8 May 2019 | Star Wars: Armada

Bring the Fight to the Empire

Guest Writer Chris Fritz on Battling the Super Star Destroyer

Order your own copy of Super Star Destroyer Expansion Pack at your local retailer or online through our website today!

“Concentrate all fire on that Super Star Destroyer!”
   –Admiral Ackbar, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

The Star Dreadnought joins the Imperial fleet with the Super Star Destroyer Expansion Pack for Star Wars™: Armada! Measuring twenty-four inches in length, the Super Star Destroyer is the ultimate display of Imperial strength. With four unique ship sheets and twenty-four upgrade cards, including iconic commanders like Admiral Piett and Emperor Palpatine, any rival will look upon this ship and despair. But the introduction of this new war machine does not mean that all hope is lost for the Rebellion. With careful preparation and the right combination of forces, you can bring down the fearsome Dreadnought and earn your victory.

Today, guest writer Chris Fritz discusses various strategies for countering, and ultimately defeating, the Super Star Destroyer!

Chris Fritz on Battling the Super Star Destroyer

Hey everyone! If you’re part of the Star Wars: Armada community, you may know me as Truthiness, and I’m back to talk about the upcoming Super Star Destroyer Expansion Pack! This technological terror is certain to make loyal Imperials bristle with pride and make some Rebels quiver with fear. Now while I like to jump back and forth between factions, I'm a Rebel at heart. So even though Rebels aren't getting any new ships with this release, I am delighted to say there is still plenty that will change for the Rebellion with the Super Star Destroyer in town. I ended up flying against this monstrosity for most of the testing. Combined with my rebellious tendencies, that brings us to the topic at hand: how to tackle the Star Dreadnought as a Rebel commander. 

I have three general rules for hunting the Executor and all its ilk. First: keep your distance. The Star Dreadnought has a unique way of navigating around the board. Despite having no natural yaw at any speed, it is capable of some very drastic turns. Just a single click at the first joint can take you from out of range to close range. Never mind what happens if the Super Star Destroyer player brings Moff Jerjerrod.  You have to respect that swing. Until you are well past that front arc, the Star Dreadnought can catch you in its brutal frontal battery with relative ease.

On top of that, even its side arcs are potent at close range. The auxiliary firing arcs on the Assault Prototype are more powerful at close and medium range than an Assault Frigate. At long range, however, those side and auxiliary arcs are less intimidating. Even the  Executor II's  long-range side and auxiliary pools are manageable. That's why I think the best ships for hunting the Super Star Destroyer are ships that specialize at long range. They can trade fire with the SSD without going down too quickly. A CR90 Corvette A with Turbolaser Reroute Circuits can hit hard for its size. And you can never go wrong with a good Ackbar -enhanced MC80 Assault Cruiser.

That's not to say you should never engage at close range. Black dice, after all, are the most potent, especially with the right upgrades. However, you need to jump in and out without taking damage with a last/first activation, or you need a plan to take the blows in stride. 

My second rule is endurance. A lot of gameplay in Star Wars: Armada to date has centered around heavy bursts of damage, taking take down ships in one fell swoop before they can make their presence felt on the battle.  Yavaris -boosted squadrons or an Imperial Star Destroyer with the  Avenger  title and Boarding Troopers come to mind. With the Star Dreadnought, that's just not possible. You simply cannot neutralize it quickly. You have to prepare for multiple turns of sustained engagement, which isn't easy. The Super Star Destroyer puts out a lot of damage, so staying engaged and keeping up the pressure is difficult.

This rule tends to go hand-in-hand with the first. Keeping your distance keeps your ships alive longer and easier. Ships with evades can completely negate some damage, while large ships can often repair the damage caused by only two or three dice. This is where other mitigation upgrades can help too. The Mon Calamari title helps your ships by essentially giving a free shield every time you repair. Major Derlin goes well alongside the braces on large ships. And if you really need to get in close, Lando Calrissian is always there to make your luck a bit better. The key is to stay engaged and pour firepower into the Super Star Destroyer for every turn you can manage.

My third and final rule is command disruption. The same way you want to maximize your ability to avoid or repair the damage coming from the Star Dreadnought, you need to stop it from doing the same. Since it gains a free token with each command, the Star Dreadnought is capable of generating six repair points per turn (eight if you're playing the higher-tier Executor classes). You can't allow that to happen. There are only really two ways of doing that: Slicer Tools and Cham Syndulla.  Slicer Tools are easier to deliver, but Cham is a longer lasting solution. If you weren't already including some kind of command disruption before, I would start doing so.

One side note on squadrons: the same guidelines above apply to squadron-heavy fleets as well. However, I will warn you that the traditional Yavaris-boosted squadron builds that have won Worlds the last two years are highly risky against the Super Star Destroyer, as former World Champion Josiah Burkhardsmeier came up with an absolutely devilish concoction during testing. When put together, Quad Laser Turrets,   Agent Kallus,  and the  Annihilator  title on a Star Dreadnought Assault Prototype form a wonderful counter to Yavaris

First, the Star Dreadnought engages you early with long range anti-squadron fire. Then, every shot you take is rebounded back at you with Quad Laser Turrets. Then, of course, Agent Kallus adds a die against unique squadrons and Annihilator provides re-rolls with each and every shot. Yes, Yavaris adds more damage, but it also accelerates how fast the squadrons die because of the Quad Laser Turrets. The reason this combo works where it hasn’t in the past is because the Star Dreadnought can absorb the damage and keep going. I've had multiple games where my squadrons just disappear after two turns of futilely banging their heads against the Annihilator wall. If you want to fight against the Super Star Destroyer using squadrons, I suggest more of a swarm approach. Y-Wings are tough, cheap, and don't need Yavaris to be successful. You can have three of them for almost the same cost as two B-Wings.  You lose one bomber die, but gain eight hull, which can be critical when fighting against a properly tooled-out Annihilator.

I’ll end with what ended up being my preferred SSD-hunting fleet. Ackbar is a fairly natural (and thematic!) commander for going after a Star Dreadnought, as he adds to the long-range threat you need so badly. Mon Calamari Exodus Fleet adds to the endurance of the three main capital ships, allowing them each to last longer. Finally, as has been a staple of my fleets of late, I’ve grabbed Slicer Tools on  Quantum Storm to mess with the Super Star Destroyer’s command stack.

Ackbar’s Exodus Fleet

MC75 Armored Cruiser (104)
Admiral Ackbar  (38)
Bail Organa (7)
Electronic Countermeasures (7)
External Racks (3)
Leading Shots (4)
Quad Battery Turrets (5)
Mon Calamari Exodus Fleet (5)

MC30c Scout Frigate (69)
Ordnance Experts (4)
• External Racks (3)
Turbolaser Reroute Circuits (7)
• Mon Calamari Exodus Fleet (5)

MC30c Scout Frigate (69)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• External Racks (3)
• Turbolaser Reroute Circuits (7)
• Mon Calamari Exodus Fleet (5)

GR-75 Medium Transports (18)
Slicer Tools (7)
•  Quantum Storm  (1)

GR-75 Medium Transports (18)
Comms Net (2)


Until next time everyone, happy gaming, and good luck hunting the Star Dreadnought!

Stand United

Thanks, Chris! 

The Rebel Alliance may face incredible odds against the full might of the Empire, but that has never stopped them in the past. The choice is in your hands—will you join the Rebel Alliance or align with the Empire? Whichever you choose, epic battles await you amongst the stars. Ready your ships and prepare for launch!

Look for the Super Star Destroyer Expansion Pack (SWM20) when it arrives at retailers in the third quarter of 2019, or pre-order your copy here!

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