Either wave 6 or 7, when scum dropped and got some options. I dislike how the new options in later waves seem to have turned Scum into the ever-present OP bogeyman faction. Ever since they were announced they've been my favourite faction to use for purely thematic reasons, even though the galactic civil war is massive there's more to the Star Wars universe than just that. People surviving on the edge of the law, with cobbled-together fleets and civilian vessels turned to piracy or enforcement of local laws. The smugglers, pirates and people just making their own way all got their own faction, and I thought that was a wonderful idea. I still do main line Scum, but I can't remember the last time I used a Jumpmaster.
I took a six month – twelve month hiatus from MC30’s because I struggled to write any list without adding an MC30 to it. I enjoyed a lot of fun and success with MC30’s under Ackbar, and I could not see anyway to rival it. How can you beat rolling an 8 dice salvo for half the cost of an ISD? Well that was until Sato came out, and then maybe there was a way, but even then I had doubts, so I took a list to Store Champs in Stevenage, and ‘discovered’ Sato.
Sato is not about getting long range crits, or proc’ing obscure ion cannon effects with boosted numbers of blue dice, or any other janky combination. Nope. Sato is purely for the shear joy that only rolling obscene numbers of black dice can provide. Imperials have always had this crutch called ‘Demolisher’, however, it got nerfed and quite frankly is far inferior to the Sato Star Destroyer. Sure you may have a 4 black dice side arc, Rebels now have a 10 black dice side arc if they should wish. I call it balancing of the scales.
So without further ado, here is the list I took to UK Nationals after about three weeks of testing around with combinations to make it work.
1. Fred And George Weasley – The Beaters
Tasked with keeping the enemy ships/bludgers away from the team, there are none better than Fred and George for hitting the enemy back to kingdom come, and dont they just know it.
2x MC30c Torpedo Frigate (63 points)
– Ordnance Experts ( 4 points)
– Assault Concussion Missiles ( 7 points)
= 74 total ship cost
Now most people are shouting, why are they not Scout Frigates!? Simply, because most ships have evades, so relying on long range crits is foolhardy. Sure it helps, but with or without Sato, you want to get your full dice salvo into action.
They are the closest ships to the battle, so no upgrade is unnecessary. Rerolls and a crit effect, thats it, nothing else is is needed. Admonition, Foresight, Lando and Walex whilst great, are simply points that will be lost if they die, and if the enemy want them to die they will, so lets not make them a bigger target than they already are.
Upgrades such as h9’s and X17’s are often taken with MC30s for good reason, however, when the plan is to roll 5 black dice followed by 4 black dice, defense tokens become somewhat irrelevant. Assault Concussion Missiles make redirects entirely redundant as the shields are battered either way, and why bother with h9s when you can just make the enemy discard their brace immediately.
Against small ships, anything up to an Arquitten, the enemy will crumple under the double arc, whether they use their defense tokens or not. Against large ships, they will be left crippled, but without any defense tokens at all, if only their was something to finish them off….
2. Oliver Wood – The Keeper
Understated, yet essential to the team, not letting anyone slip through the net, always applying just enough pressure to keep the goalposts clear. Plus Sato loves his big stick.
[ flagship ] Nebulon-B Support Refit (51 points)
– Commander Sato ( 32 points)
– Salvation ( 7 points)
= 90 total ship cost
We needed a flagship, and what ship is better for sitting at the back of the fleet nice and safe, whilst still offering plenty to the team? Salvation of course! With command fire, Satovision can roll 3 black, 1 red dice for a max of 11 damage, or more likely somwhere around 6 dmg pretty reliably.
Again, you may be asking why no Spinals, Quad Battery Turrets or Dual Turbolasers? Well simply, points. They arent exceptional upgrades, and as I say, this ship is at the back of the fleet, so no reason to spend points for marginal gains.
3. Katie Bell, Angelina Johnson and Alicia Spinnet – The Chasers
Who are they? Sure the books didnt really cover these three, however, they were there in every game, just Lee Jordan didnt ellaborate on their presence in his commentary. The reliable trio provide consistent control thoughout the game. So much sass.
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
– Toryn Farr ( 7 points)
= 25 total ship cost
2x GR-75 Combat Retrofits (24 points)
– Comms Net ( 2 points)
= 26 total ship cost
Well we did need squad activations, however there is more to this than simply activations. Toryn Farr is essential for upgrading the flak, dice and counter dice in the squadron fight. Sato NEEDS his squads to outlast, yet, isnt particularly enthusiastic about the squads actually contributing to the fight themselves, they have better things to be doing after all.
Now as we have Toryn Farr….. we may as well have two Combat Retrofits. For 6pts we have upgraded from black to blue flak, or as I call it, auto damage with Toryn, and also gained some anti ship guns, which have many uses when given Sato upgrades.
4. Golden Snitch
This is all great on paper, but how are we going to get these black dice?
1 Tycho Celchu ( 16 points)
2 HWK-290s ( 24 points)
1 A-Wing Squadron ( 11 points)
The obvious is Tycho, unable to be pinned down, and scary enough to his opponents that he sometimes forces them to make stupid moves just because of his presence at distance 5 of their ISD….
Alongside him are 2 hwks, aka mini tychos, and an Awing. Its a nice compact group that are exceptionally tricky to pin down, and also all have counter 2, counter Toryn 2. Every time they shoot they are going to do at least 1 damage, every time they are shot, they are going to do at least 1 counter damage. We have 5 ships with blue flak, which also are very likely to do 1 damage. It doesnt matter how many scatters the enemy brings, they are in for a world of pain if they choose to fight near your ships.
The eagle eyed may notice that there are still some points missing, and indeed that squad wing is looking a little light for Sato.
2 VCX-100 Freighters ( 30 points)
Here is the key to making Sato work. Suddenly the yellow and blue objectives become highly attractive, which is fantastic, as Sato already loves a lot of the red objectives. They can spend whole games just knocking objectives tokens about racking up the points behind closed scenes, forcing the tempo of the game. Or they are eight glorious hull that take forever to go down.
This rounds us out to 396pts
And my chosen objectives:
Assault Objective: Opening Salvo
Defense Objective: Fire Lanes
Navigation Objective: Sensor Net
Starting at the bottom, Sensor Net is just an obscene way to rack up at least 30pts a turn if not more, whilst you wait for the enemy to attempt to break through.
Fire Lanes is similiar, grab the tokens turn 1 and keep them hidden behind your ships racking up 45pts a turn, again whilst you wait for the enemy to attempt to break through.
Opening Salvo is a little different, however it synergises with Sato unbelievably well. In this list there are 5 ships which get an additional 2 dice on their first shot, which makes the MC30s and the Neb obscene, whilst letting the Combat Retrofits bat well above their weight. The scoring system is also beneficial, if you cant kill their big ship, you will still walk away with half its points.
If you are wondering why there is no Harry Potter in this team, it is because, unlike Quidditch, Armada is not a pointless game where one team wins 150 points just for turning up. Sorry, I mean Konstantine and his grav **** Interdictors are serving a pitchside ban.
As with a lot of lists, deployment is very important.
First up, Obstacles. Now unless there is a reason to do otherwise, I place the station close to my side to create some space to maneuver early in, followed up by two obstacles to block the enemy from easy access.
First Deploy is a Comms Net at speed 2 facing at a slight angle. Followed up by three squadron deploys, which are nicely in the middle so can react turn 1 to be wherever they need to be. So after 4 deployments we have not commited to any area of the table at all
Fifth deployment is the second Comms Net at speed 2 on a similar angle. This ship should be on either side of the table with space between for Toryn. Make your choice depending upon the enemy.
Sixth is Toryn sitting in the middle. Now we have created a congo line of flotillas which can either continue on their original alignment to nicely go to the left of the obstacles, or they can hard turn in turn 1 to instead head for the right side of the obstacles. Most players like to keep their fleets together and so will have made a decision by this point whether to attack from the left of the obstacles or the right. This is a mistake and must be punished.
With this in mind, in Seventh, Sato drops into the fight at the “rear” of the congaline. Are you gong to hard turn or not? Put Salvation where it will end up bringing up the rear of the congaline, coming into the fight at the end of turn 3.
Now with our two Beaters on deployments 8 and 9 we still have a lot of choice. Which is good, because it makes the fleet very hard to outdeploy.
If the enemy is concentrating their force on one side then the two MC30’s go together to run interception. It is important that the two MC30s are the only viable targets for the enemy, with their black dice you will force the enemy into bad positions as they swerve to avoid.
If the enemy is split, then the two MC30s can split with one protecting each flank.
In the most part this is fairly straightforward. The MC30s are the last to activate until they have spotted their moment to pounce in which case they can unleash **** earlier, especially if you are first player. I played against a 5 activation dual Madine MC30 fleet, and despite their superior movement, they were permanently fustrated that they could not get any shots of as an MC30 was always blocking their preferred movement space with black dice threat. Conversely this did make it hard for me to get shots of too, however, I was quite happily farming fire lanes token so this didnt concern me.
Squads hang back either in line, or behind my ships. There is a Toryn kill zone created and the trick is to get the enemy to come into this area. Against bombers or sloane this is fairly easy to do, as after all they are crapping themselves that you might leave a VCX/Tycho in front of their ISD so they dont want to fight under their own flak. Gotta love Sato. Comms Net squad tokens turn 1 to the MC30s, and now you have no reason to charge squads in till the necessary moment, and with two range 5 squads you dont even need to be close. The enemy however, needs to get to your squads early which means they often end up in the Toryn kill zone getting plucked to death.
Round 1 – Dan’s Sloane Dual Victory, Dual Gozanti list. As First Player Most Wanted.
Turn 1 was uneventful, one MC30 moved near his external racks VSD I, and the flotillas prepped the killing ground with squads hiding a little. Fearing the effects of Sato and misjudging Toryn, my opponent sent in Sloane to clear up my squads. This worked in my favour as 3 flotillas and 1 MC30 killed everyone except Ciena, for the cost of my squads except a VCX. As usual Tycho was the highest priority target unsurprisingly. My MC30 took out his VSD 1 with a little help from Salvation before the VSD could fire. However, my other MC30 (most wanted) was having a tough time staying out of range of a DCaps VSD II and did die in the end sadly. Fortunately, my living MC30 killed both flotillas too to give me a 7-4 victory against what I would call a tough match up.
Round 2 – Johnny’s Sloane Demolisher, Glad and triple Goz list. As second player Sensor Net.
Over the moon to be facing Sloane again….
All the flotillas and squads deployed near the middle with Salvation heading in from my right. Two Glads on the far left with my mc30s shielding the rest of my fleet.
At the end of turn 1 I moved Tycho to be near my MC30s and within 5 of the two glads. I misjudged it a little as I had no VCXs in range for relay, as they were busy running sensor net, and so Johnny brought Mareek, Jendon and Ciena in hard on Tycho outside my Toryn bubble. Bouyed by this, the sloane squads started to go for the hwks too. And yet again, this ended up with a lot of dead sloane squads as the flak got to work, and the VCXs continuing to work on the tokens. Yup, two hwks and an awing took on the might of the empire largely alone except for flotillas. Who needs Raiders when you can have Toryn?
Demo came in for the MC30s at the end of turn 3, hurting the rear one badly but not killing it. Unfortunately, I had got my MC30s confused and set nav for the rear MC30 and repair for the lead MC30… and it cost me. My MC30 was still able to activate after Demo and did serious damage which would keep Demo from coming close to the fight again, but it was unable to heal as it limped away and Mareek finished the job.
Game ended 5-6 with the cost of Admo and Admo largely made up by sensor net tokens and dead squads.
Round 3 – Matts 5 activation Madine dual MC30s with Awings. As second player Fire Lanes.
Now Matt did have 2 VCX’s but even so I did warn him to think carefully about whether he wanted first player or not. He took first player and my fire lanes, figuring that Sato Opening Salvo or Sensor Net would be more horrific. Tough to say, which is really the point of the list, nobody likes my objectives.
I ferrited the fire lanes tokens away turn 1 with both MC30 on running line blocker against one of the two flanking Madine30’s. Amusingly Salvation and a VCX spent the the game over on the far left dragging a token about whilst dodging around the other Madine 30.
With the rest of the fight, without any other options to get to my ships, Matt sent in his Awings, and it was slaughter, with his squadron screen evaporated. His two VCX’s survived but Tycho spent the game taunting them so they couldnt do much about the token play.
Flotillas in the middle rammed each other to death rather than end up in MC30 arcs, I felt a lot of pain when my Toryn died.
Barely any dice were rolled, all but one token claimed by me. 9-2.
Round 4 – Laurence with a Libery, 4 GR75s a hammerhead and Awings. As Second Player Sensor Net.
Laurence again spent a long time thinking about which objective to take, correctly spotting that Combat Retrofits added to my opening salvo and fire lanes ability. Usual deployment with my MC30s and Salvation on the right facing down the Liberty, completely ignoring his flotillas which were going to run away.
A very tense few early rounds as the VCX’s got to work on the tokens and a few squadron trades but no big jump in with his Awings yet. As he didnt have gunnery teams I put all my ships into his front arc at long range and waited for him to close range. I popped a hammerhead after it dealt external racks and rams on one of my 30s, whilst his Awings went for the flanking Comms Net. The Libery then used the MC30 to avoid coming into close range yet, meaning I had to wait a turn, and although I took the Liberty down to 4 health I did not kill it. It took out the second MC30 whilst the squad war raged in its front arc. (Well its the easiest way to make sure a squadron remains at distance 1….)
Ended 4-7 with Sensor Net making up for the losses to some extent. Could have been a big win if I had managed to coordinate a little better. There were a few minor I could have made differently in hindsight.
Round 5 – Jacks Assault Frigate with 3 flotillas an MC30, 8Ywings, hwks and escorts. First player with Minefields.
Yup, Minefields, that objective which someone with strategic can throw back at their opponent, which did happen.
This game was fairly straightforward with minefields restricting his movement options drastically. One of my MC30s wrecked his MC30 at the end of turn 2 before it was finished off by Tycho and a Combat flotilla, single black dice hurts… The other MC30 dropped a flotilla at the end of turn 3 before dropping into double arc of the Assault Frigate. My MC30 was out of tokens after Ywing pain, but alive. It dropped the assault frigate to one health, thanks to 9 black dice with ACM’s, and ran off. Unfortunately the Ywings still got to it, but the job was done and he was tabled by Salvation and rams by the end of the turn.
Throughout the day every game was different, first player, second player, different objectives, yet in every one my fleet put up a really strong fight and was able to capitalise strongly in few of the games. The only change I would make right now is to add Bright Hope onto Toryns Ship. Toryn is just too valuable.
I didnt actually use Sato for the first three games as the threat of Sato had forced my opponent into bad choices and instead my squads were busy either running defense or running tokens. Its worth noting that strategic missions mean that the two VCX’s are busy outside of the game, so you are effectively playing 30pts down in the main fight.
I guess depending on your outlook, it was made for fightin and winnin. They just need to paint it green...... I think we can safely say the first order is the SW equivalent of orks. LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE:
Snoke, he's the biggest and meanest that's why he's in charge
Mandator, starkiller base are actively trying to satisfy the need for more Dakka
White the SW equivalent of green.
Lots of dudes the same color who can't shoot for the life of them.
See the ork. Know the ork. Be the ork.
I totally agree, it's definitely time for the podcasters to quit.
edit: @Darth Meanie , take a telegram. "To: Scum & Villany Podcast. Congrats stop. Have found only podcast in world less interesting than yours stop. Name: Carolina Crates. stop. Signed, FTS Gecko stop". Oh, and put a P.S.: "Please, please, please... stop."
I kid of course. Never listened to any of them.
if that was a thing, they wouldnt be able to get feedback from the player base PERIOD
Usually companies go the other way around. Anything you say or do using their content is their property now (this is why there was such a conflict between Blizzard and Valve for Dota2, since technically blizzard owns dota even though they didnt make it)