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fleet scale, fleet fire
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rockyr
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 12 Jan 2009
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:58 pm    Post subject: fleet scale, fleet fire Reply with quote

Has anyone done an analysis of fire effectiveness and enemy diminuation comparing separate vs cobine targeting? My first impulse woudl be to seek concentration of fire and seek to cripple one enemy vessel at a time, but with some of the damage charts giving the chance to seriously reduce enemy firepower, spreading out one's shot may seem as reasonable.

Of course, there will be case-specific incidents, range dependance, overload possibilities, target desirablity based on capacity or location, but what do most of you find in general to be the desirable practice?

Does anyone have a mathmatic computation to back up their experience or theory?

I am very open to discussion on this, as I plan for introducing the game to my local club with fleet (squadron sized really, but with fleet scale) actions .

Rocky
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Mike
Captain


Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1559
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen some people write about "outflanking" an enemy squadron, but unless there are other overriding tactical or strategic reasons, I don't see the point.

Let's suppose two fairly equally balanced squadrons of 3 ships apiece meet and battle it out. One squadron approaches with the idea of each ship pairing off with a single enemy ship and battling it out that way. The other player approaches with the idea of concentrating all facing firepower on one enemy ship.

If the squadron trying to pair off is unsuccessful in breaking up the enemy formation, one of his ships is going to take some massive damage. On future turns that ship will be unable to either pair off OR contribute much firepower. The other player may have damage spread across the shields of each of his ships, but they will still retain their firepower for at least one more turn.

The outcome should be obvious.



btw, I like your avatar...
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2926
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just fought a 3-3 engagement on Tuesday night, and the result were exactly what Mike describes. We were (me) Fed BCJ, CS, NCL versus the other guy's C7, D5W, F6 (an exact 255 point match). Each side started 20 hexes away from a planet (the object in contention), on opposite sides.

My opponent sent one ship (an F6) off around the planet on it's own, while sending his other two ships around the other side. I drove my entire squadron in tight formation straight at the planet until his ships were committed to their turning direction, then turned the entire squadron to attack the lone F6. Bad dice kept it from being an instant cripple, but it was trashed and out of the fight. Swinging around to engage the other ships I then destroyed the F6 with what would be off-side phasers to his other ships. The intervening planet prevented any fire from his other two ships to support the F6.

In the end, my BC was destroyed due to concentrated fire from the Klingons, but not until I had destroyed his F6 and devastated his C7 (only a few boxes left). He was left with the undamaged D5W and a wreck facing a pair of "cherry" cruisers and we called it at that point.
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't provide you with any mathmatical computations, but I can give you some emperical information.

After 100's and 100's of Fed Comm games and 1000's of SFB games, the end result is almost always the same. Concentrate your fire!

We've played everything from 3 on 3 (evenly matched and unbalanced) to 1 or 2 large ships vs a fleet of small ships... and even some monster, all weekend long, 30 vs 30 SFB battles. Experience has taught us to keep our fleets together and to concentrate our fire.

If one or two ships break formation, they're dead. If one or two ships pull ahead, they're dead.

We don't necessarily stick everything in one hex, but we do mantain proximity in order to provide covering fire. Targets are usually selected based on opportunity. If we can concentrate all (or a significant amount) of our fire on a single target - we do. Enough damage will cause on of two results:
1) the target drops out of formation - providing you with an advantage, either numnerically or in BPV.
2) the entire fleet slows to maintain formation - giving you the initiative.

Target selection also isn't a hard, fast rule - but must be considered on a case by case basis. Quite often (especially in SFB) a slightly disadvantaged shot at an opponents only EW capable ship in a target rich environment is much more effective than a point blank shot at one of a dozen frigates.
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rockyr
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 12 Jan 2009
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject: roger that Reply with quote

The coments generously provided above confirmed my suspicions, even without the math.

Concentration of fire is usually the best choice in most wargames, especially naval wargaming (which is how I veiw space games).

Now, I will see if the club comes to that conlcusion on their own! Ah, the joys of a first game...

Having said that, there are certainly conditions where that might not apply. Does one really need to fire 3 ship's worth of double overloaded
photon torpedoes at the same target?

Mike clearly has the right when it comes to avatars...

R
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: roger that Reply with quote

rockyr wrote:

Having said that, there are certainly conditions where that might not apply. Does one really need to fire 3 ship's worth of double overloaded
photon torpedoes at the same target?

Of course there are always situations...

If you've got two small frigates (OK - that was redundant Very Happy ) leading a fleet of larger ships...
It might be worth it to fire 2 overloads from each of your ships at each of the frigates.
Or, if there's only one small shiup and you've got a passel of OL's then you might consider staggering your fire to prevent overkill...
If he object is to cripple / capture - you might reserve some fire...
If you're flying an Orion Raider w/ photons (or any other heavy weapon), you may elect to with hold some fire to prevent damaging valuable cargo...
and so on...
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Mike
Captain


Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1559
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scoutdad's ideas about holding fire to prevent excessive damage is what I do. After all, what is the sense in wasting energy and firepower on a ship that you know is going to buy the farm anyway if there are others out there that need a little shoveled their way, too?

Since I live in Lexington, South Carolina, the avatar is especially appropriate...
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Mike
Captain


Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1559
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to make another post, but this was exactly the reason I designed the scenario, "Race Against Time," in CL36. I wanted to create a situation in which there would be a reason (or reasons) NOT to combine firepower.
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rockyr
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 12 Jan 2009
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:45 pm    Post subject: avatar, fire, formations, and more Reply with quote

I am a colonial/revolutionary historian... thus Lexington.

My three new crusiers (primed just today) will be the Lacy Lex, Saratoga, and Yorktown.

I am studying all the photos and gyides I can find to paint these. I want them to be, well, stellar. I'll post pics when I have them.

Meanwwhile, I will teach the club how to play and eventually get to do so with them myself to test my own theories on formations, fire control, group manuevres, etc. I can hardly wait.

At present, I have visions of a flying wedge for the 3-ship squadron, but I have not worked out the triangle to starboard/port steps yet. Turning the formation 60 degrees is easy enough, but a wheel is different. I'll have to experiment on my own.

Did I overlook any rule against "stacking" when using miniatures on hex boards?

Rocky
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2926
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rules for play with miniatures on hex-map are identical to counters. There is no limit to ships in a hex or in adjacent hexes. The normal 3-ships firing from a hex limit applies though.

Close-proximity and same-hex positioning of ships when using miniatures requires some adjusting just due to practicality.

Some groups just leave one mini and write down what grouping it represents, the two groups I play with swap out for 1" counters when things get too cluttered and swap back for minis at the first opportunity. I've taken to storing an appropriate 1" counter with each mini to facilitate this and speed game set-up.
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
The rules for play with miniatures on hex-map are identical to counters. There is no limit to ships in a hex or in adjacent hexes. The normal 3-ships firing from a hex limit applies though.

That's 3 units firing through a single hex side. You can have an unlimited number of units in a hex and up to three can fire out of each hex side (if valid targets exist)
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Mike
Captain


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found a couple of ways to try to keep a "wedge" of 3 ships in formation during a wheel-type of turn.

One is to have different ships swap the role of lead ship. The lead ship can swing toward the outside of the wheel and become the far flanking ship. The problem with this maneuver is that during the turning action, the ships may not maintain identical facing and suffer by not being able to mass their firepower if needed.

Another way to turn a 3 ship wedge formation is to have the ship on the outside of the wheel to accelerate, the lead (middle) ship to move normally, and the ship on the interior of the wheel move to use decelerations. By doing so, this ship becomes a virtual "pivot point" and can meet its turn mode requirements without actually moving forward. Each time its turn mode is met, it can turn one hexside without moving out of its hex.

A variation on the second method is for the interior ship to do as described above, but have the lead middle ship swing outward and the outward ship use acceleration and decelerations to turn more sharply and become the middle ship.

Another consideration is how much damage each ship has taken. As the situation during a game unfolds, you'll see where a damaged ship might be able to "hide" in a 3 ship formation. Then you can use sideslips to have it shift to that position and the ship from that position into the one it vacated. This might force the enemy to plow through the other two ships in order to get to the damaged one and give you plenty of opportunity to use those ships against your opponent.

Maybe some of this will be helpful. Its always fun to try these things out. And its also interesting to see counter-tactics invented to counter anything you try.
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rockyr
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 12 Jan 2009
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:10 pm    Post subject: starships and njrotc marching Reply with quote

Mike's second method of wheeling (1 accelerates, 1 normal, 1 decelerates) is what I had in mind, based upon old marching drill field skills for the three commanders (CO, XO, Ops - of all things!).

I also thought of applying Alexander's cavarly rhomboid if there are four ships - a wheel involved more of a turn, and the change of point ship in any of the four cardinal directions. I wonder how that works out on a hax map...

So much to learn when new at a game! Very exciting.

I think I will run some private experiments. I'll share my findings.

R
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Last edited by rockyr on Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mike
Captain


Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1559
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another little trick to remember is when your squadron is making more of an extended turn moving 4 hexes during an impulse. All of the ships will not need to move 4 hexes, but to keep them equal in their fulfillment of turn modes, one (or maybe even two) ship(s) can use acceleration/deceleration to "buy" 1 hex of movement without actually moving. This gives every ship in the squadron formation the ability to turn at the same time and as soon as possible.

There are some interesting maneuvers in which a 3 ship squadron can maneuver so that all of the ships can change their positions relative to one another by the end of an impulse. I guess this could be called "Shell Game."
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Paul B
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 27 Dec 2006
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that splitting up is necessarily a bad thing in games in general. However, because of the the way shields work in Star Trek and are represented in SFU they don't really help anyone who wants to try something other than the stack/formation of doom.
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