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PHR Medium guns

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Shunter

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PHR Medium guns

PostThu Oct 05, 2017 8:33 pm

For those of you who have good experience , what are your thoughts on medium guns? I've only played 1 game, PHR v PHR, so at least I did get to see them in action for and against me. And I was underwhelmed.

I had medium guns on just an Ganymede and an Ikarus, and I dont think I caused any damage at all. 4 dice hitting on 4's and allowing armour saves (as you need to be very lucky for a crit) meant no damage.

My opponent went heavier on them than me. He had 2 squads of 3x Europas and an Orion. Yet the damage done to me was negligible. I'm pretty sure our rolling was pretty standard, but still the results were poor.

As I say it is the only game I've had, so I want to get other opinions. But post game discussion had us both wondering why bother. Especially when the burn through lasers on Ajax and Orpheus did more damage for me, And the bombers did much better for my opponent.

I kind of felt like the Medium guns needed the Calibre rule. Or Maybe that they at least get the correct amount of shots as per the model. I.e. 10 for an Orion and 5 shots for the half broadsides on Ganymede etc.
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swampsheep

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Re: PHR Medium guns

PostThu Oct 05, 2017 8:42 pm

I (for once) have no interesting statistics on this, but my experience is, that they are the average, reliable choice. A Medium Battery isn't worth all that much, but it is worth remembering, that this is at most to be considered half a cruisers armament (here assuming that in most cases, a cruiser will only get to loose one broadside a turn). You should always measure on a full broadside. Both the Ikarus and the Ganymede have other weapon systems available to them.

I have played quite a few matches recently with an Orion and a Agamemnon and I find the medium broadside not to be an "instant ship killer" but a reliable method of dealing out damage against most targets.

Giving it Calibre (Medium) would make a single broadside the equivalent of a Moscows full (primary) firepower against medium tonnage ships but without the need for weapons free order - in fact, for a couple of ships, you would have two that are linked and can be fired without weapons free. It would be way to powerful.

I still have a sweet spot for light calibre as it rains horrible, metallic death on frigates, but the medium broadside is a fine, reliable choice IMO.
http://linkedbroadsides.com - My blog with analysis, tactics and thoughts about dropfleet. Updates Mondays and Thursdays.
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Lorn

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Re: PHR Medium guns

PostFri Oct 06, 2017 7:38 am

http://hawkforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=9412

For a previous discussion on the topic.

In Essence Caliber makes them too good, at least compared to Mass Drivers, against those they are balanced fine. Though Disintergrators, Occulus Beams or BTL are another matter. Lastly application of damage is an issue if you can fire both sides you often come out on top though you cannot focus that on one target and it is hard/late to pull off.

Though keep in mind that the discussion started before the buff the PHR making many broadsides linked. Which makes the application easier. Also before the Buff to heavy broadsides which makes them better.

German space magic for PHR would you like to know more?
http://www.hawkforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7017
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Tychonaut

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Re: PHR Medium guns

PostSun Oct 08, 2017 4:36 pm

The point of the Medium battery is that it is equally bad at shooting at all targets.
It has the same effect against a Battleship as it does an Escort (irrespective of armour for a minute)
The ships that carry Light Callibre tend to also have a BTL to deal with heavier targets, then spam dice-flavored murder toward Frigates.

They also kind of play into our main strategy. Kill enough of their big stuff so our Frigates don't die T2,
Then switch to killing their ground game before it can get too far ahead.
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Wulfyn

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Re: PHR Medium guns

PostTue Oct 10, 2017 11:55 pm

Medium guns definitely feel a bit underpowered relative to the light and heavy guns. I think giving them medium calibre would make them way too good, and it is possible that the ships just need a point adjustment.

The main problem is that there are few targets were a medium calibre battery significantly outperforms the light or heavy variant. A typical weapon setup is 12 light shots @5+, 8 medium shots @4+, or 4 heavy shots @3+. That gives light and medium guns the same expected number of hits, so their advantage is in getting criticals. Heavy weapons are better at getting crits (having a better base lock and the special rule so they crit on 1 higher rather than 2) but with half the number of shots hit overall less often. So it is not like the medium battery is terrible, it is more that the use is very niche. Against light or heavy/super targets the medium battery falls away quite sharply.

This gives the medium battery weapons a fairly specific niche of being better than other weapons against medium tonnage 4+ or worse armour ships. And if we think about the ships that fall into this category that you are going to want to prioritise the picture doesn't look great. New Cairos are definitely on the menu, but are likely to be lurking far away. Seattles/Hydras certainly need to die but again are not going to be pushed far forward. This creates an added problem that to get them in your fire arc you are going to have to turn.

The manoeuvre itself is not the problem. What is a problem is that by doing so it is likely that one of your batteries won't have any targets and that if you turn too early you'll never close the range. The way to maximise damage, and I feel the key to playing PHR well, is clever gunnery. Our ships have an extraordinary ability to not pile all damage onto one target. That's a big downside because our greater firepower gets spread around when the game rewards focusing on a few ships to kill them quickly. If you are turning early then you are just wasting the damage potential of the ship - you may as well take a nova laser.

I think that this is compounded by the ships that have medium broadsides. Against medium 4+ targets the Orion, with its 2 medium broadsides has the best points per damage return on standard orders for cruisers at (my maths may be dodgy!) 15.7pts / damage because the weapons are linked. But if you are only firing one side that falls to a miserable 31.4 (only our troopships and battleships are worse). The Europa has a slightly better return at 15.0pts / dmg but suffers the same problems. To maximise their efficiency you need to push them forwards and hope there are god targets on both sides. That's actually no easier than taking a mix of heavy and light calibres and working to get the right targets for each. An Ajax vs Medium 4+ targets is only slightly less efficient at 18.2pts/dmg, and has the advantage of being an excellent frigate killer.

In the end the only role I see the Orion and Europa really excelling at is killing troopships. Now that's not something to be dismissed lightly, but it is terrible specific and there are other ships that can do this well - personally I'd go max bombers and swarm troopships with them as early as possible. I just think that other ships can do 'their' job nearly as well in almost all circumstances, and any loss of efficiency is more than made up for in how well they will cover their main jobs.
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Shadeseraph

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Re: PHR Medium guns

PostMon Oct 23, 2017 11:53 am

I'm still very much a novice, but the couple games I've played more or less say that they are suplementary to other weapons. Light turrets are much, much better at dealing with small ships and against atmospheric assets. Bombers and BTL are much better against larger ships. Medium guns generally are useful at dealing the last 2-3 HP you might need to get a ship to critical.

They are at their best in Europas, and maybe theseus. I don't think I'd take an Orion over a Theseus or a Leonidas over a Priam, personally.
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brandothecommando

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Re: PHR Medium guns

PostMon Nov 20, 2017 7:29 pm

Europa's and Orions, while many people would argue are underwhelming, are fantastic ships. Orions should be run in pairs and Europas 5-6 in a group. They can put out a brutal amount of firepower, but they must be used optimally; this means choosing your point of engagement carefully and when to engage. To really make them worthwhile, they need to be firing both broadsides as much as possible. This may mean you have to max thrust them early in the engagement to make this a reality. However, 15-18 shots PER SIDE plus a good amount of close action is nothing to disregard.

Problem with medium guns is they're often overshadowed by other weapons systems, like launch, lasers, and light calibre. However, the ability to crit heavier tonnage and the sheer volume of shots does make a big difference.
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Lordprinceps

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Re: PHR Medium guns

PostMon Nov 20, 2017 8:29 pm

Statistically speaking, Medium guns are fine.
Comparing them against 2x UCM 6400's or a Shaltari disintegrator battery against 3+/4+/5+ armor, the following mean damages per firing are achieved:

Medium Calibre Battery: 1.111 / 1.333 / 1.556
Medium Calibre Broadside: 2.222 / 2.667 / 3.111
2x 6400 Mass Drivers: 1.778 / 2.000 / 2.222

Batteries, by themselves, are underwhelming as "main guns". This is to be expected, as they're (litterally) the PHR equivalent of two 4200's that you would find on a UCM battleship or Perth.
However, when present as a full broadside, they outdamage comparable weapon systems by 25% to 40%.

EDIT:
Meanwhile. for light and heavy broadsides, we get the following means both against non-preferred and preferred targets.
Light Broadsides (Medium/Heavy/Super): 1.333 / 2.000 / 2.667
Light Broadside (Light): 3.333 / 4.000 / 4.667
Heavy Broadsides (Light/Medium): 1.778 / 2.000 / 2.222
Heavy Broadsides (Heavy/Super): w/o errata: 2.444 / 2.667 / 2.889
Heavy Broadsides (Heavy/Super) w/ errata: 2.889 / 3.000 / 3.111

We can see from this that, without fail, medium broadsides are better than Light and Heavy broadsides against non-preferred targets in all situations. The apparent problem is actually that Heavy Broadsides aren't good enough against their preferred targets, only doing slightly more damage against them compared to the massive increase Light Broadsides get.
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Shikatanai

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Re: PHR Medium guns

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 7:19 am

Lordprinceps wrote:Statistically speaking, Medium guns are fine.
Comparing them against 2x UCM 6400's or a Shaltari disintegrator battery against 3+/4+/5+ armor, the following mean damages per firing are achieved:

Medium Calibre Battery: 1.111 / 1.333 / 1.556
Medium Calibre Broadside: 2.222 / 2.667 / 3.111
2x 6400 Mass Drivers: 1.778 / 2.000 / 2.222

Batteries, by themselves, are underwhelming as "main guns". This is to be expected, as they're (litterally) the PHR equivalent of two 4200's that you would find on a UCM battleship or Perth.
However, when present as a full broadside, they outdamage comparable weapon systems by 25% to 40%.

EDIT:
Meanwhile. for light and heavy broadsides, we get the following means both against non-preferred and preferred targets.
Light Broadsides (Medium/Heavy/Super): 1.333 / 2.000 / 2.667
Light Broadside (Light): 3.333 / 4.000 / 4.667
Heavy Broadsides (Light/Medium): 1.778 / 2.000 / 2.222
Heavy Broadsides (Heavy/Super): w/o errata: 2.444 / 2.667 / 2.889
Heavy Broadsides (Heavy/Super) w/ errata: 2.889 / 3.000 / 3.111

We can see from this that, without fail, medium broadsides are better than Light and Heavy broadsides against non-preferred targets in all situations. The apparent problem is actually that Heavy Broadsides aren't good enough against their preferred targets, only doing slightly more damage against them compared to the massive increase Light Broadsides get.



You forget two of the most important factor for those weapons that cannot be described with this statistics approach.
1. You need to have two valuable targets and need to be able to get in with those arcs. This will usually happen much later than you'll need them against prepared opponents. Exception is the Europa of course.
2. This game is mainly about trading ships fast or at least cripple them, time to kill is really low. Spreading small amounts of damage all over the place isn't helping as it takes much longer to actually influence the game while comparable groups with other weapons can do exactly that much faster.
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Lordprinceps

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Re: PHR Medium guns

PostTue Nov 21, 2017 8:03 am

Shikatanai wrote:You forget two of the most important factor for those weapons that cannot be described with this statistics approach.
1. You need to have two valuable targets and need to be able to get in with those arcs. This will usually happen much later than you'll need them against prepared opponents. Exception is the Europa of course.

Hmm? How so? I'm not talking about both medium batteries (one on each side) of, say, an Ikarus having combined firepower equal to a broadside, I'm talking about an actual broadside (like you might find on an Orion) having comparable (and greater) firepower than other faction's main guns, as well as being generally better than light and heavy broadsides (except against their preferred targets).
The original contention was that "Medium guns are weak" and I showed that, no, they're actually quite good. Saying that a medium battery feels wekk compared to a full light broadside is like saying that a single 6400 turret (if such a weapon existed in the game) felt weak compared to a Beijing's 3x turrets.

Shikatanai wrote:2. This game is mainly about trading ships fast or at least cripple them, time to kill is really low. Spreading small amounts of damage all over the place isn't helping as it takes much longer to actually influence the game while comparable groups with other weapons can do exactly that much faster.

Exactly, you're absolutely right, but it's very important to remember that stuff like the Ikarus and Ganymede do NOT have full weapons. They have the PHR equivalent of double 4200's.
Ships like the Orion, Hector, Achilles, Ajax, etc etc don't spread firepower all over the place; they can put a full broadside's worth of guns onto a single target.
Ships like the Ikarus and Ganymede can only put half that amount out.

Really, the only issue is that of perception. Medium guns feel weak in comparison to Light and Heavy guns because, almost invariably, Light and Heavy guns are fired against their preferred targets. This leads to them being outright better than the medium guns in all observed cases (light guns vs light; post-errata heavy guns vs heavy/super), or at the least equivalent (pre-errata heavy guns vs heavy/super). When given the choice between shooting, say, heavy guns at a medium ship or at a heavy ship, players will almost always go for the heavy ship except under unusual circumstances.
Because of this, players will never see how poorly light guns perform against non-light ships, or heavy guns against non-heavy ships, which would given context as to how the medium guns are, baseline, better than the light and heavy guns.
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