When asked the question “What does a fleet of X fleet look like?” I have a simple answer, and a more complex answer.
Simply put, it looks like you want it to look. A more complex answer means looking at the CEGA and Jovian fleets individually and identifying what they do well.
When I speak about what players want a fleet to look like I literally mean that. If you love the look of a fleet with a giant centerpiece model like the Yypres or Poseidon battleships then start building your fleet with that! There are no limits other than the basic fleet building ones. Some should be clear. If you have a giant fleet carrier like the Birmingham or Majestic then take a couple of smaller and faster ships to support it, provide mobile bases to interdict enemy exos and fighters and then take advantage of the huge hanger capacity by taking a lot of Exos.
You can plan to make small changes with upgrades over time as you learn the ins and out of the fleet by playing it repeatedly in different scenarios.
When asked what the CEGA (Central Earth Government Administration) fleets look like I have to answer honestly, they are very specialized and eclectic. Some ships have nothing but missile systems. Some have nothing but kinetic cannons. A few have massively oversized guns that are locked in forward arcs. Over gunned but lightly built seems to be a good description. Their exos are specialized and prefer firepower to synergy.
The Jovian Confederation fleets look like the opposite. They give up firepower for flexibility and most of their ships have several roles. There’s a lot of synergy between capital ships and squadrons with mutual support being something both need. The Jovians treat missiles as a punctuation weapon, reserved for the coup de gras.
There are some other very important considerations when selecting your fleet:
Do you have hangers? Crippled squadrons can still support against missile attacks but repairing a model to allow it to use special actions is always a good idea if a good target of opportunity is not available. Deployment also used hangers and is important. A recent game ended in an early defeat for the Jovian player since his lack of hangers meant his reserves had to waste a turn catching up with his forward elements instead of being able to launch directly into the action.
Speed? Who will dictate the pace of the game? If all your ships and squadrons are speed 5” or less you should be expecting your opponent to out maneuver you by turn 4. What will you do about this? Are there upgrades you can get to mitigate being flanked?e you going to
What is your strategy for enemy aces? Having no ace pilots of your own means that enemy ace models will be a lot less afraid to close and engage. A lot of models that are good at dogfighting will get crushed quickly by an enemy ace. Bring at least one, in an elite unit like a Storm Rider or Dragon Striker if possible and in a model with the interceptor trait otherwise. Always pay for a weapon upgrade to make the most of the ace skill if possible.
Do you have a selection of weapons? If you have to face a fleet protected by models with the Barrier trait do you have energy weapons? If your opponent has invested in energy armor did you bring some kinetic cannons and missiles? Having some options can prevent a lot of frustration later.
Where’s the WOW factor? You’re pitting your fleet against another fleet but that fleet is commanded by a human player and they respond in ways that are hard to quantify. Don’t show up with your all Briciu and Syreen fleet and expect your opponent to be afraid. Trade a couple of Briciu for a Hammerhead with some weapon upgrades on the other hand and now your opponent has something that’s going to capture their attention.
Some good ‘rules of thumb’ for picking a fleet (per 250 points):
1 Battleship and 1 Escort Carrier
Or 1 Fleet carrier and 1 Destroyer
Or 1 Destroyer, one Carrier, and an Escort Frigate/Cruiser.
+ 5-7 squadrons with 1-2 models being ace pilots.
Spend no more than 20 points on upgrades.
When in doubt, or without a particular stratagem in mind, variety should always be the goal. It‘s better to take one of each Exo-Armor than double up on a few varieties only to find that a squadron you didn’t select would be a better response.
So design a fleet, and then post it to the forums with your concept. You can also check out the army lists section of the forum for sample fleets and help getting inspired.
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