June 2009

Ask Admiral Growler (Continued)
- by Mike Filsinger

William T. Wilson asks: Ship A has tractored ship B at Range 1, neither ship is moving. Both ships simultaneously launch Speed-32 seeking weapons directly at each other. Ship A wants to launch a wild weasel in response, but does not want to give B the chance to launch his own wild weasel.

So, if A launches a wild weasel (and is therefore forced to drop his tractor), does B find out about this in time to launch his own wild weasel? Of course normally B could not just react to A's wild weasel launch during the same step, but in this case he is not reacting to the launch itself, but rather to the tractor release, which might (?) make a difference.

ANSWER: Ship B can also launch a wild weasel under (G7.333).

Brook J. Villa asks: If I have a drone or shuttle tractored, then kill it while it is tractored, is the tractor link involuntarily released? Therefore letting you use the tractor again in eight impulses? (Over a turn break of course.) I could not find it in the rules; the only thing I found was an involuntary release of tractor as a result of a wild weasel launch, but nothing that said a tractor is released if the object of the tractor is destroyed.

ANSWER: Since there is no longer a valid target, the tractor is involuntarily broken. In any event, if you destroyed the held object, would you not have shut down the tractor?

William T. Wilson asks: Ship A tractors ship B at Range 1 on Turn #1. On Impulse #32, both ships move; the result is that there are two moves, so the second move extends into Turn #2.

Then, also on Impulse #32, ship B launches suicide shuttles at ship A. Over the turn break, ship A maintains the tractor link and rotates ship B away, so the ships are now two hexes distant. Both ships go Speed zero.

Are the shuttles in the "tractor tunnel" rotated with the ship? (G7.9433) says "seeking weapons cannot be rotated unless tractored separately". But if the ship had been rotated closer, not farther, the seeking shuttles would "fall out" of the tractor tunnel unless they were rotated as well. So, it is weird.

ANSWER: Per (G7.9433), "If a tractored unit is rotated, any seeking weapons in the tunnel rotate with it. Note, this rotation cannot increase or decrease the distance between the seeking weapon and its target." So the shuttles would not be rotated.

Follow-up question: Will the movement on Impulse #1 death-drag the shuttles? My opponent argues that it will, since the movement is carried over from a time when we were going too fast (sum of pseudo speeds is 18), and it is illogical that we could move at Speed zero. I argue that the shuttles are safe, since our pseudo speeds are now zero. And while moving at Speed zero is certainly unusual, under (G7.36B), the pseudo speed changes when the ship's speed changes, there is no exception for Speed zero or Impulse #1, and I doubt anyone would give it a second thought if one of us had actually gone a speed faster than zero.

ANSWER: As bizarre as it sounds, I would have to say that you are correct for the time being. The pseudo speed at the time of movement is zero, despite the fact that the movement is a result of the previous turn's movement. This has, however, been put on a list of issues to be resolved.