How the heck do I do this!!!
List building can be confusing at the start of any new game, so in this article I will go over how to build lists and some things to consider when you do. This can be a daunting prospect when you look at it for the first time and can be a little confusing but I will break it all down today.
List building in Dropfleet is a very unique process similar to Dropzone but far less restrictive. This results in being able to adjust how a list plays out just by changing a few units around. This leads to a very dynamic style of list building with a lot of variety and a lot of customization to any list.
Here is a look at the Fleet Organization page. I will explain exactly how it works.
So the first thing that draws the eye (well, mine at least) is the vibrant colors of the chart. This chart is important!
Building a Battlegroup:
I will use the Pathfinder Battlegroup for this part of the explanation;
The Pathfinder Battlegroup can have up to 3 groups of ships in it, these groups are determined by the Group value of a Ship.
As we see with the Azurite it has a Group value of 2-3. This means that when you select this ship, you have to take at least 2 but no more than 3 per Group Slot in a battlegroup. The next thing is Tonnage. The Azurite is a Medium tonnage vessel so in a Pathfinder Battlegroup, you can only have 0-1 Medium ship Groups.
When we look at a Frigate which is a Light Tonnage vessel we can see that some have a minimum limit of 2 (not all) and some can get all the way up to 6! Well, in a Pathfinder group you can have up to 3 groups of ships. So you could in theory take 18 Djinn here in a single list. There are just some rules to follow.
The first is when playing in a Skirmish (up to 999 points) a single battlegroup can not have more than 50% of your points. So, if you are playing a 750 point game, a single battlegroup can not have more than 375 points. In a Clash (1,000-1,999 points) and a Battle (2,000+) you can not have a Battlegroup with more than a third (33%) of your points value and that does not include your Admiral. So if you wanted 3 FULL groups of Djinn you would need to be playing at least a 2400 point game or so.
Now in a game you ignore the group value of a ship. If you have 10 Djinn in a single battlegroup they are now a group of ships and will need to stay in coherency with each other (3" for a Frigate and 6" for a Cruiser). If they attack the same target they pool their dice together so that D6+2 Close Action weapon just became 10d6+20 *shudders* and all that comes out to 430 points! So perfect in a 1500 point game. . . Joy. . .
Putting the Battlegroups Together:
Once you have your desired battlegroup you will need to place it into the fleet. Now you will notice that depending on the size of game you are playing it will limit your choices on how many of each type of Battlegroup you can take. So in a Skirmish you can not take a Flagship Battlegroup and can only have a max of 4 battlegroups.
So lets take our Djinn Pathfinder Battlegroup and place it into a Clash Battlegroup. We would have the minimum amount of Pathfinder Battlegroups at this point. We would still need at least 1 Line Battlegroup though to make the List "legal" and as much as 4 more battlegroups spread out as we want as long as we do not go over the maximum that a Clash allows of 2x Pathfinder, 3x Line, 2x Vanguard, and 1x Flagship Battlegroup.
Things to consider when building a Battlegroup:
Strategy Rating is equal to your Tonnage Value so use the above picture to get an idea of how that works. When you flip a Battlegroup Card you will compare the Strategy Rating of that group as it was at the start of the game (no, it does not change when a ship is destroyed just for the sake of less tracking required). The player with the lowest rating goes first and does his activation.
This is important because you will want to predict how your opponent will activate. This will allow you to determine how to best counter and or force your opponent into a bad situation. You do not want ALL high cost battlegroups either because your opponent could take out key units if he is always going first.
The first thing to consider is what the goal of that battlegroup is. Is it a combat heavy battlegroup? Is it a light battlegroup that wants to manage launch spikes? What is your goal?
From there you want to determine how high of a Strategy Rating you want to sink into that type of group. A group that wants to be able to shed spikes through Standard Orders will want a lower Strategy Rating. A combat heavy group might not care about its Strategy Rating. You will have to test as a player to figure out what you will want in the end.
Launch Asset Limitations:
Due to some people in the beta, Launch Assets were given a Hard cap based on the size of the game. Thankfully this only applies to Torpedoes, Fighters, and Bombers. (I am one of those you can blame and not in the LEAST ashamed of it)
Fighters and Bombers are strong augmentations to any force and bombers can destroy or cripple anything with enough of them. Torpedoes also fall under this category but they are a single use weapon so plan on how you use them carefully.
What makes bombers so good? Well for one they have a max of 24"-30" of range, UCM and PHR have the prior and Scourge and Shaltari the latter. The do not need to see a target in scan range to make an attack and can be used against a variety of targets. This means they are flexible!
|The Dragon has a Launch capacity of 5|
Remember that units that Launch something during the Launch Asset Phase (what I will call it at least if it is not already in the book :P ) do gain a spike so plan how you will handle that as well.
Another thing to consider is that Launch Assets right before the end of the turn, right after the last battlegroup is finished activating. So if a carrier is destroyed, you do not get their Launch Assets. . .
Test EVERYTHING! Do not just take my word for things, test it out. Play with it in your area. This game has so many dynamic pieces to the puzzle that you could find something that likely missed!
OH if you do, help a blogger out! Let me know what you think or what you find.