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Initial thoughts?

Discuss tactics and general fleet concepts not specific to a faction
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WickedGood

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Initial thoughts?

PostSun Dec 18, 2016 10:37 pm

So I have played about 10 games now against all of the different fleets. Here are my initial thoughts as a PHR player:

PHR:
So I have no real desire to play our signature system "broadsides". I compare the killing capabilities of our broadside ships to the killing capabilities of other ships and the broadsides are lacking to me. Get that once you get positioned to deliver the full set you may get slightly more firepower but it is so rare compared to just the ability to deliver forward firepower. What do I like about the PHR then? Two models really jump out at me. #1. The Pandora. I have been running wolf packs of 3-6 pandora's (the 6 is two groups of three in the same battle group). My opponents have come to truly fear my ability to take an edge with this wolf pack. #2. The Bellerophon. The burn through laser on the front is great at finishing it from wounded ships while the bombers are tremendously effective. I have been taking 2 0f these and creating a carrier wing of 8 as a good base. Other notable ships for me include the Heracles. The dark matter cannon can be hit or miss but I have one shot at least 4 cruisers in my games. The Orpheus, besides the bulk lander capabilities I have found that the broadsides can effectively engage the opposing ships in atmosphere just through weight of fire. Calypso, against opposing big guns the ability to reduce the to hit on that one shot against your battleship or carrier can really help survivability. I also like the mini frigate carrier the andromeda.

UCM: the Perth is friggin amazing. Make sure you check the rules for burn through. I had one Perth go through my battleship in 2 turns with like 5- 6 cries per shot. Right behind the Perth is the New Cairo. Getting the idea yet. UCM has great burn through weapons. Lima, the ability to throw multiple detector out there is pretty cool and sets up the big shots by the Perth. On the interesting side I like the Madrid for its cheap bombardment capabilities. The ability to pound ground objectives and assets has been key in a couple of games. One thing I have not been impressed with is the mass drive tourers that hit on 4+. Some of that is the fact I have been playing PHR and unless you crit I tend to ignore it but in games I have had they can't seem to get enough hits to make a difference. My opponents have also been taking a lot of Taipei's. I have a sense these will be good against lighter armor. Compared to other forces I am not sure the UCM will have a good launch assets. I have a gut feeling that the UCM should focus on just having fighters to defend and a couple of Jakarta's to help out. I do not like a single one of their battleships.

Scourge: the akuma and the shenlong both have the basic weapon systems that scare me. That 2 shot , 3+ to hit and 2 damage weapon combined with the stealth and the ability to go weapons free to the front and bring multiple version of this weapon to bear can wreck a ship quickly. The hydra carrier is amazing.the djinn and the stryx both can do some serious damage in close. Pick your target well though as once they deliver there close in shots they tend to evaporate. One of my opponents has been using the charybdis very effectively to clear out a landing zone prior to landing troops. I don't like either of their battleships.

Shaltari: I have the least amount of experience with these guys. So please take this with a grain of salt. The diamond may be the best ship in the game. The gates are actually really good at dropping opposing atmosphere assets. Remember not just the shot but also the built in defensive battery capability. I have a gut feeling that the shaltari should be taking a mother ship and 3 gates for every 500 points at a minimum. The idea is to drop so many troops in the first 4 turns that when you are tabled on turn 5 it does not matter as you have so many troops holding objectives on the ground.

Overall:
Burn through lasers are amazing. The UCM and PHR should take them. The scourge versions are expensive so I might avoid them.
Weapons that hit on 3+ or better are better. That ability to deliver crits is key.
Bomber waves can be very effective at dropping fleets of frigates. But to drop big ships you have to completely overwhelm them.

I am I tested in other people's experiences. Anything I say catch you as completely wrong? Anything you have experienced that seems to be very effective?
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Gonefishing

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Re: Initial thoughts?

PostSun Dec 18, 2016 11:49 pm

WickedGood wrote:So I have played about 10 games now against all of the different fleets. Here are my initial thoughts as a PHR player:

PHR:
So I have no real desire to play our signature system "broadsides". I compare the killing capabilities of our broadside ships to the killing capabilities of other ships and the broadsides are lacking to me. Get that once you get positioned to deliver the full set you may get slightly more firepower but it is so rare compared to just the ability to deliver forward firepower. What do I like about the PHR then? Two models really jump out at me. #1. The Pandora. I have been running wolf packs of 3-6 pandora's (the 6 is two groups of three in the same battle group). My opponents have come to truly fear my ability to take an edge with this wolf pack. #2. The Bellerophon. The burn through laser on the front is great at finishing it from wounded ships while the bombers are tremendously effective. I have been taking 2 0f these and creating a carrier wing of 8 as a good base. Other notable ships for me include the Heracles. The dark matter cannon can be hit or miss but I have one shot at least 4 cruisers in my games. The Orpheus, besides the bulk lander capabilities I have found that the broadsides can effectively engage the opposing ships in atmosphere just through weight of fire. Calypso, against opposing big guns the ability to reduce the to hit on that one shot against your battleship or carrier can really help survivability. I also like the mini frigate carrier the andromeda.


Your not alone - I just don't see the Broadside Mechanics working for the PHR (or in general game terms), or outputting enough reliable damage to make them worthwhile. They suffer from several problems in general game terms. Focusing fire (you going to need multiple broadsides to cripple anything over frigate size), speed and getting into position, generally outnumbered (but unable to win a 1 v 1 fight with an equivalent classed ship) and the fact that they need to be in a perfect (but avoidable position) to output maximum fire, and even when they are that fire isn't reliable fire. Meanwhile all your non PHR opponents can pour focused forward fire into you as you advance, and while we are slightly more survivable with extra hull the key word their is slightly - in practice that extra hull does not do nearly enough to allow us to tank our ships through all the incoming fire and get into position.

In order for the Broadsides to actually be viable I really think the PHR Ships need to be either a great deal more survivable than they are (so that they actually can tank like the old Broadside ships of the line), or they need to have a great deal more "Stealth" abilities to get into position in the first place.

As they are they just seem like a way of making life really hard for yourself as a player, for no particularly tangible benefits.

So yep - my favourite PHR ships so far are pretty much exactly the same as yours, and I think most PHR lists going forward will be using the same options. IE. Pandora (Forward Fire), Bellephron's (Forward Fire and bombers [360*] that are the most effective way of targeting frigates), Orpheus (Forward Fire, troop ship and occasionally useful broadsides for killing atmosphere ships by weight of fire). Other than that expect to see Medea's / Heracles (Forward Fire) and Andromeda's [Effective 360*]) and Ganymede's (for the bombardment), and using heavy amounts of BTL / Forward Fire and Launch Assets over Broadsides. Its fine, because we have those options to play with so we remain fun and competitive, but its a shame in fluff terms and a lot of ships just wont see a lot of game time.
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scourn1

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Re: Initial thoughts?

PostTue Dec 20, 2016 3:47 am

Ive plastered this here and in the FB group, but everything you said holds pretty true.

Its pretty must the over all feeling of the PHR. On paper they look amazing, but in game, well in all honesty they suck as a race. They are my main faction every since they came out in Dropzone. So its sad to see them be the weakest of the 4 for most of the game. Been charts/graphs that prove unless you get to weapons free both sides, you always do the least damage. The ability to weapons free both sides is very limited unless your playing a terrible player that sets himself up. Every other play knows that's how you attack, so they move around you.

The ships you mentioned are all staples, and most with forward guns. Playing to our strength is great, but the strength is bombers, ground landing, and ships with forward guns. So it completely negates the theme of the army.

I grabbed a full Shaltari army to play until they get fixed as every game with PHR is miserable.

I'm not even sure what can be done. Thoughts are give them more HP. Having 1 higher or 2 higher then other races isn't that much better considering they will be hitting you long before you hit them

Making Med caliber hit on 3+ to med ships. I dunno

The game, while is objectives to win, is also the same amount Crits to win. 3+ armor is nothing if every other race crits on 5+ usually and we need 6s as the average.
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wundergoat

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Re: Initial thoughts?

PostTue Dec 20, 2016 5:10 am

scourn1 wrote:Making Med caliber hit on 3+ to med ships. I dunno

The game, while is objectives to win, is also the same amount Crits to win. 3+ armor is nothing if every other race crits on 5+ usually and we need 6s as the average.


Funny thing, the full rack of medium guns is actually the best of the standard cruiser guns by about 25% vs 3+ armor. You might only be half as likely to crit per shot, but you have twice as many shots, so the expected number of crits is the same, but you have twice the number of regular hits. I think the issue with the PHR broadside has more to do with the difficulty of getting them on target and that weapons free does not help single target damage.
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WickedGood

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Re: Initial thoughts?

PostFri Dec 23, 2016 5:59 am

Just to be clear. While I think the broadside mechanic is not very useful I like PHR very much as a faction. I am actually undeafeated with them so far. But you are correct i mtaking lots of bombers and lots of front facing burn through lasers. My wolf pack of 4-6 pandora frigates with the birth through lasers are becoming notorious. I am still playing with the bomber waves but our 2+ makes them very effective.

I played a 1000 point battle against ucm yesterday. I think their battery weapons are pretty meh as well. The guy went weapons free from his Atlantis into my Orpheus and did not even generate a crippling hit. The more I see the ucm and phr the more I think burn through lasers are the way to go. The Perth and the new Cairo both seem extremely efficient. We were talking about a ucm fleet with no fighter or bombers though and like 6 - 8 aegis frigates running around instead.

I watched a follow up game ucm vs scourge and the 2 shot, 3+, 2 damage weapons continue to impress. I am also seeing a turn 2 sending a cheap set of their close action frigates after the opposing drop carriers before they can get into atmosphere. Basically a pathfinder group with 4 djinn. The Taipei for ucm could do much the same. The idea is it is a strategy rating of 4 and you run it Out first and try and blow away your opponents strike carriers before they have a chance to get into atmo.
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gbprime

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Re: Initial thoughts?

PostFri Dec 23, 2016 1:14 pm

I think a rule stating that if you only use one set of a pair of linked weapons (i.e., fire in only one direction), you get a +1 to the lock value to represent having more power available to the guns. That might solve the entire effectiveness angle. But there's a thread on that...

I do fear those 5 hit, 3+ armor frigates... the capital ships... less so.
- GBPrime

- I may not have gone where I intended to go,
- but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
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koran

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Re: Initial thoughts?

PostSun Dec 25, 2016 2:03 pm

I have found so far that PHR are performing very well for me. And the broadsides are actually very useful on the right ships (though using them exclusively would be ridiculous and I dont think the intention). Doubly so when you look at how they combine on ships like the Orpheus. You have a ship which needs to be in the heart of the enemy fleet to drop, can fire both sides without going weapons free due to link and then (as it isnt weapons free) can scan a sector to get a victory point. Mean while the enemy fleet has to chose to either get the victory point or to diminish the power of one of their cruisers.

I dont think the broadsides are the best but they definitely have their use when put into a balanced fleet.
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scourn1

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Re: Initial thoughts?

PostSun Dec 25, 2016 6:05 pm

koran wrote:I have found so far that PHR are performing very well for me. And the broadsides are actually very useful on the right ships (though using them exclusively would be ridiculous and I dont think the intention). Doubly so when you look at how they combine on ships like the Orpheus. You have a ship which needs to be in the heart of the enemy fleet to drop, can fire both sides without going weapons free due to link and then (as it isnt weapons free) can scan a sector to get a victory point. Mean while the enemy fleet has to chose to either get the victory point or to diminish the power of one of their cruisers.

I dont think the broadsides are the best but they definitely have their use when put into a balanced fleet.



Thats the problem . The theme is broadsides. Any overall its a disappointment. And broadsides are all over most of the ships. Thats why in tourney games you see same phr lists over and over right now with no variations. Lists will have lots of launch and tons of burnthrough
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koran

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Re: Initial thoughts?

PostMon Dec 26, 2016 9:55 am

scourn1 wrote: Thats the problem . The theme is broadsides. Any overall its a disappointment. And broadsides are all over most of the ships. Thats why in tourney games you see same phr lists over and over right now with no variations. Lists will have lots of launch and tons of burnthrough


I do think that the broadsides have a place though. So far I have only been seeing tournaments at 999pts (though I may be mistaken) and the game becomes very different at 1.5k. This is where I think broadsides come into their own. There are more ships on the board and one battlegroup can be used much more forcefully in a semi-suicide run to get between enemy ships and fire their broadsides. With PHR you dont have to weapons free because of link so you can turn or scan a sector or just keep your signature down low so less ships can respond to your attack.

I just think people are being a lot more down than they need to.
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WickedGood

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Re: Initial thoughts?

PostTue Dec 27, 2016 2:12 am

I think there is going to be a little of optimization in all of the fleets not just PHR. The game is just so young that in order to differentiate the factions there are going to be just some clear cut choices. I get that the broadsides were touted as being PHR s differentiator. It just is not at this point.
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