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Fed Tactical Advice
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bobrunnicles
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Delray Beach, FL

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
I might be able to recommend a few...

(har-umph!)

[no comments from mjwest or scoutdad, please...]


Please feel free to go ahead!

(I feel like I'm missing some private joke here....)
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DNordeen
Commander


Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 531

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Mike wrote a bunch of the published scenarios
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Patrick Doyle
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Joined: 18 Aug 2007
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Location: Norfolk, VA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:45 am    Post subject: Federation Tactics Reply with quote

There is an article in the latest Captains Log called "The Photon Dodge", it may let you know one thing your enemy may try against you and how to fight it.

Also, Captains Log-35 has an article called "Power is Life". How you use power is very important, and very important to the Fed, you cannot afford to use power inefficiently.

As the Federation you have a few basic strategies to try. Without making this an obsurdly long post I'll try to hit some highlights. Just remember, for any tactics you try, there is a counter tactics that'll you'll need to be ready for.

Federation ships must try to protect their front shield. Take the long range disruptor shots on the #2 and #6 shields, then transfer the damage aft.

If you use too much power on shield reinforcement, you won't have the power to accelerate and catch him. You also won't have the power to overload torpedoes.

Try to get closer than range 8. Range 0-4 should be your goal depending on your enemy. Remember the Simultaneous decision rule. If, as you close in, then enemy decides to pound one of your ships, have that ship fire some or all of its torps so they aren't damaged before firing. Other ships should hold fire until you get closer.

Have an escape plan. After firing your torps, you must run away, have a way out. If your enemy is running away and you get range 8, consider firing and running. It will take him a while to turn around, and you hopefully will be reloaded by then.

Strategy 1: Avoid fighting on turn 1, go slow (base speed eight) and overload your torpedoes. Take the first volley on a side shield. Turn 2, go speed 24. It depends how close you start the game, but 30-35 is a good range. The difficulty here is that your ships won't be able to move as fast dragging around full overloads. Against a disruptor armed ship, he'll fire drones, and plink at you with phasers/disrs.

Save the power to accelerate so that you can sidestep around his drones. If it is going to be a long chase, the drones will fall further and further behind. If the map is limited, you'll eventuall need to deal with the drones.

If you play on a completely open map, where he can run forever, you are probably hosed if he doesn't make any gross errors. If you are chasing him, you are playing to his advanatges, and that is just bad tactics. Tell the Klingons if they are too chicken to fight, they are free to retreat, you are the Federation after all, let the Klingons run away. Call him a coward, Klingons hate that! Seriously, If there is at least some limit to the map (you are fighting over a specific area of space aren't you?, he'll eventually have to turn and fight, and die gloriously when you hit with Photons.

Strategy 2: Fast Moving Feds - Don't overload all torps right away, try overloading half of them. If he is going to stay away, then save the power to move fast and fire phasers. If you move at near speed 32 directly after him, he'll have a very difficult time keeping outside range 8 and also hitting you with disruptors more than once or twice (and that shouldn't be a big deal).

Not fully overloading torps may have the opposite affect, it may sucker him in close, he may go slow so that he can overload and outgun you. If you go fast, you can avoid him. If you both go slower, you should still have enough power to overload you remaining torps. Speed selection is the guessing part of Fed Com... (ie refer to the battle of wits from the Princess Bride)

If you are playing a fleet game (ie, either scale but lots of ships), then when he turns away to run after hitting you with the disruptors, shoot out the aft shield of a significant Klingon ship. In a fleet battle (meaning that you can spare one or two torps, max, for a range 9-12 shot), you may be able to afford to lob the occational torpedo to assist in taking out the aft shield. Once the #4 shield is down, that ship will have a hard time running away from you without taking damage. Either way, you should have enough phaser-1s for the job. Target engines if you get range 10 to slow that ship down.

One big suggestion is that you shouldn't play on a map that floats forever unless the scenario has a good reason for it.
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USS Enterprise
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Joined: 27 Feb 2009
Posts: 376
Location: Vulcan

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the same when I first got Klingon Border, I perfered the Klingons or Kzintis to the Federation, but after playing some-more, I realized some neat Federation Tactics!

1: On turns without Photons, Run Away!

You should fire Phasers when possible while running away, and should definitely fire Drones, but your Klingon foe will have disrupters, don't eat them!

2: Fire Drones!

Even if they restrict your ADDs, they rarely help if you're smart enough to fry the Drones of the opposition with the Phasor 3's.

That's about it. And remember the mini-tactic, don't die!
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having just been battered two games in a row as the Feds [ok, the latest wasn't a 'fair' starting position but hey, them's the breaks...], I can contribute only a couple of lessons. But regular posters here know me; win or lose, I try to learn from every game.

Ok, I think that the Fed ships are underpowered and undergunned. Few, if any, ships from other races, cost a full 32 points of power to deliver their awesome full heavy weapons alpha. But few, if any, other ships have quite as much crunch power, size for size, as the Feds do. Granted, some of the '100-pointzz of Plasma' ships have more crunch, but they can only do that once every three turns and even then against a co-operating opponent. Actually landing a 50-point Plas-R on your opponent is going to take some doing if he knows his stuff.

Feds are undergunned also in that yes, they have a decent phaser suite - the Feds have Phaser-1's after all, none of this Phaser-2 stuff - but again, to have the power to fire all that along with the photons and still catch up to deliver the strike as advertised is a pretty tall order.

So, if the Feds are so good, then we'll just have to make up the tactics to let them live up to it.

I know that the general wisdom here is to arm photons as standard loads and then overload at the point of firing, thus maintaining tactical flexibility. If this is the way forward, then it may even be better to wait until the 1-point-per-tube holding turn so as to have the extra power for speed, overloading or phasers. But few people fire at beyond range 8 anyway, because of the lousy hit probabilities, so surely it's overloads or nothing?

I do think that the Feds would have to overload the torps at the end of Turn 1, having gone slow a) to avoid closing the range and b) to preserve power for the overloads. But you can either a) keep the batteries and make Tn 1 the first arming turn, then overload at the end, or b) burn the batteries as preloads [power-wise, it's usually a good deal; the Fed CA gets eight points of photon power for a mere four points of battery power] - either way, you'd start your approach run with overloaded torps and having to pay eight points a turn [for the CA] to keep the torps hot, since the second turn would be your second arming turn which would cost two points per tube anyway. It's not 'wasted' power, like holding an overload for two points per turn would be, because the power does end up in the warheads....

Once the torps are loaded, you then have the problem of catching the offenders, who will not want to co-operate of course.

So this is the dilemma: either you overload at the start of the game and can't catch them, or you standard-load and don't have the power to overload when you do catch them.

Once the torps are gone, you may not be able to get full overloads again, so make 'em count the first time around. This means getting as close as you can for your photon strike.

Alternative strategies have already been mooted here, for example the rolling cycle of arming and firing two torps at a time. This is potentially the equivalent of getting off a plasma-S every turn, so it's not necessarily all that bad. It avoids the general Federation strategy of the all-or-nothing single strike, maintains a credible threat around the clock, and keeps the power flowing. And we know that the Disruptor is slightly better statistically than the photon, but the Fed ship is somewhat tougher than its equivalent in the Klingon fleet.

I'd appreciate any comments on all this - I realise that I don't really reach any concrete conclusions from these musings - but then, if I had, I guess we'd have all the answers, wouldn't we? And then there's no discussion....[/i]
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Savedfromwhat
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Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 641

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fed's are the best hands down. If you are playing with an objective or sany kind of terrain. It is a patience game, Federation commander that is. If you are playing Klingons you have to saber dance the Fed and that could take 3-5 turns (how often do your games go past 2?) and the same goes for playing feds you have to get behind them and stay behind them until they take enough rear shield damage to slow down.

Honestly it is harder to power all of your weapons as a klingon then as a fed. Reason being that a Fed can have all 4 photons Overloaded and spend 8 points of power per turn to keep them that way. In other words a range 4 Overload shot with all your phasers may cost you 5 to 7 points for phasers and the 8 points from the begining of the turn, thats only 11-13 points of power factor in the 24 to go full speed and still have minimum 3 points left in the batteries. now you may need to do some accelerating and such but the point is you can fire it all with a potential 64 points of damage.

The Klingons on the other hand pay 4 to 7 points for phasers (mostly phaser 2's also) and if they want to overload all their disruptors thats another 16 points of power. Thats 20 to 23 points for weapons plus 24 for maximum speed and... uhh ohh we have already exceeded the total power on a klingon D-7 by 1 to 4 points. What will we do instead? (the D-7 also has less potential for damage then the CA does in one turn).

The trick for the D-7 is to stay range 15 and plink away on the fed number one shield then run and keep doing it staying at a minimum of range 8 (if the fed takes the shot from that far out it is up to the dice cause his odds of hitting are slim).

But as a Fed player just overload two of your torps and then pay holding energy each turn. that way you can maintain speed 24 and still have 6+4 points each turn to play with (firing weapons and accelerating. If your opponent wont come any closer you can always slow to speed 16 and use that extra 8 points of power for shooting down drones and also to reinforce/repair shield damage) he will not come in close if you have 2 overloaded torps plus two more on standby. Basically you have to have patience and a willingness to take some damage on your number 2 and 6 shields.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some basic Fed points (IMO, for the little it is worth).
- Valid ranges for photons do reach out to 12 hexes. It is almost pointless outside that.
- Range 8 is a valid overload range. Do not ever be afraid to fire at range 8. You will have to have an escape plan, but it is a valid tactic.
- Range 4 isn't as good a deal as it seems. If you are going to get to range 4, you might as well try for 2 (or 1).
- Feds get a power advantage by holding. You always want to try to do your attack run while holding photons, not arming them.
- Don't play on a fully floating map. You need some kind of border to force the opponent to eventually turn around.
- Don't plan on a small fixed map. You need to be able to run during that rearming turn.
- Don't be afraid to treat the photon like a three turn arming weapon (preload-load-hold) if you opponent lets you.
- Holding overloads works if you know you can get to at least range 8. If you don't know you can get that, don't hold overloads.
- Don't fire photons "two-by-two". The whole point of photons is their crunch power. Splitting them like that simply forfeits that advantage.

Obviously, all of these are generalities. Specific situations always override any of these generalities. But, these are all points to keep in mind.

The Feds do have bad matchups. A properly flown D5 is going to be a Fed nightmare no matter what. The key is to recognize your opponents game and not let him do it effectively, within the constraints of your ship.
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junior
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Joined: 08 May 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
- Holding overloads works if you know you can get to at least range 8. If you don't know you can get that, don't hold overloads.


Very, very, VERY true. Repeat that for emphasis.

In the last game I played, it was a Klingon/Lyran fleet assaulting a Fed Battlestation protected by a handful of frigates. Two of the three Fed ships overloaded their photons on the first turn of the game...

... so the Klingon/Lyran fleet kept its distance and plinked away with disruptors and phasers.

Oops...
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
The Feds do have bad matchups. A properly flown D5 is going to be a Fed nightmare no matter what.

Actually that was one of the ships that precipitated my last posting, above. D5 and F5 vs. Fed FF and DW - the one with the three photons. And a bad start position to boot. But we do like playing unequal scenarios.....
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junior
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the other hand, that D5 was saddled with an F5.

Razz
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Wolverin61
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Joined: 16 Nov 2008
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Location: Mississippi

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kang wrote:
But regular posters here know me; win or lose, I try to learn from every game.


Oh, we know you alright Wink

Quote:
Ok, I think that the Fed ships are underpowered and undergunned.


Yes, but they generally have more boxes per shield, so try to maneuver to keep a fresh shield toward the enemy.


Quote:
Feds are undergunned also in that yes, they have a decent phaser suite - the Feds have Phaser-1's after all, none of this Phaser-2 stuff - but again, to have the power to fire all that along with the photons and still catch up to deliver the strike as advertised is a pretty tall order.


At least you weren't using the original SFB CA, with no weapons coverage to LR or RR.

I'm not really good at tactics, since I tend to lose about half the time. Tony, best thing I can advise is to just keep trying Feds, you'll get the hang of them.
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junior
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wolverin61 wrote:
Yes, but they generally have more boxes per shield, so try to maneuver to keep a fresh shield toward the enemy.


They also tend to have more "padding" (i.e. largely useless systems like Hull boxes and Labs) than other ships do, which means that when the shields do go down they're not hurt as badly as the ships of most other empires.

(Hydrans have something somewhat similar with their massive Center Hulls, but that doesn't work nearly as well in Fed Com as it did in SFB where it was sometimes referred to as "Hydran Armor")
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captcorajus
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've said this elsewhere, but the Feds were MADE to use direct targeting. In the old SFB rules, "non-violent combat" was the tactic, but here in FC the rule has been wonderfully revised.

Another thing to consider is application of force. The destruction of your opponent isn't as big a goal as it is with other races (like the Klingons)... Control of Space is.

Compared to the Klingons, and other races the Fed ships have a wonderful phaser suite. Don't close to more than 9 or 10 hexes, and target weapons. With standard photons and phasers this is devistating,
and can quickly take an opponent by suprise.

Don't be so quick to run away after discharging your photons either! Timing is everything. Try to time your closest approach to the end of the turn, that way your still in range at the beginning of the following turn.

Unload your phasers and direct target! You don't have to bring down a shield here... splash damage can be devistating if you take out a weapon, which you have a 50% chance to do with direct targeting.

Guess what, if you've played your cards right, the offensive ability of your opponent will be greatly diminished with this combo, and you may be able to hang while you load photons for the next turn, rather than showing your 6.

Using the Feds requires patience, surgical tactics, as you carefully slice away at your opponent's ability to mount an offensive, which philosopically is the goal of the Federation anyway. If you can make your opponent leave thats still a victory.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a little-used Federation tactic that just might win the day, so to speak...

Don't do pre-loads at the start of a scenario. Take the batteries instead. Your opponent will not be fearful of closing with you. Let loose your phaser fire at a bit of a distance farther than your opponent wishes to fire at you. Then close with him. With the extra power from the batteries and from not loading photons, you should be able to tractor him on your #1 shield. Then at the start of the next turn you can unload every phaser you have. All the better if you are on one of his oblique shields or even a rear shield.

Appropriate to win the day, especially this one! Wink
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captcorajus
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Joined: 10 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
Here is a little-used Federation tactic that just might win the day, so to speak...

Don't do pre-loads at the start of a scenario. Take the batteries instead. Your opponent will not be fearful of closing with you. Let loose your phaser fire at a bit of a distance farther than your opponent wishes to fire at you. Then close with him. With the extra power from the batteries and from not loading photons, you should be able to tractor him on your #1 shield. Then at the start of the next turn you can unload every phaser you have. All the better if you are on one of his oblique shields or even a rear shield.

Appropriate to win the day, especially this one! Wink


You have to get within one hex to use your tractor. I can assure you, that if I'm within one hex of my opponent I've done something wrong!
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