Thursday, November 12, 2015

Armada: Another look at squadrons

Rogues and Villains looking pretty good now.

By now, I'm pretty convinced that the situation for squadrons is all or nothing with a few notable exceptions.  If you look at my previous article, you'll see exactly why I share similar views with the World Champ on the state of the meta in relation to squadrons.  Maybe it's a little early to start calling it a rule, but I think the argument in a points-based game, if you start investing points into something ineffetive while your opponent invests into something effective, then it's bad times for you.

There are some exceptions to this, and I'm talking about solo ships that add good value to your fleet that doesn't take a lot of points investment.  Maybe two ships if you're feeling a little ambitious, but the idea of this is to keep your points low enough that you you feel comfortable enough to lose him.  The gist of this is:  If you lose him to an opponent taking more ships than him, that's good because your opponent probably overcommitted on squadrons.  If you don't, then they go around causing problems for your opponents ships because he has no air cover, as has to waste time shooting at your one little tiny fighter.'

What you want for something like this is something that has good speed so it can react to the flow of battle, and be a threat to both fighters and capital ships.  I would say that ideally, you should be looking at 4-speed and above ships.  Even 3-speed ships are a little questionable because you will need something to keep pace with enemy fighters and bombers.

Let's look at Rebels really quick:

Dash Rendar - 24 points, 6 hull, speed-4, shoots with 4 blues and a black at ships.  Has Bomber and Rogue so it can move and attack during the Squadron Phase.  Since he's a hero, he has double Brace, and can re-roll 1 dice for each squadron or enemy ship at Range 1.  Dash might be the best example of something that can intercept enemy bombers and perform well, while still able to harry enemy ships at dirt cheap prices.

Han Solo - 26 points, Grit and Rogue.  Moves like a ship and has 2 blues and 2 blacks for anti-squadron, and a blue and black for anti-ship.  Unfortunately, he does not have Bomber and only moves at 3, but has 7 hull and can stay around for a while.

Nym - 21 points of pure bomber.  Doesn't really perform vs. squadrons at all because of his crappy 2 blues, and his move 3 is a little questionable.  However, if he rolls a blue crit on his blue and black anti-ship dice, he can choose and discard 1 of the ship's defense tokens.  That's pretty freaking outrageous if you think about it; making him a huge threat to any ship in the game.

Luke Skywalker - 20 points of not bad, throws a black dice at ships and has the Bomber keyword.  The main thing about Luke is that he does not care about the defender's shields, and sporting 4 blues when shooting at fighters make him a pretty decent buy.

From here, you can look at double YT-2400s and double H-6 Bombers for 32 points.  That's starting to take you a little higher in price than I would like, since the objective is to make a noticable impact for dirt cheap.  To put this into perspective:  Upgrading one of your capital ships to have Gunnery Team, XI7, Intel Officer and ECM is 27 points.  Do you see now why squadrons are very all or nothing?

So what about the Imperials?

Most of us already know about the Rhymer ball and what it can do to completely get around most ship defenses.  Personally, I don't think Rhymer and bombers is as good as they say, especially since they're still bombers with Heavy.

Boba Fett - Despite only moving 3, he has 6 hull, 4 blues and and a blue and black for anti-ship.  The Bomber keyword is what separates him from Han, and simply inflicting auto-damage to any squadron or ship within 1 when he activates in the Squadron Phase is always good.

Bossk - Throws out 4 black dice in AA, moves 3, has 7 hull for 23 points.  That's not bad at all, especially since he also throws out a blue and black for anti-ship.  His ability allows you to add a free accuracy which can really increase his damage potential.

Darth Vader - I think Vader might be the best solo pilot on the Imperial side.  Moves 4, 5 hull, has double Brace and a stunning ability:  While attacking, each of your crit icons adds 1 damage to the damage total.  Considering he's throwing out 3 blues and a black, he can potentially do 5 damage to any fighter when he attacks, and 2 damage on any ship despite only having one black attack dice.  The range and coverage that he can offer is fantastic, so I would definitely consider him.

After these guys, I would look at some cheap squadrons of TIE Advanced or TIE Bombers.  They're fast, can do some damage to ships and you don't really care if they die.  I mean, 3 bombers with black dice with Bomber at 27 points is not bad, but you might not want something that can just get murdered by a single Dash on patrol.

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