to be shut down. I've suggested a very easy fix for that by increasing the troop module size...that alone will go a long way to alleviate the problem. Even with no other things done, that would severely limit being able to amass hordes of troops for landings.

Still however, that leaves the fact that the AI simply does a poor job of defending itself at its more important colony...it does not keep enough troops to keep even a casual player from very easily capturing it....imagine how much easier it is for me with the horde I've assebled. You may want a casual game...those of us promoting this do not. We are already playing with the settings as hard as we can get them. The suggestions here can always be added with a slidebar to be set like the other game settings...on a 'normal' setting the AI defends as it does now, on a 'hard' setting it does what I've suggested.

The current patch is a beta, which is what I am playing. Part of beta testing is purposely trying to break the game to find every possible exploit or imbalance so that we make a better game. I am playing the beta patch, since I found an area that isn't working out well, I have a responsibility to point it out, and give suggestions to Elliot on ways I think might help fix it. This is what I have done. My way is not the only way, but saying its broken without giving any reason why I think so or some feedback on how I think it could be fixed, then I am not being responsible or living up to my obligation of downloading the public beta patch.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 6:04:15 PM   
Data


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well put

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 6:20:12 PM   
Habadacus

 

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I think it could a property of the capital that it can convert civilian pop to 'militia' when needed. This could apply to regional capitals as well. If attacker kills all defender's troops, civs will be removed and added as weaker militia troops. Not all of them, but up to some reasonable percentage. If defender wins because of this, they still are punished by the loss of pop (militias don't convert back to pop, even if they survive) and must scramble to prevent a second invasion. If attacker wins, they get an world of reduced immediate value and will have lost more troops, slowing the momentum of the assault. It would help make capital worlds things to be feared or at least dealt with instead of targets of opportunity.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/21/2011 7:06:06 PM   
Shark7


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Another option as stated in another thread:

Attacker force diminishing returns. That is, once you hit a soft coded threshold of 2:1 or possibly 3:1 odds, any additional troops in the battle have little effect on the outcome of the battle. In other words if you drop with 4:1 odds, the first 50% of your troops apply their stats at 100%, but perhaps the other 50% of the troops only apply 5% of their stats to the battle, etc.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/22/2011 2:06:36 AM   
Jim D Burns


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I think what’s needed is a third economic “player” in the economy model. Currently you have the civilians and the empire, which means far too much cash is available to use as you please which allows you to create huge fleets and militaries. There should be a system defense economy for each individual star system that has at least one colony that is treated like the civilian economy is now.

After all if you think about it, politics would/should require that a certain force level was maintained at each star system, especially during times of war. Right now players are free to strip their empires of everything and send it into their invasion/battle fleets if they wish. There needs to be a limiter in game that keeps players from doing that, and a system defense economy would work rather well in that regard.

It would build and maintain forces (ships and troops) that were strictly for use in the home system the money to build them comes from. Those forces would be under total AI control and would not be available to players, nor would they be allowed to leave their home system unless it was lost, in which case surviving defense forces would convert to player control.

If you then make it so 75% (end game techs could reduce this amount) of the income that each system currently sends to the players economy instead goes to the system defense economy, players would not then be able to afford huge fleets and militaries that can overwhelm the AI. At least not until late in the game when your empire grows very large.

Jim

Edit: Also the AI script that loads troops onto transports needs to be channged, so they only load troops if an invasion is currently plotted for their fleet.

< Message edited by Jim D Burns -- 1/22/2011 2:13:51 AM >


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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/22/2011 1:16:31 PM   
ASHBERY76


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A concentrated human attack is always going to be able to invade a planet no matter what.I just think increased migration to colonies will make the homeplanet less important and that is the solution.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/22/2011 3:38:52 PM   
Howard Mitchell


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I agree with ASHBERY76.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/22/2011 5:22:23 PM   
Carewolf

 

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Another way to look at it, is that homeworlds are too valuable. Colonies rarely have any real value, and this means homeworlds are singular no-brain choices for invasions. If the starting population was lower or the population migrated faster to colonies, then this head-shot tactics would lose its lure.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/22/2011 7:21:14 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Carewolf

Another way to look at it, is that homeworlds are too valuable. Colonies rarely have any real value, and this means homeworlds are singular no-brain choices for invasions. If the starting population was lower or the population migrated faster to colonies, then this head-shot tactics would lose its lure.



Not all of us go for the headshot win tactic though. I don't just beat the AI empire down, I completely conquer it. I usually take all the outlying colonies first, then over-run the capital. Take the low hanging fruit first, send in a fleet that is nothing but non-troop carrying warships to force a decisive battle, then make the landing.

There are several things that need to be done as I have mentioned above.

Some other things that would help:


  • Increased Migration
  • AI increased military spending
  • AI increased troop recruitment
  • Ability for the AI to size up a players design firepower, and create similar designs to compete
  • AI targeting routine improvements (IE shoot the transports first!)
  • Improved planetary defense routine (IE make sure the AI builds sufficient troops to defend)
  • New defensive techs available at the base tech level to help defends the homeworlds, and prevent the early game 'homeworld rush'
  • Increasing the range, firepower and health of defensive structures and spaceports (IE a modifier that doubles the stats of components when on a station)
  • AI routine that causes the AI to station defensive fleets of appropriate size at high value targets (so it doesn't send every ship it has on the attack)
  • AI bonuses so that AI empires can stay competative vs the player (IE AI cheats if necessary)


I'm sure there are lots of other stuff, but you get the idea, there are many, many ways to go about making the AI more of a challenge to the player. All could be slider based so that normal is as the current default, and hard or very hard or insane could give the AI huge, huge bonuses...fitting all play styles.


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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/22/2011 9:15:50 PM   
Tehlongone


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Migration is already pretty high in my opinion. If the value of the homeworld were to be reduced, I think it would be more elegant/realistic to simply increase the value of low populated worlds, after all from a realism point of view, a lot of revenue could be generated simply from automated industries.

As for increased defenses I think it would be a good idea to add a garrison-like unit, that is cheaper but can't be moved, meant for defensive purposes, mostly for AI, but also for the player. Personally I play with the house rule that I refrain from grabbing the homeworld first, it makes it too easy, I either wait with it for last, or destroy most of their navy and bases first. I'm always a supporter of increased difficulty though.

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/22/2011 10:45:34 PM   
Jim D Burns


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76

A concentrated human attack is always going to be able to invade a planet no matter what.I just think increased migration to colonies will make the homeplanet less important and that is the solution.


Personally I play all my games with old empires. That gives everyone 30 "home" sized planets to start with, so it helps mitigate the issue somewhat. But I still think there needs to be some kind of limiter that prevents human players from stripping everything and leaving his own systems virtually undefended in favor of huge invasion fleets.

Jim

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/22/2011 11:14:16 PM   
Rosseau

 

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I just wanted to thank all the posters here. And Codeforce for taking the time to listen. I am new to DW RotS, so the least of my problems is beating a hard AI! This is like the WitP of 4x games, and I am excited about it. And it's always the dedicated forum users like you guys that wind up suggesting improvements that make the game better for everyone. So much appreciated. Please continue...

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/23/2011 3:07:28 AM   
adecoy95


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i thought the latest patch added something that caused star bases to damage troops on the ground, i haven't had a chance to test it yet, but how effective is it?

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RE: Home planet invasion too easy solution - 1/23/2011 5:31:17 AM   
pipewrench


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how about an attrition penalty for enemy worlds?

your troops at home are static and carry a very low cost, militia or reserve
moving troops off friendly planets creates an attrition factor
fighting a ground campaign ramps up the cost

but the key is
a hostile world will create an attrition rate in direct comparison to population
assimilation into your empire would be timed again in relation to size of the occupation and the distance from a friendly colony that acts as a depot.

if we can force an island hopping strategy it might solve things.











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