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Attacking a Starbase
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mojo jojo
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:40 am    Post subject: Attacking a Starbase Reply with quote

A starbase is 600 pts. It seems like it would be fairly easy for a 600 pt attacking force to annihilate the starbase without too much difficulty. Here are some ideas for the attack:

1) Send in 60 Stingers. The starbase will naturally kill a bunch on the approach, but probably 40 or so will make it to short range and turn the SB into scrap metal.

2) A Tholian NDN can stay at 26 hexes and continually leave a 5 hex web up in front of the SB (with 3 WC, it shouldn't be too difficult). The other Tholian ships get close behind the web and keep firing phasers at short range until the SB dies. Could take a few turns, but the Tholians should take no damage.

3) 6 Kzinti Light Cruisers stay at 26 hexes and keep launching drones. 24 impulse 8 1 turn followed by 12 impulse 1 the next turn. Every other turn, the 2 non-fired drone racks get reloaded. There's no way the SB can kill all 36 per 2 turn cycle. It may take awhile, but the drones will eventually take it out without any losses for the Kzinti. The Kzinti can also move to within 18 hexes during the battle to reduce the time the SB can fire and to add disrupters to the attack. The ship will retreat to 26 hexes if its front shields are running low. This tactic probably wouldn't work against a Hydran Starbase since 12 defending Stingers would stop the drones without any difficulty.

4) Any Gorn or Romulan force could stay at 26 hexes, wait until they have fully loaded torps, and then drive straight at the SB. They may lose a ship on the approach, but a launch at 4 or 8 hexes should result in a dead SB with hundreds of points of plasma impacting. If the Gorn or Romulan didn't want to lose a ship and had some time, they could launch at 16 hexes and retreat until they reload and repeat the process as many times as necessary.

5) 4 Federation NCL and 1 DW spends turn 1 26 hexes away and fully overloads all photons while filling batteries. The 5 ships then charge at speed 24 and accelerates once and winds up 1 hex away. 19 fully overloaded photons plus phasers should annihilate the SB even if a ship gets killed on the approach. Might not work if the defending SB is a Gorn, Romulan, or Hydran since massive plasma or 12 stingers might breakup the charge before it gets close enough.

Disrupter and Particle Cannon races would seem to be at the biggest disadvantage when attacking a base since they can't do damage fast enough to take out the base before receiving murderous fire.

Any other ways that a 600 pt attacking force can take out a SB in a reasonable amount of time without ruinous losses? And given that a SB can't move and is vulnerable to these tactics, is its BPV grossly overstated?
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
1) Send in 60 Stingers. The starbase will naturally kill a bunch on the approach, but probably 40 or so will make it to short range and turn the SB into scrap metal.


Well, there's no way under the rules to take stingers without the ships that carry them.

Quote:
2) A Tholian NDN can stay at 26 hexes and continually leave a 5 hex web up in front of the SB (with 3 WC, it shouldn't be too difficult). The other Tholian ships get close behind the web and keep firing phasers at short range until the SB dies. Could take a few turns, but the Tholians should take no damage.


Yes. This is how the Tholians managed to maintain total control over the M81 Galaxy for hundreds of years. Until the Selts invented the Web Breaker, anyway.

Quote:
3) 6 Kzinti Light Cruisers stay at 26 hexes and keep launching drones. 24 impulse 8 1 turn followed by 12 impulse 1 the next turn. Every other turn, the 2 non-fired drone racks get reloaded. There's no way the SB can kill all 36 per 2 turn cycle. It may take awhile, but the drones will eventually take it out without any losses for the Kzinti. The Kzinti can also move to within 18 hexes during the battle to reduce the time the SB can fire and to add disrupters to the attack. The ship will retreat to 26 hexes if its front shields are running low. This tactic probably wouldn't work against a Hydran Starbase since 12 defending Stingers would stop the drones without any difficulty.


A Vudar or Lyran Starbase would have much less trouble. A Tholian would laugh at it. But yeah, bases are vulnerable to seeking weapons.

Quote:
4) Any Gorn or Romulan force could stay at 26 hexes, wait until they have fully loaded torps, and then drive straight at the SB. They may lose a ship on the approach, but a launch at 4 or 8 hexes should result in a dead SB with hundreds of points of plasma impacting. If the Gorn or Romulan didn't want to lose a ship and had some time, they could launch at 16 hexes and retreat until they reload and repeat the process as many times as necessary.


Yup. Gotta love those plasma-R torpedoes on the War Eagles. And take a look at the SparrowHawk-J.

Quote:
5) 4 Federation NCL and 1 DW spends turn 1 26 hexes away and fully overloads all photons while filling batteries. The 5 ships then charge at speed 24 and accelerates once and winds up 1 hex away. 19 fully overloaded photons plus phasers should annihilate the SB even if a ship gets killed on the approach. Might not work if the defending SB is a Gorn, Romulan, or Hydran since massive plasma or 12 stingers might breakup the charge before it gets close enough.


The SB's best option is to damage more than one ship rather than kill one. Also launch seeking weapons at the attackers to force some defensive fire. But that's true.

Quote:
Disrupter and Particle Cannon races would seem to be at the biggest disadvantage when attacking a base since they can't do damage fast enough to take out the base before receiving murderous fire.


But once they knock the shield down, there are options.

Quote:
Any other ways that a 600 pt attacking force can take out a SB in a reasonable amount of time without ruinous losses? And given that a SB can't move and is vulnerable to these tactics, is its BPV grossly overstated?


The PV may be overstated but not IMO grossly. Bases, historically, were always guarded by a force of ships. Even a few large freighters can stop a lot of drones with their phasers and tractors. With a reasonable defending force, the base becomes tougher (although an attacking force equal in points cost to the defender's total force should have an advantage IMO). Using the scout rules for the base will help a lot.

The SB is based on the SFB starbase, and in SFB with minefields, electronic warfare (scout sensors), and 'wild weasels' (shuttles that distract seeking weapons) it's a lot less vulnerable. Even using the Hydran Attack scout rules for the base (as modified by the rules in Communique) makes it more even.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting ideas, thanks.

Attacking a base is very much like besieging a castle - you hope to be able to whittle them down before help arrives. You need to kill the base quickly.

Bases are very definitely vulnerable to seeking weapons, yes.

However the Kzinti tactic would not work as stated at the range you suggest, because you can't guide seeking weapons from 26 hexes. Rule (4F2e), last sentence: 'Weapons more than 25 hexes from the controlling ship...self destruct'. Sorry. At 25 hexes, of course, you would not take much damage anyway and since you are firing drones you could TAC in place and rotate, reinforce and repair your shields. But I guess I'm just being pedantic....
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There should be a defensive drone. It would have a large explosive equivalent that could take out all the drones in a single hex, for instance.

Another option that is in SFB that is not in FC is the ability to reinforce specific shields to any amount with the power available. That gives bases a better chance of surviving tactics like those suggested above.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
There should be a defensive drone. It would have a large explosive equivalent that could take out all the drones in a single hex, for instance.


It's called a Transporter Bomb.

Also the other missing base defence is Special Sensors.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:

Another option that is in SFB that is not in FC is the ability to reinforce specific shields to any amount with the power available. That gives bases a better chance of surviving tactics like those suggested above.


44 batteries to be used on each volley (till power runs out) is pretty darn close.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

1) Send in 60 Stingers. The starbase will naturally kill a bunch on the approach, but probably 40 or so will make it to short range and turn the SB into scrap metal.


As noted earlier that is not really a proper force. Nothing to stop you doing it if the SB player agrees - which I somehow doubt.

Quote:

2) A Tholian NDN can stay at 26 hexes and continually leave a 5 hex web up in front of the SB (with 3 WC, it shouldn't be too difficult). The other Tholian ships get close behind the web and keep firing phasers at short range until the SB dies. Could take a few turns, but the Tholians should take no damage.


A few turns!!!! You might want to slightly re-evaluate that one, an NDN is 240 points that is contributing no fire power. that leaves 360 points of ships that are firing phasers only from range 2 at best. You need to average 16 phasers before you do actual shield damage as the SB can battery away 76 pts a turn indefinately. You may score burnthrough, but with 12 repair you need to be doing a good bit of burnthrough every turn (The average damage control points inflicted is 2.83 per volley so you need 5 burnthrough volleys per turn to overcome 12 DC on a long term basis). PCs offer the highest concentration of Ph1s per point (you can get 6 PCs), but they lack decent defense against the seekers. The web will not be strong enough to stop them unless unless it is a single hex, which means the SB can lob seekers around the side. Roms, gorns and kzinti I expect would be almost impossible to kill off due to the large number of seekers making a range 2 wear down rather fraught, Hydran could be potentially lethal and selts would laugh at you. There really is only Lyran that are totally defenseless against the tholians. Feds and Klinks are also rather vulnerable with only 6 drones but given how long you would take to kill an SB via burnthrough sooner or later they may get lucky.

I expect a different tholian tactic will be the safest SB killer, but an NDN staying at range 26 doesn't look like it except against a very limited number of oppponents.



Quote:

3) 6 Kzinti Light Cruisers stay at 26 hexes and keep launching drones. 24 impulse 8 1 turn followed by 12 impulse 1 the next turn. Every other turn, the 2 non-fired drone racks get reloaded. There's no way the SB can kill all 36 per 2 turn cycle. It may take awhile, but the drones will eventually take it out without any losses for the Kzinti. The Kzinti can also move to within 18 hexes during the battle to reduce the time the SB can fire and to add disrupters to the attack. The ship will retreat to 26 hexes if its front shields are running low. This tactic probably wouldn't work against a Hydran Starbase since 12 defending Stingers would stop the drones without any difficulty.


As noted earlier you can't do that, you must be within 25 hexes.

Staying at range 25 (or 26 if allowed) is bad anyway for launching due to the greater than 1 turn impact time, most SBs can handle all your drones from that range. E.g. Vs Fed SB

Turn 1
imp 8 = launch 24 drones
Turn 2
imp 1 = launch 12 drones
imp 5 = 2 dead drones from 2 phasers at range 10 that are about to go out of arc on imp 6.
imp ? = 6 SB drones at 6 incoming drones in wave 2.
imp 8 = 8 ph4 and 4 ph3 for 10 dead drones at range 1.

End turn 2 = 12 drones in wave 1 and 6 in wave 2. The dead drones could be replaced by the firing ships, but that starts spreading them out (useful for the 2 ADD and rotating phaser arcs) and means no reloading.

Turn 3
imp 1 = impact of 12. Kill 4 tractor 8.
imp 2 = impact of 6. Kill 2 tractor 4.

You now have 12 drones tractored, that means you can't launch more than 24 a time unless you drop tracking on the tractored ones, and you can't launch more after that until that 24 have been dealt with, so you have given the SB 2 turns to handle each 24. The SB will swat them down without batting an eyelid. Even if the SB player starts taking chances with the ph3s he can battery away 3 drones at a time. More likely you will find that the 12 tractored drones are all the drones from just 2 ships, that means that you can only launch 16 drones on turn 3 unless you drop tracking!


Closing range to 24 so you don't give extra turn cycles to weapons is no worse from a taking damage perspective, but it will mean that your drones impact within 8 impulses so in order to keep up the maximum drone rate you will not be able to reload and after 4 turns you will be retiring to reload. A fed SB can handle 24 drones a turn for 4 turns quite well.

In order to take out the SB with kzinti I would think you will need to take a few more chances, launch 24 on imp 8 at 24 range, follow them in for 12 more on imp 1 in the same hex, back of a bit and on imp 8, when the others have impacted, launch another 12 and again follow them in for another 24. That is theoretically 72 impacts in 2 turns, barring tractors forcing you to drop some. A lot may come down to how the tractors are used and how the kzinti respond to it, but by my reckoning the SB may still not have taken any actual internals, they ought to be able to get by with a down shield and a bit of missing armor, of course a dice roll here or there could alter that either way. Kzinti are likely to have at least 1 badly damaged ship. In order to seal the deal you are going to have to close in and pile on the hurt with disrupters and phasers at point blank range through that shield (See below), obviosly putting your ships at risk.


Hydran and Lyran of course are essentially immune to a 'mere' 36 drones a turn

Quote:

4) Any Gorn or Romulan force could stay at 26 hexes, wait until they have fully loaded torps, and then drive straight at the SB. They may lose a ship on the approach, but a launch at 4 or 8 hexes should result in a dead SB with hundreds of points of plasma impacting. If the Gorn or Romulan didn't want to lose a ship and had some time, they could launch at 16 hexes and retreat until they reload and repeat the process as many times as necessary.



I think you are massively over estimating how vulnerable the SB is to plasma alone, I can't think of any single plasma launch from 600pts that will result in a crippled much less dead SB.

The war eagles noted above, you get 5 of those, they barely scratch an SB with all 5 plasma R, well ok a big scratch - 38 internals on average against a Fed SB (250 damage, -68 DefFire, -44 battery, -60 shield, -40 armor). The Roms will quite possibly lose (effectively if not actually) a ship or 2 of ships in the process from photons and drones. NB though sparrow Js are nice you only get 3 of them in 600 pts, Most SBs will gut one of them as it launches at range 8, and the inability to launch the S torps together rather limits their crunch power (the third torp will be across a turn cycle from the first).

You can probably get better from gorns (who are not paying for cloaks), with 3 ??? cruisers and a ??? destroyer they can do a simulatneous launch of say 7 S and 8F which is pretty serious, but still not a killer blow to the SB. A range 8 launch is 338 pts, or over 100 internals to a SB fully defending against that. 100 internals to a fed SB is on average 14 power, 17 weapons and 69 'stuff'. But if you (more or less) lose a cruiser to photons and are then waiting 3 turns to re-arm you may find things getting sticky - do you hang around to phaser the down shield whilst getting hit by the remaning ph4s or try and run (getting hit on the way out) and leaving the SB to repair for few turns - and it can potentially repair an entire 60 point shield in the rearm cycle along with 9 weapons/12 power. Again, like the Kzinti, it is less about the plasma being the killer, and more about going all the way in afterwards to pile on the range 1 phasers once shields are down (See below) even if it means losing another ship.


Quote:

5) 4 Federation NCL and 1 DW spends turn 1 26 hexes away and fully overloads all photons while filling batteries. The 5 ships then charge at speed 24 and accelerates once and winds up 1 hex away. 19 fully overloaded photons plus phasers should annihilate the SB even if a ship gets killed on the approach. Might not work if the defending SB is a Gorn, Romulan, or Hydran since massive plasma or 12 stingers might breakup the charge before it gets close enough.


Nothing speaks crunch like point blank photons en masse, mass damage and no defensive fire to stop it. Though there is one minor problem with the way you describe it, only 3 ships can fire when they get to range 1, you would have to have some hang back at range 2.

Anyone who can't stop them reaching the SB discovers the really major weakness of a SB - lack of warp. 17 times round the DAC will kill a SB simply due to the anyWarp/Frame box at position 10. Is there any rule that I've missed that allows a SB to take the anyWarp on anyPower?? Cos as i read it a Starbase is nothing beyond a big shield (and batteries) that dies PDQ once that is penetrated. It seems odd that a C10 will usually just (and I mean just) survive a theoretical 170 point volley of internals. Where as a SB is a guaranteed kill with the same 170 internals. I can see a construction yard or something being not structurally robust to handle combat, but sort of think as starbases being capable of withstanding a good combat.


As was noted earlier though, A starbase should generally be assumed to have some other defense units around. Even if it is something like a squadron of police frigates or a heavy cruiser on leave etc.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
Is there any rule that I've missed that allows a SB to take the anyWarp on anyPower??

Rule (3D6) in the Rev 5 rules (and in the CRUL) says exactly that.
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mojo jojo
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:

As noted earlier that is not really a proper force. Nothing to stop you doing it if the SB player agrees - which I somehow doubt.


Hmm, I wonder if 3 Rangers carrying 26 fighters can do the trick. The Rangers launch at 9 hex range. The SB is unlikely to do enough damage to a Ranger to take it out at 9 hexes and if it shoots at that range, it will be defenseless against the Stingers. It's best bet is to wait until launch and kill stingers. Each PH-4 should kill or cripple 1 stinger and secondary weapons should take out a few. You should still have 10+ stingers and 3 fully armed Rangers taking the range 0-2 shot at the SB.

A Ranger has just enough movement to go 25 hexes and fire all weapons. 2 PH1, 4 PH2, 8 PH3, and 4 Fus will do about 82 pts of damage at range 1. 3 of them plus surviving Stingers should still be able to kill the SB without any difficulty.


storeylf wrote:

A few turns!!!! You might want to slightly re-evaluate that one, an NDN is 240 points that is contributing no fire power. that leaves 360 points of ships that are firing phasers only from range 2 at best. You need to average 16 phasers before you do actual shield damage as the SB can battery away 76 pts a turn indefinately. You may score burnthrough, but with 12 repair you need to be doing a good bit of burnthrough every turn (The average damage control points inflicted is 2.83 per volley so you need 5 burnthrough volleys per turn to overcome 12 DC on a long term basis). PCs offer the highest concentration of Ph1s per point (you can get 6 PCs), but they lack decent defense against the seekers. The web will not be strong enough to stop them unless unless it is a single hex, which means the SB can lob seekers around the side. Roms, gorns and kzinti I expect would be almost impossible to kill off due to the large number of seekers making a range 2 wear down rather fraught, Hydran could be potentially lethal and selts would laugh at you. There really is only Lyran that are totally defenseless against the tholians. Feds and Klinks are also rather vulnerable with only 6 drones but given how long you would take to kill an SB via burnthrough sooner or later they may get lucky.

I expect a different tholian tactic will be the safest SB killer, but an NDN staying at range 26 doesn't look like it except against a very limited number of oppponents.


The NDN can move forward after laying the Web and add its 9 PH1 to the battle while maintaining web.

A force of 1 NDN, 1 DD, and 5 PC is 595 pts and will have 33 PH1 plus should have enough defenses against seeking weapons. 33 PH1 at 2-3 hexes range should be enough to do damage faster than the base can recover. If seeking weapons are a worry, you can replace the force with 1 NDN, 4 DD, and 1 Web Tender. The DDs have web snares and should be completely immune from seeking weapons. This force has only 26 PH1 and will take longer, but the SB is pretty helpless.

In addition to the PH1, the PH3 at short range can add quite a bit of damage. If you don't need to use them for anything else the SB can throw at you, it will shorten the time needed to kill the SB considerably.


storeylf wrote:


As noted earlier you can't do that, you must be within 25 hexes.

Staying at range 25 (or 26 if allowed) is bad anyway for launching due to the greater than 1 turn impact time, most SBs can handle all your drones from that range. E.g. Vs Fed SB

Turn 1
imp 8 = launch 24 drones
Turn 2
imp 1 = launch 12 drones
imp 5 = 2 dead drones from 2 phasers at range 10 that are about to go out of arc on imp 6.
imp ? = 6 SB drones at 6 incoming drones in wave 2.
imp 8 = 8 ph4 and 4 ph3 for 10 dead drones at range 1.

End turn 2 = 12 drones in wave 1 and 6 in wave 2. The dead drones could be replaced by the firing ships, but that starts spreading them out (useful for the 2 ADD and rotating phaser arcs) and means no reloading.

Turn 3
imp 1 = impact of 12. Kill 4 tractor 8.
imp 2 = impact of 6. Kill 2 tractor 4.

You now have 12 drones tractored, that means you can't launch more than 24 a time unless you drop tracking on the tractored ones, and you can't launch more after that until that 24 have been dealt with, so you have given the SB 2 turns to handle each 24. The SB will swat them down without batting an eyelid. Even if the SB player starts taking chances with the ph3s he can battery away 3 drones at a time. More likely you will find that the 12 tractored drones are all the drones from just 2 ships, that means that you can only launch 16 drones on turn 3 unless you drop tracking!


Closing range to 24 so you don't give extra turn cycles to weapons is no worse from a taking damage perspective, but it will mean that your drones impact within 8 impulses so in order to keep up the maximum drone rate you will not be able to reload and after 4 turns you will be retiring to reload. A fed SB can handle 24 drones a turn for 4 turns quite well.

In order to take out the SB with kzinti I would think you will need to take a few more chances, launch 24 on imp 8 at 24 range, follow them in for 12 more on imp 1 in the same hex, back of a bit and on imp 8, when the others have impacted, launch another 12 and again follow them in for another 24. That is theoretically 72 impacts in 2 turns, barring tractors forcing you to drop some. A lot may come down to how the tractors are used and how the kzinti respond to it, but by my reckoning the SB may still not have taken any actual internals, they ought to be able to get by with a down shield and a bit of missing armor, of course a dice roll here or there could alter that either way. Kzinti are likely to have at least 1 badly damaged ship. In order to seal the deal you are going to have to close in and pile on the hurt with disrupters and phasers at point blank range through that shield (See below), obviosly putting your ships at risk.


Hydran and Lyran of course are essentially immune to a 'mere' 36 drones a turn


I did amend my strategy to stay at 18 hexes unless the front shields run low on a ship. At 18 hexes, all 36 drones are going to be impacting within the same turn. According to your calculations, the SB can only kill 18 within the same turn, and 12 get tractored. That leaves 6 impacting, or 12 impacting drones against a non-drone using SB. That's 72 or 144 pts of damage every other turn plus 24 disrupters and 12 PH1.

The beauty of staying at 18 hexes is that it's basically the same as range 25 for the amount of damage the SB can inflict. And each PH4 that the SB is shooting at a CL means 1 extra drone impacting.

storeylf wrote:

I think you are massively over estimating how vulnerable the SB is to plasma alone, I can't think of any single plasma launch from 600pts that will result in a crippled much less dead SB.

The war eagles noted above, you get 5 of those, they barely scratch an SB with all 5 plasma R, well ok a big scratch - 38 internals on average against a Fed SB (250 damage, -68 DefFire, -44 battery, -60 shield, -40 armor). The Roms will quite possibly lose (effectively if not actually) a ship or 2 of ships in the process from photons and drones. NB though sparrow Js are nice you only get 3 of them in 600 pts, Most SBs will gut one of them as it launches at range 8, and the inability to launch the S torps together rather limits their crunch power (the third torp will be across a turn cycle from the first).

You can probably get better from gorns (who are not paying for cloaks), with 3 ??? cruisers and a ??? destroyer they can do a simulatneous launch of say 7 S and 8F which is pretty serious, but still not a killer blow to the SB. A range 8 launch is 338 pts, or over 100 internals to a SB fully defending against that. 100 internals to a fed SB is on average 14 power, 17 weapons and 69 'stuff'. But if you (more or less) lose a cruiser to photons and are then waiting 3 turns to re-arm you may find things getting sticky - do you hang around to phaser the down shield whilst getting hit by the remaning ph4s or try and run (getting hit on the way out) and leaving the SB to repair for few turns - and it can potentially repair an entire 60 point shield in the rearm cycle along with 9 weapons/12 power. Again, like the Kzinti, it is less about the plasma being the killer, and more about going all the way in afterwards to pile on the range 1 phasers once shields are down (See below) even if it means losing another ship.


For the Romulans, I would probably go for 2 Condors plus 1 War Eagle. This force has 3 PL-R, 4 PL-S, and 4 PL-F. This is 334 pts of Plasma at 8 hexes launch range, or 270 pts if you launch at range 12 to avoid any OL weapons from the SB. At 8 range, the SB might kill the WE, but probably won't cripple a Condor. At 12 range, it's unlikely for the SB to cripple anything, especially if it saves all its PH4 for plasma defense.

According to you, 334 pts of damage would take out 14 power and 17 weapons on average (actually 338, but 334 is close enough). 18 PH1 at 8 hex range should average 39 more damage, which should take out another 6 or so weapons. The SB only has 38 total weapons, and it just lost over half of them in 1 shot. Obviously the damage is less at 12 hexes, but the base's retaliation is also far less.

This may not kill the SB in a single shot, but it leaves it wide open for the 2nd pass after retreating to 26 hexes when all plasma gets reloaded. And this time the base has no armor and a decent chunk of weapons/power gone.

For the Gorn, the best force seems to be 1 DN and 3 CLs (595 pts). That's 1 PL-R, 8 PL-S, and 8 PL-F. This is 418 damage at 8 hexes or 330 damage at 12 hexes range. Add in 20 PH1 and the base shouldn't last too long.

storeylf wrote:

As was noted earlier though, A starbase should generally be assumed to have some other defense units around. Even if it is something like a squadron of police frigates or a heavy cruiser on leave etc.


If the base adds in extra defenders, there will be extra attackers as well. If the base has 300 pts worth of ships helping it, the attackers suddenly have a 900 pt attacking force instead of 600. This might still be a net advantage to the defender against the Kzin drone wave, but probably not against any of the other scenarios.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For the Gorn, the best force seems to be 1 DN and 3 CLs (595 pts). That's 1 PL-R, 8 PL-S, and 8 PL-F. This is 418 damage at 8 hexes or 330 damage at 12 hexes range. Add in 20 PH1 and the base shouldn't last too long.


At 8 hexes range, expect the base's phaser-4s and heavy weapons to be hurting the attackers badly. If it's a plasma-armed SB, it may well launch at the attackers as they try to move into position, forcing them to deal with type-R plasma coming their way. Also, don't forget the effects of defensive fire from the SB's phaser-3s. That will degrade the plasma some.

If I were a Kzinti, I'd cheese it up to the maximum and take 6 drone frigates. That's 42 points less than the cost of the SB, and can have 72 drones in flight at a time, and can launch that many over a turn break.

I think the bases in FC are overcosted, but not massively. A 600 point force should be able to take a SB, but will get badly hurt in the process. A 900 point defending force fighting 900 points of attackers should be very even, because you won't be able to just charge in towards the base without having the defenders sortie and hit the attackers with overloads. You'd have to take out the defenders and then kill the SB, and that buys time for the SB's weapons to chew on the attackers.
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mojo jojo
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Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
At 8 hexes range, expect the base's phaser-4s and heavy weapons to be hurting the attackers badly. If it's a plasma-armed SB, it may well launch at the attackers as they try to move into position, forcing them to deal with type-R plasma coming their way. Also, don't forget the effects of defensive fire from the SB's phaser-3s. That will degrade the plasma some.


If the SB is firing PH4 at ships instead of plasma, it's going to die much quicker. It may cripple a ship, but all the plasma is going to be almost completely untouched when it hits. SB also have very few PH3. Some types don't have any. The Plasma R is a worry since you can have 4 of them aimed at you, but if it launches when you're incoming, you simply run away for that turn and then hit the SB on the next reload turn. Obviously against a plasma SB, you're going at speed 24 on turns when the Plasma R is capable of launching.

terryoc wrote:

If I were a Kzinti, I'd cheese it up to the maximum and take 6 drone frigates. That's 42 points less than the cost of the SB, and can have 72 drones in flight at a time, and can launch that many over a turn break.


Good idea. I forgot about the drone frigates. 72 drones should overload any SB except Tholian or maybe Hydran. Even a Lyran would get his ESGs overloaded if you're careful about all 72 drones hitting on the same impulse.


terryoc wrote:

I think the bases in FC are overcosted, but not massively. A 600 point force should be able to take a SB, but will get badly hurt in the process. A 900 point defending force fighting 900 points of attackers should be very even, because you won't be able to just charge in towards the base without having the defenders sortie and hit the attackers with overloads. You'd have to take out the defenders and then kill the SB, and that buys time for the SB's weapons to chew on the attackers.


I think the SB is still screwed. Let's take the Gorn force and add a BC and CL for a total of 1 DN, 1 BC, and 4 CLs. Add 2 CS to the defenders if it's a Federation SB. Now we're up to 1 R, 12 S, and 12 F. At 8 hexes, the plasma is 602 pts. At range 12, the plasma is 474 pts. The SB should either be dead or nearly dead. The Gorn would probably launch at range 12 in this particular situation to avoid being hit from overloaded photons from the SB unless they HAD to kill it in one pass.

Even if you lose a ship or two on the approach from 8 overloaded photons from the 2 CS, your surviving ships should still be able to easily take out 2 CS who have probably been weakened by your 30 or so phaser 1s plus any plasma Fs that you may choose not to fire on the SB.
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
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Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As mentioned above, a base (and certainly not a major starbase) should never be just sitting there on it's own. It's designed to have some defending ships to short-circuit the "stand-off and wear it down" tactics. They'll die in the process, but having some mobile defenses help to keep the base alive.

A besieged castle benefits greatly from even a small amount of its own cavalry.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1881

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Hmm, I wonder if 3 Rangers carrying 26 fighters can do the trick.


Off the top of my head I would think that is near enough the best hydran SB killer. Although it is a little weak.

Quote:

The NDN can move forward after laying the Web and add its 9 PH1 to the battle while maintaining web.

A force of 1 NDN, 1 DD, and 5 PC is 595 pts and will have 33 PH1 plus ..


Sounds good. I expect the tholians are by far the best SB killers, but they need a little more thought than just sitting an NDN at range 26.


Quote:
I did amend my strategy to stay at 18 hexes unless the front shields run low on a ship. At 18 hexes, all 36 drones are going to be impacting within the same turn. According to your calculations, the SB can only kill 18 within the same turn, and 12 get tractored.


I hadn't calculated only 18 getting destroyed.

Assuming a Fed SB:
turn 1 imp 8 = 24 drones at range 21
turn 2 imp 1 = 12 drones range 18

impact impulse 7

The SB if it goes full defense (which if you keep range it may as well) should deal with:
6 from drones.
3 from long range fire using weapons about to go out of arc
8 at impact with ph4
4 at impact from ph3+add
12 tractors
3 and a bit with battery.

That is 36 drones.

At the end of that turn 2 of your ships are prevented from launching unless they start dropping drones currently tractored. You could drop just 4 to start with so you can launch the 2 drones each for those 2 ships (4 free kills to the SB). At the start of the following turn The SB has a couple of choices - hold tractor and make you drop them, or drop some any way. If he drops 4 he is pretty safe, the ADD and batteries will handle those on impulse 1. That leaves 8 tractors definatly free again this turn, you could then drop the other 4 drones as you launch on impulse 1 with those tractors having been used for this turn. Again, unless you do head in he has no reason to not go full defense. With 4 tractors unuseable for turrn you are looking at an average 7 drone hits, 44 batteries leaving 39 shield hits and a burnthrough. There is some variance in that due mainly to the ph3/ADD rolls at impact time, that could go in his favor as well as yours. You are then left with a last wave of just 24 drones (which never gets through) before you retire to reload. Whilst you retire to reload he allocates power to repair shield, when you return you are looking at an undamaged SB. Of course you could throw in range 18 disr/phaser, but they are unlikley to have a decisive effect, anything they do will also have been repaired when you pull back to reload.

In the mean time, the SB will have been firing what ever heavy weapons he has at you, The SB can fire a volley of 8 heavies and a couple of pairs. Disrupters average 8 on the big volley and 2 for each pair, batteries can reduce that a lot. Photons are your worst enemy, as although they don't hit much, your small ships have to deal with 13% or so chance of taking 3 or more hits from the big volley. In a long range duel the fed photons will do more damage to you than you are doing the SB. Pulling back to repair is just weakening the drone attack.

As noted by someone else, the Drone Frigate really is the Kzinti SB killer of choice. There really isn't any defense against a group of them unless you are tholian or hydran, tholians being able to take on practically any amount of drones, and hydrans can handle about 80 per wave, so 72 should allow for a few extra misses. Against Hydrans, range 18 is not a good range, you are starting to take noticeable damage from hellbores.

Quote:
For the Romulans, I would probably go for 2 Condors plus 1 War Eagle. This force has 3 PL-R, 4 PL-S, and 4 PL-F. This is 334 pts of Plasma at 8 hexes launch range, or 270 pts if you launch at range 12 to avoid any OL weapons from the SB. At 8 range, the SB might kill the WE, but probably won't cripple a Condor. At 12 range, it's unlikely for the SB to cripple anything, especially if it saves all its PH4 for plasma defense.

According to you, 334 pts of damage would take out 14 power and 17 weapons on average (actually 338, but 334 is close enough). 18 PH1 at 8 hex range should average 39 more damage, which should take out another 6 or so weapons. The SB only has 38 total weapons, and it just lost over half of them in 1 shot. Obviously the damage is less at 12 hexes, but the base's retaliation is also far less.


334 would do more than that, that was for 100 internals, I couldn't be bothered working out the extra 20 odd internals you would score with 334 damage. Also that was before MWest pointing me to the rule about bases treating warp/imp as reactor. Taking that into account a range 12 launch gives an expected spread of 16 power and 9 weapons. Range 8 launch gives 32 power and 18 weapons.

As for the Condor, you seem to have rather little respect for the killing power of an SB, if the SB decides to go offensive then at range 8 the Fed SB can cripple a Condor with ease, and with a bit of luck on the photons can kill one, or finish it with the drones or next turn given how bad a state it will be in.

Plasma chuckers are looking good, but they are not the charge in and watch the SB die to hundreds of points are plasma that you seemed to think originally, you should be prepared to accept the loss of a ship and be prepared to handle the need to finish it off with either close range phasers or another plasma cycle. Gorns seem the best bet, the cloak is mildly useful but the extra firepower you get on the gorns will probably be more useful.

Quote:

I think the SB is still screwed. Let's take the Gorn force and add a BC and CL for a total of 1 DN, 1 BC, and 4 CLs. Add 2 CS to the defenders if it's a Federation SB. Now we're up to 1 R, 12 S, and 12 F. At 8 hexes, the plasma is 602 pts. At range 12, the plasma is 474 pts. The SB should either be dead or nearly dead. The Gorn would probably launch at range 12 in this particular situation to avoid being hit from overloaded photons from the SB unless they HAD to kill it in one pass.


Its not just the damage they can do. They can make it harder for ships to simply sit at range 26 whilst armimg, they can shoot you obvioulsy, they can tractor you as you run in, they shoot drones that go past them, or launch hit and run raids, drop suicide shuttles in front of you etc. How much difference they make will obviusly depend on the matchup.

The extra ships are what you ought to have for a decent SB battle, other wise the static nature of the SB does turn it largely into an excercise in maths and playing the odds, in which the winner may well have been determined to a good extent at the point the forces are chosen and will likely only vary due to lady luck and bad dice rolls. I can't imagine personally wanting to play a sceanrio where it was just a SB vs an equal attacker, it just seems a tediuosly boring scenario.



Give the new(?) rule on Bases taking power damage, I'm not sure the Feds are as simple as you initally stated either - dive into range 1 only works if you can be really sure you finish the job there and then, which the ships you used can't, now that it no longer takes auto frame hits. It essentially becomes a suicide run. Starting at range 26 and moving in leaves you at range 1 on impulse 8, that means you are very close just as the SB weapons cycle back again next. If the (fed) Sb fires at range 5 on impulse 7 then you will have 3 NCLs close to cripppled, averaging about 6 photons and 9 ph1s lost overall. If you 'me to' then your average damage with those ships drops heavily (from 289 at r1 to 149 at r5). If you don't then your range 1 damage is hit heavily (from 289 to 127 average). Drones/suicide shuttles can probably force the DW to hold back a couple of hexes as well (or soak up some phasers). Even if the DW and other NCL close to 1 with all weapons still to fire (the DW will almost certainly have to use half his phasers on drones and accept a down shield) that is only around 300 damage all told of which about 130 get through the battery/shield/armor. A quite badly damaged SB, but 3 Fed ships are also heavily damaged and still under range 10, with the other 2 intact ships at range 1 as ph4s come back on line, the SB will still have around 7 ph4s plus the 3 he can repair if he wants. He will almost certainly still have quite a few tractors left, so if he kept a few points of power back at the end of the turn he could well have tractored the (more or less) powerless ships at the end of imp 8 ensuring that they stay at range 1 for a phaser 4 kiss, and any ships with a facing down shield (the DW?) can expect a decent boarding action. Thats against a fed SB again, you'd probably do better against Klingons - they'd probably have to concentrate on 2 ships at range 4/5, which pretty much guts them, but you get to range 1 with an extra NCL, on the other hand the following turn he can fire remaining disrupters again and you have gone from 3 heavy damaged, to 2 probable cripples.



That being said I do think Bases are over costed. If the special sensor rules from hydran attack were used I expect that would bring them in line with their 600pts. That would allow them to 'kill' an extra 8 drones a turn, deduct ~71 points off your romulan range 8 plasma volley or reduce the average fed volley (4 NCLs and a DW) by ~63 points. That makes a significant difference to quite a few scenarios.
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Bolo_MK_XL
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Joined: 16 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just have to ask --

Is everyone factoring in that after the first turn of reinforcing shields, you will have empty batteries and be down that much power --- with little chance of charging them back up as long as your taking hits ---
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3495
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a brief aside, the NDN fleet is a guaranteed SB kill.

On the way in it casts a free standing web. Before it dissipates, it casts a second web behind it, but this web will be a regular web between two ships, arranged in a zig-zag pattern guaranteeing the anchor ships are hidden behind the web. This is all from an article that Steve Petrick wrote about a Tholian planet assault. The main difference is that the NDN fleet will have mulitple web casters, so there is a guarantee of no damage. (His force had but a single web caster.) Once the web is up, crank up the power to a full 32 strength. Heck, drop out a couple web anchors to free up the anchor ships to get a better firing position, too.

Note that no damage is being done to the base during the entire setup. Everything is purely used for defense to guard against the base's weapons. Once the web is set and full strength, no drones or plasma will get through. Phasers the base until it dies. This may take a long time, but it is going down ...
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