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Proposed changes to cloaking
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DNordeen
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Joined: 05 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, as a kzinti player, I've rarely find the Roms a challenge. The cloak BPV cost meant my ship was bigger, and if they ever cloaked, their smaller ship just got pummeled by drone waves. Overall, I always had an advantage between bigger ship, the amount of damage the Rom could take, and the amount of damage a cloaked Rom took from my drones.

I'm on the bandwagon for these changes. The cloak becomes a viable option against my drones, and the "unfair" advantages I had are reduced.
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ncrcalamine
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the current fed com online tournament i played the romulans vs the tholians. We were playing with the current rules. The current rules affected play for the romulans negatively in my opinion because of the extended voiding of cloak durations, and the inability to drop suicide shuttles by cloaking. This inability to drop suicide shuttles prevented me from cloaking so i had a shield hammered thru a web by the tholians.

i hope the new proposed rules will be adopted. i think they are much better than the current rules.

Nicole
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This inability to drop suicide shuttles prevented me from cloaking


Given that suicide shuttles are a non issue nearly all the time, and even at speed 16 you can easily skip past them, I'm not quite sure how they stopped you cloaking. Maybe you can explain that?


At the moment I'm of the opinion that the voiding changes are too much.

The main problem I was concerned with (and a lot of others) was the seeker problem, The drop seekers bit is needed quite badly else cloak is just to dangeous to use in many games, simply because you used your unique 'advantage'.

Voiding has little to do with that, and is nearly always because you've decided to take a risk and void your own cloak. Reading back at why we ended up with the propsed void changes it appears that some proposals are just to move closer to SFB for the sake of moving closer to SFB, rather than to solve some clear problem. The void last only 1 impulse is not to bad, though it doesn't address some clearcut problem that I can see like the seeker dropping does, but combined with still only take half damage and it appears to me that the cloaking changes are too potent. Voiding becomes almost a non issue in many scenarios. It vastly reduces the the downside of moving fast via accels, trying HETs, diving into asteroids etc. It makes taking on a cloaked romulan, already quite tough, extremely tough.

There was a suggestion that the void changes are to hep against Lyrans and Tholians. So we have 2 matchups that are hard on Romulans. One for someone on the far side of the galaxy and the other a minor power who is a swine for everyone. But to help against them the propsed changes make them a lot better against everyone else. That doesn't seem a compelling argument to me.

Earlier it was noted that we shouldn't seek to change too much in one go in case it goes too far, but that is what is being done IMO, a change to help with seekers as requested plus changes that have nothing to do with that.

As I noted earlier, I'd forgotten that the proposed void retained half damage. We played a number of games with the seeker drop and 1 impulse void, but without the half damage. and that seemed more than enough to make cloaking a much more useful and viable tactic. Even without the 1 impulse void it would be a useful tactic.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another idea for the pot could be that as the ship cloaks, you roll a die for each seeker targeted on it. If the number rolled is less than the range between seeker and target, the seeker loses lock and is removed. And any new launches during fade-out must make that roll too in order to lock on in the first place.

Apologies if anyone has already thought of this; I have not looked at all the (currently) 10 pages of this discussion Smile
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee,
The reason for the half damage during void is because that is how it works in SFB. The idea is to try and bring the cloak into parity with how it works in SFB. (It would still skip all of the rolls, of course. The idea is to keep the same effect, without keeping the same rules.)

Kang,
The proposed seeking weapon rule was to prevent having to roll for every single seeking weapon on the board. The idea was to make it deterministic so no rolls are necessary. That is the same approach made for other "roll for every item present" rules, too.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough Smile
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
Lee,
The reason for the half damage during void is because that is how it works in SFB. The idea is to try and bring the cloak into parity with how it works in SFB.


Which is my concern. I have no particular interest in it being as close to SFB as possible, and don't see that as being a reason to going changing the rules. A lot of FedCom is very different to SFB but we are not changing anything else to make it ever closer to SFB just for the sake of it.

There was a very distinct issue with seekers being guaranteed hits if you cloaked, and having no defense nor speed to avoid it. That made cloaking against empires with seekers very dubious, (ie. all the initial empires Fed, Klink, Rom, Gorn, Kzinti). Hence some sort of change to mitigate that and make cloaking actually something you might want to do.
That doesn't require any changes to voiding.

I can't see any great reason at the moment to go as far as making void from something you try to avoid to making it almost a non event. What exactly is the problem being solved? Two bad matchups (one of which is non historical) is a poor reason to make such a massive change in effectiveness that affects every single other opponent. I certainly didn't see any need for such a change from our play test games, cloak felt fine without such an additional boost beyond the seeker dropping and 1 impulse void.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee,

Back when this was first being discussed, there were two problems with the cloak: 1) the seeking weapons never going away, and 2) void rules being crippling to the use of cloak. In order to devise a fix for that, I looked at the first place I think I should look: how it works in SFB. Thus the proposals that were given. (Also, I want to note that there was at least one vocal proponent of keeping that reduction through-out cloaking.)

Now, as part of playtesting, if it is determined that those changes make the cloak too powerful, sure, we can back off of them. The end result doesn't have to match SFB; it has to work and be balanced within Federation Commander. If that leaves differences, so be it. But, when I have to start from somewhere, I am going to start with SFB.

So, the proposals are immutable (or even necessarily going to happen at all). But that was the starting point and why I started there.

Finally, I will note that keeping the 50% reduction doesn't make voiding a minor inconvenience. You still lose the +4 to range, which means that things like Ph-3s become useful again. And you can still fire seeking weapons, which will likely end up being much harder to shake that when cloaking at first. Oh, and tractors. You can get tractored, which means your voiding lasts indefinitely. Even with the 50% damage reduction, voiding is still a very bad thing.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only issue people were discussing at first was seekers.

Several pages in Paul came along and said that voiding was extreme, but the only argument that he seemed he put forward was that as the points were ported from SFB the cloak should be ported from SFB. That is an illogical argument, as the games are so different that the points comparisons simply do not translate like that in the first place. Will we give kzinti drone transfer on the basis that they must need them as that is why they were pointed as they were in SFB, or photons need proximity because that is part of why Feds were pointed as they were etc etc.

He didn't actually state there was any identifiable issue within FedCom itself. His only point seemed to be that it wasn't the same as SFB, which was also all you said. He may have issues with pointing of ships, but that applies to many ships not just roms, and isn't fixed by just porting over SFB rules.

Voiding for 4 impulses was certainly odd (takes longer to recloak than a ship that wasn't cloaked to start with), and the drop to 1 impulse I'm not too concerned with. That was used in the games I played.

So what are these issues that you think make void crippling to cloak use, apart from they are more extreme than SFB?

It's certainly my view that the 1/2 damage is too powerful when combined with the 1 impulse void. If it was a 4 impulse void then it maybe not quite so bad, as that would give you a chance to get in and do something. You are not going to tractor anyone if you are not adjacent to them (unlike SFB, are we going to port that bit over?), Phaser 3s are not scaring any 1/2 damage ships beyond range 2 (doubtful they will be scared anyway - phaser 3s only averages 2 at range 0, and a mighty 0.333 by range 3) unless you have mass gatlings...

Losing damage reduction on void is not crippling to cloak, for the most part void is a voluntary action, you do it when it suits you not your opponent. With only 1 impulse of void you are not likey to be caught in a position where it hurts, except where you have deliberately decided to do something risky and knew the consequences. It certainly isn't likely to be something that stops you using the cloak at all like the seeker issue did.
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ncrcalamine
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suicide shuttles

It was romulan vs tholian
Turn 1 tholian put 2 webs on map that lasted until impule 2 or 3 of turn 2
Vulture went north arround first web vulture has turn mode e, 3-@8, 5@16, 7@24
K. Eagle went south arround first web

First web was a w web north to south
Second web was at an acute angle to first web 1 hex away to block vulture shot.

Tholian went south after ke

Turn one tholian shot at ke thru web

Launched suicide shuttles from excess power on the 2 pcs at vulture
Map was complicated on line with lots of turn and slip points on the map
As well as the webs.

Suicide shuttles ended up under counters and because suicide shuttles never really mattered i was not concerned and lost track of them

Vulture slows to 8 to weave arround first web and get shot at tholians
Vulture accelerates and breaks to turn arround end of web 1 and the parallel
Web 1 and fit or shoot thru 1hex opening between 2 webs

Turn two Tholian hets toward vulture

Moves happen maneuvering arround web2
Tholian eventually gets range 2 shot thru web on vulture
10 phaser 3 from nca, 4 p1, p3 from each pc
Vulture reinforces for 24
Takes all armor and about 5 internals
Before shot suicide shuttles appeared out of clutter next to vulture
Vulture either had to tractor shuttles or move into web tholian would have hid in a w fold if i went in.to web.
Tractoring shuttles stoped cloaking which would have made next impules combat at range two range 6

Whenshooting happened there were 3 webs on map

Thats how suicide shuttles matter,
Turn mode e
Lots of map clutter
Lots of web
Competent tholian player

Ps i missed on all 5 plasma r bolts and all 4 f bolts with bolting needing 1-2, or 1-3 to hit. i tHought I played very well to get a draw vs Pat


Nicole
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, as I'm reading that, it wasn't that suicide shuttles stopped you cloaking per se, it was that you missed the shuttles until it was to late and you were in a bad position (to late to do it). Plus against Tholians who can put pretty much anyone into a similar position with good play.
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Monty
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, I do kinda see Lee's point. I missed that aspect of voiding in the original proposal as well.

If we're testing and proposing a change I would hope it's a one time inclusive change to make the device worth 20% BPV.

On a side note, with the proposal, is entering a web considered more than a void? 5M1g-3 says all benefits of cloak are cancelled, would that include voided damage reduction?
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DNordeen
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Storyelf,

Correct me if I'm wrong on this, but sounds like

1) You're OK with/willing to try the SWs being dropped when cloaking
2) You're OK with/willing to try the 1 impulse void

3) Feel the 1/2 damage combined with 1 impulse void is too much.

Would it be correct to say, you're good with a 1 impulse void for full damage?

That could be a reasonable compromise. Voiding the cloak risks full damage, but only lasts 1 impulse. Most of the time voiding is a player decision anyway, so if a Rom doesn't want to suffer full damage, do things that prevent voiding.
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ncrcalamine
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No thr suicide shuttles effectivly prevented the cloak.

Nicole
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DNordeen wrote:
Storyelf,

Correct me if I'm wrong on this, but sounds like

1) You're OK with/willing to try the SWs being dropped when cloaking
2) You're OK with/willing to try the 1 impulse void

3) Feel the 1/2 damage combined with 1 impulse void is too much.

Would it be correct to say, you're good with a 1 impulse void for full damage?

That could be a reasonable compromise. Voiding the cloak risks full damage, but only lasts 1 impulse. Most of the time voiding is a player decision anyway, so if a Rom doesn't want to suffer full damage, do things that prevent voiding.


Yes. That is how we did our playtest games - not so much because I didn't agree with the 1/2 damage, but because I had forgotten about it. Using cloak even without that felt pretty good to me. It solved the issue that largely prevented cloaks even being used against all but a couple of the major empires (because most have drones or plasma), and made cloak something that was actually used, or at least allowed options both sides had to consider even if it wasn't actually used. IMO the seeker drop and 1 impulse void did what was needed, make cloak worthwhile to use and worth the points the Roms are paying for it.

The 1 impulse thing didn't really solve anything of the 'can't use cloak because of this' type of thing, though it has always felt odd that voiding lasted twice as long as it took a non cloaked ship to fully cloak. If the cloaker decided to void (or risked the void) then the other side still had a brief window to get his one shot in for full damage. It still left a nice cost/benefit aspect for the cloak voiding.

Maintaining the 1/2 damage means that there are a lot fewer scenarios where voiding is that bad. Losing the +4 range really only helps much if you are sat on top of the Rom, but sitting on top of a cloaked Rom is not easy, you are both wary of him uncloaking with an R right next to you, but more to the point he is often going slower than you so it is simply physically hard to stay next to him, and in a postion where you won't have to HET to shoot properly. In a multi ship fight where the Roms split up you will often find that there are 1 or 2 Roms who you are not next to, and therefore have little disincentive to void.
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