Combat is a way for miners to earn items and gold from other miners on the roads. Having better Vehicles and Weapons as a land profession, or Ships, Cannons and Weapons for sea professions, will increase your chances of defeating other vehicles you meet. Each battle lasts for 50 - 70 minutes, and can occur at any time while a vehicle/ship is traveling. Melds also give boosts in combat: On the land they give a defensive bonus: It is random bonus defence from 0 to (melds/5), and on the ocean more hull: (Melds/5)% extra hull (base hull only).
For combat to begin, the vehicles must meet each other on the route:
- Vehicles traveling towards each other will eventually meet
- A faster vehicle coming up behind a slower vehicle will catch it
- 2. When vehicles meet, a check is performed to see if they are aggressive towards each other or not - this is determined by the owners' Professions
- These professions are not aggressive towards anyone and will avoid combat if possible. This can even mean taking the road less traveled. If a trader or merchant meets a non-aggressive vehicle, there will be no engagement. As a trader or merchant, you will only be fighting against the highwaymen/pirates that happen to be targeting your color/rarity/class of vehicle.
- With these 2 professions, players can select which classes of vehicles to attack (be aggressive towards). If a Highwayman selects to target Green and Blue vehicles and meets a non-aggressive Red one on the route, there will be no engagement. Highwaymen/Pirates battle with vehicle they encounter of the class they select, regardless of their profession. If the battle is won, to the victor go the spoils. The winner of the battle gets to plunder the vehicle for treasure, up to the capacity of their vehicle.
- Players of this profession also select which type of vehicles to attack. They will only attack Pirates or Highwaymen of the specified classes. These are not aggressive towards Traders, Merchants, or other guards. Think of this as the security force of the game, basically fending off the criminal pirates and highwayman.
- 3. Once aggressiveness is determined, the next calculation is based on the speed attribute of the vehicles.
Note - direction does not play a role in this stage.
- If both vehicles are aggressive towards each other (Pirate vs Pirate, Pirate vs Bounty Hunter etc.) no speed calculation will take place, and combat will begin.
- If the defensive vehicle has a greater speed than the aggressive vehicle, it will evade the aggressor. The aggressor will see "Eluded" on their combat report, while the defender will see "Escaped".
- If the defender is slower or equal in speed with the aggressor, combat will begin.
A land fight outcome is decided by attack and defense. If the two vehicles that are fighting are both targeting each other, then they add up their attack and defense (including Weapons and Gadgets and meld bonus). Whichever has the higher total wins. If only one is attacking, then the attack vehicle's attack is compared to the defending vehicle's defense (including Weapons and Gadgets). Whichever vehicle has the higher total is the winner of the battle. Upon winning the battle, if the winner is aggressive, they will fill their inventory with loot from their opponent's vehicle. If the winner is not aggressive then they will just continue on their way, and consider themselves lucky to have won the battle.
Upon loosing a fight to an agressive vehicle your vehicle can become "damaged". It is a random % chance at happening, and is not affected by vehicle color or strength. We do not know the exact percent damaged, but a rough guess is 1/10. When damaged a vehicle will continue on its way just as it normally does. When it arrives in a city though it will become a damaged item that needs to be repaired before you can use it again. When a damaged yellow or green vehicle arrives in a city it will automatically be trashed. Not all vehicles are worth repairing - when you calcul;ate the cost of ore, workers and a factory most blue vehicles are cheaper to re-buy then to repair.
The other way for a vehicle to become damaged is when a HM looses to a guard. When a HM looses to a guard the HM either pays a bribe, or their vehicle is damaged. The bribe is decided before vehicles are sent, it can vary for different vehicles and there is no limit. A guard sets a minimum bribe, and a HM the bribe they are willing to pay. If the HMs bribe is higher then the guards minimum they pay and continue on their way but as a non-aggressive vehicle. The reason they become non-aggressive is so they cannot be repeatedly bountied into a large amount of debt (which is what happened with the old system of infinite bribes/bounties). If the HM does not pay the bribe they are damaged, and continue on until they arrive at a city where they become a damaged item.
Ship combat varies dramatically from vehicle combat as it involves 2 phases; the cannon phase and the crew phase. A unique feature of ships is the ability to destroy (sink) them with cannonballs. If the damage done with cannonballs is equal to the defending ship's hull, the defending ship will sink with all cargo on board. This cargo can later be retrieved by fishermen. Sunk ships will remain on the owner's vehicle list for a week before disappearing.
If the ships engage in combat, they first enter the cannon phase. This phase is spread over 3 rounds. Cannons are fired in the order they are mounted in their slots. (You may change the order your ship's cannons fire as long as it is docked in a port. Very limited choice though.) They will randomly select cannonballs from the ship's cargo to fire. Each type of cannonball has an accuracy rating, and damage type. The damage rating of the cannonball is determined by the cannon that fired it. These attributes determine how much damage it does, and how many rounds it fires. If chain shot, which damage sails, is used by a defending ship and the opponent's speed is reduced enough, a defensive ship is able to escape after the cannon round. It is important to note, that selection of cannons and cannonballs is very crucial to being successful on the sea. Keep in mind the rate of fire, damage, type of shot used, and work out a plan of attack and place your cannons appropriately. After the third round of cannon fire, the ships draw close and commence hand to hand combat in the Crew Phase.
The crew battle phase follows the cannon phase. Some crew may have been lost during the cannon phase but the remaining crew will still fight valiantly. Each crew member will grab a weapon if there are enough available on the ship. The weapons will add to the crew strength. If there are more weapons than crew, the best weapons will be chosen and the rest left aside. Crew strength is calculated as the crew count plus the total offense+defense of the weapons they are carrying. If a crew is stronger then the other crew by 50% (3:2) the other crew surrenders and there is no battle. This is called "auto-winning". If a crew does not auto-win the battle begins. Two random crew members fight, the lesser-armed one falling. When a crew member falls, his/her weapon is removed from the crew's total strength. This continues until the strength of one crew is significantly greater than the strength of the other (3:2). At this point, the victor is the side with the greater crew strength.
Pirates/BH have the same bribe setup as HM/Guards. If a pirate looses they either pay a bribe, or (instead of being "damaged") they take 60 hull damage, regardless of color or strength. This is calculated before the 80% hull repair after a battle.
A ship that loses hull/crew/speed during battle can regain the lost stats. Immediately after battle 80% of the hull and sail damage is repaired and most of the crew casualties are revived. Upon arriving at a city, sails are repaired fully and the crew is replenished with fresh recruits. The remaining hull damage repairs at 1.5 hull/hour. This will happen automatically as long as the ship is in port.