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Cloaks/Plasmas vs Saber Dance

 
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MajerBlundor
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:16 pm    Post subject: Cloaks/Plasmas vs Saber Dance Reply with quote

We've played some Klingon vs Romulan and Gorn battles, the most recent being D7s vs warbirds and D7s vs Gorn DDs and an FF.

In these battles the saber dancing Klingons do REALLY well. In fact, I had a much easier time fighting the Romulans with Klingons than with the Federation! With the Feds closing with a Plasma-S or R ship for a photon Alpha Strike can be suicide. But Distrupters on highly maneuverable Klingon ships make it much easier to (eventually) inflict damage while maintaining speed and distance.

These battles have been very enjoyable since they feature more maneuver than the usual Federation Photon-rush which seems to be really decisive with both sides at minimal range.

So, what's a Romulan or Gorn to do when faced with Saber Dancing Klingons? I read the plasma tactics thread but would like some advice for this specific match up.

If it matters we play fleet scale exclusively and usually have a squadron of 2-3 ships per side, typically anything up to cruisers (FFs, DDs, CLs, CAs, BCs).

Thanks!

MB
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1955
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know it's not a full reply, but have the plasma boys tried using plasma bolts? In SFB, there is a tactic called the 'Glory Zone', which is range 9-10. At that range, you have a 50% chance of hitting with a plasma bolt, but you are still outside overload range. At that point you can [try to] hit him with a reasonably powerful salvo but with a moderate chance of a hit, without much chance of a powerful response.

Of course, saber dancing happens outside that range, so it's not much help. No doubt the saber-dance boys are moving at speed 24 so they are difficult to catch. Pick Speed 24 on turns when you think they will be running-in for a disruptor strike, so that the range will close quickly and you might get a better chance of a plasma bolt in the Glory Zone.

Another idea is to keep popping at this rear shields with phasers; without rear shields, saber-dancing is difficult.
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MajerBlundor
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Joined: 03 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yes, they've used Plasma bolts to good effect, but only when I've been foolish enough to let them get close enough.

I guess the fundamental challenge for Plasma armed ships vs Saber dancers is the fact that a regular plasma torp plays to the saber dancer's basic strength/tactic (maintain distance which makes it easier to outrun plasma torps) while the bolt solution is a lot like a Fed photon torpedo alpha strike vs saber dancers: the smart Klingon player just runs away to maintain distance!

My older son wants to give Saltorians a try so I'm taking the Romulans this time (2x 75 point Eagles). We'll see what happens! My plan is:

1. Maintain distance and remain cloaked while the plasma Rs arm

2. Begin closing in turn 2 and on the last impulse of turn 2 de-cloak and launch the Rs

3. On the first impulse of turn 3 re-cloak and follow the Rs in. If he turns and runs de-cloak and phaser the aft shields. If he stands remain cloaked until the plasmas impact and follow up with the phasers at close range.

MB

MB
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VS Klingons, try the Gorn Anchor. Difficult to achieve on a floating map, but on a location map, you may be able to do it. Plasma ships have plenty of power, even more than Klingons do, so using that power just for speed will make up for your poor maneuver. And if he is running, your phaser-1s can chew on his rear shield, eventually forcing him to turn and fight.

Seltorians will probably find dealing with plasma difficult. They turn like pigs, and if they slow down to fire weapons, they just get torpedoed to death from outside their effective range (which is around range 2 or less).
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the vast array of ph-1's and a lot of extra power, you can weaken the plasma significantly. Using the selts, I mean.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are having trouble trying to keep up with Klingon ships using Eagle-series hulls, you could always do what the Romulans themselves did historically, in order to catch up.

In other words, switch to KRs - or better yet, jump up to the likes of FireHawks.


Gorn-wise, their ships might be easier to anchor with - plus they have those oh-so-handy carronades to help, too.

(As an aside, can carronades be fired at drones?)
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Wolverin61
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerroth wrote:
(As an aside, can carronades be fired at drones?)


Don't have my rulebook with me, but I don't see why not.
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerroth wrote:
(As an aside, can carronades be fired at drones?)

As long as they are still in flight and have not impacted anyone, any direct fire weapon may be fired at drones in the Offensive Fire phase.

If the drones have impacted you, carronades are not a weapon that is eligible to fire during the Defensive Fire phase.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surprised the gorns had such a problem, with plasma F (start armed and no hold cost) they can easily run speed 32 making the usual klink tactic a tough one. With 3 ships he should have been able to negate the turn mode advantage making it hard for you turn in way to avoid some auto plasma hits at short range. The klink can't match speed without giving up weapons.

If you are going to bolt an F the best range would be 5, the disrupter drops a bracket at that point, the bolt does 10 damage which is a burnthrough (if it doesn't just blast the shield anyway) which at fleet scale and with directed damage is very useful if you aim at power. The down side is the tactical issue of having shot your bolt for 3 turns! If he overloaded at a longer range then he is presumably not running that fast and you can probably tell whether you are in a better position to simply run in for the real torpedo shot.


As to seltorians, I find them most effective (as a gross generalisation) at lonfer ranges, their bath tub characteristics don't get in the way of keeping weapons in arc, and their are not many equal size ships that can out outshoot at range. Though the bath tub turn mode does mean you can't dictate range very well. At close range that bad turn mode and lack of 'over the shoulder' firing arcs has left me seriously disadvantaged before.

Obviously that doesn't apply against Roms with equally bad turn modes and cloaks. The Roms have a tricky situation though - assuming it is 2 Selt CAs vs 2 war eagles then you have the interesting issue of the selt being able to put more marines on one of your ships in a single impulse than your ship has to defend itself. Watch it when you uncloak, if he takes a shield down then you have probably lost a ship, if it is the last impulse the boarding will be resolved straight afterwards and you might not get a chance to do anything else with that ship.

Your turn 3 cloak tactic sounds odd - impulse 1 of turn 3 will see you have a chance to shoot before you have to decide whether to cloak, and that is likely to be the best shooting you will get that turn anyway. If he stands and fights then he will probably shoot you before you get to cloak, if he runs your range will be opening to fast to be getting better shooting later.
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MajerBlundor
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Obviously that doesn't apply against Roms with equally bad turn modes and cloaks. The Roms have a tricky situation though - assuming it is 2 Selt CAs vs 2 war eagles then you have the interesting issue of the selt being able to put more marines on one of your ships in a single impulse than your ship has to defend itself.


Well, you nailed it!

My son closed at high speed trying to get into overload PC range as soon as possible. I remained cloaked while trying to get my Rs fully armed and keeping him as far away as possible.

Start of turn 3 saw us getting very close. I uncloaked and launched the Rs and followed them in. He unleashed everything he had on one of the eagles damaging it pretty bad but not crippling it while I dropped the front shield of one of his ships with phaser fire (not useful).

I then began recloaking and running away at speed 16 while he began accelerating away from the Rs. I put both Rs on one Selt CA which proved to be overkill to say the least (impact on 3rd impulse!).

His remaining Selt CA then turned to pursue my cloaked squadron as I tried to rearm. He pummeled the damaged ship as he closed the range. When he finally closed to point blank range I had re-armed the Rs but one of the Rs was damaged on impulse 8 with no target available. Doh! My son cheered!

Very Happy

On the following turn I managed to get him to overshoot the Eagle with the fresh/undamaged R while I let the damaged Eagle move ahead as bait and both uncloaked.

He figured out what I was doing and tried a (second) HET of the game to get arc on the undamaged Eagle and broke down, but with the damage Eagle at range 1 in his FA. He clobbered the damaged Eagle (forgetting to teleport marines!) but my other Eagle was on his 6 at point blank range and its R easily smashed his ship.

A very enjoyable game with lots of maneuver and a couple of devastating plasma strikes. My son had a couple of bad die rolls when he hit my uncloaked ships which might have changed things and his failed HET was decisive.

As others have noted the Selts turn like Feds and so can't Saber dance while their PCs don't have the 1-impulse hitting power of Photons. Between Setls, Feds, and Klingons taking on Romulans the Selts probably have the most difficult task.

Anyway, he enjoyed the battle so much he has asked for a rematch today!

MB
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thing about saber-dancing opponents is that, in most cases, for them to use their disruptors, they will have to turn so they are at least approaching on the oblique.

Now, if you are approaching them at speed 32 - 24+1 for all eight impulses, and you do have the power for this as a Romulan - then you can do nothing but close the range. It's got to happen; that's what happens when he's got his nose pointed at you. It's not like trying to close as a Fed, holding four overloads, it's easier than that.

You should therefore look for chances to get in even closer and anchor him. Also, in his efforts to open the range, he will spend a lot of time with his rear shields facing you, and you can take full advantage of that with your phasers. As has been stated elsewhere, your forward shields are stronger than his rear shields.
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Rock Hudson
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With Romulans, on a location map, another possibility is for the first turn to use the cloak for the first turn to gain a useful osition while making the standard range 15 disrupter shot less effective and also requiring a closer range to achieve, with careful maneuvering you can come out of cloak and start the speed 24+ chase down at a better range. It is certainly situational but valid.
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pmiller13
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me the problem most plasma players have is deciding when to launch there torps. In my opinion you need to launch the longer range torps at longer range and have these torps meet you opponent at what is call the option point. For example lets same a plasma chucker against a disruptor boat. The disruptor boat is going to want to hit the plasma boat multiple times at range 15 and then once he/she has severely damaged 2 or 3 shields the disruptor boat will want to close and pump overloads through those damaged or down shields. The key is to be approaching the target head on and to torn to your R or L at range 20 or so and launch a S or R torpedo. The launch will be followed by a turn and slips out as often as possible. The Idea is to make the target except a hit from a S or R torpedo after it has run for 3 to 5 impulses. The damage at that point is 42, 36 or 24 from a R or 26, 22 or 14 from a S torpedo. Even if the disruptor boat was able to reach range 15 and fire 4 disruptors the average damage is only 9 to 12 damage with either 3 or hits (most likely 9 or 6 damage) a situation that obviously favors the plasma chucker. If we assume a plasma cruiser with 2 S torps it is easy to just keep doing this forever and still be holdign 40 points of damage in F torps that costs nothing to hold in case someone decides to plow through the longer range torps and attempt to get close to engage. The Key to this tactic is to learn how to launch at long range and count out the approach to make sure the torp will hit the target before he will want to fire.

The counter to this of course is for the plasma races opponent to just turn out them selves and run the torp out. This is why most torp ships carry more than one long range torp. If the opponent turns out at launch and runs away so they take no damage than the plasma ship can either establish a chasing profile (that is a ship with multiple long range launchers can turn back in and chase) or a running profile (that is that a ship like a WE or Sparrowhawk will launch there 1 torp) and circle out to do the same thing in 2 to 3 turns.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is all good stuff, gents.

I'd still want to say, in addition to my post above, that when the range closes, and if everyone's doing Speed 24, then the range can't open again. If the best the disruptor boys can do is to fire, run out, reposition and then run back in again, then the plasma boys are going to close the range.

Especially if you use the trick in one of my recent, badly misnamed posts: http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=2045

In fact I think that when played like this, the disruptor boys are the ones who will do worse; they will have to close the range but then will not be able to open it again. This forces them inwards, where the plasma's effectiveness increases and there's a chance for an anchor.
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