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Romulans vs Kzinti
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mattruh
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 07 Dec 2011
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:04 pm    Post subject: Romulans vs Kzinti Reply with quote

I got to play a Romulan vs Kzinti game this weekend. The game was based loosly on the tournament rules, 450 points, three to four ships. I played the Romulans and choose to use two King Eagles, a Snipe, and a Battlehawk Escort. My friend Brandon went for a Kzinti Heavy Battlecruiser, Command Cruiser, and Light Cruiser. Long story short, I got slaughter. I lost my snipe and one KE to taking out his CL. THe game laster about four turns before I disengaged. I know I made two major mistakes. First was not using cloak to try and close to within plasma range while denying him drone shots. Second, I turned into a drone wave to launch a plasma strike, which ended badly for me and scored minimal damage on him. Anyone have any advice for a rematch?
I am going to try to close under cloak and hopefully catch him mid-turn going less than speed 24. If that doesn't work, I'll try to get into effective bolt range. I will also either swap my Battlehawk Escort for a regular Battlehawk, or drop the Escort and the Snipe to add a Vulture.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember that whatever advice you receive, Brandon will be able to read it here too Smile
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Klingon of Gor
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Joined: 01 Jun 2011
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone struggles with the Kzinti, but Romulans are going to struggle more than most. They just don't have enough phasers to deal with the kind of drone blizzard that the Kzinti put out. Time does not allow me a long discussion on tactics, I have to head out in a few minutes, and as Kang rightly said, your opponent could read it anyway. But here's a couple of thoughts on ship selection.

First, go hunt through some back communiques and find the card for the KD5R. Two of those, and a K7R, would, I think be a legal squadron. You can't buy the counters yet, but you can download the cards. The K7R will be in reinforcements attack, but I don't think the KD5R will.

The point is, the KD5R has two D racks. That will give you four D racks and six S torps. And those ships all have way better phaser loadouts than any Eagle class ship. And excellent phaser arcs to boot. That'll give you a much more solid point defense.

The King Eagle is my favorite Romlulan ship for the R torp, the excellent sheilding, and all that reserve power. But. Four phaser 1s isn't a lot, and two of them in a squadron can leave you with not enough phasers. I've tried some squadrons with two KEs each, and have had a lot of problems on account of that. You might do better with two KEs and a KR, though I haven't tried that one.
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gar1138
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Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 344
Location: Eugene, OR

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klingon of Gor wrote:
First, go hunt through some back communiques and find the card for the KD5R. Two of those, and a K7R, would, I think be a legal squadron. You can't buy the counters yet, but you can download the cards. The K7R will be in reinforcements attack, but I don't think the KD5R will.

The counters for the K7R and KDR (aka, KD5R) were printed in the War and Peace countersheet, which I believe is available as a spare part from the ADB store.

Garrett
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mattruh
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Joined: 07 Dec 2011
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's good to know. I am planning on getting War and Peace sometime this year. It will probably be a while though. I am ordering one product and it's associated boosters a month, and I just ordered Rom Space last week.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klingon of Gor wrote:
First, go hunt through some back communiques and find the card for the KD5R......

It's in Comm #45
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klingon of Gor wrote:
The K7R will be in reinforcements attack, but I don't think the KD5R will.

The KDR will not be in Reinforcements Attack as it was third behind the K7R and Vulture, and the Romulans didn't get three ships.

Two other ships to keep in mind are the KRC (which has two Pl-D racks) and the SPM (which has four Pl-D racks and was specifically included to be used against drone heavy fleets).
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Klingon of Gor
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should have mentioned the SPM in my post. I posted in haste, and had to be off to work. I don't think the SPM has two S torps, so I still think the KD5R is better for going up against the Kzinti. The problem for Romulans taking on drone heavy fleets is that trading off heavy plasma for point defense may leave you without enough heavy offensive firepower to wreck the aforementioned drone heavy fleet. In the case of the Kzinti squadron mentioned in the original post, that heavy battlecruiser will take some serious pounding before it finally stops twitching.
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duxvolantis
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Joined: 16 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Problem one is your choice of ships. Frankly a Old Rom fleet will get slaughtered by Kzinti most of the time. The matchup is not historical and the early Romulan ships were just not designed to deal with drones at all.

Folks in the thread have good suggestions: pick ships with more phasers and with PL-D. The Kestrels have the most point defense with all those phaser-2s but the New Hawk ships also have nice phaser arrays. And, very importantly, the newer ships have MUCH better energy curves. Speed is a valid drone defense and plasma ships are designed to go fast.

Problem two: assuming you want to get close to a Kzinti. First, the Kzinti have fairly durable ships with lots of weapons that makes them difficult to degrade with any amount of damage short of catastrophic and they are very dangerous at knife-fighting range. Also they have a disproportionate amount of short-range phaser firepower due to their large number of phaser 3's.

Finally, the normal escape mode for Old Rom ships who use the cloaked approach is to re-cloak. Unfortunately cloaking like this is death against a drone fleet. Even if you get the better in the exchange you take 3 turns to reload and the remnants of the Kzinti fleet will just sit on top of you. Drones have a 360-degree launch arc, and look at the sequence of events:
1E2c - Defensive fire phase. Drones do damage now if not destroyed by defensive fire or tractored.
1E2d - Offensive fire phase.
1E2e - Other functions. Among other things, ships cloak/uncloak (begin fade-in or fade-out).
1E2f - Launch phase. Ships launch drones and plasmas, etc.

This means that if you announce de-cloaking, the Kzinti will be able to launch his drones immediately following that announcement in the 1E2f phase. But you won't be able to fire weapons, operate tractor beams or launch your own plasmas until after 1E2e of the *following* impulse. His drones will all hit for 75% damage and you won't be able to do anything about it. With a little clever maneuvering he may even be in a position to fire weapons down the shield the drones impacted. Even at the +4 range from cloak he may be able to pump overloaded disruptors and ph-1s into what's left of the ship. You will die.

Honestly I would choose Kestrels or New Hawks and adopt a tactic centered around bolting, phaser fire and selective use of launched plasma to soak up his excess power and keep him from being able to shoot overloaded disruptors. Keep your speed up to help deal with the drones. You want to deal with his big drone stacks on a turn other than the turn in which you fire at him. You also want to try and separate his drones into chunks and use maneuver to let ships that are not targeted kill and tractor drones at close range instead of having each ship just rely on it's own defensive fire. It is much easier to deal with the drones while running *away* from them--it gives you a margin for error, if they are speed 24 you can often outmaneuver them, and you can sometimes divide the drone wave over two turns of fire.

You can use directed fire with bolted plasmas are legal (one subtle advantage of plasma) so if you expect less than 40 internals, aim for weapons. He has a ton of them and if you get decent die rolls you can pull a lot of teeth and force him to make a choice between repairing weapons or reloading drone racks. This is normally contrary to Romulan doctrine which favors aiming at power but Kzinti are notoriously power efficient, have a lot of phaser power to rip up launched plasma and don't require overloaded disruptors to kill you so I favor knocking out as many weapons as possible.

Be sure to preserve your #4 shield and at least one of your other rear shields. You will be running a lot with this sort of battle and you don't want him to just chase you and nickel and dime you through weak rear shields. Keep a decent amount of plasma F's at all times to punish him or force him to turn off if he gets too bold during your reaarm turns. Plasma is easy to outrun in FC *unless* you are trying to close with the plasma ship.

Finally, don't spread your fire out. If you can badly damage one ship you will affect how he has to maneuver his entire squadron. It can be tempting to launch a plasma here and a plasma there but it's ineffective. Also focus on the #1 shield. The Kinziti have good arcs and can fight out of 5 shields with a good amount of firepower, but a ship with a down or weak #1 shield has a tough time chasing you--esp since your ships can easily bring offensive phasers to bear even while running.

Good luck next time you face the cats. Romulans were not designed to fight them and frankly even with great ships and great tactics they are still a huge challenge--but that makes it a nice accomplishment if you win.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Number 1 defense against drones is speed. Only shoot drones down if you really have to. There is another thread somewhere describing the tactic, but basically head at the drone at speed 24 and plan to end an impulse 1 hex away to the drones number 2 or 6 (not directly in front of it). Then next impulse accelerate, you get 2 moves before it moves and can therefore be behind it and to far away for it to HET, it then has to turn around and will be even further behind you.
If you end directly in front of the drone then you have to turn to avoid it, which may or may not be useful, it will take a couple of impulses and accels to get around if that happens.

The above tactic is easier if all drones are in one stack which can be bypassed in one go, so contrary to what Dux says, try and get the drones to stack on each other if they are not already, rather than split them up.

Once you are past them you have a clear run against the enemy,he may have to drop those drones now chasing you in order to free up control channels.

Do remember they are there though (probably more obvious face to face than online), forgetting that there are a stack of drones 8 or 9 hexes behind you can be a game loser (I know from epxerience) Sad

The counter tactic to that is to launch drones spread out, so that there are too many drones in too many hexes that you have to deal with some. The upside though is that you then only have to deal with some by shooting and not all of them.
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Klingon of Gor
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Joined: 01 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's true that bolted plasma can do directed damage, but seeking plasma can turn the Kzinti around and make them run, and that will keep them from making best use of their disruptors. Three S torps fired at that BCH might be a bit more than he can phaser down. If you can get on his six it's going to be hard for him to get you off. Those Romulan kestrels are turn mode B. Keep at least one S torp and two Fs in reserve, in case he HETs back into you. When it comes time to reload the S torps I might go for two turn Fs, but I think the first volley needs to be seekers. If it's a closed or location map, try to jam him up in a corner and feed him the remaining plasma.

One of life's little ironies is that the cloaking device works better on some races that don't share a border with the Romulans than it does on some of their traditional enemies. Get under cloak before he gets within drone range. That takes the double drone volley off the table. Don't come out of cloak until impulse 1 of turn 2. On turn 2, have your batteries fully charged and your S torps loaded all the way up. They now hold for 2, so you can go at your best possible speed.

You need to be aggressive, because you're under serious time pressure. You have 16 D torps, but he's got that many drones on just the CC. Your racks will go dry before his, and after that it's phasers, tractor beams, and prayer. Storeyelf's point about speed and maneuver is well taken.
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Last edited by Klingon of Gor on Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klingon of Gor wrote:
Don't come out of cloak until impulse 1 of turn 2. On turn 2, have your batteries fully charged and your S torps loaded all the way up. They now hold for 2, so you can go at your best possible speed.


I consider this bad. If you are facing seekers you want to be going speed 24. Cloak restricts you to base speed 16, if you uncloak on impulse 1 then you face the enemy and his seekers stuck at speed 16 for the whole turn. It doesn't matter how cheap your plasmas hold for, you won't make best posible speed.

Uncloak at the end of the turn. I can't remember getting an answer to whether 'fade in' counts as still being cloaked at the start of a turn, so uncloaking on impulse 7 is safest, that leaves you fully uncloaked at the start of next turn to go speed 24. Impulse 8 would be much much better if the fade in over the turn doesn't restruct your speed (I really hope they rule this way as cloaks are currently rather naff in this game IMHO, and every little boost helps).
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uncloak on impulse 8 will work. See the next Communique.
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Klingon of Gor
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking along the lines of voiding the cloak rather than fading back in, but if you can fade back in on turn 8 and still avoid a drone launch...

I will definitely read that Communique.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not expecting that you can avoid a drone launch, if you uncloak on impulse 8 then drones can be launched. But I consider that preferable to uncloaking on impulse 1 at speed 16 against someone probably doing speed 24 and able to launch 12 drones at you.

I'm not sure what you meant by voiding the cloak, that would still leave you under the restrictions but with no benefit. You would still be doing speed 16 if you did that on impulse 1.
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