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!|
- 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.
- 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!"|
- 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!
|Still preferring the fancy alt-art tarot versions to the double-sided standard sized cards. Reminder to hit up our buddy Jotto.Alts@gmail.com if you'd like some for yourself.|
- 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
victimsfriends. 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."
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.
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.
Patriot Fist, Shu Mai, Ordnance Experts, Assault Concussion Missiles, Swivel-Mount Batteries
- 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.
- +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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TI-99, Ruthless Strategists, Reserve Hangar Deck, Hyperwave Signal Boost, Linked Turbolaser Towers