I’m working on getting the combat to a state that it can be played a bit more easily. By this I mean that the player should see what’s going on and he should also be able to get the ships to do what he wants. To this end I added the combat modes and engagement modes for squadrons. I also added squadron cards so the player sees what squadrons he has, how much they have suffered losses and how much they are currently receiving or dealing damage.
The combat mode has two states: stationary and evasive. So far there has been only stationary mode, in which the ships maximize their damage output on the target. In evasive mode they move around and hopefully evading some of the incoming shots. I have experimented with these before but now they are implemented a bit better.
The engagement mode is a totally new thing. It has three options: hold fire, fire at will and engage at will. In hold fire mode the ships in the squadron will attack only the targets that the player explicitly commanded for the squadron. In fire at will mode, any “idle” ships will also shoot any targets that they encounter. Ships are idle if they don’t have any flying tasks at the moment. This means that if ships are on the correct flight path, they can rotate and shoot any ships that they pass by while floating through space. In engage at will mode, the squadron will “lock on” to any enemy ships they encounter. So they will actively chase them and continue with the original command once the enemies are destroyed. They also give up if the enemies can escape outside their range.
The squadron cards on the bottom of the screen will have information about the squadrons. They can also be used as a way to point your squadrons, if you want to select or target them with some command for example. Currently the card shows the current ship amount and original ship amount. The original ship amount is reset if ships leave or join a squadron. The card also shows the current action of the squadron by showing a corresponding icon. The background of the icon indicates how much damage the squadron is receiving – the redder it gets, the more damage the squadron is receiving. Similarly the color of the icon indicates how much damage the squadron is dealing – light blue means they are dealing some damage, but an intense shade of blue means they are delivering their full potential on some enemy ships.