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Un-Named Steel Strategy Armada Podcast

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12 minutes ago, BiggsIRL said:

"What did you do on your weekend, Biggs?" Oh, I re-watched Season 1 of Rebels to determine who the most deadly member of Spectre was based on kill count. Listen to our podcast (we are recording on Thursday) to find out who!

"Thursday? But I want an oompa loompa NOWWWWWW!"

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On 12/10/2019 at 4:16 PM, cadetvw said:

I Love the janky RLB Raddus fleet suggested in episode 2. Mostly because I did almost exactly that for the 2018 regionals, I used smaller drop ships instead of Defiance though. Great at deleting a single ship and lots of fun! Just didn’t have much follow through power afterwords. Ended up upper middle of the pack, but again LOADS of fun and jank. Give it a whirl at least once

An opponent of mine did an RLB Raddus drop when Raddus first came out. He dropped an MC80 and 4 B-Wings next to my flagship. I was flying a Thrawn fleet with 2 Vics, a Quasar, 4 Intercepters, Dengar, and Howlrunner. Unfortunately for him, it was pretty obvious where he was going to drop, so the 6 fighters were waiting. The bombers went up in smoke, and then so did the CR90 that had brought the MC80 in from hyperspace, all killed by the fighters. My flagship lived. 

I think generally that seems to be a big problem with RLB. The opponent can just have fighters around the launch area, either to soak up the attack meant for ships, or to alpha before the bombers can activate. And with the new card that allows for the replacement of Swarm fighters at 2 health, Interceptors can do both, and be dealing damage both times (with Counter). 

 

 

@shmitty, @BiggsIRL - I have quite enjoyed the podcast, thank you for making it!

Edited by GhostofNobodyInParticular

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24 minutes ago, GhostofNobodyInParticular said:

And with the new card that allows for the replacement of Swarm fighters at 2 health, Interceptors can do both, and be dealing damage both times (with Counter). 

 

Except they can’t be placed Engaging.

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9 hours ago, Truthiness said:

Early word is through season 1 she's a bit behind.

 

8 hours ago, BiggsIRL said:

Let's just say that S1 has a clear winner.

Gonna guess maybe Hera then if every fighter destroyed is a kill

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29 minutes ago, GhostofNobodyInParticular said:

An opponent of mine did an RLB Raddus drop when Raddus first came out. He dropped an MC80 and 4 B-Wings next to my flagship. I was flying a Thrawn fleet with 2 Vics, a Quasar, 4 Intercepters, Dengar, and Howlrunner. Unfortunately for him, it was pretty obvious where he was going to drop, so the 6 fighters were waiting. The bombers went up in smoke, and then so did the CR90 that had brought the MC80 in from hyperspace, all killed by the fighters. My flagship lived. 

I think generally that seems to be a big problem with RLB. The opponent can just have fighters around the launch area, either to soak up the attack meant for ships, or to alpha before the bombers can activate. And with the new card that allows for the replacement of Swarm fighters at 2 health, Interceptors can do both, and be dealing damage both times (with Counter). 

 

 

@shmitty, @BiggsIRL - I have quite enjoyed the podcast, thank you for making it!

When I’ve done RLB jank, I’ve done it with Flight Commander/RLB Bwing Flotillas. They are like baby demolishers.

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6 minutes ago, Drasnighta said:

Except they can’t be placed Engaging.

Exactly. Since I knew where they wanted to be, I put my fighters there before he deployed them. That forced him to move them back, meaning they couldn't attack my ship or move into range of my fighters. 

4 minutes ago, Madaghmire said:

When I’ve done RLB jank, I’ve done it with Flight Commander/RLB Bwing Flotillas. They are like baby demolishers.

How did you get around the opponent's squads?

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8 minutes ago, GhostofNobodyInParticular said:

How did you get around the opponent's squads?

Forcing the issue elsewhere, and Awings actually performing their role as interceptors. The B’s dont need to be the opener. It was also back in the days where msu was more viable, so I had more viable landing spots. In this game one of them wound up chasing down and killing Demo.

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Posted (edited)

Wave 8 Commander Rankings According to GiledPallaeon

 

Steel Strategy has released the latest edition of their regular Commander rankings, and the podcast that serves as this year’s debate explanation. As I have a Saturday evening with precious little better to do, here is my own interpretation.

 

Before we begin, I would like to preface this with a caveat: I’m using slightly different definitions of the grades than Steel Strategy. I generally agree with the examples they use, but I have a different baseline for each. Therefore, here is how I graded every commander:

 

𝛀 : Broken. You’re just going to lose unless you have them too.

S : What everything is or should be compared to

A : Clearly good when built for, doesn't engender "Why did you take that?" comments. Can be modified if clear dominance in certain situations

B : Respectable

C :Can reasonably be run but gets "Why not [other S-tier commander]?" OR is exceedingly expensive to optimize

D : Yeah this isn't Kon/Tagge, but it sure ain't anything else

F : See D

 

In short, I asked each commander, “If I am handed a random fleet by a random person, what is my reaction likely to be to the commander choice?” Given that question, here is where the commanders shake out.

 

𝛀 : N/A

S : Thrawn, Jerjerrod, Rieekan

A : Sloane, Raddus, Ackbar, Agate, Garm

B : Piett, Motti, Dodonna

C : Screed, Vader, Ozzel, Sato, Cracken, Madine, Mothma

D : Tarkin, Palpatine, Leia

F : Tagge, Konstantine

??? : Romodi

 

Now for individual breakdowns:

 

Thrawn: S

 

grand-admiral-thrawn.png

 

I’m just going to direct you to the theorycrafting half of my NOVA writeup. Two command dials a turn, that’s incredibly good. Do not underestimate using him to simplify your plans. Just because Thrawn has a mythologized reputation for brilliant schemes, do not underestimate the brilliance of not allowing yourself the opportunity to make mistakes and overcome problems with precision application of overwhelming force.

 

Jerjerrod: S-

moff-jerjerrod.png

Effectively he’s Thrawn, because 90% of the time, the dials Thrawn is permitting are Navigation and [Something]. JJ gives you the maneuver half of that dial, at the expense of a shield and needing a token for the speed change. Knife-fighting Demolishers are inescapable like nothing else with him, and don’t underestimate how rapidly an Imperial or a Super can turn with his help. Really really good. Also the commander of the variant of my NOVA list that took LVO, so he gets bonus for that.

 

Rieekan: S

general-rieekan.png

Guys and gals, it’s Rieekan. It’s Rieekan. Not dying remains obnoxiously good. ‘Nuff said.

 

Sloane: A-

swm26-admiral-sloane.png

I played four Sloanes at NOVA. The Tokra clone defeated me and ended up in something like 12th overall I think. I destroyed the other three 10-1. I know my playstyle is the diametric opposite of what Sloane prefers to deal with, but that is fairly indisputable evidence she is far from invincible.

 

Sloane was almost a B. The difference is Tokra. This is a haymaker meta, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Sloane is a DOT (damage over time) admiral. How anyone makes her work outside the very narrow window of preying on other Imperial squad heavy or Rebel insufficiently-fighter-heavy squad heavy lists is beyond me. That she is the World Champion is the only reason she is A-, the insistent complaints of Europe that she is wildly overpowered notwithstanding. 

 

Raddus: A

admiral-raddus.png

Old Raddus was S+ and actively an NPE. He completely invalidated his opponent’s skill in maneuver and engagement setup. NuRaddus doesn’t do that. He’s actually interesting to play against, and to play, in my opinion. I would watch him carefully in the next few months. (And yes, he needed the Hawk nerf.)

 

Ackbar: A

admiral-ackbar.png

I find it hard to believe Ackbar is anything other than just out of style. He remains aggressively effective at allowing Rebel ships to hit like their Imperial counterparts. The Onager is big and scary. Ackbar Defiance is a lot scarier. Once people become comfortable with him around Supers and Onagers/Hawks, I expect a serious resurgence.

 

Agate: A

kyrsta-agate.jpg

It doesn’t take much to put together how powerful Commander Agate (as opposed to the still pretty good Officer Agate) is, even if she is a super-officer. She has a natural home on the Hawk, but everything down to the Assault Frigate can make excellent use of her, and I’ve heard rumblings of her making an appearance on non-Admonition MC30s. Great commander, good for Rebel list diversity.

 

Garm: A--

garm-bel-iblis.png

If we’re being honest, Garm is probably a B. However, Garm enables strategies that are clearly good, otherwise he wouldn’t be the current North American Continental Champion. Between Ahsoka Tano, Intensify Firepower, and all the other tricks that you can build around once he’s in the list, his floor may be high, but his ceiling is through the roof. I’ll give him the A.

 

Piett: B

admiral-piett.png

JJ may be dominating the news on the Super, but that has averaged out to only about as well as Piett and other Supers (as of last I checked a while ago. I have a sneaking suspicion that hasn’t changed). He’s good, folks. He enables double commands on the Super, whereas JJ still needs the nav token for the full psuedo-dial, and Lord knows Supers are hungry for all kinds of tokens. Piett even has a Prime win borrowing Sovereign from Tarkin. Don’t count him out.

 

Motti: B

admiral-motti.png

The staple of Imperial list-building since Wave 1. Extra hull remains good. He won the FFG Prime for me, so I’m not about to go bashing him here. He’s got quite a career left in him.

 

Dodonna: B+

general-dodonna.png

I frequently hear Dodonna referred to as a “win more” admiral. And there can be situations where that is true. However, crits swing games. Misaligned Projector is perhaps the most notorious, but pretty much every crit can be bad when your opponent can tailor what’s happening to you to the situation. Chimaera hates Life Support Failure (no command tokens). All sorts of other shenanigans can be dealt early by options like Garel’s Honor, Luke Skywalker, Assault Proton Torpedoes, and even the humble asteroid. Never underestimate the ability of a straight boost to turn something around. 

 

Screed: C

admiral-screed.png

Motti’s former colleague as Imperial commander of the day, Screed has had a long and relatively slow fall from grace. If he didn’t have the once-per-activation restriction, he’d definitely be at least B if not A. However, it’s hard to get just that when so many other tech options exist to get crits and then get another commander giving you another effect on top of that. Ordnance Experts was the beginning of the end for him; Thrawn and Weapons Battery Techs make him incredibly hard to justify. I don’t see a way out of these doldrums for him.

 

Vader: C+

darth-vader-commander.png

I’m a big fan of consistency when I am looking at throughput. I want powerful capabilities, and I want them continuously. For this reason, I anomalously don’t rate Officer Vader all that well outside of Super fleets where expendable officers are much more plentiful.  (I also really like Boarding Vader, but that’s another story).

 

Commander Vader’s issue isn’t that he needs ships. It’s that the ships that can leverage him best frequently require expensive upgrading compared to the base hull cost. This can badly limit his ability to put ships on the table and get mileage from his ability. However, the firepower he can generate is respectable, and should never be underestimated.

 

Ozzel: C-

admiral-ozzel.png

Ozzel offers a lot of potential in theory. Engagement control is king, and speed control is its crown. Ozzel offers a way to that crown, but at the cost of either dial lock, or a significant token economy, both of which severely offset his cheap cost. It also doesn’t help that his favorite archetype, Imperial MSU, is as dead as they come, and Salvo will make it all the harder to claw that back into viability. I wouldn’t forget about him, but I wouldn’t focus my eyes here either.

 

Sato: C

commander-sato.png

I’ll give Jun this, he’s fun as all get out. “Excuse me, Mr ISD-at-long-range? EAT ACMS!” will never get old. Unfortunately, he’s a Rube Goldberg machine, and one that really hates the most common defense token in the game after the redirect: the evade. One day Sato might be a B or an A commander. He has a devoted following, and they’re skilled players. How much of that they had before they took up that mantle, and how much is from playing with a handicap I don’t know, but that’s where we are. He’s getting there, but he ain’t there yet.

 

Cracken: C-

general-cracken.png

First off, Cracken is boring. Just flat boring. Second, Imperial players like to complain that the Arquitens is hard to fly because of its “selfie stick” movement profile. Cracken fleets are barely better with the speed 3 restriction. He is also by default something of a DOT admiral as an MSU commander, which is even less palatable in a haymaker meta that can delete smalls at range. If Rebel MSU becomes something other than Hard Mode, or if he somehow gets help in some other way, maybe he’ll come back but for now, he’s binder fodder, even for a C.

 

Madine: C-

general_madine.png

Fundamentally this is the same problem as Ozzel. He locks your command dial, and doesn’t give it back. He can create some amazing turns, but it’s up to the player to fully exploit whatever handbrake turns you’re pulling with him, and as your skill in deployment and counterdeployment goes up, his value suffers an unfortunate but predictable loss. When Raddus offers that perfect placement for the one key ship, Madine really needs a fleet with multiple ships requiring that precise handling, and I for one have no idea what that looks like right now. 

 

Mothma: C

mon-mothma.png

Better than Cracken and Madine, but still suffering, for broadly similar reasons. How do you leverage slightly improving your durability when that slight difference is not bigger than the amount your small ships are being overkilled by? I genuinely have no idea, but I can tell you Mothma Amity lists are hilarious

 

Tarkin: D+

grand-moff-tarkin.png

I want Tarkin to be good. My Corellian Conflict list is Tarkin, and it is completely undefeated. Its 600 and 800 point derivatives have ceded games to exactly one player, flying one list. He sings at higher point values, which implies to me it’s not the ability that’s actually bad, it’s the cost of using it. Wave 1 has a lot to answer for, but this is definitely on the list.

 

Palpatine: D*

emperor-palpatine.png

My Palpatine stance is well known. 95% of players will never leverage him. The tempo control is just too difficult to attain. However, when someone does finally figure him out, it will be brutal and it will be ruthless. I have no idea what that fleet might look like, I haven’t done enough experimentation myself. The small consolation will be how un-netlist-able that fleet will be.

 

Leia: D+

swm27-leia-organa.png

It’s kinda hard to rate Tarkin without also giving Leia the same rating. On a certain level, she’s a bit worse in the sense that most Mediums and Larges are uncomfortable with her. On the other hand, smalls are pretty unhappy with Tarkin feeding them tokens they can’t use, so it balances out. She clearly works great as a handicap, because as soon as geek19 stopped running her and ran a real admiral (Rieekan) in her place he neatly took 3rd at GenCon through an absolute gauntlet of opponents. Not likely to be good ever, but maybe someday. (I got nothing on how, but I suppose it’s possible.)

 

Tagge: F

general-tagge.png

It’s the timing. Without an errata I really don’t see any way to make Tagge practically worth it. Turn 3 is too early, Turn 5 is too late. I’m sorry General. You may have the charts, but you do not have the command.

 

Konstantine: F-

admiral-konstantine.png

“He is as clumsy as he is stupid.” I can only imagine what cutting remark Vader would have had for Konstantine’s, ahhhhh, ideas at the Battle of Atollon. That same thing carries through here. He’s worthless. Imperials, if you’re looking for a handicap admiral to play before switching to a real commander, honestly go to Tagge so it’s not just wasted points. Yeah, it’s that bad, and if FFG has a brain that’s how it’s going to stay. Forever.

 

Romodi: ??????

general-romodi.jpg

The new kid on the block. I honestly don’t know where to rate Romodi. He’s cheap, which is good. He adds a fair bit when he kicks in, but he doesn’t necessarily help control what he adds in. (I trust my red dice as far as a fire ant can throw them.) He forces your opponent to play around him to a certain extent, but without certain objectives that allow mobile obstacles, he can be mitigated pretty hard on deployment. Watch this guy, I don’t think he’s bad at all, but whether he ends up a A or B (or possibly an S but I’m skeptical), I just don’t know yet.

 

There's my pass. Looking forward to being told how I'm wrong in excruciating detail.

Edited by GiledPallaeon

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Love these ratings aside from kicking my girl Sloane down to an A-.  You know what makes a haymaker swing hurt?  Not having a brace at all.  Agate brought Walex?  That's what Pryce is for.

Nullifying defense tokens facilitates easily some of the best haymakers in the game.  The hard part is not getting tabled.

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