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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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
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:
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.
- 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.
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.
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?