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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Changes in Tactics

This is Steven Petrick posting.

Back in the day I frequently ran the merchant shipping my opponents would attack. Some of my opponents were fleet officers simply engaging in a little light-hearted commerce raiding, some of them were hard-core Orions looking to make a buck (all of them were fellow gamers, of course).

Because I ran so many convoys (back in the day when Skids and ducktails were not available), I was constantly looking for means and methods to safeguard my charges.

Many raiders ran afoul of my ad-hoc fighter squadrons (a surprising number were shocked at just how much firepower flocks of admin shuttles working in close company with the freighters represented). And, infamously, in those halcyon days there was no rule preventing the common freighter from purchasing not just T-bombs, but nuclear space mines. To this were added armed freighters and Q-ships to supplement the more normal police ships and frigates as escorts.

Eventually there was sufficient hue and cry about convoys beating up on cruisers and Orion raiders with masses of T-bombs (and those occasional nuclear space mines) that the rules were changed. Nuclear space mines were not just removed from the freighters, but were further proscribed and limited to mine-warfare ships and Romulans. (Back in the day, even my personal ship always carried the two allowed nuclear space mines, but that is no longer allowed.)

So it happens that my convoys continued to use their massed shuttles offensively, and the occasional heavy firepower provided by a Q-ship in surprise, but tactics had to be adjusted for the loss of the T-bombs (it being rules that I could not even mix in an auxiliary minelayer as part of my escort forces anymore).

Thus a new complaint arose that the convoys I operate tended to "offensively board" enemy warships. After all, each freighter still has a transporter, and if I cannot buy T-bombs and nuclear space mines with their commander's option points, I could still buy marines.

Fortunately, I moved on to working for Amarillo Design before my tendency to capture raiding ships (and Orion pirates) got too much notice and that rule has not yet been amended, although there are rumblings about it.

So, I wonder, where will I go for my next tactical solution to unwanted strangers harassing my freighters in the future?