Saturday, June 4, 2022

Imperial commander review: Moff Jerjerrod

I've been flirting with this article for a while but its time has finally come: the Moff Jerjerrod (Jerry to his friends, and we're all friends here, right?) review!

Slow your roll Vader, some of us haven't had an article yet!
Instruction to the artist: use Michael Pennington's character from Return of the Jedi, but give him a facial expression that communicates extreme dismay bordering on sadness from having smelled a particularly bad fart.
Rules
  • Please note that by the most current errata, Moff Jerry's ability is now: "While a friendly ship executes a maneuver, during the Determine Course step, that ship may suffer 1 damage to change the first yaw value of that maneuver to 'II'."
    • This means that you choose whether to use Moff Jerry for each maneuver a ship makes. If it gets multiple maneuvers (like with Engine Techs) then you will need to decide for each maneuver whether you wish to use him (and suffer damage) or not.
  • When a ship suffers damage but the effect doesn't stipulate to where, the owner of that ship decides. That means you should usually choose to do the damage to a hull zone with shields that isn't at risk of attack. The short version is: Moff Jerry's ability doesn't inherently deal you hull damage, which is a common misconception. It's usually best to deal the damage to a shielded hull zone instead and take off a shield.
    • That said, there can be advantages to damaging an unshielded hull zone if you've got Reinforced Blast Doors or Repair Crews ready to help.
    • Because damage must go to a hull zone, this means it is impossible to choose to do hull damage to your ship with Moff Jerjerrod so long as all your hull zones have shields, even if you want Jerry to deal hull damage. You'll need to pick a hull zone to deal the damage to and it hits shields first.
Discussion
Moff Jerjerrod is very affordable at a light 23 points (one of the cheapest Imperial commanders) and his ability is, for lack of a better term, circumstantially amazing. Maneuvering in Armada is extremely important, especially as it relates to ships' positions relative to one another. In general you're trying to do your best to bring your strongest arcs to bear while avoiding your opponent's best arcs and to do so in coordination with your other ships at the best time. This obviously isn't always achieved in reality, but that's the goal. Jerjerrod in short helps you with that, in some cases quite substantially.

Imperial ships tend to have a specific arc (usually their front) that is where the most pain is coming from and they want more than anything to be able to consistently bring it to bear. Unfortunately, Imperial ships overall are less agile than their Rebel counterparts and so doing this can be challenging at times and frequently leans on the navigate command for extra yaw and speed corrections. This problem is most evident with the Victory-class Star Destroyer (which has by default one click of yaw regardless of speed and turns like a pregnant cow unless it's given some help) and the awkward nav chart on the Arquitens Light Cruiser. So think of all the times one of your ships went somewhere you were kind of hoping it didn't have to and what you'd give for an extra click or two of yaw early on. Would you give a shield point? Of course you would, I think any of us would. That's what Moff Jerry offers you.

One big important thing to note about Moff Jerjerrod is his ability works whenever you want to use it. There's no command type you need to pair him up with for his ability to work (like with his Rebel counterpart Madine), it just works whenever you need it to work. This gives it substantial flexibility and can free you up to assign non-navigate commands knowing that Jerry can come through for you if you would normally issue a nav command for the yaw benefits.

I've covered Moff Jerry's uses in several of the Imperial ship reviews, but he's got a lot of fun tricks he can do. These include but are certainly not limited to:

1) Improving a speed 2 VSD's total clicks of yaw to 3 (4 with a navigate dial!), which is a huge improvement on the normally-sluggish VSD.

This is possible in one maneuver with a nav dial and that is INSANE. That's quadruple the clicks of an unaided VSD, allowing it to turn like a Raider.
2) Giving a speed 3 ISD the ability to get 4 clicks of yaw without any extra help and the ability to do a sweet inside turn.
Tight inside turning ISDs are amazing.
You can also pull off some fun shenanigans with a nav dial added into that for an extra yaw for some strong repositioning on the ISD:

People sometimes think you won't fit. You will. 2 clicks, 2 clicks, and 1 click in the other direction and it's a thing of beauty. Print this out, frame it, and put it on your nightstand.

3) Arquitens in general - extra yaw early on helps you avoid big problems and you can do it on the fly. It's great.
Not today, Satan!
In the above example, a normal speed 3 Arquitens without help is doomed here. Its final 2-click wobble at the end of its maneuver is insufficient to prevent a collision with the LMC80 doom fish. With Jerjerrod, you get substantially more control over your maneuverability.

4) You can pull off a fun Demolisher super-turn with a nav dial. This is what a Gladiator can do when using Engine Techs with a nav dial:
Whee!
You basically get maximum clicks on every joint but number 2 or 3, in which case you decide which has to make do with only 1 click. It's 1 click shy of a complete 180 degree turn-around. It's swell.

There are certainly other fun tricks too but the short version is basically every ship you have, particularly those that are okay with hitting higher speeds, love having Jerry around. With enough imagination, he can do very fun things with ships that normally are not nearly so maneuverable.

The downside, of course, is he pings your ships to use his ability. This can be managed in a few ways, but mainly it means your ships will be doing repair commands a bit more instead of navigate commands, as Jerry himself helps with adding yaw on a dime. This doesn't mean you will never need to navigate (I still regularly take nav tokens on the first turn and navigate again at least once later on), it just means you'll need to do it less in most cases.

Ships
Everything enjoys getting a yaw improvement, but some ships enjoy it more than others.

Arquitens are the ships Jerry comes packaged with and to nobody's surprise he works great there. The inflexibility of the Arquitens' early joints at speed 2 and especially speed 3 are solved by Jerjerrod, allowing them to pull off some impressive maneuvering and opening up options for some sweet inside turns that normally require nav dials and are a bit weak even then.

Gladiator-class Star Destroyers tend to suffer a bit maneuver-wise at speed 3. Jerjerrod helps them out considerably. The main issue for me is over-use of his ability can wear down your shields dangerously on your glass cannon, so be careful. Still, it can keep Demolisher in the fight a round or two more than otherwise, and that's pretty potent.

Imperial-class Star Destroyers have plenty of shields and love getting the extra clicks of yaw without having to navigate as much. This applies to pretty much any ISD variant, so long as they're otherwise upgraded intelligently, but the more you're moving at speed 3 the more drastic the improvement, for the most part. Speed 1 in particular isn't a great use of Jerjerrod's ability.

Super Star Destroyers see the most drastic change in performance from Jerjerrod, turning a no-clicks brick into a 2-clicks surprisingly agile ogre. The SSD has plenty of shields and loves that extra yaw without having to do navigate commands. The main downside is the SSD chews up so many points it's tough to fit many other classic Jerry ships into your fleet.

Victory-class Star Destroyers are infamously unmaneuverable ships that Jerry gives a substantial boost to. Now that the Harrow title exists, you can live the dream of a VSD at fake speed 3 with maximum clicks on every joint, so long as Jerry is helping you.

Fleet building
Because Jerjerrod relives some pressure off the need to navigate, he can work just fine in up to a heavy squadron fleet, allowing your ships to focus on squadron commands while Jesus he takes the wheel for maneuvering. You've got to consider if Thrawn might have been a better call for this style of fleet, but Jerry has the benefit of being much cheaper. You don't need squadrons with Jerry if you don't want them, as he's pretty flexible, but bomber-heavy squads groups get a head start against a commander doing some of their own shield-removing for them, so be careful.

Otherwise, so long as you've got a good foundation with some of Jerry's favorite ships, you've got the beginnings of a solid Jerjerrod fleet. I'm particularly fond of getting a fleet command in with Jerjerrod (typically on an ISD with Chimaera or on a Cymoon) if I can to apply Jerry's solid benefit in addition to the fleet command benefit, but it's far from mandatory.

11 comments:

  1. I think a list of ships that like Jerry a lot or ships that don't benefit from Jerry would be appropriate for this article including speeds they like or dislike. I rarely play imperial but like to use Jerry when I do so so that would be helpful. Last time I used Jerry I ran 1 ISD and two VSD's and never had to use Jerry once so not much of a learning game. Sounds like there isn't really anything he doesn't like though right? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem is that just about everything can work fine with him. He prefers ships that have empty yaw segments early on (so VSDs at speed 2, ISDs at speed 3) but he's also happy to bump a 1 yaw segment up to a 2. He looks like he'd be bad with Raiders (as he does literally nothing for them at speeds 1 and 2) but at speed 3+, it works fine. So it really depends on your fleet and the intended usage. I'll also note that while he gets maximum benefit at certain speeds, you don't always want your ships going those speeds so advice about that can be constraining. It's very circumstantial.

      He won't do much for your if your opponent is intent on jousting straight at you. In those kinds of circumstances, Motti or Vader are better for a straight-up brawl. If your opponent is coming straight at the fronts of your star destroyers, though, I don't really consider that to be a bad thing. You can still make use of Jerry on the star destroyers on the flanks to keep your front on target as the opponent starts passing through.

      Delete
    2. He does sound very useful with smaller ships especially the Arquitens so next time I'll field a combination of them. :)

      Delete
    3. I even used him with Gozanti's from time to time. When an enemy ship gets close, it can be just the thing I need to keep myself in one arc at a time, or to avoid bumping.

      Delete
    4. Jerry is basically my default Imperial commander. Some use Motti, but even if I don't use Jerry, the ability to be able to reposition on the fly is just too awesome to have in your hip pocket.

      Jerry makes it so I don't even need to navigate. I can focus on Con-fire commands for a Ravager SSD, or on squads for a squadron fleet.

      Unless, I have a commander who has a specific synergistic effect on my Fleet, Jerry is in command.

      Delete
  2. I regularly use him in a multiple-Arquitens fleet. He lets you do the shimmy (2 clicks left/2 clicks right) to keep your broadside to the enemy while opening the distance.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You could do a full 180 degree turn with a Gladiator with your set up + TEA, for full clicks in every joint plus the engine techs. Only req is Jerry and a way to get that TEA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true! Generally, I find it's a bit overkill to have both Jerry and take evasive action but if you do want to pull off those amazing type of Maneuvers then that is the way to do it.

      Delete
    2. Just thought I'd point that out since I noticed it, not the most practical of course,but if you want to use a Gladiator with a Cymoon Refit, and you need the turning on the Cymoon, might as well run Jerry and TEA for the Cymoon's benefit, which also incidentally allows your Demolisher (let's be real here: if you are running a single Gladiator, you should use the Demolisher) to shoot with your rear once into the enemy, pull a 180, and shoot the same enemy with your front. Unlikely for them both to be in a fleet together, but not impossible!

      Delete
  4. Are you planning on updating this article with the 5.2 update?
    "While a friendly ship executes a maneuver, during the Determine Course step, that ship may suffer 1 damage to change the first yaw value of that maneuver to 'II'."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, just updated it. Made the rules section much less of a hassle.

      Delete