Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Ten Squads in Ten Days - Part 4) AC-D3

Just a week to go.  One tiny little week.
In today's squad I'm going to return to an old theme I've already looked at in my first effort - Trajectory Simulators - and try to crack it from a different angle.  Will it work?  Let's just say I'm taking a calculated risk...

4) AC-D3

After a long while as the forgotten men of Scum & Villainy their unexpected victory at the last 1st Edition World Championships hurled 'Brobots' right back into the forefront of people's minds so it's a combination that I know a lot of people have been looking at.

Like many would-be Broboteers I landed quickly on the exciting potential that a medium base Brobot could now take Juke to pair with the free Evade token from IG-88C.  Unfortunately that was about where my excitement ended because I didn't really have anything else to follow it up with... no Push The Limit or Fire Control System meant that 'free' Evade wasn't all that free as it came at the expense of taking two Calculate tokens instead.  I couldn't spend the Evade if my opponent had higher Initiative without turning off Juke, and if I did spend it and lost Juke then I was throwing unmodified red dice that wouldn't achieve much.  I felt like the upgrades weren't there to make Brobots work in 2nd Edition (yet) and abandoned them to look at more promising Scum options.

  • IG-88A - Predator, Trajectory Simulator, Proton Bombs, Inertial Dampeners, Ablative Plating, IG-2000 (87)
  • IG-88C - Predator, Trajectory Simulator, Proton Bombs, Inertial Dampeners, Ablative Plating, IG-2000 (87)  
  • L3-37 - IG-88D (26)

What brought me back to Brobots for a second look was playing my twin Punisher list with the pair of Trajectory Simulators.  They had been so successful at countering the swarm that I was very interested in seeing if the IG-2000s could repeat the trick for Scum & Villainy.  The problem the Punisher had was approaching the non-Swarm matchups that would be able to exploit the TIEs slow dial and low agility... those were problems that the Brobot's natural statline answered pretty well!

On top of this, my experience of flying the Punishers was that the threat of the Proton Bombs being hurled about wasn't just about actually dealing damage as much as it was about controlling the space your opponent was prepared to fly into.  That was always the real strength of the Ion & Tractor cannons on the Worlds-winning 'Controlbots' squads, and its designer Jesper Hills always made that point when he spoke about the squad.  Blocking out portions of the board with Trajectory Simulator was different to doing so with Tractor Beam threats, but the underlying principle was actually pretty similar.

The kicker that really got me excited about the squad, when I finished loading up my IGs, was that I had the points left for bring an Escape Craft.  L3-37's Coordinate action functions as a sort of flying Advanced Sensors/Push The Limit combo able to support one of my IGs each turn.  The Boost from an IG-88C still gave me a free Evade but now instead of it replacing anything else I might want to do I could coordinate a Calculate action as well.  Better yet, by including IG-88D on L3-37 in the Escape Craft I now had incredible flexibility to network my ships and share their Calculate tokens around!

Equipped with Trajectory Simulators and Ablative Plating the IGs can lay down a carpet of fire ahead of them and simply walk right through it.  With the ability to also stack Calculate & Evade tokens on both ships (thanks in part to IG-A and some helpful coordination) that a head-on display of jousting firepower that not many opponents are going to want to take on.

If I'm honest I still feel like this squad is missing something.  The Predator and Inertial Dampener spots feel more like placeholders for better upgrades to come rather than the optimal choices I'd want there, but the combination of being able to dismantle swarms and the strong flexible chassis of the IGs is a potent one that seems well-positioned for the early TIE-heavy metagame I think we can expect to see in 2nd Edition.

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