January 2012

F&E Q&A [Continued]


      Q: I sent a ship to attack an Orion Pirate raider that was interfering in one of my hexes. The enemy sent a reserve fleet to the "Battle Hex", destroying my ship before it could fight the Orion. Can he do this? What happens to the Orion?
      A: Well, by (504.35), battles with Orions are part of the Sequence of Play, so he can do it, as long as he is at war with you and able to send ships to the Battle Hex. Once the battle is resolved, the remaining ship could either retreat out of the hex or fight the Orion.
      Q: We do not understand how to handle crippled ships in a capital assault. What happens to a ship crippled during the battle?
      A: Step #3 in a capital assault (511.53) is done only once, to divide up the non-crippled ships. Any crippled ships at the start go into the static forces, as do any ships crippled during the battle.
      Q: Exactly when is a planet considered captured?  Is it immediately upon satisfying the conditions of (508.22) or only after the entire Combat Phase is over? I'd say "immediately" because the rules do not have any provisos (e.g., "wait until the end of combat.") Here is why this is important: The Coalition attacks Kzinti SB 0902, planet 1001, and all border BATS. During the Combat Phase the Coalition "captures" planet 1001 first and then destroys all border BATS except for 0701, and then elects to resolve 0902 (which also has a defending Kzinti fleet) before 0701. After a brutal battle, the Kzintis retreat from 0902. If 1001 stops being a Kzinti supply point immediately upon capture, then the Kzinti must retreat to 0801. If 1001 stops being a Kzinti supply point only at the end of the Combat Phase, then the Kzinti fleet at 0902 must retreat to 1001 (assuming the Kzintis are not outnumbered at 1001).
      A: The planet ceases being in the control of the previous owner at the instant when there are no units belonging to that player in the hex and the capturing player has sufficient units to capture (or liberate) the planet in the hex. This is why it is important to select of the order in which you do resolution battles during the battle resolution in Phase 5.
      Q: When an SAF destroys a PDU (520.42), are the PDU's fighters counted in the destruction, or are they now homeless fighters? So if there is nowhere for them to land, they are now minus points?
      A: Yes, the fighters become homeless and must either find another home or become minus points per (501.42).
      Q: If an entire battle force is destroyed, do plus points (308.25) carry over to the next round?
      A: Yes, they carry over to the next round, but only for that system. See also (302.63).
      Q: Is there a limit on the EW generated by PDUs (317.2)? Can sixteen PDUs generate sixteen EW points?
      A: The maximum EW generated by any number of PDUs is four points of EW.
      Q: In a battle over a defended planet, I targeted and destroyed six PDUs and I got lucky with the SAF role. The defender now had 30 minus points. This means that on the next round I am unlikely to actually destroy anything, but will only "soak off" the minus points in regular combat. Can I still make an SAF attack to destroy more PDUs? If I do, will the SAF actually kill PDUs or just "soak off" minus points?
      A: You can make an SAF attack and the SAF attack goes directly against PDUs (not minus points); see (520.42). The SAF is outside the normal combat systems.
      Q: I am confused about engineer units functioning as SAFs. Rule (541.34D) includes the passage "if it survives the attack...". Is it not categorically impossible for a SAF to survive making its special attack?
      A: The "if it survives the attack" refers to damage applied during that combat round. So, if your opponent does not use Directed Damage on the engineer unit, it survives the attack. This is unlike the SAF which is eliminated as part of its attack.
      Q: Is there a limit on how many ships can land on a planet in a given combat round? Is there a limit on how many ships can land over an entire Combat Phase?
      A: There is only a limit on the number of ships that can land on a planet (521.39). They would have to survive the combat round before landing.
      Q: If multiple ships land in a single round, does the (521.393) bonus accumulate?
      A: No, this bonus is for the "G"s (Marine battalions) that come from that specific ship only.
      Q: In our game, Hex 1401 is held by the Coalition. Klingon and Lyran ships are present (several of them crippled), but no non-ship units are present. The Kzintis attack the hex. At the end of the first round of combat (an approach battle was declined), the Coalition decided to perform a Partial Retreat (302.723). The flagship for the Coalition on the first round was Lyran. The Coalition retreated only a few crippled Klingon ships. The closest hex to Klingon supply is 1402 (planet 1504 is the closest Klingon supply point). The closest hex to Lyran supply is 1302 (planet 1202 is the closest Lyran supply point). Hex 1502 is Kzinti controlled. Where can the Klingon ships go? Rule (302.76) says that the retreat priorities of the empire that provided the flagship must be used. However (302.761) allows allied forces to retreat separately but in this case it's only the Klingons doing a retreat, not the Lyrans. Rule (302.761) also states that if the separate retreat option is used, then all units of a given empire must retreat together. So would all Klingon ships have to retreat from the hex IF they selected 1402 (only selectable if 302.761 is invoked) instead of 1302 (required if 302.761 is not invoked)?
      A: This rule is modified by the more specific rule of (302.761) and the Klingons in this case would retreat to 1402.
      Q: What, if any, legal targets for ground attacks exist, other than SBs, PDUs, and their respective smaller cousins?
      A: Rule (521.1) is very specific that "ground combat actions" are used to attack PDUs and bases, and capture enemy ships.
      Q: If a base's fighters/PFs react out to another battle, and another unit's fighters/PFs react into the hex, can the reacting attrition units land in the now empty hangars of the original base and contribute to the battle at full strength?
      A: Not unless the original fighters/PFs were destroyed earlier in the Combat Phase, but they can be supported by their original home (unless it was destroyed earlier). A fighter squadron must return to its home base after each combat round to refuel and rearm (205.76), and each home base only supports one unit. If that base is destroyed then they are considered homeless after the first round and must find a home (302.53) or be resolved as "minus points" per (308.2). So if the home of the "reacting in" units was destroyed before the "reacted out" units were destroyed, the "reacting in" units could not use the base's fighter/PF facilities as their new home.
      Q: In a capital assault on a "single system hex" like one of  the Gorn capitals, is the fleet present in the system obligated to form a Battle Force to defend the minor planet, or can it decline by (511.571) as long as it is not conflicting with (511.553) and wait for the enemy at the capital planet, allowing the enemy to devastate the minor planet and destroying its PDUs without having to risk the fleet?
      A: Yes, you can do this, but you may not win re-election. Per (511.571) you do not have to include any ships as long as there are fixed defenses and un-devastated planets in that system. This will allow you to preserve your force for the main battle at another planet in that system if you wish.
      Q: Rule (304.41) states: "If one player has only units that cannot retreat (for example: a base, PDU, FRD, and/or convoy; even those with fighters/PFs) or must use slow retreat (e.g., convoys, towed FRDs), the other player selects both of the numbers (1-4) for the BIR. Variable intensity can still be used."
      Does this mean that in Slow Unit Retreat (302.742) if there are only retreating slow units, that the pursing player gets to pick both BIRs? I would argue that this is not the case. Rule (302.742) makes no mention of Battle Intensity nor do the rules in (307.0) Pursuit. At the very least I would expect to see a special cases listed in (307.42) covering this.
      A: Rule (304.41) says what it says, i.e., that the pursuing player gets to pick both BIR numbers (meaning that he's going to hurt you, a lot, if he wants to). The lack of a mention in other rules simply means nothing contradicts (304.41). One might argue that in a perfect world there might have been something to help you find (304.41), but that rule is still the rule.
      Q: If, when a player is assaulting the Tholian Dyson Sphere (302.632), and the Tholians score more damage in a single round then is required to kill all the ships in the Battle Force, what happens to the excess damage? Is it carried over as plus points to the next round? Does it disappear, since there is nothing left in the Battle Force to carry it over?
      A: This falls under the annihilation rule (302.632) and carries over to the next round as plus points for the Tholians.
      Q: Can drone bombardment support a pursuit battle?
      A: There is no support echelon in a pursuit battle, on either side (307.2) and (307.3), so there can be no drone bombardment, and many other things cannot be used.