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The Thrawn Offensive Part I – The Economic War


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#1 Ghostrider

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 08:07 AM

The revamped Thrawn Campaign, renamed to the Thrawn Offensive for reasons that will soon be clear, is nearly done. For those of you not familiar with this campaign, it is set in the post-Endorian New Republic, when Grand Admiral Thrawn appeared out of the Unknown regions to weld the Imperial fleet into a cohesive force, and following the discovery of the Katana Fleet dreadnaughts, Thrawn proceeded to dismantle the New Republic, taking a large number of planets in rapid succession, inflicting heavy losses on the New Republic before his assassination at Bilbringi by his bodyguard Rukh.
This revised campaign attempts to capture this explosive conflict with modern Imperial and Republic warships – full details of which will be given in Parts II and III respectively. It soon became clear in the development stages that the challenge with this campaign was the economy – and how to balance the economies of both opposing sides. We now have a standardised method for determining the amount of starting cash in any given campaign. Bonuses are given for each type of planet controlled by the faction in question, with significantly greater cash bonuses for Core worlds than those on the outer rim. To this base sum is added about 2 month’s cash reserves based directly from the faction’s weekly income. A severe maintenance penalty is then applied for the military construction cost for all fleet combat units – the bigger your military, the less cash you get at the start.

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The Imperial War Machine
The Imperial economy is the simpler model, so let’s take a look at the numbers. The Imperials start with only 2 core and colony worlds, 4 mid rim, 8 inner rim and 6 outer rim worlds, giving a starting cash bonus of $145,000 (with core worlds contributing much more than rim worlds). The Imperials have a reasonably large trade fleet, mostly centred on Chazwa and Svivren, comprising mostly of Action IV Mark IIs, BBF-1’s, CTF-1’s, and Super VIII Bulk Cruisers, with a handful of armed Action IV Mark III’s. Freight carrying armed transports, such as the Lambda-a & b, as well as the more heavily armed Sentinel and Sentinel Mark II tend to be located on military worlds more for their assault capabilities than their revenue generating ability. Even with the huge trade fleet on Svivren, the Imperial economy was still a meagre $17,000 per week compared to the $22,000 for the New Republic, and a further source of revenue was required for the Empire to have sufficient economic muscle to instigate a major conflict. The solution was simple, in the 3 years prior to the assault, it was assumed that Thrawn’s meticulous attention to detail would ensure a strong economy, and so many Imperial worlds have been heavily industrialised, with the majority of space and land slots filled with construction yards, barracks, defensive systems and mining facilties to boost the Imperial war machine.
So despite the Empire having fewer planets than the New Republic, it has a higher weekly income, if only by a fraction. This contributes a further $168,000 to the starting cash reserves. The penalty for this industrialisation and the massive military build up is a large maintenance bill of $213,000, leaving the Empire with a paltry $100,000 starting credits.

Diplomatic expansion
The situation for the New Republic is more complex. With a number of Alliance military victories, such as the taking of the Core Worlds, and the destruction of rogue warlords, such as Zsinj, the New Republic has been focussing diplomatic efforts to expand its membership, with considerable success, with the political leadership successfully persuading the Bimms to join the Republic only days ago. In addition to leaving many worlds relatively undeveloped and with little focus on infrastructure, this has stretched the ageing merchant fleet to the limit, with craft such as the 20 year old Gallofree Transports and Quazar Fire Bulk cruisers and a few captured Imperial transports unable to meet the demands of an expanding republic. Even and the recent addition of new freighters such as the MCF-1 and the heavily armed YT-2000 has not helped much as these are more suitable for smuggling operations and moving high value gemstones past customs stations than the bulk transport of goods to support major interstellar trade routes. The New Republic has taken the drastic step of cannibalising some of its older warships to make much needed cargo ships. CR90s, EF76 Frigates, Mark I Dreadnaughts and even Liberty-class Star Cruisers have been gutted and pressed into freight duties. While these ships maintain their military grade shields, they only possess skeleton crews and, at best, will only have defensive armaments, if any. Worse still, these ships do not have the damage control parties needed to survive long exposure to enemy fire, so loss of these ships would have high impact, as their freight carrying ability is considerable, and furthermore their home port of Sluis Van must be protected at all costs. It should also be noted that unlike the Imperial fleet, which has tended to separate military worlds from trading ones, most Republic worlds carry both military fleets and a range of small merchant vessels in orbit.
Overall, this has given the Republic a well needed cash injection, with the added benefit of removing older ships from military service and thereby reducing the fleet maintenance bill at the same time, giving a healthy $200,000 starting credits at the beginning of the campaign.

The Future for Economic development
The high level of industrialisation on most Imperial worlds leaves little room for further economic expansion, and while some planets are almost totally undeveloped, such as Honoghr and Trogan, there is good reason for this – development of these worlds will only bring very limited benefits. The Empire will be looking to its military forces to find new sources of income, and Grand Admiral Thrawn has located a number of vulnerable planets that should be easy to capture and exploit.
For the New Republic, some hard choices must be made. While the cash reserves will be vital to boost a weakened military, some effort must be made to quickly increase the level of industrialisation on some of the safer worlds, and to build up the limited military construction facilities to defend the Republic from the predations of a Grand Admiral.

#2 Guest_Guest-handofthrawn_*

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 02:22 PM

wow u guys put a LOT of effort into your mod. probably why its the best(in my opinion any way)

#3 Eagle

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 04:53 PM

looks sweet can't wait till i can play it
:p

#4 Ghostrider

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 05:36 PM

If ya gonna do anything, do it right, or why are you bothering?

#5 Aizen Teppa

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 07:19 PM

Whoa! I nearly lost all hope for new stuff after 3 months. :p

Thrawn Campaign yummy. Can't wait. :p

#6 murph

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 08:49 PM

Sounds really exciting, will land combat be fixed in this release?

#7 Phoenix Rising

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 11:44 PM

Whoa! I nearly lost all hope for new stuff after 3 months. :p

Real life has to take precedence... sometimes :p.

Sounds really exciting, will land combat be fixed in this release?

I won't have a release until it's been addressed.

#8 Casen

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 01:47 AM

This looks promising, but I can't wait for new units.

I also hope this update doesn't make the Thrawn campaign laggy like the others...

And also, are we getting to the root cause of the lag?

#9 Guest_StarWars_*

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 02:09 AM

Sweet...

Also a few questions.....
-will the Katana fleet be Dreadnaught Mark II, since it was considered they would need major retrofitting and also they also had hanger bays, which the Mark I didn't.
-will the Empire get some of the New Republic's ships they got during the assault of The Sulis Van shipyards, I know they got some ships, but I would have to look it up of which ones they got(it says the number in the book and shows the ships in the comic i believe)
-Also will the rest of the majority of the New Republic's ships that were freighters be at the Sulis Van shipyards since of the majority fo them needing extensive fixing after the Sulis Van attack?
-Have you guys also figured out if its possible to hijack the opposite party ships and keep them later? would be a great addon
-Also are you adding one bulk cruiser with a couple turbolaser cannons and a cloaking device with no time limit :p

Sorry for the many questions, just wondering, btw if you need help researching at all I have the THrawn books and will read them again for the accuracy of the mod(though I'm sure you guys already have done that)

P.S. If spelling errors have occured above sorry, computer is lagging like crazy here...

#10 Guest_StarWars_*

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 02:11 AM

Ugh, one last thing...
I believe Wayland and Myrkr should be Imperial controlled, since Thrawn was expanding a Wayland base before the capture of the Katana fleet and he captured Myrkr at the start of book 2 (it's implied at least)

#11 coinich

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 03:51 AM

Is the AI upgrading space stations less of an issue now that there are developed worlds, or has the upgrade problem been fixed?

#12 Phoenix Rising

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 04:08 AM

And also, are we getting to the root cause of the lag?

I've gotten nowhere with it. I was pretty certain it had something to do with the free store system, since it wasn't specifically AI related, but none of my attempts to limit the free stores have yielded any improvement in performance. I'm beginning to think it's just some inherent problem between the number of planets in a campaign, number of unit stacks in a campaign, and/or number of units in the game.

-will the Katana fleet be Dreadnaught Mark II, since it was considered they would need major retrofitting and also they also had hanger bays, which the Mark I didn't.

No. The Mark IIs are specifically Imperial, while the Mark Is are Republican. Granted, Katana Dreadnaughts don't really fit into either of those designations, being modified, but they are more accurately described by the weaker shields and slower hyperdrive of the Mark I.

-will the Empire get some of the New Republic's ships they got during the assault of The Sulis Van shipyards

No - that hasn't happened yet by the beginning of the campaign.

-Also will the rest of the majority of the New Republic's ships that were freighters be at the Sulis Van shipyards since of the majority fo them needing extensive fixing after the Sulis Van attack?

I'm not sure I understand the question. We've created unique variants for freight-hauling MC80s and the like.

-Have you guys also figured out if its possible to hijack the opposite party ships and keep them later? would be a great addon

I don't know of a way to do it with abilities; it could be possible with scripting, but I haven't attempted to find out.

-Also are you adding one bulk cruiser with a couple turbolaser cannons and a cloaking device with no time limit :p

The A-class Bulk Freighter? I suppose we could give the Empire a Super Transport XI to start with, but I don't know how much good it would do in the context of EaW. For one, the freighter itself wasn't cloaked, just the cargo hold...

Sorry for the many questions, just wondering, btw if you need help researching at all I have the THrawn books and will read them again for the accuracy of the mod(though I'm sure you guys already have done that)

I think we're pretty solid on this campaign. Between the novels and the sourcebooks, few details were left to chance, which is a good thing for us. OSH, for example, is more difficult because, while you have the sourcebook, the rest is just the comics, which isn't the most descriptive medium. At some point though, I'd like to add an entirely new campaign, so we might need some assistance at that point. Stay tuned.

I believe Wayland and Myrkr should be Imperial controlled, since Thrawn was expanding a Wayland base before the capture of the Katana fleet and he captured Myrkr at the start of book 2 (it's implied at least)

We've taken the Katana Fleet out of play to start; that was an oversight on my part originally. The campaign is meant to start at or just before HttE.

Is the AI upgrading space stations less of an issue now that there are developed worlds, or has the upgrade problem been fixed?

It hasn't been fixed, but I plan on completely overhauling the AI for this version, so we'll see where it's at when I get to that.

Edited by Phoenix Rising, 19 June 2009 - 04:10 AM.


#13 Tropical Bob

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 06:04 AM

-will the Katana fleet be Dreadnaught Mark II, since it was considered they would need major retrofitting and also they also had hanger bays, which the Mark I didn't.

No. The Mark IIs are specifically Imperial, while the Mark Is are Republican. Granted, Katana Dreadnaughts don't really fit into either of those designations, being modified, but they are more accurately described by the weaker shields and slower hyperdrive of the Mark I.

I think they fit the bill of the Mark I a little more than it would the Mark II. After all, they were Republic Dreadnaughts...

-will the Empire get some of the New Republic's ships they got during the assault of The Sulis Van shipyards

No - that hasn't happened yet by the beginning of the campaign.

Also, if I remember correctly, they only made off with a few of the ships.

-Also will the rest of the majority of the New Republic's ships that were freighters be at the Sulis Van shipyards since of the majority fo them needing extensive fixing after the Sulis Van attack?

I'm not sure I understand the question. We've created unique variants for freight-hauling MC80s and the like.

I think it's another post-Sluis Van assault question, asking whether or not a large number of freighter MC80s would be located at the Sluis Van shipyards at the beginning of the campaign, since many of them had the Mole Miners drill a hole through the hulls.

-Have you guys also figured out if its possible to hijack the opposite party ships and keep them later? would be a great addon

I don't know of a way to do it with abilities; it could be possible with scripting, but I haven't attempted to find out.

If there is, perhaps have "Mole Miners" (Altered CT-10s with a hijack ability) given to the Imperial Remnant once Nkllon is captured.

At some point though, I'd like to add an entirely new campaign, so we might need some assistance at that point. Stay tuned.

New campaign? About what? The hunt for Zsinj, perhaps?

We've taken the Katana Fleet out of play to start; that was an oversight on my part originally. The campaign is meant to start at or just before HttE.

Is there going to be a way for the Empire to get the Katana Fleet Dreadnaughts at all? Or will there be some sort of large discount for the Empire is Myrkr (Or pertinent planet) is captured? (Talon Karrde gave Thrawn information about the Katana Fleet, yes?)

Is the AI upgrading space stations less of an issue now that there are developed worlds, or has the upgrade problem been fixed?

It hasn't been fixed, but I plan on completely overhauling the AI for this version, so we'll see where it's at when I get to that.

Sigh. Damn the AI and its ignorance. I can't wait to try the PRed AI.

You guys still amaze me! Keep up the good work, and I can't wait to see what comes of it all!

#14 Casen

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 06:10 AM

New campaign? About what? The hunt for Zsinj, perhaps?

If so I demand TIE Raptors and Incom Raptor transports. :p

#15 Ghostrider

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 07:07 AM

-Also will the rest of the majority of the New Republic's ships that were freighters be at the Sulis Van shipyards since of the majority fo them needing extensive fixing after the Sulis Van attack?

I'm not sure I understand the question. We've created unique variants for freight-hauling MC80s and the like.

I think it's another post-Sluis Van assault question, asking whether or not a large number of freighter MC80s would be located at the Sluis Van shipyards at the beginning of the campaign, since many of them had the Mole Miners drill a hole through the hulls.


OK. Most of the special cargo variants (with skeleton crews and very limited combat ability) are placed at Sluis Van at the start, but some others are scattered throughout the Republic. They have hefty incomes and Sluis Van now contributes OVER ONE THIRD of the entire New Republic weekly tax revenues!

#16 Guest_StarWars_*

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 07:20 AM

We've taken the Katana Fleet out of play to start; that was an oversight on my part originally. The campaign is meant to start at or just before HttE.

That makes much more sense, sorry for the confusion on my part, I was thinking of more after HttE (like the cloaked ship for instance was the one he attacked some of the planets with shield generators, not the A-class bulk freighter)

Also, do you know if maybe we could have hero upgrades that upgrade their last ship class, like Blackhole could have a ISD1..ISD2...ISD3...ISD4, thus that way they aren't as easy to kill when UI upgrades :p

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 07:24 AM

UI upgrades :p

AI** (sorry late here)

Also, I noticed that the New Republic shouldn't have Obroa-Skai if its in the start of HttE, they were still debating to join or not, or will it be the same as in the original campign of some ships floating above the planet?

#18 Sûlherokhh

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 08:43 AM

I have to ask a noob question: Do cargo transport ships contribute to trade and income? I admit, i only bought (and haven't played) FoC to be able to play Phoenix Rising, which has so far been a blast. :p
It would also be nice to see which planets are (or will be) able to build which units, even before teching up. Is there a spreadsheet or something?

Otherwise, i can't wait for the thrawn campaign! This is looking mighty awesome. :p

Edited by Sûlherokhh, 19 June 2009 - 08:43 AM.

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 10:07 AM

just finished re-reading heir to the empire last night (playing the thrawn campaign a few weeks ago made me dig em out) and am pretty sure the empire didnt get any new rep ships from the sluis van attack. lando started all the mole miners going and it disabled all the ships. i could be wrong it was quite late when i put the book down but thats the impression i got

#20 Ghostrider

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 11:02 AM

UI upgrades :p

AI** (sorry late here)

Also, I noticed that the New Republic shouldn't have Obroa-Skai if its in the start of HttE, they were still debating to join or not, or will it be the same as in the original campign of some ships floating above the planet?


There are three slightly confusing planets for mapping purposes.

Obroa-skai is a neutral planet with a New Republic Task Force in orbit - so essentially unchanged from the current version.

The second confusing planet is Qat Chrystac.
I have marked it as Imperial on the map, as it certainly has a strong imperial presence in orbit - with the orbiting defence platform mentioned in reference texts converted to an Acclamator II Star Frigate - the closest the game mechanics will allow to an Imperial defense station in orbit above an enemy world. So the map reference clearly shows a conflict point.
However, the planet is actually in Rebel hands (a very tough hold-out from GCW era) with some very nasty ground troops.

The whole situation has become a stalemate. The Imperials no longer have enough ground troops to mount a successful assault but are sucessfully blocading the planet to prevent rebel reinforcements arriving. However, the Imperial blocading force is partially trapped by Lando Calrissian on Nkllon!
The first side to reinforce will win this mini local war.

The third confusing planet is Farrfin, but you will have to wait until Part III (New Republic Forces) to find out more about this world.

I have to ask a noob question: Do cargo transport ships contribute to trade and income? I admit, i only bought (and haven't played) FoC to be able to play Phoenix Rising, which has so far been a blast. :)
It would also be nice to see which planets are (or will be) able to build which units, even before teching up. Is there a spreadsheet or something?

Otherwise, i can't wait for the thrawn campaign! This is looking mighty awesome. :p


In answer to the above: Yes.
CR90-Cargo - $40
EF-76 Nebulon-B Cargo - $150
Dreadnaught Heavy Cruiser Cargo - $300
MC80 Liberty-class Star Cruiser - Cargo - $1000!

As to planets - all are capable of building things, assuming you have built star bases in orbit.

Edited by Ghostrider, 19 June 2009 - 11:08 AM.




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