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Ideas for cloaking tactics?
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note, however, how the sequence of play works out.

Because cloaks operate in the Other Functions phase, and the Launch phase occurs after that, you can indeed uncloak and LAUNCH your plasma during the fade impulse.

Likewise, you can also fire your direct-fire weapons on the same impulse that you start to cloak, because direct fire occurs before the Other Functions phase.

Therefore, for Romulans, the cloak would appear to be a mechanism to allow you to have cover for the approach. While, for the above new-style Klingons, the cloak would appear to be a mechanism for avoiding (or dictating) retribution after delivering your weapons strike.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pinkfluffychicken wrote:
kang, scoutdad: Awww. Spoilsports! Razz

Sorry... Embarassed
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Kang
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
Note, however, how the sequence of play works out.

Because cloaks operate in the Other Functions phase, and the Launch phase occurs after that, you can indeed uncloak and LAUNCH your plasma during the fade impulse.

Likewise, you can also fire your direct-fire weapons on the same impulse that you start to cloak, because direct fire occurs before the Other Functions phase.

Therefore, for Romulans, the cloak would appear to be a mechanism to allow you to have cover for the approach. While, for the above new-style Klingons, the cloak would appear to be a mechanism for avoiding (or dictating) retribution after delivering your weapons strike.

Sorry but once again I'm going to nit-pick...

If it says "During a fade-in/out Impulse, or when fully cloaked, the ship cannot: fire or launch any weapons or probes", then doesn't that mean that at any time during a fade/cloak impulse, those actions are still prohibited? If it's fading in during that impulse, then it can't fire or launch during that impulse. Of course that may not have been the designer's original intent, but just a problem with the wording.

Mind you, I'd prefer to be wrong here, I think it's a great little tactic, and one I hadn't noticed.... Smile
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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's how we've always played the cloak: no launch during fade-in or complete cloak, just like the rule says.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, (5P3a) does provide for those restrictions on a fade-in/out impulse. However, (5P2) actually defines what that impulse is. And it is very specific that it runs from Other Functions phase to the Other Functions phase. So, fade-in/out lasts for a full impulse, but that impulse is "offset", beginning and ending in the Other Functions phase.

So, if you trigger the cloak in the Other Functions phase of Impulse 3, that is when the fade-out period starts. You could have fired direct-fire weapons in the Offensive Fire phase of Impulse 3. You cannot launch torpedoes (or shuttles) in the Launch phase of Impulse 3. Likewise, your opponent can launch his seeking weapons at you in the Launch phase of Impulse 3 (and, if he has the opportunity, he probably should). Then, in Impulse 4, if your opponent fires during the Offensive Fire phase, they are only penalize on the range, not the damage reduction. In the Other Functions phase of Impulse 4, you become fully cloaked. Therefore, your opponent may not launch seeking weapons targetted on you in the Launch phase of Impulse 4.

Likewise, if you declare that you are uncloaking in the Other Functions phase of Impulse 7, you are still fully cloaked until that point. So, if your opponent tried to fire at you in the Offensive Fire phase of Impulse 7, it would have been at the full penalties for firing at a cloaked target. Coincident with the declaration to uncloak in the Other Functions phase, your ship immediately begins fade-in. Therefore, during the Launch phase of Impulse 7, your opponent can launch seeking weapons at you. During the Direct Fire phase of Impulse 8, your opponent can fire on you and only suffer the fade effects, not the fully cloaked effects. Finally, during the Other Functions phase of Impulse 8, you are completely out from under cloak (and fade), so you (or your opponent, for that matter) may freely launch seeking weapons.

Quite frankly, I don't know how else for it to work, given that the declaraction needs to be made in the Other Functions phase. Using the examples above, if you could not launch in the Launch phase of Impulse 8, then, logically, you could launch during the Launch phse of Impulse 3, which means you were launching plasma AFTER declaring your cloaking device active. If you could not launch in either of those Launch phases, then you are making the fade-in/out period last for more than an impulse.

The only way to avoid those other complications and issues is to do what I described above: fade-in/out lasts from Other Functions phase to Other Functions phase, with all that implies.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
Yes, (5P3a) does provide for those restrictions on a fade-in/out impulse. However, (5P2) actually defines what that impulse is. And it is very specific that it runs from Other Functions phase to the Other Functions phase. So, fade-in/out lasts for a full impulse, but that impulse is "offset", beginning and ending in the Other Functions phase.

Cool. Then at the next Exeter meet we will have to try cloaking devices and this trick as well. Heh.
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Carthaginian
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, this means that a Romulan ship can still 1.) close range, 2.) BOLT plasma torps, and 3.) declare cloaking and begin fading out... correct?
It's not as effective as launching the plasma torps, but it still provides an effective tactic for minimizing the damage to your vessel while maximizing the effect against the enemy.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carthaginian wrote:
So, this means that a Romulan ship can still 1.) close range, 2.) BOLT plasma torps, and 3.) declare cloaking and begin fading out... correct?
It's not as effective as launching the plasma torps, but it still provides an effective tactic for minimizing the damage to your vessel while maximizing the effect against the enemy.

Yes, that is completely valid. And this can easily force the opponent to respond with their own direct fire at this less optimal range if they believe you are going to cloak.

But, it isn't nearly as bad as it sounds. Remember that:
1) You will then be going a maximum speed of 16 while cloaked.
2) Your opponent will still be able to launch whatever he wants in that same impulse, and it will probably hit you.
3) Next impulse, your opponent can still fire on you, only suffering a +4 to range. Depending on facing and speed, this can be just as good (or better) than the "me-too" fire with the bolts.

This is a valid tactic. But it is not overwhelming because it is hard to pull off, and there are counters to it.

The best use of this tactic would be against a Fed ship holding overloads. Bolt at him at range 10, then cloak. Next imulse, make sure you get no closer than range 5. That will let you completely screw him out of a fully effective overload shot. (Of course, he probably will still be sitting on your rear waiting for you to uncloak, but that is a future problem. Smile )

The worst use of this tactic is probably against the Gorn or Kzinti, who will gladly let you slow down while they dump plasma/drones at you that you can no longer shoot down.
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junior
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
The worst use of this tactic is probably against the Gorn or Kzinti, who will gladly let you slow down while they dump plasma/drones at you that you can no longer shoot down.


And no longer outrun due to the speed restrictions.

You might be able to weather a drone barrage due to the reduced damage, but plasma torpedoes from a Gorn are going to hurt quite a bit.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MJ,

Is this explanation in the CRUL?

It is not so much of a rules interpretation or clarification as it is an explanation of what is possible. I think it belongs in the CRUL and in the enhanced rulebook as an example.
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Pinkfluffychicken
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The worst use of this tactic is probably against the Gorn or Kzinti, who will gladly let you slow down while they dump plasma/drones at you that you can no longer shoot down.


Agreed, but it's not just the Kzinti who can dump drones: how many Klingons and Fed can do so? As soon as you are above four drones that's a shield and he's on top of you with more that will hit if you try and come out...ok, that's not usually a duel and all the comments have been about a single ship duel.

Even one on one there's a lot of ships that can put out two drones in a launch which hit for half damage, and two more before you are uncloaked which hit for full and then you have to face his direct fire alpha strike!

I'm not saying it can't be done, but those drones are an absolute nightmare. Chuckle. Hey ho. Here's to short games Laughing
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junior
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pinkfluffychicken wrote:
Even one on one there's a lot of ships that can put out two drones in a launch which hit for half damage, and two more before you are uncloaked which hit for full and then you have to face his direct fire alpha strike!


Put the drone impacts on different shields.

Razz

Also, you can start accelerating during your fade in impulse, meaning that you'll be able to keep the distance open between you and the drones...

Unless, of course, your opponent was crazy enough to actually move INTO your hex. And if that happens, then you'll probably have a nice plasma salvo to introduce your opponent to that said opponent won't be able to outrun...


Overall, though, drone users (particularly Kzinti) are the biggest headaches in the game for plasma races. The weapons don't take power (meaning that it's easier to keep speed up to outrun plasmas), and a drone salvo from a Kzinti will tie up nearly half of the phaser-1s on your average plasma ship. I've sometimes wondered if it might be useful to reintroduce plasma shotguns as a way of dealing with drone salvoes (an expensive way of dealing with them to be sure, but it's not like your torpedoes are going to hit the ship actually firing the drones in a duel).

Of course, doing that would open a whole 'nother can of worms...
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Kang
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
Also, you can start accelerating during your fade in impulse....


Now there's an interesting rules question. If you do accelerate, and move more than two hexes during your fade-in impulse, will that not void your cloak immediately, thereby losing you your +4 fade-in protection?
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Pinkfluffychicken
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Put the drone impacts on different shields.


Usually do-able. Not always. As regards accelerating away - I'm trying to get my alpha strike in... Point is, though, you've only really got one pass to do serious damage before his TOTAL firepower gets to you (main armament PLUS drones in a way no-one else has to deal with unless they've made a serious error), and in an equal BPV game, you are 20% smaller...

I think cloak in Fed Comm against drones is like cloak in SFB against Stinger IIs - you DON'T use it except possibly on the first approach. Isn't that why Roms got Escorts?

Still want to know - how many people regularly play Romulan?
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Pinkfluffychicken
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Now there's an interesting rules question. If you do accelerate, and move more than two hexes during your fade-in impulse, will that not void your cloak immediately, thereby losing you your +4 fade-in protection?


The way I read it -Yes. Sad
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