Cornflakes_91 wrote: ↑
Mon May 14, 2018 10:07 am
AdamByrd wrote: ↑
Mon May 14, 2018 9:47 am
Also, consider a military base that exists, but hasn't directly exerted control in quite some time. I think the control of that base should
decay. Eventually someone is going to get froggy and challenge them. If the base blows them all up, well, control re-established.
idunno. in my half year of guard duty in the army i didnt have to use my rifle to get people to understand that im in control at the door.
Was searching for a good point to jump in on the control issue with IRL / geopolitics /military perspective, and this seems good enough of a point.
Control of a territory / airspace / space is not a question of having assets there, nor generating value. In fact, control isn't something you can describe by a single variable, regardless on how much data you crunched to get it.
Control, in its simplest form, consists of two parts:
1. The claim over certain territory.
Animals mark the territory they own, despite not 'generating value'. We humans build walls and fences, and set up border posts, and when doing that is too hard, we simply say that it's ours and hope others will keep away from it. But it's always a geopolitical act - you need to claim that something is yours. If you plonk a mining station into an asteroid field, or a military station near the jump hole, it's a claim. If your faction doesn't put anything here, but patrols the area, it's also a claim. If your faction doesn't even patrol it, but insists it's their, it's also a claim - at, least, till there's nobody to contest that. In short - a claim is an intention to hold certain territory, and it's not really connected to its value or the number of assets. It's purely political, and as such, it's just basically wishful thinking.
Which brings us to:
2. Exercising control and contesting territories.
There are several ways of doing that. The simplest is having assets there. A station, an outpost, a constantly manned patrol route. Some physical presence. There is also Anti-Access / Area Denial strategy - if you can kill anything that enters the area, it's effectively yours. If you can dispatch the fleet to protect it, it's also yours. If it's a Hell-hole nobody even cares about except you, it's also yours.
Contesting the territory is done not by physically being there, but by declaring intentions and then
Let's see the example of a military fleet passing through an independent star system. In its physical manifestation, it boils down to just two
outcomes - it passes through unopposed, or it passes through facing opposition, with varying degrees of resistance and casualties.
But on the intentions level, it can be:
- they got permission from the system's authorities and thus pass unopposed;
- they didn't get a permission, but the system's defence force is non-existent, so they pass unopposed;
- they didn't get a permission, but the system's defence force stayed away, allowing them to pass unopposed;
- they weren't given permission and were harassed by some attacks, but passed through despite that;
- they faced a determined, concentrated effort against their fleet, sustained casualties but got through;
- the resistance was so great they had to basically demolish every military asset in the system in order to pass through;
In all cases, they don't get the political control of the system because their intention is to simply pass through it. The claim is still with the system's government.
Compare that to:
Control is maintained by the system's authorities:
- they needed the system for running a supply line, and the authorities allowed that;
- they needed the system for running a supply line, and the authorities closed their eyes on that while not giving any formal reply;
Control is formally maintained by the system's authorities:
- they needed the system for running a supply line, authorities were against that, so they were bombed into submission;
Control is taken away from the system's authorities:
- they needed the system for running a supply line, the resistance by local authorities was so great they had to occupy it outright;
And nothing here was defined by the economic value of assets in the system, purely the political intent and the application of military force.
When it comes to exact structure / gameplay logic, the way I see control areas, they:
1. Need political claim (this field/system is mine) that's based on available assets you CAN (but not necessary WOULD) allocate to the area and lack of contesting to appear; the rest is shared space / contested area / no man's land / etc.
2. Nested / recursive - you can totally have, for example, an Ore Mining & Co zone of control that's within the local police zone of control, which is located inside a government-owned star system;
3. Behaviour of certain factions should no be based on who formally controls what, but on the permissions
those factions give. For example, Ore Mining & Co is a legal and reputable (and tax-paying!) business, so its mining site on the other side of the border is protected by the military faction with the permission to operate in the area despite it being formally not in their control. On the other hand, a 100 km exclusion zone around a secret military research station means nobody goes there without being fired upon - unless you are a hired contractor (say, you have a mission to deliver stuff there, so when you accepted the mission the relevant one-time permission was given to you). Space of one faction is in generally closed to the military of another faction - unless they were given permission (one-time friendly visit or being allied or having an agreement to use certain route, etc.) Pirates don't need no stinkin' permissions, they fly where they want; military at war needs no permissions either (of course, ignoring permissions means you'll get fired upon
4. Permissions can be derived from the sum of the assets (100% military research probably needs an exclusion zone
), and weighted by the faction's social traits. Extremes like 'all this system is ours, go away or be killed' should be rare, but should exist because it's FUN! I'd also make it mandatory (i.e. hard-coded) to place beacons and patrols around exclusion zones, with automatic warning to the pilots.
That's more or less how I see it - again, from IRL and military perspective, but greatly simplified.
Coding stuff like to mimic real life is a nightmare, though