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Base Defenses Shooting Down Ufos


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#1 Moriarty

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 07:08 AM

I think the way UFOs attack bases needs to be changed. For two reasons.

1) defenses were useless - except the fusion ball variant. and you still needed at least three to four of those to shoot down an attacking ship. perhaps sometimes the aliens should attack with smaller ships, or at least the amount of damage your weapons did should somehow be reflected in the number of aliens actually entering your base

2) when your defenses actually were effective, the shot-down UFO just disappeared! that's so unsatisfying! you actually downed the alien bastards and they are gone? you can't even go and have a barbecue party at the burning wreckage!

maybe the base defenses should fire at every alien ship entering a certain area around your base. that way, the shot-down ship sometimes never actually reached your base, which also explains why they don't just send a whole lot of UFOs because they now know exactly where you are. what do you think?
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#2 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 07:37 AM

I think the way UFOs attack bases needs to be changed. For two reasons.

1) defenses were useless - except the fusion ball variant. and you still needed at least three to four of those to shoot down an attacking ship. perhaps sometimes the aliens should attack with smaller ships, or at least the amount of damage your weapons did should somehow be reflected in the number of aliens actually entering your base

Actually, I could down a battleship with two fusion ball defenses, the rest with only one. I sometimes got attacked by smaller ones, but I think the smallest was a large scout.

2) when your defenses actually were effective, the shot-down UFO just disappeared! that's so unsatisfying! you actually downed the alien bastards and they are gone? you can't even go and have a barbecue party at the burning wreckage!

I imagine that's because if you down the UFO without destroying it, the little critters come crawling from under the debris and enter your base anyway, and I personally don't want that at all!

maybe the base defenses should fire at every alien ship entering a certain area around your base. that way, the shot-down ship sometimes never actually reached your base, which also explains why they don't just send a whole lot of UFOs because they now know exactly where you are. what do you think?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It'd be interesting, if I understand you, to have defenses built outside and in a perimeter around your base, maybe a second line of defense?

#3 Snakeman

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 07:43 AM

maybe the base defenses should fire at every alien ship entering a certain area around your base. that way, the shot-down ship sometimes never actually reached your base, which also explains why they don't just send a whole lot of UFOs because they now know exactly where you are. what do you think?


I hadn't thought of this - the firing of base defenses a little prior to their ships actually being on top of your base location's icon its self. It does make sense later though especially when you consider whether they've found the location. I would say as well that there should be a range limit to cover a certain percentage of area of the country its in however.

Actually I sort of think this lends a little more plausibility why they'd send an exponential number of ships on a retaliation mission at the same time at your base. i.e. ships to draw base fire from the teams that will actually make landings. You could tweak the balance here by letting the aliens fire a little bit before they're right on top of your base's icon on the map...Plus not having the Grav Shield facility be of use until they're on top of it like before.

You could further balance things too by making base defense reloads/recharges firing at distance like this a bit slower if your also mixing in interceptions with long range support from the base when there are a lot of ships involved in the retaliation. In addition, perhaps at a certain closing range too, UFOs can actually start to damage base defenses a bit prior to making it to the base's icon.

As for a scaling of alien units in the base defense mission its self going by a percentage of craft that could land - I'm all for it.

edit: Although I wonder how this would change tactics when it came time to do this for alien bases when you go assaulting. It might lend some credence too to the MIB unit/infiltration mission for your side here - send some men in alien costumes to weaken alien base defenses so you could respond the moment you get a success report - wait too long and they'll be operational again on the next supply ship drop.

Edited by Snakeman, 20 February 2005 - 07:53 AM.


#4 Moriarty

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 09:00 AM

Actually, I could down a battleship with two fusion ball defenses, the rest with only one. I sometimes got attacked by smaller ones, but I think the smallest was a large scout.


really? I never got attacked by anything else than battleships, and it always took three or more fusion balls. Perhaps it's a difficulty level thing? Which difficulty level did you play at?

I imagine that's because if you down the UFO without destroying it, the little critters come crawling from under the debris and enter your base anyway, and I personally don't want that at all!


Well yes, but if you shoot down a UFO, it usually is damaged and some aliens die in the crash. If you are (un-)lucky it is fully intact, and you have to fight the whole crew but get all the salvage. I do understand that in case of a successful attack the alien invasion force is dropped and the UFO takes off again, but even then you should still be able to see it fly away (and perhaps shoot it down).
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#5 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 12:58 PM

Actually, I could down a battleship with two fusion ball defenses, the rest with only one. I sometimes got attacked by smaller ones, but I think the smallest was a large scout.


really? I never got attacked by anything else than battleships, and it always took three or more fusion balls. Perhaps it's a difficulty level thing? Which difficulty level did you play at?

Beginner :P, I suck at UFO Defense. I also got attacked by Adbuctors. I don't remember if Harvester or others as well.

I imagine that's because if you down the UFO without destroying it, the little critters come crawling from under the debris and enter your base anyway, and I personally don't want that at all!


Well yes, but if you shoot down a UFO, it usually is damaged and some aliens die in the crash. If you are (un-)lucky it is fully intact, and you have to fight the whole crew but get all the salvage. I do understand that in case of a successful attack the alien invasion force is dropped and the UFO takes off again, but even then you should still be able to see it fly away (and perhaps shoot it down).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The problem then is that you don't really get to salvage a thing, that's true, if the damn thing falls right on top of your base you should be able to recover at least a couple of plasma pistols.

#6 sir_schwick

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 01:40 PM

I think in order to enter an alien base without getting shot at(20x FUssion Ball defence) you should have to hijack an intact ship heading for that base. THis means you have to hit a supply ship as it is landing, take out the crew, and make sure it is intact. Then you land in the middle of their base. AFter that you can try to do the mission a couple ways:

1) Disable defence grid - this option means going to a series of power conduits and destroying them and then holeing up the surface entrances. Then you wait for another team who was on standby to land and you go onto....
2) Destroy the base - this means destroying the control grid which is cnetered around but not exclusive to the command center. Once the command center is deactivated or destroyed, you can destroy/deactive the other grids.

#7 Tsereve

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 05:44 PM

Just what we need, harder alien bases.
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Posted 20 February 2005 - 06:06 PM

I think in order to enter an alien base without getting shot at(20x FUssion Ball defence) you should have to hijack an intact ship heading for that base.  THis means you have to hit a supply ship as it is landing, take out the crew, and make sure it is intact.  Then you land in the middle of their base.  AFter that you can try to do the mission a couple ways:

1) Disable defence grid - this option means going to a series of power conduits and destroying them and then holeing up the surface entrances.  Then you wait for another team who was on standby to land and you go onto....
2) Destroy the base - this means destroying the control grid which is cnetered around but not exclusive to the command center.  Once the command center is deactivated or destroyed, you can destroy/deactive the other grids.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


We are discussing X-Corps Base Defense, not Alien Base Attack.

#9 Snakeman

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 06:14 PM

I think shwick's idea has merit, although when I was hinting at the MIBs here, I wasn't thinking along the lines of them being controllable in this particular instance...More like a # representing the person on the roster w/status message next to it telling you how his mission is progressing at taking out defense grids, to give you the commander a heads up when the next best window is to send an assault force.

I like the hijacking of an alien UFO bit, but I'd prefer that be reserved for something more specialized and its strategic importance on a bar slightly higher than your average run of the mill base assault. For instance, if the alien base had some particular worth to you other than just obliterating it.

Edited by Snakeman, 20 February 2005 - 06:39 PM.


#10 sir_schwick

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 06:51 PM

You could do the reverse for X-COM bases. One of the ships that brings new supplies to you could have been hijacked(at the secret airport) and then you have aliens in your bay. Or they can also try to get through your defenses.

#11 Snakeman

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 08:06 PM

Not unreasonable a proposition. I was thinking about something for over in the war thread but I suppose it could go here too, and that's the subject of occasionally being able to interact with local military forces or just aliens in the midst of their infiltration roles.

Someone had suggested hitting airports or something, using your own men (appropriately attired and armed for this to not arouse too much suscpicion from the locals - i.e. your merc thoughts), and an extention of this thought could be that you might be on the tail of an alien infiltrator who was making use of standard Earth air travel to get to n' fro, the idea being you'd try to feret him out before it could get on with its real mission.

Further elaboration on this is that perhaps a counter alien infiltration of an X-COM base, the alien had to have taken on the identity of one of the varous men/women you've hired amongst a new batch of arrivals - preferably non-soldiers. Perhaps you wouldn't know you had an infiltrator until the base defenses started firing, i.e.

Missiles fire...Hit
Missiles fire...Miss
Missiles fire...Malfunction
Missiles fire...Malfunction

...Then the base defense mission starts. Basically, if you had any civs represented in the form of a few scientists/engineers, he'd be among them and wouldn't start to do anything overt until his pals arrived.

If we're talking between base defenses here though, and this infiltrator is taking out other efforts, like freeing his pals in containment, that could let you also load the base battlescape to go deal with the crisis. However, I don't think we should be able to load the base battlescape unless the infiltrator had made himself known through some action or another.

#12 Tsereve

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 08:29 PM

People, why are we wrecking our brains on something which will allow us to later wreck our brains trying to beat?
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#13 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 08:53 PM

I no longer know what this is about, I thought it was about not having the UFOs being destroyed, now if you want to make the game more difficult, I'm out :)

#14 sir_schwick

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 09:22 PM

Considering the nature of the facilities, the only alien infiltrator mission would be to disable the base defences at the key moment. Also, after a point you could do mandatory bio-scans on personnell at regular intervals, preferably without them knowing the scan is occuring. The aliens already have this tech so infiltration is really only useful in the first few months before the 'indie' races cannot infiltrate X-COM bases.

Also, I would not mind there being salvage from destroyed UFOs. I would think there would be some kind of automated defense grid surface side for intruders. Skynet had it in 1997.

#15 tzuchan

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 10:45 PM

:Coffee:
Hm... Time to sort what I think are good ideas, and what I think are bad ideas...
Bases having a field of fire in which the base defences will/can engage UFOs...
It's actually a pretty neat idea, but we have to be VERY careful as it is potentially unbalancing unless the aliens have a similar system...

I would say that the base defences should not automatically engage a target within range, nor should a base defence facility be capable of targeting more than one target at a time. Also, assumung the aliens are not aware that the base is there, every engagement has a chance of exposing the base. And when that happens, the Aliens should respond by:
1) Sending a battleship every now and then. Assuming none of the battleships make it through, then they might start sending in two battleships, but never more than that.

2) They start planning their flights away from the base defences, resulting in less detection/intercepts

As for all this inflitration/countermeasures, we are getting too complex again. Do you want to have to right click and "disinfect" your bases once every day to ensure there are no sabotuers? No fun right?
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#16 Moriarty

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 02:25 AM

nor should a base defence facility be capable of targeting more than one target at a time.


agreed.

Also, assumung the aliens are not aware that the base is there, every engagement has a chance of exposing the base.


you're right, I've been thinking about that ever since I had the idea :)
maybe you are prompted every time an alien ship enters your defense perimeter? this would make the even more useful, because you can see whether the aliens are searching for your base or coming to attack it. before you have the , you have to decide for yourself, risking detection in case you fail to shoot the UFO down B)
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#17 mikker

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 08:40 AM

In the original, only battleships (very larger) attacked your base. Any those don't scout. If such is heading right at your base, get ready to roumble. It's that simple.

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#18 Snakeman

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 10:18 AM

One of the things I like, despite the plethora of ideas here ;) is probably the selective use of firing base defenses with the risk of the base being found out. However, I tend to agree that as soon as they do know your location, what's to keep a player from wanting to use selective base defenses for firing at range always? I imagine again it comes down to the facility's rate of fire in question and/or the number of ships that the aliens can send maximum on a given retaliation mission to the same target.

Also, even if we toss aside the player infiltration mission concepts, that still leaves the subject of assaulting alien bases. If we have this sort of ranged fighting with bases and approaching craft, its only fair to give the aliens that ability as well. Its one of the things I never understood about the first game, that your transports could waltz into an alien base and start unloading troops. Perhaps its a question then of just tweaking the rate of fire of base facilities, and instituting an accuracy system for ship weaponry at this portion for both.

#19 sir_schwick

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 10:55 AM

What if you could control your defence guns individually(like you control interceptors)? A zoom in would occur and you would see the defence firing grid and the defences that can fire. THis way you could decide whether or not and how to shoot. Of course recharge rates can be kinda slow so choose carefully. Detection is greater whenever a plasma bolt comes from a location a plasma bolt should not. Of course they only then know a gun is in place. This gives me another idea, remote AA sites. These would be outpost/guns you build in the engineer shop and use a Carrier to transport and install at a new site. Of course you woul dneed to be a certain distance, and aliens are prone to attack the sites. They could even be staffed by X-COM soldiers(finally a use for wash-outs) to gain lots of goodies. Then you could theorhetically have some AA capability outside aircraft. Also, the aliens might not find a base if they are shot down b/c it could be a AA in their eyes.

I think the aliens should send how many ships it takes. If it takes 10 Battleships to land one BS worth of troops, they send 10. If that compliment was not enough to destroy the base. THey send 12 next time. We could set a limit of 6 BS making it through the defence grid, or the extra troops have to arrive 30 turns into battle, etc.


Alien bases shoudl already have sophisticated defence grids up(better than yours). REally you should have to hijack an alien ship to get into their base, or accept really heavy losses. Aliens could hijack one of your secret shipments and all of a sudden be in your base.


Bio-scanners would be automatic and not worry the player at all. Simply research a tech and they are installed. Each live + alien autopsy adds to the scanners list.

#20 Tuoppi

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 03:11 PM

The 10+ battleship attack fleets would only lead to 100+ troops being on station at primary base. Or loss of that base. Neither would be fun IMO. Anyone care to try controlling 100 soldiers against 200 aliens? A single turn would take 15 minutes to complete and soldiers would become faceless mass. The loot from those missions would be massive, and too essential for whole war. The game system is tactical, not strategic. System cannot be designed to both scales well. Methinks difficulty should come from AI and tactics, not numbers. Base missions should include some more enemies, but not ridiculous numbers.

#21 sir_schwick

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 04:43 PM

I already set a limit of 6 BS having troops in combat at once. Under UFO DEFENSE that would be a max of about 72 aliens. The other ones would reinforce as the numbers of aliens dropped. So no 200+ soldiers and yes, it would be a major boom to your supplies. That is what happens when you make attacks against fortresses. THe Allies grinded 200,000 men against Cassino in '45. Also, base defence is pitifully easy except for the early game, so being outnumbered over a 50 turn battle 5 to 1 would not be a huge problem. Of course alien bases should be like this too, making tanks a lot more important in base attacks.

#22 tzuchan

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 07:38 PM

regardless, unless we are holding territory that is absolutely vital to thier efforts, it does not make sense for the aliens to waste ten battleships worth of resources just to get at one human base. I say that after one or two failed attempts, the aliens divert all local UFO traffic.

Also, with regards to the alien AA, perhaps we could make it that you'd have to send in interceptros to strafe the base defences, and that each successful strafe would have a certain chance of damaging the base defences. Also, any active base defences will fire at the approaching transport craft.

Also, give the aliens a similar ability to fire at our base defences. Give them interceptor type crafts(small, no carrying capacity, but heavily armed), both for aircraft interception and base bombardment. Radars and base defences and hangars can be damaged(these have to be semi exposed at the very least)
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#23 sir_schwick

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 08:23 PM

regardless, unless we are holding territory that is absolutely vital to thier efforts, it does not make sense for the aliens to waste ten battleships worth of resources just to get at one human base. I say that after one or two failed attempts, the aliens divert all local UFO traffic.


Very true. After wasting three BS on trying to crack your base, it would be easeir just to beef up escourts for missions in the area.


I like your other ideas too. It would make base attacks more interesting and raiding alien bases more interesting. LIke I said earlier, could also lead to special 'trojan horse' missions where you have to successfully assault a landed Supply Ship without them radioing for help(stealth and discretion needed0) If you amange to do that, then your team can get in and destroy the defenses inside the base, allowing the cavalry to appraoch. Same goes for alien 'trojan horse' missions. Of course a bunch of guys are on securiity detail when shipments come in b/c you are paranoid. THe aliens would not be the first couple times you did it to them.

Also, b/c of base defenses, there hsould be a few heavy support/HWP weapons that are too cumbersome for normal combat but perfect for bases which you want to avoid damaging. Alien versions might include the 'Supernova Cannon', which can be loaded with a powerful Fusion explosive or a lethal 'AA Flachette' shells. Expect toxin guns and all kind of anti-personnell goodness.

Edited by sir_schwick, 21 February 2005 - 08:25 PM.


#24 azmodean

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 11:30 AM

I think it would be great to have a somewhat unified interface for interceptions, base defences (your base, their ships), and base assaults(your ships, their base).

On a base assault the objective would be to take out base defenses so a landing party could land safely. Obviously if you are defending your base you want to shoot down or destroy the attacking craft. Alternately you could have a transport attempt to come in "hot", where it just has to survive the AAA from the base until it can land.

Both sides would have the same options of course, which would mean no more sending a lone transport to assault an alien base.

#25 Snakeman

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 10:29 PM

Good points azmodean. I've also always thought that to go in hot like this, probably should require us or the aliens to form flight groups...Ships that work together for the same goal, so that, if you select a group from a base or intercept window, they all go at once to the target you selected.

I think if each side's cap on squadrons like this should be at a respectable number, probably between 3 or 6 (also possibly relates as well to how hanger space is worked out in terms of sizes and overall base deployment to find a good balance).

I figure, sometimes there's a need for escorts for missions like this or others. One good setback I can envision for this use of small squadrons of ships is that, if they're of mixed variety, their speed can only be as fast as the slowest ship in the group. The other obvious setbacks against the tactic is that it can leave other bases defensless while you've tried to focus a lot of firepower elsewhere.

If used for interceptions, there might still need some tweaking regarding what kinds of ships get priority in terms of targetting or being targetted. I'd imagine that if you had unarmed transports in a mixed group like this that it wouldn't be a priority target. Base defenses or ships would most likely fire at armed targets first to lend a little more logic in terms of landing at a enemy base when its still firing.

#26 azmodean

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 09:14 AM

You might just set it to attack all opponents in range randomly or evenly, like when you double-team a ufo in Xcom. That gives you a guaranteed benefit for sending in escorts, and clutters up the interface the least. The game probably wants to keep the fast-paced nature of the original interception interface, so it's somewhat impractical to select individual targets, especially if you have like 3-on-3 combat or more. (how many AAA guns can you fit in your base?)

The simplest limiter might be that you can only attach escorts before launch, so the limiter is the number of hangars you have at the launch base. (and figure out what the max number is and base the number of alien escorts on that)

Trying to envision what the interface would look like for attacking or defending a base. Probably keep the radar scan screen, but it might be circular instead of a wedge. Since the base can't move, what options would you have? Perhaps you would set the range that the target would reach before firing. Would be important if they didn't know exactly where the base was, but later on you'd just want to start firing as soon as they were in gun range. Might be worthwhile to have the interface so you can see how the attack is progressing even if you can't really effect it. Or with the base defense, you might want to pick your target after all. Have to put more thought into this...

#27 Snakeman

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 12:59 PM

I think you could still have precise targetting attempts with the intercept portions the longer you play, if the pilot unit's expertise could be tied to his longevity with a given craft type, but probably also, the research gone into the UFO types as you've completed those.

But this isn't to totally diminish the randomness of their success or failure however. Presumably the ships that can fight would draw fire long enough for the transport in the group to land. In that time anything could happen in the dispatching of whatever orders you gave the group. For instance, a window could have opened up in the alien defense to get a shot or two off on your transport as well causing it to crash. While the alien base battlescape (possibly the exterior of it in this case) can still load, you might begin with fewer men and tanks than you started with.

This might also give you an option of reforming a new squad to go in and try to join the others that have crashed or to rescue then abort the original assault attempt.

#28 MirariNefas

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 03:00 AM

I like the apocalypse-style air combat, and I think that applies here. When a UFO attacks you, the game could generate an aerial-view map encompassing your base and the surrounding area. Aircraft could be scrambled, and individual turrets given orders. Not all anti-air turrets would have to be established directly on your base, but this would require adding a different level to the base construction screen.

The same could occur when you attack an alien base. In each scenario, the attacking side wouldn't be given knowledge of the exact base location unless it had already been scouted before (map data would be saved for both sides).

If you save armament slots for bunker-busting bombs, your ships could soften up the enemy base prior to deploying troops. The aerial combat around a base should be fairly difficult to discourage using an unbalancing amount of bunker-busters, and the number of aircraft in a mission could be limited.


Personally, I'd be happy to include tanks and mechs in the combat at this level of gameplay, but I suppose most people would disagree with me.

Edited by MirariNefas, 16 January 2006 - 03:36 AM.