Recommend
13 
 Thumb up
 Hide
24 Posts

Space Empires: Close Encounters» Forums » General

Subject: Ground Combat rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Gabriel Marquez
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
Does anybody have an idea of how the ground combat feature is going to work? It sounds like fun.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M C
United States
Honolulu
HI
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I do, but if I told you, I would have to kill you.ninja

and yes it will be fun.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Krohn
United States
New York
flag msg tools
designer
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
badge
Ahhh....my misspent youth...
Avatar
mbmb
You can tell him.

I've been on the run. I still hope to continue my previews sooner rather than later.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Tak
United States
Chapin
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jim Krohn wrote:
You can tell him.

I've been on the run. I still hope to continue my previews sooner rather than later.


Game designer crosses border into Mexico, authorities forced to halt pursuit!
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob
United States
Apollo Beach
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
In that case, I'll give a brief (hah, it wasn't brief at all) overview of Ground Combat! (Other testers, please feel free to add/correct/expand on any of my stuff)

d10-1 Each player starts with Ground Combat tech 1. There are 3 total levels of Ground Combat tech.

d10-2GC 1 lets you build Infantry and Transport ships to carry them. You can build Infantry at any planet that produced income for you this Economy Phase. You can only build Infantry up to the "level" of that colony (so a lvl 3 colony can make, at most, 3 ground units).

d10-3In addition to Infantry you buy, you also get some ground units for free. This represents volunteers basically and the number of free units you get is proportional to how many "full" colonies you own.

d10-4Ground Combat 2 lets you build, in addition to infantry, Marines and Heavy Infantry. Marines are great on the attack but not so hot on defense. Heavy Infantry are the opposite, they are great to have in defensive positions.

d10-5Ground Combat 3 lets you build Grav Armor. These are the swiss army knife of ground units. They are great on attack and defense, but of course they cost more. In addition to that they may also "support" another friendly ground unit in combat, giving them a boost to attack and defense. They can only support if the enemy side has fewer Grav Armor units than the friendly side. One last thing GC tech 3 gets you is armored transports (they have more armor) and Drop Ships!

d10-6 Drop Ships are relevant because normally, when you try to invade a planet, the defending side gets a "free" round to fire on you. This represents your transports landing your troops and getting ready for combat. Drop Ships mean the attacker can start firing in the first round.

d10-7Ground Combat is always resolved after space combat, but it can start in two ways. During space combat, if you have a loaded Transport ready, he can "land" troops on the planet after the second combat round. So one tactic is to try and rush troops in past the enemy's planetary defense. The landed troops will do ground combat after the space combat has been resolved (your attacking ships could run away, leaving the enemy with an invasion problem on the ground!). Alternatively you could just wait until the end of space combat and land the troops then. Before you land, you could actually "soften up" the planet by bombarding it, thus decreasing the number of Militia the planet will make. Ah Militia--

d10-8Militia are free, weak, troops that are automatically produced on a planet whenever it is attacked. You get troops proportional to the level of the colony. Which is why bombarding before landing can help secure a victory. However, the trade off is that the colony you capture will be weaker economically. Colonies lose a level when you capture them and you have to give up one attacking ground unit, this represents providing infrastructure.

d10-9 So... why would you even want to capture an enemy planet? Well apart from the joy of enslaving their people, and the strategic position it will provide, capturing a planet provides you with extremely valuable intelligence and technology. You get to peek at 1) Their Empire card to see what ability they might have, if you are playing with those, 2) any Alien technology cards are also revealed 3) their production sheet is revealed. So you see what techs they have researched. Now, depending on if this is a Deep Space or a Home System colony, you can steal 1 or 2 techs from them. For instance if they have Attack 3 and you don't have any attack technology you can steal Attack 1.

d10-0 One last thing, ground troops also provide a slight defense advantage versus bombardment of a planet. Think of it as some kind of missile defense system that they run.

So we found Ground Combat to be really well balanced in testing. It is a viable strategy to use, but not so great that you HAVE to use it every game. Since you get some units for free, you have to at least think about it in every game since you don't know what your opponent might do. I didn't go into great detail on how the actual combat is resolved-- it is a lot like space combat just with fewer bonuses to track (tactics/fleet size bonus/ and atk/def tech do not apply). It's really a lot of fun. Alien Technology cards drive players to capture deep space planets. Ground Combat sort of pushes back on this.

It is also just immensely satisfying to capture a planet from your opponent :-D
31 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Upshaw
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jim Krohn wrote:
You can tell him.

I've been on the run. I still hope to continue my previews sooner rather than later.


Well with your permission then.


Though I see that Bob posted a lot of this while I was composing.

Ground Combat has three Technology Levels. You start with Level 1 already researched, same as Ship Size, Move and Ship Yard.

Level 1 allows you to build:

Transports which carry troops from planet to planet.
Militia which you do not buy, but are awarded for free when one of your colonies is invaded. A 1 CP Colony will generate 1 Militia, a 5 CP Colony will generate 5 Militia. Militia fight as a E5-0 x1 unit.
Infantry which cost 2 CPs. Infantry fight as a D5-1 x1 unit.

Level 2 allows you to build two units that cost 3CPs:

Space Marines which fight as a C6-1 x2 unit when attacking and as a D5-1 x2 unit when defending.
Heavy Infantry which fight as a D4-2 x2 unit when defending and as a C6-2 x2 unit when defending.

Level 3 allows you to build Transports that are harder to hit, Drop Pods that allow your invading troops to fire on the first round of combat and Grav Armor.

Grav Armor costs 4 CPs. It fights as a C6-2 x2 unit. It also generates a support bonus for non-Grav Armor units if you have more Grav Armor than your opponent.

Attack/Defense/Tactics Technology does not count in Ground Combat so the Defender is going to be firing first most of the time. Bring some more guys in order to absorb the losses. Also you can not retreat from Ground Combat, so make sure you can take the planet before you drop the troops. When you enter the hex of the colony the defending troops are revealed so you will not have to make that decision blind.

Example of combat.

The defender has a 5 CP Colony that is being invaded. So he will have 5 Militia to help out the 2 Heavy Infantry that he placed on the planet. The Attacker has 2 Grav Armor, 4 Space Marines and 2 Heavy Infantry. As the Attacker has two more Grav Armor Units than the Defender he can support two of his other units. Support means that the supported units gain a +1 to their Attack and Defense Strength in a battle round. Now although the Attacker has Ground Combat Tech 3, by virtue of having Grav Armor, we will say that he has not built/refitted the Transports that dropped off this invasion force with Drop Pods. So in the First Round of Combat all of the Defending Units get to fire and the Attacking Units do not get to fire back. Though the two supported units do get the Defense Bonus, we will say that 2 of the Space Marines are supported.

First Round sees all of the Defenders fire and kill one of the un-Supported Marines.

Second Round sees the Defending Heavy Infantry kill one of the un-Supported Marines. Now the Attacker Fires and kills one of the Defending Heavy Infantry and 1 Militia. The Militia fire and put one hit on an Attacking Marine.

Third Round sees the Defending Heavy Infantry finish off the Marine. The Attacker only puts one hit on the remaining Heavy Infantry. With the un-supported units taken care of the Militia target the Grav Armor and generate one hit.

Fourth Round sees the Defending Heavy Infantry miss. The Attacker then finishes it off and kills 2 more Militia. The remaining Militia kill the damaged Grav Armor.

Fifth Round sees the Attacker destroy the remaining 2 Militia. So the Attacker has 1 Grav Armor, 2 Marines and 2 Heavy Infantry remaining. He must then remove from the board one of these units to manage the colony. The colony loses a step and becomes a 3 CP colony, it will grow back in the next econ phase. Also the Attacker gets to look at the Defenders Production sheet and see what they have researched and built in this game as well as steal a level or two of technology.
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob
United States
Apollo Beach
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Great minds think alike, Oliver

Now you guys have two presentations on Ground Combat to draw on haha
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Upshaw
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Oops I just realized that in my combat example the defender killed 3 Space Marines not 2 so there would be only one left at the end. Sorry I tried to do it all in my head whiled I rolled the dice without using the counters.

Also though Transports count as as Ships and use have to pay maintenance on them Ground Units pay zero maintenance.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Krohn
United States
New York
flag msg tools
designer
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
badge
Ahhh....my misspent youth...
Avatar
mbmb
One other cool thing I will add is that, if you capture an enemy planet, he can't wipe out the colony from space because it is loaded with his people. He has to dig out the enemy and take it back with troops.

Ground combat can be a really cool tool, but focus too much on it and your fleets won't be powerful enough to get your troops to the enemy planets.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Testy Testerson
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As if I needed -more- reasons to be excited for this expansion! Way to go Jim! Twilight Imperium looks to be getting completely sidelined now.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Upshaw
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Found another mistake in my example. Heavy Infantry should read as follows: "Heavy Infantry which fight as a D4-2 x2 unit when attacking and as a C6-2 x2 unit when defending."

I had listed them with two different stats when defending and no stats for attacking.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabriel Marquez
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
Thanks for the overview. This looks like an excellent system for a ground theater of war without the to much clutter. Being a 40K fan, I am especially liking the idea of a space marine assualt on some hapless xenos.

Just as an additional question, what was the inspiration for this element?
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabriel Marquez
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
P.S. Thanks for not sending hit men. I don't want to recreate the first 20 minutes of Pulp Fiction.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob
United States
Apollo Beach
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Quote:
I do, but if I told you, I would have to kill you.


P.S. Thanks for not sending hit men. I don't want to recreate the first 20 minutes of Pulp Fiction.




That was a close one... on the development team we do get access to GMT's assassin squad. There's 50 ways to kill a man with an exacto knife, fyi.


One non-lame joke thing I think we can mention is if you really really like Ground Combat, there is a scenario where you can use planetary gates to jump troops from planet to planet and invade that way. Some really neat choke points are made this way... plus you can always drop in with a real fleet too.

Also we should probably mention that we've stuck Ground Combat in the "Advance" rules section for the game. Just like with the original Space Empires, we recommend playing with the Basic set of expansion rules first before jumping into stuff in the Advanced section. That said, every new element in the expansion is modular.

So if you've got a bunch of players that played the original and you want to check out ground combat, by all means do it and maybe don't play with the Crew Experience system instead to save on time.

I can attest that once you've got a game or two under your belt with the new rules, games move almost as fast as they do under the original set (again it is all dependent on aggression though).
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Krohn
United States
New York
flag msg tools
designer
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
badge
Ahhh....my misspent youth...
Avatar
mbmb
Quote:
Just as an additional question, what was the inspiration for this element?


For ground combat in general? I would say that there was not any specific thing that inspired it.

For Mobile Infantry...errr...Space Marines invading planets from drop ships, that would be Starship Troopers. :-) The book, not the movie, of course.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabriel Marquez
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
I thought so. Great book.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ocean Druen
United States
Buffalo Grove
IL
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is looking awesome...

Jim, come on down so I can buy you a drink!!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bruno Freitas
Brazil
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jim Krohn wrote:
One other cool thing I will add is that, if you capture an enemy planet, he can't wipe out the colony from space because it is loaded with his people. He has to dig out the enemy and take it back with troops.


Hi!

Although I didn't own this game, yet, I was thinking about this statement.

I do belive that some species would not fire from orbit, or even destroy the planet, as long as civillians are captive.

However, I do belive that other specieis would think the "acceptable losses" way.

Maybe this should be some kind of drawback regarding racial advantages.

Thanks.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob
United States
Apollo Beach
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I'm sure Jim could give a better explanation but--

Yeah I bet some species wouldn't care if their population was wiped out in order to eliminate an enemy occupation. This is still millions of citizens though so I think we kept it streamlined by just forbidding bombardment to planets you originally owned.

Also the Empire Advantage cards play more like abilities that a given race has rather than a distinct race. I think we kept it this way so that you could play with more than 1 Empire Advantage card per person if you wanted to (or in some scenarios, are asked to). This leads to some exciting combinations. Like a race of scientific traders or shape shifters that are also experts at ground/boarding combat.

There's absolutely no reason you couldn't have certain "evil-er" Empire Advantage cards be allowed to bombard their own planets. It would adjust the balance a bit but still it would be fun/interesting.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Upshaw
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A question was asked on Consimworld about ground combat and how bombardment works. I gave an answer with some examples and Jim asked me to repost on BBG so here it is for your gaming pleasure.

Examples of Ground Ops


You cannot fire directly at enemy Milita/Infantry/Marines/Heavy Infantry/Grav Armor with your Space Ships. You can reduce the number of Militia that a planet generates when it is invaded by scoring hits on the colony. A colony that starts a battle at 5 will only generate 1 Militia if you score two hits on it before you invade. If you were to score a third hit on the colony you would eliminate it and all of the ground troops that were on the planet. Please remember that you cannot bombard a colony that was originally colonized by you or your ally. Ground Troops do give a boost to the colonies defense when it is bombarded.

First example: After the second round of combat you decide that you do not want to try and reduce the enemy Base and 2 SYs that are orbiting the colony. But you have researched Drop Pods and have 6 Space Marines on your Transport. You declare that you are going to land the 6 Space Marines now. During the third round of combat your remaining ships retreat when it is their time to fire. So at the end of the third round of combat the space battle is over. Now we determine the outcome of the Ground Combat. The 6 Space Marines face off against whatever was on the planet. We’ll say 5 Militia and 2 Infantry. The Space Marines will fire first as they are attacking and thus C rated units. As they were deployed by Drop Pods the defenders do not get the first round of free shots at them. We’ll say the defenders give a good account of themselves and score three hits before they are wiped out. This reduces the number of Space Marines to 5 and puts a damage marker on one of them. After the battle is over the damage marker is removed. One of the Space Marines is removed to administer the colony. The colony is now rated as a 3 colony. The Base and the 2 Ship Yards are removed from play. If the colony had a research/industrial center on it that will also be removed.

Second example. After the second round of combat you realize that due to ship losses you will not be able to screen your Transport in the third round of combat so you declare that you are landing its troops now. At the end of the fourth round of combat your ships are the only ones left at the colony. You cannot bombard the colony this turn as you have already landed your troops on it. If your troops fail to capture the colony you may bombard it on your next turn.

Third example. You bring enough firepower to defeat the defending Space Ships and keep your 2 Transports screened until all of the enemy space ships are gone. Now you may bombard the planet to reduce the amount of Militia that it will generate before you land your troops. We will say that you are going last and that it is Movement Turn 3 right before an Econ Turn. You know that the enemy has some tech that you lack and you want to be able to use it as quickly as possible. You thus only fire at the colony until you score one hit and reduce it to 3. This takes a couple of shots as there are 3 Heavy Infantry and 1 Grav Armor on the planet and thus it has a defense of 2. You land your troops, 7 Space Marines and 3 Grav Armor. They will now be facing 3 Heavy Infantry, 1 Grav Armor and 3 Militia. As you have 2 more Grav Armor than your opponent you can “support” two of your Space Marines which boosts their defense and attack strengths. We will say is this case that through you have researched Drop Pods, you have not refitted your Transports with them. So the first round of combat sees all of the defending units firing and the attacking units do nothing. The second and later rounds of combat will see the defending Heavy Infantry and Grav Armor fire before the attacking units and then the defending Militia will fire. Taking two turns of fire before you can respond is hard on your troops but you brought enough to win. The enemy seeing that they were not going to be able to hold switched their fire from the easier to kill Space Marines to your Grav Armor. Grav Armor being something that must be purchased they wanted you to have to pay to replace your losses and not make them good with your free troops. It Also takes away your support bonus. You end the battle with 4 Space Marines. One must be removed to administer the colony. The colony is now rated as a 1. If you had scored two hits through bombardment the colony would now be a 0 and you would not be able to build anything at it in the next econ turn. You get to steal some tech from your opponent. As the colony is still a producing colony you can build your own Ship Yard at this location and build 1 Ground Unit. If you bid higher than your opponent you can use the newly built Ship Yard to refit all of your ships that are at this colony with your new tech before they can move in to throw you out on their next movement turn.

A very important point to remember is that while it is nice to capture a colony and steal technology you must keep your Transport alive through two turns of combat. This means that ship count is very important. If you cannot screen the Transport it tends to draw fire. One hit and it goes boom along with all of the troops it is carrying. I do like to use them against the NPA planets as it means that I can get a colony going on them faster than if I had to send a colony ship to the planet. Against a human player it gets a bit more dicey.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sam Butler
United States
Fort Walton Beach
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Excellent examples, thank you for posting; that helps clear it up to me
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamie Shanks
Canada
Unspecified
Saskatchewan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Seconded. Very comprehensive and helpful as I get my head around the procedures and nuances involved in the new rules. Many thanks.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Upshaw
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hethalos wrote:
Oliver Upshaw wrote:

Examples of Ground Ops


A very important point to remember is that while it is nice to capture a colony and steal technology you must keep your Transport alive through two turns of combat. This means that ship count is very important. If you cannot screen the Transport it tends to draw fire. One hit and it goes boom along with all of the troops it is carrying. I do like to use them against the NPA planets as it means that I can get a colony going on them faster than if I had to send a colony ship to the planet. Against a human player it gets a bit more dicey.


Why not just build a surplus of transports? I find that having a bunch of cheap, defense 3 ships a decent way to maintain fleet size advantage whilst still threatening colonies.


Because, although the Transports are the hardest to hit 1 Hull Space units in the game I have never had the money to build a surplus of them. Also I do not go in for the split up the fleet and blockade multiple enemy colonies strategy. I go for the mass the fleet, gut the enemy fleet and then destroy the enemy colonies strategy. A blockaded colony or one that is only damaged will recover on its own. Remove the colony completely and the enemy has to spend 8 CPs and 1 Hull Space of Ship Yard Capacity to rebuild the colony. Both of those resources are in short supply if they have a gutted fleet and a reduced economy.

I have thought about using the Transports as hard to kill fleet size bonus units ever since I was working on Close Encounters. The resources have just never been there for me to think it worthwhile. Partly because I disdain the 1 hull space ships and partly because the SC has a bigger gun, can explore if needed and can mount Point Defense. What the SC brings to the table has always outweighed the extra defense that the Transport enjoys.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.