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D7 vs CA: How do the Feds get close?
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Klingon of Gor
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 01 Jun 2011
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we must agree to disagree. It is true that the Fed can't run speed 32, but he doesn't need to. As a practical matter, once the Klingon turns toward the Fed to use his disruptors, the range will shorten soon enough. The Fed only has to run speed 24 to eventually get the Klingon in range, unless the Klingon is planning to use his rear firing weapons only.

With a D5W, it's a bit different, on account of the expanded disruptor arcs. He doesn't have to come all the way about to put the Fed in arc for at least two disruptors. But a D7, to remain ahead of the Fed indefinitely, must forever forgo the use of any of it's disruptors. Your argument is correct in theory, but breaks down quickly in actual combat. You must do damage to the enemy to win. With the Fed out of arc for the D7s disruptors, the Fed can do more damage over time, even at long range. In order to do more than one firing pass, the D7 must eventually put itself in range of the Fed's greater heavy crunch firepower, because it must repeatedly put the Fed in its forward arc.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My argument has never been based on the necessity of getting disrupters constantly in arc. That is nice, but not needed.

Assuming we are talking a fully open map and no turn limit then this is a fight the Fed really cannot win given a sufficiently patient klingon, and most people playing klingons probably understand patience, or will learn it.

Ignoring batteries, for a Fed at speed 24 the only hit that can put the klingon in a somewhat tricky position occurs something like 1 in a couple of hundred thousand. That being 4 photon hits at 1 in 6 chance of hitting plus another 6+ damage from however many phasers can be raked up, which then go on to roll a 1 on the DAC twice over. As the Fed will need to keep handling at least 1 drone a turn he will not always even get 4 Ph1 shots. But even that highly unlikely shot is not irrecoverable for the klingon, the D7 can maintain range long enough for DC to get his power back.

If the Fed does shoot phasers then he gets sandpapered to death at faster rate than he can do back, by a klingon who never has to face forward at all. If he holds back on the Phasers then he can battery away most damage, but he will still be losing shields that he can only repair by dropping some photon arming, or speed to base 16. Dropping speed just allows the Klink more chance to bring disrupters around, dropping photons just makes it even harder to get a good enough hit in.

The Fed basically can never put the klingon in a position from which he cannot recover, repair and start again whilst remaining pretty safe. The Fed does not have the same luxury, whilst he can make things awkward for the D7 he can't do it in quite the same safety as the klink, largely as he has to signal in advance that he is thinking of such things by dropping speed or dropping photons, both of which give the D7 a bigger edge briefly.

Mr Gor, given this is fully demo game compatible for FCOL I'll happily take a D7 against a Fed CA online under these scenario conditions if we can arrange a time, a lot of it Smile
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DNordeen
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Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 525

PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not that bad elf.

A fed with the right mix of patience and aggressiveness can win the duel.

If the fed's willing to run away while loading torps and then aggressively pursue when paying holding cost, it's going to be an interesting battle.

The fed will take hits on the aft sets of shields for the 1st turn, then turn and pursue at 24+1 turn after turn until he gets a range 8 shot. They won't be overloads, but it's still a decent shot. Add in a couple of phasers and the D7 loses a shield. Once a shield is lost, the D7 has to modify his approach or get phaser fire on the down shield each turn. This in turn gives the Fed some relief from the D7's manueverability

That's the dynamic between the CA and D7. The D7 has to sandpaper the shields down while the CA only needs a single alpha strike to get internals.

The D7 has to be patient and use persistent fire to get internals. The CA has to be patient to get the one shot that causes internals. The player that lacks patience, whether it's the CA throwing his wad out of frustration or the D7 closing to soon, is the one that loses.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is that bad DNordeen.

Clearly player patience plays a part, but assuming a patient D7 player...

There is no shot the Fed can hit the D7 with that puts the D7 in a position that he cannot recover from and repair if he goes high speed. The Fed does not have the power to go fast enough (32) whilst being capable of doing enough damage to overcome any repair effort the D7 puts in afterwards.

At range 16+ the D7 can go speed 32 and EM. That ensures that he fully repairs internal damage and is immune to further damage, plus he can also refill batteries whilst doing that. Or he can go 32 and repair 3 shield a turn and reinforce 1 damage a turn without using batteries. In order to keep up and prevent the D7 getting to range 26 where he is totally safe the Fed must also go speed 32, that leaves just 4 power a turn to overcome shield repair and battery, whilst dodging drones. If he uses 4 Ph1s he won't do it, if he uses 2 photons he won't do it.

In order to kill the D7 the Fed has to first stop the D7 going speed 32 long enough for him to be able to reach a range where he can hit hard, or maintain a decent damage rate over time - that probably means range 8. Just stopping him going EM or repairing is nice, but given that the D7 repairs 4 power in 3 turns the Fed will be very hard pushed to deliver both that initial good shot to stop the EM/repair and then another really good follow up to slow him down below speed 32 for long enough. We are talking 1 in many billions for 2 such volleys in succession.

The best shot the Fed can do whilst chasing at speed 24 (without batteries) is 4 photons hitting and 4 Ph1s rolling 1s. That would be 40 damage. Assuming a 22 point shield and 3 batteries that would be 15 internals. The most power damage that can achieve is 8 power if you roll 1 on the DAC twice over. Damage control at the turn end repairs 1 so the D7 is 7 power down - still enough to go speed 32, whilst the Fed now only has Ph1s to shoot with next turn, probably against a different shield. The Fed will get 1 more photon volley in before the klink is EM at speed 32 immune to further damage whilst repairing, and the klink could go EM before then if he can afford to trade hexes for a turn a or 2.

If that uber shot happens against a damaged shield with no power for batteries left on the D7 (not going to happen) then the Fed can start closing, but he needs to close quite a lot, so he needs to do a lot of extra damage to be reasonably sure of closing enough before klingon DC gets the ship back to speed 32.

So what are the odds of this uber volley? 1/6^8 = 1 in 1.6 million. Then multiply by chance of multiple power rows on the DAC - 1 in 60 million at least. That's almost 5 times less likely than me winning the UK lottery! That is for a shot that really doesn't get me much closer to winning!

OK, so at least until the D7 is already hurting our best possible shot whilst traveling speed 24 is not sufficient to put us in a winning position. So what is the 'average' damage situation. That depends slightly on the Feds tactics (whilst still going at 24).

The D7 is fairly easy, he can shoot 9 phasers a turn without turning into the Fed, and inflict an average 3.5 at max range. He also launches drones on a perpetual 2, 1, 2, 1 (actually he can do it a little better, but every now and again he will need to repair a burn through, so 2,1,2,1 is good enough).

The Fed at speed 24 has to make a few decisions - but starting with what maximises average fire power, which is 3 photons and 6 phasers a turn, he averages 5 damage per turn, that is very lumpy obviously because of the photons.

That looks good for the Fed, but the Fed has no power for batteries, and no reliable counter to drones. Shooting drones that his ADD miss reduces his average to 4.5. The D7, however, does have spare power for reinforcement that reduces his average to 1.5. That is not all, the D7 at speed 24 can fire 9 phasers, battery 3 points and repair a shield per turn AND refill his batteries slowly. In other words the D7 can on average reduce all the long term average to 0. There will be moments that he gets a good photon hit, but slow shield repair will eventually catch up whilst the Fed is rolling bad later on.

The Fed is taking 3.5 per turn with no shield repairs, and no battery refill. That fight will eventually beat the Fed. Also, because that was using only 3 photons, it had even less chance of getting that 1 uber hit that slows the D7 down.

The Fed can put power to batteries, that stops the average damage he takes, but there will still be turns that he takes more than he can battery (in theory upward of 12, more likely rounds of 6 or 7 may be common enough), and unlike the D7 he can't afford shield repair so that will eventually rack up, meanwhile he is doing less to the D7 who now has even more spare power for shield repair.

You can go round different ways of allocating the Feds power, but no matter how you cut it he just can't out damage the D7 from a base speed of 24 (whether he goes 24+ or not). He is always getting worn down. Neither can he really hope to get some fantastic shot which puts him in the dominant position.

At some point he has to either slow down or drop enough photons to deal with what is happening, and at that point the D7 gets to come round with disrupters and up his damage a bit more, or even come in closer and go short range from a starting point of being in the better position power/damage/weapon arming wise.

Now that is not the say the D7 is going to beat the Fed, the Fed might just skip out to range 26 (though even that is hard) and leave, but there is no way the Fed is in an advantageous position, the D7 is always in the driving seat.

Quote:
then turn and pursue at 24+1 turn after turn until he gets a range 8 shot.


Impossible, speed 32 is not enough to catch someone. That is all the Feds power, whilst the D7 can go 32 and shoot back every turn with 6 phasers taking no damage in return. That must always end in Fed defeat.


Clearly this an uber extreme scenario, if you want to fight on a fully open map with those ships then you really need to add in something else that forces something a bit more decisive. The most obvious is a time limit. As it stands that scenario could last 100+ turns. If you put a time limit of say 20 turns (quite long compared to most FC scenarios) and standard victory points then the D7 will be forced to be more aggressive at some point as he can't win in that time from long range. Neither can the Fed - but there isn't anything more he can do to force the situation, at least the Fed can be sure of a draw if the D7 doesn't get aggressive.

The other thing that might spice it up is limit DamCon as some scenario special rule. Part of the reason
the D7 is in such an unbeatable position is that he can always repair any internals, and he probably will be taking a lot more than the Fed early on - photons even without uber luck will be more likely to rack up burnthroughs over time, 2 photons or 1 and a couple of phasers is enough. The D7 on the other hand cannot really score internal damage from extreme range.
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Klingon of Gor
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Joined: 01 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the ways of judging a game is by whether games are won consistently by the same side, by the same fleet, by the same plans, or by the same players. One would hope that there wouldn't be a single type of ship, or a single race, or a single weapon that would always produce victory. One would hope that there wouldn't be a perfect plan that would always be assured of working. I think most people here would agree that by that yardstick, Fedcom comes off looking pretty good. I think that in fact there are no perfect plans in Fedcom, and anyone who thinks they have found one has very likely overlooked something, or they may simply be kidding themselves.

I've actually been in games that turned into a perpetual stern chase at range on an open map, including one that involved a a CA chasing after a D7. For the record, I had the D7 in that one. It did not end in a Klingon victory. It didn't end in a Federation victory either. IT ended with the game getting called for time because real world considerations meant that we just couldn't play any longer. In that situation, the Fed shields may get sanded 1-3 points per turn, but on those terms, a CA has rather a lot of shields, and that implies rather a lot of turns. And we had to at some point go earn a living, tend to family matters, and so forth. At my age, I would not expect to live long enough to see the outcome of such a contest. I would point out also that the Klingon shields were getting sanded as well, disappearing in chunks of eight whenever a photon torpedo connected. It would take a rasher man than I to try to predict who would have run out of shields first. Luck is not always average.

An open map can give you unlimited space, at least in theory, but nothing can ever give you unlimited time. A plan that cannot produce victory within the real world time constraints that operate on real world players in real word Fedcom games is a plan that cannot produce victory. And a plan that depends on the enemy's heavy crunch weapons never ever connecting is a plan that may very well lead to defeat. I would have to say that such a plan is a case of putting theory ahead of practical necessity.

A couple of other points. This all started as a discussion of how a Fed CA might close with a D7. I maintain that if the Klingon intends to use his disruptors, then the Fed will at some point get a chance to use his photon torpedoes to good effect, though there is not, and never can be, any guarantee that his photons will actually connect. And if they don't, well...it may be a bad day for the Feds. On an open map, a Klingon player who is determined never to see his ship dinged up can probably stay out of range of any sort of decisive alpha strike for a very long time, perhaps indefinitely, but his ability to damage the enemy will be close to nil. The likely end result of a such a strategy is a game that ends in frustration for one or both players when the clock on the game session runs out, and the only real result might be that one or both players would lose patience with Fedcom as a game altogether. Even if I thought such tactics would succeed, and my experience inclines me to doubt that they would, I would not care to produce such an outcome.

The extra power that everyone got when the old housekeeping rules went away mean that the Klingon does in fact have a harder row to hoe than was the case back in the days. Tactics should change to reflect this. How they should change is a topic beyond the scope of this thread, which I think has come to the end of its useful life.

Mr Elf, I'll give you the last word, if you want it. But this post represents my last word on this particular subject.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Mr Elf, I'll give you the last word, if you want it.


You're too kind.

I accept a Lot of what you say above. Would I have time to play that game? probably not to the conclusion. But it is the sort of game I'd play against someone who was up to testing it out, and end it when it is clear where the result is going. Probably like your self I don't have the time to actually play such a game fully as a normal game. However, I do enjoy looking at and then play testing such 'puzzles'.


Quote:
One of the ways of judging a game is by whether games are won consistently by the same side, by the same fleet, by the same plans, or by the same players. One would hope that there wouldn't be a single type of ship, or a single race, or a single weapon that would always produce victory. One would hope that there wouldn't be a perfect plan that would always be assured of working. I think most people here would agree that by that yardstick, Fedcom comes off looking pretty good. I think that in fact there are no perfect plans in Fedcom, and anyone who thinks they have found one has very likely overlooked something, or they may simply be kidding themselves.


Fed Com is a good game, but it is also a make up your own scenario type game. Many scenarios are not very balanced, and many setups do have unbeatable plans for some matchups. It's a point I've made before when the tourney centric players complain about balance - the issue isn't (for the most part) the game or the empires, but the map/scenario they have as the standard tourney setup. Different empires have different sweet spots in terms of the conditions the battle is fought under. Klingons are a perfect example, they are awful against most empires on a tourney map, but they are excellent on a fully open map. Feds are to an extent the other way around.

I've played stern chases on fully open maps. Indeed one of the more interesting and enjoyable scenarios we created for a previous campaign was such a case. But I have enough experience of FC to know what might happen, I made sure there were scenario rules (like as noted earlier) that would prevent it going on forever - in that specific case a time limit for the pursuer to disengage the 'ambassadors' ship, with his other escorting ships therefore being forced to engage and slow down the pursuers.


Quote:
On an open map, a Klingon player who is determined never to see his ship dinged up can probably stay out of range of any sort of decisive alpha strike for a very long time, perhaps indefinitely, but his ability to damage the enemy will be close to nil. The likely end result of a such a strategy is a game that ends in frustration for one or both players when the clock on the game session runs out, and the only real result might be that one or both players would lose patience with Fedcom as a game altogether. Even if I thought such tactics would succeed, and my experience inclines me to doubt that they would, I would not care to produce such an outcome.


My experience inclines me to believe that a good enough klingon will win close to 100% of those games. Would I play such a game? no, on any fully open map I'd have at least a reasonable turn limit, or if it made sense, some other limiting factor that prevented such a long drawn out game. Unless that is both players were agreed to such a game, which would preclude the likely frustration as both players would presumably be playing that scenario knowing full well what was coming.

It reminds me of a discussion that started on these forums with Paul Scott about Feds on a fully open map. I disagreed with something he said and we played it out. It took something like 40 turns, but eventually Paul accepted that he couldn't play the Feds as he had originally suggested in light of my tactics. We didn't play the game to a conclusion, and Paul may well have won in the end if we had, but I enjoy testing out those sort of things. So, yes I'd play the D7 vs the CA if you wish to try it online. Not necessarily to the end, but either to the point you accept the D7 will win, or I accept that you have some tactic I've missed which prevents such a sure fire plan.


[edit]Though it does raise an interesting point. At what point does playing to the best possible tactic, which takes time, become unreaslistic? 6 turns, 10 turns, 20 turns,40 turns, 100 turns. Or is it mearsured in hours?
That goes to what I said about FedCom being a make your own scenario style of game. If you don't want such a game then set up the scenario to stop it, if you don't, well you can hardly blame the other guy for playing to his best strategy/tactic. If he comes up with something you didn't anticipate and you can't beat it then just admit defeat and have another game, with better scenario rules.
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