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Hydrans vs. Orions
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junior
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Joined: 08 May 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:40 pm    Post subject: Hydrans vs. Orions Reply with quote

Last night I fought a game that was more or less an excercise in frustration.

I was running a Hydran Dragoon (with three Stingers). My opponents (there were two players) were running an Orion CR, and an Orion LR. The former had an ESG in the centerline mount, and a Plasma F on each wing. The latter had a Photon Torpedo in the centerline mount, and a Phaser-1 on each wing.

The game ran for about two and a half hours, and we were part-way through the fourth turn when we realized that the store would be closing soon and called it. Neither side had taken much internal damage, but I'd lost all three of my fighters, and was just about to get hit from behind by two Plasma-Fs and an ESG overrun.

One minor detail - the LR has a Damage Control rating of 4 on the card, which we all agreed was probably a typo, but I was willing to let it go since I wasn't completely certain. Is there an official comment on that? And where is that comment found? Ultimately, I don't think it would have been that big of a deal (over the course of three turns, he would have repaired two of the three engine boxes that he lost due to doubling).

The problem was that any time I got a good firing opportunity on one of the ships, it would declare EM while the other ship would use its superior speed and maneuverability to circle around behind me (where the only weapons on the Dragoon are the LS/RS Gatling Phasers). At one point, the LR closed in behind me for a shot with his photon and phasers, and I performed an HET which gave me a great firing opportunity at range four with overloaded hellbores down the centerline. During Defensive Fire, he simply declared EM and my hit numbers dropped from 2-9 to 2-6 (+1 to hit modifier due to Orion Stealth, and +2 to hit modifier from EM). Only one hit, and even against an LR that isn't particularly effective.

Any suggestions on tactics in a situation like this? The standard fix to an EM opponent is to hit them with seeking weapons, but Hydrans don't have that option.


Also, if you're up against a to-hit modifier, and you roll a '6', does the 6 move you into the further range brackets as in SFB (i.e. if you're at range 1 and you roll a 6 with a +1 modifier, do you count it as a 6 at range 2)? Or is a 6 in the range bracket that you're currently in the worst that can happen to you? We treated it as the former, but I saw something in the rules that seemed to suggest that it might be the latter.
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Damage Control rating of the LR is indeed 4. Strange, but true.

The firing modifier works very similar to how it does in SFB. There was a new rule created to make the modifiers consistent, (4A4). You can find (4A4) in Battleship Attacks! and Communique #15 (pg4).
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Starfury
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Joined: 03 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since he'd declared EM he's stuck under that for a few impulses. With the way FC works in movement you may have been able to get a range 1 or 0 shot on him even under EM without him being able to return fire. Plus the cost of EM probably ate into his power reserves a bit.
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's an Orion. Therefore...

He's moving speed 24+1 pretty much every impulse he wants to due to engine doubling (and with the apparent Damage Control rating of 4 on the LR, one of the ships in this particular battle can do this indefinitely, since the engine box he loses only costs three Damage Control points to repair). And he's more maneuverable. So closing to range 1 is probably not going to happen unless an Orion ship wants it to happen, or screws up badly.

The weakness of an Orion ship is the fact that critical systems start to go fast once you actually manage to inflict a decent amount of damage on the ship. Unfortunately, the most I ever managed to do in one volley was my initial hellbore volley on the CR. I used the fighters in the same impulse to weaken one of his shields (note - the CR player didn't think to double his engines on the first turn, or else he could have used reinforcement to deal with all of the incoming damage as the fusions were used at range 3), and then hit him with the hellbores. When the damage from the full strength ESG and the damage absorbed by the shields had been resolved, I did six internals, which wasn't quite enough to start hurting him.


Orion Advantages -

Stealth Coating - +1 to hit modifier
Engine Doubling - Can generate twice as much power per turn from the warp engines
Maneuverable - Ships are very maneuverable; the LR has a turn mode of AA, and the CR is also quite good
Option Mounts - Weapons can be customized; the ones used in this battle are mentioned above
LR Damage Control - No idea why, but a Light Raider apparently has a Damage Control rating of 4


Orion Disadvantages -

Engine Doubling - Every turn that an Orion ship doubles its engines, it loses engine boxes - one on the LR, two on the CR. If you don't get internals, then the CR can slow the engine loss rate somewhat by using Damage Control (the LR can nearly reverse it entirely)
Eggshell - Once you get about a dozen hits in, the Orion ship starts losing critical systems very quickly


Hydran Hellbore Ship Advantages -

Enveloping - Hellbores do most of their damage on the weakest shield, regardless of facing
Accuracy - The Hellbore is actually a decently accurate weapon, and is less responsive to die roll shifts than most because it uses 2d6 to hit instead of 1d6
Close In Firepower - Even without Fusion Beams, hellbore ships still pack a decent punch due to their LS/RS Gatling Phasers
Center Hull - Hydran ships use Center Hull instead of Forward and Rear Hull, which means that they don't have to worry about things like running out of forward hull when there is still lots of rear hull left
Fighters - Stingers are cheap, and pack a mean punch at close range
Power - Hellbore ships have a lot of power (the Dragoon has 43, plus 4 batteries), though there's a reason for this

Hydran Hellbore Ship Disadvantages

Hellbore Damage - the enveloping feature on Hellbores is nice, but the trade-off is that an individual hellbore doesn't do as much damage to the shield that it focuses on. An overloaded hellbore at range 4 will do 7 points of damage to the weakest shield, which is less than an overloaded disruptor (and the disruptor can fire every turn).
Hellbore Power - Hellbores are expensive to arm. Loading costs three points of power for two turns. Overloading costs an additional three points on the second turn of arming. Instead of holding energy, Hellbores require a "rolling delay" (i.e. the second turn's arming power becomes the first turn's arming power if you don't fire the weapon). This is why Hellbore ships have lots of power.
Stinger Speed - Stingers are restricted to speed 16 and are very short-ranged, while FedCom ships often move 24 (particularly a problem against Orions who can afford to move 24+1 AND overload weapons AND go Evasive AND perform a High Energy Turn - at least early in the game).
Unusual Hellbore Arcs - Instead of being FA, the Hellbores on the Dragoon are mounted in pairs using LF+L and RF+R arcs. This means that the only time all four weapons can be used is if they're fired down the center-line.
Poor Rear Firepower - This is a problem on most ships, but most races stick at least a couple of phaser-2s in back to supplement their Phaser-3s. The Dragoon only has a pair of Gatling Phasers (one LS, the other RS) that can fire to the rear of the ship, meaning that there's no long-range firepower (though you still might not want to close to point-blank range).


I think that's a fairly exhaustive list.

Any thoughts on how I should conduct this fight? I'm also not sure how you'd do a fight with a Fusion ship (I haven't really looked at it yet though), as Fusions require short-range to work, and getting the Orion to close is a real problem.
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irbaboon
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Joined: 07 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the only other disadvantage that the Orion's have is in FC they can't double their engines and 'tank it up' with massive shield reinforcement.

Try a good shot to eliminate the LR as fast as you can. Save your PG for the P-F's.

I am still waiting for my Academy to show up and don't have any of the current hydran rules, so I can't offer up more advice.
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TJolley
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

irbaboon wrote:
Well the only other disadvantage that the Orion's have is in FC they can't double their engines and 'tank it up' with massive shield reinforcement.

Try a good shot to eliminate the LR as fast as you can. Save your PG for the P-F's.

I am still waiting for my Academy to show up and don't have any of the current hydran rules, so I can't offer up more advice.


they are pretty much a direct port from SFB, except the HB damage tables are a little different (simplified, basic, no math), and there is no direct-fire option for the HB.

The stingers are Stinger-2's with speed 16, no booster packs of any kind. Stingers can't fire the impulse after launch.

Most of the rules you'd need are in the latest Communique I believe.
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junior
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

irbaboon wrote:
Well the only other disadvantage that the Orion's have is in FC they can't double their engines and 'tank it up' with massive shield reinforcement.


In exchange, though, Orions can rebuild their shields at a truly frightening rate.

>.<

Unlike in SFB, there's no limit to the number of shield boxes that you can repair in one turn. And with doubled engines, Orions sometimes find themselves looking for excuses to spend power.
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irbaboon
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
In exchange, though, Orions can rebuild their shields at a truly frightening rate.

>.<

Unlike in SFB, there's no limit to the number of shield boxes that you can repair in one turn. And with doubled engines, Orions sometimes find themselves looking for excuses to spend power.


True, but in essence it's the ability to avoid damage with shield reinforcement, overloading weapons all the while going speed 18+ that was the orion's great strength. They are pretty brittle and it doesn't help much to repair the shields after taking a ton of internals.

It's like eating a spoonful of Drano, sure it'll clean you out, but it'll leave you hollow inside.
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junior
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, my problem is figuring out how to initially get those shields down.

I initially focused on the CR, which might have been a mistake. But I did at one point manage to fire a full salvo of overloaded hellbores from range 4 at the LR. Shields did not get penetrated.
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TJolley
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Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
Unfortunately, my problem is figuring out how to initially get those shields down.

I initially focused on the CR, which might have been a mistake. But I did at one point manage to fire a full salvo of overloaded hellbores from range 4 at the LR. Shields did not get penetrated.


Definitely fire at the LR first. Also, since you have only a single ship and fighters, either fire the fighters first to weaken the facing shield, or if they are not in position, fire your phasers to weaken the shield, and hold off on HB's until the next impulse.

It won't matter how he maneuvers, your HB's will still do the higher damage to that now-weakened shield.

The reason you do this is because all fire from a single ship is considered a volley and shield strength is considered at that time, you you need a way to weaken a shield before the HB's fire.
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junior
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that's basically the tactic that I followed on the CR. Use the fighters to weaken a shield, and then hit him with the hellbores. I tried to use them against the LR the next turn, but between its high speed and maneuverability, the LR was able to keep out of arc during the first impulse (I HETed too soon in an attempt to keep the range short), and then the Orions killed them with concentrated fire from both ships.

Of course, as I think I mentioned above, if the CR had remembered to double his engines on the first turn, then he would have been able to completely ignore the damage from the Stingers by using shield reinforcement. Both ships have three batteries, which means that in order to do damage, the Stingers have to get within at least 2 hexes. And even at 2 hexes, any die roll higher than a 2 will be stopped by reinforcement (because the Orion definitely has enough power).

So in order to guarantee that the shields are damaged while fighting an Orion with doubled engines, the Stingers need to get within 1 hex.

Of course, after the first turn, my opponents got into the habit of declaring Evasive Maneuvers whenever I had a good firing opportunity. And trying to use fighters in that situation... well... I'll leave it by pointing out that a standard load fusion beam fired at range 0 against a ship with a +3 modifier that rolls a 6 does 0 damage.
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irbaboon
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Joined: 07 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
Of course, as I think I mentioned above, if the CR had remembered to double his engines on the first turn, then he would have been able to completely ignore the damage from the Stingers by using shield reinforcement. Both ships have three batteries, which means that in order to do damage, the Stingers have to get within at least 2 hexes. And even at 2 hexes, any die roll higher than a 2 will be stopped by reinforcement (because the Orion definitely has enough power).


Huh? At a range of 2 a single stinger should average 12 points of damage alone with PG. After reinforcement that's 9 points of damage with one stinger and no fusion beams.

Or am I completely missing something here since I won't get my KB until friday.
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junior
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot about the gatlings. You're correct. That was based exclusively on Fusion Beam rolls. Though if you include the +1 modifier for Orion stealth, then the average damage drops down to just over 9 points per gatling (you lose the 4 damage at the top, and add a 0 damage at the bottom). Three or more hexes is still a bad idea due to the drop off in damage on the Phaser-3 table (which the die roll modifier doesn't help).
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TJolley
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
the average damage drops down to just over 9 points per gatling (you lose the 4 damage at the top, and add a 0 damage at the bottom).


At range 0, +1 Stealth, +2 EM..

P-G will average ((4+4+3+3+1+0/6)*4)=10 points
Fusion will average: (9+8+8+4+2/6)=5 1/6 points.

Total Average damage a Stinger will do to an Orion at range 0 who is also on EM is: 10+5 1/6 +5 1/6=20 1/3 points

Damage drops off severely past range 1.
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junior
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem, though, is closing to range 0 with an enemy ship which is moving twice as fast as your fighters (24+1 versus 16). Possible, but difficult with vessels as maneuverable as Orions (AA Turn Rating on the LR).

The fighter group onboard a Ranger might have an easier time of it (there are more of them).

2 hexes is probably doable for a Dragoon's group with some clever manuevering, and 1 might be possible but is probably pushing it.

Incidentally, in case it wasn't clear in my post, the "just over 9 points" of damage from the Gatling Phasers was based on a range of 2.

As some of you know, I also posted this over at the Starfleetgames BBS, and TJolley has been contributing over there as well. He's made what I think is the best suggestion to date, which is to just ignore the heavy weapons, plot the cruiser at speed 24+1, and drive it as a phaser boat. Get to point blank range, and rely on the Gatling Phasers (with additional fire from the other phasers) to blow the shields down on one of the Orion ships and cripple it.
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