Tower defense games could be fun, where you get money by killing enemy units.
Games such as Warzone Tower Defense (no relation to wz2100, despite the name) have all weapons available from the start...... but at the start you dont have enough money for plasma cannons, and only enough to build one howitzer (actually called a heavy cannon) or laser turret, both of which are not adequate for early defense due to their slow ROF, so all weapons have use at some point, even if MG turrets rapidly become ineffective wastes of space.
So following that logic, research may not be needed (upgrades might still be nice, in the previously mentioned tower defense game, you could upgrade individual defenses - all defenses had similar Firepower:cost ratios though)
Just kill units for money, build defenses, early waves could be scavengers (and maybe a buttload of infantry), such that an MG bunker would be a better option than a gauss hardpoint.
One thing about some tower defense games, is that the towers are invunerable, but there must always be a path to the "base", I don't think that would work well for WZ.
I also like the idea of LZ based skirmishes.
Could there be oil on an Away mission, that will add to power production:
What I mean is basically, give each person an unseen base of: 5 factories of each type (with all modules built), 5 research facilities with modules, and 8 oil wells + 6 Power generators with modules.
The map would have ≈20 more oil wells, allowing a player to max out their power production by capturing oil well on the away mission.
Each player could start with an LZ and a force (remember the force editor? Lets implement that, with a 10 unit limit to the starting force, and a design menu, rather than selecting from templates). Players could then capture a few other LZs around the map to allow re-enforcements to arrive faster:
- I'm not sure how to implement this.... how does one choose which LZ the units arrive at, or should each LZ come with a transport, thus with 3 LZs, you can have 30 units arrive by transport at 3 locations all at the same time?
- Could we have modified Cyborg transports, such that you can build cyborg transports, and have those new transports deliver cyborgs? Thus you if you built 4 Cyborg transports, you could have 40 cyborgs en route to LZs all at the same time, in addition to 10 of whatever unit type you have in the large transport.
So more LZ's = ability to deliver more cyborg re-enforcements, but vehicle re-enforcements will always come 10 at a time, and additional LZs just means you can shorten transit times after leaving the transport
I would recommend between a 2 transit time, but possibly longer if multiple LZs allow for multiple transports to deliver units.
Thus you fight over not just oil, but LZs