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New player - curious about strategies!
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ShaneHall42
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Joined: 06 Dec 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:49 pm    Post subject: New player - curious about strategies! Reply with quote

Right now, I've only played a handful of games (Federation Commander) using just the Fed and Klingon Battlecruisers.

Any tips on general strategies? I seem to get pummeled a lot. ha. And it's not like either of us necessarily knows the game, so there's something I'm doing wrong.

Any "do's" and "don't" would be helpful!

So far, I'm loving the game
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4453
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you the Federaiton or the Klingon?

Most entry-level players tend to run straight in and fire everything at once at close range.
If you're the Fed player and the Photons hit, that's a good thing. If half of them miss, that's a very bad thing. Missing with photons mean you have no heavy wepaons for two turns while you reload - and that's really, really bad.

If you're the Klingon player and you rush in, you soon find that the photons hit hard and your ship doesn't take damage well, so rushing in and firing is a really, really bad thing.

The game is about manuevering to obtain a more desirable shot than you let your opponent have. The Federation have a huge hammer called the photon, but it needs to be swung wiht care. The Klingons are more of a finesse empire as it takes considerable skill to remain outside your opponents danger zone while simultaneously gettign them into yours.

While learning the game, you might try Klingon versus Klingon battles. the disruptor can be fun to fire every turn and while it causes damage, it's not enough damage to end the game in a single volley. So both players get a chance to manuever and fire.
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2915
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[cross-posted with Tony. Doh!]

Hard to tell you where to improve without more details on what you've had happen. Nor am I any tactics wiz.

I can say that I see lots of people try to fly SFU Klingons like TNG-era berzerkers and that is not likely to succeed against an opponent who has learned what makes the SFU ships tick.

SFU Klingons are not built for simple "close and hose" tactics. They excel at using the (typically) superior maneuverability, weapon arcs, and weapon cycles they have to dice up their opponent from a medium range and on the oblique. Close-range (inside range 8 ) is a "finishing move" with overloads or a desperation tactic for Klingons.

If you search this forum for the term "saber dance" you'll get lots of info on how this is implemented by different folks.

Federation ships are built around the 2-turn cycle of the photon torpedo. It's more difficult to employ effectively than the disruptor, but also can cause more havoc. Feds are shielded well and built tougher (typically) to allow for the need to get inside range 12 (and ideally inside range 8 for overloads) to get a reasonable chance of landing that salvo on the target.

The Feds phasers are better, but the banks are optimized for a "head on" attack run (to counterpart the photons). Feds are not at their best when fighting someone that has gotten on the side or behind them. The real trick for Feds is to arrange the former and avoid the latter. Sometimes you might have to bide your time a bit to get the arrangement you want. Rushing in, on turn one, puts too much up to chance of the dice.

Patrick Doyle is one of the recognized masters of FC tactics. He has had several articles published in the Captain's Log magazine. If I recall correctly, he also had an excellent introductory tactics primer in the FC:Briefing #1 book.
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ShaneHall42
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Joined: 06 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All great stuff, thank you!

I'm really just looking for general advice, the types of things you guys are mentioning is PERFECT

I wonder how I'd go about finding people who already know the game in the Northeast of the US
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4453
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go to federationcommander.com, click on the Commanders Circle button (upper right quadrant).
Register... Log-in...
Then click find players, enter your state, and click "find players"

Don't forget to search neighboring states if you happen to live close to a border or in a small state.
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ShaneHall42
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Joined: 06 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, no players found.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, there's always FC Online and I run several PBEM games each year.
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ShaneHall42
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Joined: 06 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going to look into that, thank you!

Sort of a piggy-back question...is there anywhere that I can check out games other people have played, to sort of see some combat that takes place from someone who isn't us?
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go to the PBEM thread.
There are write-ups of the last 12 or so games, including energy expenditures, movement plots, maps, etc.
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duxvolantis
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Joined: 16 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:30 am    Post subject: Re: New player - curious about strategies! Reply with quote

ShaneHall42 wrote:

Any tips on general strategies? I seem to get pummeled a lot. ha. And it's not like either of us necessarily knows the game, so there's something I'm doing wrong.


FC is, first and foremost, a game of maneuver:

    A typical cruiser has about 160 total shield boxes but only 24-30 facing in any one direction. If you manage to get repeated shots on the same shield while forcing your opponent to spread their fire over multiple shields, you will tend to win.

    Ships have different firing arcs depending on ship and race. If you arrange to fire your weapons at good ranges with the majority of them in arc while arranging to have your opponent fire at bad ranges and with fewer weapons in arc, you will tend to win.

    Different weapons have different arming cycles. If you have fast firing weapons, you will want to maneuver so that you can fire every turn. If you have slow firing weapons you will want to maneuver such that a fast-firing opponent gains minimal advantage of their faster fire rate.

    Many races have seeking weapons. If you charge into them you have to use a lot of energy and firepower to deal with them. If you can use maneuver to choose when and how you deal with them, you can spend more of your energy and weapons firing at your opponent.

    Different ships have different practical and maximum speeds and have different turn modes. Ships with poor turn modes require *more* attention to maneuver than ships that are nimbler. In a slow-turning ship (ie: a Fed) you often want to use sideslips and oblique approaches to preserve your ability to turn in response to your opponent instead of turning first and letting him know where you *must* go and where your weapons and shields will be oriented for the next several moves.

    The faster you are going the more options you have in maneuver. Energy spent on movement cannot be spent shooting weapons, but weapons cannot be fired if you aren't in the right place. When in doubt, go fast.

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Dux Volantis
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Savedfromwhat
Commander


Joined: 23 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try searching by your state on the player finder. It is very specific so if you put in a zip code it only checks for exact matches
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ShaneHall42
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Joined: 06 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scoutdad wrote:
Go to the PBEM thread.
There are write-ups of the last 12 or so games, including energy expenditures, movement plots, maps, etc.


Thank you. Unfortunately I'm having trouble finding the thread you're referring to.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

6th link down the Main Index page, or:

PBEM Threads
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Klingon of Gor
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Joined: 01 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I know of Fedcom tactics I mostly learned by getting blown up a lot. Experience is a wonderful, if sometimes painful teacher. Rather than attempt an essay on tactics, I will offer this small bit of advice.

An awful lot comes to energy. As long as you have power left, you can still affect what's happening. Becoming a good player means first and foremost learning to use your power efficiently, and learning to make the enemy waste his. As the great Musashi often tells us in The Book of Five Rings, you must study this deeply.

One other piece of advice. Each race has its strengths and weaknesses, but approach the game in the spirit that the battle will likely be won by the best player and not the best weapons. You will lose a few games on die rolls (And win a few the same way), but in general it is the skill with which the ship and its weapons a re used. Remember, phasers don't kill ships, good players kill ships. When given a choice, select a race and a force that suits your style, one that you will enjoy playing and be proud of commanding even when it loses.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1929
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klingon of Gor wrote:
An awful lot comes to energy. As long as you have power left, you can still affect what's happening. Becoming a good player means first and foremost learning to use your power efficiently, and learning to make the enemy waste his.

Klingon of Gor speaks wisely, as do all the players on this thread. I just wanted to highlight this particular point, because power management really is key.

I like to plan my intended power usage at the start of the turn. I even separate out my pile of energy chits (we use coins) into intended usage - accels, phasers, batteries etc. Even though energy allocation is not the done deal it is in Star Fleet Battles, it's still a good idea to try to allocate your power in this way at the start of the turn; you can always change your mind about the usage as the turn develops and your plan comes into contact with that of your opponent.

As a rule of thumb, unless you can win a pretty decisive advantage by doing so, don't be the first to run out of discretionary power (meaning power you have the choice of how to use, not 'already spent' movement power); as a corollary, try to begin the final impulse of each turn with at least some power remaining, preferably at least the amount of power you can store in your batteries so you can carry it over into the next turn if you haven't used it.

[Edit] Power planning at the beginning of the turn is particularly important for Andromedan ships, when you eventually get around to taking one out for a spin. You will realise why when you do so.
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