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W-era tactics

 
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Nerroth
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 1556
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:33 pm    Post subject: W-era tactics Reply with quote

Hi.


With the info available, via Captain's Log and Supplemental sources, one can use both the Ship Cards done for Early Years ships and the data in SFB Modules Y1 and Y2 for playing in the earlier eras of Alpha Octant tactical warp combat.


However, while a thread exists for the Y-era ships given Cards already, I wanted to set up a separate one for the W-era vessels one might use (in Squadron Scale) from Y1 and Y2.

These include the pre-unified fleets of the Federation and ISC member planets, as well as older designs flown by most of their neighbours.

(In the case of the Inter-Stellar Concordium, the various weapon systems the five planets came up with prior to the unified Navy's plasma torpedo tech make for some interesting points of divergence.)


So, has anyone had a go at the speed-16 era ships yet - and if so, what kind of feedback would you give for them?
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Nerroth
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 1556
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a bit of number-crunching with the five pre-ISC fleets from Y2.

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I started with the Veltressai Commonwealth, whose home world would eventually earn the honour of hosting the ISC capital.

Veltressai ships are unique among the five powers in that they are equipped with the Plasma-V torpedo - which is slower (speed 24) and less capable (cannot bolt) compared to the later Plasma-F and -G seen with the unified Navy, but is still useful for its era.

It helps that Veltressai ships tend to have an edge in the power department. The WCA has 20+4 on offer, the WCL 16+4, the WDD 10_2 and the WFF 8+2 - each of which equal or better what their neighbours have to offer.

Indeed, in the case of the WCA (and to a lesser extent the WCL) the trio of torpedo launchers available provide for some interesting options. Rather than spend three turns trying to build up enough plasma for an all-in-one wave, one could cycle the launchers and maintain the pressure on an opponent by pursuing at speed and launching one torpedo a turn. Even one Pl-V is still less than fun for a rival ship to try and eat at close range, and the kind of range that some opponents prefer to fight at makes it that bit more useful to use a regular barrage of plasma to force them to maneuver.

(Perhaps this was a means for the Commonwealth to use their ships as de facto peace-enforcers. A foretaste of things to come?)

It might be worth noting that despite the WCL having three launchers itself, the shift from MC 2/3 at 3/4 in FC means that the ship would have that bit less of an option, in terms of maintaining a plasma launch each turn.

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At the opposite end of the power scale, the ships of the Q'naabian Enclave are the most power-starved among the fleets of the five planets. With a WCA at 18+3, a WCL at 14+3, a WDD at 10+2 and a WFF at 8+1, the Q'naabians have just enough to remain at speed while chucking their plasma drones - which may seem fine, you might think, until you want to consider allocating enough energy tokens to upgrading the missiles' warheads.

Still, as with the Andorians in the UFP, the speed offered by drone use is worth capitalising on - although the Q'naabian ships handle more poorly than Andorian ones, and the drones themselves are less effective individually without expending additional power.

You'll want to keep the range as much as you can, but such a strategy is far from foolproof.

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Of the three navies with direct-fire heavy weapons, that of the Rovillian Colonies are perhaps the middle-of-the-road option, in terms of the extremes between firepower and flexibility. Their ships have good turn modes and a decent heavy weapon in the Plasma Cannon, albeit one which puts a premium on getting hits in every second turn.

The WCA has 19+3, the WCL 14+3, the WDD 10+2 and the WFF 8+2. Not the poorest, not the most outstanding.

Try to go for an attack run near the end of the second turn of Plasma Cannon arming, turn and lob a few aft phasers in your wake (or hold fire if the opponent has drones or plasmas to fire) then run and fill your batteries for another pass.

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The aggressive layout of the Korlivilar Protectorate navy's warships offers little reward for a long-range engagement. With the best turn modes among the five planets, the most Marines, the most generous phaser suites and the fastest-firing (but shortest-ranged) heavy weapons, you'll want to get close as soon as you can!

The Korlivilar WCA has 18+4 power, the WCL 14+3, the WDD 10+2 and the WFF 8+2. Close to the Rovillian example, though a bit of an edge battery-wise for the heavy cruiser.

A useful tactic might be to go for a good hack-and-slash. Close and lash your opponent with phasers and plasma blaster shots at the end of one turn, then go again with a full burst at the start of the next. Oh, and make the most of those handy Marine boarding parties.

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Finally, the reptilians of the Pronhoulite Republic have (potentially) the most powerful heavy weapons loadouts among the five planets - and are at an advantage when in scenarios calling for shuttle operations. However, their turn mode is the lowest out of the three direct-fire fleets, and have to take the power requirements of those Plasma-Vortex Launchers into account.

With a WCA carrying 20+4 power, a WCL with 15+3, a WDD 12+2 and a WFF 8+2, the Pronhoulites are the closest to the Veltressai... in theory.

In practice, however, they have it a lot tougher. Unlike Plasma-Vs, PVLs can't be held, can't be launched as a keep-away measure and can't be as easily measured in terms of what kind of damage potential one can try to plan for when engaging the enemy. While one could cycle the PVLs (even firing one each turn, if one forewent the third arming level) that option perhaps takes away from the kind of hitting power the weapon was designed to give in the first place.

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Any of that sound reasonable so far?
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