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Airforce positive or negative ?

 
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Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/29/2020 11:51:24 PM   
39battalion


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Returning to this great game after a break I see that it is now possible to have an airforce and that this is an option that can be toggled on or off.

What is your experience of playing with the airforce enabled ? Does it make the game even better than it was ? Or does it just add another level of complication that makes the game less enjoyable ?

There is already so much depth (and complexity) in this this game I am not sure I want to add more. But maybe it would be worth it.

Thanks
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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/30/2020 1:42:37 AM   
Twotribes


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Adds a new twist depending on planet you may get good air craft or crappy. I always add it

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/30/2020 4:51:37 AM   
KarisFraMauro

 

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I've tried it a couple times. It's interesting and I always appreciate the option of new features. That said I tend not to actually use aircraft very often. For one thing they seem to really hog ammunition, feel like artillery in that respect. For another the range limitation can be a pain. If you ask me again after a few more games I may feel differently though.

I've been hearing about an option for extending AI turn time, basically making it smarter in exchange for taking longer turns, but haven't seen that box anywhere. Is it in a newer update? Maybe I just didn't notice it...

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/30/2020 6:01:27 AM   
pauls2271

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: KarisFraMauro

I've been hearing about an option for extending AI turn time, basically making it smarter in exchange for taking longer turns, but haven't seen that box anywhere. Is it in a newer update? Maybe I just didn't notice it...


It is under Preferences/Game if your running the beta version. Originally it appeared only in the initial game setup screen.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/30/2020 6:53:52 AM   
Jorgas

 

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It was fun with something new, but it's a hassle to get proper designs out, so I usually skip it now.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/30/2020 1:55:22 PM   
Soar_Slitherine

 

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The worst part about air forces is that the UI for designing aircraft is awful. I haven't had the opportunity to play out a proper air war yet, since in the games I've played to near completion since the release of the air forces beta, I ended up in a dominant position compared to the AIs fast enough that they never got around to developing air forces.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/30/2020 2:21:03 PM   
zgrssd

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Soar_Slitherine

The worst part about air forces is that the UI for designing aircraft is awful.

That is wierd. Because it is a improovement over the normal design process (actually having a summary page/confirmation page).

It is just that the rest of the design process was always that bad.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/30/2020 3:16:17 PM   
Soar_Slitherine

 

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The model design UI is poor overall, but it's adequate for ground unit designs because they're way less complicated. With aircraft designs, the effect that altering the size of the engine, wingspan or fuel tank has on the performance of the final design is entirely context-dependent, so you have to repeat the design process multiple times over in order to discover the optimal combination of components, which is a pain in the ass.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/30/2020 3:35:02 PM   
DasTactic

 

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I keep it turned on but agree with the comments above so hardly use them. Very hard to design due to the UI. Very expensive in terms of ammo and fuel. I'd also add that the airfields are also a big problem as you need a different size airfield for each aircraft type and the airfields are limited to the size of your city. So if you need a quick airfield built then you can only fly ultra-lights from it. And so on from there. So just to field a group of fighters can take a lot of turns just to build the airfields.

Where they are good is if you have helicopters as these don't require an airfield. Aircraft are also a great way to get the recon on a hex up as a precursor to artillery or an attack by ground forces.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/30/2020 6:06:13 PM   
Akrakorn

 

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I think it'd be a change for the better if the level of airbases weren't tied to the city level.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/30/2020 7:00:18 PM   
KarisFraMauro

 

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Maybe the design user interface could be improved by letting you go back one step rather than starting over entirely, and giving an indication of what effect the different choices have as you go along rather than only at the very end. I didn't know about helicopters though, definitely something worth exploring!

Hogging ammunition at least would be less of a pain if ammunition production could be automated. I have more than enough resources so that's not the issue, it's the annoyance of having to go through the process of making it every turn, or even more than once per turn if I'm building units. Something like just having a box to check for "auto-produce ammunition to storage limit" would be a comparatively minor change to implement surely. You could even set it to percentages like with assets if you're not quite in peak form for resources.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/30/2020 8:08:56 PM   
pauls2271

 

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quote:

giving an indication of what effect the different choices have as you go along


That's right. If the results were a panel was on every design panel and as you added/changed features, it updated, the UI would be a million times better. That way you could see as you made choices what the effect of that choice is.

Instead it is all a mystery until you hit the last design choice and see the results.



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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/30/2020 8:10:25 PM   
Hazard151

 

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For that matter, doing the same as with machinery production and creating a munitions factory asset that cranks out munitions at greater efficiency is just as valid an option.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/31/2020 12:54:02 AM   
Mercutio

 

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I agree the design of air units needs work. Also I should be able to build an air base anywhere. This isn't a commercial airport! (although that would be a nice addition)

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/31/2020 2:35:33 AM   
eddieballgame

 

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In a 'pbem' game with air units...round 50, not much so far.
Personally, I prefer games without it (for now) & in another 'pbem' game, not using it.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/31/2020 4:15:23 AM   
39battalion


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Thanks for the feedback guys.

I have decided to enable airforces in my next game to give it a try.

It does look though as if the design UI needs some tweaking.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/31/2020 10:52:29 AM   
zgrssd

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: pauls2271

quote:

giving an indication of what effect the different choices have as you go along


That's right. If the results were a panel was on every design panel and as you added/changed features, it updated, the UI would be a million times better. That way you could see as you made choices what the effect of that choice is.

Instead it is all a mystery until you hit the last design choice and see the results.





quote:

ORIGINAL: 39battalion


Thanks for the feedback guys.

I have decided to enable airforces in my next game to give it a try.

It does look though as if the design UI needs some tweaking.

The Design process needs a overhaul, full stop.
It has needed one since forever now. There have been plenty of suggestions for it. It just never was a priority Vic could focus on.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/31/2020 4:39:49 PM   
Fritz1776

 

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quote:

I agree the design of air units needs work. Also I should be able to build an air base anywhere. This isn't a commercial airport! (although that would be a nice addition)


I think unit design as a whole needs to be overhauled such that it isn't actually a significant investment unless you want it to be. That is to say, you are always developing random variants in the background, and when R&D shows up with a particularly promising one, you can build on that one specifically. That, or you can demand they get something working that meets a specific requirement you've outlined, at which point there is a "Mean Time To Happen" before you get what is assured to be a good product, even if it takes seemingly forever. The current system is just too random and narrow, especially for aircraft since they need to be built to very specific specifications.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/31/2020 7:08:32 PM   
KarisFraMauro

 

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I've been thinking there is one way to make air forces really worth the investment, and it feels logical too in terms of realism. No retreat for ground forces being attacked by air. As it is now I'll send in a massive force, and it goes great for the first and second of the ten rounds. Then all my targets disappear and I spend the next eight combat rounds flushing ammo and fuel down the toilet. It makes sense for units to retreat in ground attack obviously. Attacked from the west, retreat to the east, attacked from the east, retreat to the west (assuming unist aren't surrounded of course). But if you're attacked from above you can hardly retreat downwards! That's the entire reason air power was so terrifying when it was first introduced to the world. Suddenly ground units would have a pressing need for AA protection, again just like the real world. As it is it's practically impossible to destroy a unit from air, which is NOT realistic, and especially annoying the best way to do so is attacking with one unit at a time over and over and over, to try and pick off the elements which retreated in the previous attack.

Anyone think I'm on to something here?

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 12/31/2020 8:37:53 PM   
zgrssd

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: KarisFraMauro

I've been thinking there is one way to make air forces really worth the investment, and it feels logical too in terms of realism. No retreat for ground forces being attacked by air. As it is now I'll send in a massive force, and it goes great for the first and second of the ten rounds. Then all my targets disappear and I spend the next eight combat rounds flushing ammo and fuel down the toilet. It makes sense for units to retreat in ground attack obviously. Attacked from the west, retreat to the east, attacked from the east, retreat to the west (assuming unist aren't surrounded of course). But if you're attacked from above you can hardly retreat downwards! That's the entire reason air power was so terrifying when it was first introduced to the world. Suddenly ground units would have a pressing need for AA protection, again just like the real world. As it is it's practically impossible to destroy a unit from air, which is NOT realistic, and especially annoying the best way to do so is attacking with one unit at a time over and over and over, to try and pick off the elements which retreated in the previous attack.

Anyone think I'm on to something here?

It is relatively easy to stealth your units from airforces:
In a forested area, just move into a forrest.
On plains, just deploy cammo nets.

This defenses are propably part of normal hiding vs ground attacks, but against airforces they are very effective (as they have a certain distance to the ground).
It was SOP to not shoot airforces unless you were the target or escort, because it gave away your position.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 1/1/2021 2:40:52 AM   
KarisFraMauro

 

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Neither of those techniques work very well past WWII levels of technology though. One doesn't have to think too hard to find examples in recent years of ground forces getting completely annihilated from the air. Dealing with technology beyond the present day it's a reasonable extrapolation that trend would continue. Anyway hiding from an air enemy that hasn't spotted you yet is one thing, as you say with respect to not firing on air forces. But, AFTER you've been spotted? Completely different matter. Use ground forces to flush out the enemy, then send in air to finish the job. Seems fair enough.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 1/1/2021 7:39:25 AM   
GazBot

 

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nice to have the option - but I think will be very planet dependent....

In current game their is limited airforces - I think only one player has deployed anything with wings (light recon).

The planet basically has no oil - this is an extreme example but sort of makes the point - very game dependent.

Now if the game goes to say to Turn 100 - then maybe that changes - ie you start biofuel, methane synthesis etc to get over the fuel limitations and can then get the payoff....

If your in a resource rich world then perhaps you ramp it up a lot earlier....

I get the feeling it will take time to get all the research to get effective designs up and running - the one thing it forced me to do (one player actually getting something up in the air) it did tempt me to get some basic research started and research and create some AA units!!!!

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 1/1/2021 2:24:11 PM   
solops

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd

quote:

ORIGINAL: Soar_Slitherine

The worst part about air forces is that the UI for designing aircraft is awful.

That is wierd. Because it is a improovement over the normal design process (actually having a summary page/confirmation page).

It is just that the rest of the design process was always that bad.

+1
Kind of like the air unit design. Better than the rest.


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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 1/1/2021 7:57:02 PM   
KarisFraMauro

 

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I ultimately quit the game with the air force. Even though I was able to have enough oil and metal, the sheer logistical tsunami of trying to maintain an air force left me with nothing for my ground forces. And all that with actually being able to destroy a unit from the air practically impossible. It's too bad, hopefully the shortcomings will be addressed in future so I can return to it, definite potential.

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 1/4/2021 2:08:51 AM   
CaptBeefheart


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Against the AI I'd say air forces are a handicap to the AI and you shouldn't use them. In PBEM it might be a fun element.

I noticed the AI builds a lot of AA units, which don't seem to be good for anything else, even against tanks. I also didn't see the AI build any aircraft.

Once my tech became reasonable, I built some helos to go after big alien critters, not the normal AI opponents, since the normal opponents had quite a bit of AA by them. Still, ground attack helos didn't do much to the critters. I didn't bother with airplanes since the opportunity to use them would have been minimal what with having to be based at a city with an airfield.

For the aircraft design process I'd start with a list of maximum parameters for each type (e.g. 2000-pound bombload, range of five hexes, speed of 200 knots, cargo of 2000 pounds, etc.) and you'd pick one that's the most important to you, say the bombload of 2000 pounds, and then it would show you what was still achievable with the other parameters (e.g. range of three hexes, 170-knot speed, no cargo, etc.) and you'd narrow it down with each choice.

Cheers,
CB

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RE: Airforce positive or negative ? - 1/4/2021 3:07:32 AM   
KarisFraMauro

 

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I still think eliminating retreat would go a long way to fixing aircraft, for the reasons I've outlined earlier. It would be twice as relevant for fauna since you'd hardly expect them to understand and devise countermeasures to flying things, even if they were intelligent. One aspect I may have failed to make clear is that it would still be possible for targets to withstand air attacks, otherwise the mechanic would be broken the other way. Just make it a matter of lasting the ten rounds without the existing easy escape of retreat that renders the entire exercise futile.

< Message edited by KarisFraMauro -- 1/4/2021 3:08:35 AM >

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