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Photon Torpedoes . . . really?!
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And part of the issue about disengagement is the idea that a ship moving at high warp speed (beyond 32 hexes per turn) is very vulnerable to any type of weapon hit. I read somewhere that even a single point of damage could cripple or destroy just about any starship if it was traveling at high warp speed. This is why ships cannot disengage on open or floating maps unless they are 35 hexes from an enemy ship.

Not really pertaining to the issue of photons, but somewhat related to the discussion that evolved.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other than the phaser-1, the photon is probably the best weapon in the game. Lots of hitting power in one shot, alternating shoot/run turns, and the fact that it scores the same damage any max range (no other direct fire weapon does that). I've run this mess for 34 years and people BEG me to give the photon to their empire as they want to replace just about anything with it. (maybe not hellbores)
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
and the fact that it scores the same damage any max range (no other direct fire weapon does that).


Ion cannons.
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Mark Skarr
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Joined: 22 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duxvolantis wrote:
Consider this. Why would a fleet sit in open space and just take a pounding?

Because if you're defending a stationary target, a fixed, small map makes no sense. Your attackers know where the target is and can always, continuously make strikes on it. If you let them retreat, they can repair and rearm. They can form pincer maneuvers and hit from two sides at once (well, in reality, it should be four directions, but we'll accept 2 from a 2d game).

An attack or defense of a planet would engage across the entire solar system because you'll always know where the planet is going to be. An attack on a convoy, they're moving in a straight line, and you can predict where they'll be.

storeylf wrote:
The point being that Photons are great in some scenarios and not so great in others.

This is, exactly, my issue. If you're playing a barroom brawl with starships where you don't have a lot of room to maneuver or get away from your opponent, then Photons would be ideal. Sure, they're a bit slow, but otherwise, but they're going to ruin your target's day, or the target is going to keep maneuvering out of your forward arc, and not bringing their best weapons to bear either.

Steve Cole wrote:
Other than the phaser-1, the photon is probably the best weapon in the game. Lots of hitting power in one shot, alternating shoot/run turns, and the fact that it scores the same damage any max range (no other direct fire weapon does that). I've run this mess for 34 years and people BEG me to give the photon to their empire as they want to replace just about anything with it. (maybe not hellbores)

To me, the Photon Torpedo is an Autocannon 20 from BattleTech, it's a threat, not a weapon. It's not something you want to have to face down, but you can. And, if you stay just outside of its effective range, you're still in great shape for other main weapons.

I, now, have a better understanding of the photon, but, really, they're such short-ranged weapons, I don't think they deserve the name "torpedo." Yes, I totally understand the fixed damage at all ranges is spectacular, but, really, it's only effective at a range of 4 hexes, and marginally effective to 8, beyond that, it's not a weapon, it's a Hail-Mary.
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Klingon of Gor
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am late coming to this discussion, and others have covered the advantages and disadvantages of the photon quite well. I will add that people's judgement of the merits of a weapon often run to extremes. I do think that in general, before denouncing a weapon or a rule, we ought first to question our undestanding of the rules, and then the rightness of our tactics. I've lost games on die rolls, we all have, but mostly if I get shot up it's on account of something I did or failed to do.

The photon torpedo is probably the one weapon that you can take up against any race or monster and have a reasonable chance of success. It's not really accurate at long range, but if you do manage to hit someone, it can rock their world.

Regarding the merits of disruptors vs photons, I will simply say that I've won and lost with both. The photon probably comes out a bit better in Fedcom than in old SFB because Fed ships can now run a higher speed, and its harder to stay out of effective photon range. (And impossible on a closed board)
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Mark Skarr
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klingon of Gor wrote:
I do think that in general, before denouncing a weapon or a rule, we ought first to question our undestanding of the rules, and then the rightness of our tactics.

And this is why I'm here. I'm saying what I've seen and what I see, and am asking for people to tell me, in a defensible way, why I'm wrong. To me, at first glance, the weapon appeared just this side of worthless. Now, I have a better understanding of the weapon, but it still seems more hype than fact.

Under ideal conditions, I can see how Photons would be a game-winner. But, under less than ideal conditions (most of the games I've ever played, which, admittedly, is few compared to the rest of you, but hey, that's why I'm here!) I'd rather have more phasers.

I loves me my phasers-1s, I'm just finding it hard to respect the photon torpedo. I'd almost rather have 4xPhaser-3s over 1 Photon Torpedo. And I know I'd rather have 2xPhaser-2s over 1 Photon Torpedo (and I won't bring up Phaser-1s in this).
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Klingon of Gor
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark Skarr wrote:

Quote:
Under ideal conditions, I can see how Photons would be a game-winner. But, under less than ideal conditions (most of the games I've ever played, which, admittedly, is few compared to the rest of you, but hey, that's why I'm here!) I'd rather have more phasers.


Having more phasers is a perfectly valid choice, and can be very successful. Try running Orions with all phasers 1s in their option mounts. This can be extremely effective. A squadron of Orions with all phaser 1s can be deadly.

Feds, as I've said elsewhere, are luck dependent. Much will depend on what happens with that first photon torpedo volley. If you roll well, you may be looking at a crippled enemy. Roll badly, and you're stuck reloading for a turn with the enemy able to bore in on you where he can use his disruptors or what have you with devastating effect. I've lost more games due to bad die rolls as Feds than with all other races combined.

There are some very savvy tacticians on this board. (I don't claim to be one of them) Hang around here, and you will learn much. My final verdict on weapon issues is that the choice of weapons and race often comes down to a matter of style and individual preference. Choose races and ships that suit your style of play, and that you will enjoy playing, even if you lose. Because no race, no weapon, and no player is invincible.
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kirbykibble
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i agree with klingon of gor
my friend was playing with a bunch of friends and one of them decided to fool around are replace all of his weapons with phaser one's

the guy beat them all....
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Orions can use various weapons in their optional weapons mounts. I have used Ph-1s to make a "phaser boat" and have found it to be a versatile option. The other thing I found out about an all-phaser ship is that it does not have a knock-out punch. Sometimes it is not about which weapon gives the most bang for the buck (power). It is also about which weapon system can bring the enemy to his/her knees in one blow.

A disruptor is difficult to compare to a photon because, to get the same number of hits, the disruptor ship must keep at close range for 2 turns. The photon ship need only get close once to give the same number of hits (and this is ignoring the overload option).
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Klingon of Gor
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:

Quote:
The other thing I found out about an all-phaser ship is that it does not have a knock-out punch. Sometimes it is not about which weapon gives the most bang for the buck (power). It is also about which weapon system can bring the enemy to his/her knees in one blow.


True, although one advantage of the all phaser setup is that because the power requirements are low, the Orion can remain stealthed, and probably still have some power left over to soak damage or buy acceleration. Maybe you can't deliver a knockout blow, but it's also going to be harder for the enemy to land a knockout blow on you. Sometimes it's enough to hang in the fight longer than the other guy.

In a squadron game, the Orions can land a knockut blow, because they have a LOT of phaser 1s, and even at range 9-15, the damage adds up pretty quickly. As the Russian generals are fond of saying, quantity has a quality all it's own.
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duxvolantis
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark Skarr wrote:

Now, I have a better understanding of the weapon, but it still seems more hype than fact.

May I suggest you play with and against every race in the game a few times?

Perspective changes dramatically when you gain a solid understanding of the tactics of every race.

If you do so one of the things you will discover is that Feds are effective against every race in the game.

As for your comment on phasers you have a point. The all-phaser Orion is a popular variant but that is because of the specific character of the Orion (stealth coating, highly maneuverable, etc). Heavy weapons are always less efficient than phasers but they make up for it with more crunch-power and durability. So with an all-phaser ship you are trading efficiency for crunch power.

At Range 8 (not a particularly ideal situation) a Fed CC will do 13 from phasers + 16 per photon for damages of 13, 29, 45, 61 and 77. On average there will be 2 hits for 45 damage. However there is the possibility of significant internals even at such a poor range. If you exchanged those 4 photons for phasers you'd do ~9 points more damage for 22 average--clearly no threat at all. To do internals you'd have to roll exceptionally well (lots of 1's and 2's) on several dice (which is much less likely than rolling pretty well on only 4 dice). Put yourself in the opponents shoes. If you give the Fed the range 8 shot you might suffer 40+ internals. Indeed, if you are a Klingon doing a shallow sabre dance you might take a ton of internals and not even penetrate the Fed's shields.

At Range 4 the situation becomes more clear. You will almost certainly hit with 2 photons and probably hit with 3. Hitting with all 4 is not out of the question. If you assume 3 hits your alpha strike is now 23 phaser + 48 photon = 71 damage with significant internals. With the all-phaser boat your alpha-strike is only 38 which will result in a trifling amount of internals that your opponent will shrug off.
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Capt Jack
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is somewhat off the point, but if you go for a phaser boat as Orion take a phG. How efficent! also if you put it in a wing mount then it should be LS or RS dettering close range attacks.

P.s The Russian also had "general" winter!

P.p.s Would advise to take all phasers Gs but you can only have 1!
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Mark Skarr
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duxvolantis wrote:
May I suggest you play with and against every race in the game a few times?

Working on that, but I'm limited by both opponents (not that many around here) and ship cards (but I'm collecting more).

duxvolantis wrote:
At Range 8 (not a particularly ideal situation) a Fed CC will do 13 from phasers + 16 per photon for damages of 13, 29, 45, 61 and 77. On average there will be 2 hits for 45 damage. However there is the possibility of significant internals even at such a poor range. If you exchanged those 4 photons for phasers you'd do ~9 points more damage for 22 average--clearly no threat at all. To do internals you'd have to roll exceptionally well (lots of 1's and 2's) on several dice (which is much less likely than rolling pretty well on only 4 dice). Put yourself in the opponents shoes. If you give the Fed the range 8 shot you might suffer 40+ internals. Indeed, if you are a Klingon doing a shallow sabre dance you might take a ton of internals and not even penetrate the Fed's shields.

However, to use the photons, you must make a power investiture before you see what your opponents are doing. And, you have to spend that power every turn whether you use the weapon or not. This reduces their tactical utility, where weapons that don't requiring arming, can have decisions made about them on the fly.

(Limited) Experience has shown me that on the turns I have photons armed, my opponents will withdraw to a range of 6-12, to stay out of effective range of the photons, but still within their effective ranges.

duxvolantis wrote:
At Range 4 the situation becomes more clear. You will almost certainly hit with 2 photons and probably hit with 3. Hitting with all 4 is not out of the question. If you assume 3 hits your alpha strike is now 23 phaser + 48 photon = 71 damage with significant internals. With the all-phaser boat your alpha-strike is only 38 which will result in a trifling amount of internals that your opponent will shrug off.

And this, actually, is my issue. Photons are a super-weapon at a range of 4, an "if you're lucky" weapon at 5-8 and a Hail-Mary Pass at 8+.

And, really, I only have to get 2 points of internals with directed targeting to have a 50% chance of wiping out a torpedo at more than twice the effective range of the photons. And, unlike photons, a 50% chance of hitting the area I'm amining at is better than a 50% chance of having wasted two turns and doing nothing at all, as, even if I don't hit the area I'm aiming at, I'm still doing damage.

The "huge, knock-out blow" is a very old BattleTech argument. Sure, it's nice if you can kill a target in a single blow, but, if you fail, you're pretty much screwed. But, in BattleTech I don't have to spend 2 turns reloading my AC/20 and getting pounded on all the while. Those of us who have been playing BattleTech since the BattleDroid days simply change tactics when facing or fielding an AC/20 equipped 'Mech.

The reason I compare Fed Com to BattleTech a lot, is that the two games are quite similar. As opposed to the old FASA Star Trek Tactical Combat Simulator, which, really, has only a superficial comparison to Fed Com. And, there really isn't much comparison to Warhammer Gothic, or any other Warhammer game. It's actually similar to Full Thrust, but still closer to BattleTech.
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Photons are great weapons, powerful, able to crush a target in one shot, and damage scales so well. What other weapon can do 16 points of damage in one shot? You got 4 Phots, that is a potential of 64 points of damage in one shot, enough to cripple another ship in its class.

However, that is also what makes it the worst weapon. Even at close range, you can miss, and each miss is ZERO damage. I've been there, at range two, four fully overloaded, and roll four sixes. IT MAKES YOU CRY! And the dice hate me.

This is why I usually do not repair my PHOTS, instead bringing PH-1s back on line. They may not have the high one shot damage, but they fire every round and do good damage.

FOUR SIXES. ARRRRRRRGGGHHHHHHH!
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Played a game today when I got to range 1 with a Romulan who was fading in. I fired my PHOTs, and rolled 4, 5, 6, and 6. Since the range was extended to 5, they all missed. I conceeded shortly therafter.
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