Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

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Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by cleverwise » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:54 pm

Hello Community,

I am assuming we have all played the Feds at some point. Personally when I play the Feds I like to be as diplomatic as possible in the beginning and let the other major powers battle it out while building a strong empire. This often nets me lots of planets to build a large economy with the ship populace support to go with it. Still, and especially well into the game, one ends up at war with the major powers. This raises the need for planetary assaults as it is just unavoidable and, quite frankly, required to win the game.

However, and this is the issue, Fed citizens HATE when you bombard a system, which kills some of the local population. So morale starts to suffer which lowers work output and credits. This leads me to the point of this thread. I thought it would be interesting to share what tactics/strategies you use to keep the morale damage to a minimum. The longer you assault a planetary system and/or multiple systems the worse the morale effect.

So lets say you want to take over eight planets as fast as possible, how do you handle the morale hit?
* While I posted this thread with the Feds in mind by all means talk about how you handle this situation when playing the other powers, although Klingons and Cards don't seem to care.

=================
Important Points:
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1) Please don't include I just use UE to raise morale. I am talking about what natural, in game, actions you take like limiting how quickly you perform multiple planetary assaults (assault a system then waiting x turns for morale to recover before the next assault) or building special structures.

2) This thread isn't about how you actually win a planetary assault, there is enough documentation on that issue, but about morale management. So no need to discuss build x transports with y cruisers and send in the cruisers first. Unless you have found that some how specific ships and/or a specific order effect morale.
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Re: Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by Martok » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:49 am

The short answer to how I handle planetary assaults is that the fewer turns I spend bombing a system, the better it is for my morale.

Thus, I don't bombard systems unless/until I also have the necessary troop transports to successfully invade said system as well. If I don't have enough transports on hand to accomplish this, then I don't bombard -- period.
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Re: Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by adi » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:51 pm

The secret is to conquer in one turn.
For this, use warships that will resist the orbital batteries without damage(so you don't need to replenish your forces) and enough TT to give you about twice the ground combat power of the system you want to conquer. Never just bomb.
The orbital batteries will fire on the first ships on your invading force as they appear listed in the left side info of the screen when you select the task force; one battery per ships. So make sure you have at least enough warships as many batteries are on the system.
And make sure when you select the task force, in the list on the left side your cruisers/strikers are listed before your TTs. The game lists the ships in the order the have been built. So first built the warships and then the TTs.
Use "older" TTs to build starbases or to conquer systems with no batteries.

The added bonus of conquering in one turn is that you only destroy a few buildings and population on the system.
Even so the morale will go down for feds, so if it is too low wait until you get some morale bonuses from some battles, colonizing, member-ing a minor or from your +1 morale empire wide buildings.

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Re: Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by cleverwise » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:36 pm

I totally agree with that line of thinking and is how I handle the situation too. I always make sure I have enough TTs to equal at least double+1 the ground defense. This is balanced with the right amount of cruisers and/or destroyers to take out the orbitals and/or shield generators. That way the assault is over in one turn and limits the damage to the local populace and prevents Feds citizens from protesting turn after turn after turn. However when you subjugate the local populace Fed citizens still protest and morale suffers. It really is a lose-lose when assaulting planets as the Feds.

Some of the tactics I have personally deployed include:

1) Colonization: If possible I plan planetary assaults with a colonization effort. I will get a system ready for colonization but hold off on the last planet teraforming (colony and TT ships together). I will take over my target system and let the Fed citizens protest. On this turn I teraform the last planet in the colonization system and then colonize it on the following turn. So two turns after the assault I am colonizing a new system. Fed citizens celebrate the new system. So take away from morale on the assault but give back on the colonization.

2) Membership: If possible I follow a similar plan as above only with a membership. I will work on getting a new minor close to membership status. Then assault a system, which of course drops morale. On this turn I offer a small gift to my membership target. On the next turn I offer membership to the target system. In general, since I have planned this, the membership target accepts and Fed citizens celebrate the new member and morale goes up. So take away on the assault and give back on the membership.

3) Battles: Obviously Fed citizens like it when you win battles against hostile ships and outposts. Once again, and if possible, I will plan planetary assaults with battles in mind. So assault a system and Feds complain. Then fight a few battles quickly to help morale. Now, of course, winning the battle is key and often it takes multiple battles to equal the drop in one planetary assault.

4) Time: Sometimes I just wait 10 to 15 turns for morale to slowly recover.

So these are the main methods I deploy to counteract the drop in morale on planetary assaults. Of course sometimes I just can't wait to setup one of these and just assault a system and take the hit without any immediate counter balance and that is where the time method is deployed. Plus regardless of the method used to counter the morale drop I always wait before assaulting the next system. Therefore even if I used the membership method and morale goes up I still wait a few turns after that event before assaulting the next system. In addition I quickly build martial law centers on the new planets to slowly convert the morale on them.

I like to play on the biggest map and over time the other major powers will have 10 to 20 planets and I will have 25+ with a huge economy, 10+ minor races, and loads of ship populace support. As stated I generally remain as neutral as possible to allow myself to get stronger and stronger. Yes I build plenty of ships to defend my empire but I just like to sit back and let the other major powers fight it out. I will usually have peace treaties with all of them and through micromanagement of my planets I get extremely strong. I can tick off a major power for 50 turns and they won't declare war because they know they just can't take me on by themselves. So they will make a war pact with another power and then declare war on me.

Of course this doesn't mean I totally escape all conflict while growing but I maintain the peace as much as possible. Then when total war breaks out I have a huge military often 50%+ on the map. Thus I have the ability to assault multiple systems at once often surrounding multiple enemy systems with dozens of warships at one time. My opponents that have been weakened by conflicts with each other can't do much about it. However I am forced to slow way down to manage the morale hit by Fed citizens so what I could do with the military in 5 to 10 turns can take 50+ turns so I don't tick off the Fed citizens to fast.

[At the time of this posting] For example in the current game I am playing I could easily assault and take out six to seven systems in one turn but that would just destroy Fed morale. Militarily it isn't a problem and my opponents have no real ability to stop me. I just steamroll right over them and this has all been done naturally. I haven't used any cheating and all powers started out at the same level. While the military is key to winning you need a strong economy to build, maintain, and grow your military and I have always focused heavily on my economy. This is why I micromanage big time and enjoy it. I am fanatical about micromanagement. I don't just hit turn, turn, turn. In fact as a game develops, and I get dozens of planets, I can spend 10 to 20 minutes or more on one turn. I have, on more than one occasion, realized over 30 minutes has passed and I am still on a single turn. This is just my style. I am very patient and deliberate not that I don't sometimes screw up. ;-) My current game is a good 40+ hours old, over a few weeks, and not even at 200 turns.

The morale issue does add to the challenge when playing the Feds.
Last edited by cleverwise on Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by adi » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:21 pm

Sounds like you are playing Vanilla (colony ship +TT one turn colonization) and you got it figured out.
I am playing mostly UDM3.0.1dc. I have noticed that you don't need to time your colonize, member-ing or battles after the assault; if you have a bad morale event and a good morale one in the same turn first the bad one then the good one is applied; the order does not matter for your systems but it does for the newly assaulted one; because from where ever they are morale-wise after the conquering, then the good event applies and raises there morale a bit.

Also to maximize the morale from battles you need your wining fleet to be a substantial size of your total fleet; it does not matter if you fight against a TT ot 200 enemy ships; if you used most of your ships in the battle you get more morale. I think there are three levels of morale after battle (the "raised the enthusiasm" one is the best). See the morale table for your mod.

Also instead of conquering on several fronts i usually focus on one major power. The systems conquered from them have low morale but once i get their last system I get +50 morale and that will bring them all up with some morale buffer to start conquering the next power unlucky to be on my borders.

If the game seams to easy to you, you can always raise the difficulty to impossible. Then they will start to sabotage you as soon as they meet you and will prompt you to conquer them to get rid of the intel nuisance.
Next step is to start at one or two lower tech levels then them. Then you wish you don't meet them too soon! And here is where your micromanaging makes the difference between victory and defeat!
Have fun!

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Re: Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by cleverwise » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:22 pm

You are correct I am on Vanilla, 1.0.2 to be exact.

As mentioned I do tend to wait for the new event to happen after the assault to assist with the morale of the new planet. I do generally focus my attention on one power at a time when performing planetary assaults. However in my long running games it is common to have two to three major powers at war with me.

In the current game mentioned I am at war with the Romulans and Ferengi. The Cardassians are my allies although they are like 11% my size and Klingons were conquered by the Romulans. I am more focused on the Romulans due to their cloaking and Intel abilities and am assaulting the old Klingon empire. I am using the Ferengi for morale points by attacking their fleets and outposts but not their planets.

I have played all kinds of ways both with lower and higher tech. Sometimes it is fun to just show up at tech 5 when the others are at tech 3. However in general I play same tech level or a little less. I am looking forward to many of the mod games but so far am just enjoying the Vanilla play. I just recently blew the dust off this game and reinstalled it, then found this forum. It is a great resource and awesome to see guys (and perhaps gals) modding the heck out of this game and keeping development alive. I am sure the original Microprose team never dreamed of this game having such legs.

Unlike many people, and this probably goes for many on this forum, I don't have to have the latest graphics. I am more about good game play with strategies. I am the same way with movies and tv shows. Sure new graphics and special effects blow away old methods but if there isn't a good story (for movies and tv shows) or gameplay I just fail to see the point. So while shooters can be fun for a bit I strongly prefer more strategic games like BotF, Rome (Total War Series and awesome!), SimCity (series), Zoo Tycoon (series), RollerCoaster Tycoon (series), Command and Conquer (series), Caesar (series), Transport Tycoon, etc.

Anyway back to BotF... I tip my hat to all the modders out there and my thanks to the forum team. (Sorry I know this post wandered off the beaten path a bit)
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Re: Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by Flocke » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:03 pm

cleverwise wrote:Unlike many people, and this probably goes for many on this forum, I don't have to have the latest graphics.
DOooh... all that time on the graphics wasted :( *joking*
Well actually I fully agree, however I wished they could do great games and films with good graphics too. I mean, yes there are a few - sometimes - but the most storywise is crap to my opinion too and I don't understand why. I mean I am all up for the latest technics and so, but the most stuff today always seems to be just targeted at the casual consumers and is made with no brain and heart, just to collect money. That's my feeling to it afterall.
Nm, there are enough other things to spend one's time. :)

Oh, today btw is DougDay, or at least to my calendar since a few minutes. :D

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Re: Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by cleverwise » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:43 pm

I hear you. :-)

I do enjoy good graphics and special effects and they can do wonders in that area with modern technology. However I can also easily over look the special effects if the game or movie/tv show has a good plot. I enjoy many shows and movies made way before my time because they had well thought out plots. Who doesn't like a good gun battle or action scene? But for many modern movies/shows and games it is just about special effects, swearing (for movies/shows) and action, action, action. Where is the meat as they say? All dessert and no substance. Blah!

I know several modders have worked to upgrade some of the graphics in BotF and my hats off to them. I am highly technical but graphics aren't my thing so to me it is magic. I can do simple edits using Photoshop or Paintshop Pro but good graphics have a polished look that make them look "simple". It truly is an art skill.

So the "primitive" graphics of BotF compared to modern games is no issue for me. Still I wouldn't turn down BotF upgraded to full modern graphics with say the GlassBox engine in the new SimCity. I mean just think about those kind of graphics for BotF. For example being able to zoom in on a system and seeing the planets float around a star in 3D, see ships moving back and forth on a trade route, watching people do welding on a starship under construction in a ship yard, zooming in on a nebula in a sector and seeing the cloud of gas swirling around, a starbase with shuttles coming and going, or an extremely advanced combat engine with pieces of starships being blown off. The possibilities are endless.

However the current graphics doesn't take away from BotF's awesome gameplay. It forces one to do more than just push a button and fire a gun at some object on a hill. You really need to think out some strategies. The masses seem to just want mindless shooting and things exploding. I have often noticed more intelligent shows/movies fail to gain much interest.

Sorry to get off topic, again.
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Re: Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by adi » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:19 pm

Off topic too :wink:

For me too the gameplay and the story is what makes me play the game. The other day, while waiting for the Romulans to be able to build shipyards, i played Morrowind :oops: ; although i have Skyrim on PS3; actually lately, my PS3 is just a very expensive Blu-ray player :roll:

If you never tried some of the other mods i kind of envy you for what your're gonna discover; when i moved from vanilla to UDM3 it was like :shock:
And then the next step was MPR++;
And if you get to know a bit of UE, then things get more interesting, then sometimes frustrating but in the end rewarding.

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Re: Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by cleverwise » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:34 pm

I understand on the console. I had an Xbox 360 die several months ago but all I really used it for was to stream Netflix. Thus I just replaced it with a cheaper streaming box - WD TV Live. Then I gutted the Xbox 360 and sold many of the parts on eBay, which ended up covering the cost of the WD box. I find console gaming boring, mainly due to wanting more strategic games.
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Re: Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by cleverwise » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:56 pm

I wanted to add, for any one reading this in the future, another tactic is liberating a system. Fed citizens love it when you liberate a system and it gives you a big morale boost. Thus I liberate systems around the time of performing system assaults. You should be able to get several system assaults for each liberation before your morale returns to preliberation levels.
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Re: Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by KrazeeXXL » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:15 pm

d'Oh. Now I feel stupid for posting that about colonization in the other thread. should've read this one here first.

I agree with what has been told. Hit 'em fast and hit 'em hard.

If the system to be conquered has a lot of orbs, I usually intel it to reduce them. Sometimes it's very useful but you have to start that early on. It's good when TTs might be still a couple of turns away. And you can save a little ship here and there which you'd otherwise lose through the invasion. Nothing big but every little thing helps.

If the major isn't that big, I'd conquer his best systems, killing the rest. Trying to have some battles on the side to cushion the moral minus a bit. If they offer you peace and you are bad on moral, some conquered systems ready to revolt, try peace.

It may just last for 1 or 2 turns but when the AI breaks it, you'll get moral as well. I'm not exactly sure how that works with already conquered systems. I think if those are from a major which you are attacking, they always get a bit pissed.

When you win a battle, you don't get that much moral on those conquered worlds of that same major, as on the other systems. When you lose a battle, moral minus seems to hit a bit harder, too. The only way to end this is to eradicate that major completely and conquer the home system. If there's still resistance and some systems, they seem to have some "hope" left. When they're gone as a major they seem to accept their fate.

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Re: Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by cleverwise » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:20 pm

I wouldn't feel stupid. It can be difficult to keep all topics straight. Plus even if you run a search you might not find what you are looking for or get 10 pages of results and who is going to vet every page?

Anyway...

The negatives seem to count more than the positives. However isn't that life? ;-)

Intel can be very useful however how do you know your intel will hit that system? I have noticed intel is very unreliable in that way. Plus even when focusing on a specific area with intel you may still get reports from other areas. I have many times set economic focus and get science reports. I am not saying using intel is a bad idea at all but if you want to assault x system intel isn't refined enough to focus on that system, which is to bad. I think the game should allow one to target a system with intel.
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Re: Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by adi » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:39 pm

cleverwise wrote:I have noticed intel is very unreliable in that way. Plus even when focusing on a specific area with intel you may still get reports from other areas.
Yes it happens; but anyway i only use intel on military; so it destroys my enemies data banks and tips the cold war in my favor; and when you conquer a system you don't get its databanks structures anyway.
Focusing intel on other areas will destroy farms, industry, universities and other useful buildings you would want still present on the conquered system when it becomes yours.
Military targets like shipyard and dilitium refinery can be rebuilt in one turn each; but 5 farms, or 10 industry buildings take more turns.
Also when conquering if the system has 8 orbitals, i will attack only with no more than 8 cruiser even if i have more; that way i limit the building destruction on the system soon to be mine.

Ah, and if you play with MPR++, it automaticaly saves after every turn (that MPR++ autosave is brilliant; so many times i hit "Turn" trying to hit "Summary") so if you attacked a 1 orbital system with 18 cruisers, reload and try again.

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Re: Planetary Assaults - Morale Management (Damage Control)

Post by cleverwise » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:44 pm

Those are some valid points, adi.

I have never been a big user of intel. In general I set it up for defense. However once a major power starts a campaign against me and I keep getting notices of stopping a spy ring or something I will put some toward spying. This causes the foreign power to adjust and the attacks go down for a while.

I am not a fan of the Turn and Summary buttons being so close together. I, too, and probably all of us have hit Turn by accident. I wouldn't want a double confirm Turn but it really should be on another part of the screen (at the bottom of that panel perhaps). Another annoyance is the fact the Summary tab doesn't remember where you were. It should remember if you were last on the Events, Systems, or Relationships screen. On the Events and Systems screens it should jump to the last item you highlighted. It is a royal pain to keep having to scroll through the Events screen to get to the next entry when you have a long list of them.
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