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Author Topic: Tactics and strategy of SC ships  (Read 29092 times)
meep-eep
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Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« on: November 11, 2006, 07:24:39 am »

Here's a little thought experiment.
The various SC2 ships each have their strengths and weaknesses in SuperMelee. But how would these ships be best put to use in a larger conflict?

A few ideas:

A Cruiser may be a relatively weak ship in Supermelee, but these ships could be very useful to defend stationary or slow-moving objects. And a few working together could make it very hard for most enemies to escape their missiles.

Eluders wouldn't work half as well in a many vs. many battle. Running away from one enemy would often mean running towards another. And it's a whole lot harder to stay at exactly the right distance from an enemy if you have to share space with lots of other Eluders. On the other hand, they could be used to lure enemies closer, and out of formation.

A Skiff would work well for action behind enemy lines. Teleport in, do some damage or bring the enemy lines into disarray, and teleport out.

Torches work best when the enemy is moving fast, so it would be best to team them up with ships that cause the enemy to move fast. Scouts perhaps, although that's a pretty unlikely combination story-wise.

And just a few Scouts would also work very well to destroy the enemy's formation.

Drones I imagine would be used as a Phalanx; a whole group of them slowly moving towards the enemy, defending themselves and eachother with their cones.

The Dreadnaught is one of the few ships that I would expect would behave just like in SuperMelee, firing from a distance, with the main guns, and if the enemy ship has no point defense, with fighters too. Only they'd be even more dangerous when there's a line of these ships fighting. Most enemies attacking would incur a lot of losses before even coming close. I think that the best way to attack them would be with ships that outrange them (the artillery), combined with ships that have point defense.

The Utwig could not just shield themselves, but also the ships behind them. Good for bringing in Stingers or Intruders. That is, if the enemy hasn't ran away by then.

And that's enough for now.

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Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2006, 08:16:44 am »

I forget who this was, but someone posted a freeware game they were fiddling with that had SC2 ships en masse a while back. While playing it, I couldn't stop thinking about how terribly balanced SC2 ships were for fleet on fleet combat.
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Deus Siddis
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Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2006, 08:18:55 pm »

meep-eep
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A Cruiser may be a relatively weak ship in Supermelee, but these ships could be very useful to defend stationary or slow-moving objects. And a few working together could make it very hard for most enemies to escape their missiles.

Actually, I think they'd be extremely more useful, if for no other reason, because their low cost means hordes of them attacking at once. But also, they have all smart weapons, in a situation where friendly fire could otherwise quickly become an issue. Their point defense lasers that can attack an infinite number of targets at once, would also be greatly more offensively powerful against multiple ships (think the valkyrie frigate from starcraft.)

For the same reason, the Avatar would be greatly more powerful, as its weapons can hit multiple targets as well (its main beam doesn't stop when it hits things, does it. . .not sure about this?)


And to answer your underlying question-- Yes, I do very much think allowing multiple ships to fight it out in UQM's Super Melee would be beyond cool (like somewhere between ammonia and nitrogen ice to give some idea) and would certainly be a nice addition to the whole network play thing.


Shiver
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I forget who this was, but someone posted a freeware game they were fiddling with that had SC2 ships en masse a while back.

You've only seen one freeware SC game that does that? How do you get internet access from the rock under which you live? ;p
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Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2006, 08:36:18 pm »

A large force of Maulers would be very unwieldy to co-ordinate.  You wold have to treat them as artillery that need to be re-positioned after every shot
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Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2006, 08:57:50 pm »

Easy: Line 'em up and have them all fire in the same direction. A wall of red death would follow.
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Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2006, 09:06:27 pm »

For the same reason, the Avatar would be greatly more powerful, as its weapons can hit multiple targets as well (its main beam doesn't stop when it hits things, does it. . .not sure about this?)
Actually, it does. At least until the target blows up.

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And to answer your underlying question-- Yes, I do very much think allowing multiple ships to fight it out in UQM's Super Melee would be beyond cool (like somewhere between ammonia and nitrogen ice to give some idea) and would certainly be a nice addition to the whole network play thing.
Keep dreaming. And the kind of battles that I describe here would better fit a MOO style combat.

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Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2006, 09:10:07 pm »

Easy: Line 'em up and have them all fire in the same direction. A wall of red death would follow.
That's very expensive in energy/crew.They may take out a few ships, but then they'd be sitting ducks.
And it would work even worse if you take the third dimension into account.
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Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2006, 09:31:11 pm »

The Arilou plan you presented requires that you can control teleportation. Otherwise, you might just as well end up behind your own lines.

Mycons would be well suited to fulfil the backup role as well. While their Plasmoids aren't as fast, and are more easily dodged, the fact that they can heal themselves evens out the score considerably. As long as you have more than just two or three mycon, one could always be healing whilst the others were firing. The plasmoids increased size would also create a wall of destruction if several were fired at once.

And of course, using Ilwrath to defend a position would just mean you scatter a few of them and cloak them. When the enemy meets no resistance, they'll assume that the objective is undefended. until several Ilwrath appear and rip large chunks of the fleet to Shreds. You could even put mycons closer to whatever you wish to defend, and just sparkle the Ilwrath through space in front of them. Even if no enemy ship passes close enough to be torched, once they've passed and are busy evading plasmoids, the Ilwrath can fall upon them from behind and decimate them.

Supox would probably work well as an offensive tag team. They can sidestep shots, kick in reverse and are overall agile. They also have good range.

Traddash ship could be rapid response units, able to hurl themselves into enemy lines and/or hotspots. As long as the pilot isn't blasted out of the sky, their speed and manoeuvrability should allow them to cause some disarray to enemy formations by dropping small clouds of fire here and there. In front of a bunch of crusiers for example.
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Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2006, 09:57:33 am »

You've only seen one freeware SC game that does that? How do you get internet access from the rock under which you live? ;p

Smaller scale than Timewarp, but larger than most other projects. Damned if I can remember the name. It really stood out to me as a perfect example of why Star Control's ships need to be heavily modified before you put them in team battles. I don't know, maybe they all do that and I haven't been paying close enough attention?
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Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2006, 12:54:57 pm »

Star Control Online?
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Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2006, 08:19:32 pm »

You've only seen one freeware SC game that does that? How do you get internet access from the rock under which you live? ;p

Well, I lived under a rock in his neighboorhood, so maybe you got some links of freeware-sc-games like that?  Grin

Thx!
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Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2006, 05:25:10 pm »

meep-eep
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Keep dreaming. And the kind of battles that I describe here would better fit a MOO style combat.

Sadness. Maybe after the network and content systems are complete. . .

But just so you know though, I'm not one of those losers who keeps asking for more features, the more he gets, I can't really think of anything more beyond fleet battles, that'd really advance this game, without ultimately changing its 'flavor'. I also appreciate the sacrifice and work you and the rest of your team has done for us freeware/retro-loving cheap/nostalgic bastards. Smiley


thodin
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Well, I lived under a rock in his neighboorhood, so maybe you got some links of freeware-sc-games like that?

The Ur-quan ReMasters by Bioslayer (This is probably what Shiver was thinking of.)
http://sourceforge.net/projects/sc2-remake/

Aftermath Wars by Madgap (Seems temporarily stalled, the programmer works in commercial game industry (Pandemic Studios,) and I think this is their busiest season.)
http://sourceforge.net/projects/aftermath-wars/
http://www.topfreeforum.com/forum/index.php?sid=be840cccc814b01bec7c9dc9d10f0d8b&mforum=aftermath

Timewarp and Timewarp Offshoot(s)
http://timewarp.sourceforge.net/
http://twx.sourceforge.net/
http://tw-light.berlios.de/

There are probably others, as well.
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Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2006, 06:45:41 pm »

The Ur-quan ReMasters by Bioslayer (This is probably what Shiver was thinking of.)
http://sourceforge.net/projects/sc2-remake/
There was one that predated my project I think it had alliance somewhere in the name. It allowed fleet combat and was pretty darn cool.
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Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2006, 10:50:19 pm »

It occurs to me that the Supox would work very poorly in any formation except the most dispersed, and are probably better fielded individually. After all, the ability to move laterally to dodge enemy fire doesn't help much if it causes you to crash into your wingmen.

I could easily see the Yehat working extremely well in both offensive and defensive fleet roles, much like the Utwig. They have the ability to soak up a disproportionaly large amount of fire while advancing, and would be perfect as a forward guard for other, less versatile vessels.

I imagine the Kohr-Ah working individually or in very small, widely dispersed groups. The FRIED simply does not lend itself to close formations, and not being able to use it strips the ship of most of its survivability at closer ranges.

The Pkunk strike me as another quick-response force, and could possibly be more effective in that role than the Thraddash. They would also make decent hit-and-run specialists. I see the Mmrnhrm fulfilling a similar role in fleet battles.

The VUX would be perfect for supply-line raids, but little else; they have the ability to precisely target vulnerable areas during reentry from Hyperspace, but after that, they're little more than sitting ducks. Unless they're assigned poorly defended targets, they'll be blown out of the sky very quickly. I suppose this would also make them moderately effective kamikaze units, but that's not really something to be proud of. One wonders how ZEX made any headway at all, really.

I see Syreen operating solo, though I imagine they would be at least moderately effective in many roles. However, attempting to use them in a fleet seems like a disaster in the making; they would likely do as much damage to their allies as their enemies, as the Syreen Song seems pretty indiscriminate. I suppose you could protect a wing of Penetrators with Terminators, and then release them into enemy lines once they get close enough and the Yehat can pull away... But this seems like it would ultimately be a suicidal tactic aimed at causing chaos rather than actual damage.

I get the feeling that the Androsynth do not work well with others, either. Their main weapon also seems pretty indiscriminate as to its targets, and a Guardian in blazer mode is going to draw a ton of fire from enemy ships in an attempt to prevent it from getting close enough to rampage through their lines. That is to say nothing of how much of a sitting duck the ship is once the battery runs dry and its stranded among enemy forces with no power. The Androsynth seem to have little choice but to be relegated to some of the more humble and humiliating duties: Rear guard (leaving minefields of bubbles behind when the fleet is threatened), suicide missions (if defended by a group of Umgah, similar to the Syreen-Yehat example above), covering a fleetwide retreat (in a similar fashion to their rear guard duties), or picking off isolated threats.

A fleet of Orz would be fearsome indeed, able to cover any role quite effectively, similarly to the Ur-Quan. Superior range and targetting ability on their main gun makes them especially fearsome for defending vulnerable targets, and their ability to use hit-and-run tactics is already rather well illustrated in-game. Even without deploying marines, they would be a powerful and versatile force in almost any situation. Perhaps this is why there are no Androsynth left. Wink
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Re: Tactics and strategy of SC ships
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2006, 07:42:38 am »

I don't think a Yehat would work very well in a fleet situation. The thing about fleets is that they're going to be focusing on one guy a lot. So, if a Yehat flies into a mixed-Hierarchy formation and drops its shields for even a moment, it dies instantly.

Looked at from purely a pseudo-SC1 perspective, I'm seeing the Hierarchy mopping up the Alliance in fleet battles.

The Dreadnaught has pretty good range on its main gun. This lets it actually hit something on the other side of the formation. The Mycon's brutal range means that it can just sit behind a line of Dreadnaughts and fire to their heart's content.

Just imagine a Mycon swooping in and getting off a few shots, then retreating under cover fire from a Dreadnaught. Normally, you kill Podships by preventing a retreat, but few are the ships that can go head-to-head with a Dreadnaught. Which gives the Podship the chance to recover from the damage. Or, just have a couple Dreadnaughts standing between the enemy fleet and a couple Podships. They can hold the line, while the Mycon offer long-range fire support.

I see the Thraddash (who technically aren't in SC1, but they could have been) and the Spathi taking on "sudden death" roles. That is, you're busy dealing with a pair of Dreadnaughts, you're trying to retreat, but oh look, there's 3 butt missiles or a wall of fire in your path. And that fire's pretty nasty, especially if several of your fleet gets hit with it. They can also perform "cavalry raids", where they slide into a formation and wreak havok, then quickly slide out.

The Umgah would be very useful in such a tactic, once the battle is enjoined. I can see them sitting at the back of a formation, then while the enemy is distracted (perhaps with a Podship run, as described above), one of them zips in and annihilates something. Sure, it may not have the fuel to zip back out again, but somehow I don't think the Kzer-Za care.

The Androsynth could be useful there to, especially with their speed. And the great thing about the Androsynth is that, not only does it has the speed and maneuverability to avoid lots of fire, but it commands respect. Your fleet can't ignore a comet coming at you; they have to try to kill it. Which gives the main Hierarchy fleet a chance to close range. And if they do ignore it, they may lose a ship. Lose-lose.

The VUX becomes close-range fire support. It's slow, but they can sit pretty close to the Dreadnaughts and deal with "minor" problems like Syreen.

The Ilwrath (even if you can still guesstimate their location) are death. Anytime a ship is distracted (by, say, an Androsynth), the enemy can simply walk up on them and incinerate them.

The Chenjesu has "pretty good" range, which could theoretically allow them to run away and bomb from afar. But there's too many enemies to make this anything more than a stalemate. DOGI are rendered useless by the number of separate guns that can attack them. This forces them to have to go toe-to-toe with the Dreadnaught, and that's not good when there's other ships nearby. One thing the Chenjesu might be able to do is kill VUX, this making a possible hole for something else.

Mmrnhrm... I don't think they can work very well. The fast form can't react fast enough, and the slow form is vulnerable from long-ranged fire. In fleet battles, conditions change constantly, so being able to react to something is vital. These guys would probably be Thraddash fodder. At best, a pest.

Earthling Cruisers actually would be pretty strong, as long-range fire support. The main problem is that if they target something fast, the missile can easily be guided into something unpleasant. Plus, if they drift too far from their fleet, fast Hierarchy intercepters (Thraddash, Spathi, Umgah) can swarm and murder them.

A Syreen would be OK in such a battle. They'd serve a role similar to that of the VUX: close range fire support. It'd be more dangerous for the Syreen, though, as they'd need to closely approach the enemy ship to start pulling crew as well as gunning them down. And VUX's (not to mention Thraddash, Androsynths, etc) are going to be nearby waiting to kill them.

The Shofixti would be fearful if it weren't for the fact that the Hierarchy has lots of long-ranged guns in their fleet. You might get through by sending two or three, but only one or two would make it. The Arilou's problem is that it can't control it's Quasispace jump destination, so it's as likely to be in a dangerous spot as a harmless one.

Once you go SC2, things look way better for the Alliance. The Chmmr destroys most of the Hierarchy tactics. The fact that a fleet involving Chmmr can just run away, trackter in "appropriate" targets (Podships first) and deal with the Hierarchy fleet one at a time makes them a priority target. And this means that the Hierarchy basically has to charge the Alliance fleet, which is something that fleet can prepare for.

Once the Yehat isn't public enemy #1, and once the formations break into a grand melee, the Yehat basically has its pick of who it wants to kill. And having firesupport (and marine support) from Orz ships don't hurt either, though marines are slightly limited by the fact that there are more guns in the enemy fleet to shoot them down. But once the fleet closes and breaks formation, it's basically find your targets wherever you want. The Orz should never be the primary attacker (that's why the Alliance has two shielded ships), but they should be the ones on cleanup.

And the Utwig is the death of all things. Because there are other ships out there, they are able to refuel at will! (and heaven help you if there's more than one Utwig...) Need extra fuel? Ask the nice Chmmr to burn you with its laser for a second. The Ur-Quan single-fighter trick just doesn't work at this point. And since you're not going to be attacked by a DOGI, the only thing you have to fear are limpets. And you can murder VUX's at your leisure, or have those be the first targets for your Chmmr allies.

And, of course, there's the Pkunk. Incredible speed, firepower, and a mildly decent chance of coming back to life. This is what you use to stop those Thraddash, Spathi, and so forth. Or, just send them on distraction/suicide missions against the Hierarchy fleet. They can dance around lots of shots and they're too dangerous for the Hierarchy to ignore.
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