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After Action Report ISC v. Hydrans

 
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Archduke Russell John I
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 70
Location: Langhorne, Pa

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:56 pm    Post subject: After Action Report ISC v. Hydrans Reply with quote

Friend and I got together last night to play a stand alone duel. I was the ISC (CA & DD) while my friend was the Hydrans (a DG & LN). This was the first time either of us had played these two races. The Hydran's conceded at end of turn 1.

I couldn't find anything in the rules about how to handle the 2 turn arming weapons like Hellbores and PPD so we treated them like Photons, i.e. start on the 2nd turn of charging and empty batteries.

Set up

we used all 6 map panels from Klingon Border

ISC
CA - hex 68 of panel 6 heading F
DD - hex 58 of panel 6 heading F

Hydrans

DG - Hex 31 of panel 2 heading D
LN - Hex 41 of Panel 2 heading D

Energy Allocation
ICS did 2nd turn of arming the PL-S and PPD on the CA
Hydrans did 2nd turn of arming on all Hellbores

Impules 1
Hydrans moved forward while the ISC moved the DD forward one and side slipped the CA in behind the DD

Impulse 2
Both forces continue to move forward

Impulse 3
Hydrans side slip while the ISC moves forward

Impulse 4
Both sides move forward. Hydrans launch 1 Stinger

Impulse 5
both sides move foward. ISC DD launches L/LR PL-F at Stinger

Impulse 6
Hydrans side slip. ICS DD turns towards Hydrans (this puts me on the same hex line of the DG) while CA moves forward

Impulse 7
Hydrans and ICS DD move forward, ISC CA turns in behind DD.
Hydrans fire 6 O/L'd Hellbores at the DD range 5 hexes. 4 hit taking down shield 1 and doing 10 internals (all fluff).
ISC CA fires PPD at DG hitting on first pulse doing 16 pts of damage to shield 1.
ISC DD fires 2 PL-F at DG

Impulse 8
Hydran ships move forward, ISC ships side slip
All PL-F's impact targets.
Defensive Fire Phase
Stinger fires P-G at plasma reducing warhead strength by 7. Warhead strikes for 9.
Dragoon fires 1xP-G at one plasma and 1xP-G and 2xP-2 at other plasma (not enough power to fire more.) Reduces PL-F1 by 7pts to 13 and PL-F2 by 12pts to 7. This takes down Shield 1 and causes 5 internals.
Offensive Fire
ISC declares fire of 8 P-1's from CA at a range of 3
Rolled the 8 P-1's. Combined with the plasmas I ended up doing 42 internals.

Damage
I don't remember all of hit but the important ones are 5xphaser, 1xHellbore, 5xwarp, 2xbtty 1xReac

At this point the Hydran concedes

He conceded because he felt his larger ship was gutted while both of my ships remained virutally undamaged.

I told him the biggest mistake he made was only launching one of his Stingers. My original plan had been to not turn towards him until all 3 Stingers were launched so I could fire the rear firing PL-F's at them. On impulse 6 I counted hexes and realized that we would end up pretty close to each other on Imp 8. Since it appeared he was only going to launch the one Stinger, I figured it was best to turn in to him so I could get a good strike on the Dragoon. If he had all three Stingers out, I probably wouldn't have closed with him.
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junior
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Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:57 pm    Post subject: Re: After Action Report ISC v. Hydrans Reply with quote

Archduke Russell John I wrote:
Friend and I got together last night to play a stand alone duel. I was the ISC (CA & DD) while my friend was the Hydrans (a DG & LN).

Impulse 7
Hydrans and ICS DD move forward, ISC CA turns in behind DD.
Hydrans fire 6 O/L'd Hellbores at the DD range 5 hexes.


Based on the fact that six hellbores were fired in the same impulse, I'm guessing that the Hydran actually had a Dragoon and a Knight. The Lancer is the Fusion destroyer, and carries a few fighters of its own.

The point about the fighters is correct. They're easy enough to kill individually that launching them one at a time is asking for trouble.

Also, the Hydran may have done better if he'd kept the range open. It's tempting to try and get in close where overloaded hellbores will hit for more damage (especially if he can somehow get closer than the minimum range on the PPD), but keeping the range open would have allowed him to avoid the plasma torpedoes. And Hellbores tend to remain accurate even at long ranges. The problem with the Hellbore is that it doesn't have the crunch power of some weapons. Plasma torpedoes do, especially at close range.
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defurusu
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 85
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Overloading the Hellbores in this kind of situation is probably a mistake. What speeds were you doing?

That's 12 and 6 points of energy which would be better spent either getting to a better range for your gatlings (not to mention inside the PPD myopic zone) or (more likely) evading the launched plasma. The PPD may be somewhat superior to the Hellbore on face value, but you have 6 HB to his 1 PPD. This suggests to me that a long range duel favours you.

Put simply, only closing from 5 to 3 is just not good enough when actually flying directly at each other (and when at least one of you wants to close). Why fire at 5 in the first place if you intend to close?

The Stingers should definitely have been launched. Even launching the remaining two on impulse 7 would have provided the ISC with a dilemma as they would be able to fire on impulse 1 of the coming turn. This might allow the DG to charge forward looking to tractor the CA. (Forget at least two of the Hellbores.) A successful anchor would allow the Stingers to exact terrible retribution for what's just happened?

If all three Stingers had launched on impulse 6, then a range 10 shot with 6 fusions on a flank shield looks likely to weaken it for 6 hellbores (the fusions should average 11, and be firing at an already joint weakest shield). In this event, the CA may not have turned in and got its PPD shot off!
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junior
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

defurusu wrote:
The Stingers should definitely have been launched. Even launching the remaining two on impulse 7 would have provided the ISC with a dilemma as they would be able to fire on impulse 1 of the coming turn. This might allow the DG to charge forward looking to tractor the CA. (Forget at least two of the Hellbores.) A successful anchor would allow the Stingers to exact terrible retribution for what's just happened?


Alternatively, they may have acted as plasma bait, which would have meant that the Dragoon didn't take as many plasma hits. Or they could have used their Gatling Phasers to reduce the warhead strength of the plasma torpedoes.

In short, get the fighters out of the hanger bays unless you have a pressing reason to keep them inside.
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Archduke Russell John I
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 70
Location: Langhorne, Pa

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, it was the Knight not the Lancer. I was trying to type from memory in work and couldn't remember which it was so I guessed.

Each ship was moving speed 16. The non-use of the Stingers was the big issue. If all three Stingers had been launched, I would not have turned in. Actually, I was planning on maintaining a long distance snipping game. It wasn't until I realized he wasn't going to use the Stingers effectively that I decided to close.

As for why he fired at 5 instead of 3, I think it was because the "splash" damage was higher. Actually, that does bring up a question we had. He fired at the ISC DD which has 20 pt shields all around. If there is no weakest shield which one takes the biggest brunt of the Hellbore
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junior
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Archduke Russell John I wrote:
As for why he fired at 5 instead of 3, I think it was because the "splash" damage was higher. Actually, that does bring up a question we had. He fired at the ISC DD which has 20 pt shields all around. If there is no weakest shield which one takes the biggest brunt of the Hellbore


I believe this question is answered in Communique #17. Off the top of my head, the answer is, "The targeted ship chooses the weakest shield." Though I could be mistaken on that.

The point about the splash damage is a valid one. iirc, the ranges mentioned are particularly odd ones due to the the need to adapt the SFB Hellbore weapons damage to the way it's handled in FedCom.
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Archduke Russell John I
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 70
Location: Langhorne, Pa

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Junior,

Thanks. Our answer was that it was the facing shield since that was the targeted on.

I actually thought his position on the splash damage was flawed because even though the splash was more, the total damage done was less. 7(1) compared to 5(2). However, I think his thought process was based on planning for a long term game. If he could do 12 points of damage to every shield, the DD would be hurting even if he did less over all internals.
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3474
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the target of a hellbore has multiple "weakest shields", then the defender chooses from among those "weakest shields" which will be hit. (The defender does not get to choose from among all of his shields, unless all of his shields are at an identical strength.) A down shield is automatically the weakest shield.

And, yes, the hellbore charts are a bit screwy. It is just how they work out when you remove all of the math.
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junior
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Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And iirc all Hellbores in a "salvo" use the same "weakest shield" if there's any debate on the issue.

Of course, if two ships fire then the "weakest shield" is determined on a salvo by salvo basis.

So if the Knight fires first and damages the shields on your ISC CA, then the Dragoon's Hellbore fire in that same impulse would be resolved against the weakest shield on the CA after the Knight's fire was resolved.

Against ships that have all-around equal shield strength (such as the plasma races), a typical strategy is to fire just enough phasers at long range to knock the #1 shield down by one point (which means that you have to beat the reinforcement - in SFB this is frequently accomplished by firing the Hellbore in what's referred to as "Direct Fire Mode", where it does half damage to the facing shield, and no damage to the other five shields). The next impulse (or later that same offensive fire phase, if you've got multiple ships) the Hellbores are fired, and the #1 shield takes the most damage because that single point of damage makes it the weakest shield. This encourages the target ship to turn away, since the Hydran Hellbore ships do carry enough phasers to hurt you at close range if your shield is down (or weakened sufficiently).


The Klingon D7 (in SFB - the FedCom version is the D7K refit) originally had very weak rear shields. They didn't matter since in theory an enemy wouldn't be able to hit them anyway. But the Hydran Hellbore changed that, and when the D7B refit appeared shortly after the introduction of the Hellbore, shields #2-#6 were all brought up to the same strength. The #1 shield remained stronger so that it couldn't be sniped at range by opportunistic Hydran commanders. The way that Hellbore damage is resolved in SFB meant that all six shields took the same amount of damage (there's a mathematical formula involved that treats the damage to five "weakest shields" the same as six equal shields).

imo, this is the optimal shield set-up for dealing with Hellbores. But you don't get to determine the shield strengths on your own ship.
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