09 December 2013

Named Pilots- Ibtisam

This post regarding Named Pilots is part of a larger article regarding Wave 3 listbuilding- the rest of the posts in this series will be available in the coming weeks. For more info, click the "List Building Resources" tab at the top of the page or simply click here.





Ibtisam (28)
Card Text: When attacking or defending, if you have at least one stress token, you may reroll one of your dice.

Usage in game: Stress to impress.
Breakdown: I can't really explain why other than it starts with an "I" and has about the same number of syllables (at least the way I say it- which is in all likelihood not the correct pronunciation), but as a lot of y'all have commented on enjoying my conversational writing style here on TheMetalBikini.com, if you want the full effect like you're hearing me say this stuff to you, you gotta say "Ibtisam" the way those cultists dudes or whatever said, "Imhotep" in The Mummy. Because that's totally how I say it. Not every single time, but most of the time, yeah.

That out of the way, ol' Ibtisam's really got it goin' on, doesn't she? Dig on that card text- got a Stress Token? You're in luck, pal- you get a free re-roll of a single die when attacking or defending. Pause on that for a second- not only can she use the re-roll on a red die or green die, she can use it on a red die and a green die. There's nothing limiting how often you can use Ibtisam's ability during the turn so long as you've got that Stress Token. Pretty nutty, huh?

Now, I'll fully admit I didn't grasp the awesomeness of this card in the B-Wing preview/ Wave 3 leaked cards article I wrote awhile back. I'd not fallen in love with the B-Wing yet and not having seen the dial, it was hard to get your head around how any of this stuff was really going to work in-game. That said, there was a commenter even back then that saw a potential that sailed right by me at the time.

That commenter was +Matt Bounds and he had this to say-

Surprised you didn't mention putting Advanced Sensors on Ibtisam. That way you still get your action, and THEN you can pull a red maneuver to stress her out. Seems like a hell of a good deal to me, especially if you use that action to barrel roll into a better firing position. There are some great mind games that could come out of this.
Heckuva a great idea, isn't it? If you don't remember and haven't clicked on the link, Advanced Sensors essentially changes the order in which you do stuff in the Activation Phase. Namely, you do your Perform Action step before you reveal your maneuver, so assuming you aren't already Stressed at that point (which hey- you may very well be if you're several turns into the game), you could get your Action for the round, reveal your red maneuver, get Stressed, and reap the re-roll from Ibtisam (remember you can only re-roll a die once). If that doesn't seem like it jives to you, take a look at Bikini Battle Basics- Multiple Actions, Same Actions

While you couldn't pull that combo off every single game turn (at least, I can't think of a way off the top of my head and have it be worthwhile), there's still some solid value in Ibtisam's card text in that you've likely always got some kind of re-roll or modification available to you. As y'all know, if you've Stressed yourself and therefore (likely) denied yourself your Perform Action step, you're usually flying naked with no re-rolls or dice mods available. If you're not Stressed and got to Perform Action, you probably have a Focus or a Target Lock or whatever and you've got the dice mods and/ or re-rolls available to you. Undoubtedly, you've noticed a pretty significant difference in your gross Attack and Defend results if you've got those re-rolls and mods available. With Ibtisam, you've always got a little something available- either the benefits from the Action you chose because you're not Stressed or the re-roll from being Stressed via her card text. I'm sure for those of y'all who have flown her, it goes without saying that always being able to re-roll that single Green die likely goes a long way to keeping her on the table. 

As for what works on Ibtisam, she's another one of those PS6 pilots who actually does have an Elite Pilot Skill available to her as well as the usual compliment of B-Wing options- 2 torpedo tubes, the funky raygun, and a system upgrade.

I think ideally you'd want to stay away from the Skills and upgrades that require an Action as you'll likely spend a lot of time Stressed out. Also stuff that lets you re-roll isn't going to be quite as effective, but if the re-roll is on multiple dice as opposed to just one or a particular negative result, you still want to look at it pretty hard. As usual, Push The Limit could be pretty useful here as well as stuff that keeps Ibtisam alive longer like Determination or Expert Handling. Be careful with Elusiveness- there's nothing saying you can't take it on her, but it can't be triggered if you're already holding a Stress Token. As is also usually the case, Daredevil could work here, but you're probably better off with PTL and if you want the Boost functionality, take Engine Upgrade along with it instead. 

As for guns, it's similar to what I said in the Ten Numb article. My own personal experience is that 7 points for a Heavy Laser Cannon on a B-Wing is a bit high for what it gets you, but Ions or Autoblaster could be fun. Depending on how much you want Ibtisam to ultimately cost you, Proton Torpedoes are a good fit for her with their sort of built-in, no Action required Focus-ish card text, but Advanced Proton Torpedoes probably aren't a great idea as you really do need at least a Focus to make them worthwhile and there's probably a good chance you'll be Stressed out when you need to fire them. 

Advanced Sensors are a pretty good idea for any B-Wing because of the flexibility they provide, but as mentioned in some of the other Wave 3 articles, none of the System Upgrades are bad, per se- some just work better for certain pilots than others. As Matt pointed out up above, it's hard to beat AS on Ibtisam, but Fire Control System is a good way to mitigate the fact that she probably won't have that Perform Action step a lot of the time, and Sensor Jammer could go that much further in increasing her survivability. Again, it really just depends on how much more you want to spend on her.