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Suicide Shuttles
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Hod K'el
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 21 Aug 2008
Posts: 301
Location: Lafayette LA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:50 am    Post subject: Suicide Shuttles Reply with quote

An obvious, but often overlooked tactic...If you are closing with your enemy and you expect to exchange alpha strikes, the damage is sure to hit at least one shuttle box. It would then be wise to launch suicide shuttles with one or two points of power in each while you are closing the range. They can add to your strike either as additional damage or as cannon fodder to soak up weapons fire from the enemy ship.

The advantage is more devious than is obvious as the enemy must destroy the shuttles, out run the shuttles, or out maneuver the shuttles. The first results in a combination power/weapon usage. If the enemy fires a weapon at the shuttle, he cannot fire it at you and he has used power to fire the weapon; power that cannot be used to fire another weapon or charge his suicide shuttle. The second results in power usage which reduces his total power options. The third results in concentration of movement and may divert attention from your maneuvering or place the enemy ship in a less than favorable position, either of which gives you a positional advantage.
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ericphillips
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Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA, Sol, Gould Belt, Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy, Local Group, Universe Beta

PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post!

To look at you post another way: if you got the power, you might as well throw the kitchen sink at the enemy!

The only thing about suicide shuttles is they are SO SLOW. Which is why people sometimes don't see how useful they can be in FC.

But they can be effective making an opponent need to maneuver around them when approaching. One such suicide shuttle was a key to winning that scenario when you have to beam up three landing parties while being persued by a Klingon (Whatever it was called). He was chasing me around a planet. Drop one to make him back off. Worked great.

I use the suicide shuttles a lot when turning tail. Yeah, they are slow, but the pursuer is closing on them. Maybe they have to maneuver an extra hex or two. That is life and death in this game.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can just let the shuttle impact and grab it with a tractor beam then destroy it by (5D5).
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike... for what it's worth; I typically launch a suicide shuttle early on in the game (if on a fixed map) just to clear out a shuttle bay.

It usually doesn;t impact...
but you often have extra power early in the game...
it makes the other guy think about it...
it gives you an empty shuttle bay to take damage on...
and every once in a great while, you get lucky nad have an 18 point shuttle hit a severely damaged ship late in the game! BAMF!
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pinecone
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Joined: 03 May 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sometimes, I'll use suicide shuttles with 2 power to destroy incoming drones.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pinecone, in FC you can't target SS on drones (4F5c).
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pinecone wrote:
sometimes, I'll use suicide shuttles with 2 power to destroy incoming drones.


I can't check at the moment, but I thought SS can't target drones.

[edit] cross post with above poster, but yes looks like that was correct.
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DaveP.
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Joined: 07 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They'e great to use if you've already got someone in a tractor and they can't get away. If you've just Hydran Anchored someone (why should Gorns have all the fun?) and done your direct fire, and have both a few points of power left and a target worth the effort, go ahead and add insult to injury is what I say.
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DirkSJ
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Joined: 08 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaveP. wrote:
They'e great to use if you've already got someone in a tractor and they can't get away. If you've just Hydran Anchored someone (why should Gorns have all the fun?) and done your direct fire, and have both a few points of power left and a target worth the effort, go ahead and add insult to injury is what I say.

I try to arrange this if possible. The main difficulty with this in FC over SFB is you can't get the SS in a down shield nearly as easily. At range 1 in SFB if you plan really well (or get lucky) you can launch a shuttle that moves before they do on the movement chart. Not so in FC without anchoring them.
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
Pinecone, in FC you can't target SS on drones (4F5c).


Oh, well, um... shut up.

Don't take that wrong I'm only kidding Smile complete oversite on my part. Rolling Eyes thanks guys, my bad.
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Hod K'el
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Joined: 21 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scoutdad wrote:
Mike... for what it's worth; I typically launch a suicide shuttle early on in the game (if on a fixed map) just to clear out a shuttle bay.


Exactly, and by going BLS 8, You have time to empty all bays, not loose a single shuttle to a shuttle bay hit, give him the headache for closing on you, AND something to have to maneuver around!

And Terry, yes, he can grab them with a tractor...and spend four points to do it! It's just as cheap to just shoot them down. After all, do you realy want to go into battle with four suicide shuttles tractored and take the chance of having even one tractor disabled?
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
You can just let the shuttle impact and grab it with a tractor beam then destroy it by (5D5).


This is our point exactly. Hod has the right idea. Yes, you will take care of the SS, but to do so would cost you 1 point for the tractor, and, with 6 points needed to pop a shuttle, 1-2 power (depending on available weapons) to 'splode it.

FC is a game of power use. Making an opponent use extra power is part of the game, part of getting an advantage. This may be the difference between him overloading a weapon or not. And if you launched them just before the turn ends, so they are impacting on the next turn, you have your power back while the ship dealing with them is down the power until next turn.

Does it always work? No. Should you always try? No. But learning when to do a tactic is part of the fun. Also, as it has been pointed out, sometimes doing something out of the ordinary can cause the opponent to get a little off his game.

An example of that is my chess playing. I am not a great chess player, but I am above average. ften, when playing someone new, I do not use a usual opening, like Queens Gambit. Instead I pull out this odd opening from Grandmaster Richard RĂ©ti, called "The Reti Opening." What it does is open up the king's side, moving a pawn, bishop, and knight over three moves, then allowing a king's side castle on the fourth move. It is not often used because it does leave a weakened center position on the board early on, which an experienced player will take advantage of quickly. However, on lesser experienced players it confuses them, as they haven't seen it, and are often playing opening moves from pattern, instead of thinking how it affects the playfield. (Truthfully, I would be confused as well from such a trick). I have won many a match because the opponent does not take advantage of the weak center and then has trouble with my defense on the King's side. (Also, I generally play to tie and hope luck comes my way, because my end game is really bad).

That was a long example for a short point. LOL
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I'm moving at 16+1 or faster, the sucides will pop before the opponent has a chance to fire and disable any tractors. While it costs me power (1 point) per SS, it's costing you at least 1 point of power per SS to launch them. Now, that power could have been spent on a previous turn, and I'm spending it on the turn that I tractor the shuttles... which might be like collecting interest on money in the bank. But you'll need to have some way to capitalise on the expended power. Even so, it's going to take more than one point of power in an SS to be a real threat. 1 point of power is a 3 point warhead. 3 points? At squadron scale, pfft.

IMO it's better to launch your SS early as manned shuttles and hide them in a corner (if it's a fixed map). This will free up shuttle boxes to take damage, and when it's late in the fight, you can land the shuttle in an empty box and launch it as an SS at your crippled enemy.
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, I never said one point, I think Hod did. If I were to launch on the turn before, I would want to stuck a few points in the thing.

I don't disagree with your plan either. Just as launching early on the previous turn can make an advantage, but also may not, your idea will not always work as well. Shuttle bays get damaged: do I want to fix them in lieu of other systems.

All of these plans are valid, and none are guaranteed. That is what makes this game fun: we can all have different strategies, and seeing how they interact is pretty cool.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
Pinecone, in FC you can't target SS on drones (4F5c).

Does it actually say that anywhere in the rulebook? Sure, SS are slow, but you could use one head-on, couldn't you? That is, unless the rules say otherwise....
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