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Tractors and turn modes
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:59 pm    Post subject: Tractors and turn modes Reply with quote

A ship tractors another ship and is expending more energy to move, so it controls the movement. Fair enough.

However, what happens to the turning capability of the tractored ship? I know the rules say that movement under tractor does not affect the turning count, or something similar, but can the tractored ship still turn? If so, how? I could try to apply the SFB rules to this of course [heaven forbid!] but of course we want to keep things simple!
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The non-moving tractored ship is pretty much screwed. For all intents and purposes, its movement is "suspended" until the tractor is released (or the turn ends).

Based on (5D6b), the non-moving ship has two choices: High Energy Turn or Tactical Maneuvers. However, it does say that "Tactical Maneuvers ... may be used if otherwise legal." This means that Tactical Maneuvers may not be used unless the ship is "stopped". So, if the non-moving ship was not stopped prior to being tractored, then it would need to use Emergency Deceleration to become "stopped" prior to using its Tactical Maneuver.

But, to reinforce my initial summary, the non-moving tractored ship is pretty much screwed.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough, thanks Mike.

However this now leads to a follow-on question. If it's so bad to be tractored Shocked then it what's to stop the ship about to be tractored from attempting a counter-tractor? It seems that whomever controls the tractor link controls the battle, so it must sometimes be worth all the energy you can afford in order to have the initiative in the tractor stakes.

However how does a counter-tractor attempt work in game mechanics? An auction?
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junior
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A ship that's being tractored cannot tractor another ship. So if you announce that you're tractoring me, I can't announce a counter-tractor. But a tractor auction is then held as the rules state, and if I win the auction then I can attach a tractor to you if I want to.
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defurusu
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was under the impression that both announcements of the intention to tractor the opposing ship were "me-too!", and thus that the players should hold one (and only one) auction, the winner being the proud owner of a new tractor link established between the ships.

Am I wrong?

Of course, the sole advantage conferred on the owner (as opposed to whichever ship has spent more energy on movement) is control of when the tractor is dropped - which makes it seem like a very odd circumstance for both players to want the tractor link. Confused
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Kang
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But hang on a minute - we've just been discussing that the advantage to the tractoring player is not just control of dropping the link, but effectively holding the tractored ship paralysed and nable to turn etc. - or have I been misinterpreting what has been written here? [not beyond the realms of possibility Embarassed ]
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junior
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need to double check the rules (I've used tractors, but only occasionally), but iirc you compare ship movement power and the ship spending more for energy can still move and turn. The ship spending less to move is basically stuck in its current facing unless they perform a High Energy Turn or Tactical Maneuvers.

So if your Frigate tractors a Battleship, then it's the Battleship that will still be moving (since a Battleship moving at Speed 8 spends 16 power and a Frigate moving speed 24 spends either 6 or 12 power) and the Frigate that won't be able to move or turn. It'll slow the Battleship down, though.

The Battleship will be slowed, however.

The reasons that the Frigate might grab the Battleship in such a situation include

1.) Slowing it down for a seeking weapon swarm to arrive
2.) Wants to keep and hold point blank range for weapons fire next turn (remember that if the Frigate is facing the battleship when the tractor is applied, then the Frigate will still be facing the battleship at the start of the next turn)
3.) Keep the Battleship from performing one of several actions that cannot be performed if the ship has been tractored

So the Frigate may not be able to steer the battleship or turn. But there are still some very useful reasons to...

"Use your tractors, dammit!"
- Sign over the entrance to the simulators at Star Fleet Academy
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kang wrote:
However how does a counter-tractor attempt work in game mechanics? An auction?

Performing dueling tractor attempts fall under (5D5b), and a tractor auction is performed. Winner owns the tractor, both lose the power declared in the auction.

Note that it can be very advantageous to simply negate the tractor instead of counter-tractoring. The reason is because if you counter-tractor, all of the power is lost when you release the tractor. However, the "negative tractor" energy stays for the rest of the turn. (Last sentence of (5D6a).)

Kang wrote:
But hang on a minute - we've just been discussing that the advantage to the tractoring player is not just control of dropping the link, but effectively holding the tractored ship paralysed and nable to turn etc. - or have I been misinterpreting what has been written here?

I tried to be specific about the non-moving ship. The determination of who is moving and who is not moving is purely based on the amount of power put into movement. (Notice that this comparison is NOT base speed, but instead the amount of power allocated to movement.) It has nothing to do with who actually applied the tractor.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

I tried to be specific about the non-moving ship. The determination of who is moving and who is not moving is purely based on the amount of power put into movement. (Notice that this comparison is NOT base speed, but instead the amount of power allocated to movement.) It has nothing to do with who actually applied the tractor.


Of course. I hadn't thought of that Smile
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defurusu
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The reasons that the Frigate might grab the Battleship in such a situation include

1.) Slowing it down for a fighter swarm to arrive


Sorry, couldn't help rephrasing junior's point for increased Hydran-ness. Cool
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But everyone knows that Stingers are the Hydran seeking weapon!

Cool
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Kang
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another Tractor question that has probably been ansered somewhere already....

I tractor an enemy starship and have control of the movement because I have spent more power on my base speed. Let's say I'm in hex 0806 facing A and he's in 0906, facing not relevant. Let's say I now turn left and go into hex 0706. Does my victim get pulled into 0806 or does he 'swing' around on the end of the tractor into hex 0805? And is there any tractor-rotation facility like there was in SFB?
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kang wrote:
Another Tractor question that has probably been ansered somewhere already....

I tractor an enemy starship and have control of the movement because I have spent more power on my base speed. Let's say I'm in hex 0806 facing A and he's in 0906, facing not relevant. Let's say I now turn left and go into hex 0706. Does my victim get pulled into 0806 or does he 'swing' around on the end of the tractor into hex 0805? And is there any tractor-rotation facility like there was in SFB?

The tractored ship would be pulled into hex 0805.

He doesn't "swing around" at all. When your ship (the tractoring ship) makes it's turn towards direction F to enter hex 0706, the tractored ship remains in hex 0906. Then once you advance into hex 0706 (1 hex of movement in direction F), the tractored ship follows (in the same orientation it previously had) into hex 0805 (1 hex of movement in direction F, the same as the tractoring ship)

Second question: No, there is no "tractor Rotation" in Federation Commander.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's clear now; thanks very much. Pretty much what I thought it would be, but wanted to be sure I had no crossed wires Smile
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scoutdad got it for me.

Do note that drones tractored in the Defensive Fire Phase is treated differently. In that case, the drone stays on the same shield on which it impacted, regardless of how the tractoring ship turns and moves.
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