Emperor of the Fading Suns


Documentation: Movement Type

Movement Types - Sub-orbital, Orbital, and Hybrid
The movement type in EFS represents several different methods of movement for a unit. This enables a unit to move either on the ground or in space as well as determine which weapon types it is vulnerable to (more on unit vulnerability will be discussed in the next section, Attack Modes). There are basically 2 major divisions in the movement types of units: those that move on the ground or in the air (referred to as sub-orbital) and those that move in space (referred to as orbital).

Sub-orbital movement types are Foot, Wheel, Tread, Air, Naval, Hover, and Crawler. Orbital movement types are Space and Jump. There is one hybrid movement type, Lander, that is capable of moving both sub-orbitally and orbitally.
The Foot movement type is designed to be used for units that are considered to be small and agile enough as if they were moving around on legs. Their size and lack of large amounts of dense material makes them virtually impossible to track from orbit, hence their immunity to Ranged Space combat. Their mobility enables them to move quickly through dense terrain as well as handle steep terrain such as mountains and hills effectively. They cannot move into ocean hexes. Examples of Foot movement type units include Militia, Powered Armor Legions, and Xyll Warbeasts.

The Wheel movement type in the original EFS was designed to be used for vehicles that used wheels as their primary means of locomotion. Due to a bug in versions of EFS prior to V1.4, Naval units stacked with Crawler movement type units caused the game to crash. So it was decided to make all non-PTS (Planet-to-Space) naval units the Wheel movement type to prevent the game from crashing. This bug has been fixed in EFS V1.4, but there is another problem with the Naval movement type - it is hard coded to be immune to Ranged Space weaponry. Since I wanted Naval units to be vulnerable to Ranged Space weaponry, I decided to make the Wheel movement type a Naval movement type. Any naval unit that does not have PTS capability and does not have unit-loading capability is designated as the Wheel movement type (referred to as a Wheel Naval unit). The appropriate movement-cost changes have been adjusted so that the Wheel movement type can move only on water. Examples of Wheel Naval units are Battleships, Destroyers, and Gunboats.

The Tread movement type represents units that use friction-based contact surfaces that maximize surface area contact with the ground as their primary means of movement. Since they have an appreciable amount of metal or other advanced materials and are often very large, they emit a signature, which is traceable from orbit, hence, their vulnerability to Ranged Space weaponry. Tread movement type units are capable of moving through thick terrain such as jungles or hilly and mountainous terrain, albeit slowly. Like Foot units, they cannot move into ocean hexes. Examples of Tread units are Tanks and Tank Artillery.

The Air movement type is used by units that have propulsion systems designed to move the unit without frictional contact with the ground and lifting surfaces that enable them to fly high above the terrain. Even though they often use lightweight materials, the surface area required for creating adequate lifting surfaces is significant enough to provide a signature that can be tracked from orbit. Air units typically have high agility, however, which makes them difficult to hit with Ranged Space weaponry. Air units are capable of moving equally well in any ground hex, but need to return to a city or Aircraft Carrier after they stay in the air for 1 turn. Returning to a city allows the Air unit to refuel. Examples of Air units are Jet-Propulsion Fighters, Cargo Planes, and Gunships.

Hover units are those units whose propulsion systems are designed such that frictional contact with the ground and lifting surfaces are not required for locomotion. Since this technology is based on proximity repulsion, Hover units need to remain close to the surface. Even though the materials used for hover vehicles are lightweight, the repulsion field generates a significant electro-magnetic signature that can be detected by orbital sensors making them vulnerable to Ranged Space attack. Lack of contact with the surfaces enables them to move through open terrain as effectively as an aircraft, while rough terrain slows them down a bit. Traveling across water is possible by refocusing the repulsion beam into a paraboloid that actually creates an artificial buoyancy force. Examples of Hover units are Hover Tanks and Plague Bombs.

Crawler units automatically fire at attacking orbiting Ranged Space units. Since a unit has to be Crawler movement type for it to have this capability and I wanted to add Ranged Space naval units, the Crawler movement type moves just like a Naval unit does. Since Crawler units use a massive amount of material, they are easily detected by orbiting ships and hence vulnerable to Range Space attacks. Crawlers can only move on water hexes. Examples of Crawler units are PTS Laser Cannons, Ballistic Submarines, and PTS Meson Battleships.
The Space movement type is utilized by those units which have no jump capability. Space units can only move in space or land or launch from a planet. If a Space unit lands outside of a city, it will suffer damage since it does not have the appropriate landing mechanisms. Space units are easily detected from orbit and hence susceptible to Ranged Space weaponry. Examples of Space units are Starbases.

The Jump movement type is used by those units which are capable of using the Jump Gates. Jump units move just like Space units except that they are capable of jumping from system to system. Like Space units, Jump units suffer damage when landing outside of a city. Jump units are easily targeted from orbit by Ranged Space weapons. Examples of Jump units are Space Destroyers, Bulk Haulers, and Raider Stealthships.
The only hybrid movement type is the Lander movement class. The Lander movement class is unique in that it is the only movement type that can move in both space and on the ground. This makes Lander units especially versatile. Landers move along most terrain like Foot units, except they can move over water just like Air units. Since Landers are treated mainly like Foot units and considered to be too small or agile to hit with Ranged Weaponry they are immune to orbital bombardment. Landers are also capable to use the Jump Gates to travel to other star systems. Examples of Lander units are Assault Landers, Mechanized Warriors, and Space Fighters. To prevent units that are normally not jump capable (i.e. Space Fighters, non-Jump Torpedo Bombers, and Space Marines) from jumping out of a system, they have zero movement. This represents the lack of installed jump drives in these smaller vessels.
Page created by Matt Caspermeyer