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Help! D5W v. Hydran Dragoon
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chazrobbins
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Joined: 12 Sep 2008
Posts: 22
Location: Pasadena, CA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:53 pm    Post subject: Help! D5W v. Hydran Dragoon Reply with quote

Chuck from Pasadena here again. Our league is really going well, but we have a Hydran player who is dominating. I faced off with him with my Klingon D5W. I did a pretty good job of saber dancing with him (keeping him at about range 13-15). However, with his Hellbores and phasers he was whittling my shields down a little faster than I was whittling his with my disruptors and phasers. This went on for 3 turns. Then he dropped to speed 0 for 2 turns and repaired most of his shields. With him having 47 points of power, I couldn't figure out how to use this to my advantage. So I repaired some of mine as well. Then the cycle began again.

Finally, I decided that I had to figure out how to get in close, withstand the Hellbore hits, and then overload into him. I declared speed 24, went EM, and headed in. I withstood the hits (thankfully he rolled an 11 with one of the Hellbores, which became a miss due to my EM). But then there I was behind him, facing away, EMing and without much power. Sure, I could have dropped EM and HET'd, but that would have left me with 3 points to shoot with.

The thing he was doing was cycling his Hellbores. One turn he'd fire the left HB's, the next he'd fire the right HB's. I couldn't stay out of his fire arcs unless I got in close, which seemed like a losing idea to me.

Finally, I had 3 shields gone, and one about to go, and about 8-10 internals. He had no internals and mild shield damages. I broke off scratching my head about how to fight this ship.

I am looking for advice/suggestions.
Thanks,
Chuck
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pneumonic81
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Joined: 23 May 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as basic as this sounds, I would get in closer. the d5w has amazing arcs. I would stay closer and keep those hellbores out of arc. if you can get behind him you can usually stay there. however you cant get behind him without getting close.
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junior
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, if our Hydran was running the same ship against you that he was in the later game that night, he wasn't running a Dragoon. He was running a Lord Bishop Command Cruiser (with only one Stinger). That complicates things somewhat since he has the Fusion Beams to back him up at close range.

The biggest weakness on the ship is the weapons loadout. It has -

4 Hellbores
2 Fusion Beams
4 Phaser-1s
2 Phaser-Gs

Why is that a weakness? If you can get a couple of good solid hits on the #6 row, then you essentially strip him of most of his weapons Phasers in particular are very vulnerable on this ship because he has so few of them. And a torpedo hit will take out one of his heavy weapons while a drone hit will take out the other. As a result of his weapons issues, then for any long-range sniping (or indeed any early fire that doesn't involve overloads), I would strongly recommend directing fire against weapons. That gives you a 50% chance of getting a '6' result. And the first hit on that result is a phaser hit. You may not be able to bring his shields down on certain turns depending on the range, but if you can get a couple of burn through points against phasers then you've seriously hurt his long-range phaser fire.

The other critically important thing to keep in mind when fighting this ship (or either one of the Hydran Heavy Cruisers) is that the primary heavy weapons (the Hellbores in this case) have unusual arcs. The weapons have 120 arcs, but they're shifted to each side such that the only place that all four of them can fire is down the centerline. That means that it's easier for him to hit you with two weapons at any point, but he'll rarely hit you with all four on a single impulse. On the other hand, if you're in front of him, then turning the ship 60 degrees will generally be enough to bring the other pair of hellbores into arc.

While EM is brutal against Fusion Beams and Phaser-Gs, it's not nearly as nice against Hellbores. Hellbores roll two dice, so they're much more resistant to the +2 shift from EM than most weapons are. And Hellbores are fairly accurate weapons in any case.

As noted by pneumonic81, getting behind him is probably the best bet. His only rear facing weapons are the two Phaser-Gs (which are in an RS/LS pair). But he's maneuverable enough that you're probably going to have to get somewhat close to him in order to swing around behind him (turn mode C vs. turn mode B). And then you've got to deal with his inevitable High Energy Turn. But it probably provides the best option for you if you can pull it off.

My recommendations -

1.) During the approach, try and tailor your sniping so that it does just enough for burn through, and then follow up with a similar volley on the next impulse (not exactly easy to set up, but if you've got the opportunity then it's a good idea). Make sure that you call shots against weapons.
2.) When you start going through his shields, keep calling weapons shots if you're not firing any overloads. He's not going to run out of hull any time soon, and he's got a fair amount of padding inside, so "lost hits" will be the least of your concerns for a while. Four points of damage on the #6 track will cost him a phaser, a hellbore, and a fusion beam. Four hits for four points of damage on the #6 track will literally reduce him to two phasers. VERY good pay-off for minimal effort if you can pull it off (I'm not saying that it's easy, mind you).
3.) Try and get behind him. All he has to cover his tail are two Phaser-Gs, and those are ineffective at anything beyond four hexes.
4.) Snipe the fighter the moment it appears. It's ten easy points, and it'll hurt a lot if it somehow gets within point blank range.
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As has already been said, the best way to do this is probably to close. You don't want to get too close (range 0-2) at a firing opportunity on the run in because his Ph-Gs will be deadly effective against you if you do. Ideally, you want to be at range 4 (or 5 if you can't manage this), where your superiority in Ph-1s will mean you can hit significantly harder with phasers than he can with his mostly gatling and Ph-2 fit. If you can pop some drones off to force him to use power and/or phasers on them to cover your approach, all the better. If he's firing 2 HBs each turn then he will only have 2 to hit you with each turn. This means that if you can afford a full overloaded alpha-strike, then you should just about be able to at least break evens on the damage.

Once you're in close, try and slip in behind him and stay there - all that covers his rear is those Ph-Gs so you can either try and stay really close and out of his other arcs where you can pound his rear shields and tie up the gatlings with drones, or alternatively you can try and stay at mid range away from the gatlings but not let him get all of his weapons to bear - the "safer" strategy but gives him more room to manoeuvre.

If you're feeling up for it, play it aggressive and get in close behind and stay there - if you concentrate on your movement you may just be able to do enough damage to him before he can shake you off. Beware of sudden changes in enemy baseline speed over the turn break though, as this might be one way he could shake you off. The Dragoon is certainly one fearsome ship when handled by someone who knows what they're doing, which by the sound of it this guy does - you have to fight to your advantages using your better turn mode and weapon arcs.


Last edited by Davec_24 on Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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junior
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Davec_24 wrote:
Ideally, you want to be at range 4 (or 5 if you can't manage this), where your superiority in Ph-1s will mean you can hit significantly harder with phasers than he can with his mostly gatling and Ph-2 fit.


The Dragoon (and Ranger) mounts 2 phaser-1s and 4 phaser-2s forward (and one phaser-G on each side). The Lord Bishop (which as I mentioned he used in the game that I saw - I didn't see Chuck's game against him) replaces the forward phaser-1s with Fusion Beams, and the upgrades the phaser-2s to phaser-1s.

The primary problem against a Dragoon is the Hellbores. The Hellbore is a VERY nice weapon at any range, particularly since the Hyran cruisers have enough power to arm the thing properly. In a head-on match, he's still going to need to deal with them and they'll chew him up if overloaded at close range.
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you only take 2 of the four HBs at once (if he's cycling them) you might be alright, providing it isn't too close range. The Hellbore is one nasty weapon to fight against, and you're pretty much guaranteed to take hits in the early stages of the game. However, they are an immense power drain, and once you start to knock out some of the enemy's power then you can help limit the amount of damage they do to you. The trouble is, of course, that after a while you start to get downed or at least weakened shields and half of that damage hits your worst shield... Shocked

I was thinking of the Dragoon for the phaser fit. Actually I think I prefer the Dragoon to the Lord Bishop, as the LB has almost no phaser padding. Am I right in thinking that the Dragoon also has more power than the LB (but the LB has more fighters)?
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junior
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Dragoon carries three fighters. I don't remember off the top of my head and I don't have the ship card handy, but according to the master ship chart pdf, the Lord Bishop also only carries three fighters.

I would imagine that they have the same amount of power. iirc, the only real differences between the two ships are -

1.) Add the Flag Bridge
2.) Replace the nose phasers with Fusion Beams
3.) Upgrade the phaser-2s (along the sides of the bow) to phaser-1s.
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junior
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of other items -

- I know that it hasn't come up at any of the games at the store, but don't forget that you can death drag shuttles (including Stingers). Slap a tractor beam on it and move at 16+1 or faster for one impulse and the shuttle instantly dies. Admittedly, you might not want to move right up next to the Stinger in order to do this, but if the opportunity arises you shouldn't pass it up. It's a cheap way to kill his fighter.

- You've got more transporters than he does (5 vs. 2, iirc), and that means that once you've got his shield down (and you can safely lower yours), then you can start thinking about Hit and Run raids. Suggested targets include the shuttle box that contains his fighter (if he hasn't launched it yet; and yes, you CAN specifically target that box - you can target any box you choose on a hit and run raid, and he's required to tell you which box his Stinger is in if you ask him), his Phaser-Gs (especially if you've managed to get stuck in behind him), and his Hellbores.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the Dragoon had its Stingers, then it's out-pointing the D5W by about 30%. They cost 10 points each, they aren't free.

The Klingon needs to get into overload range and stay on one side of the Dragoon. You'll be firing all of your disruptors every turn (due to your incredibly good arcs) and avoiding half of his Hellbores.

As has been pointed out, Hydran ships generally have very few weapon boxes, so when he slowed to speed 0 (for two turns!! geez) I would have gone in for an overrun, blasting through a shield point-blank, then fired phasers one or two at a time through the down shield, targetting weapons. And used my transporters to do marine raids too.

Above all DON'T BE AFRAID TO GET CLOSE to a hellbore ship when your shields are strong. You need to start scoring internals before he can grind all your shields away.
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Notalent
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
If the Dragoon had its Stingers, then it's out-pointing the D5W by about 30%. They cost 10 points each, they aren't free.

The Klingon needs to get into overload range and stay on one side of the Dragoon. You'll be firing all of your disruptors every turn (due to your incredibly good arcs) and avoiding half of his Hellbores.

As has been pointed out, Hydran ships generally have very few weapon boxes, so when he slowed to speed 0 (for two turns!! geez) I would have gone in for an overrun, blasting through a shield point-blank, then fired phasers one or two at a time through the down shield, targetting weapons. And used my transporters to do marine raids too.

Above all DON'T BE AFRAID TO GET CLOSE to a hellbore ship when your shields are strong. You need to start scoring internals before he can grind all your shields away.


The Dragoon only had one stinger, so the points were close, less than 10%. I agree that he needs to close quickly and stay on a side, which his more manuverable ship can do.
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think what puts people off that first overrun against a Hydran is the hellbores (and Ph-Gs) at point-blank range factor. However, if the enemy is cycling his hellbores, then you should only have 2 to contend with in any single turn.

Also, you could try an approach that looks like you're going to turn and run at about range 4 or so to try and tempt him into firing off his hellbores then and there so that you can overrun with less fear of getting minced. This may not work, as if he is smart and wants the point-blank shot he'll use the "me too" rule to see if you're going to fire before he decides whether to shoot back. If it doesn't work, you can always carry on and overrun him like you were going to - nothing lost in trying. Smile
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Stick
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I haven't played him yet, the impression I got was that the Hydran was cycling his hellbores to keep his discretionary power way up, making it hard for Klingons to saberdance well against him (I don't know how he's flown agains other ships). If you're opening the range he runs you down with the extra power and does a late exchange with whatever he has left, and if you're closing he waits for hellbore overload range and drops them on you.

It also sounded like the Hydran used a "pseudo emergency deceleration", plotting speed 0 just as Chuck was circling away from an oblique exchange at the end of the turn, dropping a good portion of his power into shield repair and accelerations/slipping to give the D5W his refreshed shield with hellbores ready. At range 10-15 and opening at speed 24 (and I'm guessing Chuck was keeping his speed up in anticipation of a chase) it's still a pretty wide turn to get out of the FA arc. Disruptors just don't have the crunch power to make up for the shield repairs when he's sitting on so much power.

I don't have the rules in front of me- are shield repairs declared before baseline speeds? If this is the case and the Hydran spends a good amount on his shields it might be worth it to go to speed 16 and use accelerations to swing around as tight as possible and head in behind drones. Turn mode B should always have priority and you can use it to try to dance out of arc- just watch out for a sudden HET and acceleration at close range. A parallel pass will still let you fire some FH+ disruptors and you might get the opposite side waist phasers in as well, all depending on the impulse, how you pass each other, and how much power you have left. Then go for the RA and do your best to stay there.

I'm not going to pretend that would be easy, but given how he's flown so far, it might be worth a shot.
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stick wrote:
I don't have the rules in front of me- are shield repairs declared before baseline speeds?


No, baseline speeds are selected before shield regeneration takes place.
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chazrobbins
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all. First, thanks for all of your input. I have reviewed all of it and given it a LOT of thought. Last night I tried to get in close and stay on one side. The Hydran (this time using a Lord Bishop) reduced to speed 8 and was able to out turn me (I was at speed 24 and had no power after shooting). Result: my ship completely destroyed. I'm not giving up yet, but my first attempt was obviously a disaster.

One interesting note: If I do internals to him and destroy his fighter, and then run off the map, the score is Klingon 38 to Hydran 37. A microscopic victory at best, but it may be the best the D5W can do against the Hydran.

I'll keep trying and will post my results.
Keep suggestions coming!
Chuck in Pasadena
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the Klink New Command Cruiser was out, that would be a better match up, or if he didn't have his fighter(s).
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