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Re: Salvo missile escalation

From: Kevin Walker <sage@b...>
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000 19:23:30 -0500
Subject: Re: Salvo missile escalation

on 9/14/00 12:55, at wrote:

> My experience tends to be that missiles and fighters dilute one
> effectiveness rather than increase it.  SMLs and fighter bays both
take up
> about the same amount of mass, so if you've got a lot of one, you
can't have a
> lot of the other.  Fighters and missiles both work best in
> numbers; if you don't have enough of them to swamp your enemy, you may
as well
> not bother carrying them at all.

Interesting.  My experience differs, possibly due to the different
nature of
the scenarios/rules we use.  I've found fighters to enhance SMLs a lot.
Even if you don't have overwhelming numbers (the amount differing on the
size of the scenario) I've found small numbers of either to be helpful
picking on stragglers or wound vessels or for keeping the other player
honest (tactics wise) about keeping all his vessels together inside the

> Neither of them offers anything that covers for the weaknesses of the
> and diluting the fighter numbers to make room for missiles is just
begging the
> other guy to kill the fighters first, pretty much regardless of how
> counteracting it all.

Assuming you give him/her the chance to engage only the fighters or
separately.  When having to decide upon whether to engage the fighters
missiles with PDS type systems I've found that most people dedicate a
more defense against the missiles leaving the fighters less punished.
Splitting the fire out has a tendency to limit the damage of multiple
rolled in defense.

A nice thing about fighters with missiles is if you miss target the
you don't have to allocate the fighters to attacking without them.


> If they're playing with battleships, their PDS phalanx can just erase
> the fighters in the first round and shrug off the missiles because you
> have enough throw weight to make them care about them with only one
shot, then
> they turn their PDS at the missiles and eliminate them as a factor in
> all the while they've been shooting you to ribbons with whatever
they've got
> in return.

AFDC coverage has a limitation of range.  I like my opponents to run big
blocks of ships that have to stay close to one another - it limits their
movement options and flexibility.  Of course if the opponent tends to
one or two large ships instead of a mix it's easier to keep within a PDS

Besides, if my opponent wants to max out his/her PDS fire against my
fighters first I'm more than happy to have my SMLs hit them instead.  A
fighter group will average 4.8 damage against an unshielded target (down
4 versus level 1 shields and 3 against level 2 shields)  {all the
I'm mentioning a quick approximations}.  SMLs don't care if the target
shielded, averaging 3.5 damage per missile in the SML group that hits,
resulting in an average of a little over 10 points per SML on target
isn't defended against (mine of course average 4-5 damage per target
on to though).	Each hit by a PDS on a fighter group stops about .5 to
damage while each hit on an SML stops 3.5 and less are needed on average
stop the effects of an SML compared to a fighter group.

> Fighters and plasma work pretty well together because the plasma
offers an
> area effect weapon that deters battleships from packing together and
> slight fighter disadvantage can take out the enemy carriers' striking
> enough that the plasma will hold the field.  Fighters and missiles
> really offer anything in tandem that one or the other of them wouldn't
> better with alone.

Fighters and plasma can work together.	But IMHO there are more problems
with joint PBs/fighters attacks than fighter/missiles attacks.

A player might be forced to burn up additional CEF to get around PBs
area of
effect.  It can be problematic to have fighters attacking targets in PB
of effects.  Putting fighters in harms way of the PBs encourages the
opponent to leave a portion of the PB alone or reduce their effects to
hopefully 1 pip in level.  Shielded greatly reduce the average damage
take from PBs.	The area effect nature of the PBs tend to permit more
to fire PDS in defense in comparison to SMLs.

All in all the best combinations are very dependant on the size/nature
playing area, type of ships (standard vs. minor mods vs. totally
the tactics preferred by the player (and opponent) and the house
rules/interpretations used.

Kevin Walker

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