Friday, October 9, 2015

Fleet building at 400 points.

Having brought home 3 new ships from Massing at Sullust events I've been excited about playing some 400 point battles soon and incorporating all of the new goodies, etc.  But I've found that building at 400 points is surprisingly harder than 300!  Maybe it's just the lack of practice, but in some ways it feels a bit more restrictive.  So, I decided to look at how I was spending my points at the 300 point level and see how that might translate up to 400 points.

Here's a favorite 300 point list.  I went undefeated with it during 3 Sullust events.

  • Enhanced Armament
  • Gunnery Team
  • Intel Officer
  • Enhanced Armament
  • Garm bel Iblis
Nebulon Support Refit
  • Salvation
2x A-Wings

I would qualify this list as being squadron-light.  I have 3 ships as I found that playing with fewer was a significant disadvantage.  I also tend to build the full point allotment as I don't care if I go first or second.  I've got 195 points in ships, 25 in my admiral, 38 in squadrons, and 41 in upgrades.  If I broke it into percent of points spent I would have roughly 65/9/13/13% splits among those categories. 

So, in the bump to 400 points I know that I would like to bring 4 ships and also improve my squadron count.  If I use roughly those same percentages I get 260/36/52/52 points for ships/admiral/squadrons/upgrades.  Obviously those categories are flexible, but this at least gives me some targets for what I may want to spend.

With a 266/38/58/38 breakdown I could run:

  • Admiral Ackbar
  • Home One
  • Leading Shots
  • Gunnery Team
  • XI7 Turbolasers
  • Turbolaser Reroute Circuits
  • Slaved Turrets
2 A-Wings
3 Y-wings

That seems pretty good.  They Y-wings give some nice additional damage potential, but could be subbed out for a pair of B-wings or maybe a YT-2400 when I get them.  The MC-80 and Assault frigates both have enough firepower on their own to be able to focus on Nav or Engineering commands.  I'd like to get ECM on both, but I'm not sure what I would drop.  The above list works out to a 66.5/9.5/14.5/9.5% breakdown.  I've basically shifted some points from upgrades into more squadrons.  That could easily change.

Let's look at some other successful lists.  When I looked through reports of who was doing well at the Massing at Sullust events i found a few archetypes that seemed to do pretty well.  The "GenCon Special" has a VSD 1, 3 GSD Is, Screed, and some upgrades.  It would break down as having 80/9/0/11% allocation for its points.  That might prove a good starting point for no-squadron lists at 400 points.  Figure 5 ships at the minimum for 400 points, probably more.

A typical 2 ship "Rymer Ball" or Yavaris/Gallant Haven build might have more of a 45/8/30/17% points allocation.  At 400 points, you'd think you might want to up the ship count to 3, so maybe more of a 50/7/30/13% allocation might be good.

So, that gives us some ranges to work on.  At 400 points, you should expect to spend:
  • 50-80% on Ships
  • 5-9.5% on Admiral
  • 0-30% on Squadrons
  • 9-15% on Upgrades
Some of those ranges are pretty large, but I think it gives us a good starting point.  I don't think you have to stay in these ranges to be successful, but other folks have done so.

We could even categorize lists using these percentages:

0-60% - Light Ship Weight
60-70% - Medium Ship Weight
70+% - Heavy Ship Weight

0-10% - Light/No Squadrons
10-20% - Medium Squadrons
20-33% - Heavy Squadrons

0 - 8% - Light Upgrades
9 - 16% - Medium Upgrades
17+% - Heavy Upgrades

That might be a useful tool to help classify fleet list and check them your self or provide feedback to others.

What do you think??


  1. Not a bad way to classify a list. I know I am personally guilty of going a little off the deep end on upgrades - particularly on my flagship. It doesn't tell the whole story though - a Heavy Squadron list that is primarily X-Wings will behave quite a bit differently than a primarily Y-Wing list - that being said more ways to classify things is a definite good thing.

    1. You are right that it's not the whole story. This was more about answering the question that I sometimes see: "Am I spending too much on X?"

      I figured a set of baselines based on what has been successful in tournaments was a good way to start answering the question.

  2. I think it will be very easy to be tempted in wave 2 to load all your ships for bear with the great new upgrades. Especially the large ships. My first Battlescribe list for the ISD had an almost 200pt ship!

    More ships and hence activations is still best, so the art will be finding the fewest upgrades on those ships with the best synergy. ECMs and Gunnery Teams on the big ships seem like a must.

    1. Yeah, when I build my 400 pt list after getting my MC80, I have a real hard time making it cheaper than 150 pts, not even counting the fact that I want to make it the flagship.

    2. I was really expecting to be fielding 4-5 ships at 400 points, but with the ISD and MC-80 it's really hard to get more than 3 if you don't give up on squadrons.