So...you think that's tough!

It is often touted in the tournaments that the Romulan (specifically the TKE) has a rough go against the Tholian. Indeed, in general SFB BP can have a rough go against the Tholians.

But how about the PPD armed ISC vs. the Nicozians! That would be an incredibly hard fight for the ISC!

Why?

Not knowing word one about the Nicozians, I must take your word for it.... The ISC has similar issues against Magellanics so I imagine it's the same principle.

The Nicozians are rather

The Nicozians are rather unique and very interesting to play. They are extremely small (the size of a grain of rice). So their CA is slightly less in size than a type I drone. This brings in small target modifiers for opponents HW.

Additionally, and this is the big thing, they use Collapsium armor. So in addition to their shields (which aren't very strong, a CA has 20 boxes on the #1)) they have the armor. But here's the deal, it's not really armor in the sense of other SFB armor. While it still uses 'armor' boxes after the shields have been penetrated, it is actually representing how tough the hull of the ship is (which is made of Nuetronium from collapsed stars). A Nico CA has 10 armor boxes on the FH of the ship. Damage coming in from the 6/1/2 affects the 'armor' in the front. But that armor does NOT get destroyed. And it affects EVERY volley as individual (even for enveloping weapons like plasma and helbores).

So after the shields are penetrated you have to contend with the Collapsium armor. So EVERY volley going through the 6/1/2 facings get 10 subtracted from the damage for EACH volley and/or from EACH different shield facing. So since the ISC PPD does damage in pulses which in a single impulse isn't that much...a single pulse will NEVER get through the armor. The max a PPD can do in a single impulse through one shield facing is 4 points so it will never exceed the 10 points of armor unless it is coupled with other weapons (and the PPD will have a possible penalty from the small target modifier anyway). The armor in essence would soak up each pulse even if all the splash damage gets through since the splash is a considered a separate volley as it's coming in from a different facing.

And plasma will have a tough time as well since the Nico's use 'pulse phasers' which operate as either a single ph-2 or two ph-3's. A Nico Ca has 4xpulse phasers in the FH of the ship so they can hose incoming plasma with 8xph-3 then it still has shields and then it still has collapsium armor!

They can be beat but the opponent has to really get in a single crunch alpha strike to overcome the armor (which will be good as new the next impulse). And as far as trying to Mizia a Nico....not going to happen.

The use the Subspace Auger for a HW, pulse phasers (only phaser weapon) and missiles that are drone-like but are a bit unique (their also made with Collapsium armor).

Very cool and fun race to play. The test module is cheap on E23 and I'd recommend it.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

PPD strips shields

The PPD will happily get rid of the shields, though I can see that it's pretty useless afterwards. And envelopers will have the same issue after killing shields (an env-S will bounce) so the usual ISC tactics aren't going to be very effective. Hellbores will generally bounce too, unless fired as DF. I suppose the thing to do would be to stay back and strip shields, then anchor.

Here's an example of a

Here's an example of a Helbore:

Nicozian CA with 10 points of collapsium FH and six points of collapsium RH has a down #1 shield, a down #2 shield, a down #4 shield and a two box #3 shield. On Impulse #3, it takes 13 points of damage from a Stinger-2 through the #2 shield, and 17 points of damage from a Hydran Dragoon’s phasers through the #1 shield. Due to (D4.22), this is resolved as two separate volleys, and the FH collapsium armor reduces both by 10 points, resulting in a seven-point volley followed by a three-point volley.

On Impulse #4, the Hydran Dragoon fires two overloaded hellbores, doing 44 points of damage. There are three down
shields on the Nicozian ship, so 33 points go through the three down shields, while 11 points are divided among the
three operating shields. These 11 points will be divided as evenly as possible, with odd points distributed at the target’s
option, i.e. 4, 4, 3, with four points of damage each to shields #5 and #6, and three points of damage likely distributed
against the weak two box #3 shield, resulting in one point of internal damage through the #3 shield.

Of the 33+1 points of internal damage to distribute, 22 came through shields covering the FH armor bank, creating
one 22 point damage group, and 12 came through shields protected by the RH armor bank, resulting in a 12 point
damage group. The FH damage group is reduced by 10 points for the FH collapsium armor, the RH damage group is
reduced by six points for the RH collapsium armor, resulting in 12 points from the forward damage group, and six points
from the rear damage group. Added together, these result in one 18-point volley, resolved as per the hellbore rules.

An enveloping plasma would be resolved the same way.

So using a PPD as an example, yes it would do a number on the shields considering the Nico has less shields than comparable class vessels. But after that the PPD by itself is going to do absolutely nothing but piss off the Nico. Even two PPD's hitting simultaneously in the FH of a Nico ship is going to do no damage. Simply wasted energy on the part of the ISC. They'd have to accompany it with phasers and/or plasma to get past the armor and that would only be for the one impulse that you're combining all your firepower. After that if it's just the PPD again you're doing nothing.

A HB would be more effective than enveloped plasma because the pulse phasers are going to chew up plasma quite a bit (basically like a half-gatling). Of course that doesn't mean it's hopeless with plasma. You just have to be smart with PPT's and bolts and regular/envelopers timed with phasers. Definitely make it a challenge for anyone, especially BP. But the ISC is going to have a really tough time for the PPD armed ships. Nothings impossible, but it would be a rather stiff, uphill fight. Meanwhile the Nico is going to be launching missiles at you to strip your shields (the do 16 damage to shields but no damage to the ship itself. They do have an optional missile with an explosive head for 8 damage but the shield damage is your main plan of attack for the missiles). The reason they want to penetrate the shields is the Subspace Auger which does triple damage once the shields been knocked down.

As an example of the Subspace Auger, in the R3-8 bracket it will do from 1-6 points of damage (range of 2-12 on the die roll). If the shields are down then triple the damage you roll. The Subspace Auger will do a maximum of 8 points of damage so if you can triple it you're looking at some impressive damage. It has a wide range of damage but if you get some good rolls for the range your at against a downed shield it's a great crunch weapon. Just got to get past the shields first which makes it interesting to fly.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Nicozians

If anyone is interested, there is a long discussion on the Nicozians on the SFB BBS. The Nicos are interesting, largely because they are different from everyone else. Unfortunately, this also makes them tough to balance. Because the the armor, they seem to be at an advantage on open maps, while because of the nature of their direct fire weapons they have a problem on closed maps. I proposed a new SA table, which is in the discussion.

I remember the SA table you

I remember the SA table you developed. IIRC it had an OL option.

How is this working out for you? Do you find that it's changing the flavor of the race at all? We haven't used the Nico's extensively, but my son (our resident Kzinti expert) has taken a liking to them. One of the things we've found interesting/compelling is the need to do well with the skipwarp missiles that do shield-only damage in order to maximize the SA.

I'm going to reread our previous Nico discussion. We're planning a game hopefully this weekend and my son wants to be the Nicos again.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Nicozians

Yes, the revised SA had an overload option. It also lessened the ranges of the SA too, to help on open maps, and help make up for the armor.

To be honest we haven't played the Nicos in nearly a year. The last few games showed to me (if no one else), that my revisions made the Nicos able to stand up to the Alpha races in a fair fight on a closed map. I don't think that it changed the flavor of the game, except now the Nicos had a chance of winning even if their missiles didn't crack the shields.

I would be interested in hearing how your games this weekend turn out.

Based on our experience, the Nicos need the new improved SA. The only other option is to greatly increase the power and ability of the missiles. The problem with that is that apparently the Nicos already have an advantage on an open map, and improving the missiles would make that worse.

Nicozian vs. Paravian might

Nicozian vs. Paravian might be an uphill battle for the Parvs as well....

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser