Understanding where each ship can be a threat to your fleet is really important in the shoot then move nature of a game like Armada. Here is clontroper5's post. I'll add in some of my own thoughts as well. (Hopefully you can tell the writing apart by the font being used.)
I have been doing some thinking about how the threat range of each ship effects its value and decided to put my thoughts on here. bear with me this is going to be fairly long (but mostly pictures)I like this system of determining threat. The scale is good and I think does a nice job of conveying the danger that a ship poses. Visual representations are really useful for this type of information.
First off lets take a look at each ship, I have diagrammed the threat range using Vassal and a Paint program. The scale is roughly as follows and inspired by the Danger to a corvette class ship (i.e. how long a Cr90/ Raider can survive). Also note the threat ranges are based on what I consider the Standard load-outs. So Glads, Raiders and MC-30s will be treated as if they have APTs or ACMs etc..
Also keep in mind that double arcs have the Combined effective threat value of both Contributing Arcs
- Green:Expected damage is 1-2, this range is considered safe and will not kill a corvette over the course of a game
- Yellow: Expected damage is 2-3, this range is relatively safe but will kill a corvette given enough time (3-4 turns)
- Mustard/ light orange:Expected damage is about 3, a little more severe then yellow
- Orange: expected damage 4-5, not safe, a corvette will probably be killed by 2 shots
- Red: expected damage 6-7, dangerous, a corvette will likely die in a single hit at this range
- Dark red: expected damage 7-8, Very dangerous, a corvette is almost guaranteed to die in a single hit at this range.
Wave 1 Imperials:
Things to note about the Victory:
-it as a small Red zone
-if you are not in its front arc it is mostly green except in close range of the sides
The Victory-2 has an increased threat range over the Victory 1, however it does not have a red zone
Gladiator (assuming ACM)
Both versions of the Gladiator have a short but severe threat range, and have the most red of wave 1. also note that the rear is yellow, a unique feature for the imperials.
So, much to no one's surprise the Imperials are brutal out of the front, but rather easily avoided otherwise. makes planning to cover those gaps important for the Imperial player.
Wave 1 Rebels:
First off, wow that's a lot of green. although the B cannot fire at Long range the end diagram is similar enough that it can be shared with the A variant. As expected the Cr90 does not do much damage, even with CF. But in mass they can be deadly.
Once again the core set Neb is incapable of inflicting much damage unless it has a double arc. The threat range in general is not much to concern you self with.
Assault Frigate Mk IIb:
And here the rebels finally get some light Orange. Also notice how much area the Assault Frigate threatens, even though it is yellow it is by far the largest threat range from the wave 1 ships.
Assault Frigate Mk IIa:
The A variant has yellow Front and rear arcs at medium range as well.
This really shows how the Rebels threaten much more area, but never have the extreme damage potential of the Imperials.
Wave 2 Imperials:
The ISD-1 gets the the only dark red area from the generic ships but we still see a lot of Green.
Now the shift of threat range in the ISD-2 is significant, we see the largest red zone the Imperials can field (well almost, we will come back to that point later) and a significant amount of yellow making only long range while flanking an ISD-2 "safe"
The raider is the only ship in the game that cannot fire at long range, but maintains a relatively dangerous threat area at close range (depending on upgrades).
The raider 2 can increase this slightly using ion upgrades, but it is going to be relatively mild.
Not much changed in Wave 2 for the Imperials. They still have the most dangerous arcs, but they are limited in where those arcs can target.
Rebels Wave 2
With upgrades the mc30 becomes a close range beast, but there still is an awful lot of green around it.
That MC-30 might as well be an Imperial ship, with the way it concentrates fire at close range.
MC-30 Torpedo frigate
Here we see a HUGE threat range very similar to the Assault frigate, except a little more severe. This diagram shows why side arc dice cost more then front arc dice quite well.
Okay, now lets look whys we can improve this threat range.
A. Re rolls and Added dice, this is the basic way to improve your threat range and it can be done with many things.
1. Concentrate fire, obviously the easiest way to imrpve your threat range is simply take this command, it wil generally increase very zones "threat Value" by 1 level (green-yellow, yellow-orange etc.) this is most effective small ships such as a corvette which will now have a threat range like this:
2.Expanded launchers/ enhanced armament: pretty self explanatory, upgrades like these simple enhance the arc that they affect.
3.Leading shots/ordnance experts/Vader: Then we have re roll upgrades, these are mostly available for Imperials and can be used to increase the threat value. In my World Cup fleet, I utilized both Expanded Launchers and Re-rolls to increase the threat value of my Raiders to look like this:
I was able to increase the threat Value to the Highest table on my scale ( roughly equal to an ISD-1 front arc at close range)
4. Ackbar: Ackbar is basiaclly paying 38 points to increase threat range and is kinda insane when you look at how they are effected by him. lets look at each Rebel ship except the Neb-b and the Cr90 while under the influence of the Calamari:
Wow, Ackbar has a REALLY big effect on threat ranges, And look at all that Red on the MC80! after looking at these even the most Skeptical can see why many feel Ackbar is op.
5. Other dice modifiers: Screed, Warlord, TRCs. These are great threat value increases because they are consistent and powerful. Lets look a TRC90 threat range:
If you have a confire the Trc90 has basically the same damage out put and threat range as a Vic-2...for 51 points... Broken? Probably
Other ways to improve your Threat range are
B) Accuracy's: use upgrades such as H9 turbo lasers to get more accuracy's to block defense which can improve threat range
C) Defense mitigation: different from Acc results because this revolves around getting ride of the defense token entirely. By far the best card is Intel officer, but other upgrades such as Overload pulse and Nk-10 work too
D)Last but not least (my favorite) we have Phase order manipulation, basacally Attacking After you move. and you all know what that means! D stands For DEMOLISHER! the menace of wave 1 which lead to cries of brokenness. Let's get a rough idea of why:
So, Demolisher with engine techs can threaten a HUGE area, and the worst part, its almost all red (assuming decent upgrades and CF commands) and admittedly this diagram only shows about 80% of the actually threat range since it doesn't show how far to the side Demolisher can reach with a speed 4 90 degree turn.
If you were wondering what makes Demolisher so good, its his huge increase in threat range, which happens to be the Most red any ship currently has(more then the Isd-2 which has the most red any generic ship can get)
Lets take a quick look at how we can apply what we learned to Formation flying.
First up Rebels:
So Rebels as you may have noticed earlier, generally have far less red but far more yellow, now the problem with yellow is that it isn't going to kill much anytime soon so lets look out how that can be remedied in your games using formations.
(I apologize this doesn't look as clean as the single ships, harder to paint...)
First up a conga line, in my example I am using 3 Mk2s, but it works with any broadside ship.
as we can see the conga line combines the Yellow and light orange of the assault frigates into a combined (oddly shaped like lips...)red area with a large area, including a dark red area where all 3 side arcs overlap. its also important to note this area is at long range, there is a good reason we here about this formation a lot. Of course it has those obvious weaknesses at the Front and rear of the formation.
let's take a look at the same fleet, but in more of an Echelon formation.
This formation increases the red area and decreases the yellow and green again but at the cost of less Dark red compared to the classic conga line, also the more extreme the angle the assault frigates have the less green area there is but the less red you get as well.
Take away: the more damage you need on a single target the better it is to run parallel or in a circle trying to keep the "focal point" on the target, such as when this fleet comes in contact with an ISD. But if you are trying to threaten more area (i.e. against enemy corvettes) it is better to use a staggered approach. With the greater the angle (meaning farther off of strait following each other) the more area is covered but the less severe the threat in that area becomes.
Now lets look at Imperials: Generally speaking imperials do not have trouble killing ships but rather getting them in range (kinda the opposite of rebels hmmmm...). So their formations are going to be based on spreading out and making sue there is no room to run, this can be demonstrated very well using those raiders I have been enjoying so much in the World cup.
Line abreast formation: (assuming Confire).
Here we have the raiders spreading out in a line, they are each designed individual to kill enemy ships so the need to focus fire is limited and by spreading out we can form a solid wall of Red and Dark Red so even though there is very little threat at range, the raiders have formed a impassible wall. This applies to all the Imperial ships especially the Vic-1. This is also why Minefields and Contested Outpost are so good, as it forces the enemy into your wall of red.
Now it doesn't have to be a "perfect" formation
I used the threat ranges of my fleet to great effect in the World cup Semis final against JJ. Here is the picture:
(red speckle is the Range of demolisher)
Here we see how i used my formation to form that impassible wall, also notice how I exploited the location of the Obstacles and Mines to add to my wall. When JJ saw this he knew he couldn't Advance with out taking severe damage and probably dieing, so this forced him to slow to speed 0 which left him a sitting duck for Demolisher, using my threat range I forced him to chose between Bad and Horrible which lead to my win.
I really think this is a really great write-up and appreciate clontroper5 letting me re-post it here. Being able to visualize this info can really help players get a good feel for how to approach your opponent and what to expect from your own ships.