Recommend
14 
 Thumb up
 Hide
16 Posts

Star Trek: Attack Wing» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Armchair Admiral 103: Engineering and Categorizing a Fleet rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Will Sanchez
United States
Clermont
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Aye laddies! It's good ta see ya! Take a seat, take a seat. Yer in good hands with ol Tinker McBuilder. Nay that na my real name but I kinda like it! Come on now, sit on down and let's be lookin at the fine art of craftin' a magnificent fleet o' starships. A well crafted fleet is a thing of art ye can be sure so it's best not to be skppin anythin'. We'll be startin from the beginnin and before ye know it ye'll be commanding some of the finest fleets the Federation 'as ta offer! I'll let the PADDs explain and I'll be here ta answer any questions you cadets might be havin!

Fleet Engineering
Part 1: Size Matters

One of the simplest and most efficient ways to categorize starships is purely by the number of customizable upgrades and potential outputs.The requisition and resource cost of each customizable addition to a ship as well as the capabilities of your vessel itself are easily broken down and simplified as your "Build Points". There are several different basic configurations of ships and several different roles each individual upgrade can fulfill.

Standard Loadout

Most starships will fall under this category. A Standard ship will generally cost between 24 and 40 points, and contain a small number (one to three, if any) upgrades such as a particularly skilled captain or retrofitted weapon systems. These ships are a good balance of points and effectiveness, giving them a couple tricks to make them more effective, but not necessarily crippling your fleet if they are taken out. Some examples of "standard" ships:

U.S.S. Reliant - Jean-Luc Picard, Engage, Photon Torpedoes (34 points)
Role: Moderate attack vessel, Moderate Survivability, Excellent Maneuverability

Klingon Vor'Cha Class – Captain Martok, Drex (35 points)
Role: Good attack vessel, Good Survivability, Good Utility

Cardassian Galor Class – Captain Gul Danar, Breen Aide (28 points)
Role: Good attack vessel, Poor Maneuverability

Heavy Loadout
These starships are loaded to the brim with talented captains and crew, and the latest advanced weaponry. They can either maximize their offense or defense, or increase their number of options to adapt to different situations. However, those options come at a price, and losing a "fatty" vessel is can be crippling to a fleet centered around one. These ships generally cost 40 or more build points, and have 3 or more upgrades.

U.S.S. Enterprise-D - Captain Khan Singh, Engage, Leonard Mccoy, Montgomery Scott, Tactical Officer, Antimatter Mines (48 points)
Role: Superior Attack Vessel, Moderate maneuverability, Good utility

I.R.W. Khazara - Captain Jean-Luc-Picard, Advanced Weapon System, Plasma Torpedoes (48 points)
Role: Excellent defensive vessel, Good Attack, Good Maneuverability

Gor Portas – Captain Gul Danar, Breen Aide, Energy Dissipator, Forward Weapons Grid, Photon Torpedoes (Fed 5), Plasma Torpedoes, (52 points)
Role: Good Attack Vessel, Multiple Attack Options.

Support Vessel
Starships that are usually not meant to be on the frontline but can still contribute significantly can be classified as support vessels. These vessels are usually command posts for skilled captains, or cheap ships retrofitted with 1 upgrade to focus on fulfilling a role. These ships generally cost around 16-24 points.

Romulan Science Vessel – Captain Donatra (16 points)

Federation Miranda Class – Photon Torpedoes (23 Points)

I.K.S. Gr'oth – Captain Gowron (22 points)

Swarm Vessel
Swarm vessels are cheap and efficient. They are meant to overwhelm the enemy by sheer numbers. These ships generally have no upgrades, but will often have 1-2 support ships to improve their combat effectiveness. These vessels cost no more than 20 points.

Klingon D7 (16 points)

Romulan Science Vessel (12 points)

Romulan Science Vessel - EM Pulse (17 points)



Part 2: But it's also how you use it.
Every ship can be classified by its loadout weight and roles it's trying to perform. How they interact with each other though is another matter entirely. There are inherent advantages to certain combinations. You must be aware of how to exploit your own advantages while also learning how to cover your weaknesses.

Standard Vessel Tactics
Standard vessels are called just so because they have a range of decent options without usually being decisively strong in any of them. Victory against other standard vessels will come down to good maneuvering. Lucky hits from standard vessels can be painful, but should not cripple your fleet if playing conservatively. Look for opportunities to escape your enemies firing arcs entirely (especially with maneuvers like "come about" or actions like [sensor echo]). If you can identify your enemies main target, plan your actions accordingly by making the target vessel harder to hit with [evasive maneuvers] while your other vessels boost the effectiveness of their attacks with [target lock] or [scan].

The "Fatty"
A Heavy Loadout ship's weakness is already apparent – if destroyed, the enemy fleet is severely weakened. Generally, they also only get one attack, but that attack will cause significant damage every or almost every time. Some can deal enough damage to even take out standard loadout ships in a single shot if they whiff just a single defense roll.

Dealing with a defensive Heavy (which generally has cloak and an evade booster) is not really any different than dealing with a standard vessel. When focusing on defense, it should not be able to hit for too much more damage than a regular offensive ship. When fighting a defensive heavy you should go after other vessels first.

Dealing with an offensive Heavy is about trying to either survive the hit, or take it down first. Offensive standard vessels may be Glass cannons, but this is not necessarily true of Heavies. Taking them out quickly is often a matter of luck. Again, if you can identify what ship the opponent wants to target first, have that ship go defensive and the others go on the attack.

If your build is prepared for it though, there are other options for dealing with heavy hitters. Dealing a lot of damage doesn't mean much if you're running a swarm of smaller vessels that don't care about the overkill. Also, certain actions and upgrade can neutralize their attacking ability for a turn or more including (but not limited to): Cheat Death, EM Pulse, Projected Stasis Field, and Energy Disruptor. Actions all happen before the combat phase so any of those would be good. Attacks would ideally go off -before- the heavy attacks so you'll need very high skill captains to pull those off (since the Heavy will often have a high skill captain of its own).

Support Vessels
Support Vessels weakness is very straightforward – their just not as strong numerically as other vessels. With this said there are two ways to handle this. Some will want to play defensively unless there is a higher priority target around, especially if they are providing a passive bonus to their fleet (like Donatra or Terell). Some glass Cannons though don't care about that, and just want to get as much damage off as possible before being taken out.

Offensive heavies vessels will be a problem. Often they will be firing with 7 or 8 attack dice including [target lock] and/or [battlestations] (or the equivalent). Support vessels generally have a combined capacity of 5 to 6 damage, or sometimes as little as 2. This is not good odds for the support vessel. Do your best to stay out of firing arcs entirely -or- bite the bullet and go after the fatty, essentially sacrificing (unless you're lucky) one of your vessels to allow the others to get good shots on it. Also note that actions are extremely important to Heavies. If you have lower skill captains than them, denying them actions by predicting where the enemy will move and getting there first can make them no more of a threat than standard vessels.

The Swarm

There has been very little information about the swarm tactic so far. Most admirals prefer to go for larger, more impressive ships rather than sending their virtual men into the virtual meat grinder. That said however, if you are so inclined to do a swarm (or even a partial swarm) there are advantages.

Swarms have low hit points but either high attack or high evade for their cost. This is also distributed over a larger number of targets making the loss of a single ship less painful than in fleets with standard or heavy ships. They try to break through the enemy defenses through brute force of numbers – they don't have to deal significant damage with each attack. Average damage is enough when combined with the law of averages that the enemy defense will eventually falter. Four evades against 2 damage is a waste, but 0 evades against two damage is still permanent.

Potentially the swarms biggest weakness is against a large number of support vessels. They'll have slightly better offense and survivability versus the swarm. There will also be less of a discrepancy in the sheer number of ships which is the swarms biggest advantage. When in this situation the best course of action may be to split your forces so the enemy cant focus your smaller ships down as easily. If the enemy forces are already split, make sure you target all your ships on one side of his fleet if possible before engaging the other. Once again, maneuverability will be key.

So what does it all mean?
Every build has it's advantages and disadvantages. There will be some fleets that have a distinctive advantage over other fleets, but may have as many distinct weaknesses as well. A more balanced fleet may not have as many strengths, but will also have fewer weaknesses to be exploited. Whatever you choose is a matter of preference, but just make sure you can identify what exactly those strengths and weakness are, and play to them!

Class Dismissed!

Questions, comments, and constructive criticism are of course welcome. Also, if there are any subjects you would like to see tackled in the future, let me know as well! I'll put some research into it and we can see the results of it together. Until then, live long and prosper!



Tactics:
AA-101: Academy Basics
AA-111: Courses of Action and Choosing Targets
Maneuvering:
AA-102: Flight Training
AA-112: Aim and Weave
Fleet Composition:
AA-103: Engineering and Categorizing a Fleet
Card Evaluations:
AA-104: Someone's extracted all the latinum from these cards!
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
charles skrobis
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Good stuff here.

Not sure where the wave 1 jem'haddar ship will fit if I plan to field 4 of the with a long ranged tachyon scan on each, though when I figure out the best option for the other 12 points, they'll probably be more standard sized ships then support.

Though that leads to me looking at things like the Kraxon that is sized for standard, but has a support ability, and just never be sure where to put that, especially cause loading it up typically means better support.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erin OConnor
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
What is your favorite color?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So far it seems the 3 big ships + good captains + stealth seems to be the way to go.

+You get 6-8 attack dice consistently.
+on the initial attack you get an additional 4 defensive dice. Decent odds surviving your opponents initial attack.
+Move last, shoot first.
+High probability of first strike kill(s). Dead ships do not attack back.
+Ships are moderately maneuverable. Enough so to keep the deadly end facing your opponent.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jared Voshall
United States
Missouri
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Right now, it looks like the Klingons are the force to beat, with a variety of very strong ships that can be built a variety of ways - they have the D7 swarm, which at its simplest is 6 generic D7s that fly in and blast the opponent apart, up to the twin 'perma-cloaked' heavies with a single support vessel. You also have the hybrid Heavy Swarm, with 4 basic D7's and Gowron on a Negh'Var or similar heavy ship, which balances out the two extremes (D7 Swarm and Negh'Var Hammer).
It's going to be tough coming up with a list that can beat the Klingons in a straight-up fight on a regular basis when flown by a competent opponent. Best case would be Federation or Dominion with their flexible firing arcs (though the Borg will likely beat them out in that category, as well as straight up power and base durability), but with the Klingons' focus on attack power, you're going to start at a disadvantage in that regard.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Val Cassotta
msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Very nice work - really loving your training series

You may want to add Terrell to the "Support Vessel Miranda" as an alternative to the Torps. It provides that little boost in defense to all his buddies especially as the preceding ship has Donatra
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenn Mikos
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
delta_angelfire wrote:

The Swarm

There has been very little information about the swarm tactic so far. Most admirals prefer to go for larger, more impressive ships rather than sending their virtual men into the virtual meat grinder. That said however, if you are so inclined to do a swarm (or even a partial swarm) there are advantages.


I think one of the reasons we haven't seen much in the way of swarms in ST:AW is that currently, there aren't any really impressive swarm ships (or, more accurately, the bigger ships are much more cost-effective in terms of attack dice than the cheapies).

Look at why the TIE Swarm was effective in SW:XW. In a typical 100 point squadron, you have, say, 3 X-Wings, each with a base attack value of 3. That gives you 9 total attack dice, leaving out abilities. An 8-TIE swarm gets nearly double the base attack dice, at 16.

Compare that to Attack Wing; in a 100 point fleet, you can get 6 D7's. That gives you a base of 18 attack dice. On the other hand, a standard Klingon 3-ship fleet gets 15. That's not a huge difference.

Now consider how the attacks work. When you attack with the D7 swarm, your opponent will get to roll their defense dice 6 times. The opponent of the 3-ship standard fleet, however, only gets to roll defense 3 times. In the Star Wars version, this is offset by the sheer number of additional attack dice granted to the swarm; here in Attack Wing, though, the numerical advantage in attack dice isn't nearly enough to compensate for giving your opponent, on average, twice as many evades.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Ptak
United States
Livermore
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Would there be a possible advantage in positioning and number of attacks performed during the turn?

There's also the advantage of resiliency. Even if you loose one D7, you still have five more to attack with even if they have lesser dice. Your opponent has three attacks versus your five.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Compton
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is the quality versus quantity argument that has been in wargaming for a long time. I agree with kemikos that quality trumps quantity in STAW. The defender's rolls are just as potent for every single attack. We are only discussing half the math when we say that a swarm of six ships will get 18 attack dice - the defender is going to get full defense dice for every attack (eg. a cloaked Valdore would get 36 dice!). That being said, someone mentioned elsewhere that the defender has to win every time while the attacker only has to win once. That is true to a degree, but I like the big ships chances.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenn Mikos
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
the_triangle_man wrote:
This is the quality versus quantity argument that has been in wargaming for a long time. I agree with kemikos that quality trumps quantity in STAW. The defender's rolls are just as potent for every single attack. We are only discussing half the math when we say that a swarm of six ships will get 18 attack dice - the defender is going to get full defense dice for every attack (eg. a cloaked Valdore would get 36 dice!). That being said, someone mentioned elsewhere that the defender has to win every time while the attacker only has to win once. That is true to a degree, but I like the big ships chances.


Exactly. The swarm gets 18 attack dice to the Valdore's 36 defense, while the fatties get 15 attack to the V's 18. The additional attack dice don't scale up the way they do in "that other FlightPath game".

As for the resiliency question, let's say for the sake of argument that your opponent can kill one D7 per combat round, but will take two rounds of combat to pop that Negh'var. (This is just a WAG, but seems to be accurate based on the games I've played. If anything, the cloaked Negh'var is even more survivable than this assumption gives it credit for.)

Now in the second round of combat, the standard fleet has taken damage, yes, but barring the random factor of an unlucky critical hit, still has its full attack dice pool. The swarm, on the other hand, is already down 17% of its initial attack strength. In the (admittedly limited) experience I've had playing this game, I've found that the early combat rounds are critical - and so having a full attack for two rounds instead of just one is actually a big advantage.

All of this is not to say that skilled piloting and strategic ability usage don't matter, or that good swarm ships won't be released at some point (I want to see what happens with the "attack squadron" resources from the OP events), but currently, I think the swarm just isn't as competitive as a standard fleet with what we have available now. Which, considering this is Star Trek, is probably thematically accurate anyway.

Edit:

Norsehound wrote:
Would there be a possible advantage in positioning and number of attacks performed during the turn?

There's also the advantage of resiliency. Even if you loose one D7, you still have five more to attack with even if they have lesser dice. Your opponent has three attacks versus your five.


I think I see where you're coming from now, but the actual result is a little counter-intuitive. In this system, more attacks to get a similar amount of attack dice is actually worse, since each attack is another opportunity for the defender to roll evades. See above for more discussion on that. As for positioning, it's actually much more difficult to fly well enough to get a single enemy into each ship's firing arc and range with 6 ships than with 3. Just ask anyone who's fielded a TIE swarm in SW...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Caputo
United States
Overland Park
Kansas
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Three seems to be the sweet spot, not too many actions to be wasted, but you can throw an action or two in and have good fire power. The 2 top guys at my event have tri fleets made up of the heaviest cloakers, a Rom and a Kling. That being said I hope there is change on the way actions are utilized so that 2 ship fleets is actually viable. Don't forget more ships usually equal more HP
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Ptak
United States
Livermore
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I fly TIE Swarms almost regularly in X-Wing and I never had a disadvantage while positioning. It makes it easy if you split your ships and force your opponent to divide your fire.

Also, the multiple attacks might force the enemy to discard their Battlestations tokens. Being at lesser Skill could also mean any tokens end up being used either before or as the swarm ships are making their attacks.

Has anyone fielded a D7 swarm to talk about their experiences?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jared Voshall
United States
Missouri
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm still working my way up to the D7 swarm (I have 4 so far - enough to run a Hybrid D7 swarm with Negh'Var support), but haven't had an opportunity to try running what I do have yet. I am also considering trying out a RSV swarm (8 Romulan Science Vessels with a little bit on the Capt side), but I'm not sure it would be viable with their 1-3 attack (then again, sheer weight of fire means that the opponent will flub a few defenses while I roll triple crits on at least one attack in the game). Outside of that, nothing on my end yet.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Ptak
United States
Livermore
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I actually managed to win one of my tournament matches as the feds because the Klingons were cloaked. Even with four agility dice I was still taking potshots at them and blew up a Vor'Cha through hitting it while it was under cloak and scoring some crits and hits.

A D7 has three attack average, decent hull, and the reverse-turn maneuver that still allows it to fire. Most opponents generally run with agility 1-2 so far (at least among the Federation), so I think swarming is still a viable (and deadly!) tactic on paper.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Will Sanchez
United States
Clermont
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
At my next event I'm definitely running some kind of swarm, but it depends on what my shop has available for purchase. I'm gunning for a 6 Science Vessel fleet (lol), but I may have to settle for 5 Miranda class instead (or some kind of mix, maybe 1 standard and 3 support). We definitely need more data in this area!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenn Mikos
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
delta_angelfire wrote:
We definitely need more data in this area!


I'm not sure Data is a good choice in a swarm fleet. I can't see wanting fewer attack dice in that situation...

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gijs Blaauw
msg tools
U.S.S. Enterprise-D - Captain Khan Singh, Engage, Leonard Mccoy, Montgomery Scott, Tactical Officer, Antimatter Mines (48 points)
Role: Superior Attack Vessel, Moderate maneuverability, Good utility

Shouldn't this be 52 points?


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.