Fleet support upgrades are cards released in wave 3 that are available only to flotillas and are used for support and denial purposes. I figured it would be easier to keep them all in one place for easy reference when John and I discuss flotillas, and I can mention a few things about the individual upgrades here as well.
|"I'm sorry Bob, you were the last person to point at the weird table so you're out. Those are the eyepatch rules."|
- Black die: 1 average damage -> 1.25 average damage (25% improvement)
- Red die: 0.75 average damage -> 1.03 average damage (37% improvement!)
- Blue die: 0.75 average damage -> 0.94 average damage (25% improvement)
It's not too tough to keep your Bomber Command Center flotilla at longer-range of your bombers while orbiting the cloud and hopefully staying out of trouble, but enemy ships that can pounce on you from a long range (speed 3 or 4) can sometimes barrel through the squadrons to pound your flotilla(s). Be careful.
It helps to understand how exactly Comms Net works. During your Reveal Command Dial Step, you flip your dial over and immediately declare whether you're keeping the dial to spend later or turning it into a token. Once that's finished, you can use Comms Net. This happens prior to doing anything else (including spending dials/tokens for repair or squadrons). So your command 1 flotilla can see another ship in trouble, assign its command for the turn and then reveal, get the token, and pass off to the other ship. Way to be a helper, little flotilla!
|Maybe not that kind of HELPER...|
Another fun trick with Comms Nets is doing a "water bucket line" where one flotilla passes another Comms net flotilla a token for it to in turn pass on to a ship that was out of range of the original flotilla but not the second flotilla. Sneaky!
In general, fleets with Command 2 and particularly Command 3 ships like having Comms Net flotillas around to help them do everything they'd like to do but are usually too busy to do. Repair and navigate tokens are usually in particularly high demand for such ships.
- FFG has ruled (wisely) in the FAQ/errate PDF that Jamming Field's effect is not optional. It is always turned to "on."
- Jamming Field only works against squadron-on-squadron violence.
- Jamming Field affects all attacks involving a squadron within distance 1-2 of its ship, whether they be coming from or going to the squadron involved.
- This means it also affects Counter attacks, causing them to be obstructed too.
- The attacks themselves are treated as obstructed upon being made. The squadrons themselves are not obstructed from one another (which would mean they would not be engaged, allowing them to move away from one another or attack ships while ignoring the obstructed squadrons).
- Remember that obstruction is binary. Either an attack is obstructed or it is not. Obstruction does not "stack." So you don't get -3 dice from attacking Ciena Ree in an asteroid field within a Jamming Field. You get -1 because she is obstructed, even if from 3 different effects.
I should note as well that with how Repair Crews triggers, it replaces the entirety of your repair command. Ideally you are using a repair token to trigger it while using something else for your dial (you can't spend a repair token towards Repair Crews and a repair dial towards regular repairing, sadly). The most consistent use I've seen from Repair Crews is for the flotilla equipped with it to repair itself. Overall I've never felt like a Repair Crews flotilla has done a better job than a Comms Net flotilla, which can toss repair tokens to ships in trouble (or soon to be in trouble) but has a lot more flexibility in giving other kinds of tokens too as the situation requires, and at a cheaper cost.
|Stupid Rebel script kiddies DDOSing us!|
- It triggers after you execute your maneuver, so its reach is potentially quite far - a speed 3 (or speed 3+1 for the Quantum Storm) maneuver added to a distance 1-3 range can reach quite far.
- It can only work on enemy ships that still have a top command dial. If there's a ship that had discarded and/or spent all its command dials (normally a Command 1 ship that has already activated but also a Command 2 ship that used Skilled First Officer), there is no top command dial to mess with.
There are a few problems with getting Slicer Tools to work as consistently as one would like:
1) It exposes your flotilla to a significant amount of danger. Flotillas at medium or shorter range are drastically less survivable than flotillas at long range. You can't use Slicer Tools usually without exposing yourself to this "danger zone."
|Don't act surprised to find this here.|
2) There are counters to Slicer Tools. On the Rebel side, Leia Organa (the officer) is a great Slicer Tools counter and all-around pretty helpful already. She's a common sight in metas where Slicer Tools are a thing. Skilled First Officers and any of the other "change your commands" officers (the Liaisons, the command-specific officers from wave 2) also shut down Slicer Tools. Methods to produce command tokens (like the Comms Nets, above) can also take some of the sting out of not getting the command dial you wanted by at least getting the weaker token effect.
3) Sometimes it just doesn't work out. If you're second player and the first player activates the ship you really needed to mess with this turn first, that's just how things go. If you're first player and messing with command dials isn't as important as activating an actual combat ship, then your Slicer Tools flotilla might not get its mitts on a great target that turn. There's a lot going on during any given turn and you can't always prioritize "messing with command dials" moreso than other activities. The Slicer Tools might not end up being that effective due to that, so be aware that can happen.
This isn't to say "never take Slicer Tools." I think they're fun and they can win games when used at the right moment. It's moreso "I lived through the rise and fall of Slicer Tools." They were a big deal upon the release of waves 3 and 4 but as players discovered the issues with them I detailed above, their usage dropped off mostly. You'll still see the occasional Slicer Tools flotilla, but they're not nearly so common as the Bomber Command Center or Comms Nets options, which are easier to use and less risky.
In short, be aware of some of the problems with using Slicer Tools and try to have a specific plan for them if you do use them. I wouldn't bring more than one flotilla with Slicer Tools barring some sneaky master plan, but they can be useful, especially against carriers. Just don't be surprised if your opponents start showing up with anti-Slicer Tools tech if and when your Slicer Tools cause enough inconvenience and belly-aching 😉.