|Cute and cuddly, sure, but kitten claws will cleave through solid steel!|
|Princess Monster Truck is not a kitten, she's all grown up!|
|Aww look at his cute pink and purple paw prints sock with a tiny kitty IV in it!|
Anyways, enough about cats!
|It's not a cat picture! This is actually an Armada blog and not a middle-aged woman's Facebook account!|
- With Command 2, the Arquitens isn't too ponderous to command and it can hold enough command tokens to stock up on the odd turn it doesn't need a dial.
- In general, if you can get the Arquitens some spare tokens, it will generally want a navigate token and either a repair or concentrate fire token.
- Engineering 3 is average for a Command 2 small ship. It's not great but it's still enough to fix a bad face-up crit or regenerate a shield and move a shield to bring a depleted hull zone back up to maximum shields.
- One evade, two redirects, and a contain token offers an interesting defense token suite. Compared to something like a Rebel CR90, the Arquitens can handle itself much better at shorter ranges due to duplicate redirects and a contain, but it's not as proficient at dodging attacks at long range due to only one evade.
- 5 hull is again pretty standard for a Command 2 small ship.
- 8 total shields (2 in each facing) is also average for an Imperial Command 2 small ship (the Gladiator has 8, it's just one less in the rear and one more in the front).
- 3 red dice on each side and 1 + a helper dice out the front and rear is significant for an Imperial ship in two regards:
- It means the Arquitens is one of the few Imperial ships (the other being the Gladiator, which is designed for a much different role) whose side arcs are superior to their front arcs.
- The Arquitens is also the only Imperial small ship that's designed to excel at protracted long-ranged combat, something its Raider and Gladiator co-workers just don't do.
- When used under ideal circumstances, this allows an Arquitens to move ahead and keep turning inward to keep enemies in its side arcs while focusing on concentrate fire commands.
- When used under poor circumstances, this means the Arquitens' end destination is extremely predictable and you get to watch horrified as your Arquitens sails to its inevitable death and all it can do is swivel at the end to show off before exploding.
The Arquitens is designed to be used on the outskirts of a battle, orbiting around the sides and throwing in red dice at range like a smaller more skittish Rebel Assault Frigate. It doesn't really have the defense token suite, nav chart, or dice batteries to reward you for getting any closer to your target than necessary, and long range is all that's really necessary in most cases. The good news is it's not expensive for what it does and nothing else in the Imperial fleet really performs a similar role, so it's fairly unique.
The Arquitens is pretty durable when used in its element. It handles long-range red dice coming back at it pretty well with its defensive stats and defense tokens (particularly the evade). The defensive retrofit slot can further improve on that, but we'll get to that later. It is not, however, designed to handle serious attacks from enemy combat ships at medium or close range, where its lack of a brace becomes a problem very quickly. Neither will it last particularly long against dedicated bombers given its unimpressive flak and the fact that smart bombers will attack it from its on-target side arc, making it choose between its good anti-ship attack or "meh" anti-squadron attack. In short, try to keep it away from serious threats and keep harassing your targets. You probably have a lot of experience with Rebels doing this to you with their smaller ships, so use that right back!
Let's talk briefly about its arcs. Namely:
It's not impossible to double-arc targets with an Arquitens but due to its inflexible nav chart and narrow front arc I find it more difficult than doing so with a CR90A. You can also sometimes find that your attempts to double-arc something combined with the Arquitens' weird nav chart mean that you end up moving closer to that thing you really shouldn't have moved closer to:
|The good news is you got in a double arc. The bad news is so does he and all you can do is turn to hopefully shoot where he'll be next turn if you don't explode. Spoilers: you will explode.|
|You only got in your side arc, but you end in his AND you'll be able to shoot him out your side arc next turn. Turns out being alive is pretty swell! I apologize to any offended nihilists.|
You should be concentrating fire whenever possible to increase your otherwise-mediocre damage output, with the occasional navigate or repair added in. Navigate dials can help substantially with your inflexible nav chart, adding clicks prior to the last joint and allowing you to do an otherwise-impossible inside turn. Repair dials can go further than you'd think with Engineering 3, either removing a damage card or regenerating a shield and moving another shield around. Given there's usually a "safe side" of the Arquitens that's facing away from the fight, you should have some shields to spare from over there if necessary, and a repair token can be helpful for moving both of those safe shields around to the hotter side, buying you a little more time.
Both Arquitens titles are specialized enough that they're not "no duh" titles like Demolisher, but in the right fleets they do just fine.
The Centicore title turns the Arquitens more or less into a super Relay 2 ship but without the nerfed Relay restriction of needing to be at command range of the squadron-commanding ship. This can be helpful, particularly for Gozanti Cruisers or other Squadrons 2 ships, as a means of safely commanding squadrons a bit closer to trouble than you'd like, but it's the kind of thing you really need to build a fleet around to get mileage from. If you do, just be careful - if you get sloppy with Centicore, it's not too tough to destroy an Arquitens with a concerted effort and your Squadrons 2 ships that were relying on it will be out in the cold. It's particularly helpful with "free commands" commanders like Thrawn or Tarkin that can allow your ships to do their own thing but also issue "free"squadron commands through the Centicore.
Hand of Justice has a neat benefit, but it's important to note a few things:
- It triggers prior to revealing Hand of Justice's command.
- It only works on another friendly ship, so it can't help itself.
- If there are no targets upon activation with spent (red) defense tokens, it does nothing.
- Darth Vader as a commander, who will want to spend ship defense tokens as much as possible and therefore the Hand of Justice can help minimize some of the self-inflicted damage.
- Electronic Countermeasures on a ship with a single brace or scatter (with Tua on a particularly annoying Gozanti). In either case, you get a high-impact defense token that can be used twice a turn without trouble and has some insurance that it gets to be used with some regularity.
- Super Star Destroyers have a tendency to get focus-fired (being a huge points investment) and relieving a bit of the defense token pressure there can help keep your Big Chungus alive.
|Is it just me or does this space triangle appear to not be painted flat gray?|
Yep, this sure is basically the Arquitens we've been talking about so far. Please note the short-ranged black flak dice and black dice in the front and the back as well as the Squadron 1. Don't expect it to help with flak much and don't expect your front or rear arcs to do much unless your target is worryingly close. Effectively the black dice on the Arquitens-class Light Cruiser are for emergency use only. The Squadrons 1 makes it terrible at commanding squadrons, so please don't.
You've got several big choices here and they fundamentally decide what types of other upgrades the Arquitens will want.
- Skilled First Officer is the cheap default option. He's only 1 point and he lets your Arquitens mainline concentrate fire once the fight starts with the option to immediately jump to a navigate or repair command when you need it later on. He's not amazing and doesn't open up strong options like the others do, but he's only 1 point.
- Commander Beck is similar to Skilled First Officer in that she's inexpensive and doesn't fundamentally define what other upgrades your Arquitens will want, like the other choices below do, but she provides a lot of command versatility. Being able to navigate and con fire and repair in the same round without relying on any tokens can be really good, and so long as you've got a plan for the raid tokens afterwards she can be really handy.
- Captain Needa allows you to switch out your contain (unless for some reason you choose to swap out a redirect) for a second evade, making Turbolaser Reroute Circuits much more appealing.
- Director Krennic is the expensive option at 8 points, but paired with an upgrade that adds red dice you can get some extremely good mileage out of concentrate fire dials at long range.
- Intel Officer is great provided you can get your dice under control and up to enough average damage for him to really shine. Given you're not bringing Krennic or Needa+TRCs if you're using Intel Officer, this will be need to come from an external source. Commander Vader and/or Intensify Firepower can help with this.
- Expert Shield Tech is a great choice for a more defensive Arquitens build and unlike the other officers generally is most concerned about being paired with a defensive retrofit. Being able to evade an attack die and use redirects for a damage subtraction instead of their normal function can make his Arquitens surprisingly tanky at range. Stack with Early Warning System for extra annoyance (remove a die before the dice are rolled, remove a die after the dice are rolled, subtract one damage), but it can get pricey.
You have a lot of good options here and your choice will determine what officers pair best with the Arquitens.
- Turbolaser Reroute Circuits give you some much-needed dice control but with only a single evade, I have a hard time recommending these on a basic Arquitens without Needa.
- Slaved Turrets are the budget dice-adding upgrade for an Arquitens, but come with the restriction of only getting one attack. Given an Arquitens usually just wants the one attack out the side, it's not as much of a problem as it usually is. You can always spend the extra points for Enhanced Armament if you want the extra red die but don't want the Slaved Turrets restriction.
Turbolaser Towers are the flexible option without additional costs or
restrictions. A one-red-die reroll every attack can add up, especially
if you attack more than once per round, and the extra flak boost can be
circumstantially helpful as well. If you're scrounging up every last
point, Dual Turbolaser Turrets is slightly better on one attack per
round than Linked Turbolaser Towers but it's generally a poor man's LTTs.
Generally the Arquitens has the same issue most small ships have in that it just isn't quite valuable enough to justify more points protecting it and so I tend to leave the defensive retrofit slot unfilled. That said, in the right circumstances it's absolutely worth giving them a defensive retrofit: for example, if you are using your Arquitens as a flagship, have points to spare, or Arquitens are the backbone of your fleet rather than a cheaper support ship. If it's extremely important to layer your Arquitens in safety foam, you can even use Minister Tua to get two defensive retrofits:
- Advanced Projectors are reasonably inexpensive for a defensive retrofit at 6 points and synergize well with your 2 redirect defense tokens. Being able to redirect to every hull zone gives Arqs a substantial upgrade in durability against single large attacks and further improves their durability against squadrons as well. Works best when you can get them repair dials/tokens regularly to keep those shields strong as long as possible, but still a solid choice.
- Reinforced Blast Doors come packaged with the Arquitens and are your best cheap option at 5 points. They synergize well with the contain defense token at keeping your damage cards facedown for RBD removal. The main issue is the weird timing window (start of the Ship Phase) to remove the damage cards, which can make it easy to forget them or for your Arquitens to get killed before RBDs can help.
- The best way to get around this in my experience it to deliberately let some damage hit the hull earlier in the game and then fix it with RBDs while you're still shield-healthy in other hull zones, so you can redirect should more trouble come your way later.
- Early Warning System is a good call when you're confident you'll only be presenting one hull zone an enemy can draw line of sight to (typically the side arc, and typically you're okay with this). It's a bit expensive at 7 points, but if flown carefully and layered with a defensive officer can make your Arquitens surprisingly tanky, especially at long range.
- Reactive Gunnery can be handy for letting you use a surplus defense token as a fake salvo token. Given your rear arc is red+black, it's generally just salvo for a single red die. If your fleet has Intensify Firepower or the Arquitens has Linked Turbolaser Towers, this is generally more appealing.
There are a number of builds that recommend themselves based on the officers and turbolasers I mentioned above, but the two below are for my money the easiest to slot into most fleets.
Captain Needa + Turbolaser Reroute Circuits
It's 63 points of skirmishing annoyance on a stick and I generally consider this as one of the better all-around "entry level" price points for an Arquitens short of going with the dirt cheap Skilled First Officer + Dual Turbolaser Turrets combination. For only 3 points more, it's more of a complete package with better dice control at the cost of the Skilled First Officer's dial control.
The Noisy Cricket
Director Krennic + Slaved Turrets
The Noisy Cricket is the priciest build here at 68 points but it's potent: 5 red dice out the side arc (with concentrate fire) followed by a complete reroll of any number of red dice (at medium to long range). It produces just over 5 average damage per attack and consistently performs for me. The only issue here is your dependence on concentrate fire commands (dials are best but tokens work fine in a pinch), which can cause problems when you want to navigate or repair. So long as you can pass the occasional nav/repair token Krennic's way and/or use Jerry to set a better course, the Noisy Cricket can deliver.
Expert Shield Tech + Reinforced Blast Doors + Linked Turbolaser Towers
So named because every one of the upgrades is known by its acronym slang. So it's an Arquitens with EST, RBD, and LTTs. Easy, right? This Arquitens comes out a little expensive what with all the upgrades but it's pretty self-sufficient and durable, being able to use its redirects for damage reduction with Expert Shield Tech, being able to remove hull damage with Reinforced Blast Doors, and it's got LTTs to even out its dice a bit.
|Never mind, we're back to our comforting gray triangles. Phew, I was scared.|
Okay, so for 5 points, our Light Cruiser becomes a Command Cruiser and gains the following:
- Replaces the front and rear black dice with blue dice
- Replaces the black flak die with a blue flak die
- Squadron value increased from 1 to 2
- Gains a support team slot
Downside: Most of the stuff you're buying doesn't really enhance what the Arquitens wants to do in the first place: stay at long range and shoot ships from its side arc. The support team slot certainly isn't bad, but if you're not getting some benefit from the other improvements too, you're spending 5 points so you can now spend more points on a new upgrade.
All that said, there are some compelling reasons to consider a Command Arquitens, which we'll cover shortly in "builds," below. First off, let's cover the support team slot and some options for filling it. Otherwise, my opinions on upgrade slots are the same as before.
You have a few more off-the-wall options here and there but your big three choices, in order of their overall benefit are:
- Engine Techs. Being able to go up to fake speed 4 (3+1) as well as doubling your total yaw (2 clicks at the end of the regular maneuver, another 2 in your speed-1 maneuver) provides numerous benefits for an Arquitens, but it's not cheap. Compared to a regular Light Cruiser, a Command Cruiser with Engine Techs costs an additional 13 points. Yikes.
- That's not even getting into Engine Techs' hunger for nav commands, which conflicts somewhat with the Arquitens' default hunger for concentrate fire commands whenever possible.
Little Salvo Buddy
Reactive Gunnery + Linked Turbolaser Towers
The Command Arquitens is superior for salvo given the red+blue in its rear arc, more often getting both dice when it uses salvo with Reactive Gunnery. It also gets more value from Linked Turbolaser Towers' ability to super-zap one squadron with its blue flak die, allowing it to reach out and swat a squad that hangs out in an arc that isn't firing at ships.
Baby's First Flagship
Auxiliary Shield Techs + Reeva Demesne + Advanced Projectors + your choice of turbolaser
Baby's First Flagship is about as tanky as you can make an Imperial small ship and deserves consideration, typically in an MSU style fleet where having numerous combat ships/activations is important as well as in fleets where you don't want to paint a giant target on your super-upgraded large ship by making sure your
|For real, like how many more castles would you say?|
Engine Techs + Quad Battery Turrets + your choice of officer
Named originally for a specific fleet build originally brought to light by Thrindal on the FFG forums that combined Tarkin, a Cymoon with Intensify Firepower and the Sovereign title, a Gozanti, and two Arquitens outfitted as above, the "Tarquitens" build tries to solve both the "weird maneuvering" and "kind of weak firepower" Arquitens problems at the same time. Effectively, the Tarquitens needs an easy supply of nav tokens or dials plus it will be doing concentrate fire (or rarely repair) for itself. The Tarquitens is looking to stay at speed 1 while using Engine Techs constantly for a pair of double-click moves that allows it to safely set up double-arcs (normally pretty difficult for an Arquitens to do safely) while triggering Quad Battery Turrets on each attack. Combined with a concentrate fire, that means enemy ships are taking a 3+1 dice attack followed by a 2+1+1 dice attack (assuming medium range out the front, otherwise minus 1 die) for a total of two 4-dice attacks, which adds up more quickly than you'd think. Because the Tarquitens is reliant on getting this trick pulled off consistently, it's really only viable with Tarkin or Thrawn, but it's a fun if expensive build.