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clanofwolves

This is probably the oldest, dumbest question threaded ever, but...

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I am a new player to the game. So new in fact, I'm just digesting the fleet I have purchased (Starter set plus one of each expansion of ships in the Starter and an Imperial fighters expansion). I know I'll need to flush out and play what I have to learn the game mechanics and get to some solid novice status before moving too fast into collections. As history, when I first got into X-Wing a year ago, I flew Interceptors almost exclusively because I love the ship; I got pretty good at it, but I realize their ceiling; but I really learned to love X-Wing in the process. OK, so I have the strong desire (assuming Armada is as fun as I think it will be) to add a certain iconic ship to my fleet before playing a good friend who I see during the winter from time-to-time; a person who has played Armada (seemingly quite a bit for well over a year). I realize this topic must have been covered in the Forums somewhere, but my search hasn't arrived at a solid explanation of this possibility. --I know may be getting ahead of myself-- But the obvious question is:

 

If I wish to fly the Iconic Imperial-class Star Destroyer with Darth Vader at the helm; is this a gamer's "fools errand"? ...or is there a way to build her to be somewhat competitive against a more seasoned "meta-knowledgeable" player?  

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ISDs are super capable and you pay the fleet points for it. Still, they can be played well.

My impression has been that an ISD is best backed up by a decent squad screen and 2-3 support ships. Something like ISD/Gozanti/Raider/Raider or ISD/GSD/Raider/Gozanti. The gozanti and raiders wouldn't have much for upgrades.

Vader isn't super popular, but who cares? The point is to have fun.

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Consider my opinion borderline since I do no play Armada nor X-Wing anymore: Armada is the game where you can actually play the ships/squadrons you like without being stressed about their impact against the metagame. Overall, the game rewards the player that chooses the best way to play his list given the chosen objective rather than the player with the most in-meta list. 

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Nothing wrong with Vader as a fleet commander. He isn't one of the top favourites (Screed and Motti) but has a decent effect if you have a decent amount of ship based firepower.

 

There are upgrades like Ordnance experts or Leading shots that mean you can get similar to Vader's effect without taking him and then benefit from a different Commander. E.g. 3 ISD-IIs with Vader = 396 points. or 3 ISD-IIs with 3xleading shots and Motti = 396. Because of this possibility Vader is better I think in fleets of 4+ combat ships.

 

How about

 

ISD-I 110

Vader 36

Minister Tua 2

XI7s 6

ECM 7

 

Aquitens 54

Captain Needa 2

TRCs 7

 

Aquitens 54

 

GSD-I 56

Demolisher 10

Engine Techs 8

APTs 5

 

2 Tie-Int 22

2 Tie-F 16

 

Total 397

 

Advanced Gunnery, Contested Outpost, Dangerous Territory

Edited by Mad Cat

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The beautiful thing about Armada is you can essentially fly anything and be successful. It's all about building toward your strengths. I'm in a similar boat with regards wanting to use certain ships for aesthetic purposes, especially with Imperials. Luckily, there are a number of things coming in Wave 5 that make your preference for Vader and an ISD not only feasible, but downright competitive. I've been working on such a build myself. My recommendation for the start of the build is to grab at least two Arquitens-class Light Cruisers. These ships all work extremely well with Vader and compliment the ISD wonderfully. You can then happily grab either flavor of ISD. I prefer an ISD-I, especially now that you can grab Minister Tua and throw ECMs on it. From there, you have about 140 points to go whatever direction you like. You can grab a Gozanti and load up on squadrons. You can add another Arquitens and a light interceptor force for squadrons (this would be my preference for running Vader).

Edited by Truthiness

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I don't see Vader played a lot, he's a bit pricey for his ability.  That said, I think he's a bit better than he's given credit for.  The imperial class star destroyer (I recommend the 2 with electronic countermeasures) is awesome.  It can blast smaller ships, like the CR90 out of the sky in one (medium-range, front arc) shot with ease.

 

you might want to grab a rogues and villains pack as well, so you have access to Intel. (makes fighters in distance 1 heavy, so you can move or shoot at ships while engaged)

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It can be done. Impstars have the usual big ticket item wargame issue, in that they are a lot of points tied up in one place. But they are very solid ships. The trick is going to be fleshing out the rest of your fleet. I would have simply said to use a variant of PT's regional list from last year (which had 2 ISD-1's and three Raiders helmed by screed with a couple upgrades) but you did say meta and the meta now requires a squadron presence.

Its a bit of a tricky question though, because with wave 5 dropping out of hyperspace next week there are new ship and squadron options, and we dont know all the details yet so its difficult to predict how that would affect my answer although it probably involves Arquietens.

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Don't let the meta discussions deter you. I won a 24 person tournament with Vader on an ISD I, both of which are considered "meta bad". As long as your friend isn't a win-at-all-costs person that makes a fleet specifically to counter yours type, I think you'll be fine and have fun.

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The secret to easy ISD flying is to have a clear hierarchy in your fleet.

 

The ISD is number 1, if it wishes to activate first, it gets to activate first. If it wants to wait, it gets to wait.

 

This means, everything else you put in the list must be ok with this. Sure have a second large threat if you want, but be clear, that is the second ship in your fleet.

 

The fools errand is running multiple ISD's and expecting them all to be your favourite. Armada players have favourites, the ships will just have to get used to it.

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...  all I took from that was the image of Gink putting Admonition down to bed at night, tucking it in gently, and letting it know that, yes, it is daddy's favourite and he made sure there were no nasty Gladiators waiting under the bed, or terrifying Interdictors in the Closet.....

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The secret to easy ISD flying is to have a clear hierarchy in your fleet.

 

The ISD is number 1, if it wishes to activate first, it gets to activate first. If it wants to wait, it gets to wait.

 

This means, everything else you put in the list must be ok with this. Sure have a second large threat if you want, but be clear, that is the second ship in your fleet.

 

The fools errand is running multiple ISD's and expecting them all to be your favourite. Armada players have favourites, the ships will just have to get used to it.

...That's what we can call a love story ;)

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An ISD-II is the most powerful single ship in the game, in my opinion. Largest battery with the largest hull, the best AA rating for reach and a swell upgrade suite. You're paying for it in costs, but I've heard around that ISDs can win battles by themselves when properly kitted (Gunnery teams, ECM, XI7s as a core).

 

Vader is where things get tricky because there are other upgrades that are cheaper that do the same thing he does, with more limitations (Ordnance Experts and Leading Shots). The trick, if you want to commit to Commander Vader, is take ships that lend to his ability and free up those slots for something else.

 

So rather than Ordnance Experts on a GSD, you may want to take Gunnery Teams on GSD-IIs to enable their AA rating. You could stick to SW-7s or something critical like Overload Pulse in place of Leading shots.

 

I would suggest when Running Vader to be hyper aggressive. You almost need to not care about defensive capability as you're maximizing the potential out of your dice for maximum damage at the expense of resiliency. I think that's why he's costed as high as he is. It's also natural to take Devastator under Vader, because that title gives you a reward out of burning your defense tokens (in addition to being quite thematic).

Once you have that combination, practice. I still labor under getting my fleet to be good, in part because I have a hard time settling on just what it is I want to run.

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XI7s are typically accepted as better turbolasers. For instance, firing at Nebulons and CR-90s, which are otherwise unaffected by HTTs. HTTs are rather limited on what kind of targets they can affect. Their greatest targets are probably VSDs and ISDs, which is ironic considering where the card is packaged (ISD).

Edited by Norsehound

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With wave 5 I'd like to try this

 

395/400

ISD-I, XI7, Minister Tua, ECM, Vader

ISD-I, XI7, Skilled first Officer

ISD-I, XI7, Skilled first Officer

Why not Heavy Turbolaser Turrets?

 

 

I like HTTs when the ship also has Overload pulse or when shooting at ISD/MC80s with ECM.

 

But as Norsehound says XI7s are also great against smaller targets like MC30s and CR90s.

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HTTs are best with a ship that has high damage potential and a low chance to generate an accuracy or a means to use the accuracy for something other than blocking a token.

They are good for cheap defense token mitigation on their own, where xi7s are best paired up with Intel officer, home one, or done other means of blocking the brace.

IIRC, somebody ran the numbers on them, and xi7s were better up until around 6 damage, at which point HTTs were a better choice. I could run numbers myself, but that would take a while.

Personally, I think that the best place for them is on an ISD1 with leading shots (or vader - or both). The reroll raises the damage potential enough to make them useful. They also counter ECM pretty well.

Still, in most cases, the xi7 is a stronger choice, since few ships can reach enough damage to make HTTs that useful. Also, there are more ships out there that lack a brace than there are ships that lack a redirect.

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Another thought:

 

You can also use Darth Vader as a squadron, instead of your Fleet Commander, if you simply like the fluff of having Lord Vader in your list somewhere.

 

Vader as a squadron is pretty deadly.

This was my thought too. Vader can be used as a fleet commander and unlike X-Wing Armada is more about how you fly your fleet more than what fleet you bring. I've heard Vader doesn't payout as much as other commanders but if you learn to use him right you can show your local community how to fear Vader. Otherwise as the quote shows if you just want Vader in your list for a good Fluff tip of the hat have his Squadron flying terror in there to bash some skulls in.

After X-Wing you're going to happy that the "List Building" is not where the game is won in Armada. You need to learn to fly your fleet first and foremost. I would suggest not flying too many ships at first and the ISD is perfect for beginners because of its forgiving nature. It has the Hull, Shields, Fire Power and Speed. But if you lose it it is a good chunk of your points.

Good Luck.

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