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Ground Combat Autoresolve


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Why do we need an auto-resolve type option for Xenonauts?

I'm currently on my 4th game that has entered the 3-4 month period. One thing I've noticed is that you tend to stop 'feeling like' doing the more mundane ground combat missions.
Essentially you do need the money, but you really can't be bothered spending 30 or so minutes slaughtering aliens because you've got a bunch of elite troops.
The game, past the 3 month period also goes through a very large slow down. If you have 2+ bases you start to intercept 3-4 UFOs a turn and the number of missions jumps up drastically. Some other kind of mechanic needs to take over the manual ground combat, at least on the easy missions.

My proposed Auto-Reslove mechanic for ground missions

Local forces can attempt to secure UFO crashes with the assistance of Xenonauts. Each time this happens, 0-3 (1 lead and 2 advisors) Xenonauts can be sent to assist & advise local forces, gaining experience.
The option would only be availiable for the 'reletively' smaller UFOs. As the ticker increases more UFO's fall under this juristriction.

The criteria for local forces wanting jurisdiction over an alien zone:

Each UFO is assigned a second ticker value, after the ticker reaches this second value, that type of UFO is able to be auto-resolved via this mechanic

The variables for the auto-resolve

This non-playable mission would have several outcomes, determined by a few things.

-Crew Strength of the downed UFO

-Invasion progress inversely effecting the crew strength (eg low crew count in later invasion stages = easier mission)

-Rank of the lead Xenonaut

-Combined rank of the other 0-2 Xenonaut advisers

-Relation with Country

- Perhaps a new Variable for countries, relating to their ability to respond to the Alien invasion

Essentially this would be an auto-resolve feature, but it would have a lot of perceived depth and wouldn't be a one button wonder. It would get the player to consider risk when auto-resolving and would encourage manual attacks on stronger crashed UFOs.

Balancing:

There is a few balance issues to consider;

  • How much of the materials do the Xenonauts get
  • What is the risk to Xenonaut advisers (officer should be next to none, but the lower tiers would be involved in fire teams)
  • Do the Xenonauts get additional funding?
  • Will auto-resolving have an impact on country relations?

*important*

Can fighters be auto-resolved? I'm for this, but I'd like to hear what other players think

I think, for what is essentially a one line equation with some artwork, that this kind of auto-resolving feature is a low development solution that would significantly enhance the game.

Feedback appreciated!

Edited by Grazgul
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I do like the idea of military advisors. It's not only cold war, but pretty much any kind of conflict. Link in nicely with Xenonaut technology reaching the hands of the funding nations.

I believe there will be a point in game where the local forces are going to take care of the small UFOs for you. I imagine that this will be both interception and ground combat, as the point is to spare the player taking part in combat over small UFOs.

It has also been mentioned that there should be 30-40 missions in the game, due to the advancing nature of the alien threat. So, there shouldn't be as many options for the game slowing down as perhaps there was in EU1994.

So, I think a fair amount of this will be addressed.

But if it isn't. I also like the idea of the rank of Xenonaut affecting the outcome. I'd imagine you'd get points for having your advisors on site, but you'd not get anything in terms of goodies, unless it was something needed for R&D. You'd also not get quite as many point as if you'd have done it yourself. However, it may not be far off as the funding nation gets pride in dealing with the threat, which pleases the politicians. They also get the goodies and training.

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I do like the idea of auto resolve for ground combat. Later in the game you often don't want to fight the small alien crews, but you know that you need to for the money. This really is a good idea because it could speed up playing the game considerably. I think a simple table and dice roll system could probably be used by the programmer. You would definitely want include a combat multipier for the type of weapons and armor the Xenonaut "advisors" are carrying and whether the local forces have access to laser weapons, in addition to rank of the advisors as you mentioned. The combat resolution code wouldn't take long at all to write and I think the UI code wouldn't take too long either. Just add a "Send local forces to intercept" option in the intercept dialog.

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The idea for the 3 officers was to basically have some risk/reward/punishment for auto-resolving.

Essentially the expanded idea:

Leader:

Low risk position as it's more of a coordinator. Essentially the leader takes over "your" position in ground combat by directing troops.

Pros:

Has a much bigger factor in the missions success

Very low or no chance of being injured in combat

Cons:

You will need to donate one of your strongest soldiers, meaning they might not be available for a harder manual ground fight

Advisers (really need a better name, maybe Marshal?)

These are the higher risk positions. They won't have a huge impact on success (they will still have some impact though) but are more soldiers then commanders. Essentially the advisers aid the local forces in combat.

Pros:

Good experience gain

Weapons & Armour count towards the strength of the soldier in the auto-resolve

Cons:

Can be injured in the auto-resolve

Will be unavailable for ground battles done manually

If Chris is remotely interested I could take a crack at writing the function for an auto-resolve roll. It would only really need to be a 1-100 roll with a bunch of plus/minus mini rolls for the variables.

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Definitely would like to see something like this, though perhaps would need more of a setback if the mission was a failure. If anything, I'd like to see something along the lines of at least one Xenonaut dying in the attempt or something of the like to make sure that you're not throwing troops into the grinder willy-nilly.

The injured-only outcome seems too...soft...for this game.

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