Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Armada: Another look at double ISD

Looks good.  Is good.

I think I'm convinced by now that double ISD-II is going to be a real thing.  I think out of all the admirals out there that can make the list work, Motti does the best job.  For one, he's one of the cheapest admirals that you can take for the Imperials and his effect on the ISDs is the largest.  Giving each of these titanic beasts 3 more HP is out of control.  When you think about this from a points perspective, he's essentially handing out 6 free HP to some of the nastiest ships in the entire game.  When you're being shot at by two 14 HP ships with 4 reds and 4 blues with Gunnery Teams, very little in the game can withstand that much firepower.

Here's my current take on Motti double ISD:

Author: HERO

Faction: Galactic Empire
Points: 398/400
Commander: Admiral Motti

Assault Objective: Advanced Gunnery
Defense Objective: Contested Outpost
Navigation Objective: Superior Positions

[ flagship ] Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer (120 points)
-  Admiral Motti  ( 24  points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  XI7 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)

Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer (120 points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  XI7 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)

1 "Howlrunner" ( 16 points)
7 TIE Fighter Squadrons ( 56 points)

In this version of the list, I pretty much loaded the rest of my points with as many TIE Fighters I can possibly bring with the remaining points.  Yeah, it sucks not having Relentless, but it's completely not needed if you're a good enough admiral with expert planning.  The extra points there allows you to fight in another TIE, and there's some awesome synergy to be had here with 4 command on each ship and 8 total squadrons in all.  This number also allows you to drop more deploys when setting up so you can better plan your position on the battlefield.

Howlrunner is great.

When it comes down to the last couple of points here, there's going to be a good amount of options you can mix it up with.  Assuming we drop Howlrunner and all the TIEs, we can get..
  • Raider-I, Impetuous, Ordnance Experts, IG-88
  • Relentless title, Boba Fett, Bossk, IG-88
  • Relentless and Avenger title, Boba Fett + 2x Firesprays
  • Relentless title, Howlrunner, 5x TIE Interceptors
  • Relentless title, Howlrunner, Soontir Fel, Dengar, 2x TIE Fighters
  • Rhymer, Jumpmaster, 5x TIE Bombers

Let's just say that as Imperials, you have a lot of options to play with, especially when you have the safety net of 6 additional HP to get the good Emperor's work done.  It all comes down to personal choice and whether or not you feel strongly about taking dedicated anti-squadron, heavy bombers, or a mix of the two.  I think in a decision like this, it's best to look at how much overall durability you have for the mission assigned.  Howlrunner and 7 TIEs might seem like a lot, but that's only 24 hull points at the end of the day.  Boba and 2x Firesprays is 18, have Rogue, Bomber, but has a lot less attack dice when it comes to anti-squadron.  The anti-squadron amount of Howlrunner and her 7 TIEs adds up to something like 31 blue dice with re-rolls for her squadron.  TIE Interceptors are even more hardcore due to their counters as well, but remember that you're getting less hull for the same price.  Their place will be to alpha strike squadrons down before they even have a chance to strike.

I'm more leaning towards the Howlrunner builds myself because I think the ISDs can handle the majority of the heavy lifting.  When it comes down to using Howlrunner, how you position her will be absolutely crucial.  Ideally, you want to almost form a spaced-out O around her with the TIEs so that your opponent can't get into range to shoot her, and can't place models on top of yours.  This is something I picked up in my years playing 40K and it's very effective.

Which one of these setups would you take in your double Motti ISD list?

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