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Hydran Carrier
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junior
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Joined: 08 May 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul B wrote:
A fighter every impulse doesn't exactly sound like a slow launching option to me. A freighter with 12-16 fighters will have them all in the air in two turns.


Uh huh...

Now think about that when you've got a couple of war destroyers screaming in for the kill. AND remember that those fighters can't fire until nearly two impulses after they've launched. You'd be sweating bullets if you were flying an AxCVL and got caught in that sort of situation with your fighters all in their bays.
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Paul B
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
Paul B wrote:
A fighter every impulse doesn't exactly sound like a slow launching option to me. A freighter with 12-16 fighters will have them all in the air in two turns.


Uh huh...

Now think about that when you've got a couple of war destroyers screaming in for the kill. AND remember that those fighters can't fire until nearly two impulses after they've launched. You'd be sweating bullets if you were flying an AxCVL and got caught in that sort of situation with your fighters all in their bays.


Any normal map will allow a ship a full turn of relative safety. I tried jumping some Romulans on turn 1 once who went speed 8 when I went speed 24, I didn't get close enough to do anything. On a floating or a location map the freighters can just plain turn away from the enemy allowing them to launch their fighters with impunity. It's not like the AxCVL needs any power to launch fighters, whereas the Destroyers who are burning their power on speed also need that power for their weaponry.

This is assuming that the scenario doesn't include some sort of Ambush setting which places the ships in relatively close proximity.
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junior
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep in mind that freighters don't have enough power to move at full speed. Also keep in mind that it'll take the freighter a turn and a half to get all of those fighters out, and that it'll take even longer to get the last ones into a state in which they can fight (i.e. the "not quite two impulses" delay). If you're playing a fairly standard "all ships start 25 hexes away from space object" scenario, then the warships can be on top of the freighter in that period of time.

What will most likely happen is that the warships cripple half of the launched fighters at the end of the first turn while the warships are still performing their approach (remember that you don't have to kill a fighter to remove its offensive ability), and then get the rest during turn two. Launching fighters piecemeal means that they can't immediately form up into a mass that's large enough to actually worry the warships, and once the fighters are crippled the AxCVL can be run down fairly easily.

One of the reasons that Stingers on most Hydran warships are so nasty is that you can dump all of them into space at once in numbers that are likely to worry the other player. They don't need to wait around the carrier for enough fighters to join to gather the critical fighter mass that you need.


iirc, one of the scenarios in the original SFB basic set was a single Klingon F5 intercepting an AxCVL carrying Kzinti Attack Shuttles (a fairly weak fighter worth 6 points each in SFB).
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Paul B
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
Keep in mind that freighters don't have enough power to move at full speed. Also keep in mind that it'll take the freighter a turn and a half to get all of those fighters out, and that it'll take even longer to get the last ones into a state in which they can fight (i.e. the "not quite two impulses" delay). If you're playing a fairly standard "all ships start 25 hexes away from space object" scenario, then the warships can be on top of the freighter in that period of time.


Well I'm not sure what the standard scenario is. When my friend and I play we just throw ships down in opposite corners, which given the basic map is about 48 hexes distant. A freighter could potentially just go speed 0 and not worry about getting into combat at that distance (besides some long range shots).

Realistically, an Auxilliary anything probably shouldnt be able to stand up to a proper, similarly-sized warship. That's why it's an auxilliary. And if the enemy is in the rear lines, hitting your supply lines, the bigger question is why didn't your forces stop him at the front lines.

And in terms of fighter launching. Well, depending upon detecting capabilities in TOS/SFU the auxilliary should either already have many of its birds in the air by the time combat is engaged, OR, given standard fighter readiness the average carrier should get 2-4 fighters in the air and then have to wait 2-3 turns before it can launch anymore. I don't think most carriers typically have their full complement of pilots on continual standby. Some would be ready for immediate launch, some ready for launch in 5 minutes or so, and the others ready for launch some time later. Though I noticed while my rulebook defines the size of a hex it does not seem to define the length of a turn or an impulse.
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Jon Lawson
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the reasons I was particularly interested in a carrier over a freighter is its base line movement. I assume the aux carrier does not have a basline speed of 16 unlike a freighter. This is important for 2 reasons in our campaign. Firstly fleets are resticted to one move on the tactical map if their baseline speed is 16 or below, whilst all other ships can move 2 hex spaces per 'tactical movement phase.' The issue of supply to the front lines therefore is one of speed of delivery and a reduced chance of ambush in comparison to a freighter.
In terms of actually being ambushed a freighter would have no option to launch its fighters. Our disengagement rules are worked out assuming you start an engagement in the very centre of the hex space you have entered (on the 'tactical map') requiring a 5 map board chase to escape (length ways). This leaves plenty of time for a poor lumbering freighter to get hit if the escort is outmatched. At least with an aux carrier a few fighters would be trickling out and hopefully the escort ship can do enough to dissuade an engagement altogether or at least keep the heat away from the stingers.
Either way you can be assured I will be making sure my aux. convoys are not tempting targets.
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junior
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon Lawson wrote:
I assume the aux carrier does not have a basline speed of 16 unlike a freighter.


Auxillary Carriers should probably be treated in a fashion similar to freighters. That's basically what they are - a freighter with part of the cargo pod modified to hold shuttles (i.e. fighters - the rest of the cargo bay is still in place to hold replacement parts and spare expendable weapons like drones). Since freighters in FedCom are limited in the base speed that they can choose, an Auxillary Carrier should probably be limited in that fashion as well.

Paul B wrote:
And in terms of fighter launching. Well, depending upon detecting capabilities in TOS/SFU the auxilliary should either already have many of its birds in the air by the time combat is engaged, OR, given standard fighter readiness the average carrier should get 2-4 fighters in the air and then have to wait 2-3 turns before it can launch anymore. I don't think most carriers typically have their full complement of pilots on continual standby. Some would be ready for immediate launch, some ready for launch in 5 minutes or so, and the others ready for launch some time later. Though I noticed while my rulebook defines the size of a hex it does not seem to define the length of a turn or an impulse.


Starfleet Battles has some detailed rules regarding weapon readiness and the state that weapons and equipment are in when a battle starts. FedCom has removed pretty much all of that in the interests of making the game easier to play.


Last edited by junior on Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul B wrote:
Steve Cole wrote:
"A freighter with 12-16 fighters will have them all in the air in two turns."

Not unless you are REALLY close to a planet!


Everyone's a comedian . . . Rolling Eyes


In PaulB's defense, there are occasional air molecules floating around through space. They just might get lucky.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sbartholome wrote:
Kang wrote:
Does anyone please know which SFB module(s) the Aux Carriers were in?

Once I know that, we can get on with looking at converting them to FC for Jon's campaign....


I would assume J1. (Yep, there is an AxCVL and AxCVA.)

Ah! Thanks for that!
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Kang
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, to sum up, Jon, we adapt the AxCV's from Module J1 [which I have] and treat them as freighters for the purposes of max baseline speed. Given that the freighter acceleration limits in SFB are mimicked in FC by the max baseline speed, this seems like an acceptable compromise - AxCVs too have those accel limits.

The freighters can launch one fighter per impulse, combat ready, but they will of course be subject to the one-impulse delay before they can shoot.

The freighters also have reloading facilities for the fighter heavy weapons - drones/fusions, whatever.

As Junior has said, there are rules in SFB that say how may fighters are available with heavy weapon combat loads already loaded at the start of a battle. In FC, we can most likely just assume that they are all loaded and ready to rock.

And as for the replication of drones in the ship itself, well it's your campaign; if you decide that it's how it's done, then so be it. Of course you would then need to draw the line, as it were, to say that they can replicate drones but not fighters.... In FC, it does look as if the drones are being replicated on board ship, doesn't it, because the ammo supplies are effectively limitless.
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Hod K'el
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:44 pm    Post subject: Carrier Operations Reply with quote

I use 100 drones per cargo box and one or two dedicated cargo boxes for such purposes. Additionally, I use some fighters as superiority fighters and equip them with only Type VI drones (and chaff packs), while other fighters are equiped with only Type I drones (and chaff packs). The latter are used as torpedo bombers and make runs at enemy ships behind the fighters.

I always have at least two fighters flying CAP and launch as fast as possible when I need to scramble for protection due to incoming enemy units, but my bombers always launch last. And I am okay with this since my carrier is not in the fray. I always hang back with it and at least two escorts.

If I know I am going into battle, why would I not want to prelaunch? I am a carrier. I project power. I do not wait until I get within range of the big guns to start launching. I use D6V's right now, but want to develop a carrier fleet for my Kzintis and mercenary Orions.
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junior
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Carrier Operations Reply with quote

Hod K'el wrote:
If I know I am going into battle, why would I not want to prelaunch? I am a carrier. I project power. I do not wait until I get within range of the big guns to start launching. I use D6V's right now, but want to develop a carrier fleet for my Kzintis and mercenary Orions.


For the same reason that you don't have your photon or plasma torpedoes fully armed - you usually don't know that you're going into battle until the enemy ship is fairly close to you.

This is one of the reasons why carriers in Starfleet Battles fly with assigned escort groups (which you are required to take in that game) - it's not uncommon for carriers to get caught flat-footed with nothing but maybe a two fighter CAP in space. And since most of the races don't use launch tubes (only the Hydrans and *maybe* the Feds - not sure about the latter; the Gorn and the Feds also have the "track and balcony system" that's not modeled in FedCom, but that doesn't change the rate that the fighters are actually moved out of the bays), it's going to take a little while to get your fighters into space in the event that a cruiser squadron suddenly shows up.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klingons are the other empire that uses some launch tubes, not the Feds.

And the balcony system is more useful in recovering the fighters, not launching them. It is almost pointless for launching.
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junior
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
Klingons are the other empire that uses some launch tubes, not the Feds.

And the balcony system is more useful in recovering the fighters, not launching them. It is almost pointless for launching.


It's good if you know in advance that you need to get the fighters/shuttles out by a specific time. Then you can keep them safely under the shields while you move them out the usual slow rate (such as, for instance, a swarm of Gorn Ground Assault Shuttles :p ) until the time comes to get the entire unit into space at once.

But otherwise, yeah, it's pretty poor and generally better for shuttle recovery.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
such as, for instance, a swarm of Gorn Ground Assault Shuttles

Do I detect a trace of Gorn pre-Carronade bitterness there.... Wink
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junior
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kang wrote:
junior wrote:
such as, for instance, a swarm of Gorn Ground Assault Shuttles

Do I detect a trace of Gorn pre-Carronade bitterness there.... Wink


Nah. It's something that makes sense. All Gorn ships use the Track and Balcony system in Starfleet Battles. Fed Carriers are the only Fed ships that do so. So a split second of reflection on why the average Gorn warship might need to launch multiple shuttles at once caused a rememberence that Gorn ships in SFB carry multiple GAS shuttles, and the logical inference that a Gorn ship facing at least minimal enemy fire might want to launch all of the shuttles at once in order to guarantee that as many shuttles as possible reached the planet's surface.

Of course, for a pre-Smarba Romulan, a swarm of suicide shuttles launched from Gorn Balconies could be pretty deadly too...
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