Friday, October 23, 2015

All Wings Report In!

It's time to get back to looking at squadrons and how to get the most out of them.  I started by looking at why squadron-free fleets have an advantage and then what you can do to make up that gap.  In this post, I want to take a look at the advantages squadrons can give your fleet.

Compared to the significant advantages of playing squadron-free (simpler commands, increased activations, increased durability, and fewer wasted points) what advantages do squadrons actually give us?
  • Burst Damage Potential
  • Overwhelm Defense Tokens
  • Improved Board Coverage
  • Objective Access
Burst Damage Potential - This comes in the form of super-activations.  The highest damage potential in the game comes from stacking a Squadron command on top of shooting from a ship.  The Squadron token generally offers more firepower than the Concentrate Fire command dial and has the potential to radically increase the damage output of a ship.  This can allow you to make up the gap in fewer activations by having stronger activations.  Although this strategy can be countered by having opposing squadrons lock down your bombers the Grit and Intel keywords can help keep your bombers from being engaged allowing the burst damage to more consistently get through.

Overwhelm Defense Tokens - Defense tokens can be a real pain to work against, but they are most effective against a single strong attack.  Due to their limited use nature, they are much less effective against a swarm of small attacks.  Most players won't readily use their defense tokens against squadron attacks.  Squadrons, even non-bombers, can grind off shields and set a ship up for destruction.  They are great at getting past Redirect tokens and Brace is often worthless.  The swarm of small attacks can only really be ran away from.  A series of small attacks from squadrons can force your opponent to make hard decisions about their defense token use.

Improved Board Coverage - Due to the nature of the maneuver tool, it can be relatively easy to predict where ships can and can't move.  It is also near impossible to get a ship turned around to engage an opposing ship that has escaped.  One of the true advantages of squadrons is their ability to go where you need them the most.  It is often relatively easy to escape with a heavily damaged ship to a safe part of the board.  Squadrons are more difficult to hide from with their freedom of movement.  Squadrons can be out-run, but never out maneuvered.  The Rogue keyword, as well as Boosted Comms and Tractor Beams can help you squadrons improve your board coverage and finish off damaged ships.

Objective Access - There are a handful of objectives that provide some significant advantages to squadron heavy fleets.  Precision Strike, Superior Positions, and Contested Outpost (think B-Wings around the Station) all provide some significant advantages to squadron-heavy fleets over a low-squadron opponent.  I find that I can often make the squadrons points back just on extra objective tokens alone.

Next we will look at some of the more efficient ways to incorporate squadrons into your fleets,


  1. Another advantage of squadrons is in setup. A squadron list will have more deployments. It can setup one ship the put out its squadrons while the all ship list ends up putting the whole fleet before the squadron list puts its second ship out

    1. You're absolutely right! I totally missed that one. The deployment advantages with squadrons can be huge. Thanks!