I’m currently doing probably the most complex and difficult part of the game, that is balancing the two armies units types. Usually we have in normal games the also known “rock-paper-scissors” theme.
For those that don’t know what it means, read this quote directly from Wikipedia related entry:
“Combat or strategy-based video games often feature RPS-like cycles in their characters’ or units’ effectiveness against others. These often attempt to emulate cycles in real-world combat (such as where cavalry are effective against archers, archers have an edge over spearmen, and spearmen are strongest against cavalry), or simple elemental trinities such as fire, water and air. Such game mechanics can make a game somewhat self-balancing, by preventing any one simple strategy from dominating gameplay.”
In my game, I have this scheme so far:
Scout: strong against Battleship, weak against Interceptors
Transport Troops: strong against Cruisers
Cruiser: strong against Interceptors, weak against Transport
Interceptor: strong against Scouts, weak against Cruisers
Battleship: weak against Scout
the transport are strong only against Cruisers because they can board the ship and kill all the crew. This operation is not possible vs other ship classes because they have much more crew onboard and the assault would be ineffective. They have no weaknes vs a specific opponent because they are actually vulnerable vs anyone’s attack 🙂 they get dangerous only if they can go nearby a Cruiser or a Planet to conquer.
The Battleship on the other hand is strong vs anyone, since they have both long and short range weapons, but are weak against Scouts because they are hard to target in short range. Of course a single Scout can’t destroy a Battleship in few turns, but without any help from support units like Interceptors or Cruisers, they can have hard time killing the Scout while it keeps shooting on its tail, doing slow but constant damage…
Then of course there is the Mothership. It is by nature is the most powerful ship of each army, so doesn’t have any particular weak point, but is strong against anybody. Indeed will be quite hard to destroy it during a tactical combat 🙂