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Ground Combat in Dreadnoughts?


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Only reason I am asking this is because, Age of Sail has ground combat. Now I do not know if this is the same dev team as Age of Sail but, I still wonder if this will be a game mechanic at some point in the future. Of course compared to Age of Sail, Dreadnoughts would have to deal with a far more complex system for ground combat as it deals with the evolution of modern combat as well as the advent of mechanized warfare. I'd also like to see what other people think about this possibility, would you like to see ground combat in Dreadnoughts?

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I would like to see naval landings, and amphibious actions involving amphibious units on the map. But I don't see the point in being able to control the ground units directly. Just provide fire support/missions against enemy land installations and units and protect the beachhead as best you can with the vessels directly under your command, the LSTs and landing craft can be AI controlled like the merchantman cargo ships now. If carrier aircraft are in the game, maybe provide bombing support inland. 

 

It would be cool if you could watch the AI land units fighting each other, though I have trouble seeing how you would be able to program that in and how long that would take to do. 

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If there's one thing keeping me away from age of sail is precisely, being forced to play a general in a game that's titled "ultimate ADMIRAL". Granted that's particularily aggraviating for me personally because I find ground tactics of the musket era as fun and interesting as watching paint dry, so the reason why I just can't really enjoy UA:AoS it's quite the personal thing for me and I can see how others find it enticing, or desirable.

But in a game like this is a much more complicated thing than in AoS.

The problem with ground combat in a game like this is not only how complex it is because of how much more involved modern ground combat it is compared with the old muzzleloader era tactics - it's because ground tactics evolved as much if not more as warship desigs from the 1880 era the game supposedly will begin in, up to the 1950s or so I guess the campaign will cover up to. It's a huge undertaking, in fact, worthy of a game on it's own, let alone how complex it would be to properly add to a game like this.

One has to remember that in the UA:Age of Sail title (which IIRC spans from the 1770s era wars up to the napoleonic wars) the game covers a period where neither naval nor ground technology advanced that much comparatively speaking. Sure, technology advanced but it was at most evolutionary stuff, not revolutionary. Naval tactics and designs of the 1780s were almost the same as naval tactics and designs of the 1810s. Ditto with ground troops and how they fought.

Yet in UA:Dreadnoughts we're dealing to an exceedingly complex game here from the naval standpoint alone, a game that has to accurately cover and portray ships from the early pre-dreadnought era up to the very late superbattleship era, with the massive changes the advancing technology meant at both the design levels, doctrine aspects, and actual tactical employement of fleets. Truly revolutionary advances that completely changed the way naval warfare was fought. And the game has to accurately simulate and represent it all. That's a massive undertaking on it's own ,let alone to add the also tremendously complex side of land warfare to the ecuation, and that's something Age of Sail does not have to really bother itself too much with.

And that's without even factoring it air power. Which will have to be done at some point, maybe in a DLC; maybe in a second implementation of the game (hopefully if it sells well, that I really hope it does), and which is far more important for a game of this scope that simulating amphibious operations where the player has to command land troops.

As a sidenote, the role of an admiral wouldn't be commanding amphibious troops. At most his role would be the task of escorting them to the landing area, protecting them, and provide for naval artillery support. But the soldiers would be commanded, led, and given orders by generals. Marine corp generals, maybe, so navy officers in the end - but still generals. Not admirals.

So, adding to the immense and numerous layers of complexity that it's just properly getting the naval portion of the game right, yet another one with ground invasions where you must also handle troops...personally is a "no please". Being as open as I can be I'd just say "get the whole naval portion completed first, then get the air power part done, completed and working, and THEN, maybe, think about amphibious units. But there's a very vast, long, and complicated road before that stage is ever reached.

Edited by RAMJB
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I agree with Ramjb. If landings were ever implemented, it would be odd for you to be controlling ground troops, or even the landing crafts. The job of leading ground troops would never land in the hands of an admiral (unless there is a historical example I've never heard of).  

While it would be awesome to actually see 3D models of tanks, platoons of soldiers and landing crafts under a capable AI fight against another AI with barbed wire, minefields, fortifications, artillery tanks trying to defend... against itself, I guess, with Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Saving Private Ryan sort of chaos as you shell positions, provide fire missions from army/marine spotters and provide bombing runs and dogfighting over the landing zones, how that would work is pretty much a guaranteed technical head-scratcher.  

Not to mention absolute chaos trying to manage thousands of troops while also managing dozens, if not hundreds or even thousands of ships. 

Edited by WelshZeCorgi
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Seems this is your lucky day, haha.

The Imperial Japanese Navy, so famously competitive with the Imperial Army, did not want to stay out of land warfare. The Special Naval Landing Forces were organized as an adjunct.

These forces generally operated as light infantry, and were organized into battalions. Tank and paratrooper units were also used. The troops were sailors, led by naval officers.

It was the SNLF that defended Tarawa: Rear Admiral Shibasaki Keiji was in command.

There were a very large number of other actions where they were used, including in China, the Aleutians, and Okinawa.

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43 minutes ago, disc said:

Seems this is your lucky day, haha.

The Imperial Japanese Navy, so famously competitive with the Imperial Army, did not want to stay out of land warfare. The Special Naval Landing Forces were organized as an adjunct.

These forces generally operated as light infantry, and were organized into battalions. Tank and paratrooper units were also used. The troops were sailors, led by naval officers.

It was the SNLF that defended Tarawa: Rear Admiral Shibasaki Keiji was in command.

There were a very large number of other actions where they were used, including in China, the Aleutians, and Okinawa.

I remember now. I heard about these guys on a book about Wake island. Their tactic for overpowering the marine defenders involved them taking old transport vessels, filling them up with soldiers then just kamikaze-style ramming them onto the landing site, beaching the transports before jumping off and attacking, fighting from there. 

 

That would be hello kittying cool, ordering transport vessels to ram themselves into an island, watching as waves of soldiers hop off and start charging the defenders in human wave, bayonet tactics. 

 

"Given up for dead" Bill Sloan

 

Edited by WelshZeCorgi
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I feel like this dev team will not have the resources to implement ground combat, and trying to create it will take away from the minimum viable product. Maybe have ground combat be point-and-click with nice art assets and narration, or have it  happen mostly off-screen while you maneuver your ships into bombardment range.

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Just make it AI Controlled for when the ships actually reach their target and start unloading troops or troop transports or both, otherwise before hand you coudl escort them or control them on their way to the beachfront.

Could have troops unload and some AI soldiers run about firing rifles, marksman rifles, sub-machines guns, light-heavy machine guns, shotguns, flamethrowers etc. But more for cinematic and immersion reasons as landing them onto the beach or whereever would be the actual objective itself.

Maybe some light shore bombardment and if they ever add some strafing runs from player (maybe just AI generated or possible basic player designed ones) planes.

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OR...

If we could transport troops to within disembarking circles (unnecessary for landing craft or land battles), then that starts the procedure of abstract disembarking and port takeovers, if you don't take enough troops/marines then you lose (or it stays incomplete), enough and you win. 

Without land battles, disembarking circles could be the next best realism to abstract application.

Here's hoping campaign convoy escort is part of the game, or more importantly, us admirals design, build and command convoy fleets. 

 

PS, playing 'Sins of a Solar Empire' and Rebellion, I always dislike bombarding a planet to take it over, I hope UA:D doesn't do this.

Edited by Skeksis
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During the timespan of this game, I can't think of any serious naval engagements that occurred while an amphibious landing was underway nearby? There were attempts to intercept landing ships, but that's what transport protection missions are for. But battles where one fleet is fending off another while amphibious craft make an opposed landing? I can't think of one. 

Land and sea fighting wasn't quite as connected in Dreadnoughts timeframe as it was in Age of Sail, seems to me. Land battles wholly unnecessary here. Air power is obviously the thing that is missing (although that would make this a completely different, and much less enjoyable I suspect, game)

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7 minutes ago, Squatter said:

During the timespan of this game, I can't think of any serious naval engagements that occurred while an amphibious landing was underway nearby?


In WW2 alone there were quite some: Savo Island, during the landings at Lunga, and the engagement off Samar during the Battle of Leyte Gulf come to mind. Both engagements had US ships protecting landing forces and had the japanese gone through them it'd been quite the disaster. USS Houston also came pretty close to a japanese landing force in Sunda too, though she was pretty much mauled into oblivion by the japanese covering force. Those come from the top of my head, I'm sure there are several other instances I'm forgetting right now.

I don't see any problem with escorting missions/landing covering missions, etc. What I don't want to see is the game forcing you to take the role of commanding your land troops. First because I think is overcomplicating an already complex game to develop, and second because, honestly, that wasn't the role of someone in charge of commanding a naval force (I know there are cases of admirals commanding land forces - but those weren't giving orders to a naval formation simultaneously...it was one or the other).

Edited by RAMJB
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Yes, I'm aware of Savo/Samar etc, and I think they back up what I'm getting at - that there were never any cases of amphib landings being interrupted with troops shot up in the water etc by enemy surface fleets. The naval engagements effectively were completely separate from what was happening on land. We both agree here that land battles are completely extraneous to this game. 

 

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Uhm....In the battle of Sunda strait three japanese transports were sunk. By japanese torpedoes, mind you (which had been aimed at Houston and Perth), but they were loaded to the top with troops. So much so that aboard one of the transports that got torpedoed was the commander of the whole landing force, General Imamura. Who was forced to pretty much jump overboard to get off his sinking transport. I'm sure he thought that was quite annoying to say the least. So there's that.

And if in Savo or Samar there weren't fully loaded transports being shot up with troops being forced to jump to the sea was that in both cases the japanese forces retreated when they had a pretty much expedite way to cause carnage. But it could've very well happened and in fact it was kind of a miracle that it didn't happen in either case.

At any rate, yes, we do that land battles really have nothing to do with this game ;).

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Of course what you write is true - and what you describe are in effect transport protection battles, rather than navally-opposed amphib landings, the lack of which I was trying to get at originally. 

I don't think we've got anything to worry about in terms of devs deciding to add land battles to this game anyway, never gonna happen. 

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Rather than ground combat that seems very complicated to implement, I would be very happy if one day we could have shore bombing, coastal defense, harbor raiding, stuff like that. It should be more than enough to portrait naval missions that affect ground combat, and keep the game naval focused.

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I would rather go with how RTW or Clad in Iron handle land combats and do it all from the strategy map. I can't even imagine what a land combat simulator from 1885-1930 would look like. Maybe in 20 years we'll see titles that ambitious. I know nobody could have dreamed about today's Combat Mission and Graviteam games in 1999.

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I would be fine with escort missions and shore bombardment in support of landing troops. I don't think we should control the ground fighting though. We see the transports release the landing craft and the things go to shore but not see the actual ground fighting per se. We could see things like bunkers and gun emplacements but as far as the fighting they could maybe use a color system to show us how far our guys have pushed. Whatever targets are outside of this colored blanket are the things we should be targeting to help it move forward and cover more area. Once enough area is covered then it's a successful landing. As far as failure maybe only so much combat power that dwindles away and once it reaches a certain point there isn't enough power to maintain a beach head. I know what I'm thinking in my head just not sure if I described it well enough in words.

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