Friday, April 8, 2022

Rapid Reinforcements Hot Takes

It's time for a new hot take article and John/geek19 and I/Eric have some company this time with Truthiness offering some opinions as well. Generally, one of us took the lead for each section and others chimed in afterwards.

Speaking for myself (Eric), I have mixed feelings about the Rapid Reinforcements. A year and a half since AMG took the reins from FFG, we got something finally but it was a low-effort something. No new models, no actual product created by AMG that we can purchase. Just a PDF we can print out and now we can use models FFG made earlier for different factions. The choices in some regards seem based on lore rather than what would offer new options for a faction: this is particularly striking with GAR getting a Victory, which is very similar to an Acclamator, instead of something that would meaningfully diversify a four-ship Clone Wars faction (an easy lore-friendly example would be an Arquitens, which would give GAR something they currently lack). But it is something and AMG deserves some credit even if I personally am a little underwhelmed. Truthiness and John are more enthusiastic about it, so I want to reiterate this is my personal opinion. If it had been accompanied by a balance patch (like Legion has been getting) I'd be a lot more jazzed. Regardless, let's talk about the new stuff, shall we?

“It’s only a Rube Goldberg machine if it works” -rasptroeus

The Rebel’s choice in our cross-faction smorgasbord is the Providence. I would have liked to have seen a medium ship, but alas, the Clam, and Hera’s flagship (the Lodestar) remains out of reach. At first glace, the Providence and the MC75 overlap a bit. They’re both close range brawlers that want to double arc to get the most out of their firepower. I have to credit AMG a bit here, though, because there actually is just enough of a distinction between the two to work. Because while they’re pretty similar on the cardboard, the upgrade suite makes the Providence, ugh…*weird*. First of all, you have an evade in place of the Providence’s normal contain. The thing I’m sure you’ve noticed more than anything, though is you have a *lot* of upgrade options, and they’re all duplicates. Double officers. Double Weapons Teams. Double Offensive Retrofits. Double Support Teams. Not a single weapon in sight. Get out your thinking caps, but this is a complicated ship.

I dig what they’re going for here. This is a broken down, busted old Providence that the Rebels have salvaged. It’s slower and its guns aren’t as powerful as they used to be, but if you want a solid support ship, you can invest points in it to do a lot of unique things. I look forward to watching the community’s tinkerers mess with this ship. I think I’ll need a fleet builder to update before I can really wrap my mind around this thing’s potential. It’s pretty cheap, that evade instead of a contain is a welcome change, and there seems like some solid potential. As with all Rebel larges, Agate fixes the immediate problem of no defensive retrofit. It has the nice option of being able to double up on braces or evades, just like a Potato. That alone intrigues me having seen how effective Agate on the Assault Frigate is. Now what to do with the rest of it…I have no idea for now.

I agree with Truthi that the upgrade slots are very weird. It feels like a points trap where they're trying to sucker you into building an upgrade pile that gets way too expensive compared to just taking a ship that starts off good. No Leading Shots, no LTTs, no nothing to help you fix dice besides maybe Caitken and Shollan or Veteran Gunners or the like. It's also unique, so only one. One thing I wanted to draw attention to is the possibility of running two boarding teams. It's a slow ship so it's really only feasible in a Raddus fleet for the lols, but if you can ditch a squadron token and a squadron dial (easy to do with Raymus as an officer), you can trigger two boarding teams in the same window and that's potentially pretty brutal.

I expect to see a fair bit of Engine Techs + Fighter Coordination Teams on this ship. It wants Engine Techs to speed up and as long as it's getting two maneuvers, it might as well bump two squadrons (three with Expanded Hangar Bays) twice.

Geek chiming in.  It's a dream ship for me, where I flip the man into the can, then I push the ball down the ramp, and next thing you know, the dominos fall like a house of cards.... checkmate. It's built around SOME sort of combo, and if you get the combo working for you, it's great.  If you don't, welllllll.  The 4 defense tokens are nice for me, and I'm largely going to be pushing you towards "replace your H80 carriers with this" but then again, squad 2 base.  The H80 has squad 4, so it's up to you.  There's a lot of good combinations you can do with it, and the eventual article will be long and definitely not just cribbed from Eric's Prov article. I know my brand.
Well uhh…my last fleet (Trench Meiloorun Disease) was awfully prescient. Because move over, Lando, my new best bae Hera is in town! She starts with the typical X-Wing Ace stats, such as speed 3, hull 5, two braces, bomber, but she diverges pretty sharply from there. First, her anti-squad pool gets a significant shuffle. She trades out two of the usual blue dice for a more variable and unreliable red dice, and a more reliable, but accuracy lacking, black die. I think it seems likely to make her have a bit more reliable floor and a significantly high spike when that red die RNG pays out. Her black bomber die puts her in line with Luke and Wedge instead of the more unreliable Biggs. Dodge 1 in combination with those braces is a big surprise, one that is likely to make her difficult to kill. Finally, we come to her special ability, and oh boy is it a doozy. Like the true leader she is, Hera makes all the Escort squadrons around her better, granting them re-rolls in the form of Adept. This works on everything those boosted Escorts do, both bombing and anti-squadron. You just have to make sure to keep those X-Wing clustered around Hera, but that should be familiar territory if you’re experienced with Biggs balls.

Hera slots nicely into the traditional Rebel Biggs ball. What I really like is she allows you to forgo a Bomber Command Center, freeing you up from that somewhat annoying distance 1-5 constraint for your bombing runs. She is also absolutely vicious when paired with Toryn Farr and Flight Controllers. Do you want to face down X-Wings rolling 5 blue dice with 2 re-rolls? No? Well too bad, because here comes Spectre 2 and her  buddies! There’s sure to be some grumbling about Hera “turning X-Wings into Jedi” as Adept to this point has been reserved for force users. I’ve never really associated the two any more than Dodge and Jedi. As a mechanic it’s good for reflecting the skill of an average Jedi, but the feel matters more than the word. In this case, look at what Hera is doing. She’s making the squadrons around her better. She’s *leading*, which is perfect for this version of Hera. This is Hera, the Rebel squadron leader. I love it. It’s going to be hard for me not to have Hera and a glob of X-Wings in my Rebel lists from here on.


Look at the head-tails on that one.

No disagreement about Hera being a decent call for X-Wing heavy fleets. I have two cents to add and those are:

  1. She's not bad with YT-1300s either, as Adept for the round allows them to reroll their Counter 1 as well. With Toryn around, you get a double-reroll on both the anti-ship and the Counter 1 which makes them very reliable for getting 1 damage.
  2. I really don't like the precedent of adding a keyword on activation and then needing to remember which models have gained the keyword for the rest of the round. With Adar Tallon you can activate her twice, which would give out Adept 2 for any double-tapped X-Wings (or YT-1300s) and then you need to track which are Adept 2, which are Adept 1, and which aren't Adept anything for the rest of the round. Aces were restricted to 4 allowed in 1.5 in part to cut back on all the effect bubbles and Hera's buff effect is probably the biggest nuisance to keep track of that we've ever seen. I really do not want more effects that work this way.

I also very much love her, as I like running both squadrons and Biggs balls. I’ve dreamed of the Nevoota Bee pushing generic Deltas with Flight Controllers for 5 reroll 2, but now with Toryn and Hera i can do that with my painted X-wings. Sooooo….. I’ll definitely play GAR. Yes. Definitely. No, i swear I like them! But Space Mom! I’m very excited to get her on the table and try out that ability. For ADDED fun, put her with Norra and those X-wings and find those crits.  EAT DEM SHIELDS!

First thing to note is it's unique. No more than one per fleet. The Empire isn't running many of these. Conceptually, it fits into a weird niche between VSD-IIs and ISD-IIs in terms of points cost and stats but it does offer Empire a decent salvo boat option. Squadron 3 isn't anything too amazing and it can't equip titles (those are Republic-only) or SPHATs (again, Republic-only, plus it has no offensive retrofit slot). It does offer a fairly cheap large option that can equip Electronic Countermeasures (or whatever defensive retrofit you'd like). The double ordnance option is a little weird given it has only 2 black dice in the front, but it's not too tough to slot in a pair of cheapos like External Racks and Ordnance Pods. If you want an actual ordnance large, a Kuat beats this hands down and is worth the upgrade cost so I'd strongly encourage people thinking of Screed combos to remember that the Kuat exists. All that said, if the Onager ever gets the nerf-batting it rightly deserves, I could see the Ven-II getting some use as a discount large flagship as it does a little bit of everything and the price point for a large is pretty manageable.

It can make a 7th fleet, and I honestly don’t hate that. What you pair with the rest of it uhhh? It’s the middle ground between an overloaded Harrow and an underloaded ISD. Generally the main upgrade differences between it and an ISD are the offensive retrofit slots, so no boarding teams on this (and 2 less hull. And one less redirect mandatorily). I like it, but don’t think “ah yes, local fire and now I’ve perfectly replaced the ISD muahahahaha.” You gonna get shot, you gonna die, and I'm meanly gonna laugh. Welcome to a giant triangle without the Leading Shots/PDIC slot, so ordnance experts or hope your dice roll well? It’s a good ship, it’s just not going to replace the ISD.

Darth Vader working every possible Imperial job to pay off his student debt.

First of all, AMG originally uploaded a version of this ace that was absolutely busted and it took them an hour or two to discover the version that wasn't conceived of as the result of an absolutely face-melting psychotics bender. The amended version is still arguably undercosted but it's no longer laughably so. Defender Vader will obviously crush some rival unique squadrons, doing an average of 3.5 damage prior to the Adept reroll. He's extra good there with Flight Controllers to help him out as his blue dice are nearly always useful against rival aces given they're either giving you damage (75% of the time) or an accuracy (25% of the time).

Against ships, Vader will do (assuming you reroll blanks and accuracy results) an impressive average of 2.06 damage after factoring in the reroll (because he's got those chances of hitting the 2-hits result). Given he's a Rogue and requires no hand-holding, that's pretty dang good for one squad that's happy doing whatever he wants.

He doesn't like getting focused down, though. With only one brace and one evade a concerted effort will take him out faster than Maarek and so he's likely to want some Escort assistance. I can easily see Vader, Maarek, Jendon, and Tel (or Morna or Mauler, if you're feeling like killing problems proactively rather than running a bodyguard) being the default Imperial ace package. The only real issue is he's competing with officer Vader.


Well we now have 3 imp aces almost guaranteed? He’s crazy solid; 2 red dice with adept are gonna HURT against ships.  But your 4th ace then becomes Tel or Soontir (and a mess of generic or genique escorts) to try to keep him alive.  He’s good, and most importantly he’s rogue so MAYBE non-sloane heavy squads can be a thing again? I’ve been talking with Truth and I've convinced to add some very dumb upgrades and if/when he runs the fleet, I’m taking credit for the jank that works. Vader squad is very good and i expect him to be in a lot of fleets; it’s unrelatedly weird to me that we’ve got like 16 different Darth Vaders.  That dude can’t be EVERYWHERE in the Imperial Fleet, can *(begins choking noises, dies on Zoom call)*

Hooray, I’m in the lead this time! You all laughed at Zoidberg! But now! THE TIME HAS COME! Or whatever.  This ship looks VERY much like the Acclamator but has 2 things going for it.  First, it’s a star destroyer, so SPHATs CAN go on it.  Second, it has a native Support Team slot.  You can either Engine Tech it (it’s speed 2, please engine tech it) or you can put FCTs on it for a mess of squad move and bumps (get those ARCs in the fight!).  Again, 2 ordnance slots, so external racks is most likely one of them, and ord pods the other.  I don’t hate APTs or ACMs on it as your other one, should you want to lean into the crits with it.  It still turns and navs like a Victory though, but this is more of a potential reason to use Take Evasive Action in GAR over IF, as “enough” isnt a bad dice strategy? I’ve done it and I don’t hate it.  The native Salvo and Support Team slot DO make it worth considering; it’s kind of like a big Pelta in that aspect but with more of a reason to Engine Tech over Projection Experts, though that isn’t bad either.

However, 2+1 isn’t 3 if you need to get around things, and if you’re pushing squads with it, you don’t get the Nevoota Bee title or the Ven titles/help from the Ven1/tank of the Ven2.  IF YOU’RE DOING SQUADS SIGNIFICANTLY: use a Clam. IF YOU WANT MULTIPLE SPHATS: Use the Vic.  Well, Vics, actually.  And again, I’m definitely not just straight up lifting Eric’s article for Vics.  Heck, I might just go link you to it because it’s not like the speed 2 Providence.

I do think there's enough of a difference to not just link the original VSD article but it's still pretty close. You can get a pretty good squad pusher with Expanded Hangar Bays and Fighter Coordination Team and Flight Controllers and Flight Commander to move then bump 4 squads then command 4 squads at +1 blue die against enemy squads. It gets pretty expensive though on a ship without a defensive retrofit. Plus you've got that infamously bad VSD maneuverability with no nav dials (if it's focusing on squads) in a faction that already steers like a cinder block in a bathtub. I expect to mostly see this used for discount SPHATs, like John said, as Acclamators are the generally superior ship. It's too bad they didn't import something with a good nav chart instead, honestly.

oh, I knew my Luminara list needed something.  And this is it.  Dude is a BEAST in the anti-squadron game, and the Adept-2 can cause some rude attacks and shots and the ability to just start wiping opponent squads.  His special is limited to his activation specifically (no extra from Ahsoka’s move in), but he CAN trigger his special against the squadron he just shot (all squadrons are up to distance 1 of themselves).  Which means against a 3 hull scatter ace: if he gets 1 accuracy and 3 damage, that’s brace 3 to 2, take 1 extra from Anakin’s special, and still die.  And with Adept, 3 damage and 1 accuracy isn’t impossible to get, or 2 and 2 accs (especially with those black dice).  So if you REALLY need someone dead, he can do it.

The Dodge and Brace/Scatter helps him stay alive for a bit, but you’re really going to want to pair him with Axe (and probably Ahsoka) just to stay alive a bit longer (and keep him murdering).  Anakin is a good foundation of a squadron ball just to start scalpeling out opposing squads you need gone. Anakin/Ahsoka/KickbAxe is 80 points, btw, the perfect MFC group for GAR for me at the moment.

I don't feel like the ability to ping the same squadron again was intentional but who knows. It may get changed later.

They're still flotillas, so only 2 allowed. 27 points and a vastly changed upgrade bar compared to Imperial Gozantis make them a little tough to appraise right away. The big question is why take these over a Hardcell? Three main reasons come to mind:

  1. It's a cheap activation. That still matters, although less in 1.5. This makes it a good choice to run lightly upgraded or naked with dice-adding commanders like TF-1726 or Mar Tuuk, as you just want a model that can get more dice from your commander.
  2. It's a cost-effective source of Squadron 2. You won't get Squadron command mileage on a more efficient basis in CIS. The other upgrade slots don't really help much there - you can make an argument for Flight Controllers if you really want to, but it's generally better equipped to a ship with a higher Squadron value. So basically running it naked or nearly-so just to boss squadrons around.
  3. Cheap ion crit shenanigans. Primarily with Kraken. You can go for Weapon Battery Techs and an ion crit of choice but it's a lot less reliable than "just use Kraken" which also has the upside of cheapo Gozantis give Kraken more buddy nodes to trigger. I'd go Heavy Ion Emplacements here if possible: you're unlikely to get lucky enough to trigger something like Ion Cannon Batteries twice on a double-arc, even with Kraken guaranteeing one of those.
In short, I think it will see some use because a cheap ship will always have some uses so long as it's not objectively terrible. Without a fleet support slot and costing 4 more points than its Imperial counterpart, I don't think it will hit the table as often as the OG flotillas, though.


Pray you don’t hit Cracken with your Kraken! Now giving CIS the flotila keyword and leaving GAR as the sad child left out in the rain without one, it has an Ion Cannon Slot and a Weapons Team.  You either turn it into the squadron pusher you’ve been too cheap to use before (flight controllers i guess?) or some weird Weapon Battery Techs/Overload Pulse/HIE plan under Kraken or TF-1726.  However, that ship costs 27+5+8/9= 40 points.  I’ve BUILT 40 point flotillas before; well more accurately I’ve built 36 point ones that became 40 when I realized getting Adar Tallon/BCC killed in my Rebel list is really dumb, so I added Boosted Comms.  THAT ship needs to be distance 5 and can circle the battlefield.  YOUR 40 point ship is charging straight in against 3 factions that either may have brought squadrons or have IF in them.  Your survival plan is…..? Good luck, got it.

It’s a fun ship, it offers many good things, but the more upgrades you put on it, the more it’s going to be worth when it explodes.  And if I can swat a combat ship of yours out of the sky, I’ll do it.  Heck, even just adding ordnance experts on it under TF is 31 points, even IF that adds in extra black dice and such.  Adding any meaningful crit effect even under Kraken is 32 for ICB, more for Overload or HIE.  Watch out for any ship with an Evade token by the way for this plan, too, or the fact that Tranquility and Overload Pulse just gets more annoying really. Overload Pulse against a Salvo ship is ASKING for trouble, too.  It’s still a bad call, just use HIE.

No ace for you because RAISINS?


  1. Definitely disappointed about the lack of Separatist Aces; out of all factions, I've always felt that they have the weakest Ace lineup.
    I definitely want to try out Gozantis, see if we can do something creative (though so far, I think banking extra black dice off TF-1726 sounds like it has the most potential). I also am excited to see another, cheaper vector for SPHATS.

  2. I've come up with two Providence builds so far, my second was a very VERY sill Ramship idea that has both the serious title of "The Thunderchild" and the less serious one of "Drive me closer! I wish to hit them with my sword!". But I'll save that for later.
    My first idea, and probably the one most people had, was a monstrous janky carrier build:

    Providence Carrier (95)
    • Wedge Antilles (4)
    • Flight Commander (3)
    • Rapid Launch Bays (6)
    • Flight Controllers (6)
    • Expanded Hangar Bay (5)
    • Fighter Coordination Team (3)
    • Engine Techs (8)
    = 130 Points

    It's backed up by a GR-75 with:

    GR-75 Medium Transports (18)
    • Leia Organa (3)
    • Comms Net (2)
    • Expanded Hangar Bay (5)
    • Bright Hope (2)
    = 30 Points

    So, I think this is fairly obvious to everyone how it works. The Prov Nav's all day, and double drags a modest Fighter wing (In this case I went with Biggs, Hera and Rogue Squadron) with it, whilst inside it's expanded hangar bays is the bomber squadron, that when the time comes, Leia feeds the Prov a Squadron dial, and spends it's own Squadron dial to throw the X-Wings onto the target, then the Providence launches it's bomber wing (In this instance, 2 B-Wings and Nym, but Keyan could work instead I suppose)
    As for why no Toyrn Far or Bomber Command? Well, one, Wedge kind of wants those tokens, but also I don't have the points because my Admiral (Dodonna because he's 20pts) is on a AFMk2-A build which I call "The Prickly Hedgehog" which involves LFC, Paragon Title and Kyrsta Agate amongst other stuff.

    But this is just me throwing together some jank and calling it a day, and even THIS is less janky than my ridiculous Speed-2 ramship idea.

  3. We need a podcast episode of your experiences playing a few games with these. Come on, get the band back together...

  4. Thank you for your effort and the comprehensive discussion.
    At least, there are Life signs, which is generally good.
    However, I think we all hope for new modells/expansions.

    1. I suspect that a part of this is the new development team getting a feel for how the rules tie together and such. The best way to learn how to make something in a ruleswt is to just do so and see how it works.

      Plus, it's a pdf. They can always update it as things come together or fall apart. (Hopefully by giving the gozantis something a little more useful)

  5. kkj from CoruscantConstructions here, WARNING: Long and in-depth comment incoming

    Honestly, this feels like a bunch of untested, rushed out crap. Was there really a need for a 5th large-base rebel ship, one that completely outclasses the MC75 for less points? Its arguably even a better Starhawk, given the right build. Just look at this:

    Providence Carrier (95)
    Kyrsta Agate (20)
    Walex Blissey (5)
    Major Derlin (7)
    Local Fire Control (4)
    Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams (6)
    Ordnance Experts (4)
    Flak Guns (3)
    Engine Techs (8)
    Auxilliary Shields Team (3)
    = 155 points total.

    Thats 5 points or 15 points more than a blank Starhawk, depending on the version. But you have Speed 3, nearly the same amount of shields, 3 ordnance experts and flak guns-buffed salvos, two defensive officers AND tractor beams to slow the enemy down and force him to engange you and eat your salvos. And all that for 155 points. Thats insane. 95 points is WAY too cheap for such crazy upgrade combination possibilities.

    The Republic Victory is fine i guess but a really missed opportunity to give the Republic faction finally access to Ion Cannons, through the only Republic Ship that has them in canon. (I know the Vic II was technically brought into service after the Republic fell, but you could just call it a Victory-II class Prototype). Maybe we will see the Vic II in Rapid Reeinforcements II but my gut feeling tells me that AMG really wants to move away from the "2 ship variants per ship" approach. Seeing what they did with X-Wing this just feels like one of those things where they would not understand the reasoning behind it...

    Anyway, the Republic needs a ship-to-ship-combat focused capital ship, preferably one with more than 3 dice of one colour. Giving the Victory I something like 4 red, 1 blue, 1 black out the front and 3 black out the sides would have made for a much more interesting ship that actually fills a new role in the faction, not just competes with the Acclamator II.
    (I'm currently working on a custom "Armada Completed" Expansion with a Vic just like that in it, so if feel free to let me know if you wanna see them here or be linked to it once its done!)

    What the hell happened to the Imperial Venator? Double Ordnance on a 2 black dice ship? Who designed this, a AMG-intern? What role is this ship supposed to have in the faction? Brawler? With 2 black dice? Carrier? Without a Offensive Slot? Out of all the things they exactly remove the one thing that would make this ship stand out, the hight squadron value. I understand that squad 5 with weapons team and offensive would render the Quasar/Vic/ISD obsolete as a carrier, thats why you could just simply change out those 2 slots for a support slot and a fleet support. Bam there you have your Venator-II class Star Destroyer Training Refit. Lore-accurate as it was primarily used for academy and training purposes in the empire and gives the Empire faction access to new mechanics without breaking existing ships. Was that so hard to do AMG?

    No need to talk about the new Darth "You will never see any other version of me getting played ever" Vader or Hera "yet another buff for X-Wings because they totally needed it right?" Syndulla Squadron....

    Anakin and Gozanti are probably the ones that i have the least problems with, although im not a fan of AMG immediately doing what FFG clearly was trying to avoid: Giving Dodge to a Scatter squadron. Combined with a 2 rerollable counter dice, access to Ahsoka and Axe, a auto damage ability and all that for just 24 points this feels like a pretty strong negative play experience.

    All in all, you can clearly tell that all those "design" decisions by AMG where made because they didnt could or want to actually release something new. Every new ship uses the same exact dice arrangements, even if some changes would be better for the faction that ship is in and all the new upgradeslot suites fell pretty... random, without much thought or purpose put into it. Double Ordnance in a Republic Faction littered with access to ordnance? Double Ordnance on a ship with 2 black dice? Giving every slot twice to a ship just for the lolz? This all feely very amateurishly put together, without much if any playtesting.

    TLDR: I dont wanna be negative for just the sake of beeing negative, i just genuinly feel that these are bad game design decisions. Rushed out to give some bread crumbs to the content-starving Armada community, but honestly, i rather have no new official content then untested, unbalanced, wonky mechanics content that drives players away from the game. (Looking at you, X-Wing)

    1. I'm actually kinda leery of the gozantis, myself. While I desperately want to have flotilla in my CIS lists, and have for some time, spending 27+ points for Flight Controllers seems wasteful at best, unnecessarily redundant at worst (since my LFC lists usually have Invisible Hand Flight Controller'ing twice as many squads or more, and better).

      I'm definitely gonna try them on my TF-1723 list, but I'm worried that doing it with a 3-hull shop throwing blue dice is gonna end with the Gozantis being points piƱata, especially with how pricey Ion Cannon upgrades are.

      I'm hoping that the fact that this is a PDF will mean they're open to balance changes in the future.