What’s in your Squad Center?

In a recent and rare revelation of data from the devs (https://www.playdomforums.com/showthread.php?207517-Some-REAL-Stats-For-The-Dev%E2%80%99s&p=2887119#post2887119), it was noted that the most common troops in a Rebel Squad Center are Wookiees. Further analysis showed that while Wookiees were more popular overall, sharpshooters were the most common at higher levels (see here). The devs were curious why we aren’t using skiffs, the EAT-AT’s worst nightmare, so I thought I’d delve into what should be stocked in our squad centers.

If you want to skip ahead to the big, important conclusion, scroll down to the end.

Anti-Vehicle Skiff

Anti-Vehicle Skiff

Anti-Vehicle Skiff

The skiff, by its full name, is pretty obvious in its function. I discovered how great they were pretty early into level 6, when you can first start building them with your level 6 factory.

Pros

The 400% buff against vehicles and 200% buff against bruiser vehicles make them ideal to stop an Imperial mech-loaded attack in its tracks. Is it really an EAT-AT killer? It would take one skiff 16 seconds to take down an unhealed EAT-AT. But if you got 3 of them together, that would take just over 5 seconds to bring down the black dog.

Their speed is 3, which sometimes seems hard to believe, but they’re definitely not as slow as the AT-TE. They’re quick enough to get the job done.

Also, unlike so many options, the primary target is vehicles. It seems to stick to that rule 99% of the time.

Cons

When you troops pop out of the SC, the first thing an Imp wants to do is TIE bomb them. Unfortunately because the skiffs are big, they’re easy to hit.

They’re easy targets on the ground, too. The Mobile Heavy Cannon (MHC) is a staple of high level Imp attacks, and it can take down a skiff in 2 seconds. Even if it hits it indirectly, its splash damage would take it down in 3 seconds.

MHC

MHC

Rebel Sharpshooter

Rebel Sharpshooter

Rebel Sharpshooter

The sharpshooter (unlocked with level 7 barracks) has become the most common unit in high level Rebel squad centers. And why wouldn’t it? Its primary target is listed as “Hero”! That’s perfect! That’s exactly what we need on defense! It’s also total rubbish.

The primary target of sharpshooters is infantry. Now if the hero is infantry (Darth Vader, Royal Guard, or Johhar Kessen), which is rare, the sharps will, in fact, go after them. But if those aren’t used in battle, then the sharpshooter will go after every single stormtrooper on the battlefield before it will fire one shot at the EAT-AT or any other vehicle.

Pros

Sharps have amazing range. It might seem like their target is across the screen, but they still manage to pick it off.

They have a 300% buff against vehicles (makes me wish they targeted them more) and a 200% buff against infantry. It can take out most infantry and vehicles in 1-2 shots.

Their camouflage and small size make them difficult to see and TIE bomb at times, especially when they’re among buildings. They are easier to wipe out when they’re in groups.

Cons

They love going after stormtroopers, which makes them so easy to bait.

Rebel Hailfire Droid

Rebel Hailfire Droid

Rebel Hailfire Droid

The hailfire is a personal favorite of mine. While it was originally intended as an offensive weapon, it was later given a buff to make it effective on defense as well. Unfortunately, like the sharpshooter, it seems to go after stormtroopers first. To combat this, I have my SC packed in with other buildings. This lack of space keeps the hailfire locked into place, until the buildings around it are destroyed. That makes it nearly impossible to bait.. Its long range basically turns it into another rocket turret.

Pros

I love its long range. That’s what makes it so great on offense and defense. It can sometimes destroy targets before those targets are in range to fire back.

It has a 300% buff against vehicles. That comes in very handy, but again, it won’t target vehicles until all the infantry are dead.

Cons

Imperials rarely have their infantry close enough together for the hailfire’s splash damage to have an effect.

It has the reputation that it’s made of paper. It usually folds after 1-2 hits.

Speeder Bike

RebelSpeeder

Speeder Bike

Yeah, you read that right. Why, you might ask, am I talking about a vehicle that most people stop using at level 5 or 6? I’ll tell you why! They go after bait! 99% of the time, Imps use stormtroopers as bait for your SC. Skiffs cruise along at a speed of 3, sharps jog across the screen at 2, but speeder bikes fly with a speed of 4!

Pros

Their primary target is infantry, and that’s a good thing! With their speed, they can fly across the screen and pick off those stormies that get spread all around.

150% buff against infantry. I wish it were more, but it’s something.

Cons

They’re relatively fragile. Its health is almost double that of hailfires, so it’s not made of paper, but it’s more like cardboard. A few quick hits, and it’s toast.

It does 75% of normal damage against vehicles and 50% against bruiser vehicles.

Rebel Soldier

Rebel Soldier ("Regs")

Rebel Soldier (“Regs”)

We affectionately refer to Rebel Soldiers as “regs” (short for “regular” soldiers) in our squad. Regs are actually one of the best things to have in your SC. Their low unit capacity makes it easy to fit tons of them in your SC. I’ve seen 32 regs (from a level 8 SC) bring down an EAT-AT in 3 seconds. In fact, they’re kind of ideal for the job. The EAT-AT is powerful, but it shoots slowly. It can take out 4 skiffs quickly, but it will take forever to pick off each and every reg.

Pros

Low unit capacity

Cons

Individual regs don’t do much damage. They’re effective against large targets in groups.

They don’t always spread out, which can make it easy to bomb them or make it slow for them to take out mass, but spread out, stormtroopers.

What’s NOT in my Squad Center?

AT-TE

AT-TE

AT-TE

They’re as slow as AT-ATs and they target infantry first. That would be great if that’s what was doing the most damage to my base. I’ve only bothered using the AT-TE twice on defense, and both times it was a major disappointment, especially considering how many units it takes up (20). Unless they make some major changes, I’d avoid using the AT-TE.

Wookiee Warrior

Wookiee

Wookiee

There’s a reason we stop using Wookiees at higher levels. Sure, they take a beating, but they don’t do nearly as much damage as they should. Wookiees have been known to rip their opponents arms out of their sockets when they lose a game, but in this game they do less damage than regs.

 What goes in MY Squad Center?

With so many options, what do I put in my squad center? Everything! This is the biggest takeaway here. Put as many different troops into your SC as possible. I have seen my defensive stats improve dramatically with this new strategy. With my level 8 squad center, I request:

  • 1 sharpshooter
  • 1 hailfire
  • 1 skiff
  • 1 speeder
  • 5 regs

Not only do you take advantage of their strengths, you also hedge against their weaknesses. Nothing is more frustrating than having your SC get baited and then your troops taken out with one shot from a TIE fighter. But with all 5 troop types in your SC, that’s impossible to do. The hailfire is stuck in your building area, the speeder is flying at 4, the skiff is moving along at 3, and the sharp and regs are plodding along at 2. With them all spread out and headed in different directions, it would take several TIE fighter strikes to take them all out.

The squad center is the single biggest variable to decide wins and losses on defense. You better be in a squad that fills it up and fills it correctly. If you’re not, you should join the Party family of squads because we donate like crazy and fill your SC with exactly what you ask for.

Base layout strategies with 3-2015 update

With the new ATAT post 3-2015 update, it has become very difficult to defend.  Therefore, I’ll preface that even with the best base design, the days of stringing together 10-15 defensive wins in a row is nearly impossible.

First, any base layout should be designed with intention of stopping the most common vehicles and knowing their strengths and weaknesses and their targeting priorities.  After the update, it’s the elite ATAT and MHC combos tagged with repair droids.  Strengths of the elite ATAT is it’s ridiculous ability to shoot from long distances at the shield edge and take out all of your shields.  MHC’s are like our hails regarding taking out turrets.  They can be very effective.  ATAT’s  Weaknesses of these vehicles, include the elite ATAT and the MHC are very slow.  ATATs target shields, then supposedly become generalists.  MHC’s target turrets.  Now that we know a little bit about what the imps mainly like to use, let’s talk base layout strategies.

 

1.  Squad center (SC) is the most powerful defensive weapon rebels have (and imps).  It will stop any imp, no matter how powerful or how poor your base is designed.  Fill SC with sharps/skiffs for maximum impact.  I can talk about SC strategies in a separate post.  Therefore, position your SC so that it maximizes defense.  I most like it in the center of my base or at least near my HQ.  In addition, I prefer it to be triple shield protected.  With the crazy range of the ATAT, imps many times will take out the shields covering the SC and air strike the SC before the SC is tripped.  Therefore, I prefer to triple shield protect it.

2.  Limit the attack points where imps can deploy:  The more attack points you have on your base, the more spread out your turrets have to be and the more your HQ and vaults can be taken out.  This is why I love corner layouts.  Corner layouts help to reduce the range advantage that ATATs have if they deploy in the corner, exposing them to immediate turret fire.

3.  With the new update, you have to spread shields far enough to at least make the ATAT walk a little, thus exposing them to more turret fire.  However, this is tough to balance if you want to triple shield protect your SC.

4.  Limit SC tripping:  If possible, definitely try to eliminate the ability to trip the SC.  This was a common tactic before the update.  With the update, I see this less and less.  this may be something that level 8 imps don’t do as much any more.  But, I’m not sure on this.  It may be because imps know that their ATAT/MHC’s are so slow and that their range is so good at taking down all shields, that they can simply air strike the SC rather than use up precious time tripping the SC and drawing out the SC troops.  Unfortunately, rebels can’t use this strategy as exclusively, as we don’t have the range advantage to take out shields.  Therefore, we have to trip the SC and draw it out.  Unless you have Luke, and use the droideka/sharps to take out the burried SC.  That’s for another post.

5.  Try to separate the MHC (or bruiser tank) from the ATAT:  Having 1 turret to draw an MHC (or bruiser tank) away the ATAT allows your turrets to focus on the ATAT, destroy it, then by the time the MHC comes in turret range or SC troop range, they’re done since their armor is terrible.

6.  Make the ATAT and MHC walk as far as possible:  This is why people like spread layouts.  It’s very difficult to 3 star, and sometimes 1-2 star, as the ATAT is extremely slow.  Same goes for the MHC.  In addition, you can take advantage of the ATAT’s slow speed and it becoming a generalist while it’s walking to another shield or after it’s shot all of the shields.

 

Now with the above strategies, I prefer a corner layout.  The spread layout also accomplishes some of the above strategies, too.  But, I think a traditional spread layout with a shield in 3 different corners sacrifices at least 1 star.  I don’t want to give the imps anything.  So, I found and tweaked a hybrid corner spread layout.  It’s based on Ultimate Mosko’s from Black Wing.  Some of their top guys have modifications of his layout, too.  Of course, I think mine’s better.  haha.

 

This is the layout:

IMG_4790

 

IMG_4794

IMG_4792

Below, you’ll notice the SC is triple protected.  While the shields are not too spread out, it doesn’t matter too much as the SC is typically tripped and multiple turrets are hitting the imp.

IMG_4793

 

Below, you’ll see that the SC trip range covers the entire north corner, northeast and northwest sides.  If an imp deploys there, it is a kamikaze move, as my sharps/skiffs are unleashed on them along with +5 turrets, depending on the exact point they deploy.

IMG_4795

 

Below is a neat little twist that I use to draw MHC’s away from the ATAT.  This is why I think it’s key to limit deployment points on your base layout.  I know that the best way to attack my base is on my east and west corners.  Therefore, I put 1 mortar a couple of buildings in from each corner, specifically to draw the MHC away from the ATAT when they deploy.  In addition, if they attack from the south, the MHC will also be drawn away.  When doing this, you want to put some buildings or wall sections in front of the turret to delay the time it takes for the MHC to take out the turret and then follow the ATAT.  Notice I have 1 building, then a wall section, then another building.

IMG_4796

 

Below is a picture of the section that incorporates a spread layout concept incorporated into a corner layout.  Spread out your wall segments to so that if they deploy in the south, it will take forever for the ATAT/MHC to attack.  It’s very difficult for them to get to the HQ, as it’s all the way on the opposite north corner.  Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to get 3 starred if attacking from the south.

Spreading out the layout also minimizes risk of tripping the SC.  In order for them to draw it out, they have to spend so much time waiting for my troops to get to the trooper dropped in the corner in order for them to drop their snipers behind my SC troops.  Also, there’s not a lot of space for them to do it.  Therefore, it forces the imp to use an air strike on the SC troops while they’re walking if they’re going to employ this strategy.  But, I don’t see imps draw out my SC troops as much anymore for I think reasons I noted above.

IMG_4797

That’s all I got for now.  Many of you are much more creative than me on base design.  I like to copy and adjust.  But, coming up with one from scratch is difficult.  Good luck and happy defending.