Monday, November 30, 2015

Commander's Guide - MC30c Frigate

Finally it is time to chat about the final new ship of Wave 2, and one that I am very excited about, the MC30c Frigate.  The first Rebel ship to pack on natural Black dice, it plays and handles much differently than the traditional rebel long range standoff craft.  Let's look today at what makes the MC30c into the the ship that it is, how it fits into the Rebel fleet, and how it differs from its closest Imperial counterpart, the Gladiator.

The MC30c Frigate.


The MC30c is the 3rd small ship for the rebels, and the most expensive baseline cost of a small ship to date, costing almost as much as a Assault Frigate MkII B for the more expensive Scout variant.  Like it's Imperial counterpart, the Gladiator, the MC30c is another Command value 2 ship, and sports an Engineering value of 3.  However, it only has a Squadron value of 1, making it a poor option for supporting fighters.  In addition, the MC30c only has a single blue dice for anti-squadron fire, making it a poor choice for fighter support as part of a screen.

For defense, the MC30c only has 4 hull, putting it on par with the CR90 Corvette, and Raider.  It also has no Brace tokens to speak of.  What it does have is a bevy of shields, with 3 on the front, and both sides, as well as 2 in the rear.  It also has redundant redirects and evades.  While the ship is almost certain to take a beating, most times you will be able to redirect the damage onto the shields before suffering any hits to the hull, if not evade the incoming damage outright.

It is also a fast ship, able to naturally motor across the map at Speed 4, though maneuverability for the ship is best at Speed 3.  At Speed 4 it only gains a single yaw at clicks 2 and 3, while at Speed 3 it gains double clicks at 3, and a single click at 2.  Down at the lower speeds it has a single yaw at each click.  Unfortunately, it doesn't have Support Team upgrades for any movement shenanigans like the Gladiator.

Surprisingly, upgrades are standard between both variants, with Officer, Weapons Team, Defensive Retrofit, Ordinance, and Turbolasers available, in addition to the Titles and Commanders.

MC30c Torpedo Frigate:

The less expensive of the two ships at 63 points, the Torpedo Frigate without any upgrades costs the same as a GSD1 with Assault Concussion Missiles already installed.  However, the ship is quite different than the Gladiator, boasting a battery of 1 Blue, 2 Black from the front arc, 1 Blue, 1 Black from the rear arc, and a blistering 2 Blue, 3 Black from the sides.  This puts the MC30c Torpedo Frigate into an interesting position, as it is a clear Brawler in terms of dice, but has the speed and survivability of a flanker.

For its role, much like the Gladiator, the MC30c will be dependent on its upgrades - both the boost it's defense, and to increase its offense for when it gets to deliver its attack.

MC30c Scout Frigate:

The Scout Frigate is the more expensive version of the MC30c at 69 points, and for those 6 extra the Blue dice in each hull zone (though not anti-squadron) is swapped out for Red. This puts the Scout Frigate into an interesting place in the Rebel fleet, as it is a fast, fairly maneuverable ship, that Ackbar turns into a 4 Red dice monster that can equip Gunnery Teams and has double evades.  This is a ship that can not only go toe to toe with just about any long range opponent, but can out maneuver just about any as well.  And still sports Black dice for any foe that wants to get into close range against it.

Without Ackbar, the ship still does a good job as a flanker, able to take pot shots from a distance while it closes, and can be set up the same way a Torpedo Frigate can.

An MC30c line escorted by fighters.


For Commanders, Rieekan came with the MC30c and synergizes well with a low cost - high ship count fleet that can abuse activation order to put big, hard hitting ships into harms way for killer double arc shots on a bigger target.  The MC30c is small enough base that it has the potential to double arc a Large base ship with both side arcs, and that is a lot of dice to be throwing around.  Ackbar also works well with this ship, as described above.  At least with the Scout Frigate, though the Torpedo Frigate can be equipped with Enhanced Armaments to give it the ability to fire at long range, and take advantage of Ackbar's ability.

General Dodonna also works well with the MC30c, as it gives him another way to put critical hits on enemy hull.  Assault Proton Torpedoes add a lot of damage potential under his command.  Mon Mothma improves the biggest weakness the ship has - survivability - by extending the double evade into medium range, and putting the reroll at close range.  With the Foresight title, Mon Mothma turns the MC30c into a formidable force.  Garm is probably the least impressive of the commanders, but he still tosses 2 tokens to each MC30c at the start of the game, and the 5th turn.

For officers, few stand out.  Lando can keep you from taking a big hit, which can be useful when you have no Braces.  Raymus is good no matter what he is on.  Walex pairs well with the Admonition title, retrieving a token you already spent.  For non-named, nothing immediately jumps out either.  Intel Officer could work, but you probably only with an Ackbar infused Scout.  Veteran Captain perhaps for a single turn slowdown, or Navigation Officer for better control of your speed and turns.

Weapons Teams are a different ballgame.  Gunnery Teams are, again, probably only going to be seen on an Ackbar'd Scout.  But the new Ordinance Experts feel like practically an auto-include for maximizing the potential of your Black dice by giving you a free reroll for all of them.  Conversely, Sensor Team could be used lock down braces against a punishing hit, though with ECMs being popular, maybe not the best option.

Defensive Retroftis are also an option - Redundant Shields are new and give you back a shield every turn without wasting an Engineering command, but the star of the show is probably Advanced Projectors - even though they don't work as well against XI7s, if you are up against someone without them, you will be very difficult to bring down.

Ordinance gives you a new set of choices with Wave 2 - Assault Proton Torpedoes come with the ship, and let you do direct faceup damage to the hull on a critical.  Meanwhile Assault Concussion Missiles continue to do the most extra damage per critical effect, splashing 1 damage to each bordering hull zone.  Rapid Reload helps your side arcs, and doesn't rely on a critical effect, and Expanded Launchers turns your front arc into one even more deadly than your sides.

Turbolasers on this ship are an odd beast.  Ostensibly there to let Enhanced Armaments turn a Torpedo Frigate into an Ackbar Broadsider, you can also take Turbolaser Reroute Circuits to improve your long range damage (Scout only).  Other options for this are XI7s to ensure your black dice punch through to hull, Heavy Turbolasers to mess with Braces, and really that is about it.


Brawler - Another ship with Black dice, and the first Rebel ship with it.  The thought of racing in and throwing those dice has to be both on your mind and your opponents.  The MC30c isn't set up to take close quarters punishment though, so watch where and how you set up.  Ordinance Experts and some sort of ordinance upgrade can maximize your damage potential there - and Torpedo Frigates are the cheaper option for this.

Flanker - Speed 4, check.  Heavy damage, check.  Relatively inexpensive cost?  Kinda?  It can definitely out fight whatever it can't outrun though. 

Broadside - A decent alternative to an Assault Frigate in an Ackbar centered list.  The MC30c Scout is cheaper (though not by much), almost as good at the job offensively, and possibly better defensively at long range.  And if the opponent does decide to rush in against you to lock out the evades, instead of a single Blue dice added, you're tossing an extra 3 Black.  Consider Turbolaser Reroute Circuits for long range engagements to force the enemy to get close.

Hit and Run - Speed 4 and first player let you do hilarious things with this ship in terms of hitting hard and getting out before you take a full "best arc" shot in the face.  Even more so if you can get first and last activation.  First Player is definitely necessary to use it this way though, much like with the Gladiator.

Suicide Blocker - Rieekan is a thing now, and MC30s do a lot of close quarters damage.  You can park one in front of something big and deadly and still get some good parting shots.

Flagship? - Nope, absolutely not.  MC30s are here to play, they are not here to stay.  If you really are considering it, Mon Mothma on Foresight has enough staying power to keep a squad of low point value ships alive.

1 comment: