Early details on RPS
Sounds pretty interesting even without the setting. Highlights:
-Real-time, though apparently slow-paced enough for careful planning. Ship behaviour can be programmed in advance. An example is given about how damaged the ship should be before firing up the Gellar fields and retreating into the Warp. No word on what else can be chosen, though reasonable guesses would be target priorities and preferred ranges.
-Dynamic campaign. The campaign map is an Imperial region being invaded by Chaos, Ork and Eldar fleets and your job is to hold it (because the idea of a not-Imperium campaign is still too complicated for developers, apparently). At least to start with. It sounds like there's going to be a plot beyond not losing worlds as things progress
-Exterminatus! Planets left conquered by the enemy for too long will be virus-bombed, fire-bombed, then virus-bombed again for good measure before regular bombing commences. What's a few billion lives compared to not letting the Eldar have some resources?
-Persistent and upgradable units. So you too can cry bitter tears when some important battleship you've been upgrading to be the pride of your fleet explodes. If you let the crew get to escape pods then they can improve another ship later.
-System damage. Specific bits of ships will be targetable for various effects. This sounds like the one good feature Empire at War had, where you were able to shoot a big enough ship's components off and watch as an once-impressive battleship was reduced to a barely-mobile crate unable to harm anything larger than a fighter.
-Ship captains with personality. I'm going to quote a few paragraphs here because it's the thing that got my attention:
As an example, Tindalos showed a set of disengagement options, instructing a captain to pull out of combat when his ship had taken a certain amount of damage. Perhaps you want him to disengage early because you’ve spent a fortune upgrading his weapons systems, or because the crew are particularly talented and should definitely live to fight another day. Whatever the case, as soon as the threshold is reached, he should activate his warp drive and scarper.
A particularly brave captain might refuse the order, however, insisting that his crew be reduced to space dust rather than retreating. At this point, you have a choice – allow him to follow his dreams of glory/death, or put your foot down and force obedience. If you choose the former course, dissent within the ranks will grow and other captains will become more likely to rebel against orders, but if you rattle the chain of command, a ‘Blame’ point will be assigned to the captain. If he accrues three, he’s for the chop, publicly executed to set an example. All glory to the Emperor.
Executing a captain means that all of his experience and skills are lost, which is a bad thing. But, on the flip side, all dissent vanishes when an execution takes place, so all other captains should be a little more obedient, at least for a while. It’s not clear how many personality types the final game will contain but the friction between player-set behaviours and occasional disobedience should make the scale of battles easier to manage while ensuring there are difficult choices to make as conflict develops.
If this turns out poorly, I'll be sad. No word on whether it will use the fact that space is three dimensional.
Lo, let be it, for now when Tuesday then cometh with not again, be it another less more it be. Be faith giveth whence came me unto, yet not needeth for unto me, for yet be learn to be. -Zinglon