At the time of writing this article, we still haven’t seen a good preview of the Profundity expansion so I’m doing this all based on what little we know about Raddus.
So Raddus hasn’t seen a whole lot of attention yet in the big hype train surrounding Wave 7 for Armada. I’d say primarily because of 2 mains reasons. First, Thrawn’s expansion, the Chimaera, has gotten most of the attention thus far with several articles, and Secondly, Raddus at a glance, appears to give us something we already have access to – a Ship warping in.
Now we’ve already seen a similar mechanic when it comes to the Yellow Objective, Hyperspace Assault. I think that I wasn’t initially too impressed with this commander because of that. It didn’t feel “fresh”. It didn’t feel “new”. But once I looked closer I realized this guy is far superior to that objective and has an awful lot of versatility. In fact, I think Raddus actually takes the place of “Top Strategic Master”, whereas most people may have expected that title to go to Thrawn.
We know now (thanks to the latest FAQ) that you will lose the game if you deploy 0 ships, so you’ll need to start with at least something perhaps a cheap small ship. But the Raddus Bomb is a strategy that involves having multiple ships deploy at the same time. If you are using Hypserpscae Assault you can effectively have Profundity dock a CR-90, and have an Assault Frigate off the map with Hyperspace Assault, (Have that Assault Frigate equipped with Rapid Launch Bays – docking 3 B-Wings, plus your 3 from hyperspace assault), and effectively surprise an enemy with your Assault Frigate warping in with 3 Squadrons, (then it can do a Squadron command and deploy it’s own docked squadrons for a total of 6), then Warp in Profundity, and then deploy a docked CR-90. This can be a really fun way to go, but you run the risk of having your lone ship destroyed BEFORE you deploy everything else – and if that were to happen you’d instantly lose.
I’ve looked deeper at Raddus and think that more subtle usage of his ability might be a more effective approach to bringing him into games.
No Size Restriction
Raddus is better than the Hyperspace Assault objective’s benefit for a multitude of reasons. First, you aren’t restricted to only small and medium ships, which means you can take that loaded up LMC-80 and surprise your opponent with it. LMC-80s make for excellent flanking ships, with the ability to move at speed 3, take gunnery teams, and hit you just as hard as an Imperial Star Destroyer, being able to surprise an enemy with one of these is going to feel great!
No Deployment Disadvantage
Similar to how Governor Pryce allows an Imperial Star Destroyer to gain an advantage by activating last, Raddus can act alternatively for the Rebels, and allow you to DEPLOY last. By using his ability during the FIRST turn of the game, you’ll effectively have the final deployment. This is perfect for flanking ships, but also it allows you to adapt to any objective that might want you to put a ship somewhere without broadcasting your plan to your opponent during setup. Also, if you deploy that big flanking Spinal Armament, Gunnery Teamed MC-80 Liberty at the start of Turn 1, you can gain 2 smaller advantages as well, in that you A) can push it past the normal deployment zone a bit, and B) won’t suffer from the penalty of not being able to activate it first.
This is especially powerful if you end up being first player, as you’ll have an MC-80 that may end up deploying at it’s furthest forward spot, past another forward ship, and at speed 3. This will put it in prime position to shoot first on turn 2. You might even find yourself in a position to destroy two enemy ships at the start of the second turn this way.
Speeding Up the Slower Ships
Another option is to take a Home-One style MC-80, and drop it at the start of turn 2, directly in the path of your enemies. Set one of your smaller ships to speed 3 or 4, and get them close enough to the enemy fleet that a large ship deploying at that point will really screw up their plans. It’s a tough enough ship that it can take a beating and survive for a turn or 2, and it’s large enough that it’ll likely cause some bumping. Bonus points if you can force enemy flotillas to bump! Then when you do activate it, you’ll have those tremendous powerful side arcs in close range of your opponent’s ships! The best part is that you’ll be able to choose where you place the MC-80 so you might even end up with both side arcs having a great shot! You can also probably leave off certain upgrades like Engine Techs, since getting into position will be done for you already at that point.
Rise of the Interdictor
One side effect of Raddus is that the Interdictor will likely see new life. I don’t think the Interdictor is bad, or has been bad, but it’s certainly not a power player in the top lists, and it’s more of a niche ship that seems to do best in objective-focused lists. Now it’s going to have a new purpose with the GX-7 Grav Well Projector
The latest FAQ has stated that these projector tokens remain in place for the entire game. That means that enemy ships that “deploy” after the start of the game, are also vulnerable to the effects of the grav well projector. Having your 150+ point MC-80 deploy, and get set to speed zero is a real problem, especially when you can’t activate it first. That means your opponent will get at least one chance to shoot you, and you will NOT be allowed to spend any defense tokens. This could allow even the strongest ship to potentially be killed in a single attack. It may be a good idea to bring along Lando Calrissian just in case this happens. The good part, is that these tokens have to be placed before deploying fleets, so that still gives Raddus a fighting chance against Interdictors.
But will we see fleets with multiple Interdictors in the future? I doubt it, but with the release of Wave 6’s Disposable Capacitors, Interdictors are stronger and can actually deal out some damage even at long range now, so it might just be a thing, depending on how prevalent Raddus becomes. Counters are a good thing – they keep one list from running wild – and even though I doubt we’ll see double Interdictor Lists become widespread, it’s nice to know that there are some effective measures to stop this master Mon Calamari from running amuck!
Wave 7 was just sent to the printer finally – so it’s looking like we might actually have them in our hands at some point in the forseeable future! My hopes for Q1 are small, especially since FFG deliberately said “Early” 2018, as opposed to Q1. I would bet on a July release at this point.