|I mean if it's on a sticker, it has to be priceless, right?|
|If you think this looks silly, you should've seen the previous 4999 Jumpmasters!|
The Jumpmaster is a fairly straightforward Intel squadron. It's Imperial-flavored compared to its HWK-290 counterpart: it's faster (speed 4 > speed 3), and its non-Intel keyword works better when it's making attacks (rather than when being attacked, like the HWK-290's Counter 2). It's also horrible at any task that doesn't involve providing Intel: with one blue dice against ships, it's just as bad as a TIE Fighter at attacking ships but at 50% higher cost. Even with Swarm, 2 blue dice averages out to 1.38 damage (1 without Swarm), which is helpful for adding a bit of damage to enemy squadrons here and there but absolutely awful compared to what dedicated fighters can do.
The truth is, though, that you're not bringing Jumpmasters along for any of that. You're bringing them along for Intel. Although Intel has been nerfed in Armada 1.5 down to granting Grit to friendly squadrons at distance 1 of the Intel squadron, it still has its uses in larger squadron groups. This is typically the case with bomber groups that would really prefer to not get stuck dogfighting, but Grit can also allow you to reposition fighters or attack and then disengage with vulnerable TIE Fighters and the like. So long as you keep your squadrons a bit spread out, you should be able to get fairly consistent use from a distance 1 Grit bubble - keeping all your squadrons in one big blob makes them easy to engage with numerous enemy squadrons all at once, which makes Grit tough to get much use out of except on the periphery of your squadron blob.
Given the Jumpmaster isn't exactly tough to destroy and Grit may cause annoyance to your opponent's squadron groups, it's not a bad idea to keep your Jumpmaster safe with a bodyguard Escort squadron. The alternative option is to simply keep the Jumpmaster towards the rear of your squadrons and send it in on an as-needed basis and just hope your opponent is too busy chasing your other squads around. That won't keep your Jumpmaster alive for long, but it is cheaper than bringing along an Escort buddy if points are tight.
|Also known as "Charmin Ultra" for his impeccable taste in headgear.|
For +8 points a (67% increase) over a generic Jumpmaster, Dengar gains:
- +1 blue dice against squadrons.
- Anti-ship attack upgraded to a black dice, improving his average damage from 0.5 to 0.75.
- His unique "the Oprah of Counter 1" ability, where he's just giving it away like crazy.
- A scatter and brace defense token. This combination on hull 4 aces can make them pretty durable unless they receive a lot of attention.
- Dengar does not give himself Counter 1. Note that his ability affects "another friendly squadron." This means people like to prioritize killing Dengar even more than regular Jumpmasters, as he can't Counter for himself.
- Remember that Counter attacks are attacks and so benefit from anything that triggers while making an attack; if for example, Dengar gives a TIE Fighter Counter 1, that TIE Fighter will get to reroll it with Swarm if the target is engaged by another friendly squadron and the TIE Fighter would also gain a bonus blue die from Howlrunner, increasing the total number of dice rolled to 2.
- Note that Dengar's Counter-bonus ability works up to distance 2, although his Intel is still limited to distance 1.
|Immortal Rastafarian Muppet Cyborg Bounty Hunter Evil Frisbee Pilot, at your service.|
For +5 points (42% more) over a Jumpmaster, Tel gains:
- A brace and scatter token.
- Gains one blue die against squads at the cost of Swarm.
- Loses Intel entirely.
- Sometimes he's an Escort when he's not feeling tired.
- The mixed blessing of immortality.
- Fairweather Escort:
- So long as he's got a green defense token, Tel is an Escort.
- This can make his defense token spending, especially with his immortality special rule, rather tricky. You don't want to make him too tired to be a meat shield too quickly but you also don't want to be caught vulnerable and get Tel's head chopped off so his Highlander powers don't kick in.
- Destroyed squadrons don't go below 0 hull, so if this kicks in when he's destroyed, it will restore him to 3 hull points. Otherwise, he'll go back up to maximum.
- This only happens if you discard a defense token while defending. For most purposes, that means spending an exhausted defense token (although Intel Officer flak can trigger this too if your opponent is trying to help you out for some reason).
- If you spend a readied (green) defense token but get destroyed, Tel is out of luck.
- If you can't spend defense tokens due to accuracy results and get destroyed, Tel is out of luck.
- If you are destroyed by damage not due to an attack (like from Mauler Mithel or Soontir Fel or taking a Wide-Area Barrage crit), Tel is out of luck as he can't spend defense tokens against those.
- Note that there's nothing stopping you from spending defense tokens that do nothing. If Tel is at 1 hull and gets attacked for 1 damage, you can spend an exhausted brace token which doesn't change the damage total at all to trigger his Phoenix Protocol and return him to life. If Tel is at 1 hull and gets flakked but no hit icons come up, you can still spend and discard his exhausted scatter to restore him to 4 hull. Keep an eye out for opportunities to do things like this if your opponent gives them to you.
- If you're desperate to ensure Tel is safe and sound, there's nothing stopping you from spending both a brace and scatter against an earlier attack (even though the brace will do nothing) so you'll have two exhausted defense tokens to spend against future attacks, making accuracy shut-downs less likely.