23 September 2013

System Upgrade- Sensor Jammer

This post regarding System Upgrades is part of a larger article regarding Wave 3 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 "List Building Resources" tab at the top of the page or simply click here.

Sensor Jammer (4)
Card Text: When defending, you may change 1 of the attacker's <filled explosion symbol) results to a <eyeball symbol> result. The attacker cannot reroll the die with the changed result.
Usage: I was playing a custom scenario that +Sean Hocking wrote last weekend with +Benjamin Coleman. I won't go into details just yet as once we get it totally worked up and playtested we'll throw it up here for y'all to check out, but I was playing Imperials and to round out my point total to 100, naturally I threw in Dark Curse, because much like bacon, Dark Curse goes well with anything, really.

Of course, I've covered him on here before, but to refresh your memory (assuming you didn't already click the link and do just that), Dark Curse is a royal pain in the gluteus maximus, and by gluteus maximus I mean ass, because spending Focus tokens and rerolling attack dice doesn't work on him.

I love this for two reasons- first and the most obvious, it's much harder to kill that guy than it oughta be, and two because that kind of stuff gets in people's head from time to time. If you go after him and fail to ding him, you feel like you wasted that ship's round worth of shooting. Do that more than a time or two, and some folks will feel like they're making a mistake and start second guessing themselves in the other aspects of their game.

That mind power doesn't work on everybody, but it works enough that I like to do it because I'm kind of a dick like that sometimes. And also because since I lose about as much as I win, I do at least like to make the people I'm playing sweat a little bit and feel like I got some kind of small victory even in my defeats.

The reason I bring all this up of course is Sensor Jammer sorta does the same thing. Where Dark Curse basically keeps your opponent from modifying his attack roll, Sensor Jammer does the modifying for him and then some- one of his hits becomes an eyeball that he can't reroll.

Now, don't get mixed up on this- spending a Focus token isn't considered a reroll, so if your attacker spends a Focus token after you've used Sensor Jammer on one of his hit rolls, that die will still end up being a hit, but maybe there's solace to be taken in the fact that he wouldn't have needed to burn the token had you not Jammed him. Ditto for stuff that specifically calls out eyeball results becoming something else like with Proton Torpedoes, for example. It also specifies, "When defending" which to me intimates a defense roll, so it's not going to work on stuff like Seismic Charges or Prox Mines, won't help with collisions when you overlap an obstacle, and some of the cards in the Damage Deck that just hurt you without allowing you to try and roll out of them.

So what does it work on? Well, Target Lock is maybe the most obvious example. If your opponent manages say a single hit result on you which you then change to an eyeball, if he elects to spend a Target Lock to reroll, he has to leave that eyeball on the table. It negates other stuff that allows rerolls to- the card text for Krassis Trelix, Solo, stuff like that. Besides of course just changing a hit to an eyeball, end of story. Don't forget about that.

Ok, so you saw me mention Solo and your keyboard ears perked up and you're all set to tell me that Gunner and/ or Luke Skywalker, Crew Member would still activate which functionally would give you a reroll. You'd be correct, of course. If you fired with a big ship and didn't land a hit against your target after all the modifying, defense rolls, and subsequent cancellations (if any) of hits by Evades, etc., the Gunner/ Luke, CM text would activate and you'd make another Primary Attack. 

However, note that Sensor Jammer is one of these always-on kind of things, so long as you're defending, no Action required or anything, so it's still in play against that second Primary Attack too. Not sayin' that's the greatest thing in the world, but there it is. As you'd expect, it's also kicked on for both salvos of Cluster Missiles.

All that said, is it worth the four points? Well, again as you currently can only stick this on a Shuttle or a B-Wing, both of whom only have 1 Defense die to start with, I think it's a good investment. I mean look, it's not a never fails, bullet-proof vest by any means, but if your game plan relies on one of those ships sticking around for awhile, I think anything that can help with that is a good idea, especially since it's not a one-shot type of thing.

As time goes by, people are going to realize more and more that one Defense die is pretty rotten despite what the Falcon would have you believe and folks will just start pouring fire into the B-Wing and Shuttle to down them, and let's face it- they'll likely have pretty good results. Sean was shocked that I managed to smoke his B-Wing in a single turn of shooting (I pointed out that it was three ships firing on it and one of them had a pretty awesome Proton Torpedo roll). Had he been stocking one of these, now I'm faced with that Dark Curse decision of feeling like I'm wasting shots because he has this defense mechanism. 

Maybe I decide to go after some other ship that's I'm more likely to kill even though the B-Wing is still the bigger threat. Or maybe I go after it with two of those ships, but give up when it's time for the third ship to fire because I'm only rolling a couple of hits which are then getting downgraded into single hits. Who knows? The point I've made on here a bunch of times is that the more you force your opponent out of his usual routine, his comfort zone- the more you actually make him think, the more likely he is to make a mistake. Sensor Jammer has that potential to make folks think, so while it's not cheap, it ought to at least get a walkout sometime in your B-Wing or Shuttle.

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