January 2010

Ask Admiral Growler (Continued)


- by Mike Filsinger

Jim Davies asks: When do you announce discharge of held weapons like particle cannons, fusion beams, and photon torpedoes, given that you will not know whether you can hold them until after a tractor auction before Energy Allocation?

ANSWER: Rule (E1.244) says that the fact that a weapon is being discharged during Energy Allocation must be announced as part of the Initial Activity Stage (5), and the amount of energy discharged revealed as per (E1.241). Note that Q-ships are excused from announcing discharged weapons (R1.7B).

Follow-up question: Do you have to announce discharge of weapons that are not completely armed, like plasmas, PPDs and hellbores (after Turn #1)?

ANSWER: Yes, the rule says the amount of energy discharged must be revealed.

Follow-up question: Do you have to announce discharge of rolling weapons like non-overloaded hellbores (after Turn #2)?

ANSWER: You are discharging energy, so the rule applies, you must announce the discharge and the energy lost.

Follow-up question: If announcing discharge of variable-load weapons like particle cannons, photons, plasmas (e.g., one point of power in a plasma G), or PPDs, do you have to announce the load?

ANSWER: Yes, same as above.

Follow-up question: . . . or the arming stage (e.g., is it the first, second, or third turn of plasma)?

ANSWER: Yes, same as above, but you do not have to say the arming stage. Thus a plasma-R torpedo launcher that discharges two points of energy might have been in the first turn of arming, or the second turn of arming a plasma-F torpedo.

Aaron Fritze asks: Concerning damage allocation and phaser arcs. Suppose I fire through a downed #4 shield on my opponent's ship. The resulting damage from the volley is rolled and for this example there were several phaser and heavy weapon hits. Now since I fired through his #4 shield does that mean only phasers that can fire through that shield arc can be destroyed (for example: a RR phaser can be destroyed but not a FA phaser)?

ANSWER: The rule on damaging phasers (D4.3221) can be summed up as: If it can shoot at you (you are in its firing arc), it can be destroyed as a result of the damage you scored; if it cannot shoot at you, it cannot be destroyed by the damage scored.
In the case of direct-fire weapons a ship might hit the #4 shield of the target ship, and be in the firing arc of phaser with a right rear firing arc, but not in the firing arc of a phaser with a left rear firing arc. Thus the right rear phaser could be destroyed, but not the left rear phaser. In the case of seeking weapons and explosions they can damage any phaser able to fire through the shield their damage was specifically applied to. In the case of enveloping weapons, whether direct-fire (hellbores or PPDs) or seeking (enveloped plasma torpedoes), any phaser that can fire through a shield that has been dropped for any reason can be destroyed by these weapons. The exception is "any weapon" hits, which can be scored on a phaser regardless of whether that phaser could have fired at the thing causing the damage.

Follow-up question: Are heavy weapons under the same restriction (example: firing through a down #4 shield, score a torpedo hit, but the target has only FA torpedoes)?

ANSWER: No. Heavy weapons are subject to damage irregardless of the direction from which the damage came or the shield that was penetrated (D4.3222).

Follow-up question: Does an "any weapon" hit actually refer to any weapon or does the phaser arc rule apply?

ANSWER: Any weapon hits can be scored on any system on the ship that can be taken as a weapon hit (D4.3224), which means any system listed in Annex #7D. In this specific case the ability of a phaser to fire in a given direction is irrelevant; an "any weapon" damage point applied through the target's #4 shield could be allocated to a phaser only able to fire in the FA arc.

Robert Gamble asks: If you add energy to a photon that has already been completed on a previous turn, do you pay the new holding cost or the old holding cost?

Example: Turn #1: Two points of energy applied.
Turn #2: Two points of energy applied (completed arming).
Turn #3: One point of holding energy applied.
Turn #4: Four points of overload energy applied (full overload with a holding cost of two).

Is the holding cost one or two in EA on Turn #4?

ANSWER: You pay the old holding cost, then add the overload energy. See the examples following (E4.44), specifically that for torpedo #2.

Jay K. Gustafson asks: Does it take three turns to load a normal photon and then a fourth to overload it? Why is it faster to load disruptors?

ANSWER: Rule (E4.21) says photons take two turns to arm, and are available to fire on the second turn. Overloads do not take longer to arm, just extra energy beyond the standard arming energy. Sometimes, what a player will do is arm the photons as standards over two turns and not fire them, then on Turn #3 hold them and add extra energy to overload them.
Rule (E3.2) says disruptors can fire once per turn. As for why disruptors fire more often than photons: that is just part of the dynamics of having different weapons.

Stephen J. Schrader asks: On the particle cannon's firing order, does the first shot have to be an overload, or can the second shot be overloaded, or can it be either? Is it the same with both tournament and regular games?

ANSWER: Under the revised particle cannon rules, either shot can be the overload whether in normal play or tournament play.

David Crew asks: On Impulse #5 an undamaged and unrefitted Federation heavy cruiser, with a full phaser capacitor, fires its two LF/L phasers at a plasma-R torpedo. On Impulse #6 the plasma-R torpedo smashes the ship's #1 shield and destroys two phasers, which the Federation Captain chooses to be the RF/R ones. He uses no other phasers during the turn.
At the end of the turn how many points of power are left in the phaser capacitors - two or four? Can damage to the RF/R phasers, even though unfired, destroy the part of the capacitor emptied by the LF/L phasers?

ANSWER: Destroyed phasers destroy empty portions of the capacitor (if available) at the option of the owning player (H6.3). There are tactical reasons why he might wish to destroy a charged portion of the capacitor, e.g., an Andromedan looking for space in which to dump energy later in the turn or during the next Energy Allocation phase.