This post regarding Secondary Weapon Systems is part of a larger article regarding Wave 1 listbuilding- the rest of the posts n this series will be available in the coming weeks as I'm revealing a post or two per day on the various topics in that larger article. For more info, click the "Ship List Articles" tab at the top of the page or simply click here.
Ion Cannon Turret (5)
Attack Dice: 3
Card Text: Attack 1 ship (even a ship outside your firing arc). If this attack hits the target ship, the ship suffers 1 damage and receives 1 Ion Token. Then cancel all dice results.
Usage: First, understand how this works- if you score at least one hit (e.g. you roll more hit/ crit explosion symbols than your opponent can cancel with wavy arrow Evade symbols), they get an Ion Token and one damage (regardless of how many hits actually got through the Evades rolled, Evade Action, or shields). If they get an Ion Token, they don’t use a movement dial next turn, instead they move forward 1, which is considered to be a white move for these purposes (note they can still do Actions and can attack and defend as normal). Second, realize that a TIE with an Evade token is not very likely to be ionized- this isn’t some spam cannon- you do still need to be intelligent with your target selections. Third, you’re only going to do 1 hit worth of damage when you successfully use the Ion Cannon Turret, regardless of what you roll, so be smart about that too.
Admittedly, with only having a 2 Attack primary weapon, it’s usually going to be better for a Y-Wing to fire the Ion, but not if you can get into Range 1 and fire primary which of course nets you 3 dice without a hit limiter.
All that said, many people, me included, really don’t consider fielding a Y-Wing without an Ion Cannon Turret as they tend to mitigate the poor manueverability of the Y-Wing. It’s also great for catching people off guard as many players look at movement and manuevering with a keen eye on the firing arcs of their opponent’s ships. Having a 360 degree arc of fire will catch veteran and new players off-guard a like, often several times per game (at least in my experience).
Bear in mind too, even though it's not some sort of missile or torpedo, the Ion Cannon Turret is a Secondary Weapon System. As such, you do not get an extra attack die firing from Range 1, but conversely, your opponent does not get an extra defense die if you're attacking him from Range 3!
EDIT: Recall that the Ion Cannon Turret has a Range of 1-2 so the above doesn't really apply to the ICT. The no extra Defense die portion of the discussion is the result of me getting that rule wrong for a long time, so I kind of go overboard mentioning it any chance I get.
The takeaway here is the discussion is correct, but it doesn't apply to ICTs.