|Let's hope this doesn't happen.|
Let's look at the list I'm bringing to Ohio:
2 Triangles and a Baby
383 / 400
Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer - 177 points
- Admiral Ozzel
- Captain Needa
- Gunnery Team
- Electronic Countermeasures
- SW7 Ion Batteries
- XI7 Turbolasers
Imperial I-Class Star Destroyer - 125 points
- Veteran Captain
- Boarding Troops
- Leading Shots
Raider I-Class Corvette - 51 points
- Ordnance Expert
- Flechette Torpedoes
Ciena Ree - 17 points
Valen Rudor - 13 points
I usually don't bid high to go first, but this is a list that really, really wants to go first. Specifically, the Raider needs to go first if it is going to participate in the squadron game, and Avenger wants to go first so that it can trigger Boarding Troops and slam some poor ship that wandered into close range. Devastator is okay going later in the engagement, or delaying its own activation to sucker someone into range. The two ISDs themselves set up a very imposing field of fire.
Both ISDs power up their attacks in different ways. The Avenger wants to crash in close to the enemy, activate first with Boarding Troops, and toss 8 dice (7 after Leading Shot rerolls) without the enemy being able to use any defense tokens. The Devastator forces the enemy into a conundrum - attack it at range and see it discard its defense tokens to power up an insane frontal attack, or ignore nearly 1/2 of the total points in my list. It wants to approach slowly, taking advantage of its advantage at long / medium range, and then speed up to 3 to disengage after its attacks.
The Raider has two goals, as it does not expect to survive. Win the squadron skirmish by activating as many enemy squadrons as it can, and screen the ISDs from attacks.
Ciena Ree and Valen Rudor are arguably the best duo in the game for an anti-Bomber screen, challenged only by Shara and Tycho. Between them and the Raider I (not to mention anti-squadron shots from the ISDs if needed), they can punch way above their weight, tying down a 73 point and a 118 point fighter cover in the Fleet Patrol I played Wednesday.
For obstacle placement, I really, really don't want squadrons having anywhere to hide in my engagement area, so I'm inclined to drop my obstacles in the corners. I also don't want my ISDs having to roll over anything either, though being able to jump from 1 to 3 can let them dodge single obstacles like a champ.
I definitely don't win the deployment in any scenario imaginable, so I will have to reclaim the advantage by making good decisions Navigating the first two turns. Ozzel will help immensely with that, letting my ISDs hustle into position, and slow down when they need to take a more nuanced approach. He also lets the Raider really fly around the board to get where it needs to go, and disengage at Speed 4 if for some reason it has the chance to live.
Deployment is simple, as I only have 4 drops. Avenger goes down first, followed by squadrons. By then I should have some idea where the enemy squadrons will drop down. The Raider is placed on an intercept course. Finally, the flagship goes down either to flank the enemy, or form a wall with the Avenger to block off flankers from a frontal approach.
Navigate commands are the key to the fleet. I need them both to jockey for position and to disengage once the fight is over. The Raider may want to Squadron Command, if it can get away with it. Depending on how much navigation is needed, and if a token can be banked, the Avenger might want to Concentrate Fire, but that is entirely unnecessary in most cases.