03 October 2013

Modifications- Anti-Pursuit Laser

This post regarding Modifications 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.

Anti-Pursuit Lasers (2)
Card Text: Large Ship Only. After an enemy ship executes a maneuver that causes it to overlap your ship, roll 1 attack die. On a <filled explosion symbol> or <unfilled explosion symbol> result, the enemy ship suffers 1 damage.

Usage in game: Making folks with spatial awareness issues pay for their transgressions.
Breakdown: So this is another one of those cards that I think people will at one end of the spectrum on or the other- either you can scarcely imagine flying a big ship without Anti-Pursuit Lasers, or you'll never ever use it. Which one are you?

As mentioned, this thing can only go on a big ship, so we're only talking about three potential candidates to start with- the YT-1300, the Firespray, or the Lambda Shuttle, so that's the first selection criteria. If you rarely use big ships in your game, then you'll even more rarely use Anti-Pursuit Lasers. Assuming you do use one fairly regularly, it'll still depend on how you use, or don't use, those ships, but first I gotta spend a couple of paragraphs getting sidetracked about random pop culture references and/ or soccer and at some point actually talking about how it works.

Right. So it's fairly straightforward, but there's some potential for folks to shorten the rule and get it wrong, so let's talk about exactly what's happening here. It kicks on when your opponent bonks into you. That's pretty much it. When it kicks on, you immediately roll an Attack die, and if you roll a hit or a crit, your opponent immediately earns 1 damage for his lack of vision, er, lack of maneuvering prowess.

So you might be wondering, "Jesus- how can somebody get that wrong in their head?" Main thing? It doesn't work when you bonk into somebody else, just when somebody else bonks into you.

Ah. Changes things a bit, doesn't it? Putting this on Solo or even Fett? Kagi? Probably not the smartest idea you've had all day. Yes, I'm sure there are instances where you could still make it work, but they'll be fewer than the instances generated by a Bounty Hunter or an Outer Rim Smuggler, smarty pants.

As mentioned in tons of other articles on TMB, I love cards that deal damage outside of the Combat Phase and as Anti-Pursuit Lasers is another one of those, I am automatically fondly attracted to the card. I'm not quite to the point where I'm in a crush situation, but I'm getting there. This goes without saying to you bikini aficionados out there. What makes this card a little extra intriguing is the fact that it's not a Secondary Weapon System or even an Other Weapon System- it's a Modification which brings up the second part of the selection criteria regarding whether or not you'll get some use out of this card. It's also awesome because you're still invoking all the normally crappy things that happen when somebody runs into you- namely the fact that they lose an Action. Talk about insult to injury, right?

If you're like me, most of the time when it comes to Modifications, you're looking at either Stealth Device or Shield Upgrade. This isn't to say I'd never take Engine Upgrade or it sucks or whatever, I just usually don't take it because I prefer the more tangible benefit of Stealth Device or Shield Upgrade over the fact that I don't really Boost all that effectively. Again Boost Action- it's not you, it's me. While those old standbys are especially great for regular ships, I find for whatever reason I rarely take them on the big ships. Maybe it's just me. Assuming it's not though, here's the place to consider the Anti-Pursuit Laser if you haven't already.

Maybe the last selection criteria I'd mention to you in making this Mod work for you is how you use that large base ship. If you like having it stay on the backline and lob in shots from a Heavy Laser Cannon, for example, APLs might not be a great investment for you. My experience with the Shuttle so far is that it's tough to maneuver anywhere but the deck of a friggin' aircraft carrier, so while the card is included with the Shuttle, I'm not especially likely to use it on one because my Shuttle usually stays the hell outta the way. On a Trelix Firespray with an Autoblaster though? Sure! Or a Chewie Falcon? Hells yeah, why not? On either one of those guys we're well past crush and into lightly obsessed territory.

Long story short, if you like to use large ships, get them into the action, don't make much use of the existing Mods, and find yourself flying low to medium PS pilots you're going to fall in lust with Anti-Pursuit Lasers. If you don't? Well, you'll likely wonder what all the fuss is about.

Long story really, really short- do you find most of your games have at least one pretty good pileup in the middle of the board? If so, then take APLs and bear in mind that card text isn't limited to a single ship- if two (or more) enemies bonk into you, you'd roll for both of them, dig? For two points, how can you not love that?