|Maz didn't need reading goggles until Rebellion in the Rim came out.
|What if Contested Outpost but everyone was skydiving but also fighting?
- Much like Salvage Run, "the center of the setup area" is a little nebulous as to under what circumstances the obstacle you're placing there satisfies that requirement or not. Just try to get roughly the middle of the gravity rift token in the middle of the table and you're doing good enough. When in doubt, ask your opponent if it seems all right to them and adjust as necessary until you're both happy.
- The "remaining obstacles" for our purposes are the 3 asteroid and 2 debris fields, so the second player will get to place 2 of those and the first player 3 due to how the objective trades placements.
- Because the second player intends to harvest points from the station, it behooves them to place it fairly far away from the rift and as close to their edge as possible.
- It therefore behooves the first player to place their obstacles towards the second player's corners at distance 5 (a bit beyond, actually) to make placing the station in a corner impossible, just like in Contested Outpost.
- The end of round sequence is long, but to understand the rules for moving obstacles toward, we need the relevant section of the rules first:
- There's more text earlier on but in short: when an obstacle moves, it can't overlap anything at its end position.
- For purposes of this objective, it means that when moving an obstacle into the rift, it must move to at least distance 1 but can be moved up to distance 2 (unless interrupted in either case). The player moving the obstacle chooses how far it moves, but it must move toward the rift using the restrictions spelled out above.
- Remember that you can flip obstacles around when they move, provided they don't end up moving further than they're supposed to (and/or less than they're supposed to when using the "toward" rules above).
- Objective tokens are placed on obstacles to remind you that they moved already that round and that's it. They have no actual game effect besides that bit of bookkeeping, basically.
- Because obstacle movement responsibility is passed and forth between players starting with player 2, this presents some interesting choices:
- Player 2's first obstacle movement choice is going to come down to whether or not they think player 1 could mess with the station if given the chance. If moving the station not enough or too far or spinning it around would cause problems for them, player 2 should move the station themselves and deny player 1 the opportunity.
- Similarly, if player 1 suddenly has the opportunity to grab points from the station, player 2 gets the chance to try to send the station into the rift quickly and/or move it/spin it to deny control to player 1.
- Players should otherwise be looking for opportunities to put obstacles into inconvenient places for their opponents or convenient places for themselves.
- Don't forget that obstacles can't overlap one another, so you can always use closer-in obstacles as "blockers" when you bump into them if you wish to slow down an obstacle's descent into the rift.
- Once all the obstacles are moved, you determine who gets the victory token just like in Contested Outpost: more total Command value at distance 1 more good.
- At least in Doomed Station the station obstructs and heals, even if it is doomed.
- Just remember when moving your ships to score on the station you need to anticipate where the station will be rather than where it presently is.
Contested Outpost and Doomed Station as they're similar objectives and the same type of fleets like them for the most part. If you've got a decent amount of Command value that doesn't mind floating around in a pretty predictable place, you'll like both, and shenanigans that move obstacles around (like Grav Shift Reroute or Ezra) can help pull the station a little closer to your side, making it harder for your opponent to contest early on.
That said, note there are some definite differences. Doomed Station requires a little bit of a different mindset to score from, but you can float your ships in the same(ish) direction the station will go as it heads to the rift and keep scoring rather than overshooting it eventually like you do in Contested Outpost. Of course the downside there is the station is headed into a gravity rift so at some point you probably want to say your goodbyes if it gets too close to death before the rift causes problems for your ships. There's also the issue of it can be difficult to estimate exactly where the station will be unless second player is a good steward and always chooses to move it first (which generally he probably should) while Contested Outpost just sits there minding its own business.
What kind of enemy fleets are disadvantaged by playing Doomed Station?
The standard answer of "slow fleets that don't want to bring it to the enemy hate this." This is particularly tough on slower fleets because it takes them a while to get to the station in the first place and if they actually do finally get there, player 2 can do their best to start flushing the station into the grav rift to stop them from getting (m)any points. If you're player 1, it may be superior to head towards the rift (but not into it, of course) at maximum speed to use the rift's slow-down effect to assist you in turning towards the oncoming station rather than chasing the second player's fleet directly, where it's prone to slipping away from you.
|Nobody cares about the space whale photos you took on vacation, Space Karen!
- Without the station, the remaining obstacles are 3 asteroid fields and 2 debris fields. The second player will place 3 of these and the first player 2.
- The two objective tokens will basically have the purrgil traveling horizontally across the board from one side to the other. Once you choose which token is the entrance and which is the exit, the second purrgil that arrives round 3 must use the same entrance and exit points.
- Remember that the purrgil show up at the start of the ship phase, so player 2 doesn't need to decide on the entrance point until round 1's ship phase, and the purrgils arrive after command dials are set.
- Because the purrgil only move to within distance 1-2, even 6 rounds of moving at maximum speed will get a purrgil about halfway across the map. Barring some kind of miracle involving Strategic squadrons and/or Ezra, they're not making it to that exit point before the game is over.
- The purrgil must move toward the exit (see the blurb about "toward" movement above), so keep that in mind. That said, purrgil move within distance 1-2 when they move, so whoever is moving them can move them toward the exit slowly if they wish.
- Because player 2 moves the first purrgil, they'll have control over the only purrgil on rounds 1 and 2 and first choice on which of the two purrgils to move rounds 3 through 6.
- Once the second purrgil arrives, it's going to be very important for player 2 to choose the "correct" purrgil to move at the end of the round. Player 1 is going to be trying to score some later-game points from whale-watching of his own as well as to complicate player 2's scoring plans by having the better purrgil for player 2 go either too fast or too slow for player 2's fleet to keep up with.
- Per the errata, the end of round trigger effectively changes to "Ships with objective tokens trade them in for victory tokens or ships without them at distance 1 of a purrgil gain an objective token. Then move the purrgils afterwards like normal, starting with the second player."
- The scoring change effectively makes it so a given ship can only score points from space-whale-watching every other round.
- This also means that if you can keep your opponent from getting whale-watching tokens until the end of round 4, his ships will only be able to score whale-watching points once during the game.
- It also cleared up when the purrgils move (it used to be open to interpretation, now it is always after the token shuffling/adding process happens).
Because the whale-watcher ships ideally want to be able to follow the purrgils' horizontal movement without too much trouble, Hyperspace Migration seems best utilized by broadside ships that can follow the purrgils' path while keeping their best guns pointed at the enemy or carriers with Boosted Comms that don't mind hiding behind whales while sending their squads out. Because the ships need to survive a round to upload their whale-tourism photos for points (space wi-fi is apparently pretty bad), it helps in the long run if they're a bit more durable, so heavier ships tend to prefer this a bit more.
Even though the errata slowed down the points you can get from Hyperspace Migration, it still requires an opponent to disrupt the whale-watching as quickly as possible. For example, a pair of Assault Frigates on the opponent-facing side of a purrgil and a pair of GR-75s on the "friendly" side of a purrgil will be racking up 80 points every other round while being not terribly inconvenienced following its horizontal movement path. Left alone a whole game, that's 240 points.
The big warning I have about using this objective is if the enemy fleet can bring enough guns to bear on your whale watching party quickly enough, especially with 1-2 large ships with Gunnery Teams (the scariest example being an SSD crashing the party), they'll find a target rich environment. You need to be ready to make a break for it if you're up against a fleet that can do this to you and accept whatever points you were able to get, rather than hanging out with the whales for too long and getting destroyed.
What kind of enemy fleets are disadvantaged by playing Hyperspace Migration?
Anything that doesn't have a great plan for dealing with broadside fleets and/or can't chase the opponent's fleet away from the purrgil is going to get scored on like crazy against this objective and should avoid it. It's worth noting that if an opponent plays Hyperspace Migration more conservatively by keeping his scoring ships on the "friendly side" of the purrgil, your fast ships trying to bring the fight to him have to deal with obstruction caused by the purrgil and the possible complications of ramming into them at high speed. In that kind of circumstance, your typical "get ahead of the conga line and clog it up" advice applies, but you're on a bit of a timer given the longer it takes to cross the T the more points your opponent is milking from whale-tourism. The good news is deployment for this objective is typically fairly telegraphed and your opponent will be deploying in a corner to start close to the whale entrance point, so try to keep your first deployment flexible and then deploy to counter whichever corner your opponent chooses to camp in.
|The space slug high school reunion was going great. Then everything changed when the fire nation attacked.
- You'll be deploying just the 3 asteroid fields and 2 debris fields here (with objective tokens going on them), with player 2 getting three obstacle deployments and player 1 getting two, followed by player 2 placing two exogorths after that.
- Generally players should be deploying obstacles towards their own fleets for easier objective token pickup, but if player 1 isn't well-situated to grab the tokens, it may be better for them to deploy their obstacles off in the corners to make it harder for player 2 to get to them.
- If player 1 lacks squadrons, player 2 should seriously consider deploying a debris field first, as having to overlap an asteroid for the faceup damage card presents more difficulty for player 1 in most circumstances than the 2 shield damage, so you want player 1 to have to overlap at least one asteroid field if they choose to set obstacles up close to themselves to harvest the tokens.
- Player 2 is advised to have the exogorths show up on the two obstacles closest to player 1's fleet, especially if player 1 set them up to pick up tokens themselves. This makes it even more annoying to get to those two obstacles.
- Unlike Dangerous Territory, squadrons can pick up objective tokens in Infested Fields. This can be a dangerous decision if there's an exogorth nearby, though.
- Following the precedent set by the Dangerous Territory FAQ, squadrons deployed overlapping obstacles with tokens on them do not pick up objective tokens. They need to move and overlap an obstacle.
- Just to reiterate what the card says, exogorths do their normal attacks at the start of the squadron phase, then they vanish. Then player 2 moves the obstacles they had been in to within distance 1-2 of their earlier position (within distance 1-2 can mean not moving them at all if you like). Then at the end of the round, the second player chooses which obstacle(s) the two exogorths pop out of.
- There is nothing stopping both exogorths from popping out of the same obstacle at the end of the round, provided they obey the exogorth placement restrictions (specifically they can't overlap other obstacles, so it's best to keep them a little ways apart from one another.
- Note that if you do this, their shared obstacle only gets the one within distance 1-2 move after they both disappear again.
- Exogorths can pop out of obstacles they were on previously if they like.
- By combining the within distance 1-2 obstacle move and the exogorth surprise pop-up, player 2 can generate obstruction fairly easily where they want it to be.
- They can also threaten squadrons fairly flexibly as well with a bit of forethought to where enemy squads will want to be next round.
I'd generally recommend Infested Fields to fleets using squadrons of their own, as it makes picking up the objective tokens pretty painless. Given player 2 is likely to have the 3 obstacles of their own nearby on round one, that's an early-game 45 points. Player 1 can deploy their two obstacles close to themselves and grab their tokens as well if they wish, but it's only 30 points and comes with the complication of needing to either overlap the obstacles (and also maybe exogorths) with their ships or subjecting their pickup squads to hungry space slug chomps. With no space station in the game, chomped squads aren't getting any hull back.
Once the tokens are picked up, player 2 just keeps the slugs away from their squads and tries to complicate things for player 1 by moving obstacles (and exogorths) into inconvenient places. If player 1 has squads of their own, exogorths can be a good way of blocking an alpha strike by hiding friendly squads beyond distance 1 of the exogorth and behind its obstacle with the exogorth facing the opponent's fleet - incoming enemy squads are likely going to have to deal with obstruction and/or angry slug chomps if they want the alpha. Come the squadron phase, the slug can disappear, the obstacle can move, and the friendly squadrons can bump up into cover behind the obstacle and/or exogorth to get the jump on the enemy next round.
So all that said, I feel like Infested Fields is worth considering in small to medium squadron coverage fleets. You'll have enough squadrons to grab the tokens painlessly and you'll want the extra help from the exogorths in case you hit heavier squadron opposition. No-squads doesn't want Infested Fields because they don't want their own ships to have to land on obstacles to pick up tokens and large squads doesn't want it because the exogorths may end up getting in their own way a bit and the overall benefit just isn't as good as Superior Positions.
What kind of enemy fleets are disadvantaged by playing Infested Fields?
As mentioned earlier, Infested Fields is rough on ships that need to pick up the objective tokens, so no-squadron fleets should probably avoid it. The penalty isn't severe (at best it scores 75 extra points for player 2) but it's not great overall. If you're leaning on your own squads as an important component of getting damage into enemy ships, those pop-up exogorths could cause you an awful lot of trouble, especially if your opponent has a way of making your squads wait around until the Squadron Phase to attack (by messing with your carrier[s] with Slicer Tools, for example) and get not only bit but activated by an exogorth for no benefit to you.
|What if Contested Outpost only they're mean obstacles and they're babies but also they explode?
- You'll be deploying 7 total obstacles: 3 asteroid fields, 2 debris fields, and 2 dust fields.
- Thus player 2 will get four obstacle deployments and player 1 will get three.
- Because you score points based on farming asteroid fields, I'd generally recommend player 2 start deployment with an asteroid field. Player 1 will likely do the same, giving player 2 easy access to two asteroid fields and player 1 only the one.
- I'd also expect the dust fields to be a high priority placement once the asteroids are out - they let you hide your asteroid-harvesting ships behind a wall for a little while, so use them well.
- A few things to note about the special crit effect:
- Note that the special crit can be triggered provided the ship you're attacking is at distance 1 of any obstacle. It doesn't matter if the attacker is far out of range of it (like if you're shooting an SSD in the front and the SSD is at distance 1 of a debris field in the rear).
- Damage is dealt to all ships and squadrons at distance 1 of that obstacle (including yours!).
- The damage isn't from an attack (well... I mean an attack caused it, but the source of the damage isn't a direct attack), so defense tokens don't apply. You can wipe out scatter aces from splash damage without them getting a chance to scatter.
- Remember that when damage is dealt without instructions on which hull zone takes it, the owner of the ship chooses the hull zone. The defender in the attack that triggered the explosion will likely choose a hull zone with shields that's not currently under attack to eat the damage.
- More reminders: even though squadrons can get damaged by the crit effect, critical icons when rolled against squadrons do nothing and can't trigger critical effects, so you won't be able to hurt them through the obstacle explosion by attacking them directly. You need to target a ship near an obstacle they are near.
- It's a non-standard critical effect, so it triggers in the regular crit window. This means the crit explosion damage happens before the actual attack damage is applied like normal, which can cause problems for the defender.
- I'm going to reiterate that defense tokens don't do anything to this crit damage so please don't think spending a brace or redirect or whatever earlier will help you deal with it. It will help against the original attack but not this critical effect.
- At the end of the round, total up Command value around each asteroid field (not the debris fields or dust fields) similar to Contested Outpost and whoever has the most gets the victory token.
- Generally this should mean that player 2 will get 30 points per round and player 1 will get 15 until something changes that fact.
- You will note that the same obstacles you're fighting over are particularly explosive, so getting near them to harvest points might blow up in your face. Literally.
- It's especially noteworthy that because player 2 can trigger the critical effect using any crit icon and player 1 only with blue crits, player 1 is in a lot more danger of this than player 2.
I consider Volatile Deposits a good objective for a Big Heavy long-ranged fleet: if and when you take a special crit from the objective, you can handle the extra damage and your ability to throw a considerable number of dice downrange makes it uncomfortable for player 1 to camp their asteroid field for fear of taking extra pain from the special crits. Plus you don't mind sticking it out at speed 1 for a while camping your asteroids. You do need to be careful about the dust fields, though, as they can complicate your plan to soften up your opponent and chase them away from their asteroid field. If you've got some obstacle-moving shenanigans (again with the Grav Shift Reroute or Ezra), that can help you to manage dust field problems and/or move asteroid fields to more convenient places. If you were bringing Damage Control Officer anyways, then all the better if you bring Volatile Deposits as well to shut down incidences of the special objective crit.
Ideally, you're looking to score 2-3 of the asteroid fields per round while your opponent gets none. If this can be done, you're on your way to gaining a very large points lead on your opponent.
What kind of enemy fleets are disadvantaged by playing Volatile Deposits?
You either need to bring it to your opponent quickly to disrupt their scoring with Volatile Deposits (and flip that special crit against them too) or you need to be able to handle the dice-exchange earlier on with a fleet presumably geared to chuck dice downrange with a vengeance and scare you away from your asteroids (and resolve that special crit against you too). If you're running squadrons, be very careful about getting them close to an obstacle that could be used as an explosion point - dealing 2 damage (or more, in some cases) to all squadrons around an obstacle can be a substantial amount of total damage.
If you're confident about being aggressive, player 1 may choose to place a dust field first to screen their approach to player 2's original asteroid field deployment instead of choosing their own asteroid field for their first obstacle deployment. Player 2 will likely choose another asteroid field, followed by player 1 choosing the other dust field, followed by player 2 choosing the final asteroid field. This gives control over the scoring zones entirely to player 2 but gives control over the dust field screens entirely to player 1. If you think you can win the fight once you get to the asteroid fields, accepting that player 2 will earn 45 points for the first two rounds (likely) may be worth it if you can use the dust fields well to avoid too much incoming fire and then chase them away from the concentrated scoring zone(s) they set up.