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Ryjak

Omnidyne Fleet Guide

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I have been working on this for quite some time, not because it is hard, but I've been busy.  (NOVA is in three weeks!)  Posted here to keep any comments seperate.

 

This faction is my favorite, based on looks alone.  There's something about the tri-hull ships, the engine ring, and the functional sleekness that really appeals to me.  Unfortunately, the models are basically unavailable, so I had to choose between Dindrenzi and Sorylians.

So you can imagine my excitement when Spartan not only announced the models would be recast in resin, but they were also expanding the model line.  However, I look at the new models with trepidation, as I fear they might take away from the hyper-specialization Omnidyne basically has with ARTs and Fore weapons.  I also wondered if Spartan would take this opportunity to potentially tweak the faction a bit.  Both Omnidyne players I know don't think very highly of the Gunships, and I've always wondered why they're even called Gunships... They're only half-Gunships to me, but more on that later.

With that said, let's look at how the fleet generally plays.

Overview

Dreadnought: 10/10
Battleship: 8/10
Gunships:  ???
Corvettes: 8/10

New Ships:
Cruisers:  8/10
Light Cruisers: 7/10
Escort Carriers: 9/10

Two things come to mind when you think about Omnidyne: their amazing Dreadnought, and Assault Robot Torpedoes. There's more to this faction, but these overshadow everything.

TACs 
Any discussion about the fleets from Marauders and Mercenaries should start with their TACs, because they have some pretty sweet ones, and some head-scratching ones. 

Bug Out: One of the best TACs in the game, this essentially lets you pull a surprise Shunt Escape on your Tier 1... ok, maybe not, because everyone expects you to have this card in your back pocket. A savvy opponent will keep this in mind, and not really threaten your Tier 1s until they can really do some damage, so this TAC will be a waste of time... but things don’t always go according to plan.

Ultimately, this lets you field your Dreadnought and not really worry about loosing it and giving a 10-point Battlelog swing.

Virus Strike: 
This card is pure gold for a Torpedo-based faction, which Omnidyne is in spades.  The real trouble is its anchored to your Admiral, which is on your very slow Tier 1s.  However, since they're probably pushing table center, it's not too bad.

Inducement: This TAC is pretty lack-luster when you read it, as you’re just forcing your opponent to take a Command Check, and you need to spend a Battlelog to make it worthwhile. However, it is subtly powerful. First and foremost, your primary target is any dedicated Boarding Squadron, as this will ruin their plans to steal your sweet ride. Next is any Carrier, as this will make any Wings land. Finally, any squadron that’s about to punch you straight in the face, even if it’s a Tier 3. As a side note, you could potentially attempt your own Boarding Assault with a properly timed Inducement. 

Target their Engines: This lets you get a guaranteed Main Drive Failure, which is fairly easy for Omnidyne to do with all those ARTs they're throwing around.  Basically, if you can get past all the PD, you could start handing out these Critical Effects Turn 1 or Turn 2.  Against some opponents (Dindrenzi, Xelocians, Bomber carriers) this can completely ruin their game plan, most are just inconvenienced.

Weapons and MARs

Assault Robot Torpedoes (ARTs):  The elephant in the room.  Basically, this merges Torpedoes and Cyberwarfare into one weapon, including all their inherent strengths and weaknesses.  Generally, ARTs are much easier to stop than standard Cyberwarfare, as anyone smart will have at least one Interceptor token to build a PD wall around their fleet.  However, if it gets past, you are rewarded with automatic Crew Damage... Which degrades PD.  Because of this, it seems like targeting Life-Support is the way to go, as you could remove 2-4CP on a Hit, or 3-9CP on a Crit.  However, it's important to keep two things in mind:-

1.  Excess Crew Damage is wasted:  What happens when the dice comes up 6s against a target with 1CP remaining?  You still only cause  1CP of damage, which ARTs do automatically.

2. Omnidyne are terrible at Boarding Assaults:  Even against a Battleship with 0CP, and only 1 PD, the most AP Omnidyne can generate is 9 from 3 Gunships, and most Large targets will have ~6 AP.  Even though one success equals Captured, it can be very difficult to obtain that one success.

So, with that in mind, here are some options:

1. Bring Assault Craft Tokens - while super-short ranged, they sport 12 AP, have multiple-use potential, and have a good chance to slip past PD too.
2. Bring Allies:  Have you thought about hiring the Oroshan?  120 points brings 6 Frigates with 12AP and enough speed to deliver.
3. Target the Bridge: If you start hammering the Bridge with the first ART salvo, every hit has a chance to set AP to 0, and will inflict CP damage too.  And unlike CP damage, you can stack multiple markers, and hopefully keep AP at 0, and potentially capture a Tier 1 with a puny Boarding assault.

One last thing.  Against non-Capital ships, ARTs inflict 1CP on a hit, and 2CP on a Crit... and a non-Capital ship with 0CP is destroyed.  Generally, this means ARTs are just like Torpedoes, but some targets only have 1 CP, and some have 3CP.

Torps + ARTs:  Both Tier 1s have the option to take both Torpedoes and ARTs, and you absolutely should if you take either.  PD Mountain is much easier to climb when defenses need to be split.  Generally your target will choose to block the ARTs, which allows the Torps to do damage... And rarely, both will impact.

This makes Bio-Torps worthwhile for your Tier 1s.

Fore Weapons:  Omnidyne ships almost universally only have weapons in their Fore Arc.  This means you generally end up closing the distance every turn, which is fine until you fight a brawler with guns everywhere, Mines, or a Boarding focus. This means Omnidyne ships functionally have similar problems to other Fore Fixed factions, but will generally be able to still fire their weapons at something, even in tight quarters.

Fleet Tactics +1:  This has two main effects.  Primarily, it means it's difficult to control game tempo, unless you have at least one more activation than your opponents, which can be difficult why you sink 400+ points into a Dreadnought.  Second, Omnidyne is very vulnerable to regular Cyberwarfare,   especially their Corvettes with 1CP.

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Tier 1

Foundry Dreadnought

One of the best units in the game, because it's a complete beast of a ship, with a lot of viable builds.  Baseline defensive stats are pretty standard for a Dreadnought:  DR/CR 7/12, HP/CP 10/10; 6 AP, 8 PD.
Baseline weapons are pretty standard, max 16AD, secondary max 10AD... and 4 Wing capacity.

However, you have 4 Hard Points, which give you plenty of options to make exactly the Dreadnought you want:

Defensive Options:
+1-2 Shields, Self Repair
Offensive options: (Bio)Torps, ARTs
Utility: +4-8 Wing Capacity
Accompaniments:  0-2 Synergy Corvettes

There are a few ways you can go here, but keep two things in mind:

1. You only have a 5" Move, so unless you use Drive to Max and Gravity Boosts, it can be difficult to use offensive Wings... Two Tokens of 6 Fighters could be interesting.
2. Upgrades are expensive!  You could spend up to 145 points on all these options, and with a base cost of 270, that could be 415 for a single squadron. You have to maximize your points.

If you're not sure what to use, I suggest starting with this general-purpose tank:

+1 Shields
Self Repair
ARTs
Torps
Either 2x Corvettes -Or- 4 Interceptors & Bio-Torps
360 Points

Executive Battleship

The other Tier 1 ship Omnidyne has  is fundamentally a smaller version of the Dreadnought.  It also had some key differences, mainly the option for +2" Movement.  With this, it can actually work as a Carrier with 3-6 Wing capacity... A very tough carrier, but this build is probably best for two uses: Interceptors for fleet defense, or Assault Shuttles to take advantage of crewless targets.

It also has the option for Countermeasures, but unless you have allies with Decimator Warheads, you generally do not want to be close enough for this to work.

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Tier 2

Gunships

On paper, these look amazing.  Each gunship has 10 AD at RB2, and three of them link for 8 AD at 40 inches.  Their defenses are about what you would expect for the ship class as well.  In addition, for +10 points each, you can add Torpedoes or ARTs, and a full squadron provide the highest AD pool Omnidyne can obtain.

However, these combine to create a very specialized ship within a specialized faction. First, because you have such a high AD potential, your opponent has a strong incentive to kill them. This is compounded by the fact that, compared to everything else, Omnidyne Gunships are often the softest target. 4DR with 1 Shield is pretty easy to damage; 8AD will reliably plink, and almost everything, including Frigates, can muster that kind of AD pool.

And while the Fore Beams are potent, it's basically the only weapon the Gunships have. While I recommend getting either indirect weapon, you won't quite be throwing enough dice to overcome a PD mountain.

Thus, the Gunships are probably best used with Reserve Entry. This will keep them alive, and when they show up, they should be able to instantly get within 20 inches of their intended target. They have a very good shot at either landing a Critical on a Tier One, or completely destroying a Cruiser. And since you are paying 265, you need to get your money's worth.

Escort Carriers

These should serve as the poster-child for Escort Carriers everywhere.  They have decent weapons, standard Cruiser DR/CR/Shields, 5 HP, and acceptable speed.  With 2 Wing Capacity and Squadron size 4, they can really scare people with Split-berth Bombing runs... And killing one Model doesn't stop their Bombing threat in any way.  However, in a Battle Fleet, they're probably best utilized for bringing Assault Craft for capturing all those 0CP ships flying around.

The Hard Points and Upgrades are appropriately costed, as it is hard to determine if any of them are worth it or not.  Getting 2 Shields is amazing, but it's +40 points on a 200 point squadron; that's the cost of a Battleship.  +20 for PD and Bio-Torps is also situationally effective, and easier to purchase.  More importantly, the Squadron is viable without any of these upgrades.

Keep in mind you can bring Interceptors for fleet-wide PD, but your Tier 1s are more appropriate.

Leverage Cruisers

Again, a completely average stat-line for the class, and only a max of 6AD... And oddly, Port/Starboard weapons instead of Fore weapons like the rest of the fleet.  These initial stats are underwhelming, and 50 points each seems almost high.

It's because they're really 60-65 point cruisers, because you WILL take a Hardpoint, and maybe take +1 Shields.  The extra Weapon doubles their firepower, and let's you perform one of the best "tricks" in the game: Split-Arc firing on one Squadron.  Thanks to a max squadron size of 4, you could get:

15AD Torps or 2x9AD Torps on one Model
15AD or 2x9 AD Beams on another Model

That is a lot of firepower for 240 points, and at 20" as well.  Two turns of this will do some real damage if you can pull it off.  Just keep in mind you are not especially tough, so don't expose yourself to several threats simultaneously.

As for the shield Upgrade, I say go for it.  Going from 1 to 2 Shields is huge, and statistically turns you into a 5/8 ship.  Even better, this will provide solid defense against Turn 1-2 Torpedoes, so you have a good chance to deliver your weapons without much damage.

Representative Light Cruisers

With baseline Light Cruiser stats (4/6, 3 HP) and usually only one weapon, these aren't very impressive.  Then again, you can field 4 of them for 120 points, you get a max of 12 AD, and they have Difficult Target, so they're really Heavy Frigates more than they're Light Cruisers in functionality.

While you could get the bonus PD for free, which is quite handy, shell out the +20 points for Pack Hunters.  This AD Boost makes them dangerous for longer, and will potentially let them take advantage of their Port/Starboard Weapons in some situations.  The Biohazard Beams are up to you, but generally ARTs have your CP killing needs covered.

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Tier 3 - Corvettes

The Omnidyne Corvettes are amazing. For a mere 15 points, you get a fast, Elusive ship with a reasonable weapon… and Pack Hunters. Six cost 90 points, and you can toss 2x 8AD, or  1x 12AD out to 20 or 24 inches. The only real downside is they only have Torpedoes, and you will often find your shots blocked by enemy point defense.  Fortunately, this frustration will equal your opponent's, as he continually fails to hit your elusive Corvettes.

The true strength of these Corvettes is a cheap Activation.  There is no reason you shouldn't have more Activations than your opponent thanks to these guys, which will go a long way towards controlling game tempo… Even though you're FTB is only +1.  In fact, this is one of the few times when I would actually consider taking less then a maximum size squadron, just so I can get another Activation.  Three Corvettes in a Gas Cloud are almost impossible to kill without Scatter Weapons.

That said, a word of warning. There are two other things which will absolutely ruined a Corvettes day:

1. Mines, which ignore your special defenses and even 4AD should give you concern.
2. Boarding, which bypasses your defenses, and you only have 1CP and no AP.  Everything kills Corvettes when Assaulting them... Yes, even that.

One last thing.  If you take a small squadron for the extra activation, consider the PD upgrade.  Not only does this lower your threat profile, but it allows you to attempt something a Torpedo-based faction desperately needs: a way to kill Tokens, particularly Interceptors.  With 2PD and a 10" move, you can actively chase after Tokens, or set up a PD wall they must fly through.  Ideally, the Corvettes will drive into range before the Token activates.  This means you'll get to shoot them on your activation, and again on the Token's activation.  This PD double-tap could net 24 chances to roll a 6 against one Token.  Statistically, this effectively eliminates every Token.

Keep this in mind if you expect to face your rebellious offspring, the Pathogen.

Ok, a final-final thing.  My suggestion is to use ARTs on any Corvette accompanying a Tier 1, as you'll probably want the 3 AD more than PD.

Conclusion

With the new toys, Omnidyne has gone from a hyper-specialized fleet to just specialized.  The Escort Carriers and Cruisers give you very solid Tier 2 choices, which makes the Gunships optional instead of mandatory.  I am upset by all the Port/Starboard weapons on the new ships, as it breaks the faction's theme.  What they should have done is kept these ships as Fore Focused, and completely redesigned the Gunship's Weapons to Port/Starboard Beams and Fore Bio-Torps, with the option for more Shields or Fore ARTs for the Omnidyne Torp double-tap.  Gunship are what always break faction theme, and it would have made sense to reconfigure them with this stat-line update.  Instead, I'm just not buying them, since I don't have to now.  I don't like the split-ring Battleship anyway.

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Great posts Ryjak. Some things though:

About the Dreadnought, since it is so unwieldy I think a wing of 6 bombers is necessary for it (self repair, both weapon systems and +4wc) to keep threatening other tier 1 ships trying to circle you. This, combined with the PD TAC and the focus on torps seems very useful .

You seem to have listed the increased cost for the leverages, they are 55 (220 a squadron) fully kitted in an oso fleet. Their regular torps are also biotorps without paying any extras, imo worth mentioning, although they are art all the time for me

Corvettes are 2*8 ad at 20-24" instead of 9.

If you want to mention mixed squadrons, giving the leverages biotorps and adding a biotorp escort carrier, or 3 representatives with an auditor are interesting choices

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Adding 6 Bombers is fairly expensive, and while potentially a better option, I have to question how much use they will have on the 5" Mv Dreadnought.

Its very likely I'm using out-of-date information; for example, where does it state Light Cruisers can add a Gunship?

Thanks for catching my AD math error.

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15 minutes ago, Ryjak said:

where does it state Light Cruisers can add a Gunship?

In the Fleet Manuals for the big 6, on the pages for the Taskforce ships (the Escort Carriers, Light Cruisers etc). Light cruisers squadrons can take a Cruiser or Gunship in place of a Light Cruiser.

I think these rules are experimental, like the rules regarding the newer ships as Accompaniments, but I don't see why they wont become official, there's not been much resistance to any AFAIK

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Just a quick thought about accompanying Corvettes with a Foundry.  The choice of weapon system on these should reflect whether you want to inflict damage with torpedoes or get special effects with ARTs.  That said, I rarely actually use them to shoot at anything other than an enemy T1, and even then often they don't add in.  What I do with them is use them to splash the other ships in a squad (or escorts if an escorted T1) to disrupt PD add-ins.  Adding in 3AD is useful on occasion, but often you can strip more PD than that away by using them in this fashion.

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9 hours ago, Bessemer said:

In the Fleet Manuals for the big 6, on the pages for the Taskforce ships (the Escort Carriers, Light Cruisers etc). Light cruisers squadrons can take a Cruiser or Gunship in place of a Light Cruiser.

I think these rules are experimental, like the rules regarding the newer ships as Accompaniments, but I don't see why they wont become official, there's not been much resistance to any AFAIK

Ah... I don't see anything to indicate this is a universal rule.  While the exact same rule is printed in 6 Fleet Guides, nothing indicates:

1. This rule applies to anything outside the Fleet Guide it is printed within.

2. These rules are playtest and are optional.

I'll open a new Rules Question about this.

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