August 2009

Ask Admiral Growler (Continued)

- by Mike Filsinger

Tos Crawford asks: Question on (P9.3) "When a gravity wave enters a hex occupied by a unit (or vice versa), the following effects are applied to the unit . . ." On Impulse #16, my ship gets hit by a gravity wave and takes damage. On Impulse #17, the gravity wave moves to a new hex. My ship moves into the hex the gravity wave is now in. Does the ship get hit once or twice? It does not seem physically possible to get hit with the same gravity wave more than once, but a strict reading of (P9.3) makes it sound rather unhealthy to "ride the wave".

ANSWER: The wording of (P9.3) (". . . or vice versa . . .") makes it clear that the unit would continue to take damage. The gravitic force would extend throughout the hex. There are no provisions in SFB to "ride the wave".

Robert Eddy asks: Rule (P9.33) states ". . . and no type of terrain creates a "shadow" in the wave."

Rule (G10.751) states ". . .If a gravity wave passes over a web, there will be a corresponding reduced strength segment from that point forward." Rule (G10.751) as it is stated can create a hole in the gravity wave, which would seem to contradict rule (P9.33). How is this resolved?

ANSWER: A web is not really terrain, and rule (P9.333) specifically overrides the provisions of (P9.33) for webs. It is a case of a specific rule (P9.333) overriding a general rule (P9.33).

Herb Diehr asks: When firing down the hex line at the edge of the atmosphere of a planet, is there a +1 ECM or not?
ANSWER: Firing down a hex-line edge of an atmosphere does not block the fire and does not enter an atmosphere hex [(P2.321) and (P5.511)], so there would be no ECM bonus.

Eric Jimerson asks: Rule (P6.73) regarding nebula damage to drones says that drones take 0.25 points damage for every nebula hex entered. Let's say I have a drone that can take eight points of damage. It moves 15 hexes and takes 3.75 points of damage with 4.25 points left. It then takes a hit from a phaser for four points, leaving it with 0.25 damage points. Is it still alive with a whopping 0.25 damage points remaining? The rule implies that in this case you retain fractions.

ANSWER: Yes, the drone would not be destroyed until it takes the last 0.25 points of damage; you do not round the damage up. As long as a fraction of a damage point remains, the drone is still alive. Note that if the drone enters the hex of its target at the same time that it takes the last 0.25 points of damage, it would still strike the target before it was destroyed.

David Kass asks: Rule (P6.6) indicates that an ESG "does not function at all" in a nebula. This seems perfectly clear if a ship is in the nebula. Under (P6.1) it is possible to have the edge of a nebula on a map. In this case, it is possible to have the ship outside the nebula, but have part of the ESG inside it. I do not see any rules for defining what happens in this case. Scout functions are the only place I have found anything defined [(P6.6), last sentence, and (G24.1852)] near the edges of nebulas (scout functions work normally outside the nebula but cannot affect anything inside it). Furthermore, is there a difference whether the ESG enters the nebula by movement or the ship attempts to raise it partly in the nebula? A similar question arises for the other non-functioning systems that are projected at a distance from a ship. This includes [from the list in (P6.6)] tractors, transporters, webs, SFGs, and displacement devices.

ANSWER: The statement "does not function" means just that. You cannot lay web (for example) from outside a nebula into a nebula. If a web layer moved into a nebula hex trailing a strand of web, the web would collapse back to the last anchor. You cannot attach a tractor link (or fire an SFG field) to something in a nebula from outside the nebula, or transport something from your ship onto a ship in a nebula hex (or even into a nebula hex), or vice versa in each case. Displacement has an exception, i.e., random-displacement. You cannot deliberately displace someone into a nebula, but random displacement by a unit outside a nebula may result in their ending up in a nebula hex. So, returning to the basis of your original question, you didn't need to ask me, rule (P6.63) already says what happens (the ESG field collapses).

Daniel O'Neil asks: Rule (P3.233), on one unit following another through an asteroid field, states that "If the first unit is destroyed, the next unit must roll for possible damage in that hex." Does this sentence refer only to destruction of the first unit due to movement effects? For example, a plasma torpedo is leading another plasma torpedo in an adjacent hex. The lead torpedo survives its movement on Impulse #1. Normally this means that on Impulse #2 the following plasma torpedo would enter the hex of the lead torpedo but take no damage. Suppose, however, that the first torpedo, after moving and taking its movement damage, is then destroyed by phaser fire on Impulse #1. Would the following torpedo, when it moved into the hex where the lead torpedo had been on Impulse #2, have to roll for asteroid damage?

ANSWER: If the leading unit has been destroyed by the act of moving, then the following unit must roll for damage. If the leading unit was destroyed by some other means (say, phaser fire from an enemy ship) then the following unit continues to follow the path of the first unit and takes no damage that impulse.

Robert Russell Lender-Lundak asks: A gravity wave is moving in direction D. A strength 15 globular web is in hexes 3803, 3904, 3905, 3805, 3705, and 3704. As the wave passes into hex #3803, is its strength reduced by fifteen points?

ANSWER: Rule (G10.751) refers to (G10.72), so, as the wave enters hex 3803, it would be reduced by fifteen points.

Follow-up question: As it passes into #3804, what is the reduction of wave strength if any?

ANSWER: As it enters 3804, it is a "correspondingly reduced strength segment" per (G10.751). So it would be reduced by fifteen points again.

Follow-up question: As it passes into hex #3805, is the reduction 15 or 30?

ANSWER: As it enters hex 3805 (and beyond) the segment would be reduced by yet another fifteen points.

Follow-up question: As it passes into and below hex #3806, is the reduction of the wave 15, 30, or no reduction at all.

ANSWER: This can create a "hole" in a gravity wave of zero strength (it cannot create a hole of "negative strength", i.e., one where ships gain shield boxes or repairs as the wave passes over them). Presumably at some point the wave front would reform, but there is no indication in the rules for when this would happen.