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Repairing Destroyed Plasma
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Davec_24
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who's hating plasma? Confused It's not that people hate plasma, it's just that the rule is unclear and that there are two valid sides to the question, and it likely won't be solved without "official" input as a result. Also what about photon torpedoes; would the same apply to them if you can indeed carry on if you repair the tube at the end of the turn in which it was destroyed?

I agree with you that the "end of the turn" means just that - the end of the turn rather than the end of Impulse #8, but the thing is that the rules imply (although do not clearly state) that you have to *fire* it by the end of the turn or it is lost.

Another way of looking at it, from a literal "this is what the rules say" point of view, is that (4J3d) says "At the start of the next turn, it would be impossible to add "holding energy" so the torpedo would be lost", but this section never has a discalaimer to say "unless the tube is repaired at the end of the turn, in which case you can pay holding energy to the torpedo". If one is to take that literally, this would arguably mean it's impossible to add holding energy in the next turn to a launcher which was disabled whether or not you repair it at the end of the turn.
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Democratus
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 19 Aug 2008
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Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course some plasma (Plas-F) requires no holding energy. So there's little issue with these.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's quite simple really, and Offensive Fire Phases are not relevant.

You can only launch a plasma as a seeking weapon during the Launch phase of an impulse. Therefore the last chance you have to launch a plasma from a disabled launcher is the last launch phase of Impulse 8.

Since repairs are carried out in the Repair phase, which comes after the end of the impulse sequence [and therefore the last launch phase], the repair will be completed after your last firing opportunity and so the torpedo will be lost. You lose the torp once your last firing opportunity has passed. Repairing it before you need to add holding energy, as some have said, is not relevant since the torpedo must be launched by the end of the turn - the rules state that it must be launched before the end of the turn. This is perfectly clear - launch it or lose it. That's all there is to it.

There is no other option, nor should one be construed by the explanation that SVC has given in the rules.

SVC's explanation that 'it would be impossible to add holding energy' is intended solely as a courtesy explanation for those who want to ask the question; it is not intended for amateur rules lawyers to try to make up new rules to circumvent the existing ones. Maybe it's unfortunate that he placed that explanation in there; perhaps next time he should not try to explain himself, and thereby put the rules lawyers out of a job!

The 'launch before the end of the turn' rule is there just as that - launch before the end of the turn. Period. The rules are clear; any other interpretation is stretching SVC's explanation further than it was ever intended.

As an aside, bolting [or a carronade, which is a special kind of bolting] cannot be performed at all from a disabled launcher, because to do this requires that the arming system is intact. This has already been ruled on in these forums.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Democratus wrote:
Of course some plasma (Plas-F) requires no holding energy. So there's little issue with these.

The lack of holding energy for a plas-F is solely because the torp is held in a stasis box. If the box is disabled, the stasis generator is out of action too. So, while you're correct, the reasons are perhaps different from what you were thinking.

Thanks for trying to smooth the waters, though! Smile
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j2klbs
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Joined: 08 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kang - respectfully, you are oversimplifying the problem and misquoting the rule. Rule 4J3d "Disabled Launch" says nothing about launch it or LOSE it. This is the crux of the problem. The rules never explicitly say what happens to the energy in the plasma launcher when it is disabled.

A review of the rule cited by you says that the plasma "can still be launched" before the end of the turn. It does not say you lose the plasma until the next turn. The reason stated by the rule as to why you lose the problem is because "it would be impossible to add 'holding energy'". Well, if the launcher had been repaired in the prior turn, then this reason quoted in the rules as to why it would be lost is not valid.

The problem here is that the rules nowhere mention specifically what happens to stored energy in multi-turn weaons (plasma's, photons, etc.). Without a global rule stating that energy is lost when a weapon is destroyed, then if you as a judge or opposing player are forcing another player to lose that energy, then you are imposing a penalty onto that player that is not called out in the rules.

~Jason
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

j2klbs wrote:
Kang - respectfully, you are oversimplifying the problem and misquoting the rule. Rule 4J3d "Disabled Launch" says nothing about launch it or LOSE it. This is the crux of the problem. The rules never explicitly say what happens to the energy in the plasma launcher when it is disabled.

I agree, Jason - it doesn't. But it does say that it must be launched before the end of the turn. Given that the plasma must be launched during a launch phase, the last chance you have to launch it is the last launch phase. If not launched by then, then it's the concession, allowing you to keep the torpedo until it is launched, that is lost. Not the energy, as you say.

j2klbs wrote:
The problem here is that the rules nowhere mention specifically what happens to stored energy in multi-turn weaons (plasma's, photons, etc.). Without a global rule stating that energy is lost when a weapon is destroyed, then if you as a judge or opposing player are forcing another player to lose that energy, then you are imposing a penalty onto that player that is not called out in the rules.

The thing here is that plasma is a special case. You kind of have it back-to-front; plasma has a concession that it is allowed to be launched from a disabled launcher, other weapons do not. Think of it as an advantage for plasma, not a disadvantage. The 'holding energy' clause is an explanation, not a rule, but some players appear to have built a rule from that explanation.

I know that this is FC, but remember that it's based on the earlier game Star Fleet Battles; in that game you can't carry over the torpedo. I see no harm in interpreting the rules in the light of the older game in order to determine the designer's original intention Smile
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have said that the rules imply that the energy is lost (there is mention made of having to fire it by the end of the turn, implying that you can't fire it in the next turn) but do not specifically state this. Additionally there is the point that in SFB, upon which the concepts used in FC (and a fair portion of the game mechanics) are based, in this situation the plasma was lost if not fired in the time allowed after that launcher was hit. While "this is not FC", it is still the concept on which the "disabled launch" rule in FC was based, and therefore at least bears consideration.

The "reason" given for this is for background and I think is there to justify why plasma can be fired after the launcher box is disabled (the box represents the arming system as this explanation says) where other multi-turn weapons can not fire after they have been disabled - I don't think this part was meant to be a rule in its own right. Think of it this way - would there still be confusion about this issue if this explanation of the "why" part had been left out, and it was just left at "the torpedo can still be launched any time before the end of the turn."?
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missmatronic
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Joined: 15 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could ramble a yarn as to the logistics in all angles on this matter, but I think I've heard in the past that if you don't let that plasma go after the launcher's been hit, its history, end of story - period. Sorry to let the pro-repair faction down. And this is coming from a PlasmaPhiliac!!!
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j2klbs
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Joined: 08 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All good points. However, I will point out that the rule says it "can" be launched until the end of the turn, not that is "must" be launched before the end of the turn. This is a subtle but very important distinction.

In any case, I think we are all in agreement that this is a vague area in the rules subject to debate and interpretation. As a result, I am very hopeful that this will be officially resolved in a communique "Rules Updates" or "Questions and Answers".

~Jason
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Kang
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right, Jason. And I would think that 'official' confirmation will not be long in coming Smile

In SFB, you had to launch within 1/4 turn of the launcher being hit. If you were hit at the start of the turn, the repair idea would never have even been an option!
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kang wrote:
In SFB, you had to launch within 1/4 turn of the launcher being hit. If you were hit at the start of the turn, the repair idea would never have even been an option!


I think this is done until the end of the turn for simplicity - you don't have to note down or remember what impulse you fired the plasma on that way. Also it will usually effectively give you slightly more time to fire it off than you would have in SFB, which goes some way towards compensating for having less opportunities to fire it off in FC.
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Starfury
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Joined: 03 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to stir things up...

I thought if a system is destroyed during a turn it's not repaired until the repair phase of the FOLLOWING turn. So if I have a P1 that gets shot off on turn 1, during turn 2 it's repaired, and on turn 3 I can use it.

Using this: Plasma launcher has charged torpedo in it. Ship takes fire and launcher is disabled. Player has the option to launch the torpedo by the end of the turn (1). If it's not launched the tube is now being repaired on the next turn with the repairs being completed at the repair phase(2). The 2nd turn (3) after it's disabled charging of a new torpedo can begin.
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asguard101
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Joined: 20 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no anything damage can be repaired at the end of the tur, with the exception of the Orion Doubled Engines....

That being said, a simple soluation to this whole thing would be to move the repair phase to the begining of the turn where the shield repair already is...
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

asguard101 wrote:
That being said, a simple soluation to this whole thing would be to move the repair phase to the begining of the turn where the shield repair already is...


If this was the case, repaired engine boxes would not generate power on that turn, since shield regeneration (i.e. where the repair phase would be moved to as above) comes after power generation. If the repair phase was moved to the start of the turn rather than the end of a turn, it would have to be before energy tokens are generated/available power is calculated. To me, it makes more sense just to clarify and resolve the issue with the plasmas (and by extension with other multi-turn weapons) rather than to alter where the repair phase is in the turn sequence.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul Grogan wrote:
I've ruled that if a photon tube gets damaged whilst it was pre-loaded, or even loaded, the torpedo in there is lost and once repaired, you have to start over again.

I'm also tempted to rule the same for plasma weapons until something is made clear officially with proper errata and appearing in a communique. Smile

That's correct, Paul. The plasma one is interesting, because only if the tube is loaded and ready to fire can the torp actually be fired from a damaged launcher.
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