Saturday, March 5, 2011

Federation Commander (ADB) - FCOL Tournament Scenario

Game: Federation Commander (ADB)
Scenario: FCOL Tournament Scenario
Participants: Jim "HeavyD" D, Myself
Time: Friday, Feb 25th ~ 6.30PM - 9.00PM & Friday, Mar 3rd ~ 6.30PM - 9.00PM

HeavyD is running the 2nd annual FCOL online tournament, so once again I offered to play him in the scenario to help get him some practice with his selected Empire (Gorn). There is also something of a debate going on in the FC Forums about Plasma armed Empires and if Plasma is 'balanced' in FC. Locally, we are leaning towards that it is balanced, as much as things can be balanced in FC that is.

Locally we've been playing FC for nearly two years. I was the only person in our group that had any experience playing SFB, and this experience was nearly 20+ years ago. When we started playing FC, we started with mostly direct fire Empires, only slowly trying out the Romulan and Gorn Empires. Thus we had not gotten a lot of experiance with Plasma Empries. However recently with these various debates at the FC forums we have been playing a lot of plasma empries to get some experiance with them.

I'll say that flying a plasma armed ship requires a very different approach to the game. It took us each a while to come to these conclusions and many a scenario was lost by each of us as we tried various things out with the three plasma empires. Today we are all pretty comfortable with the standard plasma tactics, thus we are also in the camp that thinks they are not as bad as what some fairly vocal people at ADB are saying they are.

Now, the FCOL scenario is a slight modification of the standard Origins scenario that ADB using for their 6-8 person annual tournament. The scenario is a 6 turn game using the standard points based victory system on a fixed map. There are limits on how many ships of any one class you can have (generally no more then two). Each player has 450 points to use to buy ships with. The FCOL version is further restricted by the online clients (which I dislike) only having certain ships available (mostly the newer empires are not all in yet).

So HeavyD had let slip that he had a new twist to the plasma tactics, a variation of the 'star castle'. He had selected a DN and two HDDs for his force. That's a lot of plasma tubes, 1 R, 4 S and 6 F in fact. He was playing against a Fed squadron in the first round so I volunteered to play Fed and took 2 NCLs and 2 DWs, 14 photons total.

The game on the first night was only two turns. He drove to the center of the map on the first turn and at the end of the 8th impulse launched a type R at one of my NCLs. I ended the turn 14-16 hexes from him with the plan of getting to range 12 and firing all my photons and phasers and turning away, while going base speed of 24 to keep the plasma away. Turn 2 went as planed, I went 24, he 0, I came in, fired my photons getting hits with three of eleven and scoring some phaser damage. The net result was one of his HDDs with a nearly downed number one shield. He also fired off two more S torps and two F torps, none of these, nor the R ever hit one of my ships as all I did was make a wide circle dragging the plasma with me. We stopped there for the night.

Last night we finished the scenario. I was pretty unmotivated to even finish but I wanted to play it out for HeavyD's sake. HeavyD continued to castle which is a great anti-Fed tactic. I didn't want to even bother trying to figure out a way of getting into range for overloaded photons, so the game was over quickly the only result was HeavyD scoring some damage with phaser fire on one of my NCLs. No plasma hit any of my ships in the game. The final result was a victory for HeavyD.

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