Future of Ship combat

The problem:
Right now in Stellaris ship combat is a rock paper scissors game (missiles, lasers/guns, PD) where you doom stack all your ships together and the bigger number generally wins. This has a bit of issue.

  1. Ship design can be confusing, auto design is less desirable which leads to costly retrofits

  2. Combat calculation can be off

    1. Ship tech is often b-lined with certain tech being untouched
  3. Players are forced to doom stack and AI makes foolish choices with fleet.

A solution pt:1 Combat width
Paradox has corrected this issue before in their other games and here it could use the same solution with combat width. The difference between combat width with Stellaris would be that we could use different range bands short, med and long.

Long would be artillery battleships/carriers. These ships are vulnerable to med and short-range ships, these could also launch fighters (for this example, each long has 4 fighter) which fight in short range.

Medium would be tanky cruiser type ships and acts as shields to the long ships

Short range ships would be like your destroyers and your fighter ships that are provided by the long hangers. Fighters also ignore combat width and all fighters attack at the same time.

Capital ships acts like a long but only one can be in combat.

example combat with a width of 4

Short, med and fighters attack short which acts as a wall for the larger ships.

Long fire on med ships.

Once a ship range has been killed out, it increases the attack range by one.

A solution pt:2 Components

With the classification change of ship types this means the old research path of would need to be changed. One of these changes would being able to build the three classification of ships right from year 2200.

With a change on how ships interact with one another the components on ships would also need to change to fit that. It would be a smart move to have more slots for tech and basic improvements like all ships having point defense lasers, unified armor / shields and all classification of ships have default armaments. For example, that all long has hangers. This will shift the focus of designing ships to designing fleet compositions.

A change to improve streamlining this could be once you research a new component tech it is automatically installed in all ships. As for retrofitting, this could be used when you research a new era / improved version of the classification which brings more stats or more component slots. This means less retrofits but when you do a retrofit, they could take a long time and put your ships out of commission.


With these changes, combat has much more in depth, more easily visible on what is happening, less need of maintenance, makes doom stacking less useful, makes all component tech more universally good, while removing the complexity of ship design.


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