Proposals for some rather simple changes to Ground Warfare to make it more strategic

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CocoCincinnati

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Another idea just occurred to me. Do away with buildable armies altogether. Keep garrisons and have the number based on population, with techs or buildings increasing health, attack, morale, etc. Then make assault armies be part of ship design similar to strike craft. You can have a transport section for cruisers and battleships and then have different levels of assault armies to put in those slots. You could even keep the flavor of clones, gene mod, psi warriors etc. No army micro needed, but you would have to decide how much of your fleet to devote to that.
 
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methegrate

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but you would have to decide how much of your fleet to devote to that.

I think this is where it would fall apart.

In any tradeoff, firepower is a better choice than armies. A battleship with 2/3 combat and 1/3 transport would lose to a battleship with 3/3 combat. And since ground combat only happens if you win in space, in any competitive battle an all-combat fleet would always do better than a mixed combat/transport fleet.

Instead you'd probably have players focus entirely on combat ships until they won the war. Then, when the enemy fleet is knocked out entirely, they would build ships with transport sections to ferry in ground troops and finish it off. You'd still effectively end up with transports and combat ships.

But maybe a version of this is the right answer, where transport sections are added as a core component? That way there's no tradeoff. Every ship has the same section dedicated to armies. From there you could have different technology that increases capacity, different army types, etc.

We'd still need to solve the army spam problem. Any changes to ground combat are completely moot as long as you can just throw armies at a planet and win by attrition. But that might be a good version of combat ship transport.
 
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methegrate

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As an aside, I also think the ground combat problem is based on two assumptions about how games of Stellaris will play:

- First, the system assumes that minerals matter. Minerals are supposed to limit the number of armies you can throw at the enemy, and the costs of fixing a devastated planet are supposed to influence your choices as an attacker or a defender.

- Second, the system assumes dynamic line of battle. Transports are supposed to be vulnerable to attack, and defenders are supposed to be essentially holding out until reinforcements arrive.

I think part of the problem is that both of these assumptions are wrong.

The 2.0 update completely broke the Stellaris economy by dramatically shifting production without an equally dramatic change in costs, and the upshot is that most resources are superabundant. Mineral costs don't create a bottleneck for armies and repairs because they're trivial compared to an empire's income.

Meanwhile, battlefields are very static affairs. Doomstacks still dominate war because the warfare changes didn't really address the underlying causes of the problem. The shift to chokepoint-based geography compounded this by forcing empires to funnel their resources into all-or-nothing battles at individual systems.

The upshot is that you don't treat armies like a scarce resource, the way the game assumes you will. They're functionally unlimited and can be used that way. And it's rare to recapture a planet that you lost earlier in the war because campaigns aren't dynamic affairs. Doomstacks mean that wars are still fought over one or two big battles, and the geography was purpose-built to ensure a static front line.

If minerals had value, ground combat might make more sense because attackers would need to decide when and where to risk their armies. If war was fluid, it might make more sense because defenders would be there to hold out until you retook the system. Which is a fine island-hopping version of warfare, except it's been graphed onto geography built like a series of train stations.

I think the game assumes that both of these things are true, when in fact neither is.
 
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Objulen

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To really address ground battles, you'd need unit types with strengths and weaknesses. There's really not much in the way of reinforcements in Stellaris - even naval units move slow enough in most circumstances that unless they're in a neighboring system, they're not going to make it time for most battles.

Ground battles could be organized in a couple of ways. Ground troops should also get some kind of buff from technology, like ships - it seems inconsistent that their military gear doesn't get upgraded. Terrain types don't seem very feasible, but habitability could be made to matter.

Mixed units are another example. The bulk of the main fighting force should be bread-and-butter grunts. Armies aren't made of elite forces, after all. Regular soldiers, clone troops, zombie armies, and regular android/robot units should be the basis of most armies.

For most battles, grunts should face off against grunts, while Elite troops are used to power up the grunts, executing missions which have a greater impact on the battlefield. Deploying them should be meaningful, and using them as regular ground-pounders should not be cost effective. Psy-Warriors, the Avatar, Gene-Warriors, etc. all represent forces that should be used for special ops, taking out other special troops, inflicting high damage on enemy troops in an op, targeting enemy generals, etc.

Xenomorphs are different. They attack and damage EVERYTHING, except other xenomorphs. It fits their description as barely controlled bio-horrors. If they don't automatically go after everything, there's a chance they can slip off the chain, especially if targeted by special forces going after their handlers.

ME's are a bit different, as their units incorporate a clear improvement across the and can include mobile weapons platforms. Larger, more advanced war frames include deploying more flexible, smaller troops. Hunter-Killers are basic troops. Battle Frames are big mechs who deploy Hunter Killers. Mega-Warforms are Reapers who deploy Battleframes and Hunter Killers. They land and a hierarchy of troops get deployed, and they provide a passive buff to their subordinates, but can be targeted by special forces.
 
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Koopatin

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Well time to ruffle some feathers.

TL;DR - see video at bottom which does a far better job than I do in explaining why invading with armies is just dumb
.....


i agree and disagree at the same time. sure remove ground combat. no problems there but not for realism reasons.

sure it is dumb and unrealistic but stellaris is a game about memes and tropes.
 

InquisiteurArax

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Though part of me love the idea of having army builders, giant robots and elite space wizards on the field, I'd like to remind us that we used to have this. We used to have upgrades for individual armies, we do have experience for our armies and I remember there being way more army types in 1.0 than there currently are.
All those were abandoned because the tactics of ground warfare are meaningless as long as, strategically, it remains limited to being clean-up work after the Space War is over.

If we want Ground Warfare to be engaging and deserving enough of our attention for us to want to get tactical, the strategic depth of it need to be reviewed.

So far amongst ideas that I feel go into that direction we listed:
a - Ground forces being able to brute force their way through a superior navy => now an empire with a great army may beat an empire with a better navy but a terrible army, making the player enable to ignore ground warfare
b - System wide ground defences => there now is a strategic decision between trying to blitz through space-stations, ignoring the ground defenses but at the risk of suffering heavy attrition or systematically conquering system by system but at the risk of leaving time for the enemy to regroup
c - Real cost for ground warfare => if carelessely invading a planet cause it to be a much less useful asset once invaded and has a real cost on the empire (lost pops or maybe just alloys) how to handle planetary invasions becomes a strategic decision and not a box to tick on your to do list of space imperialism
d - Peace negotiation rebalance => right now you need to invade each and every planet that you hope to conquer. There is no choice as to whether or what to invade. If we want the players to find invasions meaningful, they need to be a decision again... and thus the way AI accepts peace or not needs to be rebalanced.
e - Occupation forces not being trivial => if deploying your army is part of the peacekeeping of your system, it becomes an intergral part of your economy and thus would be more strategic.

I'm wary that c and d might require significant development. c might be justified as part of the Internal Politic redo as war and its effect on planets would fit nicely into an internal politic rework.
b might require a lot of fine tuning for AI to not just suicide their fleet into whichever war they get into in between themselves.
e risk to be micro hell
I thus find that a might be the easiest thing to apply but that might still make for a lackluster experience and risk being very easy to abuse by the player without a rebalance of army costs (if we can bruteforce our way into killing AIs for a few thousand minerals, that would be the kind of things people would be quick to abuse and then complain on how the game is too easy/the AI can't handle the degenerate dominant strategy that is the meta at the moment).
 
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Well time to ruffle some feathers.

TL;DR - see video at bottom which does a far better job than I do in explaining why invading with armies is just dumb

I find the whole issue of ground combat needing some enhancement to be a bit, say I say it, ludicrous. The very idea that you can just plop down a few million or even tens of millions of troops and just beat up their army and take their worlds is just silly. If anything Stellaris has is it completely backwards, as in, the only type of colony you could realistically invade by the means they have in game is one that is being established. Because, once you have any significant population on the planet it is only a game of morale. Oh, the other mistake Stellaris makes is that it requires too many ships too long to effectively reduce a planet to cinders or force a surrender from space.

Invading another empire's world is a battle of your resources versus their morale. As in, how much death and destruction or threat thereof do you need to accomplish before they stand down and hand you rudimentary control of the planet. I say rudimentary because even after you establish your government, your control, there is always a good chance a significant portion of the population will object.

So in my personal view we need to change what armies do in Stellaris and how worlds are conquered. Armies are control. The planet surrenders and you need to station troops there to retain order until a set amount of time passes. How much time would be determined on a few variables, namely the size of the planet, the traits, civics, and ethics, of the population, does their original empire exist, and how you are treating them. Think of it like Stellar shock just without the boneheaded ten year fixed cost.

Once you have control over the space around a planet, there are no enemy ships that can contest the fleet attacking the planet, and you have ships capable of bombing cities, it becomes a game of exerting damage until you exceed their willingness to die for their empire. You are working on their will to survive and except in the most extreme cases you can find this limit long before you reduce their world to ashes.

Hence once the planet surrenders to your fleet you need armies to maintain control until invasion shock is over. I am using the term invasion shock to describe a similar mechanic to Stellar Shock. This is not simpleton ten year timer. This is a set amount of time based on size of planet, traits, civics, and ethics, of the conquered population along with your treatment of them and how many troops you station there. As in, if you intend to use them as food it will take a seriously large army to keep the planet under control, it just might be cheaper to cinder it.

While under invasion shock you would go through a process similar to assimilation. So set up the cost to assimilate one population unit based on the previously described rules and your armies can leave when all are converted. Granted you could begin to withdraw troops as you gain more control. Until full control is guaranteed you have a reduced output from the planet and early on you may have nothing but workers available with more time required to get specialist slots filled in.

Seriously, the idea of taking over a heavily populated world with the armies you could transport through space is just fantasy. If you had the technology to deliver the actual required number of troops; think about primitive Earth here - there are ten of millions of professional military on top of tens of millions of police and other forces and then on top of that hundreds of millions of people who might not like you - and you start to realize you would never need to. As in, anyone empire sufficiently capable of delivering those troops has sufficient technology to never need them in the first place.


<snip>
Current numbers on RW militaries view average world-wide active duty participation at 2.5 military members per thousand population (0.25%) and at 9.6 per K (0.96%) when including reserve and paramilitary forces. Among the 15 countries that spend the most on their militaries in total USD equivalence, the rates are slightly lower (2.0, 7.1 per K), which makes sense in that their forces are more likely to be mechanized (armored vehicles, air forces, naval vessels) rather than just infantry. Using this as an example, a typical stellar nation's active-duty military might be equal to 0.2-0.25% of the population and its total military around 0.7-1.0%. If a given planet has a planetary population of 1 billion individuals (a developing colony of human analogues), a 0.2% active-duty segment would be 2 million individuals and a total commitment of 7 million.

According to the Wiki, each Colonist on a planet contributes one Defense Army, with some jobs providing a higher number (although these will be a limited fraction of all jobs on a planet) - I'm figuring on average that a planet has around 1.1-1.2 Defense Armies per Pop. Also per the Wiki, any of the more typical Assault Armies (and their variants) are limited to 1 per Pop (and specifically no more than 1 per Pop of the species used to make the Assault Army) - there are allowances made for armies not based on a species (e.g., clones, xenomorphs), so depending on their inclusion in a military, Assault Armies could be perhaps 1.0-1.5 per Pop. That's around 2.1-2.7 armies per Pop in total.

The number of Pops that can live on any given planet can be all over the place, depending on the size of the planet, the number and types of districts built, the number and types of buildings constructed, tech bonuses, etc., all contributing Housing (needed for each Pop). Each resource or industrial district would provide 2 Housing, other urban districts provide 5-6 Housing, housing buildings provide 3-10 Housing each, and on down the line. A size 25 planet could easily have way over 100 Pops (it's been quite a while since I've actually played the game, so I'm basing this off of the Wiki). Just throwing a number out there for the sake of the discussion, but if a single Pop is viewed as 250M human-analogue population (and a 100 Pop planet would be 25B individuals), then the population in a max armies scenario above (1.0% of population, 2.7 armies per Pop) would be 2.5M total and less than 926K per army - at the lower end, it's 1.75M total and around 830K per.

What single vessel is going to be capable of carrying 830-926K individuals, plus surface transportation, equipment, rapid-built facilities, and supplies, along with large numbers of shuttlecraft for rapid delivery and possible fighter escorts? All of this needs to be built on a ship that is also <Wiki> "automatically upgraded with the latest defense components" (I read that as Shields and Armor). A Colony Ship effectively carries 1 Pop to the new planet, although I head-canon Colony "Ships" to instead be fleets or convoys of less-ludicrously-large ships, perhaps 25x 10M-person ships. An individual Colony Ship is going to have fewer shuttles (if any, since the ship is designed to land - well, once) and more of its facilities, transportation, and equipment requirements would be met with 3D-printing and similar production on-site, with more dense supplies and materials taking up the remaining volume/mass of the cargo holds. As indicated above, a combat transport would have lots of shuttles, staging areas, pre-built equipment, etc., along with the defensive systems - I don't know if the transport's needs versus its smaller group of passengers would require it to be as large as a single Colony Ship, but it would be in a similar size group. If this transport would be too unwieldy for any type of combat, a similar concept to my head-canon Colony Fleet above could be used to make smaller ships in an "army fleet" (although a distinct fleet rather than a repeating line of individual ships).

Now, whether you feel that the vanilla 1-vessel Colony Ship is unrealistic or not, it's established in the game that the technology exists within the game to build and move units representing MASSIVE numbers of individuals and all of their associated effects. Specific numbers can be adjusted up or down per army, but I think I've laid out a fairly clear set of parameters that put Assault Armies and their transports well within the paradigm above for even Colony fleet ships.
 
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There's really not much in the way of reinforcements in Stellaris - even naval units move slow enough in most circumstances that unless they're in a neighboring system, they're not going to make it time for most battles.

That's true if you're thinking about it in terms of individual battles. And for fleets, it's certainly a big deal. It's why (ironically) their 2.0 changes in many ways reinforced doomstacks. If your fleets move too slowly to reinforce each other, then you have an even stronger incentive to keep them bunched together for protection.

The difference is that armies are expendable in a way that fleets aren't. So you aren't trying to reinforce an ongoing battle, nor are you worried about keeping those forces safe. Armies are just cannon fodder. You throw a bunch in, wait for the results, and if it doesn't work you build 20 more and try again.

I'm not sure there's any diverse unit type that could overcome the strategy of "keep throwing armies at them until they die."
 
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That's true if you're thinking about it in terms of individual battles. And for fleets, it's certainly a big deal. It's why (ironically) their 2.0 changes in many ways reinforced doomstacks. If your fleets move too slowly to reinforce each other, then you have an even stronger incentive to keep them bunched together for protection.

That's usually true. It really comes down to territory vs. naval power, at least until you get Gateways. You can't defend one side of the empire and the other with the same fleets before then, after all.

The difference is that armies are expendable in a way that fleets aren't. So you aren't trying to reinforce an ongoing battle, nor are you worried about keeping those forces safe. Armies are just cannon fodder. You throw a bunch in, wait for the results, and if it doesn't work you build 20 more and try again.

I'm not sure there's any diverse unit type that could overcome the strategy of "keep throwing armies at them until they die."

I agree that armies matter much less in Stellaris, but that has more to do with the fact that controlling space in war matter much more. You can't invade planets until you control the space, and you can pummel a planet into submission. There's no real way to make armies matter as much as navies, and most sci-fi that does generally contrives some excuse as to why orbital bombardments aren't used, or just ignores the problem all together. Powerful planetary shields or underground bunker networks are rarely seen.

The thing, in Stellaris you don't get reinforcements to battles that are underway. You ship them over before hand. I wouldn't say that you ignore armies - it takes time to build doom stacks, especially of sturdier troops, and it's not something you want to have repeat needlessly. But they're not pivotal either. And you can't really get reinforcements in unless you control the system's space, no? Though you could add blockade runners and smugglers, perhaps with the new espianoge system - but it'd have to be fast enough to matter.

The only way to make armies matter more and be more engaging is to make ground combat more complex and require more thought about troop composition. That requires mixed forces and modifiers based on those forces and the planet they are invading. Buildings can also be added to make defensive points easier to defend, perhaps multiplying army health or increasing damage. Attacking fleets bombarding the planet would be nice too. But if we're going to start looking at a realistic model, then we'll need a basic real-world start. A split between your basic backbone - the every day ground troops - and the super soldiers who already in the game as special forces - is a good place to start.

Consider, what if there was a building that increased defensive army health by 50%? You could send special forces after it, and disable or destroy it. That gives them a niche. However, those forces don't work well as the bulk of an army, overall, because they get overwhelmed. That's the kind of thing that would add a layer of tactics to ground battles and make them matter more.
 
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methegrate

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I agree that armies matter much less in Stellaris, but that has more to do with the fact that controlling space in war matter much more.

That's true, but what I meant is that armies are expendable because you can build them in near-infinite quantities. Generally speaking you'll make hundreds of minerals per turn, and have thousands (if not tens of thousands) stockpiled. Compared to that the cost of armies (usually around 100 - 200 minerals) is negligible. So if you lose a battle on the planet, you can just rebuild all those troops and try again and again until you win.

I definitely agree with you that space matters more than ground combat. It's definitely a but-for relationship. Taking the system won't necessarily get you the planet, but if you can't take or hold the star system then you never have a chance at the planet at all. But fleets would be equally expendable if they were equally cheap relative to resources and income.

I think that's why I would disagree with this:

The only way to make armies matter more and be more engaging is to make ground combat more complex and require more thought about troop composition. That requires mixed forces and modifiers based on those forces and the planet they are invading.

I don't think that's correct. No matter what complexity or troop composition rules we add, we still won't solve the underlying problem that so long as the attacker holds the system they can send effectively infinite troops at the defenders. There's no cost to doing so, and that will pretty much always beat any modifiers and mechanics we put in place. So defenders won't use these advanced rules and mechanics, because there's no point in doing so when the attacker has an insurmountable advantage.
 
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That's true, but what I meant is that armies are expendable because you can build them in near-infinite quantities. Generally speaking you'll make hundreds of minerals per turn, and have thousands (if not tens of thousands) stockpiled. Compared to that the cost of armies (usually around 100 - 200 minerals) is negligible. So if you lose a battle on the planet, you can just rebuild all those troops and try again and again until you win.

Well, if you have the economy, you can do the same thing with ships - but that's harder to pull off. Naval Capacity really just limits how much you can have at once, not how many you can pump out for the grinder. A capacity cap could be added to armies, but it does show how armies are more of an after thought.

I don't think that's correct. No matter what complexity or troop composition rules we add, we still won't solve the underlying problem that so long as the attacker holds the system they can send effectively infinite troops at the defenders. There's no cost to doing so, and that will pretty much always beat any modifiers and mechanics we put in place. So defenders won't use these advanced rules and mechanics, because there's no point in doing so when the attacker has an insurmountable advantage.

That's a fair point. Putting in an army capacity, limiting strongholds so they're one per planet, and maybe adding a couple other defensive buildings for fortress worlds would be good starting points.
 
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However the ground combat system changes -- if it ever does -- I just want the presentation to be better. With space battles, you can zoom in on the action, slow down the speed of the game, and watch the fleets duke it out. It can make for very effective and dramatic screenshots for things like AARs. The Templin Institute on YouTube would record key battles this way in their Stellaris Invicta series.

So what do you get for ground combat? A bunch of icons.

MOO2 did this right, if simplistically. You actually saw on screen the two armies approaching each other and the soldiers firing shots at each other.
 
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I think eliminating ground combat in its current form actually creates an opportunity to rebalance ship combat and add some real intrigue to the espionage system.

First, just get rid of assault armies completely. They don’t add anything fun to the game at all. Instead, just have planetary bombardment itself BE the invasion - we can perhaps adjust bombardment policies that determine the speed of the bombardment (faster is more collateral damage, etc).

Next, make it so that only L weapons and up can directly bombard a planet. This is where ship combat gets adjusted - there are plenty of other threads that talk about the adjustments that can be made to the accuracy and tracking for large weapons, and those should get implemented so that L weapons main purpose is for busting starbases, other large ships, and planetary bombardment.

The next related adjustment is that battleships can ONLY be equipped with L weapons and higher (and hangers) to avoid any adjustments that would still allow for monofleets. This way battships become the sort of ships of the line that simulate supporting land invasions (which are now just simulated through bombardment) while cruisers becomes the support ships to keep them alive.

The timing of how long bombardments take may need to be adjusted, but it SHOULD take a long time to invade a planet. Additionally, this approach could make a building like the planetary shield actually useful.

There’s one last aspect that I think would bring this approach together, although it would be more complicated to implement than the above. It’s the idea of embargoes, which could be a way of gaining control of a planet prior to getting L sized weapons, or else a way to cripple an empire without taking years to invade (by bombardment) each and every planet. I may put a more detailed write up in the suggestion section, but basically those “planet deficits” become more important when a planet is embargoed. Each planet could have a designated “strategic reserve” of resources which have no effect in peace time.

But if that planet gets embargoed by a fleet in orbit of sufficient strength, it starts dipping into those reserves based upon its deficits. This, you could starve a planet, cripple its alloy production, etc.

Espionage could become connected to this by a “run embargo” operation where you smuggle food/minerals/whatever to the embargoed planet. All this obviously needs to be fleshed out, but I think it is something that could work within the framework of what already exists without a ton of work and finally just admit that ground combat is unnecessary and not fun (which I think the devs sort of agree with).
 
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I am absolutely opposed to most major overhauls to the current system. We dont need more depth. We already have issues having to micromanage 30+ planets, conduct a space war, and babysit your armies and tediously send them to every system. Making land combat require more attention is a terrible and unfun idea. Instead, I advocate for simplifying the system even more.
 
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I think eliminating ground combat in its current form actually creates an opportunity to rebalance ship combat and add some real intrigue to the espionage system.

First, just get rid of assault armies completely. They don’t add anything fun to the game at all. Instead, just have planetary bombardment itself BE the invasion - we can perhaps adjust bombardment policies that determine the speed of the bombardment (faster is more collateral damage, etc)....

That would be an option. Turn armies into ship modules.
 
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Sir Roderick

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Current numbers on RW militaries view average world-wide active duty participation at 2.5 military members per thousand population (0.25%) and at 9.6 per K (0.96%) when including reserve and paramilitary forces. Among the 15 countries that spend the most on their militaries in total USD equivalence, the rates are slightly lower (2.0, 7.1 per K), which makes sense in that their forces are more likely to be mechanized (armored vehicles, air forces, naval vessels) rather than just infantry. Using this as an example, a typical stellar nation's active-duty military might be equal to 0.2-0.25% of the population and its total military around 0.7-1.0%. If a given planet has a planetary population of 1 billion individuals (a developing colony of human analogues), a 0.2% active-duty segment would be 2 million individuals and a total commitment of 7 million.

According to the Wiki, each Colonist on a planet contributes one Defense Army, with some jobs providing a higher number (although these will be a limited fraction of all jobs on a planet) - I'm figuring on average that a planet has around 1.1-1.2 Defense Armies per Pop. Also per the Wiki, any of the more typical Assault Armies (and their variants) are limited to 1 per Pop (and specifically no more than 1 per Pop of the species used to make the Assault Army) - there are allowances made for armies not based on a species (e.g., clones, xenomorphs), so depending on their inclusion in a military, Assault Armies could be perhaps 1.0-1.5 per Pop. That's around 2.1-2.7 armies per Pop in total.

The number of Pops that can live on any given planet can be all over the place, depending on the size of the planet, the number and types of districts built, the number and types of buildings constructed, tech bonuses, etc., all contributing Housing (needed for each Pop). Each resource or industrial district would provide 2 Housing, other urban districts provide 5-6 Housing, housing buildings provide 3-10 Housing each, and on down the line. A size 25 planet could easily have way over 100 Pops (it's been quite a while since I've actually played the game, so I'm basing this off of the Wiki). Just throwing a number out there for the sake of the discussion, but if a single Pop is viewed as 250M human-analogue population (and a 100 Pop planet would be 25B individuals), then the population in a max armies scenario above (1.0% of population, 2.7 armies per Pop) would be 2.5M total and less than 926K per army - at the lower end, it's 1.75M total and around 830K per.

What single vessel is going to be capable of carrying 830-926K individuals, plus surface transportation, equipment, rapid-built facilities, and supplies, along with large numbers of shuttlecraft for rapid delivery and possible fighter escorts? All of this needs to be built on a ship that is also <Wiki> "automatically upgraded with the latest defense components" (I read that as Shields and Armor). A Colony Ship effectively carries 1 Pop to the new planet, although I head-canon Colony "Ships" to instead be fleets or convoys of less-ludicrously-large ships, perhaps 25x 10M-person ships. An individual Colony Ship is going to have fewer shuttles (if any, since the ship is designed to land - well, once) and more of its facilities, transportation, and equipment requirements would be met with 3D-printing and similar production on-site, with more dense supplies and materials taking up the remaining volume/mass of the cargo holds. As indicated above, a combat transport would have lots of shuttles, staging areas, pre-built equipment, etc., along with the defensive systems - I don't know if the transport's needs versus its smaller group of passengers would require it to be as large as a single Colony Ship, but it would be in a similar size group. If this transport would be too unwieldy for any type of combat, a similar concept to my head-canon Colony Fleet above could be used to make smaller ships in an "army fleet" (although a distinct fleet rather than a repeating line of individual ships).

Now, whether you feel that the vanilla 1-vessel Colony Ship is unrealistic or not, it's established in the game that the technology exists within the game to build and move units representing MASSIVE numbers of individuals and all of their associated effects. Specific numbers can be adjusted up or down per army, but I think I've laid out a fairly clear set of parameters that put Assault Armies and their transports well within the paradigm above for even Colony fleet ships.


A single pop was a billion people before the pop rework since earth in 2200 started with 8 pops, and after the rework 333 millions since it started with 24 pops instead.

Also colony ships don't bring a pop, they bring enough people to start a pop to grow in the times it starts to colonize to the time it ends colonizing, making a new pop like normal pop growth. Also they are clearly just one ship, since the ship is used as the colony reassembled shelter building, you're making stuff up:



New Worlds Protocol
Calculating required resources and gear required to establish a planetary colony allows us to herd brave pioneers into grand "ark ships", confident that they will survive the long voyage across the stars to a new home.



Reassembled Ship Shelter

The remains of a Colony Ship, reassembled for planetside form and function.



Also the game says cruisers are based on colony ships.


Originally devised as an experimental next-generation colony ship hull configuration, the design's ample hardpoints made it ideal for carrying heavy weapons ordnance.



And transport ships are smaller than colony ships, so they would have less people, and in the game they just show drop pods so only those would be needed to be in the transport ships:

 
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Well, if you have the economy, you can do the same thing with ships - but that's harder to pull off. Naval Capacity really just limits how much you can have at once, not how many you can pump out for the grinder. A capacity cap could be added to armies, but it does show how armies are more of an after thought.



That's a fair point. Putting in an army capacity, limiting strongholds so they're one per planet, and maybe adding a couple other defensive buildings for fortress worlds would be good starting points.
There's already a cap on armies, one army per pop, unless it's clone armies or xenomorphs, or droids
 

InvisibleBison

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I don't agree with everything Cordane said, but what you're saying is even more wrong.
A single pop was a billion people before the pop rework since earth in 2200 started with 8 pops, and after the rework 333 millions since it started with 24 pops instead.
A pop does not correspond and has never corresponded to a specific number of individuals. Any attempt to make it do so results in an absurd situation somewhere. The approach you've chosen, for instance, has new colonies with absurdly high population.

Also they are clearly just one ship, since the ship is used as the colony reassembled shelter building, you're making stuff up:



New Worlds Protocol
Calculating required resources and gear required to establish a planetary colony allows us to herd brave pioneers into grand "ark ships", confident that they will survive the long voyage across the stars to a new home.



Reassembled Ship Shelter

The remains of a Colony Ship, reassembled for planetside form and function.



Also the game says cruisers are based on colony ships.


Originally devised as an experimental next-generation colony ship hull configuration, the design's ample hardpoints made it ideal for carrying heavy weapons ordnance.
While I agree that colony ships are individual ships, not an abstraction of a convoy, none of what you've cited proves that. The quote from New Worlds Protocol simply acknowledges that colony ships exists, it says nothing about how they're used. The fact that a Reassembled Ship Shelter is made from a single colony ship doesn't mean that ship was the only ship involved in bringing colonists to the planet. And the fact that cruisers are based off of colony ships has no bearing whatsoever on how colony ships are used.

And transport ships are smaller than colony ships, so they would have less people, and in the game they just show drop pods so only those would be needed to be in the transport ships:
No two categories of objects are displayed in game at the same scale. We have no idea how large transports are relative to colony ships.
 
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I don't agree with everything Cordane said, but what you're saying is even more wrong.

A pop does not correspond and has never corresponded to a specific number of individuals. Any attempt to make it do so results in an absurd situation somewhere. The approach you've chosen, for instance, has new colonies with absurdly high population.


While I agree that colony ships are individual ships, not an abstraction of a convoy, none of what you've cited proves that. The quote from New Worlds Protocol simply acknowledges that colony ships exists, it says nothing about how they're used. The fact that a Reassembled Ship Shelter is made from a single colony ship doesn't mean that ship was the only ship involved in bringing colonists to the planet. And the fact that cruisers are based off of colony ships has no bearing whatsoever on how colony ships are used.


No two categories of objects are displayed in game at the same scale. We have no idea how large transports are relative to colony ships.

A pop must correspond to a number of individuals, because it would make no sense otherwise.
That number is not absurdly high for a new colony, a colony takes some million people in the colony ships and it takes a year or two depending on tech to grow into a full pop, which is some hundred millions at least.

If there's no convoy and there's just one ship used, it obviously is just one ship used and not more ships.
The cruiser ship thing was to show that colony ships are bigger than corvettes and destroyers at least.

The colonies ships look bigger and bigger ships are always bigger than smaller ships.
 
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A pop must correspond to a number of individuals, because it would make no sense otherwise.
Do you have proof that the game must always make sense?

That number is not absurdly high for a new colony, a colony takes some million people in the colony ships and it takes a year or two depending on tech to grow into a full pop, which is some hundred millions at least.
You think that a population increasing in size 100-fold over the course of a few years without any immigration is reasonable?

If there's no convoy and there's just one ship used, it obviously is just one ship used and not more ships.
Yes, but you haven't offered any proof that a colony ship is just one ship.

The colonies ships look bigger and bigger ships are always bigger than smaller ships.
But there's no reason to think that different classes of ships are on the same scale as each other. There's no consistent scale at which things are depicted in the system view.
 
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