Friday, June 16, 2017

Generic Officer Friends!

We're almost done on all of our upgrades and everything through Wave 5, which will then allow us to pursue a few new ideas and plans, along with eventual writeups of other things and such.  For today, though, we're going to talk about the officers who can work for anyone.  These mercenaries Officers sell their services to the highest bidder, like the scum they are both sides, and both sides can make use of them.

The Intel he has is that you have defense tokens you thought you were going to use against this attack
Intel Officer is a very solid addition to your damage dealing ships.  He's going to want to be on a ship that's either going last and first (say, Demolisher?) or you're going to want him in multiples if you're running a swarm.  4 CR90s with an Intel Officer on each means that your opponent's defense tokens are going to evaporate FAST.  They still get to use them, but just the once.  If your opponent has multiples of the same defense token (Nebulons, MC80s/ISDs, MC30s), hit them with another ship first (or another attack!) and trigger the Intel Officer later, when they already have red defense tokens.  Choose the green, unused ones, so no matter what defense token they use, they end up losing one.

Keep in mind that he doesn't put more damage into your opponent, but he evaporates their defense tokens faster or (in a fashion) prevents their usage because they don't want to lose them.  It's up to you to put the damage into his ships to finish them off when they're out of defense tokens.  Intel Officer is also great on ships that attack flotillas, saying that they get ONE use out of the Scatter Token before they need to make their peace and die next round.  If you can't generate an accuracy easily, this is a pretty good plan for fighting them.  He IS an exhaust effect, though, so only one attack per ship.  He does go great on Raiders or Escort Nebulons flakking scatter aces though.  Tycho, Shara, and a whole bunch of TIE aces hate this guy.

The last point to mention is his timing activation.  It is RIGHT after you roll your initial attack.  No additions, no rerolls yet, right after you attack.  So you may have to go in blind before your Leading Shots reroll, or your Ordnance Experts one, but that's the breaks.

Leonardo, Egon Spengler, Kramer, and Ringo.
Hitting all 4 of these guys in the next shot, the "Dial Officers" (Engineering Captain, Navigation Officer, Tactical Expert, Wing Commander) are great insurance against Slicer Tools or letting yourself choose other commands as needed until it's time to change what's needed.  Indirect defense against the Comms Noise crit effect, they all cost 6 points and ensure that the ship you have them on is definitely going to be doing at least THIS specific command if nothing else that turn.

They seem to have been created for a meta where Slicer Tools is a thing, and if that's big in your neck of the woods, then they're great.  If it's not, then you can use them, or you can use another officer instead.  Yes, it's great being able to engineer when you need to in order to repair your ship before it explodes next turn, but careful thought and more experience with the game will make it so you need to rely on them less.

I'm not saying these are bad; far from it.  Just that as you get more experience with your ships and list, you won't need these guys as much to get you out of trouble.  With experience, you'll be able to see the trouble coming and know what dials you'll need at the right time.  They're great on Command 3 ships, but it gets iffier on Command 2 ones, as you can put a Skilled First Officer on them instead (see below).  If you desperately need to ensure that you do a specific command at a specific time, then go for it.
Her haircut says business, but her outfit says "you're not resolving that black critical, Demolisher"
Damage Control Officer is one that is entirely meta-dependant.  I initially thought that I didn't ever actually need her; then I watched my MC30 attack on the ISD do almost nothing, and my APT crit never happen.  If you have a bigger ship (Interdictor, H1MC80, ISD, Endeavor LMC80) with a contain token and you need to ensure that a black dice crit (because really, that's the main pains in the butt right now) doesn't cripple you, then she is your lady.  If you don't fear black dice ships (do you play in a squadrons only meta without Demolisher or MC30s?) then you don't need her.  Applied correctly, though, she can save your bacon.  Or space pickle/pizza slice, one of those.
That man is playing Galaga!
Support Officer was released without much fanfare, but he's decent, especially now that Cham Syndulla exists.  Getting a chance to reset your entire stack of dials is good, but it's only during the Command Phase.  Which means that you have X-1 assigned, plus the 1 you're currently assigning.  Explaining that in depth some: let's say Cham Syndulla has hit your ISD.  Instead of Support Officer hitting all 3 dials, you have to activate your ISD for the turn Cham hit you, with whatever command he gave you.  At the start of next turn, when you have 2 dials left that have been Cham'ed, you can THEN trigger Support Officer to wipe those out.  If Cham hit your Interdictor instead, you have one dial it can wipe.  If he hit your flotilla, then there are no dials to wipe.

Essentially he's a fancier Skilled First Officer that should only really be seen on Command 3 ships.  Don't put him on a command 2; save 3 points and use Skilled First Officer instead.  He's not bad, but until we see how much people use Cham I really can't recommend him on anything short of a large base ship.

Sonny and Cher
The Defense and Weapons Liaison cards are similar, so I again lumped them in together.  These guys let you discard a token to change whatever order you have to the listed ones on their cards.  These guys provide you with more options at the cost of a token.  Under Tarkin, they're great, letting you change the (usually high) commands into what's needed for that turn.  Weapons Liaison goes on whatever ship needs to double as a carrier (VSD, most likely), and the Defense Liaison goes on whichever one is going to be your general carrier/navigating one that desperately needs an Engineering command at the right time (I'd guess Quasar, but I'm willing to hear differently!)

As a Rebel, I haven't really used these much.  I imagine they'd go great with Garm, but he's not an Admiral I play often enough these days.  Too many other crazy plans of my own, haha.
Why do so many of these generic officers have Imperial uniforms on? Where's my Rebel generics?
Veteran Captain is a good choice.  For 3 points, he gives you a token when your ship reveals a dial.  He's solid, he powers Pelta commands, he can give you an extra squadron to command when needed, he can jump a speed, etc.  3 points for a token when you badly need it is a super good choice, and the Armada community seems to be OK with that price point.  There's not much to say here, but when you need him and use him well, he's great.  Again, Pelta commands and carriers are the two I've used him most often on.
No, see, you bomb the ships.  Stop throwing cinder blocks at Y-wings, Rhymer!
Flight Commander lets you push your squadrons after you attack and move.  He combines well with Rapid Launch Bays to vomit out squadrons right at short range of whatever ship you moved next to, he combines better with Yavaris and Fighter Coordination Teams.  Bring those B-wings along and then have them attack twice against your opponent's ship.  Watch him cry in frustration as B-wings evaporate his ships!

To a lesser extent, he also works well by letting you flak opponent's squadrons and then move any (now) unengaged squadrons forward to attack your opponent.  He can also act as a pseudo-Boosted Comms, moving your ship first to get into range of your squadrons and then push them along.  But his most common use is as Yavaris's driver.
Good, a Rebel generic! Command those Nebulons to ignore the rocks!
Chart Officer is a decent 2 point investment that lets you ignore ONE obstacle overlap's worth of damage.  She's a discard effect, but if you have to retreat into an asteroid field to not take any damage from a bomber swarm, why not take NO DAMAGE at all by jumping in there?  It's worth a build idea where you put them on all your ships and consider your objectives carefully.  Contested Outpost and Salvage Run to have a bunch of obstacles in close, and you having the ability to ignore them once per game on each.  It's an intriguing idea; the problem is that the Officer slot on most ships has so many good options that I haven't considered it much!
You can always trust Hondo to look out for number 1.  And number 1 to Hondo? Is Hondo.
We'll throw Hondo Ohnaka here as he's the first named Officer that can work for both sides.  If we compare him to the Veteran Captain, he's better, after a fashion.  2 different tokens to my ships means that he's giving me more than the Vet Captain for cheaper... but then you have to give 2 to your opponent.  Is the downside worth it? I feel it is.  Your opponent will get to use those tokens, but you get to determine which 2 he gets.  LIKELY, a Concentrate Fire token is going to be one of them (in my mind, it's the least helpful token of them all, but your mileage may vary).  It's up to you if you need a Squadron token for your Yavaris/Hammerhead, an Engineering token for your Shields to Max Pelta (because both effects trigger at the start of the ship phase, you get to determine their order!), or a Navigate token for your MC30 to get out of trouble.

Because of the way he's worded, your opponent just chooses ships (they don't even have to be his!).  If he only has one left, he's going to have pick one of your ships with his other choice.  Same if you only have 1 left as well.  Hondo is a profiteering jerk who will betray you as soon as it's convenient, so don't wait too long on him!  There's a lot to consider with this token-giver, but for 2 points, 2 tokens may be worth the downside you're giving up to your opponent for them.
The louder you yell, the faster those dials get discarded
And last but certainly not least, the 1 point Skilled First Officer is great for command 2 ships.  Get Slicer Tooled? Don't care, discarded it anyways.  Engineer one turn too late? Bam, it's time NOW.  Need to be navigating instead of concentrating fire with that MC30 to get it out of trouble? Oh, time for the Skilled First Officer to jump out an airlock and change what it needs to be.

The reason he's great is that for 2 turns, he effectively turns your command 2 ship into a command 1.  You just assigned it a dial in the command phase earlier, so when you activate and discard him, that dial is active.  Next turn, you have 2 dials that HAVE to be assigned, so we're back to the dial you just assigned to him being triggered right off the top.  It's great.  He doesn't work with command 1 ones (even if you get Slicer Tool'ed, a token is worth more than not having a command) and he's not AS good with Command 3 ones (it's the command you chose LAST turn), but he SHINES on command 2 ships.  Good thing there's so many of them!

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