Strategic and Logistical Warfare on a Massive Scale

When I looked at some of the threads here that talked about new AI ship behaviours, I had some thoughts about how we could use AI more to contribute to larger battles in a meaningful way, especially when there are a lot of player-controlled cruisers, destroyers, and carriers in the middle to the end of each match.

Considering how players will earn enough points to obtain larger ships larger ships over time, we should have the ability to request for allied “bomber/fighter/ corvette support” (AI and player-controlled) for a limited amount of time (accessible by destroye and cruiser), granted that a friendly carrier is nearby.

If the carrier is player controlled, they have to decide to send help, deciding how much ships they should launch to the allied position. AI ships that are destroyed in the process cannot spawn from the carrier again unless there are more to spare or you resupply at an allied station. Since there is already plans to use the carriers as spawn points for player controlled ships, a spawn ticket system (like in the Battlefield franchise) can be used to keep large battles short but meaningful.

In early game when everyone is using ints and bombers, the interceptors should have an ability to request AI/player carrier support, which is limited to commanding a small wing of ships (replicating whatever the ship the requesting player is using). That player can then take command of the deployed ships, as the requestee survives, the requested AI are not all destroyed, there are more ships to spare, the requestee is within the vicinity of an allied carrier, and if a player controlled carrier decides to loan some ships to you in the first place. The small AI ships are only limited a certain distance before they need to stay behind so than the carrier is not left unsupported.

The vision here is to make Battlescape a game of logistics on a large scale with the use of AI and player judgement. We then would have to think about how many player carriers we have in the field in proportion to the player bombers/interceptors nearby. The ability for player bombers/interceptors to call for reinforcements will create some nuance in their tactical and strategic contributions during the match.

This concept considers the importance of fighters and bombers late into a match, which was a worrying to a number of players according to another thread I read in bed earlier today. It will compliment the AI behaviour proposed by the developers, in which, AI ships will appear to be more organized in formation and the like. The larger ships will be important for more than just firepower alone, and will have the ability to directly coordinate the team’s strategic and logistical resources for better or for worse.

Player led leadership and good use of logistics is what will lead to a strategic victory, not mindless points farming from small ships early game and larger ships late game.

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I personally really enjoy the Corvette and don’t want to devolve into “everyone better use a cruiser because we need more cruisers because cruisers big boom boom” toward the end…
I heard the Carrier will get repair and rearm as well, which sure makes sense, but I’m worried that’ll actually make that even worse if it’s just a better Corvette.

I like your basic idea, but I’m not sure and I’m not sure how you’d intuitively represent it on the UI. What if just, automatically, flying a small ship close to the deck of a Cruiser/Carrier would relay back to the AI if it’s damage or not? If you’re blowing up its turrets, and it sees that, it would highlight to the AI that fighters are safe near there. You blow up the MK7 turrets, and it highlights to the AI that it’s not a threat and it can focus on other ships as it’s a waste of resources for the AI to finish off a crippled ship.
This would happen automatically instead of being a new layer of complexity and controls.

However, if you say added it to the int’s menu like Scan… how is AI supposed to handle 10 ints all requesting cruiser/carrier backup? I don’t like that.

I thought carriers would be restricted to repair/resupply capitals, otherwise it would indeed be a better if less mobile corvette.

That doesn’t make sense though, does it? It can launch bombers, with ordinance and all, but not resupply them?

If anything, it should be haulers that resupply capital ships…

Huh you got me there.

If it were to be an AI that reacts to the request, I would say that the requests will be limited by spawn tickets, which limits how many players spawn from the carrier and request reinforcements. Should the requestees be near each other at a certain distance, the reinforcements will be in proportion to the collective request, but the reinforcements can only be used effectively this way if the AI propose a rendevous point to simplify the requests as a whole.

If no one goes back to the rendezvous point, they would either will not get the help or they will be solved by sending a small squadron of interceptors and bombers (led by a corvette) to the nearest requestee at a set distance. Every time a small wing of ships launch, the carrier burns the same amount of ships that launched.

Since the AI does not think exactly the same of an actual player, it should perhaps prioritize the requestee that has the most enemies in their vicinity (in proportion to numbers/firepower of enemies to allies), then they move on to the other requests. The distance of the requestee should be put into account as well. When it comes to the outcome of sending reinforcements, the AI should be programmed to determine whether or not sending reinforcements is worth it by referencing the chances of winning (according to the missions menu). If the chances are below 20% or 30% and a given objective is nearly destroyed, the AI might as well reject the request and move on to another requestee.

If there are no enemies within kilometers of the requestee, the reinforcements will return to the carrier. The UI for a player controlled carrier would either be an expanded V menu or a new menu entirely.

As for your worries about the repair and rearmament, I think that corvettes should be able to repair and rearm friendly ships slower, but with their mobility and auto turrets, they should ultimately be a quick relief ship in the field without the presence of a fleet carrier.