F&E General Discussions

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From a post on February 13, 2006

This topic isnít archived, isnít "answered", is not processed. Itís just a place for quick questions and quick answers.

-- SVC

Please keep this in mind as you post here. This topic is to have a maximum of 500 messages, no more than six months old.
By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 12:41 pm: Edit

>>Peter, is the mauler in the formation bonus crippled or not?>>

I'm not sure what difference it makes to the issue. You put an uncrippled mauler in formation bonus, it is just a 10 compot battlecruiser. Which is, admittedly, a really minor issue, but still. It seems completely ridiculous.

By Thomas Mathews (Turtle) on Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 12:59 pm: Edit

The mauler still has some phasers available when crippled. Remember not all of the mauler's firepower is based on the mauler itself but in part on the supporting ships it is with for the purposes of directed damage.

I do not see an issue here. The biggest thing you could make an issue of is with regards to directed damage but (308.73) eliminates an uncrippled mauler from using the mauler ability against an opponent.

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 03:02 pm: Edit

>>The mauler still has some phasers available when crippled. Remember not all of the mauler's firepower is based on the mauler itself but in part on the supporting ships it is with for the purposes of directed damage.>>

Crippled or not isn't the issue. It is that a mauler, that only has the ability to hurt things from incredibly close range (be it with the mauler gun or by just being a giant tractor anchor), still contributes its full (heavily inflated) compot from formation bonus, which generally represents the ship in formation bonus being kept out of close range from the enemy. Maulers, as noted, really can only impact a battle from a range of 2 or closer in SFB. Putting one in formation bonus should negatively impact its compot. Like, say, a mauler protected by formation bonus should have its compot cut by 50%.

>>I do not see an issue here. The biggest thing you could make an issue of is with regards to directed damage but (308.73) eliminates an uncrippled mauler from using the mauler ability against an opponent.>>

Again, this isn't a huge issue in the grand scheme of things. It is just yet another absurdity in the rules in regards to maulers being magical, godlike weapons in F+E, compared to them being little more than a complicated damage sponge and occasionally a good tractor anchor ship in SFB. If you are hiding the mauler from enemy abuse (i.e. giving it formation bonus), you are making the mauler ineffective at anything that it could possibly be good for.

By Kevin Howard (Jarawara) on Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 05:13 pm: Edit

Just to make sure...

Peter, rule 308.73 says that the mauler cannot use its directed damage bonus when in the formation rule. You knew that, right?

So all we're talking about here is a 10pt cruiser in the formation slot. I know, it's still goofy, but it's something so minor, and so rare, that it's a non-issue.

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 05:51 pm: Edit

>>Peter, rule 308.73 says that the mauler cannot use its directed damage bonus when in the formation rule. You knew that, right?>>

Of course.

>>So all we're talking about here is a 10pt cruiser in the formation slot. I know, it's still goofy, but it's something so minor, and so rare, that it's a non-issue.>>

It isn't a huge issue, no. It is just yet another bit of Maulers just being completely ridiculous in this game relative to how they operate in SFB. Like, you have this ship, the mauler, that the Coalition have a billion of, and they are magically effective, and *also* 10 point battlecruisers. That you can just put in Formation if you want a 10 point ship and don't want to risk it getting killed. And this is just one more thing that is absurd about Maulers. Gah. This isn't a huge complaint. It is just another thing I noticed that struck me as absurd.

Endless absurd abuse of voluntary minus points is a significant problem. Cloaked evasion of Romulan province raiders is possibly overpowered. Maulers getting full compot while in formation bonus is just yet another absurd slap in the face.

By Stewart Frazier (Frazikar2) on Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 10:56 pm: Edit

Cloaked Evasion is a die roll, if the odds are being beaten, the odds are being beaten.

Try it on the map with 15 or more hexes between them...not easy...

By Kevin Howard (Jarawara) on Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 11:10 pm: Edit

>>It is just yet another bit of Maulers just being completely ridiculous in this game relative to how they operate in SFB.>>

Yeah, I hear you there. I'm experimenting with some rules right now that almost totally defang maulers.

One, they can't be used on mobile targets - ie, no ships. I'm considering possibly allowing them to be used on a cripple, since they are tactically slower. Maulers still work normally against fixed targets like PDU's and bases. Two, (assuming I do allow them against cripples), no using them on groups of ships in a pursuit. The mauler is busy killing this cruiser over here, so the pair of frigates over there need to be dirdammed for the usual 2:1 rate. Three, a mauler used against a fixed target can get close up and thus gain the firepower advantage, but in open space battles, the mauler's firepower is equal to the ship it was converted from. That's usually 8 pts for a cruiser mauler, or just 6 pts for those crappy Falcons.

So far, the rule is working as I want it to: The coalition builds up enough maulers to maintain their offensive, the alliance rarely kills them as they really aren't that important, and the coalition then quits building them once they have enough.

The coalition, however, is losing. So yeah, it's a work in progress. :)


Oh, and minus points? Easy solution: minus points don't count until after dirdam. So yes, you can have that -9 damage every round, but it won't save you from losing that key ship you were protecting. Where they are directing every round, the minus points often just carry over round after round before finally being used up.

Special rules are required in capitals, or the PDU's go down to easy. Everywhere else, my rule seems to work.

By Thomas Mathews (Turtle) on Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 08:27 am: Edit

The only times I can think of that you would put a mauler in the form bonus slot are when it is the flagship and you don't want it to get directed on or it is crippled and you have to included it in the pursuit battle. Granted the enemy fleet might have enough damage points between BIR, VBIR and outright Compot to cripple or kill it even then. Otherwise the mauler won't be on the line unless you intend to use it.

There is nothing wrong with maulers or the way they work. Unless you have Paul Howard's luck of bad die rolls at crucial times and your maulers always shock.

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 09:36 am: Edit

>>Cloaked Evasion is a die roll, if the odds are being beaten, the odds are being beaten. >>

In situations where cloaked evasion is perfectly average, the Alliance are only capable of killing 1/3rd of the province raiders that they are attacking. In situations where the only thing that they can reasonably do is attack province raiders due to overwhelming Coalition ship advantage.

I often wonder how many games of basic F+E2K10 have actually been played out past, like, turn 10. To the point that the Romulans have spread across Federation space and all province raiders are Romulans. In actuality.

>>Try it on the map with 15 or more hexes between them...not easyÖ>>

I have no idea what you are trying to say here.

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 09:40 am: Edit

>>The only times I can think of that you would put a mauler in the form bonus slot are when it is the flagship and you don't want it to get directed on or it is crippled and you have to included it in the pursuit battle.>>

Yes. This is indeed a very corner case issue. That isn't really worth fixing. But it is still absurd.

By Thomas Mathews (Turtle) on Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 09:50 am: Edit

Why is it absurd? It is no different than putting a Fed CVL in the form bonus slot. The CVL being a 6-8 becomes a 6-9 for directed damage thanks to its scout sensors. Most people put a 9pt CC in the slot if they don't have a DN or some other more valuable unit to place there.

The Fed CVL in the base game is a very powerful unit. Maybe more so than in the full game as you don't have to dial your EW. This gives you more options to use it in the earlier part of the war and in the later part when you have the CVBG to play with.

How about a Rom SUP? There's a 10 point single ship carrier.

I just don't see how the mauler in the form bonus slot is absurd when it loses the ability to maul while other units with special abilities like scout functions or carriers or PFTs don't.

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 10:00 am: Edit

>>I just don't see how the mauler in the form bonus slot is absurd when it loses the ability to maul while other units with special abilities like scout functions or carriers or PFTs don't.>>

Because we know how maulers work in SFB, the structure of which is the basis of F+E. Which is incredibly badly. And they only can do anything at all when they are at close range and getting shot at. And even then, they aren't remotely effective enough to justify what they do in F+E. Them having full compot (even without their special attack) while in formation protection is just silly.

Again, this isn't a significant issue. It was just me kvetching about yet another bit in the rules where maulers are insanely over effective relative to how they work in SFB. And not really worth discussing any further.

By Gregory S Flusche (Vandor) on Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 11:06 am: Edit

I do not play F&E much at all. Yet i do play SFB and i use that "wimpy" falcon. It moves in and either the other player wastes a whole lot of weapons crippling it are it anchors are blasts a key ship. I want it were they can shoot it as it saves my ships. Better then a swarm of drones. A big seeking weapon.

By Lawrence Bergen (Lar) on Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 11:59 am: Edit

Has anyone defined Formation Bonus as...
...being far away from the battle?
...being in the back in a support role?

I have always thought of this as other ships loosely in a formation or using a tactical battle set-up that 'protects' the particular ship by adding some of their defensive capability to the survival of that ship. It does not mean the ship cannot be killed or is not involved in the attack/battle. Maulers have the 308.43 rule also so maybe when they are in the form box there are more than 2 ships 'in formation' lending protection.

I can see what PB is saying though and have thought it should be more of a BIR requirement. I could see a time where using a mauler even in the form box (where it cannot use its mauling DD attack) would require a player to have a BIR of 3 or more in order to get the full offensive 10. Defensively although it should be an 8 like its base hull, I can see the batteries (used for shielding and tractors) pushing its value up.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 12:01 pm: Edit

The discussion about maulers is amusing as Peter's argument occurred to me before he even made it (as I first put that mauler in formation).

My thought, as I did it, is that it is funny that it gets its full 10 compot in the formation bonus, as a mauler that isn't at close range is certainly not as offensively viable as (say) a Lyran BC (in tactical combat such as SFB).

The *reason* I did it was to force Peter to self kill some ships rather than see cripples get mauled in pursuit (as he would be guaranteed to be unable to cripple the mauler prior to that point). By putting the mauler in the formation slot, I was able to prevent it being crippled and able to increase the compot of the battle force by having a 10 point unit rather than something smaller.

Just one of those weird F&E things.

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 12:31 pm: Edit

Yep. You have a mauler. You want to use it for a 10 compot ship on the line. Your opponents are unlikely to be able to direct, say, a DN that *isn't* in formation bonus. You want the mauler to not get direct crippled so as to use it in pursuit. So you put it in formation bonus, get a 10 compot BCH on the line, don't risk the mauler, and everything works well. Which, in corner case situations, it does. And makes people who know how maulers work in SFB go "Really? You can do that? How does this happen?"

Again. Not really worth discussing much further, as it is just yet another one of those situations where in F+E maulers are the most powerful, effective units in the game, and in SFB, they are incredibly difficult to use, mostly useless damage sinks. And it always seems very incongruous.

By Thomas Mathews (Turtle) on Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 01:25 pm: Edit

Peter, a combat round in F&E does not and has not and never will equal a scenario in SFB. Maulers and SWACs are two of the rules that don't quite fit the SFB flavor completely. I'm sure you can find more if you look. I'm sure I can think of more too.

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 01:38 pm: Edit

No, no. I know. But maulers are so far and away not remotely reflective of what they can actually do in SFB (more so than anything else in the game, I'd argue), that every time another instance of this shows up, it is surprising. But it really shouldn't be. There was a mauler in formation bonus. And I said "Huh. It would make sense if it didn't contribute full compot if it were in formation. Lemme see if that is the caseÖ", and it was not. And it was yet just another example of the endless pile of "Here is how maulers are insane in F+E." Which was surprising.

Like, again, the game doesn't need this fixed in reality. But the game would have lost *nothing* by adding a rule of "Maulers in the formation box can't use their direct damage ability and also only count at 50% compot." It is adding, like, 5 words to an already existing sentence. And slightly, reasonably downgrades maulers. And makes them slight less completely insane relative to how they actually perform in the game (have you ever played a game of SFB with a mauler in it? They are horrible. As noted above, they are very good at absorbing damage/getting shot. They are very good at tractoring things if they get really close and don't get blown up. They are really bad at actually shooting things with their mauler cannons. Maulers would be not really much less effective than they are in reality if they didn't have any mauler canons at all. Which is why it never really made any sense that the Alliance never just made a ship with a lot of batteries and some extra tractors--without mauler cannon technology, you still get a ship that is just as about as effective as a mauler is ever going to be, tactically speaking). Again. This isn't something that needs fixing (voluntary minus points? *That* is something that needs fixing). But is something that likely should have been in the rules already and would have had no negative impact on the game (and would have been another very small downgrade to maulers, that they probably could have used).

By jim howard (Noseybonk) on Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 09:08 pm: Edit

stinger ones should rule the galaxy and they appeared in Y134....just saying.

i've played in games with maulers the thing killed three alliance cruisers before going up in flames its all about portecting it for the alpha strike, maulers are crazy bad ( good.) ships.

SFB is hard to get a decent F&E sized battle going because it takes too long and is SOOOOO complex.
esp with compot restrictions.

By Randy Blair (Randyblair) on Monday, October 20, 2014 - 12:05 am: Edit

Maulers, due to their flexible use of ample power, perform much more in SFB than just blowing away an opportune target. That overall strength and flexibility is what gives them the appropriate factors and rules in F&E.


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