January 2008

Ask Admiral Growler Continued

ANSWER: If you can meet the single base requirement for (J4.462), there is nothing to prevent mixed squadrons, but as noted, there is no current ground base designed to allow bombers and non-bomber units to be mixed into one squadron.

Follow-up Question: One of the bombers of a squadron can be used as an EW version using (R1.F7A). I believe (J14.313) and (J14.323), which mention bombers lending electronic warfare, support this, but (J14.0) does not specify how bombers lend electronic warfare. Being an electronic warfare fighter, this would include being able to control 12 seeking weapons.

ANSWER: As for an electronic warfare version, bombers use the same procedures as heavy fighters, i.e., they cannot lend one another the electronic warfare points of their built-in pods. One bomber in a squadron can be fitted (after electronic warfare fighters are invented) to lend electronic warfare from any pods carried on its drone or pod rails to other bombers of its squadron. The combination of (J14.21) and (R1.F7A) permits EW versions of a bomber.

Follow-up Question: Under rule (J10.44), bombers can control six seeking weapons and can accept control of seeking weapons from any other unit.

ANSWER: Yes, bombers have the seeking weapon control capability of heavy fighters.

Follow-up Question: In rule (S4.10) Weapon Status 0, it says "Carriers may have two of their fighters armed and ready to launch, but no other fighters may be armed with any reloadable weapons." Do EW pods count as "reloadable weapons"? In particular, can a carrier have electronic warfare pods installed on all of the fighters even at Weapon Status-0 or Weapon Status-I?

ANSWER: Pods of all types (not built-in) count as reloadable weapons, i.e., they require deck crew actions to install or remove just as drones, plasma torpedoes, fusion beam charges, etc. do.

Scott Tenhoff asks: On a Carrier, if you have any "equipment" issued on a by-fighter basis (i.e., "per assault fighter"), if you get a heavy fighter do you get double the equipment?

ANSWER: Rules (J4.621), (J4.75), and (J5.42) all state "per fighter", not "per space". So double space fighters do not get twice the equipment.

Joseph R Carlson asks: Does a Heavy-Fighter Base Augmentation Module (HFM) qualify for the carrier drone percentages in (J10.6)? Does the HFM have the (J4.75) supplies and the (J11.13) stockpile?

ANSWER: Fighter modules include the "V" for carrier identifier in the notes column of the master ship chart. Any base to which a hangar module is attached is a carrier for all purposes (just as attaching a PF module makes it a PF tender for all purposes). This means that if the base has six fighters (one normal hangar module) it is treated as a carrier with fewer than ten fighters under (FD10.6). If it has a heavy fighter module, with five or more heavy fighters, then it is treated as if it had ten or more single space fighters under (FD10.6). Note that just as with any other carriers armed with drones, the drone loadouts for the carrier's (in this case a base) drone racks would be figured separately from the drone loadouts for the fighter squadron. Once calculated all the drones are considered a single pool for use by either element (FD2.43).
As for (J4.75) and (J11.13), HFMs and HBMs would both come with the usual stockpile of fighter supplies.

Follow-up Question: Would a base that has ten or more fighters be considered a carrier for the (FD10.6) carrier drone percentages?

ANSWER: If the base naturally has that many fighters, then it would certainly qualify. If it has that many fighters as a result of hangar modules, then the (FD10.6) percentages would apply to the fighter drone storage, but not to the base's own drone racks.

Scott Moellmer asks: If fighters or shuttles land under their own power on their carrier (which by the rules is moving no faster than the shuttles), to LAND, must the fighter/shuttle actually MOVE, or does just being in the hex make landing happen?

ANSWER: Shuttle landing occurs during a different phase (impulse activity) than movement. Rule (J1.61) simply requires that at that instant, the ship and shuttle must be in the same hex. It does not care how they got there or when.

Tos Crawford asks: Is there anything that prohibits a shuttle from landing under its own power on a ship that is in tractor? If a ship is going speed 12 but is currently being held in a tractor beam and has an effective speed of 6, can a speed 6 shuttle land under its own power?

ANSWER: According to (G7.941), "A unit being held cannot launch or land fighters, shuttles, or PFs."

Les LeBlanc asks: When a hangar bay module is deployed before fighters are available is the base considered to be a carrier? If it is a carrier, does the 75% rule apply if the Module is stored as cargo and not actively deployed? If actively deployed? After all Shuttles are not fighters. Rule (S8.312) says if the number of fighters is voluntarily reduced, remove a pro-rata portion of the stored supplies (drones, chaff, deck crews, etc.). Reduction of fighters is limited to 25% of the original fighter group, i.e., a carrier with 12 fighters could reduce this by 3.

ANSWER: Hangar bay modules used prior to the appearance of fighters would be configured only for the operation of shuttles, they would not have any of the supplies available for fighters, as by definition those supplies are not needed. Since shuttles cannot accept electronic warfare in the same fashion as fighters from their carrier, this function is also not present. The sole purpose of the rule is to allow some bases to have additional shuttles for specific, and not necessarily combat, purposes. A Civilian base station might have a hangar module for three HTS shuttles (for example) to facilitate the movement of cargo up from the planet's surface. Another Civilian Base Station might be fitted with a hangar module and a couple of GAS shuttles because of the dangerous life-forms on the planet it orbits. A Commercial platform might have space for prospecting shuttles to operate from it. In short, more than anything else, it is a background data point to show how commerce operates and allow rarely seen units more of a presence in scenarios. Having such a prematurely deployed hangar bay module does not turn the base into a carrier.

Phil Shanton asks: How many Commander's Option points is the small generator spoken about in (J13.221)?

ANSWER: First, it does not have an associated cost. If your scenario envisions a casual fighter base that is going to be attacked, you simply have the shuttle at the cost of the two points you would pay to purchase a shuttle as part of your force.

Follow-up Question: How many Cargo Space points is it?

ANSWER: The rule implies that it takes up the entire cargo space of the shuttle.

Follow-up Question: If the cargo box at a casual base (J13.21) containing the portable generator is destroyed and there is no cost listed for the replacement, the generators are free items?

ANSWER: There is no statement that the generator is in a cargo box of the casual base, only that it arrives on a shuttle. It can be assumed that the generator remains on the shuttle so that the base can be quickly evacuated (that is the point of such things). If the shuttle containing the generator is destroyed, and it is desired that the base continue to be occupied (which would be regarded as foolish since its location is known), another generator could be procured at the cost of two BPV for the admin shuttle that will carry it.

Follow-up Question: Are Type-K Plasma torpedoes energized at casual bases (J13.221) the same way Type-Ds and phaser pods are?

ANSWER: Type-K plasma torpedoes are handled in the same way as type-D plasma torpedoes in accordance with (FP13.0), i.e., that plasma-K torpedoes are treated as plasma-D torpedoes except where the rule says otherwise.

Follow-up Question: How many Cargo Space points are Exodrones (UN1.71)?

ANSWER: Exodrones are not generically available in the Captain's Edition. If the Bargentine campaign is ever updated to Captain's edition rules, they will remain a special scenario rule.

Gary Bear asks: Federation Heavy Fighter and Bomber Ground Bases Power Question: The Heavy Fighter Planetary Control Base (R1.48C) specifically says that the APRs are changed to AWRs when operating A-20s (with no change in BPV). However, the Heavy Fighter Ground Base (R1.48B), Small Heavy Fighter Ground Base (R1.48A), Heavy Bomber Base (R1.46B), and Medium Bomber Base (R1.46A) do not say the same thing. By a strict interpretation of the rules, these bases have only APRs, even if they are operating A-20s or B-52s that require AWRs to arm the photons. Do these bases get the same APR to AWR as the HFPCB?

ANSWER: The note on the SSD for the heavy fighter PCB on page #3 of Module R8 says "APRs are AWRs on Federation bases that operate A-20s." It seems that the note was intended to apply to all of the Federation ground bases that operate A-20s. The errata for Module J2 notes that the APRs on Federation Medium and Heavy Bomber Bases are changed to AWRs with no change in BPV. This is not seen as any particular problem as it is unlikely that the bombers would launch and return to re-arm before the base could re-arm the ready racks. Also, other than "surprised", the ready racks already include fully loaded photons (except for those already loaded on some of the bombers) at all weapons status levels.

Follow-up Question: Additionally, (R1.48C) on the Heavy Fighter Planetary Control Base states that this would only be used where there is "access to a power grid". However, all other Ground Base types that can contribute to a Power Grid use APRs, making them ineligible to assist photon armed fighters/bombers. Is there any provision for AWR on those bases feeding a power grid connected to photon-armed fighters/bombers?

ANSWER: Your assumption that there are no ground bases with AWRs that could feed a power grid misses Ground Based Photon Torpedoes.

Follow-up Question: Is there a Small Power Station (R1.28L) version with AWRs, just for this reason?

ANSWER: There are no current plans to install AWRs on other ground bases, or to include a special small power station with AWRs.

Follow-up Question: Normally, it is expected that a carrier has enough drones to load its entire fighter group three times. Is it an intentional effect what the increase in fighter drone loads (from more advanced fighters and Mega-Fighters) has on the ability of Carriers to sustain operations? With the more advanced fighters, and worse with Mega-Fighters, the loadout on the fighters can actually exceed 50% of the carrier's drone stores (per Annex #7G), instead of being the expected 33% (or less).
Example: (Please do not fixate on the race or fighter type. This progression occurs with all fighter/carrier combinations. Yes, I know Federation Escorts get to hold more drones, but nobody else (Klingon, Kzinti, Lyran) get this advantage, so I ignore it here.)
A Federation CVB has 200 spaces of drones (per Annex #7G).
In Y172, its fighter group of 11xF-15 and 1xF-15E requires (11x6 spaces)+(1x2 spaces) = 68 spaces to arm. Leaving 132 (66%) in Stores.

In Y183, its fighter group of 11xF-15C and 1xF-15E requires (11x7 spaces)+(1x2 spaces) = 79 spaces to arm. Leaving 121 (60.5%) in Stores.

In the same year, a Mega-fighter group of 11xF-15CM and 1xF-15EM requires (11x9 spaces)+(1x2 spaces) = 101 spaces. Leaving 99 (49.5%) in Stores.

ANSWER: I did not fixate on the race or fighter type, per se, but your original example used F-14 fighters on a CVS which cannot be done. I changed your example to F-15s (and a CVB) for this response. Carriers simply did not have the room to store more drones as fighters became more advanced. This was just an unfortunate side effect of fighter technology advancing faster than shipbuilding technology.