Monday, May 25, 2015

Armada Objectives - Part 2/3 (Defense)

In the last installment we went over the Assault Objectives for Armada - when to choose them, and how you should construct and command your list if playing with the objective.  Now we are going to go over the Defense Objectives in much the same way.  Don't worry, Navigation is still to come.

Hyperspace Assault:

In this objective, the second player sets aside one ship and up to 3 fighter squadrons before either side begin deployment.  He then puts three objective tokens down.  Deployment begins as usual.  Then, starting in the 2nd round, the second player may at the beginning of the round choose an objective token and deploy the ship he set aside within R1 of the token, or he can choose to move those tokens to within R1 of their position.

Second Player:

You have a ship and some squadrons that would be immensely improved by being in the rear arc of the enemy formation.  You have a desire to give up a turn or two of combat for your ships and continuity of your formation to have positional advantage with one of them.  You want one ship that can do an exceptional amount of damage from that position, and some good squadrons to go along for the ride.  With this build, you are looking for an Alpha Strike - a sudden burst of damage that should leave at least one opponent crippled or otherwise out of the fight.  But you need to also keep the opponent honest - if your entire threat is tied up in hyperspace, why wouldn't your opponent race forward and engage your weaker, already deployed group?  A good option for this is a Yavaris with Raymus Antilles and a B-Wing escort.

First Player:

Your opponent is splitting their forces.  This is a good thing.  Your opponent will have ships that will be outflanking you.  This is a bad thing.  First and foremost, use your squadrons or another ship to screen the likely points that the opponent will jump in.  You know when they will have to jump (beginning of the round) and where they can jump (3 objective points) so a few squadrons to keep the opponents fighters tied up should be all you really need.  Attaching those squadrons to a ship with a squadron command coming up just makes it easier to send a quick response to wherever the threat comes from the turn it does show up.  Remember, you get to activate first, so you can always get at least one ship out of harms way.  Make sure only one ship is in the killing zone for the jump in, and you can ensure you can always get away.

Again, they split their forces.  That means you can have a lot more guns, all pointed at whatever they left behind.  Make them regret that.

Both Players:

Remember that the second player jumps in at the start of the round, and then the first player gets the first activation.  Also that any upgrade (including Commander abilities) on the Hyperspace ship do not affect the rest of the fleet.

Fleet Ambush:

If Hyperspace Ambush split of the second players forces for positional advantage, Fleet Ambush splits up the first players forces for... no advantage at all.  During deployment, all space beyond distance 5 is considered to "Ambush Zone".  Both players (including the Second Player) deploy their ships first.  The First Player, starting with his first ship, must deploy odd numbered ships into the ambush zone, and even numbered ships into the deployment zone.

Second Player:

I can't really think of a reason not to try and get a free round of shots of on a ship (or two) that had to deploy close to your edge of the board.  You want to capitalize on your opponent being forced to split their forces, if only for a turn or two.  Good for ships that can maximize their engagement distance, and can engage their opponents right from the first round of combat.

First Player:

You want ships that can stall for time, either by pointing themselves away from the battle, and looping back in, or sitting in place and tanking while your support joins the fight.  Chose this objective if you are built for a brawl, and are pretty sure you'll be the one on top if it comes to it.  Ships like the MC80 and Assault Frigate, that can deploy facing sideways are perfect for this objective.

Both Players:

I cannot really think of a combination of builds where both players go to this objective and didn't wind up in a tussle in the middle of the map with a lot of dice.  Plan accordingly.

Contested Outpost:

The key to Contested Outpost is that you are fighting over the station obstacle token, with your total command value.  This is good for builds with a lot of command value, and who can manage a brawl, because all ships will be converging on that once piece of real estate.  "Each player sums the command values of his ships at distance 1 of the station.  The player with the highest total gains 1 victory token."  20 points per turn you have the most Command Value at the station.

Second Player:

You have a brawling list, with lots of high command ships.  This can work well for the ship heavy / squadron light builds, as squadrons really don't do anything for the victory tokens, though it can also work with Squadron Heavy if you cluster them all on top of the station.  It's a good idea to have a fast ship to grab the Outpost on Turn 1, and have the rest of your fleet arrive to hold it on the following turns.  You get to place the station, so use the other obstacles to your advantage to cut off potential lines toward the objective.

First Player:

Again, a brawler list with high command and a high ship to squadron ratio will help you hold the station, and a squadron heavy list can let you punish anyone who gets on top of the station.  Because the second player gets to place the station, use your obstacles to limit where the station will be placed - if you put an obstacle down, the station cannot go within R1 of it.  So if you see your opponent set up an obvious place with their obstacles, drop one of your own.  Finally, since you know where your oppenent is going to go, and wants to be, try to outflank him on T2/T3.  If you can drop one of his high value ships and shift the command advantage in your favor, the game is yours.

Both Players:

Obstacles are going to be key.  Don't be so bogged down with claiming the station that you get yourself into an unsustainable position.  Remember, those high command value ships you have?  They are worth more than 20 points.

Fire Lanes:

This is a lot like Contested Outpost, only instead of command values, it deals with battery armament from ships.  Whoever has the most on each of 3 objectives gains 15 points.  This build again favors a ship heavy build, as squadrons don't add anything to the victory token gathering.

Second Player:

This objective favors a build with lots of dice - even if your ship isn't maneuverable, you know exactly where these objectives are going to be, and where your opponents will go to claim those objectives.  You need to build to be able to reasonably claim 2 / 3 fire lanes every turn, giving you 30 points to 15 points or a 90 point advantage in the end game.  You can set up your objective token in two different ways - clustered together or split apart.  This could be built in different ways - clustering the tokens would lead to sending overwhelming firepower to that location, while splitting them up would make more sense if you believe that you could manage enough forces in all locations, or at least 2/3.  A single cheap ship near an uncontested token could give you 90 points all by itself at the end of the game - worthwhile if you know your opponent cannot split his forces at all.

First Player:

It is all incumbent on the Second Player's build - do they look like they will be more likely to mass their forces, or split into groups, and do you have a good chance of dealing with that setup.

Well, that's it for this installment.  I will be going over Navigation objectives next.

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