F&E Strategy of The Month [continued]
THINNING OUT THE HYDRAN EXPEDITIONARY HERD
Use special raids to attack Hydran ships in Klingon territory which are attempting the Expedition. This has the advantage of being able to target a particular ship, and the Hydrans cannot retreat toward the Federation, unlike with conventional combat. The Klingons can do one special raid plus a drone raid per turn, and the Lyrans can do one raid.
One should target cripples so as to destroy them and further reduce pin count, making it harder for the Hydran ships to retreat into a group of Klingon ships. This forces them to decide if they want to conduct a fighting retreat or constrain their movement options further.
This tactic also allows targeting the ship holding the Hydran diplomat, unlike conventional combat wherein that ship may remain out of a Battle Force until it is forced to join due to minimum force requirements. Even if you do not kill the ship, merely crippling it may convince the Hydrans to move the diplomat to another uncrippled ship, possibly a smaller one.
Another good option would be to target the tug carrying the fighter-conveyor pod with a large drone raid in order to cripple it. This renders the pod-carried fighters useless and may possibly put many Hydran ships out of supply at an inconvenient time for the Hydran player. This can be accomplished by a three drone-ship raid (three D6Ds), using a Battle Intensity Rating of seven, and rolling a two or higher on the die. This scores 3.6 points of damage, which rounds to four, which is exactly enough to force the tug to be crippled. Because this will generate four minus points, I would advise you to conduct this raid last after all other special raids are done. You will also need to have your opponent agree to the optional rule allowing higher Battle Intensity Ratings than four for special raids. If your opponent does not agree, the tactic will still work, but you will need a die roll of five or six.
Killing any Armed Priority Transport carrying fighters or ship supplies along with the Expedition is also worthwhile.
A fighter raid from an on-map D6V or CVT group is feasible, although best used after the Hydrans have no fighters left on the target you are considering attacking.
If the Hydrans have left their diplomat on a crippled ship, be sure to try and kill it. The diplomat only has a one-in-three chance of survival (540.132) if the unit carrying it is destroyed.
If the Lyrans have set up a mobile base in hex 1411, the Lyrans might be able to use a fighter special raid from a JGP-V (three fighter factors). Targeting a crippled frigate with a Battle Intensity Rating of four, a die roll of one will score 0.52 Damage Points, which rounds to one Damage Point, killing the frigate.
In summary, conducting as many special raids as the Coalition can against the Hydran Expedition may help whittle down their ship numbers, and seriously inconvenience the Hydrans.