Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby kyrolon » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:29 pm

scoutdad wrote:
Greg Smith wrote:It is one of Matt's rulings:
Q:” If I have 2 Attack Die in my phasers and I use 1 to fire at a ship can save to other for defensive fire?
A:” No, you must pick offensive _or_ defensive fire.”
Edit: found the post - viewtopic.php?f=103&t=50244&p=708876&hi ... ve#p708876
Well.. color me red! :oops:

I'm adding that to my list of Matt's rulings. Don't know how I missed it before.
Personally I'd ignore that particular ruling as it is rather silly and insane IMHO. Too many ships have phasers tied into multiple banks. In the SFU as a whole this makes absolutely no sense. Are we sure Matt wasn't ruling based only on the basic rules?
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby tneva82 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:54 am

kyrolon wrote:Personally I'd ignore that particular ruling as it is rather silly and insane IMHO. Too many ships have phasers tied into multiple banks. In the SFU as a whole this makes absolutely no sense. Are we sure Matt wasn't ruling based only on the basic rules?
It's prolly done to reduce the bookkeeping which is bane of fast games.
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby kyrolon » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:12 pm

tneva82 wrote:
kyrolon wrote:Personally I'd ignore that particular ruling as it is rather silly and insane IMHO. Too many ships have phasers tied into multiple banks. In the SFU as a whole this makes absolutely no sense. Are we sure Matt wasn't ruling based only on the basic rules?
It's prolly done to reduce the bookkeeping which is bane of fast games.
That's why I'm wondering if it only coincides with the basic rules. If you are playing the advanced rules your are able to fire phaser mounts by attack dice already. This doesn't add any more record keeping, which means to me it makes no sense.
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby Iain McGhee » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:58 pm

It'd mean you have to track every single AD of phaser you have rather than each weapons system only. Over a large fleet, that's a lot more record keeping. When you're firing offensively, it's all done at once so you only need to track weapon systems fired.
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby kyrolon » Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:51 am

Sorry, I guess I don't find it all that difficult to put one check in the box for each AD fired vs one check for the whole system being fired.

Example: It is my turn to fire with my Fed CA, and there is a D7 yet to go that will probably put 2 AD of drones into me. I want to fire 1 FH Ph1 at the D7 in front of me and slightly to my port, and one PH ph1 at an F5 that is near death just off my Port rear. Now if we go with the "official" ruling I can only fire at one ship if I want 2AD of phaser left to defend. I don't know how other grops do it, but on our ship rosters we have a box next to the weapon line that says "fired". For each AD fired you put a check in that box. If we go with the "official" ruling then I fire at only one ship (with a single mount) and save the other mount for defensive fire.

Is it really that much harder to put one check in each box (PH ph1 and FH ph1) then add a second check later in the turn when I use the second AD from each mount?

Playing by the rule means a couple ships in different arcs with drones can completely strip a Fed CA (which is already fairly awful) of all of its offensive power unless it relies solely on ADDS (Which for some reason also cost it a weapon system if they run out).

I understand simplification, but this falls under Dumbing down instead. It is NO MORE complicated to actually use the advanced rule for defensive fire as well, and offers a more flexible system (cutting down on decision time and SPEEDING UP the game).
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby Iain McGhee » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:04 pm

I didn't say anything about it being more difficult or too complicated. You've been told how the rule works, and likely why it works that way. If you don't like it then house rule it. Simple.
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby Da Boss » Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:53 pm

@ Kyrolon

The present system is already a compromise - as has been discussed many times - its all fine for 1 and 2 ship duels but defensive fire book keeping is already a PITA for some of us for fleet actions (which ACTA is designed for)....

As Iain says - House rule it how you like............... :)
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby kyrolon » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:00 am

Yes, I know we can house rule it. There is however, a problem there. This rule is different from the already established advance rule of being able to split fire. In addition to this I play with people that, while they still think a rule is something other than what we'd like, they insist on playing as written because it's THE RULES.

How do you change people's opinions on this? For some reason the others think the rules are sacrosanct and unadjustable. I don't know, perhaps this ruling will put them over the top. The current issues we all have are crippled ships not being able to turn, drones getting "double dipped" on penalties (needing to hit at 18" and counting as long range), IDF needing a CQ check, and no turn mode carry over. So far, though none of them like these things, they won't even try a game with any changes. What to do? I am worried that the enthusiasm will wane as these niggling little things we (as long time SFB players) don't care for add up.

Any advice?
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby Zarash » Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:15 am

My advice is play how you all enjoy to play it. There is nothing wrong with switching things to your enjoyment if everyone can agree on things. The only time stuff like this should come up is if your going to play in a tournament or something like that. If playing with friends it should be played how everyone likes playing it.

For rules:

On page 16 advanced rules under
Defensive Fire
Second paragraph second sentance.

Page 5. under Stationary Ships

That includes crippled ships. Crippled ships can turn if they don't move.
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby storeylf » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:10 am

I don't understand what you mean by different to offensive fire/advanced rule.

They are both the same as far as I can see.

In offensive fire you can split your fire between targets, but if you use a bank in offensive fire you can't use it defensively.

In defensivie fire you can split your fire between different drones and plasmas but if you use a bank defensively you can't use it offensively.

What is the dfifference you are talking about?
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby Da Boss » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:40 am

kyrolon wrote:Yes, I know we can house rule it. There is however, a problem there. This rule is different from the already established advance rule of being able to split fire. In addition to this I play with people that, while they still think a rule is something other than what we'd like, they insist on playing as written because it's THE RULES.

How do you change people's opinions on this? For some reason the others think the rules are sacrosanct and unadjustable. I don't know, perhaps this ruling will put them over the top. The current issues we all have are crippled ships not being able to turn, drones getting "double dipped" on penalties (needing to hit at 18" and counting as long range), IDF needing a CQ check, and no turn mode carry over. So far, though none of them like these things, they won't even try a game with any changes. What to do? I am worried that the enthusiasm will wane as these niggling little things we (as long time SFB players) don't care for add up.

Any advice?
I think the problem seems to be that they want it to become SFB - the rules that they don't like (with the posisble exception of IDF CQ check) all make complete sense in terms of playing the game.

Crippled ships can turn - if they don't move - they are after all limping wrecks of their former glory.
Drones desperately needed the reduction in power - and as its seems half the ships in SFB carry masses of drones it may not be enough
No turn mode carrying over- again why is this needed - the game is supposed to be quick not recording plots of data between turns - there is already IMO too much of it.

You either need to make a tranisitional game between SFB and ACTA or play one of the two games as is.
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby billclo » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:03 pm

I have to agree with DaBoss. There are things that I'd like to change in ACTA:SF, but after having some experience with the game, while it's possible to change the things I don't like (house-ruling), too many changes risk slowing down the game. Some folk seem to be able to play a large battle in 4 hours or whatever, but I find that myself and the folk I play with take longer.

I haven't had much problem with the offensive/defensive fire rule, personally. No, it's not as realistic as SFB, but there you go. Myself, I don't have a problem with just putting a dot next to each weapon system for each die/phaser fired, and ignore the whole "defensive fire vs offensive fire" thing entirely, but that's not the way the rules are written.

Movement not carried over from the last turn, I did have some issues with. If you want to houserule it, it's an easy one. Put a small die next to the unit, with how many inches it has moved in a straight line, or a counter that says turn mode satisfied. This was more of an issue with the Lumbering trait, which has since been removed thankfully.

Drones, dear God yes, they needed to be brought down a notch or two. It's still hard to get hits at times, but it's more in line with the core game than it used to be.

IDF rolls, that one I don't know. I think that a the roll ought to be much easier; in reality all the crew would have to do to help defend friendly units is push a button marked "area defensive mode" or whatever. BUT, this would pretty much neuter plasma units. I played a game with Klingons vs Gorns wherein 7 of 9 Klingons made their IDF roll and the Gorn's plasma was fairly ineffectual that turn, what with about 50 of 70 dice worth shot down (if my memory serves me correctly). There was a proposal I put out as to how to make friendly ship's defensive fire less effective and more "realistic", but that didn't go anywhere.

I agree that if you want to add alot to the game, you might as well be playing Fed Commander instead. A minor change here and there, that's one thing, but wholesale house-ruling things will slow down what is supposed to be a fast game. Or do what I did for my first convention game; don't use drones, remove ADDs/combined drone racks. Sped up the game, it did. Now plasmas, that's a totally different matter.
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby McKinstry » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:30 pm

Most space and naval games with turn restrictions (must move x before turning) don't bother with carry over simply due to the extraneous record keeping which might not be onerous with Fed Commander numbers of 2-3 per side but are a pain with the 12-15 ships per side of a decent sized ACTA game.

Battlefleet Gothic had the turn restriction and didn't mess with carry over and while it's been a very long time, I don't think that mechanic existed in Full Thrust either. General Quarters 1,2,3 and the various Naval Thunder modules, all of which I'd call medium to low complexity, 10+ ships per side rules, don't do carryover. As I recall, even the popular Cover Your Six (CY6) air rules don't include carryover and that is usually 4-8 +/- models per side.
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby kyrolon » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:09 am

As it happened I was with 2 of my 3 regular opponents today. I was correct that the offensive defensive fire bit was a tipping point. It will be our first house rule. In our opinion putting one or two ticks does not slow down the game.

As for Matt's ruling not fitting with the rules, I was meaning that in the sense that firing at multiple targets is no more complicated than tracking multiple firings. Maybe it's a disconnect on my part, but we've done battles with 12+ ships per side, and the time for record keeping was inconsequential. What DID and does slow our games down is the ability to pre measure. While I am certainly of the opinion that premeasuring makes perfect sense in a space game (computer how far to target 1?) the ability to pre measure and plot out three or four possible paths for each ship's move slows the game down more than anything. Other than instituting a timer I don't see a way around this one. When it sometimes takes 3-5 min for a single move to be made, a couple extra seconds to mark a phaser as fired isn't even noticed.

As far as my drone comments, our anecdotal experience so far since the changes is that drones just don't hit. At all. Ever. Now in defense of the changes, our recent battles have been Fed vs Klingon (so plenty of ADDs, and few 4 rack ships). Maybe once the Kzintis start getting in the game (our Kzinti player's box was a month or two behind everyone else's for some reason) drones will be useful again. I don't have a lot of hope though. We did try one game with three Fed DWDs and two Kzinti FFs in it with no drone hits.

I saw from the beginning drones needed a reduction I just think it was a bit too far. Personally I would have prefered the to hit roll without the added range penalty. It seemed odd that a weapon would go from auto hitting to having problems reaching the target.

As for my thoughts on IDF, I see Billclo's point, but when a ship gets shot with another ship full of plasma and has only itself for defense you may as well kiss it goodbye (in our experience). Without support from other ships it's almost an I win button against everyone except Klingons (who have phasers to spare in arcs that are better than the originals). Maybe the CQ could be lower? If an average ship is CQ4 then if IDF were a 7 instead of 8 then you'd make it 2/3 of the time instead of 1/2. This seems reasonable.

Finally, I realize these are nitpicking things, but we are liking the game. I will agree we want it to be as close to SFB as possible (in other words we want to have most of the options we do there) while still playing faster. Note I say fastER, not finished with 20 ships in 2 hours. :)

I'll watch for responses, but I'll cease with the questioning in this thread. If I come up with more thoughts I'll start my own thread. Thanks for all your patience.

Dan
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby billclo » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:52 am

Dan,

Since your players are SFB guys, ask them this: if you have run some large squadron or fleet battles, what kind of drone hit rates were you seeing? Personally, and this has been many years, I recall the rate was 3-5% of drones fired from medium-long range hit. It was too easy for every ship in range to dump their phasers/drones/ADD onto the incoming waves. In ACTA:SF it isn't quite so easy to defend your neighboring ships against drones.

Drones are supposed to be nuisance weapons for the Feds/Klingons; again, how many of them actually hit? Even with Kzinti dumping 12 drones onto a Klingon D5 for example, you probably won't see many hits until a) you run out his ADD2, and b) he'll use phasers/tractors on any survivors. You have to run his ADD out, and even then you'll lose the majority of your drones to phasers. But it diverts phasers (and sometimes his drones) from being fired at you.

Some ways to increase your drone hit rate:
Concentrate on him from the get-go, and run his ADD out (this is dependent on luck really).
Try to hit him from an angle that fewer phasers bear on (against that D5, attack from the Fore Arc, as his phaser-3s don't bear).
Maybe hit him later in the turn after he's perhaps fired some weapons at your ships?
Fire your direct fire weapons first, giving you a slight chance of a Weapons critical hit that will reduce his odds of hitting with defensive fire (not to be counted upon, but it does happen).

As for slowing down the game, I find the worst offenders are defender agonizing over what weapons to fire in defensive fire, and plotting out your moves. Putting a dot next to a weapon system for each die fired is a non-issue to me. Plotting out moves is the worst time-spender, IMHO. I am guilty of this, trying out several possible moves and taking too long. I keep telling myself, fly by the seat of your pants and make your move faster. If you fret over the optimum move, it takes more time to move.
As for my thoughts on IDF, I see Billclo's point, but when a ship gets shot with another ship full of plasma and has only itself for defense you may as well kiss it goodbye (in our experience). Without support from other ships it's almost an I win button against everyone except Klingons (who have phasers to spare in arcs that are better than the originals).
Well in SFB, that Gorn BC dumping 100 points of plasma and 4-6 phasers in your face against a cruiser is pretty much a "I win" move if you don't have a Wild Weasel. Figure 60-70 internals plus more from phasers = instant crippled cruiser. Not always the case in ACTA:SF. Try that in SFB ; okay, you used up your 6 phaser-1s at short range, that's 4 pts per phaser damage, x 6 = 24 pts damage, halved against plasma = 12 points of plasma lost out of 100. Big whoop. :)

It's weird, you can basically take no damage because you've shot down all the plasma dice, and then when you reach the defensive fire threshold, all of a sudden defending ships start blowing up. :)
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby storeylf » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:47 pm

In Fed Com drones hardly ever hit either - at least against anyone who knows what they are doing.

I one of the online FC tourneys I took the most drone intensive squardon that was possible (an orion one) with 22 drone racks. In one game I lauched probably 100-120 drones and put myself in a winning position when I finally got 15 of them to hit a tractored target. In another game I didn't get a single hit.

Whilst the mechanics are different in ACTA, long range drones in ACTA are similiar to FC, they hardly ever hit. If you want them to hit then get closer.

In coming up with a fast simple system ACTA suffers from having produced a system that relies heavily on beating out certain defensive thresholds when it comes to seekers, they do nothing up to a point then they suddenly become unstoppably brutal. That makes balancing a very fine line, but also affects the way the game feels.

If you only have X drones you will see no hits, if you have X+Y drones you will see Y hits. Feds and Klingons therefore don't see many drone hits unless you really concentrate them on one target that has few useable phasers and little IDF support.

The plasma empires suffer from this the most, as they absolutely rely on getting the plasma hits. A target can face a certain amount of plasma with impunity, but then dies rapidly as you go over that limit. You don't worry about the Gorn DD with 7AD as you can shoot nearly all of it down, but the BC with 12AD is going to hurt a lot. The BCH with 16AD is extremely painful.

I quite liked ACTA, but have gone back to FC. As much as I like fast playing simple games, there just seemed to be 'something lacking' in ACTA, and I think that is to a fair extent down to the way seekers have been handled. The system can be said to work, it is a fleet level game, and as long as it balanced at that level then all is good. But it just feels wrong to me.
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby Keeper Nilbog » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:33 pm

Well, Billco, i liked your idea on Plasma - neat and effective, without too much extra required - not sure how you would handle the rounding off (i would go for dropping ALL factions - but i'm a Gorn at heart, so not neutral). It would also help out Romulan/Gorn Battles, as the mass of Ph-1's mean you don't need to be too close to support other ships. And you could decrease the QC rating of IDF without hurting Plasma's too much (as Ph-3's BECOME point defence weapons against plasma, due to the range issues).

Now i've got my Gorn, we may trial it (and when we do, i'll post our findings).
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Re: Drones vs Klingon front Shields?

Postby riftsinger » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:02 am

ok alot of people talking about how this rule is like this SFB rule or not, can i give my view as a none SFB player . i have always liked the SFB setting but never got on with the game or the minis . When fed commander can out i brought it and still found to "busy" it sitts on a bookcase even now . ACTA has got me buying minis and playing in the SFB setting because it is ACTA , please be careful what you wish for rules wise i play with a guy who has and wound never touch the SFB game but is playing ACTA star fleet .A totaly new player ,we can only hope that this far simpler SFB game will bring many more into the SFB setting / games
ok sunshine eat alpha strike !

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