Join us for an in depth look at the workhorse of the Rebel fleet, the Nebulon-B! And learn how to best use it in Armada.
Hey BoLS readers and Armada fans! we are going to start doing an in depth look at the ships and squadrons of Fantasy Flight’s hot new game, Star Wars: Armada. Today we begin with my favorite starship, the Nebulon-B escort frigate!
The EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate, built Kaut Drive Yards, was first introduced by the Empire to act as a convoy escort ship. Capable of carrying 24 TIE fighters and equipped with heavy anti-fighter armaments it was designed to protected against Rebel starfighters. The ship however was made much more famous by its use as part of the Rebel fleet, which, bought, stole and captured enough of them to make it one of the most iconic Rebel ships. A flexible design, the old Neb-B is the major workhorse of the rebel forces capable of filling many roles.
Though maligned by many, the Neb-B is my favorite Rebel ship of the first two waves of Armada. Primarily this is because I flat out love the look. Now call me crazy, oh wait you do, but I think its goofy look is amazing. It has neither the sophistication of a Star Destroyer nor the grace of a Mon Calamari star ship, but it frankly, looks like something the humans of Star Wars would build. Its a chunky, blocky, un-aerodynamic ship that gets the job done. I also love it because its a super solid and flexible ship. So lets get started by taking a look at its stats.
Straight off we have a very interesting looking ship here as it is the only Rebel ship so far that clearly doesn’t want to get into a broad side fight, not only are its guns there the worse of its facings, but so are its shield. It’s gun and shields arrangement make it the first real head on attack ship of the rebel fleet. Looking past that however the ship may initially seem rather meh. Compared to the CR90 for example, the more expensive Neb-B has throws the same number of dice, has the same number of shields, is slower, has a worse upgrade bar and gains only a single hull point. These points however are deceiving.
The Neb-b is the perfect flexible ship, while it doesn’t have a massive number of dice to throw, what it does have are red dice. In fact the only ship in the game that puts more red, long range, dice out of its front arc is the Imperial II. In addition the Escort Frigate has a two dice anti-fighter armament and squadron two, making a wonderful support ship for fighters. The cheaper support refit version loses both these advantages and turns into more of a straight long range sniper ship. In addition having two braces among its defense tokens , and three forward shields, make this ship much more survivable than it appears. What really take the Neb-B to the next level however is the title cards.
The Neb-B is blessed with three solid and role-defining title cards. Yavaris makes it the most effect carrier for aces in the game. Salvation makes it a beast at dealing long range damage. Redemption is an amazing support ship for your whole fleet. The title cards are pretty self explanatory so I won’t talk about them too much. I do want to point out that if you combine a Neb-B with the Yavaris title, with a second one carrying this guy:
You can allow a single fighter to move and shoot up to three times in one turn. That’s good on anything, but particularly amazing on Aces like Luke, or Nym. The key to this trick is to activate Adar’s ship first, have the fighter move into position and attack, then use Yavaris to activate the fighter again.
Upgrade wise the Neb-B has a number of good choices to pick form. In particular the XI7 Turbolasers will help you long range shots wear down a shield facing, while Slaved Turrets will make your front even more devastating. Adding an Engineering Team gives you the same repair points as a MC80 and can stack with a friendly Redemption.
To me the real value in the ships is of course how you use them. Neb-B’s are a wonderful addition to any fleet, but they are probably the hardest Rebel ship to use. Like most Rebel ships they prefer to be at long range for engagements, but unlike most they tend to head towards the enemy fleet head on, making it harder to stand off. In addition, while maneuverable the ship is no CR90. Thus the Neb-B really thrives on the edges of any clash, making nice loops to stay on target, but also to get it punches in. Alternatively in needs to be in a big ball of fighters, clearing the way for them and using them to pound any enemy ship. If you are not acting as a carrier then maneuvering is gong to be KEY for these ships, and that is the action you should be taking most turns.
So, with all that said, how can we best make use of the Neb-b in a fleet?
For 129 points you can add this to any fleet:
Nebulon-B Escort Frigate(57 pts)
Yavaris (5 pts)