Thursday, March 5, 2020

3/5 Updates!

I updated the Assault Frigate article! Some bits about using Heavy Fire Zone on the A variant, putting Local Fire Control with Paragon, and some minor tips about it being a harassing pain in the butt for your opponent.  Take a look!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

3/3 Updates from John!

Working my way through the backlog, I added in more bits for Shriv in the (Armored) MC75 and Hammerhead articles.  Feel free to click on the links for each, but basically: A boarding team that discards ECM or whatever other upgrade you need discarded works great.  More in the individual articles, more article updates tomorrow hopefully.
I need to play Battlefront..... I'll get there!

Eric article updates post-FAQ 3/3/2020

Lots of updates!

I really like this artwork because orbital shipyards are frickin' sweet.
  • Aggressor article updated to specify how IG-88B interacts with Escort post-FAQ.
  • Hyperspace Migration segment updated in light of the errata nerf to scoring and clarification as to when purrgil move (after token shenanigans).
  • Rebellion in the Rim yellow objectives updated for Asteroid Tactics and Fleet in Being now that salvo is a thing (in short: they got better, especially with salvo).
  • Exogorth segment updated to reflect opponents make attacks against squadrons (thank God they changed that).
  • SSD article updated with deployment errata and clarification on Surprise Attack.
  • Cham and Slicer Tools updated to reflect you get to see the command set to the dial you're about to change.
  • Thrawn article updated to include the FAQ note that you can't discard Thrawn dials to wipe raid tokens.
  • Commander Beck and Governor Pryce entries updated due to FAQ. Beck works weird with phantom command tokens and Pryce stops doing anything once discarded.
  • Lots of Imperial commander articles updated to note they can work well with Onagers:

Monday, March 2, 2020

John Updates 3/2/2020

I updated the Neb article! Clarification with the Yavaris FAQ, and I added some potential uses for Heavy Fire Zone in there as well, hey!

I updated Malee Hurra to state that you can use her ability on Salvo attacks too, so, more niche uses! She's worth trying, guys!

I also updated Aspiration and Bail Organa's bits about what if they get discarded by Darth Vader (boarding team) or another effect, which, yes that DOES let me post a yearbook picture of Jimmy Smits, thanks for asking!
"Kid, with hair like that you've got a future in the Star....Wars!"

3/2/2020 Armada FAQ update

So FFG just dropped a new FAQ (finally, it's been about 2 years). Let's talk about it.

Robot Death Blossoms got worse against Escort because FFG is bigoted against synthetic life forms.
I'm going to get the complaining out of the way early: it's ridiculous that we had to wait this long for an FAQ on the SSD and Rebellion in the Rim content. People have been playing with these releases for many months now without much guidance on some components. Furthermore, some of the initial problems were due to sloppy writing and we then finally get an FAQ with... sloppy writing (not in all cases, but in some: Linked Turbolaser Towers' entry is awful). Boo.

I was also hoping for some kind of an errata to shake things up a bit and/or Legion-style points changes and we got neither, so I'm expecting Pryce Quasar ace spam to be a big deal at Worlds yet again now that the SSD has been pushed out by Starhawk and Onager fleets. So... not exactly yay for me. I can't think of anything in the game I hate more than Pryce fleets but I digress. Let's move on to less grumpy subjects...

Highlights of the FAQ:
Admiral Raddus's change is now officially in a PDF. You can only drop off of his flagship now, but it's at distance 1-2 rather than distance 1.

Hyperspace Migration got errataed. Now you either cash in your whale watching token for victory points or you grab a new token. And the token-swapping/gaining process happens before the whales move.

Evades working at extreme range made it officially into a PDF. They cancel two dice at extreme range.

Exogorths now work the way they should have: second player chooses the first exogorth to attack all squads at distance 1 of it, and then opposing players attack each squadron in turn until done, then you move on to the next exogorth and repeat. No longer do I choose an exogorth and make every attack with it against squadrons where I'm not required to spend accuracy icons against my own aces. "Oops, the space slug just keeps forgetting to use accuracy on the scatter when it comes to my own guys" is no longer a thing.

SSD deployment is clarified that if you want to extend outside of your deployment zone, you need to be touching the back edge. So in scenarios with extended deployment zones (like Blockade Run), you can deploy further up without having to touch the back edge. Blockade Run is still a trap with SSDs, though 😉.

Slicer Tools and Cham get to see the dials they're about to change. FFG has given different answers on this informally over the years but now it's official that you get to see it before you change it.

Gunnery Team and first-player Advanced Gunnery's "cannot" for attacking a second squad or ship from the same hull zone during an activation is absolute. So a ship with Gunnery Team or selected as first player AG ship can't attack a squad again with Ordnance Pods or Impetuous from the same hull zone it already attacked that squad with earlier during its activation. Ships without Gunnery Team or first-player AG can do so just fine (as the "may" on the card in question overrules the "cannot" in the rules, but does not overrule the "cannot" on another card).

There are some knock-on questions with this type of ruling, though, that aren't cleared up in the FAQ:
  • If Yavaris is double-tapping squadrons against a ship with Quad Laser Turrets and Gunnery Team, can you use QLTs to Counter them twice?
    • Seems like no. You'd be attacking the same target from the same hull zone more than once per activation. 
      • It's an enemy activation, but it's still an activation (note Gunnery Team doesn't say your activation, it says per activation and that activation).
  • Similar example, but let's say you've got Gunnery Team, Quad Laser Turrets, and a ship with a salvo token being attacked by a squadron. Can you use both the QLT Counter 1 and the salvo attack?
    • Seems like no. Again, you'd be attacking the same target from the same hull zone more than once per activation.
  • An enemy ship is double-arcing the same hull zone of your ship which has both salvo tokens and Gunnery Team. You use salvo to punch back after the first attack. Can you use salvo to punch back after the second?
    • Again, seems like no. You'd be attacking the same target from the same hull zone more than once per activation.
The rules logic here is solid, but the ramifications look to be rather messy, basically. I should also note that you can dodge the Quad Laser Turret issues provided the attacking squadron is double-arced by you, as you can choose for the QLT attack to come from any hull zone, but that's only really relevant when the squadron in question can be attacked from more than one hull zone. In that case, you could (example #1) attack from one hull zone for the first Counter and then the other for the second or (example #2) salvo from the attacked hull zone and then QLT from the other hull zone.

Discarding upgrade cards (usually with Vader boarding team or your own with Vader officer) had some interesting clarifications:
  • Aspiration overboosted shields are immediately lost if Aspiration is discarded.
  • Bail and Pryce no longer do anything at all as soon as they're discarded (don't force last or first activation).
  • Upgrades that give slots for other upgrades (like Minister Tua), when discarded, don't take the upgrades they made room for with them. This has been the rules-supported interpretation for a while now, but it's officially in the FAQ to hopefully create less confusion with newer players.
Commander Beck is probably the absolute weirdest "clarification" and nearly a complete card rewrite. Basically, Beck counts as spending a token to resolve a command (so you can use Piett to boost it to a dial now) and you have the opportunity to add a dial in to boost her effect to a dial+token. It's a really big and weird change that isn't really supported by the card text but okay, whatever. I worry about the ramifications for similar "do a command like you spent an X" abilities like Pursuant. Is being able to sneak in a real component as well a Beck-only thing? Is it a thing any card like that can do? I honestly don't know. It's really weird.

Thrawn dials can't be used to clear raid tokens, only dials assigned to the ship itself.

Linked Turbolaser Towers probably takes the cake for "worst written FAQ entry" and it's an absolute mess. It seems to imply that you can use the LTTs extra dice against squads whenever (not just the first anti-squad attack like the card says), but if you parse it down while keeping the card text in mind I think what it's trying to say is "you can resolve this effect even on attacks outside of the 2 you normally get during your activation, provided it's still during your activation and it's the first attack you made against a squadron." So basically your ship with Ordnance Pods and LTTs could use its 2 inherent attacks against ships and then use Ordnance Pods to attack squads, add the extra LTT dice against the first squad, and then stop attacking squadrons.

Yavaris got a little bit of an extra nerf from the last FAQ in that it's spelled out that squads double-tapping with Yavaris can't move at all during the Yavaris activation. So no Flight Commander+Fighter Coordination Team to move them before the squadron command (just like before) and no Fighter Coordination Team on its own to move them after, either.

If you haven't, please dig into the document itself for more. I mostly covered what I considered to be the more important clarifications/erratas. We'll be updating articles in light of the FAQ changes, of course.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Wave 8 Imperial ship article updates

Aww yiss triangles and circles
Just a few little changes here and there to bring those Imperial ship articles up to speed on wave 8:
  • Gozanti article updated to include Commander Beck as an officer option.
  • Arquitens article updated to include Commander Beck as an officer option.
  • Raider article updated to reflect how weird Corvus gets with on-deploy upgrades like Local Fire Control and Gunnery Chief Varnillian. 
  • ISD article updated to include Heavy Fire Zone and Linked Turbolaser Tower options for the ISD-II. Added a build relying on the H9 Turbolasers + Weapon Battery Techs + blue crit combo for the ISD-I. Added a Local Fire Control salvo build for the ISD-I.
    • I'm not saying the ISD-I is suddenly amazing, but it got some new toys that the other ISD variants aren't really keen on using for themselves, so give them a try if you like.
  • VSD article replaced the Spray and Pray VSD-I build (which requires outside help) for the salvo boat option using Local Fire Control.
  • SSD article added Reeva Demesne as a defensive officer option.
I've got a couple other articles to update to fully bring everything up to speed on wave 8 (to mind, commanders that like the Onager need all their articles updated and it wouldn't hurt to update a few of the objective articles when they have salvo interactions like Precision Strike* does), but we're pretty close.

*The Precision Strike segment has been rewritten although not all the objective articles have been yet. It's mean in the right fleets with enough salvo. You can trigger both the "flip a card" element (by spending a die with a hit or crit on it) and sometimes also the "deal a faceup damage card" (if your salvo has a crit icon in it and damage hits hull), which can generate a surprising amount of extra points from your extra salvo attacks. It's not a "no duh" choice in a salvo-heavy fleet but it has a lot more synergy with salvo than generally "no duh" Most Wanted given salvo can't add dice.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Spend Defense Tokens Step and the Fine Art of Not Dying

This is something of a companion article to the attack sequence article I've linked to countless times already, but its focus is flipped: we're looking specifically at things that keep your ships and squadrons alive when you're attacked. For the sake of brevity I passed over the minutiae the Spend Defense Tokens step in that article, but we're going in deep this time around.

You gotta keep your angry red death balls all nice and cozy-like, you know?

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Wave 8 Rebel Officers!

Wedge and Agate updated and added to the Rebel officers page, but also posted below.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Turbolasers Updated!

I got this done earlier than expected, hooray!  Original article was updated, but here's Heavy Fire Zone below:
Dodge, duck, dip, dive, and.... something
Heavy Fire Zone is a very different turbolaser in that it's not modifying your attack against a ship but against squadrons.  The timing windows work, even though it may not look like it.  Lemme point you right to Eric's article about the attack sequence and wait for you to come back.

Alright, so you would pick your target and then you can change the blue dice you would be throwing at it into reds.  This is a nice way of forcing squadrons at LONG range to close with you, ensuring that you can hit them outside of your normal blue dice range (so yes, you can flak at long range with it).  When they close with you, you can use your blue dice (which provide more reliable damage and better ways of making it occur, Leading Shots and Toryn being the obvious examples).  The card does come with the downside that you don't usually have many great ways of rerolling red dice, but you're throwing them at least?  Add in a blue with Kallus or Draven and then reroll with Leading Shots?  They can't be engaged with any friendly squadrons of your own, of course, so it's there to force your opponent to move in towards you.  It also doesn't combine with Ruthless Strategists, because again: not engaged with your own squadrons.  But it's long range flak!

Who wants this? Maybe certain ISD-II builds, maybe Nebulons, maybe Assault Frigates?  They all have 2 blue flak, and one more turn of free flak isn't horrid if you weren't using the turbolaser.  You just have to be in red range, which generally then means you're moving towards the squadron ball you're shooting at.  Keep that fact in mind as you use it.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Wave 8 upgrades: weapon teams

Moving right along, we're covering new weapon teams (one of which is a boarding team).

Wave 8 upgrades: flag bridge

Added to the offensive retrofits article but also posted separately here. As usual, any updates are going to be made in the "real" article, not this one. Let's talk about the one new offensive retrofit in wave 8, Flag Bridge:

Eric was on the Steel Strategy podcast

For anyone who wanted to hear me ramble about SSDs, Overload Pulse, and just a little bit about wave 8, check it out!

Friday, January 31, 2020

Wave 8 upgrades: Imperial officers

I'm hoping to roll out all the new upgrades I'm responsible for over the next couple days. If you're waiting on turbolasers or Rebel officers, those are John's responsibility and he's going to be busy at the Atlanta regional until Sunday evening, so the earliest ETA on those is early next week. Anyways, let's start with Imperial officers:

Thursday, January 30, 2020

There's a Starhawk, Waiting in the Sky.....

Finally fresh off the boat, it's the newest and biggest Rebel ship.  And while some may think of it as the ugly duckling of the Rebel fleet, the Starhawk is much more of a beautiful swan, ready to spread its wings and fly!  Hit the jump to see how to add this beautiful bird of prey to your arsenal!
Eric and I have been playing a good amount of Wingspan recently, so strap in for these

Know Your Enemy/Commander's Corner: Kyrsta Agate

Release day means that with everything caught up, it's time for the Wave 8 articles.  I'll start mine off with Kyrsta Agate, the newest commander and the first not featured in a movie somewhere!  Scourge of Ravager, destroyer of the Imperial Navy after Endor, hit the jump for the details!
It's the eye of the space tiger....