Romulan Plasma Ballet - Updated for v5.5

<A romulan laughs>

Come my Gorn friend... let me introduce you to the plasma ballet:

The Plasma Ballet-

I love using 3rd generation Romulan ships in Hawk-style play.

The idea is to go at least spd 25 (preferably 27+ when attacking). Use spd 25 for recharge. Get at an oblique angle to the enemy and unload your heavy plasma (Pl-S or Pl-R) at about range 12-15 and veer off.

The idea is to wear the enemy shields down while taking no damage yourself. A ship that starcastles on you against the ballet is DEADMEAT. They will run out of weasels and shields. Since you are going spd 25-31, you can RUN AWAY from his weapons, taking little or no damage. In fact, its a waste of his time to even fire plasma if you veer off at range 12.

The FHK/NHK/SUA/KHK series ships are some of the best at ballet. They mount Pl-S and Pl-F on each side of the ship, perfect for oblique angle attacks. The KHK also comes with an R torp... great for overloading (ripe the shields right off a Heavy Cruiser!)... or waiting until the enemy weasels.

Things to remember:

Don't close on the enemy until they're pretty well dead... our Hawk ships are delicate and can't take much of a beating.

Setup your hotkeys correctly.
I do:
1- All phasers
2- Left Pl-S, Right Pl-F (keeps your from firing all plasma)
3- Everything
4- Right Pl-S, Left Pl-F

If I have Pl-R, I never hotkey it... it's always a special attack option (because it's out of optimal arc - FA only). And sometimes, I shut it off for an OBSCENE power curve in the KHK (spd 31, charging all plasma, with max. ECM, charging a probe, making a weasel, you get the idea...).

Avoid H&R. It leaves your Plasma open for counter. In fact, if you're that close, you're stupid and dead.

Maintain at least ECM +1 shift to counter any feable, frustrated firing of P-1s at you.

Save the Fs for when somebody chases you. Wait for him to close to <15 (from behind) and unload them one at a time. They have side/rear arcs... just what they're designed for.

USE pseudos to get a weasel from your enemy, make him fire his phasers (that would have shot at you or the real plasma), or make the enemy veer away.

Shoot his probes always. It can be done. Target probe, select all phasers key (you did set that up didn't you?), wait until range <10 and fire! Pratice on the opening probes everyone fires....

Never fire your phasers at the enemy unless it's a downed shield you're firing into.

Don't forget your cloak. A well-timed cloak can kill enemy missiles or minimize damage from enemy plasma.

Do NOT slow down if the enemy is near... shut something off instead to gain ECM.

If you have to weasel, CLOAK! You've screwed up and will probably die. You CAN do both at once.

Be afraid of fighters. Be very afraid. Do anything you have to in killing them. Fire a Pl-R if you have to.

Never chase your enemy if he runs away at high speed. It's too easy for them to do a HET and close to range <8, or fire their plasma (like only a Gorn can!). Also, firing your plasma at this point is useless.

I submit the following training film: (178k)

Simply rename it to plasma_ballet.rec and put it in your SFC2 folder.

The film illustrates the basic concepts of the plasma ballet, keeping in mind that humans will also: Weasel (adding time to attack), use their phasers better, use countermeasures, use better shield management, and sometimes do something unpredictable.

You can't see cloak in films. I cloaked when I slowed down. Why did I cloak? Because I was chasing the Gorn (something I said not to do), but he was moving away from me slowly, so cloaking was safe. For those of you who say the cloak is useless on Hawk-style ships, we see me use it twice with GREAT effect (otherwise my shields would have been damaged).

You'll also notice when the Gorn sped up to spd 31, that I ran away from him. That's because the best tactic a Gorn has against the ballet is to shut off plasma and speed up to spd 31, phasering the Romulan's 4 shield. You should speed up to spd 31 as well... and fire Pl-Fs and Pl-Ss at him while he chases... keep doing this until he's either destroyed or quits chasing. If he finally gets to within range 4... hit SHIFT-M and give him a present from me.

You'll notice I didn't fire my Fs until A) he chased me; B) he was nearly destroyed. And even near the end, I treated the Gorn with the respect his ship deserves, keeping my distance.

Good luck, Captain !