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Kzinti Drone tactics
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DirkSJ
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Joined: 08 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:13 pm    Post subject: Kzinti Drone tactics Reply with quote

So the repair rules allowing effectively infinite drones over time makes for an interesting tactical decision. I'm interested in knowing which of these everyone does.

For all of the below I am going to assume a Kzinti BC, 4 racks, 4 repair. This configuration is relatively common in FC but the below will work for as many racks as you have repair regardless.

First there is the basic drone reload strategy that I suspect most players use: "Fire it all, slowly reload back online". For 4 turns you crank out 4 per turn. Then you reload one rack fully. Then you get into a reload cycle: As each comes online you start having more drones and the empty rack lines up with your cycle. Drones per round: 4 4 4 4 0 1 2 3 3 3 3.....

The other way one can do it is "Rolling delay from the start". By only firing 3 per phase from the start one can put out 3 forever. Turn 1, only fire racks BCD, turn 2 reload B and fire ACD. Then reload C and fire ABD, then reload D and fire ABC. Your cycle is pretty simple to see from here and you end up spitting out drones evenly forever: 3 3 3 3 3 3.....

Has anyone played with using a rolling delay from the start? Any successes or failures? Any thoughts on pros/cons?
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Chewy
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Joined: 14 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your ship has 4 drone racks and 4 damage control then it can fire all four racks during the launch phase of an impulse, and during the repair phase of the End of Turn procedure, use one Repair Point per rack to reload each drone you fired that turn, via partial reload (5G5b). Thus, each turn you launched your drones you could keep each drone rack fully loaded.
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dharras
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Joined: 31 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chewy wrote:
If your ship has 4 drone racks and 4 damage control then it can fire all four racks during the launch phase of an impulse, and during the repair phase of the End of Turn procedure, use one Repair Point per rack to reload each drone you fired that turn, via partial reload (5G5b). Thus, each turn you launched your drones you could keep each drone rack fully loaded.


5G5a Out Of Service will prevent that; a rack or launcher cannot be reloaded on a turn that it launched a weapon or probe.
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Chewy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent observation, I missed that. Thanks for the correction.
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DirkSJ
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Joined: 08 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dharras wrote:
Chewy wrote:
If your ship has 4 drone racks and 4 damage control then it can fire all four racks during the launch phase of an impulse, and during the repair phase of the End of Turn procedure, use one Repair Point per rack to reload each drone you fired that turn, via partial reload (5G5b). Thus, each turn you launched your drones you could keep each drone rack fully loaded.


5G5a Out Of Service will prevent that; a rack or launcher cannot be reloaded on a turn that it launched a weapon or probe.

Also note 5G5b prevents you from doing 4 0 4 0 4 0....One rack must be fully loaded before spending repair points on another rack during the same turn. So you cant just use 1 point per when they are all out.

Aside from cases where it's better to spend your repair points elsewhere or turns where you don't fire drone for some reason the two examples above are really the only two logical patterns to adopt. The quandary posed is whether it's worth an extra drone the first 4 turns of firing when it costs you major downtime for a few turns after or if it's better to have a slightly smaller though consistent stream.
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pinecone
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Joined: 03 May 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But is a consistent drone wave worth losing the ability to repair your ship?
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JimDauphinais
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Joined: 22 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The steady stream also has the attraction of working well with the limit of 6 active drones. Firing 3 drones during Impulse #8 followed by another 3 drones in the immediately following Impulse #1 nicely fits into the limit of 6 active drones.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Persoanlly, I'd nearly always go for maximum drone launch. Drones are about overloading the other guys defense as much as possible, that usually means maximum drone weight out. Maybe having some drones to fire in 5 turns time is seldom going to be as useful as putting maximum pressure on the opponent now.

The benefit you gain is in itself dubious; My ship might not even be around in 5 turns time, or drone racks might be disabled. If the other ship can withstand 3 drones a turn for 4 turns, what makes you think that 3 will help on turn 5. As also noted above, you may not even be using precious repair points on reloads anyway. You are giving up extra drone weight and pressure now for what is no more than a gamble that you might gain a benefit later.

3 + 3 isn't particularly better for loading either. On turn 1 non of your racks reload (3 fired and 1 is still full), after that you reload 1 drone a turn. 4 + 2 means you can reload 2 drones every second turn.

What 4 + 2 does give you over 3+3 is the option to fire 2 more drones on the second turn if 2 of your drones impact or are shot down, in effect you can hit the target with 8 drones on the second turn. 3+3 leaves you with only 1 spare rack on turn 2, so you can only throw out an extra 1 drone as control capacity frees up. In a 3 ship tourney squadron firing in a 4+2 pattern gives 3 extra drones that can suddenly be launched at a target when he is at his weakest - just after expending power/phasers/tractors fending off the first wave with your ships coming in just behind.

[edit] Also if you are in a tourney situation (or any other time limited game) you may well be out of time before turn 5 comes round. Massed drones don't make for the quickest game.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DirkSJ wrote:
Also note 5G5b prevents you from doing 4 0 4 0 4 0....One rack must be fully loaded before spending repair points on another rack during the same turn. So you cant just use 1 point per when they are all out.

Not quite. What it means is that you can't do a partial reload on each of four racks if doing the partial reload would mean that the rack is not full. So if you have all four racks empty, you can't load one drone on to each rack so that you have a full wave next turn. However if all four racks are empty but one has two drones still there, you can load the two-drone rack until it is full and then load two drones on to one of the other racks.

Check out mjw's ruling on the subject here:

http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=2083

The purpose of the rule is to prevent a full drone wave being reloaded in one go.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fly the Kzinti quite a bit and had I not ended up missing Origins (due to a family emergency), would have flown a Kzinti squadon.

In nearly all cases, I'll launch a full salvo every turn. "elf" is correct... in Fed Comm where drones can easily be out distanced, the emphasis must be on hitting your opponent with the maximum amount you can on every turn possible.

Way too many times I've not had 4 drone racks available on turn 4 or 5, so why save the drones?
Now, if tactical situations change and I have the opportunity to use (5G5b) to partially reload a rack or two - do I take adsvantage of it? Certainly! But I do not intentionally lessen my rate of fire to facilitate reloading of drone racks that "may" be useful later.

My two Qautloos worth on the subject. YMMV. Wink
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I wonder about is how much of a difference it makes depending on whether your drones are going speed 16, 24 or 32.

Is the Point Value fee for using Late Era drones worth the advantages you get with the added speed?
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Bolo_MK_XL
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Joined: 16 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is the Point Value fee for using Late Era drones worth the advantages you get with the added speed?


Don't believe there's been a change, but fast drones are only available on a printed scenario at this point --

Hear lots of "if all players agree" statements, but so far the above still applies ---
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, but the point I was trying to ask still applies - is the Point Value cost incurred by the speed-32 drones worth it?
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dreamingbadger
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Joined: 27 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a lot depends on the situation, but, the faster the drone the more complex the role of the defending player, and the more energy you force him to expend on movement to stay away from them, and the reduction in flight time reduces firing opportunties it also increases the effective range of the weapon...
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerroth wrote:
Yes, but the point I was trying to ask still applies - is the Point Value cost incurred by the speed-32 drones worth it?


...the other thing is, it's not just the point value; you have to get your opponent to agree to the fast drones too!
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