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Plasma Games Are Taking To Long
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Savedfromwhat
Commander


Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 639

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:53 am    Post subject: Plasma Games Are Taking To Long Reply with quote

Hi everyone I need some help please. I have noticed in my time on these forums that it seems that everyone feels that plasma is a very powerful weapon. In practice my gaming group has found plasma to be only moderetly effective, but sadly only in a way that makes the game last 3 to 4 hours, squadron scale 2 ships per side and we usually call the game early. Anyway let me get to our findings.

1) In the games i have been playing the Plasma player goes speed 24+1, comes in close and fires one or all of his plasma, then turns away and is chased while he reloads.

a) This is very inneffective as the non-plasma player is also going speed 24+1 and as long as he closes on the oblique he can turn away and never get within range of the torpedo.

2) Because everyone is going speed 24+1 there is very little weapons fire which bogs the game down tremendously.

3) Bolting is a good tactic to remember but is not very effective even at range 0

a) Tonight a friend was flying a Fed Frigate against a Romulan K7R and the Romulan bolted his plasma's at range 2 and only did 27 internals, the Fed player managed to do 14 on the cruiser. Possibly not the best choice to bolt all 4 plasma's (1 S and 1 F hit) but it is what it is, even if he didn't bolt them the Fed player had fullfilled his turn mode and was going...24+1 and could get away from the oncoming plasma.

In closing the only Valid tactic i have scene is for the Plasma player to come in and Launch half of his plasma, then phaser the opponent, and then turn off and recharge while running 24+1. This is the only way we have seen a plasma player acctually win. There is more i would like to say on the issue but this is already long as it is, so, I am looking forward to some discussion with you all.

BTW I have read the whole plasma advice thread.

Nick
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DrFaustus
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 13 Jul 2007
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not too sure what you are wanting, if you have read the plasma advice thread then you know the tricks to using plasma.

I am surpirsed the Plasma ships are moving so fast to close in with the hefty power requirements to load plasma I would have come in slower (If my oppenent is moving at speed 24+1 all the better) Then slap him with a tractor beam. (If I am moving at 16 and he is doing 24+1 there is not much chance of loosing the auction)

Manover so that he can't easily close on the oblique or force him to turn early then catch him when he can't turn again.
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Davec_24
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plasma ships can win perfectly well, it just takes time as you say. I find that we tend not to fly plasma ships very often because most battles tend to take several (usually 3-4) hours to play when using plasma and I don't often have time for a game that long. I think the games take this long because the player fighting against the plasma player is moving at high speed as you mentioned (at least he is if he has any sense, unless he has some ace up his sleeve), and this means the plasma does very little damage to him. Since he's moving so fast, he can't hammer the plasma player very hard either due to power constraints, and it becomes a slugging match with only small amounts of damage scored each turn. Certainly that's the way it seems to occur in my experience, and this does take a while both in terms of turns played and also in terms of time.

However, plasma ships can win from this slugging contest since you can usually afford to move more slowly than your opponent if he is not also armed with plasma, which allows you to get in some nice phaser shots and use re-enforcement, usually doing not too much less damage with your phasers than he can do to you with the power he has available. Just make sure you have plasma available at least two out of every three turns (and on the third you have the threat of a fast-loaded F torpedo) and don't fire it all off at once - this way it stops your opponent running out your entire strike in one turn, and then slowing down to power more weapons, or closing to a better range, all without fear of a plasma torpedo in the face...
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Pinkfluffychicken
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 08 Aug 2007
Posts: 217
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only way (barring serious error or cloaks) that you'll hit with plasma on the map is to make your opponent WANT to eat your plasma in order to get a better shot. This means only putting a little out at a time.

But I think it's simply true that plasma games take longer. 3 turn arming cycles are imo largely responsible (and no, I don't think that should be changed!)

What sort of map do you play on? We find a "fixed floating" map to be a good compromise, allowing room to manoeuvre and the possibility of trapping an opponent against the map edge and forcing a disengagement. In fact, almost all our games are played on these whether plasma or not.
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Davec_24
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the "fixed floating" map the type where it can float, but only by a certain distance in each direction (sort of like you'd use in a base assault)? Sounds like it could be a good compromise. I usually fight on floating maps but I might stop that and use this type of map instead, as it also eliminates the situation where a damaged ship can just run away as fast as you can follow and repair indefinitely - one player I play with likes to do that, and it's just not realistic! It does sound like a good compromise for plasma too though.
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Sproing
Ensign


Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 8
Location: london

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What we call a "fixed floating map" involves putting a marker on the centre of the map at the beginning of the game. The map floats but that marker retains its position relative to the other counters and must always be on the map. The effective playing area is therefore double that of the normal "fixed" map.
It's a compromise between the preferences of different races which allows for quite a lot of manouevre but forces those who would just run away to play. As PFC said it proved so popular that we rarely (although it does happen) play on either the fixed or floating maps.
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4453
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pinkfluffychicken wrote:
What sort of map do you play on? We find a "fixed floating" map to be a good compromise, allowing room to maneuver and the possibility of trapping an opponent against the map edge and forcing a disengagement. In fact, almost all our games are played on these whether plasma or not.


In the Federation Commander rulebook, the type of map you're referring to is a "Location Map" (8A1).
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Savedfromwhat
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Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 639

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK to sum up, It seems like the advice I am hearing is:

1) As the plasma player go in slow to conserve power.

2) Slap a tractor if possible

3) Use the threat of plasma to keep your opponent moving 24+1

4) Try a location map

I think this is all sound advice, Number 1, 3, and 4 we have tried but not as seriously as we could have, I will make sure we try this. As far as slapping on a tractor, I think that it is a great idea but it is fairly simple to prevent if you know how to maneuver even remotely well.

DrFaustaus: You said "Manover so that he can't easily close on the oblique or force him to turn early then catch him when he can't turn again"

How would I be able to do this? Especially against a player who is quite masterful at maneuver? I am not trying to downplay the importance of what you said, but I want you to understand I don't know how to do this. Please explain to me a way to force your opponent to turn early "towards you"? If my opponent does come in incorrectly he has the option of using his HET and then returning with a better vector. Do you play Romulans Gorn or ISC?

One last question do you plasma slingers use:
1)Gorn
2)Romulan; or
3)ISC

Thanks again for all your responses love reading what you all wrote.

Nick
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Davec_24
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use Romulan and Gorn ships when I do use plasma ships. The two tend to have different playing styles, as the Romulans have cloaking devices and can play it "cloak and dagger" (obviously this isn't always a good idea, depending on who you are up against) and the Gorn have better phaser batteries, and so tend to use a more running battle style of play, doing as much damage with phasers as is possible while keeping your enemy running at high speed with the plasma. The Gorn plasma arcs are particularly suited to that style of play, as you have pretty much all-round coverage on the cruisers and upwards. I haven't actually played the ISC yet, so I can't comment on them. Most likely you will find that whoever's throwing the plasma, the games will still take a relatively long time to play out, but this does not mean the battle is un-winnable, it's just the tactics that the weapon (plasma) necessitates.
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Pinkfluffychicken
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Joined: 08 Aug 2007
Posts: 217
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames

PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Romulan. In case you hadn't guessed. Wink Though I regard myself as little more than a beginner in FC and currently I'm mostly playing Lyran.

Another point that occurs to me: when you are holding torps, most plasma ships have a LOT of spare power, so a high speed and looking for the range 10 bolt plus phasers avoiding his overloaded return is a real possibility, then use F torps on the map, so if he tries to follow you he eats your F.
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is also a valid tactic, although once you've bolted your larger plasies you may have to slow down to re-arm them, at which point you will be relying mainly on F-torpedoes to deter him from coming after you. Not that this is a problem, just be careful that you give as good as you get with phasers (and F-torpedoes if he gets close enough and you think it'll make him turn off) until your plasmas are loaded again, and keep good shields to him.
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Pinkfluffychicken
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Joined: 08 Aug 2007
Posts: 217
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, if he's run through that lot (say the bolts missed) and I'm not at least outside range ten and likely to stay there, think that's about when to use the cloak. Depending on the number of seeking weapons targeted on me.

Worth a try, anyway...
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cloak's a good option for the Romulans at that point (as you say, depending on seeking weapon count and also of course if the enemy has ESGs). The Gorn would have to just up their speed and keep the range open until the plasma is re-armed. Thankfully they have decent rear-firing phaser batteries and pretty good rear shields too, so that kind of tactical withdrawal (or whatever else you choose to call it, so long as you don't say "running away" Wink) is viable as the Gorn.
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Democratus
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 19 Aug 2008
Posts: 31
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with relying on tractors in this case is that my ship moving 16 will *not* get within range 1 of an enemy ship moving 24(+1) and, therefore, will not be able to use the tractor. Aside from bolting and praying, I have found little that my romulan ships can do with their plasma torpedoes. Since I'm paying such a premium for the cloak I usually don't even out-phaser my opponents.

Still hoping to find a tempo to make things work. But right now I seem to alway find myself hoping that the dice are on my side.
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TJolley
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

4) Try a location map

There is no try. You have no option when using plasma races. They MUST be used on a location map. 4J "Always use a location map (8A1) instead of a fixed map with plasma"

On a fixed map plasmas tend to dominate. On an open map, plasmas really can't win unless their opponent makes some serious mistakes.
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