Suggestion: Bombardment

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Epicurus
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Suggestion: Bombardment

Post by Epicurus » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:54 pm

While most games of FS that I've played seemed pretty dynamic, occasionally the match can run up against a stalemate, where the optimal move for one or both players is to remain exactly where they are and stay there.

Different game modes can give you reasons to always want to move - objectives that entice you to leave your superior position.

However, another alternative is to allow an option in some game modes for the players to have access to a bombardment.

The bombardment represents calling in a mortar strike, artiller strike, or air strike onto a position on the map. Such an ability should probably be limited to once per game.

When activated, a circle appears on the map indicating the expected blast radius of the inbound projectile, visible to all players. A visible timer or progress bar shows how long is left until the strike arrives. When the timer reaches zero, the mortar hits, producing a dangerous explosion at the targeted spot. The explosion should have a small amount of random drift from its projected hit location (only to the order of 1-2 in-game meters) so that in order to ensure not being hit means moving a bit further than a precisely known spot.

The amount of time it takes for the shot to arrive should be significant - probably to the order of 5 seconds or more (a full turn). Since the incoming danger is fully visible to both players, the person under attack can easily move out of the blast area. Thus, the purpose of the targeted strike is to force enemies to abandon an entrenched position.

In order to make the choice to use mortars an interesting one, perhaps using the mortar is an order to be given to one of the squad, who must then radio in (or laser guide) to the destination, remaining static and unable to fire for a time.

The net effect is that when a map happens to randomly generate an impregnable fortress that favors remaining motionless inside, the person attacking always has the means to at least force the defender to relocate, re-igniting the conflict. Clever tacticians will block all possible escape routes from a building before calling in a mortar.

Obviously this weapon would be a significant change to many game modes, and therefore should be available only by selectable option or only in certain modes (it would probably not work well with a mode like "Secure", for instance).

Criticism and discussions is welcome as always!
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Faxmachinen
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Re: Suggestion: Bombardment

Post by Faxmachinen » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:20 pm

How about a new game mode? There are two or three radios that one team has to protect. If the opponents capture one, they can call down airstrikes every other turn.
Lyx
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Re: Suggestion: Bombardment

Post by Lyx » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:42 pm

At the beginning when reading your post i was sceptical - sounded like an insta-win weapon. As soon as you mentioned the countdown and the visibility to both players, i was fascinated of the idea. I'm not sure if that laser-guide idea or squad-ability thing would perhaps make it unnecessarily complicated. Besides of it being gamemode specific, i currently see just one issue with your description of it:

When two sides entrench, the situation often is that no one can step out without risking to lose the match. Thus: When such a strike would be ordered, the opponent can already not safely move elsewhere - thus possibly again turning it into an insta-win weapon.

To me, it seems that for such a feature to be fair and fullfil the purpose of breaking a stalemate, it would need to affect BOTH players, not just one. There are multiple ways how this could be achieved: It could be made that the timer is +2 turns, and the opponent can then in turn +1 call a strike too, but with both arriving in turn +2. Another variant would be that the strike cannot be aimed by the players but instead picks random locations (think cluster-bombing, or perhaps a carpet of bombs in a line crossing the map). Another possibility would be a dedicated gamemode which is like extermination, but with a turnlimit of 6, and anytime between turn 3-6, the strike would happen with a prewarning time of 1 turn.
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Re: Suggestion: Bombardment

Post by Logo » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:15 pm

Going along with those ideas lyx...

What if a elimination (or a new game mode) starting on turn 5 would start dropping bombs on different locations rather than ending. Possibly only when the game is tied. Each bomb would have 5+ second explosion time. This could be used to break up locations and force the game to a resolution rather than a stalemate.

With the way scoring works this doesn't really fit in all that well I suppose. =/
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Tom O'Bedlam
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Re: Suggestion: Bombardment

Post by Tom O'Bedlam » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:32 pm

Yeah, as you say, it'd mess up the scoring too much I think. Randomness is the last thing you want to add to a game like this.
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TheBeefiest
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Re: Suggestion: Bombardment

Post by TheBeefiest » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:46 pm

I am all for as many new game modes as possible, i vote for fun over scoring and competition stress anyday.
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Epicurus
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Re: Suggestion: Bombardment

Post by Epicurus » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:11 am

Lyx wrote:
When two sides entrench, the situation often is that no one can step out without risking to lose the match. Thus: When such a strike would be ordered, the opponent can already not safely move elsewhere - thus possibly again turning it into an insta-win weapon.
Yep, this is definitely the biggest weakness of my idea. It's relatively easy to cover all of the exits (or useful exits) to a position. Calling in a strike at that point could be an automatic win. I'm not sure how big a problem that would be in practice but it's a worry. Still, I think that in that case, when people play the mode with bombardment, moving all of your troops into a single structure with limited exits will become a situation to avoid rather than seek out, which could be a good thing.

Regarding the concern that making a soldier radio it in or laser point it would make the game unnecesariyl complex, I definitely think that's a good point. Frozen Synapse has a very elegant, simple form right now with the limited number of options and factors in play. These make it into a more timeless, board-game like abstraction, and adding bells and whistles could be bad. However, requiring a soldier to stand immobile and vulnerable for the radio-in means that using a strike becomes a very serious decision instead of a freebie, and it also gives the targeted player a way to stop the strike rather than dodge it. It also means that the radioing player is at a numerical handicap when they use it, which encourages a counter-attack instead of a retreat, making for more action.

A thought I had: If bombardment was added to the game, I guess it would need to take more than 5 seconds. If it was 5 seconds (or god forbid, less) between calling the strike and it arriving, then players could simply launch it at the very beginning of a 5-second turn and have it land before the other player can possibly react to the new information (since they won't even have a planning phase to adjust before the bomb hits). I think 8 seconds would be a reasonable amount - or maybe just have it be called at any point on turn x, and then regardless of when it was called, it lands at the end of turn x+1. That way the player always has a full 5 seconds to deal with the incoming.
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TheBeefiest
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Re: Suggestion: Bombardment

Post by TheBeefiest » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:23 am

Well the idea isnt totally undoable, what about an uncontrollable airstrike, at a random turn between 4 and 6, that will make sure to be in the middle to displace both teams?
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zoog
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Re: Suggestion: Bombardment

Post by zoog » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:05 pm

Why is a stalemate bad? It also happens in chess games. It think that is an important question, isn't stalemate simply part of the game?

And like mentioned before by Lyx:
When two sides entrench, the situation often is that no one can step out without risking to lose the match. Thus: When such a strike would be ordered, the opponent can already not safely move elsewhere - thus possibly again turning it into an insta-win weapon.
So it would still be a real advantage for the party who is calling the bombardment.

Don't misunderstand me, it's always good to think about new features, but I don't see why we would want to try and force one or both teams to move when they simply are in a position in which keeping defensive positions is better than movement.

Now if we would have small tactical aids like flashbangs (or riot shields) etc. to stun the opposing team while entering an entrenched room, it will be much more part of the overall gameplay and tactics (compared to one single "bomb" forcing to change the battlefield which is a pretty harsh method).
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VGrossman
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Re: Suggestion: Bombardment

Post by VGrossman » Sat May 01, 2010 2:06 am

I think the maps of the game regarding size represent offices/buildings
its not wise to call arty into it with your team inside.
But from a random / fun point of view its a nice idea if 1 tops 2 of hits
could be enough to spice up a match with a lucky/unlucky hit.
But not player controled and added as an option before match or
a new game type of game.
Called "Battleground" :mrgreen:maybe!
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