september 2009

Ask Admiral Growler (Continued)

- by Mike Filsinger

Frank Brooks asks: What is the electronic warfare penalty when firing at an active wild weasel, if no other electronic warfare applies? All I can find is rule (J3.27), which says that the (E1.7) small target modifier is in effect, but according to that chart, there is no shift (as the range is less than eleven).

ANSWER: That a wild weasel does not provide any electronic warfare protection for itself is given in the rule you cited (J3.27). So if the range is less than twelve hexes, the shuttle has no electronic warfare benefit unless some outside source provides it, e.g., offensive EW at the firing unit.

Geoff Conn asks: A plasma ship takes feedback from a torpedo launched at a target at Range zero that hits while the launcher and target are still at Range zero. If the target were to launch a wild weasel, would the plasma ship take both feedback and collateral, thus receiving the equivalent of half his own warhead in damage back?

ANSWER: Assuming the target ship and the launching ship were in the same hex at launch, and that the wild weasel (it does not matter about the target ship) and the launching ship do not leave the hex, then yes, the launching ship would take both feedback damage (on the facing shield) and collateral damage (on a random shield). It is one of the few ways to do more damage to yourself than to your enemy.

Andrew Harding asks: A ship HETs on Impulse #32 of Turn #1. What is the first impulse of Turn #2 in which it may launch a wild weasel? I am pretty sure that it may launch a wild weasel on Impulse #5 and not before, but my opponent is equally sure that it may launch a weasel on Impulse #4.

ANSWER: Rule (C6.38) puts the ship under post-HET restrictions on the impulse of the HET and the four following impulses. Therefore, in your example, the ship would be unable to launch a shuttle on Impulse #32, or on Impulses #1, #2, #3, and #4 of the next turn. The first Impulse of the following turn that it could launch a shuttle would be Impulse #5.

Scott Iles asks: A minesweeper in a minefield launches a wild weasel. Does the wild weasel have the (M2.45) bonus reducing its chances of triggering mines?

ANSWER: See (J3.26). The wild weasel is treated as a ship of that size class, but not as the ship (not an exact quote). This means that the weasel, if launched by a size class 4 minesweeper is treated as separate size class 4 unit, but not as a minesweeper. It is still destroyed as a shuttle (i.e., six damage points if a standard Admin).

William T. Wilson asks: On Impulse #10, ISC ship A fires a PPD at Federation ship B and gets a wave-lock. On Impulse #11, the Federation ship launches a wild weasel, forcing the ISC to re-roll his wave-lock (with a plus two shift), which he retains. On Impulse #12, the Fed wants to make the ISC roll again. We think that simply launching the second wild weasel does not constitute a change in conditions, because a wild weasel was already protecting the ship. However, the Fed could raise his active fire control on Impulse #12, voiding the wild weasel, then launch another one later that same impulse. Would this constitute a change in conditions (because the Fed went from unprotected to protected) or not (because the situation at the time the PPD actually fires is the same as it was the last time the PPD fired)? Must the Fed void his wild weasel, get hit by the PPD, and then launch another the ship on Impulse #13, or can he do it all on Impulse #12?

ANSWER: While rule (E11.53) does not clearly state this circumstance, re-rolls would occur during the Direct-Fire Weapons Fire Stage (6D2), and the determination of whether or not to re-roll would be made at that point. So voiding a weasel by activating your fire control and then launching another weasel on the same impulse would result in no change for purposes of direct-fire and no re-roll would be made. You would have to void the wild weasel on one Impulse, take the damage, then launch a wild weasel on the next impulse for there to be a change.

Chris Proper asks: A ship launches a scatter-pack. The target of the scatter-pack responds by launching a wild weasel, which moves away from the scatter-pack. When does the scatter-pack blossom? When it reaches launch range from the ship, or later when it reaches launch range from the wild weasel?

ANSWER: At least until the original target voids it (or the controlling player drops guidance to his scatter-pack), the wild weasel is the target of the scatter pack (J3.201), so it will deploy based on range to the wild weasel and ignore the ship.

Tim Ray asks: If I decide to begin arming a wild weasel on Impulse #1 of Turn #2 using reserve power, and complete the arming during Energy Allocation on Turn #3, will the shuttle be available for launch as a wild weasel on Impulse #1 of Turn #3?

ANSWER: It takes a minimum of 32 impulses (J3.122) from when arming is begun before a wild weasel is ready for launch. The timing of the 32 impulses begins from the point where the power is allocated, and if you allocate it with reserve power, that means it will not be ready on Impulse #1 of Turn #3, but on the Impulse of the same number as the impulse you applied the reserve power.