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Subject: Tactical Guide - Interdictor class Cruiser rss

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Michael Ptak
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Tactical Guide – The Imperial Interdictor

I’ve had this guide sitting on my harddrive for a while. Since I got the Flotillas out, I might as well polish this one and put it up and out for new players to look over and veterans to consider.

Overview:

The Interdictor originally came from Heir to the Empire and has been around since as the Immobilizer 418. It's status as a canonical ship remained disputed until Star Wars Rebels brought us this “Imperial Interdictor” under the command of admiral titus. While it's not sure if this is a real Immobilizer 418 as referenced in Tarkin, it is nevertheless the same hyperspace stopper we're all familiar with. FFG had an interesting question before them of how to depict the ship in a game where Hyperspace really wasn't a thing. It seemed they had a few ideas, giving us this piece.

In general the Interdictor is one of those spellcaster ships that sacrifices combat ability for the sake of special effects and boosting upgrades. However, it isn't as direct as some of the other upgrades in this wave like the Fleet Support icons out of the Flotillas. Rather, it does this by having a high engineering value to take advantage of cards like Projection Experts, and an Experimetnal upgrade that only the Interdictor can take. At 90 points it is pricey, but there are some things only the Interdictor can do.

Command Stats:

Our second medium Imperial ship has a remarked difference from the VSD by bringing us Command 2. This is advantageous because the Interdictor doesn't have to devote the officer slot for something special, like a Wing Commander, to prepare for contingencies. Command 2 gives this the flexibiltiy of smaller ships, like GSDs. Generally when I run my Interdictor I have a plan for it anyway and won't usually be changing commands away from engineering often, simply because I like running engineering combinations (and it is the strongest ability of the ship). Besides given the Interdictor’s capabilities you don’t often want a command other than engineering unless, for instance, the ship needs to flee with a navigation command.

Squadron 2 can be enhanced to squadron 3 with Expanded Hangars, though there's little to really enhance fighter operations beyond that. It's there if you end up with a squadron command to push fighters, but the lack of an offensive team means even at command 3 your fighters were merely be commanded, not fight harder than if a VSD was telling them what to do. Squadron 2 just feels to me that it's better than Squadron 1. You can combine this with a Fighter Coordination Team to allow the Interdictor to drag a squadron around, but you’ll likely be using that slot for Engine techs or engineering teams to highlight the Interdictor’s other advantages.

Engineering 5 is where things get interesting, since no other ship in the game at present has an Engineering value this high. It's significant not just for the raw number, but for the fact that a token provides an additional 3 engineering points, bringing you to 8. That's 4 shields, or two damage cards and a shield. As I mentioned earlier, Projection Experts can take advantage of that high engineering value to throw shields to friends. Taking Yularen can allow you to hold onto that token to maintain Engineering 8. With an Engineering Team onboard and a token, that total can go to 9.

In the very least this offers a tremendous amount of staying power for the Interdictor, combined with the two contain tokens, to block non-standard crits from resolving against it.

Firepower:

For the resiliency you get out of the Interdictor and the powers I'll go into below, sacrifices have to be made. Speed is one, the other is firepower. The Interdictor is barely better than a CR-90 in terms of firepower spreads, but it isn't all that bad. Both versions throw four dice out of their front and side angles, which in terms of raw damage is still more than a CR-90.

Having all that blue dice, the Interdictor helpfully comes equipped with an Ion cannon. I don't feel there's a go-to Ion cannon at the moment to readily equip to any Interdictor to take advantage of, though SW-7s will make all blue dice count as hits regardless of their facings. Overload Pulse is also useful for a ship in the support role, though it does depend on rolling a critical result to use. Non-screed fleets might instead go for SW-7s, or free up the points for other things.

The Combat refit allows two reds to be thrown out of the fighting angles, but it also increases the AA dice to blue-black over the Suppressor's single blue. The second die trades range for a greater chance to do damage against enemy fighters in close range. It feels useful to me only in that it is two dice you are throwing against targets, like the TIE fighters nobody takes anymore. Still, the Combat Refit is there for players who want their Interdictors to take a more active combat role alongside the one Experimental upgrade they choose to take.

Navigating:

The Interdictor is the third ship in the game that suffers from speed 2. But, like the MC80, the support team can allow the ship an additional move with Navigation Teams activating off of a command token or dial. However, I can't think of a reason why the Interdictor really needs to move speed 3 except to escape destruction. Several of the Experimental Upgrades trigger across the board and at times when position does not matter. The other two either keep targets at a distance (G8s), or protect friends that you will be keeping close to the ship anyway (Targeting Scramblers, more on both later).

The Interdictor otherwise shares the same movement profile with the MC80: A single click on every position of speed on the chart. But with the firepower only serviceable and identical on all faces, it is not essential for the Interdictor to be anywhere special.

Nevertheless, the option of faster movement is there for players that may feel they want their Interdictors to move faster for whatever reason. Navigation Teams combined with Yularen (who is probably saving engineering tokens as well) can give you the extra speed 3 if you need it.

Protection:

I think the Interdictor is among, if not the best, protected ship in the game. It's an odd thing to say considering the ship doesn't have the traditional Defensive retrofit slot for an ECM, since now it will always take the full amount of damage fielded against it. However, consider the following: Hull 9, Engineering 5, Support Team slot. As I mentioned above the ship can heal up to 4 shields a turn, and with contain only APT spammers and carriers are going to be dealing crits against it. If the Interdictor is constantly spamming engineering with a support setup, it can last a long time. And since a lot of its special abilities are passive anyway the ship doesn't need to spend effort on other kinds of commands.

That said, the ship does still only have a single brace and redirect with no way to protect them by getting ECM. But I think the high engineering value really makes up for it. It can be even worse if you have a flotilla or two with engineering teams behind the Interdictor taking away damage cards, freeing the Interdictor to focus on shield repair.

And now that I’m writing this after Wave 5 has been spoiled, Minister Tua can give this ship the ECM card it has been missing. As long as you have a means to keep feeding the ship an engineering token in absence of Yularen, you can field the most survivable ship possible in the game.

Upgrades:

Now things get interesting, since I can use this space to cover the Interdictor's FOUR new Experimental upgrades that only this ship can carry. It remains to be seen if the Rebels will get an Interdictor of their own (Maybe one of the CC frigate series? We know they exist thanks to Tarkin). Until then, these are the privilege of the technologically superior Empire.

Let's start with the G-8 Experimental Projector, which I think is the most well-rounded of the four. The G-8 is in essence a super tractor beam. It triggers as an enemy is declaring a move of any speed. Exhausting the card temporarily brings the ship's speed down by 1, to a minimum of 0. Barring collisions this card is the only thing that can keep an enemy ship stuck on a rock or debris field to keep suffering damage, or simply not move. It is also the most expensive of the upgrades at 8 points, which points to its usefulness.

The G8 I feel is useful against slow ships trying to escape, or just messing with enemy movements in general. I don't think the question has been answered if this affects Navigation Teams, but if it does, that's a nice poke to the eye of the Demolisher builds that have been dominating the game since Ackbar challenged the Empire. The problem with the G8 however is, while it still touches enemy ships within a distance stick, it won't hurt ships that activate out of range. This includes any suicidal Raider corvettes or Demolisher itself on a kamikazie run. Still, against ships that aren't those things, G8s are going to be uncomfortable to face. Especially if you're thinking about skipping over rocks.

The next one I use probably more often are the Targeting Scramblers, at 5 points. I feel this could have been a great way to help give protection to the flailing VSDs, but sadly, it works only when the target ship within range is defending at close range. In essence, this card only protects friendlies (or itself) against fighters, ships in ramming distance, or Demolisher and friends attacking with black dice. Even then, it's a re-roll, not out-right cancellation. It's better than nothing at least. I use it on a sole Interdictor with Projection Experts to guard a pair of VSD-Is I have charging their targets. It works when everyone is in brawling range, but sadly not before.

The next two upgrades are perhaps the most interesting of the four, because they act the most outside of the typical range of the game. They are both range independent and only affect setup, which I can agree is an appropreate way to treat Interdictor powers, even if they don't affect Hyperspace as they should be.

The first of these is the G7-X Gravwell Generator. Before setup, place a token. Any ship deploying up to distance 3 of that token must start at speed 0. It's easy to presume placing this opposite of where your ships want to go is a disadvantage to your opponent, but lately I've seen ships WANT to set up at speed 0 and force the opponent to come to them. With the board edge to their back, any zealous fast-moving opponents risk overshooting and flying off the board. If no ships can get back there, their rear arc is protected. So in a way, one might wish to use G7s on him or herself.

Another thing to do is block out a flank. By placing the gravwell zone in a far area, any ships that would otherwise deploy there at speed 3 or 4 and accelerate their way into your flank are going to have to spend several turns accelerating instead of preparing. True, those ships are probably going to be spending navigate tokens anyway, but at least it's this instead of banking tokens for other purposes.

I have yet to model how this card would look in Fleet Ambush, but the results wouldn't be pretty. Anyone seeing Fleet Ambush with this combination would probably pick another objective no matter what it was.

The last one is the Grav Shift Re-route, which I would consider another very general upgrade but not for the same reasons as the G-8. This one can have some further reaching consequences for some of the game's objectives. Take Contested Outpost for example. With Grav Shift Reroute, after deployment, you can pull the station closer to your side of the board to make it easier to capture. With Gravshift reroute, since the obstacles are moved AFTER deployment, you can take note of each enemy ship's speed and subtly move an obstacle to block their path or block the line of fire.

Both of these latest two upgrades are 2 points and affect only setup. They are afterthoughts, so if you want to build an overload pulse combat-heavy eternal Interdictor but have two points free, its worth considering one of these two upgrades to mess with the enemy while taking the battle to them.

Now that we have that, let's consider the other upgrades. The officer slot is always useful, and I've already mentioned Yularen, but another option could be commander Aresko from the Gozanti pack if you have another ship already doing engineering commands or whatever you would like the Interdictor to participate in.

Veteran Captain could be useful for the one-turn engineering token when you suddenly need to ramp to Engineering 8 without one, and Skilled First Officer can lop off an unwanted top command to make your second command, the one you just assigned, activate instead on a moment's notice for one point.

Engineering Captains may be a bit redundant, unless you're afraid of Slicer tools.

Moving into the Support slot. I've already touched upon Engineering Teams and Projection Experts, both of which can utilize the powerful engineering rating on the ship. A third option to consider is what the pack gives us; the fighter coordination teams. The Interdictor pack gives you one, and this is what Squadron 2 is probably the most useful for. Among everything else that the Interdictor does, it can passively push squadrons around but not activate them and allow your carriers to do that for you.

In terms of the Offensive retrofit, the carrier options feel a bit wasted on the Interdictor and the anti-fighter options aren't usually good enough on many ships. Unless you want to try something specific like using Squadron 2 with boosted comms, my recommendation would be Tractor Beams. Combining this card with the G-8, you have a lot of control abilities over enemy ship movement that no other vessel has access to. You could even find ways to combine G8s and Tractor Beams to hold a ship in place while others (like a VSD-I) close in for the kill.

Titles:

The Interdictor comes with only one title: The Interdictor. I wished they had called this pack the Immobilizer 418 and made the Interdictor a unique title, or given us one of the colorful I-418 titles like Bomb, Black Asp, or Harpago. Instead, it's the Interdictor. Apparently. The prototype?

Regardless, this card allows you to exhaust it to un-exhaust any other card on the ship when any ship activates. So while the Interdictor can't use it twice in its own turn, it can use one of its ship actions consecutively. For example, if you have Targeting Scrambler escorting two VSDs, you can kick it once when the first VSD is attacked, and then when you are activating one of your ships (like the attacked VSD, you can exhaust the Interdictor title to free up Targeting Scramblers for another shot.

Another use for Interdictor could just be for keeping the G-8s active to zap two targets that come into range. You can fire it off for your primary target, then when your second target activates, the Interdictor title acts to get the G8 ready to strike again.

How to use it:

If it wasn't clear by now, the Interdictor is a tanky support vessel, but not without some firepower. Four dice out of all arcs at medium range means the points you put into the ship isn't just for the wild abilities it brings to your fleet. The ship is beefy and comes with some unique capabilities nothing in the Imperial fleet (or indeed, the game) were ever capable of before.

However for all the bonuses the Interdictor grants through the experimental refit, I don’t feel the ship is as essential to Imperial strategies as say, Flotillas. They can help provide some protection against Demolisher by means of the G8s and Targeting Scramblers, and they can help catch large ships flat-footed to slow them down, but I think taking an Interdictor might be worth it more for the grav shift re-route for objective play or messing with your opponent. It’s worth taking one to have those strategies on-hand, and it’s still the only ship in the game that it can do what it does, but the vistas it opens up won’t be large for Imperial options.

On a final note however, based on an interview regarding the Corellian Campaign pack, it appears Interdictors are going to have significance in campaign play by preventing enemy retreats. How that works exactly remains unknown, but the presence of one in a campaign fleet might be worth building around to catch and destroy enemy forces that your side wants to obliterate. We’ll know more when the campaign pack is officially released, though this might give the Interdictor more of a purpose in an Imperial fleet. Something I find completely proper!
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Paul Naxer
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