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Q-ship Questions (FC:Orion Attack)

 
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djdood
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:55 pm    Post subject: Q-ship Questions (FC:Orion Attack) Reply with quote

Since SVC was kind enough to post the Q-ship rules in the FC:OA Sneek-Peek topic I started, I figure it's fair game to ask questions.

Based on my read-through and our brief play round (without them) on Sunday, here's some things I wondering -

Do Q-ships have to take a hit on normal freighter shields if they choose not to fire (and reveal themselves) first?
This puts them at a disadvantage in having to likely take a warship's alpha-strike through tissue paper shields and then try to hit back with what is left.
i.e. The shields would only go to full-strength once the Q-ship reveals itself (the rules only mention revealing themselves by firing).

Can a Q-ship intentionally reveal itself and raise full shields without firing (in anticipation of an enemy attack)?

If a Q-ship is damaged while still secret (and using a stock freighter ship card to maintain that secret), is damage applied normally to the freighter (i.e. torpedo hits would be 'skipped', etc.)?
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pneumonic81
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the rules I read from Steve it seems like the shield strength doesnt actually change on the Q-Ship. You simply dont reveal anything at all about the ship except standard frieghter stats.

You can say "shield 2 is worth 5 points" but in reality its worth considerbly more. All the opponent sees tho is just another frieghter, until one of two things happen. 1. he gets to range 4 with a working lab or 2. the Qship opens fire with a wepaon that frieghters dont have.

Also, there is a 3rd way of detecting one Steve didn't mention, which is to unload a barrage of weapons on it and see how much it absorbs. This is a more passive way to find out that simply happens as the damage allocation is played out, rather then a rule wich allows you to see what is what.
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bobrunnicles
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So if you hit one with a good strike, say 30+ points of damage, do you pretend to take off five for the shield then pretend to take 25 internals and have him roll for them all? What if he asks to see what you have left? How do you record what damage you *actually* take (on another card, I assume) without an astute player noticing?

I like Q-Ships and I plan on using them, I'm just not sure how they are going to realistically play out in the game.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, you can do one of two things:
1) Make sure you just keep track of the rolls made and reapply them with the Q-Ship is revealed.
2) Scoring internal damage means the Q-ship is exposed.

Personally, I will suggest using #2, but that is a decision only Steve can make.
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In SFB, a Q-Ship could instantly raise its shields to full strength AFTER a hostile warship had revealed the weapons that it was firing at the Q-Ship. Similarly, in FedCom, I think that it should be allowed for a previously unrevealed Q-Ship to use its full strength shields at the owning player's option immediately before the dice are rolled but after the weapons to be used are announced.

My personal inclination for handling damage to systems that normal freighters wouldn't possess would be one of two options -

1.) The same systems that help protect the systems on the freighter from discovery by hostile ships also help protect those systems from damage. When a Q-Ship that is pretending to be a regular freighter takes damage, then damage is assigned to a freighter display. This lasts until either the freighter is revealed through normal means, or the freighter takes a point of damage that the Q-Ship isn't allowed to suffer. For instance, the provided Large Q-Ship only has 30 cargo boxes as opposed to the usual 50 on a Large Freighter. If it were to suffer 31 cargo hits, then it would immediately be revealed as a Q-Ship.

- or -

2.) The Q-Ship would use the normal freighter display to resolve damage until the Q-Ship suffered a hit against a box that the Q-Ship has but that the freighter does not.


Of course, both of these options assume that for whatever reason the Q-Ship hasn't chosen to use its shields at full strength.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
Similarly, in FedCom, I think that it should be allowed for a previously unrevealed Q-Ship to use its full strength shields at the owning player's option immediately before the dice are rolled but after the weapons to be used are announced.

But you already can do that because of the "me-too" firing.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Me too" firing doesn't have any verbiage addressing shields state.

I'm not saying that it needs to, but it would make things clearer.

To me, the best way (for the Q-ship at least) would be a port of the AFB intent:
(as pointed-out by junior) "In SFB, a Q-Ship could instantly raise its shields to full strength AFTER a hostile warship had revealed the weapons that it was firing at the Q-Ship. Similarly, in FedCom, I think that it should be allowed for a previously unrevealed Q-Ship to use its full strength shields at the owning player's option immediately before the dice are rolled but after the weapons to be used are announced. ".

This was how the group I was playing with on Sunday did it (based on our organizers memory of the SFB rules) and it worked well (gain, we did not have the FC:OA playtest rules, just the ship cards). Q-ships are supposed to be a nasty surprise and it was.
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
junior wrote:
Similarly, in FedCom, I think that it should be allowed for a previously unrevealed Q-Ship to use its full strength shields at the owning player's option immediately before the dice are rolled but after the weapons to be used are announced.

But you already can do that because of the "me-too" firing.


As djdood points out, there's no allowance in the rules to do that. "Me Too" firing doesn't make any allowances for messing around with shield strengths. And that make sense because until now there hasn't been any reason to have your shields at reduced strength. They've always been either fully up, or fully down (either because someone blew it down, or because you voluntarily lowered it in the Other Phase to use your transporters).
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Mikejwest means that you could fire to reveal yorself, thus making the sheilds go up.
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junior
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pinecone wrote:
I think Mikejwest means that you could fire to reveal yorself, thus making the sheilds go up.


But if you had Gatling Phasers as your weapon, and your enemy was firing four disruptors at you from 5 hexes out, then I think you might want to hold off on the weapons fire.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys,

You are making this too complicated. It is very hard to hide things in Federation Commander because it is intended to be a completely open system. Therefore, including totally hidden items in the game is extraordinarily difficult as it runs totally counter to the very nature of the game.

Because of that, "hiding" Q-ships will never be perfect. That is just the way it is. So, saying that Q-ships are exposed by internal damage is not unreasonable. You do get the chance to respond to incoming fire with "me-too" (you don't get to see what the damage total is, but you do get to see the fire declaration). All of that is done without doing any funky rules or special exceptions.

So, if Steve decides he wants to add those extra rules to deal with how still-hidden Q-ships handle damage, that is his decision. I just think it is overkill.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Works for me, I just wanted to make sure I understood it completely.
Thanks Mike.
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bobrunnicles
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
Works for me, I just wanted to make sure I understood it completely.
Thanks Mike.


Ditto here for me too. Smile
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