Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Separatist ship review: Recusant-class Destroyer

Breaking with normal Separatist naming conventions that are usually about wealth or shipping, the Recusant is named for "a person who refuses to submit to an authority or to comply with a regulation." Which makes sense when you consider the Separatists are refusing to submit to the Republic, but makes no sense when you consider that the Separatists are a merchant bureaucracy full of regulations they insist be followed to the letter. A not-fully-thought-through name? In my Star Wars? It's more likely than you think. Anyways, on to the Recusant-class Destroyer!

It's a giant robot space rat on a rocket stick.
On a side note, AMG can't seem to post a decent card scan of the ship they're selling and it makes me sad. Thanks to Ryan Kingston and Petersaber for slapping something together for the community.

The two Recusant variants have a lot of similarities:

  • Command 3. For a large ship this is pretty standard, but on a "light large" like the Recusant, it feels just a bit sluggish compared to the Command-light-for-their-size Munificents and Hardcells.
  • Engineering 3. This is bad on a large ship. It can help in a pinch but it's not getting a lot of work done.
  • 8 hull. Pretty standard on a large ship but...
  • 3/3/2 shields. 11 total shields on a large is okay but not great and there is no particular hull zone that has a lot of shields where you can comfortably take a serious attack.
  • Good nav chart. It's pretty standard for a large until speed 3, where you get 3 total clicks, which is excellent.
  • Great defense token suite. Evade, brace, redirect, salvo is about the best 4 non-scatter defense tokens you can have. That said, no duplicate redirects and no contain can cause some serious issues on defense.
  • Really weird arcs. Great for double-arcing once you get the hang of it, terrible for avoiding shots to the face and/or side once your shields get low (and they will). Let me show you:


I want my hull zones EXTRA THICC

Basic usage recommendations:
The Recusant is in some ways an overweight MC30: it has the same shield values but twice the hull, loves double-arcing enemies, and it mostly likes to hang out at speed 3. If you can get a full-strength double arc, either Recusant is bringing minimum 10 (6+4) total dice to bear on an enemy. That's an awful lot of aggro for a base cost in the high double digits.

The aggro comes with the noted downside of being the most fragile large ship in the game, with equivalent durability to a medium-sized Victory-class Star Destroyer. Several minor defensive problems combine to produce a low life expectancy:

  • No defensive retrofit slot
  • Engineering 3
  • No contain defense token
  • No duplicate redirect defense token
  • No hull zone greater than 3 shields

It's not difficult to lock down or overheat your defense tokens when they're all single-use with no duplicates and no defensive retrofit to stretch your defenses a bit further. Brace is very susceptible to getting locked down by big attacks and redirect tends to get locked down and/or overheated by numerous small to moderate sized attacks. In short: don't count on your best token in the situation to help you much. This can quickly become a problem because 3 shields (at best) in a given hull zone won't stop much damage and once cards hit the hull, they tend to hit the hull faceup as you have no contain to stop the generic crit effect. Once damage starts hitting the hull, it can be difficult to stop it from continuing to pile on given your very wide arcs that are easy to draw line of sight to (and from!).

Engineering 3 is adequate for removing a nasty faceup damage card, but it's not nearly enough to keep shields healthy in a prolonged fight: regenerating one shield and moving one around is mediocre; moving 3 shields from a "safe" hull zone to an empty hull zone can help at the moment but long-term once you've hit that point your Recusant is in increasing danger. With Command 3 and a hunger for navigate and concentrate fire commands, slotting in an "okay I guess" repair command can be a hard sell and you'll need to anticipate when you need it, because if you only put a repair command in once you need to remove a faceup damage card or move some shields around, you're two rounds too late and your Recusant is likely going to die before you get to your repair command. In general, I'd slot in a repair dial for the round after you expect the serious fights to start: so probably round 3 or 4, depending. It's insurance for a bad faceup card or can just swing shields around. A repair token, if you can get one easily enough, can be handy for moving 2 shields around or regenerating one shield. It's not a lot, but it helps.

Okay, so I've probably overemphasized how much the Recusant loves exploding. It does, though. A lot. What do we do about that?

You can't say it's not canonical!
Beyond the earlier tip of "it's probably a good idea to have a well-timed repair dial somewhere around round 3 or 4 to handle a bad faceup damage card or at least moving 3 shields around," there is some other pertinent advice:

  • Whenever possible, try to limit attacks back at your Recusant. Of course every ship wants to do this, but glass cannon ships like the Recusant especially want to do this. This means your Recusant is almost always better off on a flank where it's less likely to get ganged up on.
    • This also makes it much more palatable to use a repair command to move shields from a "safe" side hull zone to a depleted front or opposite side hull zone.
    • The later you deploy your Recusant, the easier this is to do. Even if you can't quite get the last deployment, deploying later on closer to a flank with some maneuvering options left open can help a lot - with some navigate commands and a lot of yaw at speed 3 you can usually position just fine.
    • It feels excellent to use every single Recusant defense token against an attack and then suffer no further attacks that round. The only thing better than that is not getting attacked at all. It's the attacks after the first one that cause you trouble, which is why I'm telling you to keep it on the flank, please.
  • GTFO. Your speed 3 nav chart is excellent, on par with and in some cases superior to that of small ships, to say nothing of other large ships. A good hit and run is definitely within the realm of possibility. Recusants aren't designed to get into long fire exchanges, especially at closer ranges, so don't: shoot and scoot.
    • It should be noted that you're still a large ship. You've got a hefty chonk base. Jumping over other ships like a small ship is very difficult to do (but not impossible if you get it right). It's much easier to go around the outside than to jump right over like a small ship can. Misjudging the jump, ramming and being stuck in place, and getting stuck in a protracted firefight quickly leads to a dead Recusant.
Lots of robo-meat here, so let's get to it!

It's a little-known fact that Star Wars droids came to Earth just to learn a little Greek for making ship names.

Gilded Aegis is a weird upgrade card in that it has two different triggering windows: either the end of the Command Phase (when you set dials and prior to the Ship Phase) at at the end of the Ship Phase (prior to the Squadron Phase). Otherwise, it's fairly simple: pitch your redirect token to move a bunch of shields from as many hull zones as you like to one specific hull zone.

In terms of practical benefit, Gilded Aegis is intended to help you tank up on a hull zone that's about to get turbo-blasted by your opponent's ship(s) right before the Ship Phase or a similar idea if you see a lot of squadrons in your future right before the Squadron Phase. It's more likely you'll be using it for the former than the latter, but hey, more options don't hurt. Losing your redirect is tough, however, and means you're extra-not-keen on taking any kind of shots at your newly-depleted other hull zones. We've already covered that is a little easier said than done given all your non-rear hull zones are pretty big. The best way to do this is to come in on a flank and grab extra shields from your far side hull zone and perhaps your rear to reinforce either your front or side, depending. In this way it's kind of like a poor man's Advanced Projectors in a fashion. It's not great, but it's potentially 3 more points of damage between your fragile lawn dart and getting blown off the table.

A special note about using Gilded Aegis with two different options: General Grievous bringing the redirect token back is excellent and highly recommended. Wat Tambor as your officer is also appealing for giving you easy repair-command shield shuffling once your redirect is gone for good and can steal shields from friends when things start looking rough.

Nova Defiant does a few things, and I'm basically just paraphrasing the card but in English instead of FFG-rules-ese:

  • When you deploy Nova Defiant the card gets one of each command token.
  • Nova Defiant is a Command 4 ship. That means a command dial stack of 4.
  • You can still only hold 4 tokens but you can have multiples of the same type(s) if you like.
    • I want to note right away that the resupply upgrades only assign one token to each ship you choose in range. You can't dump all five on Nova Defiant in one go. Sorry. 
    • I'm not convinced the Command 4 limit is intentional and I'm expecting we'll see an FAQ on this one way or the other.
  • When you reveal a command dial, you have the option to take all (not some) of the command tokens on the Nova Defiant card and put them on the ship itself.
    • Because this is done before you have a chance to spend the dial for anything, the tokens are free to be used alongside the dial you just revealed.
Effectively: Yay, free command tokens and holding multiples! Boo, Command 4! That's the title. Given Recusants can already chafe a bit under Command 3, Command 4 is rough. That said, you don't run Nova Defiant in a vacuum (first of all, it'll get carpet fibers all over it), you run it with other support that helps minimize the downside. Some examples:
  • Admiral Trench. Trench's main limiting factor is it's tough to get a ton of command tokens all over your fleet. Nova Defiant largely doesn't have that problem.
  • Passel Argente. You were planning on issuing one of each different command for the first four rounds anyways, right? And after that, starting on round 4 it's one free command dial for you for the rest of the game. These two are made for one another.
  • T-Series Tactical Droid. Taking an extra token at some point means you can use Tacky the Droid a total of three times with your Nova tokens to resolve three of your non-con-fire tokens at dial strength and then feed him the other two to ready in the Status Phase. That goes a long way towards making Command 4 more palatable.
  • Tikkes. If you want to run Tikkes all game you need to decide which commands you want to repeat on rounds 5 and 6 and assign those to rounds 1 and 2. Otherwise, most of your tough command decisions are made before Tikkes is even a bother to your command planning.

"All part of our cunning plan to make Republic citizens regret using Google image search!"

Rules time!

  • Patriot Fist only works when attacking ships at medium-long range. That's it. People are going to keep thinking it works at close, or works against squads, or something else. Please read the card.
  • Patriot Fist only works on your first attack and then that's it. No more attacks for you!
That's it! Patriot Fist gives up a second attack for a meaner single attack. It's an interesting and somewhat-expensive title and as a fallback option for something to do while you're closing on enemy targets when you won't usually have more than one attack anyways. In that function it's probably worth it provided you'll use it at least twice.
You can build into it, however: a Light Destroyer Recusant with Patriot Fist, turbolaser upgrade that adds a die (Spinals, Slaved if you're really leaning into it), concentrate fire dial, and Shu Mai all working together gets up to 8 dice at long range (4 red + 1 red from the turbolaser + 2 blue from Patriot Fist + 1 from concentrate fire) with a 3-dice reroll in there. Potentially even more with other factors included. The main issue with building into the Patriot Fist super laser too hard is the Recusant fundamentally is intended to double-arc. Giving up 4 dice (assuming a side arc) to gain 2 blue on your front (typically) isn't a great deal, so you're working somewhat at cross-purposes going super hard into Patriot Fist. It can work, but my general recommendation is to build into it enough to help your big wallop on the approach but not so much that you give up your double-arcing potential later on.

Recusant-class Light Destroyer
Still preferring the fancy alt-art tarot versions to the double-sided standard sized cards.
The Light Destroyer is the more barebones Recusant that's focused on what the Recusant likes to do: double arc targets and then leave. It's similar to a Scout MC30 in that it likes operating at two specific ranges: long-ranged (where it gets equivalent/better dice than the Support Destroyer variant for 5 less points) and close-ranged (where it double-arcs for a minimum of 10 dice). Medium range is the place you don't want to be - you're not getting any additional attack dice and it makes your evade worse. So the Light Destroyer wants to harass until an opportunity presents itself and then go in for the kill, hopefully to scoot away shortly thereafter.

At Squadron 2, the Light Destroyer isn't anybody's idea of a carrier. It's primarily going to be issuing navigate and concentrate fire commands with the odd repair command. You can still get some use out of Squadron 2, but it won't usually be for actually commanding squadrons.

Salvo can be handy but the Recusant isn't really built to be a salvo-heavy ship: it doesn't really have a token that's easy to give up for a second salvo using Local Fire Control, its inherent salvo value is a mediocre two dice, one of those dice is a black die, and you're generally trying to avoid getting attacked much if possible. It's basically there to help get a little chip damage in but it's not strong enough to build around or really merit augmenting any further.

Like most Separatist ships, it's ideal to keep upgrades on your Recusants fairly cheap as they do an all right job right out of the box and don't need tons of help. They're also fragile and if you Christmas Tree up your Recusant you're putting a lot of eggs in one very explosive basket. So we'll be looking specifically for cheap-but-effective upgrades here for the most part.

Lots of your standard "big ship" Separatist officers work just fine on the Recusant, depending on how you want to specialize it.
  • Rune Haako or Tikkes. Either of these officers are always good for making/stealing command tokens if you need more command tokens for your Recusant. In general, Recusants don't use command tokens as well as their Providence cousins do, but Command 3 ships are always happy to have extra command tokens.
  • Shu Mai. The real MVP on the Recusant, as they're designed to double arc and have the good nav chart to give you a good shot on setting that up on the "going out for dumplings" super rounds. Shu Mai works best with red and black dice and the Light Destroyer Recusant has a good number of each.
  • Wat Tambor. If Engineering 3 gets you down, Wat can help supercharge your repair commands with a little help from nearby victims friends. He's also great at shuffling your own shields around which can help make your mediocre shields go just a bit further.
  • Intel Officer. Even better with the Patriot Fist but handy (if expensive) for all Recusants. Any ship that likes double-arcing likes Intel Officer as he loves telling enemy ships "you get to brace one time, sorry but not sorry."
Weapon Team
It's still a little surprising to me that there aren't any top-tier candidates for the weapon team slot on your basic Recusant. There are some options worth considering but it's perfectly fine to just leave the slot empty if you like.
  • Gunnery Team. It's expensive but can do fine if you build around it by further amplifying the front arc (with Spinal Armament, for example, and a con fire dial you get 6 red dice out the front against one target and then 5 against the next, add in some extra dice fixing elsewhere and that does just fine). Really getting Gunnery Team working tends to result in an expensive Recusant, but it's really the only good Gunnery Team platform the Separatists have so far.
  • Ordnance Experts. You don't really have a lot of black dice, but the reroll is still handy. If you're leaning harder on your ordnance upgrade, this is a cheap upgrade that can get work done.
  • Boarding Teams. Specifically Boarding Troopers. If you also have a free offensive retrofit slot, Boarding Troopers can get some work done by tapping out two important defense tokens before you double-arc somebody, making them effectively a better one-use Intel Officer. This tends to be my default use of the weapon team and offensive retrofit slot on the basic Recusant as it's cheap and I wasn't really using those slots for anything else anyways. 
Offensive Retrofit
Again, there's nothing really essential here and I tend to prefer using this slot on Boarding Troopers for the basic Recusant. There are some other options, but not a lot of ones worth the points:
  • Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams. You're a cheap large ship with a spare offensive retrofit on occasion, and the Tractor Beams are primarily handy for zapping nav tokens off enemy ships that aren't bigger than you. The main issue here being the expense (6 points is tough to spend "because why not?") and the Modification slot you may have wanted to use elsewhere.
  • B2 Rocket Troopers. BORT droids like it when you attack at medium or close range. Your basic Recusant should hopefully be at close range around twice a game. Is it worth 7 points to give out two raid tokens during the average game? It depends. But if raid is part of your game plan, this is one of the better ways to apply it.
  • Reserve Hangar Decks. If you're running Swarm fighters (so... if you're running any squadrons at all) you'll want all the RHDs you can easily bring along for only 3 points. The Light Destroyer may not be keen on commanding squadrons but it's happy to be a respawn point.

This is the External Racks slot. Shh, don't fight it. The Recusant isn't equipped to survive a protracted close-ranged brawl where expensive Modifications might pay off and it doesn't have enough black dice to reliably trigger black-crit upgrades. It wants something cheap to help it with burst damage when it gets in close once or twice a game. So this is the External Racks slot. The only exception is janky Swivels builds, and we're getting to that soon.

You have a couple good options here but for the most part it's going to be Linked Turbolaser Towers if it's anything. With some outside source of red-dice fixing (or Shu Mai if you're running bare-bones and are willing to trust to fate outside of dumpling run turns) you may not need a turbolaser upgrade at all.

  • Linked Turbolaser Towers. The MVP for ships with enough red dice batteries and a salvo attack with at least one red die in it, it's your standard "see it everywhere on Clone Wars ships" LTTs.
  • Turbolaser Reroute Circuits. This here is a risky and spicy choice but if you're willing to live even more dangerously than normal, converting a blank red to a double-hit can have a big payoff. I generally find LTTs produce better average results so long as you're attacking more than once per round, but if you want an absolute guarantee of damage on a run-and-gun Recusant, TRCs are worth considering.
  • XI7 Turbolasers. The old school "I'm going to double arc you and you're going to hate it" choice that can still get some work done. Generally best when paired with its wave one buddy, Intel Officer, for going after the brace as well to make whale-hunting easier. You'll just need to find some way to make your red dice behave for when you occasionally flub the attack roll.
Barebones Brawler
Shu Mai, Boarding Troopers, External Racks

Barebones Brawler is just 11 points of high-octane upgrades, with Linked Turbolaser Towers recommended but not mandatory as they are 2/3 of the cost of the other upgrades all added together and you can get by on Shu Mai if you need to keep it cheap. It's otherwise a pretty straightforward Light Destroyer: stay at long range until you see an opening, jump in there to double arc, use a squad token to Boarding Troopers the good defense tokens, throw tons of dice at your trouble, and leave.
Liberty Prime
Patriot Fist, Shu Mai, Ordnance Experts, Assault Concussion Missiles, Swivel-Mount Batteries

Is this a meme build? Yes. Is it expensive? Also yes. But you can do obscene things at long range and it's probably the only Separatist long-range-black-crit Swivels build I don't immediately hate (Republic does it better and it's already an iffy strategy in my opinion). The play is pretty clear: on the approach you point your Swivels forward and your long ranged attack with a concentrate fire dial and Shu Mai helping works out like the following:
  • Your initial attack is 4 red dice.
  • You use Patriot Fist to add 2 blue dice.
  • You use Swivels to add 1 black die.
  • You use your concentrate fire dial to add another black die.
  • You use Ordnance Experts to reroll up to both of the black dice to hunt for a hit+crit (if necessary, rerolling blanks otherwise).
  • You use Shu Mai to reroll up to three dice, which can include more rerolls on the black dice if they still aren't giving you the hit+crit you wanted.

You end up with 8 total dice (more if you get additional help beyond what the ship itself can do) with a lot of reroll control and a good chance (74.1%) of triggering your black critical upgrade. Ideally you're trying to hunt large prey without evade defense tokens so your black crits are more likely to "stick," as the other black dice removal bogeyman, Thermal Shields, won't do anything to dice that are added after the original attack.

Once you get closer, you can switch over to double-arcing mode by turning off the Swivels with a con fire token and do your drive-by while retaining a decent shot at getting your black crit upgrade to fire between both attacks. Once you transition to "run away" mode, you can re-orient the Swivels (probably out the side) and go back to using Patriot Fist. The idea is you're set to transition into and out of Patriot Fist superlaser mode without it being too punishing to you.

Recusant-class Support Destroyer
The Support Destroyer differs from the Light Destroyer in a number of ways:
  • +5 points, up to 90 points.
  • Flak die upgraded from one blue to one red.
  • Side and rear arcs gain a blue die and lose a black die. Front arc changes from 4 red 2 black to 3 red, 2 blue, one black.
  • Drops an ordnance upgrade slot for a second offensive retrofit slot.
  • Squadron value increases from 2 to 3.
The Support Destroyer is a bit of an odd duck but that doesn't mean it's bad. The cheaper Light Destroyer is superior against ships at long range (same armament to better front armament depending on the arc) and close range (due to the black dice and ordnance slot) but it needs to be able to identify and take advantage of the right situation to transition from long range harassment to close-ranged dice hose. The Support Destroyer instead prefers to stick it out at long to medium range, more dedicated to harassment and fire support than launching big drive-by haymakers (although it should be noted that it still has a 10-dice double-arc so it's not exactly a slouch at that if the situation calls for it). The improvement to a red flak die is welcome and makes Linked Turbolaser Towers practically mandatory (we'll talk about that eventually). The red+blue rear arc makes its salvo more reliably a 2-dice proposition as well, although it still isn't ever going to be a dedicated salvo boat like the heavier Providence or Venator can be.

Squadron 3 is a bit of a puzzle with the Support Destroyer, especially paired with two offensive retrofit slots. You can make the Support Destroyer into a carrier but it becomes pretty expensive, is still fragile for its size, and can get itself killed when it's issuing squadron commands instead of repair or navigate commands to get it out of trouble. In short, Munificents and Hardcells are much better at commanding squadrons for their points cost and the Providence is superior as a dedicated heavy battle carrier (the Dreadnought is more durable, starts at Squadron 4 and offers an offensive retrofit slot and a weapon team slot for Flight Controllers, plus the option for Invisible Hand if that's desired). It's also not that great with Boarding Troopers: the Light Destroyer will only spend 2 tokens but its superior damage output and ordnance upgrade slot make it better at close range even if the Support Destroyer will spend one more defense token with Boarding Troopers.

What all this means is if we're going to get good mileage out of Squadron 3 on the Support Destroyer, we need to find ways to do it that don't involve more than the occasional squadron dial. There are some ways to do that (which I'll get to in the builds section), but one of the easier ways is in fleets that want to use Hyperwave Signal Boost, as you've got two offensive retrofit slots to spare. Admiral Trench is also happy to keep supercharging squadron command tokens on a Support Recusant if you can manage it too.

As in most cases, there are definitely some cases of overlap between the two variants and the latter of the two usually gets the shorter upgrades section because of that.

The same as the Light Destroyer. Passel deserves a special mention because he's excellent for the task of allowing your Support Destroyer to keep cranking out free squadron dials from round 4 on (and don't forget to command squads with a dial on round 3, yourself), which substantially alleviates the problem of "this ship seems like a quasi-carrier but if that's its focus it is definitely going to die" that the Support Destroyer comes with.

Weapon Team
Gunnery Team is still an option here but it's a little less appealing given the lower red dice count on the Support Destroyer so I wouldn't. Ordnance Experts and Boarding Troopers are both poor choices given you don't intend to get to close range. That primarily leaves two choices that are both more squad-based. If you're taking the Support Destroyer for other reasons, then you can just leave this slot empty.
  • Flight Controllers. This is dependent on a more carrier-built Recusant but if you can push 4 or 5 squadrons with AI and an extra blue die, that's not bad. A Providence does it better (as I already mentioned) but fitting both a Providence and Recusant into a fleet isn't always very easy, especially with a lot of squadrons. So you take what you can get.
  • Ruthless Strategists. This is the fun option provided the rest of your fleet wants it. Watch out for obstruction stopping your flak shots entirely, but otherwise that long-ranged red die flak can catch a lot of possible targets to plink with Ruthless Strategists.

Offensive Retrofits
There's a lot of options with two offensive retrofit slots and it's going to depend on how your Support Destroyer feels about commanding squadrons. We've got three different outlooks and in general each outlook will want one if not both slots filled with the upgrades paired with it, but might dip down one "level" for the second upgrade it doesn't want to over-focus.

Loves commanding squadrons: you'll want Boosted Comms to start with and then quite likely Expanded Hangar Bays after that, as well as a plan to make this come together without exploding (we've talked around this a bit already and we're getting there with a build soon!). This type of build will almost always have Flight Controllers as the weapon team.

Loves squadrons, but isn't in love with squadrons: for the discriminating Recusant that doesn't want to sully its upgrade slots and time with actually commanding squadrons more than maybe once, but still wants them to feel validated and loved. Your options here are Hyperwave Signal Boost and Reserve Hangar Deck. Both of these upgrades like that your squadrons are on the table and wants them to do better but doesn't want to actually do anything about it personally. This type of build will almost always have Ruthless Strategists as the weapon team.

What are squadrons: We're back to our Light Destroyer BORT Droids and Phylon Tractor Beams. Phylons are better on the Support Destroyer as it would really prefer to not get close at all, so disrupting pursuit/closing is more valuable. The pair of them together is rather enjoyable given you can zap off nav tokens with Phylons or change ship speed (if no nav token) and then raid the ship for navigate with BORT Droids. It's a pricey combination at 13 points and a Modification slot but you can do it all game long once you get to medium range.

It's Linked Turbolaser Towers. It's even better than on the Light Destroyer because rerolling that red flak die on every attack when hosing down squads is perfection. No other turbolaser option even comes close. Just staple LTTs to the card.

Look Ma, I'm a Real Grown Up Carrier!
Nova Defiant, Passel Argente, Flight Controllers, Boosted Comms, Expanded Hangar Bay, Linked Turbolaser Towers

We went full Christmas Tree on Look Ma, I'm a Real Grown Up Carrier! but when it comes together you've got a ship commanding 4 Flight-Controller-buffed squadrons every round starting on round 3 (your native dial then followed by the Passel dials rounds 4-6 if necessary) plus a whole bunch of free command tokens to compensate you for the trouble. Linked Turbolaser Towers aren't strictly necessary but the ship wants to be a mixed role fire support/carrier and without LTTs it has no dice control. Plus the flak boost is considerable and helps your squads in a furball. Hence, LTTs. Just be careful to time your squadron needs correctly so you're not caught with no response if your opponent jumps you round 2.

Squadron Bunker
TI-99, Ruthless Strategists, Reserve Hangar Deck, Hyperwave Signal Boost, Linked Turbolaser Towers

The Squadron Bunker is a fairly basic Support Recusant that uses its optional upgrade slots on establishing a beachhead for your squads when you've got more than you can command that round or you aren't prioritizing commanding them early. TI-99 provides Counter 3 against attacking enemy squads and if your opponent won't oblige you then you've at least got Hyperwave Signal Boost to help you out later. Reserve Hangar Deck can respawn a dead Swarm fighter and you're going to need it with Ruthless Strategists and LTT-aided flak hosing down enemy squads that get too close.


  1. Correct y if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you may be misreading the nova defiant? It allows duplicate command tokens, but your cap is still limited by your command value (4) is it not?

    1. I just updated that prior to your comment. As written, yes, you're correct. I'm not confident that's intentional (for reasons I can't discuss) but I expect we'll see an FAQ on the matter to get it settled one way or the other.

    2. Ah ninja-ed in the comments! Lol. I apologize if duplicate comments show up, the website has been giving me trouble today

  2. Have you tried a bare bones multi-role destroyer build? Light-dstroyer + expanded hangar + patriot fist (optional shu Mai) for 96(100) points: makes a solid general purpose ship that can assist hardcells or munificents with squadron commands while providing solid long range and short range double-arc deterrents without breaking the bank or eating into squadron point allotment. I feel like it patches the black-die-range hole that mins/hardcells have without paying for a dedicated torpedo destroyer/providence.

    1. So I normally don't like posting additional builds in the comments section because it can make the article a bit of a mess as everyone rushes in to post their own builds (if I see others I like, I'll incorporate them though!). You were persistent though, on account of not realizing we have an approval system for comments (for numerous reasons, one of them being spam bots, and you realized it later and messaged me about it which is appreciated and no big deal), so it's okay ;).

      So I don't hate a Patriot Fist minimal-ish Support Destroyer build. It gets you usually 5 dice out the front (7 at medium) or 5/6 dice out the side as you do your squad support thing. You can command 4 squads, which is fine. At that point I'd probably spring for Boosted Comms as well for ease of use as it's only 4 more points. My main concern is I feel like I'd generally rather use a fairly barebones Munificent (w/Boosted) and save around 30 points where I can focus on squad dials more regularly or go in harder on a Providence and get a more durable ship. That's me, though. If it works for you, let me know!

    2. That's a fair assessment. I just find it really frustrating building my CIS lists when they have no options below the fifty (47 if you're being precise)point range. It makes me really thirsty for the recusant as the cheapest generalist ship in the faction(that can actually answer back at closer ranges). It's so hard maintaining decent activation parity.

    3. Tbh, I feel like the Recusant is probably too fragile to be a working generalist, which leaves the Providence. Maybe as an approach, something like: Build a Providence for a given purpose, then see if another ship can do the purpose better or cheaper; if yes, swap it, if no, leave it. That is, outside of specific plans or commander needs, of course.

      We probably won't see below-fifty ships until they start releasing more small ships for the Separatists, so until then we just have to make do with big Chonky Bois.

  3. I flied 3 with Grevious at a regional. My friend liked that. He tried 3xrec in another tournament with TF-blackdice admiral - he was 3rd.
    This ship is great but needs a different play style. It's like a pack of U-bot submarines.
    Always double arcing, outmanoeuvring red dice madness. Even token suite is excellent. I always fly with full speed.
    New fleet archetype- Multiple Big Units 😀
    I love this ship more than ISD now.

  4. Interesting that nova defiant was not one of the cards to receive an errata in the latest release. Guess for now it's still RAW only 4 tokens with duplicates allowed?

  5. Looks like there's a mistake on the description for the support destroyer. It talks about the side arcs swapping red/blue dice when it's actually the black/blue dice that changes between the two refits.

    1. Good catch. Sometimes I wonder how little things like that sneak in but it's patched up now.

    2. No problem, gotta make sure my second favorite ship is putting on a good show for all the fans of the blog! (You'll never guess what my #1 favorite ship is, lol)

  6. I am a bit of a novice at this game. These articles are great, but a recommended accompanying ship pairing paragraph would be helpful for each build would be nice. For example, what ships would go good well with a "Barebones Brawler" build? Two Munificents? A Providence and a Hardcell?

    1. I understand the request but fleet building is the kind of thing that is more of an art than a science and it varies considerably based on your community. That said I'd take a look at the fleet building articles to get a vague sense of the basics that could help inform those decisions for you. It's still a lot of trial and error but it should hopefully save you some time:

  7. Where have the pictures for the alt art Tarot cards come from? Is there a site we can download them from or a store to purchase them from?

    1. There's no longer anywhere to get them. Our friend Jack was making them but he's since left the game.