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Directorate Tactica - Battleship (Anarchist)

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This topic is created to add to the Directorate Tactica, covering the Anarchist class Battleship. This is my contribution, feel free to comment and post your own views and experience.


 


Anarchist Class Battleship


 


Ship stats


DR 6 is average, neither good nor bad.


CR 11 is solid, better than 8 other battleships, tied with 5 others, and lower than 3 others.  The standard Directorate MAR Reinforced (Fore) is maintained, so like the Judgement/Eliminator, the Anarchist is not easy to crit from its fore arc.


HP 9 is nice, better than 8 which is most common among battleships, and while it may not look as good as 10 HP, remember, that battle log swings are calculated by dividing the HP value by 2, then rounding down, meaning you give up the same BL as an 8 HP tier 1, but have 9.


A Movement of 7" base is better than most.  This can be upgraded to 8" by a 5 points hard point which can make for a decently quick ship, to support closing and boarding or skirting the edge and sniping.


A turn limit of 2" is standard on large models. Sadly, unlike the Judgement/Eliminator, there is no option to reduce this.


6 CP is average.  Nothing more to be said about that.


8 AP stock is really good, tied for 2nd with the Dindrenzi Praetorian, and 1st place is only 10 AP (Pathogen Botulinus). In addition to a great stock value, there are a pair of 15 point hard points available that each give +2 AP.  Taken together, this model will have 12 AP, which is the highest any model has yet to be graced with in this game, but more specifically, the highest of any battleship.


5 PD isn't the worst PD on a battleship (that goes to the Botulinus), but it is the second lowest value held by battleships, which follows general Directorate trending of low PD. Care should be taken to add to this value, either accompaniment or interceptor coverage.  This is probably the biggest weak point the Anarchist has.


A MN value of 7 is always nice, especially since our faction doesn't have too many mine layers.


2 SH stock is the best we can get as Directorate, and is rather nice, especially compared to the League.


3 Wings stock can be a light offensive token or a decent defensive or support token.  This can be made into 5 wings for 5 points (takes a hard point), which opens up some SRS options, especially since this can almost put the Anarchist into a battlecarrier role.


 


Weapons


Beam Weapons – Port/Starboard 11/13/8/4


Here we get another slight difference from the Directorate standard of turreted beams, for a P/S weapon system with acceptable AD values.  While the range band 1 and 2 values are lower than the Judgement/Eliminator by 1 each, and they won't be making most other battleships jealous, they are not bad, and are able of firing at two separate targets, something not common for the beam weapons of most Directorate vessels.  Plus, the range band 3 firepower is only 1 AD less than that of our destroyer or battlecruiser, which is nice.  An early hit is an early hit.  Also, in keeping with Directorate traditions, 10 points adds the Biohazard Ammo MAR to these as an upgrade.


 


Cyberwarfare Weapons – Turret 10/11/9/5


Here things get interesting.  Before the Anarchist, our only cyberwarfare weapons were fore mounts on our carriers and Tormentor R&D cruisers.  Now we have a turret, and the AD values are solid out to range band 3, and only slightly lower than linked salvos from 3 Tormentors or a carrier and 2 Tormentors.  This is a tool that can aid many tactics, from prepping enemies for assault to turning off weapon systems to crippling engines and then some.  While the AD of this system may not be high enough to reliably crit other large models with CR 9+, a simple hit still rolls 1d6 on the table.


 


Torpedo Weapons – Starboard/Port 8/8/8/8


8 AD torpedo attacks may not be amazing in the grand scheme of FSA, but they sure are a heck of a lot better than the 6 AD torpedo attacks the Judgement/Eliminator has. By comparison, the Anarchist's torpedoes will actually accomplish things. Like the Judgement/Eliminator, 10 points gets you either Biohazard Ammo or Corrosive on your torps as an upgrade.


 


So none of the AD values on the Anarchist make anyone's head explode, but 3 solid options, able to target 5 separate models with proper positioning as well as ways to hinder beyond causing HP damage make the Anarchist a decent response to many situations, perhaps not the best response.


 


MARs


Reinforced (Fore) - This makes us harder to crit from the front.  Use it wisely (which means point your nose at the largest AD pool that will probably be shot at you that round) as the situation requires. Sometimes this MAR will not help, since you'll present your port or starboard side to a dangerous enemy so that you in turn can fire your damaging weapon systems.


 


Superior Design - This MAR is wonderful.  Reduced CP loss from critical effects and immunity to most sources of hazard markers is great.


 


Elite Crew - A better chance to pass command tests is nice, this makes gas clouds more friendly.


 


Hardpoints (3)


+2 Wing Capacity for 5 points - This is a useful choice to increase the effect of whatever role the SRS you're bringing are going to perform. A 5 wing token on offense is a decent bit of dice, and the same goes for a 5 wing token on defense.  This also opens up an option for 3 interceptors and 2 support shuttles.  Any way you look at it, if you have the 15 points to take this hard point and purchase the extra wings, it can be a great help.


+2 AP and Special Forces MAR for 15 points - I will cover this with the next hard point.


+2 AP and Second Assault for 15 points - Okay, so, 30 points for +4 AP and 2 really nice boarding MARs, if taken, turn the Anarchist from a decent boarder into one of the best in the game.  Seriously, 12 AP with Special Forces twice over the course of the game, with built in cyberwarfare weapons and options for biohazard beams and torpedoes to to prep targets, the Anarchist can become a lone model boarding machine (albeit an expensive one).  While this doesn't make our heavy cruisers a bad option to take (they still rock) this could help some players make lists without the heavy cruiser squadron, and give them the opportunity to try out some of our other toys.  Or you can just be a big meanie and run this thing, a Judgement, and 3 Subjugators into an opponent's fleet and play grand theft starship.


-1 Shield and gain the Stealth Systems MAR for FREE - This one is interesting. Remember when I mentioned that the ranged band 3 dice on this guy are decent? Well, take this hard point and play the Anarchist as a heavy destroyer and you'll remember alright, so will your opponent.  Maybe not the best thing to bring this ship to the table to do, but certainly an option.


Gain the Dirty Secrets MAR for 10 points - Hey, if you want it, you got it.  Canceling an opponents TAC is a great trick and can often swing a turn in your favor, especially if you play TAC as well.  It's a once per battle trick, but I've used it to wonderful effect before, and I'll probably do it again.


+1" MV for 5 points - An 8" MV battleship is always nice.  Plus it's a cheap buy. Combined with the Burn Thrusters TAC and you'll have the ability to u-turn.


 


Upgrades


Biohazard Ammo OR Corrosive on torpedoes for 10 points - Both have their place, biohazard complements boarding, it also snubs fleets with weapon shielding.  Corrosive is normally a 50/50 chance per marker to do another damage.  If you opt for either of these options, use them.  Bringing biohazard and just gunning things down is generally wasted points.  Bring corrosive against Sorylians is generally wasted points.


Biohazard ammo on the beams for 10 points - Again, if you bring it, use it well.  Combined with biohazard torps this allows the Anarchist to hit 4 targets and kill 4 CP in addition to whatever else happens.


 


Accompaniment


Up to 3 escorts, standard for most large models in the game.  On the other hand, 2 frigates, an option reserved for battlecruisers and only 2 other battleships in the game (not counting the Botulinus).  A trio of escorts can provide 9 PD to the Anarchist.  They can also provide 6 AP to the squadron.  While they can't get special forces, they can be used as a separate assault on a small ship or a weakened medium while the Anarchist assaults the prime targets.  That being said, they die fast, to just about anything. I want to say that each attack on an escort is an attack not shot at the Anarchist, however many attacks that wouldn't target the Anarchist will splatter an escort all over the place.  So I will say that an attack at an escort is an attack not targeting something else in your fleet.  As far as frigates, they don't provide anywhere near as much PD as the escorts (it's a whopping 1) but they do add some beam AD that can link up for a potential of 12 AD at ranged band 3 and 18 AD at range band 2 to one side (or 15 to each side).  Like escorts, they won't live long once targeted.


 


Tactics


The Anarchist's pros and cons:


+ toughness (high CR, shields, Reinforced (Fore), Superior Design)


+ versatility in target choice with the capability shooting at 5 models


+ cyberwarfare toolbox in a turret


+ decent stock boarding ability, can be upgraded to best in class


+ decent range band 3 AD


+ mines


+ SRS


- higher than average cost for battleships


- without frigate accompaniment, its highest AD pool is 13


- low PD


 


The cost can't be mitigated, only tolerated, but frigates can be brought, and interceptors can be carried, mitigating the other two biggest cons of the Anarchist.


 


As for taking advantage of its pros, I see three distinct roles for the Anarchist:


- The boarding monster.  This is also the most expensive.  Load it up with AP and boarding MARs and charge after toys you want to bring home.  This plays well with a Directorate boarding fleet, right alongside the other ships you see in that style of fleet.  Cyberwarfare helps out with prepping targets, and the CR 11 SH 2 with Reinforced (Fore) and Superior Design will help you get to your targets.  Bring at least one other close range squadron to share target priority with the Anarchist, such as the heavy cruisers, a carrier, or another battleship/dreadnought.  The rest of the fleet should be snipers or flankers such as regular cruisers, destroyers, frigates, drones or battlecruisers. Your opponent will often target an Anarchist with this setup with as much as they can to prevent the stealing of toys.  Use this mindset to your advantage, and blast them with the other squadrons they forgot about because this one scared them too much.


- The sniper. -1 SH and stealth systems, +1" MV, 3 interceptors and 2 frigates is 250 points of really big destroyer that is hard to kill beyond 20". Great for putting your Admiral on as well. If it's not your only tier 1, this can really screw with opponents. Getting past a cloaked carrier to get to the Anarchist is not easy.  Bring other close range squadrons such as heavy cruisers or the carrier or another battleship / dreadnought if you want to snipe with the Anarchist.  Then add in a destroyer squadron or drones and you have a little shark group to pick apart targets from afar.


 - The generalist. Buy this for 190 points, add 3 interceptors to it, and run this thing alongside another big nasty target such as a heavy cruiser squadron or another tier 1 squadron.  Save some points by not upgrading it to fit more stuff into the fleet.  It will still pull its weight by doing a little bit of everything.


 


What not to do with the Anarchist:


 - Expect it to crit battleships, battlecarriers and dreadnoughts.


 - Expect it to capture a large model without prepping the target first (killing crew, causing a security in disarray effect or PD offline effect).


 - Hang back in range band 4 and rely on torpedoes.


 


TACs


Firewalls Breached - I can't overstate the usefulness of this TAC.  Even if you play sniper Anarchist, this will still become useful later in the game.  An extra roll on the targeted strike table has the potential to really ruin someone's day, either offensively or defensively. I've used this to cause Security in Disarray on a dreadnought that already had PD Offline with 0 crew left, and then captured it with one success from a frigate. I've also used this TAC to disable the closest arc (read: fore arc) of a Dindrenzi battleship so that it couldn't really hurt me when my opponent won initiative. This TAC is just an amazing toolbox of usefulness.


Drives to Maximum - always useful, for closing or opening the gap between you and your opponent, whichever is necessary at the time. It can also affect another squadron, and it has a cheap retrieval cost.


Burn Thrusters - Useful, especially since the Anarchist can't buy down to a turn limit of 1". This can help get you into position to powerslide mines into enemy faces, or simply ensure you can aim where you want to.  Also a cheap retrieval cost.


Focused Repair - Nothing bad about this one.  It gets rid of a crit.  Always better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.


Perfect Timing - If you're using the Anarchist from reserves (because of scenario or whatever) I would bring this TAC. The longer a tier 1 is in reserve, the higher your chances of losing.


Pinpoint Calculations - I like this TAC, especially since it affects your entire fleet. An Anarchist with two frigates can throw an 11 AD range band 3 targeted strike that still hits on 4+, followed by the 9 AD cyber attack, followed by an 8 AD torpedo attack from just within 30" away from the target. If you plan on using your Anarchist for shooting more than boarding, and your fleet is a direct damage fleet, this is a solid TAC to help cause shenanigans.


 


Summary


The Anarchist is a solid ship that can fulfill a variety of roles within a diverse selection of fleets. It only has one role in which it is best in class (assault ship). It doesn't have to sacrifice any capabilities to become a specialist in any one tactic. It doesn't make the Judgement/Eliminator obsolete. Nor does it make other cyberwarfare platforms undesirable. Where many of the Directorate vessels are specialists designed for specific uses, the Anarchist is a generalist.  Adding one to your collection is not a bad idea, since you can fit it into just about any fleet. And lastly, its a fine, sexy model.


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Accompaniment

As far as frigates, they don't provide anywhere near as much PD as the escorts (it's a whopping 1)

 

 

Two of them provide 2PD as each model contributes at least 1 no matter how you divide it or link it. It's nothing compared to escorts, but it's still more than 1.

 

 

So far my favourite setup is playing it like a Battlecarrier with +2 WC, 5 Bombers and 2 Enforcers. With Nemesis and Deterrents it can really hurt at RB3 and deliver punishing 18AD in RB2. When Enforcers are shot down (usually around turn 4 and later as my opponents ignore them) it still has Bombers to deliver 15AD. This is my setup for "I need a Judgement and I need some cyber".

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What are your thoughts on running a pair of Anarchists in a cyber/boarding fleet?

 

Both boarding increases, +Mv, 3 Interceptors = 240pts, a squadron of Subjugators for 240 more, two sets of Drones for 200 and a set of Enforcers for 80 comes in at 1000pts, has 3 boarding threats, 6 activations and a fair spread of cyberwarfare weapons.

 

Use the regular cyber on the Anarchists to drop PD Networks of a desired target, hit it with two volleys of ARTs from the Drones and board.

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I myself would at least redistribute the Enforcers to accompany Anarchist. They are much more useful there. I tried something similar (Anarchist with Enforcers and 5 Bombers, Overseer with Tormentors, 3 Subjugators with Biohazardand and 2x4 Drones) and it worked pretty good.

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What are your thoughts on running a pair of Anarchists in a cyber/boarding fleet?

 

Both boarding increases, +Mv, 3 Interceptors = 240pts, a squadron of Subjugators for 240 more, two sets of Drones for 200 and a set of Enforcers for 80 comes in at 1000pts, has 3 boarding threats, 6 activations and a fair spread of cyberwarfare weapons.

 

Use the regular cyber on the Anarchists to drop PD Networks of a desired target, hit it with two volleys of ARTs from the Drones and board.

 

If I had 2 Anarchists, I would run both of them like this every now and then.  However, Like Kurgan said:

 

I myself would at least redistribute the Enforcers to accompany Anarchist. They are much more useful there.

 

I would play that list.  I've played very similar lists.  I just don't want to buy a second Return of the Overseers box for another Anarchist.

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I just don't want to buy a second Return of the Overseers box for another Anarchist.

 

So wait until ~November until the next box set comes out, and buy it individually (like you now can with the praetorian and tyrant). That's my plan.

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I like the Anarchist and already tried a 1200 list with two of them, the "Assault" variant and the "Sniper" variant (the last one being my Admiral Vessel). Both were used with Frigates and had Interceptors to boost their PD.

 

It's interesting to note that having two big, mean vessels tend to attract attention from their Small Accompaniment, especially when you already have Tiers III squadrons on the table. It also gives a few interesting choices when you activate the squadron; for the Assault one, the frigates are still interesting to assault other ships in an enemy squadron while your Anarchist targets another of them, so that they can't add their linked PD to the defender's pool (assaulted models must use their defence for themselves). It's a big help when you don't have time to destroy the Escorts of a Tiers I squadron. Moreover, their firepower allow them to choose a different target or shoot at the target of the Anarchist's Assault (can be useful if the Frigates have also Biohazard, though a bit expensive).

 

It's true they tend to explode quickly when focused by the enemy firepower, but you can manage to reduce the threat by using the terrain to block/impede Lines of Sights. Torpedoes usually meet the Interceptors shield and the linked PD of their mothership, so they're actually not that easy to destroy that way compared to a full Frigate squadron left alone.

 

Thus, I'm quite sold to the Frigate Accompaniment. I'm thinking about using three Anarchists with frigates Accompaniment in a 2000 points Grand Fleet, since I'm "lucky" enough to have three of these nice battleships. They just can do so many things.

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One thing not mentioned:

I'm goint to try one as a big "escort" for my Dreadnought (with 3 Interceptors + 2 Shuttles).

Because when ever i try this with a carrier my opponents split their weapons to best effectivnes: every direct weapon against the DN, every indirect weapon against the carrier - both die.

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shoot at the target of the Anarchist's Assault (can be useful if the Frigates have also Biohazard, though a bit expensive).

 

Just one thing, you can't do that in one activation. Not a single model from the same squadron can fire at the target of your boarding.

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Just one thing, you can't do that in one activation. Not a single model from the same squadron can fire at the target of your boarding.

 

Indeed. I was thinking about firing in preparation of a boarding next turn. It's especially effective against Dindrenzi, notorious to be easier to hit their DR and quite sensitive to Biohazard Coherence Effect. That way, the Anarchist squadron is able to remove 2 CP (maybe 3 if you feel lucky or target a very low DR) with the Biohazard alone. And I'm not talking about possible critical hits/targeted strikes nor the cyberwafare weapons kicking in (I always target the Life Support Systems in the first turns, then cripple the Defensive Systems when the boarding is close).

 

I thought about an "Anvil" variant, to protect your admiral. Stealth option, 3 escorts and 3 support shuttles (other options to use as you wish). Keep it right a bit more than 20'' from the enemy in the first turns, then close in to add its firepower at the right time while the rest of your "Hammer" fleet is at effective range. The Shuttles are just in case something annoying cripple your Anarchist or an important friendly ship at range.

 

Polyvalent is a much more fitting adjective for the Anarchist. It's not really a generalist ship; more than anything, you can "customise" it so that its suits your playstyle.

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@Magarch: what have you choose as hardpoints and upgrades to make a sniper style vessel?

 

Stealth Systems, +2 Wings and Dirty Secrets. Put Biohazard on beams and torpedoes and had two Escorts as well. Packed with 5 Fighters, so that it could annoy the infamous 3 Interceptors Wings - and well, since I rather stay away from the enemy line, this 18'' move is quite handy to manage to hit something.

 

I spent a lot of points in it, sure, but I had enough so it was well spent. ;)

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Good build!

 

I always see an issue when it comes to choose some build combo. Especially between stealth system and beam weapons.

When the ship stay away from RB2, (20'') the ship will benefit from using stealth system but will lack is most powerfull attack.

On the other hand, if you get close to a target and reach 20'' you loose the stealth system mars but gain your most powerfull attack.

 

In that case, it is difficult to find a perfect sniper like ship....which of course I would like get. :)

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Good build!

 

I always see an issue when it comes to choose some build combo. Especially between stealth system and beam weapons.

When the ship stay away from RB2, (20'') the ship will benefit from using stealth system but will lack is most powerfull attack.

On the other hand, if you get close to a target and reach 20'' you loose the stealth system mars but gain your most powerfull attack.

 

In that case, it is difficult to find a perfect sniper like ship....which of course I would like get. :)

 

To me, Stealth Systems is not focused on efficiency during the fight.  It's about getting to RB2 without taking crippling damage.

 

Ironically, given the Anarchist's strong torpedo batteries and cyberwar weapons, I'd rather have the option to give Stealth Systems to the JUDGEMENT, who REALLY needs to get to about 16" without taking too much damage.

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Good build!

 

I always see an issue when it comes to choose some build combo. Especially between stealth system and beam weapons.

When the ship stay away from RB2, (20'') the ship will benefit from using stealth system but will lack is most powerfull attack.

On the other hand, if you get close to a target and reach 20'' you loose the stealth system mars but gain your most powerfull attack.

 

In that case, it is difficult to find a perfect sniper like ship....which of course I would like get. :)

 

While it is true that the Anarchist's largest dice pools occur 10-20" away from it's targets, firing from 20-30" away while maintaining stealth system defenses is not that much of a degradation, especially if you have the frigate escort. Yes, 18 AD on beams in range 2 (with frigates) is great, but 11 AD with beams, 9 AD with cyber (only a 2 point drop from range 2 to 3) are still very useful.

 

It all comes down to how you want to use the Anarchist. If you want to snipe, then snipe. If you want to get into optimal range, then get into optimal range. Just purchase the hardpoints and upgrades that fit bet with how you want to play it. One of the things about FSA is that battleships aren't typically used as sniper type vessels, but some like the Anarchist can. Usually the role of long range hitter goes to destroyers. It's interesting to mix things up and have your opponent have to alter their tactics when your ships perform unconventional maneuvers.

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To be honest, that build I used was more to protect my Admiral Vessel/being a support for the Fleet than really sniping the enemy ships. That's why I took Escorts, because I wanted to have a boost in PD - just in case, you know. Sure, I could have taken Interceptors instead of Fighters, but I thought it was too much passive.

 

Stealth Systems are always nice in the first turns, when you will be too far from the opponent anyway so that you don't lose a few HP too soon. And since it's free while just dropping one Shield, I believe it's a fair trade.

 

When I really need to take other Hardpoints (especially for the Boarding style), then I think twice before choosing that option.

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