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Thursday, 6 August 2015

System Wars Review Part 1 - Directorate Ships

Next in the line-up of System Wars invasion ships are the nefarious Directorate, and we start with their Assault Carrier, the nicely-named Integration;

The Integration is a typical Directorate approach to invasion ships. Standard Carrier type hull with DR5 CR9 and 7 HP, but with a cruiser-level speed of 9". Also, instead of a cloaking field she has a respectable 2 Shields and 6PD, plus the Durable MAR. You can remove the latter for another Shield, giving her Terran-levels of protection, or go for broke by boosting her Planetfall value and knocking off a single shield. This gives you a wide range of basic builds in terms of protection/utility balance.

She only starts with 3 WC, but can boost that to standard carrier level of 6, and her weapon systems are respectable but short-ranged, similar to the Heavy cruiser. Base AP is actually lower than a standard carrier (as is CP), but you can boost this to 10AP in a non-Planetfall build, and upgrade these to Special Forces with a Second Assault option.

This makes for some interesting builds - you can make a non-Planetfall shield heavy (and this very durable) close-assault option with interceptors or support shuttles, or go for less protection and increase the WC and go for Assault Craft too - that's now quite a scary boarding threat.

Her accompaniment is a couple of Liquidator Class Frigates, which then give her a 15AD RB2 beam attack, which you can make Biohazard too - not shabby. In either of these forms, she makes a pretty lethal shunt-bomb. Planetfall wise, she's fast and hardy, and able to protect herself from most threats.

Next is the slightly more aggressively named Appropriation assault cruiser. The model is almost as big as the Integration, and she reflects this with base stats almost as high as the carrier - Dr5 CR8 is better than the much-lauded Justice heavy cruiser, though HP5 reflects the more modular nature of the craft compared to that ship and the Integration.

She comes stock with a single shield, and can either boost this to 2 or make up that 6th HP. Her AP is relatively low at 3, but the non-Planetfall version of this boosts it to 5, again the same as the heavy cruiser. In fact, many comparisons will be made to that ship as she stacks up very favourably. In non-Planetfall build, you can make her pretty similar for 65 points compared to the Justice's 80.

Now the Justice is more survivable due to her cloak, but the Appropriation brings higher CR plus a shield, and no attenuation of her weapons for less points. So once again we have difficult choices, and with decent weapons (5/6/3/-), a squad puts out decent mid-level firepower in a very hard shell, with a scary boarding threat to finish. I could see commanders running a squad of each, which would be difficult to face to say the least.

The Induction...your culture's first step into the Directorate way of life...sounds so organised and efficient, doesn't it? :-)

The Induction is a cruiser-hard hull with Reinforced Fore, Durable and Difficult Target (this makes it more difficult to kill than a Directorate cruiser!), standard Directorate Frigate movement, good PD and 2 AP. You can remove the Planetfall MAR and give it Bigger Batteries, which make it quite an efficient SRS sweeper. It's also cheap. Having the unmanned MAR protects it from decrewing, and whilst it makes it theoretically vulnerable to boarding, it will always get 3 dice from PD and AP to defend itself, and who's going to waste a boarding action on them?

Now I think I saw someone pick up on this, but with 2AP each they give you an 8AP shunt board you're paying 80 points for. Pay 100 points and the PD threat to SRS is even greater, and their durability against them and torpedoes much higher. That to me is an interesting option. In fact, I'd not bother shunting them, I'd have them on the board, because if someone wants to waste firepower on them, they're welcome, they can shoot down enemy SRS quite efficiently (a squadron should take out, on average, at least 1 wing per activation), and they're a constant boarding threat. That's not a bad threat profile for a small investment. I may well be adding another box...

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