Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Armada: List construction and deconstruction

Welcome to List Building 101.

There's a question thread that popped up in the FFG forums lately that interested me enough to write about it.  The thread asks people what order they use when they build their fleets.  I know that everyone does things a little differently, but I thought it would be a cool idea if I shared my thoughts on list building outloud so everyone can get a clearer picture on how I go about assembling a fleet based on a certain playstyle.

For me, my order of operations is this:
  • Find a strategy that I would like to execute (e.g. squadrons, damage, control, defensive..etc)
  • Find the admiral that best suits my strategy (Screed for effects, Ackbar for damage, Mon Monthma for defense)
  • Find the ships that best suit the admiral (ISD for damage, MKIIs for balance, Raiders for speed)
  • Equip upgrades essential to the overall strategy (Intel Officer for control, XI7s for damage, ECM for defense)
  • Fill the rest with squadrons (fighters for AA, bombers for ships, rogues for flexibility)

Let me just show you guys how I go about it from the ground up, starting with a list that has been performing really well for me the last couple of days.

The strategy that I would like to execute on is doing heavy ship damage with strong control elements.  I can get good results if I look at Imperials, but Rebels gives me the Home One which can handle off accuracies for free.  Since I want to focus on doing damage to enemy ships, I don't want any braces to get in my way.  Rebels seem like a good start for the faction that I want to choose soley because of the MC80 Home One, and Ackbar will be my admiral because he will elevate my entire fleet in terms of damage potential.  So here, I have determined my strategy and started picking the core components for my fleet:  Home One will hand off accuracies for the control, and Ackbar will increase the overall damage of the fleet itself.  Since my overall strategy is damage-centric, it's doubtful that I'll care too much about missions.  I'll simply choose the ones that pose the greatest threat to my opponent if I'm to go second, and pick the ones least risky for me if I'm to be first.

Now, for the damage to be worth it, I will need to look at something other than the MC80.  The second highest damaging ship that the Imperials have is the MC30c, but as a second ship I need something a little more bulky.  The MC30c can throw out 4 red dice at long range, but the rest of the dice are black.  To increase safety precausions, I think the MKII will better suit my needs due to the fact I want sustainbility, increased damage at long range, and the fact that it does what I want it to do without having to close into the enemy.

Since I'm running a little light on ships right now, how do I increase the damage of my fleet without having to sacrifice too many points?  For this list, I want to go with the CR90 because it's a cheap little ship that gives me extra dice at long range to go with the MC80, and with Ackbar, it can actually out 3 reds at long range isn't all that bad.  It's about the same as if I took an MKII but didn't have Ackbar, so I would say this is a pretty good deal.  Plus, I can always slap on a few upgrades later to make it worth my while.

Speaking of upgrades, now that I picked out the ships I want to use in the list, what upgrades can I take to best assist in my strategy?  Well, I want upgrades that will give me both damage and control, so I'm looking at XI7s and Intel Officers first and foremost.  Since brace is so important to my ships' overall survivability, ECMs are a must have as I absolutely need to be able to brace should I fall under heavy firepower.  Gunnery Teams on the MKII will give my fleet that long-range broadside capability that can hit multiple ships, so I'm able to double the firepower from my MKII with this upgrade.  Engine Techs have to go on the MC80 because I'm not happy with the limited manuverbility from a speed-2 ship, plus Engine Techs will give me all sorts of excellent angles and firing opportunities.  For the CR90, I need something cheap so I don't break the bank, as I still need some fighter support later in my list.  Instead, I think I'll just smack on TRCs for that little extra damage boost from my 2-evade ship, and add on Jaina's Light so I can shoot through my MC80 without being obstructed, but being obstructed from return fire.  Lastly, Leading Shots is an luxury upgrade but a nessacary one I feel on the MC80.  I'm already throwing out 3 blues, but the fact that I'm rolling 5 reds with Ackbar can generate a lot of questionable results.  To further increase the damage consistency on the MC80 since it's now a jack of all trades kind of ship, I'll slap on Leading Shots to re-roll any blunders I might have.

Lastly, I'm looking at squadron choices.  I just need something to tie up my opponents and I'm looking to do that while keeping my ships running on navigates, engineering and concentrated fire commands.  Ideally, I want to have Rogue squadrons in here, so I think I'll add Dash Rendar to my list because he gives me amazing value for such an autonomous fighter-bomber.  He's fast, durable, has a lot of HP, and does good damage with consistent results.  The black dice on ships with Bomber is definitely an added boon, especially since he has the Rogue keyword.  I still have a good amount of points left, but I don't want to overbuy because I want this list to have a good iniatitive bid.  I could take 3x A-Wings and just call it a day, but I'm also eyeing at possibly taking Tycho over one of the A-Wings.  Unfortunately, that will put at slightly more points that I would like, so I think I'll stay with the 3 A-Wings predominately for the threat range, 9 anti-squadron dice, Counter 2, and a solid 12 combined hull points.  Dash and the A-Wings will act as my first line of defense against enemy bombers, as I'm not overly concerned if my opponent brings fighters.  I could also go with Dash and 2 YT-2400s for completely autonomy, but I think I can manage one squadron command on either the MC80 or the MKII to get these boys into action.

Well, there you have it.  After I'm done, I take a step back and look to see if I fulfilled my original purpose; which was to build that will execute on my strategy.  So far, this looks good.

Author: HERO

Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 392/400
Commander: Admiral Ackbar

Assault Objective: Advanced Gunnery
Defense Objective: Fire Lanes
Navigation Objective: Superior Positions

[ flagship ] MC80 Command Cruiser (106 points)
-  Admiral Ackbar  ( 38  points)
-  Home One  ( 7  points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  XI7 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)

Assault Frigate Mark II B (72 points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  XI7 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)

CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  Jaina's Light  ( 2  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)

1 Dash Rendar ( 24 points)
3 A-Wing Squadrons ( 33 points)

I know that everyone does it a little differently, but this is how I do it and I figure I'd share.  The best advice I can give you is this:  Never lose sight of your overall strategy, and only take ships, upgrades and squadrons that offer something substantial to that strategy.  If you lose focus, just take a small step back and re-evaluate.  It's all good.

No comments:

Post a Comment