Federation Commander Forum Index Federation Commander
A NEW fast paced board game of starship combat!
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Photon Torpedoes . . . really?!
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Federation Commander Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
ericphillips
Commander


Joined: 16 Apr 2009
Posts: 702
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA, Sol, Gould Belt, Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy, Local Group, Universe Beta

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PHOTS: The only weapon that can be a game changer just from a single roll. LOL
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Mark Skarr
Ensign


Joined: 22 Jul 2011
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last three posts are exactly my problem. It's very much putting all your eggs in one basket. If you hit with your photons, you, very likely, have one less enemy to worry about. If you miss with your photons, you, very likely, have an enraged target at point-blank range ready to introduce you to a type of love that's illegal in Texas.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mike
Captain


Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1556
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you think the Gorn ship got away in the TOS episode Arena???
_________________
Mike

=====
"Sometimes our best is not enough. We must do what is required." -- Winston Churchill
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
duxvolantis
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Posts: 185

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark Skarr wrote:

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.

Being able to preload is as much a feature as a disadvantage. Yes, the 8 points of power minimum are pretty much gone. But when held a Fed CA is fast. If a Klingon D7 wants to fire full overloads and his phasers he cannot plot speed 24. The Fed CA, on the other hand, can plot speed 24 and have 4+4 power remaining. Yes, it is nice on a disruptor ship to be able to choose exactly when to fire, but in part what that means is that the Klingon rarely gets to fire his full spread (esp vs. a Fed) since he needs to go faster to retain move priority and keep range open.

Mark Skarr wrote:

(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.

I will take the range-8 shot at rear shields when flying a Fed, particularly if it is near the end of the turn, esp against a Klingon with their weak shields and fragile hulls. Likewise an Orion. Against others I will hold that shot and keep doggedly pursuing.

You won't win the fight with a range-8 shot but with average damage you'll score around 20 internals and you could do much better. If it is near the end of the turn then you are not too many impulses away from reloaded photons. If you are going speed 24 then it is unlikely that they will be able to keep the range open without completely turning away from you.

Mark Skarr wrote:

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.

Depends on the foe. You can afford to miss against some races and not so much against others. Pinecone was going to eat 100 points of plasma shortly after missing with his range 1 shot. No ship fares well if they let a plasma ship get that close without seriously damaging it on the way in. Fact of life.

A few tips to flying a Fed:
1) Nowhere does it say you must overload. 3 fully overloaded photons is still pretty scary. This is particularly true after the first pass where you may not have the ability to slow down enough to fully overload. You can always dump energy into the photon at the instant of firing.

2) Keep your turnmode satisfied as much as possible. These ships are pigs so you need to get the hang of using sideslips to close and to not turn in a way that lets a nimbler ship turn inside you. It's an art. (But an art that applies to other races as well... worth learning.)

3) Preserve your #1 shield. Always try to present shields #2 and #6 if you expect incoming fire at range. This is a good general rule but very important for Feds or other races that want to close. It is harder to close range behind the side shields and if you take incidental ranged volleys on your #1 it takes two shifts to move the damage to rear shields.

4) Never turn away from Klingons if you are armed. If you do you may have to HET to get them back into the forward arc. And while you are slogging around in a huge circle they will be peppering your rear shields.

5) Use your drone racks defensively against Klingons unless you can guarantee a drone hit. Much better to preserve energy and kill drones with ADDs or even your standard drones. Against Romulans, save your drones for when he declares cloak. (Drones do not lose lock and he will not be able to fire at them while cloaked. And since he drops to speed 16 they will hit.)
_________________
Dux Volantis
Romulan Star Empire
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nerroth
Captain


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 1568
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking pf photons, there was one specific case which comes to mind; the New Jersey-variant battlecruiser.

Since (in FC) the ship can't fire more than 4 of its 6 photons anyway, perhaps it might be worth rolling out three warheads per turn, and maintaining a constant bombardment?
_________________
FC Omega Discussion (v3)
FC LMC Discussion
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Skarr
Ensign


Joined: 22 Jul 2011
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
How do you think the Gorn ship got away in the TOS episode Arena???

I dunno. The author said so?

duxvolantis wrote:
I will take the range-8 shot at rear shields when flying a Fed, particularly if it is near the end of the turn, esp against a Klingon with their weak shields and fragile hulls. Likewise an Orion. Against others I will hold that shot and keep doggedly pursuing.

It must be nice to get to see your enemies backside. My opponents tend to keep their heavy shields pointed toward me as well.

duxvolantis wrote:
Depends on the foe. You can afford to miss against some races and not so much against others. Pinecone was going to eat 100 points of plasma shortly after missing with his range 1 shot. No ship fares well if they let a plasma ship get that close without seriously damaging it on the way in. Fact of life.

He made a tactical gambit and it failed, resulting in his destruction. However, the only reason he made such a foolish tactical decision and wound up the "Poor Tactical Positioning" poster child, was this "game winning" weapon required him to act foolishly. That's not a weapon, that a suicide device. If it were on Klingon Penal cruisers, I could respect it.

duxvolantis wrote:
A few tips to flying a Fed:
1) Nowhere does it say you must overload. 3 fully overloaded photons is still pretty scary. This is particularly true after the first pass where you may not have the ability to slow down enough to fully overload. You can always dump energy into the photon at the instant of firing.

Generally good advice.

duxvolantis wrote:
2) Keep your turnmode satisfied as much as possible. These ships are pigs so you need to get the hang of using sideslips to close and to not turn in a way that lets a nimbler ship turn inside you. It's an art. (But an art that applies to other races as well... worth learning.)

I'm going to say something, and at no point should you take this as me attempting to lessen the importance of this advice:

DUH!

I cannot agree more with you. I try to keep my turnmode as free as possible since these staggering, three-legged cows can't turn inside the orbit of a small planet.

duxvolantis wrote:
3) Preserve your #1 shield. Always try to present shields #2 and #6 if you expect incoming fire at range. This is a good general rule but very important for Feds or other races that want to close. It is harder to close range behind the side shields and if you take incidental ranged volleys on your #1 it takes two shifts to move the damage to rear shields.

Again, duh, but several of my opponents have not grasped this simple idea.

duxvolantis wrote:
4) Never turn away from Klingons if you are armed. If you do you may have to HET to get them back into the forward arc. And while you are slogging around in a huge circle they will be peppering your rear shields.

Again, good advice. I've actually managed to get "inside" and made the Klingons orbit around me a few times (allowing me to sacrifice my speed, and pump more power into shields and weapons). Now, I can hear some of you screaming that I should never sacrifice speed, but if you can get your opponent to orbit you, that's awesome.

duxvolantis wrote:
5) Use your drone racks defensively against Klingons unless you can guarantee a drone hit. Much better to preserve energy and kill drones with ADDs or even your standard drones. Against Romulans, save your drones for when he declares cloak. (Drones do not lose lock and he will not be able to fire at them while cloaked. And since he drops to speed 16 they will hit.)

I've been doing that, more because my drones suck (because every opponent manages to roll a 1 against them with any weapon they ever shoot at them). I'll sometimes drop a drone or two on T1I8 if they're not doing anything else, just to keep my opponent on their toes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
terryoc
Captain


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1379

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
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.


How is your opponent punching through a shield at range without using overloads (can't use directed targeting with overloads)?

Quote:
It must be nice to get to see your enemies backside. My opponents tend to keep their heavy shields pointed toward me as well.


The Klingon in particular has weaker #2 and #6 shields than the #1, and needs to fire through those shields for maximum firepower (phasers and disruptors at the same time), so when he fires, you can fire.
_________________
"Captain" Terry O'Carroll, fourteen papers published including six best of issue
"Man, Terry, you are like a loophole seeking missle!" - Mike West
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Alex Knight
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 06 Jun 2008
Posts: 57
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to put my 2 overloads in.

There is a small problem with Ph boats over anything with a heavy weapon - and thus a small benefit of the PHOT. Take a look at your DAC. How many of those results are Phaser? On top of that, how many leaks can destroy a PHOT? How many leaks can destroy a Phaser?

I've seen ships stripped to maybe one or two Phasers left which still has a heavy weapon.

PHOT as the AC/20 - False comparison. Most Mechs that mount AC/20s are hard pressed to get into range for them and when they do it's typically a long shot to hit anyways (due to movement mods and terrain mods.) PHOT on the other hand is able to close range and actually get to the effective distance easier and always has the same chance to hit (unless your opponent declares EM.)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DirkSJ
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 239

PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark Skarr wrote:
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.

See, you don't need to know what they are doing. It doesn't impact the arming decision. You are going to fire it. You know you want your photon armed because you know you want to shoot someone.

You have a luxury over the klingon ship: you can pay now and fire later. They have to always watch their power and hold a bunch in reserve for guns...possibly some of it going to waste, unfired, at the end of the turn. You can go slow, charge up, and then go really fast. Any spare energy at the end of the turn is never wasted; it can dump into overloads.

Quote:
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.

This is sort of a quibble but I feel it important to note: You aren't spending 2 turns arming it. You fire; you have 1 turn of downtime; you fire. If you fire late in the turn then you aren't even waiting long at all between firings. You are only getting pounded for 1 turn in which you can't answer.

This isn't to say disrupters can't pull a similar trick firing on 8 then again on 1 on consecutive turns but...I've seen people forget many times that the photon arming cycle can benefit from the same "trick" to keep pressure on. That said the disrupter "trick" is faaaar easier to capitalize on.

What you may be missing with the knockout-blow in general, however, is that this is how SFB and FC (for 40+ years in the case of SFB) has always been played. Since there are few if any area effect weapons and ships have 6 independent shields stacked ships and alpha strikes are the way to go for many races and situations. You always want to do as much damage as you can in one shot.

If you play against really skilled opponents you'll discover that once you down a shield you are almost never going to get another shot at that shield facing. This is why "crunch power" makes such a big difference in FC. If you have the option of doing 20 damage 3 times each 2 impulses apart or doing 40 damage all at once...YOU WANT THE 40. Chances are you will be landing that 20 on a fresh shield every time. The 40 not only will do internal damage but it will drop a shield and force that ship to maneuver differently for the rest of the game.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kirbykibble
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 07 Jun 2011
Posts: 82
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh man... this topic has been on for at least a month....
i think that you've had a good answer already?
if you can't figure it out...
photons are good..i can't stress that enough
_________________
We are the ISC! NO ONE CAN FIGURE OUT WHAT IT STANDS FOR!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Kang
Fleet Captain


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

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure it's been going on for a month but it's still good. Forumers are still contributing tactical ideas to the pot and that's gotta be a good thing.

Sure, you and I know how to use Photons (well, you do, but I'm not sure I do Wink) but imagine a novice player reading all this stuff, rich in conceptual and tactical detail - it's a goldmine!
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
DirkSJ
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 239

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I can see the strengths of photons I actually don't like them at all. I think the huge damage/huge miss chance with a 2 turn cycle kills it in terms of general playability and game design for any small engagement.

Randomness in games needs to satisfy certain criteria to be a success: either there need to be so many rolls that any given roll can't greatly swing the game one way or another, or the rolls need to inherently not strongly affect the overall outcome of the game.

An example of each of these in current games would be Stone Age and Brass. In Stone Age one rolls so many dice over the course of the game that the results of any given roll are largely inconsequential (on top of that tools let you easily adjust for any given bad roll). In Brass the deck is a randomizing factor which can limit your play somewhat but really in no way will impact who wins the game. An example that does it poorly would be Small World. The final attack die can win you the game and you may only roll it ~4 times in the entire game.

The photon, and any small scale FC battle really, falls into the unfortunate category of very few die rolls that are all super important. It's a serious problem when an entire night's hours-long game comes down to one roll. If the game is designed to be that random, why not just roll some dice and declare a winner instead of getting the game out at all? In large fleet on fleet battles the problem isn't pronounced...enough dice are rolled that things average out. But in a 1 on 1 dogfight it can be pretty bad.

When fighting said 1 on 1 with a Fed I propose a neutral 3rd party roll 4 overloaded photon dice at range 8 in secret. If all hit, they should declare the fed the winner of the match; if all miss they should declare the other person winner. Then folks can decide what game to play next.

Only if 1, 2, or 3 hit then they should play FC using that roll on the first shot and see who wins. It would save a lot of wasted time.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Klingon of Gor
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 01 Jun 2011
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dux Volantis wrote:

Quote:
1) Nowhere does it say you must overload. 3 fully overloaded photons is still pretty scary. This is particularly true after the first pass where you may not have the ability to slow down enough to fully overload. You can always dump energy into the photon at the instant of firing.


I strongly agree with this. I think part of being a really sharp Fed player is knowing when to overload and when not to. There are a lot of situations where speed and standard loads will win the day. If I'm fighting Hydrans, I want to use directed targeting. They don't have all that many weapons, and because of that big block of center hull, they can take a LOT of general damage. Hydrans are hard kills. They may be able to take your best shot, and still keep coming. But if you take out their weapons, or if that fusion ship can't catch you because you hit his engines hard...

Against a plasma race, again...speed and standard loads. I may need to run out a plasma torpedo. I don't want to spend a lot of reserve power overloading, and holding overloads. And if it's ISC, God forbid, then I need to close quickly.

Overloads can be very useful against Lyrans, and especially against their larger ships, just be careful to have enough reserve power to keep away from that ESG. It may be best to spend the extra power when you fire.

Know your enemy. And know the best way to wreck him.

It's true that Feds can be luck dependent, but honestly, I've lost games on die rolls playing disruptor races. It happens. I believe it was Machiavelli who said that fortune is a woman. Well, sometimes she's a ... never mind. But if we poll this group, I'm sure we can find several Klingon captains who have been prepared to order the weapons officer to the agony booth.
_________________
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away" - Philip K Dick
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kang
Fleet Captain


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

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klingon of Gor wrote:
But if we poll this group, I'm sure we can find several Klingon captains who have been prepared to order the weapons officer to the agony booth.

I once submitted that as a Tactical Article Wink

[EDIT]: Here: http://tinyurl.com/3po9lde
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Nerroth
Captain


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 1568
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of photons, I wonder how people may take to the light and heavy variants if/when more FRA ships make it over into the game system...
_________________
FC Omega Discussion (v3)
FC LMC Discussion
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Federation Commander Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 4 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group