Saturday, June 27, 2015

Commander's Guide - Victory Class Star Destroyer

This article is part of the Commander's Guide series.

Hello again everyone.  After discussing all three of the small base ships, today we are finally going to start discussing the two Medium ships of wave 1, currently the largest base ships in the game, and we are going to start with the Victory Class Star Destroyer (VSD).  This ship represents a major departure in terms of stats, strategy, and roles within your fleet from any of the small ships.

Victory Star Destroyers Enter the Battle

Overall Statistics:

The VSD comes standard with a Command of 3, the highest currently in the game, shared only with the other Medium ship, the Assault Frigate.  This requires that you plan several turns ahead what sort of command you will need for that turn.  It also has the highest native Squadron value, also at 3.  The ship excels in a Carrier type role, and can do a passable job even if it isn't specifically upgraded for the role.  The ships also have a baseline 4 Engineering value, making the ship easily able to repair a few minor scratches with an engineering command (2 shields recovered)

For defense, the ship comes with 8 total hull (10 with Motti) making it the heartiest ship on the field.  For shields, it boasts a total of 3 on it's fore and side arcs, and 1 shield on it's rear arc.  For defensive tokens, the VSD has one Brace token and 2 Redirects, giving it impressive staying power, and the chance to utilize all of it's shields.

The drawback to this is speed.  The ship is slow, and not easy to maneuver, having a max speed of 2.  For that matter, the VSD only has a Yaw of 1 at either speed.

The VSD also has a standard anti-squadron armament of 1 Blue die.

For upgrades, all VSD come with Officers, Weapons Team, Offensive Retrofit, and Turbolasers, in addition to Titles and Commanders.

Victory I-Class Star Destroyer

The Victory I-Class Star Destroyer (VSD1) comes in at 73 points, and comes with a bevy of long range and short range dice.  3 Red / 3 Black in the front arc, 2 Red / 1 Black on the sides, and 2 Red on the rear.  It also comes with ordinance upgrade.  Of all the ships, the VSD1 has the arc with the highest expected damage (5.25 average / 12 points maximum).  The caveat to this is that the arc only has that output at short range.  Long range the ship has the expected damage of the Nebulon B, with nothing in between.

It also gains the ordinance upgrade, letting it maximize the black dice that it has out of the front arc.

Victory II-Class Star Destroyer

The Victory II-Class Star Destroyer (VSD2) is 12 points more expensive (85 points total).  For those extra points, you get your black dice upgraded to medium range Blue dice - 3 Red / 3 Blue in the front Arc and 2 Red / 1 Blue on each side Arc.  In addition, the Ordinance upgrade is swapped out for Ion Cannons.


Because of it's large hull, defense tokens and shields, the VSD makes an excellent flagship for your fleet.  For commanders, Motti will increase your hull value by 2 points, from 8 to 10, making an already difficult to bring down ship that much more rugged.  Screed works well in conjunction with either the Black dice of the VSD1, or with Crit related upgrades of Ion Cannons with the VSDII.  Meanwhile Tarkin's tokens work well when you can bank the tokens with your 3 command.

The VSD also has 3 different titles that improve different aspects of the ship.  The "Corrupter" (5 points) increases your BOMBER keyword squadrons speed by 1 when you activate them, making the ship an excellent carrier platform.  The "Dominator" (12 points) lets you spend your shields (up to 2) to add Blue dice (up to 2) to attack at close-medium range, giving you the chance to sacrifice your staying power for a more powerful attack.  The "Warlord" on the other hand lets you change Accuracy icons to a face with a Hit icon.  This title works very well with H9 turbolasers, especially for anti-squadron fire, but can also be used to increase your damage if you roll too many Accuracy tokens out of your front arc with a VSD2.

Officers for the VSD start with Admiral Chirneau (10 points) who improves a squadron activation to let you move engaged units at a speed of 2.  This can let you disengage bombers for a strike, or disengage wounded squadrons from a fighter scrum.  Combined with the 3 Squadron value, it lets you make the most of Admiral Chirpy.  Director Isard (3 points) lets you investigate command dials from an enemy ship every time you activate yours.  And Wulff Yularen (7 points) lets you make the most of the VSD's command value by preserving command tokens that you use for a later round.

For non-unique officers - Defense Liaisons and Weapons Liaisons are more useful with the large command value - being able to switch instantly to the appropriate command dial is helpful, especially with the ability bank tokens with your 3 Command Value.  For that matter, you might need to change your commands more often, especially with the 3 Command Value.  Intel Officer continues to be exceptionally useful for creating chances to disrupt enemy's defense tokens.  Meanwhile Veteran Captain is also useful for the same reason as the Liaisons, being able to get a necessary token at a moments notice.

Weapons Teams let you build your VSD for it's role.  Flight Controllers give you an anti-squadron boost to your activated squadrons.  Gunnery Team lets you make the most out of your large front arc, by firing at multiple ships that wind up inside it.  Sensor Team lets you guarantee an accuracy, and you'll likely have a blank die or two you spend with your attack.

For Offensive upgrades, Expanded Hanger Bay increases your Squadron Value up to 4, making for an even better Carrier.  Point-Defense Reroute lets you re-roll Crit rolls at close range.  Not very useful if you are already running Warlord / H9, but less expensive than that combo and can be used on multiple ships.

Ordinance upgrades can only go on the VSD1.  Assault Concussion Missiles give you an extra 2 damage for your critical effect, though on adjacent hull zones.  Excellent for a knock out punch or to limit the amount an opponent can redirect.  Expanded Launchers adds two more Black Dice for a possible 4 extra damage from your front arc at close range.

Ion Cannons can only go on the VSD2.  Leading shots let you spend a blue dice to fix a particularly egregious roll, and has excellent synergy with "Dominator"  Ion Cannon Batteries let you strip command tokens, or extra shields for a critical effect.  And Overload Pulse lets you exhaust all defense tokens - good if your ship is opening the attack.

Finally Turbolaser upgrades can work on any VSD.  Enhanced Armament lets you utilize your side arcs for long range combat - putting them at 3 Red dice and the same as your front arc.  H9 turbolasers, let you maximize your accuracies, by sacrificing a hit or critical effect.  Again, H9 and Warlord work quite well together, letting you turn a Crit to an Accuracy, and than an Accuracy to a Hit for anti-squadron fire, or a Hit > Accuracy > Double Hit for Red dice.  XI-7 turbolasers can help your knock out blows really count.  XX-9 Turbolasers let your big dice add multiple face up damage cards. 

Making the most of a Squadron Command


Area Denial - The big front arc with 6 dice is a wonderful deterrent.  The VSD is very, very good at picking a spot on the map and saying "Don't Go Here".

Carrier - The VSD with Expanded Hangar Bay can activate 4 squadrons per turn.  Flight Controllers and Admiral Chirpy make it even better.

Tank - The VSD is incredibly hard to bring down.  Though it is slow, it won't go down quickly.

Centerpiece - Because of how large and tanky it is, the VSD can become the centerpiece for your fleet.  It can handle a large number of points in upgrades and survive through to the end of the 6th round.

The Victory isn't a subtle ship.  It's big, it has a huge angry front arc, and it is very slow.  But it is a terror on the battlefield that moves slowly toward a point, and destroys everything that gets in its way.

Let me know what you think - did I miss anything?  Get anything wrong?  Next time we will be discussion the Assault Frigate Mk II!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Commander's Guide - Nebulon B Frigate

This article is part of the Commander's Guide series.

Hello again, Commander!  Previously we discussed the CR90 Corvette and the Gladiator Class Star Destroyer, and today we will be wrapping up our discussion on the smaller ships from Wave 1 with the Nebulon B Frigate (NebB).  As before, we will be going over the stat lines for the ship, differences between the two variants, upgrades that the ship can equip, and roles that the ship can fill within your list.  So without further ado...

Nebulon B at it's preferred distance from a Gladiator.

Overall Statistics

The Nebulon B Frigate comes standard with a Command of 2, giving them the eqivalent responsiveness of a Gladiator Class.  They also come with an Engineering value of 3, giving them the chance to remove damage with a dial, or a shield with a token.

Both models also come with 5 hull, again equivalent to a GSD.  Shields are a bit different, with 3 shields fore, 2 aft, and only 1 on either side.  Also of note is that the ship doesn't have a redirect, instead having 2 Brace tokens and 1 Evade token for defense.

The weaponry on the ship is mostly Red, with 3 Red on the fore, 1 Red / 1 Blue on the sides, and 2 Red in the Aft.  

The other big thing to note, and isn't apparent on the card itself, is how large the side arcs are for the ship - they are each twice the angle of the fore arc.  Between the weaponry favoring the Fore, and shields heavily favoring the Fore, this ship requires careful maneuvering to avoid getting slammed by the bigger guns of the Imperials.

With that in mind, the ship has a maximum speed of 3, with it's turning speed directly related to how fast it is moving.  At speed 1, it has a yaw of 1, at speed 2 a yaw of 1 at both 2 and 1, and at speed 3 a yaw of 2 at 3, and 1 at 2.  Because of its need for careful maneuvering, and low yaw values, especially at the low speeds you want during an approach, consider maneuver commands to keep your options open.

Speaking of maneuvering, the Nebulon B all come with a Support Team upgrade, in addition to Commanders, Titles, Officers, and Turbolasers.

Nebulon B Support Refit

The cheaper of the two options at 51 points, the Support Refit (NebB-S) comes with a Squadron value of 1, making it ineffective with a role as a carrier.  It also comes with 1 Blue anti-squadron armament.

The role for this ship offensively is a pure sniper.  With the 3 Red / 3 Shield front, and an evade token, the ship wants to engage from it's front arc at long range, avoiding close range confrontation at all possible.

Nebulon B Escort Frigate

The more expensive option at 6 points more (57 total), the Escort Frigate (NebB-E) variant has a Squadron value of 2, giving it a better role as a potential carrier build, as well as 2 Blue for anti-squadron armament.

With the large side arcs, the ship makes an excellent anti-fighter support platform, for assisting your squadrons in taking down enemy fighters and bombers.  And with the right upgrades can be an effective Escort Carrier build.


The ship comes with 3 options for titles.  The Redemption (8 points) is the first - giving your ships within Range 5 a bonus engineering point whenever it resolves an engineering command.  This is a fairly substantial defensive buff - for example with a 3 Engineering value the bonus point would give you 4 points (2 shields restored) for a dial, or 3 points (damage card discarded) for a token.  With Corvettes and their 2 engineering, you'd have 3 points on a dial, or 2 points on a token.  Assault Frigates go to 5 (damage card discarded and a shield restored!) for a dial and 3 for a token.  Combine with Engineering Teams on your ships for even more ridiculous repairs.  Just note that it doesn't improve both your dial and your token if you spend both on one engineering command.

The Salvation (7 points) takes the sniper aspect of the NebB's front arc, and dials it up.  Now all critical results on the red die (2 / 8 faces) count as double hits.  This bumps up the expected damage return for the red dice from .75 / die to 1.00 / die - a 33% increase in your expected damage from the front arc.

The Yavaris (5 points) improves the NebB-E's role as an escort carrier, by giving squadrons activated by the ship the chance to double attack if they don't move.  This can turn the tide in anti-squadron combat or let you get a double B-Wing strike on an unguarded ship.

For Commanders, Dodonna is kind of the baseline - crit fishing isn't exactly what a NebB is doing, though it is welcome when it does happen.  Mon Mothma gives your NebB more defensive options if a Gladiator gets in close, and a Gladiator will really, really want to get in close.  Brace can only do so much against a Screed Gladiator.  Bel Iblis is more useful here than a Corvette, as you have 2 tokens that you can bank instead of just one.

For Officers, Leia really isn't as effective as when she was in a Corvette, though she could work in a support role with a NebB-S / Redemption always taking Engineering Commands.  Raymus Antilles works well on a Nebulon B going for either a sniper build (Extra dice / reroll) or escort carrier (3 squadrons to double attack!)  Adar Tallon can work, though you'll likely want him on a different ship than the Yavaris, so that the squadron he deactivates can move / shoot, then shoot / shoot.

For non-unique officers, Intel Agent works well, especially combined on a sniper style build with XI-7 Turbolasers - can't Redirect much damage, and now they are running out of Brace tokens.  Veteran Captain can help be an emergency engineering token / maneuver token as needed.  The Liaisons probably aren't terribly effective for this build - unless you are taking Iblis or Antilles, you won't have that many tokens, and with Command 2, you shouldn't be too surprised by what will happen in the round.

For Support Teams - Nav Team gives you a big buff to your yaw while you are doing Speed 1 turns, especially combined with Veteran Captain / Antilles / Iblis, or even banking a Maneuver command on Turn 1.  Engineering Team gives you the same boost above for the Redemption, but just for your ship (and stacks with a Redemption buff) - not enough to turn a NebB into a true tank, but enough to repair a few long distance pot shots each round.  Finally, Engine Tech is just not as useful on a NebB as it was on a GSD or CR90 - due to not having a 2 Yaw Speed 1 maneuver - you'd have better maneuver options at Speeds 1 and 2 with Nav Team for half the cost (8 points vs 4 points).

Finally, for Turbolasers, I've already gone over the XI-7 Turbolaser upgrade, and how well it matches with Intel Agent (and Salvation).  XX-9 Turbolasers also work well with Salvation - a better chance that you'll punch through with enough damage to deal 2 faceup cards.  H9 Turbolasers also can help with long range shots - changing a lone hit to an accuracy to protect a double hit from reroll or straight up removal by an evade.  Finally, Expanded Armaments (10 points) takes your biggest weakness (side arcs) and turn them into something resembling (but not quite) an asset. Although 2 Red / 1 Blue isn't an amazing arc, it does give you a little bit better attack if an enemy does outflank you.


So, with all this in mind, what is a Nebulon B good for?

Sniper - The Nebulon B wants to hang back, out of the brawl, and shoot things long range where it's defensive tokens can do the most good.  It can get even better at this role with the inclusion of the Salvation Title, Intel Officer, and XI-7 Turbolasers, and keep it's facing in the right direction better with Nav Team.

Flanker - What better way to keep your opponent in front of you than to be behind them?  Going hand in hand with the Sniper role, the Neb-B has the speed to reliably outflank VSDs, and at least put an effort at outflanking Assault Frigates.  That being said, against another flanker, the NebB isn't going to win a steight up engagement - best case scenario, it gets around the opponent intact.

Support - Again a role that works complimentary to the Sniper.  Redemption makes all your other ships, especially Assault Frigates, that much harder to kill.

Escort Carrier - Between a NebB-E, Yavaris, and Antilles, that is 6 fighter attacks from 3 ships per squadron command dialed in.  Plus anti-squadron support at 2 Blue dice.  With 3 B-Wings it is a potent anti-Gladiator deterrent.  With Wedge / Dutch it is an amazing anti-squadron shredder.  Without Antilles or Yavaris, it is still anti-squadron support and 2 activations, making it a possible B-Wing carrier or A-Wing interceptor platform.

Objective Ship? - A Salvation NebB might make a good recipient for Advanced Gunnery.  A Yavaris or Salvation would work well for Hyperspace Assault (Player 2 ONLY).  Redemption makes Player 1 on Dangerous Territory not hurt as much.  An excellent ship to hold back from a Fleet Ambush (Player 1).

All around, the Nebulon B Frigate can find a role that in can play in your Rebel list.  In a world filled with blunt instruments, it is the scalpel - the ship where careful positioning and proper support lead it to punching well above it's weight class, without being flashy about it.

Follow these links to excellent sources of additional information and discussion on the Nebulon B on the FFG forums.

Nebulon B - Rebel's Best Ship - by Killionaire
Making the Neb-B more Agile - by Kuthawolf

**Wave 2 Updates**

Post Script

What should we discuss next time?  Do we want to go to the Medium class ships next (the VSD and AFII?) or go over the squadrons?  See anything I missed, or got incorrect - or a role for the ship that I missed?  Comment and let me know!

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Commander's Guide - Gladiator Class Star Destroyer

This article is part of the Commander's Guide series.

Welcome back everyone.  Over to the Empire this time for a look at the Gladiator Class Star Destroyer (GSD).  At the moment, the smaller and faster of the two ships in the Empire's fleet, it is also capable of throwing out an impressive amount of damage.  Like the CR90 Corvette and the Nebulon B Frigate, the GSD is a small based ship.  But unlike it's Rebel counterparts, it serves a completely different role on the battlefield.

The GSD flanked by it's standard squadron compliment of 2.

Overall Statistics

The GSD comes standard with a Command of 2, meaning you will need a little bit more planning than the CR90, but still less than the medium ships.  It also means that it can hold 2 command tokens at a time, something the CR90 cannot do.  It also comes with a Squadron value of 2, making it an option as an escort carrier, though it is infrequently used as such.  It's Engineering value of 3 means that it can repair hull with a single dial, or repair multiple shields with a dial and token.

Both models come with a hull of 5, which can be improved to 6 with Admiral Motti as their commander, as well as 3 shields fore, 2 on the sides, and 1 aft.  Defensive tokens are also standard, giving one evade token, one brace, and one redirect, making the ship a difficult nut to crack at range, and a capable brawler up close, but weak to brawlers that get in behind it.

For engines, it boasts a maximum speed of 3, with a 45 degree turn at each speed - Speed 1 - 2 yaw at 1, Speed 2 - 1 yaw at 2, 1 at 1, Speed 3 - 1 yaw at 3, 1 at 2.  Stock, the ship isn't very maneuverable, however Support Team upgrades give it a lot of flexibility.

Speaking of upgrades, beyond the Support Team, the GSD has access to 2 unique Titles, Officers, Weapons Teams, and Ordinance.

Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer (GSD1)

The GSD1 boasts cost of 56 points, just over 1/5 of a 300 point list after Commander Motti is added.  It comes with a fore arc of 2 Red / 2 Black, side arcs of 4 Black, and an aft arc of 1 Red / 1 Black.  It's anti-fighter armament is 1 Blue.

This ship is a brawler, designed to get up close and let a punishing blow from it's fore and side arc against anyone dumb enough to stay nearby.  It's side arcs, significantly larger than it's fore and aft, also come with the biggest potential damage (average 1 damage per dice / 4 damage), though without any chance of accuracy rolls, it is more of a finisher than a hay-maker of say, a Victory II's front arc.

Gladiator II-Class Star Destroyer (GSD2)

The GSD2 weighs in at 62 points, just 6 more than a GSD1.  For those 6 points, anti-squadron battery is upgraded from 1 Blue to 2 Blue, and the side arcs are changed from 4 Black to 1 Red / 3 Black.  This gives the GSD2 a much better anti-squadron roll (average 1 damage to rebels) and adds a chance of accuracy (1/8) to it's side arcs.  It also lets it ineffectively plink away at rebel ships from the side arc at extreme range.

This ship is still a brawler, but it can also be used to provide anti-squadron fire.  While it doesn't really change the ship's intrinsic nature, the GSD2 gives a few extra options over the very one dimensional GSD1 - though what the GSD1 does it does very well.


The obvious Commander for a GSD heavy fleet is Admiral Screed.  The original Gladiator, Screed lets you spend a die (that blank you just rolled) to change another die (that other blank you just rolled) into a face with a crit icon (like that Crit / Hit on all your black dice).  That's at best 2 free damage, and at worst a guaranteed Crit (spend a Hit, to change a Hit to a Crit/Hit - no net damage loss).  Tarkin gives the Gladiator a free token every turn, probably a navigate that the gladiators particularly want.  Motti is perhaps least effective, giving a mere 1 hull to each of your gladiators.

Unique Titles for the GSD range from interesting to spectacular.  The Insidious (3 points) gives you the option to use your Black dice at Medium range, but only if you are attacking a rear hull zone.  Good for use on a flanker, to give yourself some extra room in case your poor turn radius makes you overshoot your target a bit.  Nothing worse than getting all the way past your target and finding you can't actually shoot them because you have nothing but 4 Black in your arc.  The Demolisher (10 points) though is a game changer.  Unlike every other ship in the game, the Demolisher lets the GSD fire it's first shot, move, and then take a second shot once the maneuver is over.  This really is what lets the GSD bring those big scary 4 dice side arcs into play, and lets the GSD actually chase down opponents that could otherwise disengage.

For Officers, Wulff Yularen (7 points) gives the GSD the ability to keep up a steady supply of their favorite token - an excellent combo with Engine Techs or Nav Team to keep the GSD pointed the right direction.  Director Isard lets you look at the command dials for an opponent.  Admiral Chiraneau (10 points) works if you are going with a carrier build, allowing you to disengage ships (or Mauler Mithil crash a ton of damage every turn).

For the non-unique officers, Veteran Officer is the poor man's Wulff, giving a free token once per game.  Intel Officer lets you take advantage of your lack of accuracy, by forcing the opponent to make a decision before spending their best defensive token.  Defensive and Weapons Liaisons aren't as useful unless you are running Tarkin and even then for the Gladiator, there really isn't any dial that is exceptionally better than an equivalent token.

For Weapons Teams, Flight Controllers work well with an carrier type build.  Gunnery Team works well with the Demolisher Title, letting you fire, move, and fire again at a now much closer target.  Sensor Team is good with the GSDII, letting you spend a die to make your side arc's one Red die into a guaranteed Accuracy result.

For Support Teams, Engine Techs are amazing, especially when combined with Demolisher.  Being able to move twice (and covering a full 90 degree turn between your original move and the bonus 1 speed maneuver) means lining up shots is much easier.  Without the Demolisher it is still good, giving the GSD the maneuverability and speed of an unmodified corvette every time it takes a maneuver action / uses a maneuver token.  

For other upgrades, the Nav Team gives the GSD a chance to add additional yaw from a maneuver token when going speed 2 or 3 for half the cost of Engine Techs (4 instead of 8).  Engineering Team meanwhile gives your GSD an effective Engineering Value of 4 (2 shields regained) for a dial, or 3 (repair a hull) from a banked token.

Finally, Ordinance gives the GSD a lot of extra punch.  Assault Concussion Missiles (7 points) add an unblockable 2 points of damage (1 to each adjacent hull zone) if you can get a Black Crit.  For a ship low on shields, that may be a final blow in and of itself.  While Expanded Launchers at 13 points make your front arc even scarier than a VSD's at close range, giving it a bonus of 2 Black to a total of 2 Red / 4 Black (5.5 damage average / 12 damage potential vs Victory I at 5.25 average / 12 potential)


With those upgrades in mind, and the GSD's base stats, here are the roles that it can fill within the Imperial fleet.

Brawler - This is obvious, and what the ship is really designed for.  It wants to be up close throwing those black dice.  The issues for it are that without ordinance upgrades, the ship isn't really that much more threatening at close range than a AFMkII is at long range.  At a minimum, Assault Concussion Missiles (7 points) on a GSD1 (63 points total) will let it punch above its weight class, and really mess up a Nebulon B or Corvette's day in one pass.  It doesn't have the hull to brawl for long in a pitched battle, so make sure it can take more points than it gives your opponent.

Flanker - A hyper-mobile version with Demolisher / Insidious, Engine Techs, Wulff or Tarkin, and season to taste with ordinance and Weapons Team.  Expensive but devastating to an opponent if it can get behind its main force.  Easily able to take on other flankers, outfighting what it can't outfly, and outflying what it can't outgun.

Navigation Objective Ship - All you really need are Engine Techs and a way to get reliable maneuver tokens (Wulff / Tarkin / Just Maneuver all day err'y day).  Better at flying and turning than anything short of a Corvette.

Anti-Fighter Cover - GSD2 can do a passable job as an anti-fighter ship all by itself, but Gunnery Team can let it shoot both at other ships and the squadrons in between.  Or...

Escort Carrier - Tarkin / Admiral Chirneau / Flight Controllers let you make a close quarters escort carrier that can shoot 2 anti-squadron dice (GSD2) redeploy fighters at will, or escort Rhymer and 2 pals (and their 3 black dice) and do what rebels like to do with B-Wings, but at longer range.  All for cheaper than you'd have with a VSD.

Area Denial - GSD1 with Expanded Launchers is a (slightly) cheaper version of a naked Victory 1 to block an very specific objective area.

That's it for this installment.  Know anything I missed?  Any other roles for the GSD, or good setups for it?  Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Commander's Guide - CR-90 Corellian Corvette

This article is part of the Commander's Guide series.

Welcome to your first command, the CR-90 Corvette.  The smallest and fastest ship currently available today, the CR-90 Corvette is more than capable of filling several roles within the Rebel Fleet.  Let's review the CR-90's abilities, strengths and weaknesses.

Overall Statistics

The CR90 Corvette comes standard with a Command of 1, making it by far the most reactive of ships- you will be able to dial in the appropriate command every single time you need it.  It's Squadron is also a 1, which means it really doesn't work as a carrier except in extreme emergencies. And an Engineering of 2 means you will likely be repairing shields and not ever hull.  Speaking of hull, it comes with 4 hull points, 2 shields each on fore, starboard and port, and one in the aft.  It also comes with 2 evade tokens, and 1 redirect token, making it difficult to pin down against a long range threat.

As an anti-starfighter platform it does a serviceable job, for it's points.  The redirect gives it a way to mitigate squadron hits against hull zones other ships have stripped of shields.  It also has the standard 1 Blue die anti-squadron armament.

Speed is where the Corvette truly shines.  It is the only ship capable of a natural speed 4, and can do an unassisted 90 degree turn while going at flank speed.  Plus, it will always be able to orient itself at least 45 degrees regardless of speed, and 72.5 degrees at speed 2 or 3.

All CR90s can be upgraded with a CR90 title, an officer, a support team, and a defensive retrofit.

CR90 Corvette B

The CR-90B is the least expensive option for ships, both Rebel and Imperial, worth exactly the cost of 3 X-Wing Squadrons (39 points).  The CR90 comes with all blue attack dice, 3 out of the fore, 2 out either side, and 1 aft.  It also allows for an Ion Cannon upgrade.

CR90 Corvette A

The CR-90A comes in at just 5 points more (44 points) and changes out some of it's blue dice for red. It gives 2 Red /1 Blue on the fore, 1 Red / 1 Blue on the sides, and 1 Red on the aft.  It also allows for the Turbolasers upgrade.


For Commanders, as a smaller, low hull, cost effective ship, the Corvette is likely not where you are going to hide your commander, unless you are running some sort of gimmick.  That being said, the commander that really works well with Corvettes are Mon Mothma (making those 2 evades you have work at any range, and against starfighters).  Gen. Dodonna really doesn't add anything specifically to Corvettes, unless you are running Dodonna's pride, and Bel Iblis... doesn't really help Corvettes in any way at all.

For titles, Dodonna's Pride gives you the ability to trade out all dice rolls on a Blue Crit result in exchange for one face up card dealt to the enemy.  This title works best on a Corvette B, but necessitates closing in to medium range with your ship.  This works well on a flanking ship that can slip past a Victory's large front arc, or splashing a Gladiator from medium range.  Against mirror match rebels it makes the Pride fly like a brawler, getting in close and mixing it up.

The Tantive IV lets you pass a command token to a friendly ship.  Very useful if you have Raymus Antilles, or if you want to focus your tokens on a different ship.

Jaina's Light gives you the ability to ignore obstacle's affects (if you want to.  You don't HAVE to ignore the space station) and your attacks are never obstructed.  This makes for a wonderful objective ship that can hide away in the asteroids, and can fire back unopposed.

Officers give you some equally interesting options.  Leia gives you the chance to change one of your other ships's top dial to your ship's dial.  Very good for when an Assault Frigate made a tactical error.  Raymus Antilles lets you get a free token when you reveal a dial - very synergistic with Tantive IV.  Adar Tallon isn't particularly useful to a Corvette - there are much better carrier based ships he can find a home on.  Also less useful are the weapons and defensive liaisons - with a command of 1, you should be able to dial in the correct command.  Veteran Captain is a poor man's Raymus Antilles, good for a once per game boost.  Intelligence Agent is always an excellent idea, especially when sniping enemies from long range with a CR90A.

Support Teams - Engineering teams can make it so that you are able to repair hull damage, or get 2 engineering off tokens.  Nav Team isn't very exciting, as you aren't likely to have a maneuver token instead of just the dial.  Engine Tech though, with the ability to take an extra 1 maneuver after your regular maneuver, makes you the fastest ship in the galaxy, and is an excellent upgrade for objective ships and hit / run tactics.

Defensive Retrofits - Advanced Projectors can go a long way to keeping you afloat, letting you use all 7 of your shields with redirect before taking hull damage.  Electronic Countermeasures let you use one of your defense tokens (probably your redirect, since you have 2 evades) instead of it being blocked by an accuracy.  Both are good for high value Corvettes, not as much for swarm based lists.

Ion Cannons can only go on the CR90B, and most don't mix well with Dodonna's Pride, since they have Blue Crit activations.  Leading Shots does not though, and has good synergy with the Pride - letting you reroll with one less blue die to find that crit you are looking for.  For other ones - Ion Cannon Batteries works well with a Brawler style CR90B build, do more damage if the opponent doesn't have command tokens, and maybe rob an important one that they banked (like a Gladiator w/ Wiluff banking on a maneuver token to be there every turn).  Overload Pulse works better as an opener - it lets you exhaust all your opponents defensive tokens - if this is the first shot of the round, you can really make the opposing ship suffer.

Turbolasers can only go on the CR90A.  Enhanced Armament is an expensive upgrade to consider, but it gives 2 Red / 1 Blue for every arc but the aft, making maneuvering to set up shots less crucial.  Good for a long range strafing ship.  XX-9 Turbolasers let you flip up the first 2 damage cards on a crit - not really for the CR90, since you aren't likely to be putting down that many damage cards in the first place.  H9 Turbolasers let you change 1 die from a hit / crit to an accuracy - again a good choice for long range sniping ships, and making sure you can get a double hit red through a brace, or directly onto exposed hull.  Finally XI-7 Turbolasers lets you limit redirects to one shield at most, very useful for going against Victories.


Now that we've looked at all the upgrades possible, lets look at the different roles that the CR90 can have in your Rebel flotilla.

Support Ship - Tantive IV / Raymus Antilles and Princess Leia all give the option of a cheap support ship that can make your other ships work better, or correct mistakes.  This ship works best as a CR90A adding long range firepower and staying out of the main brawl.

Lead Shot - A CR90B with Overload Pulse lets you take the first shot on a larger target, which your other ships can follow up with to finish it off.  With a bit of luck, you can strip it of it's tokens letting you mop it up in the next round.  Being able to blast away at flank speed is crucial, and Mon Mothma works very well with this ship since you'll be trying your best to survive once you take your medium range shot.  On the other hand, having nothing but that 1 upgrades gives you a 47 point gambit for one of your opponent's prize ships.  Ramming Speed!

Navigation Objective Ship - This is something that the CR90 excels at, being the fastest ship on the board.  The only upgrade it really needs for this is Engine Techs, to give it the Speed 5 movement, and 135 degree net yaw in a single turn.  Jaina's Light is also a good upgrade for this ship.

Swarm - You can fit 6 CR90s of various types into a single 300 pt list.  With limited upgrades and a commander.  That's a lot of dice.

Long Range Flanker - Works best with an Intelligence Agent and Enhanced Armaments.  Fly around the battle taking long range pot shots on targets in the flank and eventually rear.

That's it for this installment.  Know anything I missed?  Any other roles for the CR90, or good setups for it?  Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Armada Commanders Wave 1 - Rebel

Previously, we talked about Imperial Commanders - what they did and when to use them.  Now we are going to discuss their Rebel counterparts.  As before, the Commanders represent the Flagship officers of your list.  You can only chose one, and by chosing one you are locked out of utilizing any others.

General Dodonna

Dodonna is the lowest costed commander, for either side - coming in at 20 points.  His fleet-wide ability is that if an enemy ship is dealt a faceup damage card, you get to look at the top 4 cards of their deck and select which one the critical hit will be.  

If you want the most out of General Dodonna, you need to plan ways of dealing critical hits and faceup damage cards - more than you normally would.  The obvious synergy is with Dodonna's Pride, the Corvette Title that allows you a faceup damage card in exchange for cancelling all other damage. Luke Skywalker is another - being able to ignore shields, and bomber lets you drop crits directly onto the hull.  With that said Dodonna doesn't descriminate between ships and squadrons - any build so long as it can land criticals will be improved by him.

Garm Bel Iblis

For just 5 points more than Dodonna (25 points total), Garm fills up your fleet's command tokens to full on the start of the first round and the start of the fifth.  Unlike Dodonna, his ability is better the more high command ships you have to fill up with tokens.  Corvettes would only get one, but Assault Frigates would fill up 3 tokens each.  This gives you a significant action boost in the early game and the mop-up portion, and competes directly with Tarkin for number of tokens handed out.

The drawback is that because you can't have multiples of tokens, you can wind up with more than you need.  How many of you bank your command on turn one?  Can't really do that if Iblis has already maxed out your token supply.  On turn 5, are you really going to use all the tokens that just popped up?  Do you already have some banked from Turn 4?  Oh well, don't get all your tokens. Took a Corvette?  Too bad!

Mon Mothma

Mon Mothma is the most expensive of the Rebel Commanders, coming in a 30 total points, and 10 more than Dodonna.  However, with that in mind, she takes the Rebel's biggest defensive token, the Evade, and makes it significantly better.  All evade tokens can be used at medium range to cancel one die (normally long range only) and can be used at short range / distance 1 to force a reroll (normally medium range only).  This is big, as every rebel ship out at this point has at least one evade token (the Corvette has two) and the Imperials really love to get into medium / close range for their shots. Being able to force a Screeded die to reroll a hit/crit is huge, as is straight up cancelling a mid-range hit/hit from red dice.  It means all your ships can be that much more survivable.

The drawback is that you are giving up a full 10% of your list (4% or so if you count Dodonna as the baseline) for this defense boost.  And you are turning away a lot of free tokens / critical effect boost. And anyone with an Intelligence Agent on their ship can neuter your expensive commander for a mere 7 points.

Well, that's it for the rebel high command.  Feel free to comment to let me know what you'd like to see me cover next.  Until then, fly casual!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Armada Commanders Wave 1 - Imperial

With Wave 1 released, both Rebels and Imperials have 3 commanders that they can use with their fleets.  Which commander you use is an important part of your strategy and build, especially as you have to use a commander and thus a flagship.  Every commander produces a fairly powerful boost to your entire fleet, but by using one, you are locked out of using any others.  We're going to talk first about the Imperial commanders - what each one does for your fleet and what kind of builld they would benefit from.

Admiral Motti 

At 24 points, Motti is the least expensive of the Imperial options.  His boost is to give all ships greater hull value based on their size - small ships get 1 hull, medium get 2, and large (not out yet) get 3.  With the current Imperial ships, that means Gladiators get 1 hull (5 to 6) and Victorys get 2 hull (8 to 10!).  The biggest benefit then is to the Victory, which makes them far and away the tankiest ship in the game - few oppenents are going to be able to throw enough dice to strip through all your shields (and redirect tokens) and land 10 hits on your hull.  Motti goes well with a few high HP ships, working to protect your investment in your larger craft.  When Imperial Star Destroyers come out, Motti will work even better - adding 3 hull to the largest ship in your fleet.

Admiral Screed

Admiral Screed comes in just 2 points higher than Motti, at 26 total points.  Screed's benefit is that once per activation (not per attack), when a friendly ship is attacking, it may spend 1 die to change a die to a face with a "crit" icon.  Screed loves black dice - he can change one black dice being rolled to a hit / crit combo, which means 2 extra damage on 2 blank die.  Factor in Advanced Concussion Missles and it turns into 4 extra damage on 2 blank die.  Remember, you have to pay a die to change a die, but even in a situation where you have rolled all hits, that is still a free crit with no loss of damage.

Screed wants those black dice, which means he wants to command ships that throw them.  Either Gladiator class ship or the Victory I are his best places to be, and with the Gladiator's mobility, you'd be more likely to throw the dice in question.  Screed is the lynchpin of 3 Gladiator builds, and works perfectly well in a list with a mix of Victory I's and Gladiators as well.

His drwaback though, is that he is much less usueful with Blue dice.  All Blue sides have a positive outcome of some sort, so unless you roll a massive number of accuracies with your blues, and your reds, you are pretty much never going to be adding net damage to your roll.

Grand Moff Tarkin

Tarkin solves one of the biggest Imperial problems - because you have such a high command value, you aren't particularly able to adapt to chnages on the board - you need to plan ahead a turn or two to make sure your commands will match with what your ships need to do.  In addition, you have room to stock away 2 or 3 command tokens, but unless you spend the first few rounds saving tokens, you'll never get enough.  Tarken solves both these problems.  For 38 points, 14 more than Motti and 12 more than Screed, you get, at the beginning of each ship phase, 1 command token of a single type given to each one of your ships.

This can be useful for anything - a token to bank for later in the first round, a much needed navigate to slow down, or speed away, a free squadron activation from each of your ships, hasty repairs for a ship you didn't think was going to be the focus of each enemy attack (and a banked token for the rest).  Tarkin, for those 14 extra points, represents a degree of flexability that the Imperial Fleet normally cannot utilize, and a chance for overwhelming boosts if that flexability is unneeded.  Tarkin gets the most bang for his buck flying with Victorys - their 3 Command Value means that he can stock more tokens in the early rounds, and help them be more responsive in later rounds.  He can also work wonders with a pack of Engine Tech Gladiators as well, giving them all a free Maneuver token each round, leaving them free to dial up firepower or repairs on their command dial instead.

The cost is his biggest drawback though.  14 points more than Admiral Motti makes him the most expensive upgrade on the Imperial side you can possibly field.  His base cost of 38 means that he is priced the same as a rebel Corvette.  For the level of benefits he gives you, he costs just under 13% of your 300pt list - or 5% of your list compared to Motti.  And to maximize the investment you get out of taking him, you want a large number of ships on the board.

That's it for Imperial Commanders at the current time.  Next time we will look at the Rebel Commanders and how they should be used.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Armada Objectives - Part 3/3 (Navigation)

This is the final article on objectives, and will discuss the last four objectives we haven't gone over, the Navigation objectives.  Again, we are going to go over what the different objectives are, and why you would want to chose one over the other.

Superior Positions:

For this objective, the first player must deploy all of their ships / squadrons first.  Also, during game play, any attack against a rear hull zone that does damage gives the attacker a victory token.

Second Player:

You have fast / maneuverable ships, and the possibility of outflanking hitting the opponent with squadrons in sufficient numbers to get rear hull zone hits.  Ships with Engine Techs, and carrier spec'd Victorys / Assault Frigates are the stars of this show.  As player 2, you know where your opponent is setting up, and can take advantage of that - splitting your forces into a pincer so someone will be getting rear shots on someone, wherever the opponent turns.  Mon Mothma is an amazing commander for this - keeping enemies from getting a single hit on your back arc from an evade is an amazing boost.

First Player:

Much the same as the second player, you have the forces that can outflank the opponent, even if you are the one that starts.  I think in this case, an advantage in squadron superiority is the key - being able to take even a non-bomber shot with a throwaway squadron gives you a 50/50 shot of free 15 points.  Use the obstacles to limit where and how the second player can flank you.

Both Players:

Armada is all about planning multiple turns in advance, and no where is that more apparent than this scenario.  Being able to predict where you and your opponent will wind up three turns ahead is what will determine if you win or lose.  Too many games have been won and lost on deployment to take this objective lightly.

Intel Sweep:

It's sweeps week!  After placing objectives, 5 objectives tokens are placed on the board - distance 5 of players edges / distance 3 of other objective tokens.  Each player chooses an objective ship - that ship and only that ship can pick up the tokens when they reveal their command dial.  If you have more objective tokens than the opponent - you increase your final score by 75.

Second Player:

You have a fast, nimble ship that you can use to grab objective tokens.  Here is where a properly geared Corvette or Raider can really shine - Engine Techs or Nav Teams to make sure you land in just the right spot, or even without those the ship is usually maneuverable enough.  Something could be said for having a durable ship as well - Assault Frigates can move at speed 3, even if they aren't very agile - and Gladiators almost have the agility and speed of Corvettes, and can be spec'd for speed as well.  When placing your tokens, try to plan them out so that they make a nice line for your ship to grab after each turn of movement, and you end T3 in a spot where the other side's second collection point just isn't anywhere near.

First Player:

You have a real advantage here - by getting the first activation, you can ensure that if something is contested, you can pick it up first!  But that is only if your ship is there to do the collecting.  Since the Second Player can make a line with their tokens, and you are left guessing where that line will end at the 3rd token, you will need to deploy your forces for some area denial at the final location.  You may be able to grab your 3rd token first, and backtrack to the other 2 you placed.  Your ship will likely need to be durable enough to survive (no Corvette for you unless you are going to sweep the 3rd token first - you can't pick something that is going to melt against sustained fire before T4).  This is a good spot for a speedy Gladiator, or a MC80 with Engine Techs and a pedal to the floor. Unless someone gets really out of position, 75 points can decide the match, so make sure you are the one collecting.

Both Players:

This objective is all about area denial, and making your opponent move a ship somewhere it doesn't want to be.  Since you can both set down 2 objective markers, those should be yours - figure out how and when you are going to get to that 3rd objective, and make sure that you can hold it and the enemy off of it until you can collect it.


The second player places all the obstacles, and can place them anywhere.  The second player also places 6 objective tokens, placed at Range 1 of an obstacle and beyond Range 1 of all other tokens.  The objective tokens are mines, and blow up if a ship moves into Range 1 of them, dealing 2 Blue dice worth of damage directly to hull, with Criticals causing the first card to be face up.

Second Player:

This is a great objective for blocking off areas of play, making a much narrower playing field, and almost a second edge.  Placing the "mines" and obstacles to make a line down the middle of the board can split it in two, or you can just play around with the opponent's side of the board, making them have to fly through an obstacle course to get to your ships.  The idea is to be creative and use the board to set up an advantageous engagement for you.  This is a good objective for you if you need to funnel the enemy into a specific kill zone for your forces, like with a Black dice heavy list, or to keep them from cutting you off if you have a standoff list.

First Player:

You really don't get anything out of this.  The only thing that you can take away is that squadrons aren't affected, so that's something.  There is only so much the opponent can do with the mines though, so if you can take their fleet in a straight up brawl, this might be worthwhile.  Do not be afraid to crash through the mine field with a large ship if you need to - engineering commands can fix the hull damage.

Both Players:

Not much room for error in this when it comes to maneuvering, so you should be able to predict where your opponent is going to be multiple turns down the line.  Whether you can do anything about it though, with a narrow playing field...

Dangerous Territory:

After placing obstacles, they get an objective token.  Overlap an obstacle to claim the token.  15 points per token.  Player 2 isn't affected by overlapping obstacles.

Second Player:

Another objective that benefits fast, agile ships.  Corvettes are best, Gladiators almost as good.  If you have 3 ships, you can just plop down three obstacles right by your starting area for a quick pickup T1. You know your opponent is going to crash into obstacles, which is why you always plop down the station first.  Then, engage his weakened ships.  It really doesn't make sense to play this objective without 3 ships.  Dodonna does work with face-up cards from asteroids.

First Player:

Probably only makes sense with 3 ships with enough engineering to repair on T2 the smashing they took on T1.  Again, if you have 3 ships, you can place 3 obstacles really close to your starting area, and grab 'em on T1.  It doesn't really make sense to play this objective without 3 ships.  

Both Players:

It doesn't really make much sense to play this objective without 3 ships.  Be ready to cut off an enemy ship that just smashed into an obstacle, or pick up a missed obstacle.

Well that's it.  You've wasted another perfectly good 10 minutes of your life reading my terrible strategy advice.  Let me know what you think, or what you'd like me to cover next time!