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Taming the Hellcat...or not.
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Dan Ibekwe
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Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Posts: 434
Location: Manchester UK

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:23 pm    Post subject: Taming the Hellcat...or not. Reply with quote

I took one of these (a Lyran Hellcat BCH) on with a Dragoon today, using modified (added common sense manouvers, ESGs vice drones) 'robot rules'.

I used a two-tall-by-three-wide small hex map, with the two ships facing each other from the centre of the long map sides, slightly offset (more or less SFB tournament setup).

Turn 1 - the Lyran goes to speed 24, fills her ESGs, and charges toward the Dragoon. The latter heads for the near map corner at speed 16, and launches her Stingers, the fighters immediately going on EM and sideslipping into a hex adjacent to the ship. The Dragoon goes to EM on impulse 4.

The Lyran reaches range 8 off the Dragoon's #5 shield on impulse 8, and fires four OL disruptors, missing with the lot due to the EM.

On turn 2, The BCH maintains speed 24 (to avoid the Stingers), and the cruiser speed 16 (to turn into the Lyran, and maintain contact with the Stingers). The Hydran drops EM with both the ship and the fighters over the turn break, and turns toward the Lyran; but the Hellcat slips away to starboard out of the Dragoon's forward arc. They end impulse 1 four hexes apart, The Lyrans' shield 6 facing the Dragoons' shield 5.

The Stingers aren't going to get any closer - the Lyran's going like a bat and has her turn mode satisfied - so they shoot first to provide a weak shield for the Hellbores, and do a creditable 9 points to the Hellcats' shield 6. The Lyran doesn't bother to re-inforce the shield...The Dragoon then fires two OL Hellbores, but the Lyran simply absorbs them with 11 points of ESG energy.

The Lyran hits the Dragoon with four OL disruptors and nine phaser-1s for 20+ internals, taking out two Hellbores and five phasers. Game over.

Ho Hum. I always considered a Dragoon vs Hellcat - or anything else with four ESGs - matchup to be unwinnable (from a Hydran perspective) in SFB, and it seems the same may hold true in FC. So far the best way of skinning this particular cat that occurs to me is a suicide squad of four Hunter frigates (ersatz PFs!).

Does anyone have any better ideas?
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Sproing
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Joined: 18 Nov 2007
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Location: london

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Dragoon isn't a particularly good duelling ship, although excellent in fleet situations and needs time to operate which it simply isn't going to get against one of the best point for point duelling ships in the game. The Lyran BCH is a beast of a ship and the modern ESG rules (which I like) make it even nastier.
I can only suggest trying to push the fighters a few hexes in front of the ship (EMing), hold on to their firepower and use them as a sort of blocker. I used to use Kzinti drones in much the same fashion to try to control the space between the ships and thus the pace of the battle. Then I suppose you could try to suck the power out of it (difficult) or EM, charge, fire and tractor to allow the fighters to finish it off (difficult).
Not much chance in my humble. I blame the high command for not sending a stronger force.
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Pinkfluffychicken
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Joined: 08 Aug 2007
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Location: Kingston-upon-Thames

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try it with a fully Stingered Ranger. Twisted Evil

Think sproing is right about the Dragoon - great ship that it is.
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junior
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lone Dragoon should never bother with the fighters. Three fighters in a duel at 180 points is never worth it. They're merely target practice. Also, as you noted in your game, the Dragoon has weird firing arcs which make it difficult to bring all of the Hellbores to bear (though admittedly if it hadn't been for the odd arcs you wouldn't have even been able to use the two that you did). Once the Iroquois is published, you might want to try a rematch.
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Davec_24
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
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Location: England

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those weird hellbore firing arcs can come in handy though, especially in a stand-off type fight (not that this one was) - you can do a sort of "weave" tactic, firing the hellbores in two lots of two either staggering this across an impulse or two, or even over a turn so that you always have hellbores ready in every turn. However, if you have four hellbores and the enemy have four ESGs there's not really much you can do with those hellbores that he can't simply soak up with the ESGs if he has the power (which the BCH does). I suppose it might force him to use enough power to arm his ESGs that he hasn't got enough left to overload the disrupotors, but that's about it.

That Lyran BCH is one nasty ship to be against - it's got the sheer firepower of the other Lyran warships with the added benefit of actually having enough power to use its weapons at the same time as using ESGs and/or having a high speed, unlike most Lyran ships. As much as I like the Dragoon as a heavy cruiser, I just don't think it can hold its own against a BCH, especially the Lyran one as that is a really nice ship for the points. A Dragoon with no stingers against a Tiger CA I find to be equally one-sided but this time in favour of the Dragoon. It's the ESGs that make all the difference in this case, I think.
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junior
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Davec_24 wrote:
A Dragoon with no stingers against a Tiger CA I find to be equally one-sided but this time in favour of the Dragoon. It's the ESGs that make all the difference in this case, I think.


And as I mentioned, Stingers have no place on a lone Dragoon. They're a point blank-only weapon that moves more slowly than most of their targets, acting in support of a long-range firing platform.

I don't have the points cost handy and I haven't taken the time to compare the ship displays, but a slightly more comparable choice might be to use a fighterless Overlord against the Hellcat.
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Overlord is 180 points, and the Hellcat is 192. The Overlord would also have better single-shot hellbore clobbering power then the Dragoon as it has FA hellbores (four of them) instead of the LF+L and RF+R arrangement of the Dragoon. However, I don't fancy the chances of a fighterless Overlord against that Hellcat, or even an Overlord with a fighter or two to make up the points difference - the Hellcat is one of the best battlecruisers in my opinion, and the Overlord is really not in the same league. As much as I love most Hydran ships, I think the Overlord is one of those BCHs like the Kzinti BCH which isn't really up to scratch when duelling with an enemy BCH.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe the best thing is simply to run away....
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well yes, but I think the general idea was for people to come up with tactics that help you *win* against the Hellcat... just running away and doing nothing else is a pretty good way to do the opposite in most scenarios. Not all scenarios admittedly, but most!
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Kang
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, then, you run away and then come back with a bunch of mates....
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And he can get a load of his Hellcat mates to join in the fun? That ship is a bit of a beast though, and it seems to me that the only way to beat it is either through luck or to have a ship or ships that are just as good...
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the problem is that Lyran ships generally are very good in duels. In multi-ship actions, the ESGs don't really work well together but things like Kzinti drones or massed Hellbores or Stingers do.
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a good point actually. Some ships and races work much better as part of a fleet than they do for duelling, and some work better for duelling than for fleet actions.

Of course, both types of scenario make sense in terms of what you are likely to come across in a war in the SFU. Dreadnoughts and battleships would be unlikely to fight in a duel, but such actions on border patrols and suchlike would be common for cruisers and smaller ships. On the other hand, it would be uncommon to see frigates or police ships in a larger battle (especially in the later General War era) as they tend to get destroyed very quickly and simply sending them into action as pretty much wasting good crew.
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they were a good crew, why wouldn't they get a bigger ship?
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junior
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pinecone wrote:
If they were a good crew, why wouldn't they get a bigger ship?


The vast majority of crews are good. And someone has to man the small ships.

There's also the point that you don't discover just how good a crew is until you give it a ship to man, and the fact that transferring a crew to a bigger ship might make the crew not so good anymore (since it has to deal with a different ship). Crews are made of up individuals, and while it may seem obvious that putting a good crew on another ship will mean that you have a crew of the same quality on the other ship that isn't necessarily the case.
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