Buying and Selling military units

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Balthagor
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Post by Balthagor »

As the beta is progressing, we’ve begun to get feedback on unit trades. Without the WM sale of units to players implemented, the only way to trade units is by using diplomatic offers. Requesting units is somewhat difficult due to the fact that you never know what your opponent has unless you’ve been spying on him. And if you had, you wouldn’t want him to know that. One idea that has come up is to add an item in the opponent units list called “unit request” that when added to an offer sends an e-mail that can only be rejected or countered, not accepted. This would allow one player to send an offer of X amount of money in trade for “some units” and would depend on the other player to counter with any units willing to sell.

Whether selling or buying, there is still the issue of how you get units that are sold to you. Currently, you can only sell units that are in reserve. This means the program knows exactly where they are when sold. Once the sale is done, the units are deployed from the base where they were stored and change ownership. The player who bought the units can now tell them to go home. An issue that came up from this was that if you sold units to a neutral, the moment he bought the units and they deployed, they became neutrals in your territory, which was caught by the “neutral incursions” flag. If the player has war on incursions turned on, this would immediately put them at war with the player they sold the units to. Our solution to this (not yet implemented) was to add a “unit exit” rule that allows units sold to immediately leave the neutral territory without causing an incursion so long as the buyer doesn’t change their orders to move to a new hex in the neutral space. I also think that any unit sold should deploy with the order to find their nearest base and move to it if they can do so without crossing enemy territory.

Now we have gotten feedback suggesting that having the units pop out in the other player’s territory is strange and asking if we could change it. Other options of where to have this pop out are;

- Your closest base to that player
- Your closest base to your capitol
- Your largest base
- Any of the above but airport or sea port.

But even these solutions have their own problems. If we take the example of the map of US North West, Washington sells to Kansas. How did the unit get to Kansas if they are at war with everyone but Washington? Another example would be the Northern New Zealand player selling units to SW Australia when they have scrapped all their airports and seaports. How did they get on the mainland? The other oddity we could find is in the France map. If the Paris player buys units from Barcelona intending to reinforce their southern plot of land and we use the largest base or closest to capitol rule, the units they buy would end up in the wrong half of their territory.

These basically are the issues we’ve got. We already have opinions of our own on which way we’d like to see it go, but we’re not set in stone on this one. So, as usual, I’m throwing it out to everyone with all the facts so that we can see what the community thinks. This will get locked down before long so anyone wanting to put in their two cents should speak up soon.
Empier4552
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Post by Empier4552 »

Just curious..maybe in the offers area we could also add to what base we want it? Then dependent on where the unit is reserved it will appear after a certain amont of time at that base (the same amount of time it would've taken to drive or fly there etc by optimal route).

Also you could always say that all trades in the end go through the WM for 'security' reasons (IE its the go between makes sure both parties get what they want etc) which circumvents the whole issue of other warring countries intercepting trades etc. :smile:
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BattleGoat
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Post by BattleGoat »

Adding a destination for "trades" is not currently in the User Interface and would add what we feel is unneccessary clutter. If we can decide upon a simple rule for this is would be MUCH better.
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Balthagor
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Post by Balthagor »

Even if we did specify which base, that wouldn't solve the issue of having items delivered to bases on other land masses or past another player's territory.
Shutzen
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Post by Shutzen »

Hmmm... good question. I'm going to give the nod to gameplay over realism on this one. This seems to be an area that sounds more complicated than it really is. I think that several factors can be combined to determine if hardware can be shipped, what course it will travel, and how long it will take to get there. Then, let the simulation begin. The last thing I want to see is miitary icons for sold equipment (allied or not) driving down my highways. For one, they probably are not going by highway as rail and ship do most of this type of movement. Secondly, if they do go by road, they are tied down on the back of a flatbed truck and become part of the trucking system- not really combat ready at a moments notice. As day to day movement of materials and trade is already simulated (you don't SEE trade ships carrying corn and trains carrying coal between countries), I really don't feel the need to see military hardware in transit either. It is either yours or it isn't. Once it is sold it really isn't yours anymore.

I think it can be done fairly simply. When units undergo special training (Arctic, Jungle...), where do they go? They are taken out of the game to simulate travel to and from that environment or training center. Correct? I think the same can apply to hardware exchanges. This can be limited by hostile territory between the buyer and seller and can be reflected by longer procurement times. Also, the level of infrastructure (rail/ ports) should have an effect just as physical distance would.

More realistic elements need to be added but I think the basic idea is sound. Basically, I think realism can be kept by simulating a lot of this without having to watch a division's worth of equipment drive through my cities and across the border to some far off land.
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Post by Shutzen »

Oh, one more thing. As for the question "how does epuipment get from Washington to Kansas if Washington is at war with everyone else?" It doesn't. Unless you consider sending it by sea to another sea port in the USA and then by land to Kansas. Which, by any calculation should take a very long time. This doesn't really complicate things though as the basic equation is still the same. Determine the routes available (if any), distance between buyer and seller, factor in what is being sold and how it will get there, and come up with a realistic timeline for the arrival of the material. If there is no route available, you can't ship or receive the material until a non-hostile route can be established.
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Post by prime_642 »

I know this is kind of un-related, but i hope you are planning a civilian morale drop for selling units... after all, you are selling your country's people away to a foreign power. Unless selling units only entails selling the hardware, in which case you would have to include a "training time" for the buying country's people to learn how to use their new toys. Of course, the more advanced the equipment, the longer it takes to get used to the equipment...
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Post by prime_642 »

Another note, how about have units "for rent" as in mercenaries? They fight for the borrowing country a limited time..
Also, what about expeditionary forces?
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Post by tkobo »

Seems to me that you'd have to decide the issue in this older post http://www.bgforums.com/viewtopic.php?t ... tart=15&18
before you could decide how best to0 handle this.
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Balthagor
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Post by Balthagor »

ack!, falling behind...

Thanks for the comments Shutzen, we've not yet made a decission. I'll be honest, I still support our current design but to hear what others have to say. Your comments that we don't allow selling to units that can't ship the units back to you are interesting. I am concerned that your suggestion will cause delays of sometimes multiple game days before recieveing the units and that is something I think will make things more complicated. If Isreal sells to Oman while at war with everyone else, the simulated delay would be forever.

On Prime's comment, the crew is taken from the buyers pool, but we don't simulate any training time. This could be solved by the low efficiency on deployment as suggested in the mobiliztions thread.

... and we've not included any mercenary units. That won't make it in.

On Hanibal's comment, that still does not adrress the issue that you bought units to send to one island and they got delivered to another and are too heavy to fit in anything but an aircraft carrier. There will not be a way to specifiy the destination for trade of units so we need to account for this. Transfering oil in the abstract is easier to justify as there is NEVER a time that the location of the oil is specified.

And finally, I'm sorta waiting to see how that thread goes, but again, I like the way we do deployement and storage of units so I'm avoiding that thread. Guess we all have our own opinions.
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