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Hydran fusion ships
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:24 am    Post subject: Hydran fusion ships Reply with quote

We have noticed that it's very hard to clobber a Klingon or Lyran with a Hydran fusion-only ship [ie no hellbores].

If you run fast enough to catch him, you don't have enough power for all those fusion beams.

Added to that is the problem that the Hydrans [or anyone for that matter] can effectively miss firing opportunities due to the game structure of 8 firing opportunities per turn.

If it's a fast, head-on pass, then you can sail in and out of range/arc in a single impulse. An option would be to use a tractor or decels, but as we have seen there's not really enought power to do that.

If you are slow, you simply won't catch him unless he's a real incompetent.

Sure- you can use the Stingers to shepherd him but they too suffer from the speed limitation.

Anyone else found this problem? It would be a help if you could 'hold' fusion beams like you can in SFB.
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TJolley
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The primary close-in weapon system of they Hydran is the Gatling phaser, not the Fusion Beam. For the cost, Gatlings are by FAR the way to go. If you end up being able to fire a Fusion as well, OK, but I usually end up only firing a handful of Fusion Beams from the ship if any.

1 point into a Gatling on average produces:

Range Damage
0 15 1/3
1 14 2/3
2 12
3 4

Per 1 point into a fusion Beam (Reg/Overload)

Range Damage/OL damange
0 59/12=4.9/87/24=3.625
1 38/12=3.16/56/24=2.33
2 23/12=1.9/ 33/24=1.375
3+ Fugetaboutit

Phaser 1's and 2's are also better uses of your power at these ranges. That being said, if you want to hold phasers, or don't have any phasers left and have the power available after taking into account tractors, transporters, HET, etc, then go ahead and fire the Fusion Beams..any damage is good damage

Plus if you can manage to get close enough to be able to do decent damage with Fusions or Gatlings, you are where you need to be to dump your fighters. At that point, the primary task of the capital ship is to be a weapons soak and Tractor anchor to protect the fighters until they are out from under the firing restriction, and slow down as many enemy ships as possible.
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The difficulty has to be in place for play balance reasons.

If a Hydran gets to point blank range with an equal points value ship, then the Hydran's opponent dies. Hydran Fusion ships just mount too much close range firepower, and tend to outmass their equal points value opponents by a significant amount (before the Stingers are included). It also needs to be at least somewhat difficult for the Stingers to get to point blank range. Two Stingers carry as many Fusion Beams and Gatling Phasers as a Ranger CA. And a Ranger carries nine of them. So even as annoying as FedCom's high speeds can be for the Hydrans, things need to work the way that they do for play balance reasons.

The exception to all of this is the Hunter Frigate, which doesn't carry any fighters. Good luck with it if you decide to use it in a duel...


And yeah, if you can then it's usually better to use the Gatling Phasers than it is to use your Fusion Beams. Gatling Phasers will fairly reliably generate 15 points of damage at range 0 or range 1 for a single point of energy. Your overloaded Fusion Beams will roughly average about that amount (with a wide degree of variation) for four points of damage, and can't be used on the next turn. Favor the Gatlings.

Of course, you can't do as much damage with two Gatling Phasers as you can with four overloaded Disruptor Bolts. But if he's overloading his Disruptors, then he's going to be short on energy for those high speed evasions.
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TJolley
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
If a Hydran gets to point blank range with an equal points value ship, then the Hydran's opponent dies. Hydran Fusion ships just mount too much close range firepower, and tend to outmass their equal points value opponents by a significant amount (before the Stingers are included).


You have it a bit backwards. In an equal point value game, the Hydrans will always be massively out-sized ship for ship (excluding frigate and maybe destroyer sized ships). They tend to be at least 1 full hull size smaller than their opponents at the same point values.

A loaded Mongol, which is a Light cruiser, at fleet scale runs 84 points.

Fed Heavy Cruiser 81
Gorn Command Cruiser 84
Tholian Neo Heavy Cruiser 85
Tholian DN 91 Not too far out of the ballpark

If the ships go toe to toe, the Mongol will probably be destroyed and it will severely damage whomever it is facing if it gets to range 0-1.

At that point, if the Hydran played his cards right, the fighters will be rolling in and be able to finish off the opponent...but since the fighters have no where to land, they die too, and it is a draw..no survivors..woo-hoo Smile

So the Hydran wants to close to range 0-1 with fighters in trail, opponents want to prevent this and keep the range more open.

If you aren't playing with Stingers and are flying Fusion Ships, then when opposing a Hydran, the impulse before he can get to range 0-1, the Hydran will be at a range around 4-5. It will be at that range that I will alpha strike the Hydran, firing every weapon that will bear and I can power as I don't have to worry about fighters, drop his shields, target weapons, launching hit and run raids against Gatlings and Fusions or phasers (depending on his power status) that survive direct fire, and launching any and all seeking weapons, including suicide shuttles.

At a range of 4-5 Hydrans are almost toothless, but do you hold fire as a Hydran and lose those weapons without firing a shot? Tough Call. Then what are you going to do about those seeking weapons coming at you? At fleet Scale a Mongol only has 1xGatling, 1XPhaser 1, 2XPhaser 2's and 2XFus..not a large number of weapons to start with..take some of those out due to direct fire, no fighters to back you up..and the Hydran is in a bit of a pickle.
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TJolley
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No doubt Fusion Hydrans are difficult to employ. The key is being able to close the range. If you can manage to get to 0-2 in decent shape (that's key), odds are you will come out better than your opponent, especially if you can get the fighters in there as well.

Don't forget EM to help you close the range without taking too much damage, and don't think you have have to close the range on turn 1. It doesn't do you any good to get to range 0-1 with no power for your weapons. You should be on a location map or in a scenario, so your opponent can't run forever.

ESG's are easily countered by the Hydrans. Just make sure you stack your fighters and ships and move them such that the max number possible are at the same range to the Lyran. As the ESG damages all targets equally, just make sure you have enough fighters present so that a full barrage of ESG's can't cause more than 6 points to every fighter. At that point it doesn't matter..you will be at range 0 or 1 and will be able to wipe out ships for the loss of fighters. With their limited DISR firing arcs and reliance on more phaser 2's and phaser 3's, the Lyrans can be one of the easier races to deal with.

LDR are a different animal though. They trade in some phaser 2's for phaser 1's, and replace P-3's for Gatling phasers. They can stand at range and cause damage, and are more than willing to throw a frigate/destroyer into a charge and use it's ESG and Gatling phasers to decimate the Stingers. With it's massive close range fire power, a frigate can easily wipe our or neutralize 1.5x-2.0x the point value of Stingers before it goes down.

I haven't really figured out how to counter LDR consistently yet.
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TJolley wrote:
junior wrote:
If a Hydran gets to point blank range with an equal points value ship, then the Hydran's opponent dies. Hydran Fusion ships just mount too much close range firepower, and tend to outmass their equal points value opponents by a significant amount (before the Stingers are included).


You have it a bit backwards. In an equal point value game, the Hydrans will always be massively out-sized ship for ship (excluding frigate and maybe destroyer sized ships). They tend to be at least 1 full hull size smaller than their opponents at the same point values.


Nope. The real issue is that paranthetical - "Before the Stingers are included."

WITH fighters, yes - every ship other than the Hunter (which doesn't include Stingers) will be outmassed by its opponent. WITHOUT fighters, every ship except maybe the Hunter (which I haven't checked) will outmass its opponent. iirc, a Squadron Scale Ranger is 111 points which puts it in the same territory as the Fed DW.

Given that fighters don't need to be taken (it says so in the rules), if it were easy to close to point blank range and unload the Fusion Beams, then who wouldn't willingly decide to forego the fighters and just use their Fusion Beam ship?



Quote:
If you aren't playing with Stingers and are flying Fusion Ships, then when opposing a Hydran, the impulse before he can get to range 0-1, the Hydran will be at a range around 4-5. It will be at that range that I will alpha strike the Hydran, firing every weapon that will bear and I can power as I don't have to worry about fighters, drop his shields, target weapons, launching hit and run raids against Gatlings and Fusions or phasers (depending on his power status) that survive direct fire, and launching any and all seeking weapons, including suicide shuttles.


If I'm flying a Fusion ship against you in this situation, then I'm presumeably using EM on the approach. I won't drop it until the impulse that I decide I'll be in point blank range to unload my weapons - except maybe against a large wave of drones (plasma means run like mad and then come back next turn). Which means that...

No hit and run raids until after I fire my Fusion Beams and Gatlings (since you can't transport onto a ship using EM). And against an equal points value Fusion Beam ship you'll be lucky to knock down the forward shield (and do you REALLY want your forward shield down when I'll be firing at you next impulse?) Suicide Shuttles are probably a non-issue since they won't hit until I drop EM - unless you're moving more slowly than your shuttle. And if you're moving that slowly then you're a welcome target for my own suicide shuttle (and I've got shuttle boxes to spare for hits, even if most of them start out empty) Drones are a possible issue depending on the race and depending on how quickly you are or are not moving, but I might be willing to take one or two if I can angle the shields correctly. You'd also best have launched them before I got to the "one more impulse and I fire" point.

I ran some numbers between the Fed DW and the Ranger in the old Stinger thread. Suffice to say that it wasn't pretty for the Fed.
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TJolley
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
If I'm flying a Fusion ship against you in this situation, then I'm presumeably using EM on the approach. I won't drop it until the impulse that I decide I'll be in point blank range to unload my weapons - except maybe against a large wave of drones (plasma means run like mad and then come back next turn).


Aye..that's the problem..with every race except Lyran/LDR having seekers, I'm going to be chucking enough seeking weapons to force you to come off of EM. If I am Lyran/LDR, I am closing with you as fast as I can..as they have as good or better damage potential for less power..especially after the ESG's are fully charged.

If you are charging in on EM, I'll dump a piss-pot of seekers when you are about 2 impulses out..say range 8-10 or so. If you don't turn of, the next impulse you will be at around 4-5. You will have to come off of EM to deal with the seeking weapons, or accept a lot of damage. Either way is a win. I either get a bunch of cheap damage and will launch more seekers if I can, or you come off of EM to deal with the seekers, and I do the alpha strike H&R, etc.

I'd take Klingons vs the Hydrans before the Fed. Disruptors over Photons against Hydrans, and really good turn modes and more drones..usually. If you were intent on EM'ing all day, then Kzinti over Klingon..well, maybe..depending on the ship/s. Maybe a Romlan..keep dumping fast-load F's and D's at you and Hydran being almost totally impotent against a cloaked Romulan.

Wonderful thing about Fed Com..there are so many tactics and counter tactics..keeps it interesting to say the least.
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Kzinti drone swarm might scare me off. A Klingon probably won't. I might angle things to take the drones on an off shield. But I might also count on my superior mass being enough to absorb whatever it is that you're capable of throwing at me.

Given that the Ranger is 111 points without the Stingers, the closest Klingon opponent is the F5W (Comm 6) at 110 points (I'm avoiding the E7J due to the special rules involved). Forward firepower consists of 2 Disruptors, 2 Phaser-1s, 2 Phaser-3s, and 2 Drone Racks (it also has 3 Phaser-1s with the RX firing arc). Ignoring the drones for the moment, I'm not even sure if that's enough firepower to blow down the #1 shield on the Ranger at range 5 (I don't have the damage charts handy) if you managed to roll six 1s. So no hit and run raids even if I'm not using EM. And if I'm not using EM, then your 2 drones are going to absorb fire from the forward phasers.



So to return to my original point, it's a good thing that Fusion ships have to work to close to point blank range - because otherwise they'd win every time against an equal points value opponent.
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TJolley
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
Given that the Ranger is 111 points without the Stingers, the closest Klingon opponent is the F5W (Comm 6) at 110 points


The F-5W is crap. I'd take a D-5 at 118. 4XFH+L/R DISR, 4XP-1's, 4XP-3's 2 Drones.

Average Range 5 Damage: 22-30 with P-1's and DISR depending if you OL the DISR

at that point turn off and keep the range open, popping 2 drones..that's only like 1 Gatling tied up..but the return fire at range 5 is only 11 points for all Phaser 1's and 2's assuming you are center-lined..not counting Fusions..which are a waste at 5

But yea..that's the Hydran's thing..if they can get to range 0 - you will probably lose..if you can keep the range open to range 4-5+, they lose..they are very 'streaky' units...Fusion have one trick and and one trick only..get up close and personal
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I specifically avoided the D5 since it has a reputation as a ship that is a particularly good buy for the points cost. The F6 'Frignaught' is the third-closest ship to the Ranger points-wise (114 points - after the F5W and the E7J), and replaces the two Phaser-3s on the F5W with two additional disruptors (though it can only fire two disruptors per impulse). It also has five additional points of power (but one less battery), and heavy cruiser strength shields.

Quote:
at that point turn off and keep the range open, popping 2 drones..that's only like 1 Gatling tied up..but the return fire at range 5 is only 11 points for all Phaser 1's and 2's assuming you are center-lined..not counting Fusions..which are a waste at 5


Here you specifically ignore the basic point of my comments - i.e. that if the Hydrans can easily get to close range then they're grossly unbalanced.

I never argued that the opposing ship couldn't attempt to evade. Quite the contrary - I argued that the ability to do so is what made the Hydrans balanced. Without that balance the Hydrans are a one trick pony that would win every time.

In short, once you start factoring in the ability of the opponent to evade the Hydran's charge, then there's effectively nothing to argue about.
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TJolley
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
I specifically avoided the D5 since it has a reputation as a ship that is a particularly good buy for the points cost. The F6 'Frignaught' is the third-closest ship to the Ranger points-wise


So, the Hydran will take the best Fusion ship for the points and pit it against the weakest opponenet ships of the same point cost? No thanks. If an equal point game, I'll take the best ships I can for the points to counter the threat.

junior wrote:
Here you specifically ignore the basic point of my comments - i.e. that if the Hydrans can easily get to close range then they're grossly unbalanced.


No,I specifically stated that if the Hydran can get to range 0-1 they will probably win or come out of an exchange much better. See my post from 1:34pm, and 1:08pm. This even goes for smaller Hydran ships versus larger ships. It's how the Fusion Hydrans work. IF you can manage to get to range 0-1 you will probably will win, but if your opponanent can manage to keep you at range 4-5+ the Hydran will probably lose.

This is very different from most other races that can sucessfully employ short, medium, and longer range tactics and win. The Fusion-armed Hydrans are more of a one trick Pony.

junior wrote:

I never argued that the opposing ship couldn't attempt to evade. Quite the contrary - I argued that the ability to do so is what made the Hydrans balanced. Without that balance the Hydrans are a one trick pony that would win every time.

In short, once you start factoring in the ability of the opponent to evade the Hydran's charge, then there's effectively nothing to argue about.


Not much of an argument to begin with. I never contended that the Hydrans wouldn't win most of the time if they got to close range, I was just providing some tactics to slow them down and ways to strip them of weapons before they reach range 0-1.

They were even more of a one trick pony with Booster 0 rules. Hydrans were unbeatable using B0 rules. They are manageable now.
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TJolley wrote:
junior wrote:
I specifically avoided the D5 since it has a reputation as a ship that is a particularly good buy for the points cost. The F6 'Frignaught' is the third-closest ship to the Ranger points-wise


So, the Hydran will take the best Fusion ship for the points and pit it against the weakest opponenet ships of the same point cost? No thanks. If an equal point game, I'll take the best ships I can for the points to counter the threat.


Then pick something else and run the comparison. The Hunter is probably best left out since it doesn't have any fighters, and the Mongol doesn't have any good opponents (the closest Klingon ships are 91 and 110 points, and I don't like a 10% difference in points). I don't have the Lancer SSD, so I don't know what that would run. And I don't have the Fusion NCA handy to check its value.

The only reason I picked the Ranger was because it was handy when I used it in my example a few months ago.
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TJolley
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thing is in a 1-v-1, no matter which side you run, you'd always want to take the best ship for whatever point cost is used. In the 110-120 range I'm taking the D-5 as a Klingon, hands down.

There is a good reason the D-5 is a popular ship..it's darn good and relatively inexpensive..like most war cruisers..that's why they built so many of that class.

Thing with the Hunter is that you will usually have 2 for every other frigate/battle frigate out there..they are nasty little ships, but if you can get a solid hit on one, they crumble pretty easily.

I prefer to run DISR and/or heavy seeking weapon using ships against the Hydran. Some heavy drone/plasma Fed ships are OK, but their horrible turn mode gives the Hydran the advantage and allows the Hydran to more easily center-line the Fed, which is required to bring all weapons to bear.

Against a more maneuverable foe, the Hydran has a more difficult time getting full weapons to bear (at Squadron Scale anyway..those problems don't exist at Fleet Scale), and is fending off seeking weapons while trying to close the range.

It's interesting..tactics to close, tactics to prevent it, etc.. I'd almost prefer a Mongol with fighters over an Empty ranger though. Fighters, though tough to employ and use do give the Hydran more options and the opponant more to worry about. All of a sudden seeking weapons become much less useful.
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DNordeen
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Ph-G's make it very hard to get a drone through. Hydrans can basically pop 4 drones for 1 pt of power while everyone else requires 2 pts. If the fighters are out, makes the drone situation even tougher since they fire Ph-Gs for 0 power.

On another note...

Quote:
Plus if you can manage to get close enough to be able to do decent damage with Fusions or Gatlings, you are where you need to be to dump your fighters. At that point, the primary task of the capital ship is to be a weapons soak and Tractor anchor to protect the fighters until they are out from under the firing restriction, and slow down as many enemy ships as possible.


TJolley, I think your thinking about SFB. There are no firing restrictions when tractoring in FC. So the opponent can still fire at the fighters while you tractor him. I got busted by that a time or two watching Roms pop plasma into my FFs while I was tractoring them with my BC.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He was not talking about any tractor imposed firing restrictions.

He was talking about tractoring the target to slow it down so that the fighters could shoot it after they get past their firing restrictions.

The firing restrictions are on the fighters (because of the one impulse delay after launch), not the target.
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