With Battle For Earth out, Resistance can now, officially, into space.
Why Play Resistance
You want to play as a group of plucky underdogs surviving in the void with nothing but their hard-won knowledge of the ships they've managed to hold onto.
You want to play as a totalitarian dictatorship in space.
Customizable ships give you a choice between turrets or broadsides and many other choices on top of that.
You want the bragging rights that come from winning with the smallest scan range in the game.
Your admirals are better than everyone else's because apparently DIY training and hiding in deep space prepares you for orbital combat better than regimented training, AI assistants, or centuries of experience.
You want to crash remote controlled bulk landers full of explosives into enemy ships.
Elite Bridge Crew: Remove a major spike instead of a minor spike when taking standard orders. The Resistance faction has this, so all of your ships get it even if it isn't listed in their stat block.
Subsystem Network: When you fire a weapon, you can fire an additional weapon of the same type. So basically if you take two of the same turret, you can shoot them both at once on standard orders.
Ablative Armor: Improves the ship's armor by 2 until the ship is crippled. The larger ships have the bonus factored into the armor listed on their stat block, but the heavy frigate doesn't (because Battle For Earth didn't have enough mistakes in it already).
Low Power: When you fire another weapon, you can also fire your low power weapons instead of your close action weapons. This can add up to a lot of shots without the need for Weapons Free, and most of your close action weapons suck anyways.
Squadron-X: If X or more weapons shoot at the same target at the same time, one of them gets an extra d6 shots.
Unstable: If an Unstable weapon with a random attack value is fired on a Weapons Free order, the ship firing it suffers one damage for each die that rolls the maximum. If it doesn't have a random attack value, it always takes one damage when fired on Weapons Free.
Aside from the single upgrade that Scourge destroyers can take, the Resistance is the first faction in Dropfleet Commander with options for its ships. All Resistance frigates and cruisers choose their weapons and a few other upgrades from a list. This gives your fleet a huge degree of flexibility, and you can spend hours figuring out the optimal builds (customizing the look of your ships is also pretty fun).
- General rules
- All ships in the same group have to take the same options.
- Structure (non-weapon) options can only be taken once per ship.
- Each ship can only have two broadside options, and no, it isn't one on the left and one on the right. Each option adds to both sides, then there's one in the front and one in the back.
- Frigate Systems
- N-31 Hybrid Gun Turret: The cheapest option is this basic turret, though squadron can give a group of frigates with these some bite.
- NC-16 Missile Turret: A close action weapon for if you want to swarm enemies like you were a Taipei. Keep in mind that you don't exactly have the best scan range.
- Light Vent Cannon Turret: Initially it's a couple of oculus rays complete with scald, but you can overcharge it for double damage (it's a little unclear how Subsystem Network interacts with Overcharge). Unlike the larger vent weapons, doing this will always damage you.
- Sensor Dome: The only non-weapon option for a frigate, this grants you the Detector special rule that the UCM's Lima has, allowing you to Active Scan with all of them regardless of their battlegroup's special order. This is extremely helpful in making up for your terrible scan range.
- Cruiser Structures
- Scanner Array: Adds 4" to your scan range. Why doesn't the UCM have this anymore?
- Ablative Armor: Improves the armor by 2 (to a 3+) until the ship is crippled. More valuable on ships with more hull since it takes longer to lose it.
- Drive Refit: Adds 2" to your signature and thrust. Consider it for bulk landers and other ships that need to get into position quickly.
- Cruiser Broadsides
- N-31 Hybrid Gun Bank: Basically PHR medium broadsides, though you don't get as many shots.
- N-8 Artillery Cannon Bank: More shots at lower accuracy than the Hybrid guns, but more importantly it has Low Power, so you can fire it along with another weapon. If your goal is to shoot a lot of guns without needing Weapons Free, this is a good place to look. Also not a bad choice if you want to take potshots into atmosphere.
- NC-16 Missile Bank: A decent close action weapon, and it doesn't replace the one you already have. You probably need the boosted scan range for this to be effective.
- Fighter/Bomber Hangar: At three launch per hanger, you can make a pretty point efficient carrier. Resistance bombers are less accurate than other factions, but they get more attacks. They end up broadly equivalent to UCM bombers, but with more hits and fewer criticals (so worse against armor). Resistance fighters are going to be pretty essential for you. They give the highest PD bonus of any faction, which is good because you start out with the worst base PD. You're going to need these against anyone who's bringing close action or bombers of their own.
- Bulk Lander/Fire Ship Hangar: Gives you a single bulk lander or fire ship. What's a fire ship? A very short range bomber that hits on a 2+ for 3 damage. That can be pretty scary, though you'll need to launch a couple at once to get through anyone's PD. Since your strike carriers don't have Open, you should seriously consider using bulk landers for your ground game.
- Cruiser Turrets
- XN-31 Mass Driver Turret: A single shot on a 2+ and another on Weapons Free. If you take one, take two for the Subsystem Network.
- N-11 Artillery Cannon Turret: Three shots at 4+ with Low Power.
- N-109 Bombardment Mortar Turret: Your only bombardment gun fires 2 shots at 2+. It should be obvious that you take them in pairs because of Subsystem Network. Clusters have no signature, but they also don't move, so you probably don't need the extra scan range for a bombardment ship. Some low power guns might be useful to defend yourself while bombarding.
- Vent Cannon Turret: D3 shots means that this won't always be better than a frigate's vent cannon, but that doesn't make this useless. For one thing unstable won't damage you unless you roll a 3. For another, you can give yourself extra scald range with a scanner array.
Ships of the Line
- Light Tonnage:
- Munifex-class Corvette: Generally a pretty standard corvette. Compared to a Santiago, it's 2 points cheaper, has less scan and thrust (for a 4" difference in threat range), an extra attack on its weapon, and Squadron 3 (though the Adepticon errata gave that to the Santiago as well). It's your only way to kill stuff in atmosphere, so take it or leave it.
- Resistance Strike Carrier: The Resistance strike carrier is mostly pretty standard, but it doesn't have Open, and it's not clear if this was a mistake. This is kind of huge as it means that you can't send them off in whatever direction you want. This will make it much harder for Resistance to respond to the layout of the map. You can give the strike carrier an option from the frigate systems list, but you can skip it if you want to keep the ship as cheap as possible. Giving it a weapon is a good way to give it another job since it can't just fly off by itself and drop troops.
- Resistance Frigate: The Resistance frigate gets a single option from the systems list, letting you specialize your groups for a particular job.
- Resistance Heavy Frigate: Give up 2" of thrust for 3+ armor until you're crippled and the option to take a second system. You can add some versatility or double up on the same gun to take advantage of Subsystem Network.
- Medium Tonnage:
- Resistance Light Cruiser: Your light cruisers each have to take three options from the cruiser list and come in groups of 2-3.
- Resistance Cruiser: Your medium cruisers each get four options from the cruiser list. They have Shaltari levels of armor and worse scan and thrust than any other faction, but of course you can change that if you want to (though you're stuck with 2 point defense).
- Heavy Tonnage:
- Resistance Heavy Cruiser: Your heavy cruiser takes five options from the cruiser list. This gives you a lot of flexibility to build your perfect ship or just load up on weapons. The 2 extra inches of scan is also nice.
- Centurion-class Grand Cruiser: The same one that's been available to UCM and PHR, but with Resistance scan range (your heavy cruisers have 6, why can't this?). A solid ship that can put out some good firepower with its turret or its broadside.
- Gladiator-class Grand Cruiser: Who needs safety when vent cannons exist? You get a turret with D3 shots, and a front mounted weapon with 2D3 shots. Hopefully the bigger gun will be errata'ed to have overcharge. With 4" of scan and 7" of thrust, getting into scald range may be a challenge. Don't worry too much about unstable, the worst it can do is 3 damage, and you have enough hull to take that.
- Superheavy Tonnage:
- Phalanx-class Battlecruiser: Despite the name, this is nothing like other factions' battlecruisers. It's slow, it's super heavy, and it's got almost as much hull as a battleship (though its point cost is in battlecruiser territory). With powerful turrets that double their shots on Weapons Free and a whole lot of broadside guns, you can think of it like a bigger, scarier Centurion.
- Tribune-class Battlecruiser: The same body as the Phalanx, but with a much more varied load-out. One high accuracy turret, one low power turret, two close action weapons, a fighter/bomber hanger, and a bulk lander/fire ship hanger. Wow! Somebody wanted to build a Swiss Army ship, and the fact that they kept it to just 210 points is pretty impressive. The sheer number of options this thing packs could make it a solid choice in any fleet.
- Trident/Elysium Grand Battleship: Grand indeed, it has almost as much hull as a dreadnought, though its other stats are closer to a UCM battleship. What's packed into all that hull? Two of the big scary turrets that the Phalanx has, a whole lot of low power broadside guns, and four torpedoes (that have to be fired one at a time). This thing can put out a lot of hurt on Standard Orders, but Fusillade-4 on the turrets means that it's still worth it to go Weapons Free. All of this comes at just 340 points.
- Olympus/Eden Grand Battleship: The only differences between the two Resistance battleships are the broadside weapons and the price tag. The Eden pays 20 points to swap out the low power guns for vent cannons on the broadside. At face value, this is a definite trade up, but whereas the Elysium's weapons are complementary, the Eden's are somewhat parasitic. The turrets have Fusillade, so they want to go Weapons Free, but the vent cannons have Overcharge and Unstable, forcing you to think about how you're going to do that. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you have to really consider how you're going to use this ship.
Building a Fleet
Tactics and Common Synergies
Resistance have the worst point defense of any faction, and are totally reliant on fighters to protect them from close action and bombers. Unlike most of their weaknesses, this can't be fixed with an option from the systems list.