Saturday, December 19, 2020

Alpha Beta Charlie PELTA!

We slowly move our way into wave 5.  We, being a royal we, as Eric already did his bit on Jerry and the Arquitens.  Today, we hit the Pelta, and hopefully I can get Sato soon enough.  When I.... get to him.  (He's hard to write, OK!) I can promise I'll have him done before Wave 6 shows up (I'm running out of new stuff to write about, haha!) but for today, the Pelta.
The most divisive ship in the Rebellion!
Showing off the card!
Two VASTLY different ships in a 4 point different frame
So we have the Assault class, which has black dice, and an additional black dice in the flak, and the Command-class, with 2 more squadrons to command and blue dice.  The Assault Class comes with an Ordnance Upgrade, while the Command-class comes with an Offensive Retrofit.  They share:
  • Max speed 2, but with a Support Team slot they CAN fake speed 3 with Engine Techs
  • 2 clicks speed 1, one each speed 2 (which helps with that Engine Tech movement)
  • A 3-2s-1 shield pattern and the sampler platter of defense tokens (it looks like a Gladiator!)
  • 4 Engineering and 5 health to stay alive, 2 Command to make it slightly easier to do so
  • The Fleet Command Slot
Before we get ANYWHERE with the Pelta, let's talk about why you're using it.  It's a barely upgunned CR90 without a turbolaser slot anywhere, combined with shields that are less than ideal for staying alive.  The REASON you're using it is for the Fleet Commands, so if you somehow have built a list without a Fleet Command on your Pelta, go back and put one on there (lone exception: Mike Bohlmann).  Or remove the Pelta, one of the two.  Each of the Fleet Commands it can equip needs to be activated at the start of the turn by spending a token or discarding the card.  Don't be afraid to discard the card mid-game if you need to, if it gives you the win (instead of not powering the command).  I usually see dead Peltas before the card gets discarded, when it might have helped having it discarded instead of using a token to spend it instead.  There's several different Fleet Commands, and they all do VASTLY different things, so I encourage you to go read the (multiple times) linked-to article.  The related question is "WHAT Fleet Command am I taking" but that's a better discussion for the Fleet Commands article itself.

Peltas seem undergunned and a little expensive in the Rebellion because they're the only way to get recurring usage out of your fleet commands.  They take on a slightly supportive role to help all their friends get better at their jobs, which appears to have come out of their own firepower.  Don't think so much about the Pelta not having great guns so much as how they're improving your other dice.  Much like my recently updated Assault Frigate article, Peltas need to be taken with respect to the sum of their fleet and what they do for it, but they also help themselves, too (don't forget THAT aspect of them).  It's not a matter of building a fleet for the Pelta or building a Pelta for the fleet, but kind of a stew or chili that all blends together.  Build them for each other and your fleet will be a LOT stronger.  They won't be the first one entering the battle, but they can dare sure finish one.  Expect that and keep that in mind with your fleet and how it's going to operate and you can anticipate when it will enter the battle: mopping up whatever gets by your other ships.

I promise, if you build it in as part of your fleet, you can make very good fleets with the Pelta.  You can scrimp on dice fixing mechanisms on the other 4 ships in your fleet if you put Intensify Firepower! on the Pelta and power up EVERYONE'S dice fixing.  If you use it as a Shields to Maximum! ship that's healing all your Task Force Antilles Hammerheads, it does well in that role too.  And it makes a very good carrier, especially if you add on All Fighters Follow Me! Just don't think of it as a frontline combatant and expect it to perform as such and you'll do well.

There's only one, and it is mighty nice.
Feeny! Fee-hee-hee-heeny! MR. FEENY! Wait, Phoenix, not Feeny.
So the MAIN benefit is that you get an additional officer slot.  As there's so many great Rebel and neutral officers, finding ships to keep them all on is not an easy task.  This makes things a little easier.  The extra command tokens bit isn't always the most helpful, but combining it with Ahsoka Tano, you can be powering up the fleet commands for most of the rest of the game. This is also a great spot for Hondo, if you want to bring him.  It's not an auto-include, but there's a lot of great Rebel officers that can go in here.

Assault Ship and Builds
If someone is putting a Raider that close to your Pelta, it DESERVES to get blown up by it
The Assault Ship, with its speed of.... 2 is definitely here.  It's not going to be LEADING the Assault, but it's a solid finisher.  Because its squad value is so low and it has only a few upgrades, it tends towards a few roles, which are largely defined around that Support Team slot and if you're filling it.  But if you're bringing this, its main job is powering the Fleet Command.  Everything else is basically secondary.

The issue that a lot of people have with the Pelta is they think they need to power it up EVERY turn.  Realistically, you don't.  You CAN put Raymus (and a nearby/Phoenix Home'd Ahsoka Tano) on here to keep powering, or you can put Hondo and Vet Captain and with a token turn 1 and a Comms Net once (which, coincidentally, those 7 points cost just as much as Raymus....).

Or you can realize that you won't need the Fleet Command turn 1, so you take a token.  Turn 2, your Pelta likely won't be in the fight, so take another one (using the token to power it up start of this turn).  Turn 3 you can take a token if you're not in range or use Hondo if you need to (again powering it up from the last turn's command).  Turn 4 do what you need to do with the ship (powering it up from Hondo or last turn's token).  By turn 5 the game is either ending or you're finishing up and running with what ships you have, allowing you to discard the Fleet Command.  So I paid TWO points for Hondo and got it for 4 rounds.  Seems JUST GOOD enough for me.  Heck, if I don't need the command turn 2 because I'm not in range, I might just power it up turns 3-4-5.  One token taken, one Hondo token, and discarding the card.  That's good enough for the points, and you're not paying for a bunch of upgrades you don't necessarily need.

So that was all a roundabout way of saying, Hondo is great here, but you can also power it all up with that Raymus/Ahsoka plan, or you can just fill in whatever officer you need in there.

Support Team:
There's a lot of people putting Auxiliary Shields Team on here for super crazy tankiness.  And that's fine, but I'm not sure it's as good as Projection Experts or Engine TechsProjection Experts lets you help another friend be tankier/get its shields back, and hopefully you pick a friend who will keep you ALIVE and want to get hit instead of you.  You CAN Engine Techs, but it really doesn't impress me significantly, as you're not rolling crazy bananas amounts of dice over and over again to make getting into range worth it.  Your mileage may vary though.  IF you're gonna fill the slot, one engineering token for Projection Experts is 2 shields transferred.  True, you don't gain yours back, but you're a backline combatant and your friend up front likely needs those shields more than you do.

External Racks if you think you need it.  It's mainly a deterrent for your opponent for getting close.  Flechettes isn't a great plan here, if squads are hitting you, ENOUGH are hitting you for it to be worth it for them doing so.  Sato CAN let you put a crit in there, but without reroll mechanics I don't like your chances.  If you have Intensify Firepower! on here, it's a little more appealing.

Fleet Command:
You'll probably tend towards either Entrapment Formation/Take Evasive Action for navigational shenanigans, Shields to Maximum for repair ones, or Intensify Firepower for helping your damage all over the place.  Don't put All Fighters on here for a discard/usage, as Liberator exists for that.  The Assault Pelta is for sustained usage of the Fleet Command, and that's it's job in your fleet.  Everything else is extra.

Repair Bot! (75 points)
Shields to Maximum!
Projection Experts
Raymus Antilles

The benefit of doing all these together is that every turn you can potentially power up Shields to Maximum AND send 2 shields over to a friend.  Of the 4 engineering points you have, 2 move shields over, the remaining 2 restore one of your own shields, and then you use Shields to Max on yourself to bring back the last one.  It does one thing and it does it well, just make sure that you stay within 5 of friends to bring back their shields.

This Pelta tends towards a fleet or two that can tank damage (Hammerhead spam) or one or two mean larges that take a big shot or two, then want those shields back.

You Had One Job! (64 points)
Intensify Firepower

The other end of the spectrum is this guy, powering things up as I've said before, with taking a few tokens here and there, using Hondo, and then discarding the card as needed.  This is obviously better the more ships in your fleet that you can fit, so.... good luck.  You can also potentially use Entrapment Formation in place of Intensify Firepower, but then it's more about your other ships concentrating firepower as opposed to navigating.  Up to you which one is more worth it.

I've seen this run well with MSU, and shmitty took a slightly upgunned (Command) variant of this and won GenCon with it.  Intensify Firepower is VERY strong on the Pelta.

Command Ship and Builds
To quote Ghostbusters 2: "Command me, Lord Vigo! Command me!" What's Peter MacNicol been up to, anyway?
This ship is a carrier.  With the Offensive Retrofit and the squads 3, it can do a lot of good work at pushing squadrons.  It's often overshadowed because Yavaris exists, which does BRUTAL things with B-wings, but the Pelta helps move squadrons FAST.  A lot of the above options still apply for builds, but the Command version opens up more options for builds as well.

See above if you're powering a command up, but you can also do some fun things with any officer that helps you push squadrons if you're using it as a carrier.  Adar Tallon, Flight Commander, Wedge Antilles... the list goes on.

Support Teams:
Fighter Coordination Team is generally what I would put in here, and it can definitely do some good work at pushing 3 B-wings forward turn 1.  You can get some squads moving with it.  Engine Techs and Projection Experts also still work here as well, but FCT seems to make the most sense to me.

Offensive Retrofit:
If you can stay in range, Expanded Hangar Bays can let you command up to 5 squadrons if you use a token.  Lot cheaper than an HMC80 with the same upgrade! But generally I'd defer to Boosted Comms here, just to ensure that you can command whatever you need to, no matter what the range.  Other fun options here include Disposable Capacitors just to get some good long range damage in, or Proximity Mines if you have a plan for it.  This is the cheapest way of getting 4 engineering points in the game, so it's the best way of getting 2 mines in play at a time.

Fleet Command:
Pretty much any of them can go in here, really.  You can use All Fighters Follow Me here and power it up a few times or just discard it.  This is one of the few times where you can get away with discarding the command after one usage IF you're just using it as a carrier.  The Pelta is then still doing work in your fleet and helping, even without the Fleet Command there.  If you can power it up every turn (Garm?), the dream of using the Pelta as a carrier AND getting Intensify Firepower triggering is a very good ship that helps everyone else in the fleet.

The Repair Bot and You Had One Job above still work with this version of the ship, especially if you're going to need to command squadrons at least one turn of the game, or if you want blue dice over black.

From Downtown! (92 points)
Raymus Antilles
Fighter Coordination Teams
All Fighters Follow Me!
Boosted Comms
Phoenix Home
Flight Commander

This build will push some squads far, significantly farther than you'd expect them to be able to.  And then you can reach out and use Boosted Comms to push them again after your move.  The reach on this build is impressive, able to move 3 B-wings to attack a ship 1+3 in one turn.  Use the FCT to move 3 squadrons distance 1, then use the Flight Commander and the powered up AFFM to move them their speed plus 1.  That's better than distance 4, for a B-WINGBoosted Comms is on here for when you inevitably end up with squadrons outside your command range.

Slicer's Big Brother (84 points)
Captain Rex
Engine Techs
Intensify Firepower
Expanded Hangar Bays

Realistically, I'd probably run the Pelta as cheap as I can.  The build I just mentioned with several of the upgrades stripped out, but the fun with this one is the ability to get in close to a big ship with Engine Techs and then command 4 squadrons (likely bombers, though throwing Kanan in would certainly be helpful!) AND Raid your opponent''s ship.  So long as you remain in distance 1-3 for Rex afterwards.... it's an interesting concept.
Ooo, fancy pants picture

Final Thoughts
Peltas are good.  They won GenCon 2019, we hosted Mike's article who also got top 4 with TWO in his fleet.  If you build it smart (which isn't cheap; however, don't shove extra upgrades on if you don't need them) and understand its role (carrier, healbot, or fleet command powerup), it is VERY good at what it can do.  Don't expect it to be one-shotting other ships, but it can get some good work done, and it'll help the rest of your ships do their job better.


  1. just a thought now that leia is on the scene, and the incredible mileage she gets out of engineering, gets me thinking that a pelta with StM could make ships like the mk2 frigate or an HMC80 very difficult to kill. Of all the dial plus token combinations, a ship with a high engineering score seems to me the strongest (?!). Pelta with StM and field projectors could keep some more important ships in the fight.

    1. I know shmitty ran a Garm fleet for Store Champs with a StM Pelta, LMC80, and (IIRC) an AF too. Won it all, IIRC again.

      Having tried Leia out with Shields to Max, she is GREAT with it and Projection Experting the shields back to those Hammerheads that keep wandering into places they shouldn't be if they're hoping to stay alive and all.

      But yeah, after my initial writeup of this all, I began trying Shields to Max and it is super good at keeping your stuff alive... provided you remember to actually USE the ability.

  2. If you spend a token to activate a fleet command do you still get its other benefits? For instance, if I spend a concentrate fire token to trigger Intensify Firepower, do I also get a reroll. If I spend a navigate token to trigger Entrapment Formation, is Engine Techs triggered.

    1. No you don't. The token is consumed by a different effect than spending it at the correct moment to resolve a command.

  3. Does Garm give Phoenix Home 4 tokens?

    1. No. Garm gives command tokens equal to the ship's command value, which is 2 like usual. It's a common mistake given it's easy to remember Garm as "filling up" ships with tokens given most ships can hold as many tokens as their command value, but it's a little different with Phoenix Home.

  4. Despite the mediocre reputation of the reb-elta, as a Clone Wars mainliner the Pelta might just be my favorite rebel ship! Funny how your frame of reference can color your perception. Lol.

    I absolutely love stuffing exracks, Toryn far and a fleet command on the assault refit for a support vessel with teeth if the enemy tries to swing in close to the bad arc(s) of your MC80s

    Or running the command refit with fighter coord-team and EHB for by far the cheapest squad=4 bunnyhopper money can buy.