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Official Marauders & Mercenaries Thread: STL Traders

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I think thats not quite correct. For some releases it took only weeks to get released. I think of the "new" Oroshans for example. At this time we all expected more Zenian and Kurak Models and they "surprised" us with the Oroshans and MK2s which came out rather quick after the first renders.

Thats the reason i think that the next wave of Marauders will follow rather quickly, some possibly in Dezember. Especially because only two factions of Marauders will be playable as full fleets (Oroshans, wich many wouldnt even count as marauder fleet, because it was already out; and OnmiDyne who as well had two of 3 ships already out). And both of them can only fiel a full fleet when using dreadnaughts.

I think spartan is well aware of that and will try to give us the marauder models fast. If we get 7 releases in Dezember as well as we just got in November then we will already have a good part of the Marauder models. The Zenian League and Kurak however didnt have a campaign release of any sort so i guess they really might take until spring :-(

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In the fluff it talks about Q-Ships, but no stats are given for any. They either could have done a Q version of some or all of the civilian ships or could have done a customization chart like they did for looted ships. Does anyone have any idea if either is planned or possible down the road or is this just a missed opportunity?

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You really don't like the idea of more codified Q-Ships? You don't think a modification table like the one for looted ships would add a cool element to the MOTR stuff? I think that would be interesting than just having everyone use the corsair shops all the time, but I guess that's just me.

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I don't particularily care for them, giving the ships better weapons would rise their price, as it is civilians are, along with dindrenzi and sorylians, best price/damage mediums around, giving them heavier guns might tip the delicate balance of being totally OP :P

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Since I last did the Syndicate, it only seems right that I should do the Traders next, rounding out the faction, such as it is.  So.  Onwards!  

 

Syndicated Traders League: A Tactical Overview

 

DO you enjoy lots of ships?  And I mean lots of ships?  Then this faction is one that you'll find attractive!

 

A sort of missing link in the chain for the Syndicate, the Traders supply numbers.  Lots of them.  But as to the combined arms outlook, I'll be taking a better look at that later.  Right now, I'll be focusing on the Traders as a single entity.  From the ships and rules here, it seems as though the old Rift Traders League killed the Supermax and stole their stuff.  As is evidenced by the fact that they have generic supermax stations now.  This faction has a number of ships that allow you to break the normal mold of how many ships per squadron you get, but the cost of this is the quality.  Each ship is garbage on it's own, but they have the power of number on their side, and that's not something to discount.  But onwards!  

 

Reformer class Battle Station

 

Generic Supermax station is actually kind of interesting.  Starting off with 6/12 and 2 Shields it can take a couple of knocks on the chin.  Not going anywhere in a hurry at a mighty 2" MV, but it's a station, not surprising.  A mighty 11 HP means that it'll take a lot of abuse to bring this big guy down.  10 CP and AP means that the ship is well crewed, and ready to relieve other ships from the generous hands of the opposing fleet!  7 PD is okay, on the upper edges of mid-tier.  0" turn radius is nice, not to mention bascially required for such a slow vessel.  9 Wings means that there's either a bomber wing or an assaulter wing on board, ready to dance, as well as interceptors or support shuttles.  Given the speed of the station, it might be a thought to include Fighters for the extra reach.  

 

Now, on to the guns!  Packing in two turrets optimized for close to mid rtange fighting, there's a good count of dice here, able to double tap for 12, or link up for a mighty 18 dice.  Not too shabby really!  This is augmented with close ranged gravity weapons, though these are rigged for control only.  Still, nice thought, to be able to drag some poor sod into boarding range unexpectedly, since the control only also has the stipulation of allowing a boarding action after firing such a weapon!  Mid range torps are nice, actually giving enough dice to threaten frigates adn some cruisers right off the hop.  This station isn't an absolute powerhouse of death and fire, but you'll never confuse it for a lightweight either.  

 

The station comes replete with MARs, Including a very nice Launch Tubes, Bigger Batteries, and Secured Bulheads.  Tractor beam is there as well, but it only ties into the Gravity guns.  Pointedly on this station, is the MAR that is does NOT have.  And that's No FSD.  So now you can shint in this beast to make a mess in a hurry.  Take that Relthoza!  Spoiled for choice with Hardpoints, this station can pack on a lot of extras.  A very attractive +2 MV for only 5 pts, and it can be doubled up on. WHile burning 2/3 choices, it does push the thing up to normal battleship levels of speed.  Somethign to think about, though there are other options, which I'll discuss soon.  An extra shield is never a bad idea on most craft, adn this is no exception.  There's an option to buff PD, but honestly, with the wing support you have, I'm not sold on it's need or viability.  And of course, Second Assault.  Frankly, this is a very nice option really, letting you chuck those 10 AP more than once.  Upgrades are short and sweet, with only a cheap option for Sector Shielding.  And honestly, for an upgrade, and 5 points, I'd probably include it pretty often for the closing stages of the game.  

 

Last, but in this case, certainly not least, is the accompaniment section.  Only the option for the Penitentiary class Escort, but really, this is what can make you ship a lot more fun.  Ignoring every other feature on this escort, it has a tractor beam.  And three of them can throw 8 dice.  Park them behind this station, and give her a push every turn.  Gets you move, and in a hurry with some half decent rolls.  With full engine upgrades, the Engines to Max TAC and these guys giving it a push, you can be moving anywhere from 10-15 inches in one turn.  Not bad for a space station!  Otherwise, they can be helpful for dragging enemy ships into reach.  

 

Costs can add up on this thing pretty quickly, so it goes from a bargain to a costly investment very quickly.  Still, it's a nice safe place for you admiral to hang his hat.  

 

Prospector class Carrier

 

The other Tier one option, the Prospector is an interesting little ship.  Able to make a squadron out them, that remains one of the best features of the craft.  A little shaky at 5/8 and a Shield, they feel more like a heavy cruiser than a carrier like that, and at only 6" they're not going anywhere in a hurry.  Only 6 HP also reinforces the impression of heavy cruiser.  5 CP isn't bad, but there is an abysmal 2 AP.  6 PD is actually pretty nice though, especially on a squadroned ship.  5 wings is a bit limited, but again, squadron.  So all in all not bad, but not great either.

 

Weapons are weak, a single turret that reminds me of a Terran cruiser sit on this ship, but really, you're not taking this squad for it's gunnery prowess.  It does mount a reasonable torp load though.  Kind of a reverse Terran cruiser, though it lacks RB 4.  

 

MARs are lmited, only Bigger Batteries showing up.  Two Hardpoints is typical for a carrier, but I was honestly a bit surprised.  Figured with all of the minimalist work on these ships, it would have been limited as well.  A five point bump for +2 MV is nice actually, getting them moving at a decent pace.  Five points for Point Defence Barrage is an interesting thought, but it's still coming down to only having an 8" bubble to try and swat frigates.  Situationally helpful, but I can't say how often I'd use it.  And a free Command distance option wins the prize of most often taken hardpoint, making up for the paltry 5" command distance.  Wish we had a shield option in here.  

 

Upgrades are limited to Sector Shielding, which might be a needed touch to keep these things alive long enough to reach SRS range.  Now, I feel I must point out something before we get to accompaniment.  Two ships in the squadron acts as a forcemultiplier, as Split Berth basically gets you Quick Launch, and access to a full group of wings.  So if you're taking this squadron, make sure to buy both carriers.  

 

Accompaniment is where thigns get interesting.  No Penitentiary escorts here, only the option for up to 4 frigates, or a pair of cruisers.  It costs the same to max out each option, so it's down to personal preference at this point.  The cruisers will have a little more staying power, but not by much, but have the advantage of adding to the gunnery power as well as the torpedo strength, moving the squadron up from 10 to 16 dice linked up, followed by a 15 die torp barrage.  It not amazing, but it's enough to make this a threatening group even without the wings.  Frigates will land you with a bit more PD, and can push the torp barrage up to 19 dice.  Give and take with each option really. 

 

Opportunity class Cruiser

 

Cheap quick and dirty, the Opportunity is a sorry looking ship with 4/6 and no shields.  Nicely quick though, at 9" MV.  Only 3 HP means that this ship barely holds together after a crit.  Be prepared for your opponent to start firing unlinked at these ships, as the chip damage will kill them more effectively than the crits will.  Well crewed at 5 CP, they have a tiny 1 AP.  Though once you realize thay come in groups of 5[/i], you'll understand why.  If they even have 2, that would be 10 dice, enough to be a threat in boarding terms.  3 PD actually gives this squadron a good handle on coverage.  

 

Weapons are paltry, a single turret at 3/6/5/- means that you're not winning a lot of gunfights.  Until the rest of the boys chip in, adn kick you up to 18 linked dice.  That's...actally not bad.  Follow that with 18 torps, and you've got a decent threat!  

 

The only MAR here is Sector shielding.  Which they stipulate does work, it give you a single shield on one facing.  Which makes these guys able to take a little more punishment, but only just.  The only saving grace is that they're 40 points.  A full group of 5 costs the same as some other races squadrons of three.  You're going to take losses in this section.  Accept it.  Take piles of them, and regroup the dregs together as they drop like flies.  

 

Militia class Frigate

 

Showing up as the only tier 3 for the Traders, these guys come in large groups, up to 6, which means that they work like the rest of this fleet.  By numbers.  3/5 and no shield makes these guys feel a bit frail in this day and age.  10" MV aint too fast, but fast enough really.  2 CP and 0 AP means it's alittle low, but not too bad really.  2 PD is nice actually!  Don't be afraid to cram a unit of these guys into a wing to try and chase it home.  Built for point blank torpedo barrages, these guys pack 5 dice at close range, letting the group sling 17 dice into a target.  That's enough to be worrying to most ships.  This ship works okay on it's own, but I honestly feel it's best used as an accompaniment for the carriers really, though there is certainly something to be said about a massive mob of these guys swinging in at the enemy.  

 

Penitentiary class Escort

 

And the last little one in the group.  4/5 is actually pretty tough.  8" lets it keep pace with larges, 3 CP is a lot actually.  A nice touch of 1 AP means that they can throw in to help out with boarding.  That means one attempt from a fully escorted Reformer can throw 13 AP, almost as much as a full group of assault cruisers.  2 PD is nice as well, helping out with keeping parent ships safe.  It mounts a single 'weapon'.  The tractor beam on this ship is a good reason for it to exist, letting it jerk enemy ships around a a little, but it's even better used to manipulate the ship it's escorting.  Parking them behind it for a speed boost is great, followed by the idea of having your ship unload into a target before shoving it behind an asteroid field with these guys.  Same activation after all, you can move around without the enemy getting a full chance to respond.  

 

In closing, the Traders have a bloody, uphill battle before them against most enemies.  Anyone who's suffering from weak PD will be sorry rapidly, with the huge volume of torpedo fire.  I don't find the faction a great starter group, it requires some experience and a steady hand to get the most out of.  But you'll swarm with the best of them, and bury your opposition under sheer weight of numbers!  Go get 'em!  

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I'll have more feedback after I've played more battles, but right now I find the 'Tractor Beams' quite underwhelming. I think D3" is too little.
Something that could be improved in this area for the Traders, is giving the Penitentiary Escorts the Combined Fire MAR.
 

Using Grav Control to move enemy models is almost useless in its current form.
 

Some additions that would be nice:
- Ability to turn ships using 'control' (1" = 45degree)
- Increasing the movement distance for 'control' for both DR and CR damage levels. (D6"? D3+X"?)

 

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So STL Traders are only played with Proxies now or are there actual models?

There have not been any minis produced yet. With the 2.0 Marauders rules, the STL is basically a whole new faction compared with what it was before.

So proxy is the way to go, for now.

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