Author Topic: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA  (Read 4388 times)

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Offline CT27

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"Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
In the real time strategy (RTS) game Red Alert 2, the two factions (Soviets and Allies) each possess unique and sometimes opposite traits.

For instance:

In RA2, Soviets tended to be slow, heavily armored, with raw firepower...low tech overall with cheap swarm units.  The Allies tended to be quick, lightly armored, higher tech firepower...generally higher tech with individual units being more expensive.

On the other hand, it seems that the UEF and GTVA aren't divided quite as black and white.  On paper how would you say the UEF and GTVA are balanced (what would you list as the advantages/disadvantages of each side)?  Compared to Red Alert 2, does one BP faction have an at least rough counterpart in RA2?


I'll post a slightly more in depth comparison (my opinion) later, but I kind of think the GTVA has RA2 Allies technology but the RA2 Soviet attitude.

 
Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
The balance in RA2's Allies and Soviets came from the original Command and Conquer, and is a very common RTS trope.

Regarding the GTVA vs UEF balance, there's an entry about it in the techroom and it's mostly true. Though there's no real "balance" here as the GTVA is simply more powerful, especially if you take into account their full force and not just the part of it invading Sol. Technologically the GTVA is far ahead the UEF, the only real "disadvantage"  being that their fighters were designed to be mass-produced and deployed across a variety of systems. This leads to them not performing quite as well as the elite UEF fighters, though the GTVA can probably bring 40 Persei for every Kentauroi. The GTVA warships have beam weapons and much more accurate jumpdrives, a combination that lets them cut through anything the UEF has.
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Offline Scotty

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
Kinda.  While the GTVA fighter corps is omnipresent and unending, the UEF fighter corps greatly outclasses it.  The UEF bomber corps in some ways outclasses corvettes and destroyers in terms of raw warfighting capability.  A wing of Durgas can (and will, play Her Finest Hour to find out) take out entire corvettes in tens of seconds.

The GTVA is more operationally fluid, and capable of operating as battlegroups for longer periods of time than the ammunition heavy UEF fleets.  However, I think that (Diomedes aside) the UEF frigates tend to outclass their GTVA counterparts in individual effectiveness.  The GTVA has far more destroyers than the UEF has, but a fight between a Solaris and an Erebus is pretty close to a dead heat.

 
Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
Kinda.  While the GTVA fighter corps is omnipresent and unending, the UEF fighter corps greatly outclasses it.  The UEF bomber corps in some ways outclasses corvettes and destroyers in terms of raw warfighting capability.  A wing of Durgas can (and will, play Her Finest Hour to find out) take out entire corvettes in tens of seconds.

The GTVA is more operationally fluid, and capable of operating as battlegroups for longer periods of time than the ammunition heavy UEF fleets.  However, I think that (Diomedes aside) the UEF frigates tend to outclass their GTVA counterparts in individual effectiveness.  The GTVA has far more destroyers than the UEF has, but a fight between a Solaris and an Erebus is pretty close to a dead heat.
Well, yeah, GTVA cruisers aren't designed to operate individually, they're meant as antibomber escort. And while their frigates are weaker, the GTVA has around 20 destroyers while the UEF has 3. I wouldn't agree that the UEF figter corps "greatly" outclasses the GTVA's. Most of the UEF pilots fly Uhlans, which aren't much better than Persei(I actually think they're worse because of their paper-thin armor). Kentaurois and Durgas are extremely rare elite ships, they wouldn't even matter if the UEF wasn't fighting a small part of the terran half of the GTVA. Against their full force, a few of those elite ships could hardly make a diffrence.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 11:54:00 pm by FrikgFeek »
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Offline niffiwan

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
Well - based on stats the Uhlan is superior to the Perseus. More manoeuvrable (except roll), slightly fasterslower (I obviously cannot read!), basically the same armour+shields, greater weapons capacity, similar size/target profile. The only advantages the Perseus have are not reflected in the stats, and that's cheaper/easier to maintain + greater endurance.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 02:11:03 am by niffiwan »
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Offline Hobbie

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
Mechanical balancing is all well and good, but you have to consider the mentality of the participants as well.

The GTVA is vastly more powerful, but there are political and economic factors that prevent them from wielding said power. They're in an America-in-Vietnam situation, where they could very easily steamroll the UEF if they brought their full force to bear on the Sol system, but they don't, due to having to deal with costs and public opinion etc etc. Part of the reason Steele's so dangerous is that he's gone "Screw it, I'm taking Earth" as opposed to the "Let's not waste too much and see what happens, yeah?" approach Severanti utilized.

The UEF, in comparison, are fighting for survival, and don't have those same sorts of limitations. As a result, they don't have to worry about dissidents (besides the Gefs) and public opinion and they can give their all to the fight.

Forgive me if my analogies don't make sense. I'm on minimal sleep in a mind-crushing office job right now.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 12:31:45 am by Hobbie »
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Offline Scotty

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
Kinda.  While the GTVA fighter corps is omnipresent and unending, the UEF fighter corps greatly outclasses it.  The UEF bomber corps in some ways outclasses corvettes and destroyers in terms of raw warfighting capability.  A wing of Durgas can (and will, play Her Finest Hour to find out) take out entire corvettes in tens of seconds.

The GTVA is more operationally fluid, and capable of operating as battlegroups for longer periods of time than the ammunition heavy UEF fleets.  However, I think that (Diomedes aside) the UEF frigates tend to outclass their GTVA counterparts in individual effectiveness.  The GTVA has far more destroyers than the UEF has, but a fight between a Solaris and an Erebus is pretty close to a dead heat.
Well, yeah, GTVA cruisers aren't designed to operate individually, they're meant as antibomber escort. And while their frigates are weaker, the GTVA has around 20 destroyers while the UEF has 3. I wouldn't agree that the UEF figter corps "greatly" outclasses the GTVA's. Most of the UEF pilots fly Uhlans, which aren't much better than Persei(I actually think they're worse because of their paper-thin armor). Kentaurois and Durgas are extremely rare elite ships, they wouldn't even matter if the UEF wasn't fighting a small part of the terran half of the GTVA. Against their full force, a few of those elite ships could hardly make a diffrence.

I'm not 100% sure what makes you think Kents are rare.  They're certainly present in significant numbers across all three UEF fleets.  Durgas are extremely rare, yes, but there are also Vadjracan'tspellthisone and Uriels and all sorts of advanced anti-shipping strikecraft.

The UEF fighter and bomber core is across the board superior to the GTVA.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
Kentaurois and Durgas are extremely rare elite ships, they wouldn't even matter if the UEF wasn't fighting a small part of the terran half of the GTVA. Against their full force, a few of those elite ships could hardly make a diffrence.

It's worth noting that the UEF is by this point basically facing the full force that the GTVA can bring to bear. The GTVA's not really 'going easy' on them. And the UEF's major strategic assets are definitely worth respect.

The GTVA's gradual progress across the first 18 months of the war has allowed it to sustain more and more of a commitment in Sol proper, with less and less dependency on the Great Umbilical through the node. While surging destroyers into the system earlier in the war could conceivably have resolved the military situation more rapidly, it would have risked a number of disastrous military and (worse) political outcomes - largely because the UEF bomber corps could have punished a heavy destroyer commitment with bloody effectiveness.

The GTVA played it slow and safe to get where it is. For a very long time they sought to erode UEF will and push them into a clean surrender. Under Steele they've transitioned to a more shock-driven strategy, but their victory conditions are the same: they need the Federation at the negotiating table, because an actual armed occupation of Sol would be almost unthinkable.

The Federation's technological and industrial edge in certain areas gives it the ability to punish strategic missteps. GTVA strategy has been very careful about sidestepping or outplaying these strengths.

The UEF fighter and bomber core is across the board superior to the GTVA.

Not in terms of economy or operational tempo. The UEF ships are maintenance-hungry hot rods that play on a short leash.

 
Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
The GTVA is missing the V half(I'd really like to see a Hatsheput slice apart a Solaris and show those Ubuntu hypocrites what's what), and the UEF can abuse their high-performance fighters and bombers knowing that they'll have a base for maintenance. Even if we're only comparing them in terms of the Sol invasion the GTVA pulls ahead due to sheer numbers. But in an imaginary engagement where the UEF wouldn't have the massive home-turf morale and logistics bonus it wouldn't even be a comparison.

And for me at least, the Uhlan just feels so much more vulnerable than a Perseus. Probably because when you're using Balors you're free to redirect more power to shields and engines, since they're much more energy efficient than the Mauls.
Also, the Uhlan isn't faster than the Perseus, it's 5m/s slower without burners and just as fast with them.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 01:09:57 am by FrikgFeek »
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Offline CT27

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
Since it's been said the UEF fighters are generally superior to GTVA fighters...

How far is the Nyx behind the UEF fighters (since it's arguably the GTVA's best fighter at the moment)?

 

Offline qwadtep

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
If it were Starcraft, the UEF would be the Protoss with high-performance but expensive units, while the GTVA would be the Terrans with scores of Marines and Medics.

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
The UEF fighter and bomber core is across the board superior to the GTVA.

Not in terms of economy or operational tempo. The UEF ships are maintenance-hungry hot rods that play on a short leash.

This is true.  My statement should be amended with the phrase "once the fighters arrive in the battlespace".

 

Offline headdie

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
another thing to consider is that while in the short term the GTVA has to avoid over committing their fighter force at any one moment, it is generally more expendable than the UEF both in terms of craft cost per unit/availability to replace and in terms of the pool of replacement pilots.  in this respect an analogue to the Star Wars Empire vs rebellion whereby the imperium has the numbers and the rebellion has to combat this with more intelligent deployments and use of more survivable craft
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Offline Aesaar

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
Well - based on stats the Uhlan is superior to the Perseus. More manoeuvrable (except roll), slightly fasterslower (I obviously cannot read!), basically the same armour+shields, greater weapons capacity, similar size/target profile. The only advantages the Perseus have are not reflected in the stats, and that's cheaper/easier to maintain + greater endurance.
Not just that.  The Perseus is also capable of carrying more heavy missiles.  The Uhlan will never carry more than 4 Grimlers, but a Perseus can carry 10 Trebuchets.  The Perseus also happens to be smaller.

The UEF fighter corps isn't better than the GTVA one.  TEI wave 2 fighters (Atalanta, Nyx, Draco) are every bit as capable as their UEF counterparts, but don't suffer the limited endurance issue the UEF fighters do.  They also tend to be a lot smaller.  The Atalanta in particular is absolutely tiny.

The GTVA is missing the V half(I'd really like to see a Hatsheput slice apart a Solaris and show those Ubuntu hypocrites what's what),
The Hatshepsut isn't as capable a destroyer as either the Erebus or the Titan.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 08:13:44 pm by Aesaar »

 
Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
The Hatshepsut isn't as capable a destroyer as either the Erebus or the Titan.

Sure, but it's about 30% sexier and we haven't been shown the newest PVDs yet. Apart from the Perseus and maybe the Draco, Vasudan ships look so much better than their Terran counterparts(at least for me). And since Terran beams rotated from green(00FF00) to blue(0000FF), maybe Vasudans rotated from yellow(FFFF00) to cyan(00FFFF).
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Offline Snarks

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
We'd probably never see any since Blue Planet seems centered around Earth, but what kind of next generation ships would the Vasudans have? Assuming the conditions from the end of Freespace 2, wouldn't the Vasudans actually have a stronger economic powerbase, implying possibly even more badass ships?

 

Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
We'd probably never see any since Blue Planet seems centered around Earth, but what kind of next generation ships would the Vasudans have?
Spoiler:
You'll play as a Vasudan in BP3.
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Offline SypheDMar

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
In response to the original post:

The thing with RTS and balance is that it only works because those game is designed around balance. It isn't as apparent in non-historical-based fiction like RA2; but if we use 0. A.D. as an example, the Romans clearly outclasses the pre-Macedonian Hellenic city-states. But since the game tries to maintain playability for all factions involved, there will be balance tweaks while still preserving the factions' identities.

BP2 is more or less like reality, where one state can steamroll the other, barring political backlashes. If one were to convert BP to an RTS, the GTVA would most likely be like the Soviets in RA2: A fleet of Kirov airships with hordes of conscripts. Contrast to the UEF's GIs and Harriers.


 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
We'd probably never see any since Blue Planet seems centered around Earth, but what kind of next generation ships would the Vasudans have?
Spoiler:
You'll play as a Vasudan in BP3.

In 2021 maybe at best if ever.*

*NOTE this is not a sarcastic jab at the devs, it's just to point out that we just might as well discuss these things now because most probably we won't ever play BP3, or if we will it will be a long time at best. I have a profound admiration for the BP team and what they have accomplished so far.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 05:09:33 am by Luis Dias »

 

Offline CT27

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Re: "Balancing" the UEF and GTVA
We'd probably never see any since Blue Planet seems centered around Earth, but what kind of next generation ships would the Vasudans have? Assuming the conditions from the end of Freespace 2, wouldn't the Vasudans actually have a stronger economic powerbase, implying possibly even more badass ships?

We at least got to see a Vasudan Logistics craft.