Monday, February 19, 2018

Raider-II section updated to include Heavy Ion Emplacements

Heavy Ion Emplacements make a huge difference to Raider-IIs and that is now reflected in the Raider article. Later on I'll be updating the VSD(-II) and Interdictor build sections of their articles to mention HIEs, but likely won't make too much noise about it. It bears mentioning for the Raider-II, though. Here's the relevant section:

Winner of the wave 7 "most improved" award!
The Raider-II is similar to the Raider-I with a few generally minor differences:
  • Front arc trades out one black die for a blue die, bringing it to 3 blue + 1 black
  • Flak goes from 2 black dice to 1 black + 1 blue
  • Ordnance slot replaced with an ion cannon slot
With the addition of Disposable Capacitors in wave 6 and Heavy Ion Emplacements in wave 7, the Raider-II is finally having its moment. That combination, which we'll be discussing shortly, has breathed a lot of new life into what was otherwise a fairly troubled chassis. The issue with the Raider-II compared to the Raider-I is that with black dice in its anti-ship batteries and anti-squadron flak, the Raider-II does a fairly poor job unless it is at close range to get full use from its dice, but at that point, you're probably better off with a Raider-I to just go all-in. Similarly, a Raider-II compared to a CR90B is 9 more points (23% more!) for a ship that's oddly less conducive to using SW-7 Ion Batteries and less effective at medium range when factoring in both arcs. So if we're going to get solid use from a Raider-II compared to a Raider-I or a Rebel CR90B, it's going to be due to its upgrade suite. It took until wave 7, but it finally happened!

Disposable Capacitors + Heavy Ion EmplacementsI'm grouping these together because one without the other wouldn't have been quite sufficient to do the trick. Back in wave 6, I was having mixed success with Disposable Capacitors and Gunnery Teams but it wasn't quite enough to justify the inclusion of the Raider-II, but that has changed with the addition of Heavy Ion Emplacements. I've written more about why these two go well together in the Heavy Ion Emplacements write-up in the ion cannons article, but as it relates to Raiders specifically, there are a few things to elaborate on past the inherent synergy of being able to get in an extra round of using an expensive powerful anti-shield blue crit upgrade when its targets are still full of shields. Specifically, this kind of setup, especially earlier on when you're angling to attack from long range with the Disposable Capacitors, temporarily avoids the standard problem with Raider defense tokens. Your defense tokens are best at defending at long range, and at least for that one-round window, that's exactly where your Raider wants to be attacking from. Past that, you'll want to be sneaking into medium range to continue applying pressure, but with the Raider's maneuver chart and high maximum speed, it shouldn't be too tough.

In short, Raider-IIs with this combination now have a place as medium-ranged harassment skirmishers that get a once-per game long bomb. This is a pretty different role than the Raider-Is fill, which excel at cost-effective burst damage at close range.

Light artillery
Disposable Capacitors + Heavy Ion Emplacements + Veteran GunnersAs mentioned before, Disposable Capacitors and Heavy Ion Emplacements are a great combination on Raider-IIs, but you've got a lot relying on that blue crit showing up. That's where Veteran Gunners come in: pop the Disposable Capacitors and use a concentrate fire dial to go up to 4 total blue dice. If for some reason, you don't get any blue crits, use the Veteran Gunners to reroll the entire pool. When equipped and used this way, your Raider-II's chances of triggering HIEs go from 68% (with concentrate fire, 58% without) to 90%.

If you're using Screed or Vader for better dice control, you can do away with Veteran Gunners. Whether you want to keep your Raider cheaper or fill the weapon team slot with something like Gunnery Team (for improved spray-and-pray coverage or giving you the option to attack both a ship and flak from your front arc) is up to you.


  1. Your image isnt loading...

    1. Seems fine to me (it's a picture of the Raider-II card) and I haven't heard anything from anyone else just yet about it, so it might be your computer or phone? If it's an issue for anyone else, let me know.