Archive through July 17, 2013

Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board: Federation & Empire: F&E PRODUCTS: F&E Future Products (Near Term): F&E WARBOOK: Warbook Update – Fighter Operations (FO) : FO - Section 600 Reports – Scenarios and Options : (607.0) Four Powers War - Scenario Reports: Archive through July 17, 2013
By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 01:28 pm: Edit

Peter,

The Four Powers War is only 11 turns long (F157 to F162). The Kzinti would not build a CLD until T3 (158-F) as they would build/convert their one CD a year on T1 (157-F) and T2 (158-S). They would build a maximum of 5 during the whole war. And if they keep their CDs protected those CLDs will be on the line and vulnerable. So with 5 at start and 5 new production CLDs they get a max of 10 and all of them will not survive the war. Then several of those CLDs may end up as CVEs and CLEs.

I agree that EW should be limited, but we need to be careful as we examine the numbers. Statements about 20 Kzinti CLDs just do not fit the facts.

By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 01:41 pm: Edit

Richard,

I agree that production rates for the scenario need restricting. That doesn't mean that we should not look at other possibilities that would not unbalance the scenario or other scenarios in this timeframe. The combination might achieve what we want far more effectively than just one or the other.

The core rules and most expansions are written with the General War time frame in mind as well. Some of the rules probably need to be considered for scenario or timeframe specific modifications to help explain some of the written history of the SFU. Free scouts might be one of those. I can think of a few others, though they are not currently creating any issues in this scenario.

By Chuck Strong (Raider) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 01:58 pm: Edit

I am not going to recommend to ADB changing a hugely, fundamental rule to baseline F&E as changing the free scout rule. So let's just focus on limiting scouts through their production rules.
Thanks.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 02:06 pm: Edit

I don't see CLDs being converted to CVEs and CLEs. The Kzinti have enough CLs and CL production to do that without having to unconvert expensive drone ships.

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 02:14 pm: Edit

Daniel wrote:
>>The Four Powers War is only 11 turns long (F157 to F162). The Kzinti would not build a CLD until T3 (158-F) as they would build/convert their one CD a year on T1 (157-F) and T2 (158-S).>>

Sure. But they start with some CLDs (which, again, aren't actually particularly good ships in SFB, but are insanely useful in F+E), and will likely build mostly CDs (as they are better), but it isn't at all impossible that some new CLDs would be produced (again, as you might need the CA hull for something else, and a CLD in the free scout slot or for bombardment is just as good as the CD).

Why is it important than the Kzinti build CLDs anyway? With "1 scout of any size per year, and 1 SC4 scout per turn (and 1 AUX per year)", the Kzinti won't produce that many CLDs, as they'll probably make CDs instead. That's fine.

Just like under the same restrictions, the Klingons will build a D6D in y158, a D6D in y159, and then just build D6Ss once a year for the rest of the war. Seems reasonable to me.

By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 02:20 pm: Edit

Richard,

I don't expect to see military institutions to do a lot of the things that they do; but they do them.

Chuck,

Just a suggestion as it would be an across the board balanced action that would not affect any established General War game play while potentially addressing the primary problem with the scenario we're working. Just doing my best to think outside the box.

By Chuck Strong (Raider) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 02:29 pm: Edit

Thanks Dan -- I want you to continue to think outside the box because answers can sometimes be found there!

By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 02:33 pm: Edit

Something else that is bothering me the more closely I look at the update to the Four Powers War:

At the start of the General War the Klingons have 6xD6D with three of them hidden in the IWR. They have the same number at the start of the Four Powers War with none of them hidden inside the IWR at that time as there are no maulers taking up fleet positions. This seems about right to me.

At the start of the General War the Kzinti have 1xCD, 1xSDF, and 5xDF. They have 4xCD, 5xCLD, 0xSDF, and 5xDF at start in the Four Powers War. More than twice the DB platforms and nearly three times the starting EW capability? Is this a bit much?

So could part of the problem be the rather extravagant number of at start CD and CLD hulls in the Four Powers War? If you want to limit excessive EW, maybe replacing some of the CD and CLD hulls in the starting OB with CS and CL hulls will help. If the Kzinti didn’t need 3 drone platforms per fleet prior to the General War, why would they have that many prior to the Four Powers War; and why would all the extra platforms be cruiser hulls? I would recommend that there be no more than one drone cruiser of any type in any fleet. That cuts down a lot of the excess EW. Replace the four excess drone platforms with base hull types.

Recommendation: Keep the CD in Home and Duke Fleets with a CL replacing the CLDs, and keep the CLD in Count and Marquis Fleets with a CS replacing the Count’s CD and a BC replacing the Marquis CD. This reduces the excess EW tremendously without reducing pin count and still allowing reasonable DB capability for the Kzinti. To help balance the EW on the Coalition side replace 2xF5S with 2xE3 in the Klingon Home Fleet and replace 2xSC in the Lyran Home Fleet with 2xDDG. That gets rid of 4 EW platforms on both sides; though only 6 Coalition EW to 8 Alliance EW. The greater loss of EW is why I recommend the Klingons get E3s in the exchange and the Lyrans get troop instead of line ships.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 02:50 pm: Edit

Ok. Some things.

If you reduce the starting Kzinti EW, you probably need to correspondingly reduce Klingon EW.

This is not done by replacing Klingon Home Fleet scouts or by replacing Lyran scouts that the Kzinti may not face until turn four, if then. (The Hydrans can keep the Lyrans frightfully busy).

The Klingon Home Fleet in all likelihood will not be activated in this scenario, so changes to it's composition are inconsequential unless it is so much weakened that the Hydrans could attack (which is not the case here).

More troop ships in place of DDs for the Lyrans doesn't really make sense to me. Weakening their at start strength against the Hydrans is probably not a good idea.

If the Kzinti DO lose CLDs/CDs, the best thing to do is to make sure the coalition lose those sorts of things as well.

By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 04:29 pm: Edit

I would agree Richard except I think that part of the problem here is that the Kzinti have way more than they need at start for this scenario while the Klingon are reasonably limited in that regard in what they can throw at the Kzinti. Initially the Klingon will have 1xE4S, 2xF5S and 2xD6D for use as EW platforms and drone duty against the Kzinti after construction. That is 5 scout and 2 drone platforms (not including tug missions) on just total 5 hulls with a max of 7 EW when they attack. They do not get turn 1 builds as the scenario starts on T1A (skipping the Coalition T1) so increase from production will favor the Kzinti when the Klingon attack and the TBS won’t begin to arrive until turn 3 due to distance (it only adds 1xF5S anyway).

The Kzinti start with 3xCD, 3xCLD, 3xDF and 3xSF giving the Kzinti 9 scout and 9 drone platforms divided between 12 total hulls (again not including tug missions) with a max of 15EW. On top of this the Kzinti have two SAS available, one in Duke and one in Home Fleet. The Kzinti also get their turn one production and are not prohibited from going to a wartime economy so they get to add 1xCD, 1xDF, and 1xSF to the Duke’s Fleet. That gets them to 15 hulls divided between 11 scout and 11 drone platforms along with 3 SAS giving them a total of 24 EW before the Klingons attack. None of that includes their fixed defenses which also increase Kzinti EW against the initial Klingon attack.

To better demonstrate:

Klingon have at most 50 SE with 7 EW available when they attack on turn 2 plus up to 24 SE with 5 EW to reinforce with at the end of turn 2.

Kzinti have 65 ships released when the Klingon attack with up to 24 EW, but are limited in the mobility of their reserve because the Klingon can pin it and attack base stations along the border, but they lack any real punch with only a 10 ship advantage if they hit within 2 hexes of the Marquis’ Fleet. There are 20 SE with 7 EW in the Duke and 13 SE with 5 EW available from the Marquis plus 7 SE with up to 5 EW in new builds for just 40 SE and 17 EW on the border at the end of turn 1 (not including any overbuilds).

Given those close numbers and that EW disparity, what idiot in the Klingon Empire decided that they wanted the big time butt stomping they have coming from the Kzinti? Because that is what they are getting without any doubt. Considering the numbers, how can anybody tell me that the Kzinti replacing 2CLD with 2CL and 2CD with a CS and a BC really hurts the Kzinti over the course of the 4PW? The loss of 8 EW doesn’t even phase the Kzinti defense as only 6 come from fleets activated on turn 2, and 2 of that would not really be available till turn 3 anyway, as it would be in the capital, and the Kzinti will still have up to 18 EW to defend against 7 EW for the Klingon.

That is why I recommend reducing the Kzinti drone cruiser numbers. Looking at the fleet compositions; they have too much EW and too much drone bombardment capability to start.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 05:08 pm: Edit

The Kzinti don't get any eco or production on turn one. No production schedule, and they're not at war.

When the Klingons initially attack, a lot of those Kzinti drone ships are unreleased or at least not going to be able to respond, which helps the Klingons a lot in their initial strike.

In the battles I've had with the Kzinti in my game, EW advantage has swung back and forth between the Klingons and Kzinti. Taking away a lot of ew from them would definitely weaken them, but maybe that's good, maybe not. I can't be sure.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 05:15 pm: Edit

In my initial strike I certainly avoided letting the Marquis react in order to strengthen my attacks elsewhere.

By Jason E. Schaff (Jschaff297061) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 05:33 pm: Edit

The class description for the CLD in CapLog20 states that none of the CLDs survived the 4-powers war, and that CL production between the 4PW and the GW was consumed with building other things (most likely CVEs and CLEs). I somehow doubt that this is a realistic outcome of the scenario, but it's the "historical" basis for why the Kzinti don't start the GW with a passel of CLDs.

By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 05:39 pm: Edit

I missed that the Kzinti do not get a build schedule for turn 1. The production notes should flat out say that the Lyran, Klingon, and Kzinti have no turn one production or players will argue that they do. I have heard people try to argue that the Coalition get turn one production in the 4PW when I know that they don't.

Still, with no T1 build the Kzinti have 33 SE and 12 EW on turn 2 against at most 50 Klingon SE and 7 EW. Not enough for the Klingon to press an attack into undamaged territory. A 17 ship advantage that won’t last still means the Klingons are getting curb stomped without a doubt and EW is part of the problem.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 05:50 pm: Edit

I think the production schedule is the indicator that they don't, only the Hydrans have a schedule during Y157. I'd like a more explicit statement as well, and have suggested it a few times.

I crippled the Duke's Starbase on my initial attack and destroyed it later.

In my current game all the Kzinti border bases are destroyed and the planets captured, except for the two near the Marquis area. The Klingon border bases are all destroyed except for the East Fleet base. The Lyrans have two out of three Kzinti border bases alive.

The Klingons still have Klindai (1407), but that's up in the air (primarily because I made a mistake and got 25 ish Klingon SEs stuck in Kzinti space by the WYN).

At least in my game the Klingons are not getting curb stomped. They've got an edge on the Kzinti.

The Klingons get the TBS as reinforcements, and new construction.

It's tricky though, because of the Hydrans.

Which is good. If the Klingons had overwhelming strength, then what's the point?

By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 08:06 pm: Edit

That’s rather impressive considering you should take at least twice as much damage while crippling the base as the Kzinti do. Did he overly deploy forward or make the mistake of reacting off too much of the fleet as you moved in to hit targets near the Duke SB? You have nearly twice the ships but the base is such a huge multiplier of damage even without fighters that as long as he defends it you should take a horrific pounding. How did you deal with that damage? And how did you avoid a massive retaliation afterwards? E3s and E4s are good for taking damage, but they do go up like popcorn when your opponent’s ComPot crosses 110. I’ve generally seen the T2 defense of the Duke run at about 110 before drone bombardment. At that point I go after the Base Stations and leave the Starbase alone which leaves me fighting the entire Kzinti fleet in a long grind where I’m on the losing end of the EW war.

By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 08:09 pm: Edit

Of note, I haven't seen the Duke SB fall in the 4PW except when the Kzinti made the mistake of spreading his fleet too thin.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 08:29 pm: Edit

The Kzinti had no command points. They had a DNE TGT(2 battle pods) CC 3CS 4CL 6FF CD CLD DF SF defending (20 ships).

I attacked with virtually all of the North And NR Fleets.

This was my battle force for round 1: Klingon line: C6(cmd) TGA(battle/drone pods,frm) D7C(adm) D6C 4D7 2D6 3D6D F5S(frm) 106/8

The Kzinti had: DNE (C/F/Adm), CC, TGT+BPBP, 3xCS, CD, [2xCL, CLD, 3xFF], (SAS), SB
(18/6)=107/12

Due to an error, I thought I had 7 EW points and fought against a -2 shift on the first round.

Die rolls were Klingon 4 Kzinti 3 BIR 5.

The Kzinti took 4 SIDS on the first round and some cripples.

Round two I rolled a 1 (with a -2 shift), the Kzinti rolled a 6. The Kzinti ended up taking two SIDS and crippling 1-2 ships.

Over the next two rounds I directed a SIDS on the base and retreated after crippling it.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 08:30 pm: Edit

On turn two, the Kzinti repaired two SIDS on the SB, and I went back in and crippled it again.

On turn three, I destroyed the base, sending in a lot of ships to do it.

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 08:44 pm: Edit

Daniel wrote:
>>That’s rather impressive considering you should take at least twice as much damage while crippling the base as the Kzinti do. Did he overly deploy forward or make the mistake of reacting off too much of the fleet as you moved in to hit targets near the Duke SB?>>

On T2, when the Klingons attack, the Kzinti have 2 reserves--one is at the Duke's SB (which is pinned there) and the other is unreleased. Ships from the Home Fleet and Marquis Fleet can't react in (as they are too far away). The Kzinti have no command points. At the point when we played that part of the scenario, the Kzinti Admiral was in the Capital as a mandatory part of setup (since then, all Admirals have become General HQ units that can be set up anywhere at the start of the game). The Kzinti have about 20 ships, most of which aren't that impressive, sitting at the SB.

The Klingons can attack the Duke's SB on T1 with upwards of 50 ships, including an Admiral and a Command Point.

The Duke's SB is going to get killed in the 4PW. Granted, it took 3 turns of repeated attacks, but it is certainly going to be killed.

>>Of note, I haven't seen the Duke SB fall in the 4PW except when the Kzinti made the mistake of spreading his fleet too thin.>>

Under the previous version of the scenario, I can't possibly see how it could *not* get killed. The Kzinti had far fewer ships in general, and the Marquis Fleet doesn't didn't get released until after the Duke's SB was killed (or the Capital was attacked).

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 08:54 pm: Edit

Just for further illustration of actual current (i.e. before any of the proposed fixes for scouts have been implemented) EW/scout useage, here are two battle lines on Alliance Turn 6 (the Kzinti sent their traditional pinning force to hold down the Klingon force at the Northern Reserve Star Base in 1509, which happens every turn):

Kzinti: DNE (Cmd/Frm), CC, 3xBC, CLD, [3xCLD, 3xFF], (CLD)=79/10

Klingon: TGA(drone/battle pods,frm,cmd) C6 2D7C (adm) D6C 7D6D, (D6S)=97/19

The Klingons have an Admiral in the hex, the Kzinti don't. That is 10 points of Kzinti EW vs 19 points of Klingon EW (the Kzinti have 10 EW as they can't really make a larger force without that much EW anyway). This happens every turn. To be fair, this is the extreme end of the EW war, but most fights on the Kzinti/Klingon front average between 8-10 EW points per round.

By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 10:05 am: Edit

Okay, that makes sense. You started the game before the updates restricting heavy scout production to your capital hex. That let you have a third D6D to try to balance the EW, and the fleets had not been updated for composition. Still painful, but not unbearably so.

And your standard battle lines later in the war illustrate the issue with heavy scouts, particularly the drone cruisers, very well. Drone cruisers become King when there is no other way to mitigate damage.

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 10:41 am: Edit

Well, we are currently over half way through the scenario, so it seems likely that we'll continue with scout production as we started (i.e. regular scout production; one D6S or Lyran CLS per year; Klingons can make 1xD6D per turn; Kzinti can make 1xCD per year and can convert a total of 4x drone ships per year, which means 1xCD and 3xCLD pr year; Hydrans get PGS on T6, but can make as many as they want, etc.)

What this means is that as of T6, here is what the scout numbers are like (only active ships, ignoring Auxes):

-Kzinti: 5xCD, 12xCLD, 10xSF
-Hydran: 4xPGS, 16xSC
-Klingon: 2xD6S, 9xD6D, 1xF5S, 7xE4S, 2xDP
-Lyran: 2xCLS, 11xSC

That is a lot of tactical scout use (the Kzinti have lost some CD/CLDs to direct damage; everyone has lost a few SC4 scouts to direct killing; the Hydrans just gained access to PGS production, so they made 4 this turn).

I'll quote the following passage from Advanced Missions:

(317.5) "Before the General War, the Alliance races assumed that scouts would be used primarily for strategic command purposes, i.e. to track enemy movement, and to facilitate reaction movement and interceptions. (The Klingons and Lyrans believed that Scouts would be used tactically to jam enemy sensors and perform other missions; they were right.)" (attributed to Chuck :-)

By Chuck Strong (Raider) on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 11:33 am: Edit

Know that while I proposed the scout pod rule, the headline color text was written by ADB.

By Chuck Strong (Raider) on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 11:47 am: Edit

My inclination is to modify Proposal #3 since we have enough at-start heavy drone-scouts available.

Proposal #5

(607.583) Scout Limitations: During this period, one scout of any size may be produced once per year by any means at the capital shipyard. In addition, one size class 4 scout may be produced at rate of one per TURN by any means plus any one auxiliary scout per YEAR. Other empire specific production restrictions still apply.

Would someone chart the scout max builds plus the IN-PLAY scouts please -- thanks.

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