Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bidding for initiative #2: fleet examples

I had a request for some example fleets for the different "bid levels" so it seemed prudent to put together a demonstration. We'll be focusing on 3 different fleets that match the three different bid levels I discussed in the previous article.

The biggest problem with a large bid isn't the fleet sacrifices, it's keeping an eye out for the creepy hands that come from the shadows.
Without any further discussion, let's get right into it!
1) A fleet that really wants to go first

Faction: Galactic Empire
Points: 384/400

Commander: Admiral Ozzel
Assault Objective: Most Wanted
Defense Objective: Hyperspace Assault
Navigation Objective: Solar Corona

Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer (56 points)
Demolisher  ( 10  points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 90 total ship cost

[ flagship ] Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer (56 points)
-  Admiral Ozzel  ( 20  points)
-  Skilled First Officer  ( 1  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 94 total ship cost

Raider-I Class Corvette (44 points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Flechette Torpedoes  ( 3  points)
= 51 total ship cost

Raider-I Class Corvette (44 points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Flechette Torpedoes  ( 3  points)
= 51 total ship cost

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 25 total ship cost

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 25 total ship cost

6 TIE Fighter Squadrons ( 48 points)

Card view link

This is the fleet I took to Adepticon as well as the Milwaukee Regionals. It really wants to go first. The reasons for this are several:
  1. It has a Demolisher Gladiator in it.
  2. All of its combat ships favor short-ranged black dice attacks so being able to "wait out" an enemy that needs to move into range and/or be able to send a black dice ship into range after an enemy has activated so I can then activate it first next turn is quite helpful.
  3. It has six activations, so it can has a good chance of being able to last+first activate.
The 16 point bid is because I am insane. It was overkill for all the events I went to. When/if this fleet gets updated, the bid is something that may get downgraded.

2) A fleet that really wants to go second

Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 394/400

Commander: General Rieekan
Assault Objective: Precision Strike
Defense Objective: Fighter Ambush
Navigation Objective: Superior Positions

[ flagship ] GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  General Rieekan  ( 30  points)
Bright Hope  ( 2  points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 52 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Bomber Command Center  ( 8  points)
= 26 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Bomber Command Center  ( 8  points)
= 26 total ship cost

Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (57 points)
Yavaris  ( 5  points)
-  Flight Commander  ( 3  points)
-  Fighter Coordination Team  ( 3  points)
= 68 total ship cost

MC30c Torpedo Frigate (63 points)
Admonition  ( 8  points)
-  Lando Calrissian  ( 4  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  H9 Turbolasers  ( 8  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 92 total ship cost

1 Norra Wexley ( 17 points)
1 Tycho Celchu ( 16 points)
1 Jan Ors ( 19 points)
1 Luke Skywalker ( 20 points)
1 Wedge Antilles ( 19 points)
1 Gold Squadron ( 12 points)
1 Dagger Squadron ( 15 points)
1 Green Squadron ( 12 points)

Card view link

This is a fairly standard Rieekan "ace holes" fleet that is trying to leverage its zombie unique squadrons (every single one!) to just keep pushing damage into enemy ships (and squadrons that get too close). Of the 8 squadrons in the fleet, 6 are bombers. The objective selection is the "unholy trinity" of bomber objectives. This fleet wants to go second and has a 6 point bid to do so. It wants to go second for a few reasons:
  1. Rieekan doesn't mind going second. Due to his ability, Rieekan's just fine being second player. He can still get use from a ship that normally would've been punched out during the first activation and the same is true of his squadrons. Much (but not all) of the first player benefit is being able to potentially destroy troublesome enemy assets before they can do anything and Rieekan just shrugs at that.
  2. The objective suite is just horrendous for most enemy fleets.
    • Precision Strike against a fleet with an Assault Proton Torpedo MC30 and 6 bomber squadrons backed up with Bomber Command Centers can get ugly quickly. The MC30 can trigger Precision Strike several times throughout a game due to the Assault Proton Torpedoes and once a ship's shields drop, the bombers will turn it into a points piñata.
    • Fighter Ambush is effectively a more focused Precision Strike - the MC30 won't be able to take advantage of it, but enemy fleets without a serious squadron investment won't be able to contest you on this objective at all - it's nothing but points potential for the Rieekan fleet in most match-ups.
    • Superior Positions offers the double-trouble of allowing Rieekan's fleet to set up once the entire first player fleet is deployed as well as offering a lot of points for Rieekan's zombie-capable squadrons to keep attacking rear hull zones once the fight begins.
The fleet is relying on its squadron presence keeping it from having Precision Strike or Superior Positions used against it (as Rieekan's zombie ships can themselves turn into points  piñatas on occasion) but it's a fairly safe bet in most circumstances.


3) A fleet that would like to have some flexibility in choosing its player order against maxed-point fleets

Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 398/400

Commander: Admiral Ackbar
Assault Objective: Advanced Gunnery
Defense Objective: Fire Lanes
Navigation Objective: Intel Sweep

[ flagship ] MC80 Assault Cruiser (114 points)
-  Admiral Ackbar  ( 38  points)
Defiance  ( 5  points)
-  Walex Blissex  ( 5  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  X17 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
= 192 total ship cost

MC30c Scout Frigate (69 points)
Foresight  ( 8  points)
-  Skilled First Officer  ( 1  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
= 92 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Ahsoka Tano  ( 2  points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 22 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 20 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 20 total ship cost

2 A-Wing Squadrons ( 22 points)
2 VCX-100 Freighters ( 30 points)

This is a very similar version of a fleet that won a few early 2017 Regionals featuring the Ackbar super pickle HMC80 with an MC30 buddy and 3 GR75 helpers. It has a strong objective suite - with the Strategic VCX-100s, you've got Intel Sweep and Fire Lanes on lockdown and Advanced Gunnery on that HMC80 gets ugly. With a 2 point bid, it will choose player order against 399 or 400 point fleets (which are very common). Against fleets where it thinks its objective suite will be particularly deadly without causing any problems for the Ackbar fleet, it can choose to go second. It will also choose to go second against fleets where it suspects the other player's objectives could be trouble (say, for example, against a bomber-heavy fleet similar to the Rieekan fleet above but built to 399 or 400 points) and therefore it would prefer to avoid them. It will choose to go first when it sees an advantage to doing so and believes that the other player's objectives will have at least one easy pick (which, with the two Strategic squadrons, is more likely than you would think).

This kind of fleet could easily be built to the full 400 points if the player wished, as it could do fine as first or second player without worrying too much about it, but the small bid gives it a lot more control against other fleets built to the full value. Whether the 2 point bid is worth it would likely depend on the bid meta of that community, but it has potential.

Final thoughts
Hopefully the examples helped communicate some of the points from the previous article. There are tons of examples one could use for these different bidding strategies, so please don't treat the examples as the only ways to do it (much less the best ways). If you have any questions or comments, let us know!