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Escort Ships
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I encourage you to suggest that escort rule above. Don't be disappointed if it is rejected, Smile but please give it a shot.

Most likely full, normal "escorts" will not be introduced into the game until fighters are. The one exception to that is a few plasma escorts which are needed in non-fighter context to counter-balance drone ships.

Do note, though, that the suggested rule is not needed for Pl-D racks, as Pl-Ds cannot be fired during the Defensive Fire Phase.
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TJolley
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Joined: 25 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

toastie wrote:
But how do you handle escorts with ADDs?


To keep it uber-simple, along the lines of a 1 or 2 paraghaph rule, Escorts can only fire phasers at effective range 2 against seekers impacting allied escorted ships during the defensive fire phase (if you want hand-wavium: The limited size of the ADD and limited electronics package prevents the ADD from locking onto the drones, as the ADD will always lock on to the larger target - ie the ship you are trying to protect)

To simulate Aegis, the escorts declare their fire and resolve all thir fire BEFORE all other ships declare and fire thier weapons. In addition, escorts can fire one phaser at a time, roll and determine the results before firing the next phaser.

Since FC uses fully refitted ships, you will get the use of Aegis Escorts (and the high cost assciated with them) in a simple rule. Granted, losing the ADD defensive fire is a bit of a loss, but in the interest of simplicity, this is how this rule could work.
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TJolley wrote:
To simulate Aegis, the escorts declare their fire and resolve all thir fire BEFORE all other ships declare and fire thier weapons. In addition, escorts can fire one phaser at a time, roll and determine the results before firing the next phaser.


imo, that's too many firing opportunities for the ships with Gatling Phasers (Hydrans and Federation escorts). I think it would work better and keep things just a little more balanced if you were to enforce a "four pulses of fire" rule, similar to the full aegis rigs in SFB. There won't be THAT much of a difference, due to drones being the primary target. But in the odd cases when it does make a difference (possibly against a Plasma Torpedo, for instance, with an escort player who wants to 'exactly kill' the torpedo before moving on to the next one), it will help keep things a little more balanced. And rolling one phaser at a time on the ships with Gatling Phasers can take a little while, especially if there are multiple escorts in range...
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toastie
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TJolley wrote:
toastie wrote:
But how do you handle escorts with ADDs?


To keep it uber-simple, along the lines of a 1 or 2 paraghaph rule, Escorts can only fire phasers at effective range 2 against seekers impacting allied escorted ships during the defensive fire phase (if you want hand-wavium: The limited size of the ADD and limited electronics package prevents the ADD from locking onto the drones, as the ADD will always lock on to the larger target - ie the ship you are trying to protect)


I would like to keep ADDs, otherwise most Klingon escorts are going to be pretty useless. Just add 2 to the die roll, or say they hit on 1-2 instead of 1-4. It is a small addition to the rule:

"Against seeking weapons impacting allied ships within 2 hexes, Escorts can fire during the defensive fire phase, using phasers with an effective range of 2, and ADDs with a to-hit of 1-2. Escort fire is declared and resolved before all other ships declare and resolve their defensive fire. After all Escorts resolve their fire and before other ships perform their defensive fire, if an Escort has unfired remaining weapons, it can declare and resolve a second round of firing. Note: This rule does not allow a weapon to fire more times per turn than the standard rules allow. IE, a phaser can fire once, a gatling phaser could fire up to 4 times, an ADD can fire once per impulse."

You can't fit it on a ship card, but I wasn't expecting to.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, by this "effective range of 2" do you mean that if the true range is 2 or less, the phasers fire as if the range was 2?
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junior
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe so. Similar to how defensive fire against seeking weapons that impact a ship is always handled as if the seeking weapons were at range 1.
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toastie
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
So, by this "effective range of 2" do you mean that if the true range is 2 or less, the phasers fire as if the range was 2?


Yes, I could have written that more concisely, but was just building upon what TJolley wrote. It makes sense to limit the capability to range 2 or less, and since standard defensive fire is at range 1, escorts being further away are penalized an additional hex. Figure that since Escorts have to fire before the seeking weapon gets too close to the target ship, they might not have an optimal firing solution. Also, it is not necessarily a negative. For example iin SFB, f the escort is 2 hexes to one side of a ship, and the seeking weapons approach from the other side, the escort would only ever get to fire at range 3 or greater. Under this rule in FC, the escort gets to fire at range 2. What this does is make Escorts behave very differently than in SFB. In SFB, you would most likely place the escort between the enemy, and the ships it is protecting. In FC, you want them to be 2 hexes inside the formation as they can protect more ships this way.
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Sneaky Scot
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toastie,

Nice one. However, I have a question about the range 2 thing. Do escorts always fire a a range of 2 hexes, regardless of where they actually are? I think your rule is nice and simple, but would it be better if the escort has to be in the same hex as the ship it is protecting? The escort would count as one of the three units allowed to fire from that hex.
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TJolley
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sneaky Scot wrote:
Nice one. However, I have a question about the range 2 thing. Do escorts always fire a a range of 2 hexes, regardless of where they actually are? I think your rule is nice and simple, but would it be better if the escort has to be in the same hex as the ship it is protecting? The escort would count as one of the three units allowed to fire from that hex.


I was thinkg in 'minatures' terms. It sux to have stacks of ships when you are playing with minis. Our group usually plays where at the end of every impulse, no 2 ships may occupy the same hex..yea a house rule, but works out well when you are using minis.

Also allowing the escort to be some number of hexes away from allied ships, allows for escorts to protect multiple ships, and a layered defense approach to be employed.

If for example you had a 5-ship fleet consisting of 3 escorts, a CA and BC, you could arrange the fleet such that all 3 escorts could provide protective cover for both capital ships, and each other.

One Example layout below
(Each dot represents a hex, ES-Escort)
. . CA ES .
. . ES . .
. ES . BC .

This make a tough nut to crack, as any ship that has seekers targeted on it will have the opportunity to have defensive fire from at least 2 escorts in addition to the target itself. It requires more finess from the seeker player to time seeking weapons to arrive to overwhelm the escort fire and/or to get to primary weapons range simultaneoulsy to force the defense to choose between seeker defense or firing on opposing ships.
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toastie
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a fleet of 2 standard warships and 3 escorts is going to be seriously outgunned by an equal point fleet with no more than 1 escort. In standard SFB, escorts are only allowed in carrier groups. I would guess that escorts in FC would follow a similar rule, and will only be published if everyone gets fighters and carriers. Personally, I think a ratio by point value of about 1 out of 6 for escorts would be good. This would let you have a 70 point frigate escort in a group with a 150 point CA, 125 point CL, and 75 point FF.
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TJolley
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

toastie wrote:
I would guess that escorts in FC would follow a similar rule, and will only be published if everyone gets fighters and carriers.


True..and that is years away.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would imagine that dreadnoughts would have escorts to protect them from drones. No fighters involved in that.

How about simply adding +1 or +2 to the actual range? The maximum actual range would still be 2 hexes.

Allowing an escort to fire for an effective range of 2 while at an actual range of 2 doesn't quite seem proper. Is that supposed to be the "sweet spot" for pinpoint aegis fire control or something?
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toastie
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that escorts could be used to protect standard ships, and I think it should be allowed, but SFB doesn't work that way, and I expect FC would follow suit.

As for firing at an effective range of 2, TJolley's logic makes sense to me. Escort fire should be less effective than standard defensive fire, but you gain the ability to do so at range. Most point defense weapons are pretty ineffective outside range 2, so if you add +1 or +2 to the the range, escorts wouldn't be useful except for protecting ships in the same hex.
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OGOPTIMUS
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Joined: 10 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to check, the Fed DER replaces the two forward drones (the ones that normally replace the photons) with two ph-1s, correct?

I want to make sure I need to change a miniature, before I do it.
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Sneaky Scot
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think so - the DER ends up with a total of 2xPhoton, 4xPh1, 4xPhG and 2xDrnG (the hybrid drone/ADD rack in FC terms).

Makes for a pretty nasty ship Twisted Evil
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