Saturday, December 20, 2014
Mobile Oppression Denied: Dealing With Tough Ships
Every ship has a weakness. Your opponent may or may not know it has it. You have to know the weakness of the ship. Look at the MAR's the ship relies on. Look at its Crew points and Point Defense stats. What are the optimal of maximum ranges on the main weapons? Many players will rely on one particular aspect of a ship. Terrans rely on their shields. Relthoza rely on the Cloaking Shields. You have to exploit this reliance to your own advantage.
Attacking Crew and Critical Systems
When you are in a fire fight with a ship with the Weapon Shielding MAR, it can go south really quick as your weapons degrade at a much faster rate than your opponents. An excellent way to degrade an opposing ship is to attack their crew. Other than Support Shuttles nobody has protection against crew loss. This is a favorite method of taking out tough ships that our local Directorate players use. Biohazard ammo, Targeted Strikes against Life support systems and regular critical hits can cause crew damage. There are a couple tricks though, as it can be difficult damaging a tough vessel to deliver the Bio Hazard warheads.
Three very nice ways of getting rid of crew is using Cyber Warfare, Assault Robot Torpedoes and Assault Shuttles. You have the ability to do crew damage by doing criticals effects to a vessel without having to damage it. Cyber Warfare, if you have access to it, is very effective in damaging crew as well as other important systems. Assault Robot Torpedoes work along the same lines since they are treated as a Cyber Warfare attack, but your opponent gets point defense against the attack rather than the fleet tactics bonus. You target life support to damage crew. This degrades weapons, direct weapons anyway, so the ship is less of a threat. This becomes a very effective way of crippling a tough ship if the point defense is down.
Assault Shuttles have the benefit of breaking up the dice used to repel them. It is harder to shoot down SRS craft. The opposing vessel is basically left with just its AP to defend against the boarding action. A full token of Assault Shuttles can deliver 12 AP worth of dice. This can be used to really wreck some havoc on the systems of a ship. It also happens in the beginning of the turn which allows you to take advantage of any weaknesses in the target ship with the rest of your fleet. You can damage crew making it easier for a parent vessel to take the ship in a boarding assault. Disabling the Point Defense is also a good choice as it allows for assaults and Torpedo weapons from other ships to really hit home.
Disabling critical systems opens enemy vessels up for attack, especially for your fast and maneuverable craft.
Thanks to the exploding dice mechanism in Firestorm any ship has the possibility of being an epic hero. Degrading the crew and targeting critical systems opens up tough ships to your other vessels. This, of course, includes your tier 3 ships. Once a Battle Ship or Dreadnought has been softened up you can send in the bees as it were. Many races have very potent Frigate and Corvette vessels and many players will ignore them. Specifically targeting your opponents small ships and taking them out leaves him open to attack by your small ships. I like to use my frigates to take out other smalls as quickly as possible. Disabling the drives on a large vessel makes it very susceptible to attack by faster craft. Most Frigate squadrons can punch above their weight class in terms of short range fire. They are also fast. They can literally fly circles around large ships. Using shunt deployment or just raw speed to get small vessels into the rear arc of a large ship lets you really put the screws to it. This is especially true if you have disabled its shields.
Tier three vessels also let you do hit and run type attacks. They can use terrain and their size to their advantage. Using several squadrons to harass a large vessel can sometimes break down your opponents fire discipline. They may dedicate an inordinate amount of fire to get rid of these ships so you can get your heavy hitters in position. The real trap of a heavy vessel is it distracts you and draws a ton of fire. You can of course ignore the vessel, but you can only do this for so long. Taking it out of the fight and ignoring it are two different things.
If you are faced with a Dreadnought or other "Mobile Oppression Palace" do not panic and pour all your fleets weapons into it. These big craft need support. Disabling it and taking its ability to contribute away, while you destroy the support fleet around it is the best way, in my opinion, to deal with these vessels. That is my two cents. Remember to get on the Wait List for the Schaumburg Prime Offensive at Adepticon. Spots will be opening up soon. Next time we do our year in review and say good bye to 2014. 2015 is on the horizon and its looking good.
Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and a Blessed Yule to all! And as Always...