Monday, June 5, 2017

Blue (navigation) objectives, wave five

On to the 6th of my 7 total objective articles!
Navigational Hazards
Notes/clarification:
  • This is another objective where the station is placed last by the second player, which means that the first player will only get to place 2 obstacles total.
  • The victory token only triggers upon ships actually taking damage, so titles like Jaina's Light or other effects that ignore damage from obstacles (like Chart Officer) will stop your opponent from gaining a token.
  • At the end of each round, the second player will get to move a total of 3 obstacles and the first player 2, following the objective restrictions. The station does not move. Objective tokens are placed on the obstacles so you remember what's already been moved but they otherwise do nothing.
What kind of fleets should consider using Navigational Hazards?
There are a few options that make including this objective in your trio more appealing:
  • Interdictors with Grav Shift Reroute can push the starting obstacles away from your fleet and/or closer to your opponent, which can start racking up those Navigational Hazards points more consistently. Just be careful that your speed 2 medium size Interdictor doesn't end up eating damage from obstacles later...
  • More maneuverable/speedier fleets often have an easier time avoiding the repositioned obstacles.
    • Similarly, commanders that focus on maneuverability and/or speed like Ozzel, Jerjerrod, and Madine are all solid here.
  • Any upgrades that allow you to avoid damage from obstacles (as mentioned earlier) can not only keep your ships safer but also prevent you from giving up points to your opponent.
Otherwise, there's not a lot to say. It's a fun objective and it's notable that when you can actually get it working it's an objective that not only puts damage on enemy ships but also gets you victory points. The main hurdle you need to worry about is trying to reduce the damage it deals you right back.

What kind of enemy fleets are disadvantaged by playing Navigational Hazards?
Basically the inverse of fleets that want to bring it: slower, less maneuverable fleets are going to have a bad time because placing obstacles in their flight path is easy to do and difficult for them to avoid; this will produce a lot of victory points for player two and a lot of damage to them.

Salvage Run
Notes/clarification:
  • How to place the station in the "center" of the play area is poorly-defined here. So long as at roughly the middle of the station is midway up the crease between the two 3*3 mats then I imagine that's sufficient. 
    • The station itself is rather lumpy as well so it doesn't really have an easily-identified "center."
  • Remember to add the two dust fields to your obstacles pile!
  • The second player will get to place 4 of the 7 obstacles due to the obstacle placement rules.
  • The second player should obviously choose to place as many of the objective tokens towards their side of the table as possible.
    • Similarly, the second player should choose to place obstacles between the first player and the station (where the tokens are) as much as possible as well.
  • Remember that your window to grab tokens is upon revelation of your command dial and you can grab only one at a time.
  • Finally, the basic setup diagram is as seen below:
Once again, thanks to the Star Wars: Armada wiki for this handy diagram. Try to ignore the "objectiv" typo.
What kind of fleets should consider using Salvage Run?
This is another objective that pairs well with an Interdictor using Grav Shift Reroutes to mess with obstacles to make your life easier and/or your opponent's life harder by making access lanes to tokens more favorable to you and less favorable to them.

This is also (and perhaps more importantly) an objective where Strategic squadrons can do an awful lot to make collecting those tokens much easier and start happening much sooner, potentially even on the first turn if you play your cards right. Good usage of those Strategic squadrons can see all 80 possible points going to you, which is substantial. The main consideration when using Strategic Squadrons this way is if you'd prefer to use Intel Sweep instead for 75 points as more of a sure thing requiring one dedicated objective ship or Salvage Run for a less-certain-but-still-possible 80 points with the free navigate tokens and extra obstacles but likely requiring 2+ ships to grab the tokens. That's not even mentioning our next objective, Sensor Net...

What kind of enemy fleets are disadvantaged by playing Salvage Run?
Just like any other objective that wants you to get to point X to start making points/stop your opponent from making points, slower fleets do not want to play Salvage Run. They're likely to get to the station too late and/or hit some obstacles along the way. It's not a good time for them.

Sensor Net
Notes/clarification:
  • It seems like a lot of text but the short version is "you place objective tokens initially following the rules given and then when you hit one for points during the game, your opponent makes them bounce away."
    • In this case, the second player has the most benefit as they can cause the token to move up to distance 4 whereas the first player can only move them up to distance 2.
  • Obviously it behooves you to move tokens in a way that makes it difficult for your opponent to pick them up again. Moving them to somewhere your ship can grab them is even better.
    • For this reason, order of activation can get really tricky with Sensor Net as you're trying to make sure you don't let your opponent sneak a token away from you for good but you've got other concerns beyond just that, too.
What kind of fleets should consider using Sensor Net?
First let's make it clear that if you play your cards right, you can get a ton of points playing Sensor Net because the tokens just keep teleporting around. The problem is so can your opponent, so you need a fleet that maximizes your own potential here.

Fleets with more numerous ships are better at Sensor Net, as they offer more opportunities for token-pickup and cover more table space so it's harder for your opponent to sneak a token away for good at speed 2. It should go without saying, but Strategic squadrons are extremely helpful in Sensor Net, both for foiling opponent plans to grab tokens for themselves but also to facilitate your own ships continuing to grab those tokens over and over again. I'd go so far as to say if you're not using at least one Strategic squadron, you really shouldn't consider Sensor Net.

It seems that front-arc ships and short-ranged ships have a slight advantage at Sensor Net as well. This is because it's not uncommon for bounced objective tokens to move closer to the enemy fleet. That's also where your front-arc ships generally want to be going, so it can set up situations where you can potentially snag (or threaten to snag, anyways) tokens that your opponent wanted to claim for himself when your ship and an enemy ship are both at distance 1 of a token.

What kind of enemy fleets are disadvantaged by playing Sensor Net?
You do not want to be playing Sensor Net when you've got a lower-ship-count fleet without a Strategic squadron against a fleet designed to get good use from Sensor Net. It may be the lesser evil, but it's still rough.

Solar Corona
Notes/clarification:
  • This has the same deployment debuff as Superior Positions, which makes it potentially quite dangerous for fleets that really don't like getting super-outdeployed (which is most fleets).
  • Remember that the Corona edge is decided after fleet deployment. Thus it's generally superior to deploy to one side of the enemy fleet and choose the side that will be to your back as the Corona. You're attacking with the sun behind you, basically, which is an old but good fighter pilot trick.
  • The accuracy-removal effect triggers on the initial attack roll and that's it. This has some interesting ramifications with the attack sequence:
    • If you have a way to flip a die to an accuracy side during the resolve attack effects step (like H9 Turbolasers), then Solar Corona does not care. Its triggering window has already passed. 
      • The same is true of accuracy icons generated by rerolls.
  • Remember that the Solar Corona only removes 1 die, so if multiple accuracy icons are rolled, the attacker chooses which one is removed.
  • More maneuverable ships can on occasion set up an attack arc just right so it can target an enemy ship without any of that arc including the Corona-cursed table edge. This can be rather tricky to pull off (and nearly impossible for heavier ships), but with the right circumstances it can be done.
    • Speaking of which, I'd strongly recommend using a laser line pen for determining if your arc stretches out a foot or two (or more) to include the Corona edge, should that ever need to be determined in situations where it's unclear. Using the range ruler for measurements over a foot long can become guesswork and that's aggravating for everyone.
What kind of fleets should consider using Solar Corona?
Solar Corona is a great choice if your fleet can't realistically get points scored from other blue objectives (often when you lack an Interdictor and/or Strategic squadrons to make them more reliable) and you'd like the deployment buff from Superior Positions but lack the ability to grab points from Superior Positions. In that circumstance, Solar Corona gets you the "meat" of Superior Positions with an extra added debuff that will primarily affect your opponent and all you needed to do was give up the points-scoring element you weren't going to use anyways!

Solar Corona has additional synergy with ships with a single higher-priority defense token. Many ships meet this criterion, but in particular I enjoy it with ships that are often being attacked at longer ranges or from worse arcs, like CR90s, Raiders, Gladiators, and flotillas - this allows them to usually keep their precious single token free against all but large dice pools if the Corona is getting in the way, but it won't work against dice modification, so be careful!

What kind of enemy fleets are disadvantaged by playing Solar Corona?
Anything that doesn't like the "deploying blind" disadvantage of Superior Positions will hate Solar Corona for the same reason. Gunline fleets often don't have the maneuverability to get around the Corona's debuff as they'll be doing their best to line up and shoot towards the approaching enemy fleet and right into the Corona. This is particularly true for Gunnery Team-equipped ships as they'll be doing their best to get multiple targets in arc and thus extra-hosed by the Corona, as turning to an angle to catch one ship on the edges and avoid the Corona "turns off" Gunnery Team.

Fleets without dice modification and/or rerolls are also going to have a hard time reliably generating accuracy results.

7 comments:

  1. I'm not sure of the timing of this, but can you talk about how Solar Corona interacts with Home One or Quad Turbolaser Cannons? I'm a little murky on when "While attacking" effects can trigger, so could Home One change a red die to an accuracy face on another ship, then QTCs add another dice before it got removed?

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    1. The Solar Corona only removes an accuracy from the initial roll. Once you are past the initial roll and are on to dice modification, it doesn't do anything anymore. So changing dice to an accuracy at that point is safe.

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    2. So if you just had QTCs and rolled a red Accuracy, would you get to add another red dice set to accuracy before the Corona removed the original?

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    3. No you would not. The accuracy would be removed from the initial dice roll and when it came time to resolve attack effects afterwards your QTCs would have no accuracy to trigger their ability.

      I'd check out my article about the attack sequence (it's in the Armada basics index) for a more detailed breakdown.

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    4. Thanks for the clarification, that's what I figured but wanted to be sure!

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  2. On salvage run do the obstacles still have to be at least distance 1 away from each other?

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    Replies
    1. Yes they do, as the card does not instruct us otherwise.

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