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general tactis by race

 
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computerarif
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Joined: 19 May 2011
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 4:52 am    Post subject: general tactis by race Reply with quote

I am new to FC but not to gaming (Battletech,M:TG,D&D). I have played only one learners game and was wondering about some general tactics and traits about each race.
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was posted by CHEWY in this thread :http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=2971


Two of my friends and I played SFB about 25 to 30 years ago during our late teens and have managed to stay close over the years. Recently we started playing FC. It has quickly become our favorite tabletop strategy game, and has scratched our SFB itch that we had during our younger years. I've only read through the FC Reference Rulebook twice so I'm still absorbing and memorizing some of the crunchy bits.

I've already swallowed the lemonade and bought all the products for our six player STL gaming group (KB, RB, KA, RA, TA, DK, HA, OA, BA, Line of Fire, Boosters #0-27,91-92, and Briefing #1,2, Reference Rulebook). I really like that ADB puts alot of ships and scenarios online under their Commanders Circle player resources and greatly supports the SFB and FC community. I'm also grateful that so many on the forums have been avid SFB and now FC players for many years. You guys are a great resource and I find myself reading through tons of FC threads.

I've been trying familiarize myself once again to the different SF races and their play styles (25 years absent is a long time) and wanted to get some feedback from some veteran players to see if I'm on the right track. Here is just a brief synopsis of most of the races:

Feds - Average to weak turn modes, average power curve, Crunch FA arc race w/excellent phasers. Best ships for power, balance and effectiveness seem to be NCL, NCA, CS. They live or die by their photons. Ships tend to have 1 or 2 drones racks.

Klingons - Good to excellent turn mode, excellent power curve, great firing arcs, average phasers and all weapons are energy-on-demand every turn. Somewhat of a finesse race since they can Charge, Saber Dance, Shallow Saber Dance, and Waggle. Best ships for power, balance and/or weapon arcs seem to be F5W/D5/D7/C7. Ships tend to have 2 to 4 drone racks.

Kzinti - Good turn mode, good power curve and every turn firing w/phasers, disruptors and lots of drones. Somewhat of a finesse race since they emulate most of the Klingon tactics. Once they are ready to strike they follow the Drone Wedge as they Charge or close to 1 range and Anchor their opponent then Crunch w/drones. Ships tend to have 4 or more drone racks. I haven't experimented with the ships enough to know which seem to be the best for power, balance and effectiveness.

Romulan - Average to good turn mode, speed 16 cloaked, slow arming plasmas, decent phasers. Definitely a finesse race and one needs to master cloaking/uncloaking and plasma strategies (normal, quick loading Pl-Fs and Plasma-Bolts) to be effective. The best ships for power and balance seem to be the third generation Hawk ships, especially the smaller SeaHawk and Skyhawk.

Gorn - Poor to Average turn mode, good to excellent power, slow arming plasmas, lots of Ph-1s. Need to use EM to close then decide when to fire their phasers and plasmas (normal, quick loading Pl-Fs, Plasma-Bolts or Carronade). They tend to be more reactive and see how close their opponent will let them close before they decide to launch normal plasmas or bolt them. I haven't experimented with the ships enough to know which seem to be the best for power, balance and effectiveness.

Lyrans LDR - Probably the best no weakness ships; excellent power and turn modes, long range (Disr/Ph-1) and devastating short range (Ph-G/ESG) fire power, and sturdy. Their ships like to get up close and personal and if you let them get to range 0-1 your in a world of hurt. I haven't experimented with the ships enough to know which seem to be the best for power, balance and effectiveness.

Hydrans - Good power and turn mode ships that are sturdy for their size. They are deadly at range 0-3 with (Ph-G/Fusion/Stingers). They fire long range HB's and use EM to help them Charge to range 0-2 with their fighters trailing, then, they use Ph-G/Fusions and send their Stingers for strafing runs. Similar to the Lyran LDR in that if you let them get to range 0-2 its probably lights out. I haven't experimented with the ships enough to know which seem to be the best for power, balance and effectiveness.

Seltorian - Poor turn mode and weak to average FA weapon arcs. Lots of Ph-1s/Ph-3s, twice-firing PCs, and SCs. All weapons are energy-on-demand. They need to use their superior number of Marines and transporters and H&R and/or board their enemy if possible. They can poorly Saber Dance with their FA arc PCs or Charge and H&R. I haven't experimented with the ships enough to know which seem to be the best for power, balance and effectiveness.

Tholians & Neo-Tholians - They are dirty fighting race. Never expect a stand up fight against the Tholians. Ships have good power and weapon distribution with Ph-1s/Ph-3s and Disr/Phot. Lots of rear firing Ph-3s allow them to hit and run and snipe at you if you pursue. Web generators which are typically only effective with multiple ships in your fleet. Neo-Tholians add WC which add quick solidifying mobile terrain which is extremely effective in combat. The primary limitation against using Neo-Tholians is that they can only make up 1/3 of your fleet. Basically, use your webs to create obstacles for your enemy and cover for yourself, while you can still shoot through your webs. I haven't experimented with the ships enough to know which seem to be the best for power, balance and effectiveness.

Orion Pirates - Excellent power, speed, and turn modes w/lots of weapon variety and stealth. At equal range their stealth gives them an advantage but their achilles heel is their predominantly FA arcs for most of their weapons. All their ships from the smallest to the BR all seem to be very effective for their cost.

WYN and ISC - No idea. I definitely need some help here.


Thanks,
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This isn't a perfect list but most of the info is pretty much spot on and he did a really nice write up that I figure hasn't seen a lot of computer screens. If nothing else it should start some more discusion. Hope it is helpful.

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computerarif
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Joined: 19 May 2011
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thx for the input but what's saber dance, shallow saber dance and waggle?
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duxvolantis
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Joined: 16 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

computerarif wrote:
Thx for the input but what's saber dance, shallow saber dance and waggle?


Klingons have these strengths:
1) Excellent Turn Modes
2) Excellent Firing Arcs
3) Rapid rate of fire
4) Moderate to good drones
5) Excellent Marine compliments and transporter arrays

Klingons have these weaknesses:
1) Weak 'crunch' power compared to historical rivals (called an alpha strike--or firing all bearing weapons at a single ship in a single instant)
2) Relatively speaking fragile ships
3) Players who roleplay their ships ("full speed ahead" etc)

To win a Klingon ship needs to get one of the following conditions:
1) An alpha strike against an already weakened ship (fleet)
2) Two alpha strikes in succession
3) Damage from drones

Because of this the Klingon is a finesse race. Thus the tactics mentioned:

Sabre Dance - This refers to getting multiple firing opportunities against the enemy ship/fleet at the preferable range of 15. This is a range where disrupters (esp massed disrupters) can do meaningful damage while keeping safely outside the overload range of their heavy crunch-power enemies (Feds and Hydrans). The goal is to weaken the front shields of the enemy ship (or in fleet actions, to do meaningful internal damage to a selected ship) on every pass until the time is right to take the fight in closer. The approach for this maneuver is oblique (so that the enemy will be off the hexspine of the #2 or #6 shield) with turn mode fully satisfied so that a single turn can turn either in (to chase an opponent who turns away) or away (to avoid overload range of an opponent who keeps moving in).

Shallow Sabre Dance - This is the same as the Sabre Dance but it occurs at ranges 6-8. This is inside the range of overloaded disruptors but outside the ideal range of phaser 1s and photons. This is a higher risk maneuver but the payoff is that you may force the enemy into choosing between a lower-percentage shot with expensive multi-turn arming weapons or losing those weapons before they fire.

Waggle - Some disruptor ships have extreme firing arcs. The D5 has 270-degree firing arcs on it's disruptors meaning that it can 'waggle' and fire heavy weapons at a pursuing ship while running away. If you have map to work with and an enemy that must charge, repeated strikes to their #1 shield can force them to either turn off or at the very least make them sideslip toward you giving you more flexibility in maneuver.

And one last one:
Knife Fight - Once the ships have exchanged alpha strikes it is often advantageous to stay close to the enemy and "knife fight" at very close range. You will be hitting the enemy with disruptors and phasers inside the range where you can really do damage every turn while they will have to rearm. This is particularly true if both ships have taken significant internals because while the Klingons have weaker phasers, they have more of them and can take damage against the runty phaser 2's, preserving their phaser-1s for the knife fight they can fire a repaired disruptor immediately while any heavy weapon destroyed on the other ship must be rearmed before firing.

Klingon rules of thumb:
1) Always turn in to chase an enemy that has fired multi-turn heavy weapons. Once you have eaten their alpha strike you want to keep hitting them with disruptors until they blow up.
2) Build up drone waves over the turn break. You can launch drones on Impulse 8 and again the next turn on Impules 1. Ideally this is timed with your battle pass so that the enemy must use up phasers on all the drones from two turns of launching instead of firing them at your ship.
3) If you are within 5 with mutual down shields, always use hit-and-run raids. The D7C has 7 transporters which you can use to selectively knock out many systems with marine raids for a very low power cost.
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computerarif
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thx for all the input. Now to find a race I like...
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome write up duz.
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rexbinary
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dux
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
WYN and ISC - No idea. I definitely need some help here.


WYN: The WYNs are a group of Klingon, Kzinti, Lyran, Orion Pirate, and other renegades who live in the WYN cluster, a small group of stars surrounded by the WYN radiation shell. Ships passing through the radiation shell are damaged and disrupted by the radiation, making the Cluster a natural defensive bastion.

They have, basically, two kinds of ships. Cluster defense ships are ships that they have bought, stolen or captured from their neighbours, plus some up-gunned auxiliary cruisers and Orion pirate ships built for them by the Cluster Cartel. These ships are small and usually only fight invading ships that are disrupted by radiation (see the WYN cluster terrain rules). With these, get in fast and hit hard before the radiation wears off.

They also have the very good "Fish" series ships. (Their codenames are all after fish - Mako, Barracuda, Orca, etc.) These ships were built by the Cluster for an attempt to usurp the throne of the Kzinti Patriarch. They are good ships, easily the equals of other ships of the same class. They have a special design in that you can pick either drones or phaser-1s for some options on the ships. With phasers, they fly more like Klingons, with drones, more like Kzintis.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ISC: Peace through superior firepower. ISC ships are fairly tough plasma boats (not as tough as Gorns, tougher than Romulans). Two things distinguish the ISC: The Plasmatic Pulsar Device (PPD), and rear-firing "defensive" type-F torpedoes.

The PPD is a long-ranged, hard-hitting weapon that damages three shield facings when it hits. Fortunately you'll only see a small number of these ships, as the PPD is only mounted on cruisers and larger. It has a minimum range of four hexes, so get close enough and it can't shoot you. To prevent this, the ISC use a "gunline" of destroyers and frigates which launch plasma at any ship which gets too close.

The defensive Type-F torpedoes are primarily designed for dealing with drones, shuttles and fighters. Any number of defensive torps can be launched at these targets in a turn. Up to one torp can be launched "offensively" at a ship per turn. These systems make it really hard to knock all the torpedoes off an ISC ship, but the torpedoes take a long time to reload and cost a lot of energy. You're better off holding the Type-Fs for when they'll do the most good as an ISC player.

Tactically, when flying ISC, hammer one ship at a time with the PPD and phasers (and maybe plasma bolts) until it's wrecked and forced to withdraw, then pick another and so on. If he tries to charge you, turn to bring the maximum plasma to bear and launch enough to intimidate him into running.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andromedan: With their weird and wonderful weaponry [actually I abhor alliteration] and equipment, the Andros take some getting used to both to fly and to fight. Not quite as mean as they are in SFB, they are still a force to be reckoned with.

First off, the Andros have no seeking weapons. Not just none to speak of, like the Tholians (who only have seeking shuttles) but literally none. At all.

The T/R beam is their primary heavy weapon, and although it looks at first sight about as fearsome as a Phaser-4, it can only fire every other turn. However it's still a respectable weapon and a player fighting the Andros could do well to avoid being centrelined by his opponent when the T/R's are ready to fire. Evasive maneuvers can mitigate them to some extent, as can sufficient drones which could force the Andro ship to use one or more as a defensive tractor.

Beating the Power Absorber panels is difficult for a single ship in a single turn, but it can be done. High crunch-power weaponry is the order of the day and if you can bring a ship with disruptors, so much the better. It can sometimes be better to hit an Andro ship with multiple 10-point volleys so as to whittle him down with burnthrough, to which Andro ships are quite vulnerable [tactical article submitted - see this thread http://tinyurl.com/4ypyjlf for details]. In fleet actions, concentration of firepower is the order of the day.

The Andros can clear their panels rapidly by performing a Tactical Power Dump. Learn how to perform a Tactical Power Dump here: http://tinyurl.com/3hbf7hg - about halfway down, posting by terryoc. Learn when to perform a Tactical Power Dump by getting blown up for performing a poorly-timed Tactical Power Dump.

Finish off crippled Andro ships, do not leave them until later. Their regeneration abilities are legendary.

Despite all that power-absorbing ability, Andromedan ships are not particularly well-powered in themselves. Unless someone keeps charging up their batteries for them by repeated ineffectual weapons fire, an Andromedan ship does not have sufficient power to run at top speed, arm all weapons and power its panels all at the same time. So that's another reason to not fire unless you are going to do some damage.

Andro phasers: Average. plenty of them, and with reasonable arcs, but generally short-ranged. Usually stronger when their target is centrelined.

Displacement device: A neat bit of kit with interesting tactical possibilities, both offensively and defensively. Just remember that a displaced ship will be disrupted immediately after it has been displaced, whether friendly or enemy. You can use this to your advantage....

Hit and run raids: An important weapon for the Andros, since they do not have to drop a shield. If you're fighting an Andro, think yourself fortunate that they don't have transporter bombs in Fed Commander.....

Satellite ships: Be ready for these to pop out with little warning. If you can get near them to hit them while they are still disrupted after launch, so much the better. It depends on where the Andro player throws them to, of course.

Energy Modules: Destroy them as soon as they appear, otherwise the Andros can recover them easily. See this thread: http://tinyurl.com/3vpzwmj for explanations.

One more thing. If you can inflict a heavy blow on an Andro ship with nearly full panels, you may well kill it. A panel cascade will finish it off in short order.

Anyway that's my two penn'orth. Others will doubtless have things to add.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 2 penneth on Andro's.

NB Capt Jack - this message will burn your eyes if you read it.

OFFENSE:

Over all fire power: Very weak. Probably the weakest race in terms of raw firepower in FC. Point for Point you will be out crunched and out averaged by any other force that isn't labelled Convoy, and even then the escort probably has more firepower than you.

Primary heavy weapon: The Displacement device. It does no damage but can change the battle in the blink of an eye. The predicability of self displacement (both success rate and choice of destination) makes it very useful for obtaining a positional advantage. The disruption effect makes displacing enemy vessels good in order to negate some of the enemy firepower advantage at the key moment in an attack run (don't get concerned about where they end up, it's too random so accept any splitting up of the enemy as just gravy).

Secondary heavy weapon: TRH. There are 2 TR beams, the TRLs (Light) asnd TRH (Heavy). The lights are called light for a reason, if the enemy calls them heavy weapons he is just taking the mickey. The heavy beams are nice and hard hitting, but they are very scarce - it takes just short of a 1000pt force to obtain the maximum number of 8 TRHs that you can legally have in a (non-base) battle. They are also a 2 turn armer. Broadly speaking for every TRH you have the enemy will have 3 heavy weapons.

Phasers: Weak. Entirely Ph2s, no 1s nor 3s. Point for point you will normally have somewhat less phasers than the enemy and they will very often have better Ph1s (at least some if not all) to boot. Andro phasers are very Centerline based - which has it ups and downs.

Note: You have no overloads to worry about. Any shot within range 10 can be aimed without sacrificing damage.

DEFENSE

'Shields': Excellent with vital caveats. It takes noticebly more firepower to down your 'shield' in one volley than any other equivalent ship. Plus your 'shields' can clear damage at a significant rate. On the other hand you have noticeably less all round 'shielding' and opponents have to worry less about which angle they shoot from. Time and distance are usually a key factor in Andro survival, to allow for the self-repair factor to make it self felt.

Internal robustness: Poor. The lack of yellow system boxes makes any internal damage hurt, this is extremely noticeable on satellite ships - burnthroughs hurt smaller ships in particular (there is only a 1 in 6 chance of not losing power/weapon on a pristine satellite with a burnthrough). Andro ships have a tendency to pop long before others would due to energy containment issues as the panels go down.

Seeker defense: Haha!. You have no 'special' systems like ADD/ESG/IPG nor ph3s, you even lack proper tractors. Speed 24 and using up your already inferior firepower are your defense against seekers. DisDevs can also be useful in a tight spot, or as part of a plan to pull out seekers then leave them far away.


POWER

power generation: poor. Andros generate a lot less power than other ships, and have higher running costs - PA panels and multi turn weapons will eat into your generated power. Only 1 andro ship (cobra) can do speed 24 whilst powering weapons and panels on purely generated power, but even it has no phaser power left.

Batteries. Awesome. The smallest ship can hold 20 points of battery power. They can be filled readily from the panels as part of the repair mechanism. As long as someone is shooting at you anyway! Always encourage the enemy to fire 'spare' phasers at secondary targets on impulse 8 Smile


OTHER

Manouveribility: Good. You will seldom be losing out on order of movement.

The satellite hangar offers a chance to keep smaller ships 'safe' whilst approaching an enemy. Generally (but not alwways) look to launch them on impulse 8 or as close to turn end as possible, as they are sitting ducks at speed 8, plus they can't fire at point of launch. Plan for transporter launching rather than DisDevs - DisDevs are to few and useful to use on launching if you can help it.

Andros are largely immune to H&R and can launch H&R whilst remaining immune - very useful.

Unlike other races, an andro fleet will have a significant constraints on its compostion. You can only have a maximum of 2 'big' ships, i.e. the ones with the TRHs and better staying power. Everything else is an ~80 point 'frigate' or a ~130 'light cruiser'. As games reach sizes where fleets can snuff out shields at long range, the andro is unable to take the larger ships that others will be looking to take.

PPDs and Hellbores are your nighmare weapon to face, they both have excellent reach and will strike both panels every time, that makes power dumps very dodgy (even at long range under EM) unless you can coax the enemy into firing all of them first.

Andros play like no other race, and are bags of fun IMO. They play like an MMO 'Tank' with their usually good defensive characteristics and poor firepower, but if that fat lady is going to sing for you it's usually a short song.
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Klingon of Gor
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Joined: 01 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I may, I'll add a few comments to the excellent advice already given about Andros, as I've been playing them a lot lately.

Although power panels can be tough to beat, there are races that can fill a bank up with one good volley in a squadron game. Beware Hydran hellbore squadrons, they are especially tough for Andros to survive against. ISC can be tough for Andros too. (Actually, ISC is tough for anybody.) Best way to deal with them is use a disdev to close the distance to inside their myopic zone, tractor one of the PPD armed ships, and maul it. Note: satellite ships, if left in the bay, can absorb power from a tactical power dump, and this may be more useful than their TRLs.
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