Thinking of starting Call to Arms as the EA. Advice needed.

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Thinking of starting Call to Arms as the EA. Advice needed.

Postby Kahadras » Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:11 pm

With the release of the new version of Call to Arms I've decided that I want to take a serious look at the game. It's played quite a bit at the club that I go to and some detective work has turned up the fact that most fleets are represented to one degree or another.

I've decided that I want to go for the EA and liked the 'Third age' fleet. I really like the look of the look of the Starfury, the Omega destroyer and the Hyperion heavy cruiser and want a fleet that is built around these classes of ship. The only problem is I've never played the game before and don't have a clue about how the ships handle and what tactics I should employ.

So what I'm looking for is....

1. A brief rundown on the two main classes of ship (Omega and Hyperion) that I'm interested in. Their strengths, weaknesses and how they 'fit' into an overall battle plan.

2. Tactics to use with such a fleet.

3. Ships that could be useful to support the 'main' part of the fleet and how they 'fit' into the overall style of the force.

4. General tips on tactics, what races might give me a problem and how to overcome them.

Thanks in advance.

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Postby verdantgreen » Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:27 pm

First of all, I hope you enjoy the game :-)

To answer your questions...

1. Omega and Hyperion
As it is portrayed in this game, the Hyperion is and agile gunship that cannot take much damage without folding. It has excellent firepower if you can line up a shot with its boresighted lasers and maintains a great deal of speed and agility. (Boresight means you have to point your ship directly at your target) Finally, a small group of fighters round out the Hyperion. Overall, a great ship that sees play in a wide variety of games. Beware of its frailty and look for chances to bring its deadly weapons into play.

Other Hyperion variants alter the weapon loadout or give the ship a bonus to command and control.

The Omega is a moderate firepower upgrade over the Hyperion, though its main benefit versus its smaller sibling is its resiliency. Multiple interceptors, a high hull value, and lots of damage keep the Omega in the fight for the long-haul. Its lasers and broadside weapons are powerful enough to trouble most foes and it even serves as an escort carrier of sorts with four flights of Starfuries.

This ship can hold the center of your line and endure the worst of what the enemy can throw at it. For more fun, load Thunderbolt Starfuries into its carrier bays for extra punch.

Variants of the Omega generally alter the weapon set a bit. The most significant variant, however, is the Command Omega. This version has dramatically increased weaponry and a nice bonus to your side's initiative.

2. Tactics
If you are using the standard Omegas and Hyperions (laser armed) then your game will be won or lost on how effectively you can line up shots with thier boresighted weapons. The Omega also has some effective non-boresighted weapons, but getting a punishing laser strike in before the fight degenerates into a furball can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

With this in mind, you must always set things up so that the laser armed ships go last. This will allow you to ensure boresights for the big beam hits. The best way to accomplish this is with smaller ships to move first, though winning initiative helps.

...more answers in a moment...
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Postby verdantgreen » Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:38 pm

3. Useful support ships
The first support ship that comes to mind is the trusty Nova. Its 360 degrees of non-boresighted weaponry give you a great ship to move before your beam-armed vessels. Other benefits include an on-board fighter group of the same size s the Omega's and the fact that the Nova is the same priority level as the Hyperion (so you can get a couple in a Battle+ level game). Disadvantages are mainly the slow speed and sluggish turning.

I like the Artemis pretty well...it has good maneuverabilty and you can get a lot of them in most games. Their railguns can hit hard but they are often early targets due to the relative ease of destroying them. Try to get someone both fore and aft of the Artemis to open up more targets. Alternatively Concentrate All Firepower to re-roll railgun misses.

Scout ships are generally quite useful. With this in mind, you might consider taking an Oracle, though they sadly occupy the same priority level as a Hyperion or a Nova. Keep the Oracle out of trouble and use it for redirecting fire and/or breaking stealth.

If you like Starfuries, you'll probably love a Poseidon. It is a beast to assemble and get into a low-points game and it is highly vulnerable. On the upside, the Poseidon has tons of Starfuries, a Command bonus, and the valuable "Fleet Carrier" trait that lets you recover lost fighters and makes your 'furies better in dogfights. Rumor has it, 2nd Edition upgrades the Poseidon, though I haven't seen how this turns out. The only problem here is that you'd have to choose between this or a Command Omega.

The Shadow Omega is fun if you can get it...but I don't think it is in the current 3rd Age list anymore.
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Postby Shallowain » Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:11 pm

Has the Oracle Changed Priority? In 1ed it was only skirmish, not raid.
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Postby verdantgreen » Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:43 pm

Sorry, my mistake :oops:
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Postby Nomad » Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:17 pm

The Oracle was originally Raid PL, it was dropped to a (more reasonable) Skirmish PL in Armageddon.

If taking EA boresight ships, you need to pad the fleet out with several small ships to act as 'initiative sinks'. These are units to move first during a turn, to force the enemy to move ships which can then be targeted by your boresight-armed Omegas and Hyperions. There is no point lining up on a ship that can move out of the way. Patrol PL Hermes transports are good in this role.

If you're going to assemble Omega minis, you may want to get hold of some steel rod, copper tubing or similar, and a pin vice to let the spin hab spin.
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Postby Greg Smith » Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:27 pm

My favourite support ship is the Olympus corvette - reasonable all round fire, plus a turreted railgun and missiles.
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Postby Celisasu » Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:54 am

My favorite support ship is the Nova. It's beautiful in an ugly sort of way(sort of like the Omega) and fits well with the philosophy of "If you don't have guns in every nook and cranny then something's wrong". :D
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Postby verdantgreen » Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:21 am

There will always be a place in my heart for the Omega. For thousands of years humans had sailed the seas and stars in ships of human design. The Omega was the last of these.

Subsequent Earth ships derive at least some of their technology from the project that produced the Shadow Omega. It is kind of low-key with the Warlock but quickly becoms more apparent. The Marathon seems innocuous on the surface but the level to which humans have adapted to Shadow technology is painfully obvious with the Nemesis (which can regenerate like a Shadow ship!).

Other post-Omega designs might not incorporate any obvious outside influence but after the Shadow Omega appeared, the origin of any subsequent ships is called into question.

I dunno, for some reason or another this makes me sad.
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Postby Joe_Dracos » Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:29 pm

I actually like the look and design theme behind the Crusade era ships. They are sill Human designed, they just had some other toys put inside that nice sleek hull.
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Postby Green_Knight » Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:45 pm

support ships largely depend on the size your force is.

for 5 pt battle:
3 Omega
2 Hyperion
1 Nova
1 Oracle or Olympus
1 Olympus or 2 Hermes

for 5 Pt Raid:
1 Omega
2 Hyperion
1 Nova
1 Oracle or Olympus
1 Olympus or 2 Hermes

Oracle depends on the enemy (mandatory against Minbari)
Thats what i would field.

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Postby Kahadras » Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:59 pm

To start off with I was thinking of going for something like this...

1 Omega Destroyer
2 Hyperion Heavy Cruisers
1 Oracle Scout Crusier
2 Olympus Corvettes

What do people think about this as a starting point for an EA fleet? Later on I'm thinking about taking another couple of Omega's (to give my fleet some real backbone), a Nova (for more firepower), a Saggitarius (for variety) and an Avenger (for more Starfuries).

Thanks for the advice so far!

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Postby Burger » Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:07 pm

That is a pretty good starter fleet, although you might want to look at the Fleet Boxes. You might not use all the ships right away, but they are quite good value for money.
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Postby Greg Smith » Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:07 pm

You might want to look at the 3rd Age fleet box. It contains almost everything you want, except the Oracle.

And it is huge value for money.
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Postby Kahadras » Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:25 pm

Wow you're right. The third age box does seem to contain most of the stuff I want. Does anybody know how much of a saving I would make if I bought the starter box set (as compared to buying it all seperately). I'm just wondering whether it would be worth it just to buy everything in one go, in one box set rather than spreading it out over a period of a few months.

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Postby Shadow Queen » Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:41 pm

Fleet Box £50.00.

Shadow Omega is now in the Psi Corps / Covert Ops list.

mind there is the Pulse Omega as well still at Battle level then the Command Omega at War, but you may be better off with a Warlock still at war.

Starter box is 1st Edition

so you may as well go for 2nd Edition Rules and fleet book
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Postby Silvereye » Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:43 pm

Kahadras wrote:Does anybody know how much of a saving I would make if I bought the starter box set (as compared to buying it all seperately).
From the Mongoose website:

Earth Alliance Fleet Box Set - The Third Age £50 / $99.99

Contents
8 Flights of Starfuries - 2@ £6.00 / $11.95
8 Flights of Thunderbolts - 2@ £6.00 / $11.95
2 Omega Destroyers - 2@ £9.00 / $17.95
2 Hyperion Heavy Cruisers - 2@ £6.00 / $11.95
4 Olympus Corvettes - 2@ £6.00 / $11.95
1 Nova Dreadnought - 1@ £9.00 / $17.95
1 Avenger Carrier - 1@ £9.00 / $17.95
Total: £84 / $143.50

Saving £34 / $43.51 by buying the box

Note: Olympus Corvettes are 2 ships to a blister, Starfuries and Thunderbolts are 4 flights to a blister
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Postby Kahadras » Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:06 pm

That's a pretty good saving THB. I'll probably go for the third age fleet set, the rulebook and the fleet lists book. I'll probably have to wait till next months pay packet comes in though. I'll probably then play a few small games just to get used to the system.

Does anybody have any good tactical advice that I should take into concideration bar making sure I line up good boresight shots with my Omega and Hyperion?

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Postby Lord David the Denied » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:09 pm

Remember a lot of your ships' best firepower is in the broadsides, so use a diagonal, slashing style of movement, starting on the edges of the board and moving across the enemy as they advance towards you. Use your forward guns and lasers, then cross the enemy's T and rake them with broadside fire.
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Postby Locutus9956 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:57 pm

Have a look in the previous months signs and portents (wargamer edition 47 (its a free pdf download from the main mongoose site) and it lists all the box sets in an article/advert at one point along with how much of a saving it is :D Its generally pretty substantial!

edit: acordint to s&p you save $60 on the third age box set (about £30) so all in all not too shabby indeed!
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