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Fleet vs Squadron Scale Ship Capability & Tactics

 
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MajerBlundor
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Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:49 pm    Post subject: Fleet vs Squadron Scale Ship Capability & Tactics Reply with quote

I've only played a few games of Fleet Scale (love it!) but played SFB many years ago. While perusing some of the Fleet and Squadron scale ship diagrams in the Captain's Circle I noticed some important differences between the scales, especially for Fed ships (outside of pure scale issues).

The most striking difference is that some smaller ships lack forward-firing phasers with a broader arc. For example, the squadron scale Fed FF has a PH-1 with an FH arc and two phasers each RS and LS. But in Fleet scale that ship loses its FH phaser and is left only with phasers firing RS and LS. That appears VERY significant from a tactics perspective in that the FF will have a harder time getting shots lined up to its front in Fleet Scale compared to squadron scale.

So, regardless of which is more fun, what are other differences between the two scales specifically with respect to ship capabilities and effect on tactics? Do certain ship classes, races, or weapon types become more or less valuable in one scale compared to another?

My intention is to stick with fleet scale due to time constraints but I did find the situation described above to be a concern (but only a small concern).

MB

PS I posted this under general discussion since its topic is how the game's scale feature drives game play rather than a discussion of tactics in general. For new players seeking information it would seem more appropriate here than in the tactics section.
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Creating the fleet scale ships is much more art than science. When "cutting a ship in half", there are a host of compromises that have to be made, and not all of them end up being very satisfying.

Which ships get hurt most? Predominantly smaller ships. The Kzinti FF is probably the best/worst example. The fleet scale ship just sucks.

Which ships get the best? Any ship with significant numbers of "odd" systems counts. A ship with three disruptors, one drone, three impulse, and three batteries is probably going to come out better than something with two disruptors, two drones, four impulse, and two batteries.

Which ships change the most? Plasma ships. With the frequent incidence of odd numbers and spread arcs, there is just no good way to cut many plasma suites in half. The end result can often cause the ship to be flown quite differently than the squadron scale ship.
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MajerBlundor
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Joined: 03 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
Creating the fleet scale ships is much more art than science. When "cutting a ship in half", there are a host of compromises that have to be made, and not all of them end up being very satisfying.


So true! I was comparing some Romulan and Fed small ships and I like how the Rom ships were translated with respect to firing arcs but the Fed ships (eg DD) get nerfed on firing arcs. Based on how the Romulan ships were translated I could see how one might translate the Fed ships differently to better maintain balance.

For example, there was a Romulan ship whose forward firing phasers were first reduced in number and then had their forward firing arcs "aggregated". Effectively you're firing a smaller number of phasers but on a wider shared arc.

Meanwhile a Fed ship (I think it was the DD) was translated along different lines. Instead of reducing phasers and then aggregating their arcs they were only reduced in number while maintaining their squadron-scale arcs (except in the case of a PH-3 I think).

I think the approach with the Romulan ships makes more sense since it appears to maintain a better sense of tactical capability instead of simply trying to only maintain a mathematical reduction.

MB
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storeylf
Fleet Captain


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ihaven't checked the ships, but reading what you say, I don't see the initial fed example as a change that makes anything harder in that ship. At squadron scale you get 2 shots across most of the forward half, 3 if you can centerline the target.

Taking a generalised fleet scale perspective, you'd expect to get 1 shot across most of the front half, and 1.5 on the centerline. In fact you get 1 on most of the FH and 2 on the centerline, making it an 'easier' ship in that you get more than expected.

Further more it is not usually hard to 'wiggle' the ship and get 2 shots from both sides even if you cannot centerline, which again gives more than half the firepower when compared to the squadron scale ship which would only have got 3 shots with the same manouver.
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Hod K'el
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Joined: 21 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:05 pm    Post subject: Flt vs Sqd Reply with quote

I take a very simplistic approach: ever take out a Star base with fleet ships? That is why I play the squadron scale. Looking down the throat of phaser fours with half shields is not my idea of balanced!

What is interesting is the fact that I started out playing Fleet Scale for game speed, but I found too many problems (in my head) (read this as I just could not get my s*&t squared away to handle the drastic differences coming from SFB to FC) so I went to squadron scale and that worked for me. Now I enjoy the game almost as much as SFB.

Just wish I could have PL-D's in A&C option mounts on my BR. (Closes with a tear in eye and a sniffle!)
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Flt vs Sqd Reply with quote

Hod K'el wrote:
Just wish I could have PL-D's in A&C option mounts on my BR. (Closes with a tear in eye and a sniffle!)


I don't care which Battlegroup you're part of... that's just plain funny! Laughing
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storeylf
Fleet Captain


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1873

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We tend to play fleet scale most of the time. With the exception noted earlier about some of the smaller ships, ships are on the whole still balanced (on paper ) relatively the same at fleet scale as they are at squadron scale. Facing phaser4s with half shields may be bad, but facing twice as many with full shields isn't much better.

The primary difference I find is in the maths of having fewer weapons. Fleet scale has a tendency to feel eratic and that luck played a larger part than games at squadron scale, more dice to roll results in more tendency to average out the results. With only a few weapons at fleet scale the 'extreme' results are far more likely, though not necessarily in the same proportion.

Disrupter armed ships in particular seem to have acquired a reputation for poor gunnery where I play. With a lot of shooting taking place at the 3-15 ranges, a disrupter armed cruiser (say D7) is 9 times more likely to whiff totally at fleet scale than he is at squadron scale, whilst only 4.5 times more likely to hit with everything. At squadron scale 3 or 4 hits would be above the mean average damage and you have ~60% chance of achieving such, anything else is below your mean average. At fleet scale you only get equal or above the mean average with both shots hitting, which is 44% likely, so you are more likely to score less than the mean and feel as though your shooting went badly.

With half the shields and half the systems to absorb damage, being hit by all (2) photons is just as bad at fleet scale as all (4) photons at squadron scale. But a Fed CA at fleet scale has 4 times more chance of getting that big hit at fleet scale at the 5-8 range. Whilst the total miss chance at that range is just the same relatively, it is the increased 'everything hit' rate that you notice as you sort of expect to miss with photons.
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MajerBlundor
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point Storeylf! I suppose if one uses twice as many ships in Fleet Scale you get the same spread with respect to random results but you get more maneuver elements compared to Squadron Scale (which, imo, makes for more interesting tactical situations...in other words, 1v1 in squadron scale vs 2v2 in fleet scale represents similar amounts of energy and weapons to manage/shoot/etc. but with 2v2 you have more tactical options).

Perhaps then the issue is one of using Fleet Scale with very few ships vs fleet scale with more ships!
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Dal Downing
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Joined: 06 May 2008
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Location: Western Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MajerBlundor wrote:
Good point Storeylf! I suppose if one uses twice as many ships in Fleet Scale you get the same spread with respect to random results but you get more maneuver elements compared to Squadron Scale (which, imo, makes for more interesting tactical situations...in other words, 1v1 in squadron scale vs 2v2 in fleet scale represents similar amounts of energy and weapons to manage/shoot/etc. but with 2v2 you have more tactical options).

Perhaps then the issue is one of using Fleet Scale with very few ships vs fleet scale with more ships!


In effect you just hit apon the concept for using Attrition units like Fighters and Gunboats. According to many these units slow the game dynamics down too much because there are too many units to track.

So in the end it really is a question of your Personal Prefrence as to which scale is better.
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junior
Captain


Joined: 08 May 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dal Downing wrote:
In effect you just hit apon the concept for using Attrition units like Fighters and Gunboats. According to many these units slow the game dynamics down too much because there are too many units to track.


And probably the biggest difference between the squadron scale gunboat and the fleet scale Gorn DD is that the gunboat has more plasma torpedoes...
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USS Enterprise
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Joined: 27 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only play Squadron Scale, I've only played Fleet Scale once, and that was first missions. I don't think Fleet Scale is bad, but I think the FLEET part is very important in comparison to the SQUADRON part in SQUADRON scale. Although I haven't tested it, but I'm sure the compromises will feel less of a big deal with more ships as with more ships, being a Commodore is the strategy, whereas being the Captain of a lone heavy cruiser I'd like to see the up close and personal detail SQUADRON scale provides.
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