Tactics

Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board: Federation Commander: Tactics
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By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 11:46 am: Edit

Command Note Submissions for Captain's Log #45 are going to close at Midnight here in Texas (CST) on 31 March. Notes submitted after that time will be considered or Captain's Log #46.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Friday, August 03, 2012 - 01:48 pm: Edit

Command Notes to be Published in Captain's Log #45:

TWO BITES AT THE CHERRY
- Commander Terry O'Carroll, HMAS New South Wales

DON'T FEAR THE BOLT
- Commander Mike West, USS Texas

CARRONADE SUPREMACY
- Senior Lieutenant Anthony Cutcliffe, HMS Devonshire

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Wednesday, August 08, 2012 - 01:32 pm: Edit

Jean:

You can delete everything in this topic prior to 22 March 2012.

Hopefully we will start getting some new Command Notes.

By Jean Sexton (Jsexton) on Thursday, August 09, 2012 - 08:51 am: Edit

SPP, done.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 03:45 pm: Edit

I have openings for new Command Notes for Captain's Log #46, I just need submissions. The topic is here, and I know some of you have secrets to your continued victories to share and thus improve the overall quality of game play.

By Terry O'Carroll (Terryoc) on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - 04:58 am: Edit

SPIKE THE GUNNERS
Terry O'Carroll, HMAS New South Wales

One way to mission-kill a small ground weapon base is to attack the weapon box with a Marine raid after knocking down the shield. When doing this, raid the base's "Bridge" box as well. The base has only one control box, so if you disable the Bridge, the base will be uncontrolled and suffer a penalty on to-hit rolls [rule (5A2b)] until it is repaired.

GROUND BASE DIRECTED TARGETING
Terry O'Carroll, HMAS New South Wales

Small and medium ground bases don't use the Damage Allocation Chart, so it's impossible to use directed targeting on them. But each base has a specialised function. An attacker can do something similar to directed targeting by treating the complex of bases as a whole like a ship, and picking which bases to attack. Attacking weapon bases is like targeting weapons. Destroying a power station, or a base with excess power generation, is like targeting power. So think in terms of capabilities when selecting targets.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 05:50 pm: Edit

I intend to close this topic out for Captain's Log #46 at the end of November, 2012. If you want your Command Note to be considered for publicationin Captain's Log #46, you had best post it here before the end of November.

Command Notes posted after the end of November 2012 will be considered for Captain's Logs after Captain's Log #46.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 11:59 am: Edit

Reminder:

I intend to close this topic out for Captain's Log #46 at the end of November, 2012. If you want your Command Note to be considered for publication in Captain's Log #46, you had best post it here before the end of November.

Command Notes posted after the end of November 2012 will be considered for Captain's Logs after Captain's Log #46.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Saturday, December 01, 2012 - 05:11 pm: Edit

Submissions for Captain's Log #46 are now closed. Any Command Notes submitted after this point will be considered for Captain's Log #47.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Monday, February 18, 2013 - 01:36 pm: Edit

Command Notes for CL#47 will close on 1 April 2013, submissions after that date will be considered for CL#48.

By Terry O'Carroll (Terryoc) on Saturday, March 02, 2013 - 06:58 pm: Edit

Andromedans in a Nebula
Terry O'Carroll, HMAS New South Wales

Conventional wisdom is that fighting Andromedans in a nebula is suicide. In fact, it's not that bad. The Andromedans will seem to have a lot more protection than a Galactic ship. The Galactic ship has a shield strength of five boxes per shield, whereas the Andromedan has six points of capacity per power absorber box. On an Intruder, that's 36 points of capacity. However, the Andromedan's panels will absorb two points of power per panel box each turn. This has two implications. Firstly, power is coming in to the panels as fast as it can be cleared by dissipation and battery transfer. Any power above that can only be removed by turning off the panel bank in a "tactical power dump" (which leaves the ship unprotected for several impulses). This inability to clear panels completely negates the usual weakness of disruptor ships when fighting Andromedans.

Secondly, if the attacker fires at his target after Impulse #6 but before the end of the turn, the panels will already be holding power, reducing the total capacity to absorb power by one-third. Our Intruder would then have only 24 points of capacity available. At close range, a cruiser should be able to fill the panel banks, even taking the +3 die roll shift into account.

By Mike West (Mjwest) on Saturday, March 02, 2013 - 09:43 pm: Edit

I was going to comment that the paper was terribly inconsistent until I finally was able to read it as saying fighting against Andromedans isn't too bad, rather than fighting as Andromedans isn't too bad. At that point, it made a lot more sense.

Even so, 24 points of damage absorption is still better than 5 (or 15 if you count all three together on a side). And you can easily refresh it by doing the power dump you mentioned; down shields are pretty much going to stay down. (Remember: the two impulses without protection don't really matter as you don't have protection until you do it, anyway. It's a wash.)

It still isn't an easy fight.

By Terry O'Carroll (Terryoc) on Sunday, March 03, 2013 - 12:06 am: Edit

When the PA panels start taking hits, you'll get the damage back as the power turns back into damage points. The threshold before the Andro starts taking damage is higher, but once it does... Also, if you try to do a tactical panel dump before the bank is completely full, you do lose protection there. If you can't completely fill the panels in one turn, the damage will hang around (which it usually doesn't).

I agree it isn't an easy fight, but it isn't completely hopeless for the Galactics either, and that (hopeless) seemed to be the general opinion.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 03:13 pm: Edit

Command Notes for CL#47 will close on 1 April 2013, submissions after that date will be considered for CL#48.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Friday, May 17, 2013 - 01:20 pm: Edit

These were received by E-mail:


HOW TO MOVE TWO SPACES IN THREE MOVES
Duane Nordeen, USS ???
Suppose you are moving Speed 24, but only want to move two hexes. This could be to avoid overload range against a Federation ship, gain a Range 1 shot on a drone wave, etc. The most obvious method is to decelerate, but this costs energy. So how can you do this, without using energy? By using sideslips.
On your first move, sideslip. It does not matter which direction. For this example, we will sideslip left. Next move straight, and then slideslip right. The hex you end up in is two hexes from your starting point. You have managed to end up exactly as if you had decelerated, added three hexes to satisfying your turn mode count as with a deceleration, but you have not used any energy. You can now use that energy for something else, like weapons fire!
So go tease that Fed by stopping at Range 9 without using energy for a deceleration.

RUN THEM OUT OF DRONES
Duane Nordeen, USS ???
A rarely seen, but effective method for facing the Kzintis is to run them out of drones. This requires patience, but when accomplished, eliminates the drones that Kzintis are well known for.
At its heart, this strategy requires you to ignore the Kzinti ships and target almost exclusively on their drones for at least the first four or five turns. Because there are no penalties for firing on drones (unlike in Star Fleet Battles), you should use all of your single-turn arming weapons to clear the drones off the board. You should also use every offensive means to include drones, ADDs, carronades, and suicide shuttles. Target the drones in the following priority: Drones controlled by the smallest ships, the most recently launched drones, and then older drones and drones from larger ships.
The smaller ships have a very difficult time reloading during a match, so by targeting their drones first, you eliminate them as an effective drone platform. Even if you cannot run the larger ships out of drones, you will reduce the future drone waves by six drones for each small ship.
Newer drones should always be targeted before older drones because the older drones will go inert by default and clear the board faster. For example, assume you get your first good shot at drones on Turn #2 and the Kzinti launched drones on Turns #1 and #2. By destroying the Turn #2 drones, you encourage the Kzintis to launch again on Turn #3. Doing the same again, encourages a launch on Turn #4 which empties their drone racks. During turn #4 if you clear out the Turn #4 drones, the Turn #1 drones will go inert and you have cleared out his racks by only destroying 75% of his drones. This means that during Turn #5, there will be no drones on the board and the Kzintis will be unable to launch for at least that turn and probably two turns for an effective double launch.
Once you run the Kzintis out of drones, you need to either achieve serious damage on at least one large ship or split your fire and get a burn through on as many large ships as possible. The first will destroy a ship. The second will focus the Kzintis on repairing a weapon or engine instead of reloading and give you another turn without any drones.

By Terry O'Carroll (Terryoc) on Friday, May 17, 2013 - 08:39 pm: Edit

Suicide Shuttles cannot target drones in FC.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 03:47 pm: Edit

The file of Command Notes is depleted in the sense that most of the remaining notes are from just two or three authors. This means that submissions have a good chance of publication (if they are valid and cover new ground) as we try not to publish more than one paper per author in each issue. So if you have a tactic you have been sitting on, get it submitted and you have a good chance of seeing your name in print in Captain's Log #48.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - 04:58 pm: Edit

REMINDER: The file of Command Notes is depleted in the sense that most of the remaining notes are from just two or three authors. This means that submissions have a good chance of publication (if they are valid and cover new ground) as we try not to publish more than one paper per author in each issue. So if you have a tactic you have been sitting on, get it submitted and you have a good chance of seeing your name in print in Captain's Log #48.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Friday, July 05, 2013 - 01:06 pm: Edit

Hit the Small One First!
Duane Nordeen, USS Utah

Kzinti players have a huge temptation for taking smaller ships instead of bigger ships...drone control. With more, but smaller ships, Kzinti players can launch larger drone waves. The flaw in that philosophy is the ship size. The smaller Kzinti ships cannot stand up to the combined firepower of a fleet, and every ship lost immediately lowers the amount of drones in a drone wave. Therefore, when facing a Kzinti fleet, hit the small ship first and work your way up to the bigger ships.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Monday, September 02, 2013 - 04:47 pm: Edit

The Command Notes file for CL#48 will close on 30 Sep 13. Command notes submitted after that date will be reviewed for CL#49.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 01:11 pm: Edit

There has been a delay in the release of Captain's Log #48. For this reason, SVC has directed that the pool for submissions be reopened and extended to 16 December 2013. Any Command Notes submitted between now and that date will be considered for Captain's Log #48. Any Command Notes submitted after 16 December will be considered for Captain's Log #49.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 01:41 pm: Edit

Reminder, December 16 is the closeout for submissions.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 07:31 pm: Edit

Since the Tactics Manual is closing in on publication, I had a couple of questions:

*Is there a dedicated thread in which the book could be discussed; or should any reviews, comments, or feedback based on the material in this volume be posted here instead? (Or to put it another way, is there a line that should be drawn between "the tactics in the book" and "the book as a product in and of itself"?)

*Will there be a preview table of contents posted to show how the various chapters are broken down?

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Friday, June 27, 2014 - 03:46 pm: Edit

RELOAD ON THE RUN

Steven Petrick, USS Texas

In Federation Commander you can reload the racks of a ship by "repairing" them (4G8). Doing so requires that the rack not have launched any munitions during the current turn (5G5a). Also note that rule (5G5b) allows you to do partial reloads of multiple racks in a turn as long as any given rack you start reloading is fully reloaded before you begin reloading another rack.

What all of this means is that at the end of any given turn you should remember whether or not a given rack was used in that turn, and if it was not (and nothing else is desperately crying for repairs) go ahead and reload it rather than let your repair points for that turn go to waste.

Consider a Kzinti frigate. Some tactics require the frigate to launch four drones on Turn #X, follow them towards the target, and then during Turn #X+1 launch two more drones for a total of six, the frigate's maximum control rating, and follow all six towards the target. If, at he end of Turn #X+1 the drones have not hit the target (and none have been shot down), the frigate could use its damage control to load one drone into each of the two racks that did not launch a drone on Turn #X+1 using one repair point each.

The fact that you have these two extra drones in those racks might come in handy late in the battle when you do not have time to both repair a rack and reload it, but the two currently undamaged racks (you scored damage on the two racks with fewer drones earlier, right) each still has a drone available to launch.

This obviously has more utility for the Kzintis with their multiple drone racks, but even Federation ships should pay attention to whether or not they used a drone rack on a current turn, and if the repair points are available take the time to reload it with a couple of anti-drones or a drone (or two).

You cannot save up repair points normally, if you cannot use them you lose them. So before you just move on to the next turn, take a look at your ship's drone racks, and if you did not use them, see if you can save a few repair points for the future by reloading a few rack spaces now. Having those drones and launching them late in the game may, at the least, draw enemy fire that might have scored more internal damage on your ship (saving more repair points) and let you perhaps score the decisive damage on your opponent.

By Steve Petrick (Petrick) on Saturday, August 09, 2014 - 03:21 pm: Edit

ENERGY ALLOCATION THE FEDERATION COMMANDER WAY
Anthony Cutcliffe, HMS Devonshire

As Federation Commander players, we tend to think of Energy Allocation as an anachronism hailing back to the days of Star Fleet Battles and its tax-form accounting system.
But, as good captains, we definitely still need to plan our energy usage! It is really important to have a rough idea of what you want to do with your power for the turn, so as to avoid running out of it before your opponent does ó with all the obvious disadvantages of that position ó and to get the best possible use out of your ship and its systems for the turn. Energy allocation in this way is especially important if you are thinking of cloaking. Only then will you know the true cost with respect to your other systems that need power.
So, as you receive your shiny new energy points at the start of the turn, you must carefully tally your available juice and work out what you want to do with it. You will not necessarily use the power exactly as you have planned but still the thinking needs to be there. Once you have determined what you want to be able to do, you allocate your power mentally then declare your Baseline Speed, with your other plans still in mind. It may help to physically sort your pile of energy tokens into, say, accelerations, batteries, phasers, spare power ó but of course this might give your opponent some clues as to what you are up to . . . And, you must always include your batteries in your thinking, so you know how much flexibility you have towards the end of the turn. In fact, I usually make a small stack of tokens off to one side, so that I can easily see when my power usage will involve tapping into the batteries. It does not matter if my opponent can see them, as it is something he could always work out for himself.
So, for example, the thought process for a Romulan FireHawk (45 power with full batteries), fighting a Hydran ship, might look something like this:
He is probably going to launch his Stingers this turn. So I will need at least Speed 16, plus letís say another six points of power for discretionary speed changes, making my top speed this turn 22, the lowest 10. Okay so far. Now, I need to charge up two plasma-S torpedoes in their third turn of arming [I will actually arm as two plasma-G torpedoes and add the last point of power upon launch] ó that makes another eight points of power used. That is 30 points of power so far, leaving me 15 for my main phaser battery, tractors/negative tractor and/or reinforcement, all as required. Cloaking ó I do not think I will want to do that when there are Stingers around, or they will be waiting as I come back up again. Batteries: Five, so letís try to leave five power tokens unused this turn if possible.
This is a useful little exercise, which takes all of 20 to 30 seconds and is definitely time well spent.
Granted most good players will already do something like this unconsciously, but it helps if you make the conscious effort to do so. However you do it, you must still do it!


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