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Joined: Aug 04, 2003 Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:47 pm Post subject: Declared war in FrEee
The "war" status always seemed a bit superfluous to me in SE4. After all, it's the same as "no treaty", only both empires take a happiness hit (or bonus, for berserkers). We could continue with that "tradition" in FrEee, but I'd like to do something a bit different. I have two ideas for how to go about this, but I'm not sure which one to implement.
The first idea is basically that each empire would be able to set "rules of engagement" for other empires, both for individual empires, and for newly encountered empires in general. There would be two options: "attack on sight" and "self defense". The former, of course, would mean that your ships attack the other empire on sight, like in SE4, while the latter would mean that in any given sector, if you are attacked by the other empire, then you will fight back.
The second idea is a bit simpler. Basically, it eliminates the "no treaty" status entirely, and treats all empires as "at war" until they actually form some sort of treaty. This means that encountering alien races will drain your happiness until you form a treaty with them - unless you're berserkers, in which case it will boost your happiness! Any treaty would be sufficient, though - even a neutral zone or a trade agreement; you don't need to go full-on non-aggression.
Oh, I might as well explain how treaties work in FrEee, since you might be wondering what a "neutral zone" treaty is, or how you can have a trade agreement without a non-aggression pact! Treaties in FrEee are composed of clauses, much like the treaty elements in SE5. One of the options is "alliance", and it has several levels. The lowest of these levels is "neutral zone", which means that I won't attack you except in systems where I have a colony. That's no space station - it's a spreadsheet! Back to top
Hm, seems overly hostile. Maybe 'no alliance' would have different reactions to 'at war', so say empires without an alliance would react diplomatically, asking you to remove your ships from a sector or system they own, and/or avoiding you in neutral systems, but when at war they attack you on sight. Except for berserkers, who attack you either way. Back to top
I like the use of "War" as a description of diplomatic status, for the sheer psychological value of mentioning the word.
War in this regard means to me no negotiation on the battlefield. Perhaps when your fleet encounters the fleet of a non-allied race, both fleets would have three options to consider according to the aforementioned rules of engagement:
2. slip though
3. engage in battle Back to top
I believe declaring war should mean all out war (you could define Max number of races at war with in _AI_Settings.txt - Berserkers would have a high number .
I think what you are trying to define here is the "no treaty" situation. If you are going to implement the aggressive/neutral/defensive demeanors then you have fixed definitions of how to behave with other races in situations where the is no treaty - again I'd use _AI_Settings.txt here.
If NOT "at war" do not invade planets, do not attack more than 2 ships at once.
If "No treaty" colonise occupied system True/False
If "No treaty" attack isolated ships True/False
If "No Treaty" enter colonised system True/False
If "No Treaty" attack any in our home system True/False
If "No Treaty" engage any in any claimed system True/False
If "No Treaty" automatically engage Ture/False
Just to make it interesting though (depending on the aggression of a race) I'd give a middling chance for the defending force opening fire when any race enters their sector, REGARDLESS OF TREATY STATUS. Of course a treaty would reduce the chance with the amount of reduction depending on the type of treaty. (you can use this to create an Event / Intelligence Project = Shooting Incident )
Of course mines/satellites automatically engage any who don't have the right IFF. Back to top
Joined: Aug 04, 2003 Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:28 pm Post subject:
Perhaps the "rules of engagement" or "stances" could themselves be the options on the alliance scale? That is, hostility, neutral zone, and nonaggression.
Also, perhaps we could add a new option: open borders. Open borders would work like neutral zone, except that instead of allowing combat in any system with a colony, it only allows combat in a sector with a colony. That's no space station - it's a spreadsheet! Back to top
Well for the first encounter between races it's down to the individual captains. Seriously, the first time I meet neutral races my explorer is usually destroyed by satellites or mines, so the question is usually moot.
If you've got human players this is no different fom SEIV ATM - you can always decline to enter a sector, or if someone enters your sector then you may choose to give them first shot if you really want to. If you are using ministers then the rules apply.
If you're referring to accidental shooting incidents - let them happen. It adds a little spice, as e.g. the Earth-Mimbari meeting in Babylon 5, or Admiral Filaretta's fleet in Honorverse. Remember I'm not talking about testing every turn but only the first time a fleet enters a sector. Once you have both sides ships in the sector you can add more ships without penalty.
You can program it so the chance of an accidental combat is very small for most races (set the base chance in foo_AI_Politics.txt - it could be anything from 0 upwards depending on the race) but between two berserker races... (think Fazrah meet Krill). Back to top
My suggestion would be to lessen the effects of "no treaty" status somewhat. Specifically, it should result in combat only in systems which are colonized (or claimed? depending on how that works in FrEee) by your empire. So if two scouts make first contact in a neutral system, they would not immediately fire at each other.
Of course, one could also include an "automatically at war with unknown empires" option for those who are so inclined. Some AI races (like the Kzinti from Ringworld) would be like this as well. Back to top
I like the idea of "war must be declared" and proposed by Kwayne types of rules of engagement as vanilla.
I also think that "hostility for unknown races" and rules of engagement types and behavior should be left as fully modable - community will probably find the best composition depending on what mod will be used. Back to top
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