So I recently bought a Tantive-IV expansion pack, mainly because I was able to get it at a good price and I though the model would look cool on my shelf (where most people’s epic ships sit.) I’ve had a couple of goes with the Tantive IV before and wasn’t impressed. You have to line up the broadside and keep it pointed at the enemy, whilst also keeping it at the right range to line up all four shots to get the most out of it, especially as it can easily push close to half your squad list, and your dice modification is more limited than with small and large ships. The Rebel Transport supporting a number of buffing aces seemed like a better use of points to me. However, I bought it, and I wanted to fly it. So it seemed like a good opportunity to test it vs the new Scum Epic ship, the C-ROC Cruiser. James and I went to York Garrison, and we decided to go with the standard 300 points for a more accurate gauge of the two ships.
I built my list around Roarak Garnet, expecting some heavy hitters including powerful ordnance volleys. I decided the best way to deal with this was to shoot first. Roarak makes a ship pilot 12 skill during the combat phase, so I figured he could make the Tantive pilot skill 12 and fire off all 4 shots before anyone gets to shoot at it, and if I was really clever I could use a few ships with Swarm Tactics to pass this ability round and get multiple ships to fire at pilot skill 12, and destroy a Jumpmaster 5000 loaded up on ordnance quite comfortably. To do this, I had to find the cheapest generic Rebel pilot with 3 attack dice and an Elite Pilot Talent slot. It wasn’t easy! There aren’t many of them! But I settled on the Red Squadron Veteran T-70 X-Wing pilot. And the finished list is below:
If I can keep everything in range, Roarak makes a Red Squadron Veteran Pilot Skill 12 > Red Squadron Veteran #2 > CR-90 Corvette, which gives a total of 6 shots fired at pilot skill 12 before anyone else fires. This could easily be enough to take down a threat before it gets close to plough a large amount of damage in to the CR-90. To make the shots from the CR-90 count, I gave it Weapons Engineer and Sensor Team, so it’s multiple shots can be modified against multiple targets, and by target locking at ranges 4-5, I can make the most of my long range weapons, and hit threats hard before they even get close. Having Esege Tuketu nearby makes up for not being able to assign focus tokens to huge ships, as I can just steal his! Optimized Generators makes sure I have enough energy after powering my hardpoint weapons to recover shields.
James had opted for heavy hitting. A C-ROC with Heavy Laser Turret and cards to back it up such as IG-RM Thug Droids and Mercenary Co-Pilot. Dengar and Manaroo with lots of ordnance, plus Dengar had Swarm Leader with three Scyks to feed him evade tokens to power the rail gun! He also had Kath Scarlet built to deal some damage in her rear arc, with Tail Gunner and Outmanoeuvre equipped.
We placed obstacles in a curvy line across the board. I think we were both making sure our huge ships had room to manoeuvre. As huge ships place first and the C-ROC is only pilot skill 1, this played right in to my hand! James had to place first. As I wanted to take out the C-ROC first (as it has a 4 dice turret from a huge base and can recover shields plus jam my small ships), this meant I could easily place my CR-90 with it’s broadside pointing at the C-ROC. I placed my fighters behind the CR-90 to protect the blind spot (it’s rear) and James placed his Dengar Swarm Leader rail gun to the left of his C-ROC, and Manaroo and Kath Scarlet ahead of my fighters.
Setup and ready to go
A closeup of my setup
The CR-90 and C-ROC close up. So pretty!
Round one, and there was some action. My Rebel ‘mini swarm’ moved fowards towards Kath and focused up, and Kath and Manaroo came foward too. On the other flank Dengar and the Scyks started moving, with Dengar curving round to rail gun the CR-90 next turn. The C-ROC did a two forward, which meant when the CR-90 moved forward it was able to target lock at range 5. Success! This lead to a more bloody than usual first round of combat. Roark made Red Squadron Veteran Pilot Skill 12, who then used Swarm Tactics to pass this on to Red Squadron Veteran #2 who did the same to a B-Wing. The three ships then attacked at pilot skill 12, but with only focus tokens the attacks were average. Kath and Manaroo returned fire and dented the shields on a B-Wing. Esege made some unmodifed TLT attacks on Manaroo. James’ dice weren’t in his favour. It was then the CR-90’s time to shine! Using the Single Turbolaser in the Aft section, I managed to get Manaroo down to just one hull. I spent an energy to boost the primary weapon with an extra dice, and attacked the C-ROC with the primary weapon and the Fore section’s Single Turbolaser. I removed all the shields and got a damage card through on the C-ROC. A good start. Both of the focus tokens on Esege had been used in the volley, this was a great support combo! The final B-Wing finished off Manaroo.
Round 2 saw more blood for the Rebels. The Sycks bumped into each other, causing them to not have range or an evade token for Dengar to use. I didn’t want Kath to zoom past me and have me in her rear arc, so I banked right to form up and go help the CR-90. However, Kath crept forward which I didn’t expect, and caught 3 of my ships with an EMP device.
The combat phase started, and I made my CR-90 pilot skill 12. I then used all 3 weapons that could strike at range 3-5 to finish off the C-ROC in one turn, with backup from Esege and his focus bank. Dengar came round the front of the C-ROC, and managed to get an extra dice with swarm leader and took 4 shields off the front of the CR-90. Kath used EMP device ionizing 3/4 of my ‘mini swarm’ and one of the Syck’s took a pot shot at my CR-90 which bounced off the reinforce token.
The end of the combat phase round 2
Round 3, I used Raymus Antilles to successfully guess Dengar was doing a white manoeuvre (he was turning right in a Jumpmaster!) which I meant I got to assign a stress token to him. This meant he couldn’t barrel roll out of the way, and was flattened by the CR-90. This was the only point in the game where I successfully guessed a white manoeuvre with Raymus, but despite being 6 points I’d probably use him again (though with a lot of the newer ships adding so much green to dials, he is only going to get harder to use.) Considering this led to the destruction of about 50 points worth of ship, he paid for himself, although it was quite situational. With the ‘mini swarm’ ionized, Kath crept forward 1 and was able to use Tail Gunner on a B-Wing and Range 1 with 5 dice. James had switched dice at this point and was having much better rolls, and 4 of the dice provided hits, which meant the B-Wing had just one shield left. The CR-90 took shot at Kath with it’s primary weapon with no target lock, and one hit got through. The Sycks were too close for the Single Turbolasers, and I had moved my Red Squadron pilot that wasn’t ionized to help intercept the Sycks. Now there was only one big hitter left, the Swarm Tactics wasn’t as important.
Round 4, and my ‘mini swarm’ K-Turned/ Talon rolled (including the X-Wing that had gone off, so it was now facing the Firespray.) The Firespray did a 3 sharp left, and was bearing down on Roarak Garnet. The Sycks forced Esege to bump, so no focus bank. However, I used the co-ordinate action from the CR-90 to give Esege a focus action, so I had my focus bank back! Roarak made the CR-90 pilot skill 12. The primary weapon finished off Kath’s shields, and one of the Single Turbolasers bounced off Kath as it grants double agility to the defender. The second Single Turbolaser did get a damage through. Kath used cluster missiles to get the Roarak down to one hull, and a Syck finished it off. The ‘mini swarm’ unleashed on Kath, and she was left with one hull. We decided to end it there. Victory for the Rebels!
The end of Combat round 4
Thoughts on the CR-90
I honestly thought that the CR-90 was going to be rubbish. Keeping all 4 potential shots lined up to get the most out of it would be difficult, making the heavy points investment hard to pay back. It’s also vulnerable if you run out of energy. And once you loose the CR-90, you’ve lost the game as it’s all the firepower in your list gone. However, we worked out afterwoods both hardpoints cover half of the 3×3 section of the board. You have quite a lot of firepower that can shoot before you opponent can even fire at you, which the C-ROC found out. I did expect James to sink more points into swarms of small ships to sit behind my engines and pummel the CR-90 in to it’s weak spot, but getting through the range 3-5 shots the CR-90 to get to that blind spot; James convinced me it was harder than I thought. It would be interesting to see how the CR-90 would do against an Imperial list, as ships like the Tie Defender would just shrug off Single Turbolaser attacks. However, they’d also struggle to sit in the blind spot without a 1 forward on their dial. Ion attacks would cripple the CR-90 as it’s reliant on energy, but that’s if you can get close enough!
Weapons engineer is a must equip on the CR-90. Optimized Generators was also amazing and I can’t imagine playing the CR-90 without it. Esege providing the focus bank was great, and before Wave 7 (K-Wing) and the Imperial Raider (which brought Optimized Generators to the table) I don’t know how effect the CR-90 would be.
While I like the Dodonna’s Pride title, I was too busy performing target locks to co-ordinate, so it was a bit of a waste. I think the Tantive IV title and a Breach Specialist is probably a better idea.
Thoughts on the C-ROC
Unfortunately this fight didn’t give us enough to comment on how good it is. It does have a notable weakness that it is a pilot skill 1 huge ship, so it will always place first. This makes it easy for the opponent to plan their approach. If you have a CR-90 or Imperial Raider you can easily line up your arcs for an opening volley.
Man of the match
No Jan Ors in my list this time! Man of the match goes to the CR-90 which was just a massive damage canon, although Roarak and Esege buffing him had a huge impact on the effectiveness of the CR-90 and there is an argument for them to have man of the match status too! Esege’s focus tokens were mainly used by the CR-90, Esege was very generous! The beauty of the list is you need to take down Roarak and Esege to make the CR-90 less effective, but they are very difficult to get too, and Esege is tough as nails with him being in a K-Wing. It’s not a call I’d like to have to make if I was playing against this list.
I really enjoyed this match, and I really enjoyed flying the CR-90. I was incredibly surprised by how good it was in this match. I might actually pick it over the Rebel Transport next time! It’s just a shame swarms and mini swarms are so effective in epic, it makes it difficult to run lots of aces like I enjoy.