David Weber's overated sci fi book series is basically napoleonic war era ships in space so not a good example,and gameplay.
Advanced ships you acquire during the game will arrive way ahead and becomes annoying to micro managing them to make some parity.
The example from the series does apply to our discussion. If you use their mode of propulsion or Star Trek warp propulsion, here and there is a logistical problem of ship movement coordination, achieving minimum and effective firing range for weapon systems, and revectoring towards new threats or retreats.
The problem isn't only in the advanced ships. After arrival smaller and faster ships move in and get killed first. If we speak about formation tactics, then the heavies should engage first, while the E's,F's and D's provide fire support and point defence saturation. Weber's Napoleonic wall of battle taken in 3D space and the modern carrier bubble are the two probable options.
Speaking simply, three linked solutions for for fleet transit come to mind: 1), force fleet speed to the slowest ship speed; 2), force fleet to hold formation in transit with fixed distance between each ship; and 3), from Weber, Star Trek and Star Wars, have faster ships tractor the slower along with them.
P.S. Offtopic, what's with your opinion of David Weber? Just curious...
The books are fun, but if you want to play ship of the line combat, the Napoleonic era is a better choice as said above. It is a silly setting solution to force some fleet tactics into a 3d world by making the ships behave like they are 2d.
Scale is poor in the game, with resupply ships the size of planets (or not too far off). Real tactical combat in a system would probably involve using planetary objects to gain or deny position. Which seems a tad beyond the scope of the game.
Contrary to both your statements, I'm not focusing on the "line-of-battle" of the Napoleonic era and, what's more, playing it. I've understood ASHBERY76's vision of the problem as the need to achieve simultaneous arrival \\ simultaneous assault by all the ships of a fleet. Therefore I've offered Weber's examples, because, let's face it, there are not (and for some time won't be) any space fleet tactics at all, except in fiction. However, when that time comes, they will definitely grow out of existing fleet and air combat tactics and strategy. Regeneration of ideas. So there can be no forcing of tactics, and my opinion is not sillier than all of our "serious discussion" about a 4X science fiction game .
That being said, I definitely agree about the the problems of scope and scale, and the influence of planetary gravity on tactics. So here's another question for Eric - if we're getting Gravitical Weaponry, can anything be done to emulate planetary gravity?
< Message edited by Gareth_Bryne -- 12/5/2012 3:56:49 PM >
"Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts," - Londo Mollari