Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials, etc)

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by FunkOff, August 19, 2012.

  1. ferigad

    ferigad Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    Well logistics can be nice. And i think in some cases they have a reasonable ground to be used, like the Tac-Missiles in SupCom, Nukes, different kind of superweaons with recharge and so on. But if you would make every unit pending on ammo and fuel, as example, the idear of mass battles would quickly become more of a simulation where you attack, pause, pull back for refuel, repair and reammonition, attack again, and so on.

    It would create mutch more stuff to check and a extremly deep micromanagment. That a Aircraft used fuel in SupCom 1 and had to refuel from time to time. Thats okay. But a tank or a Battle-Robot? You would need at least 50% of the game to manage the supply lines, and that with different battlefields (Planets, Moons, maybe Asteroids) and for at least the half ppl out there with only 1 display i guess.

    I think it would breake the neck of the game as a enjoyable RTS for everyone. A mod that would offer you that or some kind of extrem hard playmode, okay. But i wouldnt use a complete logistic need to all units as a standart for the game.

    Btw. Building Material. If you got a Cannon that can shoot Robots to make Space to Ground Landings, you could also build a Railgun transport system that shoots rawmaterials from Moon to Planet or Moon to asteroids etc... and let it catch there by some catcher that uses magnetic fields.
  2. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    I really would like to see this kind of resource-transportation.
    You would have to land with an engie first and build a catch-station, afterwards you can transport Resources to the new planet and start building up an army.
  3. ghargoil

    ghargoil New Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    Agreed.

    While I am against [especially, deep] micromanagement of fuel etc.. for all units, this would be cool.

    Maybe there can be some kinda localized resource teleportation system that can keep all units within a certain radius energized and stocked with metal/mass? And once units leave that area, they'll have their own reserves to go on?

    They can be restocked either via mobile units that carry energy/resources, or by entering the radius of one of these restocking emplacements...

    And this way, transportation of materials (e.g., via railguns) matters.
  4. martindevans

    martindevans New Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    I think ghargoil has it right, local instant supply of resources to engineers means you don't have to do annoying micro logistics, but it does mean you have to think about the macro logistics like "How exactly am I going to get resources back from my asteroid bases" etc.

    Personally I was a fan of the Novus faction in universe at war, they weren't very mobile to start with but their builders could build pylons which link to other pylons nearby - once build units could teleport near instantly through the network from any pylon to any other. Perhaps some sort of pylon network could be a simplification of resources in PA:

    -> Resource Stockpile distributes resources to nearby building factories and engineers
    -> Pylons link to other pylons and stockpiles to extend range (instantaneous, no matter how large the network is)
    -> Mass Drivers act as interplanetary pylons, sending resources instantly across interplanetary distances
    -> A Decelerator catches resources from a mass driver and distributes them to the connected network

    You get some interesting (imo) consequences from this:

    -> Resources have a physical location, destroy the stockpile and the enemy loses a large amount of resources
    -> So players can make fundamental choices about spending all their resources (then there's nothing to lose), or spreading their storage around their network (less to lose), or keep everything in one single well defended base.
    -> Forward bases require some logistics to setup, a valid way to attack a forward base would be to sneak around the back and attack the resource pylons supplying it. Setting up a single super turtle base is hard, since you'll get cut off from your resources.
    -> Resources coming from space arrive instantly *but* it's a one way thing. You can set up a resource mining asteroid (with a mass driver on it sending resources back home), or you can set up a kinetic attack asteroid (with a decelerator to receive resources to build those expensive engines). Enemies who are intelligent enough to scout you out can make some educated guesses about your intentions.
    -> You get a bit of a tech level thing, even if everything is buildable from the word go. Building out your pylon network to capture the rich mass extraction points is expensive but becomes cheap once complete, building your first rocket to get to the moon is expensive, building your first mass driver on the moon is expensive but now more rockets are cheap etc
  5. ghargoil

    ghargoil New Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    Cool! I like most of this, though I think that interplanetary resources should arrive in waves (namely, after the package is deaccelerated and retrieved/processed)...

    Pylons, or some kind of wiring could make for a nice mechanism for transporting resources/etc... from one base/outpost to another. Otherwise, it might just be easier to have 'resource teleporters' rather than point-to-point stuff.
  6. martindevans

    martindevans New Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    I did think of that, I just thought it probably made things simpler if all resource transfer stuff worked in the same way. On the other hand, you'll get interesting situations arising with wave based stuff where you end up watching the packets of vital resources build up and fly through space, hoping they'll arrive in time to build enough defences before the enemy attack!

    I don't really like teleporters, because then you have your main base (heavily defended) and your forward base (which we can assume is also pretty well defended), there's no exposed supply line to sabotage with a small force - which is part of the point of having logistics in the game!
  7. ghargoil

    ghargoil New Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    Yeah! That'd be pretty cool.. would also be interesting to see if planetary or space-based defenses would be able to destroy the materials in-transit before they arrive... or even if special units could be used to hijack resources before they arrived?

    Hrmm... but if normal units will be restocked wirelessly, I don't see why this can't be generalized? I mean, maybe you can just make a network of resource 'transmitters' without needing to draw point-to-point connections?

    That said, here's an idea:

    Material and energy extractors/generators can transmit/teleport their stuff "wirelessly" to buildings/units within a nearby radius.

    Special units, such as Commanders or mobile restocking units, can transmit supplies to varying degrees, wirelessly. (This may also make Commander units valuable "in the field" as they might have a very large radius for resource transmission)

    Apart from wireless transmission, resources can be moved via either specialized systems, or specialized units. For example, mass/metal could be stockpiled into silos, and specialized ground and/or air transports could pick up one or more of these silos, and transport them to another base/drop-off point... and this action could be queued up and repeated.

    Energy could be beamed point-to-point, e.g. via lasers or microwaves, or bounced off of a satellite.

    Materials could also be "railgunned" -- both locally on a single planet, as well as between planets. There could be three classes of this kind of transportation: Light Launcher (same-planet, can be intercepted by anti-missile defenses along the way), Orbital Launcher (inter-planetary, potentially across star-systems, but *really* slow), and Heavy Launcher (can launch loads across star-systems, but takes a huge amount of space, etc..etc..)

    Maybe there could also be rail lines (either vanilla, or through modding) for continuous transportation of goods, or rapid transport of many units to a forward operating base.

    In later tech levels, large-scale teleportation might also become an option, both for units as well as resources.

    Anyways, just some ideas.

    I don't want to get bogged down in micro-managing unit resources, but I would like resources and supply lines to play a role in the game -- in particular once we look beyond the immediate planet.
  8. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    The way I've always thought of it is that when Physical Ammo ius used, the Unit just has a mini factory inside used to produce shells, for Energy weapons the factory is just replaced with a power generator(local use not, not linked to the Main grid).

    Fuel is trickier, but lets be honest, how many tanks are there that only carry 10-15 minutes of fuel? M1 Abrams have an operational range of 426KMs, with a 56KM/H speed it should be able to run for about 7-8 hours in ideal conditions.

    Mike
  9. ghargoil

    ghargoil New Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    Yeah, I figured the same -- though in TA, each unit would sap their energy and metal from the global resources for that player.

    Which is why, for example, if you were running low on energy, laser weapons were completely useless.

    I'd be completely ok with something like this (after all, this was what TA did), though I'd like to see something that allows for interplanetary resource management to be more than just "building" extractors on an asteroid.....
  10. martindevans

    martindevans New Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    Actually I guess I should clarify something pretty important, I'm not a fan of having to restock combat units! As OrangeKnight says it can easily be handwaved away, and I think it causes too much need for micro logistics if you have to be transporting fuel and ammo to your tanks. What I'm talking about when I say logistics is getting resources from your mines to your engineers and factories. So if you retreat your army it doesn't need to be explicitly refuelled and resupplied but you do need to get mass to the engineers nearby if you want to repair it!

    Ah, I think I misunderstood you. When you said wireless teleporters I assumed you meant teleporters with basically limitless range (at least, to anywhere else on the same planet). So the only teleporters would be at your base(s) and at your mines.

    I'm meaning the pylons can connect to each other wirelessly and teleport the resources, you're just going to need several pylons in a line to get to where you want to go. I'm not suggesting that you have to build an entire pipeline which can be destroyed anywhere along it's length or anything silly like that!

    That's a rather cool idea. If your commander builds as fast as, say, 5 engineers you're likely just to spend the resources on 5 engineers so you don't need to send your valvulable commander to the front lines. But if he's has an ability like long range resource connection so he can build a long way from base that would make him an invaluable unit to backup and repair an army!

    Imo keeping it simple with pylons is better. Since resource transmission is instantaneous it means that if two bases are connected they share exactly the same resource pool - which goes a *very* long way to simplifying logistics. In my experience a huge problem with logistics based games is that even when you have some kind of resource network moving stuff around you have no idea how much you really have in total.

    That's my main concern, keeping logistics management on a single planet really really simple (all resources transmitted the same way, instantaneously, with only a few points of weakness to be destroyed). It's really just a taster to the real logistics of interplanetary resource transport!
  11. xedi

    xedi Active Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    I'm thinking this interplanetary resource transmission should go through satellite networks, and be a continuous stream of resources.

    I think satellites are preferable over stationary land installations for reasons of lining-up; and you want a rate based system to go with the rest of the economy, otherwise it doesn't make sense.

    Something as simple as: build a satellite on transmitting planet, build a satellite on neighbouring receiving planet, click to set up a link and choose rate of transmission. Or make it link the economies when the satellites are up. That's maybe simpler and more convenient.

    Whether that'll be manageable at large scales, with networks of satellites transmitting from planet to planet to planet, with a clear UI displaying what's going on... I don't know!

    Maybe BulletMagnet is right that it becomes too complicated to benefit the game.
    Last edited: August 20, 2012
  12. ghargoil

    ghargoil New Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    Yeah! Agreed pretty much fully.

    I'm for some limited unit restocking systems, as long as it's more or less handwavey and doesn't get in the way of playing the game. So ultimately, wireless resource transmission is A-OK (limited in range, or limited to 'planet-wide') -- and with a limited range, this would allow for specialized units to have certain extra properties (such as commanders) that give bonuses to armies engaged in combat.
  13. jabbawocky

    jabbawocky New Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    Assuming that it is set in the same universe as TA, isn't the whole logistics, fuel, ammo, etc, a moot point? I mean there are devices that convert energy into matter in the game (metal makers)! So wouldn't all the fuel/ammo/what have you issues just disappear if the troops can create bullets from the aeyther? It's also worth noting that some of the units in TA drain energy when they fire their weapons, or move.
  14. ghargoil

    ghargoil New Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    Yeah, so again, I think planetary (or near-planetary) energy/mass transmission makes sense, but I think it would be cool to have inter-planetary resource management...

    That said, I'm still happy with vanilla TA.
  15. Regabond

    Regabond Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    Hmm yes if resource systems were limited to individual worlds, it would be pretty easy to show how much mass/energy each world is producing along with storage levels in them. Then when you start linking planets, you get the new information of the combined totals of storage and production of all the linked planets.

    This would also solve most of the problems with local economies and scaling to larger games.
  16. luukdeman111

    luukdeman111 Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    I think logistics should be limited to just mass an power and perhaps fuel for aircraft to prevent them from staying in the air al the time.

    I think every planet should have its own economy but that units on a planet should have access to all resources on that planet(exept for fuel). That way you only need to pay attention to bringing resources over to planets and not to individual units. That way you can colonize a new planet by sending over a cargo ship with resources and a few engineers on board. With that system you do need to fly cargo ships over to your units if they are fighting on a planet you don't have a base on (assuming you want to repair them or use power consuming weapons). But don't have to worry about supplying units on your main planet. I think that system is quite intuitive and sorta realistic.

    As for air units, I think they should work just like in supcom where they fly back to airfields to repair and refuel, the only problem with that is that you can't use aircraft on foreign planets and while that is realistic, it might be not very awesome in some people's opinions.

    Of course other methods of transporting units between planets could be implemented like the unit cannon which would then be a resource cannon. Or maybe a satellite system that would create a network between planets to make them function as a single economy. But if that's the case I think the satellite system should be very expensive in upkeep. But it's probably way to early to speculate about that.

    Please tell me what you guys think of it.
  17. Nelec

    Nelec Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    In Supreme Commander and Forged Alliance I'm sure alot of people know how the economy system worked in that game, and I am hoping it will be integrated in PA. Although some games like Wargame: European Escalation seem to tackle the logistics, Wargame has a system in which a separate category is given to logistics and from there players may buy command vehicles and supply vehicles. Units like tanks and helicopters would run out of shells and fuel eventually so the player must dispatch supply vehicles to their location. Although, in WEE, there is no different kinds of supply and it is all just "supply" which fills up everything.
  18. ghargoil

    ghargoil New Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    Yeah, I like this!

    This lets us keep the traditional TA (and by extension, SupCom) gameplay on individual worlds, while still getting macro-level resource management (e.g., transport ships (lower tech level), magnetic accelerated delivery (mid-range tech level), or teleportation (highest tech level))

    Personally, I don't care much for the fuel thing, though the way it was done in SupCom wasn't bad since it was essentially automatic. As far as I'm concerned, planes can simply use energy while in flight mode, and more planes flying would induce a greater drain on energy.

    Edit:

    Depending on planet sizes... (lets suppose that a planet might have several SupCom mega-huge maps instead of just one), maybe insta-shared resources should be limited to 'sectors' ?
  19. shadownightblack

    shadownightblack New Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    The only logistics I would like would be interplanetary resource sharing, which would only include a satellite, or other method of instantaneous resource sharing across worlds. I don't mind if that is not instantly available, but I don't want to have to deal with transports and refueling ect.
    Also, I hated the way fuel was done in Supreme Commander, not only was air fields not made available from the start, (which was corrected by several mods I used), and therefore not automatic from the start. but there was no way to tell your planes to refill on mass so halfway to an attack target, several would slow down because they are out of fuel, so the rest of the planes would slow down to let them keep up, so your planes would be slaughtered by the local AA.
    The only time I did not mind this was when a mod replaced fuel with ammo, which was instantly refilled when they were within a certain distance of a air pad or Air Factory, as this stopped the problems of running out of fuel from ever happening, but still put a limit on aircraft.
  20. Ertwyu

    Ertwyu New Member

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    Re: Logistics (ammo, fuel, electricity, building materials,

    I think planet systems should have shared resources. Let's say it's a 1v1 battle on a planet with a moon. If one player decides to try to get an upper hand economically, he could go to the moon to get resources to help his battle forces on the planet. I think build power would be a significant enough restriction on building on moons, since it seems you can only send your commander there.

    On the subject of other logistics, I think that mass, energy, and build power should be enough. TA didn't have fuel for planes or tanks, and I think it just adds extra complication to the game. I'd rather be spending my time organizing my troops or planning an attack than worrying about whether or not each individual unit will have enough supply to not become completely useless on the battlefield.

    For inter-planetary resources, Uber could look at using satellites or something to share resources between planetary systems. I'm still not sure how a huge battle across multiple planets could work, but I imagine it as having your own set of planets who each contribute to building an army force to combine to attack the opponent's planets. I think it would also be interesting to have air forces not be able to transfer between planets, only land units. It would stop the game from reducing itself to huge air battles like SupCom/FA did on huge maps. An epic assault of land units built from multiple planets coordinated and shot down together on an opponent's main planet to defeat them sounds like it would be incredibly epic.

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