Sunday, June 13, 2021

MC75: Your Big New Friend!

Well, it took a bit of time, but finally, it's MC75 time.  Bring the funk, bring the noise, bring the fight!
He came to fight, you know
So it's been a while since I've done one of these, which means we start with the Basics
Let's start it off as usual with a picture of our options.
Pickle in a Jacket!
You have phenomenal arcs, 5 dice from each of them. In total, that's better than the front arc of ANY ISD.  You need to get those arcs on target, but they both steer pretty well; the best speed 1 maneuverability you can get, and speed 2 and 3 that are equivalent to an ISD or an Assault Frigate.  Because their attacks are dependent so heavily on having both arcs on target (to get your points out of them), navigation is a very important command for them. You NEED to navigate them and navigate CAREFULLY with them.  While it's super great to fire all those dice on an ISD's face, you also need to then get OUT of that ISD's face before it attempts to evaporate you.  APPARENTLY ISDs don't like eating buckets upon buckets of dice, for some weird reason.

They all have 1 better shield than an ISD, with 4/3/3, as opposed to the ISD 4/3/2.  ISDs have 2 more hull and a second redirect token for that matter, so don't think you've got them beat.  The HMC80 has 2 more shields but one less hull, while the LMC80 has one less shield and one less hull, so it's somewhere in between the two.  You're not as punchy as the face of the Liberty or the side of the HMC80 INDIVIDUALLY, but together, your arcs are strong!

Both MC75s have a Weapons Team Slot, Offensive and Defensive Retrofits, and at least one Ordnance slot.  The Armored has almost every possible upgrade slot (Turbolasers and Ion Cannons, too!), except no Support Teams.  The Ordnance has DUAL Ordnance slots! External Racks and a crit effect! Expanded Launchers and External Racks for ALL THE DICE! Maybe Rapid Reload is worth it finally (you try it, I have other things to do)....
Namely, making jokes about a 55 year old movie.
How do you get away with this craziness? You can build it so well and so cheap and so easy and ohhhhhhhh.  2 "real" defense tokens.  Riiiiiiiiight.  That Brace and that Redirect are going to burn out FAST.  Cymoons at range can put a smack on you, either potentially locking down both of those tokens (so even if ECM is in your Defensive Retrofit slot, you're only getting to use ONE of them) or letting you exhaust both of them before more ships end up firing on them. Just, you know, be careful?  You CAN sail it right into danger, right up the middle.  You let me know how that works out for you, considering it HASN'T for any OTHER Rebellion ship.  You don't take the sustained pounding of an ISD's face and live, so try not to be there as much as you can.  Totally different from every other Rebellion ship....

The thing to keep in mind with these both is that they're really kinda different ships.  The Ordnance Cruiser is effectively a bigger MC30, and the Armored is a bulkier Assault Frigate.  As with an MC30, you want to close with the Ordnance fast and get those black dice going into their ships quickly.  The Armored can be fine at Medium range, but it's a lot easier to get those double arcs when you've closed into close range with your opponent's ship.  Able to use whatever (External Racks) upgrade (it's External Racks, try not to overthink this) you put into the Ordnance Slot at close range, too!  I wouldn't command squadrons with the Ordnance, but it's not HORRID at it if you get Slicer Tool'ed or Comms Noise'd into it.  I REALLY wouldn't do it naturally, but if you have some sort of really good reason for doing so, welllllllll.... you do you (there's a carrier build section later, guys).

The natural speed 3 is better than an HMC80 (as you can jump small ships that try to lurk in your front (which, given your arcs, is probably a dumb plan IMO), and it turns better than a Liberty.  Again, even with your one more health than both MC80s, you're going to burn those tokens out.  Be CAREFUL, kids.

Titles
There's 3 different titles you can equip to the MC75.  Well, really 2 titles and one task force team!
I sure hope I don't choke on these! I've been making this joke for 6 months.
Aspiration is rather straightforward.  When you deploy (under Raddus even!) you can move shields around.  Drop it on a flank, shove your side/butt shields to other hull zones.  Tell that ISD unless he rolls 15 damage (6 shields, 9 hull) that you aren't going to die from its attack.  Its a "may" effect, so you don't NEED to do it (especially if you drop in against fighters).  It's a great ability you CAN use if you need it at a competitive price point.  The title also helps significantly deal with those defense tokens and making them easier.  If I only have 1 hull zone to redirect to, I don't have a reason to blow the redirect, of course.

Fun fact from the FAQ: You CAN Projection Experts back some shields from other ships onto the Aspiration's empty hull zones, but no going above anything's normal starting values.  I do know someone who's tried it, and it's... fine.  It's fine.  I wouldn't, but it works for him enough, I suppose.

Less fun fact from the FAQ: If Darth Vader (boarding team) or some similar effect shows up and knocks the title off your ship, you immediately lose any excess shields you had in that zone.  So, watch out for the Hall Monitor!
See that Nebulon B in the picture? Well it can't go in there.  I don't know why I even mentioned it!
As for the Profundity, you can put all sorts of command 1 ships into it! Let's take a look at your options:
GR75: the best use I've seen of dropping it in is to Rapid Launch Bays both the GR75 and the MC75 with it, dropping a slew of B-wings in right where your opponent didn't want them.
CR90: I've liked the idea of dropping in the Tantive IV and shifting Raymus Antilles from the Profundity onto it, passing out tokens like a crazy man.  You can also just drop in an HIE CR90B, too.  Not sure it's as great, but it works.
Hammerhead: This seems like the best plan, in my opinion.  Drop in Garel's Honor, concentrate fire and wail on whatever ship isn't getting out of its path.  Then ram it! Josiah used this to get to top 4 at Worlds in 2019.  I watched it, it's a NIGHTMARE if you aren't ready for it.  Hammerhead goes, smacks the hell out of you.  Activate that ship or (and? "And" sounds more right...) the Profundity WILL finish you off.  For added fun, make sure you've got Shriv or Cham on the Hammerhead as well.

Eric also points out that it's hilarious fun times with Rieekan to trap something that thought it was going to get away by deploying a friend to stick it in place.  And since you can just prevent its death with Rieekan, wellll looks like someone is stuck in the mud fighting you!

For more on the MCEF title/task force that comes packaged with it, please refer to the Rebel upgrades article.

Ordnance Cruiser and Builds
Black dice for everyone!
Rather straightforward in use and build, it's a giant MC30.  It steers a little worse, of course, but you generally want to steer INTO range of the black dice instead of using them as a Victory-I deterrent.  You are even more dependent on getting into range AND double-arcing than the Armored is, as you need those black dice to be in black dice range (obvious statement seems obvious?).  It doesn't have a great natural ability to GET it into double arcing black dice range, so may I suggest Crix Madine or Admiral Raddus for better placement?

The other option is to go with a solid bid to ensure that you're going to be able to trigger those black dice at the appropriate time.  And while it's SUPER cool when you concentrate fire for like 8 black dice or whatever, make sure you're able to get OUT of the ISD's face that you're attacking.  Again, you will DIE from sustained ISD fire, so try not to take that, you know.  I've seen (and built myself, haha) people just put the MC75 in with no bid and just figure it'll light up whatever is in front of it with death lasers and black dice (side note: Death Lasers and Black Dice is my Armada cover band, performing locally at the bar near my house).  It's a black dice ship.  It's a BIG black dice ship, but it's still a black dice ship.  I'd suggest thinking of it as such and realizing that when you get into black dice range of your opponent, he's also in black dice range of YOU.  And ISDs hit harder.  Shoot and scoot, wail and bail, heave and leave.  Or ensure that you're putting him DOWN with either earlier attacks from your friends or they're piling on after you in this same turn.

The one issue that seems to happen with people and this ship is they see it and don't figure out a plan for the black dice.  If I can kill you at red or blue range, dang straight am I going to do it.  If you can't get into black dice range of me, it's a sitting duck.  Your plan for getting into close range HAS to be better than "Some sort of magic happens, I'll figure it out."
APPARENTLY Yoda's Force powers to move the ship into position is "cheating" and "unfair."
On a related note, here's an article Eric wrote that I'm linking to for no reason at all!

So, how to build it?
Officer:
Lando, Walex, Damage Control Officer, lot of good options here.  No "ONE OPTION," lots of viability for you.  And these apply to the Armored, below, too!  I'd usually use one of those 3 to add some defense to this ship, as it's squishy with 2 defense tokens.

Weapons Team:
Ordnance Experts (Caitken and Shollan are allowed if and only if you're doing Ackbar) - you have no other possible way of getting rerolls on anything here.  If/when those black dice screw you over, you need OE to be there to save your butt.

Lemme hit enter twice and retype that in a different, LOUDER format.  IF YOU DON'T HAVE A REROLL MECHANIC ON THIS SHIP, YOU'RE GOING TO INEVITABLY END UP VERY SAD AT A POINT YOU DON'T WANT.  Put OE or C&S on to not screw yourself over!

Offensive Retrofit:
So long as you have a plan for the upgrade, any potential offensive retrofit CAN work, but I wouldn't just throw one on to have it.  If you need Advanced Transponder Net or Proximity Mines or Hardened Bulkheads as part of your plan, go for it! Otherwise leave it blank.

Defensive Retrofit:
It's your call, but the standards seem to be EWS or ECM.  Generally, with your "ability to live" being so dependent on "getting to use one of your two 'real' tokens" I'd suggest ECM.  Especially if you're double arcing HIM, he often is also double arcing YOU.  With 2 contains and 9 hull, you can also make a solid argument for Reinforced Blast Doors, just getting back 3 damage from your hull.

Ordnance Upgrades: Ah, the meat of this section.  How do we combine 2 of these best? Because that's why you're taking this over any other large base, you want those double ordnance slots.

Some thoughts for you...
External Racks and (crit upgrade like APTs, ACMs) - How do you trigger black crits? Throw more black dice.  Simple, easy and cheap.  Only downside is that ExRax is one and done, but hey, if it guts an ISD for you....
External Racks and Expanded Launchers - ALL THE BLACK DICE!
Expanded Launchers and (crit upgrade like APTs, ACMs) - similar to the External Racks call, but it's got longer staying power and a heck of a kick with Advanced Gunnery.  Here, eat 2 blue and 5 black TWICE, with crits enabled as well.  Terrifying.

As for other ideas, like ACM and APT and Fire Control Team in the Weapon Team slot?  No.  Just no.  Eric did the math, and I CAN track it down and find it, but you get more damage from just rerolling blanks NATURALLY with no upgrades than if you try to double crit and whatever.  Keep in mind, of course, that Fire Control Team is an exhaust effect, so you can't even get it going on both attacks.  Pick a better plan, trust me.
Your dice will KNOW.  And ohhh, the blanks you'll see.  THE BLANKS!
My general advice I have for you is that one of your Ordnance upgrades should be something that adds more dice (Rapid Reload, ExRax, or Expanded Launchers) and another should be a crit effect.

Builds:
Basic Bomb (131 points)
Profundity
Walex
Ordnance Experts
External Racks
Assault Proton Torpedos
Electronic Countermeasures

This is a great Raddus drop, carrying one of the aforementioned Hammerheads.  Go for a double arc and make sure the Hammerhead wrecks a large ship's day.  Walex is on here to allow you to take the damage from the opposing large and keep ticking.  Make sure to sail past the large for next turn.

Killdozer (137 points)
Aspiration
Lando
Caitken and Shollan
External Racks
Expanded Launchers
Electronic Countermeasures

Why two ways of adding in black dice? Because I want to be able to throw 7 (8 if I concentrate fire!) out the front at once.  It's a bit skewed, but then again, throwing 8 dice is phenomenal fun.  Front towards enemy and just smash your way through. C&S because you're rolling a LOT of black dice repeatedly here.

Armored Cruiser and Builds
Soon to be a glossy GenCon card near you!
So why pick this thing? It only has ONE ordnance slot, and that is nowhere near as cool as two of them.  Hard pass, it's dumb and stuff.
Hey, at least it's better than Scott Templeton
Well, no.  It's very weird how MANY different builds you can make for this thing, and they're all viable.  You WANT to fill all sorts of upgrade slots, and they all look possible to me.  It's also a little less screwed if it can't double arc the same target, as those sides can still contribute from Medium and Long range, too!  It's a generalist that you can build up to whatever role you want the ship to have in your fleet.

Officer:
Same as before; someone usually defensive to keep you alive.  I can see a better argument for Raymus Antilles here as all the commands are potentially useful to you.

Weapons Team:
Be prepared for this a lot: it depends on your ship's role.  Flight Controllers or Ruthless Strategists if you're doing carrier things, Gunnery Team or a boarding team if you're not.  Local Fire Control is also a decent option, as your rear arc is.... decent for a Salvo shot (helped by Flak Guns and DBY-427 turbolasers!).  Special mention in the boarding teams section to new recruit Shriv Suurgav to knock out ECM on your opponent's ship before you put 2 shots in (I might suggest H9s for your turbolaser at that point to just get the free accuracy for pumping that damage in...) from your dangerous arcs.  Of course, with the Profundity title (above!) you can put Shriv on a friendly Hammerhead and then use your weapons team for another boarding team to really put the screws to your opponent.... but that's a Raddus plan.

Offensive Retrofit:
Carrier things for carriers, other things you're planning for other plans.  Flag Bridge, Hardened Bulkheads, Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams, or Proximity Mines aren't bad investments assuming you have a plan for them.  If you're leaning into salvo, it's Flak Guns for your rear dice.

Defensive Retrofit:
Electronic Countermeasures or EWS, as usual.  Usually ECM, but with Agate, Early Warning System isn't a bad choice either. If you don't have the token support, Reinforced Blast Doors isn't bad.  Reactive Gunnery if you're leaning into salvo as usual on these larges, of course.

Ion Cannon:
OFTEN it's Leading Shots.  Any weird plan that involves getting mean blue crits to trigger is likely done better with a Liberty, so try that on there instead of on here.  You need your dice to behave, and Leading Shots is the best way to do that.  With 5 dice though, you can make a better argument for Ion Cannon Batteries, just as an added bonus if you get a critical.  You want Leading Shots for the shot when you drop External Racks, but otherwise your dice should relatively be fine without it.  HIE is a great choice, which then wants you to include Weapons Battery Techs in your Weapons Team slot.  You can also just go full fighter defense (and inevitable "I got into close range with my opponent" defense) with Point Defense Ion Cannons, especially as you have only 1 redirect.

Ordnance:
External Racks.  If you're doing specific carrier plans, I can see the reasonings behind Ordnance Pods, but generally, for ALMOST every build with the Armored, External Racks is the basic starting point.  You don't roll enough black dice as is to constantly get critical effects.  I can see a VERY strange argument for Expanded Launchers, allowing you to create a front firing ship with good sides, like a very weak ISD.  The issue is that with Expanded Launchers and Leading Shots I've just added 19 points to a very squishy chassis, so be careful.

Turbolaser:
Whatever is best used for the situation you need for them.  There isn't a definitive "best" turbolaser for your options, but I'll point towards Eric's article about XI7s before you just easily slap that on there.  I'll point out the inevitable DBY-427 if you're leaning into salvo.

Fancy Basic (144 points)
Raymus Antilles
H9 Turbolasers

Raymus is on here to boost your commands, especially a squad push.  The HIE-H9-WBT combo means any blue dice you throw is going to be a critical, which can trigger HIEs, helping your squadrons out.  You may want to swap him for Flight Commander, but that's a playstyle choice.  If you trust your dice a little more or want to make this more of a carrier, you can always swap out the WBT for Flight Controllers, helping your squads kill other squads faster.

Also of note: NONE of the MC75 titles help your squads stay alive.  You CAN do this all for your build, but Gallant Haven does a lot of this but better (and cheaper!).  You just can't put Leading Shots on the AF, and it's your call if that's worth the ~30 more points that costs you in building it. The defense tokens on Gallant Haven are slightly better IMO (1 Evade > 2 Contains, again, my opinion)

Raddus Bomb (129 points)
Boarding Troopers
Quad Battery Turrets
Electronic Countermeasures
Leading Shots
External Racks

So the fun thing about this is that when you drop in with Raddus and set speed to 1, your opponent either is going faster and you can nail them with QBTs or they slow down and eat a bunch of close range arcs.  When you drop in, have Hondo throw a squadron token at you, which then allows you to trigger your Boarding Troopers.  I've wiped entire ISD shields and their tokens with the drop in.  Assuming you're going to survive its counter attack, you then throw a bunch of dice into a shieldless and tokenless ISD.  It won't do everything itself, but ohhhh boy is it nice.

Another option for 1 point more is XI7 turbolasers instead of QBTs.  It's your call as to whether only allowing 1 redirect is more worth it or getting in all those extra dice is.  Both have their merits, of course.  XI7s want that double arc, as usual, haha.  But man, here's 5-6 damage that can't fully redirect followed by another 5-6? Delicious.  Smack that ISD HARD.

You can run this in a non-Raddus fashion, you just need to ensure that you get into close range for the Boarding Troopers.  I'd put the XI7s on there, then, as it's not super easy to drop to slow speed for the QBTs while still getting into close range for the Boarding Troopers and and AND!  Don't overdo the crazy plan, personally.  Last fun note with Boarding Troopers: Planetary Ion Cannon triggering and exhausting their tokens get spent forever and disappear when Boarding Troopers show up.
SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS!
Ackbar Gunship (133 points)
Gunnery Team
Quad Battery Turrets
Leading Shots
Electronic Countermeasures
External Racks

What if I could take an Assault Frigate that could trigger Leading Shots under Ackbar and also had an answer for when someone comes in close? Solid, angry punch, and you can just sail away from trouble.  I'd recommend the QBTs here as Leading Shots triggers, just ensure that you're not going faster than your opponent.  You can also replace the Gunnery Team with Caitken and Shollan instead, and use them as long range red dice rerolls.  Up to you if that's a better plan for your playstyle and all, but I'd likely nix Leading Shots then.

Not the Providence (134 points)
Local Fire Control

You deploy the ship and change to brace/redirect/salvo/contain.  You then salvo your blue dice back at long and your black dice (with an automatic hit/crit) at medium range every time. Your opponent has to deal with this ship hard, because if he doesn't it results in you just stomping through him.  This is the salvo build for when you're trying to make salvo work in Rebels.

En Masse Y-wings (129 points)
Ruthless Strategists
Electronic Countermeasures
Ordnance Pods
Advanced Transponder Net
Leading Shots

I will fully admit to stealing this basic part of the build from JJ (waves at North Dakota).  The one benefit of the Armored over the Ordnance that I haven't mentioned is the 2 flak dice.  And because one is at blue range, you can definitely reach out and touch someone.  This ship, when combined with Y-wings for Ruthless Strategists, ensures that you're going to win the squadron war.  3 potential flak attacks with Ordnance Pods allows you to deal a LOT of damage to your opponents' squadrons.  If your opponent didn't bring squadrons, then these upgrades don't see a lot of use.  But there's a lot of potential damage that you can do with this.  Flak out one zone, trigger Ruthless Strategists.  Even if they braced the first attack, that's one damage (and don't forget you can use Leading Shots to reroll the black flak dice if you missed with them both!) followed by one unblockable, unscatterable damage.  Do it again with Ordnance Pods and suddenly they're missing 2 health (from the Ruthless) minimum, and either their scatter token or something else just as terrible.  If you want to ensure you win a squadron war so you can then send your squadrons after the other guy's ships? This is the start of your build.

On all of the builds, because Leading Shots will let you "fix" your dice, you have a lot of viable options for that Weapons Team slot.  Boarding Teams, Gunnery Team, Flight Controllers, all could be worth it in the right build.  Just like an Assault Frigate, though, generally you should fill that slot.  The Armored Cruiser has been somewhat overlooked, but it's weirdly what I gravitated to first when playing the MC75, haha.  It's a slightly tankier Assault Frigate, with a lot of potential options for you.  Play around with it until you find the one you like best!
I must have this....
Final Notes
When set up well, the MC75 is LETHAL.  Just make sure that you're using it well.  The ordnance is a super brawler, while the armored is a generalist that can go almost anywhere.

So with that, I've finished up my part of wave 7.  Huzzah, I beat Eric for once! Where am I going now? Well, spring has sprung and I know that I could go for some real spring cleaning.  And not just my apartment!

We (slash I) need to hit all the Rebel ship articles again, in order to get some better builds in order on some of them, now that I have a lot more experience with a lot more of these since when they've been written.  I also DESPERATELY need to hit those squadron articles again; how many times have YOU seen TIE Bombers on a table anywhere recently? So, expect a fair amount of updates and upgrades to those articles soon enough.  I can't promise any major plan for an order, of course, but likely the ships first before the squadrons, as that's a bit easier to do.

12 comments:

  1. Hey, excellent article! I've been reading for quite a bit, and thi blog is an excellent (and engaging) resource!

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  2. Thanks or another great article ! I was really looking forwards to getting your thoughts on the MC75.
    As a side note, I've found that Walex Blissex is great on this ship as he buffs the weak-ish token suit, letting you burn your brace or redirect without too much worry. He's saved my bacon a couple of times as this ship ends up in the meat grinder quite a lot either Raddus bombing ISDs or doing an Ackbar slash up the middle :)

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    1. Oh, yeah, definitely love Walex. Edited to add him, even!

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  3. Random Wire joke outta nowhere?

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    1. Yeah, just finished the series. It's not the BEST one I could make, but it fit with the article joke I made.

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  4. With how important tokens are in 1.5, what's your take on ICB + WBT + H9? The only catch I can think of is that your red dice control would be CF commands and/or an IF! Pelta.

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    1. Intrigued, do you need H9 (as it's taking the modification slot) or would you want something like HTTs (for fighting Salvo). With H9s you can do some nasty things with flak to scatter aces.... lemme know how it goes for you!

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    2. H9 guarantees the ICB double tap. No ATN or Flag Bridge is a shame, but not a dealbreaker.

      I do plan on trying HTTs at some point; I've got some delicious jank in mind for them.

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  5. Extreme minutia: Shriv and Cham link to the Boarding Teams page, but they've been moved elsewhere now!

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    1. Hey no worries, we appreciate it when our readers help us with things like this! We move things around here and there to make the various articles easier to parse but it causes disruption in the short to medium term. The more people tell us when we missed a link, the faster we get everything sorted out! I've passed your comment along to John and I'm sure he'll get it fixed in a day or two.

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    2. Fixed, thanks for noticing!

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