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Am I doomed as a Romulan?
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, you can only fast load an S torp as an F on turn 1.

Barring scenario special rules of course.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
MWest once said essentially the same - plasma is broke cos it results in a long/boring game. (Probably misquoting, but that is what stuck in my mind).

Just for the record, what I wrote is that if the only way to make plasma work is to play a very long/boring game, then plasma is broken. Especially if the point of the long/boring game is to bore your opponent into a mistake because they are tired of the long/boring game. The reason is because Federation Commander is supposed to be fun, and a long/boring game is not fun (pretty much by definition when you include the "boring" in the description).

Note that this is a conditional. I don't know this to be the case. If there are other legitimate ways to make plasma work, then great. This is also only my opinion; not a ruling or an official statement.

(One final note: a long game doesn't have to be bad. It can be quite exciting. However, a long game where nothing really happens until someone finally forces the issue to their detriment is, in my opinion, bad.)
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amusingly I was playing a face to face game yesterday with 2 other players. One of the other players was commenting how when another person used to play (but can't make it to our games nowadays) the game tended to be a straight charge and overload game, as that is how he always played. But when just the 3 of us play it tends to be more like fencing, we all have a pretty solid grasp of what our strengths and weaknesses are, and what will or won't work, and we won't commit to something that we know is not going to come out good for us, we end up circling (metaphorically) looking for the opening, waiting for a mistake from someone. We have this type of game whether we have plasma or not. They are fun and tactically interesting. Some times the mistake/opening comes early, sometimes it doesn't.


If the game is perfectly balanced then it is likely that is what will happen with good players, as any racial/weapon tactic will have a counter that the other side will know and use, hence no side can simply rely on some tactic to win as the other player will counter it. The game ends up being down to simple luck or someone making a mistake. I don't know many 'good' players who rely on luck, so it ends up being a much longer game as each player tries to out manouver each other hoping for that small mistake that provides an opening. Someone said in another a while ago that the winner is the one who makes the least mistakes, and someone replied that it was the one who didn't make the last mistake or something. The point being, it is mistakes that win/lose games even amongst good players.

You only have to read numerous posts by Mojo to understand that all skill really equates to is not making mistakes. He will dismiss anything that happened where X,Y or Z came out worse as being a mistake that a 'better' player would not have made. At novice level of play the mistakes tend to be big mistakes (go head to head with a Klink vs a Fed), as you progress through the 'levels' of ability the mistakes become more subtle and may only be meaningful against good players, pre-loading photons in the mistaken belief you save power, using a point of energy for an accel which didnt really make any difference and left you short later on etc etc.

The problem of dismissing X, Y or Z because the victim made a mistake that a better player woudn't (and balancing accordingly) is that it logically leads to there only being one player we are balancing to, the mythical player who doesn't make mistakes. A game balanced to that level is a game balanced to someone having to evenatually act detrimentally to themselves or accept a stalemate. In my world 'good' players make mistakes. I see good as being no more than better than average, hence it covers over 40% of the player base.

As to long and boring, what constitutes long and what consitutes boring? Pretty subjective. I doubt we've ever played a game in an hour. Most of our games are played over 3-4 hours on an evening, and probably not far off half of them will not have reached a 'natural' conclusion (nor even remotely near the length of many scenarios in turns played) when we finish - we will discuss who looked most likely to win the game, in many ways they are the most interesting and exciting as we were clearly in a hard and reasonably balanced fight. Our tourney style games were about the same, the game will not reach a natural conclusion in a fair number of them, though you can obviously count points to determine winner at the hard time limit. I see players talking of playing F&E games and wonder whether they see FedCom as a beer and pretzel game, "what can we play this evening whilst having a beer - FedCom is a short game, it only takes about an evening"!

Thinking back through all the games I have played (that I can remember) I can only think of 1 game I personally found boring - the trojan shuttle scenario from a recent communique. Playing a base station (or was it a BAT?)which can't move, rotates at a set interval and has minimal decisions to make is pretty tedious, even more so when you realise you are in a game that is mathmatically impossible to win against any competent player barring change in force dynamics (we quit after about turn 2 or 3 as that became clear).

I've never found a game with plasma in it to last too long, nor boring. It wasn't plasma, but yesterday saw me taking on 2 frax subs (as well as a third player with another ship in a free for all), after about 4 turns (couple of hours) I had still not done any damage to them, and was still trying to work out how to best deal with them. I didn't find it boring because he was cloaked all the time and it could have gone on for hours, I found it quite an interesting challenge.


Last edited by storeylf on Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:49 pm; edited 3 times in total
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duxvolantis wrote:

My concern about plasma not being fun is that if I start fighting it the way the rules essentially dictate it must be played to be effective I will have very long fights. And nothing is going to be more frustrating to a newbie Fed captain than to slowly lose a 6-hour battle where the opponent stays outside overload range the entire time.


I can't imagine a 'newbie' losing slowly. If he has the plasma you'll probably avoid his plasma and still blast him with overloads. If he faces the plasma he will probably fail to avoid properly and get pretty much vaporised on the first launch. At that level its probably just as frustrating having a klingon stay out of overload range slowly plinking away at you. In both cases you are looking at a ship that the newbie loses when he plays it and loses when he faces it.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mojo jojo wrote:
Put 3 Hydran mother ships into the picture, give me their power and speed, let me know the Romulan speed, then you can declare your 5.2 move and I can respond.

Put some hex coordinates also to make it easier to track the moves.


This isn't an attempt to play my game, it is an attempt to go back to basic tactics (and it is a tactics forum which others may wish to read to see what can be learnt). You said a couple of times that romulans uncloaking with 18 stingers next to them are mincemeat. So lets take that generalised statement and examine it.

There is no need for individual move plots etc that I can see, the point of keeping the set up simple was to allow a reasonable plain english description of what it is the stinger do to enusre they mince meat the romulans uncloaking in front of them (ps I was assuming speed 16). If the roms are as mincemeat as you suggest then it shouldn't really matter what the roms do now. I choose impulse 4 just to be half way through the turn and no turn break bits get in the way.

e.g. rather than move plots, just say something like:
Imp 5 move "Hydran = with the movement advantage ensure that each rom has a 3 stinger group on top of him and the other 2 groups move to be adjacent the KEs."
Imp 5 move "Roms = probably irrelevant." <== if you can think of anything say what issues there might be.
Imp 5 direct fire " Hydran = don't fire during 5 as the roms are still fading in and the +4 hurts them to much."
Imp 5 direct fire " Roms = Still fading!."


Sure, a real game is more complicated, my game was absolutely nothing like that setup, and in the real game it took me 3 hours to kill 7 and cripple 2 stingers - I didn't just fly in and nobble the hydrans in one fell swoop or anything. But we are talking building block tactics, understand an indealised situation that you can try and adapt in the middle of a game. Probably half the tactics in this forum are pretty rare to actually try and pull off, but understanding them for when you get a chance can be what wins you a game, or understanding that you are about to be on the receiving end is equally useful so you can make sure it doesn't happen.


Last edited by storeylf on Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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duxvolantis
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:

If the game is perfectly balanced then it is likely that is what will happen with good players, as any racial/weapon tactic will have a counter that the other side will know and use, hence no side can simply rely on some tactic to win as the other player will counter it. The game ends up being down to simple luck or someone making a mistake. I don't know many 'good' players who rely on luck, so it ends up being a much longer game as each player tries to out manouver each other hoping for that small mistake that provides an opening. Someone said in another a while ago that the winner is the one who makes the least mistakes, and someone replied that it was the one who didn't make the last mistake or something. The point being, it is mistakes that win/lose games even amongst good players.

This poses a false dichotomy: the notion that a given decision is knowable as a mistake at the time it is taken. Some decisions are only mistakes in the context of opponent reaction. Now it is harder to make mistakes in FC than SFB because there is no hidden energy allocation, etc. But nonetheless what a player chooses to do at a given point in time is only a mistake if that decision gives his opponent an opportunity that be both can and is inclined to sieze. If I split my squadron up after the initial exchange of fire to make it harder for you to keep down shields out of firing arcs or protect weaker ships is that a mistake or a good decision? Well that is only knowable a couple turns down the road. Sometimes it is a huge mistake. Sometimes it wins the battle.

If I guess that my opponent is cautious and calculating and will not take a range-8 photon shot I may duck into range for a brief time for whatever reason. If it turns out I am wrong, and worse, that he hits better than average, my maneuver decision was a mistake. If I guess right and get to do what I wanted and then surprise him with a way to avoid a closer shot, my decision was clever.

As for the actual balance debate, we clearly cannot balance to the novice player because there are just egregious misunderstandings of the basics that will skew such a balance. Don't charge your D7 to range 2 on a Fed CA is not immediately obvious to a new player who thinks Klingons are badasses and that maneuver is for wimps.

At the top 2% balance will be difficult for two reasons: rules minutiae and oversigts which can skew things hugely (I submit that these get fixed in errata all the time) and the fact that the margin for error at this level is very small and the total sample size of possible playtesting is, by definition, limited to a very few players.

The middle ground is most useful: where all of the 'basic doctrines' are well known and the functionality of all the systems are understood and likely to be used.

Here is a good example: Evasive Maneuvers. This has to be taken into consideration when balancing various races and weapon systems. Photons hit harder than disrupters, but at range 4 the -2 from EM reduces photon effectiveness by 50% but disruptor effectiveness by only 40% and Hellbores by 11%. But, on the other hand, a Fed can possibly make better use of EM than a Klingon defensively because he can mitigate 'off turn' disruptor damage with it while re-arming. Also plasma boats have no disincentive whatsoever (barring energy costs and speed considerations) from making liberal use of EM since plasma does not require active guidance. An advanced player should know that EM is more or less advantageous for different races and against different races and therefore this should be considered when balancing different races. It should be factored in.

Knowing something a top 2% player might pull out on the spot in a scenario, like perhaps, that (in SFB) burning 5 reserve warp to allow an unplotted midturn speed change on impulse X while at range Y from a gravity field will give the ship 9 moves in 8 impulses due to slingshot effect and thereby causing a stack of drones to run out of fuel instead of striking later on the next turn can be reasonably ignored as both too situational and too esoteric to be an overall balancing factor when considering whether or not to add a 5th battery to a given cruiser.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duxvolantis wrote:
storeylf wrote:

If the game is perfectly balanced then it is likely that is what will happen with good players, as any racial/weapon tactic will have a counter that the other side will know and use, hence no side can simply rely on some tactic to win as the other player will counter it. The game ends up being down to simple luck or someone making a mistake. I don't know many 'good' players who rely on luck, so it ends up being a much longer game as each player tries to out manouver each other hoping for that small mistake that provides an opening. Someone said in another a while ago that the winner is the one who makes the least mistakes, and someone replied that it was the one who didn't make the last mistake or something. The point being, it is mistakes that win/lose games even amongst good players.

This poses a false dichotomy: the notion that a given decision is knowable as a mistake at the time it is taken. Some decisions are only mistakes in the context of opponent reaction. Now it is harder to make mistakes in FC than SFB because there is no hidden energy allocation, etc. But nonetheless what a player chooses to do at a given point in time is only a mistake if that decision gives his opponent an opportunity that be both can and is inclined to sieze. If I split my squadron up after the initial exchange of fire to make it harder for you to keep down shields out of firing arcs or protect weaker ships is that a mistake or a good decision? Well that is only knowable a couple turns down the road. Sometimes it is a huge mistake. Sometimes it wins the battle.


Aye I was gong to say that hindsight is perfect and all that. But what you just said sort of covers it well enough, if from a different angle. What may be a mistake in post game discussion with other players may not have been obvious at the time, and at the time of course you aren't sat back looking at it without the pressure of trying to workout everything else, or worrying about how long you are taking.
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mojo jojo
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
This isn't an attempt to play my game, it is an attempt to go back to basic tactics (and it is a tactics forum which others may wish to read to see what can be learnt). You said a couple of times that romulans uncloaking with 18 stingers next to them are mincemeat. So lets take that generalised statement and examine it.

There is no need for individual move plots etc that I can see, the point of keeping the set up simple was to allow a reasonable plain english description of what it is the stinger do to enusre they mince meat the romulans uncloaking in front of them (ps I was assuming speed 16). If the roms are as mincemeat as you suggest then it shouldn't really matter what the roms do now. I choose impulse 4 just to be half way through the turn and no turn break bits get in the way.

e.g. rather than move plots, just say something like:
Imp 5 move "Hydran = with the movement advantage ensure that each rom has a 3 stinger group on top of him and the other 2 groups move to be adjacent the KEs."
Imp 5 move "Roms = probably irrelevant." <== if you can think of anything say what issues there might be.
Imp 5 direct fire " Hydran = don't fire during 5 as the roms are still fading in and the +4 hurts them to much."
Imp 5 direct fire " Roms = Still fading!."


Sure, a real game is more complicated, my game was absolutely nothing like that setup, and in the real game it took me 3 hours to kill 7 and cripple 2 stingers - I didn't just fly in and nobble the hydrans in one fell swoop or anything. But we are talking building block tactics, understand an indealised situation that you can try and adapt in the middle of a game. Probably half the tactics in this forum are pretty rare to actually try and pull off, but understanding them for when you get a chance can be what wins you a game, or understanding that you are about to be on the receiving end is equally useful so you can make sure it doesn't happen.



Let's assume 2 mohawks with 26 energy and a gendarme with 12 energy. All 3 ships are 1-2 hexes behind the stingers and speed 16.

The order of move is KEs, Mhks, SN+Gen, Stingers.

The Roms have 12 plasma ready to launch. Their most viable choices seem to be to kill 12 stingers, or kill 6 and try to cripple the 2 Mhks.

1) If they kill 12 stingers, there are 6 stingers and 3 motherships left. They will use their move advantage and HET if necessary to get within 1 hex of Rom ships on impulse 6. Even 2 hexes is ok. Use slips and decels as necessary. They should have enough power to overload fusions, but that's probably not neccesary given the large amount of damage they're likely to average at this range.

2) If Roms kill 6 stingers and manage to cripple 2 mhks, that leaves 12 stingers, 2 crippled mhks, and 1 Gen that should be 0-2 hexes away at impulse 6. The Roms should all die or be effectively dead. Even a crippled mhk is likely to retain enough weapons to do massive damage at that range.

If there is any energy left over from the mother ships, they can tractor any surviving Roms. All they need to do is force a KE to less than 6 energy and it doesn't have enough to recloak during the turn.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mojo jojo wrote:

Let's assume 2 mohawks with 26 energy and a gendarme


No, Let's assume your generalised statement - 18 stingers mincemeat uncloaking roms.

Right or wrong?

Forget the mother ships for the moment. If you are in a tactics thread saying such things then explain it for those who want to see better how it works.

If you have re-examined that statement again and think you are wrong, or were exagerating then say so in order to ensure that others reading are not left thinking that is the case.

Back to basics, I recognise it is not exactly a realistic situation, but like many other tactics start with the scenario in some ideal setup and explain what happens.


Last edited by storeylf on Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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mojo jojo
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
You only have to read numerous posts by Mojo to understand that all skill really equates to is not making mistakes. He will dismiss anything that happened where X,Y or Z came out worse as being a mistake that a 'better' player would not have made. At novice level of play the mistakes tend to be big mistakes (go head to head with a Klink vs a Fed), as you progress through the 'levels' of ability the mistakes become more subtle and may only be meaningful against good players, pre-loading photons in the mistaken belief you save power, using a point of energy for an accel which didnt really make any difference and left you short later on etc etc.


One of the mistakes I pointed out that you seem to disagree with me on was a DNH with 2 DW escorts running away from 30 pts of plasma. I do not believe we should balance plasma on the theory that DNHs with escorts should run away from that level of plasma. You may possibly disagree, but I feel that it's fairly easy to determine how much plasma you can deal with if you have just a little experience with the game.
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mojo jojo
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
mojo jojo wrote:

Let's assume 2 mohawks with 26 energy and a gendarme


No, Let's assume your generalised statement - 18 stingers mincemeat uncloaking roms.

Right or wrong?

Forget the mother ships for the moment. If you are if a tactics thread saying such things then explain it for those who want to see better how it works.

If you have re-examined that statement again and think you are wrong, or were exagerating then say so in order to ensure that other reading are not thinking that is the case.

Back to basics, I recognise it is not exactly a realistic situation, but like many other tactics start with the scenario in some ideal setup and explain what happens.


No, I was assuming your actual scenario which YOU used as an example of cloaking effectiveness.

If you want to say that 430 pts of ships can deal with 180 pts of ships, then you should have said so right from the beginning.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mojo jojo wrote:


No, I was assuming your actual scenario which YOU used as an example of cloaking effectiveness.

If you want to say that 430 pts of ships can deal with 180 pts of ships, then you should have said so right from the beginning.


Your argument for how I couldn't have possibly won that game which you were not present at is that it is suicide to uncloak near that many stingers.

You generalised to uncloaking roms die to 18 stingers. So explain. It will be a useful addition to the tactics forum either way.


Last edited by storeylf on Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mojo jojo
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
Your argument for how I couldn't have possibly won that game which you were not present at is that it is suicide to uncloak near that many stingers.

You generalised to uncloaking roms die to 18 stingers. So explain. It will be a useful addition to the tactics forum either way.


mojo jojo wrote:

Why in the world would your opponent fire during the fade out period? With stingers and fusion ships at 0-2 range, just wait until the Roms completely uncloak and then nuke them. Even if all stingers die, that should result in all Roms killed.


I specifically mentioned the fusion ships in post 6 of the 4th page. All my followup posts implicitly referred to them being in the battle because you know, they actually were in the fight!

So is your position that 430 pts of ships can beat 180 pts of ships or are you just trying to play gotcha because I didn't keep repeating "fusion ships" after that post?

In any case, I think I've pretty convincingly showed in YOUR scenario that 18 stingers and 3 fusion ships should slaughter the 2 KE 2 SN fleet uncloaking in front of them.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

see next post instead

Last edited by storeylf on Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mojo jojo wrote:

So is your position that 430 pts of ships can beat 180 pts of ships or are you just trying to play gotcha because I didn't keep repeating "fusion ships" after that post?



Its a tactics thread, rather have someone who wasn't present simply harp on in the most useless general terms about how someone can't win a battle that they actually did win, I was trying to step back and look at the sort of tactics that crop up in a rom/hydran fight starting from scratch, because, well it might be useful for people reading a tactics thread.

OK it was a doomed attempt, ultimately your 100% hindsight and perfect play will always point out how no one could lose to such tactics. Plus of course our idea of balance is different, so any discussion on balance is pointless.
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