October 2007

F&E Strategy of the Month Continued


Thus, for the purposes of targeting a commando ship escorted by a fighter squadron, the commando has as many "escorts" eligible to be frozen as
1) There are fighter factors or
2) PFs (a single PF is a 2/0 unit) inside a PF flotilla.

The fighters or PFs can still be given up every round for normal damage and replaced for repeated assaults with the commando ship until it is crippled, destroyed, or runs out of marines.

There are several rules stipulations to this tactic.

First, commando ships need two consorts (521.371) or escorts (521.374) per commando ship. Fighters or PFs can only be "escorts" that give up their ComPot and not "consorts."

Second, commando escorts cannot simultaneously be escorts for other ships like carriers (521.372C). Hence an all carrier group battle line would have to give up two fighter squadrons or PF flotillas for a single commando ship to participate in the battle force.

Third, while fighters and PFs have no crippled side, because of a ruling on the status of fighter squadrons after losing single ship combat duels, a fighter squadron or PF flotilla only has to take 1/3 of its factors as directed damage casualties in order to be considered "crippled" per (521.372B) to strike the commando ship. Thus even an oversized fighter squadron or PF flotilla taking 1/3 casualties will resolve the directed damage of a 4/2 ComPot frigate while giving up 6-to-12 ComPot worth of firepower

Fourth, the position of the fighter squadron or PF flotilla in a commando ship escort array is determined by its ComPot. A standard fighter squadron of six factors will be "outside" a 7/4 ComPot CW, while a Federation "special" or oversized fighter squadron or PF flotilla will be "inside" the CW in the "escort array."

There are two primary counter tactics:
1) Ignore the commando ship and the fighter squadron with the SFG. Try instead to nail any real ship escorts to the commando ship. This will remove most of the 'damage buffer' for a mauler attack on the commando ship.
2) Use a penal ship to Honor Duel the outside ship (528.433) or ship equivalent worth of fighters/PFs (528.434). Just be aware that a "crippled" or "destroyed" fighter squadron returns to commando escort duties with 2/3 or 1/3 of its remaining factors. As long as there are fighter factors to absorb SFG attacks, this will still block SFG attempts on the escorted commando ship.
3) Have marine ships of your own to provide "G" factors to take casualties on instead of SB SIDS damage steps.
Now you know why the Hydrans took back their homeworld.