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Ponera

Frigates with Ackbar

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Both work very well but they have different strengths & weaknesses. I enjoy playing both with Akbar.

 

AF - Much tankier if you can consistently use the brace. A very solid platform for gunnery team. Overall a consistent long range damage dealer. Gets more use out of some commands (repair, squadron). Struggles a lot when blocked by a ship in front.

 

MC30 - Much more maneuverable - small base helps a lot and allows for many opportunities to Akbar out both left & right side in 1 activation. Great flexibility to chip at long range OR move to close range for a huge 10 dice punch (5 side arc + 2 Akbar + 2 ex racks + 1 confire.) MC30 also has a much easier time clearing blockers in front & running away when wounded to deny your opponent scoring points. And running is important - the MC30 cannot stand up to sustained fire like the AF can.

 

Here are my favorite baseline builds for each:

Assault Frigate Mark II B (72 points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  Linked Turbolaser Towers  ( 7  points)
= 93 total ship cost

Consistently pelts 2 targets for 5 red dice each with 1 re-roll. ECM greatly improves survivability. Officer can be used defensively (lando, Krysta, Walex, EST) or offensively (Intel Officer).

 

MC30c Scout Frigate (69 points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
-  External Racks  ( 3  points)
= 83 total ship cost

Can skirmish with 4 red dice at long range (TRC 1 to a double hit) for consistent damage. At an opportune time dive into the middle of the enemy fleet and Akbar slash for a total of 16 dice from one activation!

Defensive upgrades really help to make up for the lack of brace and hull points. Try Lando + Admonition to make this ship survive its time in the middle of the enemy fleet.

If you plan to stay at long range Caitken & Shollan can be subbed in place of Ordnance Experts & Foresight can help you shrug off long range attacks. 

 

Both these ships love extra dice fixing for increased consistency on their red dice (Home One, Intensify Firepower). Try flying both and see what fits your playstyle. Both can even work well in the same fleet. I recommend trying to fit at least 3 solid attackers in an Akbar fleet.

 

Edited by Mala

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My playstyle leans toward MC30s personally, but both of them have their assets.  The extra die on the AF works really well with Ackbar, and you can command squads better with that Assault Frigate.  I'm a big fan of mixing squads with red dice.  If you don't come close to me, then my red dice dominance will win the game.  If you do come closer to me, then you fight in my flak and my squads have a chance of destroying yourself before moving on to your ships. The trick is finding that right balance of ships and squads, and the right mix of ship-pushed/rogue squads.

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Another fun little build is the MC30 Torpedo Frigate with Enhanced Armaments. EA adds a red die to your side battery armament, which actually allows you to shoot at long range, which you otherwise could not have done. Then, of course, you Ackbar & ConFire, and you’re throwing 4 reds at long range for a base 73 points (76 with External Racks). Once you get up close, it’s 11 dice (after Ackbar, Enhanced Armament, ExRax, & ConFire). Caitken & Shollan, Ordnance Experts, Foresight, Admonition, Advanced Projectors, Lando, Intel Officer, whatever to taste, or just leave it lean & dangerous. 

Someone said it above, and they’re absolutely right; you want at least three real warships in an Ackbar fleet. You’re paying 38 points for him. Using two ships and getting 4 extra reds each turn seems like you could do better. But using four ships, and getting an extra 8 reds each turn? Now we’re talking! So there’s a desire to keep from over-upgrading your Ackbar ships. Run them lean, if you can. This is toughest with MC30s & MC80s, but I have no problem throwing only TRCs on a CR90, or just ECMs & LTTs on an AFMkIIB, and kicking it out the door.

Edited by Cpt ObVus

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41 minutes ago, LTD said:

CR90s with TRCs are better than both.

I love that ship, and one or two of them usually find their way into my Ackbar fleets. But if you’ve never felt the power of wedging your Admonition between two ISDs and throwing 3 reds, 2 blues, 4 blacks at one, then 3 reds, 2 blues, 5 blacks at the other, then ESCAPING, then you haven’t really played Armada. The Enhanced Armament/ExRax/Ackbar MC30 can do that, and it’s awesome. Meanwhile, the AFMkIIB is quietly one of the game’s most fundamentally solid ships. And it never gets deleted in one shot the way CR90s sometimes do. Especially in this brave new OTB-Cataclysm-Orbital Bombardment Particle Cannon world, I’m a little leery of putting too much stock in Corvette-class ships.

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What about something like this.

MC30c Torpedo Frigate (63)
• External Racks (3)
• Enhanced Armament (10)
• Foresight (8)
= 84 Points

MC30c Torpedo Frigate (63)
• Advanced Projectors (6)
• External Racks (3)
• Enhanced Armament (10)
= 82 Points

MC30c Torpedo Frigate (63)
• Advanced Projectors (6)
• External Racks (3)
• Enhanced Armament (10)
= 82 Points

Pelta Assault Ship (56)
• Admiral Ackbar (38)
• Intensify Firepower! (6)
= 100 Points

CR90 Corvette A (44)
• Turbolaser Reroute Circuits (7)
= 51 Points

Squadrons:
= 0 Points

Total Points: 399

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3 hours ago, Vergilius said:

I'm a big fan of mixing squads with red dice.  If you don't come close to me, then my red dice dominance will win the game.  If you do come closer to me, then you fight in my flak and my squads have a chance of destroying yourself before moving on to your ships. The trick is finding that right balance of ships and squads, and the right mix of ship-pushed/rogue squads.

And OMG, Rebel squads - just take Rapid Launch Bays and load up with generic B-Wings.

The only trick, then, is making sure you've got the squadron command when you need it (?Weapons Liaison?  ?Wing Commander?), but HOLY CRAP that can wreck face if the enemy tries to close with you.

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Interesting, great responses guys!

I personally really like the idea of the MC30s, and dislike a lot about the assault frigate (not even counting its ugly design.) I was using some drive bys with CR90s, so perhaps that can be done the same with the MC30s. I guess the assault frigs are a lot tankier but the MC30s do a lot more damage for 20 less points. 
 

1 hour ago, LTD said:

CR90s with TRCs are better than both.

How many CR90s are we talking here? CR90s with TRCs are a lot of fun.
 

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1 hour ago, XR8rGREAT said:

What about something like this.

MC30c Torpedo Frigate (63)
• External Racks (3)
• Enhanced Armament (10)
• Foresight (8)
= 84 Points

MC30c Torpedo Frigate (63)
• Advanced Projectors (6)
• External Racks (3)
• Enhanced Armament (10)
= 82 Points

MC30c Torpedo Frigate (63)
• Advanced Projectors (6)
• External Racks (3)
• Enhanced Armament (10)
= 82 Points

Pelta Assault Ship (56)
• Admiral Ackbar (38)
• Intensify Firepower! (6)
= 100 Points

CR90 Corvette A (44)
• Turbolaser Reroute Circuits (7)
= 51 Points

Squadrons:
= 0 Points

Total Points: 399

Not bad. I’d probably dump all the Advanced Projectors and get Ordnance Experts on those MC30s.

Ackbar hates Peltas. And I hate putting 38 point Admirals on slow, fragile ships. Drop the Pelta, make it another CR90, and keep the good Admiral spinning around at speed 4. Better yet, find a few points for the Admonition title on one of those MC30s, and put him on that!

Finally, fundamental Armada rule: Black dice like going first. So in my mind, what you really want to do to complement those 3 MC30s is to drop the Pelta, move Ackbar to the CR90 (or Admonition), and replace the Pelta with a GR75 Medium Transport. Put a Comms Net or something on it if you must, but keep a healthy bid (10-15 points? Depends on your area). Sliding one of those nasty Torpedo Frigates up close to an enemy at the end of the round, then starting off then next round by blasting him into next week and then slipping away is just the best, and giving your opponent first player so he can constantly outrun your black dice is the worst. Get a bid!

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50 minutes ago, Ponera said:

I personally really like the idea of the MC30s, and dislike a lot about the assault frigate (not even counting its ugly design.)

The AFMkIIB is the Platonic ideal of the perfect medium gunship. Her beauty is transcendent. She has figured prominently into more than 50% of my SSD kills, and has led my RitR Task Force into three ISD kills in four rounds of 1v1 play.

Underestimate her at your peril!

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37 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

The AFMkIIB is the Platonic ideal of the perfect medium gunship. Her beauty is transcendent. She has figured prominently into more than 50% of my SSD kills, and has led my RitR Task Force into three ISD kills in four rounds of 1v1 play.

Underestimate her at your peril!

Seems to me that they are tanky and can do damage, but for the cost they excel at neither. 

 

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5 hours ago, Ponera said:

Interesting, great responses guys!

I personally really like the idea of the MC30s, and dislike a lot about the assault frigate (not even counting its ugly design.) I was using some drive bys with CR90s, so perhaps that can be done the same with the MC30s. I guess the assault frigs are a lot tankier but the MC30s do a lot more damage for 20 less points

I think that you might have the values confused. The AF used for Ackbar is the one that costs 72 as there is no point spending 9 more points in an extra blue for the front and rear because you'll  be ideally attacking from the sides. The MC30 most used with Ackbar is the one with the red dice to allow powerfull attacks at long range, specially with TRC. That one costs 69 so it's only a 3 points difference.

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2 hours ago, Lemmiwinks86 said:

I think that you might have the values confused. The AF used for Ackbar is the one that costs 72 as there is no point spending 9 more points in an extra blue for the front and rear because you'll  be ideally attacking from the sides. The MC30 most used with Ackbar is the one with the red dice to allow powerfull attacks at long range, specially with TRC. That one costs 69 so it's only a 3 points difference.

Agreed on the MkIIB. But I actually prefer the MC30 Torpedo Frigate over the Scout in Ackbar lists. If you take the Torpedo (63 points), add Enhanced Armament (10 points),  & External Racks (3 points), and Ordnance Experts (4 points), you have an 80 point ship that can throw 3 red, 2 blue, 5 black from the side at close range, before ConFire. The Scout Frigate with the same setup gives you 5 red, 5 black, which is worse, and the ship costs 6 more points. Also, on the Scout, there’s less incentive to pick Enhanced Armament for the Turbolaser, because the Scout already has long-ranged red dice, so the Turbolaser slot will probably be used for something else. Something cheaper. But it probably won’t be adding a die, so there’s that... and also, the Scout still gets zero blue dice, which I personally dislike. So you end up with two ships that cost about the same, but one of them has more difficulty generating Accuracy, and has less consistent dice in general, in exchange for being marginally better at long range.

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6 hours ago, Ponera said:

Seems to me that they are tanky and can do damage, but for the cost they excel at neither. 

 

85 points for a MkIIB with Caitken & Shollan and ECMs is pretty reasonable! No, it doesn’t have the damage output of an MC30 at close range, but it’s far superior at long, and the extra survivability is often very relevant. I like running them in tandem. And it usually ends up cheaper than the MC30... once I have an MC30 in my list, it’s hard to not use one of the fantastic defensive Title upgrades, and that 8 points hurts.

Also, if you’re running any squadrons in your Ackbar list, and you aren’t using an MC80H1, chances are the MkIIB is your best choice for a carrier.

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59 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

Agreed on the MkIIB. But I actually prefer the MC30 Torpedo Frigate over the Scout in Ackbar lists. If you take the Torpedo (63 points), add Enhanced Armament (10 points),  & External Racks (3 points), and Ordnance Experts (4 points), you have an 80 point ship that can throw 3 red, 2 blue, 5 black from the side at close range, before ConFire. The Scout Frigate with the same setup gives you 5 red, 5 black, which is worse, and the ship costs 6 more points. Also, on the Scout, there’s less incentive to pick Enhanced Armament for the Turbolaser, because the Scout already has long-ranged red dice, so the Turbolaser slot will probably be used for something else. Something cheaper. But it probably won’t be adding a die, so there’s that... and also, the Scout still gets zero blue dice, which I personally dislike. So you end up with two ships that cost about the same, but one of them has more difficulty generating Accuracy, and has less consistent dice in general, in exchange for being marginally better at long range.

I totally see your point, but the problem I see with the torpedo is that if you're setting up a close range attack to make real use of it, it's not so hard to get a double arc, and then Ackbar gets useless for that as I'd prefer to have a 2nd attack with 1 blue and 2 blacks than to add 2 red to my only attack.

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32 minutes ago, Lemmiwinks86 said:

I totally see your point, but the problem I see with the torpedo is that if you're setting up a close range attack to make real use of it, it's not so hard to get a double arc, and then Ackbar gets useless for that as I'd prefer to have a 2nd attack with 1 blue and 2 blacks than to add 2 red to my only attack.

Funny story about the MC30 - the way the arcs are, if you basically ram it straight into the dead-center side of an enemy 'large' ship, you can often double-arc it WITH your Ackbar arcs.

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55 minutes ago, Lemmiwinks86 said:

I totally see your point, but the problem I see with the torpedo is that if you're setting up a close range attack to make real use of it, it's not so hard to get a double arc, and then Ackbar gets useless for that as I'd prefer to have a 2nd attack with 1 blue and 2 blacks than to add 2 red to my only attack.

Couple diagrams:

XXXXXX

      Y

(the Y is my Ackbar MC30 Torpedo Frigate. The X’s represent your crippled SSD).

 

X     Y    X

(Once again, the Y represents my Ackbar MC30. This time, the X’s represent your dead ISDs).

Neither of these scenarios involve anything but broadside shots.

Even if these ideal scenarios don’t materialize, the Torpedo Frigate is still a very comparable cost to the Scout Frigate after upgrades, and the Scout is ever-so-slightly better at long range, but slightly worse in every other scenario. I could still see using like, one Scout, just to maximize the utility of the Foresight title, if I decided to take it. I just think you’re usually better off with Enhanced Armaments on the Torpedo for Ackbar purposes.

      

Edited by Cpt ObVus

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In 800 point + games I do love both AF2s and MC30s with Ackbar. Point for point they put out lots more damage, and can survive long enough to fire their broadsides. In my experience, CRs do not last long in a "line of battle" (nor should they). But a flanking force of MC30s in support of AF2s? Glorious.

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1 big advantage the Scout  Frigate MC30 has over the Torpedo Frigate is that you don't NEED expanded armament. This frees up room for a dice consistency turbolaser (probably TRC).

 

At long range a TRC Scout Frigate is consistently putting out at least 2 more damage than the Enhanced Armament Torpedo (assume both frigates roll the same on the first 3 reds and the Scout TRC's its extra red die to a double).

At medium range the damage is mostly equal (4 red modified by TRC vs. 3 red & 2 blue raw).

At close range the damage is still pretty equal but the Torpedo Frigate's blue dice give you a much higher chance of accuracy which weighs heavily in its favor.

 

I do see the arguments for the Torpedo Frigate but the Scout undoubtedly has a better damage contribution at long range making it a much more flexible skirmisher. Just find a way to make up for the lack of accuracy! (Intel Officer, or Home One?)

Edited by Mala

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4 hours ago, Mala said:

At medium range the damage is mostly equal (4 red modified by TRC vs. 3 red & 2 blue raw).

At close range the damage is still pretty equal but the Torpedo Frigate's blue dice give you a much higher chance of accuracy which weighs heavily in its favor.

 

I do see the arguments for the Torpedo Frigate but the Scout undoubtedly has a better damage contribution at long range making it a much more flexible skirmisher. Just find a way to make up for the lack of accuracy! (Intel Officer, or Home One?)

It’s those bits about medium & close range that tilt me toward the Torpedo Frigate. At long range, sure, a Scout with TRCs has an advantage; 4 reds with TRC beat 3 reds. But if I’m looking for a ship to circle an opponent at long range tossing reds, I’ll save 30-40 points and buy a CR90 with TRCs. MC30s are built to get in and get dirty. I don’t want an MC30 that does its secondary job a bit better, I want an MC30 that does its primary job as well as it can be done. That means minimizing blanks and maximizing accuracy. 

But that’s just me. The Scout is a totally useable ship, I just prefer the Torpedo, because when it comes time to get in close and go for the kill, it has a much higher chance of hitting a couple accuracy and really making it count.

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15 hours ago, LTD said:

My current list has five. My VWC list had four.

Ok, now you have my attention :) Since I'm still searching for a new way to fly MSU in a world of Onagers, SSDs and Starhawks, maybe this could be worth a try.

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