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Are Plasma Bolts Practical? (or Plasma-G even as a torpedo)
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1950
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. Could this be the next Starcastle, perhaps?
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Last edited by Kang on Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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TJolley
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Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
A photon ship that is going Speed Zero will never have out-of-arc Photons to a single opponent keeping range as long as he keeps using Low Energy Turns. You can't keep 5+ hex range and move faster than the photon ship can turn, since he can turn once per impulse.


Don't need to get close with a Disruptor races. As Phasers 1's and Disruptors do the same damage and have the same to hit from ranges 9-15, I would just stay out to range 12-15 to fire and launch drones and SS Shuttles. At range 9-15 a phaser 1 averages 1 point, and a disruptor averages 2 points per.

Most of the Feds phasers would be used in defending against drones and Suicide Shuttles, while the Fed Photons to hit is so low, that the Klingons or whoever will be able to generate many more damage points per turn to the Fed. Depending on the ships, eventually the Klingons/Kzin, whoever will wear the Fed down. The Fed won't be able to afford to keep powering photons, firing phasers, and repairing all shield damage. Eventually the Fed will have to move or die.

On a 1-v-1 battle though, it would be quite boring as a Single Fed may be able to come close to being able to repair all damage every turn depending on the ship and scale in question, but in a 2-v or more, the Fed opponant will just concentrate all firepower on one ship until it is destroyed.

At least that is how I counter such tactics. It's almost like a base assault..you never close, just pummel away at long range and do more damage than can be repaired..eventually you will win.
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I in no way meant to imply that sit-n-spin would work. I actually don't think it would for the very reason you state: eventually the damage would overwhelm the repair capabilities. And you are just a sitting duck for seeking weapons (even suicide shuttles become relevant).

My point was just that you can't out turn sit-n-spin. That tactic is a non-starter. You have to use a different tactic to defeat it. Such as the one you describe.

Which provides my answer to Kang: No this is not the "next starcastle". The usefulness of starcastling in SFB is dependent on the ability to put up a "brick" (i.e. extreme reinforcement). Having reinforcement limited by the number of available batteries removes the "brick".
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
The usefulness of starcastling in SFB is dependent on the ability to put up a "brick" (i.e. extreme reinforcement). Having reinforcement limited by the number of available batteries removes the "brick".


Yeah, I appreciate that. My comment was mainly intended to provoke discussion. However I can see that the discussion may well go in the Fed/Klingon direction - which is not really the topic here, I know!
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Magnum357
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with MJWest, I can't see this being a new "Star Castle" for FC. In SFB, heavy Sheild reinforcement and Wild Weasels made Star Castling possible. I guess you could perform this "sit and spin" idea, but I think its limited.

As for Pinecones original question, Plasma-F's are faster arming and require a little less power, but even though Plasma-G's have the same damage potential they actually do have a little better range then Plasma-F's. I've notice this can be helpful in trying to chew up sheilds at a distance if an opponent is moving fast.
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see the use at long range, any advantage at short range?
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Advantages of a Pl-G over a Pl-F:
- Has longer range. Retains its full warhead out to 10 hexes range. This is really significant when using bolts, as the Pl-G can fully take advantage of the "glory zone" at ranges 9-10, while the Pl-F cannot.
- Can be quickloaded as a Pl-F. If you really want the Pl-F instead of the Pl-G, at least you get it one turn earlier.
- Can be downloaded as a Pl-F if absolutely necessary.

Disadvantages of a Pl-G against a Pl-F:
- Pl-G cannot take advantage of the Carronade rule (if Gorn, Fed, or Orion). Of course, if you are Romulan (or ISC), this doesn't matter.
- Pl-G cannot be held "for free", even if downloaded as a Pl-F.
- Pl-G only has first turn of arming at the beginning of a scenario, while a Pl-F is fully loaded. Of course, you can always quickload the Pl-G as a Pl-F, so you can still fire the Pl-G (as a Pl-F) in the first turn.

For the Gorn, there is a legitimate argument around whether the Pl-F is more useful than the Pl-G because of the Carronade. For Romulans, there really isn't even an argument; the Pl-G is much more useful and flexible.
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DNordeen
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One key to winning against plasma is the arming cycle. Hit him when he's arming the Torps. The first turn is the best, second turn is not as safe since he could load a Pl-F.

The defense is to always have a torp loaded, but if he fires the big ones, I'll risk a Pl-F to get a close shot.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is interesting. Okay, try that tactic of sitting still with a Fed ship, using Low Energy Turns, repairing shields, and keeping photons overloaded against an equal class Klingon ship or a Romulan using plasmas. I'd like to hear how it turns out...
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
This is interesting. Okay, try that tactic of sitting still with a Fed ship, using Low Energy Turns, repairing shields, and keeping photons overloaded against an equal class Klingon ship or a Romulan using plasmas. I'd like to hear how it turns out...


I'll give It a try next game, and post it.
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DNordeen
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen it done. It's called being a target. You surrender the initiative and allow your opponent to dictate the rythm. There's just not enough power to repair damage, the limited reinforcement means you can't stop the internals from adding up. The opponent can fly circles around you and you won't be able to fire at him. You're a sitting duck for any seeking weapon.

Overall it's just a bad idea. It's a really bad idea with overloads. If you overload, you can't fire beyond 8 hexes. If you're not moving, you can't bring your opponent within 8 hexes. He'll just fly circles around you outside overload range. Result: You're dead; he's undamaged.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This brings up another question (and I don't have the rules handy)...

Can overloaded photons be "downgraded" and fired as regular photons?
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Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This tactic, though probably ill-conceived to begin with, just cries for proximity photons!
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An overloaded photon may not be "un-overloaded". The only way to get rid of an overloaded photon is to either fire it or discharge it and start arming the photon again.

Note that you can hold normal load photons and overload them at the instant of firing. This can use a lot of power (4 points per to fully overload a single photon), it gives you flexibility. And you can always use 50% overloads, too.

As for proximity photons, no. On the other hand, Klingons don't get DERFACS or UIM, either, so it is not a complete loss for the Feds.
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PallidaMors
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

we have found that bolting is effective in our games, where the players are wise enough to never drop beneath speed 24.
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