Tactics: ESG

The ESG 'Ram' is a good tactic if you can pull it off, particularly in coordination with an alpha strike. Isn't always an easy task of course. It should be pointed out that the ESG works both ways i.e. you can 'ram' it into a ship or you can 'drag' it over a ship. If you activate the ESG and the enemy ship is within the confines of the ESG when it goes active (like ESG at R3 and enemy ship at R2) you can Alpha strike the ship and then overrun it and hit it with the ESG on the way out. Again, not an easy task but could be a big surprise to your opponent and get a Mizia-style separate volley through the shield you just knocked out with your Alpha strike.

ESGs and the Turn Break

ESGs can be announced very late in the turn (say, impulse 29) so they would come up during the following turn. When this is done, the ESG ship does not have to record the power of the ESGs (as they would normally be done at the time of announcement.) Instead they can wait until after Energy Allocation to record this information (as more power can be applied to the capacitors.)

Decptively Difficult to Employ ESGs

Almost all new players will gravitate to Fed/Klingon, but Fed is too dice dependent and Klingon is more of a finesse ship that takes advanced skill. So, I used to suggest that new players try Lyran as their beginning trainee ship. Good, solid direct-fire ship, and how tough is it to turn on an ESG and ram someone? Boy, was I wrong!...

I fly mostly Hydran in tournaments, but my second choice is LDR. So I've been flying more LDR in the past few years.

Now that I've got a bunch of games under my belt, I'll tell you, and I'm sure some other top Lyran players will confirm, it's not so easy to get satisfying value from the ESG ram.

Aside from the some more, some less obvious:
* You have to be no further than range 3 from the enemy
* Enemy pitches out drones and/or shuttles to soak ESG damage points
* You activate ESGs and your enemy turns and runs away. You only have 32 impulses to catch him before your ESGs go down. Since ESG ships (Lyran) most often have disruptors, do you prioritize speed to catch and ram him on the chase, or power to the disruptors to exploit the ESG damage on his shields?
* ESGs get shot off before they impact.

Here is the most difficult aspect to a successful ESG ram:
It is too damn easy for the enemy to control what shied you hit. Often he can take the ram on one shield, and your follow-up direct fire on a different shield. Thus, you are not able to concentrate your fire to get deep internals.

So much depends on speed and movement precedence. While most players will say that the full Lyran is a better ship than the LDR (in the tournament game), here is the one aspect where the LDR 2/3rds move makes it a little easier to use the ESGs. Since the LDR is often moving faster, he gets to move second. This is so important.

If you're going to play with ESGs, be sure you understand the rules on what shield gets impacted.

Dave outlines above the scenario of raising ESGs while your foe is inside the sphere, and then hitting the down shield you just created with your direct fire. Well, yes, that's a nice fantasy daydream, but I gotta tell you, it will be VERY hard to pull off against a player who has any decent level of skill. It is just too easy for him to take the ESG on a different shield (assuming your ESGs survive taking ~his~ alpha strike at close range).

-DC

ESG Destruction

On the other hand, all of this throw-the-kitchen-sink-at-the-ESG stuff could be something you integrate into your tactics. Say, raise the ESG, cruise into R3, collect the drones and shuttles in the ESG, Take your shot, and leave. You've now convinced him to expend several of his minor systems and yours are (presumably) still available.

Something I have been considering, is to fly the Lyran as if the ESGs don't exist. On the Tournament scene, they have as many phasers as the Fed and their turn mode isn't atrocious. So dip into range 8, alpha strike the other guy, and turn out. Rinse, repeat. Use the ESGs to neutralize a scatterpack, or for overrun deterrence.

Sure, you're deliberately ignoring part of your ship, so you're going to be a little weaker than an opponent who is using every system they have. But is it much different than the tournament Kestrel or the tournament Firehawk? They both have a cloak that they rarely use. But the threat of it's use will modify how the Romulan's opponent plays.