Archive through November 02, 2013

Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board: Star Fleet Battles: New Product Development: Triangulum Module: Archive through November 02, 2013
By Nick Samaras (Koogie) on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 08:19 pm: Edit

Francois any chance of you submitting some Triangulum material for the next captains log?

By Francois Angers (Francoisngg) on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 10:45 am: Edit

Hi Nick, I don't know isn't it suppose to go out in November? That might not be enough time but maybe for #49.

What would you want to see in Captain's Log?

By Nick Samaras (Koogie) on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 03:48 pm: Edit

Francois, I don't know if it will be delayed until December. But anything new would be welcome it has been awhile. Even some background on the other empires.

By Norman Dizon (Normandizon) on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 06:04 pm: Edit

Hi Francois. Here is a summary of the second Helgardian vs Klingon Duel. This battle will be included in my official playtest report, along with a couple of other battles.

After some long range sniping, the Klingon decided to suddenly close the distance and try to catch the Helgardian while it was rearming its Particle Shotguns. The tactic seemed to work at first. The ships exchanged strikes and both ships managed to score some internals on the other. But later, the Klingon found itself facing the Helgardian with overloaded Particle Shotguns at close range.

This Duel brought out some aspects of the Helgardian CA that we suspected might be true. Please see the Notes/Suggestions/Conclusions section at the bottom.

HELGARDIAN PROTECTOR CA vs KLINGON D7 BATTLECRUISER DUEL #2:
(both ships have all refits)

TURN 1

Klingon is moving fast and Helgardian is moving at medium speed.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs from Range 34. 2 Hit and the damage is absorbed by the Klingon's reinforcement.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs from Range 28. All 4 miss.

The Klingon fires 3 PH-1s at Range 28. 1 Phaser hits and does 1 point of damage to the Helgardian's Rotary Shield.

The Klingon fires 4 Derfacs Disruptors at Range 28. 3 Disruptors hit. 3 points of damage is scored on a Rotary Shield. After subtracting reinforcement, the Helgardian suffers 1 point of damage to its #1 Shield.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs from Range 21. They all miss.

TURN 2

The Klingon is moving fast and the Helgardian is moving at medium speed.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 16. 2 points of damage are absorbed by the Klingon's reinforcement.

The Klingon fires 4 standard Disruptors at Range 15. 2 Disruptors hit. 3 points of damage are applied to the Helgardian's Rotary Shield. After subtracting reinforcement, the Helgardian takes 1 point of damage to its #1 Shield.

The Klingon fires 3 PH-1s and 2 PH-2s at Range 15. The Helgardian takes 1 point of damage to its #1 Shield.

The Klingon fires 2 Drones.

The Helgardian fires 3 standard Particle Shotguns at Range 14. They score 3 Hits. After reinforcement, the Klingon takes 6 points of damage to its #5 Shield.

The Klingon fires 2 PH-2s at Range 14. They both miss.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 13. All 4 miss.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 15. 2 hit. The Klingon takes 2 points of damage to its #4 Shield.

The Helgardian fires 3 standard MGBs at the 2 Drones from Range 1. Both Drones are destroyed.

The Helgardian fires 1 standard MGB from Range 15. The Klingon takes 1 point of damage to its #3 Shield.

At this point in the Duel, the Klingon has lost 6 points of damage to its #5 Shield, 2 points of damage to its #4 Shield, and 1 point of damage to its #3 Shield.

The Helgardian has lost 2 points to its #1 Shield.

TURN 3

The Klingon is moving fast and the Helgardian is moving at medium speed.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs from Range 10. The Klingon takes 2 points of damage to its #1 Shield.

The Klingon fires 4 overloaded Disruptors at Range 8. 3 Disruptors hit. 9 points of damage are applied to the Rotary Shields. After subtracting reinforcement, the Helgardian takes 8 points of damage to its #5 Shield.

The Klingon fires 2 Drones.

The Helgardian fires 2 standard MGBs at Range 8. The Klingon takes 2 points of damage to its #1 Shield.

The Helgardian fires 2 standard MGBs at Range 6. The Klingon takes 3 points of damage to its #6 Shield.

The Helgardian fires 3 standard MGBs at 2 Drones from Range 1. Both of the Drones are destroyed.

The Helgardian fires 1 standard MGB at Range 8. The Klingon takes 1 point of damage to its #4 Shield.

At this point in the Duel, the Klingon has taken 4 points of damage to its #1 Shield, 3 points of damage to its #6 Shield, 6 points of damage to its #5 Shield, 3 points of damage to its #4 Shield, and 1 point of damage to its #3 Shield.

The Helgardian has taken 8 points of damage to its #5 Shield and 2 points of damage to its #1 Shield.

TURN 4

Both the Klingon and the Helgardian are moving at medium speed.

The Klingon fires 2 PH-2s at Range 6. 2 points of damage are scored on the Helgardian's Rotary Shield. 1 point of damage is absorbed by the Helgardian's reinforcement.

The Helgardian fires 2 overloaded Particle Shotguns and 1 standard Particle Shotgun from Range 5. They score 8 hits or 32 points of damage. The Klingon's #3 Shield buckles and the Klingon takes 11 Internals.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs and 2 standard LGBs at Range 5. They score 10 more Internals on the Klingon.

The Klingon loses 1 Bridge, 3 Batteries, 2 Warp Engines, 1 Drone, 1 Disruptor, and 2 PH-2s.

The Klingon launches 1 Drone.

The Klingon fires 3 overloaded Disruptors at Range 2. All 3 Disruptors hit. Both Rotary Shields absorb 10 points of damage before collapsing. The Helgardian takes 14 points of damage to Shield #2.

The Klingon fires 3 PH-1s and 2 PH-2s at Range 2. They score 21 points of damage. The Helgardian's #2 Shield buckles and the Helgardian takes 17 Internals.

The Helgardian fires 1 standard LGB at Range 2. 2 points of damage are scored on the Klingon's #6 Shield.

The Helgardian loses 1 Bridge, 1 Aux, 3 Warp Engines, 1 RSH, 1 LGB, and 1 Battery.

The Helgardian fires 1 standard MGB and 1 LGB at a Drone. The Drone is destroyed.

The Helgardian fires 1 standard MGB at Range 4. They score 2 more Internals on the Klingon.

The Klingon loses 1 Impulse and 1 Warp Engine.

The Helgardian fires 2 standard MGBs at Range 10. 1 point of damage is scored on the Klingon's #4 Shield.

At this point in the Duel, the Klingon is missing its #3 Shield.

The Helgardian is missing its #2 Shield.

TURN 5

Both ships start the turn facing away from each other at a distance.

The Klingon is moving fast and the Helgardian is moving at medium speed.

The Helgardian fires 2 standard MGBs at Range 9. The Klingon takes 3 points of damage to its #5 Shield.

The Klingon launches 1 Drone.

The Klingon fires 3 standard Disruptors ar Range 4. The Helgardian's Rotary Shields take 4 points of damage. After subtracting reinforcement, the Helgardian takes 3 points of damage to its #6 Shield.

The Klingon fires 3 PH-1s and 4 PH-2s at Range 4. They do 17 points of damage. The Helgardian's #6 Shield collapses and the Helgardian takes 2 Internals.

The Helgardian loses 1 Warp Engine and 1 Battery.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs and 2 standard LGBs at Range 4. The Klingon takes 12 points of damage to Shield #6.

The Helgardian fires 2 standard LGBs at a Drone from Range 2. The Drone is destroyed.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 6. The Klingon takes 7 points of damage to its #5 Shield.

At this point in the Duel, the Klingon has no #3 Shield. The Klingon has 5 boxes left on its #6 Shield and 6 boxes left on its #5 Shield. The Klingon has taken 4 points of damage to its #1 Shield and #4 Shield.

The Helgardian has no #6 Shield. The Helgardian has taken 8 points of damage to its #5 Shield and 2 points of damage to its #1 Shield.

TURN 6

Both ships start out very close at Range 3. The Klingon is turning and the Helgardian is facing the Klingon. Both ships are moving slow.

The Klingon launches 1 Drone.

The Klingon fires 3 overloaded Disruptors at Range 1. 2 Disruptors hit. The Rotary Shield collapses. After subtracting reinforcement, the Helgardian takes 12 points of damage to its #1 Shield.

The Klingon fires 3 PH-1s and 3 PH-2s at Range 1. They do 24 points of damage. The Helgardian's #1 Shield collapses and the Helgardian suffers 20 Internals.

The Helgardian fires 3 overloaded Particle Shotguns at Range 1. They score 14 Hits or 56 Damage. After subtracting reinforcement, the Klingon's #6 Shield collapses and the Klingon takes 45 Internals.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs and 2 standard LGBs at Range 1. They add 18 more Internals to the Klingon's damage.

The Klingon takes 63 Internals total.

TURN 7 AND ON

The Klingon is severely crippled. After taking 63 Internals, he only has a few boxes left. He can barely move and power life support.

The Helgardian is still in fighting condition after suffering 20 Internals. He still has 3 Particle Shotguns and most of his MGBs. And he still has more than enough power to use them.

The Helgardian Protector CA swoops around and blows the Klingon D7 Battlecruiser into oblivion.


Captain Quadralinus of the Helgardian Sensibility exclaims, "For the Helgardian Ringworld!!"


NOTES/SUGGESTIONS/CONCLUSIONS

1) If you examine the first few turns, you can see that the Helgardian seemed to do more damage at mid to long range than the Klingon. More of the Klingon's shields were damaged than the Helgardian's shields. The Klingon's shields were also damaged faster than the Helgardian's shields. If this battle had stayed at mid to long range over a long period of time, it is probable that the Helgardian would have severely hurt the Klingon without taking as much damage in return.

2) If you examine the exchanges at close range, it seemed as though the Helgardian could take more of an Alpha Strike than the Klingon could. We believe this is due to its Rotary Shields.

3) The Helgardian seems able to deliver an Alpha Strike which is the equivalent of a Federation CA. This is fine. The particle shotguns do not seem too powerful and the Helgardian CA only has 3 particle shotguns.

4) One of the factors that we suspect allows the Helgardian to do more damage at long range is the frequent fire of the MGBs. To balance this, we recommend to remove one MGB from the FA and one MGB from the RH. This will leave the Helgardian CA with 3 MGBs FA and 1 MGB RH. With the MGBs firing so frequently, this seems more in line with the damage that the Klingon PH-1s and PH-2s can dish out. We are not sure how to make the SSD aesthetically pleasing with only 3 MGBs in the FA (I'm sure it will take some work and redesign), but for play balance, it makes sense to us.

5) The Rotary Shields seem to be the reason why the Helgardian suffers less damage over the long run both at long range and at close range. To balance this, we recommend to reduce the all around shielding of the Helgardian's shields. Currently, there are 18 boxes all around. This could be reduced to 16 or even 14. This will force the Helgardian to rely more and more on its Rotary Shields. If its Rotary Shields get knocked out during the battle, the Helgardian will be at a disadvantage because of its weaker shields. This seems better to us than having the Helgardian be able to suffer less damage at long range and less damage from an alpha strike (due to 18 shields all around plus the two rotary shields).

6) Another option is to reduce the Helgardian's power. The Helgardian has 38 power to work with, not including its batteries. If you lower this power, the Helgardian will not be able to power its MGBs as much. Also, the Helgardian player will have to choose between speed, shield reinforcement, and overloading the particle shotguns. Perhaps cutting 2,3, or 4 Warp boxes might make the Helgardian CA more balanced?

7) The Helgardian has two probes. Is there a reason for this? It looks a little strange on the SSD because they are both numbered with a 1 and 2, like they are torpedoes or phasers. Just wondering if there was some logic behind the Helgardians having two probes on a CA...

8) The Graviton Beams work fine and we have already discussed the changes to the Focus Mode and the Overload Mode.

9) The Rotary Shields work well. I believe they are one key feature that makes the Helgardians unique. However, they seem to cause an imbalance in play at long range and close range. We recommend reducing all overall shields on the Helgardian CA to compensate. The Rotary Shields should remain the same, in our opinion.

10) The Turn Mode on the Helgardian CA is fine.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 07:12 pm: Edit

Norman:


I imagine the two probes are there as a hangover from the ship's original configuration as the Vanguard-class C, which was originally designed more for exploration and diplomacy than combat.

(I like the idea that, while the Helgardians were able to convert the base hull into a more combat-oriented configuration, there were still some "legacy" quirks which carried over from its original design. That would open a window of opportunity for a "war" series NCA to be designed from the keel up for combat later on in the timeline.)


One problem with reducing the overall shielding may be in how the Helgardians might then be affected in squadron or fleet actions. They already have a lower-than-average range of shield facings in the absence of the RSH. For example, the Avenger DN has no more than 21 boxes in each facing, and had been only 18 boxes per facing prior to the Y120 refit.

If the standard shield values go any lower, it might unduly compromise the ablity of the Helgardians to hold their own in squadron or fleet engagements.

Not to say that it wouldn't be a distinct challenge as it stands; but there is a fine line between an empire-specific quirk and a conspicuous disadvantage. (Unless that is supposed to be a problem for them, as part of their historical dynamic.)

By Norman Dizon (Normandizon) on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 07:58 pm: Edit

Hi Gary. Thanks for the explanation about the two probes. That makes perfect sense.

As for the overall shielding on the Helgardians, it all comes down to the Rotary Shields. The Rotary Shields have 6 strength at standard and 10 at reinforced. The CA has two of them. But the Rotary Shield's main advantage is that it fully regenerates every round.

So the Helgardian CA, with 18 shields all around, has 12 points of extra shields(assuming they are at standard strength and covering the proper arc), which fully restore any damage taken every turn. This is quite a powerful benefit. In our playtesting (so far), it has shown that the CA will take less damage over time at long range, and absorb less damage from an alpha strike at close range (plus the rotary shields could fully restore the next turn after the alpha strike!).

The Alpha Sector Klingon D7 has 30 Shields in front and 22 all around. His shields do not regenerate at all. So how do we balance this against an opponent who has partially regenerating shields? Our suggestion is to lower the overall shields of the Helgardian CA. This will make the Helgardian player really rely on his Rotary Shields and use them well. Which should be the case anyway.

Now lets look at the Helgardian DN. It has 21 boxes every facing and 18 prior to the refit. But it has 3 Rotary Shields. That is an extra 18 shields (at standard strength, if they defend the proper arc) that restore every turn. That is pretty powerful. What will happen to the enemy DN it faces, whose shields do not regenerate every turn? It seems to follow that the Helgardian DN should also have less all around shields to balance the Rotary Shields ability to restore itself every turn.

I agree there are other considerations in fleet battles, like the rotary shields might not be facing the right arc, or maybe they don't have all three rotary shields at that particular moment, or maybe the Helgardian DN is being hit from three different angles by multiple ships. But if you compare apples to apples, and oranges to oranges, the regenerating ability of the Rotary Shield needs to be balanced in some way (in our opinion, that is).

It is true that the Helgardians shouldn't have their overall shields lowered to the point that they are always at a disadvantage. But the overall shield strength must be considered in combination with the rotary shield regeneration. Overall shield strength and rotary shield regeneration are not two separate issues. They are both facets of the same issue: How well is the Helgardian ship protected (at long range, at close range, from turn to turn, over 10-20 turns)?

The fact that rotary shields only block half of the incoming damage helps to keep them balanced against other ships. But, in our opinion, this is overshadowed by the rotary shield ability to fully restore itself each round.

I hope you see the point I am trying to make about the rotary shields and their restoring ability. I am also curious to see what Francois thinks about the Helgardian CA suggestions.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 08:43 pm: Edit

Well, if it was the case that the RSHs are still a bit much (which I defer to François on as to whether or not this is the case), would either of these edits:

*Prevent players from re-filling capacitors at all while the RSH is active,

and/or:

*Allow no more than two points of power to be fed into the capacitor at any given time,

be an option (or two)?


In the first option, the Helgardian would fill up each RSH capacitor, and have the ability to use that power to either reinforce the rotary shield (post-Y120, at least), or to repair the standard level once before having to "cool down" to re-fill the capacitor.

In the second, there would need to be a more gradual drip-drip-drip of power from the ship's overall reserves into the capacitor. (So, if a player goes to the reinforced level, they'd need to wait an additonal turn to do it again; one to "cool down", a second to get two into the capacitor, and a third to have three or four points in there to allow for the reinforced level once more.)


Would either, or both, adjustments help? (Again, if there is indeed a problem to be addressed.)

By Norman Dizon (Normandizon) on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 09:21 pm: Edit

Thanks Gary. Those are two great suggestions. Lets see what Francois thinks.

I am basing my suggestions on the two first playtest Duels between the Helgardian CA and the Klingon D7. The first Duel was a tie, since they were both crippled.

The second Duel, we felt, showed the Helgardian CA to have an advantage over the Klingon D7, both at long range and at close range. We think the causes for this advantage are the regenerating rotary shields and the number of rapid firing graviton beams on the Helgardian CA.

Maybe the third Duel or further playtesting will show other results. But if the Helgardian CA consistently beats the Klingon D7 every time, then that is a sign there is a problem to be fixed (in our opinion).

By Norman Dizon (Normandizon) on Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 12:42 am: Edit

I sent the official Valorean CA vs Federation CA Playtest Report (3 Duels) to Francois and both Steves.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 11:51 am: Edit

I'm not sure if it's worth sending it in to ADB at this point, since they aren't looking at this project right away; but in any case, were the module to be officially reconsidered, SPP would most likely be the one to co-ordinate directly with François (since he is the line developer for SFB).

Which is not to say that such reports aren't worth doing, of course. Just that their time may come (beyond François using them to help refine his current material) once, fingers crossed, a Triangulum module gets its chance one day to be primed for formal publication.

By Norman Dizon (Normandizon) on Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 03:09 pm: Edit

Hi Gary. Thanks for the advice. I am not expecting Triangulum to be published anytime in the near future. I am just following protocol.

Module E2 states: "Star Fleet Battles Module E2 is a playtest pack of a future modular component of the Star Fleet Battles Captain's Edition game system. It is published to develop ideas, solicit comments and playtest reports, and determine the market's reception of the product concept. As this is a playtest pack, we do want and need your playtest reports. Reports on ships and scenarios should use the report forms found later in this book."

Also, you can read the following online under Playtesting under Player Resources:

Amarillo Design Bureau is not in the business of giving things away for free. Playtest material is put up with the express purpose of soliciting reports and feedback on it to fix errors and make the products better.

In order to do this, when you find something that doesn't work, Tell ADB about it.

Email, to design@starfleetgames.com, is the fastest way to get in touch with the Bureau. Emailed responses and reports also take priority over surface mailed reports, simply because it's more efficient.

What Should I Report On...And How?

A good playtest report will cover the following information:

What was playtested
How many times it was tested. (At least twice!)
Whether or not there were any problems with it
Whether or not you felt that the rule/ship/scenario in question is worth adding to the game, and how urgent a priority you feel it is for publication.
A brief (one or two paragraph) description of each playtest.
A brief description of things that you felt were unclear, or vaguely worded.
A brief description of changes that need to be made on the material.

So my interpretation of these two statements is that ADB wants to see the Playtest Reports. To me, that means both Steves. The email noted above, design@starfleetgames.com, is Steve Cole, and Steve Petrick has been overseeing Triangulum from the beginning.

Francois sent me other material that is not in Module E2, with the understanding that I will provide Playtest Reports for him to review. So I sent the Playtest Report to Francois, as well as to the two Steves.

I post summaries of the battles in this Thread so that others can comment on possible changes, modifications, tactics, and other things I might have missed.

Years ago, I playtested Omega ships. I sent all my playtest reports directly to Bruce Graw. Later, to my surprise, I found out that ADB did not read any of my playtest reports and they were not aware that I had submitted any playtest reports. From that, I learned to send the Playtest Report to the Designer, but also to copy both Steves so they are kept in the loop.

Maybe Triangulum will get published in the next few years. Maybe Triangulum will never see official publication. Or maybe both Steves will just file my Playtest Reports in a folder marked Unread. That is all fine with me.

If Francois becomes unavailable at some point, or if I do, then at least the Playtest Reports are preserved with Francois, with ADB, with me, and in this Discussion Board Thread.

By Francois Angers (Francoisngg) on Friday, November 01, 2013 - 12:21 am: Edit

Hi everyone, sorry that I can't respond fast enough but lots of work in the real world, should be better next week.

Norm, awesome report, I will wait for another fight before considering the problem. At first looks I think that the Y154 refit should improve the firing rate of the GB by only one instead of two more shots. So before the Y154 refit the GB can fire twice a turn and after the refit three times.

By Norman Dizon (Normandizon) on Saturday, November 02, 2013 - 12:20 am: Edit

Hi Francois. Here is a summary of the third Helgardian CA vs Klingon D7 Duel. This battle will be included in my official playtest report, along with a couple of other battles.

For the first time, it felt like the Klingon D7 might be able to win, if it could stay away from the Helgardian CA. For the first few turns, the Klingon D7 succeeded by moving fast and maneuvering around the Helgardian CA.

However, the Klingon D7 had difficulty bringing its FA Disruptors to bear on the Helgardian CA because his turn mode was so bad from moving so fast. On Turn 5, the Klingon D7 made a large turn so it could shoot the Helgardian CA from an angle. The Helgardian CA sped up and caught the Klingon D7 at Range 8 before the Klingon's turn mode could be satisfied.

The battle went badly for the Klingon D7 after that, as he suffered much more damage than the Helgardian CA did. Although the Klingon's spirit wanted to continue the battle, the wise Klingon Captain chose to prevent further damage to his ship by disengaging.

This Duel confirmed two issues with the Helgardian CA that were hinted at in the previous Duel.

The Helgardian's regenerating Rotary Shield is a distinct advantage that allows it to take less damage than its opponent over time.

The Helgardian's rapid firing Graviton Beams cause more damage in a short amount of time than its enemy does.

Please see the Notes/Suggestions/Conclusions section at the bottom.


HELGARDIAN PROTECTOR CA vs KLINGON D7 BATTLECRUISER DUEL #3:
(both ships have all refits)

TURN 1

Both the Klingon and the Helgardian are moving at medium speed.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 32. 1 point of damage is absorbed by the Klingon's reinforcement.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 26. They all miss.

The Klingon fires 3 PH-1s at Range 26. 1 point of damage is absorbed by reinforcement.

The Klingon fires 3 standard Disruptors at Range 26. 1 point of damage is scored on a Rotary shield and 1 point of damage is marked off the Klingon's Shield #1.

TURN 2

The Helgardian is moving slow and the Klingon is moving at medium speed.

The Klingon launches 2 Drones.

The Klingon fires 3 PH-1s at Range 14. 1 point of damage is marked off the Helgardian's Rotary Shield.

The Klingon fires 3 standard Disruptors at Range 14. 6 points of damage is scored on the Helgardian's Rotary Shield. After subtracting reinforcement, 5 points of damage is marked off the Helgardian's #1 Shield.

The Helgardian shoots 4 standard MGBs at Range 14. 1 point of damage is scored on the Klingon's #1 Shield.

The Klingon fires 4 PH-2s at Range 13. 3 points of damage are scored on the Helgardian's Rotary Shield. 2 points of damage are marked off the Helgardian's #1 Shield.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 13. The Klingon takes 1 point of damage to Shield #5.

The Helgardian fires 3 standard Particle Shotguns at Range 13. They score 4 hits or 16 damage. The Klingon takes 16 points of damage to Shield #5.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 15. The Klingon takes 2 points of damage to Shield #4.

The Klingon fires 2 PH-2s at Range 14. 2 points of damage are marked off the Helgardian's Rotary Shield and 1 point of damage is scored on the Helgardian's #1 Shield.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 14. 2 points of damage are marked off the Klingon's #3 Shield.

The Helgardian fires 2 standard LGBs at Range 2 at a Drone. The Drone is destroyed.

At this point in the Duel, the Klingon has 5 boxes left on Shield #5. The Klingon also has taken 2 points of damage to Shield #3 and Shield #4.

The Helgardian has 9 boxes left on Shield #1.

TURN 3

The Helgardian is moving at medium speed and the Klingon is moving fast.

The Helgardian fires 2 standard LGBs and 1 standard MGB at a Drone from Range 2. The Drone is destroyed.

The Klingon launches 2 Drones.

The Klingon fires 3 PH-1s and 4 PH-2s at Range 12. 5 points of damage are scored on the Helgardian's Rotary Shield. After subtracting reinforcement, 3 points of damage are marked off the Helgardian's #1 Shield.

The Klingon fires 4 standard Disruptors at Range 12. 5 points of damage are marked off the Helgardian's Rotary Shield and 4 points of damage are marked off the Helgardian's #1 Shield.

The Helgardian fires 3 standard MGBs at Range 12. 1 point of damage is marked off the Klingon's #2 Shield.

The Helgardian fires standard MGBs at Range 9. 2 points of damage are scored on the Klingon's #5 Shield.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 10. 4 points of damage are marked off the Klingon's #4 Shield.

The Helgardian shoots 3 standard LGBs and 1 standard MGB from Range 1 at 2 Drones. Both Drones are destroyed.

At this point, the Helgardian has 2 boxes left on the #1 Shield. The Helgardian has taken no damage to its other 5 shields.

The Klingon has 5 boxes left on Shield #5. The Klingon also has taken 4 points of damage to the #3 Shield and 6 points of damage to the #4 Shield.

TURN 4

The turn begins with the Helgardian chasing the Klingon. The Klingon's #4 Shield is facing towards the Helgardian.

The Klingon is moving fast and the Helgardian is moving at medium speed.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 12. They all miss.

The Helgardian shoots 4 standard MGBs at Range 11. After subtracting reinforcement, the Klingon takes 3 points of damage to its #3 Shield.

The Klingon fires 2 PH-2s at Range 11. 1 point of damage is marked off the Helgardian's Rotary Shield. 1 point of damage is absorbed by the Helgardian's Shield Reinforcement.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 12. 3 points of damage are marked off the Klingon's #3 Shield.

The Klingon fires 4 standard Disruptors at Range 10. 2 points of damage are marked off the Helgardian's Rotary Shield. 1 point of damage is marked off the Helgardian's #2 Shield.

The Klingon shoots 3 PH-1s and 2 PH-2s from Range 10. 2 points of damage are scored on the Helgardian's Rotary Shield. 2 points of damage are marked off the Helgardian's #2 Shield.

The Klingon launches 2 Drones.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 10. 4 points of damage are marked off the Klingon's #2 Shield.

At this point, the Helgardian has 2 boxes left on the #1 Shield. The Helgardian has also taken 3 points of damage to its #2 Shield.

The Klingon has 5 boxes left on Shield #5. The Klingon has also taken 10 points of damage to Shield #3, 5 points of damage to Shield #2, and 6 points of damage to Shield #4.

TURN 5

This turn begins with the Klingon just outside of overload range. The Helgardian is trying to speed up to catch him.

The Klingon is moving fast. The Helgardian is moving a little slower than the Klingon.

The Helgardian fires 2 overloaded Particle Shotguns and 1 standard Particle Shotgun from Range 8. They score 7 hits or 28 points of damage. The Klingon's #2 Shield collapses. The Klingon takes 11 Internals.

The Klingon loses 1 Disruptor, 2 PH-2s, 1 Warp Engine, 1 Impulse, 1 Battery.

The Klingon launches 2 Drones.

The Klingon fires 1 overloaded Disruptor and 2 standard Disruptor at Range 6. 5 points of damage are marked off the Helgardian's Rotary Shields. The Helgardian's #1 Shield buckles and the Helgardian takes 2 Internals.

The Klingon fires 3 PH-1s and 1 PH-2 at Range 6. 2 points of damage are marked off the Helgardian's Rotary Shields. The Helgardian takes 2 more Internals.

The Helgardian loses 1 Bridge, 1 Aux, and 1 LGB

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs and 2 standard LGBs at Range 6. The Klingon takes 10 points of damage to Shield #1.

The Klingon fires 2 PH-2s at Range 4. 2 points of damage are marked off the Helgardian's Rotary Shields. The Helgardian takes 1 Internal.

The Helgardian fires 2 standard MGBs at Range 4. The Klingon takes 7 points of damage to Shield #5. Shield #5 collapses and the Klingon takes 2 Internals.

The Klingon loses 1 PH-2 and 1 Bridge.

The Helgardian fires 2 standard MGBs and 1 standard LGB at Range 4. 7 points of damage are marked off the Klingon's #4 Shield.

The Helgardian fires 2 standard MGBs at Range 9. 2 points of damage are marked off the Klingon's #4 Shield.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 13. 1 point of damage is marked off the Klingon's #6 Shield.

The Klingon fires 1 standard LGB from Range 3 at a Drone. The Drone takes 1 point of damage.

At this point, the Klingon has no Shield #2 and no Shield #5. The Klingon has also taken 10 points of damage to Shield #1, 10 points of damage to Shield #3, 15 points of damage to Shield #4, and 1 point of damage to Shield #6.

The Klingon has lost 3 PH-2s, 1 Disruptor, 1 Impulse, 1 Warp Engine, 1 Bridge, 1 Battery.

The Helgardian has no Shield #1. The Helgardian has also taken 3 points of damage to Shield #2.

The Helgardian has lost 1 Bridge and 1 LGB.

TURN 6

The Klingon assesses the damage his ship has taken. He notes that he is missing two shields and his other shields have suffered damage. He also finds that he is missing one Disruptor and 3 Phasers.

In order to prevent serious damage to his ship, the Klingon Captain orders his ship to disengage.


Captain Kor of the Klingon Pentrokk states, "No Blood Wine for us today!"


NOTES/SUGGESTIONS/CONCLUSIONS

1) The fact that the Rotary Shields restore every turn (in standard mode) is a clear advantage for the Helgardian. Even with half of the damage leaking through, the Rotary Shields significantly slow the enemy's damage turn by turn. In our opinion, this issue needs to be corrected in order for the Helgardian CA to be balanced against the Alpha Sector CAs. Here are some suggestions of how to correct the Rotary Shield Advantage:

a) Reduce the number of overall Helgardian shields to balance the advantage given by the regenerating nature of the Rotary Shields.

b) Somehow prevent the Rotary Shields from restoring (in standard mode) every turn. Maybe they only restore one or two boxes per turn (if they suffered damage already). Maybe the Helgardian has to pay power to restore each damaged Rotary Shield box. Maybe the Rotary Shield does not restore every turn (in standard mode) and damage control must be used on the Rotary Shield to restore it.

c) Make the Rotary Shields slower to cover a different arc. This will give the opponent time to maneuver and perhaps hit the Helgardian in a spot where the Rotary Shields are not covering it. Perhaps the 8 impulse rotation could be changed to 16 impulses instead.

d) As Gary suggested, modify the energy requirement or capacitor usage to prevent the Rotary Shields from being restored every turn.

2) The amount of shots per turn in standard mode for the Graviton Beams is a clear advantage. This causes the Helgardian to be able to eat away his opponent's shields faster than normal. I like Francois' idea to reduce the shots per turn for the standard Graviton Beam from 4 to 3. Here are some ways to fix the rapid-firing Graviton Beam issue:

a) Reduce the amount of Medium Graviton Beams on the Helgardian CA. Instead of 4 forward Medium Graviton Beams, reduce it to 3 forward Medium Graviton Beams. Instead of 2 RH Medium Graviton Beams, reduce it to 1 RH Medium Graviton Beam.

b) Reduce the number of times per turn the Graviton Beam can fire in standard mode. Instead of 4 times per turn, make it 3 times per turn.

c) Increase the cost for each shot in standard mode for the Graviton Beam. This will force the Helgardian CA to divert power it would have normally used for movement and Particle Shotguns. The Helgardian will have to pay a higher cost to fire the Graviton Beams rapidly. Maybe the cost to fire 4 standard shots for a Medium Graviton Beam should be 3 or 4 instead of just 2.

d) Give the Graviton Beam a cool down turn after it has fired in standard mode. Perhaps, after firing in standard mode for one turn, it can fire in Focus Mode, Overload Mode, or as a single one shot weapon on the following turn. But make the standard mode with 4 shots unavailable for 32 impulses after using it in standard mode.

3) The Particle Shotgun works fine. It seems to be the equivalent of the Photon. It is appropriate for the Helgardian CA to have only 3 Particle Shotguns compared to the Federation CA's 4 Photons.

4) The power curve on the Helgardian CA is fine.

5) The firing arcs on the Helgardian weapons are fine.

6) The turn mode on the Helgardian CA is appropriate.

7) Of course, after changes are made, the Helgardian CA should be playtested further to see if the changes worked (meaning the Helgardian CA is balanced against the Alpha Sector CAs).

By Norman Dizon (Normandizon) on Saturday, November 02, 2013 - 12:37 am: Edit

It should also be noted that the Helgardian CA has decisively won 2 out of 3 Duels. The first Duel was a tie since both ships were severely crippled. The Klingon did not win one Duel against the Helgardian CA.

By Francois Angers (Francoisngg) on Saturday, November 02, 2013 - 12:45 am: Edit

Thanks Norm for the report.

I don't want to reduce the number of GB on the ship since this would cause the ship to be too fragile. We will reduce the Gb to fire only 3 times per turn after the refit, maybe with a 12 impulses delay between shot instead of 8?

For the Rotary Shield I like Gary idea, its simple and put a time limit on the use of the RS. Here the rule needed to achieve this:

(GN100.421) LIMIT: A maximum of one point of energy can be added to the capacitor every turn during the Energy Allocation Phase. No energy can be added during the turn.

What do you think?

By Norman Dizon (Normandizon) on Saturday, November 02, 2013 - 01:41 am: Edit

Hi Francois. Yes, those changes sound appropriate. I only have a couple of questions about the Rotary Shield capacitor.

The graviton beam should be able to fire only 3 times per turn after the refit, with a 12 impulse delay between shots. This sounds very good.

Only one point can be added to the Rotary Shield capacitor every turn. Limiting the amount of energy that can be added to the Rotary Shield Capacitor is a great idea (Thanks Gary!). It will cause the Helgardian to have to save up energy and pick the time to attack with the Rotary Shields up. Also, it will force the Helgardian to choose what level he wants his Rotary Shields to be and how many Rotary Shields he wants to use. But perhaps one point per turn is too limiting.

Lets look at an example:

A Helgardian CA starts at Weapon Status 2. The Rotary Shield capacitor has 2 points in it.

The Helgardian CA decides to raise one three-point Rotary Shield (one point) and another three-point Rotary Shield (one point). The capacitor is empty.

The two Rotary Shields each take 3 points of damage during a turn of combat. So the Helgardian CA has no Rotary Shields at this point.

On the next turn, the Helgardian CA can only add one point to the capacitor. So the Helgardian CA can only raise one three-point Rotary Shield.

If the Helgardian CA maneuvers and does not use the Rotary Shields, he can save up 4 points of Rotary Shield capacitor energy (taking 4 turns). The Helgardian CA could then raise two six-point Rotary Shields.

If the Helgardian CA saves up 8 points of Rotary Shield capacitor energy (taking a whopping 8 turns!), then it can have two ten-point Rotary Shields.

Does this example sound correct? Maybe we should allow a maximum of two points of energy to be added to the capacitor every turn so that at least two three point Rotary Shields can be raised every turn (as opposed to just one three point Rotary Shield).

What do you think about limiting the capacitor energy added to 2 every turn instead of just 1?

Also, in my opinion, the batteries should be able to be used to raise the level of the Rotary Shield. The Helgardian CA only has 4 batteries, so if it is an emergency, and he discharges all 4 batteries for emergency power to the Rotary Shields, he can gain extra protection for that turn at the cost of his battery power.

What do you think?

By Francois Angers (Francoisngg) on Saturday, November 02, 2013 - 02:58 am: Edit

No, each RS has a capacitor so the CA could add 2 points because he has 2 capacitors.

Okay the unit can use the batteries to raise the RS directly without going into the capacitors, good.

By Francois Angers (Francoisngg) on Saturday, November 02, 2013 - 03:03 am: Edit

Here is the new rule.

(GN100.422) BATTERY: Batteries can be used to raise the level of a specific rotary shield.

By Norman Dizon (Normandizon) on Saturday, November 02, 2013 - 03:22 am: Edit

Ok, sounds good. Thanks Francois.

I believe we have made some positive changes to the Valorean and Helgardian CAs. We are making progress! Of course, the changes will need to be confirmed by further playtesting.

Lets see what else we can do! :)

By Gregory S Flusche (Vandor) on Saturday, November 02, 2013 - 08:54 am: Edit

I have a strange thing to ask. As i have been reading the thread with some interest. Why has the klingon not launched a scatter pack. Following them in with his ship?. Standard tactics in a duel for a klingon?

By Francois Angers (Francoisngg) on Saturday, November 02, 2013 - 09:19 am: Edit

Hi Gregory, I guess different people play differently, that is why we need more people to playtest but not a lot of players send playtest report.

By Norman Dizon (Normandizon) on Saturday, November 02, 2013 - 10:48 am: Edit

Hi Gregory. That is a great question you asked.

I believe the answer has to do with my players learning from watching each other's previous Duels. All of the Triangulum ships are a bit foreign right now. Some of my players have played Star Fleet Battles for a long time and some of my players just recently learned how (they are shocked at the complexity of SFB!).

If you look at the first Klingon D7 vs Helgardian Duel CA (you might have to go back an Archive or so to read it), you will find this:

"TURN 2

Both the Helgardian Protector CA and the Klingon D7 are moving at medium speed, but slower than in Turn 1.

Klingon launches Scatterpack.

Scatterpack launches 6 Drones at Helgardian.

The Helgardian fires 4 standard MGBs at Range 4. 8 points of damage are scored on the Klingonís #1 Shield....."


What we found out from watching that first Duel is that the six Drones were never able to hit their target. In fact, they didn't even get to absorb Graviton Beam fire. They did manage to restrict the Helgardian's movement a bit. But he was fast enough to avoid them. And he could easily have ripped them apart with his rapid-firing Graviton Beams. Eventually, the six Drones expired (they were Type-1, Speed 8, Endurance 3, Warhead 12, Damage 4).

So, I suppose everyone watched that and thought, "Oh, the tactic to overwhelm the enemy with a wave of Drones did not work against this guy."

The Klingon got crippled real bad in that first Duel.

In the second Duel, I noticed that the next player did not try a Scatterpack. Instead, he tried to launch two Drones every turn. It also seemed like the lesson from the first Duel was to keep the speed up and stay away from the Helgardian. However, this player could not resist the urge to sweep in close while the Helgardian was in-between turns recharging his Parcticle Shotguns. Sadly, this did not turn out good for him.

In the third Duel, some players had talked about it being possible to win if the Klingon kept his speed up high and stayed far away from the Helgardian's overload range (Range 8). But this player found it hard to both go fast and then turn around to use his Disruptors (because of his turn mode, which was 4, at the time).

I believe that when the Helgardian was following the Klingon (in the turn you referenced), the Klingon had almost completely lost his #5 Shield. He was maneuvering to keep that weak #5 Shield away from the Helgardian. So he was moving fast, trying to stay away, and (at the end of the turn) ended up with his #4 Shield facing the Helgardian while he tried to turn around (slowly with his turn mode).

The Klingon lost that Duel too, because the Helgardian did catch up to him and caught him at Range 8.

So does 6 Drones from a scatterpack work against the Helgardian? Perhaps if it is timed differently? Maybe if the Drones were upgraded to be faster? Or is it better to launch 2 Drones per turn? What other tactic or strategy would have allowed the Klingon to win over the Helgardian? Any suggestions or input would be greatly appreciated by my players and I.

I handed them the old SFB Tactics Manual a while ago and they have been studying it, but they each seem to fly a starship in their own way.

By Gregory S Flusche (Vandor) on Saturday, November 02, 2013 - 10:57 am: Edit

well if you are giving the klingon speed 8 drones i feel for him. You might as well as give him jump racks as well launch 1 drone a turn. Two drones imp 24 two more imp 1 follow in. Standard drone tactics. Mind you i am not the best klingon player. Also were you consedering ecm at all. The kilingon haveing a ecm drone? Are heavy drones as well. Just asking as real play and tournament stuff is way diffrent

By Norman Dizon (Normandizon) on Saturday, November 02, 2013 - 10:58 am: Edit

I agree with Francois that it would be nice to see Playtest Reports from other groups. Every player seems to have their own style in battle and I'm sure each group of SFB players has their own unique tactics.

Typing up the Playtest Reports can be a little time-consuming, but they are invaluable when trying to balance ships, in my opinion. I hope other groups will join in. The greater the variation in Playtest Reports, the better.

By Norman Dizon (Normandizon) on Saturday, November 02, 2013 - 11:11 am: Edit

Hi Gregory. When my group saw the Scatterpack not working, I believed that convinced them to not launch two Drones at the end of one turn and another two Drones at the beginning of the next turn and then follow the Drones in. I guess the logic is, if 6 Drones at once did not work, then why would 4?

Plus the Helgardian really tore up the Klingon at close range. So I think this convinced my players to not go toe to toe with it with just Disruptors and some Drones. I think everyone after the first Duel tried a "Saber Dance", to the best of their ability.

One player tried using ECM, but it didn't seem to have much effect on the rapid-firing Graviton Beams. We haven't used ECM Drones or Heavy Drones.

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