Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

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ShadowDragon8685
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Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby ShadowDragon8685 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:38 am

Allow me to paint you a picture: An entire fleet of destroyers whose medium weapon slot is taken up by boarding modules is backed by a fleet of Light Cruisers whose medium weapon slots are exclusively EMP weapons (except for two ships that showed up late to the refit party and have nukes; handy just in case.)

This fleet also has a Heavy Cruiser armed exclusively with Defense Turbolasers. There's also a scout; he didn't do much.

So, this fleet is blocading a pirate world. They already blew up the space station and the defenses, but there's waaaaay too many militia and infantry divisions down there for me to take out, so I'm waiting to build up an army.

As I'm building my army, a Battlecruiser spawns in this system under pirate control. I would like to know exactly how; they surely did not build it on that planet I'm blockading, as my ships would have literally nuked any such things under construction in orbit, and you can't build anything bigger than a Destroyer on the surface anyway. But I digress.

Anyway! A Pirate Battlecruiser OPWagon shows up, and I think, "Hot diggy, here's my chance! I have enough EMP missiles to spam through his defense primaries and I can capture a ship just laden with tech ripe for reverse-engineering!"

I should point out: I am playing humans. The race which is supposed to jump at a chance to yarharrr onto an enemy ship, cutting down the crew with laser cutlasses and whatever.

I attempt to do so. My ships have only minor difficulty blasting this thing with EMP missiles, keeping it thoroughly locked down after the first turn, when it wipes out two of my eight destroyers with its non-defensive Primary Beams. However, at every turn, the crew of this Gremak Pirate Battlecruiser inflict considerably more damage on my ships's crews in the boarding attempt than my crews do to them. Nevertheless, I get it surrounded, and even EMP it so immobile that my Heavy Cruiser is able to reach boarding range and attempt to board. The higher crew of my Heavy Cruiser nevertheless avails them of naught, they simply take far greater casualties in exchange for inflicting a paltry few.

Nevermind! I have Defense Lasers, and I begin to carefully scythe into that ship. It's been EMP'd into insensibility, so surely I can just cut the crew down with precision laser strikes, reequip my destroyers' crews from the light cruisers' complements, and finish the job next turn!

And it's a great plan, with just one minor drawback. The Gremak's turn comes, and the bastard self-destructs!

What, exactly, was the point? This was pretty much the best reasonable-case scenario: an entire fleet designed for boarding jumping a single ship; a large ship, but still one ship. And it "wins," in the sense that it was able to blow up two of my ships and itself rather than be captured. And I'm playing the race that's supposed to be capable in boarding actions!

Chasm
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Re: Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby Chasm » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:19 am

For boarding actions you want carriers. Mount 2 assault shuttles in each carrier. Equip missiles in the medium point and antimissiles in the light. Upon building, remove the armor units and replace them with space marines. That will give you a base crew of 300, so your initial boarding parties will be 150 crew per, and you will have a range of 8. You will want AT LEAST 6 carriers per ship you want to capture, assuming same size class, but you will not need to worry about whittling down crew. Use missiles to degrade point defense before you launch shuttles. Assault cruisers can be used, but since they only carry 1 shuttle bay, they will have a lot less crew, and thus be far less effective.

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Arioch
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Re: Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby Arioch » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:33 am

If your ship were being boarded by a superior force, what would you do? I would self-destruct.

There's no plausible way in which you can prevent that from happening in most circumstances.

That's one of many reasons why the very concept of boarding in space games is difficult to justify logically.

Chasm
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Re: Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby Chasm » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:42 am

Then why did you give it as a special , if I may ask out of curiosity? As the human side I generally find it easier just to blow the targets up. Far too much micromanagement to set up a capture group and make it work properly, all for a hull that you will need to do a que refit on. Boarding is useful against civilian ships however, but that is the case for all sides.

zolobolo
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Re: Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby zolobolo » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:51 am

Will the Super-Dreadnoughts also self-destruct once implemented?
Also: I thought they were implemented, but haven't seen any so far

Regarding boarding in general: I have had reasonable success boarding small ships (with shuttle as it ignores shields).
Also captured a few battleships with humans, the trick is to blow them half-way up and only initiate boarding once it can be successful within a single turn

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Arioch
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Re: Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby Arioch » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:35 pm

There seem to be lots of players who really enjoy the capture game, which is why it's implemented. I'm not one of them, but that's okay.

Logical fallacies aside, unit capture is a potentially unbalancing game mechanic, because it's a force multiplier; you're not just eliminating enemy units, you're adding them to your side. Unless capture requires significant effort and risk on the part of the player, capture quickly becomes the "best" way to play. The challenge is to provide capture players with the tools to play game the way they want, but without requiring everyone to play that way.

I think that ideally, capturing a ship should require deft execution of several mechanics to disable and neutralize the target, and exposure to significant risk of losing the boarding assets if the capture isn't completed quickly enough. I think this is appropriate both from a gameplay and an plausibility standpoint. I think we can do more to make the mechanics more fun, and to give player more of a feeling of control of the situation, but if ship capture becomes easy and routine, then it's just too good as a mechanic.

Chasm
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Re: Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby Chasm » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:21 pm

All I would really like, tbh is to be able to choose what is in the bays of my ships at production point. Needing to make ground units I don't want to unload to then reload with the units I do want seems a bit overly micromanaged. Even if I could produce assault shuttles EMPTY it would be helpful, because at that point I'm not building something I neither need nor want. Add in the fact that armor units are very expensive in both metal and wrenches, to be just discarded...

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TheDeadlyShoe
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Re: Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby TheDeadlyShoe » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:45 pm

having a bigger crew is highly important for boarding actions. The best boarding ship is virtually always your largest available ship, ideally equipped with a marine quarters. Destroyers are the worst possible candidates to board with. Boarding with a smaller vessel will always incur disproportionate casualties, as you've discovered; in this case, boarding is mostly useful for the Raid action unless you are willing to attempt a Zapp Brannigan victory.

EMP missiles are helpful, but imo shouldn't the basis of a strategy, boarding is just too crew-limited.

Assault shuttles and marines are not that useful tbh, even discounting the micro tax. If you're in assault shuttle range, you're in range to close to normal boarding distance.... and you don't gain much over Heavy Cruisers with assault transports.

For Humans, modifying your starting Heavy Cruiser with boarding pods can pay off enormously, and light cruisers with 1 boarding pod + 1 marine quarter are highly effective in the early-midgame even with minimal weapons research.

zolobolo
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Re: Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby zolobolo » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:24 pm

TheDeadlyShoe wrote:boarding is mostly useful for the Raid action unless you are willing to attempt a Zapp Brannigan victory.

Now I want kill-bots instead of crew quarters :)

Raiding is a cool option to have and provides a great function for the boarding vessels and pods if direct capture is not possible.

I generally think that different kind of disabling of sub-systems adds a lot to the tactical combat experience. Ion-canons need a rework as mentioned in another thread, but EMP and Raiding is already a neat function and works fairly well. Haven't seen the AI use it though up until now (pirates boarded my ships once from around 12 games), hoping it will begin to use these options shortly.

Also agree that the risks should be high for capturing and they already are. So are the spoils as well. Getting a free tech or ships is a big boost (the resource gain is too small to be considered). Didn't check though if the damage is kept for the captured ships - that would lessen the force multiplication effect somewhat.

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spitfire_ch
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Re: Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby spitfire_ch » Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:24 am

Btw.: Does having multiple boarding modules per ship have any advantage, such as being able to send more marines at a time?

ShadowDragon8685
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Re: Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby ShadowDragon8685 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:50 am

I would think that preventing the enemy from self-destructing should be the first thing on the boarder's minds, to be frank. Electronic warfare, shutdown of the enemy's control systems, physically capturing and holding areas full of volatile stuff, should be on the boarders' agenda.

I would propose that boarding could be enhanced by making it possible to prevent the enemy from doing that kind of thing, with specialist munitions that work better than the EMP missiles - which specifically say that if you slug the other guy with them hard, they cannot self-destruct !

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Arioch
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Re: Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby Arioch » Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:43 am

spitfire_ch wrote:Btw.: Does having multiple boarding modules per ship have any advantage, such as being able to send more marines at a time?

No.

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spitfire_ch
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Re: Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby spitfire_ch » Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:33 pm

Arioch wrote:
spitfire_ch wrote:Btw.: Does having multiple boarding modules per ship have any advantage, such as being able to send more marines at a time?

No.

Thanks for the information. Maybe you could include this in the description of the module (or prevent multiple modules from being installed).

bjg
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Re: Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby bjg » Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:52 pm

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:What, exactly, was the point? This was pretty much the best reasonable-case scenario: an entire fleet designed for boarding jumping a single ship; a large ship, but still one ship. And it "wins," in the sense that it was able to blow up two of my ships and itself rather than be captured. And I'm playing the race that's supposed to be capable in boarding actions!

So you've chosen a wrong (because it didn't work) tactic, and are complaining that it's the game's fault. Believe me, the boarding works (I've "checked" many times), just not the way you've tried to do it.

halftea
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Re: Boarding seems to be absolutely useless.

Postby halftea » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:04 pm

zolobolo wrote: Didn't check though if the damage is kept for the captured ships - that would lessen the force multiplication effect somewhat.


Damage is kept on captured ships until you have a chance to repair them. Haven't tested with an auto-repair module however, I don't typically see those on the AI vessels.


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