Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Hammerheads: Costco Brand Raiders!

Yeesh, what a title.  Anyways, today's topic is Hammerheads.
You mean me?
No, not the 90s cartoon Street Sharks (which I suspect in hindsight was NOT totally "Jawesome" but was actually a mediocre Ninja Turtles rip-off, which was in actuality a good Daredevil rip-off) but the Hammerhead Corvette, the newest ship from the Rebellion.  I pray this is the last Street Sharks joke I make, but we all know me, so I make no promises (further side note: one of the Street Sharks always had on rollerblades, because 1995 or whatever.  He later played drums professionally.)
Show me that card art!
She may not look like much, kid, but she's got it where it counts
So what do we have here then?
And that last one is where people get lost at.  As Rebel players, we're so used to maneuverable speed 3 little jerks (MC30s, CR90s, flotillas, Nebulons) that when we have to work slightly for it, it detracts from everything else about the ship and becomes the main focus of our ire.  We're so used to having the ability to turn 2 clicks at speed 3 (every single one of those 4 previously mentioned ships CAN do it, and even the Assault Frigate and LMC80 can get there at speed 3 if you spend the dial at that click).  We're very used to being able to turn on a dime with our ships, or at the very least turn in the vicinity of that dime. The Hammerhead is aware that a dime is somewhere in the field of play, yes.

But the benefit of its reverse-Raider speed 3 path (Raiders have blank-one-one, we get one-one-blank) is that if you need to go speed 3, you can angle HARD to get where you need to when you need to.  You're not swinging around a corner at speed 3 (well, under Madine....) but you are snap turning to the left or right more quickly than you might expect in order to attack a newly exposed flank of your opponent's ship that moved forward.  See below for a picture of what I'm talking about.
Moving from out of the ISD's front arc into its side and out of its deadliest guns

Notice how in the example that you suddenly are able to attack a flank of the ISD that you seemed NOWHERE near on the last turn.  If you can go first next turn, you have a very good chance of putting some serious damage on that ISD's side.

They look and cost very similarly to CR90s, but they are NOT the same.  The only thing that the 2 ships share in common (besides the Turbolaser slot) is the officer slot.  Your Hammerhead gets the Offensive Retrofits and Weapons Team slots, CR90s have a Defensive Retrofit and a Support Team (let's be honest with ourselves here, a fleet of hammerheads with Engine Techs would be broken beyond belief and would ruin the game as a whole).
Bluto later became Senator Shiv Palpatine

Quick Basics: How to Hammerhead
The easiest thing to start with (past our above discussion breaking them down, of course) is HOW to go about using them.  Well, first, I'm going to refer us all back to Eric's Raider article and the lessons of "catching" ships that come into your view.  I'm going to steal some quotes from there (just like the Rebellion, taking the hard work of other humans and repurposing it for their own needs!  My comments below are in red).
Successful Raider Hammerhead use often involves a lot of navigate commands (dials and/or tokens) for speed and, at speeds 3 and 4, yaw management (hahahaha we don't get that). Frequently I see people misuse Raiders Hammerheads by deploying them at speed 3 or 4. This is usually a mistake, and often a fatal one. Ideally your Raiders Hammerheads should start at speed 2, or rarely, speed 1. They should take a nav token on the first turn and often receive a navigate command again on turn 2 (unless boarding teams). This gives you a considerable amount of control over where exactly you will be committing to moving on turns 2 and 3 at the very least and lets you play it cagey in the early game where you'll be out of range or at long range on turn 2 rather than running suicidally into the kill zone early on. Effectively, the Raider's Hammerhead's survivability is very dependent on positioning (these are Eric's words, but I wanted them highlighted and underlined) and you want to use its superior yaw at speeds 1 and 2 while waiting for your opportunity to make that happen.

Specifically, what you're trying to accomplish is to stay at long range of enemies when they are attacking and then attack them back at short range starting around turn 3 (or turn 2 if the enemy is barreling at you) to get in 1-2 rounds of pummeling before repositioning or escaping, or most likely before dying, depending on the circumstances. This can be accomplished a few ways, but the easiest and most applicable is to "catch" enemies that must move towards you. The Raider Hammerhead is well-suited appointed to this tactic because someone has to be, able to stay at long to medium range and then take advantage of its large front arc to catch enemy ships that activate, make a poor to medium quality attack against it, and then find they can't escape getting attacked at short range when the Raider Hammerhead activates later.
So yeah, it's basically a Rebel Raider.  I could steal a lot more from Eric's article and use it to just pad my own article, but I've never been a big fan of clip shows.
A LOT of Eric's points about using Raiders correctly (Navigate often, try to have a bid) apply here.  To steal the last thing I will from Eric's article before I start actually writing my own article:
The core mistake some players make with Raiders Hammerheads is they see the Raider's Hammerhead's black dice batteries and high (LOL) max speed and think of them as faster baby Gladiators MC30s. The Raider's Hammerhead's defense token suite, hull zone arc geometry, unremarkable (for its speed/size) yaw at higher speeds (SO UNREMARKABLE!), flak dice setup, and general desire to support and be supported by the rest of your fleet are opposed to this usage. It is often an attempt to use Raiders Hammerheads this way, and subsequently failing, that convinces players Raiders Hammerheads are worthless when the complaint from those players is actually "I can't successfully use Raiders Hammerheads the way I thought they should be used at first like in the movie where they blew up that Star Destroyer." Using Raiders Hammerheads well can be very rewarding but requires using them in support of a fleet with a moderate to high number of activations and keeping them at speed 2 or so to "catch" enemy ships/squadrons until necessity dictates a speed change.
So yeah, let's all thank Eric for writing like half my article for me (laaaaaaaaaaaazy).  The thing I'll point out is that the shield patterns and defense token usages of the Hammerhead are such that every accuracy your opponents spend is nearly the same as a use of that token.  If you're shot in the face, locking the redirect (or having XI7s equipped!) means I'm just not redirecting.... one damage.  Locking my evade prevents me from discarding/rerolling....1 (2 if I discard the token) dice.  Locking the contain barely registers an impact.  The hammerhead statistically is going to need 2 shots from an ISD-II face to die.  Your job is to make the time between the first attack and the second count, pour every ounce of damage in that you can to your opponent's ship.  Accept that you're likely going to die, and don't hold on to your defense tokens.  If you get to live, so much the better.  But do NOT be afraid to discard a defense token if it makes the next attacks harder to cause damage on you.

The beauty of the Hammerhead is in its cheapness and simplicity combined with its wolfpack abilities.  And speaking of wolfpacks, I'm going to do things differently from Eric by first discussing titles and builds before I hit the questions and points that need addressing! See, totally different article I'm writing over here!

Our first and easiest title is the one seen by its lonesome, when you just want to use one Hammerhead:
Tasty flotilla pillows, mmm
Face up damage is nothing to sneeze at, and this Hammerhead's favorite Commander is Jan Dodonna, rocking his way into whatever specific (Comms Noise) crit you might (Projector Misaligned) need at the time (Structural Damage).  Follow it up the next turn with Boarding Engineers for extra fun!

The other two titles are going to be talked about together.  Ironic, considering that you need at least 2 Hammerheads in order to get the bonus from them!  First, let's talk how Task Forces work.
  • You don't exhaust (tap) the title of the ship that is currently activating, you exhaust one of its friends distance 1-3 away.  If you aren't within 3, you can't exhaust and thus can't use the title's ability.  Friends stay close to friends.
  • Each ship in your fleet that wants to use the title's ability needs to have a matching friend.  If only one ship brought the task force title, you wasted your points.
  • Relatedly, no bringing one task force for one ship and exhausting a different-named task force on a different ship.  What this means in practice is that when you pick one task force title, you stick with it generally fleet wide.
  • If a title is already exhausted, you can't re-exhaust it.  It stays exhausted until the Status Phase.  That's when it unexhausts and you can start re-using the titles and everything together.
Oh, Sergeant Angel, it's always "Murder, murder, murder!"
Task Force Organa is the cheaper one, at one point per ship.  By exhausting it on another ship, you can give the ship that just attacked the ability to reroll 2 dice.  HOWEVER, once the title is exhausted, that ship with the exhausted title can't attack ships this turn.  It can flak the crud out of some nearby opposing squadrons, but when your only other unactivated ship is at distance 1 of your opponent's ship and you're wishing that your current ship hadn't rolled blank-blank-blank on your External Racks roll (I will interchangeably refer to this in the rest of this article as ExRax, just FYI), well, I feel your pain.  So, tap the title on a friend that isn't going to attack or has already activated.

Because this is a "while" effect, you can only reroll 2 dice once.  I'd also wait as long as possible before deciding what to reroll.  Seeing an accuracy on your blue and red dice may not be ideal, but having "something" on those beats the blank-blank-blank external racks fueled "nothing" you just rolled afterwards.
Friendship is rare, do you know what I'm saying to you?
As for Task Force Antilles, you can tap it and absorb a damage that was going to hit your friend like an ancient Roman Legionnaire catching an arrow on your shield.  Only in this case it's likely you eating an arrow in your own rear arc that was hitting your opponent in an unshielded arc.  But hey, you have a use for that rear arc shield now!  At 3 points per ship, this is not the easiest inclusion (9 points per group of 3, 12 points for group of 4), but it can keep your ships alive super well.  For extra fun times, combine it with a Pelta with Shields to Maximum! So much restored "health" every turn!

This ability doesn't stack.  So you can only tap one title to remove one damage, even if you have 4 other ships nearby (let's not discuss FFG and its preview article accuracy with rules understandings).  It's still a great ability, even with that restriction.  And given that the "downside" is that the Hammerhead with the tapped taskforce title can't use an Engineering command, that isn't a downside that really stresses me out.  As Leia Organa is (feasibly) the only commander who can get decent use out of an Engineering command on them (in a vacuum, non-Redemption Nebulon B's excluded), Engineering isn't a common command choice with them.  They don't have many shields to move around, anyways, so it's not something that really worries me too much. Why engineer when you can navigate instead?

The Task Force titles are really why you're playing Hammerheads over CR90s.  Together, they can combine their powers to take down something much larger than them.  You may need to TRADE a few of your Hammerheads for that ship, but I ask you: how many dead Hammerheads is a dead ISD worth to you? Because 3 is an even trade, and anything less than that is a positive for YOU.  TFOrgana improves your ability to attack with your Hammerheads, while TFAntilles improves your ability to wither heavy fire for longer.  Their ability to work together is how you actually get good mileage out of them.  They're going to have to learn to arc dodge TOGETHER as a group.
The legs navigational clicks feed the wolf, gentlemen.
And as much as me just jokingly linking to Miracle clips in that picture there is dumb and easy, there's a lot of good advice there.  Train to use these ships, this doesn't just come naturally.  Heck, I've been running them since they came out and I STILL don't have them fully down (I'm working on it...)  You need to practice with running them and their speeds and how to use them, this isn't as natural as putting a CR90 in there like you easily can in most lists.  Much like Jim Craig, practice catching ships/tennis balls.  And by spreading out and practicing, you can land where you need to and what's that give us? Options!

Related to your training, you need to make sure that you're both bringing the External Racks ships to bear at the right moment yet still being able to use the titles at the same time.  The often aggravating thing about TFOrgana is the inability to attack ships with a tapped title, as it can result in you not getting to trigger your (now) perfectly lined up External Racks shot.  Stagger your deployments, don't have them all arriving together at the same turn to hit that ISD you're attacking, especially if you need the title for a reroll mechanic.  Relatedly, having them in the same arc of the (non-Gunnery Team equipped) ship you're attacking can lead to a lot of fun, where your opponent wants to attack all 3 of your hammerheads but can only hit one of them.  Deliver your Racks and get out/get ramming.  Related to THAT, try not to ram yourself (too much).  You're going to do that in your first few games.  Watch your movements and practice.

Torpedo Hammerhead and Common Builds
Fun fact: you can easily fit 6-7 of these in a list! I'm not sure its fun for your opponent though....
So with all that said, let's break these ships down individually.  We'll start here, with the more traditionally seen Torpedo Hammerhead.  It's the cheapest way of getting an Ordnance Upgrade into your list, and it's also the cheapest way of getting Boarding Teams to equip.  With that being said, let's look at a couple common builds with these.

You can expect this ship to die.  You can put Hondo on this if you're triggering a boarding team or nothing for nothing.  The benefit of the Hammerhead is what it takes to bring it down is a lot more than you'd expect, so don't overdo it on upgrades because you can.

Offensive Retrofit/Weapons Team:
Hammerheads are very squishy.  This is a boarding team or maybe Proximity Mines if you have a plan for multiples.  I've used Ruthless Strategists, but that's more of a Scout HH thing.  You can also put Ordnance Experts in the Weapons Team Slot if you don't trust your black dice substantially/want extra insurance, but it's starting to get pricy IMO.  Special mention in the boarding teams sections (especially if delivered out of Profundity) to our good friends Cham Syndulla and Shriv Suurgav.  If you bid large enough to get first player, Raddus delivery systems of either one of those boarding teams can flip entire games.

External Racks. Or a crit effect if you're Sato.  But it's otherwise External Racks, nothing else is really worth the points you're investing for the roughly 1-time you're going to get the shot and have one dice each to attempt to get the crit? No thanks.  Expanded Launchers is 10 more points for an attack you're not going to get to make (because your opponent will do EVERYTHING to kill it), you don't have the arcs for Rapid Reload, and APTs/ACMs should only be considered under SatoFlechettes and APTs/ACMs CANNOT BE COUNTED ON when you roll 1 black dice.  It's not a viable strategy at all. Don't do it unless you LITERALLY have the Devil's own luck.

Basic build! (41 points)

Task Force Organa
External Racks

The basic build is pretty sweet. Three of them total up to 123 points, the cost of a naked ISD, along with 3 activations as well.  There's not a lot to say about this that I haven't said already above.  This is my default Hammerhead when I'm bringing them in a group.

Stayin' Alive! (47 points)
Task Force Antilles
Ordnance Experts
External Racks

Similar ship build, same External Racks.  Some people may say that Ordnance Experts isn't necessary.  Some people have never rolled 4 blank black dice before (one base, 2 from ExRax, and a Concentrate Fire additional).  When you roll it, you'll thank me for having you include OE.  This brings us to an important point about how to build a Hammerhead of your very own.

If you're including black dice on it, you NEED a way to reroll them or you NEED to accept that there will come a game where they will let you down.

I can throw all sorts of numbers on here detailing expected damage rolls and probable outcomes and blah blah blah.  Just remember that probability is the EXPECTED OUTCOME over a LONG PERIOD OF TIME.  You get one roll, one chance to fire your ExRax. Try not to miss.
A group of warboys isn't a bad description for your Hammerhead wolf pack.  Live, die, live again in Valhalla.
And in the realm of "John ignores the advice he LITERALLY just gave you...."

RAMMING SPEED! (48 points)

Garel's Honor
Hondo Ohnaka
Boarding Engineers
External Racks

The benefit of running this under Dodonna is that when you ram your opponent's ship, you get to pull the face-up crit of your choice.  And that's great.  The downside of that is the BEST crits (Comm Noise, Projector Misaligned, for example) flip themselves back over to the regular damage side.  So the next turn, you trigger Hondo (if you need him) and give yourself the squadron token to trigger the Boarding Engineers.  Flip over 2 more crits, Concentrate Fire with your dial, and pray that the 4 black dice you roll don't badly screw you over.  I can't promise you anything, but that is a potential for SO much damage onto one opponent's ship, depending on what damage cards were already on there.  Sometimes you gotta go for lucky over good, and sometimes you gotta pray for what you need.
I suggest praying in John Woo's Church of the Dove.  It seems like a place that's all about damage and murder.
Any of the boarding teams can work in that spot, it's really just a matter of which one you want to use there, but I'd look at Shriv, Cham, and Boarding Engineers.  Usually by the time you're delivering it with Dodonna, it should have some damage on it already.  Raddus-Profundity bombs usually want a boarding team that's going to mess up an opponent's plans; hence Shriv or Cham.

Sato Special! (48 points)
Task Force Organa
Ordnance Experts
Disposable Capacitors
Assault Proton Torpedos

You're gonna get maybe 2 shots with this; once on the way in and once up close if you're lucky.  It has multiple reroll mechanics to ensure you're doing everything you can to get that crit.  APTs or ACMs is really a matter of choice, but both can do work as needed.  Sato wants crits, and this is the cheapest way to reliably start delivering them.

Scout Hammerhead and Common Builds
I exist!
Yes, this is a ship that gets taken too! I actually really like these as the second and third member of your Hammerhead trio.  With 2 Scouts, they're fine firing at ships at long range.  You can activate the Torpedo one early to stall as an activation and force your opponent into range, and then use the 2 Scouts as long range damage.  When things get rougher, you can move the Torpedo in to start the turn blowing a hole through the ship they've been ganging up on before they Warboy themselves into an early grave.  The main difference between this one and the Torpedo is the turbolaser as opposed to the Ordnance slot.  So that's the main focus.

Hondo or a cheap equivalent.  These die hard too, but they do die.

Weapons Team:
I've used Ruthless Strategists to better effect here, and it's specifically because of that blue die letting you reach out and hit from a distance.  Otherwise, keep moving.  Gunnery Team isn't worth it on something this fragile of a platform, even if it IS a cheapish Nebulon equivalent then.  If you want a boarding team, I refer you back to the Torpedo which is a cheaper boarding team delivery service.

Offensive Retrofit:
There's an argument for Disposable Capacitors here.  Usually I am too cheap to pay for that argument, but it's not a bad use of 3 points.

Generally I default to Slaved Turrets on here, but I can see the use of LTT and just using these as flak boats.  Slaved is usually better and a point cheaper though, as volume of fire wins out a lot with these.

Basic Build! (42 points)
Task Force Organa
You can add all sorts of bells, whistles, upgrades, officers, and everything else you want.  End of the day, it's still a Hammerhead, and it still doesn't care too hard about living, really.  Slap a title on there as a reroll bonus for your other 1 with ExRax and your twin whose red dice might roll badly.  Grand total for 1 Torpedo and 2 of these: 125 points.  That's a solid block of your list.

Upgraded! (47 points)
Slaved Turrets

You're throwing 3 red at long range.  Just make sure that you have dice correction in your list for when they misbehave.  Intensify Firepower, Leia/Garm tokens, a Task Force friend.... What about Gunnery Team and Spinals?  I've run this ship heavily upgraded before, and it can get some work done, but at the end of the day you're still putting Gunnery Team on a ship with 3 red dice and a flight path that's going to take them towards danger and not past it.  That's a lot of points of upgrades on a ship that isn not designed to live.

A quick squadron-ish diversion!
With regards to both of these ships, with a Weapons Team and an Offensive Retrofit, you might be tempted to try something like Flight Controllers and Expanded Hangar Bays with them in order to push 3 more squadrons with an extra blue dice for attacking.  While I can't tell you not to, I don't really advise it, as that's adding 11 points of upgrades that might see use once or twice a game (twice if you're really lucky).  You can put an entire A-wing in there instead and it seems like that would provide something more useful to you for more of the game anyways.  I haven't tried it myself, but Truthiness DID, and he was not a fan.  I trust him enough on this for me to just quote him directly (half my article is me getting help from others, haha).
Hammerheads live and die by speed adjustment to refine their attack angle. Having to spam squadron commands and keep a [navigate] token makes that impossible without a Pelta bringing Entrapment Formation.
Thanks Truthiness for suffering for all of our education! I owe you a beer, if you're ever in Chicago...
When I was running Leia for a solid 2 months when she came out, I was never able to be able to get my squadrons near enough to a Hammerhead to be commanded for more than one turn if I was lucky.  Your hammerheads are trying to stay long to short.  If you want to instead try Boosted Comms and Flight Controllers, you're putting 10 points of upgrades to add a blue dice to (at best) 2 squadrons.  Not a great deal in my opinion.  If you want Flight Controllers, Assault Frigates are still the answer there.

Common Points of "Discussion"
So we're through it all, and I'm glad everyone agrees with me that
I disagree with you and your points about how Hammerheads are good!
Oh, hello narrative device that I used in my Leia article as a convenient way of getting a discussion going, what are you doing here?
Disagreeing with you about how Hammerheads are worth taking!
Well why don't you lay out your concerns and comments and I'll do my best to answer them?

First point: You require 3 amigos
With the exception of the Garel's Honor, yeah, you're going to want at least 2 friends for task forces.  Hammerheads are sold in boxes of 2, but you really need at least 3 to get the full benefit of their titles and abilities.  I've tried just using 2, and you think you'll be OK, then a lucky shot from long range ends your other Hammerhead and suddenly the title you have on your lone remaining Hammerhead is useless.  Bring 1, bring 3+.  There is no two.
Not this time, Yoda.
And while that SEEMS like a downside, that you need to bring three, think of the upside.  You can combine 3 different attacks into the same arc on a ship with 3 VERY cheaply built ships.  You're gonna be hitting hull on pretty much every ship in the game, or at the very least clearing every shield off that ISD, letting your other ships start pounding its hull FAST.  The sum of their parts is greater than they may individually seem.  That's 3 individual ships that your opponent needs to deal with, lest they eat an ExRax shot.

Because they're built so cheaply and you get so many of them that you can "purchase" for your list, that's where this post's title/joke comes from.  You can buy ANYTHING cheaply from Costco, and you get them in bulk, haha. Now watch as next wave's MC75 article is an IKEA joke...

Alternatively, don't put titles on them and use them as disposable activations that need more effort to kill than they really seem worth.  You usually need two shots to kill them, and so long as you activate them inbetween those shots, they get work done.

Second point: You just strapped a rocket onto a bomb
Wait, I just lit a rocket.  Rockets exploooooooooooooooooooooooooooooode!
My response: Yeah, and? You brought in your swarm of Hammerheads to hit your opponent's ships as hard as you can before they explode.  If you deliver the External Racks, that's a good day.  You want to prioritize targeting ships that are worth more than the hammerhead if you kill them.  Basically, this is every non-flotilla ship in the game.  Even IF you spend your External Racks to blow up a CR90 or Raider, that's a 40 point ship (your hammerhead) that just blew up a 51 point ship; you've traded up, baby.  Even trading 3 of them for an ISD is about even, PLUS your opponent is now down an ISD (and it's mighty demoralizing watching a hammerhead blow one of those up).  Work in tandem; you didn't strap a rocket onto a bomb, you strapped rockets onto SEVERAL bombs.  Find a way to detonate those bombs against your opponent's ship as opposed to sitting in your torpedo bays (ie, undetonated and still on your ship).

Third point: Their defense token suite blows! Raiders & CR90s are better and will live longer!
What actually pulling off Boarding Troopers feels like
My response: Kiiiiiiiiiinda.  They (CR90s and Raiders) have an extra evade, which means usually the first thing your opponent will lock down at long range is your Hammerhead's evade (especially with the change!), but you have approximately the same hull and shields coming at you (you have one extra hull point than those two, with 2 less shields than a CR90, 3 less than Raiders).  Because you're trying to live in an area of long range becomes short range, you know how to spend your defense tokens.  However, because you can't really be sure you're going to make it OUT of short range, you should feel no compulsion towards keeping your defense tokens.  2 attacks coming in from red range? Burn your evade away if it's not locked down; you're headed into short range soon enough, don't expect to be alive for long.  Redirect all the damage coming in at you and burn those shields away, you don't need shields when you're ramming your opponent!  Blow through that contain if you have to, crits only matter if you're alive next turn!

While Raiders have the ability to get to speed 4 and jump your opponent's ships, your Hammerhead likely does not (have the ability to jump ships well, you definitely can't get to speed 4).  It's likely going to die.  Your job is to have it take out as much of your opponent's ship/hull as possible, and ram damage is one way of ensuring that you get that.  I'm not saying that you should just trade your Hammerheads willy-nilly to put more ram damage into ships, but it IS a nice way to ensure that you're putting solid hurt into your opponent.

As for their lack of survivability, that's surprisingly false.  Several Rebel commanders can up their survivability, as can their Task Force titles and their token suite is deceptive that way.  90 percent of the time, you have your front pointed at your opponent that you're steering towards.  If you get your evade, cancel a dice or two.  Redirect to a shield zone, and use the contain to keep yourself from taking significantly worse damage than you'd think.  Plus, with your extra health, you'd be surprised at how many ships you can finish off with one final ram damage.  And if you have to trade your ship for theirs, you're most likely trading up AND you're eliminating ships.  I've built several lists with these, and it's not hard to make 6-7 ship lists under commanders as expensive as old Leia or Rieekan with them.  I'd be willing to trade 1-2 of my 7 ships for 1-2 of their 4.

They're also very surprisingly resistant to squadron damage (especially with that TFA title!) and the evade against black dice hit/crits.  By the time the squadrons are hitting your hull, you have the contain ready to go and trigger twice (looking at you, Maarek Stele).  Fighting against a heavy squadron fleet, it'll take most of a Quasar alpha strike (and the ship shot itself!) just to kill a single hammerhead.  That doesn't feel good, using 6-7 squadrons to kill one ship.  And if it doesn't die, that hammerhead is gunning for that Quasar, which is.... about as survivable, and worth way more in and to your opponent's list than your hammerhead is.

I'll say it again: just like Raiders, these are not easy ships to get down, and I can fully promise you that I don't even have them all down.  It takes practice, but eventually you'll get these ships dancing like "ballerinas with shotguns" to once again, steal a line from Eric (that he used to describe his Raiders, shhh).
Please, Hammer, DO hurt them.
Final Thoughts
I've stressed all my points about catching ships, keeping them cheap, and working together with your friends to take down ISDs.  So, do all that, try to keep them alive, trade them well if you NEED to trade them, and I'll leave you with this link.


  1. Try a practice run with 3 HHs and a Sato Home One. Give those HHs ACM and TFo - once those enemy shields are stripped it's a downtown express to the damage district.

  2. He later plays drums professionally. Damn you for making me look that up! I wish I knew less about these sharks than I do now...

    Great article as always.

  3. The message tone on my phone is lemme smash so when I saw Garels honour I literally laughed out loud :p

    I've pretty much only ran 4 of these with the Antilles title and boarding engineers to great effect, however my play group agrees that the titles can be triggered all at once during an attack not just one so that makes the title considerably better than the way your group plays it. Faq can't come soon enough.

  4. I ran Hammerheads with Gunnery Team and Spinal Armament as TFO. Using Sato to get 4 black dice and 2 red dice from downtown across two different attacks is fun.