Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Commander's Guide - Assault Frigate Mark II

This article is part of the Commander's Guide series.

After our last discussion on the Victory Class Star Destroyer, there is only one ship left to discuss - the Assault Frigate Mark II (AFII).  The AFII is a Medium ship, and the biggest ship currently available on the Rebel side of the board.  However, even as a medium ship, it flies much differently than the Imperial's VSD and boasts a much different armament.

The Assault Frigate Mark II

Overall:

The AFII comes standard with  Command value of 3, putting it equal to the VSD as the least responsive ships on the board.  However, due to its Command value it is capable of stocking tokens for later use.  It also comes standard with a Engineering value of 4, putting it even with the VSD in staying power, recovering 2 shields per turn with a command dial, or 1 with a token.  With the help of the Redemption, it can even us tokens to repair hull damage at 3 total.

For defense, the AFII is equipped with the strongest single shield arc currently in the game at 4 for its fore shields, with 3 on each side arc, and 2 rear.  With that, it also currently has the distinction of the largest amount of shields currently in the game - 12 to the VSD's 10.  It doesn't quite have the VSD's hull though, as the standard numbers there are 8 to the AFII's 6.  Also unlike the VSD, it is less able to take advantage of it's shielding, losing one of the VSD's redundant Redirect tokens for an Evade, but retaining the other Redirect and Brace.

Also unlike the VSD, the AFII can actually make speed 3, though it isn't particularly maneuverable there.  At top speed, the ship has a yaw value of 1 at the 2nd and 3rd pips, giving it a 45 degree turning radius without a navigation command dial.  At speed 2 it retains the yaw, getting a value of 1 at both pips, and at speed 1 it only gets a yaw of 1.  Still that gives the ship twice the turning radius of a VSD at speed 2, and the chance to outdistance the much slower Imperial counterpart.

All ships have the strongest long range side arc currently in the game, with a total of 3 Red / 1 Blue.

Upgrades for the ship are also standard, with Commanders, 2 Titles, Officer, Weapons Team, Offensive Modification, Defensive Modification, and Turbolasers.

Assault Frigate Mark II A:

The Assault Frigate Mark II A (AFII-A) comes in at 81 points, just 4 points short of the VSD2 for most expensive ship in the game.  For this, you get a Squadron value of 2, equal to the NebB-E as an escort carrier.

You also get a 2 Red / 1 Blue fore arc, and 2 Red / 1 Blue rear arc, putting them even with the CR90's front arc / VSD's side arc for damage.  In addition to this, you also have 2 Blue for anti-squadron armament, putting the ship equal to a GSD2 or a NebB-E for anti-squadron combat.

Assault Frigate Mark II B:

The Assault Frigate Mark II B (AFII-B) is the cheaper of the two, coming in 9 points lower at 72 total, or just one point shy of a VSD1.  For getting back those 9 points, you lose the 1 Blue on the fore and aft, giving you only 2 Red in both fore / aft arcs.  You also lose one of the Blue anti-squadron dice, leaving the ship with only 1 Blue for its anti-squadron attacks.

However, the ship does gain a point in Squadron Value, putting it even with the VSD at 3 Squadron value total, making it an excellent ship for a true carrier roll.

AFII denies a flank to the GSD against the Nebulon B

Upgrades:

Just about any commander works well with the AFII.  Mon Mothma improves the ship's Evasion token to Medium Range for discarding a dice and Close Range for rerolls.  Dodonna lets you make the best out of your criticals, and with 3 Red / 1 Blue out of your side arc, you can push some damage through their shields.  Finally, Garm Bel Iblis gives you 3 command tokens at the start of R1 and R5, not a bad stock for your high command value ship.

For titles, there are only two.  "Paragon", for a mere 5 points, lets you maximize damage against a target dumb enough to park in the middle of two of your arcs, with an extra 1 Black at any range on your second attack.  This does stack with a concentrate fire command, so not only do you get to be the only Rebel ship to roll a black die, you can roll two!  That'll put the hurt onto a VSD.

"Gallant Haven" (8 points) goes the other way, being a defensive upgrade for your squadrons, reducing the damage they take from an attack by 1.  Note that this is after any unique squadrons have used their defense tokens.  Suddenly Luke and Wedge have effective "Scatter" against 2 successful hits from a TIE Fighter.  This can really tilt the squadron battle in your favor if you can keep it within distance 1 of the Gallant Haven.

For Officers, Leia is practically worthless.  With a command of 3, changing another ship's command isn't very useful.  She is, however, an excellent addition on another ship in a fleet with an AFII.  Adar Tallon lets you select one squadron to activate a second time when you utilize a Squadron command.  Excellent for maximizing a named pilot like Wedge or Dutch, or getting a B-Wing into position for a bombing run.  Finally, Raymus Antilles gives the ability to maximize your command token activation, and due to a Command value of 3, banking the tokens you don't need.

Much like the VSD, the Liaisons work well with a Command 3 ship, as do Veteran Captains, giving you the command that you need when you need it.  Intel Officers are also an excellent addition to the AFII, due to it's large Red dice arcs and chance to get multiple hits on a single target over several turns.

Flight Controllers improves your AFII-B's squadron activations, giving the squadrons an extra 1 Blue anti-squadron armament.  Gunnery Team allows you to take advantage of your large side arcs for long range shots on multiple targets, or to shoot at both a ship and squadrons, though it doesn't work well with the Paragon title.  Sensor Team lets you make the most of your Red dice, by dropping a missed die to gain an Accuracy icon.  The more dice you get to shoot, the more effective Accuracy results are, and the more likely you are to have some blank dice results.

Offensive Upgrades give the option of Expanded Hanger bay, a good upgrade for the AFII-B, to increase your Squadron value to 4.  Point-Defense Re-route works better with the AFII-A, giving you a reroll for each of your Crit results when performing anti-squadron attacks at close range.

Defensive Upgrades give two options as well.  Advanced Projectors let you utilize all of your shields with the Redirect action, moving them to whichever shield arc is needed, even if it is on the other side of the ship.  Electronic Countermeasures let you utilize the most important defense token, even if your opponent has enough accuracy results.

Finally Turbolasers.  Enhanced Armament improves the already best long range side arc by an additional 1 Red.  XX-9 Turbolasers help you maximize Dodonna's ability, more face up damage cards if a crit effect sneaks through onto the hull.  H9 Turbolasers let you turn a hit result into an accuracy, getting better long range hits with your one accuracy result on your Red dice.  Finally XI-7 Turbolasers let you neutralize the VSD's greatest asset, the Redirect token redundancy, but making only 1 damage able to be redirected at a time.

The AFII integrated into the Rebel Fleet

Roles:

Centerpiece - Because of the natural stats and defensive options available, the AFII makes for an excellent centerpiece to build around for your fleet.

Broadside - The ship works its best when it can bring its powerful side arc to bear on the target, even more if it can get a single target in its sweet spot, the line between the front and side arcs.  With the Paragon title, Enhanced Armaments, and a Concentrate Fire command, an AFII can put out a total of 6 Red / 2 Black over two attacks at long range, for an average damage of 6.5, and maximum of 16!

Carrier - The biggest Rebel carrier, an AFII-B with Expanded Hanger Bay can activate up to 4 ships in a single activation.  With Tallon and Flight Controllers, as well as Gallant Haven, the AFII-B can dominate local space superiority.  Even the AFII-A can fill in as an escort carrier, with 2 squadrons activated.

Escort - A bit high on points, but while filling another role, the AFII-A can support with anti-squadron barrages.

Shield - Due to its larger base, and good shields, the AFII can cover a side to keep another heavy hitter, like a Neb-B, covered from GSD flankers.

**Wave 2 Updates**


Well that's it for ships in the Commander's Guide.  As usual, please let me know what, if anything, I am missing.  And anything I got wrong.  Or anything you'd like to see me cover in the future.  Until next time, folks!

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the strategy guides! Looking forward to wave 2. Do you have any list building tips or ideas for future posts?

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    Replies
    1. Well, I am hoping to cover Squadrons in the next two posts, since they are the last figures left to cover. List building is something I will need to cover as well. Anything in particular there you were hoping to see?

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    2. Almost forgot the squadrons!

      Fleet tactics, including how to build and use a coherent force for both sides would be cool. It would be good to get some list ideas (as mentioned under the missions), the synergies between units, and how you might use them.

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    3. I think that is something you will see pop up pretty soon. I was thinking of picking some of the more common lists / synergy combos we are seeing and covering that - how they would approach different objectives, if they prefer 1st or 2nd player.

      I really want to go in depth on Squadrons, once I have covered what they are. Namely, how many points of squadrons to bring for the role you want it to accomplish.

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