Thursday, February 16, 2017

YT-1300s: The Magnificent 7 (Health)

We continue this week's squadron talk with the YT-1300, the ship better known by many as the Millennium Falcon.  It and Han make up the base and the ace, and they play VERY differently.  Let's get started!

I'm a real squadron too, I swear it!
The main thing the YT has going for it is 7 health.  Speed 2 needs the same movement boost that the B wing does, and its anti-ship, non bomber dice means that it's not meant for attacking ships (50 percent of the time, it works EVERY TIME is not a good plan.  See Eric's post about TIE fighters for further explanation of this)  I admit that it took some convincing from the forums for me to initially try it out, and that's what I intend to give you all today!

The YT-1300 is the Eternal Guardian.  3 blue dice and Counter 1 means it wants to be attacking squadrons, protecting your bombers from being stopped in their task.  With Escort, you're going to be the one attacked in the furball (giant squadron fight.  Such a fun term!) that happens.  And with 7 health, you're going to be around and fighting for a very long time.  If you can get them into a fight, they'll be there taking hits for a very long time.  With Biggs around now, they can even follow him along in a blob and provide extra hit points for him and his crew of X wings.

What I would NOT recommend they be used as is would be as your squadron defense alone.  It would SEEM to make sense that with all that health, they would be able to defend your ships from any squadron and keep alive through the fight.  The speed 2 means that it doesnt actually work that well.  Especially if you're trying to defend your MC80.  A large base is not enough room for a speed 2 ship to move around.  If you're on the front side, and the bombers strike your back? Oh, you better hope you can navigate away fast enough, as you won't be able to get there in time.  (Keep in mind that should you ever land on your YT-1300s, they are going to be out of the fight when your opponent places them on the far side of your ship, away from any ability to fight squadrons or contribute for a turn or two).  Combine THAT with a smart bomber cloud having an Intel ship (you all read my last article, right?), and as soon as your YT-1300s get locked down they STAY locked down.  Use them to attack squadrons in the furball, but keep in mind that they don't move as fast as you want them to without the previously mentioned speed boosts.

One thing that YT-1300s do well is to protect and escort B wings. With the same speed as B wings, you never need to worry about one of them outstripping the other.  With 3 blue dice like B wings, you can move in your B wings and the YT-1300s to overwhelm enemy squadrons on one turn and then bomb ships the next.  Again, with 7 health, they protect B wings super well and ensure that the B wings will get to go on and do their job as a bomber (that's why you brought them, right?)

Otherwise, the YT-1300 is rather straightforward in its job.  Get engaged and lock down as many enemy squadrons as you can, preventing them from engaging your bombers.  If you can overcome the speed deficit (you're part of the Rebellion, we have speed boosts for days!), you've got a very capable Fighter.  Just realize that overcoming that speed boost requires some additional cards - see the B-wing article for further discussions on mitigating those speed issues.

Because I was writing this on Valentine's Day: I know.
We turn now to Han Solo.  He's an entirely different beast than a standard YT-1300.  You might even go so far as to say that he's made a lot of special modifications, himself, to the Falcon.  The Falcon, for DOUBLE the cost of a standard YT-1300 has Grit and Rogue, along with a higher speed, which are great as it lets Han leave if he shoots his way out of trouble.  He loses Escort, as he wants to be off doing his own thing, and because IMO having an Escort Rogue would kinda break the game.  With his anti-squadron of 2 blue and 2 black, he can put a solid hurt into most squadrons if he's engaged.  But you're paying for that ability.  If desired, Han shoots first.  He can activate before LITERALLY anything else in a turn, right at the beginning of the Ship phase.  I wouldn't use this every turn, but the turns you need it it is WELL worth the points for it.  That wounded, shieldless Demolisher with 1 health left that's about to activate? Han just needs to put damage into it to kill it.  The small ship with the enemy commander that's about to escape your last attack and chance at a win?  Han can close the distance and shoot it before it can leave.

Han's ability is great at finishing off wounded ships and enemy hero squadrons, getting him out of trouble (thanks to Grit and Rogue).  Han is NOT a bomber, though, so be careful about your rolls and if you want/can reroll the blue dice with Toryn FarrSato loves using Han, because if nothing else, he guarantees that one ship is getting hit with the Sato dice change.  Plus on top of all that, sometimes you just gotta fly Han Solo because he's THERE.  It's not the smartest or best answer, but it's the one most truthful to me, haha!  Just make sure, like Dash, that you don't fly into a swarm of TIEs because it'll all work out for him.  Since I'm assuming you saw Empire Strikes Back, let me inform you that Han can't go into an asteroid field if he's engaged and the TIEs don't have Heavy.  And this goes for both Han and the regular YT-1300s.  Don't overextend yourself just because you have 7 health and think you'll survive.  Caution is always a good plan, there.

Try out the YT-1300, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much they can do and how much damage they can actually take!