Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

FAQ & Tournament Rules Update - 7.24.15

Today we are going to talk briefly bit about the FAQ update as well as the Tournament Rule changes just released by Fantasy Flight on the 24th.


Overall, there isn't much in the FAQ that changes in a dramatic way an understanding of any of the cards.  For the most part, it is a clarification of the existing rules.  Interestingly enough, the ruling of XI-7 Turbolasers and how they interact with the Advanced Projectors was not covered (it should be noted that Advanced Projectors lets you transfer 1 damage to each hull zone against an XI-7 attack, per FFG email).

The biggest change was how attacks were made, specifically how line of sight was established on hull zones.  Previously, the rule as worded allowed you to take shots on an enemy hull zone if it was in arc and had line of sight that did not go through another hull zone.  Now you have to measure both line of sight AND attack range to ensure neither one goes through another hull zone.

Let's take a look at what is a legal shot and what isn't:
AFII has a line of sight on the VSD's rear arc.
But the VSD's rear arc isn't in the AFII's side arc per the new rules.
Above, the pictures show a shot that with the previous rules as written would be perfectly legal.  The rear arc of the VSD is within the side arc of the AFII (though you'd have to go through the VSD's side arc to measure it), and there is Line of Sight between both arcs.  Under the new rules, because the shortest point between the two that is still in arc is now covered by the VSD's side arc, the shot is no good - the AFII cannot shoot the VSD's rear with its side arc.

The AFII has line of sight on the VSD's rear arc from its front...
And though some points are blocked...
The nearest point in arc is not.
This is the example of something that is still legal - in the above scenario, the AFII has the rear hull zone of the VSD in its front arc, and still does according to the new rules after measuring for range.  It also has the line of sight, making it a perfectly legal shot.

General Rule Clarifications:

Each attack against a squadron is treated as a separate attack for purposes of cards.  No, you are not allowed to attack ALL squadrons with two extra blue dice with Dominator, unless you spend shields for each attack.

Card Clarifications:

Admiral Motti - Sympathetic Death for your ships is now a thing that can happen: if Motti's ship is destroyed, and another of your ships has enough damage to destroy it without Motti's effect, it blows up too.

Admiral Screed - Yes, he works like you think he does.  Screed lets you change a dice to any face that has a crit, even if other things are on that face.

Demolisher - You can use the post-maneuver attack after you use Engine Techs.  You cannot maneuver > attack > engine tech maneuver > attack.  If you don't attack before you maneuver, the first attack is lost.  Demolisher only affects one of the attacks.

Warlord - Like Screed, you can use Warlord to change your red dice to a double hit result.

Garm Bel Iblis - Just a friendly reminder, no duplicate command tokens.

Tournament Rules:

First there is a quick clarification on what happens if both players have all their ships blown up at the same time - even if there is a point differential (from objectives), the Second Player gets a win, and the game ends with a 0 point margin of victory.


TOME exists, and does stuff.  Specifically, it changes the calculations for strength of schedule tiebreakers from "How Many Tournament Points Do Your Opponents Have?" to a calculation that does not factor in Byes to the strength of schedule.  Consider the following Scenario:

Ackbar played Vader, Piett, and Ozzle.  Vader has 26 Tournment Points, Piett has 10, and Ozzle has 15.  Ackbar - according to the basic tournament rules, would have a total Strength of Schedule of 51.

But Piett had a bye in the 3rd round, inflating his score, and Ozzle also had a 1st round bye!  So the new calculation would be as follows:

Vader = 26 / 3 = 8.67
Piett = 2 / 2 = 1.00
Ozzle = 7 / 2 = 3.50
Total = (8.67 + 1.00 + 3.50) / 3 = 4.39 Strength of Schedule for Ackbar

Conversely, Ozzle had a first round bye.  His opponents were Solo and Ackbar.  Solo had 21 ponits, and Ackbar had 24.  For the old way of measuring, he wound up with 44 points for Strength of Schedule.

But since he had a first round bye, the new calculation would be as follows:

Solo = 21 / 3 = 7
Ackbar = 24 / 3 = 8
Total = (7+8) / 2 = 7.5 Strength of Schedule for Ozzle

So you can see that the new TOME calculations remove byes from the equation, as earlier Ackbar would have a much better Strength of Schedule even though most of his opponents had byes, and Ozzle had a much worse Strength of Schedule because of his early bye.  But with the TOME calculations, the effects of the byes are removed, and you get results based on only the games that were played.  Something to keep in mind if you are playing in a tournament.


The next is how pairings take place.  Pairings are random for the first round, but Players can ask not to be paired up with people they traveled with or family members for the first round only.  After the first round, players are paired up against one another randomly, based on their Tournament Score.  If an odd number of players are in any particular Tournament Score, a random player from that group is they are paired with a player from the next lowest group.

The other big edit is that players should not be paired against each other more than once before the end of the tournament / elimination rounds.

Mirror Matches:

Painting your ships is now a legal way to differentiate who owns which ships.

One Tool Rule:

You can only use one measuring tool at a time to measure range / distance / movement.  No triangulation!  And no marking things off with tokens.

Displacement in Maneuvers:

Both players need to agree on how to mark displaced ships when moving through areas.

Well, that's it for this update.  I hope this lets you look at the big highlights of the changes for the tournaments and FAQs.  Next time I'll discuss movement and formations!

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Building a Fleet - Squadron Composition

Last time we covered general concepts in fleet building, but now it is time to dig into the details.  In this article we are going to be covering Squadron Composition for constructing a fleet - figuring out in what way the squadrons will compliment your ships and play style, what kind of squadrons you want to bring based on their role, and making it all come together for your finished list.

My apologies, I'm still in the middle of my move (everything is moved in, but Armada isn't unpacked and internet is installed later this week), so no pictures on the blog posts yet.

Edit:  With Wave 2 out, this article is slightly out of date.  Stay tuned for an update in a future article.

What Ships Will You Bring?

The most important decision for how many squadrons to bring are what kind of ships you are bringing for them to support.  Fighters work best when being supported by Capital ships through squadron commands, and the various ships have Squadron Values that determine how many of those squadrons they can reasonably support.  Let’s take a quick look at the different ships and see how many squadrons each one could reasonably command during an engagement:

CR90 Corvette – 1
Nebulon B Support - 1
Nebulon B Escort – 2
Assault Frigate MkIIA – 2
Assault Frigate MkIIB – 3
Assault Frigate MkIIB w/ Hangar Bay - 4

Gladiator Class Star Destroyer – 2
Victory Class Star Destroyer – 3
Victory Class Star Destroyer w/ Hanger Bay – 4

Everything else equal, the ships with higher squadron commands are the ones that could reasonably be though to be able to effectively make squadron commands on a regular basis.  There are, however, a few squadrons that work well independent of squadron commands, namely A-Wings, TIE Interceptors, and TIE Fighters, though all three of them do this in different ways and for different reasons.

“Unsupported” Squadrons

A-Wings and TIE Interceptors work because both have access to the COUNTER keyword, which allows them the ability to intercept other squadrons, particularly unescorted bombers, and deal damage on the bomber’s activation.  A-Wings are slightly better at this, having 4 hull to the TIE Interceptor’s 3, however Interceptors can be improved immensely by one key addition.

Because Interceptors have the SWARM ability, they can improve their COUNTER attack with rerolls if their attacker is also engaged with another ship.  This ship could be a second Interceptor, or a TIE Fighter that has also just engaged. 

The TIE Fighter, due to its inexpensive cost and the aforementioned SWARM boost to the Interceptor, make it a viable un-supported squadron as well.  Due to its cheap cost, the TIE Fighter can be used either to ensure a larger number of squadrons, giving you the option to go last during the squadron phase after your opponent has moved and activated all of their own squadrons; thus letting you engage enemy squadrons without fear of reprisal that turn, or attack any enemy that has already engaged you.  Finally, TIE Fighters can be used as sacrificial lambs, engaging high priority targets like Luke, Wedge, or B-Wing cover for a Nebulon B, making certain that while those ships will eliminate the TIE Fighter in short order, they won’t be using them against your higher value targets that turn.

What Will Your Squadrons Do?

Here, you have a decision to make regarding how your fleet is going to work.  What role are the Squadrons going to take, considering what ships you are bringing and what your own plan of attack is going to be?  Are you going to go with the intent on shooting down a bunch of your opponents fighters, to win the overall fighter duel and wind up with free points?  Are you going to launch a BOMBER attack on the enemy ships, adding your squadrons anti-ship battery to your own ship’s attacks?  Will you fly defensively, using your squadrons as a delaying force, keeping the enemy BOMBERs from your own ships?  Or will you protect your ships with a screen of BOMBERs, deterring an enemy ship that comes into close range?

There are a variety of options for how you will build an effective force of snubfighters, but for point values the roles are something like this for using the squadrons effectively:

BOMBER Attack – Max Points (~40% BOMBERs and ~60% Anti-Squadron) – This approach requires maximum numbers of carrier spec’d ships to establish squadron superiority and then send its bombers at the enemy ships it will be attacking for a one / two punch - for example a pair of AFIIs or a pair of VSDs.  The best combinations of squadrons for this role for the Rebels are X-Wings and A-Wings (both as an Anti-Squadron role and then to transition to bombers once the enemy is wiped out), with Y-Wings being the fast (relative to B-Wing) moving bombers.  For the Imperials, Major Rhymer lets you make the “Rhymer Ball” turning your squadrons into effectively a Medium Range shooting ship.  Aside from him, TIE Fighters and TIE Advanced make up the anti-squadron fighters (and can transition to fairly cost effective anti-ship squadrons once cover is eliminated) while TIE Bombers cover the heavy hitting.  Due to how many points are sunk into squadrons for this list, consider “Unsupported” ships to fill in the gaps and screen your flanks, like TIE Interceptors, lots of TIE Fighters, or A-Wings.  They can always be the recipients of Squadron commands if the needs arises or other squadrons drop to enemy fire.

For ship based support, you will want carrier spec’d ships all the way.  More activations means larger ships with hanger bays and flight controllers are needed, if you are going to take space superiority. 

Space Superiority – 50% to 70% Anti-Squadron and Interceptors – The Space Superiority role is all about taking out enemy squadrons.  The best fighters for this role are squadrons with large amounts of anti-squadron dice, and the ability to switch to an anti-ship role if the squadron fight is over faster than expected being a big plus.  X-Wings are the probably the best at this role, while TIE Fighters / Advanced and A-Wings are all good options as well, each having something that they aren’t particularly good at.  Interceptors work okay, though they are hurt by their low hull and poor anti-ship die if they have to serve in a pinch anti-ship roll.  Named Squadrons shine at this, with Darth Vader, Dutch, Soontir Fel, Wedge, Howlrunner and Mauler Mithel bringing considerable additional power to the mix.

For ship based support, you will also want carrier spec’d ships, though possibly not as many, for example one VSD1 spec'd as a carrier and a VSD2 built to murder enemy ships would be a reasonable build.  You may wind up having squadrons that are “unsupported” to tie down stragglers until your ball of death can catch up with them.  Going with named squadrons limits the number of ships you need support for.

Ship Escort – 30% to 50% Bombers, Interceptors to taste – The Ship Escort is usually seen with B-Wings keeping close quarters Imperial ships from closing into short range of Nebulon Bs or Assault Frigates.  There really isn’t a viable Imperial alternative to this, though.  This is especially effective with Yavaris and a double attack activation, allowing a pair of B-Wings to savage an enemy dumb enough to get that close with a total of 4 Blue and 4 Black dice.  Using A-Wings to screen the B-Wings from enemy fighters is almost certainly a part of the equation as well.

For ship based support, Yavaris is the biggest name on the list, though Gallant Haven is an option as well.  Flight Controllers can be useful if your bombers are engaged, though not necessary.  Adar Tallon can mean an extra attack for that B-Wing escort, and that can be an absolute deathblow.

Anti-Fighter Escort – 30%-50% Anti-Squadron – This build assumes you already have enough anti-ship capabilities, and just want a screen against enemy squadrons - for example, a VSD and two GSDs / or an AFII and a pair of NebBs.  In this case, you want to limit the amount of points you are giving up if the enemy brings a large fighter base, but still have enough to keep their bombers off of your ships.  TIE Fighters, A-Wings, TIE Interceptors (or Soontir Fel) with Advanced support works best in this scenario.  Tycho Celchu is also a good pick for his ability to lock down enemy squadrons and then run away once they are out of range of your ships.

Really, if you’re going this route you aren’t putting much down for ship support, though a timely squadron command can make all the difference.  Warlord / H9, Point Defense Reroute, or any of the 2 Dice Anti-Squadron ships can also help with this build.

No Squadrons – So, you went with a CR90 Corvette Swarm?  Consider this, an A-Wing flying with each Corvette would let you engage a Rhymer Ball, or the Corvette could use a banked squadron token to send the A-Wing to attack (and probably stick to) an enemy VSD or Nebulon B.  One command, banked until later, and the A-Wing is fine to go off and work its magic on its own after that, no further input required.

Bringing It All Together

So a quick summary of what squadrons you want to bring, and for what role:

X-Wings – Space Superiority / Secondary Bomber
Y-Wings – Bomber Attack
A-Wings – Interceptor & Escort / Secondary Space Superiority & Bomber
B-Wings – Ship Escort

TIE Fighter – Space Superiority & Anti-Squadron Escort / Secondary Interceptor / Emergency Bomber
TIE Interceptor – Interceptor (Bombers Only), Anti-Squadron Escort & Space Superiority
TIE Advanced – Support for TIE Interceptors / Secondary Bomber & Interceptor

TIE Bomber – Bomber Attack

Well, that is it for this round.  Let me know what you'd like to see for next time at the Steel Squadron HQ.  More advice for fleet building?  Covering more upgrade cards?  It's up to you to let your voice be heard!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Building a Fleet - General Concepts

Now we finally have covered all the ships and squadrons in our Commander's Guide series, it is time to dive into integrating what we have learned into building a list of our own.  For sake of argument, we're going to be using the Wave 1 standard of 300 point fleets.  In this article we will be covering the beginnings of building a fleet of your own - how to take those first few steps and how your ships will work together toward a goal.

Build Your Fleet to Objectives vs Pick Objectives For Your Fleet

One of the first choices you need to make when designing your fleet is if you are going to take a top down approach - picking out a set of objectives and designing your fleet around them, or a bottom up approach - build a good all-around fleet and pick the objectives which best play to its strengths.

If you are designing your fleet to a set of objectives, you will also need to bid to make sure you get the Second Player, and build your fleet to be able to manage handing first activation to the opponent.

On the other hand, if you are building your fleet first, you need to plan for it to be able to handle a range of objectives fairly well, and don't necessarily have to bid.  For this, there are two ways to go: The first is plan around a single objective type - you are guaranteed to face one of 4 Assault objectives, for example - and you can then plan your list around a single objective type.  The second is truly a bottom up approach - figure out which objectives work best for you, until you have filled out 4 of a single color.  Perhaps you'd rather pick Hyperspace Assault as first player, even though you are good with any of the Navigation objectives.

How Many Ships Do You Bring?

Having more ships than an opponent is a considerable advantage.  Being able to make the last activation of the round lets you create situations where your opponent must come to you, moving into your ship's line of fire before you have to activate.  Being Player 1 is an even bigger advantage with high numbers of ships, as you can activate a ship as the final activation of the round, put it into a dangerous position, and activate it again first the next turn, flying it to safety.

The drawback though is that smaller ships tend to be easier to destroy, and cost more to upgrade each one vs a smaller number of heavily upgraded ships.  Bringing more ships also means that you likely have less to spend in the first place for upgrades, as well as Squadrons.  It is more punishing of mistakes - if you mess up and wind up with a ship left in the front arc of a VSD, it is probably going to take it off the board, where a larger ship could have held out for a turn or two.

What Are Some Typical Compositions?

While this is far from an exhaustive list of possibilities, these are a few fleet options you can look into when constructing your first list.  Each have their advantages and disadvantages, but all will get you started on your way to building your first list.

Edit:  With Wave 2 out, this is quite a bit out of date.  Stay tuned for a new update Wednesday!

Twin VSDs - The twin VSD build is a favorite of the Imperials, giving you two really hard to kill ships and a scary number of anti-ship dice out of their two front arcs.  Relatively inexpensive but light on ships, the Twin VSD lends itself well to Carrier style builds and a strong Squadron buy, or to heavy anti-ship upgrades with minimal fighter support.  Motti is an excellent Commander for this build, adding more hull and thus more wiggle room for your ships.  Tarkin is also excellent, taking advantage of the large Command values of the two ships.  The biggest drawback is that it doesn't have very many ships, and all its ships are slow. meaning several objectives will be difficult to clear.  Most Wanted, Opening Salvo, Fleet Ambush, Intel Sweep - all of these are awful for the list if it winds up in First Player.  But letting the opponent have First Player is even worse.

VSD / Demolisher - Combining the best upgraded monstrosity the Imperials have in the Demolisher, with a Carrier VSD for anti-squadron / bomber support.  This list can put a lot of hurt on an opponent very rapidly.  Also inexpensive, but light on ships, it definitely relies on squadron support and commands from the carrier VSD to back up the Demolisher as a heavy hitter.  Its big drawback is the Demolisher itself - if not careful, a well defended enemy can force a trade against the 90+ point GSD,   Also, while the Demolisher is fast, the list is still light on ship numbers and needs to go first, and has more than a few objectives that do not favor it, such as Most Wanted, Opening Salvo, Contested Outpost, and Dangerous Territory.

Three GSDs - The closest thing the Imperials get to a swarm, Three fully kitted out Gladiators and very few to no squadrons have a lot of punishing firepower up close.  The drawback is the lack of squadrons and the need to be that close - while the list will destroy anything that gets into close range, it has basically no long range support, nor anti-squadron capabilities for stopping BOMBERs that are flying in formation with the enemy fleet.  Screed is a favorite Commander for this list, though Tarkin constantly providing Maneuver tokens is a viable option as well.

Two VSDs / Demolisher - Another three ship Imperial build that is light on squadrons - though capable of bringing a few to engage enemy bomber squadrons.  The Twin VSDs bring a decent area denial from their front arc, and the Demolisher can chase down enemies on the flank.  It is expensive to bring this many ships though, and this will limit the upgrades and total number of fighters that can be brought.  A good all-around build, it doesn't mind going first or second, so forget any point bids and cram everything you can onto it.  Motti adds a total of 5 hull to the list, keeping the important ships alive, while Tarkin can add 3 tokens (one to each ship) a turn.  Screed works well too, as both the VSDs will probably be VSD1s.

Two AFIIs - Two Assault Frigates play similar in style to the Twin VSDs in terms of points.  You have the option of going squadron heavy with a carrier style build, or going for heavy damage with Paragon and anti-ship weaponry.  As a two ship build, there are certain objectives you do not want to play, though you aren't as hampered by the VSDs lack of speed.  Garm Bel Iblis was made for this list, though depending on your build Gen Dodonna could be argued.

AFII / Neb-B / CR90 - The baseline rebel build, it could swing either way to Squadron heavy or to Anti-Ship upgrades.  Going upgrade light, you could even cram another CR90 in, though that wouldn't leave much for squadrons either.  The CR90(s) and the Neb-B are weakpoints in this list, meaning they have to be protected to keep them from just handing your opponent free points.  Mon Mothma is the general best Commander for this list.

AFII / Three CR90s - Combining the anchor of the AFII, and a min-swarm of CR90s, this list tries to get the best of all worlds.  It has the space for upgrades to the AFII and limited squadron support.  Mon Mothma really works with this list, though Dodonna could make an appearance for a more offense oriented look.  With the extra ships, this list makes a strong push toward First Player, though Most Wanted / Opening Salvo / Fire Lanes / Fleet Ambush and Dangerous Territory definitely favor it if it goes first.

CR90 Swarm - This build is all about death of a thousand cuts, and making good trades on points.  Squadrons will be minimal if they exist at all (A-Wings only, most likely) and upgrades the same.  The list is all about going first and having the last activation, so a bid for First Player is necessary to utilize the full potential.  Mon Mothma really fits as the Commander, due to the sheer number of evades, though Dodonna could argue for his inclusion as well.

That's it for the General Concepts - a brief overview of ship building.  Next time we will talk about adding Squadrons to your fleet, what roles they have to play, and which compositions will work best for you.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Commander's Guide - B-Wing

This is it.  We've been working our way through the Squadrons, and we've finally reached the end.  After covering the rest of the Rebel Squadrons, we are finally on the last of them, the B-Wing.

The B-Wing makes an excellent backup for the Nebulon B Frigate.


The B-Wing is the heaviest BOMBER of all squadrons, Rebel or Imperial.  Boasting an impressive 1 Blue / 1 Black for its anti-ship armament, it averages 1.75 damage per attack.  It also has a respectable 3 Blue anti-squadron attack and 5 hull.  Unfortunately it is also the most expensive squadron on either side, worth 14 points for the generic version.

The squadron also has one major Achilles heel, and that is its speed.  The squadron holds a speed of only 2, making it slower than the maximum speed of any of the Rebel ships or squadrons.  This makes the B-Wing best as a deterrent to enemy ships, flying along with the main Rebel line to match the Empire in close quarters damage output.

A pair of B-Wings flying with a Nebulon B Escort Frigate can not only keep it safe from enemy BOMBERs, but throw 1 Black and 1 Blue dice each at an enemy ship that pulls into close range.  What the B-Wings cannot do is go hunting themselves - their slow speed means that they won't outdistance your own ships.  At best you can direct them to where the opponent will go, and hope that they actually go there.

Keyan Farlander

Keyan manages to be an even better BOMBER than the generic B-Wing, sporting 2 Black dice for his anti-ship attack.  In addition to this, he has 2 Brace defense tokens to supplement his 5 hull.

What makes him even more of a terror is that if he is attacking a hull zone without shields, he can re-roll any number of his anti-ship dice.  That makes him by able o put up a consistent amount of damage on already damaged targets, setting up for a knockout punch.

Overall the B-Wing is a BOMBER and heavy hitter against ships.  But it isn't going to hunt them down, rather it punishes enemy ships that move into the wrong location without fighter support of their own.

And that is all for the Commander's Guide for now.  Next time we will finally start to get into the meat of list building, and since we just finished up with Squadrons, we will talk about how to fit squadrons into your list.  Stay tuned for next time!

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Commander's Guide - TIE Advanced

Well, we are almost at the end now, not very many squadrons to go and the Commander's Guide is about to wind to a close, at least until Wave 2 hits.  We are on now to the odd ducks of the fighter expansions, the two squadrons that really do not have a comparable analog on the other side of the fence.  Today, we will be talking about the Imperial red headed stepchild, the TIE Advanced.

TIE Advanced ESCORTs Soontir Fel's Interceptor Squadron

TIE Advanced

The TIE Advanced Squadron really has more in common with the Rebel X-Wing than the TIE Fighter does, aside from being the baseline for other squadrons.  The TIE Advanced has a similar cost (12 for the TIE Advanced and 13 for the X-Wing), similar average anti-ship attack (.75 average on 1 Black without BOMBER vs .75 average on 1 Red with BOMBER), and both come with the ESCORT keyword.  Arguably though, it is the TIE Advanced that can make the most use out of ESCORT, both from the stance of positioning and what it is protecting.

For the Rebels, the X-Wing is the most efficient "pure" squadron.  Without the COUNTER of the A-Wing to inflate its anti-squadron capabilities, the X-Wing is the best pure anti-squadron squadron per point that the rebels have, and the best by far if you factor in for the points you also wind up with a hull of 5.  Simply put, you don't really want your opponent to fire at your X-Wings, not while there are still enemy squadrons on the board, the Y-Wing has more hull, the A-Wing needs to be attacked for COUNTER to be useful, and the B-Wing is a border case.  Better to use the X-Wings to break up engagements - protect an A-Wing or B-Wing that is down to 1 hull.

The TIE Advanced though has a different role it can fill within the Imperial lists, protection of more valuable anti-squadron fighters.  The TIE Interceptor, while it does have COUNTER 2, is also 11 points for the enemy and only 3 hull to burn through, and 4 SWARM attack dice that the enemy wants to get off the board.  The TIE Fighter, is also a 3 hull squadron, and easy enough for even a generic X-Wing to swat out of the sky.  An Advanced escort can keep these squadrons in alive longer, to win the anti-air engagement.

The Advanced is even better when paired with Soontir Fel.  Suddenly the Imperial squadron with 5 hull has effectively been granted COUNTER 2 in terms of damage.  And more importantly Fel is free to save his defense tokens for anti-squadron fire from ships.

For other statistics, the Advanced comes with 3 Blue anti-squadron dice and 1 Black anti-shield die.  Speed 4 which allows it to keep up with the other TIEs, and keep close with a full speed Gladiator.

Darth Vader engages an enemy unique squadron.

Darth Vader

The Dark Lord of the Sith is the most expensive squadron for the Imperial forces, at 21 points.  For this, you get the best anti-squadron fighter in the game, with an average of 3.25 damage (Vader can use crits as hits, getting .75 average from his Blues, and 1.00 average from his Black die), and a maximum of 5 damage.  This means Vader can do some serious damage to high defense squadrons, and even put out a respectable amount of pain to named squadrons.

To keep himself alive, Vader has 2 Brace defense tokens in addition to the Advanced's 5 hull.  Vader also has 1 Black die for anti-ship, though with his special ability (criticals count as hits) he functions as a mini-BOMBER for purposes of anti-ship attacks.

Vader is definitely a bit of a one-trick pony, but he is especially good at his trick.

Overall, the TIE Advanced is an overall average squadron, who's big draw is the ESCORT ability and its exceptional hull value relative to Imperial squadrons.  But it is definitely one that you find a use for in your fleet - either Darth Vader's anti-squadron role, as a friend to your Interceptors, or as an all-around jack-of-all trades in an otherwise highly specialized Imperial fleet.

Well, that is it for this round.  Just one more to go, the Rebel's heavy BOMBER, the B-Wing.  Then we can get to the real fun - list building and strategy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Commander's Guide - A-Wing

Well, we last talked about TIE Interceptor, so it's time to chat about the Rebel's interceptor, the A-Wing!

A-Wings keeping a TIE Bomber away from the Corvette.

A-Wing Squadron

The generic A-Wing, like the Imperial's TIE Interceptor, is an 11 point squadron, with the keyword COUNTER 2 and a speed of 5.  Unlike the TIE Interceptor squadron, the A-Wing doesn't have the SWARM keyword - and so does not benefit from rerolls when around other allied squadrons.

However, it does have one extra hull, and at 4 hull can maximize the number of COUNTER attacks it can make before it goes down.  For that extra hull though, it loses out on 1 Blue dice on its regular anti-squadron attack, giving it a total of 3 Blue dice.  With that and without SWARM, the A-Wing has less pure anti-squadron firepower on its activation compared to the TIE Interceptor.

The A-Wing is a better all around squadron though, as it boasts 1 Black die on anti-ship armament.  While it lacks the BOMBER keyword, it does still have 6/8 chance to do one damage per attack.  With the extra hull, it isn't as likely to drop against anti-squadron fire from enemy ships.  It is still the weakest of the Rebel squadrons for anti-ship attacks.

The A-Wing's best talent is engaging enemy bombers, which it can overwhelm with it's COUNTER attacks.  The A-Wing really shines with Gallant Haven and its COUNTER ability - because it takes less damage and its natural 4 hull, the A-Wing becomes the single most point efficient squadron in the game for anti-squadron power.

Tycho Celchu

Tycho maximizes the potential of the A-Wing as an interceptor, being able to move or attack ships, even when he is engaged.  Because he is impossible to lock down himself and with the A-Wing's natural speed of 5, Tycho's A-Wing can engage the most dangerous enemy squadron every turn.  And with both a Brace and a Scatter token - the only Rebel ship to have Scatter, he maximizes his COUNTER ability against any enemy that is engaged with him.

In this way, Tycho works best on his own, dividing your foes while your other squadrons engage a separate group.  If done right, you can have local superiority over the enemy, mop them up, and then turn to engage the group Tycho was already softening up.

Overall, the A-Wing is a balanced ship that relies on its speed and its COUNTER to engage enemy bombers and can participate in anti-ship fire when all opposing bombers are destroyed.  Not as good at anti-squadron attacks, or improved by non-A-Wing fighters working with it, the A-Wing functions best either as a homogeneous group, or as a small group of independent interceptors.

Well that is it for this round of the Commander's Guide.  Join us next time as we talk about the two red headed step children of the squadron families - the TIE Advanced and the B-Wing.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Commander's Guide - TIE Interceptor

Hello again everyone.  We last talked about the two HEAVY squadrons of the game, the Imperial TIE Bomber and the Rebel Y-Wing.  We're now going to move into the COUNTER squadrons from each side, starting today with the TIE Interceptor.

Counter is more effective when engaged with ships that have a poor anti-squadron attack.

TIE Interceptor

The generic Interceptor is the fastest squadron on the Imperial side, having a natural squadron Speed of 5, making it capable of greater distance than even a Corvette can do traveling at ship Speed 4.  The Interceptor also leads the Imperial side in anti-squadron capability, having a total anti-squadron dice of 4 Blue, or 2 average damage per attack.  

Also unique on the Imperial side to the TIE Interceptor is the COUNTER keyword, which is paired with a "2" - allowing it to roll a 2 Blue dice anti-squadron attack against any other squadron that attacks it.  As this is an attack, both Howlrunner's ability and SWARM, the other Interceptor keyword, affect the roll, making the Interceptor, assuming it is being attacked by an enemy squadron, one of the most cost efficient squadrons in the game.

Because COUNTER triggers on enemy squadron attacks, and the Interceptor only has 3 hull, it is most effective when it is engaged with enemies that have a poor anti-squadron attack, like Y-Wings or TIE Bombers - after all, a dead Interceptor does get one last COUNTER off, but doesn't get to attack again.  So while the Interceptor might not be any tougher than a TIE Fighter, and not as points efficient as the TIE Fighter, it makes up those points against an enemy that is determined to attack it, and must attack it repeatedly.

The Interceptor is not an anti-ship platform though, rolling the same 1 Blue against ships that the TIE Fighter does, with less Interceptors for the same number of points.

Soontir Fel

The Baron Fel doesn't add anything to the TIE Interceptor in terms of extra dice, or different colors of dice.  For 18 points, 7 more than the standard Interceptor, he does add a bit more survivability in a Brace token and a Scatter token.

What he does do, however, is give all other squadrons around him the statistical equivalent of COUNTER 2; that is he does 1 damage (the same average as an unmodified COUNTER 2) to any squadron that attacks anything that isn't him.  Oddly enough, this works out to less average damage for that attack compared to attacking him directly since by the very definition the other squadron is also engaged with the enemy, and he gets the SWARM reroll bonus, but a more steady stream of damage.  The damage also isn't an attack, so it will bypass Gallant Haven's damage reduction, much the same way Mauler Mithel's ability bypasses it.

There is an obvious synergy of flying him with TIE Advanced and their ESCORT ability (that I will cover shortly), but a slightly overlooked synergy is flying him with other TIE Interceptors - your opponent can either chose to attack the 3 Hull Interceptors with no defense tokens and suffer a SWARMed COUNTER 2 attack, plus a bonus damage from Soontir, or attack Soontir directly and deal with a SWARMed COUNTER 2 attack and his two defense tokens, keeping your 11 point investments alive longer.

Overall the Interceptor is a great all-around squadron for it's cost.  It has good anti-squadron fire for the price, only beaten out by the TIE Fighter, for dealing with enemy squadrons and achieving superiority.  It discourages enemy squadrons from attacking it with COUNTER 2, which also helps it lock down and eliminate enemy BOMBERs, which it can reach very quickly with its Speed 5.  It can also use that high speed to engage other enemy squadrons looking to do the same to its own BOMBER force.

Protecting a Gladiator from B-Wing Ambush

The one thing it cannot do effectively or efficiently is anti-ship attacks, but no Commander worthy of their command should be putting TIE Interceptors into their list with the intent of them destroying enemy ships - the squadron is a Space Superiority / Interceptor squadron, through and through.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Commander's Guide - Y-Wing

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

Continuing the tradition of bonus releases this weekend, it's the Y-Wing, the Rebel's equivalent to a TIE Bomber.

Y-Wing Squadron

The Rebel's Y-Wing is similar to the Imperial TIE Bomber in many ways.  Both are relatively inexpensive, with the Y-Wing's cost of 10 fairly close to the TIE Bomber's 9.  Both are BOMBERs and HEAVY, and both attack enemy ships with an Anti-Ship armament of 1 Black die.

But what does that 1 extra point get you over the TIE Bomber?  Well, the Y-Wing drops in speed compared to its Imperial analog, going from Speed 4 down to Speed 3, putting it at the same pace as the Rebel X-Wings.  However, the Y-Wing does trade out the 1 Black Anti-Squadron armament for 2 Blue, and increases its hull to the largest squadron hull currently in the game, at 6.

The Y-Wing's role is much the same as the role of the stock TIE Bomber - it is an inexpensive Black die to throw at an enemy ship that hasn't brought any fighter coverage, via Squadron command.  It has very limited anti-squadron capabilities - an average of 3 Y-Wing activations are needed to take out a single TIE Fighter.  So as before, you will need enough squadrons on hand to engage the other enemy squadrons in order to use the Y-Wings to their fullest potential.

"Dutch" Vander

The Y-Wing is a BOMBER and its role is to attack enemy ships.  Well, "Dutch" decided somehow that the unique Y-Wing pilot should be all about Anti-Squadron utility - and he fills an excellent role in this.  For 16 points, Dutch adds an extra Blue Anti-Squadron die to the stock Y-Wing, bringing his total to 3 Blue.  In addition, he gains the ability to lock down enemy squadrons that he damages in combat.  If he attacks an enemy squadron that has not yet activated, he can toggle its activation slider, locking it out of taking any actions for the round.  If the enemy is already activated, he instead deals an extra point of damage.  Note, that this is after a squadrons suffers damage, so they won't be able to Brace or Gallant Haven away the extra point of damage.

Obviously, this makes "Dutch" an excellent way to lock down a specific elite enemy, such as Darth Vader, Wedge or Tycho.  "Dutch" also has a lot of synergy with a Wedge of your own, letting you activate an enemy for Wedge to throw his 6 Blue dice against.

"Dutch" also comes with 2 Brace tokens, to really make his 6 hull last against enemy Anti-Squadron fire.

Next time we will be covering the TIE Interceptors!  Keep your eyes open.  And don't forget to sign up for the mailing list so that you can know as soon as the newest article is released!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Commander's Guide - TIE Bomber

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

Having previously covered the TIE Fighter and X-Wing, it's time to dip into the squadrons released with Wave 1.  The first of which is the Imperial's TIE Bomber.

TIE Bomber

The most inexpensive BOMBER in the game thus far, the TIE Bomber comes into play for 9 points, just a single point over the TIE Fighter.  As a BOMBER, the TIE Bomber is capable of damaging enemy ships with Crits, and as such it brings 1 Black die for its Anti-Ship armament.

Unfortunate for the TIE Bomber, it also comes with the HEAVY keyword as well, which means that any squadron it engages is not prevented from moving or attacking ships - which means it cannot be used to screen your ships from enemy BOMBERs, not that you would want to unless no other squadron is available.  In addition, they sport 1 Black die for anti-squadron fire, making them not particularly useful for anti-squadron duty.

They do however take a beating.  5 Hull puts them on par with an X-Wing squadron in terms of damage taken.  They also are faster than that same X-Wing squadron, boasting a speed of 4 - same as the TIE Fighter.

The TIE Bomber is definitely not a squadron you want to use for space superiority.  That being said, it does have an important role in the Imperial fleet, and that is throwing that 1 Black at any enemy ship that had their fighter screen caught up in a dogfight elsewhere.  For the price of less than a single Corvette (36 vs 39 points) you can bring 4 Black worth of attacks that can hit out past medium range with a single squadron command.  That is something any opponent will have to respect.

Major Rhymer

Did I say "out past medium range" before?  Well, Major Rhymer takes the TIE Bomber, and any other Imperial Squadron you might have lying around without anything useful to do, and turns them into a mini-CR90B.  Any squadron at R1 of Rhymer can attack enemy ships at close-medium range.  Note, this also includes Rhymer himself.  And all of this for just 16 points.

Now, this would obviously make Major Rhymer a pretty big target for the enemy - to that effect, the Major has 2 Brace tokens to go with his 5 hull.  He also boasts an extra 1 Blue in addition to the usual 1 Black for TIE Bomber Anti-Squadron dice, though he retains the usual 1 Black Anti-Ship.

Major Rhymer wants to sit in a spot, surrounded by his friends, where he won't be bothered by enemy squadrons, and the enemy will be passing by, hopefully for multiple turns.  He is also one of the more important ships for Admiral Chirneau to activate and move away out of engagements.

In the end, Major Rhymer is one of the defining cards of Wave 1.  Like the Demolisher, Major Rhymer gives the Imperials a unique flavor - a way of bypassing the usual rules that force everyone to adjust their ordinary strategies in order to deal with it.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Commander's Guide - X-Wing

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

Did someone say BONUS UPDATE?  Because it's bonus update time here at Steel Squadron!  In honor of 4000 visitors, you get not one, but two write-ups in a single weekend!

Well, without further ado, let's cover the Rebel's original starfighter squadron, the X-Wing.


The X-Wing Squadron is the Rebel's default squadron, coming standard with the starter kit.  Though to call the X-Wing Squadron the baseline for other rebel ships misses the point.  The X-Wing comes with the Rebel's strongest anti-squadron dice, at 4 Blue (2 points average).  This gives an X-Wing squadron a halfway decent chance of one-shotting the Imperial standard TIE Fighter, or TIE Interceptor (to be covered later).  In addition, the X-Wing comes with 5 hull, putting it out of range of being one-shot by anything the Imperials could field, short of Vader himself.

The X-Wing does come with an increased cost over its Imperial starter set counterpart, clocking in at 13 points per squadron.  And it is slightly slower - the squadron has a 3 movement value, which means it motors almost the same speed as a ship going Speed 3.

But the X-Wing isn't just about anti-squadron attacks.  It has a few other roles that it fills within the greater collection of Rebel fighters.  It has BOMBER, which puts its 1 Red anti-ship armament at the normal 0.75 average damage, and gives it the ability to resolve critical effects if it hits hull.  Plus it has a 1/8 chance of dumping a 2 point hit onto an enemy ship that didn't feel like engaging the X-Wing with a fighter screen.

But that's not all.  The X-Wing is also capable of ESCORTing other squadrons into the dog fight, forcing an engaged opponent to target the X-Wing instead of the easier target.  By carefully managing your X-Wing's movements, you can utilize ESCORT to split fire between multiple squadrons, keeping your squadrons alive longer, and more importantly, firing longer.

Luke, Generic X-Wing, and Wedge escort the Yavaris into the fight.

Luke Skywalker

The Hero of the Rebellion is best known for blowing up the Death Star with a well placed torpedo, and in Armada he places those torpedoes with precision on enemy ships.  Luke upgrades his Red anti-ship armament for 1 Black, which with BOMBER gives him an average of 1 damage per attack, and a 1/4 chance of 2 damage.  Which he will put directly onto the enemy ship's hull with his special ability.  With a crit effect - pending that 2 damage result.  Alone that is plenty scary, but paired with Dodonna, that is just unfair.  

In case another squadron tries to engage his (and they will!) he sports 2 Brace tokens to take advantage of the X-Wing squadrons natural 5 hull.  And all that for just 20 points.  Isn't Luke worth 1/2 of another Corvette?

Wedge Antilles

If Luke showed off the X-Wing's BOMBER skill, Wedge turns the X-Wing into an enemy squadron killing machine.  When he attacks an enemy squadron which has already activated for the turn, Wedge gets an additional 2 Blue anti-squadron dice, bringing his total to 6 (and average damage to 3!)  This makes Wedge all kinds of dangerous to enemy elite pilots, as he has a real chance of rolling multiple damage and accuracy results.  It also means that Wedge and Dutch are best friends forever, as Dutch can activate an enemy squadron that Wedge has his eye on, setting Wedge up for the knockout punch.

Wedge costs only 19 points, just 6 more than a standard X-Wing squadron, and comes with the same 2 Brace tokens and 1 Black anti-ship dice that Luke does.  With the redundant Brace tokens, his decent chance to do considerable damage, and 5 hull, Wedge can even become a better ESCORT for your more vulnerable squadrons - or a place for heavily damaged squadrons that won their engagements to fall back to.

Well, that's it for this round.  Thank you all for the continued support!  I'm ecstatic to have hit 4000 views in just a month.  What squadrons should we cover next?  Let me know in the comments below!

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Commander's Guide - TIE Fighter

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

Now that we're done with Ships, it's time to talk about the smallest miniatures on the table - Squadrons.  And we are going to start with one of the two squadron types that came within the starter kit, the Imperial's TIE Fighter.

Howlrunner, TIE Fighters, and Mauler Mithel fly in with a pair of VSDIIs.

TIE Fighter

The TIE Fighter is the baseline fighter for the Empire, and the cheapest one at that.  At 8 points per squadron, it is easy to fit a few in to round out the points in your list, and even the named pilots are fairly inexpensive (more on them in a bit...)

Squadrons are the best at anti-squadron, which is something we can see immediately by looking at the TIE Fighter.  Not only is the TIE Fighter's 3 Blue anti-squadron dice (average 1.5 damage) better than any ship's anti-squadron armament, but it also gains the keyword SWARM, giving you a re-roll when you are attacking a ship that is engaged with another fighter.  Note: The key is that the enemy squadron must be engaged, not that there is another SWARM squadron nearby - you can engage the enemy squadron with any other squadron, even one that is HEAVY.

TIE Fighters also have a movement value of 4, allowing them to move in any direction up to distance 4 on the other side of the range ruler.  For comparison to the maneuver tool, distance 4 is just a bit farther than a Speed 3 maneuver.  Remember this when you are sending your squadrons into an engagement, it is very easy to fly too far ahead and get away from your slow moving VSD carrier.

Hull for the TIE Fighter is a modest 3, the lowest in the game.  TIE Fighters do have the capability to theoretically one shot another TIE Fighter, so keep that in mind when you send them into an engagement.

Finally, the TIE Fighter also has an Anti-Ship armament of 1 Blue die (average 0.5 damage).  This isn't exactly anything to write home about, but if you have a death ball of 5 TIE Fighters doing 2-3 points per round, they can be a cheap and effective 40 points of Superior Positions free victory tokens.


Fans of X-Wing will probably immediately recognize the name.  In Armada, Howlrunner returns with a similar boost to the squadrons near enough to benefit - any friendly squadron with SWARM at distance 1 adds 1 Blue die to it's attack pool when rolling an anti-squadron attack.

Howlrunner also introduces something unique pilots all share - they have defense tokens to offset their increased cost for similar hull stats.  Howlrunner's stats are otherwise identical to an ordinary TIE Fighter, but come at an increased cost - 16 points to the TIE Fighter generics 8.  Her defense tokens go a long way to mitigating the increased cost with enhanced survivability.  She has a Brace token, as well as a token unique to squadrons at this point - the Scatter.  The Scatter token allows a squadron to exhaust it to cancel all dice results against it.  Though, a reminder, that you use it after the opponent resolves their accuracy results.  This means that the Scatter token is extremely effective against single shot Anti-Squadron shots from ships, and amazing for that moment when your opponent rolls nothing but hits on his attack roll.

While Howlrunner works well with regular TIEs, she also can work wonders with TIE Interceptors, which we will get to in a later discussion.

"Mauler Mithel"

Another name that should be familiar to X-Wing players, Mauler Mithel comes with the same stat line as the standard TIE Fighter.  At 15 points, he also comes with the same defense tokens as Howlrunner - Brace and Scatter.  Unlike Howlrunner though, his special ability isn't a buff to other squadrons.  After he completes his moves, any enemy squadron that is engaged with him suffers 1 point of damage.

A few things to note about this damage - it is not an attack, so abilities that trigger on an attack do not occur.  Gallant Haven does not protect the damage from happening.  Defense tokens cannot be spent to prevent the damage.  COUNTER attacks do not happen.  He moves, enemies take damage.

There are some excellent synergies with Mauler and Admiral Chirneau, as he lets Mauler move even when engaged.  This lets you engage into a furball with Mauler, possibly as your last activation of a turn.  Then activate him early the next turn with a squadron command for another damage to every enemy in the furball, followed up by his actual SWARM'd attack.  Not too many enemy squadrons can hold up against that sort of punishment.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Commander's Guide - Assault Frigate Mark II

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

After our last discussion on the Victory Class Star Destroyer, there is only one ship left to discuss - the Assault Frigate Mark II (AFII).  The AFII is a Medium ship, and the biggest ship currently available on the Rebel side of the board.  However, even as a medium ship, it flies much differently than the Imperial's VSD and boasts a much different armament.

The Assault Frigate Mark II


The AFII comes standard with  Command value of 3, putting it equal to the VSD as the least responsive ships on the board.  However, due to its Command value it is capable of stocking tokens for later use.  It also comes standard with a Engineering value of 4, putting it even with the VSD in staying power, recovering 2 shields per turn with a command dial, or 1 with a token.  With the help of the Redemption, it can even us tokens to repair hull damage at 3 total.

For defense, the AFII is equipped with the strongest single shield arc currently in the game at 4 for its fore shields, with 3 on each side arc, and 2 rear.  With that, it also currently has the distinction of the largest amount of shields currently in the game - 12 to the VSD's 10.  It doesn't quite have the VSD's hull though, as the standard numbers there are 8 to the AFII's 6.  Also unlike the VSD, it is less able to take advantage of it's shielding, losing one of the VSD's redundant Redirect tokens for an Evade, but retaining the other Redirect and Brace.

Also unlike the VSD, the AFII can actually make speed 3, though it isn't particularly maneuverable there.  At top speed, the ship has a yaw value of 1 at the 2nd and 3rd pips, giving it a 45 degree turning radius without a navigation command dial.  At speed 2 it retains the yaw, getting a value of 1 at both pips, and at speed 1 it only gets a yaw of 1.  Still that gives the ship twice the turning radius of a VSD at speed 2, and the chance to outdistance the much slower Imperial counterpart.

All ships have the strongest long range side arc currently in the game, with a total of 3 Red / 1 Blue.

Upgrades for the ship are also standard, with Commanders, 2 Titles, Officer, Weapons Team, Offensive Modification, Defensive Modification, and Turbolasers.

Assault Frigate Mark II A:

The Assault Frigate Mark II A (AFII-A) comes in at 81 points, just 4 points short of the VSD2 for most expensive ship in the game.  For this, you get a Squadron value of 2, equal to the NebB-E as an escort carrier.

You also get a 2 Red / 1 Blue fore arc, and 2 Red / 1 Blue rear arc, putting them even with the CR90's front arc / VSD's side arc for damage.  In addition to this, you also have 2 Blue for anti-squadron armament, putting the ship equal to a GSD2 or a NebB-E for anti-squadron combat.

Assault Frigate Mark II B:

The Assault Frigate Mark II B (AFII-B) is the cheaper of the two, coming in 9 points lower at 72 total, or just one point shy of a VSD1.  For getting back those 9 points, you lose the 1 Blue on the fore and aft, giving you only 2 Red in both fore / aft arcs.  You also lose one of the Blue anti-squadron dice, leaving the ship with only 1 Blue for its anti-squadron attacks.

However, the ship does gain a point in Squadron Value, putting it even with the VSD at 3 Squadron value total, making it an excellent ship for a true carrier roll.

AFII denies a flank to the GSD against the Nebulon B


Just about any commander works well with the AFII.  Mon Mothma improves the ship's Evasion token to Medium Range for discarding a dice and Close Range for rerolls.  Dodonna lets you make the best out of your criticals, and with 3 Red / 1 Blue out of your side arc, you can push some damage through their shields.  Finally, Garm Bel Iblis gives you 3 command tokens at the start of R1 and R5, not a bad stock for your high command value ship.

For titles, there are only two.  "Paragon", for a mere 5 points, lets you maximize damage against a target dumb enough to park in the middle of two of your arcs, with an extra 1 Black at any range on your second attack.  This does stack with a concentrate fire command, so not only do you get to be the only Rebel ship to roll a black die, you can roll two!  That'll put the hurt onto a VSD.

"Gallant Haven" (8 points) goes the other way, being a defensive upgrade for your squadrons, reducing the damage they take from an attack by 1.  Note that this is after any unique squadrons have used their defense tokens.  Suddenly Luke and Wedge have effective "Scatter" against 2 successful hits from a TIE Fighter.  This can really tilt the squadron battle in your favor if you can keep it within distance 1 of the Gallant Haven.

For Officers, Leia is practically worthless.  With a command of 3, changing another ship's command isn't very useful.  She is, however, an excellent addition on another ship in a fleet with an AFII.  Adar Tallon lets you select one squadron to activate a second time when you utilize a Squadron command.  Excellent for maximizing a named pilot like Wedge or Dutch, or getting a B-Wing into position for a bombing run.  Finally, Raymus Antilles gives the ability to maximize your command token activation, and due to a Command value of 3, banking the tokens you don't need.

Much like the VSD, the Liaisons work well with a Command 3 ship, as do Veteran Captains, giving you the command that you need when you need it.  Intel Officers are also an excellent addition to the AFII, due to it's large Red dice arcs and chance to get multiple hits on a single target over several turns.

Flight Controllers improves your AFII-B's squadron activations, giving the squadrons an extra 1 Blue anti-squadron armament.  Gunnery Team allows you to take advantage of your large side arcs for long range shots on multiple targets, or to shoot at both a ship and squadrons, though it doesn't work well with the Paragon title.  Sensor Team lets you make the most of your Red dice, by dropping a missed die to gain an Accuracy icon.  The more dice you get to shoot, the more effective Accuracy results are, and the more likely you are to have some blank dice results.

Offensive Upgrades give the option of Expanded Hanger bay, a good upgrade for the AFII-B, to increase your Squadron value to 4.  Point-Defense Re-route works better with the AFII-A, giving you a reroll for each of your Crit results when performing anti-squadron attacks at close range.

Defensive Upgrades give two options as well.  Advanced Projectors let you utilize all of your shields with the Redirect action, moving them to whichever shield arc is needed, even if it is on the other side of the ship.  Electronic Countermeasures let you utilize the most important defense token, even if your opponent has enough accuracy results.

Finally Turbolasers.  Enhanced Armament improves the already best long range side arc by an additional 1 Red.  XX-9 Turbolasers help you maximize Dodonna's ability, more face up damage cards if a crit effect sneaks through onto the hull.  H9 Turbolasers let you turn a hit result into an accuracy, getting better long range hits with your one accuracy result on your Red dice.  Finally XI-7 Turbolasers let you neutralize the VSD's greatest asset, the Redirect token redundancy, but making only 1 damage able to be redirected at a time.

The AFII integrated into the Rebel Fleet


Centerpiece - Because of the natural stats and defensive options available, the AFII makes for an excellent centerpiece to build around for your fleet.

Broadside - The ship works its best when it can bring its powerful side arc to bear on the target, even more if it can get a single target in its sweet spot, the line between the front and side arcs.  With the Paragon title, Enhanced Armaments, and a Concentrate Fire command, an AFII can put out a total of 6 Red / 2 Black over two attacks at long range, for an average damage of 6.5, and maximum of 16!

Carrier - The biggest Rebel carrier, an AFII-B with Expanded Hanger Bay can activate up to 4 ships in a single activation.  With Tallon and Flight Controllers, as well as Gallant Haven, the AFII-B can dominate local space superiority.  Even the AFII-A can fill in as an escort carrier, with 2 squadrons activated.

Escort - A bit high on points, but while filling another role, the AFII-A can support with anti-squadron barrages.

Shield - Due to its larger base, and good shields, the AFII can cover a side to keep another heavy hitter, like a Neb-B, covered from GSD flankers.

**Wave 2 Updates**

Well that's it for ships in the Commander's Guide.  As usual, please let me know what, if anything, I am missing.  And anything I got wrong.  Or anything you'd like to see me cover in the future.  Until next time, folks!