Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Battle Report: Riekaan v. Tarkin

Hey Reader!

Welcome back to Wretched Hive!  As we discuss different types of Neb-B builds, we thought we'd bring you a fun battle between Dark Knight and myself.  I took an army that relies heavily on Nebs (probably too heavily, but hey: we're focusing on Nebs, so what's a bro supposed to do, :) ).

Jango's Forces (Rebel Alliance - 396 pts)
-Nebulon B Escort Frigate (Yavaris, Riekaan): 92 pts 
-Nebulon B Escort Frigate (Salvation, Turbolaser Reroute Circuits, Intel Officer): 78 pts
-Nebulon B Support Refit: 51 pts
-Nebulon B Support Refit: 51 pts
-Nebulon B Support Refit: 51 pts
-1 Moldy Crow: 19 pts
-1 HWK 290s: 12 pts
-2 YT-1400 Freighters: 26 pts
-Tycho Celchu: 16 pts

Dark Knight's Forces (Galactic Empire - 398 pts)
-Imperial Star Destroyer-II (Tarkin, Gunnery Team, Boosted Comms, Electronic Countermeasures): 176 pts
-Imperial Raider-I (Flight Controllers, Extended Hangar Bay): 55 pts
-Imperial Raider-I (Flight Controllers, Extended Hangar Bay): 55 pts
-14 TIE Fighters: 112 pts

With the lower total points, I had the choice of whether to be the First Player or the Second Player, and true to form I went with my normal choice of Second Player (more on why in a tactics post in the future).  Of the objectives I offered Dark Knight, he opted for Hyperspace Assault, so Salvation and Tycho are being held in reserve as we head into Turn 1.  The deployment looks like this:

Turn 1

As per most Turn 1s, the fleets moved up, no shooting yet, and the Imperial fighter wing (wow, that's a ton of TIEs!) is waiting in the wings for its attack run as we head into the Squadron Phase.

The Squadron Phase was relatively uneventful - the Imperial fighters start moving into command positions, as the Rebel fighters start moving to intercept.

Turn 2

Turn 2 is usually where things start getting interesting, and this game didn't surprise.  The Imperials starting swinging south toward the Space Station, as the Rebel Neb fleet ran north toward the Imperial deployment zone.  As we head into the Squadron Phase, we are just out of attack range of the Imperial fighters.

By the end of the Squadron Phase the Imperial fighters have moved up, and the Rebel ships are bracing for a fighter wing in Turn 3.

Turn 3

At the start of Turn 3 I opted to bring in Salvation (mostly because, frankly, there are so many fighters out there that we're going to get hammered if we don't give them something to shoot at, and we have a beautiful attack run against both a Raider and the ISD this turn), so it deployed as you see.

By the end of the Ship Phase Salvation had taken quite the beating, with damage to the forward shields and all of her side shields gone, and had take 3 hits against the hull (3/5H).  Most of the squadrons had been activated via Squadron actions during the Ship Phase, so the Squadron Phase was pretty quiet.

We also wiffed a number of our rolls against the Imperial Raider at the top of the screen - we had shots from two nebs who were both using Concentrate Fire actions (so 8 red dice) and between both attacks we only did 1 damage past the Evade defense tokens.  This was unfortunate, as we were hoping to put some serious pain on the Raider to make room for the quick get-away from the Star Destroyer.  But oh well - this happens in dice-based games, :P

Turn 4

The heat of the moment being what it is (and this is par for the course for me, by the by, so bear with me: this may occur in other battle reports as well), I didn't take any pictures during Turn 4, :P  But I got one at the end that summed up the action.

As a quick synopsis, Dark Knight called a ton of Squadron actions, and with a few of his fighters he was able to polish off Salvation.  His fighters punctured the shields on Yavaris and one of the other Nebs, but were unable to do more than 1 point of hull damage on each.  One of the HWK-290s went down, as did Tycho.  And courtesy of two really bad sets of rolls from the Nebs, the Raider is still on the table, :P  Gotta love and hate red dice, :P

As we headed into Turn 5, the pain of this bad streak of rolling was about to show itself...

Turn 5

In the Ship Phase the ISD lit up the Nebs, and both Yavaris (which is housing Riekaan) and another Neb went down to its Gunnery Team.  Courtesy of Riekaan we still got to activate our ships, so all of the ships opened fire on starfighters or the Imperial Raider (as there's no reason to fire at the ISD - we can't take it down at this point).  We popped the raider, and we ran like mad, :)

As the Squadron Phase came to an end, our two remaining YT Freighters (they're hidden behind the ISD) took some shots to finish off a TIE Fighter, the two nebs were removed, and we had winnowed the TIE swarm down to five fighters (so ten down).

At this point we knew the Empire had the match, and Turn 6 would be a boring "limp away" turn for the Rebs, and "consolidate" turn for the Empire.

Turn 6

Which is more or less what happened.  The ISD called one final Squadron command, was able to finish off one of the remaining Nebs, and the fighters spread out to avoid giving the YTs anything to shoot at.  So the match ended like this.

End Analysis

It was a fun match - the strengths and weaknesses of the Neb were shown well throughout the match to both of us:

  • Nebs whiff rolls pretty often, but they can also pound away at shields and hull points pretty quickly.  So very much a "wild card" ship as regards damage output and defense.
  • Nebs are also relatively weak against starfighters (as they have two very poorly shielded hull zones, and have no defense tokens that help much against fighters), though Salvation was able to put a lot of fire down on ships before it died, so the two blue dice v. squadrons makes a difference.
  • Fighter screens are going to be a necessity now that we are at 400 pts.  Since both sides can now field a solid number of fighters (up to 16 TIEs for the Empire, and as many as 13 squadrons for the Rebels), anti-squadron batteries are not going to be sufficient to hold off an enemy fighter wing.  And with the inclusion of Intel (which was not a factor in this game), even a large wing of fighters won't be a guaranteed defense.  But fighters will help to distract fire, do damage to enemy squadrons without having to use anti-squadron batteries on a ship, and tie down enemy bombers (ideally) before they can reach your ships.
  • ISDs hurt a lot.  This is not surprise - 8 dice is painful against anyone.  But against a ship that only has 5 Hull, 1-3 Shields, and two Brace defense tokens, 8 dice means a good number of accuracy icons (neutralizing the Brace tokens) and enough damage to puncture and injure (if not destroy) the light frigate that is the Neb.
  • I really like the Extended Hangar Bays on the Raider.  It makes for a Squadron 2 ship (effectively Squadron 3 if Tarkin is passing out the token each Ship Phase), which allows a relatively low-cost ship (55 pts) to move with a small fighter force that can spread enemy fighter squadrons thin.  Add to that the generally high speed of Imperial ships, and you've got a beautiful long-range strike team that can cost under 80 pts (as Dark Knight did here).
In our next post we'll see Part 2 of our Neb series, talking about ideal upgrades to your Nebs (which may help to give them greater survivability, firepower, and/or speed to control the flow of the battle (which, as you might have noticed in this game, is an important question for Nebs).

Until our next meeting,


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