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Proposed changes to cloaking
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Savedfromwhat
Commander


Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 641

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Making a distinction between self voiding and being voided by an ESG makes no sense whatsoever. If that is the only case of someone else having the ability to void your cloak, it is practically not worth mentioning.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul - I think I'd be ok with most of those features, or something mirroring them. It doesn't actually bother me whether they reflect SFB or not, my concern is that I see the cloak as being the number 1 feature of what it means to be Romulans, hence I would like to see it be useful in FC. Romulans that don't cloak just doesn't feel right to me. I do think that a good cloak would make them pretty close to balanced.

Speed 24 cloaks should be ok IMO, whilst I don't mind the speed 16 part to much, the power drain in itself would go a long way to balancing speed 24 and cloaked.

Void for just 1 impulse sounds ok, whilst I haven't really seen it as a major issue (probably as I can't compare to SFB) it always struck me as odd that it can be quicker to uncloak and recloak. About the only time I've seen a cloak voided is during fade-in when an extra accel can be better than the +4range.

Retaining the damage reduction whilst void I have to say sounds quite potent on the face of it, it doesn't actually bother me that ESG or Web can nuke a cloak as I'm happy enough with the idea that an empire has a bogeyman or 2 matchup, especially someone on the far side of the galaxy like the lyrans who they wouldn't normally be fighting, or tholians who are just a swine for almost everyone. I can understand that you would see that differently as a tourney player mainly.
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not implicitly (or explicitly) promising anything here. However, I am curious how a particular set of changes would work:
- Voiding doesn't affect the damage modifier. All other protections are still removed.
- Voiding only lasts for one impulse, regardless of cause. (Note that a tractored ship will still be re-voided every impulse.)
- Entering a web hex merely voids the cloak, though it is re-voided every impulse it remains in the hex.
- On the impulse the ship becomes fully cloaked, all seeking weapons targeted on the ship are removed from play, subject to its speed: Speed 0 (or Stopped) removes all seeking weapons; Speed 8 removes all seeking weapons farther than 4 hexes; Speed 16 removes all seeking weapons farther than 8 hexes.
- If a cloaked ship performs emergency deceleration, all seeking weapons still tracking it are removed.
- No other changes to the cloak rules.

Would that make it worth using? Could that be playtested?

Again, no promises. But I do agree that the cloak in FC isn't worth the cost as it currently exists.
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ncrcalamine
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Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like

Will try to play test next wed in regularly scheduled game.

Nicole
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mojo jojo
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Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about something extremely simple with cloak? Direct fire weapons simply do 3/4 damage during fade and 1/2 while cloaked. Seeking weapons do 1/2 damage during fade and 1/4 damage while cloaked. Instead of +4 range, simply increase 2 columns to the right for direct fire weapons. I never liked the complete neutering of Ph-3 and Ph-G with cloak.

This makes cloak useful without being overpowering and it's easy to remember and apply.
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Monty
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Joined: 23 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That seems reasonable Mike.

Voided cloaks retain seekers regardless of speed correct? A ship fading out gets tractored and emergency decels, the seekers are going to get him for 75% on fade-in impulse and 50% on the following impulses?
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mojo,

I am looking at trying to keep in line with SFB as much as possible. So, rather than going in a completely different tangent, I chose the above. The other thing is that this is just a starting point, and if anything is ever going to change, we gotta start somewhere. As Paul points out, this is a conservative starting point.

Monty,

If a ship starts cloaking with a voided cloak, then the whole process of dropping any incoming seeking weapons is completely delayed until the cloak takes effect. So, if you ship starts cloaking while tractored, any seeking weapons will continue to seek the ship (irrespective of any emergency deceleration) and hit for 75% damage in fade and 50% damage while under voided cloak.
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The_Rock
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,
That looks very good. It also looks simple, which is nice.
-Paul
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duxvolantis
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Joined: 16 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Rock wrote:

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.

Thank you for posting the synopsis. And the lack of speed restriction is a *VERY IMPORTANT* fact because it is more difficult to gain lock-on than it was to retain it. Therefore it was quite common for a Romulan to slow down to cloak and play some games to shake lock-on but on the next turn plot a mid-turn speed change to allow the ship to gain a little distance and maneuverability before coming out of cloak.

Plotting, for example, speed 14 for 24 impulses followed by speed 27 for the final 8ish (don't have a chart handy) works out to about 16 movement points which is very doable for a Firehawk once it has fully reloaded (full phaser capacitors, F's in stasis and the S's rolling).

Those last few moves at high speed under the protection of cloak can be huge for getting just enough wiggle room to safely de-cloak or to get movement priority to maneuver for a good shot.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
- On the impulse the ship becomes fully cloaked, all seeking weapons targeted on the ship are removed from play, subject to its speed: Speed 0 (or Stopped) removes all seeking weapons; Speed 8 removes all seeking weapons farther than 4 hexes; Speed 16 removes all seeking weapons farther than 8 hexes.
- If a cloaked ship performs emergency deceleration, all seeking weapons still tracking it are removed.


Could the second bit above be changed to any change in base speed causes a recalculation of the first bit. That allows for speed changes over the turn break, or any other odd scenarios that crop up.

Otheriwse I like those changes, I'll see if I can persuade someone to stop playing ACTA and give them a try.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good to me. At the risk of introducing another complication, would it also be worth saying that targeted damage isn't allowed against cloaked ships?
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the last two suggestions, let's give the base idea a try, and we can fine tune it after that. The biggest thing right now is to see how it works.

And, again, there are no guarantees. I am sure Steve is reading this, and he hasn't said no yet, but that just means he hasn't said no *yet*. He could still say no. But the better it is justified, the better chance there is he will say yes.
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Klingon of Gor
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been meaning to post in this discussion, but real world considerations have kept me away from the board for some days. The ideas that have been forward are interesting, and worthy of a playtest. They may do much to improve matters, and only a playtest will determine whether, or how much, they will help.

It's already been pointed out that seekers will now likely be saved until a ship uncloaks. But there is another issue besides seekers that can affect a cloaked ship's chances, and that is initiative. Slowing to speed 16 to cloak surrenders a lot of initiative. It seems to me that this loss of initiative can be even more of a disincentive to cloak that inbound seekers, at least when dealing with traditional Romulan enemies. Feds haven't got as many drones as all that, Gorn carronades are a disincentive to cloak even if they have no seekers live, and the Tholians don't use seekers at all, apart from shuttles. Of course, if we're talking about tournament play, and the problem is Kzinti, then the threat of seekers is nothing short of dire.

A frequent opponent of mine expressed the opinion recently that loss of initiative was the most serious problem with cloaking, and that the best remedy for that would be to allow a cloaked ship to buy acceleration and run at speed 16+1.

Thoughts?
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The_Rock
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts are that while I agree there should be no speed restrictions, I am not really fussed about it. Let me go to SFB functionality to explain why.

Why does a Cloaked ship need to be able to move fast while under cloak? To prevent an enemy from just sitting on him.

Does this work in SFB? Yes, but not just because the cloaked ship can go fast. SFB has two distinctions that are relevant to cloaked speed.

1. Paying to cloak for 1 impulse costs the same as paying for 32. In this way, the cost of cloaking is a significant driver on maximum speed. Fed Com's two rules (once the ridiculous voiding rules are changed): Base Speed 16 and pay for 4 impulses at minimum, help simulate these restrictions in SFB. Remember, you can go 16+1, you just void the cloak that impulse (under Mike's changes).

2. Everyone is less flexible in their movement options. What allows a Fed Com opponent to just sit on a cloaked target is the general movement rules. This would be true at any allowed cloak speed (except, yes, 16+1 not voiding would allow escape from Hydran fighters). If you and your opponent are both base 16, and he is sitting on you, there is really nothing you can do to change that. The ability for every ship to go +1 as me too and to pay for unlimited deceleration means you are going to be stuck. Changing the rule to allow 16+1 to not void would not change that situation. So there is really no point in fighting it.

If you want to escape, your key in Fed Com is having a better turn mode. Unfortunately, all the good Romulan Ships (there are only two) are TM D. So I think that is a situation you will just needs to live with.
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Sneaky Scot
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loike the idea of seekers dropping lock against a fully active cloaking device, and the range thing is a neat way to bring an SFB feel to it without going back to the supercomputer to calculate whether or not you have a lock-on.
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