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Do the Romulans diminish the fun???
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Atrox7
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 09 Sep 2007
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:34 pm    Post subject: Do the Romulans diminish the fun??? Reply with quote

I’ve played three games now with Romulans, and I’m either not using them right, or else I think they might just be my least favorite race in the whole game. Now keep in mind I’m describing a free for all style game, not a scenario using Romulans, so the situation may be quite different when they have a specific set of victory conditions.

So why do I say they are less fun? Here is how the forces were set up:
1) Romulans, Federation, and Klingons. (Each race having 2 ships.)
2) Romulans, Federation, Klingons, and Lyrans. (Each race having 1 ship.)
3) Romulans, Federation, and Klingons. (Each race having 1 ship.)

All three games played out exactly the same way: Romulans start cloaking immediately as the game begins and charge up their Plasmas. They float around the periphery of the map doing nothing for three turns while everyone else is engaged. On turn three they de-cloak, and everyone else runs away when they launch their plasmas. Then its back to cloak while doing nothing but charge plasmas again, meanwhile the other guys all decimate each other. Romulans are declared the winner, being pretty much unscathed.

Boring!

I think at this point if we want Plasma in the game I’m only letting players use the Gorn, not Romulans. That way there is no cloaking. Has anyone else run into this issue? What am I missing?
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Stele
Ensign


Joined: 06 Dec 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure about you, but I'd try to make a temporary alliance with the others, depth charging the cloaked Romulans, although alliances may not be part of your house rules.

My gf plays the Romulans all the time, and prefers the K7R. She has them mastered pretty well, and I find it almost impossible to crack, but it can be done. They're willing to be pretty patient with them, so that means the opponent has to be as well. Whether that diminishes your fun is another factor, but worth the wait to destroy them I think.
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Godeke
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Joined: 07 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:13 pm    Post subject: Perhaps it is the free for all style? Reply with quote

I think that the Romulans in free for all should be obligated to fight (similar to the tournament rules for avoiding combat perhaps). If the free for all is simply everyone hiding, it isn't going to be much fun. However, only the Romulans really have that option (hiding) on a small map, thus they do have an advantage in that kind of combat.

This is not true of more traditional scenarios as there is usually some kind of time limit (reenforcement in so many turns, say) or reason they need to strike (protecting a place/ship) that avoids perpetual cloak. Additionally, with multiple Romulans you tend to see "rolling cloaks" where one ship de-cloaks to attack and then cloaks while another de-cloaks to continue the process.

EDIT: Clocks != Cloaks


Last edited by Godeke on Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:49 pm; edited 2 times in total
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wedge_hammersteel
Commander


Joined: 27 Sep 2008
Posts: 581
Location: Lafayette, LA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Godeke had a good suggestion.

You could also add planets to the map which would allow ships to take some cover. Roms could use this to cloak and uncloak.

It is frustrating when a player hangs in the background. Especially if you have a limited time to play (like 2 or 3 hours).

In my battles, I usually get blown up most times because as it gets close for game time to end, I usually attack with an all or nothing attitude. I never disengage.

I have heard that a Starship captain's routine is 99% paperwork and 1% battlework. I prefer not to run a game that falls within the paperwork time.
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Krellex
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 30 Sep 2009
Posts: 261
Location: RIS Boise

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You either have to be more patient than the Rommie, or you have to join up with the other player and punish them when they cloak. You may also set a house rule for a maximum certain number of turns cloaked.
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rulesjd
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 06 Feb 2007
Posts: 48
Location: seattle

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Free for all scenarios are often problematic even without cloaked ships. Often times players will skulk behind planets, in corners or at long ranges and try to sweep up the stragglers at the end.

One solution, as mentioned above is a time limit. You only score VP for doing damage so, if time runs out, the cloaked Romulan who hasn't hit anything will lose.

Another solution is to create a scenario where fighting isn't the only goal. Collecting delegates from a failed summit on a planet, exploring and removing ores or other special items from an asteroid field, capturing neutral ships (maybe pirate/wyn cargo vessels) are some suggestions. This way a passive vessel, cloaked or not, will miss out on the chance to pick up key VP.

Multi side battles are historically improbable in any event. There have been some good scenarios published over the years but, you may simply want to try out some two sided team battles for awhile.

I would also agree with the post about temporary alliances. If 2 or more players have experienced the Romulan vulture tactic, there is no reason to set aside differences for a turn or two to punish the cloaked Romulan. If he uncloaks, he'll be slower (for having used the cloak) so you should be able to get in some direct fire licks and retreat at high speed from torpedoes.

Anyway, don't give up on Romulans, they are an interesting race to play and make for good team ups with the Klingons.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a firm believer in this principle: if the enemy uses tactics you don't like/that annoy you/that keep beating you/all of the above, then you need to develop counter-tactics rather than complain or introduce rules to stop the other guy winning.

It might come as a surprise to some of you, but I never did work out proper anti-plasma tactics in SFB. Somehow, the principles of oblique approach, high speed etc., evaded me until the Tactics Manual. Every time I came up against a simple Rom WB, I got plastered.

So there's a moral there. If you keep getting hammered, or if as we have seen, your opponent keeps hiding under cloak or behind an asteroid, especially in multiplayer ffa's, then you need to develop effective tactics. Think outside the box. Try something new and/or unexpected. This is the essence of learning how to fight your ship.

You might even learn something new Wink
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terryoc
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Joined: 07 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look, in a multiplayer FFA, the guy with the cloak will always have the advantage of being able to cloak out and let everyone else fight, unless the rest of them gang up on him, which isn't fun either. The solution? Don't use Roms in ffa's. Use Gorns or ISC instead.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or, disallow the use of the cloak and let the Romulans spend an extra 10-15% on the point values. (E.g. everyone else can spend 100 points, but the Romulan can have 110 or 115.) This gives some compensation for not having an important part of their weapons systems.
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pmiller13
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Joined: 12 May 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you have to go to drastic lengths like banning Romulans or their clocking device. All you have to do is give VP for damage actually done, limit it so that hitting a ship that only has 10 internals left with 100 points of damage only gives the attacker 10 points. Allow damaged ships to be disengaged and if disengaged successfully give that player a bonus of some kind, like VP equal to the remaining internals or something. This would force everyone to get in the fight in order to get VP’s and yet people can get the cripples out of there so someone does not hang around on the sidelines trying to kill cripples to get free points. There could also be some kind of objective (these always make the best battles) like getting something from a planet or capturing something.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pmiller13 wrote:
....or their clocking device.

Does that make their ships run faster? Wink
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pmiller13 wrote:
There could also be some kind of objective (these always make the best battles) like getting something from a planet or capturing something.

I fully agree. Also it stops people running away.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Does that make their ships run faster?


I think that's the Orion Overclocking device that does that, but every time you use it the ship gets damaged from overheating.[/quote]
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Godeke
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Joined: 07 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kang wrote:
I'm a firm believer in this principle: if the enemy uses tactics you don't like/that annoy you/that keep beating you/all of the above, then you need to develop counter-tactics rather than complain or introduce rules to stop the other guy winning.


While this is good advice, there is a reason why tournament rules if SFB include anti-stalling provisions even in a two player scenario. Handing a victory to the player who hits once and then hides for the remainder of the match was deemed a violation of the spirit of such a tournament. Ironically, it is probably more "realistic" that a cloaking enabled ship would do just that, but there is a difference between sports and war.

In war, you use every underhanded trick in the book to save your men and equipment while destroying as much of your opponents fighting spirit as you can. Note that crushing a fighting spirit does not mean (necessarily) destroying men and equipment: taking out the supply lines and production that feeds it is more effective. Wars rarely produce "even fights".

Even though a game like SFB or FC are set in the context of hostilities, in reality it is a sport. Much effort is put into scenarios to make the scoring (if not the fighting) fair. "Realistic" scenarios often require running the scenario twice (each player taking the other side the second time) to produce a "fair" result.

In a multi-player fur-ball I would suggest what was suggested above: if someone goes into hiding that a temporary truce be called to ferret out and destroy the coward. But really, that is perhaps worse (in a social sense) than nerfing cloak in this very particular scenario.
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Atrox7
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 09 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the suggestions. Looks like this has been other's experiance as well.

I guess my point is that in a free for all situation it just makes sense to use the cloak and avoid direct conflict by design. Romulan ships are under gunned compare to other races and the cloak is what evens them out. So even if you declare they cannot use the cloak, you still need to bump up their point value in order to evenly match the ships.

Secondly I know every's idea of "fun" is totaly subjective. However the Romulan player can't fire without breaking the cloak, so it's not "fun" to play while they are cloaked turn after turn. None of our players even bother to go after them because they are not a threat until they launch plasma. (Which everyone is prepared to run away from.) If Romulans could launch drones or have a modifier to their phasers they could at least get engaged in the battle, but again, its by design that they can't.

I hate to change rules or make a shift in point value like that. I see the solution as follows:

1) Use Gorn instead.
2) Only have 2 sides, Romulans versus everyone else.
3) Play scenarios only.
4) Victory is based on damage inflicted. (Requires additional tracking by players.)
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