Over the last couple of days FFG has spoiled the contents of the Wave 4 expansions, the Interdictor and the Liberty. This is to help people enter their new Fleet Design Contest. I thought I would post up some quick reactions to the spoilers before I actually sit down and work on getting my fleet submitted.
I'm about to head out on vacation for a couple of weeks, so this will probably be the last post here until late July. (I may set a post to go up on July 6th with my contest entry fleet if I have time.) Before I went I wanted to take some time to post my thoughts on the new spoilers.
First, I think both ships look great and will be a lot of fun to play on the table. I'm really excited that they went with the Interdictor design from the Rebels show. It looks much more interesting than the old EU version. The Liberty also looks fantastic and was really the last piece we needed to setup some proper Battle of Endor games.
Overall I like the firepower profile a little better on the Combat Retrofit. I think it has enough red dice that it will really benefit from being in a Vader led fleet. Anytime you don't have plans for more than one Experimental Retrofit, the Combat Refit seems like a winner. Both ships feel pretty expensive for the number of dice that they throw, so you really need to leverage their other advantages. The 5 Engineering value and the Support Team are both so unique to the Empire, that I think they will be almost as important to the Interdictor as the Retrofits.
Of the Retrofits, the G-8 Experimental Projector combos really well with Tractor Beams and the new Admiral Konstantine. You can really slow down 1 ship each turn or mess with 3 other ships a little bit. I think many players found that the usefulness of having a single tractor beam in a fleet was suspect, so I think this is a strategy to go full on with.
The Targeting Scrambler is an upgrade that I think will be really fun. I know it will probably be the first that I build around. Combine it with Projector Experts for a ship that really supports your fleet rather than messes with the opponent. I don't think I would combine both of those strategies into the same ship though. It would just get too expensive.
I'm honestly not sure what to make of the Retrofits that mess with deployment. I think they may catch some players by surprise, but with practice I am not sure how much impact they will have. They are mercifully cheap and if you are playing the Suppression Refit there is almost no reason not to include one of them.
I think the Interdictor needs either the G-8 or the Targeting Scrambler to really have an impact on the game that makes up for its poor firepower-to-cost ratio. With either of those the Interdictor title also seem like a no-brainer allowing you to get the most out of those upgrades. I think the power level of the retrofits is right up there with Home One, the question will be if it is so expensive that like Home One it is hard to build the rest of the fleet around.
The rest of the upgrades that come with the Interdictor seem okay, but there are 2 standouts. Flight Commander and Fighter Coordination Team are both really effective and cheap upgrades. Flight Commander gives your carrier significant flexibility in its Squadron Commands and will be pretty useful on ships like Yavaris. FCT is the real winner though and one I see using a lot. The Support Team slot is a little restrictive, but it offers your the ability to have a ship really boost your squadron game with out using commands to do it. It speed boosts slow squadrons and gives all of them quasi-rogue ability for better positioning. There are some goofy combos that you can chain with both upgrades, but the turn-to-turn flexibility that they provide is why I will be using them.
Overall the Interdictor is a solid ship and will allow for some creative fleets and tactics. The challenge will be finding an effective build that isn't too expensive.
While I can see a place for both of the Interdictor variants, I really can't see ever choosing the Battle Cruiser over the Star Cruiser for the Liberty. For 7 points, there just isn't enough gained. I guess the extra AA is nice, but the range is short enough to not see frequent use.
The Liberty brings some unique things to the Rebels. It is a large ship that can potentially move speed 4 with the help of Engine Techs and it is also the first ship with 2 Turbolaser Upgrades. It has strong frontal firepower, that will make it pair well with Nebulon-Bs, but I think it can fit into most Rebel playstyles.
The Liberty isn't a subtle ship. It has fantastic forward firepower and defenses. It's durability and firepower from the other arcs is questionable at best. In many ways it is more extreme than the Imperial ships. It will suffer against strong squadron builds I think. I'm really looking forward to playing it and seeing how those strengths and weaknesses play out on the table top.
Each of the 3 titles is nice, but I am most drawn to the Liberty title. It is cheap enough that it only has to work once or twice a game to be valuable. The Mon Karren is a fun way to force hard choices on your opponent and the cost is reasonable for the effect.
Madine will be a really fun Admiral and fits well with the other Rebel Admirals. I find myself playing lots of Navigate Commands and he will be a boon for that. I'm also absolutely in love with the Skilled First Officer. He is great insurance at a cheap cost. Hopefully there ends up being an easy way to get extra copies of that guy. The other crew upgrades seems solid, but I am not sure how often I would play many of them.
The double Turbolaser Upgrade feature of the Liberty is really interesting. I tend to play really upgrade light, so I don't know how often I would use that. Given that there isn't a combination of 2 upgrades that cost less than 11 points, it will be quite an investment to take advantage of the ability. I haven't seen a combo yet that makes me droll, but I am sure someone will figure something out.
Both the High Capacity Ions and Spinal Armaments are similar to Enhanced Armaments. I played those a lot pre-Ackbar, but haven't really touched them since. In Armada, I find that dice modification is much stronger than adding additional dice. That's why I'm just not sure about these upgrades. Quad Turbolaser Cannons seem strong and combo amazingly with Home One, but they are pretty spendy too!
Like the Interdictor, there will be the temptation to overload this thing with upgrades. I think it is potentially too fragile against some fleet styles to over-invest in.
So, those are my thoughts on the spoilers. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments!