Tuesday, December 15, 2020

MC30: The Curse of the Flying Hellfish!

The Mon Calamari people brought a lot when they joined the Rebellion.  Specifically, the best ways to murder other ships.  Let's jump into today's ship review with the MC30, the angriest fish ship in the smallest package.

Artist's Representation
With the exception of the color of dice, these ships are identical.  The Scout MC30 has long range red dice while the Torpedo has blue.
This will not be the last fish joke.

Both ships have:
  • Command 2, easy to plan one turn ahead!
  • Engineering 3 (just enough to heal a damage/crit they don't want!)
  • Squadrons 1 (so don't command them with the MC30, you have better things to do)
  • 2 Black dice in the Front, 3 in the sides.  If you can double arc someone, that's 5 black dice!
  • 3 Shields everywhere but the back, where it has only 2.  The most shields you can get on a small base in the Rebellion.  And only 4 health to go with it.  They do NOT like being rammed.
  • Decently maneuverable 1 and 2 speed engagements, but using a Navigate at Speed 3 is where they SHINE.
  • Speeds available up to 4!  They like going fast, but speed 4 is often the "strategic retreat" speed.
So what does that all mean?  How do I use this ship to fight my opponent and blow up all his stuff? It's just like Demolisher, right?

Sadly no, it's not just like Demolisher.  You're going to need to do a few things to both attack with it and keep it alive.  You really do not want to be pushing squadrons with this guy, but all the other commands are viable.  They really like concentrating fire and navigating, in my opinion.  Without a brace token, however, you're going to need to do a few things to survive.  Namely, don't get hit 2-3 times from an ISD's front arc, expecting to live easily.  Because they depend so much on their redirects to stay alive and take the damage on the shields (and not the ship itself!), they are BADLY hurt by XI7s.
Conveniently updated picture! Still wrecking my poor little friend!

As they're black dice ships, go read this article from Eric on the topic, then feel free to come back here and watch me muck up the rest and make more fish jokes.  But it's a black dice ship with a very solid amount of tankiness, helped even more by adding in the titles.  Speaking of!

There are two, and they're both great first steps in How You Keep the MC30 Alive.  First up, the lesser known title before 1.5!
You know those defense tokens that are like, double defense tokens?
The Foresight has a great effect, allowing you to cancel 2 dice at long range or reroll 2 at Medium/Short.  Or with Mothma, cancel 2 at medium and reroll 3 at close (if you only spend it once).  This is a great defensive way to just cancel out and reroll dice that you don't want hitting your ship.  Being able to redirect to 2 different hull zones is good too, allowing you to take an extra (potentially) 3 damage on your shields (if you're hit on the front) before taking it on the hull.  With the advent of nuEvades in 1.5, I expect this title to be competitive from jump.  It's just a great way of staying alive and ensuring that you can take a lot stronger of a punch than you'd expect to be able to.

You can also discard the Evade under the size check to affect 3 total dice: the 1 additional from the title and 1 more from discarding your Evade.  And let's go crazy with Mon Mothma with 4 total dice rerolled at close range (2 base from the title, one additional from her, and one from the size check).  Targeting Scramblers on an 8 point stick, what's not to love?
Admonition, let's begin, it's Admonition, look out sin!
Admonition has been slightly nerfed in 1.5, but it's still amazing.  The title says you can "discard a readied defense token," not spend.  So they can accuracy away everything you've got, but you can still discard ANY of your defense tokens (even the accuracied ones!) to cancel out dice.  This does, however, lead to situations where you're writing checks your lack of defense tokens can't cash.  I can't say "Discard X first" as it's all going to be situational.  Just make sure you keep a Redirect alive to push damage around your shields if you can (ie, don't discard your 2 redirects as your first 2 defense tokens).  Further fun! You can do this on any attack, so even if you're playing against an Advanced Gunnery ISD at Long Range, it can sure attack you twice and you can sure cancel a dice on each attack.  This ability isn't spending, so you can spend one evade or redirect and discard the other in order to cancel a die (while here means 1 total die cancelled) coming against you. Just make sure it's readied in order to be able to do anything.

This title is frustrating to play against, so long as you keep having defense tokens.  Walex Blissex isn't a bad inclusion with the title, if you can find the points.  For that matter, so is Lando Calrissian.

For more on the MCEF title/task force that comes packaged with the MC75 but can go on the MC30, please refer to the Rebellion upgrades article.

Scout Frigate and Common Builds
I sure am waiting peacefully here! I'm friendly and not a threat to anyone!  Ignore Admiral Ackbar over there!
For 6 points more than the Torpedo, you upgrade your blue anti ship dice to red ones.  This means you want it with commanders who do things with red dice or long range (which means Sato and Ackbar, usually, but I've run it with Mothma as a sniper/MEAN finisher as well).

Walex Blissex or Lando are the usual 2 placed on MC30s, but Ezra gets really mean if you come in close range of an obstacle, and I've had FUN success with Derlin on these.  Expert Shield Techs is fun as well, and he IS 2 points cheaper than Derlin.  The one issue with EST is that if you want to redirect any damage, EST isn't working as well, though it does still do work when your shields are down.  Usually though you'll end up redirecting 1-2 shots and then EST isn't as helpful as he was a bit ago.  If you're worried about squadrons blowing up your ship though, EST is great.

Weapons Team:
Ordnance Experts is the standard and the best choice.  There's an argument for Caitken and Shollan, but it's specifically with Ackbar I feel.  I've heard of other options, but stick with those two for now.  

Defensive Retrofit:
IF you're going to take one, Reinforced Blast Doors (to prevent yourself from getting rammed to death) or Early Warning System (just to keep preventing dice from hitting you and your ship).  You've got two of each of your defense tokens, so you generally won't need Electronic Countermeasures.  You can also quite easily go without a Defensive Retrofit, as they DO get expensive quickly.

External Racks or a critical upgrade.  It's somewhat bland, but any of the weirder ordnance upgrades want other ships.  MC30s want to be dealing ship-to-ship damage in some form.  The short answer to which one you want there is to read Eric's black dice article (HERE AGAIN) and the linked to Ordnance article to help you figure out what you want.

Spinals if Sato, TRCs or LTTs elsewise.  You brought red dice for a reason, might as well make sure they're actually useful for you.

The Sato Special (93 points)
Ordnance Experts
Assault Concussion Missiles
Spinal Armament

You're chucking dice at long range and aiming for crits on both.  Spinals gives Sato 2 red dice in all arcs, which is coincidentally the EXACT number of dice he can change! It's a solidly maneuverable ship that you can add on an officer if you want to increase its tankiness, but for a barebones version of it, this works pretty great.

An Ackbar Alternative (98 points)
Expert Shield Techs
Caitken and Shollan
External Racks
Turbolaser Reroute Circuits

Throwing 4 red dice at long range is very nice, and the benefit of Foresight is that you can evade 2 dice with one token and use the other as the TRC trigger.  Expert Shield Techs for more and more damage reduction, and External Racks can let you throw 4 red and 5 black if anything is crazy enough to get into close range.  That is a terrifying prospect.
The light isn't a trap for you at all!

Torpedo Frigate and Common Builds
He's firing out of both sides SOMEHOW.  Do you know how hard that is to coordinate? 

The more traditionally seen MC30, the Torpedo Frigate can work well with pretty much every commander.  The Torpedo usually wants to throw its black dice and go, either THROUGH the remains of the ship it just shot or behind it, in order to make sure you don't lose the ship.  A lot of the upgrades are similar, but we'll have a few extras below.

The only specific change between the 2 variants is that this one opens up more options in the Turbolaser slot.

I've seen XI7s to ensure the damage you're throwing is going right into the hull, but I can see a better case for H9s, in order to just blow through any flotilla you happen to see, or start shutting down any ship that doesn't have Electronic Countermeasures attached to it.  The benefit of H9s is that its still VERY applicable against most other ships you want to fight.  It can shut down the Brace on ISDs/VSDs or the Scatter on flotillas.  It's become a very strong upgrade that no one expected when wave 2 and MC30s showed up.  You can also use Heavy Turbolaser Turrets if you expect to be facing a lot of Salvo ships (aka the 2 new factions and the Onager/Hawk).  Being able to not worry about Salvo as you pump damage into their hull is refreshingly wonderful.

As for the common build:
Scooty Puff Jr (71 points)
External Racks
Ordnance Experts

The Scooty Puff is a cruise missile, but it's a cruise missile that is HARD to bring down.  Barring an insanely crazy roll from the front of something like an SSD, it's going to get into close with an opponent and just tear something apart.  Add on H9s if you want to really make something wounded, but it's not necessary specifically.  Can't use Electronic Countermeasures against both attacks!  For added defensiveness, add on Lando and/or either one of the titles and maybe Reinforced Blast Doors (though I personally wouldn't use all of those upgrades at once).  The new Evades make it such that you can actually get away running them potentially titleless, though I do caution you to practice with and without to see what you're giving up in that case.
In a thousand years, we'll get right on it.

I'd love to tell you another build to show off a different concept, but it's variations on the same theme here, be it different officer or Ordnance upgrade (External Racks was chosen as the cheapest, but any of the viable crit choices work as well).  The ship is built on 2 concepts.  1) get in range 2) deliver black dice and damage.  All the upgrades either fall as defensive help (for getting into range) or delivering your dice better (which is where I classify H9 Turbolasers).  You can get VERY tanky with a few builds, able to likely survive a close range ISD shot.  Once.

You're a give-em'-hell daredevil with a never-say-die attitude and a fourth-grade education! You could have made sergeant!
Final Thoughts
When I made mention of the MC30 a few weeks ago in the LFC article, I called them a sock full of quarters that you can use to beat your opponent with.  I hope this article giving my two cents on them provides you with the change you need to help nickel and dime your opponent's ships to death.
I had several more monetary based puns, all of them terrible! Penny for your thoughts on why you're pulling me?


  1. Nice article, loads of helpful advice as usual. One tiny complaint though, it's ordnance, not ordinance ;)

    1. Yeah, I caught and fixed that one earlier (refresh the page and you'll see) and John has since been educated in the differences between legal decrees and explosives. ;)

    2. Legal decrees are only explosive when Phoenix Wright throws them out into the court?

      But nice catch, yes.

  2. Good read. Quick correction, though: ECM still allows you to use a token no matter how many accuracies they put on it.

    1. Actually I think there was a misunderstanding. John is referring to using H9s for guaranteed accuracy against a brace token on two separate attacks. ECMs can only work against one of those two attacks. I'll clarify it so it's more clear as to what he means.

  3. Is it possible to spend a token to it's red side and then also discard that same token with the admonition title?

    1. Unless I missed a FAQ somewhere, yup! Ain't that mean?

  4. Thank you guys for this blog so much! I just recently started playing Armada and this blog has really helped decrease my learning curve.

    One question I have is about the Admonition title. I’m still not quite understanding why Admonition is used more often competitively than Firesight. Could you guys point out the reasons for this being so? Thanks!

    1. Admo can work in close range (you can still discard the token to remove the dice) where it wants to be (in order to throw black dice), while Foresight (unless under Mon Mothma) isnt as good at Medium range for the Evades. Plus, even with MM in close, it's a reroll of their best damaging dice (slash crit), which can still result in damage (reroll into 1 or reroll into that same hit+crit on opposing black dice, for example). Admo just tells it to disappear, which can remove 2 damage from the pool, period. That 2 damage can often be the difference between a dead MC30 and one that's walking wounded (but still gets to shoot!)

      Foresight is good, it just suffers when you get in a closer range is all. And since they're priced identically, most people go with the one that works ALL the time as opposed to MOST of the time.

  5. I'm sure it's boring to answer the same questions about Admo, but can I spend a Redirect then discard it with the title? And why?

    1. Yes you can. When you spend the redirect for its regular effects, you are spending a defense token and that works just like normal. Then you can discard it with the admonition title for the admonition effect. There's nothing stopping you from using the same token twice (note this is different than spending it twice, it's a spend and a discard), provided it is being used for different effects.

  6. Those H9s on the MC30 cannot not be over exaggerated on their usefulness. Two shots into the side of a Dictor' last night would've been braced down from 4 to 2 and 5 to 3, respectively.

    Four damage that doesn't evaporate into the defense tokens helped to knock that guy around.

  7. Everyone asks about if you can discard and accuracied token, but what I want to know is if you can cancel an accuracy. Assume your opponent has one shot, and the Force is with them (double accuracies and 9 damage, after evading). You need a redirect to survive. Could you:
    1: Discard a token to cancel one of the accuracies
    2: Spend the now-open redirect for its normal effect

    Also, if that is a valid move, would Advanced Projectors on Admonition be worth the extra points?

    1. You can do nothing with an accuracied token. Furthermore, the accuracy icon dice are spent (and removed from the pool) to generate their effect, so by the time you can spend defense tokens, the dice are no longer in the pool to mess with them and the locked down tokens are locked down for good. Hopefully this helps:


    2. Darn. I had a feeling that would be the case, but it doesn't hurt to double check.

      With that in mind, if you have the points, which defensive retrofit(s) would you recommend, or do they not improve survivability enough to justify the cost?

    3. If you have nothing better to spend the points on, Advanced Projectors (due to low hull but reasonable shields plus double redirects) or Early Warning System would be my recommendations, but in general most people (myself included) prefer to run MC30s without defensive retrofits because the points are usually better spent elsewhere. Admonition + Lando is usually more than enough.

  8. I noticed when you mention Mothma under Foresight you say she can help it reroll 2 dice at close. But wouldn't it be 3 with new evade?

  9. Probably not the best build, but with the Torpedo Frigate it is evil to run them under Ackbar with Enhanced Armaments. 3 Red Dice at Long Range, add 2 Blue Dice if they get to Medium Range, and then if they blunder into Close or you move into Close, then External Racks can activate, and well, you end up flinging 3 Red Dice, 2 Blue Dice, and 5 Black Dice. Gives you an ISD 1's front arc out of your sides. Bonus points if you can get between two ships and fling this painbow out both sides!

    1. Locally we call that "the rainbow trout," yep. Haha. I agree it's probably not the best but it's fun.

    2. Yep, you have those two Blue Dice for accuracies, the 5 Black Dice for way too much damage in one go, and the Red Dice for possible extra damage but it is not super reliable unless you are bringing Caitken & Shollan for the Reds. Super fun just to see your opponent's mouth drop as you severely harm their large with your small base all in one attack, and they can't Brace since you locked their Brace down with the Blue Dice accuracies