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Dealing with Voidgate "Batteries"

PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 8:38 am
by MrKittens
Hello folks,

I've been struggling for a little while now to come up with my go-to solution for how to deal with the fact that the Shaltari have a permanent AA Battery net over, effectively, the entire game.

AA Batteries are one of the strongest ground assets, priced by the game as equal to three infantry, and only from ships who place themselves in dire danger to do their jobs. For most races, it requires a major tempo hit to place one; it's a Bulk Lander that isn't dropping a trio of Infantry who can then fight your opponents on the ground, or seize objectives. I often don't deploy Batteries, not because I don't want them, but because I simply can't afford to if I want to win a fight on the ground (I play PHR, and lean on Troopships quite a bit).

That Shaltari can effectively get an AA Battery passively, for no strategic cost, troubles me. Let's be honest, that player was going to have a Voidgate near that Cluster, anyway. This is one of the major sins of game design: Power Without Gameplay. By playing the game the way you were going to in the first place, you de facto get access to one of the most powerful effects in the game.

This really bothers me. Am I the only person who thinks this is the greatest strength of the faction? I'm not really upset by the Scan, or Sig., or Shields, though they're all really strong. It's that they passively make you not get access to the thing that allows you to win the game, by not doing anything. Aside from taking unholy volumes of Echoes and just accepting that I have to not actually get much of anything on the ground for the first half of the game until I can clear out the Voidgates, what does one do about this?

Re: Dealing with Voidgate "Batteries"

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 3:09 am
by Kemble
Corvettes.

I dont think gates are that big of a deal, try and have a corvettes pack as your final activation for each round where suitable. In the round where he first places his gates over clusters you desire, have a corvette pack as your final activation to clear them. Its particularly easy if he is only putting 1 or 2 forward gates at each cluster. (as such consider putting corvette groups into BGs you think might want to activate late as well, troopship groups?)

It sounds like you play PHR, so you have it easiest of all. Any gates you couldn't or cant get with Echos, just pull out those random broadsides. Each Orpheus broadside has a decent chance to kill 1 gate.


Another consideration for the defence battery, is that while it appears a lot of metas dont bring on troopships until turn 3 and therefore dont start dropping assets until turn 4. In these cases no, you wont drop a lot if any defence batteries.
But if you had a BG of 4 strike carriers and 1 troopships that you bring on in the first round, then that troopship probably will drop 1 or 2 defence batteries before it dies. In that case your defence battery is better than the Shaltari options as you get to kill bulk landers on 3's not 5s. Without Bombard or strike carriers already present in the batteries cluster, a normal defence battery near renders the cluster incontestable.

Re: Dealing with Voidgate "Batteries"

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 11:50 am
by Marbrand
Well, the thing that is ignored by everyone who hasn't played Shaltari is the soft cost of bringing those 'free' defensive batteries. In order to bring a three-a-turn drop asset to the table the Shaltari have to give up a medium and a light group and and 8 points of strategy rating. That ramps up quickly at higher points levels and you start running out of groups fast. And in a world with corvettes, a voidgate is not exactly the challenge it used to be to remove.

Re: Dealing with Voidgate "Batteries"

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 7:20 pm
by CaptainCrunch
As mentioned previously Corvettes and lots of shots bring Void Gates down. Unlike a lot of PHR players I don't think lots of burn through is the way to go since it does next to nothing vs Atmospheric ships. If you go for lots of shots (ie Europas and Theseus) PHR can do quite well vs Shaltari. Also, most Shaltari players tend to spread their Void Gates out thus making them prime targets for PHR broadsides ... especially Europa which can shoot everything without going Weapons Free.


And paying 15 pets for an equivalent orbital defense gun is pretty close to "free" when the next closest is 105 at minimum on ships that tends to not survive the game.

Re: Dealing with Voidgate "Batteries"

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:16 pm
by Major Awesome
CaptainCrunch wrote:And paying 15 pets for an equivalent orbital defense gun is pretty close to "free" when the next closest is 105 at minimum on ships that tends to not survive the game.


Reducing it like this doesn't quite work except to sensationalize and dramatize a difference in the factions. They are completely different systems. You could also say it's 115 points for a mothership and 1 gate, which have a defensive battery plus drop capacity of 1 versus a drop of 6 for 105, which seems much stronger the other way.

Re: Dealing with Voidgate "Batteries"

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 11:21 pm
by Kelbesq
Yeah it's really not an apples to apples comparison. Even ignoring points, 3x Voidgates and an Emerald is hardly 3x strike carriers and a troopship. If the troopship drops more than once, it's already more drop value than a voidgate being present. Voidgates have no tonnage value for capturing critical locations, and Emeralds are almost never near them to begin with. Troopships are vulnerable on approach, but voidgates can have their chain broken.

Re: Dealing with Voidgate "Batteries"

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 2:40 am
by CaptainCrunch
Ok, and we could also say a single gate can teleport 10 armor. That looks better than a single troop ship. But, to build that up takes a bit of time and effort. I think we all get that the factions are different. That still does not deny the fact that a single VG acts as a defensive gun for 15 points ... Irregardless of other use. In my opinion that alone is worth 15 points.

Anyway, the topic is how do PHR deal with VGs.

Re: Dealing with Voidgate "Batteries"

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 3:38 am
by J.D. Welch
PHR deal with VGs with corvettes and light broadsides.

It's that simple.

It's not a guarantee, but nothing should be.

This is why I don't like points comparisons, or dps comparisons -- you can't say that a Strike Carrier and a Troopship == 3 VGs and a Mothership, they're nowhere near equal in capabilities. It's a completely different mechanic, different volumes of different things. The only comparisons you can make are that they're both 3 frigate-esque ships and 1 cruiser, and that they both "drop" stuff. Beyond that, it's apples to pine nuts.

Look, I get that VGs can be annoying, believe me! But they're part of what makes Dropfleet unique, and a big part of what make Shaltari unique within Dropfleet, and that's an important part of the game. Plus, VGs have already received two nerfs (3 Hull to 2, and shooting down Bulk Landers on a 5+ instead of a 4+), and are likely to have to endure some more attention from the nerf bat, because some people like to get gamey and do things like Max Thrust a VG all the way to the center of the board and then Drop, or shunt a gajillion tokens from one cluster to all the other clusters just before a scoring Turn -- hey, the rules currently allow it, so why not exploit it, right? Wrong!

So, bust out your Tucks and get your butt over having been hurt a few times, and use corvettes and light broadsides to thin out the VGs, and learn where to break the chain to the best effect. In other words, learn to deal with them, as has been suggested, and otherwise get used to losing to Shaltari until you do master how to deal with them. ;)



Now, about that darned Echo... :lol:



(And, "irregardless" is not a word. Sorry, a pet peeve of mine...) :-D

Re: Dealing with Voidgate "Batteries"

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 6:17 pm
by Bistromatic
J.D. Welch wrote:Look, I get that VGs can be annoying, believe me! But they're part of what makes Dropfleet unique, and a big part of what make Shaltari unique within Dropfleet, and that's an important part of the game. Plus, VGs have already received two nerfs (3 Hull to 2, and shooting down Bulk Landers on a 5+ instead of a 4+), and are likely to have to endure some more attention from the nerf bat, because some people like to get gamey and do things like Max Thrust a VG all the way to the center of the board and then Drop, or shunt a gajillion tokens from one cluster to all the other clusters just before a scoring Turn -- hey, the rules currently allow it, so why not exploit it, right? Wrong!

To quote the book: "Gamers are encouraged to use every tactic and ruse they can within the rules to conquer the Cradle worlds for their faction and win the day."

Just can't bring myself to leave this unchallenged. I believe attitudes like that are detrimental to the game and the community.

If a move is legal it is valid. If something appears too strong, discuss with your opponent how it could possibly be overcome. If at this point it becomes a detriment to anyone's enjoyment complain about it to Hawk. Do not try to create an atmosphere of shame or social pressure to discourage valid moves. If it really needs an urgent fix house rule it. Agree with your opponent to a clear-cut and explicit modification of the rules ahead of each game instead of giving them the stink eye after the make a "dishonourable" move.

Hawk are doing a great job fine tuning the game and if those void gate moves for example are a problem i'm willing to rely on them to fix that.

Sorry if this comes across as harsh but it's something i care deeply about. I will do whatever i can to try and keep the community from drifting to grim, dark places *cough cough* :P

Always remember: The goal of the game is to win, the purpose of the game is to have fun. Don't lose sight of either.

Re: Dealing with Voidgate "Batteries"

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 6:23 pm
by Cry of the Wind
Well the move is no longer legal so don't worry about it! The offical rules change is now out and Voidgates can't use Max Thrust anymore and still deploy or teleport! Teleporting has also been reduced in power. So Hawk is listening and working to remove those dishounourable moves where they find them!