JULY 2012

Ask Admiral Growler (Continued)

     George Duffy asks: With regards to transferring a shuttle from one shuttle box to another shuttle box within the same bay, if two deck crews were used in the transfer would the time be cut in half (16 impulses) as described in (J4.817)?
     ANSWER: Sorry, but no. Rule (J1.594) says "It takes one entire turn (starting with Impulse #1) to move any shuttle to another box (or pair of boxes) within the same bay." It does not say "It takes one deck crew action to move any shuttle to another box (or pair of boxes) within the same bay."
     Moving a shuttle from one box of a given bay to another box of a given bay is not a deck crew action. Deck crew use for this purpose is not required in either (J1.594) or mentioned anywhere in (J4.81).
     Follow-up question: A suicide shuttle is armed and is being held, paying a holding cost during Energy Allocation.
     Can said shuttle be transferred to another box within the same bay, within a turn before the next turn's Energy Allocation step and still considered being held?
     Or is it considered to have discharged its energy and would have to start the charging procedure all over again?
     ANSWER: Suicide shuttles cannot be transferred after the arming process has begun. You can only abandon the arming process, or complete it and hold the armed shuttle. If you could move the armed suicide shuttle, you would be able to move it to a balcony of a ship with a balcony and track system, and this is specifically prohibited: "(J1.534) Scatter-packs can be held on the balcony; suicide shuttles and wild weasels cannot. The targeting of scatter-packs held on the balcony can be determined on the impulse of launch."
     Follow-up question: Rule (J2.2213) says that reserve power can be used for holding a suicide shuttle. Which would seem to support that energy used for holding is not considered continuous.
     ANSWER: Better reread the rule, it does not say that reserve energy can be applied to hold the suicide shuttle, it says it can be applied to the shuttle ". . . (up to the limit of nine total points)." What the rule is telling you is that if you had a suicide shuttle armed with say six points of power (say 2+2+2) and being held, you could apply up to three points of reserve power to bring it to its full warhead potential (nine points of power). It does not say you can fail to pay the holding cost during Energy Allocation [which (J2.2122) very clearly says you cannot do] and then apply reserve power in mid turn to not lose it.
     Follow-up question: Can a fully loaded scatter-pack be transferred to another shuttle box within the same bay?
     ANSWER: Yes. So could a fully loaded photon fighter, or fusion fighter, or hellbore fighter, or disruptor fighter, or plasma fighter, or etc. (You cannot move the fighter in the middle of loading it.) Fighters are purpose built to hold their weapon charges and drones are pretty dormant until launched.
     But suicide shuttles and wild weasels are another matter requiring that they be tied to the ship's energy systems until they are launched, or disarmed.
     Follow-up question: I do have some doubt as to the answer given with regards to the second question: "The transfer of a 'held' suicide shuttle to from one shuttle box to another within the same bay."
The reason why (J1.534) prohibits suicide shuttles and wild weasels from transferring and operating on the balcony is because of rule (J1.531). It states: "Shuttles on the balcony cannot be prepared for special missions (wild weasel, suicide, scatter-pack), or rearmed or repaired by deck crews (J4.8)."
Since the equipment needed to apply power is not on the balcony tracks, it cannot be used.
     But I was asking about transferring to another shuttle box within the same bay, where the box (or fighter box for that matter) has the necessary connections for the armed "held" shuttle to operate from.
     For a wild weasel, rule (J3.121) clearly states: "A wild weasel can be kept in the bay and continuously supplied with energy (one point per turn, i.e., a rolling delay)." which would prevent it from being transferred.
     A suicide shuttle does not have that sentence anywhere. It only needs to be given energy at the beginning of each turn's Energy Allocation Step. If a transfer is done during the impulse movement steps of a turn, then wouldn't the shuttle be ready to receive "holding" energy next turn during its Energy Allocation step?
     ANSWER: The holding energy may be paid at the start of the turn, but it reflects a continuous feed of energy all through the turn, just like life support or shield costs or fire control. You pay for those things in Energy Allocation and they operate continuously through the turn, but it actually represents a continuous feed of power through the coming 32 impulses, just like there is a continuous feed of power to keep your computer operating. Shuttles do not take over the holding of the antimatter bomb until you launch them.
     Until that point, they are plugged into the ship's power grid and the ship maintains the antimatter bomb.

     George Duffy asks: To prepare a shuttle as a suicide shuttle or a wild weasel  does a deck crew have to be assigned?
     ANSWER: There is no requirement to use a deck crew to prepare a suicide shuttle or wild weasel. Removing the systems to make the shuttle normally useable is a different matter (J1.869).
     Follow-up question: Do deck crews have to be assigned to deploy a mine/T-bomb from a shuttlebay?
     ANSWER: There is no requirement to use a deck crew to lay a T-bomb or nuclear space mine.

     Troy Latta asks: I was pretty sure I knew that the fighters listed in the R-section for each carrier are just guidelines, and they can actually use any fighter appropriate for that empire in a given year, but I cannot find a rule to support this position. Help?
     ANSWER: See (R0.7), the second paragraph under the table.

     Roch Chartrand asks: A drone-armed multi-role shuttle has two spaces of drones; how many reload drone spaces are available?
     ANSWER: Multi-role shuttles have their own supplies as listed in their rule; see (J8.53).

     Mike Kenyon said: Multi-role shuttles are usually issued to units that have entries in Annex #7 for drone reloads and would come out of that. By (J8.13), they are loaded as though a fighter and therefore on a ship that does not have an Annex #7 entry, would be treated at though on a casual carrier (J4.62), and provided with three complete reloads.
     Strangely, by the discussion of last week, this rule means that casual carriers were better stocked than fleet carriers as history progressed (Annex #7 entries are static, while casual carriers have their supplies based off of the capabilities of their fighters).
     ANSWER: The supplies for multi-role shuttles are not covered in Annex #7, but found in (J8.53), and any drones (or plasma-Ds) are in addition to any listed in Annex #7G or Annex #7N. See (J8.53).

     Frank Brooks asks: Rule (J1.531) says that if a ship has a shuttle on its balcony and receives a "rear hull" damage point, the shuttle is destroyed instead of a rear hull box. Does "the shuttle is destroyed" include the box the shuttle was in or just the shuttle itself?
     ANSWER: Only the shuttle on the balcony is destroyed, there is no "hull" or "bay" box that is also destroyed, and (I will add) there would be no "chain reaction" in such a case. You simply lose the shuttle rather than a rear hull box if the shuttle was on the balcony (or do not have to take a hit on a system a rear hull box would have protected if you were out of rear hull boxes).