The Game

Terran Shield is a tactical turn-based game in which you, as the player, must defend the Earth against an alien invasion. Most of the action takes place in an underwater setting and consists of two distinct components, both a strategic layer and a tactical one. The strategic world layer is where you manage your macroeconomics, build bases, defend them, scan the environment with your sonars, attack the menacing UFOs, build new equipment and research new technology. In the tactical layer you will face the alien threat in combat. Elements of this layer include equipping your soldiers, searching and finding the aliens on the map, engaging them with various weapons, defeating them with your tactical skills and choosing whether to capture them or take their bodies and artifacts to be used for research.

 

We are in the Milky Way galaxy, between two of the spirals, in the Sun’s solar system, on the third planet from the star.
The year is 2040 A.D, an era of development and chaos, rich in technological findings, but also plagued by war and destruction.
The gods who seeded this planet have long gone, leaving it to the mercy of their offspring, deprived of guidance and help during these times of need.
But all is soon about to change… the menace is drawing nearer, unsuspectingly near…
Will we be prepared?
We will have our answer soon… because the gods have returned to test what we are made of!

 

Strategy and tactics:

The most important part of Terran Shield is its strategy core component. We will strive to provide our best in the game’s other areas (graphics, sound, effects and animation), but the strategy and tactics will always remain the main focus.
The central idea is to have a challenging strategy and tactics environment during all of the game stages. We don’t want the player to get bored and use the same tactic or strategy over and over just because it is the best way to win or because they like it the most. From this perspective we will strive to make our AI weakness-free. There will be no overall strategy or tactic that the computer will be unable to handle. The player has to be inventive and at the same time reactive at the AI moves and type of play.
Here are some strategic and tactic examples, to indicate how challenging the AI can be during the game when playing in the “Impossible” game mode:

The first situation shows the AI on the left with the pentagon shape bases and the player on the right. The player strategic style is an aggressive-offensive one. Typically this type of play style, combined with the save/load option is very difficult for the AI in any game.
Initially, the player expands near the harvesting sites of the aliens in the Atlantic Ocean. Bear in mind that the Terran Shield strategic geoscape is a field in which the AI and the human player meet almost like on an RTS pvp map, similar to Starcraft. They have a main base from which they expand, gather resources or attack with rushes or allins, if they want. The only real difference is that the alien/AI starts with 5 bases and a lot more resources and troops than the “poor“ player, who has only one land base and one underwater base. The player is not so poor in fact, because it has on his side hundreds of thousands of years of evolution from his ancestors. This is a lot of potential that the AI doesn’t posses.
Back to the strategic simulation, the AI will respond to the player’s aggressive move by placing his expansion bases far away from the player’s reach, in the Pacific Ocean. At the same time it will attempt to lure the player into a never-ending cat and mouse game near the harvesting sites in the Atlantic. It will fake the harvesting from those sites and at need will sacrifice some UFOs with few members and loot to keep the player busy in that area, while it finds new harvesting sites and develops its bases and tech in the Pacific area.

The aggressive player will have few resources to collect from UFO recovery missions and they will slowly develop and upgrade his bases. The AI will be miles ahead by the time the player will have enough money to expand into the Pacific area. This doesn’t mean that the aggressive play style doesn’t have good odds for success, it shows only the AI’s reactive style of play, to counters the player’s style.
The aggressive style of play must be backed up by scouting and planning, because you can’t win the game with pure rush play style. An attack early in game at the alien’s bases is out of the question, regardless of difficulty or the player’s skill and experience, as any veteran TBS game player knows.
On the tactical level, the AI will develop special tactics and play style that will force the human player to play at his best.
Below we have a tactical battle simulation on a UFO recovery mission.

We can see that the aliens without a leader will fight an “everybody for themselves” type of battle and don’t have a clear tactical plan.

With the squad leader on the field, they not only behave more coherently, but also manage to escape and flee with their UFO.
If the aliens would have had a larger force, at least 1/4 more than the humans, the battle scheme would have been different. They would hold the line behind the gel areas and force the humans to do flanking maneuvers, or force their advance with a lot of torpedos and crab bombs. A propper tactic from a veteran player, would have been to put in front only a small force to be spotted by the scout jellyfishes. And in the same time he would have tried to flank the aliens from the beginning, thus the AI wouldn’t have the time to put his escape plan in motion.
In general, the AI will try to make the player’s life hard, always keeping an ace up its sleeve to surprise and confuse the player.