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C-Ground Combat

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Ground Combat Rules

Basics

Ground combat is conducted after the naval combat phase of each increment. One combat round will be performed for every three hours that passed in the increment. Combat potentially takes place on any system body where populations exist from two or more hostile powers. If only one side has ground forces present, there may be a conquest (rules and code TBD). If ground forces are present from two or more hostile powers, ground combat will take place. Date 14.10.2018

Field Positions

Combat involves three (four) locations, Front-Line, Support or Rear-Echelon. Units in a Support position can only attack using bombardment weapons, or defend themselves against air attack. This formation is intended to serve in the Support location and is organising accordingly. However, it is possible for a Support Formation to temporarily find itself moved into a Front-Line position, so the Guardsman Element will provide additional protection in that case. 21.02.2018

Ground forces can be assigned one of four field positions; front line attack, front line defence, support and rear echelon.

Units in support and rear echelon positions cannot directly attack hostile forces but if they possess elements with bombardment weapons they may be assigned to support a front line formation.

Support and rear echelon formations can also potentially provide anti-air cover (more in a rules post on ground-space interaction) and supply to front line units.

Only formations with all elements supplied can be placed in front line attack mode. Formations placed in front line attack mode lose any fortification bonus. Date 14.10.2018

Targeting

Each race involved in a combat on a system body creates a list of its own formations on that system body (even if in multiple populations), plus a list of hostile alien formations, even if they are from multiple alien races in multiple populations. Hostile formations are checked for their weighted size. This is based on actual size for front line size, 25% for support and 5% for rear-echelon. Each hostile formation is given a range for potential selection, based on its weighted size.

Each front line friendly formation randomly targets a hostile formation. Friendly units with front line defence can target hostile front line formations. Friendly units with front line attack can target any hostile formation, although support and rear echelon are less likely given their smaller weighted size. In fact, the more formations that are pushed into front line positions, the less likely it is that rear areas will be attacked.

Support and Rear Echelon formations that contain formation elements with bombardment weapons can be assigned to support front line formations that are part of the same organisation.

Formations in a support position with light bombardment weapons will fire with the front line formations (see next paragraph). Formations in a support position with medium/heavy bombardment weapons or formations in a rear echelon position with heavy bombardment weapons will fire in a subsequent phase - see below.

Once a front line formation (or a light bombardment element in the Support position) has been matched against a hostile formation, each friendly individual unit (a soldier or vehicle) in that formation engages a random element in the hostile formation, with the randomisation based on the relative size of the hostile formation elements. The targeting on an individual unit level represents that the different elements in a front line formation will generally be attacking in conjunction (infantry supporting tanks, etc.).

Once all front line attacks have been concluded, each unit in each element providing supporting bombardment will engage either the hostile formation being targeted by the friendly formation they are supporting, or one of the hostile formation's own supporting elements (counter-battery fire). If the hostile formation is targeted, each unit in the supporting artillery element engages a random element in the hostile formation, with the randomisation based on the relative size of the hostile formation elements (the same as front-line vs front-line). If a hostile supporting element is targeted, all fire is directed against that element. This represents the difference between providing supporting fire in a combined arms front-line battle and targeting specific hostile artillery for counter-battery fire. The decision to target the hostile front-line formation vs hostile support elements is based on the relative sizes.

Supporting medium artillery will choose between hostile forces in Front-Line or Support field positions (and will ignore any elements in Rear Echelon field position for purposes of relative size), while heavy artillery can select targets in any field position. In other words, if the enemy has supporting heavy artillery in a rear echelon position, you will only be able to target those elements with your own heavy artillery (or ground support fighters, or orbital bombardment support).

Date 14.10.2018

Supply Check

When a formation element is engaged in combat against a hostile formation element, supply is checked. If supply is not available, the number of units firing will be 25% of normal. Date 14.10.2018

Relevant Commander Bonus: Ground Combat Logistics (GCL): Represents the chance that a formation element will not draw supply during a combat round. Date 07.10.2018

Combat Modifier and Results

Each attacking unit uses the following process:

  • The To Hit Chance is determined. The base chance is 20% multiplied by the Dominant Terrain To Hit Modifier, the firing element morale / 100 and, if the target is not fortified, the base to hit chance for the target element unit class.
  • The Environment Modifier is calculated, taking into account gravity, pressure and temperature and whether the firing element has capabilities in those environments. Each environment for which the element is not trained has a x2 modifier.
  • The Terrain Capability Modifier is calculated. If the element is trained to fight in the dominant terrain, the modifier is 0.5.
  • The Final Chance to Hit is calculated as To Hit Chance / (Fortification Modifier * Environment Modifier * Terrain Capability Modifier)
  • The unit fires each weapon it has (except for non-bombardment weapons on units bombarding from support and rear-echelon field positions). If the to-hit roll is equal or less than the final chance to hit, the weapon has struck the target.
  • If a hit is scored, the armour-piercing (AP) value of the weapon is checked against the armour of the target. If AP is equal or greater than armour, the shot has penetrated. If AP is less than armour, the percentage chance to penetrate armour is (AP / Armour)^2.
  • If the shot penetrates armour, the percentage chance of destroying the target is equal to (Weapon Damage / Target Hit Points)^2.
  • If a target is destroyed, the firing element gains morale and the target element suffers a loss of morale. This morale gain/loss is doubled if the firing unit is in front-line attack mode.

All combat is conducted simultaneously and losses are applied once all firing is completed. Because of the way the above is structured, multi-way conflicts with multiple races on each side are possible.

Date 14.10.2018

Relevant Commander Bonus: Ground Combat Offence (GCO): Increases the to-hit chance of all direct-fire weapons in the formation Date 07.10.2018

Breakthough

Once all the initial combat is complete, there is a chance for a breakthrough. Each defending formation is checked according to the following procedure:

  • A Cohesion Damage value is determined for each formation element using the following formula: Element Class Size * Units Destroyed in Combat Phase * (100 / Element Morale)
  • The total Cohesion Damage is summed for all elements in the formation and compared to the formation size. This value, from 0 to 100%, is the Formation Cohesion Rating
  • For each front line formation that attacked the defending formation, a Breakthrough Value is determined for each formation element
  • Static elements have zero Breakthrough Value. Vehicle elements use the following formula: Element Class Size * Element Units * (Element Morale / 100). Infantry elements use the same formula as vehicles with a further modifier of 0.5.
  • The total Breakthrough Value is summed for all elements in the attacking formation and compared to the formation size. The value is multiplied by 2 if the formation has a field position of Front Line Attack. This value, from 0 to 200%, is the Formation Breakthrough Rating
  • A Breakthrough Potential value is determined for the attacking formation by multiplying the defending Formation Cohesion Rating by the attacking Formation Breakthrough Rating. If this value is equal to or greater than 30%, a breakthrough has occurred for that attacking formation.
  • Each formation that creates a breakthrough mounts a second attack. This attack does not benefit from supporting artillery or fighter support. However, it functions as if the attacking formation has a field position of Front Line Attack, which means all hostile formations are potential targets, not just those on the front line.

The breakthrough rules mean that defending formations that suffer casualties may allow attacking formations to penetrate their lines and conduct a second attack.

This is more likely under the following circumstances:

  • A single defending formation is attacked by multiple attacking formations,
  • the defender suffers a high casualty percentage in a single ground combat round (potentially because the formation is small in size),
  • the defender suffers disproportionate casualties to elements with larger unit classes,
  • the defender is low morale,
  • the attacker is primarily vehicle-based,
  • the attacker is on front-line attack,
  • the attacker is high morale.

Date 14.10.2018

Relevant Commander Bonus: Ground Combat Manoeuvre (GCM): Increases the chance that a formation will make a breakthrough in combat Date 07.10.2018

Ground Formation Support Bombardment

Basics

Support and Rear Echelon formations that contain formation elements with bombardment weapons can be assigned to support front line formations that are part of the same organisation. Date 14.10.2018

Relevant Commander Bonus: Ground Combat Artillery (GCA): Increases the to-hit chance of all indirect-fire weapons in the formation Date 07.10.2018

Setting Support

http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/FormationSupport001.PNG

Here is a screenshot of the UI for setting support relationships between superior and subordinate formations.

You drag the superior formation on to the subordinate formation. If the Support checkbox is checked, the supporting formation is shown in blue-grey with the name of the supported formation. Any supported formation in shown in orange.

Support can only be provided when the supporting formation is a superior formation in the hierarchy of the supported formation, or is directly subordinate to a superior formation in the hierarchy of the supported formation and does not itself have any subordinate formations (an independent artillery formation for example).

Supporting formations must be on the same system body as the supported formation.

In combat, the support relationship will only function if the supporting unit has suitable bombardment units and is in a support or rear echelon position and the supported unit is in a front line position.

The drag-drop is intelligent and can distinguish between setting support relationships, reassigning formations to a new headquarters, removing headquarters assignments, moving formations from one population to another (on the same system body) and moving elements between formations (more on that last option in the next post).

18.09.2018

Air to Ground Combat

Ground Support Fighter

Fighters equipped with Fighter Pods can provide support to ground unit formations during ground combat.

To be eligible, a fleet with fighters is given an order to "Provide Ground Support" with a friendly population as the destination. This order functions in a similar way to a 'Follow' order, with the order remaining in place until removed by the player.

On the Ground Combat Window, eligible fleets appear in their own section for each population. These fleets can be dragged and dropped on to formations in the same way as superior and subordinate formations. Fleets with this order that are at their target population cannot be targeted in normal naval combat or by STO weapons.

In combat, the ground support fighters attack at the same time as bombardment elements and have the same target selection options as heavy bombardment.

Ground support fighters have the same chance to hit as ground units, although they are not affected by any negative environmental modifiers (such as high gravity or extreme temperatures). Each fighter's to hit chance is affected by its own crew grade and morale.

Each Forward Fire Direction component in a formation allows support from up to six ground support fighters. If more fighters are assigned to a formation than can be supported, the chance to hit is modified by (Number of FFD * 6) / Number of Fighters.

http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/GroundSupport006.PNG

06.10.2018

Relevant Commander Bonus: Ground Support Date 10.10.2018

Search & Destroy

In addition to the option to directly support ground forces, fighters can be assigned additional missions over the battlefield. To be eligible, a fleet composed only of fighters is given one of the following orders with a system body as the destination. A friendly population is not required. These orders function in a similar way to a 'Follow' order, with the order remaining in place until removed by the player. Fleets with these orders that are at their target system body cannot be targeted in normal naval combat or by STO weapons.

Search and Destroy involves sending fighters to a planet with enemy ground forces (with or without friendly forces present) to attack targets of opportunity.

This is similar to a ground support mission with the following differences:

  • 1. The fighters do not need to be assigned to a friendly ground formation and do not require fire direction
  • 2. The fighters will select any hostile formation, regardless of field position
  • 3. The chance to hit is 33% of normal
  • 4. Hostile AA will fire as if this is a ground support mission directed against the selected formation

Date 09.10.2018

Relevant Commander Bonus: Ground Support Date 10.10.2018

Flak Suppression

In addition to the option to directly support ground forces, fighters can be assigned additional missions over the battlefield. To be eligible, a fleet composed only of fighters is given one of the following orders with a system body as the destination. A friendly population is not required. These orders function in a similar way to a 'Follow' order, with the order remaining in place until removed by the player. Fleets with these orders that are at their target system body cannot be targeted in normal naval combat or by STO weapons.

Flak Suppression involves sending fighters to a planet with enemy ground forces (with or without friendly forces present) to specifically attack hostile AA units. Because the fighters are seeking out nearby AA units that are engaging them, the chance to hit is higher than for Search & Destroy, but the target selection is more difficult (finding the AA).

This is similar to a ground support mission with the following differences:

  • 1. The fighters do not need to be assigned to a friendly ground formation and do not require fire direction
  • 2. The fighters will select any hostile formation, regardless of field position
  • 3. The chance to hit is 50% of normal
  • 4. Only hostile AA elements will be attacked. If none are present in the selected formation, no air-to-ground attack will take place
  • 5. Hostile AA will fire as if this is a ground support mission directed against the selected formation, even if the fighters did not open fire

Date 09.10.2018

Relevant Commander Bonus: Ground Support Date 10.10.2018

Combat Air Patrol

will (most likly be) added Date 09.10.2018

Orbital Bombardment Support

please refer to Space to Ground & Ground to Space Combat

Ground-based AA Fire

AA units take part in ground combat normally, using their ground combat values. If an AA unit takes part in both ground-ground and ground-air combat, it will draw supply twice.

Once all direct combat, bombardment support and ground support fire has been resolved, but before damage is allocated, all AA units will be checked to see if they can fire on hostile aircraft, using the following rules:

  • 1) All AA units in a formation that was directly attacked by aircraft will each select a random aircraft from those that attacked that formation.
  • 2) Medium or Heavy AA units in a formation that was not directly attacked by aircraft but is the direct parent of a formation that was attacked will each select a random aircraft from those that are attacking the subordinate formations.*
  • 3) Heavy AA units that are not included in the two categories above will fire on a random hostile aircraft, including those on CAP that are not directly engaged in attacking ground units.

An Environment Modifier is calculated, taking into account gravity, pressure and temperature and whether the firing AA unit has capabilities in those environments. Each environment for which the element is not trained has a x2 modifier. There are no terrain modifiers.

The chance to hit is (10% x (Tracking Speed / Aircraft Speed) x (Morale / 100)) / Environment Modifier.

If a hit is scored, the damage vs the fighter is (Ground Damage Value / 20)^2 rounded down.

For example, an AA unit with a ground damage value of 40 would have AA Damage of (40 / 20) ^ 2 = 4.

All AA damage is applied after all attacks have been resolved.

Date 23.09.2018

Relevant Commander Bonus: Ground Combat Anti-Aircraft (GCAA): Increases the to-hit chance of all anti-aircraft weapons in the formation Date 07.10.2018

Fortification

Basics

Relevant Commander Bonus: Ground Combat Defence (GCD): When elements of a formation are fortified, their fortification level is increased by the formation commander defence bonus Date 07.10.2018

For C#, the ground forces signature is equal to the total signature of all ground formation elements on a planet, divided by 100. The signature of each element is equal to (unit size * unit number) / (fortification level * dominant terrain fortification modifier).

In other words, well-fortified ground forces will have a smaller signature than those out in the open, so you won't always know if you face a small force, or a well-fortified larger force. Date 13.10.2018

Self-Fortification and Construction Elements

Fortification happens at the element level. Formation elements can fortify to different levels, depending on the base type of the unit class. That level is also affected by whether the element is restricted to fortifying itself or if it has assistance from construction vehicles.

The level of self-fortification and maximum fortification is as follows:

  • Infantry, Static: Self 3, Max 6.
  • Light vehicle, Medium Vehicle, Heavy Vehicle: Self 2, Max 3.
  • Super-Heavy Vehicle: Self 1.5, Max 2
  • Ultra-Heavy Vehicle: Self 1.25, Max 1.5

Date 21.10.2018

Self-Fortification

All elements move from non-fortified to their maximum self-fortification level in 30 days without outside assistance. This progress is linear and happens automatically for all formation elements when their parent formation is not set to front line attack. Date 21.10.2018

Fortification with Construction Elements

Construction elements will work on any element in their own formation or that formation's subordinate hierarchy that has already reached its max self-fortification level. If the construction element's formation has no subordinate, the Construction elements will work on any element in their own formation's parent formation or in that parent formation's subordinate hierarchy that has already reached its max self-fortification level.

This means you can attach a construction-based formation directly to a formation you need fortified, or you can attach to a HQ and it will fortify every formation descending from that HQ. Construction elements can only assist elements that are on the same system body (they can be in different populations on the same body).

Given sufficient capacity (see below), a construction element can fortify any other element from its maximum self-fortification level to the maximum fortification level in 90 days.

The capacity of a construction element is equal to the construction rating of the elements unit class * number of units * race construction rating * commander production bonus * 100 tons.

For example, a formation of 50 construction vehicles, each with 0.1 construction rating (2 const components at 0.05) for a race with 16 construction which is part of a formation with commander with 10% production bonus would be: 0.1 * 50 * 16 * 1.1 * 100 = 8800 tons. BTW a construction battalion of this type would cost 636 BP to build.

All construction elements are ordered by descending order of construction capacity. Each one determines the list of elements that they can assist (using the above criteria), excluding any that have been assisted by a previous construction element.

The list of target element is ordered by Construction Rating (so construction units fortify themselves last), then descending tracking speed (so point defence STO and then normal STO), then by field position (so front line defence, then support, then rear echelon), then by descending max fortification (so infantry, static first), then by descending cost (elements with more expensive units first), then by descending morale.

The construction element cycles through the list of target elements using the following process:

  • The total size of the target element is determined (element unit size * number of units)
  • This is compared to the remaining construction capacity of the construction element. If its is greater, then the remaining construction capacity of the construction element is reduced by the size of the target element. If it is less, remaining construction capacity is reduced the zero and a Size Vs Capacity Modifier equal to (remaining construction capacity / target element size) is applied below
  • The amount of fortification that could be accomplished in ninety days is determined by deducting the target element self-fortification level from the target element max fortification level
  • The amount of fortification that could be accomplished within the current period is determined by 90 Day Fortification Amount * (Current Period / 90 Days) * Size Vs Capacity Modifier
  • The fortification for the current period is applied. If this would surpass the target element maximum fortification, then that value is set instead
  • If the construction element has capacity remaining, it moves on to the next target element in its list

Note that because of the way this is applied, it will take the same amount of time to move infantry from fortification level 3 to level 6 as it does for armour from 2 to 3.

This process will allow the player to either directly manage construction elements by attaching their formation to the desired target formation, or to attach the formation to a high level HQ and have the process happen automatically. If a construction element is used to fortify other elements, it will not contribute its construction capacity to its parent population during the next construction phase.

In combat, if the fortification level of a formation element is greater than 1, it is multiplied by the fortification bonus of the dominant terrain.

Date 21.10.2018

Fortification Modifier by Terrain

The fortification modifier is a modifier for the max fortification level, rather than an automatic defence increase. It means you can dig in much deeper (given sufficient time) in Mountains than you can in Steppe or Swamp. The to hit modifier is a reduction in the chance to hit in that terrain (for other ground units and any supporting ships in orbit). In effect, fortification is a benefit to the defender, while to hit is a penalty to both sides. Within the new ground combat rules, you can assign ground units 'capabilities', such as Jungle Warfare, Mountain Warfare, etc. which will double their chance to hit in those types of terrain. Ground units of species with certain types of home world may gain capabilities for free (if you are from a desert planet, you would gain Desert Warfare for free, for example). There are additional capability options to avoid penalties for ground units fighting on worlds that are outside their species tolerance for gravity, temperature and pressure.

An important factor to bear in mind is that when ships are engaging ground units with surface-to-orbit capability, the main defence of the ground unit will be its fortification level. The ship-based weapons are assumed to hit 100% of the time divided by the fortification level. On a planet with Steppe as the dominant terrain type, the maximum fortification of a static ground unit will be 6 with no penalty for the ship to hit. On a Jungle Mountain world, the maximum fortification level will be 18 for that same ground unit and any shots against it by the ships will be modified by 0.125, giving the ground unit an effective fortification level of 144. In other words, the ship in orbit is going to hit once every 144 shots. So trying to use orbital bombardment against surface to orbit units buried in jungle-covered mountains is going to be a Bad Idea. It would be far more effective to send in ground forces (which can't be hit by STO units) to dig them out. That is an extreme example, but there should be many more situations where there are some serious decisions for the attacker.

http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/DominantTerrain.PNG

Date 16.09.2018

Ground Force Logistics

Basics

Ground Units have two separate logistics requirements. The first is Maintenance, which applies to all units at all times and has a wealth cost equal to 12.5% of Ground Unit cost per annum. The second is Ground Supply Points (GSP), which applies only to combat units during ground combat.

The GSP requirement for a weapon component is equal to Penetration Value * Damage Value * Shots. For example, Personal Weapons is (1 x 1 x 1) = 1. Crew Served Anti-personnel is (1 x 1 x 6) = 6. Medium Anti-Vehicle is (4 x 6 x 1) = 24. Heavy Bombardment is (2 x 6 x 3) = 36.

The GSP requirement for a Ground Unit Class is the sum of its weapon components. For example, a tank with a Medium Anti-Vehicle component and a Crew Served Anti-personnel component would have a GSP requirement of 30.

The GSP requirement for a Formation Element is the GSP for the Ground Unit Class in the element multiplied by the number of units. The GSP requirement for a Formation is the sum of the GSP for its constituent Formation Elements.

In all these cases, that is the GSP cost to provide sufficient supply for ten combat rounds.

Two new ground unit components have been added; the Logistics Module, which is Size 50 and provides 500 GSP, and the Logistics Module - Small, which is Size 10 and provides 100 GSP. The standard module is available for light vehicle and infantry base types, while the small module is only available to infantry. Here is an example of a light vehicle with the Logistics Module.

http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/SupplyVehicle02.PNG

Ground units with either logistics module can be added to any level of the ground force hierarchy, either embedded with the front line combat formations or held at a superior formation, such as a headquarters.

Date 16.09.2018

Supply Consumtion and Out of Supply

Each Ground Unit has sufficient inherent supply points to fight ten rounds of combat (currently one round takes place every three hours). After that point, only one quarter of units in a formation element that is out of supply will fire in each round. In addition, a formation with out of supply elements cannot use a field position of 'Front Line Attack' (more on this when I publish the full ground combat rules). However, if units with logistics modules are available, ground units can draw supply to both fight the current combat round and replenish supplies used in previous combat rounds.

Ground Units will attempt to draw supply from the formation that sits highest in their hierarchy and is at the same population. If no supply is available, they will move down the hierarchy to their own parent formation, checking at each stage. However, when drawing supply from outside their own formation, units can only draw on logistic modules mounted on light vehicles. Logistics modules with an infantry base type can only supply their own formation.

For example, a formation element of 10 tanks engaged in combat is part of an armoured formation with a brigade HQ formation above it and a division HQ formation above that. The tanks will check for a vehicle-based logistics element within the division formation first, then a vehicle-based logistics element within the brigade formation and finally either type of logistic element within their own parent formation. If no logistic elements are available, the tanks will use their inherent supply, although they can only use that inherent supply for ten combat rounds, unless resupplied. If a unit does not require a full resupply (for example, it still has sufficient inherent supply for eight combat rounds), it will only draw an appropriate fraction of its normal GSP requirement (in this case 20%).

When a formation element of logistics units provides supply, a number of units will be consumed based on the supply required.

For example, assume the 10 tanks above each have a GSP requirement of 100, which is 1000 for the whole element. If they draw on a logistics element using light vehicles with normal logistics modules (which have 500 GSP each), two of those logistics vehicles would be consumed.

When the GSP requirement does not neatly fit into the 500 point granularity, there is a chance of an additional logistics vehicle being consumed. This chance is dependent on the fraction of supplies required.

For example, if there were 12 tanks with a requirement of 1200, then two logistic vehicles would be consumed and there is 40% chance (200 / 500) than a third vehicle will be consumed.

This adds an element of uncertainty, as supplies may be consumed faster or slower than normal (although it will average out over time), plus it avoids any tracking of partial supplies per vehicle.

Date 16.09.2018

Examples

Below is an example of a Formation Template for a Brigade Headquarters that includes 50 Supply Vehicles.

http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/Logistics003.PNG

Below is an order of battle for a divisional formation. At the divisional level are 240 Supply Vehicles, indicated by LOG 120k (120,000 supply points) in the Formation Attributes column, with smaller numbers within each brigade headquarters formation. The GSP column shows the resupply requirement for each formation or formation element. The total divisional organisation requires 40,338 GSP for a complete resupply and there are sufficient supply vehicles (410) in that organisation to resupply five times. With the inherent supply as well, the entire division can stay in combat for sixty rounds before additional supply vehicles are required.

http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/Logistics004.PNG

Finally here is a view of a single population, with the order of battle tab in Location mode.

http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/Logistics005.PNG

Date 16.09.2018

Space to Ground & Ground to Space Combat

Basics

Atmosphere and Energy Weapons

In C# Aurora, there is no penalty for energy weapons firing in or through an atmosphere. Date 07.04.2018

Point Defence

In C# Aurora, fire controls set to 'Final Defensive Fire' or 'Final Defensive Fire (Self Only)' will fire on hostile missiles, regardless of whether the fire control is set to 'Open Fire'. Fire controls set to Area Mode or for AMMs will only fire defensively when that fire control is set to 'Open Fire'.

When a missile reaches its target, a target ship will use its CIWS first. If that is insufficient, it will use any weapons linked to fire controls set to 'Final Defensive Fire' or 'Final Defensive Fire (Self Only)'. If that is still insufficient, ships or the same race or an allied race with fire controls set to 'Final Defensive Fire' will be checked in increasing order of distance from the target ship.

A target population will use any ground units assigned to point defence to shoot at incoming missiles. If that is insufficient, the same process as for ships will take place, checking same race or allied ships within point defence range of the planet.

Date 12.12.2018

STO Weapons can fire as Point Defence with target settings:

  • Final Defensive Fire: When a salvo is about to hit a target within range of the STO weapon, the element will be eligible for point defence fire in the same way as a ship. This allows the STO element to protect itself and other ground forces, any populations on the surface, orbital shipyards and any nearby ships.
  • Final Defensive Fire (Surface Only): Same as Final Defensive Fire except that only salvos attacking surface targets will be intercepted
  • Area Point Defence: The STO units will shoot at any hostile missiles currently in range.

When an STO element targets missiles, it will only fire until the missiles are destroyed.

Date 20.10.2018

Orbital Bombardment Support

Ships equipped with energy weapons can provide support to ground unit formations during ground combat.

To be eligible, a fleet with energy weapons is given an order to "Provide Orbital Bombardment Support" with a friendly population as the destination. This order functions in a similar way to a 'Follow' order, with the order remaining in place until removed by the player.

On the Ground Combat Window, eligible fleets (those in orbit and with this order) appear under their own section of the tree view for each population, with a parent node of "Orbital Bombardment Support". These fleets can be dragged and dropped on to formations in the same way as ground support fighters.

Fleets with this order can still be targeted in normal naval combat or by STO weapons (they do not have the same protection as fighters on ground support missions).

In combat, the orbital bombardment ships attack at the same time as bombardment elements and have the same target selection options as heavy bombardment.

Orbital bombardment ships have the same chance to hit as ground units, although they are not affected by any negative environmental modifiers (such as high gravity or extreme temperatures). Each ship fires its weapons once per ground combat phase. Each ship's to hit chance is affected by its crew grade and morale, plus 100% of the ground support bonus of the tactical officer and 50% of the ground support bonus of the ships commander.

The damage in ground combat for an energy weapon is equal to 20x the square root of its point blank damage in ship-to-ship combat. Armour penetration is equal to half the damage. Fractions are retained.

For example, the AP/Damage ratings would be 10/20 for a 10cm railgun round or gauss cannon, 17.3/34.6 for a 10cm laser, 40/80 for a 25cm laser.

Weapons roll for failure in the same way as in naval combat.

Ships cannot perform orbital bombardment in the ground combat phase if they fired in the preceding naval combat phase of the same increment.

Each Forward Fire Direction (FFD) component in a formation allows support from a single ship in orbit or up to six ground support fighters. If more ships and fighters are assigned to a formation than can be supported, the chance to hit is modified by:

Number of FFD / ((Fighters / 6) + Ships).

Orbital bombardment is a powerful aid to any ground combat, although the ships will be vulnerable to hostile STO weapons and require fire direction from the surface.

Date 11.10.2018

Relevant Commander Bonus: Ground Support Date 10.10.2018

Planetary Bombardment

In C# Aurora, populations can be attacked by missiles and energy weapons. However, because missile warheads are area-effect weapons, they are much more effective at destroying the civilian population and any installations.

Each installation type has a Target Size. The chance of each attack (either a missile or a single energy weapon) destroying an installation is equal to: Weapon Damage / Target Size.

For example, a construction factory has a Target Size of 20, so a 10cm laser fired from orbit would have a 15% chance to destroy the target (3 / 20). For the purposes of this check, missile warheads are treated as equal to 20x warhead strength. Therefore, a single 1 point warhead has a 100% chance to destroy a construction factory.

A single energy weapon can destroy only one target per hit. A missile warhead is applied until all damage is used.

For example, a 5-point missile warhead is counted as 100. If the first installation hit is a construction factory, that factory is destroyed and the remaining damage reduced to 80. That damage is then applied the next installation hit and so on.

Missile warheads cause radiation and dust levels to increase by an amount equal to their warhead size. Energy weapons increase the dust level by 5% of their damage amount.

Missile warheads inflict civilian casualties at the rate of 100,000 per point of damage. Energy weapons inflict civilian casualties at the rate of 2,000 per point of damage.

Populations will no longer surrender purely due to orbital bombardment. You have to land ground formations to force a surrender.

Energy weapons now provide a way to destroy the industry and infrastructure of a target population, without causing radiation or using up ordnance. However, this will require considerable effort for a large population and consume maintenance supplies due to weapon failures. It will also bring you within range of any ground-based energy weapons. Of course, it will usually be more beneficial to conquer the planet and gain the installations instead of destroying them.

http://www.pentarch.org/steve/Screenshots/TargetSize.PNG

Date 07.04.2018

Naval Bombardment of Ground Forces in Naval Combat Phase

Ground forces can be bombarded by naval forces as part of normal naval combat. Note this is not the same as Orbital Bombardment Support, which involves ships in orbit working in conjunction with ground forces to deliver precision energy weapon strikes.

Instead, Naval Bombardment of Ground Forces (NBG) is a mass bombardment of ground-based sensor contacts using either missile weapons or energy weapons, which does not require friendly ground forces on the target body or fire direction support and is an adjunct to Planetary Bombardment.

For the purposes of bombarding ground forces, each weapon type on each ship is treated separately for targeting purposes.

For example, a ship with both 10cm and 15cm railguns would make two separate rolls to select a target formation, one for each weapon type, and therefore target all weapons of the same type on the same formation.

Target formations are selected based on a weighted random roll, with the weighting based on formation size. Once a formation is selected as a target, each shot against that formation selects a random element within the formation, again using a weighted random roll.

Ship using energy weapons for NBG have one third of the chance to hit compared to using Orbital Bombardment Support (as in the latter case they are being directed by FFD units) and do not benefit from any ground support bonus from the ship commander or tactical officer. Their to-hit chance is the base ground combat to hit chance (20%), reduced by two thirds, multiplied by the to-hit modifier of the planet's dominant terrain and divided by both the fortification of the target formation elements the and fortification modifiers of the planet's dominant terrain. In summary, blind-firing energy weapons at general concentrations of enemy forces is not a very effective way of destroying them, especially in difficult terrain, although it can be done given sufficient patience and maintenance supplies.

Ships using missiles for NBG have a 100% base chance to strike their targets, as nuclear warheads require considerably less precision than energy weapons, and may hit multiple targets. This is modified by the to-hit modifier of the planet's dominant terrain and divided by both the fortification of the target formation elements and the fortification modifier of the planet's dominant terrain. One attack is made with the missile's full warhead damage. Two attacks are made with one half damage, four attacks with one quarter damage etc. This division continues while the damage is higher than 1 point of warhead strength. Each of these attacks can also hit multiple smaller targets, such as infantry. The number of sub-attacks is equal to 50 / target size.

This means that a single 8 point missile warhead targeted on infantry will make 15 attacks (1 + 2 + 4 + 8) and each attack will be directed against 10 units, for a total of 150 infantry attacked.

However, bear in mind that if the infantry are fortified normally that will reduce the normal 100% chance to hit by a third. If they have help from construction units and are in difficult terrain such as mountains, the chance to hit could be much lower so many of them could survive the attack. Missiles also cause environmental damage so if you plan to use the planet afterwards, this may not be the best approach.

The ground combat damage for an naval weapon is equal to 20x the square root of the damage at the same range in ship-to-ship combat. Armour penetration is equal to half the that damage. Fractions are retained.

For example, the AP/Damage ratings would be 10/20 for a 10cm railgun round or gauss cannon, 17.3/34.6 for a 10cm laser, 30/60 for a 9-point missile warhead, 40/80 for a 25cm laser.

Weapons roll for failure in the same way as in naval combat.

Any weapon used for NBG has the same environmental impact as it would for planetary bombardment. Missile warheads cause radiation and dust levels to increase by an amount equal to their warhead size. Energy weapons increase the dust level by 5% of their damage amount and have no effect on radiation.

Each NBG shot has a one third chance to also strike the population itself, inflicting installation damage and population losses accordingly (see Planetary Bombardment link above for details). Conversely, each energy weapon or missile used for general Planetary Bombardment attack has a one third chance to also attack any ground forces on the planet (using the above rules), regardless of whether those ground forces have been detected. Note that all the to hit modifiers vs ground still apply so the chance of accidentally hitting any ground unit with an energy weapon for example is still very low.

Date 23.12.2018

Surface-to-Orbit Combat

Those ground elements containing units with STO capability can set a number of different targeting options.

For the moment, targeting and firing is handled automatically although I may add a manual targeting option as well.

For those targeting options directed at ships, the player may also select the number of weapons per target, with zero being all weapons. When a number other than zero is chosen, the targets are cycled until all weapons are fired. Targets must be detected, hostile and in range to be eligible.

The target settings are as follows:

  • Do Not Fire
  • Target Random Ship: Eligible Ships are given a random order and the targeting cycles though them (or targets the first if number of weapons is zero). The targets will be cycled through multiple times if required for all weapons to fire.
  • Target Largest Ship: Eligible Ships are arranged in descending order of size
  • Target Smallest Ship: Eligible Ships are arranged in ascending order of size
  • Target Fastest Ship: Eligible Ships are arranged in descending order of speed
  • Target Slowest Ship: Eligible Ships are arranged in ascending order of speed
  • Target Easiest Ship: Eligible Ships are arranged in descending order of chance to hit
  • Target Shipyards: The largest eligible shipyard contact is targeted
  • Target Populations: The largest eligible population contact is targeted. Populations on the same system body as the STO element cannot be targeted.
  • Target Ground Forces: The largest eligible ground forces contact is targeted. Ground forces on the same system body as the STO element cannot be targeted.
  • Target STO Ground Forces: The largest eligible STO ground forces contact is targeted. STO ground forces on the same system body as the STO element cannot be targeted.
  • Final Defensive Fire: When a salvo is about to hit a target within range of the STO weapon, the element will be eligible for point defence fire in the same way as a ship. This allows the STO element to protect itself and other ground forces, any populations on the surface, orbital shipyards and any nearby ships.
  • Final Defensive Fire (Surface Only): Same as Final Defensive Fire except that only salvos attacking surface targets will be intercepted
  • Area Point Defence: The STO units will shoot at any hostile missiles currently in range.

When an STO element targets missiles, it will only fire until the missiles are destroyed. For the purposes of tracking weapon fire and recharging, each STO unit within the element is tracked separately.

Date 20.10.2018


STO elements that have not fired are detected with other ground forces as a ground forces contact.

When an STO element fires, any races that are currently detecting it as part of normal ground forces will flag it as an STO element. Thereafter, those races will detect that element as an 'STO Ground Forces' contact, which is a new contact type. All known STO elements on a planet are grouped as a single STO Ground Forces contact. Players can choose to target either the known STO elements or the normal ground forces (which may contain undetected STO elements).

An STO element may be known to some races and detected accordingly, while still being part of the normal ground forces contact for other races.

The active sensors of STO elements are detected by EM sensors in the same way as any other active sensor. However, this is not sufficient to flag the STO element.

Date 20.10.2018

Collateral Damage

When ground combat takes place, it may cause collateral damage to the populations involved.

This is based on attacks, rather than hits.

For example, if you use heavy bombardment weapons, it will have an impact on the population regardless of whether you hit any hostile units.

Collateral damage is caused by any weapon that affects ground combat, including close air support and orbital bombardment support.

Collateral damage is not linear with ground combat damage. The effect on the population increases exponentially for ground combat weapons with higher damage. The damage value of each weapon that fires is cubed, then the total damage is divided by one million.

For example, assuming a base ground combat tech of 10 (about TL4):
  • An infantryman with personal weapons would generate 0.001 collateral damage per combat round (damage 10, shots 1)
  • Light anti-vehicle (damage 20, shots 1) is 0.008
  • Light bombardment (damage 20, shots 3) is 0.024
  • Medium anti-vehicle (damage 40, shots 1) is 0.064
  • Medium bombardment (damage 40, shots 3) is 0.192
  • Heavy anti-vehicle (damage 60, shots 1) is 0.216
  • Heavy bombardment (damage 60, shots 3) is 0.648

Putting that in terms of regiments, 1000 infantrymen would generate 1 collateral damage per round while 50 heavy tanks (about the same size but 2x cost) would generate 11.2 collateral damage, assuming HAV and HCAP. To put that in perspective, vs energy weapon fire a construction factory has 20 HP and a research facility has 400 HP.

Once the total damage to a population is calculated, it is allocated as a series of 2-point energy weapon attacks. This is because infrastructure has 2 hit points. A construction factory (20 HP) would have a 10% chance of being destroyed, etc.. In addition to the installation damage, the collateral (energy) damage increases the dust level by 5% of the damage amount and inflicts civilian casualties at the rate of 2,000 per point of damage.

As populations suffer collateral damage, a track is kept of the total size of destroyed installations. Future collateral damage is reduced by (Total Size of Intact Installations / Total Size of Intact and Destroyed Installations). This is to simulate that fighting in the rubble does not cause further collateral damage.

If attacking forces wish to minimise collateral damage, they will need to restrict the use of heavy weapons.

Date 20.10.2018

Boarding Combat

please look here

Contributors

King-Salomon