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Takxis

small ships Power

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my friend and i are new to Firestorm but have been playing wargames in general for over 30 years. is it just us (or are we reading the rules wrong) but we are finding that squads of small ships are way to powerful and both of us are begining to to put the max on. when i did a cost per AD study i also found that the smaller ships combined fire was cheaper in points that the capitols especially the DN and BB. for example an Aquan squad of 4 FG cost 100 and puts out 12AD Dindrenzi 90pts for 12AD as well and have the advantage of being multiple targets and harder to hit. compared to a BB costing twice for roughly the same AD. are we missing something. or is the balance out. BB and Dn should be the rulers of the field. but we are finding that when it comes to the grind a couple of squads of FG will do the job better

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battle ships and dreads have a lot more staying power and have multiple weapon systems. smalls are actually quite squishy with their low DR/CR.

The dindrenzi dreadnought could easily waste an entire frigate squadron on its own. with optimal shots of 2x14AD rail guns shots and 2x7AD torps. Those 12 AD another small squadron could put out will only really cause 1 point of damage as the dread has such a huge critical rating. 

Smalls certainly have their place but I have not found they are super amazing, certainly not vs the biggest enemy ships. use them to hunt other smalls/medium or look for that lucky rear-arc critical hit. 

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Smalls go pop pretty easily for me.

I do use them to great effect early and middle part of the game. Late in the game, half a squadron of small ships is hardly a real threat, except to maybe other small ships.

Yes, you get more dice per point spent, but they die to torpedo attacks early in the game due to low PD(especially when compared to large capital class ships).

Take the Terran cruiser for example, 5AD torpedoes which you can get three attacks per squadron activation(spread equally as possible). Against most smalls, that means the the small might have 2PD to use against each attack. Pretty good odds of wounding or out right criting a small(I'll take that chance). Keep in mind, a critical hit on any ship with two HP is an auto kill.

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I think the size of the game makes a differance.  We've (Crosss Gaming Club) been playing <800 pt patrol fleets with Battle Cruisers as T1 sqns and the smalls have held their own/ punched above their weight.... but I'm thinking that when we go over 800 pts and start taking more large capitals they will struggel to make a big enough impact.

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Smalls do put out more power of AD for the amount of points invested.  This is intentional and it plays into one of the mechanics of the game which is activation strength.


Look at it this way:

A single squadron of Dindrenzi frigates for 75pts can output a 12AD attack and an 8AD Torpedo attack both against the same target in RB2.

 

A single squadron of Cruisers for more than twice that amount (180pts) outputs only a little more with 16AD and a 8AD torpedo attack.

 

 In combination with other factions such as model attrition, damage on approach and of course other features like the ability to deploy mines, additonal broadside weaponry etc, there is far more 'potential' in activating a medium squadron, this means that a quick succession of Tier2/1 squadrons will net more results far quicker than a Tier 3 unit. 

 

There are also other concerns about smalls.  Small squadrons can be removed as viable threats to elements of your force by targeting them down.  After early loses, they get pushed down quickly in activation priority and so that means some squadrons must be sensibly activated later in the the game turn which exposes them to more risk while a Tier 2/1 squadrons will often always be jostling for that position.

 

There are a number of other considerations but in my experience however.  Right now I actually believe that a number of Tier 3 ships should perform slightly better, there are a good number however that consistantly are performing very well however.

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One good mine or nuke and may feel differently.

You can kill most smalls on 4 or 5 hits and thus reduce the AD significantly.  

If I could take fewer Tier 3s I would.

Drew, that would be zero tier 3's :-)

Besides I thought you liked your corvettes?

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The general consensus is that smalls are a bit too weak actually.  I find them to be fine myself, but then again I almost always shunt or flank them, where they excel.  But they do tend to die quickly when on the board from the beginning of the game.

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for me the smaller ships are hard to fight, because if i split fire, i might miss, but if i concentrate on a few i overkill, thus wasting dice

 

i do find that more activations/squadrons tend to win over fleets that hard high points/few squadrons

 

a fleet focused most only tier 2s tend to win against a fleet that leans towards battleships

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for me the smaller ships are hard to fight, because if i split fire, i might miss, but if i concentrate on a few i overkill, thus wasting dice

 

i do find that more activations/squadrons tend to win over fleets that hard high points/few squadrons

 

a fleet focused most only tier 2s tend to win against a fleet that leans towards battleships

and that is the issue for me it seems to easy for a number of groups of smalls to overcome a BB for much less cost. there should be a way that small find it extremely difficult to kill a capitol ship. it would be like a bunch of WW2 DD's taking out a BB, there was never anyway they could penetrate their armour. even a bunch of cruisers found it next to impossible to take on a BB as well. DD's ran interference and never posed a serious threat to a BB (apart from torpedoes, but that is another issue) and the role of cruisers was never to take on BBs but to act as power points in places BBs could not be present.

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i think its the classification of ships in this game is not as realistic as real world scenarios.  the cruisers in this game packs more punch than real world cruisers and act more like battlecruisers? but its mostly for game balancing sake, as a medium tier unit

 

i think we can fix this problem if we just give BB more guns, not necessarily more AD. although some races are already more suited to splitting fire than others

or reduce the cost slightly.  so far what i've noticed in my games is when 2 squadrons (BB vs frigates) and their point values are the same, the BB wins because it can reliably kill 1 frigate per turn, while the frigate's AD deteriorates rapidly after the first or 2nd turn after losing 1-2 frigates, which is half their strength.  the BB after taking 4 damage from 2 turns can still reliably kill 1 frigate per turn

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Small's have their uses but I would not rely on them to win my games. They may be fast(ish) and be cheap as chip's but once they start getting poped their usefullnes goe's down hill.

 

Yes you can get 9 drone/widow frigates for the price of 3 banes which has "more" firepower , but the banes are a tier 2 and so will survive longer and also be able to put up a fight when injured.    

 

(shhh :ph34r: they can teleport as well but dont tell anyone shhh)

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I agree with prolegitman. I think that it depends a little bit on the faction you are playing (Terran frigate spam is incredible!) but for the most part, frigates are a tool to be used in the right circumstances. I play Dew01833 a lot and he really dislikes his aquan frigates, buthedoes play his corvettes quite a bit. I don't want to speak for Drew, but my understanding is that they are too fragile and he could put more points towards other units.

I tend to use my Nidus frigates to target larger prey like cruisers, since I have wings and a powerful range band 2 shot. I find that because of system networks and interceptors in my fleet, my frigates are more survivable than most people's. However I have to play tighter and am far more vulnerable to nuclear strikes.

In general, frigates don't frighten me. Cruisers and destroyers tend to do more damage to my fleet as a whole. That being said, I usually kill frigates that are a threat as quickly as possible.

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I agree with the people saying smalls are well balanced, they do pack a disproportionate punch, but once brought below maximum firepower they struggle to hurt other stuff. There are many ways to deal with small, no-one mentioned boarding, which can be handily done with cruisers who haven't enough AP to take on bigger threats. 

 

I love my smalls, but I know they can't carry a fleet.

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i don't think that the small are so weak or so strong. Sure, they can give a good Punch. But the are also easy to crit.

But for me, i would never go into battle without 2 Sqadrons of my beloved Pilgrims ^^

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