Monday, May 22, 2017

Lancer Pursuit Craft

Before we begin, I'd like to point out that ACTUAL original Lancer-Class Frigates were used to fight enemy starfighters, and were very un-triangle based ships that boasted 20 quad laser cannons built around-

So let's talk about the starfighter.

So gritty! He makes David Eckstein look like David Wells! And other baseball jokes no one gets!
Well it's a Grit Rogue Bomber.  And they don't often get used.  Why is that?

Well, it's a bomber.  So you SHOULD take Bomber Command Center with it.  And the reason you're then not taking one of the OTHER fighter-bombers or bomber-bombers or bomber-fighters the Rebellion has that you can command during the regular turn is.....?

Their 3 blue dice isn't amazing.  They cost the same and hit against squadrons just as well as a VCX-100, and they have half the health.  Yup, 4 health makes for one of the weaker Rebellion squadrons (not the weakest; we still need to cover Z95s later this week!) and they can suffer if not taken care of.  Speed 4 is nice, but you need to be able to survive, and that's the issue with only 4 health.

Black dice bombers are very nice, but these suffer because of the Rogue tax.  You're either paying extra for an ability that isn't needed when you need to command them so they don't get shot and die early, or you're bringing along GR75s that are commanding something else (or why'd you bring Rogues?) and hoping they don't get shot.

The best way I've found for using them is that you can't JUST bring along Lancers; you need some friends with Escort and/or some other fighters that can hit enemy squadrons first.  And not just YT-2400s.  If I'm engaging both your YT-2400 and your Lancer with two TIEs, I'm going to shoot the Lancer first for two reasons.  First, that YT is going to probably kill me, but if I can take out your Lancer, then I've traded 16 points of anti fighter for 15 of bomber.  My ships stay alive longer because I've taken part of your ability to hurt them away.  Second reason I hit the Lancer first is that limits the amount of damage I can take.  3 blue dice (without Toryn Farr) result in 1.5 damage, enough to finish off a wounded TIE.

So bring other squadrons.  I can see Lancers working decently with a bunch of other squadrons you command and then the Lancers take a run at ships later in the turn, on their own.  Weirdly, I also had good luck with a blob of Hera and 2 X-wings with 2 Lancers (and several other Rogues with Bomber).  The X-wings shoot the enemy squadrons first, and then the Lancers go in and either finish off whatever squadron is left, or they speed onwards to the ship and start bombing your stuff.  When you start hitting the ships, it's a black dice bomber.  You paid 1.5 Y-wings for a Y-wing bomb with Rogue, keep jumping around and hitting unshielded parts of the ship while staying in BCC range.  Aim for the areas without shields and start making an IMMEDIATE impact.

If you're going to be attempting to help your X-wings kill whatever squadrons are left, stay in range of Toryn Farr.  I can't stress that enough, you're rolling 3 blue dice and they can REALLY use a fake swarm ability.  Plus if you bring Toryn, those X-wing friends and Hera also appreciate her!  Grit won't always come into play, but you paid for the ability, so use it as needed.  Keep in mind, as always with Grit, that one TIE and one TIE bomber engaging you don't let you Grit your way out.

I will say, whenever I get around to writing the article (I spent much of Sunday writing up the Pelta, as I CONTINUE to dodge doing it) that Sato can actually make decent use of the Lancer frame.  The Grit means he can get in close to whatever ship needs to get shot next turn, and the Bomber attack helps a lot there, too.

Here be John attempting to justify Ketsu.  Or dragons, whatever.
I like Gina Torres, does that count? No, it does not.  Ketsu Onyo is rocking the A-wing ace token suite (or the TIE ace suite, if you want to be one of THOSE people) with a Scatter and a Brace, so she'll stay arguably alive longer.  Her 2 blue dice bomber is nice, as we've seen with the high usage of Gold Squadron everywhere these days.  The issue we need to ask though, is does her ability make her worth those points? And the best I can say is "kinda?"

She's great with Rieekan, just clogging up the way out for your opponent.  She's an Intel soft-counter, so if you're seeing a lot of Intel coming in that's trying to hit your ships (note: she doesn't prevent them from hitting your ship, just from moving farther) she's worth taking.  The problem I see is that without Counter, she still needs Escort friends to move in with her and take some of those lumps that would let your opponent's squadrons leave.  IDEALLY, she wants to have 2 YT-1300 friends come in behind her and engage the guys who can't really leave.  In PRACTICE, she's twice their speed, which really means you're using X-wings or several A-wings to get in and engage the blob of fighters.

If you can land her on an obstacle, her ability still triggers, but she's not engaged, so she can keep moving around and harassing your opponent.  Have her followed in by X-wings and YT-2400s and other fighters to mop up the enemy squadrons who can't leave, and then you're in a better state.  Just like a regular Lancer, then, she wants friends with Escort to take some hits for her, and she doesn't really hit hard enough to be a full on fighter.  So keep near Toryn if you need her anti-squad dice to do something.  Or command her with a Flight Controllers ship, too.

Now that the Quasar Fire has been spoiled, I can see her being somewhat more useful at locking down enemy TIEs that get too close.... but watch out when 6 of them jump her.  Her defense tokens don't save THAT much damage for her.  I do think you can get her to work with YT-2400s, as her 4 health and tokens is (potentially, watch out for accuracies) as good as their 6 health.  Then your opponent has to choose between hitting the thing that's preventing her from leaving (Ketsu) or your YT-2400s that are smacking them around.  I wouldn't do a SFC with her, but I can see her being a foundation of a good MFC.  Maybe Hera, 2 X-wings, 2 YT-2400s, and Ketsu (I say, spitballing RIGHT now.  That's not me endorsing that build, just cobbling something together for you all).  That's 102 points of murder that you don't need to put a squadron command towards, which is mighty nice.  Change the YT-2400s for 2 more X-wings if you can find a flotilla to help out for a turn or two, or cut Hera if you can find a way to command all those X-wings.  Try that out, see if that helps your fight against Intel ships!


  1. When I first saw this squadron, I was actually thinking the same thing as your first paragraph. I just assumed I was misremembering a Lancer as an anti-fighter ship from the EU.

    1. Hahaha, i've had to remember that SEVERAL times now, so don't worry about it.