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Carronade Supremacy - In Praise of the Plasma-F
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Kang
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:29 pm    Post subject: Carronade Supremacy - In Praise of the Plasma-F Reply with quote

Carronade Supremacy - In Praise of the Plasma-F

Many players of Federation Commander think of the plasma-F as inferior to the other, bigger, plasma launchers G, S and R. This is perhaps a hold-over from Star Fleet Battles, where the Plasma-F is not as powerful as it is in Federation Commander. Players often see the Plasma-F simply as padding, to protect the larger plasma launchers from damage.

However, if we take a closer look at this excellent weapon, we will see why, at least on Gorn, Orion and Federation ships, it can be better, when receiving damage, to lose a larger launcher instead of automatically disabling the plasma-F. The Carronade function is the real heart of this tactical article; if you are flying a Romulan ship, which cannot have the Carronade function, you need read no further.

Here are the three main reasons why a captain should seriously consider disabling a larger launcher when receiving damage, instead of blindly applying the traditional "Plasma-Fs are for padding" approach used by most players.

- Plasma-F torpedoes have no holding cost
- You can use the Carronade function
- The Plasma-F is more flexible than the Plasma-G in terms of tactical choices

There are also two good additional reasons why an Orion captain should choose Plasma-F torpedoes every time over the larger G- and S-torps:

- You can have two plasma-Fs for less than the cost of one plasma-G and far less than the cost of one plasma-S.
- Plasma-Fs take up only one weapon box whereas a Plasma-S takes up two

Some would say that the disadvantage of the Plasma-F is that you cannot produce a 30-point seeking warhead. However, the 20-point F/G warhead is still a reasonable warhead, and because no launcher in the game can be used in the Enveloping or Shotgun modes seen in Star Fleet Battles, this narrows the "gap" between the G- and F-launchers.

Also, for the Orion captain, who can choose his weapons, two Plasma-F/Gs instead of one Plasma-S has to be better in combat, even if only because you can produce two 20-point warheads instead of just the one 30-point warhead, along with the tactical flexibility and maintenance of threat given by the ability to not have to launch the whole lot in one go.

Even then, I would select the F-torp over the G-torp just about every time, because it has the Carronade advantage. Effectively, for just one energy point more than a completed photon torpedo or an overloaded Disruptor, (assuming a full Carronade load), you can fire the near equivalent of a photon torpedo every turn (provided you have sufficient power), plus you also have the advantage that it usually does not miss. It also retains its seeking weapon ability with the equivalent, at close range, of a full G-torp warhead, as well as the usual plasma bolting ability. You can also use targeted damage in bolt or Carronade mode. Clearly, the Plasma-F is a most flexible weapon.

The two disadvantages that the Plasma-F has in comparison with the Plasma-G is firstly that the Plasma-F is shorter ranged than the Plasma-G in both bolt and seeking modes, but I feel that the Carronade function more than makes up for this. Secondly, the Plasma-F has no 2-turn-F capability, but again, if you are in a close-ranged fight, you would often be better off using the Carronade function for two turns rather than warming up a new Plasma-G torp or even a 2-turn-F. Of course, in the end, you must make this decision yourself while taking into account the overall tactical picture, but the take-home message is simply this: do not automatically disable the Plasma-F in preference to a larger launcher without thinking very carefully first. You know it makes sense.

Submitted to SPP as a Tactical Article
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Bolo_MK_XL
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing about the G/S launcher is you can arm a 2 turn F, which the F launcher can't (have to arm 3 turns) ---
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Kang
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bolo_MK_XL wrote:
One thing about the G/S launcher is you can arm a 2 turn F, which the F launcher can't (have to arm 3 turns) ---

Yep. That's listed as the second 'disadvantage' in the original post's last paragraph.

The advantages and disadvantages must, as always, be weighed against the tactical situation when deciding which launcher to disable.
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Bolo_MK_XL
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read right over that and didn't even notice it ---- Sad
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Kang
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bolo_MK_XL wrote:
Read right over that and didn't even notice it ---- Sad

You think that's bad? I sometimes write things and don't even notice Embarassed
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The_Rock
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The F-torp can be disabled, repaired at end of turn and then immediately fired as a carronade the following turn. Unless your heavy torps have been fired that turn (or will be), there is probably no reason to take the heavy torp as damage and lose the turns of energy put into it.

I am sure there are situations when disabling the Heavy Torp makes more sense, but the fact the the F can carronade is unlikely to play into those considerations and more likely to be a reason to take the F as damage first.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[MOD: FYI: I deleted the two prior failed attempts.]
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duxvolantis
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Carronade Supremacy - In Praise of the Plasma-F Reply with quote

Kang wrote:
Carronade Supremacy - In Praise of the Plasma-F
The Carronade function is the real heart of this tactical article; if you are flying a Romulan ship, which cannot have the Carronade function, you need read no further.


100% disagree Smile

If you are Romulan you better know *exactly* how carronades work or you will get torched badly.
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Dux Volantis
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Kang
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Carronade Supremacy - In Praise of the Plasma-F Reply with quote

duxvolantis wrote:
Kang wrote:
Carronade Supremacy - In Praise of the Plasma-F
The Carronade function is the real heart of this tactical article; if you are flying a Romulan ship, which cannot have the Carronade function, you need read no further.


100% disagree Smile

If you are Romulan you better know *exactly* how carronades work or you will get torched badly.

A very good point. I stand corrected Smile
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to be the wet blanket ...

There is a huge issue with this Note: there is no tactic here. It is a nice analysis of the weapon, listing its advantages and disadvantages. It tells about, but it doesn't say how to actually use, the weapon. It doesn't even talk about how to really use those advantages.

So, while a nice introduction, there really isn't anything there.

(This is not meant to be negative. It is merely an observation after having seen Notes like this one get rejected for this specific reason.)
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Kang
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tactic is that you disable the bigger launcher rather than the F. The article explains why you should use that tactic. It's buried, but it's there Smile
[Edit] maybe I should re-title it along those lines, to draw the attention to the tactic rather than the weapon....
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duxvolantis
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kang wrote:
The tactic is that you disable the bigger launcher rather than the F. The article explains why you should use that tactic. It's buried, but it's there Smile
[Edit] maybe I should re-title it along those lines, to draw the attention to the tactic rather than the weapon....

You might include some analysis of how the weapon works, how it compares with other weapons in effectiveness at specific ranges in terms of both crunch and energy efficiency, how it's advantage vs. cloak impacts efficiency and tactics, etc.
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Klingon of Gor
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, if you want a discussion of how to actually USE the thing...

We've played a lot of games where plasma-F carronade tactics have been prominently fearured. I regularly play against a guy who loves to play Orion squadrons tricked out with lots of plasma Fs, and he loves to play Gorns. So I've been on the receiving end of a lot of carronades.

The tactics are simple, and brutal.

For Gorns

Turn 1: Plot speed 16, and finish arming your heavy torps. You want to start turn 2 with full batteries.

Turn 2: Once the S torps are live, they hold for 2, so with full batteries, you'll have lots of reserve power to buy movement. Plot speed 24. Now go straight at the people you intend to kill. Launch the heavy plasma. You don't care if any of it hits. If it hits them, that's good. If they turn and run it out, that's good too, because now you're on their six, and they can't readily shake you off. You may be able to launch the heavy plasma out to range 15, because even at that range, if they hold a reciprocal course, that plasma is still going to hurt. If they come in at a speed less than 24, it really won't matter anyway, and they asked for what's coming. Once you get to range 5 start carronading. If you lose a torp, take one of the heavies, because you can't carronade with it. If you rearm a heavy torp, make it a 2 turn F.

Now go chase them down and kill them. On a fixed or location map, try to jam them up in a corner.

Note: Hydrans are probably best equipped to defeat this, since they have excellent defenses against plasma, and their ships can take a lot of pounding. Klingons, with their excellent turn modes and broad phaser arcs, are also well equipped to face this sort of attack. Expanded disuptor arcs are a huge help when being chased by people with carronades.

For Orions:

Turn 1: Plot speed 24. Since F torps start the game armed, you don't need to worry about turn 3 arming or recharging batteries. SO go get 'em.

Come in fast, fire the F torps as seekers to turn the enemy away, and close in with carronades.
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Wolverin61
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know carronades are good against cloaked ships because they don't get the +4 range penalty but still only does half damage,correct?
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Kang
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wolverin61 wrote:
I know carronades are good against cloaked ships because they don't get the +4 range penalty but still only does half damage,correct?

I'm pretty sure that's correct; there is no reference that I can find to carronades being exempt from the half-damage 'damage sponge' rule.
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