WC wargame idea

Discussion in 'Wing Commander TacOps' started by casperXJ, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. casperXJ

    casperXJ Spaceman

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    An old copy of Harpoon made me think of starting a wargame based on WC. Here's how it would go:

    You're the CAG on a fleet carrier and are responsible for assigning pilots and fighters on missions that the captain assigns you. You have a certain number of fighters, pilots, fuel, and missiles at the beginning of the game which you must carefully use. There are 3 phases to every mission:

    Preflight - You assign fighters to the mission and group them in wings. Each fighter also is assigned a pilot, missiles, and a certain amount of fuel. Unlike in the games, not all fighters will have full missile complements.

    Inflight - You launch each fighter by wing. You direct them to certain nav points, where they engage enemy fighters and capships. You must also direct SAR to ejected pilots before the enemy gets to them, and can send out refuelers and SWACS craft. Once combat is completed, you land all fighters and support craft.

    Postflight - Ejected pilots must sit out 2 missions. Wounded pilots must sit out 1 mission. You assign skill increases and medals to pilots with a certain number of kills. Damaged fighters must sit out 1 mission. Fuel and missiles must be offloaded.

    This game would be in Java and have single-player only initially.

    Tell me what you think...
     
  2. Bob McDob

    Bob McDob Better Health Through Less Flavor

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    That actually sounds entertaining and plausible. In other words, better than 99% of fan projects out there. I think a couple of people have tried tackling something like this without success.
     
  3. Hornet

    Hornet Spaceman

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    Cool idea mate.

    I've got some ideas for doing a WC wargame my self (based more on the Battlefleet Gothic rules), if you'd like to bounce around ideas e-mail me.
     
  4. Slawter

    Slawter Spaceman

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    Good idea, Casper
     
  5. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    wargames

    I really do like this idea. It sounds cool and its not something you see much of anymore. It sounds like a cool concept, I'd love to see where it goes.
     
  6. casperXJ

    casperXJ Spaceman

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    I've started progress on the game, and have some questions for the community:

    - Which era would you like to play first? (WC1, WC2, WC3, WC4, Prophecy, SO)
    - Would you want to play the Kilrathi, Nephilim, or Border Worlds?
    - Do you mind if the game is 2D?
    - How long should a campaign be?
    - How should capships be killed?
    - Would you like to play in multiple systems at a time (with jump points connecting - kind of like Conquest: Frontier Wars)?
    - Would you like to be able to build new ships?
    - Should I address the fuel and missile supply problem? (Basically, do you want an infinite or limited amount of missiles and afterburner fuel to put on your fighters? SHould I keep track of regular fuel?)

    That's it for now. Have fun with them, and I'll check back some time with updates.

    BTW, Happy Thanksgiving!
     
  7. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    - Which era would you like to play first? (WC1, WC2, WC3, WC4, Prophecy, SO)

    Honestly I think that it would be incredible to have the game span the entire serires, of course the game would have to follow the story. So the outcomes should only dictate what will happen to your fleet within the timeline and not the entire storyline.

    - Would you want to play the Kilrathi, Nephilim, or Border Worlds?

    Yes, having a choice while playing within the timeline will enhance the entertainment value. This way, we will be able to see the war from "both sides".

    - Do you mind if the game is 2D?

    3D would be awsome, but 2D wouldn't be bad if the game play was there, and there was a way to mock 3D space combat. Capital ships moving on x,y,z access; as well as other ships.

    - How long should a campaign be?

    As long as it takes to tell a good story.

    - How should capships be killed?

    Same way that allo capita; ships are killed, with torpedoes and a shitload of firepower.

    - Would you like to play in multiple systems at a time (with jump
    points connecting - kind of like Conquest: Frontier Wars)?

    Yes. This would allow you to tel a better story as well as immerse players within the WC universe more.

    - Would you like to be able to build new ships?

    Not until the very end of the timeline, I don;t think that it would be appropriate for an Admiral to build a military. Although, if you are takingf this from an empire building style game, then yes.

    - Should I address the fuel and missile supply problem? (Basically, do you want an infinite or limited amount of missiles and afterburner fuel to put on your fighters? SHould I keep track of regular fuel?)

    Yes... that's all a part of the strategy
     
  8. ChrisReid

    ChrisReid Super Soaker Collector / Administrator

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    You should plan to make it manageable. Don't think about incorporating all sorts of extra stuff until you've already got the basics done.
     
  9. GeeBot

    GeeBot Spaceman

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    I completely agree with what Chris said. Don't worry about making it 3D with lots of axes and stuff; personally, as a wargame, I think the Homeworld series has shown that to be not all that fun--it's just too hard to coordinate any really clever 3D tactics in the absence of anything that would work as terrain. On the other hand, I've been playing a few more rounds of Civ3 lately, and it's been a lot of fun. I think the rule of thumb here should be, "a minute to learn, a lifetime to master". The basic gameplay should be straight forward, but there should be a subtle interplay which makes the best possible choice less than clear-cut.

    I think the most promise for a fun game would lie in taking a higher level approach than just a CAG on a single carrier--I mean, really, you send maybe 6 fighters off to patrol some navpoints (if we stick to the WC formula), and how exciting is that? Most of the real fun of WC comes in the nitty-gritty dogfighting. Rather than take such a restrictive view, I think it'd be better if you were managing a larger fleet. You could still have the carrier-level and fighter-level element, but you could have more of them.

    Also, I think it's inevitable that such a game will have to be multiplayer, since that's likely the only way to get an effective opponent on a shoestring budget. In which case, if I know my war games, the main focus would be on the rules and the scenarios. It should be definitely easy to create (and hopefully trade) new scenarios (you mention Harpoon, which is an excellent example). If you keep the graphics simply (maybe just a hex/square grid overlaid on a bitmap), it should be easy for people to modify.

    I'm not sure what level of technological sophistication would be required, and whether you'd be up to the challenge, but it's likely that you could adapt an existing product, or make it a pen & paper system, with the option of going computerized in the future.
     
  10. Jason_Ryock

    Jason_Ryock Vice Admiral

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    A pen and paper version sounds fascinating, but wouldn't that require system maps?

    I mean, for any kind of planetary manuvering like they did in End Run (And who the hell doesn't want to slingshot a carrier around a planet with gravity?) You'd have to know where the planet was and where the jump point you were lining up with was...

    I don't mean to say it's a bad idea, but wouldn't that involve alot of guesswork that wouldn't necessarily be cannon?

    (I edited this post after thinking a little, apologies to anyone this throws off)

    I guess I run into a few difficulties with the thought process of this project (All though, I appluad the idea and the effort, I'd like to see what comes of it).

    Firstly, never underestimate the importance of SWACS. =P

    But seriously, if you run a pen and paper version of the game, you have to have at least three people, the competitors, and a neutral third party to process the information, otherwise each side has to know where the others ships are...while you might insist that has to be the case to do combat, what about sneaking around for surprise attacks? Anyone whose got any good ideas for this, well, I'd love to hear 'em.

    On the complexity Note...it is good to keep it simple at first, but at the same time I'd hate to play a game like this without the ability to manuver on three axes. I suppose if it's planned for the future that's great. I think that three axes combat is something long forgotten about.


    The True spirit of WC is in the cockpit, 3d combat, space combat, this is all well and true. But there's also something more about it that I think this kind of project could capture well. Sort of a differant side of the same WC universe.

    Hmm, I'm rambling. Time to shut up.
     
  11. Slawter

    Slawter Spaceman

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    I think we should have some capship building. Has anyone here played Uncharted Waters: New Horizons? I thought of ship building on lines of that game.

    We should have marines too. Preferrably lots of types, like infantry, armored, that crap.

    And make SWACS more important :D
     
  12. GeeBot

    GeeBot Spaceman

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    When I said pen & paper, I assumed that some of the paper would be some "system maps" and maybe some little figurines you could plop down on it. I just meant that it might be a good idea to start with a non-computerized format. There are zillions of those, all you have to do is publish a book and you've got yourself a game. :)

    The Starfire games might be something to look into. The system is simple, so it should be easy to adapt, and it has various extensions that would probably work well with a WC theme. I'm only speculating here, though; I don't know how much fun it is to play, as I don't have any experience with it.
     
  13. casperXJ

    casperXJ Spaceman

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    Thanks for the input, and feel free to continue - I'll just add my comments here:

    - Here's how I think I'll implement capships & capship killing:

    Capships have a core strength (like WC4), and phase shield emitters (like WCP).
    Torpedoes do no damage to the shields, but lots to the core. They do not require destruction of the shield emitters
    Regular guns and missiles can destroy shield emitters, and then may damage the core. They do not deal damage when the shield emitters still exist.

    This gives a good balance beween WC3/4 and WCP methods, and allows regular fighters to destroy capships (though it's very hard)

    - The first release will be definitely 1 system at a time, 2D, single-player as Confed only. I might not even have a campaign, if you really want to play it first, but just a skirmish setting. I can always add later.

    - I hope you don't mind that the download size will be 15+ MB because I have to include the Java Runtime Environment. (Or learn C++, and I don't want to.) Compared to UE or Standoff, it'll be tiny.

    - SWACS will be important - you won't be able to see anything that you don't have a ship within radar range of, and SWACS craft have very high radar ranges.

    - Maybe I should change the name to "Wing Commander: Fleet Admiral." That way, you could request reinforcements, and have multiple carriers. However, that's a lot of micromanagement.

    - I'm considering the Marines idea. What would they do? How would they work?

    - Planetary combat is definitely on hold for now. Maybe after multiplayer starts working.

    - Turns: I was envisioning that the single-player game would be close to realtime, but multiplayer would have to be turnbased.

    - Since firewalls surround most systems, Java has a hard time connecting to other people's computers. What I may do is create a text message that can update the software client as to the enemy's status. You'll generate a message every turn, then send it through IRC to the other person, who'll put it in his client and it'll update itself.

    One more thing - this will take a while. After all, I'm creating a game from scratch. I'll try to post updates and any questions on the forums, so you'll have some input.
     
  14. Jason_Ryock

    Jason_Ryock Vice Admiral

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    Slawter! Yay!

    Join the capaign for the Preservation of SWACS tactis!

    Hehe. I think next to me Slawter is the only one who cares about SWACS and their importance to the WC Fleet...
     
  15. Chernikov

    Chernikov Spaceman

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    Nah, we just need Really Big Carriers that carry Hundreds of Fighters and fly Lots of Missions to see ahead of them.

    :p
     
  16. LeHah

    LeHah 212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"

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    Once in a great while, I play Battlefleet Gothic, which is a miniatures wargame. It's a lot of fun and has a really fantastic rules system. Sadly, fighters are considered nothing much more than ordiance. Every time I look at the game, I wished it was more fighter based.

    We definitely should work out some type of wargame, be it P&P or otherwise.
     
  17. Delance

    Delance Victory, you say?

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    Sounds neat, but I think you should the system of a game and stick with it. It would be simpler, too. Perhaps you should just start with WC1/WC3/WC4 where any weapon can damage capships.
     
  18. Jason_Ryock

    Jason_Ryock Vice Admiral

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    And on that note...(Well not really, but hell I have to say it anyway)

    Don't forget the SWACS!

    SWACs are the backbone to any fleet, necessary for their operation...I should really dig up that thread we had on SWACs/ELINT/Wild Weasel tactics in WC and glue Casper's eyes open until he reads it all...
     
  19. casperXJ

    casperXJ Spaceman

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    I'll probably do that, delance - it'll be easier to program
     
  20. Slawter

    Slawter Spaceman

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    My answers are in bold


    - SWACS will be important - you won't be able to see anything that you don't have a ship within radar range of, and SWACS craft have very high radar ranges.
    That's good. This will make the SWACS just not targets but useful ships.

    - Maybe I should change the name to "Wing Commander: Fleet Admiral." That way, you could request reinforcements, and have multiple carriers. However, that's a lot of micromanagement.
    Maybe you can do something like Close Combat III where you have points to mount your unit. You begin with a fixed amount(depending on difficulty level) and get more by fulifying goals(Maybe you can have some bonus goals to get extra points)

    - I'm considering the Marines idea. What would they do? How would they work?
    You would have an amount of them. When you attack a capship, after lowering it's shields and causing a fixed amount to the ship's core, you should be able to cancel the attack and send the marines to the enemy ship. Your marines would fight against theirs. If you win, you capture the ship. If you lose, you simply lose the units. That would be a good way to get ships from other sides and not just Confed. Besides planetary combat.


    BTW, Jason, i still defend the SWACS
     

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