Leia isn't a good commander.
There, now that this is out of the way, I'll continue. The problem with Leia is that she costs a lot of points for an ability that looks on paper to be kinda good, but also comes with a big restriction. Specifically, she comes in at 13 points more than the other fleet-wide command boosting commander, Garm Bel Iblis, and I'm betting you all know how we here at Steel Strategy feel about him. He doesn't work as well with smaller ships though, which Leia does.
But does Leia work for a big ship?
A big ship like... say... the Starhawk?
While giving Geek19 over at Cannot Get Your Ship Out some shade over using Leia, somehow the topic drifted over to Starhawks, and I started thinking of how to make them work with Leia. I had the kind of epiphanies that Shmitty and Truthiness usually need to talk me out of. What if the Starhawk just got all its shields back every turn? No, seriously, all of them. You wouldn't need to brace, because your "brace" is you recovering 6 shields a turn.
Here's the list, which I will probably be tweaking a bit still:
Commander: Leia Organa
Assault: Ion Storm
Defense: Capture the VIP
Navigation: Infested Fields
Starhawk Battleship Mark I (140)
• Leia Organa (38)
• Bail Organa (7)
• Defense Liaison (3)
• Weapons Battery Techs (5)
• Advanced Transponder Net (5)
• Ion Cannon Batteries (5)
• Heavy Turbolaser Turrets (6)
• Magnite Crystal Tractor Beam Array (10)
• Concord (12)
= 231 Points
Pelta Command Ship (60)
• Veteran Captain (3)
• Projection Experts (6)
• Shields to Maximum! (6)
= 75 Points
GR-75 Medium Transports (18)
• Hondo Ohnaka (2)
• Comms Net (2)
= 22 Points
• 4 x Y-wing Squadron (40)
• 2 x VCX-100 Freighter (30)
= 70 Points
Total Points: 398
Defense Liaison lets you go aggressive with your dials initially, as you can you shift into navigation or engineering as needed. Hondo / Comms Net gives you the tokens to either shift, and go for a big heal with Leia, or Speed 2 -> 0 (Magnites) -> 2 with Navigate commands. You'll get just a little bit more shooting until you need to go defensive, and then you can just focus on that.
I'm double-arcing with the Hawk if at all possible, which means Ion Cannon Batteries and Weapon Battery Techs gives me a way to increase damage output. Heavy Turbolaser Turrets helps make sure I can push that crit through contains, and lets me worry less about redirects.
Bail Organa and Magnites are a potent combination, and Concord lets me pop them on something even if I'm not the last activation. I'm not expecting to be needing too many tokens anyway, with 1 Brace token and no ECM effects. Finally Advanced Transponder Net lets me use my 6 and 8 hull Heavy squadrons as ablative armor against the one thing that can give me trouble - squadrons.
On the other side of things, the Pelta is responsible for Shields to Maximum! as well as doing its own Leia powered Engineering command to Projection Experts 2 shields over to the Starhawk, while recovering them on its own. A Veteran Captain lets me have one more Shield to Max when I screw up and forget to dial the right token over with the GR-75.
The GR-75 feeds the Pelta and the Starhawk tokens for the various token shenanigans. It can squadron command in a pinch.
Leia can start by flinging 4 squadrons at the enemy, but once the ship-to-ship shooting begins, she is Engineering mostly. Shields to Maximum! allows for 1 shield to be recovered each turn, and with a Leia powered engineering, she's restoring 3 more, or more likely, moving some shields and restoring others. But, effectively we're gaining 4 shields on Concord's activation. We recover 2 more on the Pelta's activation, as it gains a shield from Shields to Maximum! and then moves 2 shields to the Starhawk and recovers 2 more with the Leia boosted command. If it doesn't need to do that, it banks the token and the GR-75 can hand a token to the Hawk instead.
The Philosophy of Tanking:
I've talked a long time ago about tanking vs healing, and how effective healing only worked at a certain point. Mitigation is usually better, because preventing damage preserves your health now, while healing restores your health when it is lost. In order for healing to work, you need to be able to survive long enough for your healing to take effect.
The Starhawk is finally a ship that has the staying power where it will still be there to receive the big heals that a Projection Expert / Shield to Maximum Pelta, plus 6 points of Engineering can give.
Geek19 though is unhappy with my creation. He believes himself the only Leia commander, and has challenged me to a Vassal game on Saturday at Noon EDT / 11am CDT (4pm GMT). Join us there as I teach him how to use his favorite commander.