Monday, December 14, 2020

Know Your Enemy/Commander's Corner: Mon Mothma

So I'm working on catching up with Eric and the fact that he's through wave 2 and midway through wave 3.  (This line was written in 2017 and it remains true 3 years later). I'm working on it though, doing what I can.  This week's goal is finishing the Commanders through Wave 2 (So, Mothma and Ackbar) and I'm going to try to hit another ship (the MC30 sock fulla quarters) this week too.  Next week is the HMC80, the flotillas, and hopefully Cracken.  Anyways, if we're starting out with Mothma, let's get to it.
Many Bothans died to bring us this picture with Walex Blissex in it (over Madine's shoulder)
Throwin up the card!
Let's start this out, like we always do.  It ain't failed us yet!
Noted Rebel leaders Admiral Ackbar, Mon Mothma, Crix Madine, and.... Agate? I guess?
So her evade tokens affect one range closer.  If you can stay at medium range, you get to both throw your blue dice at your opponent's ship AND act like you're at long range.  Remove that blue crit that would be dealing some faceup damage to your ship! Prevent SW7s from hurting you fully when you remove one of the dice!  Or get rid of that red double hit you don't want to be taking!

It's not as good at close range, but it DOES mean you can reroll that black crit you don't want to feel.  APTs or ACMs may not affect you as much, or at the very least you can force a reroll on the Hit+Crit.  She's not Demolisher insurance, but she IS somewhat Screed Insurance.  By which I mean: if he gives up a die to get the crit because he's triggering, she can force him to reroll or remove it, depending on range.  If he rolls 2 Hit+Crits and then gives up his 2 other blank dice to turn one to a 3rd Hit+Crit, well, the best I can say is that sometimes insurance doesn't cover EVERYTHING (unless it's a larger base ship than hers, in which case, go nuts).  But you can force a reroll on one of them, which helps.  And you can do the same against bombers, too! B-wing rolls a Hit+Crit on its black dice? Guess what's getting rerolled today?

As I mentioned in the last paragraph, the size check means that if she discards the Evade, she can reroll 3 different dice.  That's a nice way of preventing some of those crazy damage spikes from hitting her ships, so long as you have an Evade handy.

Why should you play her?
Do you want to use that evade token at all ranges? Do you want to potentially have better insurance against crits? Do you want to build a snowman?
This is a bad joke, I should just Let It Go.
She doesn't always work (sometimes you reroll into what you just had), but the INSURANCE is nice.  There's always the chance that you're going to roll away whatever critical effect your opponent throws out there and escape the damage they wanted to do to you.  Your opponent can't DEFINITELY count on those crits going off, which can mess with their minds.  They may even end up rerolling GOOD dice without crits in an effort to get a second or third critical, just to attempt to ensure they get the critical result they need.  They may end up screwing up that roll, or they may end up getting the result they need.  I can't tell you how your opponent is going to roll, sorry.

She takes away some of the problem of Evade tokens, which is that they normally aren't good as you get closer.  To guarantee that any dice your opponent rolls isn't removed fully, he's going to HAVE to get into close range.  With VSDs, that's not a necessarily viable thing your opponent can do... unless YOU'RE trying to get in close!
Were you looking for me?
She's also helpful at negating heavy bomber swarms.  When B-wings throw dice at you, you can reroll both dice as needed.  Or activate your squadrons and go attack them.... She doesn't eliminate needing to care about squadrons, but she does provide a way around a few of those Hit+Crits on black dice.  Sometimes removing a Crit from the pool may be the difference between your CR90 surviving and exploding.

She's very much a flipside of the coin of Cracken.  When they're both optimally working, he removes one die before the roll and then Evades a second afterwards.  She removes or rerolls 2 afterwards, which means he is better for fighting smaller dice pools (especially one dice ones like Hammerhead sides or CR90/Nebulon sides at long range) while she can potentially skew larger pools.  She can take Early Warning System (or lurk behind obstacles), while he can use Evades at close range (like her older card).  They're very similar commanders, which means it may come down to which one makes you feel better/which you like using more.  He can't use Amity, while she can.  She loses her power when her Evades are shut down while his is on so long as he's at least speed 3.  

A word on rerolling dice at all ranges, which, while not applicable to Mothma, is applicable to everyone playing the game.  How do I know which dice to reroll (or in Mothma's potential case, remove from the pool), assuming I have the token available?  A vague primer:

Red Dice: reroll 2 damage sides.  Every other side is better for you, assuming that you're not playing against Precision Strike as an Objective (and they get the crit, or that the crit is something that badly affects your ship.  Looking at YOU, Comms Noise!).  But you have a 3/8 chance of a blank/unspendable accuracy, and a 2/8 chance of reducing it down to 1 damage, so 5/8 better.  There's also a 2/8 chance of getting the crit, but there's not many upgrades that actually affect Red Crits, XX9s excluded.  (There's also the potential that one less damage doesn't actually end up going into your ship, for that matter!)  So with an 8/52 chance of pulling a Structural Damage card, it's good odds that you're in a better spot (damage wise).  I wouldn't necessarily reroll the single hits, but again, 3/8 chance of getting a blank/unspent accuracy.  Sometimes you gotta hope for luck.
Upgrades I swear exist, volume 1
Blue dice: If it's there? The accuracies are there, but with only 2/8 chance of getting them, you're going to end up in a spot where you reroll a Blue Hit and get... another Hit or Crit.  The reroll can produce an accuracy 2/8 of the time, but 6/8 of the time it's not going to reduce a damage.  Rerolling Crits is good, though, as it's 6/8 chance of NOT getting a crit.  This is more applicable for anyone taking a blue critical effect like HIEs.  If getting that Blue Crit is going to wreck some part of you that don't want affected, THAT'S worth rerolling.

Black Dice: Reroll the Hit+Crits, don't reroll the hits.  The hits are most likely going to reroll into other hits (or worse, the Hit+Crit! Nothing better than rerolling into MORE damage!).  There's 2 Hit+Crit sides on the dice and 4 Hits.  So rerolling a hit gives you a 6/8 chance of getting equal or worse damage.  Rerolling a Hit+Crit gives you a 6/8 chance of BETTER results (especially with all those previously linked Ordinance Upgrades!)
We could have had it all, you're gonna wish you had never met me
What this dice advice can get you is more likely the average or worse roll from your opponent.  Yes, red doubles can reroll into red doubles, but Mothma usually takes a lot of the spikes out of your opponent's dice.  Meaning that if you're really good at calculations on the fly, you can figure out what the expected damage from your opponent's dice is going to be and take that into your calculations.  Especially if/when you add on more and more dice mitigation effects like obstruction.  Obviously this isn't a perfect system, but the ability to remove 2 dice entirely from an ISD-II shot at medium range can basically guarantee your CR90 is taking 6 damage, or 5 and an accuracy.  Which is survivable (provided they don't ram you).  Obviously, don't run into danger expecting to mitigate everything, but presume the spikes won't be there for your opponent.

Fun last bit that I want to point out to everyone.  At least once a game when I bring her, someone forgets about her ability until AFTER they've modified their dice and set everything in order to fire on my MC30, getting their crits and effects in order, ready to trigger.  And then I get to go and wreck all the plans they had for their Kuat.

Ships used with her
Use ones with Evades.  Multiple evades are generally better than single (so MC30s and CR90s), but she can also use the Amity Starhawk for one heck of a finisher.  The key to ALL these ships is that with the Assault Frigate and Starhawk excepted, these are all small bases and don't have crazy significant hull points.  You're going to need to combine their attacks on ISDs and SSDs in order to kill them, but remember that significant shots from front arcs of ships can lead to dead ships of your own, no matter how close you are with your evade tokens.  You can remove a dice at medium range with Mon Mothma.  You should still (in general) stay away from the front arc of an ISD unless you're very sure you can tank one shot (a titled MC30 with Lando, to be specific).  Mothma rewards players who are VERY good at maintaining ranges for their own ships.  The Starhawk is a bit more forgiving if you have the Amity title on there, but do watch out for accuracies locking down your brace token.  You might want Lando in one of those officer slots, for that reason.
Your CR90 if you stay there
Fleet Building
Usually she's running a good swarm of small units with evades, with MC30s, Hammerheads, CR90s, and a Nebulon or Assault Frigate to help.  She really loves MC30s, and spamming them with her is a viable fleet strategy (once you get REALLY good with it). However, she doesn't do much for squadrons, so the commonly seen squadrons with her are rogues (if anything), much like Cracken.  Any current Mothma fleet I build will likely start with an Amity and go from there, personally, as she can fit in several other small bases that support it and weaken whatever it's cruising towards.  They can be the front line and then the Amity can be the finisher.

Final Thoughts
Mothma is a very good Commander who counters a lot of your opponent's abilities, no matter what Commander they're using. If you're trying to get a crit to trigger and you only roll one of them, she can force (at the very least) a reroll (if not removing it entirely!), all by spending an Evade token.  With one little squiggle, she can get out of a lot of trouble.  Fear her with several of them.
Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle, YEAH!


  1. Could you expand on the part about rerolling red dice, specifically "blank/unspendable accuracy" results? I'm somewhat new to the game and am not sure if you mean that it's unspendable because you've already used one of your defense tokens or if it's unspendable because you've already passed the point in combat where Accuracy results can be spent.

    1. Sure, I'll throw something up when I get home from work tonight

    2. Hey I realize I'm not John but I believe I can answer your question (John's busy tonight so I wasn't sure when he'd be back and able to answer it).

      Basically a red dice has 3 sides that when you reroll it won't do anything: 2 blank sides and 1 side with an accuracy result. Because the window to spend accuracy icons is past once the defender can spend defense tokens (like evades), the accuracy cannot be spent by the attacker any more.

      If you wanted some more detail on the matter, I posted up a long-form analysis today of how the attack steps in Armada work that covers that a bit as well:

      Hopefully that helps!

    3. It definitely helps, great article on the steps of attacking too!

  2. Mon Mothma must've been the one who replaced the contain token with an evade token on the pawn-shop Providence the rebels got their hands on, lol. Maybe she painted some camouflage on it or locked the thrust reverses into permanent place.