This post regarding Secondary Weapon Systems 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 "Listbuilding Articles" tab at the top of the page or simply click here.
Attack Dice: 3
Card Text: Action: Discard this card to drop one proximity mine token. When a ship executes a maneuver, if its base or maneuver template overlaps this token, this token detonates.
Usage in game: Area denial, tailgating deterrent
Breakdown: I don't remember if the KRT ship lists didn't include either of the bombs as upgrades, or the guy who was running Slave I at my store just didn't use them, but I'd been wondering for awhile what the bomb tokens looked like. To me, the effectiveness of either of the Firespray bombs solely depended on the size, and to a lesser extent the shape, of the templates mentioned in the card text. I'd also not been privy to the Bomb Token card, so I wasn't entirely sure what "detonated" entailed and all that.
Now that I've purchased a Firespray, I can give you the full lowdown.
First, as the little rules pamphlet goes out of the way to state that the Bombs are not Secondary Weapons, I made sure to not label this page, "Secondary Weapon Systems- Proximity Mines." Truth is, they're kind of their own animal, hence the "Other Weapon Systems" label. The two Bombs are also different from each other in several significant ways, but you'll see that once I have the Seismic Bomb article complete and posted.
Ok, so Prox Mines. First off, you capital-D Drop the mine from the Firespray. That's shorthand for place the 1 straight template behind the ship (lined up with the nubs) and then place the token on the other end of the template, lined up with its nubs. A picture's worth a thousand words and all, so here ya go-
Secondly, the Prox Mine drops as the result of an Action, so no, you'll not be K-Turning just short of the opposition and dropping the bomb right in their way (well, unless you employ some other sneaky tricks in the process). So you don't really have to worry about running into your own mine the same round it comes into play- you'll have already performed your maneuver. It also means having a lower PR pilot like the Bounty Hunter or Krassis Trelix drop the bomb isn't the worst idea you'll have today. That isn't to say that Fett or Kath Scarlet can't make use of Prox Mines, they obviously can, you're just more relying on either your own ability to herd your opponent into the Mine or you opponent's lack of maneuvering prowess to score the hit.
To be able to get a feel for this herding notion or to simply satisfy curiosity, it'd probably help if you had an idea of the size of this token. Here's another picture that ought to help with that.
Small, it ain't. Also remember that just having a movement template overlap this thing is enough to make it go off- the ship doesn't have to necessarily touch it.
Let's say you do get someone to run into the mine, what's the outcome? It's essentially a 3 Attack weapon that doesn't appear to be modifiable in any way- the card is another one of those "damage suffered" kind of things, so although you can't spend Focus or Target Lock or whatever, your opponent can't Evade or Focus or whatever either. If you have means of mitigating damage itself via an upgrade card or pilot ability, well, that's another story entirely, but aside from the initial 3 Attack roll, no other dice are rolled or re-rolled.
How bad is that? Well, there again- if you look at an Attack die closely, you'll see there are 3 hit symbols and 1 critical symbol, so you're looking at a 50-50 chance of damaging their ship with each die. Not terrible odds at all.
All that in mind, is it worth the points? I think it can be in the right hands. First, you need to be smart about where and when you drop this thing. I can see folks who really know what they're doing laying down their asteroids in such a way as to create a bottleneck or funnel where the easy exit end is the Mine. I think that'd be pretty effective. I can also see folks holding onto it until they have some pesky fighter on their tail and dropping it in the middle to late stage of a match where perhaps the opponent has forgotten/ overlooked/ whatever the fact that the Bomb hasn't been deployed yet. It also would seem to be quite effective against those people who tend to run the same list every week in much the same way- i.e. this guy who always screams down the right hand side of the table at top speed, then does a 3 Turn a couple of times to position himself behind your squadron to get you in a pincher, etc.
Also, much like Assault Missiles, I see this as another weapon system that can put a player out of his normal routine and force him to play off the top of his head a bit more, which again- always a good thing for you, the opponent of that player. Force him to make decisions and you'll eventually force him to make a mistake.
So is it worth the points? It depends on the player. This isn't some no-brainer card like Swarm Tactics or Homing Missiles that is easily deployed effectively by a rookie player. This card is more subtle in its use and as such, needs a more experienced hand to guide it for full effect. If I had to make a prediction, I think it'd be a great candidate for a tournament simply because I doubt that many people will use it, and unfamiliar stuff like this can put players off their usual game.