The Umgah Drone

This is the place to talk about all things Star Control.

Moderator: ZFP Peacekeepers

User avatar
The Troglodyte
Slylandro gasbags
Posts: 1327
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:16 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

The Umgah Drone

Post by The Troglodyte » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:47 pm

What do you think of the Umgah Drone? And there’s no need for pulling punches when it comes to critiquing this crazy ship, who’s dreadful antimatter cone of rainbow colors and backward zipping motion serve to help demonstrate the deadly yet whimsical approach of the Umgah as a whole.

I’ll admit I’ve had trouble using the Drone effectively, even going all the way back to my Star Control 1 days. However, the degree of difficulty really just adds to the exaltation of actually gaining a victory by using your backwards zip to place yourself in ideal position, and I can even remember times when I was jumping for joy after engulfing some poor Broodhome or Cruiser within the death-dealing cone.

Please share your thoughts about the Umgah Drone, or, alternatively, at the very least to fully embrace the humor of the Umgah, please share a funny joke for everyone to enjoy, while hopefully following forum rules for decency, offensive stereotypes and explicit materials. Awww, does that mean no blonde jokes?

Of course, as always, I’ll be reporting my findings after conducting tests with the Umgah Drone with an AI pilot and see how it does against various match-ups, specifically the Ur-Quan and Kohr-Ah, plus other aliens I may soon encounter in my playthrough.

And for my joke of the day… here it goes: A skeleton walks into a bar; orders a beer and a mop.
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

User avatar
Quasispatial
Yehat Revolutionist
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:10 am
Location: Sweden

Re: The Umgah Drone

Post by Quasispatial » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:14 pm

The Umgah Drone is, ultimately, a high-risk, high-reward vessel. It's best used for the purposes of defeating fast, short-range vessels such as the Skiff and Fury, and is generally quite awful against any ship that can avoid suffering from its antimatter cone (whether this be through shields, piercing weapons that just go straight through it, or speed and maneuverability combined with enough range to effectively make the drone little more than the butt of a joke gone wrong).

If used properly, a Drone can deal a lot of damage in a very short amount of time, although it lacks the durability to really contend with most large vessels. If used poorly, it's just wasted RUs. Most of the time, the risk just isn't worth the reward, although it is fairly useful as a disposable scout (or surprise for an unsuspecting foe) if one doesn't have a Shofixti Scout to use for such purposes. It also does a fair impression of a flying, annoying bunker against some ships.

Ultimately, the tactic, as you may gather already, is to zip backwards behind the foe, and then take advantage of the position to cone them in the back. It's really just a matter of practice to get the method right, knowing just when to release and just how to aim to end up in the right place.

Of course, practicing this to any significant degree would probably result in a fair amount of "Um... bah!" (har har har), aka frustration and an inability to understand where it all went so wrong, but in the end, that's really just part of the package.
"Sentient life. We are the Ur-Quan. Independence is intolerable. Blah, blah, blah." - the Spathi High Council, Star Control II.

User avatar
Death 999
ZFP Peacekeeper
Posts: 1668
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:07 pm

Re: The Umgah Drone

Post by Death 999 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:10 pm

SC2 really nerfed the Drone by cutting the corners off the cone. Also, by making the arena larger, its zip effectively became shorter-ranged. The Balance Mod addressed at least the first of these, and I think that helps substantially.

User avatar
The Troglodyte
Slylandro gasbags
Posts: 1327
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:16 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: The Umgah Drone

Post by The Troglodyte » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:23 pm

Quasispatial wrote:Ultimately, the tactic, as you may gather already, is to zip backwards behind the foe, and then take advantage of the position to cone them in the back. It's really just a matter of practice to get the method right, knowing just when to release and just how to aim to end up in the right place.

Agreed, and there are obviously variations to a degree of how to best implement this strategy, like say, for example, it’s sometimes better to enter the forward path of a cruiser if it’s already moving in that direction; that way it helplessly drifts into the cone, whereas with an Arilou I’ve found that waiting for the Skiff to approach from the rear makes it susceptible to a quick “grazing” effect that you can utilize while zipping with the cone deployed, while with other ships like the VUX, a more straightforward approach (and I mean that literally) is often beneficial.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Okay, so I couldn’t find any really good Ur-Quan jokes, but I found some caterpillar jokes instead! Enjoy!

What does a caterpillar do on New Year’s Day? Turns over a new leaf!
What does a cat go to sleep on? A caterpillow!
What pillar doesn’t need holding up? A caterpillar!
What is the definition of a caterpillar? A worm in a fur coat!
Where do French caterpillars go to die? In the Catercombs!
How do caterpillars order the latest fashions? Caterloges!
What’s a caterpillar's favorite weapon? A caterpolt!
What’s green and dangerous? An Ur-Quan? No! A caterpillar with a machine gun! Well, yes, and the Ur-Quan too!

And now for today’s simulation, and I’ve decided to use only one Umgah Drone during these trials, since that is what I have alongside my fleet in my current game:

1 Awesome Cyborg Umgah Drone (7 pts.)
Vs.
14 Awesome Cyborg Ur-Quan Dreadnoughts
(14 x 30 = 420 pts.)

Ur-Quan wins with zero losses!

Approximate Battle Time: 5 seconds
ANALYSIS: Ouch! The Ur-Quan immediately began launching a ton of its fighters as the Drone zipped across space towards the Dreadnought, where it killed a few fighters that fell in range of the cone as the others swiftly pelted it with laser fire until it was quickly destroyed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

User avatar
The Troglodyte
Slylandro gasbags
Posts: 1327
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:16 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: The Umgah Drone

Post by The Troglodyte » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:40 pm

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There also weren’t very good Kohr-Ah jokes on file either, so I went with the next best thing… Worm jokes! Enjoy!

What kind of worms make the best carpenters? Inch Worms (and measuring tape-worms!)

How do worms leave messages? Compost-it notes.

What did the worm do at the baseball game? Wormed the bench.

How is life like for a wood worm? Boring.

How can you tell which end of a worm is which? Tickle it in the middle and see which end laughs.

What was the name of the worm army? The Apple Corps.

What did the woodworm say to the compost pile? It’s been nice gnawing you.

What was the glow worm’s favorite song? “Wake Me Up Before You Glow-Glow”, by Whorm!

Which worms make the best gift wrappers? Scotch tape-worms.

What kind of worm howls at the moon? A wereworm.

What did the earthworm scientist discover? Global Worming.

Knock, Knock. Who’s there? Worm. Worm who? Worm in here, isn’t it?

What is worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding two worms. What’s worse than that? Finding half a worm!

1 Awesome Cyborg Umgah Drones (7 pts.)
Vs.
14 Awesome Cyborg Kohr-Ah Marauders
(14 x 30 = 420 pts.)

Kohr-Ah wins with zero losses!

Battle time: 10 seconds
ANALYSIS: As it was with the battle with the Ur-Quan, the Umgah zipped into position quickly. Then it blocked the Kohr-Ah’s plasma ring successfully, but then multitudes of spinning blades were getting launched directly through the Drone’s Antimatter Cone (how come so many things can pass through antimatter? I mean… it’s antimatter for crying out loud!) and into the hull, which destroyed it, but not before the Drone actually did considerable damage to the Marauder for a brief moment before its destruction.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

User avatar
Quasispatial
Yehat Revolutionist
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:10 am
Location: Sweden

Re: The Umgah Drone

Post by Quasispatial » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:22 pm

The Troglodyte wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:40 pm
how come so many things can pass through antimatter? I mean… it’s antimatter for crying out loud!
It's antimatter, but it's not a particularly dense clump of it. As such, sufficiently durable objects can pass through before they're destroyed. I'd wager things like fusion blasts wouldn't suffer all that much from it either (it's already a superheated clump of gas, what difference is some more heat and a few missing particles going to do?) and the magnetic field that the Korh-Ah's magnetic blades possess would probably do a fairly good job of keeping the antimatter cone from causing too much damage.

Also, please stop with the bad jokes. They're terrible. Please don't take this the way the VUX took captain Rand's words, but you're giving us far too big a dose of them, and they make my soul hurt. I mean, I get the Umgah joke factor, but one or two are enough - I can't read ten bad jokes in a row without dying a little inside.
"Sentient life. We are the Ur-Quan. Independence is intolerable. Blah, blah, blah." - the Spathi High Council, Star Control II.

krulle
Ilwrath spawn
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:01 pm

Re: The Umgah Drone

Post by krulle » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:39 am

Quasispatial wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:22 pm
Also, please stop with the bad jokes. They're terrible. Please don't take this the way the VUX took captain Rand's words, but you're giving us far too big a dose of them, and they make my soul hurt. I mean, I get the Umgah joke factor, but one or two are enough - I can't read ten bad jokes in a row without dying a little inside.
You've just identified the real weapon of the Umgah.
As long as you'll patiently listen (and both Ur-Quan do that, out of courtesy before they enslave or cleanse you), you'll be prone to their main weapon of a long, slow death from inside.

@The Troglodyte; Pitch your Umgah vs. your pupils. Let's see your Umgah zip into position....

User avatar
The Troglodyte
Slylandro gasbags
Posts: 1327
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:16 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: The Umgah Drone

Post by The Troglodyte » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:41 pm

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
krulle wrote:
Quasispatial wrote:Also, please stop with the bad jokes. They're terrible.
You've just identified the real weapon of the Umgah.
Oh, you don’t have to worry krulle, because I know what Quasi is really trying to say by inferring that these jokes are horrible when in all he actuality wants more jokes, and just can’t wait for me to post another one (or 20) as soon as possible!

Unfortunately, our next subject material is the Druuge going up against an Umgah, but I don’t know much about the Druuge, since I haven’t encountered them yet in my game, so I’ll have to go with what I do know about them. Hmmm…well, their ships look like a giant cannon, so perhaps jokes in that category? I’ll admit I don’t know many cannon jokes, but I’ll give it my best shot! Get it? A shot? Because it’s a cannon!

What do you call a cannon that eats another cannon? A cannonball!
Did you hear the one about the human cannonball? He was hired and fired on the same day!
Ok, so maybe these jokes weren’t of the highest caliber. See there! I did it again!
Just one more joke, ok Q? And I think you’ll really like this one:

An out-of-work actor gets a call from his agent one day.

“I got you a job. It’s a one-liner.”

“That’s okay!” replies the actor, “I’ve been out of work for so long I’ll take anything. What’s the line?”

“Hark, I hear the cannons roar.” says the agent.

“I love it!” says the actor. “When’s the audition?”

“Wednesday.” says the agent.

Wednesday comes and the actor arrives at the audition. He marches on stage and shouts, “Hark, I hear the cannons roar!”

“Brilliant!” says the director, “You’ve got the job! The first show is at 9 o’clock, Saturday night.”

The actor is so excited that he goes on a major bender. He wakes up 8:30 Saturday evening hungover and rushes to the theater, continually repeating his line, “Hark, I hear the cannons roar! Hark, I hear the cannons roar!” He arrives and is stopped by the bouncer.

“Who the heck are you?”

“I’m Hark, I hear the cannons roar!” says the actor.

“You’re Hark, I hear the cannons roar?” says the bouncer. “You’re late! Get up to makeup right now!”

So, the actor runs up to makeup.

“Who the heck are you?” asks the makeup girl.

“I’m Hark, I hear the cannons roar!” he says.

“You’re late! Sit down.” So she applies the makeup. “Now, quick, get down to the stage, it’s almost time to say your line!”

So he dashes down to the stage.

“Who the heck are you?” asks the stage manager.

“I’m Hark, I hear the cannons roar!” he replies.

“Oh, thank God! Just in time! Now get out there, the curtains are about to go up!”

So, the actor runs onto the stage. The curtains rise and he sees that the house is full. Suddenly, there is a huge, loud BANG! behind him, and the bewildered and frightened actor shouts, “What the &$%@! was THAT?!”

See Quasi, that was only like 3 jokes, and as you can clearly see, I’m putting much more emphasis on the joke quality than ever before! Back to the simulators!

1 Awesome Cyborg Umgah Drone (7 pts.)
Vs.
14 Awesome Cyborg Druuge Maulers
(14 x 17 = 238 pts.)

Results: Druuge wins with zero losses!

Battle time: 20 seconds
ANALYSIS: The Umgah zipped close by to try to get the Antimatter Cone in proper position to engulf the Mauler, but it used the recoil from its cannon to avoid them and then retaliated by shooting, missed a few times, and then blasted the Drone.
Quasispatial wrote:It's antimatter, but it's not a particularly dense clump of it. As such, sufficiently durable objects can pass through before they're destroyed. I'd wager things like fusion blasts wouldn't suffer all that much from it either (it's already a superheated clump of gas, what difference is some more heat and a few missing particles going to do?) and the magnetic field that the Korh-Ah's magnetic blades possess would probably do a fairly good job of keeping the antimatter cone from causing too much damage.

But how does the Mauler’s cannonball bypass the antimatter cone too? I understand from Quasi’s explanation how it’s feasible to conceive that fusion bolts and spinning blades with a magnetic field can protect the projectile through the antimatter by their physical properties, but unless the shot being fired by the Druuge also possesses the same type of magnetic field manufacturing capabilities in their firing chamber, it seems that even an object with such mass and velocity would still be absorbed (or at the very least mostly disintegrated) by the antimatter particles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

User avatar
Quasispatial
Yehat Revolutionist
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:10 am
Location: Sweden

Re: The Umgah Drone

Post by Quasispatial » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:18 pm

The Troglodyte wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:41 pm
But how does the Mauler’s cannonball bypass the antimatter cone too? I understand from Quasi’s explanation how it’s feasible to conceive that fusion bolts and spinning blades with a magnetic field can protect the projectile through the antimatter by their physical properties, but unless the shot being fired by the Druuge also possesses the same type of magnetic field manufacturing capabilities in their firing chamber, it seems that even an object with such mass and velocity would still be absorbed (or at the very least mostly disintegrated) by the antimatter particles.
It all comes back to the antimatter cone not being particularly dense. The way I see it, the cone's simply a constant output of antimatter that, after a certain distance, scatters too much to really be harmful. The drone has a limited output rate (handling anti-matter is a serious matter even for blobbies) and a dense, fast-moving projectile like the Druuge's shots isn't dissuaded by the amount that the drone can output in the time it takes for the shot to traverse through the cone. It's probably chipped away some, but that thing deals as much damage as a fusion blast - the shot's not exactly made of styrofoam. Quite simply, the shot goes through the field before it can cause enough damage to the projectile to compromise its integrity.
It is sort of strange how it blocks the ZoqFotPik's antimatter pellets though...

Ultimately, I think it's best to just not question it too much. Heavens knows where the Umgah got the tech to begin with, and it wouldn't surprise me if whichever jokester originally came up with it also went ahead and added inexplicable quirks just because it was amusing.
"Sentient life. We are the Ur-Quan. Independence is intolerable. Blah, blah, blah." - the Spathi High Council, Star Control II.

User avatar
The Troglodyte
Slylandro gasbags
Posts: 1327
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:16 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: The Umgah Drone

Post by The Troglodyte » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:56 pm

Death 999 wrote:SC2 really nerfed the Drone by cutting the corners off the cone. Also, by making the arena larger, its zip effectively became shorter-ranged. The Balance Mod addressed at least the first of these, and I think that helps substantially.
Well, even though I can’t use PrtScn on an old game like this, I took a picture of the original Umgah Drone cone from Star Control 1:

Image

And then snapped a shot of the SC2/UQM cone and compared:

Image

Wow! There really is a significant difference! Never noticed that before. Nice observation Death!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And now… it’s official time for today’s… Joke of the Day! To be followed immediately by today’s battle simulation:

A naked man walks into a bar with jumper cables wrapped around his neck, approaches the barkeep and says, “I’ll have a scotch on the rocks!”
The bartender says, “Ok, pal… just don’t start anything.”

1 Awesome Cyborg Umgah Drone (7 pts.)
Vs.
14 Awesome Cyborg Utwig Juggers
(14 x 22 = 308 pts.)

RESULTS: Utwig wins with zero losses!
Battle time: 30 seconds
ANALYSIS:The Jugger had no other choice but to enter the dreaded Cone and use its shield in conjunction with firing the Widespread Cannons when they had bumped noses to do some damage to the Drone. The Utwig in-turn took some damage when their shields would drop for even just a millisecond, but soon thereafter they managed to get off enough shots to finish off the Umgah ship.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

Post Reply