Monday, October 26, 2015

How Does Wave 2 Change Wave 1 Ships? Part 1 - Rebels

There is little doubt that with Wave 2 on the horizon, nearly doubling the amount of ships, upgrades and squadrons - to give no mention of the increase in total points to 400 - will substantially shake up the game and what we will be seeing on the 6x3 surface in front of us.  But what about the wave 1 ships we've come to know and love?  How does Wave 2 affect them?

And that's what we will be discussing.  Today we will be focusing on the Rebel ships of wave 1; the Assault Frigate Mk II, Nebulon B Frigate, and the CR90 Corvette, with the Imperial ships to come soon.

Assault Frigate Mk II:

The Assault Frigate, as Wave 2 comes out, sees itself change from the biggest kid on the block to the junior cousin of the new MC80, a ship with more shields, defense tokens, and hull.  However, it does retain a some things that the MC80 lacks, namely the ability to take Gunnery Teams, and thus put out a respectable amount of damage at multiple targets.  The standard turbolaser upgrade of Enhanced Armaments - previously very useful for improving the damage output of the side arcs - looks to be replaceable with Admiral Ackbar as commander bringing even more dice and freeing the upgrade up for newly efficient turbolaser upgrades.  XI7s received a significant boost for putting damage onto hull, and H-9 Turbolasers can give accuracies for shutting down enemy Brace tokens, even when none are rolled.  

Also related to the MC80 lacking a Weapon Team upgrade, the AFII remains a good platform for fighter squadrons, being able to take Flight Controllers.  With a Reeikan based list of named pilots, it also can show up as the Gallant Haven - keeping the named pilots alive even when it is destroyed.  It is also still the least expensive ship the rebels have with Command 3, making them the most efficient ship for Garm Bel Iblis.  It also is the biggest ship that can work with a defensive Mon Mothma build.

It also is a decent platform for the new tractor beams - as long as you don't want to slow down an ISD or MC80, the AFII can slow down anything else.  A very useful upgrade to have when you want to play keep-away at Long Range.

Role Changes:

Centerpiece - No longer really good at this role, one round of ISD shooting will end an AFII's night early.

Broadside - With Ackbar and Home One, what this ship was the best at, it is now even better at.  5 Red Dice, twice with gunnery team, and a guaranteed brace blocking accuracy. 

Carrier - Now the second biggest Rebel carrier, an AFII-B with Expanded Hanger Bay can still activate up to 4 ships in a single activation, and for less than a MC80 Command variant.  With Reeikan and Flight Controllers, as well as Gallant Haven, the AFII-B can dominate local space superiority with named squadrons, and still survive fairly well as a carrier, and contribute to long range damage.  For that matter, Boosted Comms lets the AFII stay where it wants to be - long range - though Gallant Haven is less useful there.

Escort - A bit high on points, but while filling another role, the AFII-A can support with anti-squadron barrages.  Gunnery Team is a good upgrade for this role.

Shield - Due to its larger base, long range guns, and good shields, the AFII can counter just about any flanker that might be coming around your line - or at least force it to take the VERY long way around.

Nebulon B Frigate:

The role of the Nebulon B doesn't change much - it is still a lancer in an otherwise broadside heavy Rebel list, though there are a few new tricks and toys to play with.  All Nebulon Bs, specifically Salvation, get a huge boost to damage with Slaved Turrets - being able to shoot an extra Red out of the front arc is big for Salvation - giving it the same damage average out of its front arc at long range as a GSD gets from the side arc.  For a different option, Heavy Turbolasers and Intel Officer can make sure your shot does maximum damage, or at least strips away the Brace for later pounding - though that is more of an early game combo, compared to when Salvation should be engaging.

For the Yavaris, Wing Commander will let you double tap your B-Wing escort at exactly the right time, and not waste squadron commands if the time isn't right.  And Redemption gives you an excellent platform for Projection Experts - extra engineering and handing away shields to bigger targets - you can recover 1 and give 2 shields away each turn.

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 Slaved Turrets, and keep its facing in the right direction better with Nav Team.  Nothing much has changed here.

Chaser - Not a true flanker, the NebB does have a very good turning radius at full speed and excellent long range forward guns.  With a speed of 3, it can definitely chase down just about anything already wounded and trying to get away, making it an excellent chase ship for the rear of your formation.

Support - Again a role that works complimentary to the Sniper.  Redemption makes all your other ships, especially Assault Frigates, that much harder to kill.  And with Projection Experts, it really comes into its own.

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.  This really hasn't changed, though it misses out from being able to take Boosted Comms.

Objective Ship? - 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).

CR90 Corvette:

The CR90 remains the same as it always was - a decent support ship, and speedy flanker.  Not likely to bring anything at all down on its own, it needs to work as a part of a bigger pack of ships to contribute against the enemy.  Only now with ships being more deadly, it is more important than ever to keep the CR90 out of the major arcs the enemy will throw its way.  

For upgrades, the perfect platform for Turbolaser Reroute Circuits is the CR90A variant.  Too many evades to work with, and not enough chances to use them, and guaranteed hits are nothing to sneer at.  Redundant Shields and a Projection Expert can turn a cheap CR90B into a pocket medic.  NK-7 Ions on a CR90B could be even more worrying than a Overload Pulse, and Reeikan can let you send one into the front of a conga line and let it live to disrupt everything.  Put Lando on the CR90B for a potential 2 turns of line blocking shenanigans.

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.  Jaina's Light lets Leia hide behind bigger ships and still contribute to the battle.  No change here.

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.  Now you can do it in a better / different way with NK-7 Ions.

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.  No change here.

Swarm - You can fit 8 CR90s of various types into a single 400 pt list.  With limited upgrades and a commander.  That's a lot of dice, though you'll find it difficult to get them all pointed at the same target, with that many ships on the board.

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.  Admiral Ackbar makes this even more dangerous - and Slaved Turrets make the flanker itself even cheaper.

Blocker - With the speed to get places faster than the opponent, and a cheap cost that makes sacrificing one worthwhile, a Reeikan commanded CR90 can pop in front of an enemy formation and disrupt their planned movement.

Well, that's it for this round.  We'll talk about Imperials on Wednesday!


  1. Have you considered running Jaina's Light with Projection experts, and staying on the obstructed side of a MC80 or AFII? Six shields reinforced on the big ship over three turns as well as some credible broadsides if it's an Akbar fleet.

    1. That's a great idea, combining the pocket medic idea with Jaina's Light. Definitely something to play around with.

  2. Long time lurker, 1st post.

    1st Armada game (using wave 2 upgrades). 300pts with a 4 ship rebel fleet (Salvation, Yavaris, CR90A with Overload Pulse and CR90B Turbolaser Reroute Circuits) and 3X-Wing squadrons lead by Mon Mothma.

    Neb B + Slaved Turrets is amazing. Add Salvation title and a concentrate fire command and now you can go toe to toe with a VST at long range (...kind of...).

    Mon Mothma IS the right commander for a Rebel Swarm type list.

    Not sure on Turbolaser Reroute Circuits and Overload Pulse...didn't have the chance to use it.

    Do you think that a Rebel Swarm build is viable with wave 2?

    Very impressed with the game mechanics! Most of my friends, veterans of others 6 turn sci fi games, were also very impressed with it.