May 2007

Ask Admiral Growler
by Mike filsinger

Roch Chartrand asks: Rule (J8.53) says that a ship carrying a drone-armed MRS has 12 reloads of ADDs and 20 spaces of drone storage for it. Does it mean that the MRS has 6 ADDs in its launcher and 12 in storage, two drones on its rails and the 20 spaces of drones as reloads, for a total of 18 ADDs and 22 spaces of drone?

ANSWER: See (J4.72) "Drones held in ready racks or loaded on the fighters count as part of the ship's storage." Rule (J8.53) is specific that the 12 ADDs mentioned are "reloads", and the 20 spaces of drones are all the drones it has. Based on this, a ship with a drone-armed MRS would have a total of 18 ADDs (six of which are already on the MRS) and 20 spaces of drones. Note that under (J8.53) some of these drone spaces will be type-VI drones.

Follow-up Question: I would like some clarification on control of drones that are released from a scatter pack. I have a ship with a control rating of three because it is not armed with drones in the first place. This ship (a pre-plus refit Federation CA) has an MRS bringing the drones listed in (J8.53), and I am using some of these drones to arm a scatter pack. Is it automatic that the drone release uses the seeking weapon control channels of the ship that launched scatter pack? If so in this case I would lose three drones due to the lack of control channels. At the point of release the drones need to be guided, can another unit say the MRS take the guidance of all the drones released?

ANSWER: According to (FD7.361), more than one unit can be assigned to control the drones when they are released from the scatter pack. It does not need to be the launching unit. You can, of course (if there are no other controlling units), put fewer drones in the scatter pack so that the excess is not lost if you only have three control channels. If the MRS is still active (and on the board), it could control the drones released from the scatter pack. You could use random targeting and type-VI drones under (FD7.37).

Gary Bear asks: What is the year-in-service date of the type-VI (dogfight) drone? I have looked in (FD2.21) and (YFD0.0) and it does not say for this drone type.

ANSWER: This was asked and answered recently. There is currently no set date for when the type-VI entered service. Rule (E5.0) type-E racks were used in place of ADDs prior to Y140, and the Klingon E3 is the earliest example of a ship equipped with an ADD rack that predates Y140. It entered service in Y120, so at this time that would be the earliest date for the type-E drone rack as prior to that point there is no known launcher capable of using that drone. This is something of a gray area, and ADB, Inc., may eventually establish a set date for this system to appear.

Frank Brooks asks: Type-VI drones gain their own lock-on to their target when they reach range eight. Is that true or effective range?

ANSWER: True range, as type-VI drones are not affected by Electronic Warfare, or cloaking devices, or etc. (FD5.131).

Frank DeMaris asks: Can a ship launch a two-space drone with ECM and explosive (or another damaging type) modules at itself or another friendly ship? Rule (D1.56) provides a general prohibition on launching seeking weapons at your own ship, while ECM drones provide an explicit exemption from (D1.56). If it is legal to launch such a drone at your own ship, what happens when the drone enters the ship's hex and would normally begin station-keeping (ECM module) or detonate (explosive module)?

ANSWER: The prohibition against damaging your own (or a friendly) ship would override the ability to launch a friendly ECM drone. The only real use for a combination ECM/explosive drone would be in escorting a stack of other drones.

Dale McKee asks: If a seeking weapon is targeted on a fighter or shuttle, and it lands aboard a ship, does the seeking weapon now accept the ship as the target? I am assuming (F2.335) includes fighters/shuttles, but cannot find a specific reference.

ANSWER: Yes, it accepts the ship as the new target, the rule is the specific reference, i.e., the target (shuttle) has docked (landed) inside (or on the balcony) of a larger unit.

Michael Lui asks: Rules (FD3.6) and (FD4.3) reference the "type-F" drone rack for "Early" Klingon ships. Are the drone racks on the Tug A/B and Battle Pods also of this type?

ANSWER: No, as these ships included the racks specifically as additional defenses, and the battle pods are separate units, each with a single drone rack making them no different than an E4 or F5 to all intents and purposes. Unless the ship description says otherwise, Klingon drone racks are not Type-F (D12.313). None of the ships in your question appear to be subject to chain reactions, although they all suffer from the launch rate limitation (one drone per pair of racks).

FOLLOW-UP Question: How about the C6? Say that someone in the Campaign section is playing a Y160 Klingon invasion of the Federation. Do all of the drone racks of the Klingon ships of this year "chain react" (D12.3) or are some of them exempt?

ANSWER: The C6 is specifically listed as having type-A drone racks, and this is an outgrowth from a decision that moved the drone racks on Klingon size class 2 ships to a separate compartment. This decision was reflected in (D12.313), but ADB forgot to modify (FD3.6) and (FD4.3) to be consistent with this newly discovered data in the files. The drone launch rates of the C6, C8, C9, and B10 are restricted to one drone per pair of racks, but the launching of drones does not interfere with shuttle launches (and vice versa), and will not chain react.