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Am I doomed as a Romulan?
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duxvolantis
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Posts: 185

PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:11 am    Post subject: Am I doomed as a Romulan? Reply with quote

So I am maybe getting into FC after a long break (10 years?) from SFB. I decided to play Romulans in a local campaign and I sign in here and to my dismay I find that a lot of the threads decry the weakness of either a) the cloaking device or b) the plasma torpedo.

I played all the races somewhat evenly back in the SFB days (we would just randomly draw Tourney Cruiser SSD's to keep sharp on all the race's) but was always fond of Romulans--even won a tournament flying them--because I have horrible luck with dice ( 7 misses out of 8 with hellbores at range 2 or closer).

Have I engaged in a fool's errand?

Looking at FC I notice the following very relevant things changes (some good, some bad):

Wild Weasels (sort of a plasma plus, but usually a WW just guaranteed eventual defeat due to loss of initiative)
Acceleration Limits (huge plasma minus, possible cloaking plus)
No pseudo-plasma (huge plasma minus, critical on ships with less than 3 torps)
No transporter bombs (cloak plus)
No Nuclear Space Mines (booo!!!)
No Envelopers (huge plasma minus)
Carronades (wow, if that was a new development in SFB it was huge for the Gorns/Feds/pirates. Auto-hit like an overloaded disruptor ignoring cloaking range limitations every turn out to range 5 or am I reading it wrong?)
Cloaking speed limits (in SFB it was very possible to use mid-turn speed changes to allow cloaking while covering ground when needed)
Massive "On demand" energy (really hurts the gorn anchor)
No shedding of Drones when cloaked (ouch)

My initial thoughts are that the only opponent that poses a positive matchup are the Klingons, who are my ally and the Tholians, who become problematic when they get web casters. Feds and Gorns will make cloaking very risky and the western allied powers (Kzinti, LDR, Hydrans) all pose major problems for either cloaking (drones), anchor (drones, ESG, fusion beams!) or plasma ballet (lots of phaser-3, gatlings, gatlings+hellbores).

It will be an intereting ride. Any tips for fighting Feds or Gorns in the new rules?
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mojo jojo
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right. Romulans are pretty much screwed vs most direct fire races. The ability to instantly move 24+1 means that it's fairly easy for a competent opponent to take very little to no damage from launched plasma while chewing you up with disrupters or photons. I think you'll find that even the Klingons aren't a favorable matchup for Romulans.

There are several times when plasma is very useful:

1) Against a base or a very slow moving ship such as a monitor

2) As part of a fleet where your allies use direct fire. Such as if you have a Rom ship with 2-3 Klingon ships on the same side. The plasma forces the other fleet to move 24, thus giving your allies a major energy advantage over the other fleet.

3) An ISC fleet would use plasma to punish any opponents who try to get within the myopic zone of the PPDs.
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Kang
Fleet Captain


Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1960
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the game and the forums! Smile

There is still the 'damage sponge', where even weapon fire that hits is reduced against cloaked ships. I'm pretty sure this also applies to the Carronade, so perhaps it's not as deadly as you might have initially thought.

For the record, I and many other players have used Romulans and their cloaks to win battles; it's just that the tactics change slightly. Knowing when to use it and when not to is key.
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duxvolantis
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Posts: 185

PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mojo jojo wrote:
You're right. Romulans are pretty much screwed vs most direct fire races. The ability to instantly move 24+1 means that it's fairly easy for a competent opponent to take very little to no damage from launched plasma while chewing you up with disrupters or photons. I think you'll find that even the Klingons aren't a favorable matchup for Romulans.

Disappointing.

Was this game playtested?

The one thing I truly loved about SFB was the careful attention to keeping balance at least somewhat reasonable.

I will have to just view this as a "hard mode" campaign until these problems get fixed, I suppose Smile
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Dux Volantis
Romulan Star Empire
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storeylf
Fleet Captain


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1879

PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duxvolantis wrote:
mojo jojo wrote:
You're right. Romulans are pretty much screwed vs most direct fire races. The ability to instantly move 24+1 means that it's fairly easy for a competent opponent to take very little to no damage from launched plasma while chewing you up with disrupters or photons. I think you'll find that even the Klingons aren't a favorable matchup for Romulans.


Disappointing.

Was this game playtested?

The one thing I truly loved about SFB was the careful attention to keeping balance at least somewhat reasonable.

Quote:
For the record, I and many other players have used Romulans and their cloaks to win battles;
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terryoc
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Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1380

PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was playtested. I think it's a case of tactics evolving after the release of the product which found weaknesses the playtesters didn't spot.
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Drew Klenotic
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 31 Aug 2010
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
It was playtested. I think it's a case of tactics evolving after the release of the product which found weaknesses the playtesters didn't spot.


Well, even then, some go both ways. For example, drones. I considered the Kzinti totally overpowered because as a Fed, I had no way to deal with drones other than shoot them (no WW, no T-bomb, no EW, etc). This meant that I always went toe to toe with a Kzinti with all of my phasers discharged. You won't win against a disruptor/phaser barrage each turn when all you have to answer back with is a photon barrage every 2 turns (overloaded or not).

But then someone wrote an article on how (if very carefully played) you could use the sequence of play against the drones and deliver your alpha strike without having to deal with the drones. As a Fed, you do this, and you'll leave the Kzinti hurting and you can use your reload turn to finish the drones off. Rinse and repeat.

So I think it all goes both ways really. You just have to remember that this is NOT SFB. If you can't get that concept firmly grasped, don't even buy FC.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1879

PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plasma is ok, it is just a different style of play.

The things that push me away from using Rom or Gorn more often are not plasma related.

Gorn:
"OK, 150 pt duel" = heavy cruiser for most players and light cruiser for gorns. mmm.. why can't people just say "heavy cruiser duel".

Turn mode of a water filled bucket and bizarre phasers arcs just aren't my thing. I'd put up with one or the other, but combined ....


Roms:
"OK, 150 pt duel" = heavy cruiser for most races and light cruiser or near enough for roms, mmm.. better hope that cloak compensates.

Cloak = i like cloaks and have found them to be game winners on several occasions. The problem is in a random matchup they are of random effectiveness. Meet a lyran and the cloak is of very limited effectiveness, heavy drone users make them marginal, in such games you can effectively be playing a CA vs CL duel with little to compensate for the mismatch. I dislike that sort of pre game gamble.
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terryoc
Captain


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1380

PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roms are better against historical opponents. Even in SFB, cloaking against an ESG user is suicide.

Other empires have trouble with non-historical matches too. The Vudar IPG is quite effective in jamming mode against the inaccurate photon torpedo, for example.

Of the plasma Empires, the ISC would have to be the strongest. The PPD is good.
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Drew Klenotic
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 31 Aug 2010
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thing is, this is a military simulation war game... and in war, things are rarely evenly matched. If you want a fair duel with an opponent, you have to use the same ship, period. You want to do a scenario, that's different. It might not be balanced. Who attacks when things are balanced?

It's all about how/why you play the game. Every race and every ship has it's use, you just have to use them right, in the right situations.
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mojo jojo
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best way to learn for yourself is to play a few matchups and have the non-Romulan player never go below speed 24.

You can do:

Novahawk or Royalhawk vs Klingon, Kzinti, Lyran, Orion, or Fed BCH.

King Eagle vs D7C, Kzinti NCA, Lyran CA, or Orion CA.

Skyhawk vs Fed DW, Orion CR or DBR, Kzinti CL, or Lyran DW

These should all be reasonably close matchups based on BPV, but I don't like the Rom chances in any of them. Especially if it's not a closed map.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1879

PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drew Klenotic wrote:
Thing is, this is a military simulation war game... and in war, things are rarely evenly matched.


Sure in actual war you tip everything in your favor and to heck with fairness. Thing is this is a game not war, I expect a balanced game. Who wants to spend 4 hours on an evening playing something when you can see from the start you are going to lose. We started playing the scenario from a recent communique a while ago (the trojan shuttle) but stopped after a couple of turns after realising there was no fun for the base station as it was a guaranteed orion win even with the bad weapon load out that the orions had, and that a better orion load out would have won on turn 1. Playing a battle where you will be hammered but can win due to the victory conditions is fine (and can be very interesting), when its not possible to win at all... no thanks (unless it is a play test thing to see exactly what something is like).

You can have a fair duel with different ships and squadrons, most matchups with equal points are pretty evenly balanced. There are some odd balls that break the mould e.g the munchkin friendly LDR.

The issue I mentioned with Roms is that the cloak is of variable effectiveness in random matchups, in some matchups the fact that you have a smaller ship for the points is made up by the cloak, in others it isn't. That makes them dubious in an all comers tourney style setting. I like the roms, but in that type of game I tend to avoid them for that reason and nothing to do with plasma. If you are playing scenarios or properly thought out campaigns, then yes it should be less of an issue.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
The Vudar IPG is quite effective in jamming mode against the inaccurate photon torpedo, for example.


I played Vudar in my last game against frax, the jamming mode is just as useful against disrupters ships as well.

Not really looked a lot at Vudar much, but off hand I'd have thought that the IPG is least useful against photons. Ion cannons are near enough photons, If you are considering Ion cannons he is consdering photons. If you are jamming photons then you are jamming your Ion cannons as well.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, if you are jamming photons you are jamming your ICs.

But it hurts the photons worse than the ICs. A lot worse.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1879

PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
Yes, if you are jamming photons you are jamming your ICs.

But it hurts the photons worse than the ICs. A lot worse.


bit of a tangent but..

Subjective. At the lower shift you are talking about a 5% or less difference in effect, even at the high shifts you are mainly talking ~10% at the close ranges (and at longer ranges the vudar is so badly affected the fact that he is 'not as badly affected' is not much consolation).

Does it make a difference to the overall matchup. The photon starts with 25-33% higher damage so given the similarities in the ships the fed can afford to take a certain amount of extra degradation and still come out on top in such an exchange. The Feds often have slightly better phaser suites which also gives them an edge, not to mention the drones. It take a fair bit of energy to produce a good shift, which the vudar can't keep going, and if they do fire through it they will see a significant hit on what they do to the fed. At really close range the fed is still more likely to do more damage in an exchange, at the slightly longer range he can just take the neutered hit then fire the following impulse when the shift no longer applies. The combinations of range and shift that actually result in the vudar gaining a real damage edge are those which usually fail to deliver the sort of damage that will bother the fed player, and are hence probably not a great use of the 2 turn arming weapon.

In othe words, despite the non historical matchup I don't see the obvious balance mismatch, or at least due to the IPG.


On the other hand, the IPG was lethal against disrupters. Even a +1 shift makes a big difference to the 9-15 abilities of disrupter/ph1 races, and when the shift ends it is to fire overload Ion cannons at range 8 or under (range 5 being the perfect range).
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