22 September 2014

Droids- R7-T1

This post regarding Droids is part of a larger article regarding Wave 4 listbuilding- the rest of the posts in 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.

R7-T1 (3)
Action?: Yes
Card Text: Choose an enemy ship at Range 1-2. If you are inside that ship's firing arc, you may acquire a target lock on that ship. Then, you may perform a free boost action.
Usage: Any of y'all who have been stopping by the bar for any amount of time has probably gathered that I'm not normally nuts about upgrades that eat up that all important Action- it's much more fun to use upgrades that just automatically work. First, I don't have to worry about trying to decide between that upgrade Action and using Focus, and secondly because I still get to use it even if I bonk into something.

R7-T1 is kind of an exception.

Reading into the card text a bit, we see a couple of "mays" and the initial trigger criteria. Past that, it all just boils down to timing, but the timing is as important as always.

Since we're talking about an Action here, we're really talking about the Activation Phase while you and your buddy are moving your ships around on the table and picking their respective Actions, so when we look at that trigger criteria, somebody needs to have you in their firing arc while you're actually doing your Perform Action step, which is to say, after you've moved. 

This is good, because it's conditional, amirite? 

What I mean is, if you were trying to stay away from some nasty on the other side of the table and you guessed wrong on your maneuver dial by just a bit, you can use R7-T1 to hopefully get you out of that jam. Or, conversely, if you think you've got a particular ship outgunned and manage to land yourself in front of it with your chosen Maneuver, you can Boost to try and get even closer and add a Target Lock for free as well.

I'm resisting the urge to say this is sorta like Push The Limit without the downside, but in some instances, it really is kinda similar in the functionality. Some very specific instances, that is. Which is why I'm not saying it's like PTL. Of course, assuming you've stuck this on a pilot with access to Elite Pilot Skills (and an Astromech slot), you could pair it up with PTL and make things really interesting for your opponent by effectively giving yourself three Actions, one of which might (probably?) isn't even stock for your ship under normal circumstances. 

If you're wondering, the FAQ clears up any questions you might have about the "mays." Long story short, it's your call whether or not you grab a Target Lock or Boost by using the R7-T1 Action. You can opt to not take the TL, but still Boost, or you could grab the TL but decline the Boost. It's up to you.

Like a lot of the upgrades in Wave 4, you could use this card to good effect on anybody (that can pack an Astromech, of course), but I think you get a little more mileage out of someone who is of a higher PS than the no-name guys. Again- this isn't to say you can't use it on a no-name pilot, but because of the timing, I think you can get this off more easily and reliably sticking it on somebody who is going to be moving a little later, and who can hopefully take advantage of that Target Lock by removing a lower PS ship from the table in the subsequent Combat Phase.

Whether or not this card is worth it, and by it I mean the not insignificant 3 points it costs, depends largely on who you put this thing on. Although it doesn't say so, it's currently a Rebel-only card because it's an Astromech card (and I'm assuming Scum and Villainy ships only have access to Salvaged Astromechs- I could be wrong though). Secondly, not all the Rebel ships have sockets- we're talking about X-Wings, Y-Wings, and E-Wings here. There are some pretty solid choices out there already for Astromech and pilot combos, so strapping R7-T1 in for the ride isn't a decision to be taken lightly.

Again, like using him on a low PS pilot, I think just about anybody benefits from having R7-T1 for a backseat driver, but weighing the effectiveness of some of the existing Astro and pilot combos, I think this little droid would work great on Dutch Vander best of all. I know, I know, my bias is showing, but hear me out for a moment- R7-T1 triggers his pilot text and honestly, what Astro do you ever use on Y-Wing pilots anyway? I mean besides R2 Astro or R5 Astro? I mean, sure- R5-K6 is a point cheaper and maybe you can end up with two TLs, but dig on this for a second, yo: for 31 points you've got a durable ol' Y-Wing with an Ion Cannon Turret that will almost assuredly earn a Target Lock every turn not only for himself but also a buddy within Range 1-2 who can then Boost and spend that Target Lock whether he's got a target in his arc or not. Pretty sweet, huh?

Of course, it's hard not to give it to everyone's sweetheart Etahn A'baht too though as it mixes pretty well with his "within firing arc" card text, which he ought to be able to pull off pretty easily if he's got his already considerable maneuver dial coupled up with the free Boost Action. In a way though, this seems like overkill to me, and it ends up being fairly expensive to boot. Your mileage may vary, but I think there are better way to utilize A'baht's Astromech socket.

On paper, you want to think it'd work on Hobbie Klivian since he could also use it to mitigate Stress per his card text, but the timing is a little tricky there- remember R7-T1's ability is an Action and unless you've got some way of getting around him not having a Perform Action step (a nearby, higher PS pal with Squad Leader, etc.), he won't get a chance to really use this to much advantage.

I like cards like this because it's not a slam-dunk, no-brainer of a card. It's something that you're probably not going to use every time you play, or even every time you play Dutch Vander, but it is something that's likely going to get some good results when you pepper it in once in awhile to mix up your lists. It's stuff like this that keeps the game from going stale.

It's like barbecue chicken, y'know? I made barbecue chicken on the grill today for the first time in like a couple of years and it was friggin' killer, but if I made it all the time, I'd get tired of it because truth be told, I'm not huge into barbecue chicken. Now, my fried tacos gringos? Yeah, I make that all the time and I never get tired of it. That's different though.

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