Monday, March 27, 2017

Building a Fleet for Cheap 2: Rebel Boogaloo!

So this was a subject that Eric and I have been talking about for a little bit.  Eric got his out Saturday Night, so I figured I'd throw mine out as soon as possible.  (Looks over at half-finished Assault Frigate article, sadly).  Yeah, I'm working on it, I promise!  But maybe you looked at all those Rebel articles I've been writing, and you said to yourself, "I want to free the galaxy from the tyranny of the Galactic Empire!  I'm sick of all those guys in my meta playing Imperial on Imperial and not learning how to dodge CR90 shots!  I want to be the very best, like no one ever was!"

Well welcome to the Rebellion, let's learn along with Finn.

The fun will never end, it's Rebellion Time!

Our rules, as stated previously by Eric:

400 point fleet, $250 max.  As Eric mentioned, PLEASE buy at your local game stores whenever possible, as they let you come in and play there all the time, generally with helpful employees, friendly counter staff, and hopefully a good and growing community.  To DIRECTLY steal from Eric's article (thanks for doing the work for me, man!),
I also want a selection of ships that are very easy to expand off of for when we want to bulk out our options more and try other commanders, so in general it would be ideal to avoid doubling up on ships or squadron packs early on. I want newer players to be learning lots of different elements of the game, seeing what they like and don't like, and being able to cheaply progress outward bit by bit towards other archetypes that interest them without having to make another big $250+ investment all in one go again. Finally, the fleet in question is going to have to use upgrade cards available only from the items purchased themselves - no snagging cards from eBay or borrowing from friends - those are perfectly acceptable things to do, but we can't assume that everyone can or wants to do either of those right away.
Lots to consider there, especially considering the best things for one of the starter ships is in the booster packs!

I fully agree with Eric about the Core Set and the dice pack, so we're at $110 already here too.  Past that?  Well, I'll follow Eric's example and jot a list down, create a fleet, and then do some splainin' about how I got what I got.  Who are we starting with?  General Garm Bel Iblis, whose special ability reads "At the start of the first round and fifth round, each friendly ship may gain a number of Command tokens equal to its Command value."

I'm gonna form my OWN Rebellion! With blackjack!
Garm will let you use the tokens to get to where you need to and will help you figure your way out of trouble.  Did you need to be navigating this turn? Well you can always increase/decrease speed 1 on your ships with the Navigation token ALONG with whatever command you were using this turn.  Fun fact: If you combine the token and the dial, you get both effects! (Change speed by 2! Add a dice in and reroll one (Must be the same roll though)! Push another squadron with the token! Heal for more engineering points!)  Garm lets you manipulate things much more than you'd expect, doing more each turn than normally possible, depending on what you need when, and I'll work on his Commander article soon too (more on the pile, haha!  Side note to that, if anyone has something they'd prefer to see in my articles sooner rather than later, let me know and I'll work on that earlier).  Garm is a great starter Admiral, and I'm willing to bet Shmitty would agree with me on that....

What's a good start?
  • Armada Core Set ($100)
  • Extra Dice Pack ($10)
  • Nebulon B Frigate Pack ($20)
  • Rebel Transports (AKA Flotilla) Pack ($20)
  • Rebel Squadrons Pack 1 ($20)
  • Assault Frigate Pack ($40)

All that for a grand total of $210! And the fleet I built with mine as well!

Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 399/400  
Commander: Garm Bel Iblis
Assault Objective: Most Wanted
Defense Objective: Hyperspace Assault
Navigation Objective: Superior Positions

Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (57 points)
-  Yavaris  ( 5  points)
62 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Toryn Farr  ( 7  points)
-  Bomber Command Center  ( 8  points)
33 total ship cost

[ flagship ] Assault Frigate Mark II B (72 points)
-  Garm Bel Iblis  ( 25  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
111 total ship cost

Nebulon-B Support Refit (51 points)
-  Salvation  ( 7  points)
58 total ship cost

CR90 Corvette B (39 points)
39 total ship cost

1 Luke Skywalker ( 20 points)
1 X-Wing Squadron ( 13 points)
1 Wedge Antilles ( 19 points)
2 B-Wing Squadrons ( 28 points)
1 "Dutch" Vander ( 16 points) 
An Explanation!
Given that you get a Nebulon B and a CR90 in the basic box, why am I having you buy another Nebulon? Because the cards and titles you get them from are SUPER great in EVERY Rebel fleet.

In the Nebulon B Box you get: the Yavaris Title, the Salvation Title, Intel Officer, Engine Techs, Enhanced Armament, and XI7 Turbolasers.  ALL of those cards are great and can go in any Rebel fleet you want to run.

The OTHER reason I have you buying 2 of these is because Rebel ships are generally cheap and the Small ones work quite well in pairs.  The Nebulon B's work great together, CR90s (when you get your second...) are great with 2 of them, heck, they're selling the Hammerheads as a pair this year! You can try them all out, see if you like swarming or long distance jousting or whatever, and then you can go from there.

The other benefit to this is all the Admirals you get in those boxes like this fleet.  Dodonna with some minor switching out (more bombers maybe? Change the Red Objective to Precision Strike) will run this all fine, and is a great build up from the starter set.  These ships will all also work great in future Admirals and purchases you make.  I'm not just having you purchase extra stuff for cards, but for future fleets you want to run.  The Assault Frigate runs great under several Admirals.... Good thing I just wrote an article about it!

The Assault Frigate orbits the battlefield, as the article I'm working on currently and promise will have done by the time this posts (so I can link right to it!) I just finished states you should.  Strafe and fire, throwing red dice into two things with Gunnery Team.

The Nebulon-Bs joust and throw your squadrons forward if necessary to try to get the best out of them. You don't HAVE to squadron with the Yavaris the whole game every turn (However, DO try to get Luke to fire twice into a ship that he treats as having no shields.  Watch 4 hull ships potentially evaporate!).  Try Concentrating Fire at least once with the Salvation title when in range to see the POWER of that ship, and try to be in range with Yavaris to have Luke or the B-wings or Wedge and Dutch attack twice (more on them below!).

The CR90 is also throwing Blue dice all over the place.  Just keep it from getting too close to anything else with Black dice or that can start returning fire on it.  It'll solidly contribute every game, and Toryn Farr on the Flotilla will help mitigate some of your dice rolls (hopefully you won't roll 3 accuracies every time!)

The Flotillas are there to provide rerolls to your Squadrons.  With the Bomber Command Center, they can reroll their Bomber dice, so long as they're at 5 or less of the Flotilla.  And if Toryn Farr is 3 or less away, you can reroll Blue dice (to win the squadron game and start bombing ships, or from your CR90!).  It's a nice support ship, try not to get it too close to your opponent's ships!

The Squadrons will stop any basic fighter issues, provided you use them well (IE, COMMAND them!).  The Assault Frigate can command 3 of them, and Yavaris is happy the turn after that (when they're stuck in together!) to let them fire twice.  When they get done beating up squadrons, Wedge, Dutch, and the regular X-wing can help Luke and the B-wings contribute on bombing. If you want a fun combo to use, have Dutch attack a squadron or two first (two if Yavaris), then have Wedge roll 6 blue dice against them each.  It'll render your opponent speechless.

As speechless as your opponent after Luke rolls Hit+Crit on his ship twice from Yavaris, followed by 2 B-wing attacks each!
The goal of this fleet is waiting out your opponent (like many Rebel fleets, haha).  The CR90 and Assault Frigate work to weaken their shields by throwing dice at them, while the Nebulon-Bs waits for them to come into range.  Then they jump their ships and runs away as fast as it can; joust and flee.

Where do I go from here?
You have a whole bunch of options and paths to go to from here.

If you like squadrons (and I hope you've been reading my articles, haha!), here's some good paths to go down.
  • Try to get a friend to split the Rogues and Villains with you ($20) for that helpful Intel, but buy it yourself if you have to.  My thoughts on Jan Ors are well documented...
  • The Pelta/Phoenix Home ($30) is a great way to get your squadrons pushed forward one more speed notch, and push 4 squadrons at a time while doing it.
  • Pick up a Home One MC80 ($40) pack and use the Independence Title to push B-wings if you want, or just to push 4-5 squadrons (6 if you use Raymus Antilles and Expanded Hangars!  I... don't really recommend this.  Boosted Comms is better, but you CAN do it.  Or with a Garm token....)
  • If you want to crazy contribute with your bombers, get a second Rebel Squadrons Pack ($20) or a second Rebel Transports/Flotilla Pack ($20) for the Bomber Command Center/Comms Net.  Even without BCC, it pads your activations and helps you pass tokens with Comms Net to your other ships.  Going past 2 is something to think about at a later time, but 2 in a Bomber Fleet isn't insane.
If you like dealing straight ship damage:
  • Getting a MC30 ($30) is a good step, as it'll let you use the TRCs it comes with along with getting to use some black dice.  Tired of Demolisher being a big black dice rolling jerk? Well turnabout is fair play! Roll some back at him!
  • The LMC80 ($40) and H1MC80 both can put out a LOT of damage, resulting in many dead ships from your abilities.  It depends if you want to apply that damage FORWARDS or SIDEWAYS.
  • A second CR90 ($20) will net you both Mon Mothma (who loves letting you get your ships in closer to deal damage!) and the CR90 titles (Jaina's Light in particular), along with Raymus Antilles.
  • A third CR90 isn't CRAZY, but a 4th may be.  May not be, if you really want to run Cracken...
If you sorta like everything:
  • Buy what you want! They are your plastic spaceships, of course.  If you see something you love the look of, get that.  Hopefully I'll have an article up soon about using it properly.
  • If you can, as Eric recommended, another maneuver tool ($8) is helpful, and the Corellian Conflict and eBay/trade for Upgrade Cards are always good.  If your store is established, you might be able to find older Alternate Art (Fancy Pictures!) upgrade cards floating around in previous tournament kits, which is LITERALLY just as good as going to eBay for them.
Give this a try, and hopefully the Rebellion will have another new General to pin some medals on!

"I made Han come back to rescue HIS whiny butt, and I get nothing? Lame!"