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Juggernaut vs. Kzinti

 
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SeanDavis
Ensign


Joined: 12 Feb 2011
Posts: 9
Location: Craig, CO

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:46 am    Post subject: Juggernaut vs. Kzinti Reply with quote

I'm preparing for a battle with the Juggernaut, and I thought it would be interesting to try it with the Kzinti. The fleet I've selected is the Z-DNH, BC, and DF. Some basic tactical ideas are obvious, of course. If possible, I'm thinking I position either the BC or the DNH in one of the rear side arcs, off shield facings 3 or 5, while positioning the DF with the other heavy hitter at the rear, behind the Juggy's engines. Use the ship on the oblique first, hopefully dealing the necessary 40 pts to shift the rotating shield out of my way, then use the two ships off the rear shield to punish his drive systems. (I'm not sure, as I haven't had a chance to carefully study ship cards, but I suspect I'll need the DNH to handle the shield diversion mission, especially if I want to stay out of close range with the Juggernaut.)

I don't believe I can count on drones for much except for using up some of his power and distracting a few phasers. (Even with the 18 drones that these three ships can launch, combined, the Juggy easily has enough phasers to protect itself...) However, I am plan to use the drones primarily once I'm in position to weaken his defenses as much as possible before making attack runs. Hopefully, some of them will get through and help me deal some damage, but if not, they should at least tie up enough phasers to help keep my ships from blowing up instantly.

My question, then, is this: any recommendations on further tactics to consider, or comments that may prove my present tactics to be less than effective? Basically, I'm looking for whatever input I can get, as I expect this to be a rather hard fought battle.

Thanks in advance to any and all who may offer their thoughts.

May the Juggy bleed to the delight of my crews.
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marcus_aurelius
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Joined: 07 Jun 2008
Posts: 251
Location: Cary IL

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest taking more evenly balanced ships like in the official scenario, even use 4 ships if possible. Instead of a DNH perhaps a BCH, NCC or CC?

If the Juggernaut player is competent he will ensure that the BC does not get to the rear while you attempt to distract with the DNH (or vice versa).
Juggling two enemy ships to keep them out of the rear arc is easier than doing the same with 4 ships per the official scenario. (I consider the DF as not significant.)

The DF with minimal direct fire weapons I would see as almost no threat to get significant damage in the rear. As you said, the drones could be dealt with by the many smallers phasers on the Juggernaut. The DF is also easily crippled/destroyed, even at longer ranges, then it would be a lot easier for the Juggernaut to keep only the 2 remaining ships out of its rear arc. I personally would cripple/destroy the DF before it could close to reduce the Kzinti to two effective ships early in the battle.

If you really, really want a frigate then I would suggest the FFK instead.

In the official scenario when we beat the Juggernaut we spread out all around it on rougly 4 sides. Our main focus was to spread on 4 sides to keep the pressure up and maximize the chances of a rear shot by 1 ship. Whichever cruisers were not in the rear attempted to distract the shield and then the remaining cruiser shot at the unshielded rear.

In the official scenario, it is much harder for the Juggernaut to prevent having 1 of the 4 cruisers in the rear arc. Having 4 roughly equal ships has two more advantages: (1) it forces more tradeoff decisions on the Juggernaut as to which target to attack first becaue there is no easy kill (such as the DF), (2) even if you lose 1 ship you still have 3 ships for encirclement each of which has a good (not guarunteed) chance of distracting the shield.

Choosing only Kzinti will present a greater challenge since they do not have the 1 turn alpha strike power of a Federation ship.
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SeanDavis
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Joined: 12 Feb 2011
Posts: 9
Location: Craig, CO

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the ideas! I'll take them into strong consideration, as they hold a lot of merit.

I haven't seen the Juggy scenario, as I don't own KA. My opponent just wanted to fly the Juggy, and gave me the points spread, so I built a fleet for it, looked at the Juggy and started drumming up ideas.
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SeanDavis
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Joined: 12 Feb 2011
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Location: Craig, CO

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a few tips taken from Marcus' post, I've revised the fleet as follows: Z-BC, CL, NCA with F-NCL support. Otherwise, the plan is essentially the same; hit from multiple facings, and try to get somebody into position to hit the Juggy's engines after the shield gets distracted. Even a slow trickle of damage to the engines will help my case a lot! Battle should commence later this afternoon, and I'll let you know how it goes.

One note on tactics: the NCL presents an obvious target for the Juggernaut, as it can deal more damage in a single strike than any of the Kzinti ships. Photons. Therefore, the NCL has to maintain speed and carefully control his position relative to the rest of the battle, ready to charge in, preferably under evasive maneuvers, and strike at the best opportunity, then race back out of the "hot zone" if possible.

A lot of these ideas are just forming as I look at the task force, and I really won't know entirely how this will work until I see how my opponent approaches the Juggy. (I can make certain assumptions, as his attraction to the Juggy was it giving him an excuse to use a Star Destroyer mini in FC, but at this stage, any assumptions are more likely to get a lot of Kzinti and men killed than anything else.)

Anyway, I'll post an after-battle report and see how the battle goes when it comes...
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SeanDavis
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Joined: 12 Feb 2011
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Location: Craig, CO

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Basic summary of the Battle with the Juggernaut:

Set-up: Location map, 12 panels (30 x 32 hexes), centered on Class-M planet, one comet (2 hexes in length) at range 5, in direction 6 from planet, headed toward it. Kzinti and Juggernaut start at opposite corners.

Turn 1: Basic approach turn. Divided fleet into 2 pairs, corresponding by weapons arcs, to enable similar tactics from both ships in each pair. Hence, Z-NCA and F-NCL (with FA heavy weapons) moved along the "southern" map edge, while the Z-BC, CL pair split off north. NCA/NCL plotted speed 16, so the Fed could finish loading photons and retain some power flexibility, while BC/CL plotted 24 in order to retain close parallel course with the NCA/NCL pair.

Juggernaut tried to bear "north" to meet the BC/CL pair, but only plotted speed 16, and couldn't keep up with their maneuvers. Near the end of the turn, he broke off from this pair, turning to bear on NCA/NCL.

No weapons fire from either side. I don't know why the Juggy didn't fire, but I held as I had no useful opportunities. It would have been firing for no better reason than to say I did. Range and facings wouldn't have permitted any damage that wouldn't have been instantly repaired on the Juggy's armor.

All drones launched on impulse 8, varying trajectories as much as possible within the seeking weapons rules, in order to confuse Juggy defenses.

Turn 2: Juggy speed 16; Kzinti and Fed at 24 all the way around. All ships packing suicide shuttles built off of excess power at the end of Turn 1.

The Juggernaut continued to close with NCA/NCL. NCL dumped power into photons, while using planet for cover while turning to place Juggy in FA arc. BC took up Evasive, being closer, and CL maintained a safe distance, while both maneuvered for the rear arc of the Juggernaut.

Juggernaut fired on NCL; downed shield #6 and scored 13 internals. Several of the Juggernaut's phasers were already distracted by the drone fire from the Kzinti squadron, reducing his offensive strength. Fed retaliated with full salvo of Photons, 3 of which hit. Unfortunately, this only dealt 48 points to the rotating shield, which the NCA promptly supported with disruptor fire. The shield held, but it was diminishing.

More drones launched on impulse 4, as well as suicide shuttles from NCA, NCL and Juggernaut. Previous turns drones had impacted, and I wanted to capitalize on the Juggy's use of phasers to diminish his defensive abilities. The Juggernaut was, at this stage, electing to fire one ph-3 per drone, which he was quickly learning was a mistake.

Some of these drones got past defenses, scoring damage on armor facings 2 and 3, while suicide shuttles impacted facings 5 and 6. The Juggernaut had rotated his shield to protect facing 5, and the BC/CL maneuvered into the rear arc, firing disruptors and scoring a total of 15 points on the Juggernaut's engines. Disruptors supported by what phasers could bear on the beast.

The Juggernaut fired another salvo of fire into the NCL, catching shield #1, and downing it, as well, and scoring another dozen or so internals.

NCL was the Juggernaut's suicide shuttle target, and outmaneuvered the shuttle, completely evading it and leaving it wandering uselessly around the center of the map.

NCL repaired 1 Lab and 2 Hull boxes, not that they were the most useful things hit, but to make the ship last longer in the battle. Photons A through C were still operating, and 4 phaser-1s. (I tend to score skipped points to frame, so I wanted to preserve the frequently damaged systems in order to prevent instant explosion on the next battle pass.)

The Juggernaut repaired two engine boxes, up to 10 boxes of armor per facing, and restored the shield to full strength.

Turn 3: Juggernaut reduced to speed 8. All of my ships retain 24. Opened immediately with another drone launch, to tie up as much defense as possible. Any power used to shoot down drones or tractor them is power that can't fire a phaser at me.

As he tried to press his attack on the NCL, the split squadron continued to move away from him and circle for diverse strikes.

The BC/CL executed an HET, and accelerated one sub-pulse, to move back into the Juggy's rear arc as drones impacted, forcing the shield to move to facing 5. Another 12 points on the engines.

He made a quick strike against the CL, as it was not in Evasive Maneuvers, but the BC was. (He figured he could do more damage, and I thought range would sufficiently protect the CL, and I needed power available to fire weapons and maneuver.) CL severely damaged, but not yet crippled.

No further exchanges in the turn, and my opponent chose to concede at the start of turn 4. Conclusions were that more experience on his part was needed with the Juggernaut. He also needed to be less greedy for the high damage of close-range ph-4s. He could have much more seriously damaged the attacking ships if he'd accepted a few more range 10-15 shots to soften and possibly kill my ships. However, this opponent tends to lean toward the close range combat options, hoping for maximum damage yields from weapons.
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Hod K'el
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Joined: 21 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Turn 2: Juggy speed 16; Kzinti and Fed at 24 all the way around. All ships packing suicide shuttles built off of excess power at the end of Turn 1. '

Uh, rules say you can't do this.
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marcus_aurelius
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Joined: 07 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speed is life.

With the Juggernaut plotting speeds 16 and later 8, the Juggernaut gave the initiative to the Kzinti/Fed. I would consider this the biggest mistake.
The Juggernaut should have been moving at speed 16 + 8 impulse accelerations or speed 24 + accelerations as applicable. When the Juggernaut plotted speed 8 it lost all hope of closing on an enemy ship and avoiding being surrounded.

If the Juggernaut had moved faster it would have been harder for the Kzinti/Fed to set up positions. Also faster speeds makes it harder for drones to impact so more phaser fire could have been used for offense. With proper high speed and maneuvering it should be almost impossible for a suicide shuttle to hit a ship.

I agree that the Juggernaut should have been firing at longer range to soften up the target. The Juggernaut should have fired on turn 1 with extra power. There is no reason not to fire phasers every turn if the power you use would have been lost anyway.

In the official scenario, the Juggernaut is surrounded on 4 sides initially. In this case the Juggernaut should charge one ship at high speed and then cripple/destroy it before the other ships join up.

In your scenario if all the attackers start on the opposite side of the map it should be much easier to prevent the enemy from surrounding the Juggernaut. The Juggernaut perhaps could have tried something akin to the Klingon Sabre Dance. This is where "speed is life" also applies.
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SeanDavis
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Joined: 12 Feb 2011
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Location: Craig, CO

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hod K'el: thanks for the reminder. I don't use suicides very often, so I'm clearly prone to errors. Usually, I don't like to do the "special" shuttles, as it doesn't fit my sense of flavor, but, unusual circumstances call for unusual actions.

Before playing rules I don't use often, I really need to remember to refresh myself on their application.
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