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Direct Fire Drone Rules
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
The only negative is needing to keep records for a potential two impulses.


That doesn't sound that bad until you add in the 'per launch per fighter'. Which at the main point of a scenario could be a lot of launches, stagerred over multi impulses at different targets, and with nothing on the map to remind any one who was shot at by what and when.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the 8-hex range limit will tend to limit the number of drones being launched. IIRC from the Cap Log rule, if the fighter's crippled the drones are no longer functional. I don't remember if the drones are "fired" in the direct-fire phase or the launch phase, but if it's the launch phase, the ship(s) will get at least one opportunity to fire at overload range before the fighters can launch. So the squadron should suffer from some attrition before launching.

Also, fighters are darn slow. At speed 16, they should find it difficult to even CATCH a ship moving at 24+1 for most of the turn. So some kind of modification to the rules for the speed of the target may be unnecessary.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
I think the 8-hex range limit will tend to limit the number of drones being launched. IIRC from the Cap Log rule, if the fighter's crippled the drones are no longer functional. I don't remember if the drones are "fired" in the direct-fire phase or the launch phase, but if it's the launch phase, the ship(s) will get at least one opportunity to fire at overload range before the fighters can launch. So the squadron should suffer from some attrition before launching.

Also, fighters are darn slow. At speed 16, they should find it difficult to even CATCH a ship moving at 24+1 for most of the turn. So some kind of modification to the rules for the speed of the target may be unnecessary.


Thats been nagging at my mind and why I asked earlier for a reminder on SFB fighter launch range.

If, as someone else said, BoM is aimed at SFB players more than FC players then I just don't see them using this rule much anyway (Yes, that's just a guess). Why struggle to even get into range 8 when you can stick with the normal drone rules (rather than this optional rule) and launch from much further away and let the speed 24 drone do the catching up. I can't see that many SFB players sufficiently bothered about the counter clutter that they will take the speed 16 range 8 version of fighters, that even requires more involved record keeping and checking for hits each impulse. In fact as an FC player, as long as it was a single carrier scenario I think I would go with the normal drone rules over the proposed direct fire ones. I'd probably avoid multi carrier fights anyway (I can't really see multi carriers being playable either way within our usual time constraints).
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Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't envision fighters being used unless something about the situation involves a fixed or semi-fixed target such as a planet, base, or convoy. That's where speed 16 fighters (and DF drones) might be a big help.

Another thing that will make fighters using any kind of drone easier to manage is the fact that a fighter can only launch 1 drone per Turn.

(5QM3b) Fighters can launch no more than one drone during any single turn.

Plus, even if regular drones are used, a fighter cannot launch at any target farther than 8 hexes in range.

(5QM3b) Drones from fighters may not be launched from a range of more than eight hexes from the target.

Since the BoM rule about DF fighter-launched drones makes no mention of the time of launch of DF drones being different, it is to be assumed that they are still launched during the Launch Phase at the end of a given Impulse. They are not launched during any Direct Fire Phase.
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LordLobo
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone tried playing with this rule or any variation? Seems like 'ideal' and 'works' are a little off right now.

The key, of-course would be to replay the same battle with either (DF-vs-Non-DF) rule set.
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Hod K'el
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:58 pm    Post subject: DFD Reply with quote

Has anyone tried playing with this rule or any variation?

Ah! Good question! Will let you know how this turns out later this week. Will attempt four test runs before reporting.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When testing the DF rules, please be sure to also make sure you do one test run of seeking drones to use as the "control".

Thanks!
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Hod K'el
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:13 pm    Post subject: DFD Rules Reply with quote

All testing was by KD7V, KF5, & KE4 vs same; 12 ZY vs 12 ZY

First test resulted in furball in center of map. Ships too far away to affect outcome greatly, but did do some damage from long range fire of disruptors from KD7V and PH-1 from all ships. Three green fighters remained and four black fighters remained.

Second test resulted in defensive formation verses offensive formation resulting in defensive kill ratio of 3 to 1 on turn two. This was reduced to a kill ratio of two to one on turn three. Again, this was mainly a fighter vs fighter battle with ships firing into the fray. Black ships were defending and green ships were attacking.

Third test had both fleets attacking. Black fighters went after green KF5 and blew down the #1 and #6 shields with a follow up volley from the ships. The green fleet volleyed into the black KD7V and did 26 internals. The results of this battle were green KF5 and KE4 went nova but only two green fighters died. The black fleet had four fighters remaining (landed in the KD7V) and had repairs well under way as they left the field. It should be noted that green started launching late and used his fighters to kill black fleet fighters. It should also be noted that with 24 fighters on the board, it gets crowded very quickly. We use miniatures and have found that dice on the stand to reflect how many fighters are in a given hex is much better. We also found several questions over which we are in a dilemma, but I will let malleman discuss these.

The fourth test had fighters (12 ZY’s) attacking a star base. They had no support in this test and died rather quickly. I tried this scenario again with grouping six per wave in two waves back to back and they faired much better. Although they died rather quickly, they died slower that the first test against the star base and blew down two shields all total with minor damage internally; this damage was immediately repaired.

The capability of the fighters in combat should be noted as follows: F15, ZY, F18, A10, ZD. This is in descending order. In other words, if ZD’s go up against anything, they are probably not coming home; whereas a ZY has a fighting chance. The A10’s have a slight edge on the ZD’s due to the photon torpedo, but this really depends on how lucky the rolls are for the Federation player.

What did I like about the DFD rules? They keep the table cleaner, not as many counters. What did I not like about the DFD rules? They give an unfair advantage to the enemy fleet in that they have more opportunities to destroy the drones before they hit. They also give less time to maneuver away from the incoming drones allowing more hits than should occur.

At this point, I am going to let malleman take over.
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malleman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some questions that arose during a game with drone armed fighters using the DFD rules.

If a fighter launches a drone in FC BoM rules what happens to the drone if:
1. The fighter docks
2. The fighter is tractored
3. The fighter becomes crippled
4. The fighter is destroyed before the 2nd impulse (for clearity)

I think that the speed issue (16+) needs to be addressed. Maybe treat speads 16+ as automatic 8 hex range, meaning that the DFDs would not impact until the 2nd impulse. Combine this with the fighter needs to be within 8 or less hexes at the end of the 2nd impulse for the drones to impact (or something similar).

During playtesting I found that the DFD armed fighter loses some of its effect, becuse of the fact the drones automatically hit which causes the target to not to try to avoid the drones (maneuver defensively). Instead of showing a fresh sheild, the target will bring the most weapons to bear. When using regular drones the target would be able to maneuver weapons into position first if there was a far enough distance (between the target and drone) and then turn a fresh shield before impact causing a different style of play. However, I belive that this may be something we may all have to adapt to in order to use DFDs to speed up play.

I believe Hod K'el's comment, "They give an unfair advantage to the enemy fleet in that they have more opportunities to destroy the drones before they hit.", is not that much of a concern, because the "enemy" has to expend power to defend against the DFDs, which causes the "enemy" to have less options to attack your forces, or in the case of ADDs less options to defend.

Finally, I think that requiring all DFDs launched from the same hex during the same impulse must be combined into a single volley targeted at a single target may be a way to help avoid some record keeping.

Overall, I think the DFD rules are solid.

I can't wait to try this out either with a Lyran fleet or against a Lyran fleet!
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Mike
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malleman: Don't you think that the same thing would happen to DFD as would happen to regular drones if any other ship launched them in the four cases you asked about?
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malleman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it just seams like some opponets need it stated.
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malleman
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On speeds 16+ I got to thinking that maybe just record the hex from which the drones were launched or mark it with a token. If the target ship is within 8 hexes on the 2nd impulse regardless of the target's speed the drone impacts.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the answers to malleman's questions are:
1. Not sure - I'm pretty sure a fighter which lands on its carrier cannot control drones. If it actually docks, then I think nothing would change.
2. Nothing changes.
3. Nothing changes.
4. Drone loses tracking, is removed from play immediately.
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malleman
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may be mistaken but...

1. drone control loss since no transfer in FC
2. drone control remains
3. drone control remains
4. drone control is lost if fighter is destroyed before the 2nd impulse on range 5-8 direct fire drones. Drone control remains if fighter is destroyed during 2nd impulse because of simultaneos fire.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going by the standard FC fighter rules (i.e. stingers) I would have half expected a crippled fighter to drop drone tracking. I've not seen any of the BoM fighter rules though, beyond the OP here.
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