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Romulan Vulture/King Vulture point value too low?
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krukeshank
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Joined: 30 Jun 2011
Posts: 11
Location: Montreal, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:20 am    Post subject: Romulan Vulture/King Vulture point value too low? Reply with quote

FYI I searched the forums on vulture, king vulture, briefing #2, etc. but found nothing relevant.

In Briefing #2, the Romulan Vulture ship card has a value of 128/64. (squadron/fleet). In Communique #57, it contains a more beefed up Vulture playtest ship (I assume this is the King Vulture as it has a better power curve and additional weapons) with a value of 170/90.

With two R-torps, the Vulture is incredibly formidable, even with it's low power and typical old Romulan egg-shell-ness...I was surprised by what felt like a very low value (compared against the War Eagle's 100/55 and the King Eagle's 140/75). Something along the lines of 150/80 for the Vulture and 190/100 for the King Vulture feels closer in comparison to the WE and KE.

I'm going to try these out and see how well they fair against other like-valued ships. Anyone else feel these ships are under-valued?

Thanks,

Krukeshank
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mojo jojo
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Joined: 23 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We had some discussion about this subject here:

http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=3209&start=15
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The_Rock
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As things stand today in Fed Com all plasma ships are way over-pointed, the Vulture included.

The Vulture and KE are the only two plasma ships that are close to being viable, so like in SFB, they are probably "too good" for their points relative to other plasma.

Relative to non-plasma, they are still no good.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Though those saying plasma is naff are usually on about one style of play - competitive tourney play. In other types of play, or against those who are not top competitive tourney players they seem fine enough.

My personal bugbear, plasma wise, is the Gorn heavy cruisers (and variants) why on earth are they pointed so much higher than all other heavy cruisers.
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The_Rock
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tournament scenario is the one where plasma fairs best and even there it is terrible. In all other scenarios, it is just much worse still.

Also, the Gorn has the cheapest heavy cruisers of all the plasma empires (excepting the Old Style Roms).

Gorn is 160, Firehawk is 179, the ISC is 185.

At 160, it is not even "so much higher" than "all other heavy cruisers."

Fed is 150, Klingon is 148, Lyran is 146, LDR is 152, Wyn is 151, Hydran has a lot of options that range from 156 to 178 (or as low as 111, if you let it go without its fighters), Tholian is 170 (though, like the Roms can go to 138 if you take their old style ships), Seltorian is 142 (but terrible), Kzinti is 140 (and very good).

So the Gorn is pretty much in the middle of the range for Heavy Cruisers. If Plasma in Fed Com wasn't terrible the Gorn CA would be pretty well balanced, much like it is in SFB where plasma rules allow it to be good.
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mojo jojo
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Rock wrote:
As things stand today in Fed Com all plasma ships are way over-pointed, the Vulture included.



I agree, with the proviso that plasma is overpointed only when it's the only heavy weapon that a side carries. Plasma in support of other ships with good long range weapons is very worthwhile. ISC are very competitive since they don't actually care if their plasma hits. They only want to keep the opponents away from the PPD ships. Similarly, a Rom KE becomes much better if it is supporting 2 Klingon ships. It forces the opposition to maintain high speeds, allowing the Klingons to fire overloads while the opposition only has energy for normal loads.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@The Rock: I disagree, ~140-150 points is about average for a CA. Gorn ships are about 10 points over average.

The ISC Star Cruiser is significantly larger than other "CAs", packing two S-torps, the PPD, a very good phaser array and a bunch of F-torpedoes. Most heavy cruisers have 2xS and 2xF.

Romulan FireHawk is as capable as other CAs and has a cloak on top of that, leading to the high point cost. Most ships with cloaks are smaller than non-cloaked ships.

Neo-Tholian CA has a web caster, potentially game-swinging tech in the right hands (at least in SFB). Web casters are very expensive.

Exclude the three oddballs and look at the CAs/NCAs of most Empires and you'll see that 160 is high.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Rock wrote:
The tournament scenario is the one where plasma fairs best and even there it is terrible. In all other scenarios, it is just much worse still.


All scenarios?

I disagree - We play plenty of games of the sort that plasma is very potent. From taking out bases (anything from little comerce platforms to Starbases) to slow moving convoys, to defending something in a time limited game (where you can't always sit around waiting for the other guy to expend all of his plasma and still have time to do what you need to). Neither are you always playing these other games with the 'best' ships nor nice evenly pointed sides nor precisley 3-4 ships. Come to that we aren't always playing with just 2 sides, and hardly ever with just 2 players. Fed Com is more than 2 players on a tiny clear 42*30 map with a min/maxed 450pt fleet in a simple kill each other with no other complictions.

The competitive tourney is probably the worst enviroment for plasma (and some other empires as well) - you have to be up to taking on the 'best' tourney empires, and if you talking origins or the current online tourneys you have to be up to taking on the the top few tourney players if you want to actually win, and not the larger number of not so top players who are quite capable of losing to plasma.

But that's not to say I disagree with plasma being not exactly brilliant in the tourney, but then the tourney doesn't exactly favor other empies either - klingons usually seem to come off poorly, not seen selts go far either. Now that all the main empires are available I think the tourney itself needs a good redesign to handle the dynamics of FC better rather than worrying about how rom/gorn perform in the current tourney.


PS: As to the Gorn BC - while I didn't say so, I was really thinking 'classic' (for lack of better term) cruisers, so I was thinking older romulan KE, D7, Fed CA, Kzinti CA etc. Though a good number of the NCAs are in the same range as well. Another way of looking at it - when someone says a 150 pt duel they are usually meaning a 'CA' duel, but the gorns can't realistically play such a game as for some odd reason their CA was pointed quite a chunk higher than that for no obvious reason (from a purely FC perspective). The Cruiser duel has always been a sort of workhorse/showcase scenario and I think more thought should have been put into ensuring everyone had a good 'CA' pointed ship out of the basic box (even it isn't techincally a CA) .


Last edited by storeylf on Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:43 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Kang
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also plasma is now much better because of the availability of full-power torps in Turn 1.
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Patrick Doyle
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking to Storeylf's point about the tournament needing a redesign, I agree and we are working on doing that. Nothing has been decided yet, but we are considering a few options to make more empires viable in the tournament...either altering the allowed point values for different empires or making stock tournament fleets that are balanced for the tournament environment. RIght now, Klingons fleets are not really viable...if you want to win you should never bring a Klingon fleet over a Kzinti fleet. Plasma races are not viable. Andros can't make a viable force in the tournament structure. Hydrans are too good (underpointed) in this setting, just bring fighters and fusion ships and you win. The Orion fleet and option mounts have a lot of room for abuse as well. The truly competitive/balanced empires are Federation, Kzinti, Lyran, Tholian (in the right hands) and MAYBE the Vudar.

Part of the fun of the tournement is building your own fleet, but in many cases the fun is the search for "loophole fleet"...finding an underpointed ship to give yourself an advantage. If we have stock fleets we intend to have as a good a selection as possible based on available ships.

The problems with building your own fleet at this point is that there are so many ships now (which is good) that it only takes having a couple mispointed ships to skew the tournament...for example, the Hydran Ranger only costs 111 points, and the Mohawk is only 111 points meaning that you bring 2 of each and you have a force of 4 CAs. Move at people on evasive. Drop evasive when the enemy is corned and you win.

Also, Plasma did get a little boost by being able to launch on turn 1. We are not there yet on making them useful against warships in a space superiority battle, but we're working on that as well. RIght now, because plasma is not very useful against anything that can move at speed 24, their ships are genreally overpointed.

Basically, to avoid plasma, warships need to go 24. They accelerate when necessary. You must be careful not to point directly at a plasma ship or you won't be able to turn away in time to evade the plasma torpedo. If playing on a fixed map, save your first HET to get out of the corner for the first time.
THe plasma player has the problem of launching either too much plasma or not enough. If you launch all your plasma at me, I'll simply run away from it and you might score a couple points of damage on a rear rear shield as turn back around to reengage.
If you don't launch enough plasma, say 1 S, or 1 F torp, I'll take the plasma hit on a side shield if it means I can get a solid hit against your ship. If you then launche everything at me now that I am closer, I'll run, or if I was smart enough to save some power, I'll HET, then come back while you reload. Eventually the plasma player runs out of ammo.
Lee is right about hitting stattionary or slow moving targets; a campaign setting (or interesting scenario) can make plasma more interesting, as long as there is something that restricts the warship's maneuver options.
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mojo jojo
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick Doyle wrote:
... we are considering a few options to make more empires viable in the tournament...either altering the allowed point values for different empires or making stock tournament fleets that are balanced for the tournament environment.


I think stock tournament fleets would be the best balance fix for a face to face tournament like Origins since not everyone will have all ships of all fleets available. However, I maintain that all balance issues for an online tournament can be fixed by going to a bidding system. The rules are simple:

1) Every player chooses 1 empire for the tournament.

2) If 2 players are matched up with the same empire, there is no bidding involved. Both play that empire straight up.

3) If different empires are matched up, then both players write down a bid secretly. This bid is what percent extra the player is willing to pay for the priviledge of playing this empire. All bids must be in full percent increments.

3a) If both sides bid the same empire, the higher bid takes that empire and gives up the bid and the lower side takes the other empire straight up. For example, the matchup is Gorn vs Hydran. Both players think Hydran is favored, so player A bids H10 and player B bids H6. Player A gets Hydran but must pay 10% more for his ships. Player B gets Gorn straight up.

3b) If both sides bid opposite, then both sides get their bid side and pay their bid handicap. So in the above scenario if player B bid G3, then player A gets Hydran and pays 10% more while Player B gets Gorn and pays 3% more.

3c) If both sides have exactly the same bid, then the player who chose that side for the tournament gets the tiebreaker.

4) Orions and WYN get to rechoose their option mounts for each matchup. Otherwise it becomes too unwieldy. This gives them an advantage, but since bidding is in play, that advantage should be reflected in the bidding process.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I'd like to see out of a tourney is something that allows each empire to play to their strengths and put the other side under some pressure to counter their weakness. An open 42*30 map is never likely to see Klingons shine, the short range crunch races simply close and crunch, with an almost guaranteed crunch on turn 2. Balancing races by adjusting BVP (directly or indirectly) doesn't solve that - you just end up 'balancing' by giving Klingons enough ships/crunch to handle that quick close range pass.

I expect a tourney to allow the klingons sufficient room/time to have a realistic chance of weakening the crunch empires at range, and for the Feds to have to think twice about just holding overloads.

A bigger map is one possibility (which probably doesn't help plasma), but terrain can add complications that allow different races to be top dog. Relatively klingons come out better than kzinti or Fed in asteroids (drones are less potent and manouverability with the +1/2 shifts can hurt feds badly), and nebula really poses some problems for Feds (max range 4 on photons for the win, not).
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The_Rock
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Lee's suggestions are interesting. I am not sure how to make it work, but it does represent an ideal if it can be achieved.
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mojo jojo
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with larger open maps (aside from nerfing plasma even more than currently) is time limits. 4 hours puts a big constraint on a game, and a proper saber dance takes longer than that to resolve. Plus it's easier to stall and run out the clock if you have a lot more room to play with if you're slightly ahead on points. And you would still have balance problems, just different ones.

I expect terrain to have the same balance issues as open terrain. The only difference is that the relative pecking order would change, but it doesn't eliminate the fact that there would be a pecking order.

The only things that would eliminate balance issues completely would be stock squadrons or some sort of BPV adjustments.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I expect terrain to have the same balance issues as open terrain. The only difference is that the relative pecking order would change, but it doesn't eliminate the fact that there would be a pecking order.

The only things that would eliminate balance issues completely would be stock squadrons or some sort of BPV adjustments.


It's the staleness of the current tourney format that puts me off it more than balance, though that staleness is probably a by product of the balance issues, it is not necessarily the case that getting the balance will remove the staleness.

Currently if competitive players are playing then you can be pretty sure that you are looking at simple close and crunch games one after another (e.g hydran, Fed, Lyran) as that is what a small map favors. Not exactly exciting. That's why I didn't enter the latest tourney, I was intending to but couldn't motivate myself to play another 3 out of 4 games which were just close, shoot and see who wins on turn 2. That is the one area that plasma currently shines in a tourney, you do at least have to vary that tactic when facing them, my favourite game of the the last tourney was the game I played against Romulans. The result may never have really been in doubt, but at least the game had a bit more to it.

Stock squadrons may work if you move away from the good ships for crunch empires I suppose, such that their crunch is mitigated on the basis that getting close is almost a non-issue. So give Hydrans hellbore ships (which eats more points and requires pre-arming rather than fire on demand), and give the Feds the likes of CAs and the DDs rather than NCA/NCLs etc. Use the older catamaran hulls of the Lyrans - Tigers and Panthers rather than King Jags and Alleycats. The lowered crunch and extra power issues may make the likes of Klingons and plasma a bit closer to balanced if they are given their better ships.

Any given terrain is likely to favor one side or another, of course a clear map is a map with a terrian type of 'clear', so we already have that problem. However, if the terrain is varied and different in each round then overall you could probably get closer to a form of balance with no empire having such a clear strength over the course of the tourney, Feds (for example) might do well on the open map, but suffer in the nebula and be less clearly uber in asteroids. Even a large planet in the middle can present some extra complication if you find you can't close properly as the other guy has managed to go round it the other way and avoided your close range advantage for another turn (or of course it may allow you to get clsoe with out getting shot).


Last edited by storeylf on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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