April 2008

Ask Admiral Growler Continued

Stephen McCann asks: Ship A is at speed zero with three drones circling it, targeted on a now destroyed weasel. The drones will not hit unless the player controlling them HETs them.

Ship B is controlling the drones and has launched a suicide shuttle at Ship A, which is no longer protected by the destroyed wild weasel.

The player wanted to know, if he HETs his drones and they enter Ship A's hex the same impulse as the suicide shuttle, is the suicide shuttle destroyed by the collateral damage before it hits or does it hit Ship A?

I think it would hit, but could not find any rules that confirmed or denied this one way or the other. Does it fall back on the Sequence of Play?

ANSWER: The Sequence of Play answers this question. The suicide shuttle would "hit" before the damage (hence, collateral damage) is scored. Only units entering the hex of the destroyed weasel on following impulses would be affected by the collateral damage.

Francois Lemay asks: Racks have reloads. If rack #1 is destroyed can its reloads be used in another rack?

ANSWER: Reloads are stored elsewhere on the ship (FD2.44) and are simply an open pool from which to draw (FD2.43). So, the reloads from the destroyed rack can be used in other racks (FD2.422).

Seth Iniguez asks: Per (FD9.12), an ECM drone generates three points of ECM, which protects itself and are lent to its assigned target. You have an ECM drone on the map, which has been announced as an ECM drone, with a clear target, but you forget to announce the ECM lending during 6B3 (Scouts begin lending) four impulses after launch. You are past the point in the sequence of play, are you out of luck until the next impulse, or since (FD9.12) describes it as an automatic effect, does the drone start lending regardless of whether or not you announced it in 6B3? I ran into a situation where we were in direct fire, when I realized it was four impulses after drone launch, and I should have had my ECM drone's ECM. My opponent stated that it was too late, since I had not declared it (he might be right), but I argued that since it was an automatic effect, although it should be announced for formality. Nothing in the rules states that it has to be announced in order to be in effect (at least nothing I could find). What would the official ruling be on such a situation?

ANSWER: First, I would like to point out an obvious fact. This is a game! The point is to have fun. Sometimes we forget something. The guiding principle is that if the effect is automatic and non-discretionary, and it is not too late to easily correct the error, then you should do so. (Note: in a competitive tournament, your opponent is within his rights to decline to be a good sport.) Since fire has not yet been resolved, and the ECM drone would kick in automatically, then it should be applied, even though its effect was not previously "announced". On the other hand, your opponent should be given the opportunity to reconsider his weapons fire, given the updated situation. The major point of disagreement would be whether or not the dice had been rolled for the weapons fire. A player who barely hit with an overloaded photon without the ECM shift is not going to be too happy to have that roll turned into a miss, and not too happy to have to chance getting a hit at all with a re-roll. The obverse is that the re-roll might go his way, and the player who is protected by the ECM drone may find himself hit by two photons instead of only one. Again, however, it is a game and the two players should do their best to resolve the problem amicably.

Jeffery Fleischer asks: I am new to playing SFB, and I am having a heck of a time figuring out BPV Calculations when it comes to drones. If someone could work out this example and break it down, I would really appreciate it.

Okay, let's use a Klingon D7. Y175 so it has all its refits. Now, the drone racks have the drone refits, so they have two reloads.

Lets also say it has three type-IIIECM drones with ATG. The ADD rack is loaded only with adds, not type-VI drones. Could someone please work up the BPV, and break it down simply for me? If I can see an example showing the math, I think I can get it from there. Thanks in advance.

ANSWER: First, you do not need (and really, could not have) ATG on the type-IIIECM drones, since the type-III frame includes a form of ATG for free. So, we have the following:
Klingon D7K with Y175 refit: 135 BPV (+5 if you include a UIM) with 3xtype-III ECM drones (note: you will have 6 more in reload storage for free):
+0 for ECM module (-0.5 for the explosive module removed, +0.5 for the ECM module installed)
+0.5 to exchange the type-I frame for the type-III frame
+0.5 for Speed-20
Total: 3x1 = 3 BPV
9xtype-I drones upgraded to medium speed: 9x0.5 = 4.5 BPV
Total = 142.5 BPV (147.5 if you want a UIM).
Easy, Huh?

Wesley Guillory asks: (FD3.6) states that the drone racks on the B10, C9, C8, D7, D6, F5, and E4 (without the B-refit) are type-F and can chain react (D12.3), and that a drone launch counts against the shuttle launch rate (J1.5). However, (D12.313) states that the B10, C9, and C8 have the racks in a non-bay compartment, eliminating the possibility of chain reactions. So, does a drone launch from a non-B-refitted B10, C9, or C8 still count against the shuttle launch rate? If so, does each such launch incur the delay, or can multiple racks be salvoed at once?

ANSWER: If the rack is not in the bay, then it does not count against the shuttle launch rate. The note at the end of rule (D12.313) excuses those ships from all of the limits in (FD3.6) except the drone launch rate.