March 2013


Ask Admiral Vanaxilth (Continued)


After an 11-year tour at the Academy, Admiral Growler has returned to active duty. His successor is Admiral Vanaxilth, a visitor from the Hydran Kingdom. Although well-versed in military theory, rumor has it the Royal Family had him sent to the Academy on the theory he would do less damage there, after his fleets were devastated by the Klingons.
     Admiral Vanaxilth is assisted by Kommodore Ketrick and many staff officers, including Stewart Frazier, Troy Latta, Gary Carney, John Wyszynski, William Wilson, Ken Humpherys, Alex Lyons, and Terry O'Carroll.

     Clayton Krueger asks: When a ship deactivates its cloaking device and begins fade-in, it immediately gains a +5 penalty (G13.302) during Stage 6B2 of impulse activity. If the ship continues to uncloak, then during the Stage 6B2 segment of the following impulse the range penalty decreases to +4, but does that mean that the uncloaking ship is still +5 during the preceding movement (6A) segment? If so, is the Impulse #1 movement segment an exception when the player does not pay for the cloak during energy allocation?
     ANSWER: Per (G13.116), if the cloaked ship does not allocate energy for cloaking, it begins decloaking on Impulse #1. There is no exception to the (G13.15) procedure for this case. The deactivation is announced during stage 6B2 of impulse activity of Impulse #1, and the ship begins fading in at that point. Prior to this stage, the cloaking device is fully operational.

      Daniel Thompson asks: I follow rule (G13.36). Pretty much pick either the fire adjustment chart or the basic electronic warfare shift. That seems to conflict very slightly with rule (G13.303) but not to a relevant degree. Rule (G13.361) says to use the chart in (G13.37), but add the penalty hexes to the die roll and then subtract five from the die roll. Ignore any electronic warfare effects. Now it is a little fuzzy to me what it is saying here. Which penalty hexes is it referring to? I would "guess" it is referring to the +5 from the normal cloak. That seems curious however since it immediately says to subtract five. How then would you ever get to seven or more on the chart if electronic warfare does not apply? My guess to answer that question would be rule (G13.62) which replaces the +5 with a +10. Under those conditions it would be possible to reach a seven or more on the (G13.37) table.
     ANSWER: You add the penalty hexes, and then subtract five. Unless you are using (G13.62), Experience in Tracking, it would not be possible to have an adjusted roll of seven or more on the (G13.37) table. Otherwise, note that if the range adjustment is +5, (G13.361) works out to a straight die roll, which is what you get when the target is fully cloaked (along with double range if you do not have lock-on). The adjustment will then go to -1, -2, -3, and -4, at which point the (G13.37) table will be moot because the highest you could roll is a "two."
     Alex Lyons asks a follow-up question: In order to get a 7+ natural electronic warfare sources such as atmosphere would still be in effect.
     ANSWER: Daniel Thompson correctly answered electronic warfare specifically does not do anything to (G13.37) up or down, natural or otherwise, in any of the rules I have just read. It is quite specific that (G13.37) replaces electronic warfare. Rule (G13.372) refers to any ECM shift, which would include ECM from atmosphere. During fade-in/fade-out, the cloaking unit can give you the (G13.72) effect, as adjusted by (G13.361), or the electronic warfare die roll shift (but not both), at his option. And Daniel is also correct that other atmospheric effects on weapons [see (P2.54)] would still be applied.

     Alex Lyons asks: Rule (G13.612) states that twice per turn you can have the cloaked player reveal firing arc and true range from you. If uncloaked ship A is in hex 3527, and cloaked ship B is in hex 3519 would the cloaked player be forced to reveal two firing arcs since it is in two firing arcs?
     ANSWER: The problem is, (G13.612) refers to firing arcs, not shield arcs, so if the cloaked ship is along a hex row from the opposing ship, it will be in two different firing arcs, and while it might make sense to use (D3.41)-(D3.43) somehow to resolve this, there is no support for that in the rules. The owner of the cloaked ship is required to give you a range and a firing arc (as in LF, L, LR, RR, R or RF). He is not obligated to tell you where in the firing arc he is, or whether he is in any other arcs. So, no, just one arc.

     David Zimdars asks: When using the cloaked fire adjustment chart (G13.37) for weapons which strike multiple shields, what is the proper procedure? Do you apply the percentage and round for the total damage and then round, or do you apply the percentage and round for each shield struck?
     ANSWER: It depends on how damage for the weapon is defined. Hellbores and enveloping plasma torpedoes have a defined warhead strength; this is the damage the weapon does, and the number that gets adjusted by (G13.37). How the damage is distributed over different shields is calculated after the total damage is determined. For example, a hellbore hits for 13 damage, and a "four" is rolled on the table, resulting in a reduction to seven Damage Points. These seven Damage Points are then distributed per (E10.4). A 30-point enveloping plasma torpedo that gets reduced by 50% effectively becomes a 15-point enveloping plasma torpedo, and those 15 Damage Points are distributed per (FP5.31).
     For a plasmatic pulsar device, see rule (E11.472). For some weapons (energy howitzers, enveloping hypercannons, and tachyon beams, to name a few), damage is defined per shield. In this case, you would adjust each element per the (G13.37) table. For example, an energy howitzer armed with six points of energy hits at Range 1. The Chlorophon player rolls a "six" on (G13.37). Two of the elements strike up shields, and will each do (10 * 1/4 =) three points damage. One element hits a down shield, and scores (3 * 1/4 =) one point of internal damage through that shield.
     Follow-up question: Okay, so the very last sentence of (E11.472) says that "Any reduction is taken first from the splash elements." which implies that you total all damage, apply reduction, and then take away from splash damage. Is this correct? Which player chooses the distribution of splash, if it is not even?
     ANSWER: Yes, rule (E11.472) means you take the total plasmatic pulsar device damage, apply the adjustment from (G13.37), and reduce the splash elements first. For example, if the plasmatic pulsar device hit at Range 10 for 1+4+1, but the cloak adjustment reduces it to 1/4, it will do 0+2+0. A plasmatic pulsar device that hit at Range 21-25 for 1+1+1, but was reduced to 1/2 by the cloak, would do 1+1+0, which is resolved by (E11.352). The single point of splash will hit the stronger of the two adjacent shields. If the adjacent shields are equal, then the owner of the target ship picks.

     Philip Moore asks: I launched two plasma-S torpedoes at a Romulan FireHawk on Impulse #32 and I am now trying to figure out what happens if he cloaks right away. The way I see it, my torpedoes move on Impulse #1 and (by hypothesis) he starts cloaking later in Impulse #1. Assuming he is going Speed Zero, the torpedoes will hit at a range modifier of +3 (as it has not been a full four impulses since the announcement of cloak). I understand what happens with direct-fire, but I am not sure what happens with the plasma torpedoes. Rule (G13.36) refers to "all firing units" and I am not sure if that applies to plasma torpedoes that enter the hex.
     ANSWER: You either apply the electronic warfare shift, per (D6.361), or you use (G13.37), adjusted per (G13.361), and (G13.37) refers back to (G13.35). "All firing units" in (G13.36) refers to both units that fired direct-fire weapons, and to units that launched (or fired) seeking weapons at the cloaking ship.