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Electronic Warfare?

 
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thebart
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 27 Nov 2008
Posts: 34
Location: Wales, the great british empire

PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:04 pm    Post subject: Electronic Warfare? Reply with quote

I've only ever played Federation Commander and to many players in this section of the forum to my disarray I have not played a single game of Star Fleet Battles.

But my general question was; how in the flaming sponge does the Electronic Warfare rules work in a nutshell? I love the technical idea of EW and ECM that I want to add a simplified version for my Fed Com games.

Note: I'd love to hear you feelings on EW, but don't keep telling me its impossible as I was told by a friend of mine. Additionally, I am not overtly sure that this is the appropriate forum to place this in, but shift it if you wish to a more appropriate section. Smile

Thanks in advance. Very Happy
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Darkwing
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Oct 2010
Posts: 249
Location: ZZ 9 plural Z A

PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every ship has a limited capacity to jam or disrupt the tracking and scanning systems aboard another ship in an attempt to avoid damage. Also, a ship can create "anti-jamming" in an attempt to counteract the effects of jamming.

You asked for a general explanation of how the rules work, so I will not go in depth from the rule book.

You allocate power (up to six points) into jamming. For every few points generated in this fashion, any player firing at the ship has to add 1 to any die rolls for a "to hit" or for damage determination. (So if you were generating enough jamming to create a +2 shift, a die roll of 4 would become a 6. This is enough to cause many weapons to miss or to cause damage to be considerably less.)

This is called ECM, or Electronic Counter Measures.

If the enemy is using ECM, you can attempt to cancel it out with ECCM (Electronic Counter-Counter Measures). This is generated the same way, but when you are looking for the "shift," you subtract the ECCM from the ECM and use that number to determine the power of the jamming.

Example: if my ship is creating 5 points of ECM and you want to counter it, you could generate ECCM. You only have 4 points available, so you use it. My 5 points of ECM - your 4 points of ECCM leaves me with 1 point of ECM. If you had 6 points of power, you could have used it all for ECCM, but my 5 ECM points - your 6 ECCM points would be -1. Negative numbers are not used, so I would have 0 ECM points (rather than -1).

In SFB, almost all non-scout ships can only create a TOTAL of 6 electronic warfare points in any combination. That is, if you have 4 ECM points, you are limited to 2 ECCM points. If you have 6 ECCM points, you cannot create any ECM.

There are other restrictions, and this is only a very basic generalization.
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SFU_FEAR
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 28 Jun 2010
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Darkwing says, in SFB Scouts can loan EW points (either ECM or ECCM) to other ships and this is where they can rule the battlefield. This can extend out to 15 hexes and each scout channel can use up to six points of power to loan either to another ship.

This can allow you to protect a critical ship or allow a ship that has a unfavorable EW situation to counter it.

We used a dry erase board and listed all the ships on each side on it along with their current ECM/ECCM rating as they changed. That way each player could tell at a glance what the status was.
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Last edited by SFU_FEAR on Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:10 pm; edited 2 times in total
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thebart
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 27 Nov 2008
Posts: 34
Location: Wales, the great british empire

PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Devastating and yet quite amazing, but that was slightly confusing the first read through anyway. Very Happy

I cannot wait to use the Federation Destroyer Scout now, Smile. They'll never know why they cannot hit them. XD
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Bolo_MK_XL
Commander


Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 787
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Piney,

That's why Scouts have a very short lifespan -- they become prime targets in a hurry ---
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Darkwing
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Oct 2010
Posts: 249
Location: ZZ 9 plural Z A

PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scouts never lasted long in any game I've ever played, but I was part of a pretty cut-throat hoard!

Sorry if my explanation was a little confusing to read. There are a lot of rules associated with EW and I was only attempting to give a "nutshell" overview. Confused I hope it at least helped a little.
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bolo,

Right avatar, wrong user ...

thebart,

Let me try as simple an explanation as possible in terms of Federation Commander.

Base rules:
A ship may generate from 1 to 6 points of "electronic warfare" (shortened to EW). Each point may be set to make it hard to hit the generating ship (called ECM) or to fight through another ship's EW (called ECCM). A single ship may generate any combination of ECM and ECCM, as long as the total is six or less. Each point of EW costs a single energy point to generate.

When firing at a ship, the the ECCM generated by the firing ship is compared to target ship's ECM to see if a "shift" is generated. Subtract the firing ECCM from the target ECM. If the difference is zero or less (i.e. ECCM matches or exceeds ECM), then there is no "shift". If there is a different of 1 to 3, then the shift is 1. If the difference is 4-8, then the shift is 2, and if the difference is 9 or more, the shift is 3. Add this shift into any other (4A4) modifiers you are using. (I know this can't get a difference of 9. This is for the bonus complications.)

Extra bonus complications:
- Convert the Orion Stealth bonus into two "free" ECM points.
- Each asteroid hex fired through is worth 1 "free" ECM point.
- Evasive maneuvers generate four "free" ECM points.
In each case, these points of ECM replace the default shift given in the Federation Commander rules and can be countered by ECCM. None of these "free" ECM points cost any energy, and any ship benefiting from them can still generate their full six points of EW allowed in the base rules.

Extra-extra bonus complication:
Scout ships. Scout ships can generate up to six points of EW per scout channel (i.e. box). In this case, the points of EW must be of one type (either ECM or ECCM) and must be "lent to" (i.e. directed at) a single target ship. This can be ECM at a ship to make it harder to hit, ECM at a ship to make it harder for it to fire, or ECCM at a ship to help it fire. This is called "lending EW". The "lent EW" is in addition to whatever the target ship is able to generate on its own. Any given ship can only be "lent EW" from a single scout at any given time.

Note that a scout channel costs a single point of power to use. Each point of "lent EW" still costs the same point of energy to generate as a ship's base EW costs. So, to fully power all of a scout's special sensors and lend EW is an extremely power intensive activity. Most scouts cannot fully lend six points of EW for every channel they have, as they just don't have that much power. (Well, not an move, anyway.)

Again, this is using SFB-style electronic warfare in Federation Commander. I have glossed over some details, but (surprisingly) not that many.
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thebart
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 27 Nov 2008
Posts: 34
Location: Wales, the great british empire

PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks.

But is the Scout Channel box the same as the Sensor Box in the Federation Commander card, or are they removed from the Federation Scout?

Very Happy
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Dal Downing
Commander


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

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thebart wrote:
Thanks.

But is the Scout Channel box the same as the Sensor Box in the Federation Commander card, or are they removed from the Federation Scout?

Very Happy


Special Sensors (refreded to as Scout Channles) are the same in both games and the Federation Scout in Booster 91 has the Special Sensors (Marked as Sen) on the card. Where as the Galatic Survey Cruiser in Briefing #2 had them removed so it varies from card to card.
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mjwest
Commodore


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3489
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scout channel = special sensor. They are equivalent terms. They both refer to the special sensor box (SEN or SENSOR) on the ship card. Sorry for being sloppy in the usage.

Scouts will have special sensors on the ship card. If there is no box, it doesn't have it. Note that the GW-era Federation GSC published in a Communique does have the special sensors. The Middle Years GSC in Briefing #2 does not have them, but it is an MT-only ship. (They were removed from it to make it publishable in FC proper.)

Note that the CRUL2 has the rules for adding special sensors to bases.
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Nerroth
Captain


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 1567
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hadn't realised the Main Era GSC was already available; that would make covering the Darwin's most super secret incident that much easier.

Should we ever get a Devastator Ship Card in FC, that is...
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