Friday, June 9, 2017

Support Team Upgrades

So with Wave 5 done, and some experience with wave 6 yet, we can focus on hitting some of the other aspects of Armada.  We've got a fair amount left to cover, so today I'm going to focus on the potential Support Team Upgrades.  The best part is that I don't have to wait until Wave 6 for any of these; we can work off everything released so far!
What's that Ma'am? You say Demolisher is OP? Yes, that is troubling, please remain on the line.
Let's hop right into it.
That is not OSHA safe! Don't remove your goggles while welding, lady!
So the gold standard for support teams is Engine Techs.  Giving you an extra joint of speed means you can have Gladiators moving at speed "4," CR90s at speed "5," and HMC80s at speed "3."  That extra joint means so much, as it improves Gladiators' chances of double-arcing, the HMC80 gets much less predictable in its final location/lets you turn just a little more and a little faster, or gets that CR90 out of range right after getting into it.

The OTHER fun thing you can do with Engine Techs is after you ram someone, you can ram them AGAIN to deal them ANOTHER damage.  This is why Engine Techs is not allowed on Hammerheads, haha.  Some people may not necessarily like this strategy, but A) it's a valid strategy and B) your opponents are going to use it, you better learn it as well.  It's super fun at finishing off flotillas or ships that just need a few more damage points on them.

The highlight of the Engine Tech ram is the CR90B.  Often called the CRam90, or "Crambo," you put Engine Techs and Reinforced Blast Doors on a basic CR90B.  Launching yourself at speed 5 across the table into another ship to ram it, potentially twice, triggering all that ram damage is a wonderful way to finish off a flotilla, especially a lifeboat one.  You can also put significant damage onto some heavier ships with it, just make sure you don't try to bite off more than you can chew with it.  The blue dice it throws can also contribute to your ramming and murder spree, but they're not as important as the 4 ram damage.  That's half an HMC80 or VSD!
First Blood is actually a super good movie, albeit hard to watch.  Vietnam vets get treated like crap, it's pretty sad.
The last note I'll make is that Engine Techs just allows a Speed 1 maneuver.  So, your Gladiator gets 2 clicks.  Your MC80 only gets 1, no matter what you do or want.  This is after the regular maneuver step, so Madine doesn't trigger, nor can you spend the extra click you got from a navigation dial.  Keep that in mind when you're using this.
You can tell the Mon Cal is in charge because his desk is facing a different way than the other guys.
Projection Experts is something that I think is finally coming into its own.  The card basically describes it, but you can push your shields to someone else, giving them more survivability (thanks to the new FAQ, you can also use it to push shields into the empty zones of Aspiration, just not past its base value).  As shields are generally better than hull (redirects stop working when you're out of shields), restoring the shields on ships with redirects keeps them alive much longer.  Or you can put more shields back in the front and side of the Nebulon B, because it doesn't like taking damage.  Of course, by doing this all, you're removing shields from your own ship, which means you're robbing Peter to pay Paul.  Stupid Paul, taking damage like that.

You can use the REST of your engineering points (hope its 4!) to restore a shield to your own ship, which is somewhat helpful, but you're still technically down shields.  Keep this on a ship in the back that won't be taking fire until later in the game and you can work around this, somewhat.  The BEST way to get use out of this is on some sort of ship with Engineering 4 that you can fire this off with a token, giving you 6 engineering points that turn.  With 2/6 you push 2 shields onto someone else, and the remaining 4 let you restore your own shields.  You can do this with Raymus Antilles, but that's 7 points JUST dedicated to restoring shields.  If only there was a different way.....
Who's leaving pictures of Leia Organa for some reason?
Also fun is combining Projection Experts with a Shields to Maximum! Pelta or Cymoon ISD, as you can then restore 3 shields on ships per turn.  And with the Hammerhead shielding being so light, this is a pretty fun way of keeping them alive even longer.
See, she has her goggles on.  Safety is important!  I think it's a she.  Could be Skrillex.  Has anyone seen my bass?
Engineering Team is relatively straightforward.  When you Engineer, through token or dial, gain an extra point.  This doesn't stack if you use both token and dial.  This is super fun combined with the Redemption, as that DOES stack.  Getting 2 extra Engineering points a turn can mean the difference between removing 2 damage or just removing 1, but even 1 means that your Nebulon B always has Engineering 3 (Token gets half value, which turns 3 into 2, and then you add 1, bringing it back to 3).  Even if you only get 1 extra point and you need all your others for restoring shields or healing damage, you can use that extra point to push a shield around from a side you're NOT getting attacked on.  If you're running a slew of Nebulon B's, it's not a bad inclusion for them.
This will be the best Sim City game ever!
Nav Team is half of Madine's ability.  It doesn't stack with him.  It DOES let your non-Madine commanded LMC80s turn better though.  It also seems like it may be helpful in certain Leia builds, as you may not often want to change your speed by 2 (maybe on the hammerheads, sure, but not necessarily on the Nebulons or some of the other ships you end up using) but you DO want to turn harder.  It won't need to be on every ship, but if you're centered around turning better, go for it.  On H1MC80s and Peltas I like Engine Techs more, myself.  But Nebulon B's and LMC80s (stuff that has a "front towards enemy" mindset) can go for this, as can a CR90 that wants to turn SUPER sharp and start harassing your opponent.
If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.  "Euugh."
Fighter Coordination Team is a great way to move squadrons into position.  Thanks to the recent FAQ, however, you can't use this ability and Yavaris's ability on the same turn.  You can put it on Yavaris, and it still triggers on squadrons that you're not double-tapping, just not those double taps.  You can double tap with some squadrons and then move a few others as well to fire next turn.  You can ALSO put them on a Pelta or MC80 to move those squadrons into position and then let Yavaris trigger as well.  And frankly, I'll still probably put it on Yavaris itself.  I can't use it to bump squadrons into position this turn, but 3 points to move B-wings distance 1 on turn 1 and possibly turn 2? Sounds good, man.

It's a great upgrade, just make sure you put it on a ship that is at least squadrons 2, else you're really not getting a good use out of it. You can also put it on an Independence build, just moving along 4 fighters before you then fire them speed 4 ahead.  FCT works great with B-wings, or if you're an Imperial, YV-666s on the Interdictor.  You can, I suppose, put it on an Arquitens or the Gladiator, but that's a lot of extra points and you're in the Engine Techs slot, respectively.  Engine Techs comes stapled to the Gladiator.  You CAN try something new and wacky where you DON'T have Engine Techs in the Gladiator's Support Team slot, but I'm gonna judge you.  I don't even PLAY that side and I'm judging you.
I can't believe they put FCT on a ship and then never commanded a squadron with it.
I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV!
Medical Team, our last upgrade, is only a point.  And it gets rid of any Crew damage cards.  What this cancels out specifically:
  • Compartment Fire x2 - You cannot ready your defense tokens 
  • Crew Panic x2 - Before revealing your command dial, discard it with no effect, or reveal it, but take one damage 
  • Blinded Gunners x2 - You cannot spend Accuracy rolls while attacking 
  • Comm Noise x2 - Your opponent may either reduce speed by 1 or choose a new command on your command dial, then flip face down 
  • Life Support Failure x2 - Discard all command tokens, you may not have any command tokens 
  • Damaged Controls x2 - When you overlap a ship or obstacle, deal a face down damage card to your ship (in addition to all other obstacle effects) 
  • Injured Crew x4 - Choose and discard 1 of your defensive tokens, then flip this card facedown
16 damage cards out of a total of 52 cards, so it's about a 30% chance this will help you.  With the exception of Comms Noise and Life Support Failure, these aren't the most devastating of crits, but they are troublesome.  The ability to just cancel them out though is super nice.  Your opponent doesn't get to add in another one or replace it or anything like that, you just cancelled it.  This can shut down APT crits, or even prevent you from taking that final damage needed to kill you.  Is it an auto-include? No.  Can it be fun if you have a point leftover? Yeah, definitely. Its best usage may be in allowing you to yell lines like "They hit the medical frigate!" and "We're on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan!" And to ME, that can easily be worth a point in my list, haha

Don't expect it to save everything, but you'll remember the games where it helps more than it hurts you.  If you fly badly, it's not going to matter, but it can pull your bacon out of the fire if something goes slightly bad.
Viva la Baco-lution!


  1. The new faq makes engine techs on Demolisher less effective sadly ...

    1. Good catch and I've amended that for John. It's still possible for Demolisher to attack on the first turn, but no longer does that have anything to do with Engine Techs. I still consider Engine Techs a top-notch upgrade on Gladiators (and some other ships), but the synergy with Demolisher is no longer so powerful.

    2. I also want to add that it feels like a week or two after John and I think we've caught everything related to the errata change, something new always pops up to make us feel foolish, haha.