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What ships do you want?
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pinbot
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 07 Mar 2007
Posts: 59
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:57 am    Post subject: Vudar BB Reply with quote

I suppose it makes no sense in lore burdened SFB, but for carefree FC land, a Vudar Battleship seems conspicuously missing. (now that I've finally tried them, I find the Vudar are quite fun)
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee,

The Infestor is based on the Intruder. It replaces the side T/R beams with special sensors. It removes the forward T/R beam to slide the center systems up enough to double the hangar space and double the transporters. That is the entirety of the system changes. The Point Value is 208. It can carry the same satellite ship load as a Dominator.

The Missionary is based on the Conquistador. It replaces the T/R beams with special sensors. It removes three cargo boxes, and shifts things around to get a hangar the same size as an Intruder and three transporters. That is all of the system changes. The Point Value is 134. It can carry the same satellite ship load as an Intruder.

That is pretty much exactly what they would look like when published (including the Point Value). I went ahead an posted the specifics because I really am very curious to see whether you think they would still be useful given that you now know exactly what they will look like. (Plus few people in Federation Commander are into "rolling their own", so it isn't like this will hurt sales or anything.) I am also curious as to whether you would prefer one over the other.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, send me that data sometime and I'll do it in Comm.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They sound interesting. If I ignore the pointing for the moment then yes I'd certainly find them useful, and would very much like to try them out in our campaign (assuming someone doesn't win before I get the chance Smile )

My problem with Andros is that whilst they are good in 1 vs 1, they rely on certain abilities that become almost useless as you scale up the size of the battle. The ability to regenerate shields, or pull in power are of no use when the enemy is concentrating fleet level firepower at one target at a time - the target dies and never gets to regen, and the other ships get no power to pull in. Without much chance to use their panel regeneration it takes less to kill an Andro than a similar pointed galactic ship, coupled with their low firepower for the points spent they struggle hard in larger multi-ship fights as they are hit with the double edged sword of lower firepower than the enemy and less robust ships.

I recognise that the mechanics of Andro make it hard to balance them, at small fights they are possibly overpowered, at higher points they are badly underpowered. Galactic ships all use the same basic mechanics and so scale more or less the same.

What I was looking at trying was concentrating on satellite ships. They are the Andros most efficient providers of firepower, plus campaign wise it would mean that the motherships, that you really can't afford to lose, have less need to get stuck in and hang back a bit more. The fact that they have sensors is a nice bonus as well.

I've been pondering cost though for most of the day before before replying. Points wise I think they are far too expensive. The Infestor version in particular is way out of kilter with the Missionary. Both ships bring exactly the same capabilties to a fight (8Ph2, 2 sensors, 2 disdevs). The only real difference is that the Infestor is chunkier and will take more to kill. But at the size of fight you will be using such a support ship that extra 'padding' is not worth 70+ extra points over a missionary. The missionary itself is overpointed significantly IMO. Bear in mind I'm thinking about why I would want to take such a ship here as opposed to existing motherships, and not how it matches up in some 1 vs 1 scenario.

Taking 2 missionaries full of satellites and comparing to 2 intruders full of satellites (1 of which is an eel, to equal the sensors out) you end up with less firepower per point spent (quite noticeably at some key ranges), which sort of defeats the point, as far as I can see, of taking such a ship. In order to make a missionary useful I think it needs to be more like 80points. That may appear to be very cheap when compared 1 vs 1 with something else, but it isn't a ship that is intended to be used 1 vs 1, nor slugging it out. At 80 points per mothership you can have a fleet that has a little more firepower per point spent than the Intruder fleet at all ranges, but packs it in to the smaller, more fragile ships. The downside being that a good chunk of your force (~25%) would not actually be much threat - i.e. the enemy really only has to concentrate on killing 75% of your fleet, at which point the missionaries alone are little threat.

Doing the same thing, comparing 2 Infestors with 2 Doms plus satellites (inc Eel) you again find that the better ratio of firepower per point spent is with the dominator force, and that doesn't account for the fact that the dominators have 4 extra DisDevs, which are incredibly useful. To bring an Infestor force to a level where it could compete on a firepower per point with the Doms it would need to drop to about 100 points. I'm not even sure that would be worth the loss of 4 disdevs. Given that it brings nothing extra, in itself, to the fight over the missionary that seems not unreasonable compared to what I think the missionary is worth. When you are looking at support ships that are not likely to be up front at close range in 1200ish point games then the extra robustness beyond a missionary is only situationally useful.

Long story short, neither variant gets round the fact that Andros in the larger games die faster than their opponents. So in order to be useful they need to allow you to pack in at least as much firepower, and preferably a a bit more to counter the weakness of having that firepower concentrated in small fragile ships, whilst your big ships are largely just support. That requires that they be noticeably cheaper than what you are saying they are. All IMHO of course.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing to bear in mind is that neither the Infestor or Missionary are supposed to be direct combat variants.

In a campaign setup, they are far more useful as a means of building (and sustaining) the Rapid Transit Network; placing satellite bases, upgrading them to base stations or battle stations, re-deploying them if discovered, etc. For example, the first known Infestor to arrive in the LMC brought with it a series of key components used to help construct the first Desecrator starbase.

Their Point Values (in SFB, at least) arguably reflect their strategic worth as RTN builders, as much (if not more) than their combat values.


So far as large-scale battles go, perhaps one option could be to bring the Devastator Battleship over from Module R5. Personally, I think it was a shame for it not to have been included with the ISC BB as a second double-sized card in War and Peace; but even if it may not get the chance to see print, perhaps it could go into a second Andromedan ePack.

(Perhaps that would-be ePack could also offer the dissection beam variants, such as the Devourer battleship. A Devastator and Devourer combo, each carrying their full complement of satellite ships, would be a lot for a non-X Alpha force to handle; as they proved to be in the "dark future" timeline reported by the Darwin.)
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Their Point Values (in SFB, at least) arguably reflect their strategic worth as RTN builders, as much (if not more) than their combat values.


That may be true, but as a combat game FedCom is not really the place for such values. Such values belong in some strategic level expansion, (though I gather SFB has 2 values representing the difference between combat and economic values). Strategic value in FedCom is better represented by set scenrios with special victory conditions where the low combat value of the ships involved is not relevant.

Even if they are ships used to carry station parts and other such stuff then their values are still somewhat high. If I play such a game based on points I'm looking at an Infestor vs a BCH/DNL. That is not going to go well for the Infestor, if it gets close enough to use its Ph2s then it is in trouble against a ship that size, sensor or not.

Trying to point odd ships such as these Andro variants based on a 1 vs 1 is never really going to work well, the Infestor is hard to kill with Andro fiddliness and sensors, but equally it will struggle to kill much stuff.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the time, if a ship has a split BPV in SFB, the combat BPV (which is usually the lower one) is used; except for scout ships, in which case the economic BPV is used instead. So FC is already providing most support variants or transport hulls at a discount compared to SFB, when it comes to running campaigns.

(This will be more relevant once Federation Admiral comes out, depending on the mechanics which that system might use for setting up and running campaigns for FC in particular.)

But from an in-universe perspective, part of the Andromedan dynamic is the amount of trouble they tend to have when a large enough fleet is able to assemble against a target they have to stand and fight over. The DisDev limits make it much harder for them to concentrate force in a given location, since they have to plan ahead by sending in different waves of Motherships to a given area and having them turn off their DisDevs in order to allow for reinforcements to arrive.

But the trick was trying to actually force them to fight over something they couldn't afford to lose. A battle station takes longer to disassemble and re-locate relative to a mere satbase, so the Andros would be more likely to have to stand and fight over one if they wanted to keep it. But even then, every large-scale Alpha force assembled to take out one such base makes for a larger amount of territory left exposed to assaults by other Motherships roving across the rest of the RTN.

The thing that made the Devastator (and its sister ship, the Devourer) so terrifying in the Darwin timeline was that, for the first time, the Andromedans could concentrate the kind of force in one point that even fleets big enough to oppose two Dominators at once would struggle to deal with. The one advantage the Alpha empires had in a pitched battle was substantially reduced in one fell swoop. But even then, by the time the Andromedans were fielding battleships in the "dark future", the amount of damage done to the Alpha empires was such that holding any kind of territory away from the major planets or starbases was a serious challenge; the role of the battleships was to go in and take out the hard points which the Alpha fleets had left, one by one, until the entire octant would be left a shade of Andromedan green.


In case you are wondering, the Devastator clocks in at 610 BPV in SFB; it has 16 forward and twelve aft panel boxes, with 20 phasers-2, 6 TRHs (of which 16 and 5 can be used in the forward centreline resepctively), 6 displacement devices, and the equivalent of 36 hangar bay points in FC.

The Devourer costs even more, at 660 points; it reduces the hangar bay capacity to 28, and has only 4 TRHs (3 that can centerline) and 4 DisDevs, while replacing those systems with no less than four dissection beams, all of which can front (or back) centerline...

(So a Devastator and Devourer would together cost 1270 points, before you start filling in the 64 hangar bay slots they have between them.)



Oh, and I dug out Module R7 and checked the four Dominator variants in there. The one with the biggest hangar is the Dominion transport; costing 405 points, it has only two TRHs, but sports the same hangar bay capacity as the Devastator. Of the three other variants, the Demon has more PA panels but fewer weapons, the Demolisher has fewer panels but more weapons (both retaining the same hangar as the "base hull" Dominator), while the Dictator has no hangar space but even more weapons instead.
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Lieutenant JG


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:43 pm    Post subject: klingon plasma Reply with quote

I'm guessing since I find no mention of this that there is a 'lore' objection. But maybe I just fail at searching. Do Romulans ever share plasma tech with their Klingon pals? I'm thinking not so much like the plasma-F armed Fed ships, but rather something like a plasma variant C8 that trades the center disrupters for the big R torp. A Klingon with a punch weapon would be quite distinctive. (originally I was wondering the reverse, about Romulan k-ships that left some of the disrupters in, but I can see how that doesn't really make sense with cloaks)

Note--I'm not trying to make 'super-ship'. I went C8 level because that's the Romulan k-ship that gets an R. But really what I had in mind is something like the Gorn strike cruiser. With the hope that the odd mix of disrupters with an R-torp would give flexibility, but lack focus. The C8 might be too durable though.
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Bolo_MK_XL
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pinbot,

Things like that are dependent on spare parts and maintenance.

If you recall, they refitted the Sparrowhawks trapped in Klingon space, just for that reason. Maybe if Klingons and Romulans had a common border like Gorns/Feds, it would be likely.

The time to gain experience with tactics would be a limiting factor also, i.e. Russians and Chinese both having a learning curve with carriers.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pinbot,

The reason you don't see many ships like that (e.g. a C8 with a Pl-R and disruptors) is that just because you know a technology (and the Klingons certainly know about and how to make plasma) doesn't mean you can make effective use of it. The Klingons quite simply didn't have an infrastructure to support the use of plasma, and they weren't interested in changing things around to do so. So, they stuck with what they knew and liked, which was disruptors and drones.

The Feds are a bit of a special case, but they had a much stronger economy and could afford to experiment with plasma. But, even then, they intentionally only used Pl-F (no longer* plasma) and did so only in an extremely limited manner.

EDIT: Just noticed this: instead of "no longer plasma", I meant to say "no larger plasma". Meaning, that the Feds used only Pl-F, and not Pl-G,S, or R. Not that the Fed Pl-F was somehow not really plasma any longer.
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Last edited by mjwest on Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mattruh
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an odd request, but could we get a FRD in communique?
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe, if Mike figures out what rules would be needed to make an FRD something other than a target.
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mattruh
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome, thanks!
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mattruh
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I do have a good suggestion. The Kzinti need a scout type ship in comm. All the other races have one available for free in an issue of comm. The only Kzinti scout I know of was published in Captain's log. So a scout of some sort would be nice.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
Maybe, if Mike figures out what rules would be needed to make an FRD something other than a target.

Submitted ...
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