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[CC] Cracking the Show of Force Conundrum

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Is it possible to successfully defend against Show of Force?  At 300 points no less?

Here's my story:

Long-time Padawan Lurker, first-time poster.

My brother and I finally pulled the trigger on Armada.  We're going to play a 2-person Corellian Conflict campaign with each of us commanding 3 fleets.  He's the Imperials, I'm the Rebels.  Because we're both new to the game we're starting at 300 points.  This will be a fun way for us to hang out over the summer, but I still want to crush the Empire!

I've been taking a crash course on Armada tactics from great sites like Steel Squadron HQ and Can't Get Your Ship Out, but I haven't found much info on the campaign's Special Assaults.  I'm worried about one objective in particular - Show of Force (which is sadly not the title of a Chuck Norris movie).  This seems like an easy way to score an extra 120 resources per turn and then steamroll the Rebels by building bigger fleets.

I expect my brother to take a pair of ISDs with Gunnery Teams or an ISD + Interdictor to win SoF.  What can I take to counter this?  Is it even possible to win this objective?

Help me Forum-Wans, you're my only hope!

 

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One approach is to split the stations up, writing one off. You then just go for a normal victory against one of the two enemy formations you wish to fight. Both stations together are only worth 40 VP (less than most ships). So you can win the battle even if they are destroyed.

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23 hours ago, Yub Nub said:

Is it possible to successfully defend against Show of Force?  At 300 points no less?

Here's my story:

Long-time Padawan Lurker, first-time poster.

My brother and I finally pulled the trigger on Armada.  We're going to play a 2-person Corellian Conflict campaign with each of us commanding 3 fleets.  He's the Imperials, I'm the Rebels.  Because we're both new to the game we're starting at 300 points.  This will be a fun way for us to hang out over the summer, but I still want to crush the Empire!

I've been taking a crash course on Armada tactics from great sites like Steel Squadron HQ and Can't Get Your Ship Out, but I haven't found much info on the campaign's Special Assaults.  I'm worried about one objective in particular - Show of Force (which is sadly not the title of a Chuck Norris movie).  This seems like an easy way to score an extra 120 resources per turn and then steamroll the Rebels by building bigger fleets.

I expect my brother to take a pair of ISDs with Gunnery Teams or an ISD + Interdictor to win SoF.  What can I take to counter this?  Is it even possible to win this objective?

Help me Forum-Wans, you're my only hope!

 

Hey, welcome to the game, glad you're playing. I can tell you as of right NOW, @Snipafist and I have no experience with CC, sadly (meta in development is the best explanation) so we won't be writing much of anything about it at the moment. Eric has his posts about objectives, which might help you plan out a way to make them work for you, as show of force is kiiiinda similar to (iirc) station assault. Have a heavy fleet that can defend against big attacks is my best advice I guess? I GUESS?

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Defending Show of force is about trading refit and repair points to cause severe damage to the enemy fleet.  In order for Imperial fleets to win,  they typically need to alpha strike the stations. You can turn this to your favor by then returning fire at closing ships that have to focus on the stations.  Your goal is to scar or destroy enemy ships,  which will negate most of the enemy pint gain and may force them to lose unique squadrons or upgrades. 

Speaking of squadrons, a  big pile of durable low speed bombers like B-Wings, Y-Wings, Norra, and more are an effective defense force.  You can pile in on top  of an approaching assault while they have to focus on the stations,  and you can use the stations to keep repaired. 

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7 minutes ago, thecactusman17 said:

Speaking of squadrons, a  big pile of durable low speed bombers like B-Wings, Y-Wings, Norra, and more are an effective defense force.  You can pile in on top  of an approaching assault while they have to focus on the stations,  and you can use the stations to keep repaired. 

Thank you for the reply, this is very helpful.  Would you suggest a pair of Assault Frigates, one with Flight Controllers and the other with Boarding Engineers and then a bunch of B-Wings?  Or perhaps Luke Skywalker along with Norra Wexley led by General Dodonna?  For a rough example:


AFMK II B w/ Flight Controllers + General Dodoanna

AFKM II B w/ Boarding Engineers

GR-75 Medium Transport w/ Bomber Command Center

Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles, Ten Numb, Norra Wexley, Dagger Squadron, Y-Wing

Five of the six squadrons are unique so I can make use of the Veteran special rules from the campaign.

 

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12 minutes ago, Ginkapo said:

Mc80s. Both types

Bwings

More Bwings. 

Do you feel one MC80 version is better than the other?  Would it be harder to defend the stations with Home One's broadsides than the Liberty's front arcs (especially if you're not the world's greatest pilot)?  I wanted to pair Norra and Keyan together but it's hard to do at 300 points and still have enough squadrons to take out a swarm of TIEs.

How many squadrons should I be looking to field?  Four at a minimum?  More than six (capped at 100 points)?

Another rough draft example:

MC80 Battle Cruiser w/ Gunnery Team + Garm bel Iblis

AFMK II B w/ Flight Controllers

GR-75 Rebel Transport w/ Bomber Command Center

Norra Wexley, E-Wing, Dagger Squadron, B-Wing

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24 minutes ago, Yub Nub said:

Thank you for the reply, this is very helpful.  Would you suggest a pair of Assault Frigates, one with Flight Controllers and the other with Boarding Engineers and then a bunch of B-Wings?  Or perhaps Luke Skywalker along with Norra Wexley led by General Dodonna?  For a rough example:


AFMK II B w/ Flight Controllers + General Dodoanna

AFKM II B w/ Boarding Engineers

GR-75 Medium Transport w/ Bomber Command Center

Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles, Ten Numb, Norra Wexley, Dagger Squadron, Y-Wing

Five of the six squadrons are unique so I can make use of the Veteran special rules from the campaign.

 

 personally I think that Yavaris and an AF2 with Adar Talon is a good bet.   It lets you trigger something powerful like Ten Numb 3 times.

Not sure if boarding engineers or troopers are a good option for an AF2.  They typically want to be flying away and pelting with red dice from a distance.   And many Imperial ships would love to get in close with first activation. 

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Norra Loves Bwings, Toryn, and Bomber command. Gives you a great chance of scoring a critical, and you can reroll the blue bomber (with Toryn) AND black bomber.

Keyan is a natural Ace to combo with Norra as well, because once those shields go down his rerolls are in ADDITION to the bomber command making him scary effective. 

Luke on the other hand, is not really good with her, because he treats the enemy as having no shields, thus you will always be taking the generic crit effect with him, because he cannot strip shields that do not exist, even if you wanted him to. Not to say he isn't effective on his own, but I typically keep him apart from the main bomber force as a fork. If the opponent somehow evades the main strike, then I will Yavaris Luke to hopefully cripple a different target. 

Strip the shields, and as soon as they are down, Yavaris to activate Keyan and 2 other B's. Its a potential 20 damage if you have them in range for the double. You will melt through any ship in a single activation if you set it up right.

That said, Show of Force is an incredibly difficult objective to defend against, as it is nearly impossible to stop the Imperial player from at least claiming 40 resources for killing 1 station unless you are simply head and tails above him or her in skill level as a player. If they claim both Stations, which is incredibly likely, the extra 80 points will often swing the game their way too, giving them the full 120 resources. Both resource objectives are by far the low points of the campaign, which otherwise is an incredibly fun experience. The Show of Force and Hyperlane Raid sour the experience. If there is any way you could work out a gentlemens agreement that neither of them get played, it would be for the best.

Also, starting at 300 points, if he Show Of Forces first round, and he gains 120 resources, you will lose the campaign and it will be a miserable unenjoyable experience for you. This is why I do not suggest starting at 300. It is hard enough to climb out of a 100 pt hole, climbing out of a 200pt hole would be nearly impossible. If he wins the first SOF and does another round 2 while 70ish points up on you in fleet size, that is exactly where you will be.

Edited by BrobaFett

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1 hour ago, BrobaFett said:

Both resource objectives are by far the low points of the campaign, which otherwise is an incredibly fun experience. The Show of Force and Hyperlane Raid sour the experience. If there is any way you could work out a gentlemens agreement that neither of them get played, it would be for the best.

Also, starting at 300 points, if he Show Of Forces first round, and he gains 120 resources, you will lose the campaign and it will be a miserable unenjoyable experience for you. This is why I do not suggest starting at 300.

That's disconcerting and unfortunate as the special raids are objectives we both looked forward to playing.  Because we're starting at lower points, could we adjust the resources earned from SoF downward?  Say by 25-50% so each station is worth only 20-30 points maximum, and the victory tokens are 10-15 points each?  Would that make it more playable?

BrobaFett and thecactusman17, I really appreciate the suggestions.  I've been hanging around these boards a while and have always valued your input.  I'm brand new so still figuring out the squadron combos.  It seems like the Rebels have great aces, but how to combine them effectively (and at only 300 points) is tough for me.  I read the squadron treatises on Can't Get Your Ship Out but my brain melted about halfway through the Large Fighter Coverage article.

Taking your advice, I cooked up this fleet.  I wanted to take an MC80 because without a large ship at the start I'll never get one in my fleet, but it's hard to find the points for it and a bomber swarm:

THE B-SQUAD

AFMK II B w/ Toryn Farr + Garm bel Iblis

Nebulon-B Escort Frigate w/ Yavaris

GR-75 Medium Transport w/ Adar Tallon

GR-75 Medium Transport w/ Bomber Command Center

Keyan Farlander, Ten Numb, Norra Wexley, B-Wing, Y-Wing

I'm only at 80 squadron points, and I'm not sure how well the lone Y-Wing works in this list, but in order to take more squadrons I'd have to cut the second flotilla along with Adar Tallon.  I'd love to get an E-Wing for the snipe or even an X-Wing for escort. 

Question:  With only 1 upgrade per ship to start, what do you consider is more effective for a defensive bomber-focused build trying to prevent a Show of Force sweep?  Gallant Haven, Adar Tallon or Toryn Farr?  If you could only take 1 of those, which would you choose?

 

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Looks good to me, though in this case I might build up to Ten Numb or put him in space superiority squadron fleet because he is soo good at destroying clumps of fighters (something like Biggs, Wedge, Luke, 3 X-Wing, Jan Ors, Ten Numb, Dagger Squadron is what I am thinking of when I mean superiority, where they are going to focus on killing squadrons quickly without heavy losses, then turn on the ships. 

You could probably due without Garm and get Dodonna in there (plus, Dodonna is the best all out assault admiral) which gives you more points for more fighters or the MC80, which is also good. 

I would still strongly suggest not starting at 300. You will get plenty of games in playing 3 fleets going from 400-500. It will also make the fleets more balanced as Imperial players tend to do better at lower point caps.

Edited by BrobaFett

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4 hours ago, Yub Nub said:

That's disconcerting and unfortunate as the special raids are objectives we both looked forward to playing.  Because we're starting at lower points, could we adjust the resources earned from SoF downward?  Say by 25-50% so each station is worth only 20-30 points maximum, and the victory tokens are 10-15 points each?  Would that make it more playable?

BrobaFett and thecactusman17, I really appreciate the suggestions.  I've been hanging around these boards a while and have always valued your input.  I'm brand new so still figuring out the squadron combos.  It seems like the Rebels have great aces, but how to combine them effectively (and at only 300 points) is tough for me.  I read the squadron treatises on Can't Get Your Ship Out but my brain melted about halfway through the Large Fighter Coverage article.

Taking your advice, I cooked up this fleet.  I wanted to take an MC80 because without a large ship at the start I'll never get one in my fleet, but it's hard to find the points for it and a bomber swarm:

THE B-SQUAD

AFMK II B w/ Toryn Farr + Garm bel Iblis

Nebulon-B Escort Frigate w/ Yavaris

GR-75 Medium Transport w/ Adar Tallon

GR-75 Medium Transport w/ Bomber Command Center

Keyan Farlander, Ten Numb, Norra Wexley, B-Wing, Y-Wing

I'm only at 80 squadron points, and I'm not sure how well the lone Y-Wing works in this list, but in order to take more squadrons I'd have to cut the second flotilla along with Adar Tallon.  I'd love to get an E-Wing for the snipe or even an X-Wing for escort. 

Question:  With only 1 upgrade per ship to start, what do you consider is more effective for a defensive bomber-focused build trying to prevent a Show of Force sweep?  Gallant Haven, Adar Tallon or Toryn Farr?  If you could only take 1 of those, which would you choose?

 

First, it's your guys' campaign. If you want to scale the resources down earned from the special missions, go for it.

Second, as the guy who wrote the LFC article, it's gonna be a large clump until you get some games under your belt using fighters. If you have questions about anything, let me know and I'd be happy to help.

Lastly, if you want advice on the fleet, I'd say cut one of those GR75s (probably the Adar Tallon one initially) and then use those points for bombers. Gold squadron is a great y wing friend who works well with Norra. But I second the above comments on starting at 400, it'll make your life easier AND you can fit that MC80 in there too!

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6 hours ago, geek19 said:

Second, as the guy who wrote the LFC article, it's gonna be a large clump until you get some games under your belt using fighters. If you have questions about anything, let me know and I'd be happy to help.

I have been devouring your blog - excellent work!  Your articles have been a huge help to me, and the jokes are much appreciated.  While fully understanding the squadron encyclopedias are above my current pay grade, I'll get there eventually.

There's only one problem I had with the blog.  I couldn't find a donate button to reward you guys for all of your effort.

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In my opinion after playing two campaigns the Special Attacks are the greatest danger to unbalance the game. Both campaigns ended after round 2 because of Special Attacks. My hint for you would be to nerf them in one way or the other. Here two possibilities:

1) Only allow Special Attacks, when the fleets of one group are at least 50 fleet points behind (adding all fleets minus their repairs). If not, the stronger team can easily play their Special Attack. When the Rebels are stronger it means they benefit from destroying imperial fleets, and the imperials never catch up because of so heavy losses. If Imps are stronger its still an annoyance, that they so easily get even stronger.

2) Don't play them at all. They are too attractive to use, but very boring to play for the second payer! (So mean to see your opponent wiping out your ships and get fleet points for it! But even if you win it's frustrating, because you get only 40 fleet points.) And they benefit the leading team. Instead you can deal 1 Campaign Point to get either 100 fleet points or (better) to get an many points to equal the fleet points of the other team.

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1 hour ago, Triangular said:

In my opinion after playing two campaigns the Special Attacks are the greatest danger to unbalance the game. Both campaigns ended after round 2 because of Special Attacks. My hint for you would be to nerf them in one way or the other. Here two possibilities:

1) Only allow Special Attacks, when the fleets of one group are at least 50 fleet points behind (adding all fleets minus their repairs). If not, the stronger team can easily play their Special Attack. When the Rebels are stronger it means they benefit from destroying imperial fleets, and the imperials never catch up because of so heavy losses. If Imps are stronger its still an annoyance, that they so easily get even stronger.

2) Don't play them at all. They are too attractive to use, but very boring to play for the second payer! (So mean to see your opponent wiping out your ships and get fleet points for it! But even if you win it's frustrating, because you get only 40 fleet points.) And they benefit the leading team. Instead you can deal 1 Campaign Point to get either 100 fleet points or (better) to get an many points to equal the fleet points of the other team.

As another player of those campaigns I agree that the special attacks are easier if you are ahead, and that makes one side snowball (i.e. gain even more points over the enemy fleets).

But I would not say the campaigns ended because of the special attacks. One ended because of very large difference in player skill. The other indeed ended because of snowballing, but we started at 300. With some very lucky hyperlaine raids rebels were able to buy bigger ships while imperials couldn't. So I attribute the end of the campaign to the 300 points start together with snowballing. With 400 points, both sides already have their big ships and the relative points difference for a special attack is smaller. And both sides reach 500 earlier and stop playing special attacks. With 300 special attacks have more impact over several rounds.

Even if one side is ahead, I'd like to believe that the base attacks stabilize the game again, since the leading fleets will attack bases and the defender will have large advantages that compensate the point difference. Of course that can go the other way too, taking away repair yards and high ressource planets from the weaker side. But it is another safety net. If that goes wrong too, drag yourself to the all-out-assault? 

If you play, be prepared for the snowballing, and either restart, or find the mindset of being the underdog trying to come back. 

Anybody has seen a losing side make a comeback in a campaign? I would like to hear.

 

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True, I meant snowball in the sense of having more fleet points. We never came far enough to worry about one side having too many campaign points. It always ended due to one side having a very strong fleet (60 points larger than enemy fleets). And then that fleet tabled someone. And next round the point difference would have been even more due to starting at 300, and lucky results on special attacks. 

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On 7/2/2017 at 1:14 PM, Yub Nub said:

I've been taking a crash course on Armada tactics from great sites like Steel Squadron HQ and Can't Get Your Ship Out, but I haven't found much info on the campaign's Special Assaults.

UNACCEPTABLE!!! This shall be rectified!

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5 hours ago, Xeletor said:

True, I meant snowball in the sense of having more fleet points. We never came far enough to worry about one side having too many campaign points. It always ended due to one side having a very strong fleet (60 points larger than enemy fleets). And then that fleet tabled someone. And next round the point difference would have been even more due to starting at 300, and lucky results on special attacks. 

Dont give up! You can claw that back! Rebels get 40 easy points by not really engaging with hyperlane raid and so can rebuild fast! 

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51 minutes ago, Ginkapo said:

Dont give up! You can claw that back! Rebels get 40 easy points by not really engaging with hyperlane raid and so can rebuild fast! 

Yeah i agree with this mentality. It was tough, but in the CC Gink and I are currently playing on vassal, the Rebels have mostly managed to catch up fleet points wise. Imperials still have a lead, but mainly in campaign points. Now it is a matter of whether we can get enough campaign points to do the all out assault before the imperials win it via points. Its been a scrappy CC, and while not the style of armada we are used to playing (running, hiding, trying not to get blown up by an imperial fleet 120 points our better) its been nothing if not thematic and exciting its own kind of way. Facing a superior enemy, where the only true victory is survival since you stand no chance in a straight up fight. We lost a lot of battles before getting us to the place where we can finally start winning some. Which is, frankly, just more work than most tournament minded competitive people are willing to put in.

And I think that's the rub. People that go into the first round of CC playing it like a tournament where you have to get a massive mov, or have to table your opponent at all costs and then get tabled, face a 100 point fleet gap, restart their fleet, get tabled again because now you are throwing your 400pt fleet into a 470 point fleet with the same "table or be tabled" tournament philosophy, and then quit and say that CC is imbalanced. The special objectives are a wrench, but overall I'd like to say I don't think it is. But its played very differently than most of us here are used to.

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10 hours ago, Triangular said:

In my opinion after playing two campaigns the Special Attacks are the greatest danger to unbalance the game. Both campaigns ended after round 2 because of Special Attacks. My hint for you would be to nerf them in one way or the other. Here two possibilities:

1) Only allow Special Attacks, when the fleets of one group are at least 50 fleet points behind (adding all fleets minus their repairs). If not, the stronger team can easily play their Special Attack. When the Rebels are stronger it means they benefit from destroying imperial fleets, and the imperials never catch up because of so heavy losses. If Imps are stronger its still an annoyance, that they so easily get even stronger.

2) Don't play them at all. They are too attractive to use, but very boring to play for the second payer! (So mean to see your opponent wiping out your ships and get fleet points for it! But even if you win it's frustrating, because you get only 40 fleet points.) And they benefit the leading team. Instead you can deal 1 Campaign Point to get either 100 fleet points or (better) to get an many points to equal the fleet points of the other team.

I like idea #1. An alternative to #2 might be: each side can only play their Special Attack once, ever.

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Special Assaults exist purely for farming points since they give no CP. If it was easy to stop the special assault player from getting any resources at all from special assaults, then they would be completely pointless. 

In Show of Force, the best you can hope for against an aggressive opponent is to defend 1 station and win the game proper. Spread both stations as far apart as possible and as close to your deployment zone as possible, then put your fleet in the middle. The opponent will have to split up their fleet if they want to destroy both stations in time. Whichever station they commit the least amount of their resources to attacking is the station you are going to want to defend. By attacking the weaker half of their fleet, you maximize your chances of destroying all their forces on that half of the board before they can destroy the station and will minimize casualties to your own fleet and have a better chance of winning the bonus 40 victor resource points. 

A smart Imperial player will respond by putting their whole fleet into attacking one station or the other, but that will make it easy for you to outmaneuver and decimate them before they can make their way to the 2nd station. 

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Thank you for your insights, gentlemen, there's a lot of great info to respond to in this thread!  I'm mulling over all the advice.  If we did start at 300 points, perhaps allow rebuilds at 400 points starting on turn 3?  No one wants to play a game with a potential 150-200 point difference between fleets.

A related side question:  Has anyone here played Station Assault as the defender in either casual or tournament play?  If so, how did it go?  What fleet did you take and why did you include it as one of your objectives? 

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