27 March 2013

Titles- Ship Titles Millennium Falcon and Slave I

This post regarding Ship Upgrades is part of a larger article regarding Wave 2 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.

Millennium Falcon (1)
Card Text: Your Action Bar gains the <Evade> action icon

Usage in game: Declaring an Evade Action on a YT-1300.
Breakdown: I really thought I was going to dig this upgrade more than I do. It's a flavorful, thematic upgrade that ought to do you some real good, but if I'm being honest, all the games I've played with it, it's left me a bit wanting. Upon close examination, I think I know why.

So here's the deal- the YT has 1 Defense die standard, so almost without thinking, I grab the Falcon title because it gets me an Evade, right? Sure. And I'm usually mitigating one hit per turn, once in awhile (3/8 of the time) I'm mitigating two. That sounds fine on paper, so where am I screwing this up?

I think it's because the Falcon's so dang big, it's really easy for the opponent to get within Range 1 of her and nobody is rolling two Attack dice, the most I can possibly mitigate. Of course, she makes up for it by having more shields and hull than anybody else in the game, but if you're like me, you feel a little underwhelmed by the Falcon title.

So what did I expect for a point? Were my expectations too high? Is my ability to effectively fly her too low?

Yes to both, probably, but more likely the latter.

Slave I (0)
Card Text: Your upgrade bar gains the (torpedo) icon.

Usage in game: Uhh, it lets a Firespray take Proton Torpedoes.
Breakdown: Back in 1996, I was living in Austin, Texas. A buddy of mine who was my roommate at the time, took his girlfriend to go see this new movie called Ransom starring Mel Gibson. When I woke up the next day, he was all, "Dude- I saw Ransom last night. It was pretty awesome.", to which I replied, "So... Gary Sinise was the kidnapper, huh?" My roommate was shocked at my dead-on presumption and said, "How'd you know?" I said, "Dude, he just stole the show in Forrest Gump. Like he's really going to take some lame-o supporting actor work as a cop or whatever. He's obviously the bad guy."

I never did watch that movie because I was right, well that and the fact you kinda already know how 99% of kidnapper movies are going to end. I got nothing against Ron Howard as a director, but that's like the dictionary definition of telegraphing a punch. For the how to on not doing that, reference Fincher's brilliant Se7en and recall that Kevin Spacey wasn't mentioned in the trailers or promos or anything. Hell, they even kept that dude's name off the theatrical movie poster.

As I often do on here, I digress. There is a point, though.

When I saw teh internets dismissing the Slave I title card because it involved the most terrible of terrible upgrades, I immediately thought, "Ok- why?" Just like when I saw Gary Sinise's was apparently playing second-fiddle in Ransom.

First, like the brews at Delta Tau Chi, the Slave I title don't cost nothin', so there's that. 

Secondly, it doesn't replace anything in your upgrade bar, so if for some reason you fancy the notion of hauling around a double load of ballistic warheads, but aren't hip to a Y-Wing, you can do it for only the cost of what you pick to be in your tubes. 

I think the thing that kills it for most people is the Heavy Laser Cannon, as it's a 7 point Secondary Weapon System that isn't just one-shot and if you're looking at Proton Torpedoes plus a missile, you're looking at 8 points, at least. Keep in mind though, the HLC can't score crits by itself, where Proton Torpedoes gets you much better odds at rolling one, which again, I feel like has a much more tangible benefit in Wave 2 against the big ships. 

You could also kind of hedge your bets a little bit by taking both PTs and a missile of some type. PTs are a decent all-rounder, but having those at your disposal opens you up to having a more specialized missile like Assault Missiles, for example, to use if the opportunity arose. 

I've not tried any of these PTs + Missile gambits out yet, so don't nail me too hard in the comments, I'm merely saying it's a possibility that you ought to at least not outright dismiss, especially with the pilot abilities of Kath Scarlet and Krassis Trelix.


  1. Evade on the Falcon isn't to cancel all damage, it's to take less damage. Just about ever single time you evade on the Falcon you are saving one hull or one shield. That has a lot of potential. I tried it once with Chewie+PTL+Weapons Engi+Gunner+Falcon, and it made for a Falcon that took a TON of shots to kill, but still was able to dish out some serious damage.

  2. I think the Slave One Title is useless. I think I over value missiles (at least until I play missile heavy builds enough to make sure it isn't the dice that are screwing me), but when you can take for 3 points more a unlimited use 4 attack die weapon that doesn't even require a target lock, why would you ever bring a missile? I like the idea of an easier crit on Kath as much as the next guy, but I could get the same thing for 3 points by taking Marksmanship. If the HLC required spending a target lock, I could see bringing missiles instead. In my experience a Firespray with a HLC is targeted at close range or in the rear so much it's hard to get more than 2 or 3 shots with it so it would be worth missiles for the extra effect. But when the HLC doesn't need a target lock, that makes a lot of potential for extra damage. (PTL for TL+Focus FTW!) I can't see the benefits of the various missiles or the lost crit potential outrunning that major benefit.

  3. Wait, I thought titles were distinct from modifications insofar as list-building goes. Have I been wrong these last few weeks?

  4. I don't think so, the Titles do not say that they are modifications.

  5. They even have a different symbol on the back.

  6. Thanks, Patrick.

    This bit...

    "The problem really is that the Falcon title is a Modification, and while like the rest of the Mods, there really aren't any bad ones, there might be another that would serve a more useful function on the Falcon."

    ...threw me off and made me second guess myself.

  7. I think you are correct Boarstorm, Titles are separate from modifications. Therefore you can have one mod and one title per ship.

    Is this correct? I know I read this somewhere... but now I can't find it.

  8. I have been playing this wrong for awhile then! Never even noticed the back.

    My bad y'all! Editing now.

  9. So Patrick, I'm curious- what's your take on the Slave I title then? Why'd FFG bother printing it?

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. I would guess that they wanted to have a Title card and couldn't think of anything better that would be balanced. Or maybe they thought it would be cool to have the Slave I be able to take any upgrade except droids. (which it is, but it doesn't seem very useful)

    I think they should have made something that goes very well with Boba Fett's ability. Meh, I can't really blame the people behind this game because they made an amazingly well balanced game with very diverse ships.

    (I wish I could edit posts)

  12. The reason they printed it is that Slave I is a unique ship, and thus you can only have one Firespray per list that has the title. Whether it sucks or not is a different issue, but clearly the reason to have not just put the torpedo icon on the Firespray to begin with is so you can't field two or more Firesprays with torpedoes (es or s? tomatoes, potatos, torpedoes, I don't knowes). There can't really be any other reason since it costs zero and they could have printed the torpedo icon on the card if they had been disposed to it.

  13. But if is not as good as alternatives, why make the card?

  14. See, that's why I think there's something we're missing with the Slave I title- FFG got so much right with this game that it seems unlikely they blew it with Slave I.

    I mean, it's possibly obviously, but it just feels wrong somehow that Slave I, or as Sean points out, having PTs on a Firespray was something they could have easily facilitated, but chose not to. What are we missing here?

  15. I think that's Sean's point though- they were worried about all Firesprays being able to carry PTs, so they effectively made it a 0-1 choice.

    Why though? If they're so pointless people would never want to take them, why bother? Just stick the icon on there and call it a day. Surely they could have thought of *something* for the Slave I title card's rules.

  16. It's not the first near worthless card. Maarek Stele, Fel's Wrath, Boba Fett etc seem overpriced for an underwhelming ability), a lot of the high pilot skill generics seems nearly pointless, when a ship can only target lock or focus, why would you pay 2 points for 2 pilot skill? Sure you get a chance to kill an enemy and take away their shot that round, but how often will that happen? The good news is that underwhelming cards don't really detract from the game, they just don't add anything. Still it's kind of annoying.

    Anyway, I'm hoping that some new torpedoes will be released with wave 3 which give a reason to choose a torpedo over the HLC. (I would also like a mod to a make torps slot a missile slot and vice verse)

    1. Maarek Steel is not so worthless in Wave 2.

    2. Oh, and I don't think Fel`s Wrath or Bobba are useless, either.

  17. I think whether it is worthless or not is a matter of some subjectivity. I mean, I, like you, would probably just take an HLC any old day, but mayhaps somebody out there likes to play with missiles and bombs and has a good amount of success doing that. Maybe somebody likes to play with the Firespray at range 1 all day, and they put torpedos on it with deadeye in addition to homers just in case they are out at range 2 or 3 for a round and need an extra punch. If someone plans to fight at range 1 all day, he doesn't really need HLC anyway because he would already have 4 attack dice. I mean there's no denying that torpedoes aren't the favored weapon out there, but I'm not sure somebody wouldn't find value in them.

    Oh wait...I gots it: Torpedoes with Merc Copilot and Marksmanship at range 3: I just got 3 crits on you sucka! With one shot. And I ain't roll nothing but eyeballs. How ya like them apples?

    I mean, I play with Maarek Stele all the time... when I want to suck.

  18. 3 crits could cripple a Falcon without shields, and that would be pretty badass, but that's way too situational, and would only be worth it against a Falcon build. Seems pretty close to useless, but that's not a huge deal much better than it being so powerful that it breaks the game.

    Mayhaps you read A Song Of Ice and Fire? Great series.

  19. It's fairly situational, but it's not so specific that it'd kill you to take it. Running Marksmanship and Mercenary Copilot is fairly common on a Firespray anyway. The 4 points for the Torps is really all you'd be out to give yourself that functionality. It's not cheap by any means, but it's not like you really have to set yourself up exclusively to make use of this idea either.

  20. The odds of four crits aren't terrible either, considering that a roll of crit, hit, eyeball, eyeball would be four crits. The only way you don't get hits in this context is to roll blanks, and most of the time non-blanks you roll will be crits. It is situational, but it is devastating to any ship that gets hit by it. Granted, all ships usually have at least 2 defend dice at range 3, so it could be defended, although on Kath Scarlet, the great likelihood is that your opponent will either get hit by at least two crits or mitigate at least one, so it is darn near a guarantee of two negative effects on any ship with her firing it (and maybe even more than two negative effects). Where it would have the most application is to use it late in the game against the Falcon, I think. HLC with marksmanship and merc copilot gives a pretty good shot at two crits and you can fire it repeatedly, so I still think I'd take it instead, but maybe I'll try out the torps just to see what happens.

    Also, most of the time, we are considering what is good in a 100 point list. The game also can be played with a 50 point list or a 200 point list, so depending on what you are doing, it might be more viable in a game where you are fielding more points or not as many. The game does seem to have a marketing aspect targeted towards others besides pure competition wargamers, so that may be part of the reason to have it also.

    I have read the Song of Ice and Fire series, and to paraphrase: it was the greatest set of five books, that Sean had ever read.

    Also, I read Dark Tower, but I have been saying "mayhaps" for years, methinks.

    Mayhaps I'll name my collection of ships "Nightsoil Squadron"