05 December 2013

Named Pilots- Ten Numb

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.

Ten Numb (31)
Card Text: When attacking, one of your <unfilled explosion> results cannot be canceled by defense dice.

Usage in game: Stickin' crits.
Breakdown: So it's no secret my favorite ships from Wave 3 are the TIE Bomber and B-Wing. I always liked flying both of them in X-Wing Alliance and TIE Fighter on PC back in the day, so I'm kinda biased to start with, but nostalgic personal feelings aside, they're both solid ships. Add a pilot with a solid PS value (8) and a nice bit of card text into the mix, and you end up with our good pal Ten Numb.

He's awesome, no doubt about it, the only question you ought to have in mind really is whether or not he's actually worth a third of your available points.

B-Wings have a decent dial, good stats, and a fairly varied amount of upgrades and options available, so I think the decision for most people will boil down to how comfortable they are running a three ship list. I know you could probably generate a four ship list, but you'll probably not run Ten Numb totally naked, right? I mean, you could- his card text is pretty cool, but let's look a little closer and see what we can do with some of those aforementioned upgrades and stuff.

B-Wings already have a respectable Attack of 3, but keeping in mind Ten's card text, Proton Torpedoes seem like a no-brainer. Is it worth taking two loads of them? Advanced Proton Torpedoes are their usual nasty selves, and while they don't particularly mesh up with Ten Numb's card text, you are throwing 5 dice instead of 4, so there's one more die to possibly roll a critical. Is it worth it points-wise? For me? Nah- I'd stick with normal Torps, just looking at it in a vacuum like this. 

That said, if you were to take an Elite Pilot Skill like say, Marksmanship? That might change things a bit. Expensive? Hells yeah. Ability to hurt something real bad? In spades, my friends. You don't have to take APTs to make it worthwhile though- Ten Numb's card text doesn't specify secondary weapons or anything, so you could even work it on just a regular old primary Attack roll.

As for other Elite Pilot Skills, Push The Limit is always a pretty good option to have up your sleeve for the flexibility it provides, but here doubly so to pull off a Target Lock and Focus (or TL and Marksmanship) in the same Activation Phase should a really golden opportunity present itself. It'd also be handy for comboing some other Action with a Barrel Roll should you find yourself on the wrong end of things. If you're more concerned about keeping Ten Numb alive with your Actions, perhaps letting upgrades and secondaries do your offensive work for you, Elusiveness isn't a bad idea, but Expert Handling could be fun to throw on there especially if your opponent loves to run Bombers, TIE Advanced with Missiles, or Colonel Jendon.

Taking an Ion Cannon for Ten Numb is kind of a waste with how Ion handles crit results, and while there is definitely an argument to be made, I think sticking a Heavy Laser Cannon on a ship that already has an Attack 3 weapon is kind of a waste and even more so with Numb's card text (EDIT: As Bikini Aficionado +TheForlornViking pointed out in the comments, a HLC actually isn't that much of a waste on Ten Numb- if you have a Target Lock, Marksmanship, or some other means available to re-roll your Attack roll, your second results stick regardless of the card text on HLC, and therefore would trigger Ten's card text should one of your re-roll results be an unfilled explosion symbol). The Autoblaster I think will get FAQed in the future, but right now, it's probably the only non-ordnance secondary weapon I'd consider for Numb. I don't know how exactly they'll choose to rule it, when they choose to rule it, but as for now, it would appear that rolling Ten Numb with an Autoblaster does not allow the defender to cancel any hits and one crit with his defense dice (if you rolled two crits, he could cancel the second one as +Davyd Atwood reminded me in the comments that only one of Ten's crits avoids the cancellation). Take that TIE Interceptors! Please note that other, non-dice related means of cancelling hits and/ or crits (namely Evade tokens) would still be effective here.

As B-Wings are currently the only Rebel ship that can use the new-fangled System Upgrades, I gotta mention those. Any of the three would be useful to Numb, but I like Fire Control System for the free Target Lock the best. Again though, it's easy to make a case for using a more defense-oriented System Upgrade like Sensor Jammer so you can go more offensive with Elite Pilot Skills or Secondary Weapon Systems or even Advanced Sensors and pull a Barrel Roll early in the Activation Phase if a ship unexpectedly gets behind you at an inopportune time.

EDIT: I wanted to throw this great idea in from the comments courtesy of +Nick Smale as it's a great use for a normally forgotten (at least by me) Modification and would likely catch a lot of folks unawares.

I've had a lot of success with PtL, Advanced Sensors and Engine Upgrade. The choice to possibly boost and barrel roll either before or after you move, plus instantly shed the stress from PtL immediately after you've used it (assuming you've gone green) is insanely effective. 

It wouldn't be cheap, but it's hard to argue with the effectiveness! I remember playing against some Interceptor lists where the ships kept on flying out of my firing arcs using Boosts and Barrel Rolls, now, I realize the B-Wing doesn't have the dial those ships do, but they also can't take Advanced Sensors and immediately shed the Stress token as Nick mentioned above by choosing a green maneuver. I'm just saying, the possibility of flying right out of lower PS pilots' arcs is still there if you're a veteran at maneuvering.

If stuff like that's still a little over your head though, I think one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get more mileage out of Numb is picking the rest of your squadron around the idea of using Ten as the heavy hitter he is. Biggs can help pull some of those shots away from him, Garven Dreis can hook him up with a Focus, Dutch Vander can kick him over a Target Lock all of which theoretically allows you to go overboard on offense or provide some help for that single green Defense die that Numb is stuck with.

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