Idea for strategic spyplanes

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Would dedicated, long range spyplanes be a good idea and if so, which kind?

Fast but with a short detection range.
20
34%
Slower but a larger detection range.
13
22%
An option for either kind.
0
No votes
Spyplanes wouldn't be a good idea.
26
44%
 
Total votes: 59
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Idea for strategic spyplanes

Postby Solaris_Wave » Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:30 am

I was thinking about a possible idea for long range spy planes. They could have the long range fuel capacity of the bombers but have a similar scouting radius as a fighter. They wouldn't have any strike capacity but would be better at evading enemy interceptors or missiles. There could also be a limit as to how many are available at each airbase. Maybe they could be deployed beforehand at a location via the Unit selection.

They could either be very fast, high altitude planes similar to the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, with a short range radar or perhaps slower aircraft like the Tupolev "Bear" E variant (but what they sacrifice in speed, they gain in detection radius). Maybe there could be an option for either, as each one has advantages and disadvantages.

Fighters don't have the long range capacity to often scout deep into territory and easily get shot down by the infinite amount of missiles that get launched at them (and those Surface-to-Air missiles that get launched often take off as soon as a plane leaves an airbase, especially if two enemy territories are close together). Having dedicated spy planes would help improve their chances of deep reconaissance but by restricting their availability, would prevent them from being too effective.

This is just an idea but I thought I would also try a poll. I have never created a forum poll before (never felt the need) so I apologise if the options are limited.
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Postby Al3xand3r » Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:36 am

I think scouting is fine as it is. The fighter planes from bases get remade (albeit slowly) so it's ok you lose a few while trying to scout.

Also, scouting isn't meant to be easy, if we had crafts like that available then we'd probably have a full view of the enemy territory within minutes in every single match.
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Postby Neuroleptic » Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:38 am

I like the idea but im afraid it would make everything more complicated. Maybe(!) a one time spy-satellite option would fit better.
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Postby Solaris_Wave » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:12 am

That is why I mentioned restricting the availability of such aircraft. You'd probably only have one or two at your disposal. They wouldn't be immune to enemy fire or detection but would have a higher chance to avoid those threats. Likewise, their own detection radius wouldn't be so large that they bring everything out in the open after just one flight. That is why I personally would favour the high speed, short radar range idea.

It wouldn't appear to be any more complicated that choosing where to put your assets at the beginning of the game and whether you want your airbases to launch fighters or bombers. In turn, they wouldn't be as powerful as recon satellites which would pretty much show where everything is, right from the offset.

However, this is an open poll which is why I wanted to hear as many ideas and opinions as possible (and then hopefully give the developers one or two ideas).

Regards.
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Postby Talesin » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:21 am

Hey, I like the idea of the high speed, low detection radius planes. Possibly have them not be able to be targetted by the SAM sites, giving another reason not to simply launch all of your fighters at once. Maybe allow one or two fighters to take one out pretty quickly, but the enemy you're scouting has to notice that the spyplane is incoming, then manually launch a fighter at it.

Possibly only get one spyplane per airbase per game? Yeah, scouting out Europe from the US is a true PITA most of the time.
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Postby Seb06 » Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:08 am

I'd say a fast plane with the same detection range as a figther, available once from every airbase, and not respawnable.

Should be shown on radars the same way that subs spotted by sonars are shown, and only a scrambled fighter would be able to see it perfectly, and therefore able to shoot it down
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Postby Eldkraft » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:16 pm

I like the spyplane/spysatellite idea but I think it should be un-detectable and just show a selected area. The cost of this would be to give up a radarunit or more, for multiple spyunits, at the beginning of the game.
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Postby LordSturm » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:26 pm

How bout a fast, nuclear warhead with a super big radar range, and you can fire it automatically in defcon 5.
Whats more, when you choose to fire it, the game automagically pauses so you can aim with utmost precision.
Whats more, is it blows the whole country up. ( 99% of its population. )

In order to make the menu system simpler for us, to allow this weapon, just disable team switching.
"Surely you didn't mean to press that button just then did you?"
"No, nor will i disarm the nukes."
"Oh well, I will have my Fighters shoot them down."
"Sure you will."
"Oh NOES, ITS BEEN PATCHED!!!"
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Postby Solaris_Wave » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:28 pm

When you say not being allowed to respawn, do you mean if shot down or after it has made one flight? I feel that the spyplane should be allowed to make as many flights as possible until it gets shot down. After that, it doesn't regenerate.

I'd personally go with a spyplane that is faster than a fighter but only slightly, so it can outrun a pursuing fighter (and this wouldn't be unrealistic as Strategic Air Command went for speed before they fully developed stealth). It wouldn't be able to just zip through a flight of interceptors that were heading towards it. I like the ideas about the spyplane only really being able to be detected and shot at by a fighter (and not a silo) as this was pretty much similar to what I had in mind. The silos on air defence can spit out endless missiles from long range and pretty much knock out everything in flight as soon as they get airborne. The spyplane does need the speed advantage though because if they can easily be shot down by a fighter without being able to fire back, they wouldn't have much benefit over sending a fighter on a one-way scouting mission. The main point about the spyplane is long range fuel capacity so it can fly deep into enemy territory (or across oceans), have a chance to get a good look at whatever was in its flight path without being easily shot down and then finally, have enough fuel to return to base (something the fighter rarely does right now).

Would one spyplane at every airbase be a good idea or could that be overkill? If you selected which airbase they were deployed at in the beginning of the game and had two planes to place at an airbase via the Units selection, would that be better?
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Postby Seb06 » Sat Oct 07, 2006 2:21 pm

Solaris_Wave wrote:When you say not being allowed to respawn, do you mean if shot down or after it has made one flight? I feel that the spyplane should be allowed to make as many flights as possible until it gets shot down. After that, it doesn't regenerate.


that's what I meant :wink:
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Postby Missile Command Kid » Sat Oct 07, 2006 2:38 pm

Mmm, I would be more comfortable with an AWACS system using an E3. In a game where knowing where your enemies' silos are, I think that what you're talking about would dramatically change the balance of the game. On the other hand, a bigger, slower bird would be more fair and more realistic, as every nuclear-capable nation on the planet could certainly field one or two modified 707s.
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Postby Soldant » Sat Oct 07, 2006 2:39 pm

I'm in two minds about it.

On one hand, it sort of makes sense to have an aircraft that flies quick, has a large radar range but is weak and is unarmed. It'd make scouting foreign areas easier, and if they were limited to one per airbase they'd probably be quite useful. They don't have to be totally invisible, but perhaps have less of a chance of getting hit. As for numbers, one per airbase seems sufficient.

On the other hand... isn't this what we're supposed to be tactically using fighters for? Fighters have to be deployed from carriers to get any enemy intel, and they're not supposed to give you instant, easy access to enemy positions; that only comes through work, planning and a bit of luck. Also if you're good, you can halt an enemy's silos when they launch if you've got subs waiting in position.


To sum up: If they were there, I'd use them for sure. But when it comes to game balance, I don't know if having a good unit map out an enemy area with ease is really all that good. We have fighters to do that job for us, it just takes a bit of work to get them there. Also part of DEFCON is the paranoia about not knowing where the enemy is and what they're up to; I think spyplanes might take away some of that.
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Postby Solaris_Wave » Sat Oct 07, 2006 2:57 pm

Very good points you have made there. The thing is, why were strategic reconnaisance aircraft like the SR-71 Blackbird created in reality, when there was still the option to use tactical fighters that were reconnaisance variants? This is not a complaint to your comments, merely an observation as to why such strategic aircraft were ever employed.
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Postby Useful Dave » Sat Oct 07, 2006 3:23 pm

Because getting Carriers so close would alert those being Recon'd. I Personally Think a 'AWAC' Style Aircraft would be best, Slow, Decent Radar Range, Easy to kill. Then you would need to A: Micro manage, using Radar range to avoid Conflict or B: Keep them near a Carrier to Provide Fighters.
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Postby Daxx » Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:27 pm

Solaris_Wave wrote:Very good points you have made there. The thing is, why were strategic reconnaisance aircraft like the SR-71 Blackbird created in reality, when there was still the option to use tactical fighters that were reconnaisance variants? This is not a complaint to your comments, merely an observation as to why such strategic aircraft were ever employed.


I'm not sure, but I think he was referring to the game. Since it's a game, not an actual simulation of nuclear war, I think the reason we have limited resources is to challenge us and make scouting more difficult. I would imagine people would find scouting a lot easier if IV implemented spyplanes, and I'm not so sure that would make for a better gameplay experience.
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