Sunday, January 10, 2021

Know Your Enemy/Commander's Corner: Admiral Raddus!

Fish heads, fish heads, rolly polly fish heads, it's time for the ACTUAL Admiral Raddus post!
Look, I'd love to say this isn't just going to be more entrance music, but well.....
So as per usual, we start by throwing up the card for reference!
John's using bullet points, watch out!
I'd say it's rather straightforward, but let's go straight over some important notes!
  • 1 other friendly ship.  Which means if Raddus is on it, you can't set that aside FOR RADDUS'S ABILITY (other stuff, like Hyperspace Assault, are perfectly fine to set aside Raddus's ship on).
  • Command 3 or less: no Starhawks.  NO STARHAWKS, STOP IT.
  • Distance 1-2 of you.  One mousefart of distance 2 is still at distance 1-2, so you can stretch it pretty far, especially as you can go plastic to plastic.  Also, "you" here refers to your flagship.  Raddus's ship is where you're popping out of.
  • Cannot overlap squadrons.  Can overlap obstacles all it wants, AND it doesn't suffer their effect until it ends its turn on them (so those asteroids don't hurt you IMMEDIATELY).
  • Cannot be the first ship to activate that round.  Which means, if you're SECOND player, your opponent activated a ship first already, so you're fine! Activate whatever you bombed in! If you're first player, pick another ship, then you can activate the new friend next.
  • When the ship comes in, you set its dials, speed, and (if you're bringing Aspiration) its shields.  BECAUSE that ship is set aside, nothing that happens at the start of the game (specific easy example: Endeavor on a Liberty) gets to occur.  There was an FAQ about this, which I'll link to HERE. Anything that happens at start of round on the ship, however, can trigger, since you choose the order start of round things trigger. So, bring in the Profundity, and then dump whatever ship it's carrying that same round as well.
For a discussion of what ship to bring in, see the common ships section below.

The "Raddus bomb" I'll refer to several times below is whatever ship you bring in.  Because you're not restricted in size capabilities, the usual answer is to bring in a Large Base beater close to your opponent at the top of turn 2 or turn 3, just messing up plans and wrecking face right away, putting a heck of a hurt on your opponent.  There's potential for bringing in a medium or small base, but because you can bring those in with Hyperspace Assault already (and then bring in another Large ship within distance 1-2 of THAT ship, thanks again FAQ!), it seems somewhat like a waste of his ability.  And Raddus is entirely about his ability.
Much like Macho Man was about the style
The "difficulty" of large bases is that because they cost so substantially much of your list after you add in upgrades and everything to help it kill/keep it alive, you're down to several less deployments, so your opponent can "wait you out" and figure out where you're putting down your large in order to put either his whaling boats to kill it with or put his stuff down where you have to figure out how to get your large in the game by navigating heavily the first few turns.  Meanwhile you're taking damage on the way in from red range, trying to get your stuff in position to kill with, it gets aggravating.

You can drop a ship in PERFECTLY in arc, able to take your opponent's weakest attacks while double arcing HIM with your best attacks.  And, if you have first player, you can potentially even do it again NEXT turn!

The first part of this section is going to discuss the flagships Raddus will often use, and then we'll get into what he's bringing in.  Every other ship beyond that is what is needed for your build and supporting you getting the bomb in.

CR90s and MC30s: With these as flagships, you're banking on a plan of rushing forwards and then dropping the large in somewhere as you fire the guns of your small-based flagship at something and then leave.  The CR90 is cheaper, but the MC30 is usually more survivable.  It's your call as to what matters more to you.

Assault Frigate or Profundity (or other large): The Assault Frigate is being mentioned here for both the fact that it's relatively tanky and it lets you bring it in under Hyperspace Assault, letting you bring in your large after that.  It's a lot of eggs in one basket, of course (an Assault Frigate, your commander, and the large? Minimum of 72+26+96 for the cheapest large base), but this group will let you tank through a good amount of damage and shots if you're worried about getting blown up right away.  You can also use the Starhawk to REALLY tank through a lot of damage and ensure you're going to get to bring in the ship you set aside.  It makes a great flagship, especially since he can't bring it in.

The Profundity is a special case worth mentioning because of its (up until the FAQ) often overlooked second ability:
You can't put that Nebulon in there though....
IF you deploy your commander (Raddus) onto the ship that was in Profundity, that's your new flagship.  Which means that the ship Raddus set aside can come in at distance 1-2 of that small base.  It works out to almost distance 5 away from that initial large, all at the cost of starting with Raddus on Profundity and taking a fleet with 2 large bases and a small base command 1 (not a flotilla) that Raddus can deploy onto.  Easy, right?
See, 'cause he's SMALL.
Realistically, since he's not changing anything about the rest of these ships work or function, you can use whatever method you prefer.  It's kinda up to you to determine what the best method of your Raddus delivery service is.  As for the larges he's bringing in?  With Raddus, it really comes down to what you want your ship to do.

If you bring in a Liberty, it's an angry lawn dart that you point directly at what you want dead.  Gunnery Teams if you want and just zoom through the line, or get into the back of an ISD, shooting it repeatedly in its worst arc.  You can also go with a Mon Karren accented with Caitken and Shollan to just ensure pure damage.

If you bring in a HMC80, you can go the Defiance Rapid Launch Bays plan and just pour angry B-wings at your problems.  Defiance and Quad Battery Turrets can theoretically add in 2 dice to each arc you throw, for a potential 3 front (+2!) and 6 side (Plus another 2!) for a total of 13, 14 if you concentrate fire with it.  You don't NEED to Rapid Launch Bays (and probably shouldn't), but in my opinion here's your best ship to do it with (if you're planning on it).

And if you bring in an MC75, you can go Armored with Boarding Troopers or Ordnance with murder and a metric ton of black dice.  5 front, 5 side base, plus your External Racks and/or Quad Battery Turrets means up to 15 dice concentrating fire.  Either way, double arc them and just break their backs with all your dice.
Just think of those dice as tables you can put your opponent through.
I realize me listing every large ship isn't really helpful, but they have different roles and do different things.  The Liberty is a laser death beam FORWARDS that can take Gunnery Teams and fire on two ships with a great front arc or put out great HIE damage (at the cost of being the least survivable!), the MC75 is a general all-arounder that can throw death from whatever 2 arcs you line up on target (at the cost of not having strong defense tokens!), and the HMC80 is the tankiest of the three with the downside of not having its two best arcs next to each other like the MC75 (at the cost of cost!).  Raddus doesn't improve their abilities, so it's whatever you want them to do and how you have them do it.
It was an easy joke because he's Large, and I AM proud of it, thank you!
Fleet Building
How you plan on building your list is going to be a matter of how much of each you want to combine.  I've seen people build a large that drops in another large, and I've seen a mess of small that drop in a large.

Because the flagship is where Raddus can drop in from, you'll generally want to at least 1 get up to speed 3 with it (minimum, 4 or fake 4 with Engine Techs is helpful too) in order to drop in closer (or the Hawk to just tank through it).  More fast ships means more dead opponent's stuff sooner when your large comes in, and if you have red dice it puts YOU into range to hit them sooner, too!  Whatever you drop in, it's got to be able to mess stuff up with.  Because Raddus is tied to his ability, the other ships you aren't dropping in are going to need to be more self-sufficient; less about using the commander to help their weaknesses and more about them being able to work on their own.

Whatever you do when you launch your large ship in, make sure your ship is doing what it needs to in order to get the most out of that turn.  If you're bringing Boarding Troopers on your MC75, make sure Hondo or a Comms Net GR75 is nearby AND ALIVE (I almost lost Hondo my 3rd game at Adepticon, so, you know, be careful?) or have squadrons be your first command out of the gate (while also double arcing your opponent's important ship and putting a heck of a hurting on it!)  If it's an Ordnance MC75, again, double arcing, and again, fire everything you've got.  If you're bringing in a Liberty, make sure you're firing into a weak arc of your opponent's ships to defend in, or ones you can fire into repeatedly.  And if you're bringing in the HMC80, make sure at least one of your side arcs is on target, and if you come in on the side of an ISD it's potentially possible (but very unlikely) to bring it in so they're eating both of them.
Those 24" pythons are deploying in range of a ship and coming for you, brother!
Final Notes
Raddus is a great addition to the Rebel stable of commanders, and the OPTIONS he gives you are nearly limitless.  Well, I suppose their limit is range 1-2 of Raddus!


  1. Great article as always! What are your thoughts on using the Profundity's ability to piggyback in a 2nd ship?

    1. It's really solid, but you'll do a lot better if you're first player. The Profundity when Raddus'ed in can't go first, but the ship that was waiting inside sure can!

  2. My first Raddus list called in paragon potato and it was awesome haha :D

  3. What if you are a player 2 Raddus and your opponent uses Strategic Advisor to pass their first activation on the Drop round? Does that count as a ship activating, allowing your Raddus drop to then go next? Or does Strategic Advisor throw a wrench into your activation order plans?

    1. I've typically seen it ruled that using Strategic Adviser counts and allows Raddus's hyperspace ship to then activate, but an FAQ entry from FFG would be great to clear that up.

  4. When Raddus or the Profundity call in a new ship, does the ship come in upgraded and such, or does it have to be stock?

    1. It comes in with all the upgrades and everything.