Monday, April 24, 2017

Imperial ship review: Interdictor cruiser

We've made it to wave 4! I mean to be fair, waves 3 and 4 are basically the exact same wave because they came out together, but... technically it's wave 4!

Oh hello there, I didn't notice you getting choke-slammed out of hyperspace!
So in Armada, the Interdictor is a cruiser that seems to be very similarly-sized to a Victory-class Star Destroyer. This is a bit different for those of you used to Immobilizers and Interdictors from the old EU days, but hey whatever. The important thing is it's a triangle and it has weird gravity balls.

Team America: World Police gets where I'm coming from.


Okay so like most ships your two Interdictor variants have a large amount of overlap. Some highlights:
  • A high points cost at 90-93 base points. The Interdictor starts off just slightly cheaper than a Liberty-style MC80 (large ship!) and is the most expensive medium ship in the game thus far.
  • A very high 9 hull points, tied for the second-highest in the game (behind only the ISD) and an extremely high amount for a medium base ship.
  • A competitive Command 2, which is the lowest Command value for a medium ship, making it much less cumbersome in its command requirements than other medium or larger ships.
  • An extremely high (best in the game) Engineering 5, which makes it the champion of repair commands. A repair token even gives you 3 repair points, which is an awful lot. Spent together, a repair dial+token is an amazing 8 repair points!
  • 4 defense tokens, although keep in mind 2 of those are contain, the weakest defense token.
  • A low maximum speed of 2. The good news is it has one click of yaw on each movement joint at speed 2, making better at maneuvering than the VSD at the very least.
  • Squadrons 2, which is adequate but not great for its cost. It's not really a capable carrier all things considered but it can pitch in on a crucial turn or two more frequently than the Squadrons 2 Gladiators will.
  • 9 total shields, which are just a smidgen on the low end for an Imperial vessel of its size but combined with its 9 hull it has the same total durability as a Victory-class Star Destroyer with 18 combined shields+hull. The two contain tokens help keep this from being too much of a liability by making attacks that hit the hull unlikely to resolve the standard critical effect.
  • Experimental retrofit slots, which we'll be covering below. Unique upgrades are always exciting!
Basic usage recommendations
First and foremost, it's clear that compared to ships in a similar points bracket that the Interdictor has some selling points but it's not wowing anyone with its raw combat power. With that established, always fill all of your Interdictor's experimental retrofit slots. Always. The Interdictor is counting on applying those unique upgrades to justify its cost increase over a Victory-class Star Destroyer. Effectively, a portion of each experimental retrofit's costs are subsidized into the base cost of the Interdictor. Please use them. Yes, we're getting to them! Be patient 😉.

Second, double-arcing is important. The front arc of an Interdictor is mediocre but the side arcs are better than usual for an Imperial ship of its size. A front arc+side arc is substantially better against most targets and brings your total offensive output up to the same level as a double-arcing VSD or the same total number of dice as the front arc of an Imperial-class Star Destroyer, and coming in two smaller, more annoying, packages. This is extra important given the Interdictor lacks a weapon team slot for using things like Gunnery Teams so getting both of your attacks whenever possible, and preferably against the same target, is important.
Immortan Joe is not impressed with only getting one attack!
Repair commands can be quite effective with an Interdictor and especially so when you have a reliable means of getting repair tokens (from Tarkin, Wulff Yularen, or a Comms Net Gozanti, for example) to use in addition to your repair dial for 8 repair points. The Interdictor is lacking in offensive power but it can definitely tank attacks better than many other ships, so repair commands are often more appealing for it than on other ships.

Because many of the Interdictor experimental retrofits affect enemy ship speed (during play or deployment) and/or alter obstacle placement, Interdictors can give you a leg up in objective play when equipped properly. It can be worth making a small bid for second player when using an Interdictor set up to strongly play the objective game and to consider those objectives carefully so they synergize with your experimental retrofit suite.

In short, the Interdictor is more of a support/denial ship with some combat and repair options and getting use from its support/denial upgrades will determine whether it was a useful inclusion for your fleet. As a quick side note, it does prevent enemy fleets from jumping to hyperspace in Corellian Conflict, which gives it more strategic importance there. We won't be covering CC in this article, but it's even better in that format.

Title
 It has only one, and the name is not imaginative!
"So did you mean the Interdictor Interdictor or an Interdictor Interdictor?"

As usual when discussing upgrade cards, let's discuss some particulars on how this works:
  • The ability triggers upon the activation of any ship at all anywhere in the game (including the Interdictor itself). This means at the start of the activation, not during the activation.
  • The Interdictor title itself is exhausted (taps, for you MtG-familiar folks out there) to ready (untap!) 1 other (non-Interdictor) card equipped to the Interdictor ("this ship").
In short, the Interdictor title is swell when you've equipped an exhaust-to-use upgrade to the Interdictor that can be used during other ships' activations. That would normally include two of the experimental retrofits but can also include Electronic Countermeasures equipped to the ship through Minister Tua, for example. Because it only works at the start of an activation, it won't let you double-use cards that exhaust to gain an effect during your activation such as Intel Officer or Engine Techs or the like. I highly recommend using it if you have a card like Target Scramblers, G-8 Experimental Projector, or Captain Brunson equipped to your Interdictor.

Experimental retrofits
Because the Interdictor's usefulness is based strongly around what experimental retrofit it's equipped with and it's the only ship in the game (...for now) that can use them, we should talk about them before going any further.

Just make sure to install that hobbit-proof fencing. They seem to keep showing up and throwing rings into it.
The G7-X Grav Well Projector messes with ship deployment speed. There are a lot of things to note about its effect:
  • You place the token after deploying obstacles but before deploying fleets. This allows you to see what places are more favorable for opponent deployment and mess with them.
  • The token can go anywhere in the play area. Normally due to its effect range, it's best to place it at your opponent's distance 3 deployment line (see the example below).
    • In the case of Fleet Ambush it can be great fun to put the token in the ambush zone.
  • The effect applies to any ship that deploys, even later in the game. Normally this is pointless after fleet deployment (and the tokens can be removed once the first turn starts), but when a ship deploys due to Hyperspace Assault or Admiral Raddus or the Profundity title, the G7-X grav well token can make it speed 0! Sneaky!
  • Remember that the effect applies to any ship"at" distance 1-3 rather than "within," which means if even a tiny piece of the ship is in the debuff zone, speed 0.
  • You can use the G7-X on your own ships if for some reason you want to be allowed to deploy your ships at speed 0 (normally the minimum is 1).
The important thing to note about its ability is that the token projects an extremely large circle of "you'll be sad if you deploy here."

For the strongest example, here is a deployment zone with two G7-X tokens in it (which would require two Interdictors, but bear with me), with the red circles representing the "speed 0 zone." Because the token measures distance 1-3 in a radius, the total circle is over one foot in diameter: it takes up a considerable amount of real estate and will tell the opposing player 1/3 of their deployment zone is rather unpleasant to put ships in. Many players will avoid the circle entirely, but if you don't have a way to really punish your opponent for starting at speed 0, clever opponents may be willing to accept starting at speed 0 in the bubble and deploy their entire fleet there (or most of it, with nearby ships starting at speed 1). This will delay when your fleets start fighting by about one round, but in some cases, that's not a big problem and can actually be beneficial in a way, so make sure if you're using the G7-X that you give your opponent a good reason to want to avoid that circle: good examples would be because it delays reaching a scoring objective or because your speedier elements will be able to quickly outflank (or in some cases, even attack) his slow ships very early.

In short, the G7-X is helpful for a number of reasons but like many of the other experimental retrofits, it shines when used in objective play, so try to leverage that to the best of your ability by choosing objectives that synergize with it.
"Wait, slow down just a moment - did the Imperials put a glowing brassiere on their ship?"
The G-8 Experimental Projector also gets some bullet points! Bullet points for everything!
  • The exact timing trigger for this one was uncertain until the FAQ resolved it: if you intend to use the G-8 you must do so at the beginning of an opponent's ship's Determine Course step. Your opponent then gets to decide if and how he wants to spend his navigate tokens/dials in response to the G-8 going off.
  • Remember that the speed debuff is temporary. It's only in effect for that one maneuver then the speed reverts back to normal.
    • That means that if you're moving at maximum speed and the G-8s slow you down, you can spend a navigate dial/token to bring you back up to maximum speed, because, for that maneuver at the very least, you are below your maximum speed and can increase your speed using a navigate command. At the conclusion of the maneuver, your temporary speed reduction will expire and the game will try to set your speed to above its maximum and then fail, leaving you remaining at full speed.
      • There is nothing in the G-8s that prevent this from happening. If the G-8s were written differently with text that said something like "the targeted ship treats is speed as one less than its current speed for its upcoming maneuver," then it would be different, but it doesn't.
The G-8s are primarily useful for speed-control and are usually seen in a fleet using Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams and/or Konstantine. The end goal is usually to focus-slow specific ships down so they're stuck going speed 1 or speed 0 rather than their desired speed. The strategy often works better with a Slicer Tools Gozanti around to stop the prey from queuing up a navigate command to speed up out of danger. It's a fair amount of setup in terms of both points spent and coordination, so there needs to be some kind of strong benefit you can derive from all the speed-screwage, which is usually lacking in speed control fleets (more on that in the Konstantine article if you're interested).

Because the G-8 Experimental Projector exhausts to use during an opponent's activation, it enjoys being paired with the Interdictor title so you can use it twice in a turn.

Unknown to most Imperial crew members, the Interdictor's systems are secretly powered by a droid rave happening deep within the ship.
The droid rave is fueled by bullet points!
  • The timing windows on Grav Shift Reroute (hereafter GSR) are very important:
    • The GSR token is placed after deploying obstacles and before deploying fleets. This means you can premeasure to get the most obstacles of interest in your GSR bubble and then put the token down.
    • The actual movement of obstacles happens after deploying fleets. All your opponent knows during deployment is that there is a token on the table and which obstacles it can affect. This can be extremely nerve-wracking and sometimes very powerful in actual implementation.
  • When moving obstacles, keep in mind that the obstacle itself can be moved to within distance 2. This means you need to be sure that despite any repositioning or turning of the obstacle, its end position doesn't have any protrusions that made any part of it move beyond distance 2. If you intend to reposition/turn the obstacle, I find it helps to measure from the current obstacle distance 2 in the direction you want it to go and then you can spin it around a bit but ensure it doesn't go past that distance 2 line.
    • Another thing to note about moving obstacles is they can move in whatever direction you like so long as they're within the GSR token bubble. You can pull them together, push them apart, shove them wherever. Just make sure the obstacle stays within 2 of its original position is all.
  • In instances where obstacles have tokens on top of them (like Dangerous Territory), the tokens come along for the ride. Just make sure not to move obstacles on top of tokens already on the table, as that's specifically disallowed.
Okay, so Grav Shift Reroute is amazing. So amazing that they made it unique so you couldn't use it twice. It's extremely cheap and its effect is surprisingly powerful. You can use it to throw obstacles into inconvenient places for your opponent after he's done with deployment, you can also/instead use it to clear obstacles out of your own fleet's way (allowing you to deploy in places your opponent may not have expected), and you can use it to pull objective obstacles (like the Contested Outpost station) into more advantageous positions for you, which can be very strong. It's an unexpectedly powerful upgrade in practice and it's effectively my default first Interdictor experimental retrofit purchase in most cases. Don't neglect to deploy obstacles within distance 3 of a central point to get the most mileage from GSR - it's not uncommon for it to affect 3 or 4 obstacles in a given game if you keep your obstacles roughly within that large bubble along with 1 or more opponent obstacles. For example:

In the above example, four obstacles are covered in the distance 3 bubble of the GSR effect. You and your opponent would both deploy your fleets like usual and then afterward, you would get to mess with the final positioning of four different obstacles. In general I'd be looking to move the debris field and asteroids near the opponent's deployment zone into the paths of his deployed ships (by moving them up and/or sideways). The asteroids closer to my deployment zone would either be added to the mess of those other two obstacles or shoved out of my way to the side, depending. The station would get moved to a more convenient location for me. And that all happens after fleet deployment. It can be pretty decisive.

Man, EPCOT got weird.
Targeting Scrambler is a bit more straightforward but... bullet points regardless:
  • The Interdictor is a friendly ship to itself, you can use it on your own Interdictor
  • It's important to distinguish that the friendly ship needs to be at distance 1-3 of the Interdictor and the attack against it needs to be at close range. You need both of these elements to be true to use the Targeting Scrambler.
  • Because it triggers during the Spend Defense Tokens step, I recommend using the Targeting Scrambler first and then deciding what other tokens to spend once you see how the rerolled dice turn out.
As usual with any effects that allow you to reroll opponent's dice: be careful. You may reroll into something worse if you get too reckless. Priority targets are dice that cannot get any worse (black or red dice inflicting two damage) and secondary targets are blue dice in general (as there's a 25% chance they'll turn out to be a useless accuracy result). Rerolling dice that could get worse is always a gamble (so red or black dice with one hit), so be careful.

With all that said, Targeting Scrambler is a solid upgrade in the right kind of fleet where you expect to be taking fire at short range and it can really do a number against ships like MC30s or Gladiators that were planning on doing some serious crit-enabled burst damage at short range, reducing their damage significantly by (hopefully) rerolling crits into non-crits and turning off their black crit upgrades. Worst case, it's helpful for preventing some damage from enemy bombers by forcing B-Wings and the like to reroll particularly strong attacks.

Targeting Scrambler enjoys being used with the Interdictor title for the same reason as the G-8 Experimental Projector - being able to use it twice in a turn (in two separate enemy activations, mind you) can be quite powerful for reducing incoming damage to your fleet.

I'll get you, space frisbee!
Interdictor Suppression Refit
The Suppression Refit is my opinion the default Interdictor chassis. I feel this way because it is slightly cheaper than the Combat Refit, access to Disposable Capacitors (for only 3 points, bringing it up to the cost of the Combat Refit) largely removes the benefit of the Combat Refit's edge at long range, and it has access to two experimental retrofit slots. Given experimental retrofit upgrades are one of the strongest reasons for including an Interdictor in your fleet, having access to two of them is pretty appealing. We've talked a lot about the experimental retrofits above as well as some basics of Interdictor use and those all apply here.

Upgrades
Offensive Retrofit slot
You need a good argument not to fill this slot with Disposable Capacitors. For a very affordable 3 points, your Interdictor can once per game use its blue dice against ships at long range. This allows your Interdictor to start seriously contributing to combat one turn earlier, to some extent improving its otherwise-mediocre combat performance

Ion Cannon slot
Because the Suppressor Refit is packing a decent number of blue dice, would like some extra oomph in the aggro department, and should preferably be double-arcing, it's recommended to treat it as an oversized CR90B and equip it with SW-7 Ion Batteries or Heavy Ion Emplacements. The SW-7s have the benefit of being cheaper and more reliable if you just want the Interdictor contributing regular amounts of moderate damage that's awkward to use defense tokens again. The Heavy Ion Emplacements have the benefit of being able to add an explosive burst of damage against shielded enemies, which can help set up tougher enemy ships for subsequent attacks from other sources or even future double-arcs from the same Interdictor which will start hitting the hull quickly.

Support Team slot
It's rare for Imperial ships to get access to this slot at all and the Interdictor has a lot more meaningful options with it than you'd first think. I generally recommend two of them (although you can definitely make others work), and the primary recommendation is Engine Techs, which offer access to an extra click of yaw and accompanying speed-1 maneuver when used, which can provide the normally-sluggish Interdictor with a welcome burst of speed and some tighter turning to line up double-arcs. It also allows for double-ramming,which can be very appealing when you're sitting comfortable with 9 hull. Otherwise, Projection Experts have some value in the Interdoctor build, which we'll be getting to shortly.

Officer slot
You have a lot of good options here, both Imperial-specific and generic. A few that come to mind immediately:

Wulff Yularen is great for on-demand token regeneration, usually to help feed whichever command-specific support crew upgrade you're using, although Taskmaster Grint can fulfill a similar if more limited role more cheaply. Commandant Aresko can find a welcome home as an officer on an Interdictor with the Interdictor title, as you can use his ability up to twice per round to get some free command tokens. The only issue with Aresko is you need to be careful to stay near friends and it helps if those friends are usually doing commands the Interdictor wants tokens from (but free tokens are still good, really, it's just Wulff is usually better unless you're getting tokens you actually want with Aresko).

If you'd like to make the Interdictor even tankier, you have a lot of good options there too. Minister Tua allows you to equip a defensive retrofit (I would recommend Electronic Countermeasures, especially with the Interdictor title) for even more tankiness. The Damage Control Officer is solid on an Interdictor due to its two contain defense tokens - you can substantially reduce damage from a wide variety of non-standard critical effects. I saved my favorite for last - if you're using Grav Shift Reroute in my expensive "Tanky Tech Triangle" build, I highly recommend Captain Brunson.

Failing all that you can always use every Command 2 ship's favorite "might as well" officer, the Skilled First Officer.

Builds
Objectives lock-down
Grav Shift Reroute + G7 Grav Well Projector + Disposable Capacitors
These two experimental retrofits go well together for making objectives relying on obstacles quite strong for you. You can include other elements in as you please, but these two are the cornerstone. You can include Admiral Titus on another ship (I'd use a different officer for the Interdictor) to further mess with enemy speed early on while you lock down your objective points.

Interdoctor
Wulff Yularen or Taskmaster Grint + Projection Experts + Targeting Scrambler + Interdictor title + Disposable Capacitors
The "Interdoctor" is all about making life easier for your nearby ships and increasing your tankiness. With Wulff Yularen able to provide an infinite repair token + a repair dial, you can use Projection Experts to send 2 shields out to help other ships and still have 6 repair points left to regenerate 3 shields of your own. Combine that with Targeting Scrambler and your Interdoctor can be a potent source of damage prevention for your fleet. This build works fine with either Interdictor chassis given the only requirement for experimental retrofits is the Targeting Scrambler. If you're using it on a Suppressor Refit, fill the remaining slot with whichever experimental retrofit you prefer. When using this build with Tarkin, you won't need Wulff for the tokens so replace him with another defensive officer.

Tanky Tech Triangle
Interdictor title + Grav Shift Reroute + Targeting Scrambler + Captain Brunson + Heavy Ion Emplacements + Engine Techs + Disposable Capacitors
This build is not cheap at 125 points, but you get one of the tankiest ships in the game that doesn't need to rely on defense tokens, should your meta be loaded with lots of anti-defense-token tech. Simply put, you're looking to arrange obstacles in such a fashion that you can benefit from Brunson all game while throwing a hurdle or two in front of enemy ships. With Engine Techs, you can line up double-arcs (to get those Heavy Ion Emplacement crits in pretty reliably, starting at long range due to Disposable Capacitors) and rush into close range when it benefits you to use Targeting Scramblers (this trick is great against ships that were going to be unloading at you with full dice at medium range anyways - you might as well get a reroll in there, right?). With the Interdictor title you can refresh Targeting Scrambler or Brunson (depending on which one you need most) between activations.

Pew pew pew! I hate MC30s!
Interdictor Combat Refit 
For +3 points, the Combat Refit differs from the Suppressor Refit in a few ways:
  • Replaces 1 anti-ship blue die in the front and side arcs with a red die
  • Gains a black die for its flak
  • Loses one experimental retrofit slot
I can't recommend this Interdictor chassis, I'm afraid. With Disposable Capacitors offering a cheap method for the standard Suppressor Interdictor to lob its blue dice at long range once a game, the Combat Refit's "upgraded" red die in its front and side arcs isn't terribly impressive. Even worse, it is no longer reliable at triggering blue critical effects or worth using SW-7 Ion Batteries on either, so ion cannon upgrades are worse on it than the cheaper Suppressor variant. You're also giving up an experimental retrofit slot, which is awful. That's not worth the black flak die.

On a side note, I can't figure out why FFG removed an experimental retrofit slot and didn't replace it with some other kind of upgrade slot. If they had given the Combat Refit a turbolaser or defensive retrofit slot, for example, I wouldn't be so down on the the poor thing.

Upgrades
Desirable upgrades are pretty much the same as the Suppressor variant, only with a special focus on how much worse the ion cannon choices become for no real gain in efficacy. Overall, I'd recommend leaving the Ion Cannon slot empty on a Combat Refit. If you'd like to put something there anyways, then I'd recommend High Capacity Ion Turbines to add an extra blue die to the side arcs, but you really should just go back to the Suppressor variant.

Builds
If you have an Interdictor build in mind that only requires one experimental retrofit and doesn't want any others (some Interdoctor builds, perhaps), then it can still work on a Combat Refit Interdictor. I don't recommend it, but it can be done.

Commanders that synergize with Interdictors 
Admiral Motti
Bringing the Interdictor up to 11 hull makes it a rather serious problem to remove, especially when that Interdictor equips a defensive officer and/or is using Targeting Scrambler. Make it a full-fledged Interdoctor and you've got a ship that makes killing Motti's ships even tougher than usual. The main downside is you can find your fleet particularly slow (say you're using VSDs and Interdictors), but with good objective choice and something like Grav Shift Reroute added in you can hopefully get some benefit from a small bid for second player.

Grand Moff Tarkin
Because Grand Moff Tarkin can run a variety of fleets, there's a few different ways to use Interdictors with him. My favorite is running an Interdoctor build and having Tarkin spam repair tokens later on. With a whole fleet repairing continuously, it can be difficult to crack through into your heavier ships. I won't claim this particular combination is top tier, but it is fun.


Darth Vader
Vader at first seems an odd choice here, but he actually works fairly well with an Interdictor. Because the Interdictor has 2 contains to spend for rerolls, Vader can get blue critical upgrades like Heavy Ion Emplacements to fire pretty consistently. This combined with rerolling blank red dice and in most cases accuracy results from both dice colors ups the damage output of the Interdictor fairly well. The Interdictor itself can also add some fun tricks to Vader's fleet, making it a bit more nuanced. Good uses of Targeting Scrambler can also allow some of your ships to avoid problems caused by exhausted defense tokens due to Vader whipping the crews into shape. The main problem with this combination is the expense (Tarkin has this issue too): Vader himself is an expensive commander and the Interdictor is a relatively expensive ship that punches below its weight class. It can be tough to get a fleet that feels "complete" at 400 points here. At 500+ points, it's much less of an issue.

Admiral Screed
An Interdictor, especially something heavily fortified like the "Tanky Tech Triangle" build, can function as a capable flagship for Screed. Screed can get your Heavy Ion Emplacements triggering every round and dropping shields so his cheaper black-dice ships can run in with Assault Concussion Missiles and give someone a very bad day. Targeting Scrambler can also be quite helpful at keeping your Gladiators and the like alive when they come up against serious opposition.

Admiral Sloane
It seems like a weird pairing, but hear me out: Sloane's squadrons want to go after unshielded hull zones to help accelerate the process of discarding redirect tokens. The Interdictor itself wants to go after ships without brace tokens so its Heavy Ion Emplacements can rapidly remove shields and then the Interdictor can start funneling damage directly into the hull without interference. Although the Interdictor itself is mediocre as a carrier, adequate carrier support external to the Interdictor can allow a Sloane Interdictor fleet to do very well - if the Sloane squadrons get to the target first, they will try to strip the brace token. If the Interdictor gets to the target first, it will try to strip the shields. And with a "Tanky Tech Triangle" -style build, it can be difficult to remove Sloane from the board as quickly as your opponent would prefer, keeping her squadron buff going for several rounds.

Final thoughts
The Interdictor used to be a fairly mediocre ship, but wave 7 has redeemed it with Heavy Ion Emplacements and Captain Brunson, giving it options for defense-token-independent tankiness and shield-stripping burst damage it lacked before. I no longer discourage its use in competitive play. Give it another try if you haven't already!

19 comments:

  1. I would add two more roles for an Interdictor:
    1. Admiral's boat for protecting expensive admiral (think Vader/Tarkin).
    2. Antisquadron ship - Combat Interdictor with Agent Kallus (and QLT to punish double-taps) is pretty solid.

    The hidden gem in an Interdictor fleet is Advanced Gunnery as it turns Interdictor into ISD2-lite.

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    1. 1) I don't disagree that it's an adequate flagship, especially with a defensive officer on board. I'm not really sure that's a separate role entirely so much as an option, but that's splitting hairs mostly.
      2) I'm not really sold as a flak ship compared to something more committed like a Raider. It certainly isn't bad at black+blue (better than a VSD for sure!) but I personally wouldn't recommend configuring it to focus on flakking.

      Re: Advanced Gunnery
      I have a bit of a mixed mindset on that. On one hand you're absolutely right that AG makes the Interdictor much more reliable as a damage dealer and less reliant on double-arcing. Eating 4 dice in two helpings is even meaner than eating 8 dice all at once (from an ISD). I am hesitant because doubling the base points cost of the Interdictor if it's destroyed is a lot of extra points (90 or 93) and I'm skeptical that the extra offensive output is worth that additional trouble. It's definitely an interesting idea, I just have my concerns is all.

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    2. In my experience Interdictor as a flak ship (in one of the roles) with Kallus is threatening enough given that it covers the main weakness of Raider flak - being dead before it can deliver that great flak shot.

      For Adv Gunnery the base point cost is big but it still doesn't reach ISD2 levels and Interdictor is still not that easy to kill, so in a right kind of a fleet it is a good play (again in my experience)

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    3. Re: flak
      It's still not nearly as maneuverable as a Raider, though, and I just don't find it nearly as consistent. Getting the black dice in particular is iffy (but nice when it does happen). I also freely admit to being mildly obsessed with Raiders and while I've definitely had Raiders shot out from under me in games by bombers it doesn't happen to me too frequently before they get in at least one serious round of flakking.

      With the Quasar coming out in a bit over a month, I'm looking forward to seeing if the longer-ranged (red flak dice!) Quasar will be a good non-Raider fit with Kallus for flak shenanigans.

      Re: Advanced Gunnery
      I understand where you're coming from, it's just the downsides leave me concerned is all. With a properly defensive officer (Tua+ECMs or damage control officer or Wulff endless repair token or some such) I'd feel more comfortable with it, I'm sure. I'm also a bit leery about letting Rebel fleets with HMC80s get access to Advanced Gunnery, as HMC80s are making a comeback presently, haha.

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  2. A few points for Targeting Scrambler:

    Yes, you could reroll a Red Die on a Hit / Critical Result into a Double Hit Result. But you are far more likely to roll a Blank / Accuracy Result (remember this is the Spend Defense Tokens step, so Accuracy results are wasted and can't be used). The odds of a "better" result is 3/8, while the odds of a "worse" result is 1/8. To put things another way - every red die has a .75 expected damage result per roll. If you have a hit / critical result showing, you are above average! Play those odds!

    On the other hand, Black Dice average out to 1 damage / .25 critical results. If the opponent has a good critical effect they want to use on you, you should only be rerolling the Hit + Critical Results, as only 2 damage is higher than expected average. If they do not have a usable critical effect, it still doesn't really benefit you on average to reroll Black Dice, though technically it doesn't hurt either - so only reroll if you need to avoid a specific amount of damage to save your ship.

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    Replies
    1. That's true, and I was considering going into the averages for dice but then it occurred to me that it would make the article even longer, haha. With red dice it is a far safer reroll on a damage (there's a 3/8 chance it will become nothing and a 4/8 chance it won't get worse and only a 1/8 chance it becomes a double hit) than a black dice. I've definitely seen people reroll the red hit and have get the double-hit and find that their reroll killed them, but that's a matter of just being aware of what you're trying to do with your reroll and how much you can risk.

      Also hello to our buddies over at Steel Squadron *waves*!

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    2. Don't forget that rerolling blue dice can make them miss with a 25% probability and can't increase overall damage.

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    3. That's covered under "couldn't be worse" but yes it appears that I should've spent more time discussing dice probabilities with a reroll despite my attempts to not add more bulk to an already-long article ;).

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  3. Eric, thanks once again for another of your fantastic Armada write-ups. The articles you and John post on a regular basis are always very informative, insightful, and hilarious. As a newer player, I cannot overstate how much I appreciate what you both do. It's always a joy when I come home from work to see a new post up on your site.

    BTW, while I cannot speak for others, I don't find the length of the posts to be a negative. In fact, I quite enjoy the extensive commentary and in-depth analysis of tactics and strategy. You and John could have posts twice as long and I'd still read them from top to bottom.

    I'm sure you both have a work and family life, so just know that I appreciate the time you both take out of your day to do these posts.

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    1. You're most welcome and thank you for your kind words!

      Regarding post length, it's something I wrestle with. If it's too long then some people are just not going to read it. If it's too succinct, then there's all kinds of ideas and potentially-helpful analysis that are left unused. It's something of a balancing act but when in doubt I try not to make any major cuts to what I want to say. We do try to put some silliness and humor in there to make it more lively (John does this more than I do, I freely admit).

      Thanks again!

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  4. im surprised "Projection Experts" wasnt even mentioned, with 5 engineering, you can give another ship two shields, regain one of your lost shields, and move a shield to a more appropriate facing.

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    1. They're actually mentioned under the Interdoctor build. I don't find them worth including on their own without a support apparatus so therefore they're not mentioned under upgrades (cards that you can use or not relatively independent of other bare-bones elements of builds) and instead mentioned as part of a specific build. They need repair token generation to be most effective and they particularly like being used with the Targeting Scrambler.

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  5. So, about G8 projectors...

    If my opponent decides to use a navigate command to speed up, he keeps the new speed for next turn, right? So if hes moving at speed 2 and I G8 the ship, he can speed up to 3, move at speed 2 because of G8 and begin next round with a speed 3 dial.

    But if my opponent was moving at max speed and I use G8s, does he get to use a navigate command to move at his current speed? Would that speed increase be temporary, covering the twmporary speed decrease?

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    1. I would say yes, given that the speed is decreased (rather than "the ship determines its course as though it was 1 speed slower" or some such) and then resets at the end of the maneuver. If your speed is decreased by G8s, you could bump the speed up with a navigate command and then at the end of the maneuver your speed attempts to go back up by one, finds it's at maximum speed already, and simply stays there.

      That said, I would love for an FAQ to cover this subject because it is a little confusing and I can see how you could make an argument the other way.

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    2. Yeah, it's confusing.

      We house ruled no, because the speed the ship is going at is the one shown in the dial. Since speeding up requires an increase of speed in the dial, and you can't set the dial to a higher speed than your maximum printed speed, if you're at your max speed, your nav commands wouldn't stop G8s from decreasing your speed.

      Lore wise, your enginea are already at full speed and yet, there's that Interdictor slowing you down...

      Let's hope we get a FAQ on it.

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    3. The thing is that during your determine course step, your speed is not at maximum due to the G8s lowering it (even if only temporarily), so therefore you could resolve a nav command to increase it as you're not going faster than your maximum speed. When your speed attempts to increase later it would just hit the ceiling and stay at maximum. I don't dispute that lore-wise it doesn't seem to make sense, but in terms of game mechanics it seems to me that's how it would work.

      I do completely agree that an FAQ is badly needed, though. If FFG erratas the G8s to make the ship move as though it was one speed lower than its current speed (rather than the current "your speed decreases and then it doesn't" wording), that would remove a lot of confusion.

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  6. Great article! Definitely agree with you on the interdictor's usefulness in higher point games. We usually play casual 600 points and I love the chaos it causes on those Rebel scum!

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  7. In your breakdown of the G7-X, you mention that it would require two Interdictors to place two grav wells. However, since this is not a unique upgrade, why couldn't you field two G7-Xs on an Interdictor Suppression Refit?

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    1. Ships can't equip duplicate upgrades, unfortunately. It's clarified in the FAQ, but it's not in the main rules.

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