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Baseline Tactics
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ericphillips
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Joined: 16 Apr 2009
Posts: 702
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA, Sol, Gould Belt, Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy, Local Group, Universe Beta

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 4:05 pm    Post subject: Baseline Tactics Reply with quote

I'm not that experienced, but want to improve. So I am asking for thoughts on different tactical topics. The first deals with choosing a baseline speed.

After playing a couple of games where I paid for a higher baseline on a turn to close distance, then up close on a new turn I might move to a lower baseline for maneuvering reasons.

Then I got thinking about it. I figured that by choosing a baseline one slower than I want to close on, then pay to accelerate each impulse.

Pros: Speed is as the higher baseline, the turn mode is improved (which is set at the baseline speed), can "downshift" better to get opponent into sights (simply do not pay for +1 speed, then you can pay to cancel other moves, further improving turning and aiming). All this and cost is the same as the higher baseline (if paid the whole turn).

Cons: You can't accelerate more to close faster (if you are going 8 you can only go 8+1 to simulate baseline 16, but you can't got to 16+1), can't think of anymore.

Give me some thoughts. Question
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enterprise2007
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Joined: 15 Nov 2007
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Location: Hampton, VA

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When facing a plasma ship, you almost always want to choose a base speed of 24. That way you can accelerate up to 24+1 is the torp gets too close. I have learned this tactic the hard way, by having my ship's hull shredded because I was moving too slow.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eric:
Maybe we've played too much SFB, but everyone in our group lives by the manta - "Speed is Life"

Very, very seldom do we plot less than baseline 24 (and even then, it's usually 16), unless we're nearing the enemy and do not want to overshoot.
24 lets you accel to 24+1, or decel if need be.
Going faster than your opponent alos gives initive to you. You get to see where he goes and react to that, as opposed to having him react to your manuevers.

higher speeds are also beneficial in allowing you to close to OL range (if you so desire), or avoid OL range if the enemy wants to close.
If you plot base speed 8 and he plots 24, he controls the whole tempo of the battle. It's hard to keep him from charging in and Alpha Striking you if you can't get away.

Of course, that method works best for our group, using our favored attack tactics. YMMV.
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Requete
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Joined: 15 Jul 2008
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Location: Leander, TX

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not that experienced either, but I have thought a bit about this issue.

You're right that if you want to go exactly 24, you're mathematically better off buying speed 16 and accelerating each impulse... you get a better turn mode and you don't have to pay the energy up front. But it's not so simple.

In a duel situation, especially when closing in for the knife fight (which some ships won't want to do, but that's another issue), what matters perhaps more than anything else is movement priority. Remember that the slower ship moves first.

So say we're dueling and we both want to go fast. You choose 16 and I choose 24. Yes you can keep accelerating, but any impulse in which I want you to move first, I can pay for an acceleration. Then you have to make your move and I get to react. That can be huge.

Now, maybe you have a worse turn mode than me, so you're stuck anyway. That's possible. But if we had the same turn mode (or yours was better), I would think that you'd want to go 24, so that when I accelerate you can do so as well and I don't get the advantage over you.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Requete wrote:

So say we're dueling and we both want to go fast. You choose 16 and I choose 24. Yes you can keep accelerating, but any impulse in which I want you to move first, I can pay for an acceleration.

One small flaw here.
Ships moving 16+1 and ships moving 24 both move three times per impulse (Sub-pulses 2, 3, and 4), but a ship moving 16+1 is always considered slower than a ship moving 24 - so the 16+1 will always move first, regardless of turn modes.
Hence the value of going base speed 24.
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Requete wrote:
So say we're dueling and we both want to go fast. You choose 16 and I choose 24. Yes you can keep accelerating, but any impulse in which I want you to move first, I can pay for an acceleration. Then you have to make your move and I get to react. That can be huge.

Point of clarification:
Move priority is determined by Baseline Speed, not what your effective speed is. So if one ship is moving at a baseline speed of 16, and the other ship is moving at a baseline speed of 24, the second ship is ALWAYS "faster" than the first ship, irrespective of any accelerations or decelerations. So, even if the speed 16 ship buys an acceleration, and the speed 24 ship decelerates twice, it always moves after the speed 16 ship.

(Which, of course, only accentuates your point.)
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Requete
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 15 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embarassed

Quite right! I completely forgot about that. Don't listen to me...! Laughing
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Mike
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are many variables to consider, but here is an important one. How good are your firing arcs? If the vast majority of your weapons can be brought to bear in an alpha strike, you might want to go as fast as possible so that you can leave the immediate area after delivering the strike. On the other hand, if your weapon arcs are spread around your ship, you might be a little more concerned with having a lower turn mode so you can bring more weapons to bear.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Echoing the above, in my group the "throttle has grooves worn into it at base-speed 16". 16 is the overwhelmingly most common choice for us (great balance of speed vs. cost, with the option to accelerate, if needed).

We don't have plasma empires in the mix very often though, so that would very likely change things up (speed really counts to try and run out plasma). Also, different situations require different thinking and there have been bizarre slow-speed dogfights as well as screaming 24+ sniping matches.
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scoutdad wrote:
Eric:
Maybe we've played too much SFB, but everyone in our group lives by the manta - "Speed is Life"


Good points. As for how SFB tactics impact FC, I am not sure they do as much as ex-SFBers think. It seems the systems have enough differences that trying to play SFB-style may not be the most effective.
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There have been a lot of comments above about the need to be fast for priority. Since firing happens simultaneously, is this really as important as everyone is saying.

As I said, keeping a better turn mode and using decel to help that seems to me to be about getting the best shot in: on the damages shield, down the middle, not overrunning the target.

In SFB you have 32 times a turn to fire, one after each impulse. Here its 4 impulses then fire, for only 8 opportunities. Without the control, are you not sacrificing some of your prime shots? This is a major play change from SFB. In FC, even if you move second on an impulse, you can still use the control to an advantage: a faster ship is limited in hat it can do if it has slipped or turned, often while maneuvering is limited into where it can move, which may be able to overcome the priority advantage.

SFB has a lot of control as well in the way it handles sped change. You can fly in, shoot on any impulse, judge the damage, speed away if the damage does little, slow to give a control to feat on the injured, allowing you to go from speed to control quickly. FC is either one or the other for the turn.

Not that that is bad. SFB is too rules heavy for me. FC is a great game. I'm just trying to think a little "under the hood" here.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Movement priority is often the difference between win and lose. With limited chances to fire you need to be able to fire to best effect at what may be your only chance at overload range etc. If the other guy has priority you may not get the best chance as he will be the one having the upper hand in choosing arcs, range etc. This is really critical in up close and personal games, or on an initial close range pass.

Couple of examples from our last game, a free for all.

Romulan with 2 plasma R has gorn right next to him and can end in the same hex launching 100 points of damage up the back shield. Fortunately for the gorn he had priority, and the romulan couldn't know which hex the gorn was going to choose as he had a slip availble, if the rom had priority the gorn would have been starting a new career as space debris.

I was right on the edge of play area, and needed to turn or HET but had to avoid moving a hex forward (with my turn arc not yet satisfied!), with another ship behind me. I couldn't afford to end up still in his front arc, I was fairly sure he would only go speed 16 so choose to go speed 24, and if needed decelerate until the enemy had committed to a slip or turn (like me to avoid leaving map) then I could HET out of his arc. Speed 24, HET and power for accelerating afterwards left me no power for guns, but not having priority was looking the much worse position. If he had gone speed 24 I would have been doomed - My decel would have given him priority and he would have seen which way I HET before maybe making a turn to keep me in front arc.



I woud say speed 16 is the most common speed we choose, though speed 24 is not far behind - 24 is used (where possible) for that critical turn where you think there is going to be that initial close range exchange, and the primary reason is to have priority on the crucial impulse. But further away speed 16 is good, priority doesn't matter so much outside of the close ranges.
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USS Enterprise
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why does priority matter so much more then the usefulness of the movement itself. It only occasionally matters anyway.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

USS Enterprise wrote:
Why does priority matter so much more then the usefulness of the movement itself. It only occasionally matters anyway.

Shocked
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

YMMV, but I think movement priority matters a great deal.

If I move last, then I have the choice of where to go to facilitate a better / more advantagous shot...
Contrarily, if my opponent moves last - he chooses how / where to move.
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