WP Defense Tips and Tricks

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Re: WP Defense Tips and Tricks

Postby PracticalM on Mon 30 Dec 2013 10:43

Xveers wrote:
PracticalM wrote:Without sY on a buoy the only possible targeting is any unit. Thus, the buoys will target drone and be wasted against drones instead of ships if empires choose to leave buoys always active.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but AP can be set to engage "large units" or "small units" as per their targeting parameters. Additionally, without a Y module the AP can't ever see the drones, so the basic APEW bouy2 will NEVER engage drones unless they are told and can even see them. Table EE.03 says Drone2+ gets a scan range, but seems to state that Bouys and Drone1 get no scan range, which is how we interpreted it.

As far as programming goes, the orders literally were "Shoot nearest largest ship 1 turn after detection", and that was the program that the APC assigned them. Since they are APEWs, there is no second turn with em ;)


As Cralis mentions there's a few things wrong here.
1. Buoys can detect small units out to 4 hexes with basic sensors. Sensor tables (EE.03 and D5.02). You need scan range to detect and fire at buoys but only short range to fire at drones which buoys have.
2. As per D9.02.1.1 (item 1 italics) buoys can't distinguish between large and small units unless the buoys are equipped with sY.
3. Shoot nearest isn't a valid program as per D9.02. You can specific a set of hexes, a trigger and a delay. Range isn't part of that. You can do this with direct control or update the programing on the same turn specify specific hexes (frequently what our group does) to get close to this but not automatically.

I think if you have enough APC you can wiggle around 3 pretty easily by updating the engagement area of different fields on a per turn basis. It does require you build a good sized group of APC that you can get to activate. At least 3, but more is better.
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Re: WP Defense Tips and Tricks

Postby Cralis on Mon 30 Dec 2013 13:16

PracticalM wrote:3. Shoot nearest isn't a valid program as per D9.02. You can specific a set of hexes, a trigger and a delay. Range isn't part of that. You can do this with direct control or update the programing on the same turn specify specific hexes (frequently what our group does) to get close to this but not automatically.


Hmmm. Question: should "shoot nearest" and/or "shoot furthest" be one of the targeting criteria, within the engagement zone? Realistically, what Xveer's engagement zone is "any hex I can detect" around the buoy (or drone), but it could be any engagement zone. You might, for example, want to shoot nearest with APew and shoot furthest with XO. (just a thought)
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Re: WP Defense Tips and Tricks

Postby Xveers on Mon 30 Dec 2013 18:52

Cralis wrote:
PracticalM wrote:3. Shoot nearest isn't a valid program as per D9.02. You can specific a set of hexes, a trigger and a delay. Range isn't part of that. You can do this with direct control or update the programing on the same turn specify specific hexes (frequently what our group does) to get close to this but not automatically.


Hmmm. Question: should "shoot nearest" and/or "shoot furthest" be one of the targeting criteria, within the engagement zone? Realistically, what Xveer's engagement zone is "any hex I can detect" around the buoy (or drone), but it could be any engagement zone. You might, for example, want to shoot nearest with APew and shoot furthest with XO. (just a thought)


Quick reply while I digest the rest of the comments, but if my AP can't detect a unit being farther or closer than another, then how in the white frack does it shoot at all? I mean, I'm willing to accept a lot of "PSB" with weapon design, but that's literally nerfing them to be something akin to Imperial Guard 40k technology levels. That in all honestly fails every logical test that ought to exist for a weapons system!
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Re: WP Defense Tips and Tricks

Postby PracticalM on Mon 30 Dec 2013 22:20

I'm pretty sure the lack of nearest or farthest had to do with specifically making it harder to leave buoys in active.

I agree nearest or farthest should be options but with what granularity?

1. All nearest ships. At least 1 ship is 1 hex away so fire at all ships 1 hex away
2. Nearest hex of ships. 3 groups of ships are all 1 hex away. Randomly select one hex fire at all
3. Nearest x of ships up to field size. Field size is 10 so fire at the nearest 10 ships. Option to fire multiple buoys at a single ship (double or triple fire)

any other options people can think of?

same as above for farthest as well.
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Re: WP Defense Tips and Tricks

Postby procyon on Tue 04 Feb 2014 05:57

Oh my.
I could type pages on this. I am not sure exactly what you were wanting.
But our house rules do affect how or game runs in this respect.
The limits that are placed on hab worlds makes swamping any WP with 30X it HS cap impossible for anything but very high value systems (ie homeworld).
So in our games, all WP battles were fought in front of the WP, not across it.

AP were vital, especially for my wife's defenses.
She loved (and the other players learned to use) drone2 with XO and Rc missiles.
Defending from the 'front' of the WP with a Yc vessel they would generally see the contact fleet coming at a range of sH. A recon drone would be sent to make sure it wasn't a decoy and then a drone wave would be sent. As detecting drones is impossible beyond med sensor range they almost always made intercept with the attacking fleets.
And armed with Rc missiles the drones could attack at ranges longer than the defenders could retaliate (Rca on a drone2 XO still has a range of 12tH while the defenders can't fire back past 9 tH...). It wasn't generally a crushing attack, but properly staged with Rc using LW you could cripple the attacker's XOs.

But sqns were the real deciding factor, particularly what evolved into the long range gunboat duel. With ranges in sH the sorties of GB were what often decided the battle. The value of FQ was only to stave off defeat as they could only deal with GB that had reached your ships. Only GB could carry the attack to the other fleet well past the range of shipboard weapons. So it often turned into a battle of GB vs GB to decide the battle.
The actual dynamics of the battle would take a bit to type out, and my shift is almost done so it will have to wait for another night. But this is how most WP battles occured for us after the first few ELs.
...and I will show you fear in a handful of dust....

Cralis wrote:I would point out that the "what was" which is different from "here and now" can easily change in the "future then."
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Re: WP Defense Tips and Tricks

Postby PracticalM on Wed 05 Feb 2014 21:05

Hm. From what I can tell, how people interpret the programming allowed by AP (drones and buoys) has a huge effect on WP defenses and how good they can be.

Since active drones last 12 tac turns and cannot be re-programmed, we definitely did use drones but we also developed tricks to get them to be wasted. The ULTRA rules specifying the that drones are not allowed conditional movement meant that our use of drones was mostly limited to firing after the enemy was already engaged. Preferably in their blind spot.

I see which rules you've changed for AP programing, the more interesting question is did you intend to make these changes because they make more sense from what drones and buoys should be capable of or a different interpretation of the rules?
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Re: WP Defense Tips and Tricks

Postby procyon on Thu 06 Feb 2014 04:30

PracticalM wrote:Hm. From what I can tell, how people interpret the programming allowed by AP (drones and buoys) has a huge effect on WP defenses and how good they can be.


We didn't monkey a lot with AP rules in most cases.
Some, but not a lot.

PracticalM wrote:Since active drones last 12 tac turns and cannot be re-programmed, we definitely did use drones but we also developed tricks to get them to be wasted. The ULTRA rules specifying the that drones are not allowed conditional movement meant that our use of drones was mostly limited to firing after the enemy was already engaged. Preferably in their blind spot.


The long range attack drones all carried DEEP. This made them very limited in payload but very high in range. Her attacks generally looked like something a WWI sub would launch with a swath of drones given a wide front and orders to fire on any target in weapon range. And carrying a Rc-LW, any hit was going to do lasting damage and take out XOs on the target. It wasn't going to be a crippling attack by any means, but would soften a target up.

Often there was a group of GB that had been launched earlier and were waiting to follow the drones as they closed on their targets.

But (often) their greatest value was forcing the 'contact' to be put on the table top for a battle. The intel that could be gained from gaming out the attack was often invaluable.
...and I will show you fear in a handful of dust....

Cralis wrote:I would point out that the "what was" which is different from "here and now" can easily change in the "future then."
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