|This is a win, right?|
Last I posted concerning Raddus, I was attempting a squadronless Hammerhead-based fleet using TFA and STM to try to stem the squadron tide. It uh...didn't go well. As I feared, it just left the squadrons able to run amok. Even thought the Hammerheads held up quite well, when Liberty jumped it, there was nothing to stop the squadrons from changing up their attack runs and bombing the hell out of the Lib. It was pretty fun, but ultimately quite flawed. TFA Hammerhead swarms in general I think could work well, and their pairing with STM is certainly interesting. Shmitty and Biggs seem like they're picking up that puzzle piece and running with it elsewhere. It has some promise, just not with what I'm trying to do.
I went back to an MSU-style approach for a while, with Admo as the flagship and another Hammerhead or two depending on the build. That didn't really work well for me either. Then Rasproteus convinced me to give a hammer and anvil approach a try. I was skeptical because it meant giving up some options with the drop ship. When I tried it though, it was quite something. I'm not the first one to try this by a long shot. I had a Raddus versus Raddus match up with BigPasiak on Vassal where he thoroughly dismantled me. Where I've been differing from other folks is making my drop ship the Liberty. I started out with an MC75 Ordnance Cruiser paired with my usual MC80 Star Cruiser "super laser" loadout over the Gunnery Team version most people still seem to prefer when they actually run a Liberty. My rationale was that the MC75 is the tankier of the two ships, so it should start on the board first. However, I think I'm coming around to Sam Simon's and BigP's way of thinking. I've struggled to keep the Liberty alive, especially against squadrons, even with the MC75 taking the hits for the first couple turn. Meanwhile, I've also struggled to have the MC75 have a meaningful impact. I even tried the Armored Cruiser in grab XI7s and upgrade its flak capability. It hasn't worked.
I think my mistake has been looking at how to most effectively use the ships defensively, not offensively. The MC75 needs the most help with it's offensive position. The Liberty, with its dominant front arc and access to engine techs, doesn't need as much help with offensive positioning. It's time to get back to doctrine. Offensive preferences need to be the priority. Starting with the Liberty, the more I've played my "super laser" with C&S, the more I'm forced to conclude I don't need them. I'm often re-roll a single red. Worse case scenario with a Star Cruiser is typically two. With SW7s, 4 reds and 4 blues, I think I can get by with a CF token and open up that slot for Gunnery Team. This allows me to send the Liberty hunting for multiple smaller ships. I'll maintain the Intel Officer and XI7 combo to allow it to flex back to hunting big ships. Add Engine Techs should do it.
For the MC75, I'm going back to the Ordnance Cruiser for now. I was more impressed with the Armored Cruiser with XI7s than I expected. That might be where that variant finds its niche. However, a tooled up Ordnance Cruiser has been solid for me in other places. It's time to go full Leeroy. Lando, Aspiration, and EWS put together should keep this baby alive through the worst the game can throw at it (looking at your BT Avenger). Meanwhile, APTs and External Racks together with the double arcing shenanigans of Raddus, means it will put out a fearsome amount of damage.
That's all for this time. I'll start diving deeper into battle reports and after actions as I work toward perfecting my Raddus build. As you can see, I'm still working out what works best for me. I'm a bit behind the power curve. Major props to JJ for winning the Vassal World Cup with the kool-aid man of Star Wars, and to Carlo "Roquax" as well for taking the Canadian Nationals this past weekend with him as well.