The swift vessels swoop in from an unexpected vector, its beam slicing into the ship. . .
Here we are, nearing the end of this series! We have come upon the devious Shaltari and their sparkling vessel. We get to see their wide variety of unique weapons, special rules, and devious styles of play.
Lets jump feet first because as everyone knows, the enemy's base is always down.
I will not be going over the Voidgate in this article. It is too intrinsically linked to the Emerald Mothership so I will have it shown there.
The Topaz frigate is the first that we will take a look at. Now from what we can see (yes the pictures are not the best but they will do) we have a long Scan range of 12" and a SMALL signature. This means we see a sniper ship in the finest. Now the Shaltari have a mostly Forward arc set up with their ships and the Topaz shows this off with its Disintegration Beam. This weapon system is a 3+ Lock weapon with 2 dice and the ship is a taken in groups of 2-4 which means that you can quickly overwhelm an enemies defenses.
The Jade is the first Particle ship that we will see. Particle is a pretty nasty ability that we will swear and flip tables when we review one of the Battleships. What Particle does, is that if you hit, you automatically crit! This is extremely powerful and can cripple ships if you snipe at them. Against the PHR frigate or bigger ship these can add up and make their tough armor near useless!
Here is the first sight at Beam Close Action Weapons, this ability actually bypasses all point defense. Now while the Amethyst has has only a small group of 1-2, you can easily take more in a group and I feel that this choice was due to balancing issues. If I could take this in groups of 2-4, 12 of these would take down Battlecruisers and Battleships with ease. Thankfully the most you can have is 6 of these in a battlegroup and that many can do on average 24 shots and 16 of those will hit home and 8 of those 16 will bypass armor on average. YEESH! No wonder it is the second most expensive frigate. . .
The Guardian frigate for the Shaltari, Shield booster works on the shields of ships within 4" and on the same layer. Once a turn, it allows ships to re-roll failed passive saves from a single enemy group's attack.
So, if lets say two Rio-class Cruisers from the UCM come up and shoot their weapons causing you to take 10 saves, you can reroll any of the missed ones from that attack.
However if lets say a Berlin comes up and attacks you with a St. Petersburg, that is 2 different groups and so you have to pick which one to reroll.
The Shaltari are showing their true colors here. They have very strong long reaching units that can thwart and frustrate opponents and their frigates are great examples. There are enough specialty built into their frigates that they can fulfill a variety of roles.