Monday, August 29, 2016

Wave 3 Upgrades - Fleet Support

The mighty flotilla.

We have already discussed at length the Bomber Command Center and what it means to the Flotilla in general and Squadrons in specifics.  Let us look at the other 4 Fleet Support Upgrades.

As is the new tradition let's look at all the ships that can take a Fleet Support Upgrade:

GR-75 Flotilla
Gozanti Class Flotilla

So... yeah.

Comms Net - 2 points - After the Reveal Command Dial Step, you may remove 1 command token from this ship to assign a matching token to another friendly ship at distance 1-5.

It's a 2 point version of Tantive IV.  Well, sort of.  It actually functions differently and in an interesting way.  While Tantive IV would let you pass a token that you would have gained the Comms Net fires after your Reveal Command Dial Step, letting you pass a token you have stocked at the end of that step.  What this means is that it isn't necessarily a token that you picked up during that step that you are passing around.

What does that mean for you?  That means you can use some token shenanigans to pass tokens around.  Grand Moff Tarken handing out navigate tokens, but your big ship is going to need to use theirs this turn?  That's okay, Gozanti can still move some fighters with its command and toss the spare token its way.  Commandant Aresko can help pass some tokens around, provided you keep your Comm ship in formation.  Sadly, Wulff doesn't work as his ability works with spending tokens, and not removing tokens.

For either side, you can use the relatively inexpensive Veteran Captain on this ship, giving you a key token to pass to whomever needs it most.  Rebels also have Raymus Antilles to participate in extra token shenanigans, much like with Tantive IV.

At any rate, you can use this ship as a bank to store redundant tokens for your ships that need it most.  Yavaris would benefit from an extra turn of 3 squadron activations, right?  And without the extra cost of having Raymus Antilles tag along, or even Veteran Captain staffing, on a ship with 1 shield giant side arcs.  Liberty needs squadron tokens too to get the most out of the title.  Interdictors with Engineering Team would love a 4 Engineering Points token, and those without would enjoy the 8 point dial / token combo for shield recharging.  What about Concentrating Fire with Demolisher on the turn you would be jumping forward on the attack?

The real restriction on this card is the Command Value of 1 that both Flotillas have.  You just aren't going to get a large battery out of the flotilla, pending some "Increase your ship's Command Value" card in the future, or Fleet Support Upgrade for different ships.

Jamming Field - 2 points - While a squadron at distance 1-2 is attacking or defending against a squadron, the attack is treated as obstructed.

The obvious use for this is to activate the squadrons with the flotilla, send them into an attack, and then park the flotilla nearby to protect your squadrons from retaliation.  But what squadrons?  Squadrons with a large dice pool are least effected by this card - X-Wings, YT-2400s, these guys lose 25% of their effective attack power.  But your low dice TIE Bombers of the world?  They can't shoot.  (Can they attack a ship then?  Kind of the same as Instigator's fake squadrons, not being viable targets.)  Y-Wings and Scurrgs lose 1/2 their attack power.

The other key thing to remember is Counter.  Obstructed shots drop an A-Wing or TIE Interceptor down to 1 dice back from an attack.  That can effectively neuter their biggest advantage.  Something to consider taking then if you run into a big counter fight.

The big takeaway though is that it will make your squadron game take longer to reach a resolution, and that can be a good thing if you are taking squadrons as a shield against bombers.  Remember, you just have to be in range of either the attacker or defender to keep the obstruction bubble up.

Repair Crews - 4 points - Engineering Command:  Instead of spending engineering points, you may discard 1 damage card from 1 friendly ship at distance 1-2.

With Projection Experts, this is our second card capable of repairing damage to nearby ships.  This one works on hull, and works with any Engineering Command - dial or token.  The best pairing for this would be a ship with large hull and no real good ways of keeping that hull from taking damage.  For example, the Interdictor - slightly low shields and only one redirect means its 9 hull is going to be tanking a considerable portion of the damage dealt to it.

We are going to talk about Healing and Tanking in a later article, but before you invest in something that can repair your ship, make sure that it is cost effective and will actually make a difference.

Slicer Tools - 7 points - After you execute a maneuver, you may exhaust this card to choose an enemy ship at distance 1-3.  You may choose a new command on its top command dial.

Make these little bastards offensive with Slicer Tools!  The way I look at them is this - my opponent is probably planning on revealing an engineering command the turn after I open up on his best ship.  It is what I would do after all.  That is two more shields I will need to chew through to get it off the board.  So this guy turning it into a superfluous navigate or squadron command means that I have effectively done two damage to my opponent in the grand scheme of things.

That is not all that it can do, though.  Yavaris can't squadron command.  Demolisher can't Navigate.  Squadronless fleets are just doing squadron commands.  Your opponent needs a well timed navigate to avoid flying off into the abyss?  Guess he is repairing this turn!

Now, there are ways of preventing Slicer Tool from being effective.  Liaisons cost 3 points each, and involve tokens to use.  Wing Commander and others give you one specific command you can always spin your dial to for 6 points.  Support Officer for 4 points can let you discard your entire stack if you got hit second.  Skilled First Officer for a single point lets you discard just the top of the stack.

But look at what that does - your opponent has to take up a valuable slot (Officer) to work around something you put on a 18 point GR-75 transport you are already using to push Bombers around.  Or they don't and you get to wreck their plans.

Personally, I like this upgrade almost as much as Bomber Command Center.  I think Bomber Command Center gives you more damage potential from the flotilla, but the Slicer Tools let you disrupt things, and that disruption can be the key to victory or defeat.

Well, that is it for Fleet Support Upgrades.  We will be on to Experimental Retrofits next, with just Ion Cannons and Turbolasers to go to finish up Wave 4!  This article here closes the door on Wave 3.

Just in time to get excited about Corellian Conflict and Wave 5!


  1. Replies
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  2. I had a lot of fun with slicer tools in a recent game, in a Konstantine fleet with lots of movement manipulation. Was able to trap a Madine Tokyo-drifting MC80 Liberty in place for a second volley out of the front arc by removing his nav command. The Liberty did not survive.

    Otherwise I find the flotillas a little fragile to do a lot. But the extra activations are nice.

    1. Bright Hope is almost painfully not fragile - admittedly that is Rebel and you've been using the Imperial ones.

      I think their best role is as squadron activators / extra activations first, and as Fleet Support Upgrades being the gravy on top of that. The two Rebel flotilla I have been using have both used expanded hangers for 3 squadron activations per turn - I almost feel like this should be the baseline setup for bringing one into your list. Or maybe Boosted Comms on one you are holding back as a Lifeboat style flagship.

    2. Agreed, Bright Hope is basically immune to squadrons. And I need to practice more using the flotillas as squadron pushers.

      I am thinking Boosted Comms might work best, as I can bank a squadron token to get off my alpha strike and use the flotillas to keep coordinating from afar.

  3. there has been debate that jamming field can be turned off when your squadrons are going to shoot while when they shoot at your squadrons or they counter you can turn them on

    1. That debate should be settled - there is nothing that can turn the bubble on or off besides just not having ships within the bubble. The key word is "while" - it takes place no matter what as long as the conditions are met, and that condition is an attacking or defending squadron at distance 1-2 of the flotilla.