Saturday, December 19, 2020

Commander's Corner/Know Your Enemy: Crix Madine

Apologies for the lateness of my getting this up, but it's been a busy weekend.  My sister graduated and got her PhD, so I attended that (and read 2 different X-wing books, because I don't care about 1299/1300 people attending that thing, sorry).  In any case, let's get this Commander review started with Crix Madine, the Rebellion's General from Wave 4.  Then onwards to wave 5!
It was 1983! Everyone's hair looked like that!
Basics of the card
As always, throwing up the card as a start.
Turn around, every now and then I get a little bit brighter.....
So when you turn, you turn HARDER, better, faster, stronger.  Get your Tokyo Drift on!  What this actually means is that you can get your ships into specific spaces where no one thought you could get to.  Let's take a look at a simple example below.
First, we have the basic MC30 turning pattern, using navigation to add one click at the first joint.  Simple, easy, turns to the left like we like for our attack run.  If we use Madine's ability, we get the below picture, however.
Yes, move closer....

And that's JUST the part about adding two clicks! (Specifically, in the first joint AGAIN in the above example).  If we go even further, adding it into the first joint, with an extra click in the second joint from a nav token, we can get THIS picture (2 clicks, 2 clicks, 2 clicks - Madine for 2, one on the card and one from a token, and two on the card, respectively).
135 degree turn! Madness! Madine-ness!
We can get almost ANYWHERE we need to with Madine, striking out of the darkness and hitting ships when they thought they were safe.  You can be like a mugger out of a dark alley, killing Batman's parents before he can save them.  Or like Charlie Sheen in Hot Shots Part Deux.
Or like Goldeen!  I'm going to run this "Een" joke into the ground here, so get used to it.
Have you ever wanted to prey on your opponent's fears, make them unable to tell WHERE your next attack could be coming from? Have you ever wanted to make your opponent afraid to move, as you dart away from his best arcs and into his weaker, underdefended ones? Have you ever wanted to get the LMC80 to turn on a dime like a ship 2 base sizes smaller?
This is both physically possible and hitting that same ISD side arc both turns while never entering black dice range.  This should TERRIFY you.
What Madine is good at is striking AGAIN with ships that normally get one pass.  MC30s usually end up running hard and fast (with other commanders) through your opponent's wall of ships, firing once or twice and then trying to spend the rest of the game getting back into range, maybe firing again on turn 5-6.  BUT, with the Madine navigation ability, you can turn that MC30 around after hitting your opponent's ISD face and then get back into his side arc with it.  You jump from one arc into another, still able to hit his ships with yours, staying out of their best arcs while still firing with yours.  It's also a way of ensuring that you don't wander into those extra deadly arcs; Ackbar sides or ISD fronts for example.  Madine provides the ability to get back to a place your opponent thought they were safe from.

Now, the original common "complaint" I saw from people is that Madine "isn't as good as Jerjerrod." You have to actually NAVIGATE instead of just taking it when needed to fix your turning issues.  Madine has two things going for him, though, as compared to Jerry, which ALSO helps steer you towards HOW you want to build your Madine lists.
Just use butter to turn faster, y'all!
First, many Rebellion ships are generally more maneuverable than their Imperial counterparts, especially at higher speeds.  CR90s and MC30s have several places in their navigation paths with 2 clicks (CR90s at the end in 3 and 4 speed, MC30s at speed 3), and the GR75 in general is more maneuverable than its Gozanti counterpart.  So while Jerjerrod lets you add in clicks at joint 1, they still either need to navigate to add in later clicks, or they're at the mercy of wherever their later path takes them.

Second, Madine lets you add clicks in WHEREVER you want, and with both the navigate command and navigate tokens.  Jerry gives you more speed for turning early, but he doesn't help further down the road.  It's a subtle thing, but it's important.  Jerjerrod lets you keep turning to be in a spot where you can keep your opponent in your sights, but Madine isn't about that.  Madine lets you turn where you need WHEN you need, in order to both maximize where you end up and where you attack.  You're trying to use Madine's ability to both stay out of trouble/bad arcs of your opponent's, and get into the best arcs to shoot (the undergunned ones).  Exploit his navigating ability to have your good arcs attack their ships at their best ranges while preventing them from hitting you.  Having a good head for distances/ranges and what needs to move when will help a LOT here.

Simply put, Madine lets you navigate until you don't need to navigate anymore.  Stay out of the bad arcs, stay out of bad (black dice) ranges of your opponent's, but be where you can put the hurt in on them.  Concentrate fire, then pull a runner and get either back into the fight where you weren't expected to be or get gone before you get shot and die, remaining either out of range or in a terrible arc for them to fire from; ISD sides, HMC80 fronts/backs, etc.
Navigate until it's time to stop navigating - Dalton's original quote
The other issue that has popped up as of Wave 7 is quite simply that Raddus does a lot of what Madine does but better and cheaper by 4 points.  Madine used to make it so that you could turn your LMC80 sharper, getting it into a side arc of an ISD that wasn't expecting it there, preventing you from taking another front arc shot to the face of your LMC80.  However, now that I can just put the LMC80 in that side arc to start with, and I didn't have to take Cymoon fire on the way in? Or deal with trying to get Quad Battery Turrets to go off at the same time as getting into position?  I'm afraid I don't have a great counter-answer for that.  The one difference between Madine and Raddus is that when Raddus drops off the LMC80, he's done helping it.  Madine can keep you navigating and keep you in the game, turning more and more, and letting your LMC80 get to the best possible spot afterwards.  You ALSO don't have to worry about NOT deploying on top of squadrons or being forced to sub-optimally deploy your Large-based ship in a bad location.  It's up to you to determine if that's worth the 4 extra points Madine costs over Raddus for you.  Raddus seems better for a double large list, with one leading the charge in and then dropping the second, so Madine seems to have more of an argument in a LMSU list.
Questions I have trouble answering

Having discussed this issue with the few Madine-iacs (10,000 of them can't be wrong!) is that Madine should be used as both a way of ensuring repeated double arcs and with more ships.  The more MSU ships, the better, is the advice I received.  He helps you navigate better, which means you want to use him when you're good at navigating and want to be even more skilled with it, ending up in arcs and escapes your opponent didn't expect.  He can also do very well getting ships at higher speeds in the right places.  Most ships at higher speeds don't navigate as well as they do at slower speeds, but Madine helps make up some of that ground.  Madine is NOT an easy Commander to grasp, as the ships he uses can often overextend themselves or end up NOT navigating at the right time or navigating when they should have concentrated fire or used engineering, resulting in a dead ship on your own end, or an alive ship on your opponent's end.  However, if you CAN get him understood and used properly (I make no claims that I'm perfect with him), you can strike out of nowhere like a wraith in the night.  Slide that vibroblade into their kidneys, and make your opponent pay for not taking your navigating abilities seriously.

Common Ships/Builds/Ways to Run Him
Madine works with all the Rebel ships, but you'll want ships that can go faster in order to more accurately react to your opponents and put YOURS in a great spot they can't hit you well from.  He makes the LMC80 turn on a dime, but he's also great with CR90s and MC30s.  I've had some success with Assault Frigates, but you're going to want some ways of impacting the dice they roll.  The reason faster ships are more recommended is that if you use Madine's ability a la Jerjerrod, and put 2 clicks at the first joint, you can change your navigational path intensely.  More than your opponent would usually think, more than they can usually react to.  Use THAT to your benefit.
He is the wiener of the two, really.
Fleet Building:
Madine fleets generally tend towards fleets filled with the ships listed above.  As Madine doesn't help squadrons out, the squads he tends to bring tend towards rogues if any (all those ships he loves, Assault Frigate/MC75 excepted, do not push squads well.  Lean into flotillas to push squads for you if you bring them).  You're going to need to justify in your list why you're not taking Raddus, and that may be your ability to strike from out of range with your ships where you need them to be.  With the Raddus FAQ, it's a little easier to see where he's coming in from, so he's not as potentially nuts as he once was.  Maybe it's Madine's time to shine!

Final Thoughts
Madine was a very fun commander that I definitely enjoyed playing, but Raddus came along and took away a LOT of Madine's usefulness.  I don't want to declare him USELESS, because if you know what you're doing with him you can shut down your opponent's list by just not being where they expect you to be.  But the question you'll need to ask yourself EVERY TIME when you play him is "What makes this list something that Raddus wouldn't be better used with instead?" (Probably MC30/CR90 spam lists or other such built around not HAVING a Large-based ship in your fleet!).  His role hasn't been eliminated, it's just become a lot more niche.  Practice with Madine, though, and I promise you'll be able to act like a SWAT team, taking out your opponent's ships before they can strike back.


  1. So I've gone back over the faq, and I can't find anything anywhere that says that Madine's ability can't benefit engine techs. In fact, I remember a while ago hearing that it can. Would anyone mind clarifying?

    1. It's due to how you resolve the navigate command. It applies to your current maneuver only. Engine Techs resolves AFTER your current maneuver, at which point your navigate dial has already been spent.

  2. What about using a token for an extra click?

    1. It's helpful, that's for sure, especially turning all crazy, but is that worth 30 points? I've used him with Raymus to definitely get EVERYWHERE, but you have to be navigating to do it.

  3. I use 1 Pelta and 3 MC30s and it works rather well with Madine, and has saved me an awful lot of getting shot at by Spinal Cymoons in the front.

  4. With Madine you're Starhawk or HMC80 can turn like a Raider Corvette at speed 2. Those things want to navigate, so it's simple to do.
    Now got do those things and make your enemy feel blue!

    1. That's true, and I know John has played Madine LMSU to try to get maximum advantage from suddenly-more-mobile larges plus smalls getting in some crazy maneuvers too. It was... fine? Not terrible but not great either. The issue being 30 points and why aren't you taking someone else (like Raddus or Agate) that does better with large ships?

      Madine's only real problem is his points cost, honestly. If he was 20 points I think we'd see a good deal more of him.

    2. He should be. He wouldn't be game-breaking, and then there'd be a 20 point admiral for Assault, Defense, and Navigation for the Rebels. Which would just be fun. :)