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Taking Down the Death Probe

 
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OGOPTIMUS
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Joined: 10 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 4:54 am    Post subject: Taking Down the Death Probe Reply with quote

Mike Powers and I played the Death Probe scenario today (8TA11) using Fleet Scale with me taking the Death Probe and Mike taking a Federation Fleet totaling about 400 points. It was rather fun. With the ability to waste anything of war cruiser size and smaller with a single alpha strike leaving ~6-9 boxes afterward, the death probe is a fearsome opponent. I have to say phaser-4s hurt. This was my first experience with them, and all I have to say is OUCH!

All the overloaded photons from the Feds hurt too, but they weren't the thing that really did the death probe in (Mike correct me if I'm wrong here). It was the drones that really were the controlling factor. Yes, the Feds get a big bonus in Fleet Scale since they keep their one drone rack, but even then, they really dictated the pace of the game. There were 12 drones on the board at the start of turn 2!

The real problem for the death probe is that it's main defense against drones is its complement of phaser-3s (4). But that's the thing, four phaser-3s and two drone racks (which should be used defensively rather than offensively) stand between the death probe and a whole lot of damage. No shields, no tractors, no ADDs. Those drones add up. I spent a significant amount of time trying to out-maneuver the massive drone swarm that was tailing me (me going 32 and them staying right behind), and that gave Mike time to reload his photons and cause more damage.

The really bad part is that the first damage tier disables the phaser-3s!! So that made it really hard to fight off the drones. Now, by this time I had taken out two ships, and damaged another, so there weren't as many, and the Feds had to reload their drone racks, but once they were reloaded it was back to trouble for me.

So, to sum up all of what I've said above:

As the Death Probe player, when fighting races with significant number of drone racks (Kzinti, Klingons, kinda Feds) you should most likely use your drone racks defensively, or use them against an opponent that you've crippled with your photons and phaser-4s.

As the Fleet player, get the most out of your drones! Really try hard to launch on impulse 8 and then again on impulse 1 to overwhelm the Death Probe's few point defense weapons. After a bit, they'll be gone entirely, leaving you to launch them with impunity and chase him around the board unless he wants to take a ton of 12 point hits, or waste his smaller number of phaser-1s on them, and then those aren't firing at your ships.
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drones sound like the best way to gain the initiative against the Death Probe. A the Death Probe player, it might even be worth using the Phaser-1s to destroy some drones, because it avoids damage to you (or at least mininmises it) and eventually the enemy will run out of ammo and have to reload. In the meantime you can still clobber him with Phaser-4s and photons, which will hurt considerably.

Reading your report, here's a question - by the looks of it, drones are about the only "balancing force" that you can use as a factor to gain initiative as the fleet player. So, what would you do if you were a race without them? Plasmas can't be much good against the Death Probe since it doesn't worry about energy for speed so he can just run away. I suppose as Hydrans/Lyrans you would have to close point-blank in a big formation and just hope you can do a lot of damage in one strike and only lose one ship or so at the same time.
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OGOPTIMUS
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Davec_24 wrote:
Drones sound like the best way to gain the initiative against the Death Probe. A the Death Probe player, it might even be worth using the Phaser-1s to destroy some drones, because it avoids damage to you (or at least mininmises it) and eventually the enemy will run out of ammo and have to reload. In the meantime you can still clobber him with Phaser-4s and photons, which will hurt considerably.


True, and that's what I started doing later in the game once my phaser-3s had gone. I probably should have done that earlier, but it is just so much more fun killing ships. Very Happy

Davec_24 wrote:
Reading your report, here's a question - by the looks of it, drones are about the only "balancing force" that you can use as a factor to gain initiative as the fleet player. So, what would you do if you were a race without them? Plasmas can't be much good against the Death Probe since it doesn't worry about energy for speed so he can just run away. I suppose as Hydrans/Lyrans you would have to close point-blank in a big formation and just hope you can do a lot of damage in one strike and only lose one ship or so at the same time.


Plasma chuckers are going to have the same big headaches as when facing an opponent that goes speed 24 and accelerates a lot. Though, to be fair, the Death probe only has two phaser-4s in squadron scale and one in fleet scale. And then the photons are rather short ranged. Bolting might help this, and you're going to have a significant number of larger torpedoes (800 points of ships in squadron scale and 400 in fleet scale) than you might normally have.

Stingers are going to be very hard to use since the death probe can go twice their speed all the time initially. Might be better to just leave them at home and go with Hellbore armed ships.

As Lyrans, USE THE ESGs! Man do those hurt (against the Gorns I was playing). Close fast and get them in play. The real problem in going to be the interaction of several of them so you might have to split up your fleet and create sort of a gauntlet for the Death Probe to run through. It will be very important to get those in use since they cause some pretty massive damage (20 points when fully charged), and that will start to take weapons and speed away from the Death Probe quickly.
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An ESG attack would be fairly suicidal in that if you get to range 1 or 0 with the Death Probe it's going to hurt big time. Having said that, it's guaranteed damage on the death probe if you can get it with the ESGs. Maybe the best bet it to formate so that he has to get within range 1 of one of your ships if he wants to get close. He may destroy some of your ships but it might be worth it when you consider how much damage he's going to have to take if he gets into ESG range - it would be almost like a Kamikaze attack! Smile

As for plasma bolts, although they would be significantly better than firing in seeking weapon mode in this situation, they're still inaccurate and cost a lot of energy, added to which they are slow firing and so I think the Death Probe would probably kill your ships before you get more than a couple of shots off. It would be worth a try though...
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The plasma fleet will likely have to use a combination of bolts and seekers. Use the bolts to try for damage; use the seekers to force him to temporarily turn away while you get away.

The Romulans are probably screwed. They have to "pay" for a cloaking device they can't use (without getting themselves killed), and have no carronade.

The Gorns, however, can use the Carronade and two-turn Pl-Fs to keep up a steady stream of damage output on the Probe. Don't know if that is enough, but it should be doable.
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USS Enterprise
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds like a stupid question I'm sure of it, but there's really a death probe? I thought it was just some joke that came into my Battleships thread.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a real monster and that's why the joke was funny.

55. Deathprobe doesn't resurrect discussion threads - it isn't interested in conversation - just victory.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The miniature for the Death Probe it is available here.

the rules and ship card are in Tholian Attack.
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pinecone
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Joined: 03 May 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

USS Enterprise wrote:
This sounds like a stupid question I'm sure of it, but there's really a death probe? I thought it was just some joke that came into my Battleships thread.


Sorry I cluttered that up. I guess it did veer quite a distance from the original topic...
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djdood
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's clutter, and then there is funny SFU-relevant clutter.

I was thinking of suggesting to SVC that he take the ten best out of those "Deathprobe Facts" and make a Captains Log humor thing out of them.
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USS Enterprise
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go for it.
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another:
Deathprobe doesn't mind pain - only the target feels it.

Thanks for understanding guys.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
I was thinking of suggesting to SVC that he take the ten best out of those "Deathprobe Facts" and make a Captains Log humor thing out of them.

Heck, that is easy: Take the first 10.
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