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Directorate general tactica

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Directorate: General Tactic

 

     In 1.5 version Directorate was a multi-arc firing no shields fleet with great frigates. When 2.0 came out everything changed and our fleet was turned upside down. With so different weapons, different stats and shiny new toys many of us had to completely relearn how to play this faction. I know I struggled with some aspects and had to play many games before I got the grips on it and found a way to build effective fleets and then play them well enough to win. By this post I would like to try to pass on my experience and my view on our faction, our ships and other factions. Mind that this view can be crooked by my specific experience and my local gaming group – what factions I generally play against, what our players generally use and how they play.

 

 

General Overview

 

     If you look through all fleet lists you will notice that Directorate differs a lot from all fleets. Directorate is the only fleet that widely incorporates only one direct weapon system on its ships – turreted beam weaponry. With the release of 2.0 the only exception to this rule was Persecution Dreadnought and Overseer Carrier. Justice Heavy Cruiser was only different with its gunrack mounting and suffered the same issues the fleet as a whole. With Return of the Overseers starter we now have some new ships that break the rule a bit: Anihilation Gunship still has only one direct weapon system, albeit a very powerful one; Turmoil R&D can be seen as having two direct systems as it has beam gunrack and forward gravity weapons (but they can only damage ships); and finally Anarchist Battleship with Port/Starboard beams, unfortunately it will be very hard to get both in a firing position. This first distinct mark means that Directorate can throw much less total AD in each volley and can target much fewer targets. This is partly negated by the use of beam weaponry and partly by better AD at RB3 than other fleets. It can also be somewhat negated by our torpedo weapons mounted on port and starboard, but if you already played the game you know how hard it is to get targets for both sides.

 

     Another distinct feature of our ships is Reinforced (Fore) MAR that increases CR by 1 if the incoming fire is in the fore arc. This MAR seriously increases the ships lifespan as it brings CR rating of Directorate ships above average or even at the highest values. This means critical hits are less likely and from the fore Directorate ships are much harder to hit hard, especially at longer ranges. Unfortunately this MAR goes directly against our torpedo weapons mounted on port/starboard – the ship either withstand more punishment or can throw some more AD.

 

     Our third special feature are Cyberwarfare weapons. We are the only core faction with the access to them and from alliance & mercenaries factions only Hawker has some limited access to pure cyber weapons and OmniDyne has access to cyber torpedo weapons. I think our wide and very exclusive access to both pure cyber and cyber torps (Assault Robot Torpedoes = ARTs) is something really special. They are a great tool at disabling ships systems and killing crew, but be careful as they only rarely destroy a ship by themselves (kill all CP and destroy the ship through hazard markers). If you use them you still need a plan to deal with crippled ships.

 

     Other important aspects of our fleet surely are above average boarding potential, wide access to Special Forces MAR and Biohazard Ammo MAR. Our boarding potential determined by simple AP count is above average I would say. But what it makes potentially deadly is a combination with Special Forces, Biohazard Ammo and Cyberweapons.

 

     Another important thing to mention is our wide spread of toys. All core fleets are pretty much focused in one direction or are built around one central idea where our fleet uses very different tools to accomplish pretty specific goals. We have access to beam weapons (used by Aquans), primary weapons (used by Terrans and Relthoza), shields (heavily used by Terrans), cloaking shields and stealth systems (heavily used by Relthoza), Biohazard and Corrosive MARs (again Relthoza), Gravitational weapons (Tarakians) and Reinforced (Fore) MAR (brings CR to Dindrenzi or RSN levels). You can say that Directorate brings turns weapons of its enemies against them. It really looks like Directorate either supplies other factions or steals their technology.

 

General principles to keep in mind at all times

  1. Keep your fore towards the enemy! This is rule number one especially in opening turns. You need to stay alive to dish out the damage, destroyed ships are useless. There are some exceptions of course, like Deterrents with great torps or Subjugators with gunrack weaponry. You still need to keep your fore to the most threatening enemy squadron unless you are firing at it, then you turn it against the second most threatening.
  2. Link firepower only if you need to or have to. Most of our ships (smalls are exception) have enough firepower in their ideal range bands to score a hit or even a crit with some little luck – 8AD is enough to hope for a crit and some ships have 9AD or even more (Nemesis, Deterrents, Subjugators). This rule goes well with biohazard upgrade as you put more CP damage on enemy ships. Don’t be afraid to link when you want a certain critical hit or even two. Simple rule is if you have between 8-13AD you want to fire unlinked at medium ships and if you can get together more (especially above 15AD) you should seriously consider firing linked – e.g. Vanquishers have 8AD in RB2 and when firing on medium ships you either want to fire unlinked to achieve as much CP damage and hope for 3-6HP damage or you want to link together for 16AD and just overkill one cruiser with hopefully two critical hits.
  3. Don’t forget mines! We have only four ships equipped with them and it’s easy to forget to drop them. They are great area denial tool and restrict your opponent’s moves and protect your flanks and backs.

 

TACs selection?

     Your TACs selection should be based around the ships you use, what tactic you set for your fleet and what your opponent is. Still there is a good selection of cards you will use in almost every game, these cards should be:

  • Drives to Maximum – Extra speed never hurts and often you need just few extra inches to get a squadron in ideal firing position or get your ships from a hot spot.
  • Burn Thrusters – From time to time you need lower TL on every ship. Practically must have if you use Deterrents as sooner or later they find themselves in a position when their 2” TL is a great obstacle.
  • Focused Repair – PD or shields offline are bad for anyone.
  • Firewall Breach – I always find it useful as shutting even 2 shields might be a game braking event.

     Then we have TACs very useful against specific factions or used with specific tactic in mind:

  • Intel Gathered – Great against Sorylians with their FTB 1
  • Perfect Timing – Must have if you reserve some medium or large ships.
  • Pinpoint Calculation – If you run more than one squadron of Nemesis with Precision Strike.

     Lastly we have pretty much useless cards:

  • Regroup – Would never take it for tier 3 and at tier 2 we have such a vast selection I would be really surprised to see two same squadrons in one fleet.
  • Stay on Target – Pure **** as it’s pretty impossible to drive off a full a full token of 6 wings and if you have only 3 left you select your targets carefully or are desperate enough to risk even large ship. In no condition you are willing to lose a wing if you can’t get it back with Deck Crew.
  • Alliance of Convenience – Another crappy card as usually you have up to one disordered squadron and manage to get it under control with your second roll. To take this card just in case you fail all your rolls is insane. It might be effective against heavy Decimator fleets, but as we are one of them it’s beyond the point.

 

General strategy and fleet list creation

 

     If we look at ships and options at our disposal we can create several narrow strategies:

  1. Raw power – Trying to maximise pure direct weapons AD output by taking ships without necessary upgrades like Biohazard, Special Forces or taking Tormentors (as they are built around cyber and torps). This approach is valid against Aquans and Dindrenzi as they are mainly designed this way and by maximising AD output you try to close the gap in max AD output. With clever play you can then locally win this AD fight and came out swinging. Problem here is that even this list might lag behind its opponent.

 

  1. Cyber list – List build around large cyber support designed to disable enemy ships. In this list the role is generally played by Carrier with a pair of Tormentors or by a full squadron of Tormentors. Often Drones are present to exploit weakened state of enemy ships. This list is great against ships with tough defences like Terrans or Relthoza. Even though this list is great it trades direct weapons for cyberweapons and may find problems with finishing crippled ships.

 

  1. Boarding list – Focused on boarding and maximising AP whenever possible, wide use of Biohazard and Special Forces. Ships like Vanquishers, Subjugators or new Anarchist are a must have to achieve boarding superiority. This list is great against opponents with low AP, like Aquans, or ones that can cover behind tough defences, like Terrans. This list can also be admirals doom as ship upgrades are very common and may result in few very expensive ships. Also it brings our ships very close to our enemy and some can punish us really hard for that – Aquans with their mines, Terrans with their RB1 firepower.

 

     Looking at the above it’s pretty clear we want some combination to get as much benefit from each strategy and negate as much drawbacks as we can. The easiest to combine are raw power with cyber or boarding list. The hardest I would say is combining all three. Every time you build a fleet you need to find a balance between all three of them and take just enough to make each work. The more you combine the harder it is to play with such a force as you have to make those combinations work and not just expect them to work for themselves – proper activation and target selection sequence needs hard fought experience. If you add our wide spread of options it is very easy to make a very nice looking fleet, but lacking any united purpose and almost ultimately doomed to fail on the battlefield.

 

     I myself tend to focus on raw power fleets with added cyber to break ships defences (mostly shields). When I take some cyber I usually include Drones, but that’s mostly for fun as they rarely play a decisive role. Now if I want to create fleet with some nice boarding potential I auto include some strong cyber ships and I usually take only one strong boarding squadron, sometimes two – that’s amount that works for me as it won’t break the amount of pure AD much and it allow bringing along some cyber ships.

 

Ships breakout into different strategies

Raw power ships:

Persecution Dreadnought

  • Ship capable of falling here or boarding, but it’s almost utter garbage without any real use. Don’t expect me to use it anywhere as I gave up on it.

 

Judgement Battleship

  • Purely awesome ship in my opinion and I always take it with extra shield, -1” TL, extra WC and 3 Interceptors. Damage output of this beast is insane for its points cost.
  • Can be built as a boarding threat with extra AP and three escorts with also AP upgrade. Unfortunately this is very costly and fragile built as every opponent can see its potential and will just heavily focus on Judgement or escorts. My standard build is somewhat less threatening and they don’t concentrate on Judgement so much.

 

Anarchist Battleship

  • Great flagship I take if I want some bombers with me and can’t or don’t want to take Overseer for some reason, or I take it if I want the cyber turret as an addition to counter something specific in opponents fleet (like cloaked Spooks). I take it with Liquidator accompaniment for added firepower and protection, but for not taking Interceptors it is much softer later in the game.
  • Built with Stealth Systems is a valid choice especially with Deterrents and Nemesis, but I somehow fail to try it as I use my large ships as battering rams and this built reduces the amount of shields needed in RB1-2.

 

Deterrent Battlecruisers

  • Taken purely for their great AD output in RB2-3.
  • If I have spare points I add corrosive torps. I fire their torps separately anyway so corrosive can increase their damage dealing potential.

 

Overseer Carrier

  • In this setup taken purely for a full Bomber token and with only +1” Mv upgrade without any accompaniment. If I manage to spare some points for extra wings I also take some Interceptors, otherwise I take cyber fore just for fun and hope for luck.
  • It can be taken with Vanquishers as accompaniment, but I never tried it as I want to keep the cloak active the whole game.

 

Vanquisher Cruisers

  • With focus on AD just use them bare without any upgrades. You can add a Heavy but then you trade RB3 firepower for resilience. Also remember that Heavy has gunracks and that can sometimes really mess with squadrons movement. I don’t mix my squadrons, never.

 

Subjugator Heavy Cruisers

  • They are here purely for their resilience and extra 1AD in RB2. Their AP and Special Forces are just a welcome addition.

 

Anihilation Gunships

  • Haven’t tried it so far, but they definitely fall in here as they have ultra high AD output. I would buy Biohazard for them only if I really had spare point nowhere else to be used…and that’s almost impossible scenario. But their Decimators can help with boarding a lot.

 

Turmoil R&D Cruisers (with beam gunracks)

  • When equipped with beam gunracks they have excellent firepower plus they are one of our ships capable of targeting two enemy squadrons with weapons ignoring PD.

 

Nemesis Destroyers

  • I use them without Precision Strike as I dislike Targeted Strikes in general – when you have 9AD you want to fire them without Targeted Strike and hope for a crit on a medium ship. With a squadron you can fire 2x9AD and score around 3-4HP dmg or you can try one 13AD Targeted Strike and hope for a crit. I know we have a specific TAC Pinpoint Calculation to help us, but it’s unreliable.

 

Enforcer Frigates

  • Only tier 3 choice with pure AD output. Has great RB3 firepower so use it!
  • I tried to buy biohazard for them and it’s just making something fragile more expensive without seeing any real results – you don’t generally take it to use it against enemy smalls and they have to link together against anything larger, so at best one marker per turn for 20 points…no.

 

Cyber ships:

Anarchist Battleship

  • It can be in the same setup as above. I sometimes take it if I need cyber, but I can’t take Overseer or I want two cyber squadrons. Anarchist can fill a cyber role while still being a monster in other aspects.

 

Overseer Carrier

  • As a cyber ship I never use it alone and always accompany it with a pair of Tormentors. I know they are designed to stay above 20” to stay safe but I found out that I really want and need the 14AD in RB2. Together they have enough PD to protect each other against almost anything and they have 10AD torps.
  • You can use setup with Tormentors also as a boarding squadron with +2AP upgrade, but then it gets a bit expensive. I think they are the only other squadron capable to get 15AP together…and that’s really scary.

 

Tormentor R&D Cruisers

  • I only use them with Overseer – I only have two and I also want SRS with me. I tried them separately and it just hasn’t worked out. Eventually my opponent closed with them and ripped them apart at close range. When coupled with Overseer they are protected at close range by his SRS.

 

Turmoil R&D Cruisers

  • Their cyber gunracks are very interesting and has the potential to really mess up with small to medium ships. Together they have the second highest AD cyber output in RB2 in our fleet…don’t forget them.

 

Hostility Drones

  • Our only ART option. They are great against enemy smalls with CP1-2 and fail against smalls with CP3 as you need two turns to kill one. They are great at further disabling ship systems or crippling it by killing CP.

 

Boarding & Biohazard ships:

Anarchist Battleship

  • Very expensive option, but also very scary one - 12AP with Special Forces and Second Assault is something to terrifying. If you also add Assault Shuttles it is a boarding beast. One of our best boarding ships.

 

Deterrent Battlecruisers

  • With biohazard upgrade for both beams and torps makes them our best CP damage dealer as they potentially can dish out 4CP damage per turn against medium ships or a large ship either with its defences down or already damaged. With their 4AP each they are not bad at boarding and can use it against smalls or damage a medium ship.

 

Vanquisher Cruisers

  • As they are pretty fragile I prefer taking biohazard upgrade first and only when I can spare the points I also add Special Forces. But then they are a major force in my list and I really consider shunting them to get them into boarding range.

 

Subjugator Heavy Cruisers

  • As they already have Special Forces I try to buy biohazard for them, but not every time I manage to find the points. Either way they work great and biohazard only boosts it a bit more.

 

Hostility Drones

  • For their great CP damage potential.

 

     Now you just need to check the lists above and select ships from it. I would mostly select ships from the first list and only add one specialised cyber/boarding/biohazard squadron per specialisation. You can see some ships fall in two categories and that’s perfectly fine as long as you distinguish in their use as they can be built to fill several purposes. For example Anarchist can be built as a pure AD monster with extra wings, 5 bombers and two Liquidators as accompaniment – for only 260 points you get linked beams 15/18/11/4 and extra 15AD from Bombers. For the same amount of points it can be a long range sniper with Stealth Systems. Another built is a boarding monster with extra wings, 5 assault boats, both AP upgrades and three escorts with AP upgrade – this catapults it to staggering 310 point but it is practically boarding proof and it can effectively board any ship it desires and expect to win – with 3 escorts you can even board a large capital ship with escorts and don’t care as your escorts board enemy escorts which leave your prize without the much needed help.

 

     When you select ships for your list keep in mind your opponent won’t help you achieving your goal and will try to derail you as much as possible. You need to build a list that can achieve what you want and still react to your opponents play well enough to survive. If you create a RB1-2 purpose list and your opponent builds RB2-3 list you might be in serious trouble, especially if he can keep the distance. If he builds RB1 list capable of getting in the middle of your fleet by turn 2 and all you got is RB3 ships you are pretty much screwed. Your list needs some variety or you need to figure out how to deal with certain specifics of your opponent. This is very hard to do for a tournament as you have no idea what you are going to be playing against and you have to figure out ways to deal with everything. In a case of a general list I would take one cyber squadron, one boarding squadron and some biohazard to support it. That shouldn’t break your back and allow you to fight some factions much more effectively.

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Other factions and how to counter them

Aquan Prime

 

     For a long time Aquans were my nemesis as I lost game after game against them, partly due to very lucky opponent and partly to my poor list building and inexperience with 2.0 ships. Aquans are very fast and can outmanoeuvre us easily, which is nasty as hell. The biggest threats for us are their multiarc weaponry and tons of SRS. With multiarc weaponry they easily outgun our squadrons at RB1-2 and when supported with offensive SRS they multiply this into insane levels. At first I used my general list with some cyber and biohazard, but it failed immensely as the only viable target for cyber is crew and even with some CP damage their ships are pretty effective in a squadron due to Energy Transfer – as long as there is one healthy cruiser they can bring a lot of pain. I also tried large numbers of Enforcers to counter their Difficult Target on cruisers, but it was a fail again – don’t get me wrong, if Enforcers get in range then they are very good against them, but the problem is getting them undamaged and keeping them alive. Deploying them immediately seemed like a smart move, but large torpedo numbers damage them beyond being useful too soon and you can’t protect them all with Interceptors. When you shunt them then you risk not seeing them at all until it’s too late and then you are very limited with their deployment due to large numbers of Aquan mines on the table. Also as Aquan ships have enough firepower in the aft arc to destroy them. I really struggled until I got my hands on a pair of Deterrents and now I win a game after game against them. I completely switched my strategy from a mixed one to pure AD output and leave biohazard and cyber at home. My most effective lists against Aquans are designed with strong RB3 in mind to score some decisive hits on turn 1 against their tier 1 or 2 squadrons.

 

      What are Aquan strengths that make our day harder?

  • Multiarc weaponry – You have to be very careful with your ships positioning, otherwise you allow your opponent to hit with his squadrons more than two targets at once and if you do you lose the AD fight and eventually lose the game. Against Aquans you have to come with the whole fleet from one direction to allow only up to two targets for them – with their speed, almost no turn limit and no fixed weapons they can easily acquire two targets.
  • High DR coupled with few shields – High DR often means you fail to score a hit (especially on those damn cruisers with DT) and in times you match DR your opponent luckily rolls a successful shield roll. This is a problem especially with their large ships with DR 7-8 and two shields.
  • SRS everywhere – We can bring SRS with only three our ships (Judgement, Anarchist and Overseer) and if we want to stay offensive with them we can bring only few Interceptors to protect us against their tons of offensive SRS. You either need to find a way of avoiding their carriers or destroy them before they get in range. They are especially real threat with Aquan TAC Evasive Manoeuvres. 
  • Speed and agility – They can get where they want and fast – this can cause issues in some scenarios, like Recover Resources. Although our ships are not slow they are much slower and if you are not careful they can be caught in a wrong position – for example our Nemesis can’t outrun their ships and you need to be aware of that and act in advance to keep them save. Couple this with mines and not only are they much more mobile they also have very good area denial tool to restrict our movement.
  • Difficult Target on some capital ships – For now they can have DT on cruisers and heavy carrier. This is pretty simple you need more AD to hurt them (especially with their shields and higher DR) or you need smalls to do the fighting. If they park in a gas cloud you are in a real world of trouble as with their 0” turn limit they can stay there the whole game – only way to get them out are mines, SRS or boarding.
  • Torps everywhere with Any arc – With our average PD their large torpedo numbers can pose a serious threat even in early turns. Especially Enforcers and Vanquishers suffer greatly and can collect serious damage before they can even engage something. In late game anything we have suffers and especially our large ships with 5PD (after some damage usually 1PD) are easy to finish off with torps.

 

What are Aquan weaknesses we can exploit?

  • Low AP and average PD – With our high AP numbers and access to Special Forces and Biohazard it is not that hard to really exploit it. But all the upgrades cost us not only points, but also possible extra ships and so AD. Also to board Aquan ships we need to get close and so open ourselves to being mined to death or being torn apart by waves of bombers. Not only that you also face very high CP numbers and Secured Bulkheads.
  • A bit below average CR – When we link our beam attacks we get pretty nice AD numbers and have good chance to score a critical hit and with some squadrons even go for double criticals.

 

     Looking at the above there is a lot we have to overcome and only very little to actually use to our advantage. But with all that in mind what ships we should primarily consider?

Judgement

  • Great pointer of death capable of double critting almost anything in Aquan arsenal. With 3 Interceptors actually capable of some defence against SRS and torps – this should be used to defend other ships with low PD. Above average AP can be used against some damaged targets. 7AD mines are great so somehow restrict Aquan movement or counter DT or Elusive Corvettes.
  • Usually my first choice.

 

Anarchist

  • With frigate accompaniment another pointer of death – don’t forget smalls ignore DT and so greatly increase your chances to score a hit. Even without any upgrades it’s also a great boarding vessel and cyber turret can lower CP or disable PD on viable targets. Brings up to 5 wings for either great defence or offence (I suggest Interceptors though). Also has 7AD mines.

 

Overseer

  • It wouldn’t be my first choice, but if you want to go SRS offensive it’s your only viable choice. If you do that though you need extra wings and bring 2 Interceptors.
  • You can add some accompaniment if you want, but as you want to keep the cloak on as long as possible it’s pretty hard to decide if to go with Tormentors to keep the cloak, but go with cyber lacking punch against Aquans, or bring Vanquishers and drop the cloak from time to time and have great boarding potential even without AP upgrades.

Deterrent

  • I would say one of our best ships that can highly boost our firepower. Try to stay at the edge of RB2-3 the whole time and don’t let Aquans force you into RB1.
  • They are so fearsome they are priority target number 1 for my Aquan opponents.

 

Vanquisher

  • They offer very good RB3 firepower which should be used. I wouldn’t be afraid to close to hammer and board enemy ships, but be careful as they can be destroyed really fast. Beware of torps and SRS.

 

Subjugators

  • Keep cloak until you enter RB2 and then start unloading beams. Linked together they have potential to doublecrit almost any Aquan ship. The same goes for boarding potential and they either cripple or capture their target.

 

Nemesis

  • Always stay as far as possible, best at the edge of RB3 and don’t be afraid to run. Use mines to cover possible approaches of flanking ships.
  • Don’t much bother with torps as 6AD against higher DR, sometimes DT, then PD and shields is pretty useless.

 

Enforcer

  • I would reserve these bad boys as they can easily enter by flanking and engage at RB3 and stay clear from mines. Their primary targets are cruisers and smalls.

 

     Against Aquans you really need to focus your firepower and destroy ships otherwise they will bite you in the ass due to Energy Transfer. Don’t be picky and start with whatever is available as you need to eventually destroy both cruisers and larges. If I can I like to concentrate on one large first and hammer it with linked RB3 shots in turn 1 and entering RB2 on turn 2 finish it. This is because I really hate being on the receiving end of a wave after wave of indestructible bombers. It is not possible every time and I have to concentrate on something else – then I choose cruisers and try to take down two from the four before changing target for possible tier 1 or more pressing threat. I really try to avoid carriers but if I can’t I at least try to get some high PD squadrons in their path, like Subjugators.

     So how list against Aquans look like? This was my last 1000 points used and resulted in a win:

Judgement Battleship

  • +1 Sh, -1” TL, +2 WC, 3x Inteceptor

 

2x Deterrent Battlecruiser

 

2x Nemesis Destroyer

 

3x Subjugator Heavy Cruiser

  • Biohazard Beams (had some spare points)

 

2x4 Enforcer Frigates

 

     My 1100 points looked like this, also a win:

Judgement Battleship

  • +1 Sh, -1” TL, +2 WC, 3x Inteceptor

 

Overseer Carrier

  • +1” Mv, +2 WC, 6x Bomber, 2x Interceptor

 

2x Deterrent Battlecruiser

 

2x Nemesis Destroyer

 

3x Vanquisher Cruiser

 

2x4 Enforcer Frigates

 

     I think you can clearly see the idea behind both lists as they are devoid of any upgrades. The idea is to concentrate firepower and destroy ship after ship without spending points at stuff like cyber or biohazard. While you try to go for pure firepower you still pack pretty good boarding potential.

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Sorylian Collective

 

     I have to admit I played only three games in 2.0 against them. One game was directly after release of new edition, second was just a demonstration for DW player and so only the third was actually the only proper game. For me Sorylians are kind of a mystery as at first glance they have some pretty easily identifiable weaknesses, but after more thorough examination I think they can be built differently and it’s harder to know what to expect. They can field really heavy RB1-2 fleet or a fleet built around gunships and destroyers with kinetics or they can have a mix of those, they can even have a fleet with widespread Weapon Shielding. Where Aquans can also certainly be built differently they always want to get close as they lack long range firepower. It’s not the case here though and that forces us for a bit more generalist approach when it comes to tactic and fleet creation.

 

     What are Sorylian strengths?

  • Scatter weapons – They make any ship with Difficult or Elusive Target MAR very vulnerable and also make gas clouds completely useless. Luckily for us they are effective only up to range of 16” and our Enforcers have decent AD even in RB3 and Drones go up to 40”. It’s not like we need to get our smalls that close.
  • Strong broadsides – Actually very good broadsides and probably the best in the game. If their close fighter ships get in the middle of our fleet they tear our ships apart. Also disabling one is useless as they can just go belly up.
  • Boarding potential – They have pretty much the same boarding potential as Directorate only they don’t have such a widespread access to Special Forces and have to use TAC to get any bonus.
  • Weapon Shielding – All their tier 1 ships have access to Weapon shielding for a reasonable price and even their Heavy cruisers can buy it. Without some cyber or biohazard it could pose a very serious problem, especially later in the game.
  • Kind of messed up tier focus – It’s not carved in stone but often tiers are designed to primarily to fight one another with different usefulness against other tiers and that depends on specific ship design etc. Sorylians look like they have it a bit differently though and I think their tier 1 ships are designed mainly to fight medium ships where their tier 2 ships pack firepower to easily take on any large and their tier 3 ships mostly work as fast response units against medium ships or any flankers etc. This might cause some trouble for some players as their target priority should be completely different from ours. For example they don’t need specific ships to take on smalls as their scatter weapons can handle them very well.
  • Scout MAR on Corvettes – I believe this is the only core faction with this MAR and especially on such a good ship. Be careful with deployment!

 

     What are their weaknesses?

  • Low DR and CR – While they are not the lowest and we can find same values among other fleets they have the worst combination as Aquans have only low CR, Terrans are protected with many shields and Directorate has low DR but high CR. This is true for approximately 3/4 of their ships. The rest including gunships, heavy cruisers or battlecruisers is different with high DR and CR for their class and it’s especially true for CR.
  • Almost no shields – Weak hulls combined with low shield count is a nightmare. Their large ships can buy second shield and some of their medium ships have (gunships) or can buy a shield (cruisers), but still this won’t stop any serious fire.
  • A lot of fore fixed weaponry – Without fixed weaponry they would easily outmatch us in AD numbers. As it is now they have problems to acquire two targets and with some good positioning we can deny them the use of fore fixed weapons. Also we can use cyber to disable some of those weapons and gunships or destroyers are the ideal candidate.
  • Low PD on battleship and dreadnought – 5-6PD is really weak and if they won’t bring escorts or get some cover with SRS they are easy targets for our torpedoes (Deterrents or Drones), SRS and boarding
  • Fleet Tactical Bonus of 1 – Here we have a very good chance to win initiative. Also it should be pretty easy to use our cyber.

 

     So what ships we should be using against Sorylians to further gain unfair advantage? Well, I believe all are very viable choices. I myself would avoid Turmoil as his gravity weapons have no use here, but if equipped with beam gunracks it can be a great tool with one no-degradable weapon system. I think all our specialisations have their use against Sorylians and all can work very well. I myself would prefer more of a generalist list here to be prepared for anything they can field.

 

     My 1000 points list might look like this:

Anarchist Battleship

  • +2 WC, 5x Bomber, 2x Enforcer frigate

 

2x Deterrent Battlecruiser

  • Biohazard Beams

 

3x Vanquisher Cruiser

  • Biohazard Beams

 

2x Nemesis Destroyer

 

4x Hostility Drone

 

3x Enforcer Frigate

 

     List built around great RB2-3 firepower with also having brawler squadrons for RB1. It brings some cyber and biohazard to counter Weapon Shielding and mess up with fixed weapons or crew. This is pretty much an all comers list.

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Terran Alliance

 

     At first sight it’s crystal clear we can run some very crazy stuff against them. Terrans stats actually encourage us to create very focused and specialist lists. We definitely can do that, but then our list have to be perfect and very balanced. With the need to make our combos work we need experience and for a start I suggest not overloading fleet with sweets.

 

     Terran strengths are:

  • Shield strength – They have the best shield numbers in the game, plus they bring Sector shielding and Weapon shielding to boost them into even greater height. Not to mention their shields might be further boosted by shield cruisers. This is a pain for everyone and for a fleet with only one weapon system it’s even harder. They might be a problem, but we can make this problem go away very easily with cyber (disable shield) and biohazard (CP dmg to ignore Weapon shielding).
  • Torpedoes – All their ships bring them and with great AD, especially at long range. Not good for us as we lack good PD and enough SRS to counter it. Be prepared for them and account for it in your list – bring Interceptors.
  • Multiple weapons with turrets – This increases firepower degradation, but it also brings a lot of flexibility as turrets can be linked to other systems and boost firepower to insane numbers (their heavy cruisers can throw 21AD). This also means that even damaged cruisers can help squadron with more than 1AD as minimum for linking is 1 per weapon system.
  • Great smalls – Armsmen and Missionary are very tough with DR4 and shield, fast and bring insane firepower. Don’t underestimate them!
  • Nuclear weapons – Beware and spread your ships wider! Otherwise you might find your fleet burning with nuclear fire.
  • Carrier with 12 wings – I believe there are only two carriers in the game capable to carry 12 wings and Terrans have one of them (the other is RSN carrier). Avoid it or destroy it, nothing much to do with it. It is a prime threat of us.

 

     So what about their weaknesses?

  • Very dependable on shields to protect them – Without shields their DR/CR is pretty low and their ships can’t withstand much battering.
  • Low speed – Their tier 2s are slower than average and we can definitely keep some distance.
  • Low AP – Prone to being boarded.
  • Widespread use of primary weapons – We have the range advantage. Also their RB3 is nothing great compared to ours, so we should make the best use of this.

 

     As I mentioned earlier we might as well build any specialist list we want and it’s even highly encouraged as with them we can easily exploit Terran weaknesses. But be careful with overdoing it. We can select any ship we want as all are good here, but I myself would select at least one squadron with cyber weapons and one boarding squadron. With that in mind I would choose at least one of these:

Anarchist Battleship

Overseer Carrier

Tormentor/Turmoil R&D Cruiser

Hostility Drone

In a battle fleet I would go for two or three squadrons, either Anarchist, Turmoils and Drones or Overseer Carrier with Tormentors and Drones. I would also want some strong boarding potential with me if possible – if I brought Anarchist then it’s pretty much decided and if not or I had the points then either Vanquisher cruisers or Subjugator heavy cruisers. Don’t forget even Overseer with Tormentors can be a great boarding tool with 15AP.

 

     Since I last played against Terrans a long time has passed and new ships are out, so I created following lists based on the experience I already have. Both are going to be 1000 points, but the first one incorporates new ships:

Anarchist Battleship

  • +4AP, Special Forces, Second Assault, +2WC, 5x Bomber, Biohazard Beams, 2x Enforcer Frigate with Biohazard Beams

 

3x Vanquisher Cruiser

  • Special Forces, Biohazard Beams

 

2x Nemesis Destroyer

 

2x Turmoil R&D Cruiser

  • Cyberwarfare gunrack

 

4x Hostility Drone

 

4x Enforcer Frigate

 

     The idea here is to completely disable their shields and PD with cyber and let Drones maim their crew. Nemesis are a long range support focusing on ships with disabled shields. Enforcers are in reserve or if we drop biohazard upgrade on Anarchist then we can exchange them for a second squadron of Drones. The rest gets close and get the job done.

 

     Second list is what I probably actually fielded:

Judgement Battleship

  • +1 Sh, -1” TL, +2 WC, 3x Interceptor, Special Forces

 

Overseer Carrier

  • Cyberwarfare Fore, 6x Bomber, 2x Tormentor R&D Cruiser

 

3x Vanquisher Cruiser

  • Biohazard Beams

 

2x Nemesis Destroyer

 

4x Hostility Drone

 

4x Enforcer Frigate

 

     Right now I would probably go for the first though as it offers more toys. This one is more generalist though and can stand its ground against other factions too I believe. I wanted to bring Vanquishers with both biohazard and SF, but failed to find 5 points and so gave SF to Judgement instead.

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Dindrenzi Federation

 

     Faction with another very identifiable pros and cons. To say the truth I played only one game against them as there is simply no one playing them in my area. I was pretty afraid of their railguns, but found out they can be avoided (if you have enough terrain) and that their ships are almost paper-thin. They are not a scary faction for me anymore.

 

     Dindrenzi strengths?

  • High CR and HP – Dindrenzi ships have the highest CR ratings for their class and above average hull points – for example their standard Nausicaa battleship has 10HP where the standard is 8HP. It is much harder to bring it down, but when it gets destroyed it offers more BL points.
  • Kinetic weapons – Their fore kinetics have great range coupled with great firepower at ranges up to 36” and decent firepower even up to range of 48”. That’s not common among other factions and makes them very special and very strong in this area.
  • Mines – With only few exceptions all their ships carry mines. They can be used to protect their backs and flanks of their formation. It’s much harder for us to find a place for reserve deployment as our options are severely limited.
  • Escort – From the core factions they own the only escort with offensive potential and it’s cheap. Because of them Dindrenzi are the faction with the possible most devastating volley – Retribution Dreadnought both kinetics with three escorts can dish out 27AD.
  • Smalls – Their smalls are very good and execute very different tasks in the fleet. Where frigates can fire effectively at ranges up to 36” their corvettes are at home at close fighting with up to 14AD volley.
  • Fleet Tactical Bonus 3 – It’s really hard to get initiative with our 1. This also means their defence against our cyber is the best possible. Fortunately for us they still have standard DR.

 

And now a list of their weaknesses…

  • Low DR – It’s not any lower than our, but if we consider them having no shields they can very easily gather single hits that finally bring them down.
  • Ablative plating – After losing half HP their CR is reduced by 2 and so they lose one of their greatest strengths. It’s not a big issue on ships like cruisers that would die fast anyway and the real pain comes from having it on large ships.
  • High turn limit – They are the only faction to have a frigate with 1”TL or larges with 3”TL. It’s much easier to outmanoeuvre than others.
  • Fore oriented weaponry – Their torps are all mounted fore and their kinetics are even fixed fore. This is the real trouble as their best strength has such a small channel to work with and it’s further negated with their high TL. Shutting their engine or disabling weapon systems is highly recommended. Also weapons supposed to cover their flanks, gunracks, are not that great to work with and can fire only in one direction.
  • Low access to wings – Only three of their ships have access to wings and those are the carrier, Praetorian battleship and dreadnought. I believe dreadnought has to take at least two hardpoints to be effective and third is between better protection (SRS) or better offensive potential (fore torpedoes). Also not a ship available for every game. Praetorian is not in the Patrol Fleet box and has to be bought extra. It’s also more expensive to start with and with SRS the resulting cost is much higher than for Nausicaa – it can be 40 points or much more.

 

     Looking at the above I don’t think we need some specialist list against Dindrenzi and the outcome of the battle much more depends on our manoeuvring skills. Again I wouldn’t pick Turmoil as we don’t need his gravity weapons here. Also Nemesis might not be ideal as Dindrenzi can fire back and their cruisers pack together 16AD at 24” – that many dice should ignore Stealth Systems and get some damage through. Otherwise everything is fine and I would probably gravitate more to a generalist approach in fleet selection. I would bring one cyber squadron to disable weapons or engines on some really nasty ships and I would bring some squadron with nice boarding (Vanquishers, Subjugators or Anarchist). General idea when playing against Dindrenzi is not to crit them, but to gather a large number of small hits – so when you bring biohazard you can deal a lot of CP damage. That means firing individually if at all possible. Also you have to find a way to get our ships into RB2 unscathed, so use terrain as much as possible. When you get close be very careful about positioning so they won’t be able to use mines against you.

 

     Now I can’t remember what list I used against them in the one game, but I think it was something like this, again 1000 points:

Judgement Battleship

  • +1 Sh, -1” TL, +2 WC, 3x Interceptor, Special Forces

 

Overseer Carrier

  • Cyberwarfare Fore, 6x Bomber, 2x Tormentor R&D Cruiser

 

3x Vanquisher Cruiser

  • Biohazard Beams

 

2x Nemesis Destroyer

 

4x Hostility Drone

 

4x Enforcer Frigate

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Relthoza

 

     Relthoza is a faction that still gives me the creeps – their widespread use of cloaks bothers me a lot, but what bothers me even more is them having Stealth Systems on virtually every ship. Fighting with them comes to ranges up to 20” and that’s not something I am very comfortable with. Sure each game gets there and I am prepared for it, but usually I am able to deal some damage at ranges up to 30” before I close into 20”. Pre-emptive strikes against Relthoza are practically non-existent and I don’t like that. It became evident that I have to deal with cloaks as soon as possible and I have to decide when and where my opponent will drop them, otherwise they will dictate the pace and I won’t allow that. Simply put Relthoza is another fleet I would bring combos against.

 

     What are their strengths?

  • Cloak shields and Stealth Systems – With cloaks active it’s pretty hard to get enough damage through and when they drop cloaks then they are the ones dealing damage. Combined with Stealth Systems they are pretty impossible to damage when closing the distance.
  • Strong RB2 – Their main armament are broadside weapons and at RB2 are very effective.
  • SRS numbers – They are the only faction having SRS on smalls – Nidus Frigates. Also they can bring SRS with shunt cruisers and many tier 1 ships. They can easily overwhelm us with them.
  • Boarding potential – With great AP numbers and access to biohazard they can easily board anything they want – especially if they take boarding SRS. Best at this are their Raptor battlecruisers with up to 9AP each and Assault blitz or 7AP each, Second Assault and Assault blitz.
  • Corrosive and biohazard options – Both of these can be used on their primary weapons. Especially corrosive in such numbers is something to be feared.
  • Shunting – Some of their ships can “jump” around the battlefield and so get where they want much faster. Even though it can be very risky it can be highly rewarding tactic. Even their carrier can shunt. Their dedicated TAC also allows to shunt anything to the admiral vessel – something like battle station perhaps?
  • Self Repair – Some of their ships can repair themselves – it is exclusive to dreadnought, battleship, battle station and heavy cruiser. Nothing game breaking but might create a slight headache if your opponent is lucky.

 

     Their weaknesses?

  • Low DR/CR – Without cloak their ships are very fragile, like Terran ships without shields.
  • No shields – When they drop cloak it’s easy to do large amounts of damage.
  • Average PD – In the 20” range they can be damaged with torpedoes, if they are not covered by SRS.
  • Mines only on two ships – They have mines only on cruisers and heavy cruisers. This means getting behind them is not an issue.

 

     Seems to me I fail to find some serious flaws. Well my tactic against Relthoza is very simple – don’t hurry and try to get lucky in RB3, then disable their shields and rip them apart. This practically means firing your first proper volley at 20”, not 16” - try to stay away as far as possible as they will try to get you into SRS range. The only way to disable shields “reliably” is to use cyber, so use it. Then target the unlucky ship until you destroy it and move onto the next one. It doesn’t matter if you target a medium or a large one, target the greatest threat at the time. As you are going to target Defensive Systems with your cyber you might bring SRS with you as well to exploit disabled PD – you have only 33% chance to disable PD while you have 66% to disable PD. If you have some nice boarding with you then so the better as disabled PD on a large ship marks a nice target on its bridge.

 

     With this in mind one of my 1000 pts. lists is:

Anarchist Battleship

  • +1” Mv, +2 WC, 5x Bomber, 2x Enforcer Frigate

 

Overseer Carrier

  • Cyber Fore, +1” Mv, 6x Bomber, 2x Tormentor R&D Cruiser

 

3x Subjugator Heavy Cruiser

  • Biohazard Beams

 

4 Hostility Drone

 

4 Hostility Drone

 

     Idea is simple – Anarchist with Overseer squadron will disable PD/shields to open targets to SRS and beams. Drones will support this and either further cripple ships by disabling defences or with targeting CP and opening them for possible boarding by Subjugators. Subjugators are there for the cloaks (Relthoza hates cloaks on others), very strong punch, boarding and PD5 to destroy SRS. Another option is to use only one tier 1 cyber squadron and bring Turmoils as Relthoza is the ideal candidate for them.

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Rense System Navy

 

     Faction very similar to Dindrenzi, but trying to have no weakness and trades long range firepower to accomplish that. It tries to find some middle ground between Dindrenzi long range firepower and universality of use at all ranges. They still bring strong railguns to the fight, but their ships lack gunrack primaries and are instead fitted with beam broadsides. Also they trade CR for higher DR and so have great DR and only very good CR. They even bring some shields with them and their Spook Cruisers have cloaks. Also SRS issues are non-existent as all their tier 1 ships can bring some. Their escorts can boost ships firepower by giving +1 to hit rolls. I don’t think we need to get into a deeper analysis as they still pack forward oriented weaponry and lack strong broadsides. It is almost like fighting Dindrenzi, but with fewer mines, better agility, speed and better flank protection with beam weaponry. Only issue against RSN I am having is their higher DR coupled with FTB of 3 makes it so much harder to get through with cyber and disable their larges, especially dreadnought. I would still bring it with me to deal with Spooks and their cloaks, so some RB3 cyber not Turmoils. You should also be careful of their torpedo strength due to Spook MAR and protect your ships accordingly – Vanquishers suffer from Spook a lot, same goes for smalls.

 

OmniDyne

 

     Very torpedo or ARTs heavy fleet and with most of their weaponry fore mounted. Also faction sporting some tough ships fitted with moderate to heavy shielding. Might even get SRS heavy with 12 wings on dreadnought and 6 on battleships. They can be a real pain as many of our ships are not designed to withstand such strong torpedo strikes. They lack boarding potential themselves (if they don’t take Assault shuttles) and often bring Corsairs to boost that up and capture decrewed ships. We have one very strong advantage over them though, pure cyber. With it we can disable thick shielding on large ships or disable forward weaponry (all their torpedo weapons with primary beam armament). If we bring some Drones we can even go capturing ships. Fielding ships with either high PD or some Interceptors is a must as the fleet has to be protected.

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If you got here you know what I would field against some factions and how I view them from my perspective through my experience. I think you will find pretty easy to alter my lists to make them more focused or generalist. I haven’t included any other minor factions than RSN and OmniDyne simply because I never played against them, but I might add them in the future. I hope someone might find all this useful.

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Nicely done Kurgan.  I even finally figured out why you like the Judgement--ok, I concede it has a use against Aquans :)  I never really noticed because I play Aquans and Directorate, so obviously they don't play each other a lot when I'm watching.

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Thanks guys, seems it was worth it :)

 

 

Nicely done Kurgan.  I even finally figured out why you like the Judgement--ok, I concede it has a use against Aquans :)  I never really noticed because I play Aquans and Directorate, so obviously they don't play each other a lot when I'm watching.

 

I guess I am a bit crooked playing against Aquans, more than a third of my games was against them. For a long time it was the only ship I had so I had to make it work and I did - stats updates helped with it a lot I must say. I already plan to use it again as soon as I can, because I have been neglecting it lately.

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Yes, but so far I play only pure Directorate. I own WR models from patrol fleet box, but I only got to prepare them for painting. I have some ideas how to include them though. I would also like to include Auditor Gunships at some point, but their current price kind of forces me to wait for new models.

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Just wanted to show you my last 800 points list against Terrans as it really different from what I expected it to be...

Anarchist

 - +1" Mv, +2AP and Second Assault, +2 WC, 5x Assault Shuttle, 2x Liquidator Frigate

 

2x Turmoil Class R&D Cruiser - Cyber Gunrack

 

4x Hostility Class Drone

 

Attrition Class Assault Carrier

- +2 AP, Second Assault, 6x Assault Shuttle, 2x Tyranny Corvette with Scout

 

I think you can see I just focused on CP damage. I decrewed almost everything and then captured all capital class models except for one cruiser.

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Thanks guys, glad you like it.

 

Dice are always the problem and there is nothing we can do but to pray they won't fail us. I am using one set of dice no matter what the results are...as I believe it will turn around sooner or later and it usually gets better after few turns. The most basic rule is to never give up as rolls can turn around and you can pull at least a draw.

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Haven't had the opportunity to put any of the advice here to the test, but the tactica is really well done. Thanks for the effort.

 

Dice.. well you can't influence the outcome of singular rolls but you can push the probabilities to work in your favour.

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Even worse? Totalitarian is really really bad, but Anarchism isn't so why EVEN worse? Okay, okay, don't answer. That isn't going to end well for anyone here.

 

My point is, it doesn't make sense. It is as if a capitalist state uses a flag with hammer and sickle on it.

 

Why would they name their ships like that? It is as if a nazi-german Battleship was called "Churchill", or "London". It has no connection to the nation. It doesn't make any sense.

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