Aesthetics of Range

One of the things that changed going from HW1 to HW2 is that combat ranges, when compared to the size of the ships, got a lot longer. To pick out some ranges, after you adjust for the ship scales the HW1 ion cannon frigate has a range of 2.2km and the missile destroyer a range of 2.75 km, with other combat capital ships in a similar range or shorter. The full firepower of a cruiser wasn’t felt outside of 1.7km for instance. In HW2, an ion cannon frigate reaches out to 4km, and BC ions out to 6, with other ships sharing similar ranges.

So what does that mean? I expect it has impact on how the ported maps play, but the factor I’m most concerned with is aesthetics. Shorter ranges and a closer camera zoom cap make more of your view be taken up by ship for the same scale of battle, which is something I like. It makes the ships look bigger, and especially when combined with the short draw distances in HW1, it makes the maps look bigger too. Despite maps being dozens of km across, when I pull my view back to see all of a battle in HW2 I am often struck by how small this little skirmish looks in light of the true vastness of space.

Personally, I’ve been playing a version of HW2 for years that bases it’s ranges on the HW1 example, and I think it looks and feels better. I think HW1R’s campaign would more closely capture the feel of the original if it’s ranges were restored to it.

To be honest I like the opposite :slight_smile: It makes no sense for huge Battleships to engage in close combat since that would mean presenting a bigger target for your enemy to fire at. 6km for a BC is rather short if you consider that actual WWII battleships had ranges of more than 20km with their mainguns (The japanese Yamato even had a range of over 36km which was only limited by the curvature of the earth).

So I think it is rather aesthetically pleasing to watch big ships duke it out from long range while smaller ships like fighters and corvettes engage in close combat between those giants and their supporting fleets, but thats just my personal preference :wink:


6 km is pretty short when you consider that most science-rooted predictions of space combat have combat ranges somewhere between the tens of thousands and millions of kilometers ranges. I like pulling bits of reality into homeworld when I can, but speed and range are areas where it’s pretty sunk. After all, you should be able to see battlecruisers from across most maps with the naked eye, but we need scouting because that’s part of an RTS.

Which leaves it up to personal taste, as you rightly point out. I’m not going to agitate for HW2R to be changed to fit, nycg as i’d probably like it better if it was. But for me at least, this is one of the things that keeps HW1R from feeling like HW1C, and it’s a factor most people don’t seem to consider.


I get your point and since I never played HW1C back in the day I can’t really comment on it but I believe you :). Just wanted to give my opinion on it without any attempt to discredit yours (and it seems you got that ^^).

The feeling is mutual :smile: