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Plasma - SFB vs FC?
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BTS
Ensign


Joined: 19 Jun 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:49 am    Post subject: Plasma - SFB vs FC? Reply with quote

Hi,

I was never much of an SFB player, so please bear with me if I am asking an “uninformed” question.

I was trying to get a better “tactical” handle on seeking plasma in FC by looking through the SFB rules on plasma. I understand they are two different game systems, but I was curious to hear from more experienced players how the differences (if any, really) play out between SFB’s rules (FP 1.5, etc) and FC’s rules (4J3, etc).

Obviously, SFB uses a range traveled chart for seeking plasma damage and FC uses an Impluse of Impact chart, but as a player, do you notice much in the way of difference between systems?
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Bolo_MK_XL
Commander


Joined: 16 Jan 2007
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Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only thing you should concentrate on is the difference in fire/launch phases --
SFB every impulse/move you can launch
FC you/opponent have up to 4 moves to 1 fire/launch phase ---

The main issue is possibility of the target moving out of firing arc,
also having all energy as reserve gives everyone the option of accelerating/decelerating between firing phases ---

Putting yourself in a position to ensure a greater chance to hit with plasma is harder in FC than SFB, as the target has more options available to avoid having it happen ---
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Democratus
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Joined: 19 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another big difference is that speeds can be generally higher in FC. Ships can even go as fast as a Plasma Torpedo (impossible in SFB), making it much more difficult to get a hit with one.
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pinecone
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Joined: 03 May 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not really. There are no Wild Weasels either.
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using a wild weasel was typically seen as a "bad thing" in SFB. It made your ship temporarily immune to seeking weapons, but it also badly hurt your speed and handed the initiative to your opponent. In Fed Com, you can pick whatever base speed you want at the start of your turn. You don't have that option in SFB, and instead the maximum speed that you can pick is influenced by your speed the previous turn.

Thus using a Wild Weasel can have a serious impact on how the battle plays out in SFB and is a lot more complicated than just throwing a decoy shuttle out the back hatch.


imo, the increase in ship speeds is the single most important change in Fed Com for plasma users to take into account. The ability of a ship to move at speed 32 (24+1) at will makes it much more difficult for torpedoes to hit at full or close to full damage unless you manage to somehow trick your opponent into playing Chicken with you.

And even then, your opponent will simply HET.
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Requete
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:

And even then, your opponent will simply HET.


Although, probably not twice.
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you kidding?

Given a 100% chance to have your ship gutted (i.e. one hundred points of plasma on the #1 shield) or a 50% chance to have your ship gutted (i.e. one hundred points of plasma on a random shield and an extra ten points of internals), which option would you take?


If my choices are between eating enough plasma to gut my ship or risking a breakdown, then I'll risk the breakdown every time.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
Are you kidding?

Given a 100% chance to have your ship gutted (i.e. one hundred points of plasma on the #1 shield) or a 50% chance to have your ship gutted (i.e. one hundred points of plasma on a random shield and an extra ten points of internals), which option would you take?

If my choices are between eating enough plasma to gut my ship or risking a breakdown, then I'll risk the breakdown every time.


If its 2 plamsa R or some other 100 points of damage, yes HET again. However it gets much more interesting when its a single F or S. Do you eat 20/30 damage or a second HET? what if he is holding another plasma until after you decide?
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd think the biggest difference would surely be the lack of the enveloper in FC.


Not that I'd argue the plasma powers miss it, mind you.
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eblack
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Joined: 29 May 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
... imo, the increase in ship speeds is the single most important change in Fed Com for plasma users to take into account. The ability of a ship to move at speed 32 (24+1) at will makes it much more difficult for torpedoes to hit at full or close to full damage unless you manage to somehow trick your opponent into playing Chicken with you.

And even then, your opponent will simply HET.


I think this is generally the correct assumption about the differences between SFB and FC. In FC, your plasmas will not hit unless your opponent cannot move speed 24+1.

There are a number of ways in doing that... hitting him with other weapons and having him reinforce shields, tractoring, taking a hit to deliver one (i.e. getting into his preferred range to fire so that you may), manuevering him into a corner and so forth. With plasmas, you have to be patient and work your opponent's energy down or else you'll need to keep up a running plasma ballet or use bolts.
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junior
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tractoring is much more difficult in Fed Com as well. In SFB, tractor beams have range (three hexes, iirc). In Fed Com, they're restricted to one hex.

This did cause an amusing moment in one tactics discussion on the other forum. Back when I was soliciting suggestions as to how a Gorn ship might be able to beat an LDR vessel (final answer - it doesn't), someone suggested grabbing the LDR ship in a tractor beam and letting it more or less flail helplessly outside the effective range of the ESGs and Phaser-Gs. Sadly, I had to point out that tractor beams don't extend that far...
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eblack
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed... I keep catching myself on the distance allowed for tractoring, thinking "He's at range 2, I'll just... oh wait...".
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The prob is if you break down you will Eat the plasa anyway... The reverse is also true I suppose.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The major differences between plasma in Federation Commander and plasma in SFB are:
- no pseudo-torpedoes
- no wild weasels
- no envelopers
- no plasma shotgun
- no rolling delay
- no ECP
- no sabot

Quite frankly, I figure the lack of PPTs is actually the biggest difference. The whole guessing game of "are they or aren't they" colors everything that is done with plasma in SFB. That is totally gone in Federation Commander.

But, because of all of these differences, I don't think that studying plasma in SFB is going to really make a whole lot of difference in Federation Commander, as they are going to play very differently.

So, to play plasma in Federation Commander, you will pretty much just have to play plasma in Federation Commander.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's an article on plasma tactics in FC in Captain's Log #38.
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