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Identifying Q-ships with labs

 
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Kang
Fleet Captain


Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1960
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:10 am    Post subject: Identifying Q-ships with labs Reply with quote

I note that in Rule (5L4a) 2., a ship with labs can ID a Q-ship from four hexes' range. Now, given that a particular lab box can only be used for one purpose per turn, could it be used to ID more than one Q-ship per turn, say by flying along next to the convoy's ships?

I'd say it can; my reasoning would be that the purpose that Lab box was being used for that turn was ID-ing Q-ships, no matter how many it scanned.

And of course I must also ask: does that use for the Lab box count as its one use for the turn?
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Dal Downing
Commander


Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 552
Location: Western Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kang I am pretty sure the answer is no, The Lab Box can be used to scan and identify a Particular Freighter be it a Q Ship or not. To scan another Q Ship would requires another Lab Box. And, yes I believe it was designed that way so you could not ID a whole fleet in one pass with a Light Raider.
Thats the way IDing Drones worked in SFB I am pretty sure.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1960
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Dal. I'm still not sure; it doesn't actually say it has to use a lab box, it just says it has to have one or get within 2 hexes]. So to actually tie-up a box, I'm just not sure it actually uses the box, it just has to be there if you get the distinction.

Accepted what you say about SFB, labs and drones. I wonder if the design intent was similar?
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pmiller13
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 12 May 2009
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kang for what it is worth the way I read the rule you just need a single functioning lab box. Then when you are with in 4 hexes of the Q-ship it is revealed. I interpret the rule this way for 2 reasons: 1 there is no role to determine if you were successful (like there was when you tried to ID a drone in SFB) and 2 there is no restriction in the rule when a ship with out a working lab gets within two hexes.
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pinecone
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Joined: 03 May 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This bring up another Q, can you use probes to help IDing Q-ships?
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Mike
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Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1556
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since there are relatively few Q-ships in the fleet of each empire, there is probably not much chance of there being more than one Q-ship in any single convoy.

From (5L4)...
Quote:
While there were only a few Q-ships in each empire, the fact that any given convoy might include a Q-ship made life exciting for pirates (and for raiders from enemy empires).


I doubt if it crossed anyone's mind that there might be more than one Q-ship that would need identifying.

Can't speak for MJWest, but it seems that the intent was to keep this from becoming an issue that would require more statements in the rules. However, since players can play pretty loose with FC, perhaps there needs to be an official ruling or clarification about this.

1. Does ID-ing a Q-ship constitute the use of 1 lab box during a turn so as to disqualify that lab box from being used for any other purpose?

2. Can 1 lab box be used to ID every freighter on the map in a single turn as long as the ship passes within 4 hexes of them all?

3. Would it be simpler to specify how many information points are required to determine if a given freighter is a Q-ship?

4. If the answer to #3 is "yes," then can probes be used to gather the information necessary to ID a freighter as a Q-ship? (I would assume that a probe could only be used to ID one freighter since probes can only be used on one ship, planet, monster, or other phenomenon at a time.)
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mjwest
Commodore


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3492
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure what was intended, and I will ask, but after Origins.

However, based on the wording of the rule, and that it specifically mentions the presence of actual lab boxes, I have to go with Kang's basic interpretation. Namely, this is not a "lab function", but rather simply a result of the presence of lab boxes that accomplishes this. This is not like identifying drones in SFB, nor is there any accumulation of lab points.

Therefore, if at any point, a ship with at least one functioning lab gets to four hexes of a Q-ship (regardless of how many there are), the owner of the Q-ship must reveal its nature. Period. If a ship does not have at least one functioning lab, then this will happen when the ship gets to two hexes of a Q-ship.

Note that this is (effectively) an exception to (5B1), which allows a ship that has no lab boxes (or no operating lab boxes) to use its control spaces as a single lab. (Which is why it has nothing to do with collecting information.) It is this exception that led me to believe in this interpretation.

So, identifying a Q-ship is not a lab operation. It requires the gathering of no information points. The use, or lack thereof, the lab has no impact on this ability to identify. It just happens at the specified range.

Note that, since most Orion ships have no lab, this will impose some extra risk on their part.

Also, as a result of this, probes fired for information have no effect. The only way a probe can tell you whether a freighter is a Q-ship or not is if you fire it as a weapon, and the application of damage tells you it is a Q-ship.
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