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Basic Kzinti Tactics (new thread)
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DNordeen
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:13 pm    Post subject: Basic Kzinti Tactics (new thread) Reply with quote

I really am going to write up some Kzinti Tactics, but here's a couple quick items.

Some standard rules with Kzintis are:

Have patience. 90% of your drones will never do damage, you have limited Ph-1s, and the Disruptor is fast firing not hard hitting. Whatever you do, you will not be winning quickly (unless your opponent makes a mistake)

Do not approach any closer than range 15. The disruptor has the same stats at range 9 that it does at range 15. There is no need to get any closer to overload range than range 15.

You don't have a lot of Ph-1s, save them for good targets. Don't fire them during the saber dance, save them for capitalizing on any opponent mistakes (turns weak/down shield toward you, uses up all his power, etc.)

Drones are your main weapon and don't require energy. Speed 24 is easier to accomplish then the other races.

With those things in mind, there are four basic approaches (plenty of advanced ones, though Smile ). They are CHAARGE!, Saber Dance, Shallow Saber Dance, and Waggle

CHAARGE! is pretty straightfoward, fire your drones and follow them in. Fairly obvious thing to do, and probably 50/50 chance of coming off better than your opponent. You can also start of with a CHAARGE! and turn it into a Saber Dance

Saber Dance is very well known. Approach at an angle to range 15 with the target in the LF or RF arc (not straight ahead!). Fire disruptors, launch drones, and turn away. I prefer to launch drones at this point to encourage my opponent to turn away and help me increase the range. If it's the end of the turn and the Fed's Phot will be loaded next turn, I'll follow the first launch with more drones on Imp 1 if the Fed didn't turn away (and then "Run Away! Run Away!").

Shallow Saber Dance is for opponents who are more manueverable. Approach at a very shallow angle to range 15 with the target in the L or R arcs. Fire disruptors (usually only half can fire into the L or R arc), fire drones, turn away. Basically, just a modified Saber Dance that helps you turn away easier. Down side is that you only fire half your disruptors.

The Waggle is for firing while running away. Useful against Plasma races and a Fed with loaded torpedoes. With your opponent behind you, turn left, (he'll be in the L arc now) fire disruptors. Turn right, and fire disruptors. Wash, rinse, repeat. You can turn right or left first (You're basically waggling the back of your ship at him). At speed 24, your opponent won't be able to make up a lot of ground, and after you fire, you can launch drones to get him to help open the range again. If you have the power, you can also accelerate to open the range. Downside is that you let your opponent get closer, you're not doing as much damage in a single salvo, and your opponent can use more reinforcement. Of course, your opponent will run out of energy and then you have all sorts of options. Of course, depending on the target's location, you might not be able to get him into both side arcs. In that case, give him a shot from one side and then turn away from him.

These can all be combined together. For example, against a Plasma race, you can start out with a CHAARGE, turn it into a Saber Dance by the time you reach range 15, Waggle until he fires off his plasma, wash, rinse, repeat.

Lastly, if your opponent loads all his weapons as overloads, have a field day with him. Depending on how stubborn he is, he could pay holding costs for a long time trying to get into overload range while you tease him at range 15. While he's paying holding costs, he's not firing. I had a Fed hold overloaded torpedoes for 4 turns before finally discharging them. That's 3 firing opportunities he missed (when he first loaded them, 2 turns later, and on the turn he discharged them to start loading standard torps). While he was doing that, I hit him 6 times (twice during load and 4 times while he was holding them). He didn't last much longer.
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pneumonic81
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had the waggle done to me. Not very nice.

If your a fed and your Kzin target is wagging around at speed 24, your going to have to take action fast or you will lose your shields eventually. My recommendation is to either:

1) book it to 24 and accel, forget offensive phasers and use ph-3 charges for defense only.
2) find a planet or some asteriods or whatever spatial terrain may be availble and force him to work around it to get to you.

If its open space, let me know, Ill pray for you.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One question...am I thinking of fighters, or do drone targets have to be in any launching ship's FA in order to be launched?
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ship mounted drones have a 360 degree field of fire
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Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right! Thanks.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now I know what I was thinking about...the rule that says that seeking weapons must move 1 hex straight ahead in the direction they were launched.

I recall an interesting discussion about this in a different thread. Someone wanted to launch drones in a direction not aimed at the ship they would be targeted on. Something about the target ship overrunning the launching ship and not being able to stop so that the drones would be able to impact its rear shield.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
Now I know what I was thinking about...the rule that says that seeking weapons must move 1 hex straight ahead in the direction they were launched.

I recall an interesting discussion about this in a different thread. Someone wanted to launch drones in a direction not aimed at the ship they would be targeted on. Something about the target ship overrunning the launching ship and not being able to stop so that the drones would be able to impact its rear shield.

Drones do not have to be pointed at their target, per se, but the target must be in the FA of the drone when it's placed on the board. I have "led" the target on launching before...
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jmt
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leading the target on launch is one of the best ways to force your opponent to maneuver where you want him. If you lead him to starboard, there's an incentive for him to turn to port. Smile

Oh, and remember that in FedCom, bunching up drones is not a bad tactic. There are no t-bombs to wipe out a stack all at once. Flying in a clump means you have a better chance to concentrate them on the same shield when they impact.
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junior
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
Now I know what I was thinking about...the rule that says that seeking weapons must move 1 hex straight ahead in the direction they were launched.

I recall an interesting discussion about this in a different thread. Someone wanted to launch drones in a direction not aimed at the ship they would be targeted on. Something about the target ship overrunning the launching ship and not being able to stop so that the drones would be able to impact its rear shield.


The exception to the '1 hex straight ahead' rule (explicitly mentioned in the rulebook) is if the drone can impact by performing a High Energy Turn.


As Scoutdad notes, drones must always be launched with the target in their FA arc, and must attempt to maintain that at all times. Of course, this doesn't meant that the drone must be pointed directly at the target. One of the ways to tell a veteran drone user from a newbie is that the newbie will often make the mistake of pointing the drones directly at a close-ranged targeted ship instead of leading slightly. At high speeds, it's not hard to outmaneuver the drones if you start close enough.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was reading the old CL #8 today and was reminded of a Kzinti drone tactic in fleet actions. There was a term paper entry about how Kzinti destroyers (and, I suppose, frigates) could move along the fringe of a fleet engagement at high speed (24 in FedCom). After heavy phaser exchanges between the mainline ships in the battle, the smaller Kzinti ships could then swoop in to deliver almost point-blank drone launches accompanied by whatever meager weapons fire they could manage. It sounded like an interesting tactic to me. I was left wondering, though. If the point values of each fleet were roughly the same, what would those extra ships of the opposing fleet be doing while the smaller Kzinti ships were zipping around on the fringe of the battle?
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OGOPTIMUS
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
I was left wondering, though. If the point values of each fleet were roughly the same, what would those extra ships of the opposing fleet be doing while the smaller Kzinti ships were zipping around on the fringe of the battle?


Blasting the larger Kzinti ships into oblivion?

It sounds like a good tactic, but it might rely on terrain features like asteroids being able to shield them or other ships so that the exchange between the larger ships isn't so devastating. Or if you have a scenario where not all ships from either side start in one location it might become useful and quite viable.
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OrangeCat
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Location: Alberta, a planet in KZIN space...

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Basic Kzinti Tactics (new thread) Reply with quote

This thread has re-awoken the Kzinti inside me. I used to play them in my Academy (University) days, and one or two points are SO important to playing Kzinti successfully.

Also, it is so well written, I don’t really want to start a new thread and step all over DNordeen’s toes (especially since I’m new). So, with respect, some new thoughts on Kzinti tactics:

DNordeen wrote:
Some standard rules with Kzintis are:

Have patience. 90% of your drones will never do damage, you have limited Ph-1s, and the Disruptor is fast firing not hard hitting. Whatever you do, you will not be winning quickly (unless your opponent makes a mistake)
i.e. Don’t play like your prey, the Feds or the Klingons or, Gods forbid, the Hydran or Lyran. They ALL want to dash in right off to bat. You want to dash in as well, but only at wounded/tenderized prey. Overloading disruptors should be the LAST thing on your mind.

Range 9-15 is Kzin range. Until the prey is wounded.

DNordeen wrote:
Drones are your main weapon and don't require energy. Speed 24 is easier to accomplish then the other races.
True. All other races eat up their power to arm their primary weapons. The Kzinti should be going at a high rate of speed all the time. There is not real reason to slow down.

DNordeen wrote:
CHAARGE! is pretty straightforward, fire your drones and follow them in. Fairly obvious thing to do, and probably 50/50 chance of coming off better than your opponent. You can also start of with a CHAARGE! and turn it into a Saber Dance
This is ugly, but I can respect it. When your ride in with a BIG wave of drones, hopefully maxing out your control channels, this can be awesome. However, just realize that you WILL lose a ship. You don’t know which one (Or you can offer the one in the lead), but the enemy is going to pick one and PULVERIZE it. But then it turns into a wild brawl, and an enemy that loses a tractor or phaser to damage... or uses a little too much power... is going to suffer.

Drones are coming in too, remember?

This can really overwhelm someone who tends to get overexcited. You know who I’m talking about.

Also, please note, that ALL the phasers on a Kzinti ship, except the Ph-1s on the forward hull, point down the rear hex side of the ship. The damage that all those Ph-3s can do is comparable to Hydran gatling phasers. If you take damage, think about burning out the FA phasers to save the claws behind you. Lash out with a "kick" out the back as you pass.

DNordeen wrote:
Saber Dance is very well known. Approach at an angle to range 15 with the target in the LF or RF arc (not straight ahead!). Fire disruptors, launch drones, and turn away. I prefer to launch drones at this point to encourage my opponent to turn away and help me increase the range. If it's the end of the turn and the Fed's Photon will be loaded next turn, I'll follow the first launch with more drones on Imp 1 if the Fed didn't turn away (and then "Run Away! Run Away!").

Shallow Saber Dance is for opponents who are more maneuverable. Approach at a very shallow angle to range 15 with the target in the L or R arcs. Fire disruptors (usually only half can fire into the L or R arc), fire drones, turn away. Basically, just a modified Saber Dance that helps you turn away easier. Down side is that you only fire half your disruptors.
Not much I can add, except that obviously the Kingons do it better than Kzinti. Admit it. Firing a face-full of drones at the enemy is the gently Kzin way of saying “Turn Away from Me!!!”

DNordeen wrote:
The Waggle is for firing while running away. Useful against Plasma races and a Fed with loaded torpedoes. With your opponent behind you, turn left, (he'll be in the L arc now) fire disruptors. Turn right, and fire disruptors. Wash, rinse, repeat. You can turn right or left first (You're basically waggling the back of your ship at him). At speed 24, your opponent won't be able to make up a lot of ground, and after you fire, you can launch drones to get him to help open the range again. If you have the power, you can also accelerate to open the range.
THANK YOU!!! ^.^ This is the reason why I wanted to update this EXCELLENT article. I had forgotten the “weird” Kzinti disruptor arcs. The Kzinti are one of the few races that can fire 90% of their weapons to the "rear".

Chasing most races is like chasing dangerous bank robbers that may stop and fight if cornered. Chasing Kzinti is like chasing bank robber that are shooting out the back windows and lobbing pipe bombs.

Kzin are the only race where the ships get WORSE in their history. Some of the newer Kzinti ships mount their disruptors in the nose. >.< I HATE those ships!

DNordeen wrote:
Lastly, if your opponent loads all his weapons as overloads, have a field day with him. Depending on how stubborn he is, he could pay holding costs for a long time trying to get into overload range while you tease him at range 15.
Totally True. A Kzinti NEVER plans ahead to overload his disruptors and run in. The other races do it WAY better than you.

Also, be a cat. Don’t do what your enemy wants. If he overloads, run around him; if he slows down, close in a bit; if he charges, disengage.

That’s it. I’ll think about how Kzin deal with certain special situations (attacking/defending/disengaging) later.
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gambler1650
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I haven't played Kzinti in Fed Commander, and thus my SFB tactics might not be as valid, one thing I'd point out is that Kzinti are usually VICIOUS at close range if you can get there. A lot of Kzinti ships have a large number of phaser 3's which can all fire directly to the rear of the ship. One of my favorite SFB tactics, if your opponent isn't expecting it, is not charge disruptors on one turn and overrun your opponent, tractoring them at range 1 and then basically just firing phasers turn after turn, using the extra energy from not charging disruptors to maintain the tractor beam. It's usually around 8-10 phaser 3's per turn if I recall.
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OrangeCat
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Location: Alberta, a planet in KZIN space...

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah. I think I've called that tactic the "scratching post" in my school days. Smile
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rulesjd
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just remember that tactics in SFB don't = tactics in Fed. Comm.

Unless using optional late war rules, your drones will always be speed 24 and none of them will be armored or heavy drones. Your targets will always be known.

Also, single ship drone defense is far more effective with staggered applications of anti drones, tractors and phasers. It is easier in Fed. Comm. for a cruiser to run out your drones unless you achieve heavy drone swarms and your Kzinti ships tend to have less control capability than in SFB. This is especially true when the targetted ship will always get range one phaser shots at the drones.

Another drone draw back is that reloading a rack requires damage control. You can only reload one rack per turn (only half a rack at fleet scale) so don't squander them.

So....don't abandon your drones to their fate. Always lurk close enough to dish out direct fire after the enemy vessel burns up phaser banks for the turn and try to time drone arrival near the beginning of a turn when the enemy will need to wait longer for those phasers to recycle.
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