october 2008

Ask Admiral Growler (Continued)

- by Mike Filsinger

Francois Lemay asks: On the same impulse, Ship A tractors ship B, ship B tractors ship C, ship C tractors ship D. All are friendly to each other. Is it legal to have four ships tractored to each other? Do the restrictions of (G7.91) apply?

ANSWER: It does, and you cannot form a chain in this way. Ship A tractors ship B, and ship B's and C's tractors fail, but the power for the attempted tractor links has still been used and the tractors are not available for use later in the turn. The only way to have multiple friendly ships in the same tractor chain is if a single-ship tractors all of the others.

Dale McKee asks:
On a fixed map, a ship tractors an opposing ship. The opposing ship then moves in such a way as to force the tractoring ship off the fixed map. The scenario rules specify that any ship that leaves the map is considered disengaged. Yet reading the rules, it seems that shoving the tractoring ship off the map does not break the tractor. How is this resolved?

ANSWER: While the wording of (G7.273) assumes that the tractoring ship is attempting to shove the tractored ship off the map, it is equally impossible for the tractored ship to force the tractoring ship off the map. This action would also break the tractor, since a tractor cannot be used to force a ship off of the map.

Follow-up question: How does the range adjustment of fading in (or out) of cloak affect an opponent's ability to tractor the cloaking ship? For example, a Romulan ship is at range two to an opponent. It announces fadeout. The opponent wishes to tractor it. Normally, the fadeout would bump the range to range three immediately. Is this the case for tractoring as well? Does the same apply for fade-in? Can the opponent anchor the Romulan the impulse he begins fade-in at the TRUE RANGE of one?

According to (G7.31), tractors are not affected by the range adjustment.

Ted Fay asks:
Question regarding ECM drone movement. DN A (speed 31) tractors Cruiser B (speed 0). ECM drone D is targeted on Cruiser B and is in the same hex as Cruiser B. Thus, Drone D has a speed of 0. As a result of the tractor, Cruiser B has a pseudo speed of 19. What speed does ECM drone D have on the next impulse assuming that at its pseudo speed DN A does not move on the next impulse? Rule (FD9.111) says the drone assumes the "speed" of the target unit. Is this actual speed or pseudo speed? If actual speed, then the drone is still 0. As a result, the drone will be flip-flopping between speed 0 and speed 20 as it tries to catch up to the "speed 0" cruiser on the following impulses. If it is the pseudo speed, then the drone has a speed of 19.

ANSWER: Actually, there is an error embedded in your question. The cruiser still has a pseudo speed of zero. In this particular case, resolution is fairly easy, since the drone would obviously adopt the effective speed of the DN/CA combination. To the drone, the target is simply moving, it does not care about any other existing circumstance.

While the movement system may seem to be herky-jerky, remember that it actually reflects a continuous movement. Thus while the Cruiser might seem to be speed zero when the dreadnought is moving the combination, as far as the drone is concerned the target it is tracking is moving continuously at speed 19, and the drone will move with its target.