23 September 2015 | Star Wars: Armada

Race into Battle

A Preview of the MC30c Frigate Expansion Pack for Star Wars™: Armada

Star Wars™: Armada  Wave II is on its way!

With its iconic large-base ships and new squadrons, Wave II adds new measures of Imperial might and Rebel daring to your Star Wars space battles. In our recent previews, we've explored the likely impact of the massive, new starships from the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Expansion Pack and Home One Expansion Pack, and we've looked at some of the ways that that the Raider-class corvette from the Imperial Raider Expansion Pack provides Imperials with an excellent counter to the Rebellion's favorite squadron-based strategies.

Now, as players everywhere are looking forward to their first glimpses of these new starships and squadrons during next weekend's The Massing at Sullust preview event, we continue our series of previews with a look at the Rebellion's MC30c Frigate Expansion Pack.

The MC30c Scout Frigate

Because the two different models of MC30c frigate feature different attack dice, they encourage significantly varied tactics.

While both models share the same speed chart, the same upgrade bar, the same four hull points, the same eleven total shields divided between their hull zones, and the same total number of attack dice, the MC30c Scout Frigate pairs its black attack dice with red while the MC30c Torpedo Frigate substitutes the red for blue. Accordingly, the MC30c Scout Frigate suggests long-range, hit-and-run tactics that take maximum advantage of the ship's red dice as well as its tremendous speed and versatility.

The fact that the MC30c frigate fires most effectively from its left and right hull zones plays right into one of the Rebellion's better strategies. Rather than flying directly at enemy Star Destroyers, you can skirt the edges of the battlefield with your frigate, circling around your opponent's ships, and with the MC30c Scout Frigate's red attack dice, you'll be able to exchange shots the entire time.

Your frigate's ability to exchange long-range shots is further supported by its two evade tokens, and you can reinforce it by selecting Mon Mothma as your commander, allowing you to get the maximum utility from your evade tokens even if your enemy manages to trap you at medium range for a round. You can also bolster your attack and defense with several different, impactful upgrades.

  • You can increase the battery armament of your left and right hull zones by one red die each with Enhanced Armament .
  • Alternatively, for three fleet points fewer, you can outfit your MC30c Scout Frigate with Turbolaser Reroute Circuits . Though you won't gain the extra attack dice, you'll get more damage out of each die you roll.
  • The Foresight title allows you to cancel two dice with your evade token, instead of one, and it allows you to redirect damage to more than one adjacent hull zone, a fact that is particularly useful when you consider how often you're likely to show the same broadside to your enemy.
  • If your MC30c frigate features Redundant Shields , you will be able, each round, to regenerate some of the shields you lost.

Finally, you can trade away a little bit of your defensive abilities for offensive power by taking the command from Mon Mothma and assigning it to Admiral Ackbar . Over the course of time, the two red dice he grants you, partnered with your evade tokens, Foresight title, and other upgrades, can very easily prove the difference in your long-range exchanges of fire.

With the Foresight title and the guidance of Admiral Ackbar, your MC30c Scout Frigate might even be able to get the better of long-range exchanges with an Imperial-class Star Destroyer!

The MC30c Torpedo Frigate

While there are certainly times that your long-range tactics will play to your favor, there are also times you'll want to race headlong into the thick of combat, firing critical volleys of fire to finish off a badly damaged Star Destroyer or seizing key objectives. At these times, you'll be thankful for the MC30c Torpedo Frigate.

Of the two MC30c designs, it is the MC30c Torpedo Frigate that better embodies the ship's paradoxical, sometimes maddening combination of powerful close-range attacks and fragile hull. This is because the MC30c Torpedo Frigate has no long-range attack dice and, therefore, forces you to explore the tactical possibilities afforded by a fleet built around flying a four-hull ship straight into your enemy's guns.

Like the MC30c Scout Frigate, the MC30c Torpedo Frigate boasts a healthy supply of black attack dice in its battery armaments: three for its left and right hull zones, two for its front hull zone, and one for its rear hull zone. Unlike the Scout Frigate, however, the Torpedo Frigate pairs these volatile black dice with a complement of extremely accurate blue dice. This means that the Torpedo Frigate cannot attack from long range, but it also means that, at close range, it stands better odds of rolling accuracy results to negate your opponent's brace tokens and force all its damage through to its target's shields and hull.

Of course, to line up these shots, you need to fly your MC30c Torpedo Frigate into a position where even its hefty shields are unlikely to hold up for long. Then, since the ship has only four hull points, there's a good chance you may lose your Torpedo Frigate to any measure of sustained fire.

For this reason, players running MC30c Torpedo Frigates in their fleet are unlikely to adorn them with too many fleet points worth of upgrades. Nonetheless, at a mere four fleet points, your Ordnance Experts are still a sound investment as the ability to reroll any number of black dice can easily translate to two or more points of damage in an activation. Likewise, any critical damage you force onto your opponent with a volley of Assault Proton Torpedoes is more than likely to be worth the five fleet points you'd invest in the upgrade.

The key to running the MC30c Torpedo Frigate is to maintain your focus on the big picture: in the end, you need to score more victory points than your opponent. To do so, you may need to be willing to make sacrifices, but you certainly won't want to make them cheaply or at the wrong times.

If you're a gambler, you might crew your frigate with Lando Calrissian . At just four fleet points, he doesn't take up too much design space, and his ability could very well spare you the one or two points of damage that would prove the difference between exploding and living long enough to fire your guns and obliterate an enemy ship.

For those looking for more of a sure thing, the Admonition title allows you to discard your defense tokens in order to cancel your opponent's attack dice. After all, your evade tokens aren't generally worth too much once you get into close range. With the Admonition, they're worth nothing less than a hull point—possibly even two hull points—each.

Perhaps the upgrade card from the MC30c Frigate Expansion Pack that deserves the most consideration as a component of any Rebel fleet headed into a truly desperate battle is the new commander card,  General Rieekan . No stranger to difficult and unpopular decisions, it was General Rieekan who ordered the evacuation of Echo Base during the Battle of Hoth, and he arrives to Armada as a commander fully aware that the Galactic Civil War is larger than any single battle or ship.

As a Rebel fleet admiral, you may not like the idea of sacrificing your ships and their crews. However, there are times in warfare when you must be willing to accept those sacrifices, lest you otherwise fail to meet your objectives and progress toward an ultimate victory. With General Rieekan as your commander, at least, your sacrifices are bound to be far nobler and far less often in vain; whenever any of your ships are destroyed, they remain in play until the end of the round. This means that your opponent can't avoid the damage your damaged MC30c Torpedo Frigate is about to deal his ship by blowing it up. You'll still have your chance to fire. And if that frigate's sacrifice allows you to destroy your opponent's flagship – such as an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer – it's the sort of trade the Rebellion needs to make to win its war.

The crew of an MC30c Torpedo Frigate is never going to escape unscathed from a close-range engagement with an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer, but their sacrifices may lead to a crucial turning point in the larger war.

Rieekan's difficult decision to evacuate Echo Base won many Rebel lives and kept the Rebellion in the war, despite its loss. Likewise, in Armada, General Rieekan may help you with your most difficult decisions, as you weigh your position against your opponent's and consider the possible gains from one or more key sacrifices.

The Rebel Fleet Is Massing

Whether you field your MC30c frigate as a Scout Frigate or a Torpedo Frigate, you'll find it a powerful addition to your Rebel fleet. In fact, you'll find that the MC30c Frigate Expansion Pack, along with the Home One Expansion Pack, allows you to fly a Rebel fleet with enough muscle to stand even against a fleet of Imperial Star Destroyers.

How would you use these ships? Head to our community forums to share your thoughts as we gear up for The Massing at Sullust. Then, keep your eyes open for our final Wave II preview, with a look at the new squadrons from the Rogues and Villains Expansion Pack!

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