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One big vs. two not-so-big
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Lieutenant JG


Joined: 14 May 2008
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:13 pm    Post subject: One big vs. two not-so-big Reply with quote

Here’s one for all you FC gurus out there:

You are playing a pick up game where each player gets ‘X’ points. No objective except to destroy the enemy. Under what circumstances would you pick 1 ship worth ‘X’ points – and under what circumstances would you pick 2 ships, each worth “X/2” points?
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Kahuna
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 139
Location: Spokane, WA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's mostly play style. But a couple reasons come to mind:

1. You have a third person and they're newer. You put them on your team to show them the ropes.
2. You want to play cat and mouse with the bigger ship, nipping at him until he dies of 1000 papercuts.
3. The challenge of it. Sometimes I purposely pick a smaller/lower BP ship just to see if I can beat him. With two, so much the better.
4. Mix up your ships. People pick a BP and then it's the same ships again. Lets me try out ships I don't normally play.

I'm sure there's more, but there's the basic reasons I usually do it.
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2922
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll sometimes put a new person in a single, bigger ship so they will have less to manage. It's enough to just understand the impulse movement system without having to do it for multiple ships (for people who have never seen a hex-map before).

I personally pretty strongly gravitate to having multiple ships. There's exceptions, but I usually prefer the flexibility they give.
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asguard101
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Joined: 20 Jul 2008
Posts: 162
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have been, and still are, play a game where we choose a battleship, and then take turns bidding down the amount of BPs we think we can destroy it with. Then who ever bids the lowest picks thier fleet and the person with the highest bid play the battleship. This system tends to cause more than one ship to be chosen for the attacking fleet.
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Lieutenant JG


Joined: 14 May 2008
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey -- thanks for the replies.

But I think I may have been unclear – and possibly put this in the wrong section. Sad (Mike West – if you want this moved to ‘Tactics’ just let me know)

Assuming two equally skilled players, under what circumstances would a single ship worth “X” points give you a better chance of victory? Conversely, under what circumstances would multiple smaller ships worth a combined total of “X” points give you a better chance of victory?

Do certain races do better with multiple smaller ships? Does a certain map type or BPV amount favor one large ship? etc.

I think in general one big ship would win against the smaller ships, but I’m sure I am missing something so I ask you all who have more experience than me…
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Requete
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 15 Jul 2008
Posts: 75
Location: Leander, TX

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My money is on the big ship as well, particularly if it has good "crunch" potential.

If a pair of small ships want to equal the firepower of a big ship, they probably (unless they're Hydran HB ships) need to be firing on the same shield. If one takes a bunch of power hits, it will have trouble keeping up with its buddy. So that's a vulnerability.

Also, small ships have less DC. Whereas a big ship can bring a critical weapon online immediately, small ships will have to wait a turn.

Finally, and this is based more on impressions than having done actual math on the subject, big ships seem to have a fair amount of 'meat'. Suppose the big ship exchanges alpha strikes with the small ships. All other things being equal, the big ship will take a reasonable amount of internals and still be operational (though hurt, of course). However, one of the small ships will be totally ruined. Then it will be one small ship against one wounded big ship... I would think the big ship would pull ahead just in virtue of being able to use good DC and having a bunch of other shields which are relatively beefy. The intact small ship, on the other hand, will probably find it difficult if the big ship holds him off of that one shield.
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Kahuna
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 139
Location: Spokane, WA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to be of the opposing opinion on this. Assuming everyone's at equal skill level (which almost never happens), I would have to probably give the nod to two smaller ships.

Consider, if we could, that the smaller ships can stay out of the alpha strike arcs of the bigger ship. For example, two BCs vs a BB. Or two FFs even vs a CA or CC. Most of these ships don't have enough weapons pointing in enough different directions to equal one of these other warships. Indeed, I agree that if you can alpha, with your big ship, you will probably gut out one of the little guys. But if you cannot, and the little guy plays cat and mouse with you, I can see it easily going downhill for your big boy.

Truth is, I've seen it go both ways in our fights. The little guys slip once and wham, they're out a ship. Then it's pretty much over for the other little ship. I've seen the big ship die slowly of a 1000 papercuts as well, frustrated with how it's going. As I posted on this, my mind has been a whirl with possiblities and I think I'm going to try a few matches on this tonight. Man, love this game!
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Requete
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 15 Jul 2008
Posts: 75
Location: Leander, TX

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure it also partly depends on the type of ships you're flying. Lyrans would suffer with small ships because they cannot both alpha the same shield on the same impulse. Feds suffer because "close and hose" is less viable.

On the other hand, more 'dancerly' ships like Klin would probably do fine... if you bracket the enemy you can dance from two directions at once and eventually you'll attrit the shields down (as long as your damage output can keep up with his shield repairs)... that would take a while, though. Of course Kzinti could throw outrageous drone swarms, but they'd have to make sure that the drones could hit. I think probably HB Hydrans are in the best shape for this sort of thing.
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MajerBlundor
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In fleet scale a Fed Battle Frigate could inflict about 40 points of damage in an Alpha Strike (excluding its Drone which could do another 12). That's enough to drop the front shield and inflict 22+ points of internal damage on a typical 100 point fleet scale ship (add 12 more if the drone hits).

Two such ships can gut a bigger ship in a single, combined strike since the second Alpha Strike would not need to go through a shield (total 62+ internal hits). Heck, in fleet scale even 22+ damage points will seriously hurt a 100 point ship! 62+ points will cripple it.

Or the second ship could hit a different (aft?) shield to limit the bigger ship's maneuver options even if it kills one of the smaller ships.

Obviously this assumes the smaller ships can close to a good AS range and this goes to the OP's question.

Given their weaker shields I think smaller ships have a more difficult time in long range duels against bigger ships. In such an exchange the bigger ship can already chew up internal systems/weapons on one small ship while concentrated fire by both smaller ships is just starting to drop a shield on the big ship.

So it all comes down to tactics: a couple of crunch smaller ships could seriously gut a bigger ship if they get close with Alpha Strikes. But in a long range attritional battle I think bigger ships have a "staying-power" advantage since they can start eliminating enemy weapon systems from the board sooner.

MB
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terryoc
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Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1379

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the answer is "it depends". Smile

Advantages to the smaller ships: Faster turn mode (probably).

Advantages to the big ship: All of its fire will be in one volley, giving the target fewer opportunities to reinforce.
- May be able to use the "Battleship Star Castle" tactic.
- Takes more damage to start inflicting significant internals.
- Has lots of power and batteries, and gets multiple opportunities to reinforce against damage (because it's two volleys).
- "one big volley" vs a small target with weak shields means that it has higher effective range; may be able to cripple an attacker before the attacker can get close enough to penetrate the shield.

In some terrain, like asteroids or pulsars, having one ship is an advantage because flying two ships through asteroids/pulsar damage takes twice as much damage (on average) as one.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1845

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MajerBlundor wrote:
In fleet scale a Fed Battle Frigate could inflict about 40 points of damage in an Alpha Strike (excluding its Drone which could do another 12). That's enough to drop the front shield and inflict 22+ points of internal damage on a typical 100 point fleet scale ship (add 12 more if the drone hits).


That is misleading, Whilst it may be able to fire a good volley against someone who sits in front of them, doing it in game is another thing. A (fleet scale) fed battle frigate literally can't load and fully overload both photons on the same turn at all without the battery, needs 12 power, only has basic 11. The ony way you can go fast and fire overloads is to fully arm and pay hold for o/l, but even then you only go speed 28 (and no phasers) whilst being commited to an o/l range attack and that takes 3 turns - preload, load, hold with the first 2 turns being a sitting duck dumping power to photons.

Facing that you are looking at BC/DN size ships. your 100 point ship is exactly the cost of a hydran DN. That can fire both HB at long range every 2 turns and 4 ph1 every turn whilst going a constant speed 26. 4ph1 and 2 HB at range 15 have something like a 2/3 chance of dropping a shield and doing internals on the first turn, whilst keeping you with no real chance of closing for a big alpha. If you do get close it still has a phG and fusions which are every bit as good as the fed alpha given how fragile the frigate is.

That is a reflection of something that is true as a generalisation, larger ships are better powered than smaller ships, the power for a ph1 is less than a movement point for a DN but can be 2-4 movement points for a small ship, leaving smaller ships often choosing between closing OR firing, whereas larger ships can often fire everything offensive whilst moving at a decent speed.
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mojo jojo
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depending on the matchup, the big ship could be in trouble if the 2 smaller ships stack and always move together.

Let's take the Gorn BB vs 2 Gorn BCHs. 376 vs 384 pts which is reasonably close in value.

Gorn BB has:
2 PL-R
3 PL-S
2 PL-F
4 PL-D
16 PH-1
5 PH-3

The 2 BCHs have:
6 PL-S
4 PL-F
20 PH-1
8 PH-3

The 2 BCHs have 82+12 total power vs 78+12 and slightly better total shields. The BB has more hull boxes as padding.

The big difference is that while the power level of the weaponry is roughly similar level, the 2 BCHs have a significantly better turn mode and should be able to outmaneuver the BB, especially with slightly better total power and shielding. And by staying together, they can guarantee all their weapons hit the same shield of the BB.

I'd put my money on the 2 BCHs.
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mojo jojo
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's take another exactly equal matchup. A Kzinti DN vs 2 CMs. 244 pts each.

DN has:

6 Disrupters
6 Drone Racks
3 ADD
7 PH-1
13 PH-3

55+7 Power

The 2 CMs have:

6 Disrupters
8 Drone Racks
4 ADD
8 PH-1
4 PH-3

60+4 total power.

Again the DN has a significant advantage in hull boxes. However, the 2 CMs have much more total shields. 60 total front vs 44 for the DN and 48 vs 36 for each of the other shields. Plus turn mode B vs E should be a huge advantage.

Unless the DN can close to 2 hexes where its PH-3 advantage can carry the day, I would bet on the 2 CMs.
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Kahuna
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 139
Location: Spokane, WA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I agree with you Mojo that overall the smaller ships should win, I don't know if your figures quite work out. When the big ship gets hit, he has ALL of that shield to work with. When the little guys get hit, they only have one shield at a time to work with. Meaning, that for the same amount of damage on smaller ship dies and the BB gets hurt.

For example, if the BB does 65 points of damage, against one ship that's 30-40 internal. If the smaller ships do the exact damage, that's only 20 internal. With the padding and the extra power, that means a lot less damage just happened to the BB compared to a likely crippled smaller ship. This assumes of course that both teams just sit there and fire away until one side blows up.

I still believe the smaller ships will win mostly due to manueverability, weapon arcs, distribution of damage, and critical alpha strikes on wounded shields.
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Savedfromwhat
Commander


Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 640

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that the smaller ships will typically lose against equally skilled opponents. The reason for this is the rules on split the shields on a hex spine. Basically I can spread all of your damage out to two shields while mine will impact on one shield.

A perfect example who would win against a regular Klingon D5 vs. 2 Fed Frigates. We tried this scenario this weekend and by keeping the D5 on the hex spine the Klingon player was able to prevent 2 range 4 firing opportunities. In the end the klingon had Shields 3 and 4 in perfect shape, 8 internals and the feds had a blown up frigate and another one with no 1 or 2 shield on the run. This was on a fixed map that was 4 x 2 not much room to maneuver away from those photons ;P
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