New fleet orders - Vanguard

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New fleet orders - Vanguard

Postby Thom » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:18 pm

I have added a new fleet order, or standing order if you will, to your choice of options. The standing order is called Vanguard and here is a brief description of the logic and thought behind the action code as well as the standing orders and how to make the order work.

First the description. A fleet with Vanguard orders will scout for enemy fleets in systems and in planetary orbit. They will not search subsector space. That is reserved for your fighters. The fleet will attempt to engage enemy fleets if you so desire or just scout depending on the additional orders you give the fleet when you use the action code. The fleet will also perform a system scan, subsector scan, or planetary scan when first arriving at the location to start the 'fleet sweep' is what I like to call it. If any fleets are found in the system it will report the fleet position, empire name, as well as the firepower and composition of the alien fleet. If you give the fleet the appropriate additional orders it may engage the alien fleet.

This action code was designed in the last game. However the game closed down before it was finished and I never got around to finishing it till recently. Still not completely finished, but more on that later.

How to assign Vanguard Standing Orders to a fleet and requirements.

First the fleet can have no more than 10 ships total in the fleet. It can have less if you desire. Ship types are restricted. The fleet composition must consist of 'fast' ships. So combat ships of BattleCruiser class or less are allowed. Corvettes, Destroyers, Cruisers, etc. are allowed. Marauder 7's for instance are not. Ships of these classes are now considered 'fast' ships. So a couple advantages are granted to the 'fast' ship class ships now. First a fleet with Vanguard orders will engage any fleet it deems it is on fairly equal terms as far as combat strength is concerned. In other words a fleet of 10,000 firepower will engage other fleets of roughly the same combat strength. Probably won't engage a fleet with 50,000 firepower. But you never know. Some fleet admirals are just that crazy. Also if the fleet runs into a fleet with superior firepower either by it's own action or because it has standing orders of Vanguard and another fleet moves in it will disengage and retire rather than fight. Unless of course that crazy admiral is on board. If however it runs into a fleet with Vanguard orders the two fleets will probably fight.

So to set up your fleet with Vanguard orders use action code 19, a location#1 if you want the fleet to move after the orders are initiated, the fleet in the Fleet #1 box and in the Special number box enter a 4. Like so:

19. Standing Orders - The Fleet will obey this order until it is changed.

Action Code / Location #1 / Fleet #1 / Spec. #
19 / MMM222 / 10 / 4

How to use the new standing orders.

Use action code 130, enter the location you want the fleet to start the fleet sweep from like a system or subsector or even a planet. The fleet will move to that location and start searching the location indicated in the Second Location box starting with system space and all planets in the system. The fleet does not actually move into the orbit of each planet to search it but scans from a distance. It only actually enters the location in the first location box. So if there is an alien fleet there it may have to fight before conducting a fleet sweep of the system. Enter the action code like so:

Action Code / Location #1 / Fleet #1 / Location #2
130 / MMM222 / 10 / MMM2221

The fleet will move to MMM222 (yes can start this from subsector space) and scan the first system for any alien fleets at the star or in a planet orbit. The fleet will report the alien fleet location, the owner of the fleet (Unless masked), the firepower of the fleet (may be an estimate), and the composition of the alien fleet (again may be an estimate). The fleet will then return to where it started the fleet sweep and wait further orders.

Note that a fleet with Vanguard orders has break contact orders if it enters the orbit of a planet that is hostile. So you never just lose your fleet because you inadvertently started the sweep from a planet full of torpedoes.

How to engage other fleets with your Vanguard fleet.

Note: A Vanguard fleet is a fleet that scouts ahead of your main battle line and reports alien fleets in the area. If the Vanguard fleet finds an alien fleet it is ordered to engage it will do so if combat odds are on favorable terms. It will not engage a fleet of Marauder 7's for instance but may engage a fleet of ships roughly equal in terms of firepower. Here is the way to signify what rules of engagement you desire on a fleet sweep.

Using the Empire/Ship Name slot you can give it several options.

Option 1. Leave it blank. The fleet will conduct a fleet sweep and engage no alien fleets encountered. HOWEVER: It may be forced to fight if it runs into a hostile enemy fleet that can force an engagement, like another fleet with Vanguard orders which is the most likely scenario OR a fleet made up of enemy 'fast' ships, i.e. Classs BattleCruiser or less, even if it is outgunned. An alien fleet of very low firepower will not attempt to engage a Vanguard fleet even if they are fast ships, although you do have to watch out for that crazy admiral once in a while.

Option 2. Enter the Word WAR in the slot. The fleet will engage other fleets you have currently declared war on. Again rules of engagement are fleets with roughly equal combat strength although again the fleet might be forced to fight a fleet of fast enemy ships.

Option 3. Enter the Empire Name in the slot. The fleet will engage only those ships that are owned by the empire named in the slot. It will not attempt to engage any other fleets and will not engage enemy fleets even if you are at war with that empire. However again it might be forced to fight.

Option 4. Enter the word ALL in the slot. The fleet is indiscriminate. They will attempt to engage all empires fleets in the sweep of the system. It will not attack allied fleets but will attack any enemy or neutral empire in the sweep. Again rules of engagement dictate if the fleet will fight but it might be forced into action if it runs across an enemy fleet.

So to enter the action code right:

Action Code / Location #1 / Fleet #1 / Empire-Ship Name / Location #2
130 / MMM222 / 10 / WAR / MMM2221

Note that the fleet in all circumstances with search until it locates a fleet it is ordered to fight. If it engages in combat it will not search for more fleets even if it was victorious in the first encounter.

Now for the fun stuff. (Note the first one is not activated yet. Will do so after a bit more testing) Even though I've been running these actions constantly for the past few months and have fixed all the bugs, leave it to the players to find more so I'll do that first. But even without the primary function outlined below, and what the code was originally designed for, it is still quite useful.

The primary function of the fleet is to scout for your main battle fleet. Once an enemy fleet is spotted and the Vanguard fleet determines it is the enemy's main battle fleet it will not engage but can call in your main battle fleet to engage the enemy fleet. If you add a fleet number in the Second Fleet location that fleet will move to the location where the alien fleet is located and attempt to engage. So enter the action like this:

Action Code / Location #1 / Fleet #1 / Empire-Ship Name / Fleet #2 / Location #2
130 / MMM222 / 10 / WAR / 20 / MMM2221

Ship combat for Vanguard actions have been totally re-written. Note this is a test for all combat but for now will only be used for Vanguard actions.

How it works.

In the current system each fleets firepower is compared with the two fleets maneuvers and the adjusted firepower of the fleet is calculated. So lets say a fleet of 10,000 firepower is using maneuver #1 and the enemy fleet is using maneuver #5. Based on the matrix you might get a 1.2 multiplier so you fleets firepower is now 12,000. Enemy fleet might be 1.1 or something. So you have 12,000 firepower going against 11,000 firepower. The game goes through a series of combat 'rounds' where both sides firepower attempts to destroy the other or force it to reach it's breaking point, or aggression level. So maybe one is 70% and the other is 60%. As each round is calculated (and sorry not going to try to explain how that works entirely) some 'damage' is done to the opposing firepower. Once enough damage is done to force the fleet to retire or it totally zero's out the other side the damage is assigned to each ship in each fleet. Damage is dealt out to ships in your fleet starting at the first ship and goes through your entire fleet till it either exhausts the total damage assigned or starts over at the beginning of the list and goes through it again. Shields greatly mitigate damage to a ship so your fleet might absorb a lot of damage without losing all your ships or even any. Ever wonder why that one explorer in your fleet somehow survives 700 points of damage. Shields have never been penetrated even though some of them might have been lost.

Basically this was written so as to have fleets of 100's of ships fight each other but you didn't have the internal memory or quick disk access like you do now. So a combat could be resolved without taking all night.

Well throw that all out.

Now ships engage other ships on a more personal level. When both fleets come together each ship in your fleet will attempt to engage another ship in the enemy fleet. Base firepower is the same and is affected by fleet maneuvers but a ships entire firepower is brought to bear on one enemy ship. Now you hit with the full firepower (rare but can happen), hit with somewhat less as not all 'guns' so to speak found the mark, or you might miss altogether. Shields again mitigate damage. Ships accuracy becomes more accurate each round as ships are 'finding the range' of the opposing enemy ships. So even though the combat might start slow it quickly becomes deadly.

A fleet will only retreat when it loses the number of ships that equals or exceeds its' aggression level. Unlike firepower vs. firepower combat a fleet will now fight until it actually loses enough ships to cause it to retreat. Ships may be lost in the first round, or any round after that. Aggression level for each fleet is checked after each round with destroyed ships no longer counting. In addition destroyed ships no longer participate in combat in subsequent rounds.

But wait that's not all.

When two fleets engage it is done at a specific range. Some ships have greater firepower, and thus a better chance of scoring hits at longer ranges than smaller ships which cannot carry as large a 'gun'. Range is separated into 4. Long, Medium, Short, and Point Blank. Long range is what you would normally get in a safe subsector at a star or planet orbit (fleets will not engage in combat in deep space) where the two fleets might detect each other at extreme range. Meduim range might be the same in a safe subsector, or a Stellar Cloud if they are lucky. Short range is probably more likely in a Stellar Cloud and Point Blank Range is almost entirely only possible in a Stellar Cloud. Each fleet also attempts to close the range or widen the range after each round of combat although depending on the range it might not drop from Long to Medium for instance after the first round but might stay at long range for a few rounds or might stay there for the entire engagement.

Why is that important. Ship weapons.

Each ship now has the ability to carry specific weapons in addition to base firepower. (This has not been activated yet. Still need some testing before rolling out the first weapons.)

Each ship can carry up to three weapon systems. Things like torpedoes ( probably the first added), missiles, defense weapons, Targeting computers, etc. will be available. Not sure exactly how to roll that out but the master of the universe probably has an idea or two. So a ship armed with missiles for instance can and will fire them at long range. Base firepower will not reach long ranges in most cases. Missiles are very effective at long range as they acquire the target. As the range shortens the missile becomes less effective as it has less time to acquire a target once fired. They are also subject to jamming or anti-missile defenses. Torpedoes on the other hand are not subject to jamming as they have very limited targeting. But they are not very effective at longer ranges as the ship has time to evade. So a ships missiles might be effective in Safe subsectors they are probably not going to fair as well in Stellar clouds where the initial contact range is likely closer.

Okay that should summarize the standing orders and the action code. Any questions post them there or email them.

Enjoy the new feature.
Thom
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:34 am

Re: New fleet orders - Vanguard

Postby REPTIMALIEN » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:17 pm

You mention system, and even planetsry scans. Does this require a scout ship.
Also, does the rift scout cruiser qualify for the vanguard fleet.
REPTIMALIEN
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:57 pm

Re: New fleet orders - Vanguard

Postby Thom » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:02 am

In order to get stars or planet info from a scan from Subsector space, System space, or planetary orbit you must have a scout or some kind of exploration ship. And yes a scout cruiser does count. But this is only to be able to get stats on the stars or planets. The fleet will still look for other alien fleets in the system without a scout or exploration ship. So you could have a fleet of 10 BattleCruisers for instance in a fleet if you want or 10 Scouts. The likelihood of the fleet attacking another fleet is dependent on the orders you give it on the sweep of the system but the fleet will also determine likely odds before attacking and if outnumbered may not attack.
Thom
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:34 am


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