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ESGs and Stingers
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:09 am    Post subject: ESGs and Stingers Reply with quote

Credit goes to TJolley for this one. It was first posted in the playtesting thread, but I felt it deserved discussion here.

Normally, when firing, your Stinger fighters will want to be spread out so that all of them can fire. If you expect the enemy to use an offensive ESG burst on your Stingers then bunching them up can be better.

Here's an example:

9 Stingers are in a hex, at range 1 to a Lyran heavy cruiser. The cruiser has full ESGs and fires a 10-point offensive ESG burst (40 points of damage between 9 targets), resulting in five Stingers suffering four points of damage and four Stingers each suffering five points of damage. The Lyran then declares that it is firing some phaser-1s to finish off the half-dead Stingers. Three of the targeted Stingers declare me-too fire, getting a last shot in before they die. On the next impulse, the survivors spread out so they can all fire, and wreck the Lyran CA.

Some observations:

- The Stingers don't even need to all be in the same hex, just at the same range. That is, all at range 1.

- The more Stingers, the less damage each will take and the less chance of being destroyed before it can fire. In fact, the more junk in the hex with the Stingers the better: ships, admin shuttles, (even drones if you are flying a mixed force).

- You need a certain critical mass for it to work. In the example, if we assume the Lyran CA has sufficient energy and is undamaged, and the Stingers are on the centreline: Four disruptors will kill the four Stingers with five points of damage. The four phaser-3s will kill two more Stingers, the six phaser-1s will kill three more, so all nine are dead while only three can fire. That's a best-case scenario for the Lyran, of course.

- If the Lyran player is flying at Base Speed 16 or above, he may choose to tractor Stingers which could not fire, then death drag them. At one point of power each for a guaranteed kill, plus acceleration cost if necessary, it's cheap. Just hope you take out his tractor beams.
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:56 pm    Post subject: Re: ESGs and Stingers Reply with quote

terryoc wrote:
- If the Lyran player is flying at Base Speed 16 or above, he may choose to tractor Stingers which could not fire, then death drag them. At one point of power each for a guaranteed kill, plus acceleration cost if necessary, it's cheap. Just hope you take out his tractor beams.


Of course, given that you need to be at range 1 to tractor something, it's generally accepted that this is a tactic only to be used after you've already screwed up...

(or if you managed to trick the Stingers into firing too soon)
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to be at range 1 or zero to use the ESGs at all, so if ESGs are a threat to the Stingers then so are tractor beams.
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junior
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very true.

I suspect that in most fleet engagements between Hydrans and Lyrans, the ESGs will be used to absorb Hellbore fire.
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defurusu
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ESGs are nowhere near as effective an anti-Stinger weapon as in SFB - they function only at a shorter range and don't have the tempo advantage of doing their damage in the Movement step.

To say nothing of being unable to be set at a radius which is outside other units in the sphere-projecting ship's hex (which allowed at least some ships to stack in order to maximise their concentration of fire).

That said, they no longer have a cool-down turn. If you've got the energy, you can just keep turning it into damage / Hellbore armour!
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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At what exact point during an Impulse (or Turn) does death-dragging actually destroy the shuttle/fighter?
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TJolley
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
At what exact point during an Impulse (or Turn) does death-dragging actually destroy the shuttle/fighter?


5D5 is not entirely clear on the timing.

It looks like there are two possibilities, and I can't locate anything in the rules that states which is correct (and I can't find any previous ruling..though I could easily have missed either):

Shuttles/fighters would be destroyed either at the instant a ship moving at 16+1 or faster attaches a tractor beam to the shuttle/fighter (or the instant the ship announces and pays for accleration to 16+1)

-OR-

The instant the tractoring ship moves for the 3rd time in an impulse.

I think the second option makes more sense..but that may just be me
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I seem to recall (and we play it this way), that SVC answered this one on the other board. IIRC, his response was that the shuttle is destroyed during the first movement phase in which the tractoring unit (moving 16+1 or faster) moves.

For example... a ship moving at a base speed of 24 grabs a shuttles during the tractor step of Impulse 3. On sub-impulse 1 of Impulse 4, the ship doesn't move and nothing happens. On sub-pulse 2, the tractoring unit moves and the tractored unit is destroyed...
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TJolley wrote:
Mike wrote:
At what exact point during an Impulse (or Turn) does death-dragging actually destroy the shuttle/fighter?


5D5 is not entirely clear on the timing.


Rev4 is completely clear. (5D5) says, in a parenthetical comment refering to death dragging, "This would happen on the second Movement Sub-Pulse of Speed 24 or of Speed 16 with energy paid for an extra movement point that impulse."

So it unequivocably happens in the second sub-pulse.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for clearing that up.

Pie in the sky...wouldn't it be nice to have the rules in such an indexed format that every rule about a particular topic would be together? There would necessarily be duplicate statements in different places. Perhaps a computer database...
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Mike
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drones cannot be death-dragged, can they?
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No. Death-dragging a drone is not possible.
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junior
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would be fun. Let a bunch of drones impact, grab them with your tractor beams, and then accelerate to 24+1 and make them disintegrate!

Razz
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

in SFB, "Death-Dragging" is described as tractoring an object and moving twice it's rated speed. To carry that analogy to FC - you "Death-Drag" a speed 8 shuttle at speed 16; ergo, a drone would need to be moved at speed 48 Shocked

Maybe a couple of Orions on coke could do that, but I don't think my Lyrans could...
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junior
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember we're talking FedCom here, though. Dragging a Stinger at one movement point faster than its speed is enough to kill it.

So there's an argument for 24+1 working (aside from, of course, the entire "can't death drag drones!" thing).
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