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Proposed changes to cloaking
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Soggy_Crackers
Ensign


Joined: 04 Apr 2012
Posts: 12
Location: London, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So are you saying you want to see a energy cost decrease AND no launching during fade out?


Correct. I'm stating that adding the drop or no launch alone is not enough.

Quote:
Yes. But now it looks like you are on the same page as the rest of us


I always was, I just feel that the issue against seekers is still the energy cost. We just feel there is a different root cause of why seekers are strong against the cloak. I feel that if you are getting hit by waves of drones you did something wrong with any ship, not just Roms Wink That is why I stated:

Quote:
So if I cloak to drop some seekers, I'm a sitting duck now that I've burned my energy and forced to speed 16
and
Quote:
The amount of power used just does not pay dividends when it comes to seekers, and using traditional avoidance methods are generally the better way to go


My proposal was:

Quote:
Reduce the energy cost of cloak. Simply change the rule from 4x the cost to 2x to engage the cloak. Keep the 'upkeep' at 1x the cost though.
and
Quote:
Change the seeking damage reduction %'s. Have the fade in/out phases to reduce the strength by 50%, and while cloaked reduce the warhead by 75%


I know that doesn't address the issue of a HUGE wave of drones, but even with 12 that's only 32 damage to take. Other than just moving around them, I think the cloak works out better than other phasers or tracs at that point when the are reduced down to 3 damage a piece.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soggy_Crackers wrote:

As the rules are now:
If you are at a decent range when you cloak for an attack run (say to avoid the overloads on the way in) you opponent launches two drones to keep you away. The drones don't drop, so they are going to hit for 50% damage.

With the drop:
If you are at a decent range when you cloak for an attack run (say to avoid the overloads on the way in) you opponent launches two drones to keep you away. The drones don't drop. Now, IMO if an opponent knows those drones are going to drop they are going to keep some in reserve to launch at you when you fade in for your launch, especially since I know my control is about to be emptied. When you now fade in there are x# of drones to be delivered at you, moving speed 16 and you have spent all your energy on cloaking. If those drones are going to impact in the same turn, you are still toast. This is where I don't think that adding the drop is enough as I don't have energy or speed to defend with. With my proposal you would have a little juice left over for a couple of tracs, acceleration etc.

Without the launch on fade out:
Short reason:
To move the balance of power to the Rom when cloaked, at any range, at any speed (16 or below of course).

Long explanation:
I cloak and now I am in control as I know there aren't any seekers to deal with while I'm fully cloaked, only when I fade in. IMO this moves the balance of power over to the Rom ship when cloaked. When I fade in, both me and my opponent launches. As it stands now, I may be ok... maybe.. However if we were to lower the energy cost of cloaking to half the intital value I still have enough energy to accelerate to 24 and keep the drones from impacting, or trac them. I really think that with just a few extra points of power after fading in than they currently do, that will give the Roms enough tactical options after using the cloaking device.


You are talking two things here, dropping seekers on fade and lowering the cost.

The point you made that was, and is, confusing me is that dropping seekers on fade out will help your issue of being cloaked and speed 16?

You say that is because the enemy will not launch as you fade out, but save them until you uncloak. Preventing launch as you fade out doesn't help there at all, in fact it guarantees the seekers will be saved until you uncloak.

Dropping seekers on cloak still leaves you in control in the same way you mention - there are no seekers to deal with whilst you are cloaked. What are you thinking the difference is there?

You argument that you have spent all your power on cloaking and will not have enough power for accels or tractors etc do not ring true either, except for a few ships (mainly the klingon ones) that will be low on energy if they have spent 6 or so impulses cloaked. However, for many proper romulan ships that is a not such an issue. E.G. a sparrowhawk cloaked for 6 impulses and a base speed of 16 will have 10 spare power on uncloaking, that is enough to fire all phasers and accel on impulse 8 and activate 2 tractors (or accel on imp 7 and void the cloak). A King Eagle has even less problems.

So long as you have planned your turn then handling drones on uncloak shouldn't be such an issue. Massed Kzinti drones may still be awkward, but I don't consider that to be a problem per se, given that seekers are their selling point. Feds and Klingons should be quite doable as they just put out nuisance drones for the main part, and as long as you can drop them as you cloak then the biggest issue with them (cloaking wise) goes away.

Note, I'm not against dropping drones on fade out as such, I just don't understand how it addresses your issue. I think seekers should be shed via some mechansim when cloaking, I'm less conerned whether it is at fade, full cloak, end turn etc, as long as it is simple.


Last edited by storeylf on Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:37 am; edited 2 times in total
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Soggy_Crackers
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Joined: 04 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
However, for many proper romulan ships that is a not such an issue. E.G. a sparrowhawk cloaked for 6 impulses and a base speed of 16 will have 10 spare power on uncloaking, that is enough to fire all phasers and accel on impulse 8 and activate 2 tractors (or accel on imp 7 and void the cloak). A King Eagle has even less problems.


I think this is where I have a different viewpoint than most. Even if drones drop when cloaked, I'd still rather move 24 than cloak. I operate under the motto speed is life when dealing with seeking races. I think we can all agree that drones aren't too hard to avoid when moving speed 24. As I noted above, the cloak cost for a KE is 6, while to move speed 24 is 8. IMO I'd rather just spend the extra two points of power to move 24, and move around the drones than have to deal with the downsides of the cloaking device at all. The Sparrowhawk is even worse with a cloak cost of 8, same as going from 16 to 24. Once again, it's just my opinion, but even if I drop all drones when I cloak, I'd still rather just plot a higher speed and not deal with all the disadvantages of the cloak.

And it clicked for me when you said this:
Quote:
You aren't necessarily looking to use cloak purely to drop seekers, you might be trying to use it against Feds or klingons for other reasons (e.g. avoid getting hit by overloads), but you can't because even the few drones they carry will hit you if you cloak.


Based on this, this is why I suggested not allowing the launch in the fade out phase so you can do a 'proper' cloaked escape on an attack run. This allows the use of the cloaking device without getting punished. It now forces your opponent to keep drones 'in the air' to prevent the cloak. This would still give some counter to the cloak (keep seekers in the air) but if the Rom cloaks and you didn't plan ahead the Rom can now hold all the cards, and to me that makes the cloak a real threat. Either prevent my opponent from cloaking or know that I have to deal with a dangerous attack run.

I strongly agree with Saved's comment of:
Quote:
(which btw, I think is a pretty good compromise as I have said before that just dropping seekers appears to be a bit OP on paper at least).
as I think simply dropping them is OP for drone races as well. Maybe it's just that I'm not good with drone races, but man I find it hard enough as it is to get hits with drones (and plasma) as it is. So I think it's not OP for a cloaked ship that didn't plan well to deal with some damage from drones. IMO based on 75% reduction at 3 points per drone that's still some pretty good drone defence. That essentially is a 1 in 4 chance of any done hitting a cloaked ship, and seems good to me without being OP.
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Soggy_Crackers
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, meant to address this as well:

Quote:
Note, I'm not against dropping drones on fade out as such, I just don't understand how it addresses your issue. I think seekers should be shed via some mechansim when cloaking, I'm less conerned whether it is at fade, full cloak, end turn etc, as long as it is simple.


Yup, and I see that's the popular opinion so I'm just trying to formulate a proposal that addresses everyones needs. To me, it's energy cost and damage reducion (75% is just 3 out of 4 drones miss from a pure math perspective), and not that I'm going to get hit while cloaked, while others feel it's that they still hit at all. I'm ok with that, I'm enjoying the debate Very Happy
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soggy_Crackers wrote:
Maybe it's just that I'm not good with drone races, but man I find it hard enough as it is to get hits with drones (and plasma) as it is. So I think it's not OP for a cloaked ship that didn't plan well to deal with some damage from drones. IMO based on 75% reduction at 3 points per drone that's still some pretty good drone defence. That essentially is a 1 in 4 chance of any done hitting a cloaked ship, and seems good to me without being OP.


Drones aren't usually expected to hit at all, barring goofs by the enemy, or when he almost dead anyway.

If I'm hitting someone with 1 out of 4 drones then I'm probably going to win. Against the likes of Klinks and Feds most empires shouldn't be getting hit by any. Even against Kzinti you shouldn't be getting hit by 1 in 4 drones (game over if you are).


You may prefer speed 24, and that is a good drone defense, but that is not the issue with cloaks. Cloaks are not just some seeker defense, how they compare to seeker defense is irrelevant. It is whether you can reasonably use it at all without getting smacked by the ubiquitous seekers. At the moment is cloak is almost useless against anyone with seekers, even Feds and Klinks who don't have that many make cloaking problematic, Gorns are a no chance. Nothing about dropping seekers stops you sticking to speed 24 if you want instead. That may indeed be best in some cases.
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Soggy_Crackers
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Nothing about dropping seekers stops you sticking to speed 24 if you want instead. That may indeed be best in some cases.


That's exactly what I've been stating, only I feel 'some' is still 'most' even if they drop. So IMO unless the cloak is always better than speed, the only time I can see myself using the cloak is if

Quote:
Drones aren't usually expected to hit at all, barring goofs by the enemy, or when he almost dead anyway.


I goof. I really like the idea of not being able to launch on fade out though, and maybe we apply that to the fade in as well? That avoids the worry about of it being OP to drone races (keep in mind you say yourself drones aren't expected to hit anyways so one more way to not is OP IMO) by dropping them.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soggy_Crackers wrote:
Quote:
Nothing about dropping seekers stops you sticking to speed 24 if you want instead. That may indeed be best in some cases.


That's exactly what I've been stating, only I feel 'some' is still 'most' even if they drop. So IMO unless the cloak is always better than speed, the only time I can see myself using the cloak is if


No one is disputing that there are already good ways to handle drones, but again what has that got to do with not currently being able to cloak in the face of drones/plasma? I can see myself using cloak quite a bit if I wasn't going to be clonked by seekers as a result (either ones already out, or ones launched in fade). Probably darn handy when you are reloading plasma.

If you could drop seekers by cloak then I'm not sure speed would be the best thing in 'most' cases. Having to do do speed 24+ to avoid seekers whilst rearming plasma and getting shot at by the enemy direct fire weapons is not exactly a great situation, and if you are on a small tourney map you will hit a map edge before long.

Roms are currently the weakest empire against seekers IMO, having seekers drop on them if they cloak is hardly going to make them OP. As you keep pointing out there are downsides to cloaking apart from the seeker issue.

As i said earlier, I'd be happy just to see seekers drop at turn end, that is no where near as good/'OP' as some suggestions, but it still provides something you can plan your cloak around.
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The_Rock
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are two significant problems with cloak. The power cost is not one of them.

1. Seekers - this is the one being addressed in this thread.

2. The extreme ramifications of a voided cloak.

I am in general agreement with Lee and sfw on the seekers. I am indifferent to Lee's suggestion (seekers drop at eot) or the drop upon cloaking or the speed and distance based versions. They all address the problem. I'd probably start with the speed and distance one and go from there, as that is the most restrictive one and that is how I prefer to balance (from smallest change up).

Even if that was fixed, however, the rules on voiding would need to change. The effects of a voided cloak should last one impulse and should only eliminate the +4 to range. A voided cloak should never lose its damage reduction.

If you fixed those two issues (seekers and void penalties) the cloak would be usable. The cost to operate it should not change.
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Monty
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure I fully understand the point of dropping seekers at the end of the turn instead of the Other Functions phase of fade out.

It's a long ways from the middle of impulse 1 to the end of impulse 8.

It forces an artificial pattern of late turn usage in order to get the most benefit.

Only addresses the problem some of the time.

Seems too 'fiddley', it kinda feels like the end of turn is looking for more busy work.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm easy on that. The reason I first mooted end of turn was that from my reading of the SFB cloak rules (but without any playing experience) it seemed like seekers did not simply drop as you cloaked, but could in fact take a few impulses to lose lock.

Hence, I was trying to think of something that sort of reprsented the idea that seekers could remain locked for a few impulses but without having to check all sorts of fiddly things each impulse (and there is none of the EW/Speed shifting in FC) . There is already a 'dot' the drones stage at turn end where you remove drones that are on their 4th turn, so that seemed a natural place to remove seekes that are currently tracking a cloaked ship, whilst allowing them to possibly remain locked against a ship that cloaked for a few impulses.



And to the voiding, I'm not sure whether that is a great issue or not. But that is more down to lack of wanting to use cloak at all because of the seeker issue, hence not really getting enough feel for how bad the void rules are. On the face of it Pauls suggestion for void retaining the damage reduction doesn't sound much like a void at all.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, Paul has a good point on the voiding. The voided cloak in Federation Commander is quite extreme, as compared to the cloak rules in SFB. His point about the damage reduction is good, too, and spot on.
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ncrcalamine
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Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the "all seekers drop when cloaked" is the best rule. However any of the discussed changes are better than the current system.

Voided cloaks
There are 2 kinds of voided cloaks. Those voided by the cloaked ship and those voided by others. I feel logically that cloaks should only be voided for the impulse that the voiding action took place in. Afterall it only takes 1 impulse to fully cloak. However, a cloak voided by the cloaked ship seems like it should have worse penalties than those voided by others to avoid games being done by the cloaker against the spirit of the cloak rules and cloaking.


Nicole
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How is yOur cloak voided by others?
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ncrcalamine
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esg

Nicole
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The_Rock
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee,
In SFB the damage reduction from cloak looks like this:

1-2: full
3-4: half
5-6: quarter

That chart, in Fed Com, was simplified to 50% DR (the average effect of rolling on that chart is actually more than 50%, but that is what it was simplified to in Fed Com). Under no condition can a cloaked ship ever lose that chart in SFB.

Other effects of cloak in SFB:

+5 to range (from +1 to +5 over five impulse fade-out period). This was changed to only +4 in Fed Com (and +0 during fade). Not sure why, but no matter.

Chance of loss of lock-on. This has two effects in SFB: 1. doubles the range to target. 2. prevents certain systems from functioning on the target (SW need lock-on, tractors need lock-on, etc.)

In SFB, the chance of loss of lock on is a combined modifiers from range to target and speed of target (the target being the cloaked unit). However, unless the opponent can get to range 0, loss of lock-on can be guaranteed.

In Fed Com, this "loss of lock-on" does very little. It prevents tractors and it prevents *new* seeking weapons from being launched.

Also, in SFB, there are no speed restrictions at all on the cloaked ship, apart from the die modifier to regain lock-on and whatever power restrictions may exist. To be clear, a cloaked ship can go as fast as it wants and never void its own cloak.

Why bring up all these SFB rules when we are talking about Fed Com? Because, as always, the point values for these ships come from SFB. The Roms in Fed Com are paying for an SFB cloak and getting a totally worthless device (in most cases).

I do not know why the cloak was made so terrible in Fed Com. I also don't really care that the Cloak was made worthless. It would have been perfectly acceptable to me to say something like "The Romulan Cloaking device is a device with significant strategic implications, but little tactical value" and then include no rules for its use. So long as, that is, they removed the cost of the device from the point values of the ships.

I state this only to be clear that I am not arguing to make the cloak "just like SFB" because of some "SFB fetish." I gave you a synopsis of the SFB cloaking rules so you can see how good the device is in SFB such that it's point cost was justified. If the point cost of the cloak is the same as SFB, then it needs to maintain similar functionality. Instead, at every step, it was made much, much worse (with the exception of the very slight increase in average damage reduction once cloaked).

I still certainly agree with you that what makes it completely unusable is primarily seekers. But the extreme void effects make it unusable against two of the empires that don't have seekers as well (Lyrans and Tholians).
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