Wednesday, May 10, 2023

You Underestimate My Power!

ARTICLE RE-WRITE IN PROGRESS, BUT HEY LOOK THE RIGHT CARD INSTEAD OF THE OLD ONE AT LEAST? GIMME A FEW ALRIGHT

Well, someone has to do it, and since Truth didn't want to, it falls to geek. Hooray! The final card to update and fix and then I'm... done. Wait. That's not happy. And speaking of not happy, how about those old Anakin Skywalker players? Let's hit the jump!

It’s a truism of Star Wars: you can never have too much Darth Vader. AMG has brought us another incarnation of the Chosen One with the release of Rapid Reinforcements 2. To distinguish him from the other versions of Anakin, you’ll see this version referred to as “Commandakin” by the Armada community at large, including by yours truly. This is a print and play expansion, so if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can find the release on AMG’s website or through this direct link.

The Card!

Robot design change beep boop borp

Just for starters, the new one has both gone up in price (for some reason) and changed his ability entirely. Let's break it down, old school bullet points style.
  • Friendly ship attacking a ship: he's an offensive Commander still for GAR
  • Defender at distance 1-5 of at least 2 other friendly ships: You need effectively 3 ships in ruler range of your target to take advantage of Anakin's ability
  • One other friendly ship [in range]: not the one currently attacking. That's regular Darth Vader commander
  • Spend 1 defense token: exhaust or discard, it's just a spend and unlike Obi-Wan, it doesn't have to be Green.
  • If it does, the attacker can reroll up to 3 die.
So the short answer is basically so long as you have 2 friends in range, one of them can tap a defense token and your attack can reroll 3 dice. If A is attacking, B or C can spend a token and A can reroll for more potential damage. This isn't just limited to YOUR activations, I'll point out. Biff a Salvo and roll blanks? Are you SURE you did and don't have a friend to spend a token for you?

Why Play Him!

They're definitely related

Anakin does what most versions of him do: better living through offense. If you want to play a more aggressive, ship-heavy style with GAR, Anakin is your guy. He also allows for GAR MSU lists to thrive. The little Consulars floating in the back of your fleet or in your opponent's weaker side arcs (but still within distance 5!) are both activation nodes to force your opponent to close into distance for you to attack AND later end up punching significantly above their weight. External Racks out the side and con firing out the front is 4 and 4 (or 5 and 3 if you swap what's con-firing and what's adding External Racks), rerolling up to 3 each attack. Anakin isn't limited to once per activation like Screed, he's any attack you want to make, so long as you have the tokens.

He also allows for your red dice to stay closer to better expected damage, as it's a targeted 3 dice rerolled. If you only need to reroll 2, great, keep the double you rolled. THIS Anakin works much better than Imperial Anakin/Vader; GAR's dice control has always been poor outside of Intensify Firepower. You may not even NEED to bring it when Ani is driving the space bus! Amusingly, he also combines quite well with Clone Gunners, as Ani doing rerolls means your con-fire tokens can be used for other things (and you can reroll that added accuracy afterwards if you don't need that and just want the extra dice).

The best way of using Anakin, if possible, is letting A attack with B and C nearby, spending one of their tokens. When your opponent moves into range of B and C, well, A already activated and sure has some tokens to spend for B and C, doesn't he? It's the Task Force Titles from Rebel Hammerheads, without having to give up the attacks YOU want to be making.

Ships!


At this point, with all our options on the table, almost any ship works for Anakin. Some of the best I've seen have been MSU-style, with several Cruisers and Chargers both as token nodes (you can probably spend that Contain, especially at long, right?). Cheaper is better, especially if it allows you to squeeze in an extra ship.

Do you need a Venator as your center, or can you turn those points into a Clam and a Consular? Ani gets better with more activations, especially as barebones you need 3 ships to ensure he works. As soon as you lose one, you're effectively Commander-less. So might as well go 4. But if you lose two.... welcome to "if you give a Jedi a cookie."

The best fleet I've seen so far still has to be 4-5
Consulars with External Racks as a base/hammer and then a few bigger pieces as your anvil (Clam, SPHAT Vic). But keep experimenting, you never know what you're going to find! I'd be intrigued by a Pelta repair spam list, provided you can keep your other friends alive. Multiple friends at red range mean multiple chances for red dice to spike!

Fleet!

The obvious DOWNSIDE to fielding like 9 ships is that your squadron component is quite minimal, or even non-existant. The cheap Consular with its 2 blue flak dice is a very nice help in making sure your opponent's squads don't want to shoot you, as does its speed 4 to immediately LEAVE if in trouble. I wouldn't go into MFC with Ani, I'd stick SFC or squadronless, if you have the skills to pay the bills for it all Main problem there is that a basic SFC for GAR is 33 points with both V19 aces. Is that worth it, or are you going to put in another Consular and learn to fly faster/better? Your call.

7 comments:

  1. NGL, as a Seps main, outside of the aforementioned concern with him straight-up deleting smaller ships, I feel like Commandakin is pretty much exactly what Pubs need. In a game with Patriot Fist and Onaghers throwing out fists full of dice, the Republic really, REALLY needed an offensive option to help keep up. Interestingly, the option they came up with isn't tied into specific firing arcs, which suits Republic game play pretty well IMO. And the fact that he still needs to spend Salvo tokens to make his extra attacks helps counterbalance all the bonus dice he gets for them, I think. Well, we'll see how he plays out either way, I suppose.

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  2. I understand the concerns that he will disrupt MSU players but I honestly don't think it will be too hard to work around. The definition of MSU attacks is paper cuts and Anakin runs out of green salvo tokens after two uses even with Local-fire-control, or at best three attacks if the ship is insane enough to run reactive gunnery. After that he starts tossing tokens permanently.

    Will it hurt to fly against Anakin? Sure! But I feel like true MSU will burn through his tokens pretty fast

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  3. I'm about to test this out against a friend's list which is exclusively Venators with S-PHATs and Anakin, wish me luck.

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  4. now he's got errata. I'll miss old version of commandakin. I hope there will be new guide for him. How can new commandakin be used for multi-venator fleet?

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    1. Truth and I are kinda busy with life at the moment, but we'll get to a new article for him. He, uh, probably shouldn't be used with multi Venator fleets.

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  5. *Obligatory comment asking about when we'll get an update for the big errata changes*

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    1. Ha, it's been a busy winter. Gimme a few and I'll try to start on them soon.

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