Sunday, January 10, 2021

RitR 3: Mygeeto Drift - Team Work Makes the Teams Work

RitR 3: Mygeeto Drift - Team Work Makes the Teams Work

(Originally written by Biggs at Steel Strategy)
Welcome back to ReyLo in the Rim, where Geek, my Rey Palpatine, cooperates with me, the Ben Skywalker of his dreams.  Speaking of cooperation, we're going to look at how to be a good teammate in Rebellion in the Rim.

Why Are You Here?

So, you're playing Rebellion in the Rim.  Why?  Are you here for a good time with friends, or are you here to crush the competition?  What are the skill levels of the players you are dealing with?

The campaign is best played with players that have roughly the same skill level, as well as roughly the same idea of what they want to do, though differences in skill level can be made up artificially by allowing someone to break out the "good" gimmicks.  If you are a regular fixture at top level tournaments, and you're playing with folks who rarely show up for store tournaments, it can be helpful if you bring something off-meta, unique, or thematic rather than good.  Meanwhile, our "please don't take Starhawks" rule can be relaxed for someone who is just starting out, and would be helped by taking 150 points of "you can't kill me".

It's also important if you're here for SERIOUS BUSINESS or just here For Funs Sake.  If your goal is to see how well you'll do pretending to be the commander of an outdated Victory Class Star Destroyer squadron, then hopefully either your team is onboard with that, or at least balances your gimmick with your skill level.  And hope that the opposing team balances too, but that's a different topic we'll look at later.

Simply put, the bigger and harder to kill a ship (or squadron) is the better off it is going to be for a new player to start off with it.  So Imperials starting with ISDs or Onagers, Maarek Stele and Col. Jendon are going to be at a significant advantage over someone grabbing an Assault Frigate and a spread of non-unique Alphabet squadrons.  Plan accordingly.

How Many Players

3 per team is the sweet spot.  Yes, that's 6 people playing the game, and... uh... that can be hard to get.  Still, 2 players per team is a bit too low, and turns into a slog of the same players playing one another again, and again, and again.  If you've got a good matchup, you can basically dictate what that matchup is once you have the lead, because the losing team has to declare their attack first.  Well, guess what, once you declare, I know exactly who I want to play against, and I know who my buddy wants to play against.  Sorry, you're really at a disadvantage now.

3 Players / team lets the 2nd and 3rd fleets of the losing team decide the matchups, giving the advantage back to them, and gives you 3 different potential matchups for your fleet, which is better for fleet building and variety.  And nothing is worse than always being stuck on defense.

Unique Upgrades / Squadrons

Arguably the most important thing to discuss.  Once a unique upgrade is taken, your team can't take that upgrade again, even if you give it up.  So each opportunity to do so marks a decision point, especially if they are upgrades or squadrons that multiple players might want, or that have multiple upgrades/squadrons associated with them.  Looking at you, Hondo / Vader / Lando.  Let's be honest, everyone wants Maarek / Jendon, Brunson, Toryn, Lando (of some sort) etc.  This is where a good Grand Admiral can step in and ensure that everyone's plans are taken into consideration.  

You each start with a maximum of 2 unique squadrons per list, and this is where the discussions can start.  Which 2 work best for your list, and for your plans?  Do you need to give up one or both of them so that someone else can have a fighting chance?  Do you have an alternative that you can use?

For example, in my campaign with a Rebel Fleet, I really wanted the A-Wing aces, but gave up Tycho and Shara to a teammate that needed them more, getting Lando and Mart Matten in exchange.  From then on, I went with a "Rogues that I could still activate with a squadron command" for my theme, picking up a YT-2400 and Rogue Squadron later.

Meanwhile, in an Imperial campaign with a less experienced teammate, I realized they needed the potential access to Maarek / Jendon, and picked up Morna as my only unique to start.

For unique upgrades, you'll usually be going into the fight knowing which upgrade you are looking for - this is a benefit as you can talk it out as part of the strategy before the game begins.  The only exception is if you're on the defensive, but a quick check of the objectives and a quick check with your team should clear things for you.  It can even enter into your decision making process for who to send to defend that location.

Just remember, if your list is trash, and you're thinking about dumping it for a new one, you don't get to use those upgrades or squadrons ever again.  Remember that before you pick up or go after a unique if you're thinking of retiring your fleet.  Or just pull the trigger on sending your bad list (and poor Tycho) to a nice Dewback Farm Up-Rim early so you don't have to make bad decisions about good cards.  You don't want to be the guy that has to explain where the Hondo for your team went, and why he isn't coming back.

Build For the Pivotals!  Build With Each Other!

Communication is key!  Talk with your team about what they thing your list might want, or what commander experience upgrade you want to go for.  Flexibility is good for this - if you and a team mate need an upgrade to be viable, even if it isn't a unique upgrade, only one of you is likely going to be able to grab it on the initial battle.  Also talk to your team mates about what your list looks like, and what they think it needs.  Another set of eyes is very useful for figuring out what weaknesses you haven't seen, or strengths you hadn't considered.  Help them with their list too.

In between battles they'll have seen their opponents, while you were playing against yours, so that will be valuable information on what you need to prepare for.  If you faced off against a squadron-lite list but they were flying against a B-Wing Bomber swarm that is information you each need to know in case you match up against the other's opponent later.

More than that, your list need to fit into the Pivotal Battle Plan for your team.  We'll go into the Pivotal Battle part of RitR a bit later, but for now know where your ships fit into the larger fight, as well as where they fit into individual matches.  Maybe you are bringing the skirmishers, or maybe the hammer.  Maybe you need to split your fleet up to properly integrate it into the Pivotal group.  For example, I had an AFII and MC30c, as well as Rogue anti-squadron fighters.  Each one of those fit in differently to the Pivotal.  The AFII my team-mate's MC80 as part of the battle line, while the MC30c was part of the flanking force.  Meanwhile my squadrons were dragooned into the Anti-squadron cover for the fleet, while other teammates squadrons were split into Bombers and Bomber Escorts.

The point is to go in with a plan.   “A bad plan that is well executed will yield much better results than a good plan that is poorly executed.” - Otto von Bismark

Strategic Tokens And You (And Your Team)

Oh boy, Strategic Tokens.  These little guys are crucial to the macro game taking place above the individual battles.  Let's take a look at them in roughly the order I think they are important:

This one is the most important one, because of all the things it can be used for.  One of your starting bases NEEDS to be generating these.  It's the only way for you to get more bases outside of losing one to a Base Evacuation Pivotal Battle (2 Resource tokens / base), so it is your basic economy token.  You'll want to be generating 2 / turn fairly early.  Fortunately there are a lot of locations that generate these.

It's also a fairly expensive way to get rid of Low Fuel and Low Supplies condition cards.  Low Supplies is probably the worse of the two, but they are collectively no fun to have, and hang on to.  The only other way to get rid of these conditions is to do specific green objectives.

Finally, and most fun, you can use these tokens to upgrade to Huge or Large ships at the final Pivotal battle.  A good way to have a truly epic final game to your campaign.  Speaking of upgrading ship classes...

The second most important token isn't one you can just get easily, and the scarcity may make this a much more valuable token than Resources in your game.  The only Ally tokens on the board are gated behind "you can't start with a base here" locations.  But they are a great equalizer to bad matchups, and important for things like base assaults, Pivotal Battles, and the final Climactic Battle.

The first thing that they do is give you up to 45 points of either 1 additional ship with no upgrades (Raider I or Gozantis for the Imperials / Hammerheads, CR90s, or Transports for the Rebels) or up to 3 non-unique Irregular squadrons, those being the single stand squadrons like YT-2400s or Decimators.  Having 45 points of extra squadrons can swing a squadron battle stacked up against you, and having an extra activation / combat ship can fix an activation disadvantage that would leave you otherwise screwed over.  Or either one can give you just enough extra oomph to make assaulting a base make sense, or give just enough extra defense to turn a losing fight to a close fight.  It even works in Pivotal Battles, which why wouldn't you take any advantage you can get for these?

However, the best bit comes with the Climactic Battle, where if you are dumping tokens into Large or Huge ship upgrades, you can spend one Ally token to give yourself 45 extra points to work with.  Makes that Assault Star Dreadnaught more reasonable to grab, huh?

There's only two places that can give you these tokens - Mandalore and Nal Hutta.  Make sure your team gets one of these tokens and gets them early - have a plan for getting this location, and send your best player at it.  Then get a base down on it, because you can bet your opponent wants it too.

Repair Yards:
The more squadrons you have and the less bases you have, the more important Repair Yards become.  Each Repair Yard token you use lets the entire team repair one additional scarred unit, or "sell" one additional type of upgrade card.  So, if you're playing a 3 player game, and someone has 6 combined squadrons and ships, they're going to need some Repair Yards standing by in case they get tabled.

You also need 1 Repair Yard token to do the whole "Large / Huge" upgrade described above.

There's 4 places with repair yards - Ord Mantell, Mandalore, Mon Cala, and Nar Shaddaa - all places likely to be fought over or claimed initially.

Two effects, and fairly powerful ones at that, and they can be distributed and used multiple times a round / game.  The problem is... oof... you've got to kinda go out of your way to get these tokens.  Dathomir, Atollon, Tatooine, and Dagobah aren't exactly the most popular planets for a visit, making these a late game grab for sure.

If you do hop off the beaten path though - set an attack die to any face or gain an extra command dial of any type are both incredibly powerful abilities, and ones that don't increase your fleet size and thus give your opponent the chance for better prizes like Ally tokens.

So again, not something to be prioritizing in Act I, but in Act II and Act III, these may be the locations you'll be fighting over once the Ally tokens and Resources are settled.

Spynet would be better, as it is a redeploy effect and can be banked and used by multiple players / multiple times by the same player each round.  That being said, there's a commander ability that basically functions the same way with the same timing, and the First Player needs to use all theirs before the Second Player.  Still, being able to pick up a Large base ship and put it down after all the deployments have taken place is pretty good.

Basically, at the end of the deployment phase, First Player, then Second Player, can spend as many Spynet tokens as they want to redeploy 1 ship or 2 squadrons.

The challenge is that there aren't a lot of places with Spynet that you're likely going to be fighting over.  Ring of Kafrene is the most popular spot, but Nal Hutta wants to hand out Ally tokens, and neither Smugglers Run or Dantooine is particularly exciting otherwise.

To use a Diplomat token you declare at the start of the Strategy Phase an area (I, II, III, IV, or V) on the map.  Then if your opponent attacks an unoccupied space in that sector (including the border territories) they get the "Low Morale" condition, which either reduces their total command token max by 1, or makes it so that they can only deploy squadrons touching their player edge.

There aren't a lot of places to get Diplomats either, just Mygeeto, Ryloth, and Rodia.  It's a great way to afflict an enemy that either relies on Command 1 ships or is squadron heavy, and you can lock an opponent out of attacking a unoccupied territory you know they want.  Bear in mind if your opponent would get a different condition as well, or already has a condition, they can just ignore Diplomats and its effect.  It's a trick that's nice to have early, but not later in the game when there are less unoccupied spaces.

Skilled Spacers:

You'll have some of these tokens.  They're everywhere.  Just use them as soon as you get them.  Maybe you'll even get some use out of them by getting more than 1 Veteran in that round's fight.  Expect to have a pile of these at the end of the campaign.  As a fun bonus, you can house rule that in case of a tie on campaign points, the winner is whoever has more (or less!) Skilled Spacer tokens unused at the end of the game.

Spending Skilled Spacers takes place before a game starts, and for each spent you can Veteran one additional eligible Ship or Squadron.

Well that's it for working as a team.  Next time Geek19 will be talking about... where to set up initial bases?  Sorry it took me so long to write this.


  1. I love these posts! Really excited to start my own Rim campaign, thanks for giving me faith that the Armada community is still going strong!

  2. We tried a couple of variants to the strategic tokens that we feel improved the campaign:
    - The only way to add a veteran is by spending Skilled Spacers. This makes these tokens not so "Ugh". Veteran squads have always seemed a bit OP, so this helps cut down on that as well during the campaign.
    - We nerfed Ally tokens to either 30 points of flotilla plus non-unique upgrades OR 30 points of non-unique squads/unique Rogues from either faction (as long as they are not already in someone's fleet). It's kind of fun bringing some famous Rogues and Villains. We kept it at 45 points for the final battle ship upgrades.
    - We've discussed changing the Conditions rule so the opponent gets to pick one instead of everyone just taking Low Fuel to make the Diplomats more valuable. Low Morale and Low Supplies are generally worse conditions but rarely seen. And maybe letting Diplomats block a planet off entirely for declaring assaults, but haven't tried that yet.
    - re: Spynet - possibly worth noting this ability is fierce if you upgrade to a SSD for final battle.

    1. Cool! Now that you're restricted to only 2 uniques (and as many gen-iques as you can get) i'm interested to see what that does to the game as well!

    2. I really do like the new 1.5 rules on limits on aces to speed up game play and make the game a bit friendlier for newer players. We are thinking about starting a Clone Wars campaign as soon as our group gets the vaccinated. Crossing my fingers for a summer of Armada.