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IanOfBrown

ISD too good (in 200 points)?

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So.  I took part in my first Rebellion in the Rim games today, a 3v3 campaign.  Two of the imperial players had an ISD (a II and a Kuat), the third didn't.  Nobody managed to put significant hull damage (i.e. anything but ramming) on the ISDs and their players won both engagements.  In fact 3/4 of those battles were such margins of victory that the imperial commanders have loads of XP to spend and lots of upgrade points and strategic tokens for the long game.

Granted, I suck, but is the ISD just too good in this format?  What are other folks experience of facing them in 200 point or RitR games?

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Not to push my own idea, but I think this is something that my suggestion of adding 'side missions' to the campaign would also help with.

Sure, you get a lot of "battle" bang for your buck with an ISD...but sinking all those points into one platform will make it rather difficult to accommodate all the other diverse demands of an Imperial Commander in the Outer Rim...

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55 minutes ago, IanOfBrown said:

So.  I took part in my first Rebellion in the Rim games today, a 3v3 campaign.  Two of the imperial players had an ISD (a II and a Kuat), the third didn't.  Nobody managed to put significant hull damage (i.e. anything but ramming) on the ISDs and their players won both engagements.  In fact 3/4 of those battles were such margins of victory that the imperial commanders have loads of XP to spend and lots of upgrade points and strategic tokens for the long game.

Granted, I suck, but is the ISD just too good in this format?  What are other folks experience of facing them in 200 point or RitR games?

I have to agree. I’ve had the same experience with the 200pts games. I ran an event with 4 of the 10 players running ISDs and they were top 3 easily. On a 3x3 table there isn’t much places to hide.

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Our experience is that all large ships are very tough in the 200 point 3x3 format.  This is especially true early on when upgrades are in short supply.   I took an MC75 and CR90 as the core of my list in the first campaign, and that one small ship behind the large was more than enough to push my large over the top.  But otherwise, large versus large early-on makes it difficult to drop the other large.  But since the game is won or lost by a single point, it starts to rely on what happens elsewhere in the list.

 

For swarms, the Nebulon-B is an old anti-ISD standby.  This goes back to wave-2, for those of us who have been around that long and remember playing in those settings.  The campaign opens up being able to use ships like the Neb in more places than in the competitive 400 point contests.  Basically, if you do it right, you should be able to out-activate that ISD list (we saw 2 and 3 activations out of our groups), the Neb should be able to be flown so that the opponent cannot shoot the side arcs.   Evade/Brace and long range really causes the damage to dwindle, and double brace at close without much in the way of dice fixings means you ought to be able to survive a single "close" shot, since they need two accs and 8 damage to kill, dropping maybe to 6 plus ram if they manage to get a wound on it.  Everything else in your lists needs to be able to be flown to flank, and needs to be built for putting that damage.  So TRC90s, maybe DTT Scout Hammerheads, and of course, your own squads doing a little bit of chipping.  For anyone that played pre-BCC/Toryn in wave-2, you know squads were still very good then.  Since it is hard to get around an ISD in that format, you really need to be able to feed it something while chipping away at it.

I think another key is finding away to feed it one thing, while simply killing enough points in the rest of its list that you win the game, or using objectives well (maybe you apply Most Wanted to a different ship in the list, kill that and have 80-100 total points to some lesser total.  Rebellion also makes it interesting tactically because your assaults can be at places where you can replace objectives that are good for the opponent with those that are bad for him.  Finally, there's something true for all campaign style games, namely that you'll usually have some mismatched talent and match-ups, and part of the strategy of the campaign is coming up with ways to manage it.

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I think that most large bases are too good in 200, yeah.  Especially the ISD - it's just too hard to push through enough damage, especially since your other ships are likewise limited.  I wish that the campaign made it unable to start with a large base.

All that said, there are some Rebel fleets that can take one out - triple TRC90, or a squadron heavy list.

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I think @Vergilius has hit on the key, go back to wave 2 tactics. Long range sniping, bomber wings, and simple outflanking the large ship. 

Some good old fashioned quality flying to keep the smaller ships out of that front arc, is really the key to inflicting the death by a thousand cuts.

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I’ve flown two games of 200 point RitR against ISDs. My fleet was an AFMkII-B w/Linked Turbolaser Towers, a CR90 w/TRCs, a Comms Net GR75, Dutch, Wedge, E-Wing. In that first game, I blew up his Arquitens with the CR90 while my Frigate skirted long range of the ISD and my fighters dropped a few hits on it as well, and it went down on turn 5 for a tabling. I lost nothing.

Second time around, I’d added Lando in the Falcon, an X-Wing, and an A-Wing, and was facing an ISD and a GSD. I couldn’t nail down the ISD, but the GSD got itself killed while trying to chase down the Frigate.

ISDs are just not that scary, even in 200 point.

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If you're following the original Task Force 200pts, large ships suffer 1/2 damage = 1/2 scored at scoring. Though they continue to rumble at full power the whole game thru. 

Xwing did a good job with the new damage decks for Epics taking things offline. It scales power MUCH better. 

---

This avoids making certain 200pt matchups all about list and a binary[kill the large or lose] type of game, which surprise surprise isn't fun after a while. 

Edited by Blail Blerg

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39 minutes ago, Blail Blerg said:

If you're following the original Task Force 200pts, large ships suffer 1/2 damage = 1/2 scored at scoring. Though they continue to rumble at full power the whole game thru. 

Xwing did a good job with the new damage decks for Epics taking things offline. It scales power MUCH better. 

---

This avoids making certain 200pt matchups all about list and a binary[kill the large or lose] type of game, which surprise surprise isn't fun after a while. 

Where are you getting that rule from?  I don't see anything about half points in the Rebellion in the Rim document, only for Huge ships in the SSD rules.

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15 minutes ago, Vlad3theImpaler said:

Where are you getting that rule from?  I don't see anything about half points in the Rebellion in the Rim document, only for Huge ships in the SSD rules.

These are custom rules Blail has been working on for a while to introduce shorter-format play for Armada.

I wish they were more widely embraced, I feel I can't get an Armada game to the table now without setting down a 2.5hour commitment. There are other games I'd rather play in that time (even if they don't scratch the fleet battle itch Armada always gave).

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4 hours ago, Vlad3theImpaler said:

Where are you getting that rule from?  I don't see anything about half points in the Rebellion in the Rim document, only for Huge ships in the SSD rules.

They're the Task Force rules I developed long before RITR stole them 😃 

 

If I may say, far more balanced for objectives and fleet diversity than the official formats too

Edited by Blail Blerg

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18 hours ago, IanOfBrown said:

So.  I took part in my first Rebellion in the Rim games today, a 3v3 campaign.  Two of the imperial players had an ISD (a II and a Kuat), the third didn't.  Nobody managed to put significant hull damage (i.e. anything but ramming) on the ISDs and their players won both engagements.  In fact 3/4 of those battles were such margins of victory that the imperial commanders have loads of XP to spend and lots of upgrade points and strategic tokens for the long game.

Granted, I suck, but is the ISD just too good in this format?  What are other folks experience of facing them in 200 point or RitR games?

That isn't happening in our campaign. In fact one of the players with an ISD lost his first 3 or 4 matches in a row before he could win. 2 of our 3 opponents are super powerfull in squads, what they do is keep their ships alive escaping while crushing our squadrons. If you win by 1 point or 200 is still a win in the campaign.

EDIT: My point is that you don't need to destroy the ISD to win, you can destroy everything else and still win, for some fleets it's not hard at all.

Edited by Lemmiwinks86

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1 CR90b and 10x YT2400 😉. Maybe reduce it to 8x YT2400 + Rogue squadron. This gives room for one Transport 😀

Ten YT2400 can take down an ISD really well.

 

Or you use 16 Y-Wings, and just place them in the front of the ISD. 16 black bomber dice are doing some nice damage.

 

Sure, its a bit risky with only one ship. Just make sure that you are first player 😁
 

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We used the half points if you do half hull to larges for our RitR. It helps

 

 

EDIT: Helps to reduce MoV if you lose to that large. You still have to earn that win

Edited by Church14

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As others have said, a shift in tactics is probably needed. My first game I played my Rebel MSU list (MC30, 2 CR90s, and a GR75) against an ISD I Gozanti, and MJ ball. I got greedy, taking a chance of double arcing his ISD twice with my MC30 but ended up sacrificing a CR90 for it (without realizing my mistake till it was too late). 

In the end, he got the CR90 and my A-wing and I got his Gozanti and one of his TIEs. Had I ignored the ISD, I would've saved the CR90 and won. Lesson learned!

Maybe with more upgrades (APTs on the MC30 and Intel Officers on the CR90s) I can take down an ISD, but right now I'd have to get lucky or risk losing a lot of ships. 

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1 hour ago, ArmadaMatt said:

As others have said, a shift in tactics is probably needed. My first game I played my Rebel MSU list (MC30, 2 CR90s, and a GR75) against an ISD I Gozanti, and MJ ball. I got greedy, taking a chance of double arcing his ISD twice with my MC30 but ended up sacrificing a CR90 for it (without realizing my mistake till it was too late). 

In the end, he got the CR90 and my A-wing and I got his Gozanti and one of his TIEs. Had I ignored the ISD, I would've saved the CR90 and won. Lesson learned!

Maybe with more upgrades (APTs on the MC30 and Intel Officers on the CR90s) I can take down an ISD, but right now I'd have to get lucky or risk losing a lot of ships. 

That’s a good point. It may not be that an ISD is too good but that a naked one, or one with just Gunnery Teams or a Defensive upgrade may be a lot better than a bunch of smaller Rebel ships with 1 or 0 upgrades.

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To be clear, in our campaign both players built three fleets and we both used Imperial lists (for campaign map purposes, I was the Rebels). 

 

I found two Victory II handled it quite easily. I don't recall his exact list, but it was a Kuat,a Gozanti, and a Raider. I had two Victory IIs with Gunnery Teams and a pair of TIE Fighters. The Victorys didn't have much trouble brawling with the big guy, although it was only luck that kept me from losing one of them (the ISD's final attack saw a surprising number of blanks and not enough Accuracy to stop my Redirect). The Raider died pretty quickly to my front arc attacks. That game was Contested Outpost with me as the attacker, I was able to win very decisively by both controlling the station and killing his only non-flotilla.

 

I also fought a list that consisted of an ISD (Kuat again, I think) and a Gladiator (Assault Proton Torpedoes) with some light squadron cover. I used three Gladiator Is with Ordnance Experts and Whisper. Two of my Gladiators went after his ISD, one angled towards his Gladiator but set up to go in on the big ship afterwards. My red dice were aimed at the Gladiator when possible to help give my Gladiator the advantage. I did lose one of my Gladiators, but tore through his shields pretty quickly and managed to burn out his Brace token in one round of attacking (I had him double arc'd with two Gladiators). I did need the third Gladiator to come in for the kill, though, would probably have failed to get the kill, and therefore the win, without it. 

 

That said, I was using Imperial ships so it may just be that Imperial small and medium ships don't need upgrades as much as Rebels do. I tried building some Rebel lists for task force games and they seem a lot less...I don't know reliable? Like, with Imperials I can get a good idea of how they'll perform with limited upgrades. Two VSDs just drift slowly toward the enemy spamming Gunnery Team attacks. Gladiators do the same thing they always do except not as well since they don't have APTs or Demolisher. Rebels just feel wonky to me. But that may also be because I play Imperials almost exclusively, so I'm more familiar with them in general. 

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