Ability to stop carriers between stars


#1

We’ve all been there - you send a fleet to capture a star and then, mid-journey, your scanner suddenly reveals a rival fleet (much bigger than yours!) set to arrive at your target an hour or two after yours. You couldn’t see it when you set off but now you know that your capturing fleet will be consumed soon after.

In the real world you would either stop and wait or set a new course for your fleet. Or carry on.

It would probably require major coding changes to implement this but I think it would improve the game immensely (the idea that a fleet, once launched, cannot stop or change direction is ridiculous).

Thoughts?


#2

Early experimentation with faster-than-light travel not only tended to produce harmful genetic mutations among the travelers, but also only had a one in ten success rate for arriving in the correct location.

Astrophysicists eventually realized that these obstacles could be overcome by using the gravitational signature of a distant star as a navigational beacon. As long as hyperspace jumps begin and end within 0.2 light years of a star the process is almost always successful. A new age of interstellar exploration dawned, and the Dread Imperium found new and more innovative ways of disposing of ‘undesirable social elements’ than sending them on colony ships.


#3

Well, I don’t know how you’d issue orders to ships in hyperspace. Carriers are huge ships, containing hundreds of attack craft, turning them around whilst travelling at the speed of light would take an awfully long time.


#4

Hmm, thought I would get a few serious responses to my suggestion - if it’s stupid would someone explain why?


#5

From a game point of view?

Games are long. It can take a week to grind down an opponent.

Under this new suggestion I can send a fleet, realise it’s going to fail and retreat it back to its point of origin.

Result - No ships are lost on either team, an amount of time has passed, everyone is back in their starting positions. Now multiply this on a galaxy wide scale. More and more stalemates, less battles, more cautious players.

None of this seems to make the game more interesting, quicker or entertaining. We all lose ships from risky gambles. I don’t want to see this element of the game changed.


#6

You make a very good point, thanks!

Result - No ships are lost on either team, an amount of time has passed, everyone is back in their starting positions.

That’s not the case - your attacking fleet isn’t back in its starting position. It could be less than an hour away from your star and you would have no idea whether (or when) it is going to retreat or decide to renew its attack. The change I’m suggesting would add a lot of complexity to players’ tactics/strategy but it wouldn’t necessarily slow the game down.


#7

It may have been a bit cheeky to reply only with role-playing, but then again you were arguing in your first post that in the real world, hyperspace interstellar battle fleets would stop and turn around.

I’m sure you meant in the real world that a naval fleet or advancing ground army would stop when it realized that the battle would be hopeless, but one of the great things about a space setting for this kind of game is that interstellar exploration and warfare require imagined future physics which are easier to align with the requirements for elegant gameplay.

Unlike an example using naval fleets with all of the known physics that entails, I can come up with many in-universe reasons to justify the interstellar travel mechanics in Neptune’s Pride. Hyperspace travel inhibits communication (like a conventional spacecraft on atmospheric reentry); fleets must refuel by scooping energy from the corona of a star before they can fire the hyperspace engines again; sensor technology required to calculate jumps requires too much power to install on a carrier, so a carrier stopped between stars would be completely blind, etc.

If it matters, the explanation I offered with my first reply is my favorite, as it dovetails neatly with my imagined physics for Warp Gates (which I would rather call Warp Beacons to better fit my story).


#8

What if there was an option to retreat but if a player does retreat, it will take twice as long for the fleet to arrive at the original planet? During this time the player can send a fleet back at your star and take it over with his fleet. It can also give you a chance to set up an ambush and kill off his ships. The hyperspace travel won’t be an issue because the flight will take twice as long for a retreat.


#9

@RedLenin The fact that you have to commit to an attack many hours away is very important to create excitement and tension in the game. You have to guess what they situation will be in a few hours time and you will likely have imperfect information.


#10

Point taken but my proposal would do little if anything to decrease tension (which would anyway disappear once you see that your fleet is going to get slaughtered!). The ability to stop or alter course would make game tactics much richer (and therefore more exciting).

Re the idea that pausing fleet movements doesn’t fit in with hyperspace travel : we could restrict the changes I’m suggesting to standard speed journeys and retain the status quo for warp gate travel.


#11

You’d have to be able to attack a paused fleet, otherwise players could just hoard invulnerable ships between stars. I don’t think this would make the tactics richer and more exciting, I think it would make the game play much worse and actually break tactics.


#12

I totally agree with the mechanics because of the gameplay as explained above and I love the role-play answers! I mean -Come on, you’re jumping through Hyperspace, man! What do you expect?! You crunch the numbers, bend the Skein or whatever and swoosh you’re off. No stopping you now. If you’d somehow drop out of it midway you’d be smeared out in atom-thick slices over tens of lightyears or just evaporate in a flash of radiation… I imagine.

. . .

But if… somehow… you could “abort” the destination, maybe (I mean it’s weird stuff ya know!) you could plop out approaching a completely random other star in the galaxy with ETA preserved >:D


#13

Did you guys read about that NASA ship that will actually use hyperspace?


#14

The Enterprise? It does look cool. But they need to put more research into weapons.