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Plasma - SFB vs FC?
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Kang
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
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.

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

I hated PPTs for that very reason....
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rulesjd
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did not see listed two other considerations.

A) In FC, the target of your plasma (and drones) is open knowledge. In SFB, targetting is secret. In a ship to ship duel this is largely irrelevant. However, when you have squadrons, or deploy fighters, this becomes more important.

B) In FC, if you are not the target of a plasma, you cannot shoot at it in the defensive fire phase. This means that any escort or allied ships will have to fire phasers in the activation impulse prior to the plasma hitting. This can mean sub optimal shots with phaser's at ranges of 3 or more. A real reduction in phaser III performance.

In SFB, any ship can fire at plasma's during any of the 32 impulses. Therefore, you can maneuver your ship to give your escorts the BEST possible shooting opportunities.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rulesjd wrote:
In FC, if you are not the target of a plasma, you cannot shoot at it in the defensive fire phase.

....actually there are some new rules in Hydran Attack about escort ships being able to shoot, well, at drones at least; dunno about plasma, once they are impacted.

I'm not sure if these rules are electronically available yet, but no doubt someons on the forum will be able to put us right on that.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the Aegis ships in HA only get bonuses vs drones, as plasma isn't such a problem as massed drones.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
..... plasma isn't such a problem as massed drones.

That depends on whether or not you have one chasing you Wink
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pmiller13
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems to me that most of the advice here has been along the lines of getting a alpha strike of plasma to land on target. This is as hard in FC as it was in SFB. Very rarely have I ever seen a 100-point plasma blast in either game. There are simply to many ways to avoid it in both systems. There have been a number of good articles written about this topic but IMHO I think the key to handling plasma is to not fire the entire load at any one time unless you have a 100% chance of getting them to land. Playing a plasma race (Romulan or Gorn) is all about having patience. Remember that in FC your best weapons are you phasers. Use your plasmas to either crush a shield and then follow-up with phaser fire or to get the target to keep giving you the same shield to keep shooting at. This is accomplished by chucking enough plasma at a target to get it to turn off and run away. This will always expose the rear shields to your phaser and/or bolted torpedo fire. Remember that plasma torpedo’s can be run away from but it is very hard to destroy them. If a target wants to just phaser them and fly through them the 2-1 damage to warhead reduction ratio means the target of the plasmas is still going to take a lot of damage, arrive with little or no phasers of their own or both.
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rulesjd
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
I think the Aegis ships in HA only get bonuses vs drones, as plasma isn't such a problem as massed drones.


Why are massed drones a problem?

In a ship to ship duel, without scatterpacks, fast drones, or control channels beyond 6, a meaningful drone swarm is almost impossible to achieve. In a duel, the ability to allow the drones to achieve range 0 while still getting the best phaser range (1) along with limited aegis like choices of anti-drone, phaser, and tractor, makes drone defense far easier in FC than in SFB.

If you run a fleet action and swarm your drones at one target, the open targetting info means your opponent can maneuver non target ships onto the drones for a range zero phaser shot. At worst, you can have the single targetted ship maneuver away from the rest of the fleet until the drones are cleared. Given the slow rate of drone reloading in FC, it is somewhat easier to draw a drone fleets teeth.

Really, I just don't see aegis ships as necessary when the drone races have already been curtailed.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Aegis ships in HA can fire their phasers at any impacted seeking weapon, including plasma. Now, they can only fire their ADDs at drones, but that is a function of ADDs, not Aegis.

rulesjd wrote:
Why are massed drones a problem?

The problem occurs when drone ships show up. If you just have normal combat ships in action, then, no, massed drones should not be more of a problem than intended. However, if you add one or two drone ships to the mix, you can start to overwhelm the fleet's ability to deal with the drones. Aegis ships then give the opponent a chance to handle the increased number of drones. Coincidentally, drone ships and aegis ships show up at the same time. Smile
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Kzintis in a fleet can throw out ridiculous numbers of drones even without drone ships. It should also be noted that getting a range 0 shot isn't as easy as it would be in SFB, because of the one-shot-per-four-impulses bit, shorter tractor ranges, and the limit on three ships firing. And if I can set up a situation where one ship (say, your dreadnought) is forced to hang back a few hexes, I should be able to shoot up a different ship with my whole fleet's overloads without eating your DN's overloads, giving me an advantage.
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rulesjd
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
The Kzintis in a fleet can throw out ridiculous numbers of drones even without drone ships. It should also be noted that getting a range 0 shot isn't as easy as it would be in SFB, because of the one-shot-per-four-impulses bit, shorter tractor ranges, and the limit on three ships firing. And if I can set up a situation where one ship (say, your dreadnought) is forced to hang back a few hexes, I should be able to shoot up a different ship with my whole fleet's overloads without eating your DN's overloads, giving me an advantage.


I haven't checked out the drone ship/aegis changes yet. I assume that
"drone ships" are greater control channels? Or is it just more racks?

In any case, I disagree about the range issue. In FC, the targetted ship will ALWAYS get to fire at range 0 (effective range 1) during the defensive fire step. They will also get to use tractors, ADD and phasers in sequence at range 1 which you cannot do in SFB. You also have freedom to speed up or brake at any time in FC which is far greater flexibility than you have in SFB.

In addition, in SFB, a canny drone commander can maneuver his drones (which move after ships) to achieve range two on an impulse where both ship and drones would move next impulse. The defending ship must then fire phasers at a range where P-I's do not guarantee a kill and P-III's are even weaker. Of course, tractors will cost 2 power if deployed at that range and CANNOT be used once range 0 is achieved.

With regard the drones, they are always speed 24, non armored and with only standard warheads. Therefore a single ship defending in FC is at an advantage over SFB ships.

If you are running a fleet in SFB you don't know drone targetting. Therefore you cannot manuever in the face of drones with impunity. You need to use lab's at close range while leaving yourself options. In FC, with targetting known, you can place ships directly at range 0 of drones for maximum phaser efficiency because there is no risk that the drone will hit your covering ship.

Mike, I'll have to look at the newer drone rules in HA. If they can bring more mass on target, it is a welcome change for the drone races.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
a canny drone commander can maneuver his drones (which move after ships) to achieve range two on an impulse where both ship and drones would move next impulse. The defending ship must then fire phasers at a range where P-I's do not guarantee a kill and P-III's are even weaker. Of course, tractors will cost 2 power if deployed at that range


Huh? Since when can tractors be used at range 2 in FedCom?
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rulesjd
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
Quote:
a canny drone commander can maneuver his drones (which move after ships) to achieve range two on an impulse where both ship and drones would move next impulse. The defending ship must then fire phasers at a range where P-I's do not guarantee a kill and P-III's are even weaker. Of course, tractors will cost 2 power if deployed at that range


Huh? Since when can tractors be used at range 2 in FedCom?


Thats why I started the sentence with "In SFB" which is the part you cut out of your quote.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, now I understand. I thought we were talking about the FedCom game mechanics.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In any case, I disagree about the range issue. In FC, the targetted ship will ALWAYS get to fire at range 0 (effective range 1) during the defensive fire step. They will also get to use tractors, ADD and phasers in sequence at range 1 which you cannot do in SFB. You also have freedom to speed up or brake at any time in FC which is far greater flexibility than you have in SFB.


Yes, the targetted ship will, I was talking about other ships. When you said range 0 I thought you meant otehr ships intercepting the drones, because all fire in teh defensive fire phase is at range 1.

As for drone ships, they're the drone ships from SFB FC-ised, extra racks, double drone control (12 channels). The drone war cruiser variants are in Briefing #1, Z-drone frigate published recently in Communique.
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rulesjd
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
Quote:
In any case, I disagree about the range issue. In FC, the targetted ship will ALWAYS get to fire at range 0 (effective range 1) during the defensive fire step. They will also get to use tractors, ADD and phasers in sequence at range 1 which you cannot do in SFB. You also have freedom to speed up or brake at any time in FC which is far greater flexibility than you have in SFB.


Yes, the targetted ship will, I was talking about other ships. When you said range 0 I thought you meant otehr ships intercepting the drones, because all fire in teh defensive fire phase is at range 1.

As for drone ships, they're the drone ships from SFB FC-ised, extra racks, double drone control (12 channels). The drone war cruiser variants are in Briefing #1, Z-drone frigate published recently in Communique.


Thanks Terry. I haven't yet read or used the ships from Briefing #1 or the recent commuiques. (Actually not getting much FC in at all these days). Obviously, dual drone control would again make the Kzinti capable of nasty drone swarms.

I still believe, however, that escorts have an easier time in FC than in SFB, all things considered. You point out correctly that the 4 impulse delay between firing complicates a range zero solution. However, the movement rules allowing for ships to speed up and slow down, almost at will, mean that escorts have maximum flexibility of maneuver to place themselves on a drone swarm while the target ship remains a hex behind.

Now, give me 32 speed drones and things get a lot hotter.

I think its time to compel my game group to pull out FC again.
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