March 2010

Ask Admiral Growler (Continued)
- by Mike Filsinger

Scott Iles asks: Question on (T2.0) Economy of Force Mini-Campaign: Are the fighters and PFs on the bases free with the base or do they come out of the overall force point total?
      ANSWER: Yes, the fighters and PFs are included with the base in (T2.0). They are not part of the fleet total.

   Thorsten Kern asks: I have a question concerning Green Crews on PFs. In rule (K8.0) the restrictions for green crews on PFs are described. However what elements of rule (G21.1) from "POOR CREWS" are also applied? Especially, what happens with plasma torpedoes on PFs? Do they suffer the same penalty as written in (G21.114)? If none of the rules from (G21.11) are applied, are not the restrictions from (K8.0) too little for the 1/3rd benefit in BPV they receive?
ANSWER: Green-Crewed PFs suffer none of the effects of (G21.1). (K8.0) is used instead of (G21.0) for PFs.

      Jerome-Alexandre Leduc asks: I have a ship that has interceptors or PFs on mech-links. I declare that I am launching these gunboats. My opponent shoots them right away and they explode. Since all the ships were always in the same hex, which shield of my PF tender gets hit?
       ANSWER: Rule (D5.31) states to use (D3.42), which in turn refers to (D3.43). That said, it is somewhat ambiguous how to apply (D3.43), which is used to resolve (D3.41). Bottom line: see which unit would leave the hex next and judge the situation as if that unit had moved. This would handle the "tending in this direction" nature of this situation.

    Scott Tenhoff asks: Regarding transporting ground vehicles, either by HTS or by another unit, e.g., a cargo PF. Can they carry their boarding parties while in the cargo vessel? I.e., if I am carrying a GCV in an HTS can the GCV carry a BP inside, while it's inside the HTS (like a nesting doll)? I realize that if I beam down a GCV (three transporter actions) that no BP comes with it, but the BP would be a separate action.
        ANSWER: According to (D15.820), "It can be transported including its crew and one boarding party."
      Follow-up Question: This would mean that a cargo PF carrying GCVs (twenty cargo boxes each) could carry ten GCVs each with its own BP. Correct?
ANSWER: No. The cargo boxes on cargo PFs only hold 25 spaces of cargo (see the listing in Annex #7K under "Capacity). A cargo PF could carry at most five GCVs as cargo, not for combat.
        Follow-up Question: On the topic of cargo PFs carrying vehicles, once one lands, it unloads vehicles at the same rate (one every two impulses) as other units. Do Kzinti PFs (Needles/MRNs) unload at a different rate, since they effectively have two "bays" whereas other PFs have one "bay"?
        ANSWER: There is no rule saying that Kzinti PFs are different than other empire's PFs in this regard.

   John Wyszynski asks: Rule (K2.432) says "At Weapons Status-I, the leader and two PFs have their weapons armed." Rule (K0.31) allows the PF leader to be replaced with a standard PF. Can this replacement PF be counted as the leader in (K2.432), so that three standard PFs can have their weapons armed?
     ANSWER: If you replace the leader with a standard PF, it is a standard PF, not a leader. If such were intended, the rule would have been written to allow any three PFs to be armed at Weapons Status-I, or to allow the only three remaining PFs of a given flotilla to all be armed at Weapons Status-I whether one was the leader or not. The limitation inherent simply reflects the additional loss in capability of the flotilla in not having the leader. This also reflects that the more capable leader gunboat is better able to keep itself ready for actions with minimal help from the PFT.

        Gord Whitney asks: I have several questions about wild PF scouts (and by extension, SWACs).
     1) Does the Speed 12 limit refer to (C2.411) practical speed or (C2.413) maneuver rate? i.e., can a wild PF scout perform Erratic Maneuvers and/or an HET while moving at a practical speed of 12?
      I am assuming (C2.412) effective speed can be ruled out due to posts from August 2004 which clearly confirmed wild SWACs/PF scouts can be towed by tractor beams.
        ANSWER: 1) Performing Erratic Maneuvers would certainly be prohibited. As for an HET, I do not know if it was the designers' intent, but I see nothing to prevent performing an HET.
    Question 2: Rule (J9.24) states "From the impulse after the shuttle goes wild..." it attracts all seeking weapons within fifteen hexes. Which, to my understanding, means all of the following:
0 any swordfish drones which reached firing position on their original targets on that same impulse CAN and MUST fire their phasers at those targets.
   o any active ECM drones or plasmas continue to provide protection to their targets during the Direct Fire Stage of that impulse.
        o any units which had been receiving loaned electronic warfare from the PF scout no longer benefit from it during the direct fire stage of this impulse.
        What is not clear (at least to me) is what happens if the SWAC (or PF scout) is destroyed in the subsequent direct fire stage of the same impulse where it goes wild. Does it succeed in distracting anything? I.e., are the seeking weapons in range pursuing their original targets or the debris of the wild SWAC/PF scout?
  ANSWER: 2) Your interpretation of the consequences of the wording of (J9.24) is correct. As for what happens if the SWAC is destroyed before it starts attracting weapons, the weapons remain targeted on the original targets.
Question 3: Can crippled PF scouts go wild? Crippled SWACs cannot, by rule (J9.131). But note (pay close attention to the rule numbers) the PF Scout rule is (K1.756), which refers the reader to (J9.2). The prohibition about crippled SWACs going wild is in a different subsection, which makes it unclear whether it applies to PF scouts.
ANSWER: 3) As long as the PF scout has an operable special sensor, it could go wild, even if crippled.
  Question 4: Can a PF scout whose special sensors have all been destroyed go wild? According to the website errata, it does not require the use of these sensors to go wild. However, (J9.23) makes a passing reference to SWAC scout channels "being engaged in the 'wild' function."
   To put it another (and probably better) way, is the rule actually meant to say scout channels are "not required" or "can be used for the wild function, at no energy cost, even if the channel has already been used for another purpose on the same turn"?
     This is a subtle, but sometimes important, distinction, used, for example, when a PF flotilla is operating in a nebula, as in (SH30.0). Or when the PF scout wants to perform Erratic Maneuvers.
        ANSWER: 4) The PF scout must have an undestroyed sensor to "go wild" but that sensor might have already been used during the turn for something else without stopping this.