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The Plasma Problem
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Monty
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Joined: 23 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would imagine adjusting range charts would be too radical of a change and a non starter; but there may be more subtle ways to achieve a similar effect by applying a very minor tweak to an existing rule. Separately aggregating the mechanics of two SFB systems into one unique FC system may present a more palatable option.
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Monty
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Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 231

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:

Can't let this pass without comment.

In SFB you can fire on incoming plasma. It is no different (conceptually) than in Federation Commander. What you cannot do when in a tractor is launch a wild weasel. That is the killer aspect of the Gorn anchor in SFB.

The main point of a Gorn Anchor is different between SFB and Federation Commander. In SFB, it is to prevent the wild weasel. In Federation Commander, it is to slow the ship down. But in either system, an anchored ship may always firing on the incoming plasma.


There is a range difference. Extended range tractor is 3 hexes in SFB versus the 1 hex in FC.
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DNordeen
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In SFB you can fire on incoming plasma.


Really? Damn! I've been misreading G7.91 for over 15 years!!
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DNordeen
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I would imagine adjusting range charts would be too radical


Yeah, I agree it's probably too radical. I also don't think plasma is broke though. Just requires different tactics.

I do agree the tourney is unbalanced. Maybe a bigger map would be more balanced and solve the plasma "problem" all by itself.
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Monty
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DNordeen wrote:
Quote:
I would imagine adjusting range charts would be too radical


Yeah, I agree it's probably too radical. I also don't think plasma is broke though. Just requires different tactics.

I do agree the tourney is unbalanced. Maybe a bigger map would be more balanced and solve the plasma "problem" all by itself.



Judging by your avatar, do you happen to primarily play Kzinti?
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DNordeen wrote:
Quote:
In SFB you can fire on incoming plasma.


Really? Damn! I've been misreading G7.91 for over 15 years!!

The rule only applies to "ships". Anything else, including seeking weapons, is exempt. So, yes, you can always fire on seeking weapons (incoming or not).
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Monty
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mainly advocate EPT's because they are simple to understand and seem easy to implement which fits wonderfully with the Fed Commander design doctrine. They present another tactical option for plasma users without tilting the balance of terror. It's pure Trek canon and leveraging the source material in as many SFU products would seem to be a good thing in my opinion. It even gets mention in Star Fleet Battleforce which is a neat little game.

Maneuver is very lively in FC and that's a darn good thing. But, for seeking weapon users it also means the opponent has more control over the impacted shield and EPT's are shield agnostic. For the plasma dribbler I believe it's a good option to have.

EPT's and bigger maps might be just right. I think it's worth testing.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not in favor of adding rules purely for 'options'. What about drone types for options, or proximities for options, EW, narrow salvoes, UIM etc etc. It just means adding SFB stuff to make it more SFB.

There is no great issue that I've found with plasma outside of the small tourney map. On a larger map, or different terrain types and scenarios it can be plenty effective, if a more subtle game than the photons at 10 yards style you see in the tourney. Yes it may require different tactics than in SFB, though, to be honest, I'm not so sure about that either. As I remember from my days of SFB many years ago plasma was a long drawn out game, the old plasma ballet style of game.


The other reason I'd rather not see plasma boosted, is that it is not just Gorns. Romulans, Orions and ISC (plus a few feds) use it. Romulans were weakish, but that is down to the cloak IMO, and with the proposals currently under consideration I think they will be quite good. ISC are already rather good. Same with Orions and Feds. Gorns are only weak IMO because the cruiser is so badly pointed, as I explained earlier, and that seems to have nothing particularly to do with plasma. In fact at least one of our group thinks Gorns lost a lot when the shuttles got translated - they have plenty of marines, but suddenly no way of getting them to an enemy ship. I can't comment much on that as I don't really remember those boarding rules very much, but certainly you only have to look at the Gorn ships to see that shuttles are something they are big on, if nothing else that is a lot of phaser 3s they lost.
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Monty
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Joined: 23 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
I'm not in favor of adding rules purely for 'options'. What about drone types for options, or proximities for options, EW, narrow salvoes, UIM etc etc.


Interesting jumble of core components and commanders options there. IF something makes sense, is fun to play then I would support it in a future product regardless of its origin.

Drone types? interesting, Kzinti's, Klingons, Orions and Feds got their upgrades in the conversion.

Why not Proxy Photons? I could see some interesting scenarios written around that game mechanic. I seriously doubt the FC version would be a game breaker or cramp anyone's brain.

Narrow salvoes, someone has a writeup on it in a $5 CL supplement somewhere and if it makes gameplay better then yes, by all means.

storeylf wrote:

It just means adding SFB stuff to make it more SFB.

It could be argued that every new 'Attack' and 'Booster' product derived from SFB is adding SFB stuff to make it more SFB.

storeylf wrote:

There is no great issue that I've found with plasma outside of the small tourney map. On a larger map, or different terrain types and scenarios it can be plenty effective, if a more subtle game than the photons at 10 yards style you see in the tourney. Yes it may require different tactics than in SFB, though, to be honest, I'm not so sure about that either. As I remember from my days of SFB many years ago plasma was a long drawn out game, the old plasma ballet style of game.


People get torqued in FC when a game gets beyond 10 turns. I don't mind it but I guess that's the nature of a casual game when someone uses more "tactics".

storeylf wrote:

The other reason I'd rather not see plasma boosted, is that it is not just Gorns. Romulans, Orions and ISC (plus a few feds) use it. Romulans were weakish, but that is down to the cloak IMO, and with the proposals currently under consideration I think they will be quite good. ISC are already rather good.


And therein lies the beauty of the EPT. Remember, G/S/R's are the only plasmas that can be enveloped. That rules out Feds and most tricked out Orions. ISC has mostly rear firing F's, some S/G's, their PPD that takes precedence on the power curve.

Romulan's *potentially* have a more effective cloaking device on the way that they will actually want to use and will require a good deal of power. Not much left over to fire a big enveloping plasma.

That leaves the Gorns.

storeylf wrote:

Same with Orions and Feds. Gorns are only weak IMO because the cruiser is so badly pointed, as I explained earlier, and that seems to have nothing particularly to do with plasma. In fact at least one of our group thinks Gorns lost a lot when the shuttles got translated - they have plenty of marines, but suddenly no way of getting them to an enemy ship. I can't comment much on that as I don't really remember those boarding rules very much, but certainly you only have to look at the Gorn ships to see that shuttles are something they are big on, if nothing else that is a lot of phaser 3s they lost.


Yeah, Gorn's had a balcony and track system for launching multiple shuttles simultaneously. Helpful at times, couldn't be used for specialty shuttles but not that big of a deal. Maybe they should get an extra breakdown bonus since they moved the engines up to the center hull on the new 2500 minis, lol.


Last edited by Monty on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:59 am; edited 3 times in total
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m1a1dat
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Joined: 17 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going by memory, some of the dofferences between standard ships and Tourney ships in SFB is that all ships have 5 batteries (so they can all HET on reserve power) and they evened out the shuttles. The Gorn and Romulan lost their psuedo plasma F torpedos (they still have the psuedo S torps).

In porting plasma over from SFB, plasma did get a shorter range! In SFB the R/S/G torps have their full damage for 10 hexes, not the measly 8 they get in FC (it may even out near the end of the plasmas run though, i can't check right now),

I think the biggest hurdle for plasmas is that the ships in FC just run alot faster than in SFB. having only 4 speeds to choose fro (0, 8, 16, 24) means you have to go to slow to avoid plasma or more than fast enough to out run it. And the ships have enough left over power at speed 24 to do a fair amount of things; a ship in SFB that runs speed 24 for a whole turn (an unlikely thing) will have much less power left over to do things (for a variety of reasons).

Still, i do not know what can be done to balance things. I have tried plasma sabot and that seemed a bit to much. i have not tried EPT. Extending the plasma range might work.
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DNordeen
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I mostly run Kzintis. I also run Roms and Gorns on occasion. I find the Gorn challenging because they're such pigs to fly.


If the map is floating, a have successes with plasma. I tend to hold my F's as a reserve since they're free to hold and are fully charged for free at the start. I try to stagger fire the heavy mounts and use 2-turn Fs if my opponent gives me a good shot.

I hate the miopic bolts, but use them if I can't catch up. Directed fire to energy of course Twisted Evil Sadly, I usually miss, but a missed bolt is no different then a torp that gets run out.

I'm not for an EPT or extra drones. Keep it simple is my motto. Sounds like opening up the tourney map would be the simple solution. Besides shoving power into an EPT is just going to slow down the Gorn and get run out just like a normal torp...don't see how that solves the problem.
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DNordeen
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monty wrote:


Interesting jumble of core components and commanders options there. IF something makes sense, is fun to play then I would support it in a future product regardless of its origin.

Drone types? interesting, Kzinti's, Klingons, Orions and Feds got their upgrades in the conversion.

Why not Proxy Photons? I could see some interesting scenarios written around that game mechanic. I seriously doubt the FC version would be a game breaker or cramp anyone's brain.

Narrow salvoes, someone has a writeup on it in a $5 CL supplement somewhere and if it makes gameplay better then yes, by all means.



The problem is that turning FC into SFB will kill FC. SFB is for the most part a dead game, I don't want FC to follow that route. I say that as a fan of it and not in any way maligning ADB. It is what it is, and that game takes so amazingly long to play 1 turn that most everyone I played SFB with quit years ago including me.

I think you may be confusing drone launcher types with types of drones. If so, the two are completely different. As a Kzinti player I fully support the one drone type. If I wanted to have a million drone types I'd play SFB.

If you want all that then go with the BoM, but leave it out of FC.
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Monty
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DNordeen wrote:

The problem is that turning FC into SFB will kill FC. SFB is for the most part a dead game, I don't want FC to follow that route. I say that as a fan of it and not in any way maligning ADB. It is what it is, and that game takes so amazingly long to play 1 turn that most everyone I played SFB with quit years ago including me.


Trying to discover a simple elegant fix to what many perceive is a conversion problem, whether it be points or rule differences is in no way shape or form advocating an SFB revolution.

DNordeen wrote:

I think you may be confusing drone launcher types with types of drones. If so, the two are completely different. As a Kzinti player I fully support the one drone type. If I wanted to have a million drone types I'd play SFB.


You completely misunderstood what I was saying. It has nothing to do with the launchers. Speed 24 drones are an upgrade from what they would've been in SFB. Speed 24 aren't an available drone speed in SFB. I am not talking about adding a dozen new drone types, far from it. I was making the point that those empires came over with faster than medium speed drones. They got their upgrades plus a never ending supply. I was using a backhanded comparison of the conversion strategies between plasma and drone.

DNordeen wrote:


If you want all that then go with the BoM, but leave it out of FC.


Never said I wanted all that but I will keep an open mind to new ideas. If BoM ever comes out it'll be the standard. The game will not become fragmented and players will eventually gravitate to that ruleset, just like Doomsday.

I share yours and others sentiments with keeping the game simple. I am 1000% onboard with that. I do not want to play SFB but I'm not afraid to reflect on it for answers.

I do not enjoy playing Gorns like the Feds. I'm not a particular fan of bolting so much. It doesn't feel like I have seeking weapons half the time. I may have to start playing Kzinti instead.

DNordeen wrote:
Yep, I mostly run Kzintis. I also run Roms and Gorns on occasion. I find the Gorn challenging because they're such pigs to fly.

Just use more tactics, lol.

DNordeen wrote:

If the map is floating, a have successes with plasma. I tend to hold my F's as a reserve since they're free to hold and are fully charged for free at the start. I try to stagger fire the heavy mounts and use 2-turn Fs if my opponent gives me a good shot.


I have had success with those tactics as well on similar maps.

DNordeen wrote:


I hate the miopic bolts, but use them if I can't catch up. Directed fire to energy of course Twisted Evil Sadly, I usually miss, but a missed bolt is no different then a torp that gets run out.

Same here. Plasma is more luck dependent in this game now. I feel like I'm flying a Fed with crappy phaser arcs.

DNordeen wrote:

I'm not for an EPT or extra drones. Keep it simple is my motto. Sounds like opening up the tourney map would be the simple solution. Besides shoving power into an EPT is just going to slow down the Gorn and get run out just like a normal torp...don't see how that solves the problem.


I suspect the same but I won't pass judgement until I can actually try it.
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Monty
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For bolts the To Hit chart aligns with SFB but the damage does not. It's only off by a point or two and flips back and forth.

For seeking plasma

range 9-10:
In FC R does 8 less than SFB from 50 down to 42
In FC S does 4 less than SFB from 30 down to 26
In FC G does 2 less than SFB from 20 down to 18
In FC F does 5 less than SFB from 15 down to 10

range 11-12:
In FC R does 7 more than SFB from 35 up to 42
In FC S does 4 more than SFB from 22 up to 26
In FC G does 3 more than SFB from 15 up to 18
In FC F does same which is 10

range 13-14:
In FC R does 1 more than SFB from 35 up to 36
In FC S does same which is 22
In FC G does 1 less than SFB which 15 down to 14
In FC F does 1 less than SFB which is 5 down to 4

range 15:
In FC R does 1 more than SFB from 35 up to 36
In FC S does same which is 22
In FC G does 1 less than SFB which 15 down to 14
In FC F does 3 more than SFB which is 4 down to 1

range 16:
In FC R does 11 more than SFB from 25 up to 36
In FC S does 7 more than SFB from 15 up to 22
In FC G does 4 more than SFB from 10 up to 14
In FC F does 4 more than SFB from 0 up to 1

follows a similar pattern through the rest of the range.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Interesting jumble of core components and commanders options there.


I can't remember whats's what, too long since playing SFB.

Quote:
Drone types? interesting, Kzinti's, Klingons, Orions and Feds got their upgrades in the conversion.


Did they, they got faster than speed 20, but they didn't get speed 32, not exactly 'their' upgrade, but an upgrade. Neither did they get all the other types, and rack types.

Certainly many empires gained in some ways in the conversion process, but they often lost in others as well. So drone users got a partial speed upgrade, but lost a lot with the other drone types and racks, not to mention they are hit by having no drone transfer. Neither do they have scatter packs. Kzinti lost a lot more than they gained from what I remember, whilst those rules affect all drone users, as the empire that was the drone user they feel it a lot more IMO. That's not to say that they need any boost, they are still good, just that some tactics no longer apply, as with plasma.

Quote:
Why not Proxy Photons? I could see some interesting scenarios written around that game mechanic. I seriously doubt the FC version would be a game breaker or cramp anyone's brain.


Feds already gained by having more spare power, probably the biggest gainers overall from that change in mechanics, and being less reliant on warp also gives them far more capability. Sure they lost Proximity, but they gained a lot as is.

Quote:
People get torqued in FC when a game gets beyond 10 turns.


They do??

Quote:
ISC has mostly rear firing F's, some S/G's, their PPD that takes precedence on the power curve.

Romulan's *potentially* have a more effective cloaking device on the way that they will actually want to use and will require a good deal of power. Not much left over to fire a big enveloping plasma.


ISC have ships that have just S's and no PPDs to worry about, and having played ISC quite a lot I'd say they are very much key ships. Relying on a FF/DDs to protect your PPD ships often doesn't end well. Like Feds and Lyrans the ISC also benefit from cheap holding cost, they can often start the game proper (turn 2) with more than enough power for an enveloper. Then of course, against some empires they don't have a need to be going speed 24, plasma to the front and rear is already a good way of stopping anything closing on you, so in such cases they will have plenty of spare power again.

There is of course an interesting synergy between EPTs and PPDs as well. If an EPT is more likely to keep people from charging through it (which is the main argument, tactically, I've seen as to why it should be added) then it does a better job of keeping people away whilst they are getting clobbered by PPDs. If they get hit by it then like the PPD it affects multiple shields, doubling up on the multi shield pain. I suspect ISC are by far the biggest beneficiaries of EPT, far more than Gorns will ever gain.

Romulans are not going to be struggling with power for EPTs if they are using cloak. If cloak is losing its 'feature' of making you vulnerable to seekers then going speed 8 is very viable, leaving plenty of power. If you don't cloak then Roms are usually pretty good on power.


Quote:
That leaves the Gorns.


...As the only plasma user who appears a bit weak. The problem is not that plasma is weak, it is that Gorns have the key heavy cruier hulls overpointed compared to other heavy cruiers, to which they are a decent match on a decent map.


Quote:
I do not enjoy playing Gorns like the Feds. I'm not a particular fan of bolting so much. It doesn't feel like I have seeking weapons half the time.


Quote:
Quote:

I hate the miopic bolts, but use them if I can't catch up. Directed fire to energy of course Twisted Evil Sadly, I usually miss, but a missed bolt is no different then a torp that gets run out.


Same here. Plasma is more luck dependent in this game now. I feel like I'm flying a Fed with crappy phaser arcs.


I hardly ever use bolts, though I like carronades. Bolts, however, do give you options.

A plasma in the tube is worth more than a bolt, unless you are about to get vaporised and need to 'me to' the bolt. Gorns certainly have crappy phaser arcs, but I've never felt they fly anything like the Feds, apart from their inability to turn of course.
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