Effect: treat this ship as a medium size ship.
Cost: 7 (?)
Desired result: it is really focused to make Hyperspace Assault playable with those big ships fleets but, man, an ISD from hyperspace is so epic... It has some drawbacks as it would be less effective with Phylon or Motti and is vulnerable against enemy Phylon on medium size ships. Maybe the cost is high to a focused and not guaranteed purpose but an ISD from hyperspace looks scary. I let you change the cost as you wish.
Veeery very nice, mate. Good crisp lines and strong colours, makes it all really stand out and look finished. The YT2400's are nice, the yellow acccented one could stand out as Dash with ease, and the HWK's are a unique sight too. Home One feels like something out of Robotech which is a plus for me any way. I rather like the 'coral snake' majority red CR90 on an aesthetic look.
My only real suggestion is probably my most common one: have you given thought to sharpie-ing those cardboard token/shield dial rims black to make the whole thing look finished? With such a crsip clean paint job it always seems a little odd looking at nice black stands and cardstock for the tokens.
Biggsball is pretty stupid. It needs more flair. More facial hair flair. Just going out on a trip with his buddies. So I present to you "the Mustache Ride." Clearly a great name. Jan is always welcome to go on a mustache ride with Biggs.
CaribbeanNinja has it right, the timing is pretty rough. Turn three token-back means to make maximum use of his ability you need to force a pretty heavy engagement by turn two. Fleet Ambush could be a good strategic use of Tagge, force some early exchanges with partial elements of the enemy fleet. Minimise your risks and maximise your defenses. I've had a game where I was buying heavy fire from an 'ambushed' Assault Frigate on turn one, I was using Screed at the time and I was comfortable spending my tokens because the AF was alone and oriented for a hasty retreat after the sucker-punch - but Tagge could have been very nice there.
Tagge might be nice for soaking up Opening Salvo dice while the enemy still has to weather the payback. I cant see much Tagge could specialise in with the Nav objectives though.
The Rebel Alliance is too well equipped, they're more dangerous than you realise...
I'm saying this in a friendly manner with a smile on my face.
Yes it's you.
I was in the same position about a year ago. I knew the Mc30 was my ship the moment I first laid eyes on one. But I couldn't fly them for crap. It took a long time, many loses, much reflection and learning, and then things started to click. Caldias' recommendations above are solid. It's an unforgiving ship. You live, die, and kill based on your flying.
I almost always regret not taking a Nav command. Pretty much the only other command I will do is Repair if I'm facing open space and am already at Speed 4 on an escape vector.
The key is learning the attack sequence. I've been meaning to take some Vassal pics to illustrate this, but it goes like this.
This is assuming you have ideal circumstances (last/first activation advantage)
Step (Turn) 1: 'The Setup' You choose which target ship your 30 will hit. You force your opponent to move it before you move. Your move this turn is setting up your 'Dive In' step next turn. If you are a Scout Frigate, you want to position yourself so that the target ship will move into your long range double arc next turn, but you are outside of their long range.
Step (Turn) 2: The 'Dive In' You wait for the target ship to move. It didn't get a shot on you. You long range double arc it and then move into a close range double arc. Before you make this move, you want to be thinking about your escape move past this ship next turn if you don't kill it.
Step (Turn) 3: The 'Hit and Run' You unleash close range double arc fury on the target ship. If it's a small shop it should be dead. If it's medium or large, you now make your escape move to its weak arc.
After you execute a 'Hit and Run' move, you can begin the sequence again on another ship. If you set it up well, your Step 3 escape move can be your Step 1 Setup move on another target.
This sequence can be in motion simultaneously with a second Mc30 that is 1 turn behind the first one, to where you are getting a last/first monster hit at the beginning of every round.
Also, if you're trying to defend against these types of ships, whatever you can do to disrupt that sequence will be to your benefit.
This is simply an exploration into a thought I had. Largely I’m looking at how similar options are
presented to both sides through the commanders (and why they aren’t when they aren’t) and how each
commander’s ability fits their lore. I’m not sure if there was ever much of a point beyond the exercise.
I’m going to say it was to “engender positive discussion”. Sure. Why not?
Crit dat Sh*t; (Wave 1)
Both play around with critical effects. Dodonna plays with the default critical effect by allowing you pick
the most frustrating and rage inducing option of 4 contenders, and Screed allows you to more or less
guarantee that your special critical effect upgrades come to play. They also both make sense from a
theme standpoint, as Jan was the General at Yavin when Luke rolled the most natural 20 of all time
against the Death Star. It’s a bonus that he has such gameplay synergy with the Luke Skywalker
squadron stand. Screed, I have it on good authority, got his eye implant after a Selonian rebel came up
and hit/crit him in the face with his giant black dice and the Admiral was never able to forget the image.
Token Majority (Wave 1)
Imps- Grand Moff Tarkin
Rebels- Garm Bel Iblis
Token generators. Garm loads you up on turn one and again in turn 5 with all the delicious command
tokens your ship can handle (unless you are the perennially unsatisfied Pheonix Home), whereas Tarkin
gives you the steady influx of one per turn. Both have their issues, Bel Iblis is less effective with smaller
ships that don’t benefit as much from his ability since they can’t carry as many tokens, and Tarkin is
expensive. Prohibitively so. Another great job of fitting ability to characters though. Tarkin’s tremendous
administration and foresight are recreated in game by unmatched command flexibility, and his patrician
attitude and love of big shiny things that don’t work as well as they should come to life in his crazy price
tag. Bel Iblis, as of yet not to be seen in the new cannon was in the Legends universe a founder of the
rebellion (turn one tokens) until he took his toys and went home when he didn’t get his way and finally
came back when it really mattered and brought his huge dreadnaughts to the aid of the New Republic in
the Thrawn trilogy.
Protectobots, form Defensor! (Wave 1)
Imps- Admiral Motti
Rebels- Mon Mothma
The final pairing from wave one both increase the survivability of your fleet. Motti does it in the most
passive, boring way possible with a static increase to your hull values across the board, scaling based on
the size of your technological terrors. Which is thematic cuz you know he likes the big shinies. This also
fits in with the general theme of the war, in that the Empire knows the Rebels know where they are, and
they know the Rebels will attack them. They just figure they are too big to fail. Mon Mothma works by
increasing the efficacy of your evade tokens, which aside from being very strong against fighters and
black dice crit effects is wonderfully thematic because for the undisputed leader of the rebellion she
managed to evade the camera until she shows up right before the Battle of Endor in Jedi. Also the
Empire couldn’t find her either, I guess, but I mean the first time I watched those films I’m like “ok now
who is this lady and where was she at Yavin and Hoth?”
I wanna kill, I wanna kill, I wanna kill… (wave 2)
Imps- Darth Vader
Rebels- Admiral Ackbar
Back on the offensive, the first pairing of wave 2 is all about increasing your offensive capabilities.
Ackbar does it by increasing your side arcs armaments by 2 red dice if you forego shooting from your
bow or out your aft. Thematic, of course, as it is to simulate and even enable the Ackbar Slash from the
battle of Endor. Vader of course, uses the force to re-roll whatever dice you have that have failed him at
the cost of spending a defense token. Which is like force choking your useless subordinates to inspire
better results. Also of note is that while both of these fellows can work with just about anything in their
respective fleet pool, they both really want red dice ships for max potential. Not need mind you, you can
run Ginkapo’s Ackbar Star Destroyer MC30T, you can use Vader as a sub for ordinance experts if you are
just tossing a ton of black dice brawlers out there. But dominating at distance is where both of these
INTERLUDE- It is at this point that things start to get a little trickier. While there are still some nicely
mirrored pairings to be made, there are also some commanders which simply don’t (as of yet) appear to
have a looking glass version on the opposite sideline. The remaining Admirals of wave 2 (Rieekan and
Ozzel) can be paired, sure, if you want to really stretch it. I came up with a couple different ways. But
honestly, I think Ozzel pairs better with Madine, and in the zombie lord’s case, the cheese stands alone.
Navigating Life’s Rough Patches (Waves 2 and 4)
Imps- Admiral “Pulls out too Soon” Ozzel
Rebels- General Crix Madine
Both of these guys work on amping up your navigate command. Ozzel does it by giving you the ability to
change your speed by an additional 1. Madine goes the other route, allowing you to add an extra yaw,
and with the added bonus of acting as nav teams for your whole fleet when it comes to nav tokens. He’s
also 10 more points, although it can be argued he works for a wider array of ships in his fleet, whereas
Ozzel is somewhat less attractive in fleets that want to run a Victory or Interdictor. Thematically, we all
remember Ozzel getting choked out by Vader for coming out of Hyperspace too close to Hoth in Empire,
and so it follows nicely that his ability should involve manipulating your speed dial. As for Madine, he
was in charge of covert ops for the Rebel Alliance, and planned the assault on the shield generator on
Endor. He’s all about putting people exactly where they need to be, and with him in charge of your fleet,
so are you. He’s also one of the best Admiral/Ship packaging combinations that they’ve come up with
besides the obvious Vader/ISD, because the Liberty LOVES him.
I think Madine fits best here, but if I just left it at that I think I would be doing a disservice to my little
project here. There are two other commanders that Madine sort of mirrors, and while I could wait for
their blurbs, I feel it’s best to address these things as they come up. First, Madine dropped in the same
wave as Konstantine, and there is a definite point to be made that they can also mirror each other.
Certainly they appear to kind of cancel each other out, Madine providing movement options and Special
K taking them away, while the constant spam of nav from Madine seems to limit the effectiveness of
Konstantine’s control effects. In the end though, this article is more about the way the different admirals
of each side create options for the player and the way that is mirrored across faction lines, not so much
about they work against each other. Which would also make a fun article I may write later. Jerjerrod
may also pop into people’s minds as he also increases yaw, but I’ll discuss him in detail later. Suffice to
say the fact that he doesn’t operate off of a command was a disqualifying factor in his consideration
Protectobots, Form Defensor! Jelly of Your Officers Edition (Wave 3)
Imps- General Tagge
Rebels- General Cracken
These fellows both came in on their little flotillas, and both are defensive options for your fleet.
Moreover, they are defensive options which encourage offensive gameplay. What is also fun is they
both take abilities that the other side has in a unique officer, extrapolating them over the entire fleet.
Tagge takes a page from Walex Blissex, losing the discard downside but allowing all ships in the fleet to
recover a discarded defense token on turns 3 and 5. Bring back that key brace or scatter token, or
maybe an evade that was discarded by a TRquiettens (TRKitty? Can we make that a thing guys?
TRKitty?). In order to bring that ability to play on turn three, you need to push forward and start taking
fire on turn 2, which as I said encourages aggressive, offensive play. As for theme, well this is gonna be a
stretch. Tagge was a bit player in the films, though his character has been expounded upon in the recent
Darth Vader comics (which are very solid and if you like comic books and Darth Vader…or just can tick
one of those boxes I would recommend the read). He’s credited with having a great tactical mind, being
elevated to the rank of Grand General (todo es Grande en el imperio galactico). But I think it comes from
the following dialogue out of New Hope;
Tagge: If the Rebels have obtained a complete technical readout of this battlestation it is possible-
however unlikely-that they might find a weakness, and exploit it.
Vader: The plans you refer to will soon be back in our hands. (Much like that brace token amirite?)
Additionally, (although not from New Hope);
“Tagge always argued against the arrogance of the Death Star as a sole weapon” -Darth Sidious
Apparently Tagge felt they should have scrapped the Death Star and just built more SSD’s. Really loved
redundancy, that guy. So I guess his ability makes sense thematically, but damned if I didn’t have to dig
to figure out why.
As for Cracken, he takes your small and medium ships moving at least speed three and makes any shot
against them obstructed, which is essentially Admiral Montferrat’s text but restricted to small and
medium bases. Forcing you to run at high speed doesn’t necessarily force aggressive play, but it is
certainly conducive to it. Cracken was the supreme commander of Rebel intelligence, which explains his
thematic focus on obfuscation. Also, he was apparently one of the gunners in the Millenium Falcon
during the battle of Endor along with Lt. Blount of Z95 Headhunter fame. Who knew? Wookiepedia,
Imps- Admiral Konstantine, Moff Jerjerrod
Rebels- General Rieekan, Commander Sato
These guys have pretty unique effects that brings unique elements to their faction’s toolkits the other
side simply doesn’t have. I think this is where it gets interesting. Just because they don’t currently have a
mirror, does that mean that they never will? Looking over the above pairings, it certainly appears as
though FFG more or less mirrors admirals that will see a mirror in the same wave, or in the case of
Ozzel/Madine a wave (because wave 3 and 4 dropped simultaneously I count them as one) later. Plus
one could still argue that I should have paired Konstantine/Madine. Also, I cannot believe that you are
still reading this. I’m on page 4 of the word document I’m drafting this on, in the forums this must be the
walliest wall of text ever. It’s like the Great Wall of Text. You can see it from space. Kudos to you! You
must be on like Adderall or something.
Anyway, these guys may or may not ever see a mirror, although I think it would be interesting to see
some come along. I think some of the most interesting discussion that I hope stems from this would be
crafting the mirrors for some of these outliers. It’s also interesting to note that with the exception of
Rieekan, these are more recent releases, which may point to a shift in design philosophy.
Admiral Konstantine- So if you are running some real Imperial ships, not the local bulk cruisers mind
you, the big Corellian ships, then this guy lets you start playing with your opponents speed dials. Nice
because it can help keep those nimble little ships from flying past a juicy arc, or make them fly past their
optimal attack vector, as it’s the only effect currently in the game that lets you speed your opponent up.
Combined with other speed effects, flying against Special K can be like flying through molasses.
Thematically I guess it makes sense? He spends a lot of time in Rebels trying to catch the protagonists of
the show, and at one point he catches Sato’s CR90 in a tractor beam. Good enough, right?
As to possible mirrors, to some degree it already exists. It just doesn’t exist as an Admiral. The Pelta’s
“Entrapment Formation” Fleet Command strikes me as a rebel mirror in the toolkit, to a degree. The
trigger is easier to manipulate on the rebel side, requiring simply a command token to enable versus
putting two medium+ bases at long range of a target.
Moff Jerjerrod- How much did VSD’s need this guy? Jerry is the lifetap’ing warlock of Armada, letting
you take a point of damage in exchange for phenomenal cosmic maneuverability, in the form of Yaw 2 at
joint one of your current speed. Huge for VSD’s which can now, with a nav command, make a full 90
degree turn at speed 2. This makes it considerably easier to keep the battle in front of you when flying
these beautiful stat bricks. Jerry has uses with other ships as well, especially the Arkittens. What makes
him special though, is that you can trigger his ability without using a command. And that’s why he’s
alone down here and snuggling up next to Madine and Admiral Carridine. (Ozzel…cuz he choked out?
Too soon?) Thematically appropriate because he had to “redouble” the efforts of the Death Star Two’s
As for possible mirrors, I’m not sure this fellow will ever get one. I strongly believe he was part of the
solution with regards to bringing VSD based fleets back into viability, and it just happened he also
worked great with the Arq. Perhaps instead of maneuverability, a rebel mirror could allow a ship to take
damage in exchange for dial manipulation or squadron pushing power.
General Rieekan- Oh my god this guy. This freaking space necromancer guy! Ships and unique
squadrons live until the end of the status phase. Get that extra oomph. Thematically appropriate since
the Empire was sooooo sure they had the Rebellion at Hoth, they were gonna wipe them off the face of
the galaxy, and then…NOPE. They just keep on living. Just like Wedge Antilles taking a moustache ride in
a Rieekan fleet.
This guy is never getting a true mirror, I don’t think. I’m not even sure what it would look like. But I think
he was there as a balance choice. Waves 1 and 2 were developed side by side and FFG had to know the
issues that Demolisher presented at that point in the game’s lifespan. I think Rieekan was a way for the
rebels to handle Demo initiative builds, as well as a way to increase the efficacy of Rebel Ace lists, which
is very thematically appropriate because I’m pretty sure the Rebellion was won on the backs of Rebel
Ace pilots, who keep flying into narrow passages and blowing up giant superweapons. Also that poor
kamikaze A-Wing. He died the way I hope I never will, in a great big ball of fire helping other people out.
I intend to die in my sleep so I can take the passengers in my car with me. No one should die alone.
Commander Sato- Jun Sato is the commander in Rebels when the show wants to pretend Hera isn’t the
only person allowed to make decisions. In the game, he allows you to throw fighters at enemy ships in
order to fire better dice from your ships. In the show, he throws fighters at enemy ships so he can watch
them die horrifically while he runs away to safety. I freaking love this guy! He just plain gets it. Jury is out
on just how good he actually is in the game, especially after the card was reworded so as not to be just
stupid good, but early returns are pretty positive though he takes some special care and feeding in the
list building process.
No mirror yet, but I have no doubt we’ll see something. Both with him and Rieekan there’s a focus on
squadron play, and I think that makes a tremendous amount of sense given how squadron reliant the
Rebellion was. The mirror for the empire may help imperial squadrons out, or may emphasize ship/big
ship play. Heck, in that light maybe Special K is Sato’s mirror and I just whiffed on it.
Conclusions- I think it’s interesting how the early Admirals are such clear mirrors of each other, but as
the game matures the admirals begin slotting more into the different flavors and filling the different
holes of their factions. I think its impressive that this happens while at the same time both sides still
have such different flavors that remain consistent within themselves. For example, Screed and Vader are
both offensive minded Admirals, but do so through dice manipulation, which (especially at the time of
release and still so far as the admirals are concerned) is something you see a lot of in Imperial fleets.
Now we see more dice manipulation effects across the board, but still there are no rebel admirals that
manipulate rolled dice. The rebel offensive admirals that deal with dice deal with adding new ones, or
replacing the dice you have with bigger, blacker dice.
I haven’t taken the time to look at squadrons and ships in this light yet, but a cursory evaluation in my
head shows they manage to do similar things in both of those fields as well. Maybe I’ll write that up if
people like the idea.
Tl;dr- Nope. Scroll back up and read it. I’ll wait.
Fascinating that you bring up that you are familiar with chess, because that's actually where I discovered my distinction between active and reactive initiative. Back when I was a freshman in high school (9th grade for those unfamiliar with the idiocy of American schooling naming conventions), I racked up a couple hundred games of chess with this one particular opponent. I'd estimate across those two or three hundred games, I won (I kept exacting count of these) five games, and two of those when the poor guy was sick. To add insult to injury, my opponent, let's call him John, opened the same way every time, with six-move-mate. While it had the side effect that I am now practically immune as a player to six-move-mate, it formed a very large part of my tactical and strategic habits that I still see when I play all sorts of strategic games, whether chess, Armada, or DotA.
The trick to playing John was the fact that six-move-mate gave him absolute active initiative control, because it put his queen in the middle of the board early, and he was a fantastic strategist. Because he dominated the center of the board, either with pieces or threats from pieces, he always was able to force me to adapt my plans to him, regardless of what of or how I accounted for him. I quickly discarded long-term planning, something I have never fully regained, because I was never able to make my plans work through his incessant assault, and focused on tactical counter-play, seeking to lure him into traps, or what I previously called reactive initiative.
In short, active initiative is a control of the board (Armada, chess, whatever you're playing) through your plan that is so powerful that it actually reaches out and forces the opponent to change his plan against his will. It is the same basic premise discussed when historians say that Adolf Hitler possessed strategic surprise when he attacked France through the Ardennes Forest, and again when he launched Operation Barbarossa. Those are brilliant examples of active initiative. In my experience, active initiative is very powerful if it is more adaptive than the changes a reactive player can throw at it, and that battles between two pure active initiative forces come down to raw exertions of will and power. Active initiative's weaknesses tend to be that it is rigid, and may have difficulty fighting on different terms than intended (when such battles can be forced by its opponent), and that it tends to rely on linchpins that while collectively powerful, are individually vulnerable. To return to the chess example. every time I beat John, I took his queen, his most used piece and the most powerful on the board, usually fairly early. Without that powerful piece, even if I traded him mine for it, his strategic patterns had degraded to the point I could beat them.
Reactive initiative's weakness is the opposite. If it is not sufficiently aggressive or maneuverable, it will cede the general terms of battle to its opponent, something active initiative assumes/seizes by force. Reactive initiative is short and sometimes medium term planning, with a narrow, specific tactical or operational objective that may change on the fly. In chess, reactive initiative is defined, in my opinion, by the laying of traps, and the use of deceit to lure the opponent into making a mistake it can punish. This is not to say active initiative cannot use deception to its own ends, but that reactive initiative will often rely on it to make its victim make that critical mistake to exploit. Reactive initiative traps may but do not need to reach the same level of strategic depth as an active initiative plan. Where the trick with active initiative is to maintain resilience in the face of other active and reactive attacks on your plan, reactive initiative that finds itself rewarded may often struggle to fully capitalize on its newfound advantage, much to the expression about dogs not knowing what to do when they do catch a car.
That is all a very long way of me trying to give you another angle to approach strategic initiative if you choose to write any more on the subject. Hopefully this will be of some use to you.
Keep Control is so important. Every aspect is but I feel as though many games are needlessly lost by failing to do this.
You all might know it as "greed".
Another writer I enjoy reading, David Grounds, gave a piece of advice I have never forgotten. "Never sacrifice a strategic plan for a tatical oppurtunity". Your example in Keep Control is a pefect example of this and I've done it against you in Wave 2.
You were first Player and moved a Raider up. I sent 4 bombers at it. It was left on 2 Hull. I switched target with my next fighters to attack something else before next turn to soften the next target up. A tactical oppurtunity. My various combinations of dice that I threw at the Raider, which i thought was surely enough to kill it, failed to do so. You went first and turned 90 degrees at speed 4, denying the kill, my chance to equalise activations and therefore the game spiralled out of control.
Keep Control. If the plan is working stick to it and see it through and don't get greedy!
However what compliates the matter is this. If you need to take a greedy oppurtunity for the win and if not even attempting a greedy gamble means you have no chance of hitting the result that you need for a win or your tournement life what are you going to do?
Although I'm german, my username has nothing to do with that.
I'm not even from the Rheinland but from eastern germany.
My username comes from the bad guys in one of the greatest space games ever - Freelancer!
Still waiting for a sequel
Ah, he's innocent, that one is entirely on me, thinking too hard with outdated equipment.
I'll aim for second player and see what comes up, objective-wise. Precision strike is my guess. I suspect he'll be flying formation this time, so maybe I can be a little clever with my obstacles to force him in close or make him pull that frigate away. Forcing it in close would be nice, pin it between some asteroids and my angry triangle.
Thank you Vykes, I didn't expect you to reveal the secret recipe, eleven herbs and spices and all! Wet transitioning with the two washes is a clever idea, I tip my hat to you, those panels have lovely shading. It makes the Pelta look like a much larger model than it is, it really pops.