Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Scruffy-looking nerf herders: the search for a fix to flotilla-spam

Let me get this out of the way early: this is likely to be a somewhat controversial article. In short, there has been a lot of talk online lately about flotillas and Relay and their effects on the competitive scene. I wanted to catch folks up who might be unaware of the discussion and give my own thoughts on the matter.

Overall, John and I are pretty positive about the game and we like to keep negativity to a minimum on the blog (for example, I don't personally think an Interdictor is the sort of thing I would currently bring to a competitive event, but I think they're fun in casual play and can be used well enough under the right circumstances and that's what I try to focus on in their write-up). That said, there are going to be some negative sentiments expressed a bit further in, so buckle up and get ready for some turbulence.
C3PO still has time for bicep curls in an asteroid field. That's dedication to arm day, right there.
Sing a song of nerfs gone by
Before we get much further in, I want to talk about the first play-balance errata that hit Armada about 7 months ago. To jog everyone's memory, the changes were:
  • Turbolaser Reroute Circuits exhaust to use (so no using them twice per activation).
  • Rieekan is a once-per-round ability rather than giving zombie powder to his whole fleet all the time.
  • Major Rhymer's range buff reduced from medium to close.
  • Demolisher changed to not work after Engine Techs.
  • Flotillas cannot be flagships for commanders.
Overall the community as a whole seems to agree at this point that the changes were good for the game. The only one of those changes that's received any pushback thus far has been the Major Rhymer change, which has been a little contentious; I personally feel it was a bit harsh, but that's not the focus of this article so let's continue along and perhaps revisit that some other day.

Anyways, the FFG article explaining the changes mentions the rationale for the decisions and I think overall defends the changes well. The basic argument for the rebalancing was:
"Overall, these changes reflect an effort to introduce additional risk and decision-making for abilities that previously enabled extremely powerful combos or repetitive use with no downside."

For the purposes of this article, I'd also like to quote the longer segment about why they disallowed commanders on flotillas:
"Of all the additions to Star Wars: Armada’s competitive scene, flotilla ships have had the greatest underlying impact since their introduction. Flotillas have provided inexpensive additional activations, an additional source of squadron commands, and significant effects through Fleet Support upgrade cards. While they have proven to be vital support ships, the effect of flotillas on activation economy has undermined the competitive value of many fleet combinations. This tendency has only been compounded by the ability of flotillas to serve as flagships and allow the game’s commanders to avoid the main battle with little cost."

Let's put a pin in those quotes, which I'll be coming back around to later.

There might even be some delicious copy pasta!
A personal side note about Rieekan before we go much further
Rieekan was hated online prior to his nerf for the "Aceholes" build (lots of unique squadrons and carriers, all of which could be zombified for the round) which is still popular in some form to this day but at diminished strength. Back in those days, arguments were pretty common online about Rieekan, whether he was too good, and what (if anything) should be done about him. During those arguments, I frequently took the position that Rieekan Aceholes was beatable with the right build (I frequently beat it with my competitive fleet at the time, which had a pair of Flechette Torpedo Raiders, which are something of a hard counter to Aceholes when used right) and it seemed like a lot of players who were struggling against it either didn't know how to handle heavy squadrons or didn't know how to handle Rieekan, and Aceholes required that you knew how to deal with both or you were in for a bad time.

Rieekan Aceholes went on to dominate Worlds, with over half of the top 8 fleets being Rieekan Aceholes. Then Rieekan took a well-deserved club to the head with the nerf bat.

In retrospect, just because I didn't have a problem handling it didn't mean that the fleet build wasn't a problem. It produced a lot of negative play experiences (NPEs in game-forum shorthand) and required fairly specific builds to stand even a decent chance against it, as well as a large degree of skill. Players didn't like being pigeonholed into only a few viable counter-builds, and I don't blame them for feeling that way. There will always be some fleet builds that just don't work at a given time competitively because of meta considerations, but when one popular type of fleet is so powerful that it preemptively shuts down a wide variety of possible fleet builds (insofar as their ability to seriously contest top spots in a competitive event), it's probably too good or at the very least not good for the long-term health of the game.

What's going on right now?/Get to the point already!

I was surprised when I came across this chart on the FFG forums lately detailing information about the wave 6 Regionals (which just wrapped up, with wave 7 dropping in a few days - I'm not sure the Indy Regional information was accounted for, but the others should be):

Fleets Containing
Top 8
Top 4
Large Ships
2+ Large
2+ Mediums
2+ Flotillas
3+ Flotillas

First things first, I want to mention that the further to the right you get in the chart, the less statistically significant the averages are. There are very few event winners, for example, so their averages will vary wildly. However, the Top 8 and, to a lesser extent, Top 4 columns are more statistically "safe." What we're looking for here is any area in which the "All" column (representing everyone who participated in a Regional in wave 6) and the other columns differ substantially. I also want to single out Baltanok for praise, as he maintains the data sheets that this kind of information is derived from (a fairly thankless but extremely important task).

What should be immediately obvious and is the focus of this article is flotilla spamming has gotten insane and that's probably not good for the game. There is a strong correlation between higher numbers of flotillas and improved placement in competitive events. We can see that of all fleets present while only 22% of them were using 3+ flotillas, those fleets themselves did much better than their overall representation (42% of the top 8 fleets matched this description, 57% of the top 4), and the same upward trend at a less extreme rate is also apparent for 2+ flotillas (which, by its nature, includes all 3+ flotilla entries as well, it should be noted).

It should also be noted that this is not specifically about squadrons (indirectly they are definitely a factor, of course), it's about flotillas. Here's the data on squadron use for the same events:

Top 8
Top 4
No Squads
1-40 pts
41-80 pts
81-120 pts
121-134 pts

I'm not disputing that there's a positive relationship between the maxed-out squadron contingent and doing better in competitive events (again, please take the "Winners" column with a grain of salt and focus more on the "Top 8" and "Top 4" due to those having more data points), but the correlation is not as strong as it is with flotillas. Maxed squadrons Top 4 compared to "All" is about 65% higher. 3+ flotillas Top 4 compared to "All" is 159% higher.

Why now?
That's a good question, hypothetical reader, and all I really have is conjecture and anecdotes, but I will do what I can to present an explanation, and in some small way explain how flotillas are being used currently that seems out of wack.

Initial release

Flotillas have been somewhat controversial since they first arrived in the game. Offering an activation at such a cheap price and being fairly difficult to destroy unless the attacker is going after them seriously is appealing provided you've got enough muscle elsewhere to make up for the fact that they're offensively wimpy against ships. When they were first released, the meta was missing some tools as well as some other elements to really make them go too crazy, but even then there was the occasional tale of a crazy flotilla-spam fleet and the rare high-visibility player ragequit (or at least temporary retirement) due to changes that occurred in the game related to/facilitated by flotillas, often related to the activation mechanics of Armada.

"Dear diary, I've never been more popular but I still feel dead inside."
Waves 5 and 6
Despite that, flotillas largely settled in and weren't too much of a problem until wave 5, when issues started to arise in some communities and the problem became apparent on a much larger scale in competitive events by the end of wave 6. This seems enabled by a number of changes both in squadrons as well as meta considerations that all rolled together during that time frame to get us to where we are presently.

First and foremost, it's important to touch on Relay. Relay is not a universal feature in flotilla-spam fleets (for example, the current Rebel squadron 2+3 build [meaning 2 "real" ships and 3 flotillas]) uses the flotillas without Relay most of the time), but in general, the less non-flotillas ships are present, the more likely you are to see Relay. The reason for that is fairly straightforward: if you're relying on flotillas largely for activation padding, it makes sense to include squadrons for them to command so they can do something rather than being a purely "empty" activation. The problem with using flotillas near/in combat, where those squadrons tend to be, is it exposes them to danger which can result in dead flotillas which results in your activation padding vanishing. Relay squadrons largely resolve this problem by allowing the flotillas to deploy on the back board edge separated from one another and flying perpendicular to the enemy fleet while running away from combat. The Relay squadrons themselves are pretty robust (8-hull VCXs being the Rebel preference and Colonel Jendon, a 6-hull double-brace ace the Imperial equivalent) and usually guarded by an Escort squadron or two, which puts most fleets that aren't bringing a pretty hefty fighter presence in a tough spot: destroying the Relay squadron(s) is somewhere between a lengthy and impossible task, as is chasing down the flotillas that have no interest in being anywhere near a fight.

It's not helped that all generic Relay squadrons are also Strategic squadrons. Because Rebels need to bring 2 or more VCXs to Relay their full GR-75 squadron commands (being only Relay 1 and Hera having no Relay at all), you'll see Rebel flotilla-spam fleets (typically an Ackbar HMC80 with 4-5 GR-75s, Intel, 2-3 VCXs, and Escorts dubbed "the Fish Farm" by yours truly) bidding hard for second player and then using Strategic to put the first player in a really bad spot. This is not helped by the new wave 5 objectives, which provided Sensor Net. Between Fire Lanes, Sensor Net, and Advanced Gunnery, the first player has his choice of three very bad objectives - either the Fish Farm will be harvesting 45+ points a turn from Fire Lanes or Sensor Net or they'll have an Advanced Gunnery doom pickle that deploys last (usually 9 deployments) and has 5 GR-75s for activation padding so it can also trigger Defiance. The threat of the doom pickle is obvious, but the points-harvesting is equally terrifying: 45+ points a turn is a lot, and not having a great way to quickly staunch the bleeding can cause the first player to get desperate and thus recklessly throw ships and squadrons away attempting to stop it.

It should also be noted that second-player Strategic fleets are another way to turn flotillas (and their squadrons) from empty padding into a means of scoring points while still staying away from a fight, which is a superior method of padding than empty activations.

To a lesser extent, we had other additions to the game that I'll focus on for less time:

Admiral Sloane wants a fairly unique mix of Imperial squadrons and largely does not care about bombers. Without any desire for a Bomber Command Center nearby, it's very appealing to hide the Gozantis away and use Colonel Jendon with a potent mix of aces (always Maarek Stele plus others to taste). Sloane's existence as a possible counter-threat combined with the Major Rhymer nerf has made Imperial bomber fleets (and thus Bomber Command Center Gozantis) nearly non-existent, making the Jendon + flotillas Imperial squadron archetype a very common one.

Speaking of potent aces, wave 5 also brought us a lot more unique/ace squadrons, which inadvertently further increased the potency of flotillas in that flotillas can now, in the right builds (usually Sloane or Rieekan), activate a lot more power of squadrons with a single Squadron 2 command.

The final upgrade that comes to mind for me is the addition of Disposable Capacitors, specifically on VSD-IIs. The Disposable Capacitor VSD-II hasn't been a common feature at top tables, but its presence overall has made the prospect of running flotillas remotely close to a fight less appealing, increasing the pressure to use them with Relay.

Scramble the transports! All of them! It's time to bore the Imperials to death!
Why exactly is all of this flotilla-spam bad?
Well, for a few reasons, really:

1) Low-risk use
One of the fundamental underpinnings of most miniature wargames and something that's been inherent to Armada since its creation is that points are risked to gain points by having miniatures fight one another, with hopefully the better player coming out ahead. Relay-exploiting flotillas running around the edges aren't at serious risk, and the Relay squadrons themselves often are at low risk of being destroyed prior to getting mileage out of their use. Or as FFG put it themselves:
"Overall, these changes reflect an effort to introduce additional risk and decision-making for abilities that previously enabled extremely powerful combos or repetitive use with no downside." Additionally, their mention of why they disallowed flotillas to be flagships due to combat-avoidance:
"This tendency has only been compounded by the ability of flotillas to serve as flagships and allow the game’s commanders to avoid the main battle with little cost."

Relay-exploiting flotillas fielded en masse are extremely repetitive in their use with fairly few downsides. They avoid the main battle with little cost.

2) Undermining the competitive value of many fleet combinations
Take it away, FFG!
"Of all the additions to Star Wars: Armada’s competitive scene, flotilla ships have had the greatest underlying impact since their introduction. Flotillas have provided inexpensive additional activations, an additional source of squadron commands, and significant effects through Fleet Support upgrade cards. While they have proven to be vital support ships, the effect of flotillas on activation economy has undermined the competitive value of many fleet combinations."

When fleets with 2+ and particularly 3+ flotillas start doing so astoundingly well compared to their representation, that seems to qualify as something that undermines the competitive value of many fleet combinations, narrowing the field at the top and diminishing variety.

I also would like to make it clear that flotilla-spam isn't invincible. It has its counters (depending on the iteration), much like how my fleet back in the day would typically beat pre-nerf Rieekan Aceholes. Those counters aren't necessarily common or easy for many more conventional fleets to include without suffering against less-skewed fleets. Imperials in particular have it a bit worse when it comes to counters, which seems to also be a good explanation for the enduring popularity of Sloane - if you can't beat the flotilla-spam, you might as well join it or, at the very least, have a solid squadron component that can take out the heavier squadron investment a flotilla-spamming fleet typically brings.

3) It's boring
This is subjective, but I think I speak for most Armada players in saying that we show up to play plastic spaceships with as many dice flying around as possible, not to run away from fights with support ships. Nobody getting into Armada thinking "boy I sure hope I can bring a fleet of a bunch of unarmed/barely-armed transports and avoid combat all game!" Even those who play flotilla-spam competitively and do well often complain that they don't enjoy doing so, they merely feel it's the best fleet presently (the most prominent example being Green Knight on the forums, who masterminded a 1+4 Sloane fleet that has done extremely well but he openly admits he hates it due to all the flotillas and Relay).

I want to clarify before moving on to the next section that sometimes opposition to flotilla spam is interpreted as being anti-squadron; I'd like to explicitly state that I have no problem with squadrons being in Armada (some people do, and I think they're fundamentally wrong) and I'm not opposed to heavy-squadron fleets being a competitive archetype. My opposition is to this particular build. I'm not even opposed to flotillas specifically - there were some game problems that flotillas addressed when they arrived and I'm glad that happened. The problem seems to come from when flotillas are fielded in large numbers, not that they exist at all.

Tomorrow, tomorrow/ I love you, tomorrow/ you're only a day away!
Looking to wave 7
What awaits us in wave 7 that might handle some of these problems?

Raddus is the most promising option for dealing with 1+X flotilla builds where only one ship (usually an ISD or HMC80) is intended to engage in combat, given he's great at delivering a gut-punch to one specific area of the board. The surviving flotillas and squadrons can still present some problems, but with the big kahuna dethroned, it's a lot more manageable.

Strategic Adviser seems to offer some hope, but could also just exacerbate the problem - what's to stop the 1+X fleets from using Strategic Advisor to simply get one more activation, making the problem worse? Opportunity cost, of course, but the Strategic Adviser seems insufficient to meaningfully challenge this fleet archetype. Pryce/Bail are similar to the Strategic Adviser in that they modify the activation mini-game that flotilla spam exists, at least in part, to exploit.

Wide-Area Barrage could conceivably assist in popping flotillas or ace squadrons against the Rebel 2+3, as those flotillas are frequently near the fight giving out commands directly and potentially at close range of Yavaris or Gallant Haven (and the squadrons most definitely are at least earlier on). It won't do much of anything against the "Relay and run around the backfield" flotillas, though.

Gar Saxon
has an interesting ability - while I think pinging Intel and Relay during their activations could be pretty helpful as part of a medium to heavy squadron investment, it's not a lot all on its own and likely not enough to meaningfully counter the archetype, especially given Gar's cost.

Early Warning System (and some other anti-squad upgrades, like Ordnance Pods) seems to offer some help against the Rebel 2+3 and some Sloane builds, but fleets like the Fish Farm that are more objective-based remain largely unconcerned, as their squadrons weren't planning on attacking ships anyways.

Cymoon Imperial Star Destroyers seem to be laying down a lot of long-ranged pain with Vader on Vassal, but this is further encouragement (like the Disposable Capacitors VSD-II) to use flotillas in a squirrely nowhere-near-the-fight manner.

Someone is serious about nerfing
Let's talk nerfs
This is where I've gotten to when I sit down to crunch through the information presently available and my own feelings on the matter: we likely need some kind of errata.

The easy (and popular, if the online community is indicative of the player base) fix is to change how Relay works so ships can't command squadrons from across the board and need to risk themselves (if somewhat less risk due to Relay) if they hope to be used profitably. Typically the ideas presented are very similar, usually one of the two:
  1. Relay can only be used by ships at close-medium range of the Relay squadron.
  2. Relay can only be used by ships that are within squadron-command range of the Relay squadron.
The only real difference between these two recommendations is whether they cooperate with Boosted Comms or not. I'd personally prefer the first option to limit how far you can play keep-away and due to tighter wording, but I think either would probably be fine.

Relay is the easy fix given a lot of the boredom/combat avoidance and some of the objective-based shenanigans revolve around its presence and there's nothing serious in wave 7 that looks to address it.

Past that, I can only hope FFG is playtesting errata options with wave 7 tech included, because we as a player base are behind on that one. It's clear that there seem to be some tools to address elements of the flotilla-spam problem in wave 7. What's unclear is how effective those tools are. Players on Vassal playing with the new stuff have so far reported the flotilla-spam issue is alive and well, but it seems reasonable to assume that the wave 7 meta hasn't completely developed, even in that environment. There have been a number of suggestions so far about flotillas themselves and I recall several of them:
  1. Flotillas do not prevent you from being tabled (if the only ships remaining on your side are flotillas, you lose at the end of the round).
  2. Flotillas cannot be chosen as objective ships or pick up objective tokens (preventing them from being used with Most Wanted or for gathering Sensor Net tokens and the like).
  3. When building a fleet, flotillas cannot outnumber non-flotillas (so if you have 2 non-flotillas, you're capped at 2 flotillas).
  4. Flotillas cannot be deployed until all non-flotilla ships are deployed (makes it clear where the "serious" ships are going to be early on, and is usually combined with proposed fix #1).
  5. Flotillas are purchased from squadron points (I do not like this fix, as it seems to only punish flotilla-spam fleets used in heavier squadron fleets, while flotillas spammed for support and activation fluff in moderate-to-low squadron fleets get by unscathed)
The goal, of course, being to keep flotillas in the game but to remove them from their pedestal. I like different elements of different suggestions but I don't feel qualified to really have a strong opinion on the best fix, other than to say I dislike fix #5 and I feel like fix #1 on its own may not go quite far enough, but it seems perfectly fine when combined with one of the other fixes.

Final thoughts
As I said at the outset, I realize this article may be contentious. I feel like flotilla-spam has become a problem that likely needs FFG's nerf bat to fully address. I could've written a fair amount more, but this crazy thing is already likely too long. In general, there seems to be consensus online about a need to fix Relay and a general dissatisfaction with how competitive flotilla-spamming has become, but no clear consensus yet on exactly what to do about it, merely that something should be done. I've definitely met people who didn't feel the same way, or at the very least didn't feel as strongly, and I've hopefully laid out my argument well enough for those type of people to at least understand where I'm coming from even if we still disagree.

All grousing aside, however, I eagerly await wave 7 arriving tomorrow and getting in a game of Monster Trucks!


  1. Thanks for writing this so I didn't have to.

  2. Well researched and thought out article. Also the best argument so far against putting Flotillas in the Squadron point bracket. I do agree that Flotillas (and Relay) needs to be addressed for the good of the game. I'm leaning a bit toward fix 1+4, or fix 3. Just as 5 seems to only fix flotilla/squadron spam, 2 seems to only fix objective farming.

    1. A mix of there are needed, except No. 5, which is a HORRIBLE idea. It would completely cripple any competitive squadron builds, yet do nothing to limit flotilla spam for ship-heavy fleets (ISD+Demo+4 springs to mind, as do 4xMC30+3xGr75).

  3. Very nice article that really raises the issue I have with flotilla spam:
    It enables very powerful combos without risking much, which defeats the purpose of a wargame...
    Thankfully I never fought an opponent using such tactics just because I believe everyone here finds it would be just too boring to fly exterior to the battlefield with 3+ flotillas...
    Errata would keep the game safe with no unique build strategy to win 100%.
    I really love the variety in this game

  4. I think a slow and measured approach to nerfing should be taken. One of the things that I really liked about the first major nerf, was that each item was only nerfed in minor ways. The designers then allowed time for the dust settle. We can now see that *maybe* the flotilla nerf didn't go far enough.

    I say maybe, because it could be that the designers don't think there is enough of an impact. The player base, particularly on the forums, oftentimes is an echo chamber of perceived issues. I'm not saying that's the case here. In my local meta, we don't have a "flotilla spam problem", mostly because the local players dislike the play style, so don't do it. I personally play a 6 or 7 activation fleet that runs as a 5+1 or 5+2, both is a small to medium amount of squadrons. Neither fit the bill as flotilla spam, but both would be negatively impacted by some of the solutions.

    This is why I favor nerf #3, along with a Relay fix (I personally prefer #2 because it only nerfs Relay and is not a hidden nerf of Boosted Comms). This nerf doesn't hit swarms that may or may not run a few flotilla for their XXX slot (and their activations).

    1. XXX should be "Fleet Support".

    2. re: option 1 vs 2 to relay nerf, i imagine that staying at range 5 of the relay ship, which in turn is as far back as it can be from the actual squads its ordering, wouldn't appreciably bring much risk to the flotilla, and would just be a 4pt tax on flotilla. a rule on flotillas not outnumbering other ships could work, but would only really address certain flotilla spam lists, not flotilla spam with MSU as much, 7 activation fleets with 3 flotillas and 3-4 other small based ships. i think the problem with that is that you'd still see people always maxing out their flotilla allotment.

  5. How about making "skirt the edges" flotillas unapealing by offering them cheap upgrades which are powerful, but require them to fly into the thick of the action rather than hide on the edge.
    Also limit relay to range 3.

  6. What about changing the way to determine 1st or 2nd player from a points bid to an activation bid? The player with the least amount of activations chooses who will be 1st or 2nd player.

    1. thatd probably mitigate the out activation aspect of flotilla spam, but im not sure it would really fix the problem. the fix is so difficult because it really gets at some core game mechanics, where many activations, especially disposable ones (or that can otherwise activate "whenever") can be such a big advantage and isn't represented in points cost alone.

  7. what if they add a assault flotilla. something like a gun boat that could chase down the flotillas hiding on the edge and give it an upgrade that prevents them from scattering but can only be used on flotillas

  8. I dont play in a competitive meta but even in our correllian conflict campaign, a lot of the fleets have naturally gravitated towards flotilla spam as the campaign has progressed. The rebel players started out with 2-3 each which in turn led us imperial players to add more to our lists, to avoid being out activated completely. Most of the players have the vcxs as well to leverage relay.

    I'd second the fix to relay being only when you're in close-medium range (no boosted comms effect). To take away the main way people leverage them. I tend to think that still may not be enough and they need something to prevent the spamming for activations less attractive.

    the strategic officer is probably going to find its way into a lot of lists now, and like you said isnt a great counter as those spam fleets can benefit.

    i wondered if they would go along the lines of a pass rule when your opponent has more activations remaining than you, which is commonly seen in some board games (and FFG's imperial assault i've heard). that would probably have some far reaching consequences and i like multiple small ship fleets, maybe the issue is just that they're undercosted for what they do , i.e. an activation, squads, etc.) what if they just slapped 10 pts on the cost?

  9. You can only run as many flotillas as you have heavy ships ?

    Sure it's a bit too much but the main thing about flotilla is : they allow fleet with 1 or 2 heavy ships b to work. Other list don't NEED them, they just compliment them nicely.

  10. I hear that Green Knight quite enjoys his Sloane aces... squadron play is a very fun part of the game. He does, however, feel that ATM the risk/benefit of relay is completely skewed.

    Also, wave 7 does not in isolation fix this. It helps. But doesn't really fix it.

    In terms of pure activaations I can now do 1+4+Strat Adviser. Or even 1+5+Strat Adviser.

    Raddus can be a good counter to 1+ builds, or even 2+ builds, but not much more so than any other builds that rely on some heavy hitters.

    Pryce on a Quasar. Could be a thing.

    Bail...don't think so.

    EWS could limit Sloane's ability to hit stuff in the face round 1. But after that the aces are too fast for it to really matter.

  11. Flotilla spam does make the game more boring, but ironically, the Fish Farm is probably the most canonical of all Rebel fleets. The Rebels love to just bring along a whole ton of transports for no apparent reason.

  12. I read this article a week ago and been thinking solutions.

    Like someone above mentioned, limitating flotillas to the same number of big ships, or ever medium ships, would deny the flotilla spam.

    About Relay, every fix would hurt more to Empire since they have a better relay than Rebels. The changes commented make the rule nearly useless. The one suggestion I can make to avoid cowardly running flotillas, is to limit range as said in the article, but allow several relay squadrons to act like a chain. So, one ship has one relay squadron in close-medium range, another relay squadron in close-medium range of the last one but far from the ship, and one last squadron even further. You can command that last squadron with relay but need to distribute your relay squadrons and that's difficult and makes nearly impossible to command then while flying at the edge of the table.

    Nerfing relay not only affect flotillas but Quasars as well and I don't think that is pretty needed right now.

  13. I think a new upgrade that prevents the scatter token being used could act as a cheap alternative to H9s for flotilla hunting. This combined with one of the suggested relay changes to bring the flotilla in closer to the action feels like a much less radical change than options 1 to 5.

  14. 3 Seems like the simplest fix without causing unintended consequences. Of course, relay is what really lets flotillas be used in such a risk free and, I think, boring manner.