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SFB in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:14 pm    Post subject: SFB in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud Reply with quote

Hi.



While the Lesser Magellanic Cloud has been a fixture of the Star Fieet Universe ever since the first details of Operation Unity were committed to print, it wasn't until Module C5 was released a few years back before the LMC was truly fleshed out as a truly unique and vibrant setting.

So far, five of the indigenous Magellanic empires have units in print; at least two or three more are mentioned in the timeline but haven't been published yet; while a number of species seen in other corners of the SFU have, at one point or another, spent time out in the Cloud. The Andromedans took a terrible tool on the denizens of the LMC, some more xenocidally than others; fortunately, the success of the Unity expedition allowed the surviving Magellanic remnants to try and rebuild their fallen empires.


From a game perspective, the key difference between LMC ships and those elsewhere lies in their shielding. Magellanic ships have eight shields; six "outer" shields and two hemispheric "inner" shields. The outer shields have a Volley Reduction Factor; this cuts down on the amount of damage scored on each outer shield facing, but cost more to repair as a consequence. Inner shields have no VRF, and have limits regarding reinforcement; this has a knock-on effect on smaller units (like PFs), which in the LMC have inner shielding only.

Weapons-wise, LMC hulls use various kinds of warp-tuned lasers; somewhat similar to phasers, but with a poorer ratio of damage against plasma. Direct-fire weapons are the norm here; only one published empire has a plasma weapon (which they use as a secondary weapon system) and no drone-like weapons exist (though they have a kind of "direct-fire drone" called the mass driver).

On the map, there are (in the modern era) three major empires, a number of smaller factions, and one elder power which tends to stand aside from the rest. The Baduvai Imperium, Eneen Protectorates and Maghadim Hives are the three Magellanic Powers; the Uthiki Harmony were a Baduvai ally before the Andromedans signeld them out for virtual extinction, the Jumokian Resistance fought their Eneen usurpers-slash-conquerors from the thinly-settled Fringe worlds, the Yrol Septs (yet to be published) flew cyborg ships from the depths of their home nebula, while the ancient Chomak Community (also unpublished) withdrew from the northern part of the Cloud in the early modern era, keeping out of the various wars the younger empires embroiled themselves in. Two-to-three Jindarian Caravans called the LMC home; their influence was far-reaching (as the Jumokians developed asteroid shipyards based on Jindarian templates, and in turn passed on this knowledge to the Magellanic exiles when the Andromedans conquered their capitals).


Has anyone here given the LMC empires a try, and if not, do the locals sound like they might be fun to take for a spin?
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captaincf
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not yet. I am a little scared off by the extra rules, but I must say I bought it because I was curious as to how they would fight.
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Darkwing
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knowing that about the weapons and the shields makes it much more interesting. I have just added that to my wishlist and will probably end up getting that as part of my next purchase. Thanks for the info!
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gambler1650
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have it... and am more interested in playing with this than Omega (of which I have the first module), mainly due to the focus on direct fire weapons.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, even in Omega there aren't all that many seeking weapons to worry about.

Of the twenty-one published Omega empires thus far, only eight (the Maesrons, Trobrin, Probr, Sigvirions, Souldra, Ryn, Qixa and Branthodons) use seeking weapons as part of their standard doctrines; while four more (Vari, Alunda, FRA and Bolosco) have seeking weapons available to them, those are on an optional basis, and can be side-stepped readily enough.

And of that first eight, only a few, like the Probr, are "true" seeking weapon empires, in that they depend on seekers as their main heavy weapons; for the rest, such as the Maesrons, their direct-fire weaponry is as much, if not more, important to work with.


As an aside, it would be neat to see some of the other empires out in the M81 Galaxy someday; it seems to be a purely direct-fire galaxy only, to the point of not even using suicide shuttles! Time will tell on that one, I guess...
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerroth wrote:
As an aside, it would be neat to see some of the other empires out in the M81 Galaxy someday; it seems to be a purely direct-fire galaxy only, to the point of not even using suicide shuttles! Time will tell on that one, I guess...

From what I understand reading the background, we already have the relevant empires out of the M81 Galaxy. There haven't been any other space-faring empires in the M81 Galaxy for hundreds (if not a thousand) years.

And, as a bonus, they are even already in FC, too.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not entirely; the pirate ships in print are the export models, "stripped of key Nebuline technology", and used by the High Pirate Bands to keep the Will and its enforcer species busy.

At the very least, there could be the scope for true Nebuline pirate hulls (akin to how different a WYN-Orion ship is from an Orion Pirate one), as well as the "wingless" ships of the Nebuline navy used to defend their surviving nebula-based colonies.

Plus, I'd want to see the fleets of the other empires which fought the Tholians in the Great Martial War, as well as those flown by the various enforcer species which came and went before the Seltorians were given that role by the Tholian Will.


The Andromedans roamed at will throughout the LMC for decades after the conquest, but that doesn't mean the various empires that rose and fell in the years prior to their arrival aren't worthy of investigation. While the Will was a fact of life for a long time, even they had to start somewhere; the wars they fought during their emergence (and, perhaps, any battles the other pre-Will M81 empires may have fought against each other) could still be interesting to see.

Plus, if these various empires also provide more variety for M81 Pirate option mounts, all the better.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerroth wrote:
Not entirely; the pirate ships in print are the export models, "stripped of key Nebuline technology", and used by the High Pirate Bands to keep the Will and its enforcer species busy.

Well, the "Nebuline" don't really exist quite yet, so until they do, we are still simply left with the Seltorians and Tholians. (Well, and the very occasional pirates who, incidentally, are available in FC, too.)

Quote:
Plus, I'd want to see the fleets of the other empires which fought the Tholians in the Great Martial War, as well as those flown by the various enforcer species which came and went before the Seltorians were given that role by the Tholian Will.

The Andromedans roamed at will throughout the LMC for decades after the conquest, but that doesn't mean the various empires that rose and fell in the years prior to their arrival aren't worthy of investigation. While the Will was a fact of life for a long time, even they had to start somewhere; the wars they fought during their emergence (and, perhaps, any battles the other pre-Will M81 empires may have fought against each other) could still be interesting to see.

Except your are completely ignoring two massive issues:
1) The time period this took place was long, long ago. Probably even prior to the period of the "Old Kings". I would think that seeing the "Old Kings" would be a higher priority than whomever the Tholians thumped all that time ago.
2) We have no knowledge that the pre-Tholians had tactical warp. It is entirely possible that the Tholians developed tactical warp as an outgrowth of their struggle for domination (and which cemented their eventual victory). In such case, all of those other empires become "sublight" empires. I am NOT saying that is the case, but, until more is published on the M81 galaxy, it is a very reasonable possibility. (And a good out if no one wants to spend the effort to develop it.)

Regardless, there are plenty of other areas that can be explored before needing to go that far back in the past to cover such a thoroughly depressing setting.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Nebuline were said to have developed their raiders based on warship hulls that had fought in the Great Martial War; while in theory one could say that the original hulls were non-tactical warp, then refitted to warp power after losing the war, and then used as the templates for raiders, I had read it to mean the naval ships were already tactical warp-capable at the time of the GMW (and that the same ships were the ones they built in their remaining colonies to stay alive).

But then, my guess is as good as yours.


I should clarify that, while I'd love to see more about M81 someday, I'm not asking for anything today (or in the near future, for that matter). I agree that once PD Tholians is out, there'd be a better basis for discussion; I was just stating one of my long-term interests (which may be as forlorn as the hopes of many of the Tholians' enemies, but how and ever).
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been looking over the stuff in Module C5 recently (as part of something else I had been working on), and noted a few things about the five empires.


Baduvai Imperium:

These guys are perhaps the most Fed-like of the Magellanic Powers, at least in terms of their issues with power.

The main cap each Baduvai ship has is due to the number of charged particle accelerators it's armed with. Since CPAs use a rolling delay, and cost the same amount of warp power regardless of which arming level you want to arm (or roll) at, your ship will pretty much have a constant portion of its warp output portioned off on every turn.

You can actually see how funny this can make things if you compare the "middle years" destoryer and the subsequent war destroyer. The DD has a single CPA-3 mounted on its lone 15-box warp pylon, which eats up three points of earp energy a turn. That gives the ship a working battle speed of 25. The DW has two CPA-2s, one mounted on each of its 8-box warp pylons; while that is a slight overall increase in close-up firepower (in exchange for the longer range of the DD's CPA-3), the six points of warp energy a turn spent on running these weapons means the unrefitted DW has a battle speed of 21! (This is rectified by the AWR refit; which adds a pair of warp reactors that allows the ship to go back to a battle speed of 25.)

On the other hand, the Baduvai do have the mass driver to help cut down on power costs. Their standard-config ships can use their class-I and -II mass drivers to decent effect at short to medium range; while most of the bombardment variants can use their class-III drivers to plant bunches of missiles onto targets as far as 35 hexes away.


Eneen Protectorates:

The Eneen counter Baduvai firepower with their own flexibility; the split firing arcs of their neutron beams encourages oblique or "broad-side" attacks, while plasma-Es can help clear out any close-in trouble.

Instead of the constant three-a-turn premium a CPA requires, the NB instead asks for five points of power per gulp, and then imposes a cool-down turn. NBs can't be held either; making their use expensive for an Eneen captain. Which is just as well they have those split arcs; alternating fire from one side to another over successive turns can help keep the power budget somewhat balanced. That said, you still can centerline an opponent with all of a modern Eneen ship's NBs, if you have the power and opportunity to score a decisive alpha strike.

The Plasma-Es are cheaper to budget for, with the 2+3 arming cost and free holds. Even with the plasma variant ships, they still aren't useful as an offensive weapon unless you can fire a lot of them at close range; they're really more useful at deterring pursuit (at least against other LMC ships, given the 3:1 damage ratio of lasers versus plasma).

Those HPRs help keep the Eneen ships topped up power-wise, but it may be best to not run them on doubled mode if your shields are starting to get too thin for comfort.


Maghadim Hives:

Easily the most in-your-face of LMC fleets, the Maghadim have the short-range firepower to make an impact up close, and the protection (and damage control ratings) to help them stay there.

The fire/fire/cool arming cycle for the tachyon beam may lend itself to a hack-and-slash over the two good turns, and a careful distancing to catch one's breath in the fallow turn. Although, in the bigger ships with three tachyon beams, I suppose you could try to phase your fire so that you're always rotating through two good TACHs per turn...

The Maghadim also have mass drivers, but no bombardment variants. MDs do make their larger carriers worth watching out for, though.

Some of their ships have L Opt boxes on their collars; medium lasers are better if you don't expect to get close easily, while twin lasers are good if you do (or if you expect incoming MD fire).


Uthiki Harmony:

These squids are lethal at shirt-range, but don't want to knife-fight at range 0 like a Maghadim. Rather, they'd be more comfortable at range 2, where all of their weapons are out of their myopic zones, and where they can use the TAG to good effect with their laser armament.

Boson drills are really handy against LMC shielding, with the ignoring of the Volley Reduction Factor for the "drill" and the penetrating damage from the "bit". Not so hot against the Andromedans, though, since the drill (unlike a shield cracker or energy howitzer) can't be absorbed by the facing PA panel.

Positron lancets are solid heavy weapons in standard mode, and very handy if you can get the shield down and dig through the hull in lancet mode. Against Andros, all lancet mode damage goes straight to degradation, which might help offset the boson drill's loss of effectiveness.

The TAG makes the short-range twin laser fire from an Uthiki ship that much deadlier; since successive TAGs can paint the same target over turn breaks, this could allow for some brutal hack-and-slashing if you are willing to stay close (but not too close).


Jumokian Resistance:

The Jumokians don't have some of the advantages which pirates in the Orion Cartels, or the old galaxy High Pirate Bands, enjoy as a matter of course. the best Jumokian ship, the New Destroyer, has a resoundingly ordinary power curve for its class; it can't double its engines like an Orion DW, and has no bonus warp engine like the M81 OGD.

Compared to the fleets they face in the LMC, this can cause a few issues. Yes, they can use CPAs; but since they have no AWRs, they have to use their warp engines to pay for the aofrementioned CPA-tax. Yes, they can take NBs; but they have no HPRs to help pay for them, and don't have the split arcs which give the Eneen such flexibility. Tachyon beams might not be so bad, since they can be held at a cost; but Maghadim weapons are under certain percentage restrictions, since they cannot be treated as a "home" operating territory.

However, it's not all doom and gloom; with the default self-defence Pinnace pack in place, the NDD has a Marine complement of no less than 18 (10 from the base hull, 8 from the pack) boarding parties! Even the OGD only has 12. Plus, you could swap out the self-defence pack for a commando pack, and go up to 30 BPs (10+20).

This would make the Jumokian want to act like an old galaxy pirate in principle, but use a very different doctrine in prctice. The OGD would try to dock the target freighter under its wing and use its spare power to make off with its new prize; the NDD would want to swing a good first punch to take down the facing shield, beam over enough BPs to take the target ship (or to raid a colony planet for resources) and use its distortion field generator to help it escape off the board.


Has any of this squared with their own on-table (or on-line) experiences wih the LMC empires, or are there other tricks you've had luck with when flying a Magellanic force?
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are the policies on expansion and the governments of the LMC empires like?
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll try to talk about how things were prior to the Andromedan invasion; as you can imagine, that had a somewhat notable impact on things.

Baduvai - generally the most peaceful, and least expansionist, of the three Magellanic Powers, more keen to negotiate with warp-powered neighbours than try to conquer them. If anything, driven by the need to re-settle outside of their home star system, which has a significantly curtailed use-by date.

Eneen - the most overtly militaristic of the Powers. Many subject species "inherited" from the Jumokians; unlike their former partners, do not allow non-Eneen to serve in the EPAF. While they are somewhat sniffy in terms of their attitudes to other species, they are willing to ally with their Baduvai rivals against common foes (such as the Maghadim).

Maghadim - irrevocably shaped by their position within the Core radiation shell. Apparently unable (or unwilling) to control their population growth, the three main Hives have rent each other apart in numerous brutal civil wars. They are desperate to escape the Core and establish some "breathing room" in the great outside; hence their long-standing interest in Sleern and the Neutral Worlds.

Uthiki - Intially neutral, allied to the Baduvai in the years prior to the invasion. Very methodical in their long-term aspirations, their unique atmospeheric requirements allowed them to intersperse colonies with those of the Baduvai relatively easily.

Jumokians - during the League, they were keen traders, and integrated several less advanced species into their employ; though the Eneen Rebellion caught them by surprise. After the conquest, the first wave of rebels were determined to reclaim the home world. After their grand attempt failed (and Jumok itself heavily bombarded by the Eneen) a large number of cells gave up on rebellion and spread into the wider LMC; taking up piracy for its own sake.

Yrol - very isolationist, seemingly content to hold their home Nebula (a few raids into Uthiki and other space notwithstanding).

Chomak - mostly unknown, though at something of a remove from the three Powers. Presumed to prefer a balance of power in the LMC "mainland"; the better to keep attentions away from their own home cluster.

Jindarians - same as usual, moving from system to system, doing their thing.
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, thanks!
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MikeBurke
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that they were fun! I took an Eneen CA up against a Baduvai and got my butt kicked by a woman with a better ship! The Baduvai ship though point-wise is roughly the same as the Eneen but the sturdiness of the ship is better.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Baduvai and Eneen command ships don't line up exactly; the Baduvai CA (which pre-dates the Eneen CA) is cheaper but perhaps less effective, while the CS (which is much newer, and is really more of a CCH or BC) is larger and more powerful.

Have you tried matching the Eneen and Baduvai CWs or DWs also?
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