Thursday, December 24, 2020

Blue (navigation) objectives, wave five

On to the 6th of my 7 total objective articles!
Navigational Hazards
  • 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 not very serious objective that's mostly there for fun 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 problem is generally players will prioritize moving obstacles away from their ships first and then mess with enemy ships second, so the obstacles have a tendency to float away from trouble most of the time. If you really want to have fun scoring points while causing trouble with obstacles, I'd strongly recommend Infested Fields instead.

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
  • 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 3x3 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.
    • In general, the second player is looking to place the dust clouds in locations to screen their collector ships and put damaging obstacles in the path of the first player. The first player is looking to place damaging obstacles in places where they'll cause problems for the second player getting to the tokens.
    • On a side note: the obstacle placement allows for obstacles to be placed inside the center front areas of both deployment zones. There's nothing in the base rules or this objective that prohibits you from deploying a ship on an obstacle in such a case, and the deployed ship won't suffer from deploying on a damaging obstacle, only in future turns if they end their maneuver on top of a damaging obstacle.
      • For that reason, I generally don't recommend placing obstacles in deployment zones for this objective.
  • The second player should obviously choose to place as many of the objective tokens towards their side of the table. You can get all 4 in your half pretty easily, fanned out behind the station.
    • The two closest to the center line of the table are basically impossible for even a speed 4 enemy ship to get to on the first round, and the two on the sides of the fan can be reached by a speed 4 ship that deploys very aggressively.
      • In my experience, jetting towards a token at speed 4 as first player can stop your opponent from getting all four tokens but it can produce more problems than it solves when your token-grabber ship is overextended and going crazy fast.
  • Remember that your window to grab tokens is upon revealing 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?
The area around the station can get rather cluttered, and you'll want at least 4 ships that can grab all the tokens on round two without smashing into the negative obstacles thrown in the way, so this objective plays best with fleets using 4+ small ships, most frequently MSU, which can also appreciate the dust cloud coverage on the way in. Some MSU/squadron-heavy hybrid fleets can also use it for this reason (lots of obstacles to hide ships behind and a nice centrally-placed station for squadrons to work around), but they need to be careful to not put too many ships in one place and expose them to enemy attacks and a good reason to not be using Superior Positions (or some other objective) instead.

A Strategic squadron isn't really required for Salvage Run, but it can help to allow you to grab a token round one, reducing the number of ships required to head into the middle. It can also allow you to yank a token away from an enemy ship running in at speed 4 trying to snipe a token. If you have a single Strategic squadron, I'd consider Salvage Run or Intel Sweep, most likely, depending on how your fleet feels about all the extra everything Salvage Run brings with it. If you have multiple Strategic squadrons, you're better off with Sensor Net in most cases.

What kind of enemy fleets are disadvantaged by playing Salvage Run?
If your ships can't go speed 4, get teleported in (like Raddus), or use a Strategic squadron or two to pull a token away at the top of round two, you're playing Salvage Run 80 points behind and your opponent gets free navigate tokens. Some fleets also really hate those dust clouds (usually longer-ranged fleets, but they can be cleverly used in other ways as well).

If your plan is "go speed 4," (or speed 3+1 with something like Engine Techs or whatnot) I'll reiterate what I said above: be careful. You're blazing at maximum speed into enemy territory and I've seen ships get in way over their heads. It's not inherently a terrible idea, but it can seem like a good idea and then quickly turn out to be a bad idea.

Sensor Net
  • 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.
  • Picking up the tokens is not optional. They must be scored and moved if possible. This is particularly relevant to the first player.
    • Specifically, it can be a trap to pick up tokens as the first player, as they'll bounce over to the second player pretty quickly. If you don't have a way to manage the tokens with Strategic, it's paradoxically usually best to put your starting two tokens in a corner somewhere, far from the fight, rather than set them up to be collected.
  • 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 one of your ships 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.
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 distance 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 Sensor Net is an objective that you should only ever consider if you're using Strategic squadrons, plural (as in 2+).

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 any Strategic squadrons against a fleet designed to get good use from Sensor Net. Fleets designed to milk Strategic objectives can easily get a 100+ point lead on you. If you must play against Sensor Net without Strategic squadrons, please put your starting objectives in a corner and force the other player to get by with only the 2 tokens he starts with.

Solar Corona
  • 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 doesn't 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 and you'd like the deployment buff from Superior Positions but lack the ability to grab points from shooting things in the rear arc. 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. I've mentioned it above, but to reiterate: fleets without dice modification and/or rerolls are also going to have a hard time reliably generating accuracy results against Solar Corona. That's not an insurmountable problem but it can be tough.


  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?

    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.

    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?

    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.

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

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

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

  3. In the Sensor Net, the card says that the claiming player chooses which token will be moved. How does this look in the actual game? If my opponent claims a token, he surely won't chose that very same one to be teleported away from him again the same moment he got it. Then when I claim a token, I don't want to chose the one the furthest from me and closest to the enemy, because he'll move it even further. Wouldn't it result in players dividing their pairs of tokens to keep forever? Am I missing something or just imagining it incorrectly? Thanks.

    1. If it's a choice between multiple tokens AT DISTANCE 1 OF THE CLAIMING SHIP, the claiming player chooses which one bounces away. Typically there is just one token that qualifies, but sometimes it's two (or rarely, more). Hopefully that clears it up.

    2. Thank you, I absolutely missed that part. I simply connected 'those' with "all those tokens on the table" and then never reinterpreted it in any other way. It's much clearer now!

  4. Solar Corona: This is a little rules lawyer-ish but if playing in a Task Force battle on a 3x3 mat can I choose to make the 3" edge to my rear the corona (or to my front in some circumstances I suppose). Given that that the objective was written when 3x6 was the default I can see arguments both ways.

    1. The rebellion in the rim rules specifically state that you cannot do that. 3 foot edges in objective cannot be player edges.

  5. Replies
    1. No problem. I had to ask some buddies to be sure, as they were more familiar with the RitR campaign rules offhand than I was. But yep, no Solar Corona on a player edge.