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What are the benefits of having docked ships on the assault carrier? Why would I want them docked? Why not just deploy them at the start of the game?

Basically, what benefit or advantage does the assault carrier provide?

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Interestingly enough they had an article on this just a short while ago: Begin Your Pursuit.

To summarize to just your question, I think there's three major benefits:

  1. Ships that are docked are not "on the table" and can't be targeted in any way, making sure your more fragile ships make it into the heart of the battle without taking damage.
  2. Ships that are 'undocking' move from the front (or rear) of the Assault Carrier itself, so your ship can deploy further into the battle or into a better position.
  3. Ships 'undock' as part of the Huge Ship resolution, which is always after all smaller ships, so your lower Pilot Skill fighters can deploy and maneuver into place after the opponent's higher Pilot Skill ships have already moved and boosted/rolled.

The article provides a great example of these three in combination by using Captain Jonus and 3 other TIE Bombers, moving the Vector-titled Assault Carrier a full 4-straight forward and then deploying the bombers another 4-straight forward, putting them in range to Target Lock and volley Ion Torpedoes or Assault Missiles directly into the heart of your enemy's formation before they have a chance to spread out.

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