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The Plasma Problem
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Monty
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:

Quote:
Why not Proxy Photons? I could see some interesting scenarios written around that game mechanic. I seriously doubt the FC version would be a game breaker or cramp anyone's brain.



Feds already gained by having more spare power, probably the biggest gainers overall from that change in mechanics, and being less reliant on warp also gives them far more capability. Sure they lost Proximity, but they gained a lot as is.


There's a greater likelihood of proxies being used when they shouldn't and messing up the experience for new players that want to play the Feds. Their overall benefit to me is a wash and it's only interesting from a scenario perspective like the Kaufman Retrograde. Not something done on a regular basis but a fun divergence.

storeylf wrote:

Quote:
People get torqued in FC when a game gets beyond 10 turns.


They do??

Yeah
You know those folks that don't want a game that plays like or as long as SFB.

storeylf wrote:

...I suspect ISC are by far the biggest beneficiaries of EPT, far more than Gorns will ever gain.

While it's true that a rising tide lifts all ships, the benefits to ISC is debatable. ISC already has an enveloping weapon that needs the compliment of a direct punch to go with it. Further dividing followup damage over more shields will have marginal benefit in certain situations. Likely not the best defense against an echelon breaking force.

storeylf wrote:

Romulans are not going to be struggling with power for EPTs if they are using cloak. If cloak is losing its 'feature' of making you vulnerable to seekers then going speed 8 is very viable, leaving plenty of power. If you don't cloak then Roms are usually pretty good on power.


The EPT is being tabled as an uber-overload and it's really not. Realize that you still have to divide the damage over six shields; six separately reinforceable volleys. Energy soaking may be it's key benefit.


storeylf wrote:

Quote:
That leaves the Gorns.


...As the only plasma user who appears a bit weak. The problem is not that plasma is weak, it is that Gorns have the key heavy cruier hulls overpointed compared to other heavy cruiers, to which they are a decent match on a decent map.


The fact is that printed BPV is not going to change. I have whiteout and a label maker but I don't think that will fly in my group.

You are very right that the standard map should be at least doubled.

Quote:

...but a missed bolt is no different then a torp that gets run out.


Except for the fact the opposing ship is a half a map away and facing the other direction.
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storeylf
Fleet Captain


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1832

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monty wrote:

While it's true that a rising tide lifts all ships, the benefits to ISC is debatable. ISC already has an enveloping weapon that needs the compliment of a direct punch to go with it. Further dividing followup damage over more shields will have marginal benefit in certain situations. Likely not the best defense against an echelon breaking force.

The EPT is being tabled as an uber-overload and it's really not. Realize that you still have to divide the damage over six shields; six separately reinforceable volleys. Energy soaking may be it's key benefit.



I realise the EPT isn't some uber overload, and using it will have its drawbacks.

ISC though most certainly gain a lot from such a weapon IMHO. EPT does not stop them using the normal plasma if that is better. Their current enveloper is also their crunch weapon. Probably one of the best weapons in the game. Importantly it is an excellent mid-long range weapon.

Neither Gorn nor Romulan have anything that complements EPT. For all those cases where their plasma is being outrun it will continue to be outrun. The touted advantage for them is the ability to fire a plasma that cannot be phasered down easily. An opponent that comes through it is weakened a lot overall, if not a lot on any shield, or they turn away and if they do run then they have to run for longer before they can turn back in and phaser it away. If they turn away bad things do not happen as such, Neither Gorn nor Romulan have anything that clearly punishes such a move, and the power that went to the EPT makes it more difficult to follow up in pursuit.

The same applies to ISC. With the key caveats, that if the enemy runs or runs for longer then bad things do happen - the ISC do not have to worry about pursuing, and the enemy have to continue facing the PPDs and generally excellent phaser 1 suites. If the enemy carry on through the plasma then the ISC still do what they do now, use their excellent phasers to deliever good damage, turn and drop a lot of rear firing F that will prevent easy closing, but with the advantage that the enemy has taken a lot of damage all round from the EPTs. That in turn makes future PPD hits harder to cope with.

They don't need to mass EPT either, just one or 2 aimed at key ships.

EPT use would always be optional for anyone, either not used due to power, or because standard plasma is better in the situtaion at the time. But undeniably, ISC have other weapons that they use to clobber the enemy, and do so very well. Pretty much anything that makes plasma better will benefit them more than anyone else, yet they are already a darn good empire.

If you are looking at the standard tourney, then there are ISC squadrons that are not gaining anything from it. There were those at the time ISC came out who thought the 2CS 2FF was a great ISC tourney force, but that has no Plas S so gains nothing from EPT.

On the other hand, looking back at games where I've had ISC in campaign style play, and found the more balanced Pl-S/PPD mix to be a better force then EPT would have been pretty impressive.
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ncrcalamine
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we tried plasma sabot for about a year. We determined that it was too fast. Then we tried plasma sabot launched as a plasma one step less than paid for. IE pay for R sabot but it is launched as an S. An S is launched as a G. And a G became an F. F could not be saboted. This helped somewhat, but still very powerful.

An Idea was presented last night of a plasma sabot that moves speed 36. It only gets the extra movement on even impulses in a turn. We have not tried this yet.

One problem that became apparent with the sabot test and will still exist here. Is the double move effect. Sometimes the plasma sabot gets to play games and select a shield that it would not have gotten by using its double move.

Nicole
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Monty
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the groups I play with is proposing a couple of 'wacky' things as well. Not that sabot's are all that wacky, but plasma is in a spot that now much can be done with them without throwing things out of balance.

One of the plasma fans in our group proposed, as a house rule, taking burn through as braking energy instead of internal damage to slow these ships down and using acceleration to counter it. We have yet to try it and probably won't anytime soon. They are pushing to go back to SFB but X-Wing has made its way to the table recently and it's been quite fun to play.
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