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CptAwesomer

Help me put the finishing touch on a Sato fleet

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Yes, yes, another Sato fleet (though I've been digging waaaay back in the Fleet Build forum, so my perception of the number of Sato fleets might be skewed😁). Credit to @Maturin and @Truthiness, I don't think I would have thought about 2xHWK 2xVCX if I hadn't seen your fleets.

I've been working on a Sato Liberty fleet lately and I think I'm down to the last few tweaks. I've been going back and forth on the details and can't seem to make up my mind, so I thought I'd turn to people who might have some experience running him. Then, I realized swapping the Liberty for a MC75 essentially fixes all the list-building issues since everything fits neatly. I've been having a lot of fun deleting small ships off the board with the Star Cruiser though, so I guess I really want it to work 😁

Not too sure about Jamming Fields, but it seems like if there is ever an opportunity to use them, it's here. Maybe Ahsoka or Comms Net would be better? Comms Net is really only useful turn 1...
Is there value in dropping the flotilla, go SAd and Hera/Han/Tycho/Shara?

I don't have that much experience running Strategic squadrons, so it begs the question of Sensor Net vs Intel Sweep? I'm leaning towards Sensor Net since it has a bigger points potential. Despite my inexperience, I'm a bit sick of playing Solar Corona and Strategic objectives turns my objectives into 3 bad options for a lot of fleets. As for Planetary Ion Cannon, I have NO experience running any other objective and feel absolutely no confidence in running them. So I defaulted to PIC.

First up: Sato with SW-7 Star Cruiser.
- Should I downgrade a VCX to Y-Wing or Gold Squadron to fit TFA on the Hammerheads (and possibly Ahsoka or Jamming Field on the flotilla). Why a Y-Wing? It's one of the 3 things (A-Wing/Green Squadron, Y-Wing/Gold Squadron, Z-95) that fits and it has the most hull.

Assault: Opening Salvo
Defense: Planetary Ion Cannon
Navigation: Sensor Net

MC80 Star Cruiser (96)
• Commander Sato (32)
• Gunnery Team (7)
• Engine Techs (8)
• SW-7 Ion Batteries (5)
• XI7 Turbolasers (6)
• H9 Turbolasers (8)
= 162 Points

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Disposable Capacitors (3)
• Assault Concussion Missiles (7)
= 50 Points

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Disposable Capacitors (3)
• Assault Concussion Missiles (7)
= 50 Points

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Disposable Capacitors (3)
• Assault Concussion Missiles (7)
= 50 Points

GR-75 Medium Transports (18)
= 18 Points

Squadrons:
• Tycho Celchu (16)
• 2 x HWK-290 (24)
• 2 x VCX-100 Freighter (30)
= 70 Points

Total Points: 400

Second fleet: "The one in which everything fits and it's like unicorns and rainbows, but I can't delete flotillas off the board :("

Assault: Opening Salvo
Defense: Planetary Ion Cannon
Navigation: Sensor Net

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Disposable Capacitors (3)
• Assault Concussion Missiles (7)
• Task Force Organa (1)
= 51 Points

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Disposable Capacitors (3)
• Assault Concussion Missiles (7)
• Task Force Organa (1)
= 51 Points

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Disposable Capacitors (3)
• Assault Concussion Missiles (7)
• Task Force Organa (1)
= 51 Points

GR-75 Medium Transports (18)
• Jamming Field (2)
= 20 Points

MC75 Ordnance Cruiser (100)
• Commander Sato (32)
• Lando Carissian (4)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Electronic Countermeasures (7)
• External Racks (3)
• Assault Concussion Missiles (7)
= 157 Points

Squadrons:
• Tycho Celchu (16)
• 2 x HWK-290 (24)
• 2 x VCX-100 Freighter (30)
= 70 Points

Total Points: 400

Comment away!

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23 minutes ago, chr335 said:

Not sure I like the low squadron count for a Sato list.  Maybe APTs instead of ACMs 

I see your point on the squadron count, but somewhat disagree. It's still 28 hull points to chew through and by the time the squadrons are gone, I should be at short range anyway. Of course, it means I can't flip things to black dice, but the fleet doesn't automatically fall apart if Sato is gone. I'd like to have more, but with the points I have (even dropping ACM to APT in order to do so), I'm not sure I can get a much better squadron ball. Z95s will just pop under flak. Dropping the flotilla to go Rogues, I'll face an activation problem and I'm not sure I'll have enough points for a worthwhile Rogue ball.

As for APT, I did start out with them, but I think ACM is probably more (reliable) damage in the end. It's also better at dropping large ships. Maybe I would be better served by APT + TFA than ACM?

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2 hours ago, CptAwesomer said:

I see your point on the squadron count, but somewhat disagree. It's still 28 hull points to chew through and by the time the squadrons are gone, I should be at short range anyway. Of course, it means I can't flip things to black dice, but the fleet doesn't automatically fall apart if Sato is gone. I'd like to have more, but with the points I have (even dropping ACM to APT in order to do so), I'm not sure I can get a much better squadron ball. Z95s will just pop under flak. Dropping the flotilla to go Rogues, I'll face an activation problem and I'm not sure I'll have enough points for a worthwhile Rogue ball.

As for APT, I did start out with them, but I think ACM is probably more (reliable) damage in the end. It's also better at dropping large ships. Maybe I would be better served by APT + TFA than ACM?

It is less about the hull and more about them getting held up and your intel ships do not have a huge amount of longevity.

I just like apts because of that face up card through the shields which is something I never underestimate.

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58 minutes ago, The Jabbawookie said:

I like the second fleet much better.  Remember if you’re really set on deleting flotillas you can just change to blue dice, too.

Indeed! It's just more predictable with a Star Cruiser :)

 

19 minutes ago, chr335 said:

It is less about the hull and more about them getting held up and your intel ships do not have a huge amount of longevity.

I just like apts because of that face up card through the shields which is something I never underestimate.

The plan would be to park the VCX at distance 1, keep the HWK back a bit so they don't get sniped and can jump in to free the VCXs if necessary. Hopefully I can park them in front of a ship and benefit from the overlapping. Of course, I'm going to struggle against MSU (which the Liberty somewhat makes up for). I'm with you, I'd really like to have more of them, but I feel like it would require a whole fleet rebuild. At this point, I'm trying to figure out what's the minimal amount of squadrons I can bring to make Sato work.

I was a big fan of APT over ACM, but then I used ACMs with 3xMC30 and now I never seem to be able to decide which I like better. Yes, you can damage through shields with APT, but ACM also strips the shields for your other ships (or bad black dice rolls) to hit. I hate the feeling of APT'ing an ISD. Sweet, I did one or 2 (if lucky) hull damage, but my other ships will still have to eat through those shields. And if those other ships don't have APT, it feels a lot like "wasted" shots (they're not, but you get my meaning). 

With that said, the MC75 fleet above has Ordnance on everything, so maybe there's a point to bringing APT instead. I just have a hard time finding a use for 6-8 points that is really worthwhile (I'm not sure 78 instead of 70 points of squadrons really addresses your concern about squad count).

The ACM vs APT debate is really dear to my heart :)

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Nice lists!  I don't have a lot of time today to answer in detail - I'll try to offer some more thoughts in the near future.

 

But I did want to offer a couple quick observations:

1)  Sato takes practice to fly well - you have to know when to use your squadrons and time their use well.  Hint:  keeping a squad token on key ships (those you want activating first) can really help get squadrons into the correct position.

2)  VCX play with Sato is tricky too - you're double tasking them in some games with both objective play and Sato spotting.  That's great, that's what they're there for, just be aware that your spotting force in some missions is just Tycho + HWKs.  

3)  Sensor net Strategic shenanigans are best aided by FCT's in the fleet - at least 1, better with 2.  you can do it without, but it'll be tougher.

 

More thoughts later....

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The second is better. Either way you need to be focusing on the table, not eliminating flotillas! Pick a trajectory and command stack where you are cf'ing at red range and then moving to black for next turn with a nav to reposition to the next target. That's the skill portion of the list, guessing when that red shot is going to happen. 

 

Sw7 sato is something I toyed with, but ultimately you sink all those points for.... a 6/7 damage shot? That's your average with with a standard salvo and reroll. Lot of effort for not a lot of gain!

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7 hours ago, BrobaFett said:

Sw7 sato is something I toyed with, but ultimately you sink all those points for.... a 6/7 damage shot? That's your average with with a standard salvo and reroll. Lot of effort for not a lot of gain!

Thanks Broba!

I thought the average damage (assuming a brace token is used) was about the same, but then I tried to do the math and factoring in ACM makes this too complicated:lol: for 7 in the morning. I'm also not the best at math.

It does beg the question though: is SW7 Lib (I AM DETERMINED TO MAKE THIS WORK AND YOU CAN'T STOP ME) ever a good option? Or does it fall squarely into the "fun but not really optimal" category? Maybe in a more bomber-oriented Sato list? The first version I had of this didn't have H9, but Intel Officer and XX-9. However, during testing, H9 proved necessary.

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4 hours ago, CptAwesomer said:

Thanks Broba!

I thought the average damage (assuming a brace token is used) was about the same, but then I tried to do the math and factoring in ACM makes this too complicated:lol: for 7 in the morning. I'm also not the best at math.

It does beg the question though: is SW7 Lib (I AM DETERMINED TO MAKE THIS WORK AND YOU CAN'T STOP ME) ever a good option? Or does it fall squarely into the "fun but not really optimal" category? Maybe in a more bomber-oriented Sato list? The first version I had of this didn't have H9, but Intel Officer and XX-9. However, during testing, H9 proved necessary.

Your MC80 can hunt flotillas pretty well, which will reduce your opponent’s activation advantage.  But it will be challenging to do that while also timing the impact on the rest of their fleet.  Ideally you can draw out their flotillas and kill them first but an opponent could also use the flotillas as bait to draw in your flagship for an easy kill.

 

Honestly I think your MC80 is too expensive for what it does (I know, I tried it too!).  Sato’s ability gives you 5 blue dice on the front arc, which should statistically get you the acc you need.  Sw7’s and H9’s guarantee the damage output you want - but then what is Sato doing for you?  Not much at all

 

I’d ditch the H9 and Xi-7.  You can use the points to get an A-wing, which your list dearly wants for an extra deployment, and for tactical flexibility.  A speed 5 Awing hopping from obstacle to obstacle is surprisingly durable - it’s like a mini-Tycho and will keep Sato shenanigans going for a key turn or two.

If you want more insurance on those blue dice, swap out Gunnery Teams for Caitken and Shollan.  

 

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19 minutes ago, BrobaFett said:

If you want a flotilla Hunter what you are looking for is a cheap mc30 with h9. Devoting a lib to the task is a huge waste. 

Absolutely! The Liberty isn't there only to hunt flotillas, of course, it's just a nice side effect. The Lib actually started out as an experiment to have a fleet with guaranteed damage and I then plugged it into a Sato list since it guaranteed even more damage. All of this because the black dice had failed me one too many times my last store champ. As you and other have eloquently pointed out, the Lib is too many points for too little gain.

Any thoughts on Jamming Fields? I feel they hinder about as often as they help...

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With sato Jamming is a thing you can do. Only hindrance is that it doesn't stop engagemebt like true obstruction, so its always going to be worse than just sitting them on an asteroid. When they are all up in the grill of a target, is that really where you will want your flotillas? That's my skepticism on that. But it's a thing you can try and maybe it works for you.

As for sw7 auto damage you are much better going with hie. The added autodamage on top of your pool from hie is going to more than make up for a blank or a wasted acc in the pool.

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I've been playing around with Sato ideas too, and I have one that's a little janky, and maybe too expensive for the points cost, but I want to try it out - RLB on the MC75. Pocket a Headhunter or whatever and bank a Squad token. Then when your 75 closes to black range, pop out the little bugger to guarantee. . .well, whatever you want. Popping ExRacks and then going with Sato blue to fish for an accuracy, or just change all the dice to Black and roll seven of them.

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2 hours ago, reegsk said:

I've been playing around with Sato ideas too, and I have one that's a little janky, and maybe too expensive for the points cost, but I want to try it out - RLB on the MC75. Pocket a Headhunter or whatever and bank a Squad token. Then when your 75 closes to black range, pop out the little bugger to guarantee. . .well, whatever you want. Popping ExRacks and then going with Sato blue to fish for an accuracy, or just change all the dice to Black and roll seven of them.

Isn't this very janky for very little gain? You can do exactly what you're suggesting (and other, better things) with Tycho alone. Of course, Tycho is 16 points (so 3 more expensive), but it really feels like the jank is not worth it

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The Headhunter was more to keep costs down. And the difference between that and Tycho is that Tycho can be killed before the MC75 closes range. The squadron inside of the MC75 can't unless the 75 itself gets blown up, and if that's the case then you've probably got bigger problems to worry about.

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8 minutes ago, The Jabbawookie said:

Probably not worth it with a headhunter.  But a B-wing on the other hand could be interesting.  Or Nym plus rerolls...

True. A little extra punch. But the squadron wouldn't go until later in the turn, unless you dedicate your whole command to it. The main idea was to pop out the squadron with a banked token to guarantee the 75 gets the Sato bump when it's at optimum range.

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4 minutes ago, reegsk said:

True. A little extra punch. But the squadron wouldn't go until later in the turn, unless you dedicate your whole command to it. The main idea was to pop out the squadron with a banked token to guarantee the 75 gets the Sato bump when it's at optimum range.

Squadrons dropped by RLB can attack if in range, if I recall correctly.  Regardless of whether a token or dial put them there.

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51 minutes ago, reegsk said:

The Headhunter was more to keep costs down. And the difference between that and Tycho is that Tycho can be killed before the MC75 closes range. The squadron inside of the MC75 can't unless the 75 itself gets blown up, and if that's the case then you've probably got bigger problems to worry about.

You're right that it's not foolproof, but if you're really worried about Tycho popping before the MC75 can benefit from it, there are ways around it involving positioning/holding him back. If you're throwing him in the fray turn 1 and slowboating your MC75, I would argue that isn't optimal play 😋

I agree with @The Jabbawookie, if you're going to RLB, do it with something that is worth it. You'll get better bang for your buck.

Edited by CptAwesomer

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11 hours ago, reegsk said:

True. A little extra punch. But the squadron wouldn't go until later in the turn, unless you dedicate your whole command to it. The main idea was to pop out the squadron with a banked token to guarantee the 75 gets the Sato bump when it's at optimum range.

It’s not quite guaranteed, as a canny squadron heavy opponent will clog up your distance 1 launch zone with squadrons, preventing you from getting close enough to activate Sato.

 

I’d prefer a couple of cheap a-wings held back on obstacles - a much more flexible option.

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