Friday, January 1, 2021

Yellow (defense) objectives, Rebellion in the Rim

It's the final RitR objectives article!
If they left because the space whales showed up, I'm pretty sure that counts as space racism.
 Abandoned Mining Facility
  • After deploying the station in the center, second player begins alternating placement of the remaining obstacles, which will be 2 debris fields, 2 dust fields, and 2 purrgil.
    • So player 2 and player 1 each get 3 obstacles.
    • As usual for "put something in the middle first" objectives, try your best to center the station and when in doubt get the okay from your opponent before proceeding.
    • Because you can get victory points for mining dust fields as well as the station, it's worth considering using your first obstacle deployment on a dust field closer to you.
      • Given as player 2 you start off with repair tokens, it's worth considering putting that dust field somewhere it will be distance 1 from several ships that can use those tokens to grab a single victory token each on the first round. You can then stick close to it for more mining next round if you like.
    • Remember that all obstacles must be deployed at distance 2-5 of the station.
      • This means that you ignore the usual restriction on obstacles needing to be deployed outside of 1-3 of the player edges, but otherwise they obey the usual rules of not being allowed within distance 1 of one another.
      • Also note that "at distance 2-5" means no part of an obstacle can be at distance 1 of the station, so make sure you give them enough breathing room.
  • Don't forget there are purrgil here as well and they move at the end of the round like usual. Unlike the other 2 purrgil objectives, they don't do anything special here: they just move around and get in the way. 
    • It might be worth deploying a purrgil close to a dust field you feel your opponent intends to farm to get in the way and damage ships that get too close.
  • Otherwise, harvesting points from the dust field and the station are pretty straightforward: it costs 3 engineering points per victory token on the station, 2 per victory token on the dust fields, but if you get greedy and mine a dust field for more than one token, it vanishes.
    • Note you can only gain points from 1 dust field or station. You can't be at distance 1 of two of them and split your mining between them.
    • Dust fields are removed once the repair command concludes that gained 2+ victory tokens from one, so busting out your Mega-Maid powers to make a dust field vanish to expose an enemy ship to an attack afterwards can be satisfying.
    • I feel it's pretty obvious, but it bears mentioning that engineering points spent mining are points you can't spend on repairing.
President Skroob about to get crazy points from Abandoned Mining Facility.
What kind of fleets should consider using Abandoned Mining Facility?
If your fleet can provide command assistance in the form of tokens, dials, or super-charges commands (like Garm, Leia, Thrawn, or Tarkin), you can score a good number of points on Abandoned Mining Facility (hereafter AMF). For example, in a Tarkin fleet spamming repair tokens, all ships with an Engineering value of 3+ can tag a dust field every round for 10 points while doing whatever else they wanted. Basically, you want as many of your ships as possible to be able to harvest points from obstacles as often as possible without it being a big inconvenience to your overall plan. If you can set it up, you can net quite a few points per round from AMF.

It's important to have an overall plan regarding mining the dust fields vs. the station itself. Obviously, you can't heavy mine the dust fields without them vanishing, but they convert repair points to victory tokens at a better rate than the station does. Conversely, you can mine the station all you like, but it's harder to do. Some fleets will want to focus more on dust fields, others on the station. Just have a plan is all I'm saying.

What kind of enemy fleets are disadvantaged by playing Abandoned Mining Facility?

If you don't meet the criteria above (command assistance fleet, basically), you're going to have a rough time with AMF unless you start dialing in repair frequently instead of whatever else you actually wanted to do. Some fleets can handle a bit of this kind of inconvenience, but fleets that don't have much command slack to spare (like squadron-heavy fleets, which typically have it tough enough getting enough other commands in that aren't squadron commands) are going to struggle to score many points.

There are so many asteroid tactics, like "land in them." And also... uh... "don't get bitten by a slug."
Asteroid Tactics
  • Player 2 will be deploying 3 asteroid fields and 2 debris fields.
    • Because of Asteroid Tactics's special rule, player 2 should give some serious consideration to when they expect they'll need to recover or refresh defense tokens. If you place the asteroids too close to you, you may be past them by the time you'd want to use them, although it makes it difficult for player 1 to benefit from them. If you place them too far away, you'll likely be ready to use them in time but you give player 1 more ability to benefit as well.
      • There's also the fact that exogorths pop out of obstacles in this objective, so some obstacles might be best-used as exogorth staging points too.
      • The correct choice will depend a lot on both your fleet and your opponent's fleet, so there's no catch-all "do it this way" recommendation beyond "place the debris fields in an inconvenient spot for player 1 and the asteroids closer to you if you can."
  • It's important to note that there are some big differences in how player 1 and player 2 interact with asteroids (and only asteroids, debris fields are normal) under the special rule:
    • Player 1's ships and squadrons interact with overlapping asteroids like normal, but when they do, they can recover a discarded non-scatter defense token, which comes back exhausted (red side up).
    • Player 2's ships and squadrons may ignore the effect of overlapping asteroids (specifically, this means no faceup damage card dealt to their ships, as squadrons don't care) and when they do they may either recover a discarded non-scatter defense token (which comes back readied) or refresh an exhausted/red defense token back to readied/green.
      • In short, player 2 has a much bigger incentive to overlap asteroids and the defense token recovery is much more powerful and flexible when they do.
  • You resolve the effect for each asteroid field you overlap, so in some cases (like with the SSD), you may overlap multiple asteroid fields and resolve the special rule more than once.
  • Exogorths won't be present on the table until they pop out of obstacles at the end of the first round.
    • Just like in Infested Fields, the exogorths chomp squadrons at the start of the Squadron Phase and then they disappear.
    • Unlike Infested Fields, exogorths that spawn at the end of the round can't both come out of the same obstacle.
    • Keep in mind that asteroids with exogorths living in them are not a very appealing place for anyone to put their squadrons, regardless of whether they get defense tokens back or not. You can use this to disincentivize your opponent's squadrons from sheltering there.
    • Just because player 2 ignores overlapping asteroids doesn't mean they ignore exogorths living there, so be careful.
What kind of fleets should consider using Asteroid Tactics?
It's a fairly weird objective and it won't score player 2 any victory points, so I'm a little leery. That said, deploying all the obstacles and controlling the exogorths can be pretty strong for player 2, as can keeping defense tokens fresh and ignoring asteroid overlaps. The main issue is recovering non-scatter defense tokens for squadrons in my experience typically won't make a large difference - by the time your braces are getting overheated as an ace squadron, you're usually pretty close to dead. That said, it can be pretty useful with aces that spend their defense tokens in special ways or get extra benefit from them such as Jan Ors, Tel Trevura, or Lando.

The strongest use here seems to be with ships that are likely to get brace tokens overheated as well as just about any ships with salvo tokens that want to go weapons free and counter attack like crazy, safe in the knowledge that they can get the salvo tokens back so long as they've got asteroids in their future. It can be handy in the right squadron builds as well to allow your small or medium fighter group to compete against heavier squadrons thanks to regenerating tokens (especially with the aces I mentioned above) and extra help from exogorths and in this regard can pair well with Infested Fields so long as enough other things line up.

What kind of enemy fleets are disadvantaged by playing Asteroid Tactics?

The objective is set up to make going into the obstacles pretty unappealing for player 1in the first place, making it tough to really flip this objective against player 2 regardless of fleet type. Small ships in particular are very not keen on eating that faceup damage card. The exogorths can be a nuisance to squadrons as usual.

More like "Fleet in Being Really Annoying to Kill," am I right?
Fleet in Being
  • The special rule timing window is upon being declared as the target of an attack. This is before any dice are rolled but after your opponent has committed to going after you. Make sure you don't miss this timing window as well as don't be a jerk and rush your opponent through this trigger if they might want to spend an objective token.
    • The triggering window allows spending 1 objective token to refresh 1 defense token. You can't do this more than once per attack incidence.
  • Distance 1-3 of a player edge means any element of the ship's base within distance 1-3 of your edge of the table. It's easy to not completely leave your deployment zone on the first round. For example, a large ship deployed at the deployment line (flat up against the distance 3 line) going speed 2 straight ahead just barely escapes distance 1-3 of a player edge on the first round.
    • Player 2 can, if necessary, handle losing a token to this effect on the first round but it's much more painful for player 1 losing their only token on a ship.
  • The end of game bonus points are basically a consolation prize for "so the other player's ship survived due to this objective but they used up all their tokens, huh?" Don't count on it seriously affecting your score, but do consider it if you're about to spend the final objective token on a ship "just because" when that ship isn't actually in any significant danger.
What kind of fleets should consider using Fleet in Being?
This is an objective tailored to fleets using a good number of Command 2+ ships that expect to get into the thick of it, so it's best with Big Heavy style fleets (whether "pure" Big Heavy or hybrid builds). It works great for refreshing single-copy tokens (often brace) when you're under fire but is also very handy on ships like Gladiators and Assault Frigates that have a number of single-use tokens that tend to get overheated quickly, which normally puts you into a weakened state where follow-up attacks really hurt - with Fleet in Being, you can stretch your crucial tokens further, which can make a large difference in ship survival. Packing Electronic Countermeasures on your bigger bruisers helps ensure all your efforts weren't for naught due to an accuracy when you refresh the tokens, too. Flotillas with a one-refresh scatter can be extremely annoying, but it really depends on exactly how the opposing fleet is trying to take them out: it's helpful when you're getting attacked at long range or with a number of smaller attacks trying to overheat the scatter, but it's worthless against good attacks with an accuracy (or two) that were going to one-hit KO the flotilla anyways.

All that said, keep in mind that your opponent's ships also get one objective token each, so taking them out will be a little more difficult than usual. The hope is your extra tokens tips the balance enough in a protracted firefight to give you the edge. You can cheat your way around this a little bit with upgrades that mess with defense tokens or generate accuracy results, like a host of turbolasers (XI7s, H9s, Heavy Turbolaser Turrets), Intel Officer, and the like. You'll also want your fleet to be comfortable vacating your deployment zone round 1 and avoiding the edges of the map in general - you want to get the most out of your objective and discarding your tokens doesn't help you much. For that reason, front-arc ships like ISDs tend to fit this objective a bit more than squirrely broadsides ships like HMC80s, although you can do just fine even with broadsiders provided you're aggressive enough. Just recognize the difference between "stupidly reckless" and "tactically aggressive" in that circumstance.

Salvo, specifically, gets a bit obscene with Fleet in Being. Being able to continually refresh and use salvo can be extremely good. Salvo allows Fleet in Being to be more than strictly a defensive objective as it increases the total number of attacks a salvo-enabled fleet can make.

What kind of enemy fleets are disadvantaged by playing Fleet in Being?

The less combat ships you have that will get a meaningful benefit from their one objective token, the worse Fleet in Being is for you as player 1. For the most part, every ship likes their defense tokens lasting longer, but light Command 1 combat ships don't tend to survive much longer with the token refresh due to their inherent fragility. Carrier fleets tend to be light on ship count and most of their ships are going to crumple up when actually pinned down regardless.

It feels more like "Rift Home Invasion: Player 1 attacks Player 2's weird house" than an ambush, really.
Rift Ambush
  • The obstacles for this objective will be 3 asteroid fields, 2 debris fields, 2 dust fields, and the gravity rift.
    • The second player places all of them. So enjoy deploying all 8 obstacles, second player.
      • Only the gravity rift has the special placement restriction of outside of distance 5. The other obstacles deploy like normal.
    • In general, I would recommend throwing the damaging obstacles in inconvenient places for player 1, and especially make sure to get one towards each corner to break up attempts to turtle up. Use the dust fields to screen your own fleet if necessary, probably a bit closer to the grav rift. The grav rift should be deployed more centrally, perhaps a bit closer to player 2's edge. You're looking to use it for the grav-sling assist and player 1 is going to be a bit leery of it because if he's not careful, the extra bump can send his ship overlapping it.
      • Basically, if the grav rift doesn't matter this game, then a good portion of your objective did nothing. Deploying it fairly centrally helps ensure it makes a difference and can't be completely ignored by an opponent deploying in a corner.
  • Remember that player 2 may choose an opponent ship for the extra speed 1 bump followed by the speed change. Player 2 almost always should, but it's optional if for some reason you don't want to do it.
    • Generally player 2 should be looking for opportunities to push ships out in front of the rest of player 1's fleet at too high a speed or ram them into other ships or set them up to hit obstacles if possible. Otherwise, slowing a ship down to 0 after giving it a bump at least forces the early navigate to remedy that.
    •  Combining this effect with Admiral Titus is fun because it allows you to change an opponent's ship's speed by 2 in either direction, with no problems shifting it down to 0 if you wish.
  • Note that your regular maneuvers at distance 1-2 of the gravity rift will still suffer the temporary -1 speed penalty, even if the special speed-1 maneuver does not.
    • If you move in from outside distance 1-2 of the rift, you'll effectively get a mandatory extra speed-1 boost with no regular movement debuff, whether you wanted it or not.
    • The triggering event is after executing a maneuver, so on a ship with Engine Techs, which would normally do nothing near the grav rift, you can finish your normal maneuver, trigger the grav rift bump, and then hopefully be outside of distance 2 so you can execute your additional Engine Techs maneuver to actually go somewhere.
  • The extra maneuver from the grav rift slingshot is another maneuver in every sense of the term, meaning you could land on the same obstacle twice (just like with Engine Techs) but also that upgrades that trigger upon completing a maneuver, specifically Fighter Coordination Team, would be able to trigger twice, provided nothing prevents them from doing so.
What kind of fleets should consider using Rift Ambush?
In my mind, ideal use of Rift Ambush has player 2 pushing one of player 1's ships out too far ahead and then rapidly pouncing on it with the grav-sling assist of the grav rift. The reality is the main guaranteed benefit of Rift Ambush is placing all 8(!) obstacles, with a bit of extra shenanigans possible from the grav rift extra rules and messing with one of player 1's ships. So how exactly does this all come together, really? Why would you want this grouping of perks that seem to have some light synergy but come with an objective that doesn't score extra points?

I'd argue that this objective is generally best used with MSU-style fleets that aren't bringing along the kind of extra bells and whistles that make other objectives work better:
  • Your smaller maneuverable ships generally don't have much to worry about when it comes to overlapping obstacles (which will be everywhere), but your opponent probably can't say the same.
  • The dust clouds in particular give you some cover from long-ranged harassment on the way in.
  • Your ships are fast enough that you can (if you want/need to) jump into the area near the grav rift for a speed boost without suffering the regular speed penalty by starting close to it.
  • Small ships tend to have great speed 1 nav charts (often double-click), which can provide a lot of extra options with the bonus grav rift move.
  • The obstacles scattered closer to your opponent's side of the board offer excellent hiding places for your ships that hit and run.
  • If you can live the dream and pull an opponent's ship out to gang up on it earlier, your fleet has the kind of speed (plus the grav rift bonus moves) to rush it and gang up on it very quickly.

Because you're placing 8(again, "!") obstacles and the rift itself can cause some serious issues if your opponent doesn't take it seriously, it can also be fun to use this objective with a Grav Shift Reroute-equipped Interdictor to move 4 or more obstacles around after your opponent deploys their fleet. One thing to keep in mind is the grav rift on-ship-deployment slowing-ship-speed-to-zero effect only applies to ships deployed at distance 1-2 of it. Because it must be deployed outside distance 5 of the player edges and you move it with the Grav Shift Reroute after fleet deployment, you won't be able to slow ships by sneaking it closer to them after the fact. On a different note entirely, the Grav Shift Reroute Interdictor is also giving serious consideration to points-scoring yellow objectives that interact with obstacles, in particular Contested Outpost. Not all Interdictor fleets want Contested Outpost, of course, but it bears consideration.

What kind of enemy fleets are disadvantaged by playing Rift Ambush?
This objective isn't really a hard counter to anything in particular, but it does give player 2 options to exploit both forced (the extra surprise bump at the start of the game) and unforced (obstacles everywhere produces more chances to land on them) errors. If you deploy any of your ships headed towards other ships (not uncommon with flotillas following behind combat ships or with broadsides fleets), the extra move and speed change pre-round-1 can result in a ram you weren't expecting and speed changes that can cause future problems.


  1. I feel like special mention should go to interdictors interactions with rift ambush. Shifting obstacles, including the rift, can be very potent. And multiple Grav wells +the rift can speed 0 an entire fleet.

    1. My main issue there is you need two Interdictors for a pair of Grav Well tokens plus by the time you move the Grav Rift closer to the enemy fleet with Grav Shift Reroute they've already deployed and won't be speed 0 (as it needs to be beyond D5 of both players' edges and it only slows down on deployment if ships are at D1-2). You're hoping they'll land on it at that point and that's unlikely if they recognize the possible trouble they're in (with two Interdictors and a Grav Rift I hope they do) and don't deploy their ships heading towards the Grav Rift.

      You also need a way to capitalize on the enemy fleet either being speed 0 (if they deploy in the Grav Well areas) or clustered up behind the Grav Rift (if they deploy elsewhere) while spending at least 200+ points on 2 Interdictors. Not impossible, but you're spending a lot on speed 0 shenanigans at that point.

      All that said, I agree that Grav Shift Reroute is really fun with this objective because you place all the obstacles and if your opponent isn't careful you can cause some serious problems after you move them. So I'll definitely update the article with that noted and I appreciate you bringing it up. I'm just not convinced about fleets using multiple Interdictors in the first place.

  2. Correct me if I'm wrong. But with Rift Ambush you can force the pre-game movement to trigger a proximity mine, right? Seems like a solid way to expand the threat range of obstacles placed to interfere with opponents deployment.