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After-action report: Meeting Engagement

 
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Mike
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Joined: 07 May 2007
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Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:47 pm    Post subject: After-action report: Meeting Engagement Reply with quote

This battle was the result of a meeting engagement in a mini-campaign. A Federation force consisting of a heavy dreadnought (HDN) and a heavy cruiser (CA) faced off against a Kzinti DN, new command cruiser (NCC), and destroyer escort (DE).

The Feds entered moving at speed 8 with photons pre-loaded. They completed their photon loads with maximum overload energy. The Kzintis approached in a tight formation moving at speed 16. Just before entering overload range, the Kzintis began using sideslips in order to present their #2 shields instead of their #1 shields. The Kzinti DE also decelerated and dropped back 2 hexes. On impulse #8 of Turn 1 the main elements of both sides had closed to range 6 and everything let fly.

The Feds targeted all their overloaded photons on the NCC. Out of the 10 that fired, only 3 hit. The NCC's #2 shield dissolved and it took 39 internals. The Fed HDN also fired 11 Ph-1s at the Kzinti DN, but, after battery reinforcement by the Kzinti, only did 5 hits to the shield. The Kzinti ships concentrated overloaded disruptor and Ph-1 fire on the Fed CA, but only knocked down part of its #2 shield. During Launch Phase, the Kzinti ships launched a total of 14 drones at the Fed CA.

On Turn 2 the Feds moved at speed 24 and began a circling movement around the right of the Kzintis. The Kzinti ships still moved at speed 16, but turned toward the Fed ships to cut them off. On impulse #2 another wave of drones was launched, but this time, the DN launched at the Fed HDN. The others targeted the CA.

The Fed ships moved together and were just beginning to outrun the Kzintis when the first wave of drones arrived. The HDN used its phasers to blast as many of the drones as it could and launched 6 drones of its own, all targeted on 6 Kzinti drones. A tractor beam was also used by the CA to hold an impacted drone. The Kzintis held their fire.

By mid-turn, the Feds had used all of their available energy (the HDN was pre-loading its photons) and the 2nd drone wave began to arrive. The Kzintis had also turned and were accelerating to keep station on the Fed right-rear flank. The Feds used everything they had left to try to destroy the drones, but 2 got through the #3 shield of the CA, taking it down and doing 1 power hit. Then the Kzintis fired everything they could muster through the same #3 shield of the CA. Substantial power damage was taken, along with all hull and several ship systems and weapons. The HDN, seeing that the 6 drones from the Kzinti DN were about to impact it, veered off and fled the area.

On Turn 3 the HDN continued to run from the Kzinti drones while the CA attempted to move in a circular path to outrun and evade the oncoming Kzinti ships. Unfortunately for the CA, it just did not have enough power to accelerate at speed 24 for the entire turn. As the midpoint of the turn was reached, it was evident that the Kzinti ships would soon close to within 1 hex, launch more drones, and open fire again. The CA surrendered and the HDN, now many hexes away, turned and disengaged from the battle.

The turning point in this battle was when 7 of the 10 overloaded photons missed their target. Had they been able to take out the NCC, things would undoubtably gone differently.

For the first time, players in our group were able to see how drones could be used to influence movement during a battle. They also saw how drones sapped the phaser firepower of one side.

This scenario was played in squadron scale in less than 2 hours using several in-house playing aids to speed up the game. The Alpha Strike aid was used to allocate the large numbers of internal hits that occurred. Both major strikes were done in about 30 seconds apiece. A simplified DAC was also used. This system allowed players to take power damage on any power boxes they wished and to take system hits in a prescribed order. Finally, a computer program that was written by one of our club members was used for weapons resolution and die rolling. This saved lots of time by replacing manual dice rolling and the lookup of weapon hit results.
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Sneaky Scot
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Joined: 11 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice report Mike. Where did you get a Kzinti DE? Was this an in-house conversion?
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Mike
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the Kzinti DE was an in-house conversion from an old SFB SSD I had. I was fuzzy on its point value and left it at 92, but that was probably too high.

The Fed players thought the DE was a waste of a ship at that value. They thought buying the DW would have been a better move. The DE has no disruptors and one less Ph-1, but it has more Ph-3s. That would help it perform its role as an escort...using those Ph-3s to knock down any drones targeted at whatever ship (or convoy) it was escorting.

We've done quite a few "in-house" conversions, but as I have stated elsewhere, we're never completely sure that they have whatever those conversions would have if/when they are actually done by SVC.
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willhc
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Joined: 10 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You do need to remember (or know) that SFB escorts are for Carrier escorts. They weren't used to escort capital ships (let the normal DDs/FFs do that work). The escorts were meant for specialized roles (protecting the carrier and fighters, helping re-arm them) and they can be pretty sweet when used alone but it was seldom the case that the fleet admiral would let his escorts be stripped off his carriers to support a local squadron.
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And yet we've got Gorn and Romulan escorts in Briefing #1, with no carriers or fighters available for either race.

Razz

I wouldn't worry too much about that at the moment. If the players in your group are ok with escorts showing up in line battle squadrons (Federation escorts are probably going to cause complaints from those who might play against them), then it's not really that big of a deal provided that you have the SFB SSDs available. Given that the Gorn and Romulan escorts are now published in FedCom, I don't think there's any way that you can realistically keep those two ships from turning up in regular battle formations when desired.
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OGOPTIMUS
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
And yet we've got Gorn and Romulan escorts in Briefing #1, with no carriers or fighters available for either race.

Razz


Aren't those there to help "balance" the drone variant ships for the other races there?

I would like to see escort ships too, but I understand that they have a specific purpose, and without it, it might lead to abuse of them, since in some other threads, some people have said they're borderline munchkin.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OGOPTIMUS wrote:
junior wrote:
And yet we've got Gorn and Romulan escorts in Briefing #1, with no carriers or fighters available for either race.

Aren't those there to help "balance" the drone variant ships for the other races there?

Yes, that is exactly their purpose. A drone ship can overload the opposing fleet's drone defenses. Having the Pl-D based ship allows for the chance to kill multiple incoming drones. The drone races don't need their escorts, because the drone ships can be used defensively.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of the problem with this particular setup was that the Kzinti players did not see the DW ships in the mix! After the Feds pointed out their presence, they were a little embarrassed that they missed them. They would've taken the DWs in a heartbeat if they'd known they were there. Both ships have 4 drone launchers and that was what they wanted.

It was a little bit funny.
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junior
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OGOPTIMUS wrote:
Aren't those there to help "balance" the drone variant ships for the other races there?


The Fed and Hydran escorts (which replace heavy weapons with Gatling Phasers) are probably munchkin. For instance, I suspect that the vast majority of Hydran players would be quite happy to use the Escort Hunter (replaces both Fusion Beams with Gatling Phasers) instead of the regular version. Would I like to replace the Fusion Beams with weapons that don't have a cool down, cost only one point of power to arm, and will average 15 points of damage per turn at the same ranges that Fusion Beams are usually used at? Is this a trick question?

But generally, without the Aegis fire control rigs that the ships have in SFB (which allow them to fire multiple times in the same impulse) I don't think most of the other escorts would be that big of an issue.
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MikePowers
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always felt that "Escort" ships should be general-availability (as in, you can take them in any battle fleet.) There are tons of drones flying around and a specialized anti-drone ship would prove quite useful. (The Klingons and Lyrans would also use it on those bastard Stingers...)

On the other hand, FedCom lacks C-racks and Scatterpacks, which means that there are probably fewer drones overall; also, you always know where a drone is going. In that situation a standard Frigate could probably do about as well as an Escort Frigate. If the enemy targets a main ship with a big drone swarm, then just let the Frigate get one or two hexes ahead of it, and "sweep" the drones as they come in.
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