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Tactics thread: Kzinti

 
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:32 pm    Post subject: Tactics thread: Kzinti Reply with quote

Hi.


While much of the tactics discussed for Klingon Armada seem to focus on the Federation and Klingons, it's worth noting that in KA itself, there are more ships available for the Kzinti Hegemony (11) than there are for the Federation (9) or Klingon Empire (10). Plus, the FFK available online brings the number of ship types in the Kzinti Armada to 12... not counting any Star Fleet or Tholian allies, or Orion mercenaries, thrown in for good measure.


So, I figured I might start a thread where the Tigermen might be discussed, in terms of what a Kzinti admiral could look out for on the tabletop - be it in a battle against the Klingons, the Federation... or, of course, against a rival Pentarchal noble!


How best might a Kzinti fleet in Starmada take on each of these three potential opponents? Which potential enemy would be the Hegemony's most dangerous on-table rival? Would it be worth considering a few Orion mercenaries to add into the mix?

And in smaller operations, what would a Kzinti squadron commander have to worry about most if trying to clear out an Orion infestation, or (for some reason) wanting to make a run at the Tholian Holdfast?
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Last edited by Nerroth on Fri May 28, 2010 9:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rockymountainnavy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:44 pm    Post subject: Defenseless Against Drones? Reply with quote

On part of KA I am still trying to decide if it really works is drones. In KA, drones are launched in the End of Turn Phase and move in the Fighter Phase (which follows movement). Thus, IF the drones are launched at such a range to reach the target in the fighter phase after launch, NO DEFENSIVE FIRE is possible. This makes drones very powerful in a knifefight since you don't really get a chance to phaser/tractor them down.

The other tactic I have seen is to launch from range 17. Assuming no change in relative range, the defender will get a shot at range 9 (long range for a phse 3 and beyond tractors (range 6). The following fighter phase the drones hit. Again, little fire defense possible.

The Starmada Forum has a long-running dicussion on the point defense/fighter defense issue which helps to understand why the SOP is like it is but in my gut this is one part of the SFU port to Starmada I am not really sure worked out. That said, I don't really have a solution either.
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mj12games
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't want to hijack the thread too much, but a couple thoughts pop up re: drones:

1) Because drones launch before starships move, the target has the opportunity to move out of the way. Often this is not desirable (or possible) due to the tactical situation, but it is an option.

2) There is the opportunity for defensive fire -- see the anti-drone rule on p.32.

3) Drones do not auto-hit; they must pass a to-hit roll before they can cause damage. One can think of this as abstracting various other defensive options not directly simulated in a squadron/fleet-scale game like Starmada.
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mj12games
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:36 am    Post subject: Re: Tactics for a Kzinti Armada? Reply with quote

Nerroth wrote:
How best might a Kzinti fleet in Starmada take on each of these three potential opponents? Which potential enemy would be the Hegemony's most dangerous on-table rival? Would it be worth considering a few Orion mercenaries to add into the mix?

I haven't played the Kzintis much, but my initial tactic against the Federation would be to launch drones from range 16+ and then follow them in. The Feds then have to decide whether to concentrate on the incoming drones, the following starships, or split their fire (which is always tempting but not recommended).

Even if the drones end up doing little (or no) damage, they will in all likelihood seriously disrupt the opponent's plan -- and if the Kzinti play smart, minding the fact that their disruptors, while less powerful, outrange the Fed photon torpedoes, they should do quite well. Orion mercenaries could be useful if you want to offset the enemy's photon advantage -- and since they aren't as costly in VPs, you can afford to lose a couple along the way.

Versus the Klingons, it's much more difficult to think of specific tactics off the top of my head, since the fleets are so similar in armament. The first question to answer is whether to use my own drones offensively or keep them in reserve for defensive fire. The X factor is going to be the phaser-2s, which can be a very effective stop-gap if the Klingon commander can maintain an appropriate range.

Obviously, I'm biased, but I firmly believe in the play balance of Starmada. Thus, I'm not sure one can say who would be "most dangerous"; if played correctly, any fleet should have a reasonable chance of beating any other fleet of roughly equal point cost.
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Rockymountainnavy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:16 am    Post subject: Tactics vs Kzinti/Drones Reply with quote

The tactics discussed above are valid for KA...HOWEVER, if one is a SFB/FC "purist" then the standard anti-drone tactics (use phaser-3/tractors/anti-drones) are not employed in the same way.

Like SFB/FC you can use anti-drones.

UNLIKE SFB/FC it is harder to use phaser-3/tractors (it can be done but there are some 'gamisms' that prevent it at knifefight range).

THE DIFFERENCE is that KA emphasizes MANUEUVER over FIREPOWER in drone defense. KEEP THIS IN MIND AND PLAN ACCORDINGLY.

For instance, in a recent battle, the best drone defense was defense in depth where non-targeted ships phasered/tractored down drones targeted at another ship and, as a last resort, simply outrunning the drone flights.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thought I had so far, regarding the ship choices available, is that the Kzintis are closer to the Klingons in terms of having their General War-era ships available.


While the Feds do have the Kirov and New Jersey, plus the NCL and DW from CL40, they are still missing much of the range of hot-warp ships that will be published in Romulan Armada, and perhaps depend more on the pre-war ships for the time being.

(But then, the Feds were spread over 4 products in FC - well, 5 if you count Briefing 2 - rather than the room it took to get other empires' fleets represented.)

The Kzintis, in contrast, have a healthy range of mid-to-late-war hulls ready to go, to perhaps counter the similar ships that the Deep Space Fleet can throw at their opponents.
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Requete
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would definitely say that within 8 or at range 17 is the optimal firing position for drones. Though your opponent may not necessarily allow you to get where you want!

I'm a bit timid about disagreeing with the game designer (!), but if I were a Kzinti admiral I don't think I'd willingly close with the Federation. Those photons are just too powerful. I'd launch a ferocious drone wave (spreading out the targets somewhat... not every ship [too dilluted] but maybe every other or every third) and dance with the disruptors. Disruptors are great at long range, and once enemy shields start collapsing they become even better.

I'd try to stay at range with the Feds because his Ph-1 advantage is lessened and his photons are inaccurate. I'd also try to stay at range with the Klingons! The Klingons will be heavy on Ph-2s, which are lousy at range. The Kzinti has some Ph-1s and as many Disruptors as the Klingon. So it looks to me (not having flown them yet) that the Kzinti ought to stay back and let the drones soften the enemy up (and if the enemy tries a u-turn to escape the drones, which probably won't work anyway, shoot him in the keister!).

On the subject of defensive fire vs. drones... only half of the drones that hit really hit. That may be a little better than FC but not much. And of those that hit, they still all have to test against the enemy shields in the Impact phase. I think drones work pretty equitably... they're not overpowering, just different from what we're used to. Against a combat vessel with a strong shield, only 25% of drones that hit will do any damage.
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mj12games
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Requete wrote:
I would definitely say that within 8 or at range 17 is the optimal firing position for drones. Though your opponent may not necessarily allow you to get where you want!

This is a REALLY important point to keep in mind when playing Starmada/Klingon Armada over FC/SFB... simultaneous movement means that keeping a desired range becomes much more difficult.

Quote:
I'm a bit timid about disagreeing with the game designer (!)

Feel free. I may be the designer, but I lose more often than I win as a player... Wink

Quote:
So it looks to me (not having flown them yet) that the Kzinti ought to stay back and let the drones soften the enemy up (and if the enemy tries a u-turn to escape the drones, which probably won't work anyway, shoot him in the keister!).

Some very good thoughts there...

Quote:
I think drones work pretty equitably... they're not overpowering, just different from what we're used to. Against a combat vessel with a strong shield, only 25% of drones that hit will do any damage.

Agreed. What we've discovered is that drones are not overpowering -- but they are decisive; or rather, how the opponent reacts to them is decisive. If, for example, the Feds can weather the initial drone strike from a Kzinti fleet, they have a really good shot at winning. However, if that initial strike can inflict some damage and disrupt the Feds' layered defenses, the odds swing to the kitties...
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Rockymountainnavy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:17 am    Post subject: Kzinti Tactics...LAUNCH! Reply with quote

Let's look at a near-1000 point Kzinti Fleet

Command Cruiser (356pts) Hull 11/Drone Racks 4/Disruptor 4
War Destroyer (235pts) Hull 7/Drone Racks 5/Disruptor 2
Frigate x2 (324pts) each Hull 5/Drone Racks 4/Disruptor 1

On any given turn the CC can launch 3 flights and the DW and FF can launch two flights. This gives you 9 flights (36 drones) each turn. Since there is no fire control limits in KA you can keep this up until your ammo is gone. The Kzinti have a total of 52 flights of drones.

Assume all nine flights are targeted against a Fed CA. The ADD can maybe take out 2 (34 left) and maybe you had a chance to phaser a few (-2?) or tractor a few (-3?). This still leaves ~29 impacting. After impact rolls (3 or 2) you probably have 13 or 14 getting through. This means the CA will likely lose 6-7 hull each wave. Given only 10 hull total after 2 waves it dies.

Against the D-7 it is a little different. The 36 drones face 3 ADD systems (-4?) and tractors (-1?) leaving 31 drones. IF the D-7 uses Phaser-2s in defense (they are not anti-fighter optimized) and if he had the range and time he might have gotten 2? more leaving 29. The D-7 has weaker shields meaning more get through (maybe 18?) which could destroy the cruiser (9 hull) in one wave. Of note, one big assumption is that the Klingon Drone Racks are used as ADD...in KA racks are both offensive and defensive but the ammo is the same.

So what lessons do I draw from this? ESCORTS!! You need defense in depth against drones. Feds may be able to knifefight for a round but then you need to stand-off. Klinks need a clear definition of roles. Some will be offensive and others will be defensive. The best drone defense is ADD but it takes away an offensive system.

Slashing attacks may be the best way to take on the Tigers. Slash in, get you shots, and run off with drones chasing you. Extend from any drones, swing around, and come in again. However, you have to be careful because in KA seekers/strikes don't die until they attack (no fuel limits).
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will remind you all that we do need tactics articles (half a page to a page) and tactics "papers" (a paragraph or two) for Captain's Log. When you get your thoughts in order, email them to me or maybe we'll make a specific topic for them.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With Romulan Armada out and about, how might the fleets of the Hegemony want to handle the various plasma-chuckers - or the new array of Fed ships in the system, for that matter?
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Dan Ibekwe
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only correct Kzinti tactic is to fire every drone in the fleet in one monstrous volley and charge right in after them into knife range.

Scream and leap!
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