Shenanigans is the word of the day. . .
The Shaltari as a race capitalize on the use of their shenanigans. As a race of high tech hedgehogs, they have all the silly abilities. From Gate tech to Gravity coils we will check it all out in today's article. Hmmmmmm lets count how many times I use shenanigans. . . starting now.
The sane insanity of the Shaltari. . . or shall we call them Blue players?
The Shaltari, use a wide variety of weapons. I believe they have the most special rules of any faction and some of them are down right nasty (*cough* Diamond *cough*) and some times I hate Dave for it and others I love him for his brilliance! Well anyway, lets get right to it!
Azurite-class Light Cruiser:
We are kicking this off with a ship with Disruptors. Disruptors are weapons that are consistent. They have a high amount of dice but they are like PHR Medium Caliber Broadsides, they are average. On 6 attacks though, you will likely get every number on average so you will see a mix bag of results. I will apologize for the pictures, I got them like this but this is fine for all intended purposes.
The Azurite is a perfect Gun Ship. It can cut in and out with Vector which allows it to take turns pretty much anywhere in its move while other ships have to take turns before or after the move.
Aquamarine-class Light Cruiser:
Ok. . . lets keep track. . . the Aquamarine is the start of the shenanigans! This ship's main weapon is the Gravity Coils! You are unable to read the name of the weapon but that is what it is called. It has the Special Rule Impel-X (Impel-2) which is just plain full of shenanigans!
The Impel ability triggers when you deal the amount of damage to a ship equal to the Impel value, so in the case of the Aquamarine it is 2. Now that sounds ok and the ship has a value of 2+ on 2 shots that deal 1 damage each so you need to deal hit and wound with both in order to Impel a target. OH! What does Impel do? Well if you get hit by an Impel weapon that triggers the effect, the attacking player can turn the defending ship up to 45 degrees!
Think on that. Your pretty Avalon is set to strike next turn after putting the hurt an a Shaltari Heavy cruiser and has a spike leaving it visible to the Shaltari out to 24"! Well these pesky Light Cruisers are rolling up on you and they shoot. . . out of the three of them, two actually deal damage two damage each and they spin your avalon 90 degrees in a direction you don't want!
Shenanigans. . .
The Amber is one of those ships recommended for the Starter Fleet for a reason. It is reliable, actually has Side Arcs (something that is dreamed of from time to time in the Shaltari fleet) and is consistent with 4 dice per shot on a 3+ Lock. Good reliable ship. Nuff said.
The second Particle ship in the faction! Remember Particle means that if it hits it crits. It really as simple as that. Thankfully it is Front Narrow so it can be arc dodged with some skill and patience!
The Granite is a great sniper ship but it really wants to go Weapons Free which many of the Shaltari Cruisers and above want to do.
The Turquoise is a bombardment ship. Due to it being an Alt Weapon you can bombard or shoot the Close Action Beam weapon which can bypass Point Defense. The Turquoise is not really a combat ship. It is however one of the best bombardment cruisers out there. at 4 dice on a 2+ lock the Ion Storm is a scary weapon that can really put the hurt on a cluster. Add in that the alt version is a d6+3 (average 6.5) and hits on a 3+, you could see this ship in a group charging a line and dealing some silly damage. OH and mind you, as far as I know, it can use both Close Action Weapons without going Weapons Free. . .
Say it with me. . . Shenanigans. . .
Basalt-class Fleet Carrier:
Competing for the top Fleet carrier slot is the Basalt. Arguably the best fleet carrier it has a bank of Disruptors that are capable of dealing more overall damage than the Scourge Hydra-class Fleet Carrier. With a Launch capacity of 4 the Basalt can reach out and touch almost any ship in the game just by moving onto the board with its squadrons. . . Don't believe me?
Well if the Basalt moves the full 10" onto the board the bombers can reach any ship roughly at the 40" mark from your board edge. That just leaves 8" for your opponent to stay out of on Turn 1. Thankfully the PHR are 7" on some ships. . .
So, due to the Shaltari shenanigans, they have do not have any Strike Carriers. They do have the Mothership though and the ability to "Gate" troops and Armor elements onto the battlefield.
How it was explained to me, the Mothership turns the dropship into something akin to wave matter and sends that wave to a Voidgate where the Voidgate can send it to another linking Voidgate or focus the signal down to a cluster.
Now how Gates work in Dropfleet is simple and complex at the same time. A Mothership has to be within X" of a Voidgate and you can form a link of Voidgates. Now the Mothership has a Gate value of 3 but each Voidgate can drop just 1 troop. By dropping a troop I mean adding a Dropship to a cluster not shifting troops around the linked network. So in reality you need three Voidgates per Mothership but honestly you will need as few as 4 and as many as 5 if you don't have many Motherships.
Ahhh the Voidgate. . . this thing has been nerfed so much and yet it is STILL a pain. . . Ask Michael Russell if you don't believe me. . .or better yet you can read it in his battle report!
Since the Shaltari do not have Troopships, they have to use the Voidgates as an Anti-dropship and that makes them the only faction to have such in the basic Starter Fleets. Since the Mothership is Gate 3 and the other Starter Fleets only have two Strike Carriers, the Shaltari can drop more units a turn.
Something unique to the Shaltari is the ability to shift troops back up the Voidgate network and into a new cluster. That means at the end of the game you can shift as many units as you want up the network and down to a Cluster that needs to be bolstered.
I wonder. . . Does Dave consider all of these implications? Hmmmm I wonder. . .
Well boys and girls and girls and boys, we can all safely say that the Shaltari take the gimmicky faction award!
The Shaltari are a strong race but they have issues with their Front Narrow Arc. Across the board the Front Narrow arc can get roughly 9" wide but there is no ship currently with a Signature that even with a Major Spike that could be seen at 48" with the Shaltari Scan range.
The few things going against the Shaltari is the fact that they have the weakest armor, they ARE fast which is bad because they have to move at least half of their Thrust a turn and their Arcs. Other than that, they have more shenanigans than any other faction. . .
The shaltari have a lot of variations to them and you can use them in a vast amount of ways but they just have one word to describe them. . . and that word is Shenanigans. . .
As always, let me know what you think, and tell me how many times you expected me to use the word Shenanigans!