Flak in v0.14 too powerful?

Ironduke

Spaceman
In v0.14 of the WCTO manual, flak cannons have a firing range of 10 hexes and do 10 points of damage to a (non-phase shielded) target if they beat their Target Roll. This has raised the question if flak fire isn't too powerful as it stands now.
I wouldn't want to change the range, so if we want to weaken the flak cannon we'll have to look elsewhere - lately, I thought about adding a +2 penalty to flak fire. What's your opinion?
(Keep in mind, though, that most capships carry flak cannons as their last line of defense, and they should be able to do some damage, at least to enemy bombers.)
 

Kaz

Spaceman
Maybe damage or the hit penalty could depend on class, like damage to the ion drive depends on class when a hard brake fails.

Or don't allow a single capship to fire more than one flak cannon into the same hex in the same turn. Stacked flak fire seems to be particularly painful to light fighters, because it can be easily concentrated in the flight path of a single fighter. I think that the usual idea behind flak artillery (in real life) is to create a general screen aimed over an area, rather than pile all its firepower into the path of one aircraft. Given that, your average fighter or bomber could slow down and bank so as to hit only one hex of flak in the movement phase. Small ships would still be vulnerable to flak, but the capship would be forced to more realistically distribute its flak to multiple ships or groups of ships. With the above rule, pairs or larger groups of capships could still stack flak in a single hex, owing to their crossing arcs of mutually supporting fire, making them a more daunting prospect for a lone bomber or fighter.
 

Avacar

Vice Admiral
Make flak hit a factor of speed. Bombers go slowers, and thus have a better chance of hitting flak, whereas fighters are quick, and the chances of a collision are less. I think I argued the reverse of this back when we were playing Scenario #1, but at least it would fit the rules better.

double flaking in my mind does make sense, though; you're just saturating a zone with more flak! That said, I'd argue, perhaps that double-flaking gives you 2 chances of being "hit once" instead of 2 chances of "being hit". That is to say, if you saturate a zone with flak, you DO have double the chances of being hit... but you've still only hit by 1 flak shot. Given the 'speed' at which things are going, you'd really not be likely to hit a second flak shot even if it was double the density (for all that a turn-based game allows such a thing).
 

Ironduke

Spaceman
Good thoughts - keep them coming! I forgot to mention two other possible solutions to this problem in my first post: One of them was actually what Kaz pointed out: No "stackable" flak fire. Although I like the idea Avacar came up with... Increasing the odds, but not the damage itself.
The other idea was that flak shouldn't be allowed to target fighters directly - so you could only fire flak cannons at vacant hexes. I scrapped that idea rather quickly, since if a capship was swarmed by enemy fighters, this rule would limit its defense flak fire too heavily.

On flak vs. speed: I don't know, really - it would mean fighters on afterburners could zip by enemy flak pretty easily. That's certainly not in the sense of an effective barrage. I also don't see an "in-character" reason why a cannon should inflict less damage, just because the target is weaker. (For a hard brake maneuver, on the other hand, it makes sense that structural damage is dealt according to the ship's overall hull size.)
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
I like Avacar's idea concerning the double hit chance instead of double damage and I stand by my statement that Flak should factor in speed or range, preferrably the latter one.

By factoring in speed, light fighters should be rather safe from Flak and bombers would still get hit almost guranteed. And since Flak is primarily there to defend against bombers it would fit. The Flak should not take up the fighter escorts' role so easily.
And in WC2, I was hit more often by Flak when I was flying at lower speeds or when being farther away.

Also, I would reduce the Flak damage to 7 or 8 - in addition to changes already mentioned.

The general +2 hit penalty wouldn't be too bad as well sinc you can't really aim with Flak. With the rules momentarily, Flak is the most accurate weapon of all.

So either factor in speed (makes Flak more deadly for bombers) or apply a general +2 penalty.
 
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