My usual process goes something like this:
- Basic Plan and Formation
- Select suitable, complimentary core ships.
- Select appropriate admiral
- Select support ships and squadrons
- Choose upgrades based on role
- Finalize objectives
The game I was planning for was going to be played on Vassal, which currently only has the Wave 1 ships and upgrades. This meant I would be using at least one VSD as my carrier. VSDs have a lot of strengths, but one very exploitable weakness. If your opponent can get around to their flanks, they lack the ability to turn fast enough to re-engage. The best solution to this that I have found is to use the table edge to protect one of those flank and then stagger another ship on the other, inside, flank to protect the VSD. Essentially and Echelon Formation with a refused flank. You can also "turn" the game and attempt to play along the long edge rather than across the table, which reduces the amount of space that you can be flanked in.
Core Ships - The lead ship in an echelon formation is likely to take a beating, so a VSD is the obvious choice. I decided to go with a VSD II for the bit of extra range that it offers (I also really like Blue dice as a general rule). The second ship will cover the leads flank and act as my primary carrier, so a VSD I makes the most sense.
Admiral - I decided to go with Motti as my Admiral. With only 2 ships and knowing that I will be putting one of them out front, I figure that the extra durability could be very helpful. Tarkin could also be a good fit, but I think Motti will work better.
Support Ships & Squadrons - Knowing that I want a large squadron allotment I don't really have room for a 3rd ship in a support role. If it was an option though, the Raider would be ideal. So, instead of support ships, I am going with squadrons. Lots of them. I generally prefer generic squadrons, so I decided to go with maximum numbers. In this case 8 TIE Fighter squads and 4 TIE Bombers. I figure that 12 Squadrons can give me lots of options and I can use the carrier to send them out in 3 waves.
Upgrades - I don't have much leftover for upgrades at this point, which is fine. I tend to play upgrade-lite anyways. Expanded Hangars and Flight Controllers should provide a nice boost to the squadron coordinating of the VSD-I. The VSD-II should be in a good position to get shots, so a Gunnery Team makes sense there.
Objectives - So, now I'm left with Objectives. Superior Positions makes sense as I should have plenty of chances for rear shots with 12 squadrons. Contested Outpost should be good too as I can force my opponent to come towards my squadrons and VSDs. For Red, I decided to try out Most Wanted, with the hope that they will have to go past my VSD-II to get to my objective ship that will be offset behind it.
So, this is what I've got:
- Gunnery Team
- Flight Controllers
- Expanded Hangars
- 12 TIE Fighters
- 4 TIE Bombers
My basic plan would be to setup in my left corner with the VSD-II on the outside and the VSD-I on the inside with the squadrons inside of that. Then I turn into the middle of the table and try to keep anything from getting outside the VSD-II and funnel my opponent towards the VSD-I and squadrons.
Stay tuned for the battle report where I see if any of this works in an actual game.