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Cuthawolf

Friend wants to play against an SSD, some Advice needed

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So a friend of mine is going to a Tournament near here and I've been helping out a (very) small amount by playing lists he thinks he might face. One of the things he wants to play against is a Super Star Destroyer but there's a small hitch here:

I'm a primarily Rebel player and I've never fielded an SSD before. So there's no way I'm going to field it as well as someone who's had one since release. So here I am, asking for advice, and with a few questions about Huge Ships.

1) I assume things that refer to 'Large Ship Only' don't work on a Huge ship. So stuff like Hardened Bulkheads and Governor Pryce don't work because they don't say "Large and Larger ships".

Actually I think that was my only specific question. Mostly I just want advice on how best to fly one, and which upgrades are good value. Emperor Palpatine seems like a no-brainer as an officer slot since it's going to get shot a lot, but I also figure the combo of Captain Needa and Iden Versio is probably not as good as I think it is ūüėõ

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Had some good luck with this 

Commander: Moff Jerjerrod

Assault:
Defense:
Navigation:

SSD Assault Prototype (250)
‚ÄĘ Moff Jerjerrod (23)
‚ÄĘ Emperor Palpatine (3)
‚ÄĘ Damage Control Officer (5)
‚ÄĘ Intel Officer (7)
‚ÄĘ Gunnery Team (7)
‚ÄĘ Ion Cannon Batteries (5)
‚ÄĘ Leading Shots (4)
‚ÄĘ Quad Turbolaser Cannons (10)
‚ÄĘ Linked Turbolaser Towers (7)
‚ÄĘ Ravager (4)
= 325 Points

Gozanti Cruisers (23)
‚ÄĘ Repair Crews (4)
= 27 Points

Gozanti Cruisers (23)
‚ÄĘ Slicer Tools (7)
= 30 Points

Squadrons:
= 0 Points

Total Points: 382

Can produce some pretty intense firepower. 

 

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You're correct that any upgrades that include "Large Ship Only" don't work on the SSD. Also, the SSD can't have additional upgrade icons added to it, so Minister Tua doesn't do the ship any good.

Here are a few tips I've found from playing the SSD several times:

One of the nice things about the Super Star Destroyer is that it's a relatively easy ship to fly. Once you set it down on the table, it's not going to change direction much from its course outside of using Jerjerrod as your Admiral. Just point and shoot.
Even without Jerjerrod, using a navigate command for a one-click yaw at speed one gets that front arc to turn pretty wide. It can catch some people off guard. I've found that setting the SSD up near a corner and keeping it angled towards the center is a good spot if your not sure where exactly your opponent is going to be deploying the brunt of their fleet. It gives your SSD more room to maneuver and adjust as your opponent tries outmaneuvering that front arc. Setting up with your SSD pointing straight across towards the opposite end seems to make it a lot easier for an opponent to outmaneuver the ship.

Since the SSD is going to be the main entirety of your fleet (outside of one or two flotillas or a single other ship), build it to be as powerful as it can be. You'll likely be out-activated so you want to kill things faster than your opponent can burn through your defense tokens, shields, and hull, so I'd suggest upgrades that will get your shots to punch through. XI7's, Leading Shots, Heavy Ion Emplacements, Gunnery Team, Ravager, Director Krennic, and Quad Battery Turrets are all great options to get the job done.
As far as officers go, you can go with whatever you feel will fit best. The Emperor is a great upgrade, Damage Control Officer is almost a necessary upgrade (you don't want those crit effects from upgrade cards going through), and Intel Officer can be really helpful. But ultimately I think there's plenty of room for mixing and matching some officers for different levels of effectiveness.

You can easily go squadron-less and just have squadron defensive options through upgrades like the Annihilator title, Quad Laster Turrets, Agent Kallus, and/or even Point-Defense Reroute. But a couple squadrons wouldn't hurt just to slow down enemy squadrons a little. A squadron-less SSD fleet can be very vulnerable to a Sloan list stripping away its tokens. Ciena Ree and Valen Rudor are a very effective pair for a mere 30 points.

And that's all the SSD flying tips I can think of real quick. Hope it helps!

Edited by Derpzilla88

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Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it. I know what list he's going to be fielding, but I'm trying to build a list that would function in a tournament instead of just against him, and I think these tips are going to help a lot.

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This is my first draft of the list. My thought on the Tractor Beam is that it can muck up an attack strategy, particularly a multi-ship strat, by slowing it and forcing them apart. A second thought for that offensive upgrade slot was actually Advanced Transponders, then trading the Gozanti's out for 4 Decimators. They don't need activating, and with A.Transponders, can hold a fighter ball for a decent chunk of time with 8 hull each.

First time SSD
Author: Cuthawolf

Faction: Galactic Empire
Points: 383/400

Commander: Admiral Piett

Assault Objective: Targeting Beacons
Defense Objective: Asteroid Tactics
Navigation Objective: Solar Corona

 

[ flagship ] Star Dreadnought Assault Prototype (250 points)
-  Admiral Piett  ( 22  points)
-  Ravager  ( 4  points)
-  Emperor Palpatine  ( 3  points)
-  Damage Control Officer  ( 5  points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams  ( 6  points)
-  H9 Turbolasers  ( 8  points)
-  Quad Turbolaser Cannons  ( 10  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
-  SW-7 Ion Batteries  ( 5  points)
= 331 total ship cost

 

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 25 total ship cost

 

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
-  Repair Crews  ( 4  points)
= 27 total ship cost

 

= 0 total squadron cost

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3 hours ago, Cuthawolf said:

**** that is a withering amount of fire. You don't find the lack of squadrons hurts?

Not really, with all the activation tricks it can play as well as slicer tools it handles them. Dedicated Sloan admittedly is a problem, but aces don't like linked towers very much ether.  The amount of fire power it can throw out most ships just melt in 1 or two turns depending on arcs. I tried it with Heavy Ions rather than just ions for awhile, though great for killing MC-30's and and lower shielded ships find with quad batteries I end up locking down tokens and just boring though the shields anyways. Ion cannons help do this or the stripping tokens is just really useful.  I highly recommend trying her out and find a build that works for you. She actually is pretty flexible in building, but have had my best luck playing her as a gun ship. Get a couple of holding territory objectives like contested outpost and station assault and just defy your opponent to come to you. 

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This has been the usual SSD for me.

[ flagship ] Star Dreadnought Assault Prototype (250 points)
-  Moff Jerjerrod  ( 23  points)
-  Eclipse  ( 3  points)
-  Captain Brunson  ( 5  points)
-  Damage Control Officer  ( 5  points)
-  Emperor Palpatine  ( 3  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Quad Laser Turrets  ( 5  points)
-  XI7 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Linked Turbolaser Towers  ( 7  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
-  Heavy Ion Emplacements  ( 9  points)
= 327 total ship cost

Switching eclipse to executor is often better.

QBT and HIE are bonus and not entirely necessary.

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The main thing to consider while creating a SSD list is that contrary to what it's impressive front arc might suggest, it's not really great at taking out single, powerful and durable targets such as ISDs with ECMs. Even if the opponent is careless enough to joust your front arc, you'll struggle to produce more than 10 hits consistently, which will be braced down to 5 damage. At that pace it will take 4 turns of shooting to take one down, which is way too long. And that assumes it will stay in that arc the entire time. Experienced players will typically either avoid the front arc altogether or only take a long range shot before moving past it to your weaker side arcs. Even a good SSD player might not be able to prevent it from happening.

What SSD is good at is applying moderate amounts of damage (say 5-6 hits each turn)  to multiple targets constantly. I've come to consider it an AoE platform first and foremost -  it gradually wears down the entire enemy fleet, so at the end their ships start falling like flies. It does need something to finish them off though. That basically gives you three options: build your SSD so it can generate spike damage on a single attack even from the weaker arcs, take another ship or take powerful squadrons.

1. Building an SSD capable of generating spike damage is your only option if you plan on taking the more expensive assault prototype since you simply won't have the points for the other 2. I consider Intel Officer to be a mandatory uprade in that case, otherwise you won't be able to break through the defenses of large ships with ECM. Other than that, you'll need upgrades that increase the number of dice you roll, so that your side arcs are still powerful enough to get the job done. Ravager, Krennic, Quad Battery Turrets and QTC/H9 combo are all effective at transforming your side arcs into something just as powerful as ISD front arc, at least for a single shot each turn. You'll obviously need to spam concentrate fire for that to work, which will cut into your ability to repair damage somewhat.

2.  In order to take another ship strong enough to make a difference, you'll need to take a cheaper variant of the SSD but it may well be worth it. In practice there's just one ship that is cheap enough and powerful enough for the job - the Demolisher. It can produce spike damage in spades, which is just what you need to finish off enemy ships weakened by the SSD. It will also divert some of the opponent's firepower away from the SSD and it can try to run if things go south, so that variant of a SSD list is the least prone to being tabled. That said it's probably the most skill intensive. You won't have many activations. You won't have a large bid either so you might be neither the first nor the last which is mostly fine for an SSD but not so much for the much more fragile Demo. It might also be difficult for Demo to maneuver around his bigger buddy so you'll have to be super careful about your positioning.

3. Taking powerful squadrons will also require choosing the cheaper SSD. The advantage of this type of list is that it both gives you the ability to produce spike damage and provides protection against the enemy squadron based lists. Just make sure you don't overlap your own squadrons... it will take them a while to get back into action. Since you probably will not want to spam squadron commands all the time, you'll need either rogues or Thrawn or Piett and a source of squadron activation tokens to make it work. Also, make sure your squadrons can actually help killing the ships. Ciena and Valen are decent for fending off enemy squadrons for a while but if you seriously plan to build a carrier SSD list you'll need the likes of Morna, Bossk, Maarek or Jendon.

Hope this helps. Good luck in your training.

Edited by Lightrock

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Put Vader on the Gozanti. If you don't have use for DCO, Intel Officer, Palpatine, Brunson oder JJ anymore you can kill them for some nice rerolls. These 1 Point doesn't hurt.

Edited by spike2109

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I find what @Derpzilla88 and @Lightrock have to say about the SSD  very interesting but I have to disagree 100% with them. I have only played the Assault prototype SSD so that is the only one I will be talking about.

My experience so far with the SSD has been that 100% of the times where it can avoid dropping below half health at the end of the game it wins. Always. So the trop priority for an SSD, in my opinion, should not be to be as powerful as it can but to be as defensive a possible. So your officers should include Brunson (and maybe DCO). You want 2 Gozanties with the SSD. One with Repair Crews and one with Comms Net to maximise defensive capabilities of the SSD. The ship wants to do a lot of engineering and nav-ing itself so I think Piett is one of the best option for the ship since you can reveal an engineering dial every turn for a total of  6 (4 + 2 from dial + token) engineering points per turn and you can nav with the Comms Net token + Piett. Lastly you need a solid defense vs squadrons. You won't have the points to bring a serous squad complement but that is not necessary. Kallus + Quad Laser Turrets + H9 is a really strong combo that gives you a very high chance to land one hit on even scatter aces on your counter attack. But I prefer to go even stronger on the anti squad defense by adding Quad Turbolaser Cannons wich then allows you to completely ignore all squad defense tokens and Annihilator. With that combo it is very common get 2 damage + 2 acc on you flack attacks. This way you don't have to rely on your counter attacks in case your opponent brings Rhymer. Lastly I like to protect myself against command forkery like Slicer Tools or Cham by taking Engineering Captain. Once you then add the obvious upgrades like Gunnery Team and Leading Shots you have one Ion Cannon slot and Offensive Retrofit slot. Those ones you can now use to be as aggressive as you like. Add Proximity mines or Q7 Phylons, HIEs or High-Capacity Ion Turbines.

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49 minutes ago, LordCola said:

But I prefer to go even stronger on the anti squad defense by adding Quad Turbolaser Cannons wich then allows you to completely ignore all squad defense tokens and Annihilator.

Ravager + Point-Defense Reroute should be better. Ravager is strong against ships and with PDR you can reroll that nasty crits. Not good vs Rhymer in combination with QLT, but Annihilator is in my opinion too expensive for a one time reroll. With H9, Vader and Leading Shots you don't need it that hard.

Edited by spike2109

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19 minutes ago, spike2109 said:

Ravager + Point-Defense Reroute should be better. Ravager is strong against ships and with PDR you can reroll that nasty crits.

 

21 minutes ago, spike2109 said:

but Annihilator is in my opinion too expensive for a one time reroll.

I disagree. Annihilator is only 3 points more expensive than PDR, but works on every dice colour and at every range. And I don't think Ravager is that good. The SSD will mostly reveal engineering commands and the Coms Net Gozanti will pass you nav tokens. There is not much room to squeeze in some CF tokens.

25 minutes ago, spike2109 said:

Not good vs Rhymer

But that is the problem. Rhymer is the SSD counter in imperial squad lists. You need to plan for Rhymer.

26 minutes ago, spike2109 said:

With H9, Vader and Leading Shots you don't need it [Annihilator ] that hard.

I do not agree. I think officer Vader is bad in general but especially for rerolling flak on an SSD. You need a lot of rerolls here and officer Vader can't provide that and Leading Shots is not the sort of rerolls you want on flak rolls. You already don't have very many dice. Having to discard one to reroll hurts to much. Of course on really bad rolls its still good to have but you don't want this to be your main source of flak rerolls when your list absolutely relies on flak.

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13 minutes ago, LordCola said:

And I don't think Ravager is that good.

It's a die more against ships, if you provide a token every round. For 4 Points. Engeneering with Commands and Nav with JJ (my choice over Piett). I played against a very good Sloane Rhymer fleet and only lost because I had no Kallus. With Kallus you can get him down fast and you can reroll that crits. You won't come into the situation where you can get a initial shot on Rhymer on long range. He will initiate the battle and then he is in close range for PDR.

Vader was just an example that can be good in the end even for squads. Vader is a must have in my opinion because you have a lot of officers that you don't need in the end. You can Sacrifice DCO against squads or Kallus againt ships.

Edited by spike2109

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I'm going to disagree with just about everything @LordColasaid. You need IO to deal with ECM equipped large ships. You then have 2 slots left, of which one needs must be a defensive officer, and I favor DCO here. Brunson is a gamble and can pay off, but isn't as long lasting if you're facing multiple crits. QLTs are a necessity due to the inherent squadron vulnerability. Kallus helps a lot against almost everything except 2400 and Decimator spam, and is a good Vader officer target when you're not facing aces. H9 and QTC are the most potent general combo, though LTT can be great as well.

And Ravager is by far the strongest title. It helps you crush other ships faster, and thus you live longer. There's a reason it's the most commonly taken title post-NOVA. @PT106and I both used it to great effect there. Annihilator is stronger if you face generic squad spam, but we all know that's very uncommon now. 

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3 minutes ago, Formynder4 said:

I'm going to disagree with just about everything @LordColasaid.

I am not saying I have the SSD all figured out. All I am saying is that in my personal experience in every single game where the SSD managed to stay above halve health it won. So I focussed my efforts in SSD list building around being as survivable as possible and my setup seems to me the most optimised for that purpose.

8 minutes ago, Formynder4 said:

I favor DCO here. Brunson is a gamble and can pay off, but isn't as long lasting if you're facing multiple crits.

What? Brunson is the gamble? Brunson will reduce damage guarantied every game. With DOC you gamble that your opponent brings special crits. Brunson is the save pick here, while DCO is a gamble. I would only pick DCO over Brunson if I knew special crits were very prominent in my local meta. In every other case Brunson is the save pick.

 

13 minutes ago, Formynder4 said:

You need IO to deal with ECM equipped large ships.

I would really like to bring IO. It is very powerful on the SSD. I think Brunson and Kallus are more important than IO so IO has to fight for the last seat on the SSD and after on traumatic encounter with Cham I have decided that the last seat goes to Engineering Captain although I am still constantly thinking about swapping him out for IO but for now I am sticking with Engineering Captain.

18 minutes ago, Formynder4 said:

And Ravager is by far the strongest title. It helps you crush other ships faster, and thus you live longer. There's a reason it's the most commonly taken title post-NOVA. @PT106and I both used it to great effect there. Annihilator is stronger if you face generic squad spam, but we all know that's very uncommon now. 

At the end of the day I think that is a difference in philosophy. I see Annihilator as a very strong (though situational) defensive title and Ravager as a offensive title and so far I am coming down on the defensive side of things. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, LordCola said:

What? Brunson is the gamble? Brunson will reduce damage guarantied every game. With DOC you gamble that your opponent brings special crits. Brunson is the save pick here, while DCO is a gamble. I would only pick DCO over Brunson if I knew special crits were very prominent in my local meta. In every other case Brunson is the save pick.

You have seen my APT Raddus in Action, don't you? no DCO = 5 open Damage Cards in Round 2 = dead end. 4 with Brunson because you can only get rid of one. For sure it's a gamble - like Kallus. But you will lose 2-9 and the tournament is over, so it's a safe pick. My choice is Intel / DCO / Kallus for officers.

Edited by spike2109

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5 hours ago, LordCola said:

What? Brunson is the gamble? Brunson will reduce damage guarantied every game. With DOC you gamble that your opponent brings special crits. Brunson is the save pick here, while DCO is a gamble. I would only pick DCO over Brunson if I knew special crits were very prominent in my local meta. In every other case Brunson is the save pick.

Yes, Brunson is a straight damage mitigation. But on the SSD a special crit can really ruin the game. It is really depending. On some games Brunson is better than DCO. But not having DCO could harm you way more than anything. There are so many damage cards that will ruin your day. A structure hit is already the most harmless one. Or what do you think will happen, when you have a Coolant Discharge or Capacitor Failure.
It depend on the remaining fleet. With two Repair Crew Flotilla i would as well take Brunson.

 

5 hours ago, LordCola said:

I would really like to bring IO. It is very powerful on the SSD. I think Brunson and Kallus are more important than IO so IO has to fight for the last seat on the SSD and after on traumatic encounter with Cham I have decided that the last seat goes to Engineering Captain although I am still constantly thinking about swapping him out for IO but for now I am sticking with Engineering Captain.

If you ever stood right before a ECM Gozanti, you will really find an IO way better.
Basically Engineering Captain has the same argument that you brought up with DCO. When your opponent does not have a manipulator, he is wasted. But IO is always working. And most important, even on squadrons.

But yes, these officer seats are so ****¬†contested. So many good cards, and only 3 slots¬†ūüėĀ

 

5 hours ago, LordCola said:

At the end of the day I think that is a difference in philosophy. I see Annihilator as a very strong (though situational) defensive title and Ravager as a offensive title and so far I am coming down on the defensive side of things. 

For me this is no question. Ravager all the way.
Annihilator is worthless when there are no squadrons. And it cost twice as much as Ravager. Ravager on the other side is working on ships and squadrons. And this one is so great. But only as long as you have CF commands. But with Ravager even the CF tokens are really great. 

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6 hours ago, LordCola said:

All I am saying is that in my personal experience in every single game where the SSD managed to stay above halve health it won. So I focussed my efforts in SSD list building around being as survivable as possible and my setup seems to me the most optimised for that purpose.

A correct observation that (in my opinion) lead to an incorrect conclusion. From my experience, the way to keep SSD above half health is not to make it uber-defensive, but to go for uber-offence instead and to kill threats (or force them to disengage) before they have a chance to offload enough damage on SSD. The whole idea of Ravager/h9/QTC/intel/vader loadout is to reliably threaten to one-shot or mortally wound almost any small ship even from long range while being able to easily win a fight with ECM-equipped large ship.

8 hours ago, LordCola said:

Rhymer is the SSD counter in imperial squad lists. You need to plan for Rhymer.

It is the QLT counter, however I wouldn't call it SSD counter per se. I played against Sloane Rhymerball in NOVA top cut and ended up trading half of SSD for all squadrons (plus some ship kills and objective points for a win).

7 hours ago, Formynder4 said:

Brunson is a gamble and can pay off

Absolutely correct, however I consider both Brunson and DCO gambles, just different ones (i.e. DCO is too specialized and may end up being dead weight, while Brunson is only a soft mitigation vs crits, but always works as a damage prevention and cannot be locked out by accuracy). In the end I prefer Brunson due to the expectation that a lot of crit-heavy fleets will bring a counter to DCO (for example Vader).

1 hour ago, Tokra said:

But yes, these officer seats are so ****¬†contested. So many good cards, and only 3 slots¬†ūüėĀ

This. My current rule of thumb is: there should be at least one offence officer and defence officers shouldn't overlap.

 

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