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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hydran Master Starship Book Insights

This is Steven Petrick posting.

The good news on the Hydran Master Starship Book is that so far there have been very, very few reports from the reviewers on any problems. Most have been relatively small things easily corrected.

Today I finally got to finish going through a file or items that Ken Kazinski has been collecting for a while on the Hydrans (I will admit that the scary thing is that so far I think Ken has only submitted one item on the draft, all the other items were things he had picked up over the years) and made the few changes that were relevant.

One of those changes was to the Hydran Mule and reflects that Star Fleet Battles is a big game. The Mule is the Hydran light tactical transport, and is covered as a light tactical transport under Annex #3A. Not many people use that annex much, but when we updated the Module R3 SSD last the Mule's SSD was corrected to reflect that Annex #3A says all light tactical transports can carry two "pod weights."

Well, the Hydrans only have pallets, and all of their pallets, whether cargo, carrier, combat, or whatever are the same weight. But what if the Hydrans captured someone else's double weight pod and wanted to haul it to the rear? Annex #3A says a light tactical transport can do that. (Anyone can use a tug to haul anyone else's pods or pallets, you just cannot operate them, but you might collect them waiting on that day when you capture one of their tugs and then convert the whole mess to your own technology.)

When we did the updated Hydran Mule SSD we included a movement cost 1.33 chart for purposes of dragging double weight pods, but had not changed the ship description at the time for that possibility. Now it has been changed.

Another thing that is currently in the book, but that has not yet been blessed by SVC is a change to the Hydran Stinger-X. Even I had noticed long and long ago that it was odd that there was no electronic warfare variant of the Stinger-X. Why did Stinger-2s operating from a non-X Ranger (or from a Ranger-X for that matter) have better electronic warfare capabilities than Stinger-Xs? A Stinger-X maxes out (if not in range of its "carrier") at (pick one) three ECM and three ECCM, or two ECM and four ECCM, or four ECM and two ECCM. This is because they have the normal two built-in points of ECCM and of ECM and a built-in electronic warfare pod giving them what amounts to two "swing" points. A Squadron of Stingers operating from a Ranger can have (assuming no extra electronic warfare pods carried by any fighter) Six ECM and two ECCM, or five ECM and three ECCM, or four ECM and four ECCM, or three ECM and five ECCM, or two ECM and six ECCM. This is because they will have a Stinger-E with two built-in pods able to lend to the whole squadron.

It was suggested that Stinger-Xs might reflect their advanced technology by allowing them to use the electronic warfare fighter rules of heavy fighters (R1.F7A). This allows one fighter in a given squadron to be an EWF, at the expense of some deck crew actions (adding an extra EW pod and the EWF software). It only really matters for three reasons. One is if you are sending the fighters on a more or less independent strike away from your "carrier." Another is that sometimes even on an X-ship you need the power that would normally go to generating points to lend to the fighters for other purposes. And, finally, sometimes you are short on EW pods to load onto the fighters (because they had to drop them earlier in the battle) and having one fighter be able to loan to the others helps keep the EW situation fluid.

Well, that is it for today, I hope to have something more to say next time!