It’s been a while, I had a week off for my birthday and then a week catching up with all the crap at work that happened in my absence. Also, Mass Effect: Andromeda is a thing and has been sucking a lot of my time. 🙂
Anyway here we go again, lets talk about a starship. For this episode I’m going to swing back to the Rebel Alliance (who I don’t play that often) and talk about one of their large base ships.
Now, it’s not going to be YT-1300, I know everyone loves the Falcon and it has a bunch of cool stuff, however as there are two versions of the Falcon in play (Original and Force Awakens) that is a much bigger post. So I am instead going to talk about another heroic ship that plays a huge role in the formation of the Rebel Alliance.
The VCX-100 & Attack Shuttle, and specifically the Ghost & Phantom titles. Both of which should sound familiar to you, if you have watched any of Star Wars: Rebels, after all this is the protagonists ship in that show.
The VCX-100 light freighter is an old model Corellian Engineering Corporation transport ship, this is a theme that occurs a lot in the Rebel ships, repurposed civilian ships being used in a military context; and for good reason the rebels don’t have anywhere near the resources of the empire and can’t mass produce fighters or other support ships. The Phantom is a VCX Auxiliary Starfighter that was designed to provide some support and firepower to deter pirate attacks against the VCX-100 itself.
This is a big ship, one of the biggest non-epic ships in the game, it can take a lot of upgrades and has the option of having the Attack Shuttle docked to the ship which allows it to make extra use of both the rear facing fire-arc and the equipped turret weapon.
In the Rebels series the Ghost & Phantom is how the cast make their way around space, the Ghost is very much a team vehicle and the Phantom is used when they have to split the party and if they need to provide fire support.
Lets start, as always, with the statline for the ship.
Upgrades: Title, Modification, Systems Upgrade, Turret, 2x Torpedo, 2x Crew
Actions: Focus, Target Lock, Evade
Upgrades: Title, Modification, Turret, Crew, Elite Pilot Talent (Based on the pilot skill)
Actions: Focus, Barrel Roll, Evade
So, as you can see here the VCX-100 is a huge beast of a ship with a ton of hull and shields for your opponent to chew through. It is easy to hit but offsets that with it’s 16 total hit points and can really dish out the hurt with a 4 dice primary weapon. The VCX-100 also has an auxillary firing arc, one that faces to the rear, now this arc is a special arc that can be used to fire torpedos; if the attack shuttle is docked to the ship then you can also fire the main guns out of the rear fire arc.
The Attack Shuttle is a small ship with moderate evasion and the same shields and hull as a Z-95 Headhunter, however those big front mounted guns give it 3 attack dice. The Shuttle can also mount a turret weapon, giving it another option for attacking that doesn’t rely on you flying enemies into arc.
Lets have a look at the manoeuvre templates.
First up, The VCX-100, for a big ship it’s actually got a pretty good dial. It has all the basic manoeuvres with Red Turns at speed 1 and speed 3, and a red speed 5 K-Turn, it’s Green manoeuvres are the speed 1 & 2 straights and the speed 2 banks. Everything else is white. For ship this big this is a really good dial, for it to have a K-Turn as well is pretty amazing. There are plenty of ways to dump stress and enough standard moves that stress doesn’t come up too often.
The Attack Shuttle has pretty much the same dial as the ghost with only a couple of differences, the Green banks are moved to speed 1 rather than 2 and the Red K-Turn is at speed 4. This makes the shuttle much more capable of turning at low speeds (using those 1 speed banks) and gives it a number of options for kicking arse.
Now the bad news. It’s expensive, The basic VCX-100 with a Lothal Rebel pilot (Pilot Skill 3) costs 35 points and the basic Attack Shuttle with Zeb piloting (Pilot Skill 3 – there are no non-unique pilots for the Shuttle) is 18 points.
With the titles being zero cost that means your basic outlay for the pair of them is 53 points, with no upgrade cards. But to make use of that synergy you need at least a turret weapon for the VCX-100.
It is worth looking at the named pilots though, they all have very cool abilities and are based very well on how the characters act in the Rebels TV Show, obviously they are unique so you cannot have the same pilot in both the VCX-100 and the Attack Shuttle, also you cannot use the special ability of the Attack Shuttle pilot when it is docked.
Lets start at the top, Hera Syndulla, main pilot of the Ghost in the TV Show and nominal boss of the crew. She is Pilot Skill 7 and has a cool special ability. “When revealing a Red or Green manoeuvre, you may rotate your dial to another manoeuvre of the same difficulty.”. This is pretty cool at a lot more use than you think, if you declare a K-Turn but then your opponent does something you weren’t expecting you can then change your K-Turn that might have put you way out of position to a hard turn at either speed 3 or speed 1. You can also turn a bank into a straight or vice versa.
Kanan Jarrus, Jedi on the run and Hera’s boyfriend. Pilot Skill 5, his ability reads “When an enemy ship at Range 1-2 is attacking, you may spend a focus token. If you do, the attacker rolls 1 fewer attack die.”. It is worth noting here that his ability applies to any ship within range 2 that is attacking any other ship, doesn’t have to be you. Because of this ability Kanan sees a lot of play.
The last unique pilot for the VCX-100 is Chopper, the crews ‘tempremental’ astromech, Pilot Skill 4. “At the start of the Combat phase, each enemy ship you are touching receives 1 stress token.”. Chopper is all about the ram effects, he can deal out stress to each ship he touches and with the right crew man attached he can still attack as well.
On the Attack Shuttle you can have Hera, with the same ability but you can also have:
Sabine Wren, pilot skill 5, Mandalorian badass on the run. “Immediately before you reveal your maneuver, you may perform a free boost or barrel roll action.”. This gives the Attack Shuttle a massive boost to its manoeuvrability and lets you Arc Dodge to a reasonable degree.
Ezra Bridger, pilot skill 4, moody kid and padawan of Kanan. “When defending, if you are stressed, you may change up to 2 of your focus results to evade results.”. Works well with the Push the Limit elite pilot talent and helps keep the otherwise quite fragile shuttle alive.
Zeb Orrelios, pilot skill 3, alien with an Axe to Grind. “When defending, you may cancel critical hit results before hit results.”. Quite a cool power actually, Zeb can avoid those annoying critical hits, especially useful when one direct hit can kill the ship.
That’s the pilots. How do you use the Shuttle? By default it starts the game docked to the VCX-100, any time you execute a manoeuvre you can choose to deploy the Attack Shuttle, you pick any manoeuvre (other than a K-Turn) on the shuttles dial and then you deploy it from the back of the VCX-100. If the VCX-100 is destroyed then the Attack Shuttle immediately deploys with one face down damage card assigned to it.
As you can see there are a ton of options here. If you are going to run the VCX-100 & Attack Shuttle then there is no reason you shouldn’t use the titles, otherwise you don’t. Pretty simple. If you do have them docked though the ability to make that extra turret shot at the end of the turn is amazing and there are a coupe of ways to do it. I’m going to give a couple of example builds here.
First up the Kanan Jarrus/Zeb Orrelios, Focus/TLT ‘Double Tap’ build.
Kanan Jarrus (51) VCX-100 (38), Ghost (0), Fire-Control System (2), Twin Laser Turret (6), Recon Specialist (3), Rey (2)
“Zeb” Orrelios (18) Attack Shuttle (18), Phantom (0)
Total Cost – 69 points
The idea with this build is that you focus with Kanan, this triggers the Recon Specialist who gives you one additional focus point, any time you hit the end phase with a focus left you move it to Rey. When you have tokens on Rey you can move one to your pool at the start of combat, giving you potentially 3 Focus tokens to spend reducing other ships attack pools. On your turn you can fire your Twin Laser Turret (TLT) and then at the end you can fire it again, for a total of 4 attacks with a potential 4 damage. You can also add Tactical Jammer and a regerating Biggs Darklighter in his X-Wing to create a bit of a horror show for your opponent. Generally you wouldn’t deploy the Phantom until the last minute as this build relies on the TLT Double Tap.
Second the Hera/Sabine dog fighting build.
Hera Syndulla (47) VCX-100 (40), Ghost (0), Accuracy Corrector (3), Autoblaster Turret (2), “Chopper” (0), “Leebo” (2)
Sabine Wren (24) Attack Shuttle (21), Push the Limit (3), Phantom (0)
Total Cost – 71 points
This one relies on you using Hera’s ability to fly like a pro to get in range one and then double tap with the Autoblaster. This combines with the accuracy corrector to do 2 unavoidable damage per shot to your target. Chopper allows you to take actions when you normally can’t and Leebo gives you a boost option for the Ghost. You can also deploy Sabine as needed, you lose the double tap but she is kitted out for dog fighting with Push the Limit, you can use her ability to boost/barrel roll, push the limit to evade and then perform a green manoeuvre, clear the stress and take your normal action. While a lot more expensive than the Kanan Double Tap it is quite lethal if flown well.
So there is the Ghost. I don’t play Rebels very often but if I did the Ghost would be a frequent choice of mine.