03 March 2014

Huge Ship Preview- Tantive IV Expansion Pack, Part 1

In all the post-tournament excitement last week, I totally forgot to talk about the ship preview that FFG did for the Tantive IV back on Friday the 21st. My bad, y'all!

Right on. So a few things about these huge ships are starting to clear up a bit with the previous GR-75 reveal and now this one. The first thing I thought when I read about the Tantive IV was that this time FFG makes a differentiation between the current Standard game format, the Epic game format, and the Cinematic game format. Note they don't really say anything about these other game formats, but they do draw the distinction between them. Apparently, the Cinematic game format comes with the Tantive IV and FFG is going to discuss it more in future preview articles. I get the impression that the Tantive IV can be used in both Epic and Cinematic, but the GR-75 is maybe only Epic. Could be wrong, but something about the wording in this article makes me feel that way. Take it for what it's worth. I also kinda wonder if the Epic format isn't just a higher points format (sorta like a X-Wing Apocalypse, if you will) whereas the Cinematic seems like it'll be uneven sides perhaps. Or at least not dogfights. Again, just my opinions. 

What we do know is the CR90 is divided into two sections- the Fore and the Aft. 

Ok, so lots going on here. First, we see a lot of familiar looking stats and colors on the left and a bunch of stuff that looks like it deals with this new Energy commodity on the right. As both the Fore and Aft have a Pilot Skill value, I think that sort of not only explains how the firing and stuff works, but also how movement works. 

Maybe I just didn't read it closely enough on the GR-75, or maybe they didn't have it quite laid out like this, but it reads like when you maneuver the Huge ships, or at least the CR90, it moves in two steps- the first part you basically set your speed, which seems to indicate movement in a straight line, then for the second part, you can choose to remain straight or execute a bank or turn. To put it another way, rather than doing a 1 Right Turn, for example, with a Huge ship, you'd do a 1 Straight first, then you'd do the Right Turn. Like in two separate steps rather than one combined one like with the smaller ships. 

Again, could be wrong, but that's what I'm getting from the article text. If so, interesting. And I gotta wonder if I pay for an upgraded Fore and keep the 40-point, PS4 Aft if my Fore will actually do it's stuff at a higher PS than the Aft. Can't see why not at this point and sure seems to make for an interesting setup if that is indeed the case. 

We also see that while that Primary is 360 degrees with 4 Attack, we also note that it's range is 3-5. 
Wait a minute- 3 to 5? 

Yup. Dig this- 

Look at that range template, y'all. Big reach on the CR90, yo. 

I think the idea is that your fighters can provide close support, but if you're nervous about somebody getting inside Range 3 and causing you problems, lucky you- the CR90 has Hardpoints that allow you to mount extra Energy-using upgrades like a Quad Laser Cannons, for instance. 

Not bad, right? Has kind of a built-in Gunner for 6 points and an Energy point. I don't know if the Huge ships have "Secondary Weapon Systems" as it were, but if they do, this would count as one. 

Of course, if you're confident in your fighters protecting you in close and want some more shots at long range, there's always a Single Turbolaser. 

Against faster, more maneuverable ships? Yeah, probably not much chance this guy will even scratch the paint, let along score you a hit in the rulebook sense of the term, but against lower Agility stuff, this thing will eat those ships up. 

Reading those cards and noticing that the CR90 has three Hardpoints total (2 Fore, 1 Aft, at least on the cards that have been revealed so far), I can't help but wonder if this thing has some sort of mechanism for firing more than one weapon at more than one target. My guess, and again- pure conjecture on my part, I think the Fore probably fires a single weapon at a target and the Aft probably fires a single weapon at a target. 

Going back to the Fore and Aft cards, we see a lot of little icons in the Upgrade bar- the current Crew Member symbol, the new Hardpoint symbol, a new symbol with multiple dudes on it that FFG says is the Team icon, and a Cargo symbol. 

Crew Members y'all already know about, but there were a couple of new Crew Members revealed I wanted to post here- 

Well, whaddaya know? It's R2 and 3PO! 

First, yeah, they're dotted. Secondly, no I can't think of any reason you couldn't use them on a YT-1300 or a HWK-290. Thirdly, yes, R2-D2, Crew Member is awesome like a thrift shop. Lastly, don't get your hopes up all the way- remember that FFG actually states what is valid for tournament play in the tournament rules. These guys, much like the X-Wing pilots in the Transport, will probably be allowed in tourneys, but we won't know for sure until the tournament rules are updated again. 

Teams are well, teams of crew apparently. I don't know if any of those have been revealed yet, but they say that some are so effective they're marked as "Limited" which FFG goes on to explain means that the same ship can't equip multiple copies of a Limited card. This is different from dotted in that dotted stuff can only show up once in your Squadron or list or whatever, but Limited stuff can only turn up on a particular ship once, but conceivably could turn up other places in your list. 

Hardpoints we kinda already talked about, which leaves the Cargo upgrade. 

Cargo, FFG says, can be Energy sources or equipment. The card above is an example of a Cargo upgrade (see the little Cargo symbol in the lower left corner?) that also has that Limited criteria. Not knowing the ins and outs of Energy, I can't/ don't really want to say much about this card at this point other than to give an example of an Energy source type of Cargo. 

And here are a couple of the equipment-type Cargo upgrades. Both seem pretty handy from what we know so far- Engine Booster seems kinda like a Boost-ish move for a Huge ship, while Ionization Reactor seems like a good way to chill everybody out that's within Range 1 of your precious. 

Ok, that's it for today. There's more stuff I want to talk about, but this article is long enough. I'll throw down Part 2 tomorrow! 

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