War Scores and ER

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War Scores and ER

Post by countercheck »

I really like where you're going with the War Score - I had been thinking about suggesting just such an idea! A few thoughts:

I think the score system might over-emphasise the morale breaking effects of killing units. It is also relative both to Economy and your opponent's losses... which means that if both sides are taking heavy losses, they don't get any closer to peace than if both were taking light losses. It also means that if one large empire is beset by smaller foes, unless you total the sum of all its shipping losses, the losses will be compared against its economic capacity individually, producing much smaller war scores. Alternate systems might involve CR losses compared to CR in service (losing command staff is extremely demoralizing), one time losses due to significant events, like the first capital ship lost, the first colony bombarded, the first colony invaded.

As you suffer casualties, your ER increases, preventing you from invading enemy colonies or conducting bombardment. One would think the opposite would occur - the worse you lose the war, the more desperate you get, and the more extreme measures you're willing to take. One way to model that would be to reintroduce different levels of war - you get a bonus to your war-score/penalty to your ER based on the level of war you have declared. Thus, if two empires are engaging in Hostilities, and one side is being driven towards armistice, that side could choose to escalate the level of conflict to avoid capitulating.

Could there be a penalty associated with NOT offering an armistice when war score passes a certain level? Perhaps all Morale rolls get a negative modifier?

I really like the territorial diplomacy modifiers. I wonder if, rather than physically taking colonies from the enemy, if when an armistice is signed, the borders could go, by default, back to the prewar state, with the only changes due to empires ceding territory as part of a peace accord. So a strike force that swiftly captures a major supply centre might result in the empire giving up some border worlds rather than the core world that was seized. It's all about voluntarily giving up control and claim. You could work those claims into the Declaration system - if an enemy empire controls a system you have a legitimate claim to, you gain a Casus Belli, which allows you to voluntarily and temporarily reduce your relationship for the purposes of declaring war. Maybe there are intelligence operations that generate claims. Perhaps giving someone a system that they have claimed greatly increases your relationship with them, as opposed to giving them a random system. Pre-war ground work could involve laying claim to the systems you want, as a way to generate a casus belli and ensure those are the systems they choose to cede. Alsace-Lorraine.

On a somewhat random note, if there were some way to compel ships and systems to surrender, that would be brilliant. The threat of bombardment alone should often be enough for systems, and outnumbered, crippled ships might strike their colours. In fact, that might be what planetary shields and orbital defences are best at - so long as a system has orbital defences, or at least some way to strike back at invaders, it will not fall. Troops are landed when there are planetary shields, to dig out particularly recalcitrant defenders, and to impose order on captured worlds.

Events that might affect War Score
Friendly Colony Blockaded
Friendly Colony Bombarded
Friendly Colony Occupied
Supply Disruption
First ship crippled
First ship lost
First capital ship crippled
First capital ship lost
First flight lost
Census lost due to blockade
Census lost due to enemy bombardment
Enemy colony occupied
CR or CC of ships lost.
CR or CC of ships killed/2
Intelligence Missions
Colony Suffering from Unrest
Rebellion
Infrastructure Losses

Relationship Modifiers
Census killed by Blockade
Census killed by Bombardment.

In general, I think it should hurt more for a colony to be occupied than for it to be destroyed. When wholesale slaughter of civilians occurs, nations tend to be less inclined to make peace than when civilians are treated well. One way to handle it is to have loss of civilian life decrease the war score, but decrease their actual relationship even further. So even though it's an indication that they are losing the war, the mutual antipathy grows faster than desire to end the war.

Comments?

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Iron Sky
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Re: War Scores and ER

Post by Iron Sky »

I like the idea of war fatigue and morale, but what you propose sounds like something for an expansion book rather than the core game as it would be a lot to track... maybe with two empires at war it would be manageable, but imagine 4-5 different empires at war with 1 or more other empires and it becomes a nightmare.

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Re: War Scores and ER

Post by countercheck »

It's not actually any different than the War Score, which is described in the 20120531 playtest file on page 65, just adding a few extra modifiers and giving it some teeth. Currently, your War Score is (BPs of Hostile Units Killed - BPs of Friendly Units Killed - (Friendly Census Killed x 30) - (Friendly Infrastructure Destroyed x 10) - (Friendly Census captured x 15) - (Friendly Infrastructure Captured x 5). You divide it by the total EP production of all your systems and multiply it by -1, and that gives you a modifier you apply to your Effective Relationship, which is Your Relationship+50-Your Aggressiveness.

I'm suggesting tweaking the formula a bit, adding a few more modifiers that provide different ways to damage your opponent's war score, providing a way for wars to escalate, and suggesting that a penalty be imposed on empires that SHOULD be suing for peace but choose not to make sufficient sacrifices to bring the other side to the table.

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Re: War Scores and ER

Post by wminsing »

I think War Score is an important element to include in the core book, or least whichever book contains the rules for NPE empires, as right now the diplomacy rules don't really account for how long/hard a war has been when calculating treaty offering chances. I'm a little worried that NPE empires will constantly shift between peace and war amongst themselves without it.

Overall, I agree the current War Score system needs a little tweaking. I almost wonder if (at the risk of complication) it needs to be split into two scores; War Score and War Exhaustion. War Score is calculated similar to how it is now (though I like the idea of using CR instead of build cost), and a higher score represents that you are winning the war (or at least doing better than the enemy). War Exhaustion is basically a tally of your loses, independent of enemy loses, but maybe modified by economic size and duration of the conflict. This represents the how tired your Empire is of the war, and this subtracted from your ER. As an aside, I'd prefer to call ER 'Commitment Level' or something else.

So as the war drags on your War Exhaustion score increases, driving down your ER and allowing an empire to take more drastic actions as it seeks to end the war. I also like the idea of a morale penalty or loss as your ER drops and you don't offer a peace treaty at certain levels.

I also REALLY like the idea of using the territory diplomatic modifiers, and that's where War Score comes in. When a war the victor is the one with the highest War Score and the losing player has to 'pay this off' via territorial concessions. So if Player A wins a war against Player B with a final War Score of +18, Player B has to (using the mods on 60 of the May 31st draft) cede claim/control of enough systems/colonies to add up to 18. This means that minor wars might result in only a few minor systems changing hands, while to seize permanent control of major worlds will require a major war.

The idea of different levels of war could also be worked in. Hostilities might only claims to be traded away for peace. War would allow colonies to be traded away for peace. Total War might ignore the war score and whatever the victor controls at the end of the war he keeps. Lots of possibilites here.

I also just realized that the war levels and the ER could interact- declaring War (as opposed to hostilities) is a auto -20 (or whatever) to your ER level.

Just some thoughts.

-Will
"Ships and sail proper for the heavenly air should be fashioned. Then there will also be people, who do not shrink from the dreary vastness of space."
-- Johannes Kepler, 1609

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Re: War Scores and ER

Post by countercheck »

I wonder if War Score could be on a continuum. War score starts at 0, which would represent the status quo, and then gets shifted depending on victories and losses. Winning high intensity battles, invading and bombarding planets, killing population, and such, would modify war score. War exhaustion would relate to intensity of losses compared to economic capacity.

I'm still not convinced that splitting them is a necessity, and might complicate things unnecessarily.

Commitment level sounds like a good replacement for effective relationship. I understand what effective relationship means, but I think using it extensively might lead to confusion. Commitment level is also a good descriptor.

I wonder if more couldn't be done with the morale stat, permitting systems to surrender under bombardment. Maybe if a system is blockaded, has no orbital defences, and is under threat of bombardment, every turn it rolls against Morale. If the roll exceeds Morale, either the system surrenders, or morale decreases, or something. Haven't figured it out yet. Maybe it could tie in with terror bombardments.... I mean, these people aren't stupid, they know if they have no defences they could be glassed from orbit, and while MWDs are proscribed, targeting population centres isn't.

I like that war levels interact with the kinds of systems that can be traded (or maybe it acts as a multiplier to the war score, requiring larger concessions to end a more serious war). And war level and ER/Commitment level should definitely be connected.

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Re: War Scores and ER

Post by wminsing »

Check out page 105 of the May 21st draft- already has rules for colonies surrendering to orbital bombardment!

-Will
"Ships and sail proper for the heavenly air should be fashioned. Then there will also be people, who do not shrink from the dreary vastness of space."
-- Johannes Kepler, 1609

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Re: War Scores and ER

Post by countercheck »

Oh, that's right.

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