|Okay so hear me out, what if TIE Fighters had an extra wing and also its wings were each two triangles and those triangles had lasers?|
In Armada, they're similar. The points cost can be problematic but one-on-one they're probably the best generic squadron in the game, which is thematically fitting. Let's move right along...
|Beware the flying billiards ball!|
The Bomber keyword can also be deceiving - TIE Defenders do a single damage against a ship 75% of the time, improving to a 94% chance of doing 1 damage if you've got a Bomber Command Center around. For a 16 point squadron, that's not amazing, getting left in the dust by cheaper dedicated bombers. The Defender, much like the X-Wing it was designed to outperform, isn't really much of a dedicated anti-ship squadron despite the Bomber keyword.
- You've hit your fleet's squadron command ceiling and instead of adding additional generic fighter squadrons you won't be able to command (initially, anyways), you'd rather spend the points to upgrade them to the deluxe package.
- Your squadron group is very aggressive and you intend to be fighting it out while also being flakked by enemy ships. The Defender's 6 hull and speed 5 assist with both the alpha strike and surviving flak, where your usual 3-hull fighters would just melt.
- You simply want a somewhat-versatile squadron to assist the aces you're already using.
Defenders' stock has gone up in Armada 1.5 now that you're ace-limited, so give them another look when making your new squadron groups. Just please supplement them with other squadrons to compensate for their shortcomings.
|Autographs are 10 credits, kid. I better not see this on space eBay!|
- A neat special ability
- 2 brace tokens
- an extra blue anti-ship die
Maarek's special ability is quite potent as it allows him to "fix" blue accuracy dice rolled against a ship to a critical icon and can improve his black anti-squadron dice when they roll blank(by flipping to the hit+crit side). This improves his average damage against ships to 1.94 average damage, which is a huge increase over the 0.75 of a regular Defender and better even than heavier anti-ship squadrons like Firesprays and generic Decimators. It also improves his average damage against squadrons to 2.94, which is a mild improvement over the default Defender's 2.5. It should also be noted that Maarek's special ability works whenever he attacks, so if he's given an extra attack by his BFF, Colonel Jendon, his ability applies to both attacks!
Grit is also not to be overlooked, as it can allow you to reposition and attack or to chase after ships more easily once the enemy squadron presence has been thinned out a bit. It comes in handy here and there and it's not infrequently forgotten about until suddenly it makes a big difference.
In short, Maarek Stele is one of the best squadrons in the game, with a good argument to be made for being the very best squadron in the game. He's not cheap, but for a moderate cost increase over a regular Defender he makes the basic chassis far more effective against ships (making it a very potent anti-everything squadron) and the two brace tokens make those 6 hull points go even further.