I found this on the Internet ages ago and can’t find the link or who initially posted it to give credit, if it’s yours let me know and I’ll credit you, but this is worth thinking/talking about?
There are lots of squad builds out there posted for peer review, but I’ve yet to see a post on strategies to adopt when building your squad.
So I’m going to briefly cover (in list form) what I think are the main choices of builds (regardless of faction) as food for thought and help for beginning players.
Note – HP = hit points (combined total of hull and shield points)
- Swarm – a collection of ships (6-8). Advantages – high amount of damage dice and HP, group redundancy (each ship lost only reduces your attack dice pool by a small percentage). Disadvantages – can be difficult to coordinate, has low PS and usually is tactically one dimensional (no sneaky tricks).
- Tank Squad – a group of 2-4 ships. Advantages – high HP, easy to coordinate, damage redundancy (it usually takes a larger portion of the opponents shooting to eliminate one of your ships). Disadvantages – the points spent on tanks invariably detract from your offensive capabilities or ship numbers (offensive tanks are usually costly) and/or your overall maneuverability.
- High PS – a group of ships (2-5). Advantages – you get to see where the opponent is before you move and you get to shoot before they do (hopefully killing his ships before they can fire on you). Disadvantages – can be susceptible to blocking and high PS ships aren’t cheap.
- Maneuverable squad – 3-5 ships with access to boost and/or barrel roll or another flight tricks. They rely on arc dodging as their main defense and attack tactics. Adavantages – can be fun to fly (and frustrating for the opponent, possibly causing him to make pilot errors). Disadvantages – blocking and turrets ignore your defense strategy, can be difficult to coordinate your attacks.
- Killer combo – 1-3 ships and filler ships that rely on 1 or 2 card combos to increase its offensive and/or defensive capability. Advantages – the opponent may have little or no defense/answer to your combo, causing them to focus on your non combo ships (allowing you to use the combo to deadly effect) or focus on your combo ship (letting your other ships take advantage). Disadvantage – tactically one dimensional, no other tactical options if you come up against its hard counter or an opponent who knows how to handle your combo.
- Mechanic spam – a group of 3-6 ships that spam a particular function of the rules like ion or stress. Advantages and disadvantages – see killer combo.
- Squad synergy – very similar to the ‘killer combo’ but relies on ship abilities working together as a whole rather than a few cards on one ship. Advantages and disadvantages – see killer combo and if you lose a critical ship your synergy breaks down.
- New hotness – relies on a new combo or synergy that people haven’t seen before, take advantage of their lack of knowledge, confusion or caution. Advantages and disadvantages – see killer combo, and the more you stress test the build the more word of it gets out.
Hope this helps some people and for others discuss/critique.