Monday, December 28, 2020

Imperial ship review: Quasar Fire Cruiser-Carrier

All right, let's talk about quasars. You see, a quasar is a supermassive black hole and its giant accretion disk (basically a huge spiraling traffic jam of matter that's all headed in) that reaches incredible levels of heat and brightness due to the  nearly unfathomable speed the matter is traveling as it plummets into the black hole. Thanks, Astronomy 101! No, seriously, Astronomy 101 was an awesome class and I don't regret taking it.

One day you too can be an artist who gets to draw something this cosmically awesome.
Except that's not actually what we're talking about, we're talking about the wave 6 Imperial ship, the Quasar Fire Cruiser-Carrier. That's a mouthful, so from here on out it's just the Quasar.
Another fine day in the Imperial Navy, another fine gray space triangle.
In terms of basic stats available to both chassis configurations, a few things become apparently pretty quickly:
  •  Defensively, the Quasar has a bit of a glass jaw:
    • 6 hull is decent, but with a 2/2/1 shield configuration, your shields aren't going to do you much good for very long. It's the same shield configuration as a CR90, which isn't a ship known for taking a lot of punishment.
    • Furthermore, with only a single brace and redirect, the Quasar isn't going to stand up to serious attacks very well, especially against larger attacks that can lock down the brace or a multitude of small attacks that will overheat its defense tokens.
    • Finally, at only 2 Engineering, the Quasar's repair commands are as ineffectual as a flotilla or corvette's, so once it starts taking damage it's not going to have much success at repairing its way out of trouble. Face-up crits in particular can be very problematic, as it will need a dial and token to remove a damage card.
  • At 54/61 points, the Quasar is the cheapest medium-based ship in the game and you get a pretty decent amount of "stuff" for the cost, even if its defenses aren't great.
  • Squadron 4 on such a cheap ship is great for large squadron commands.
  • A maximum speed of 3 and a decent (for its size) nav chart gives the Quasar a lot more maneuvering options than its other medium-sized cousins, the VSD and Interdictor
  • With Command 2, it's a lot more responsive than the VSD, and for a ship designed to command squadrons consistently, that's definitely welcome. It also means you can store two command tokens; I expect in most cases you'll want a navigate token and then perhaps a squadron token to boost a big squadron command.
  • You won't see it on the card, but the Quasar model's front arc is HUGE. This has some ramifications, which we'll be discussing later. See the picture below for proof:
Remember when you were squinting at this trying to figure out what Sloane did?
The Quasar is a breath of fresh air for the Galactic Empire, finally providing the Empire with a ship capable of being a heavier-duty dedicated carrier. The Rebels have had more specialized non-flotilla carrier options since wave one with the Yavaris Nebulon-B and more recently gained a second option with the Command Pelta, both of which are good dedicated carriers. The Empire certainly had ships capable of acting as heavier-duty carriers in the VSD and ISD, but the fundamental issues there were that both ships also had a lot invested in being battleships and so issuing regular squadron commands nearly always came at the expense of issuing commands that made them more effective as battleships (frequently navigate commands), meaning it was rare that you got maximum utility out of a VSD or ISD as both a dedicated carrier and a battleship. The Quasar is for the most part happy to just keep cranking out squadron commands most of the game and its Squadron value is as high as an ISD-I or ISD-II for roughly half the cost.

But what about Gozantis?
The Quasar is sometimes compared to a pair of Gozantis, as it's a similar points expenditure for a total of 4 Squadron value but the Gozantis provide 2 activations to the Quasar's 1. Simply put, the Quasar is a much higher-quality carrier: it has more upgrade slots (importantly, you can get Flight Controllers and/or Ruthless Strategists in there), the points spent on its upgrades are spent more efficiently (ex: Boosted Comms on a Quasar lets it command 4 or more squads at long range compared to 2 on a Gozanti), it has some great carrier titles and it pushes its squads in one activation. There's nothing wrong with using both in a fleet (and many heavy squadron Imperial fleets do), but there's not a lot of direct competition: Gozantis are good for some squadron and fleet support and Quasars are for more dedicated medium to large squadron groups.

Basic usage recommendations
The Quasar's use is pretty straightforward when it comes to the basics, really - you brought along the Quasar because it's a carrier. It doesn't do other things very well and you'll want to be issuing squadron commands as frequently as you can safely get away with. The Quasar itself is a bit glass-jawed, however, and so you should really do your best to keep it out of trouble so it can keep doing its super-carrier thing. There are a few basic tips for doing so that I'd recommend:

1) Always Boosted Comms
This could also be an entry under "Upgrades" below, but with very limited exception, Boosted Comms effectively should come stapled to your Quasar regardless of if it's a -I or -II. Your Quasar doesn't want to have to decide between being able to function as a carrier and getting to live. By extending your squadron command range, you can stay further away from certain death while still being in range to regularly use your full Squadron value to command squadrons.

2) Avoid trouble
In general, I recommend flying your default Quasar like a fat Gozanti: it wants to generally move around/away from the enemies coming to murder it while staying near more muscular ship friends that pose a more immediate threat. I would recommend considering your attack dice (especially for the Quasar-I) as a secondary element of the ship. They can help ping ships coming after you or bully little ships that get caught out on their own but they're not why you brought a Quasar.

3) Recognize what is a threat
To continue the "fat Gozanti" recommendations, threats to your Quasar are similar to threats to Gozantis, although the Quasar is thankfully more durable overall. Attacks from lots of small sources (like several smaller ship attacks or getting mobbed by bombers) will rapidly overheat your redirect token and melt your shields. Large attacks that have decent chances of producing an accuracy icon will also cause big problems when your brace gets locked down and you've got 6+ damage inbound. Larger attacks without accuracy aren't nearly so threatening due to your brace and 6 hull.

Unfortunately, longer-ranged harassment will add up on your Quasar more than it will on an evade+scatter Gozanti, so don't take it lightly. You can handle it for a while but sooner or later your shields are going to run out if you can't remove the skirmisher(s) sniping you.

4) Speed control
I'd default the Quasar to speed 2 in most circumstances when you deploy it, as it lets you keep up with most of your other ships, but from there you have some other options that merit keeping a navigate token on hand whenever possible. Slowing down to speed 1 is desirable when your squadrons are in the middle of a scrum, your Quasar has a safe nesting ground to stay in, and you want to keep nearby to help with flak and squadron commands until everything sorts itself out. Speed 3 can be good for jetting away from trouble when enemies are closing in and sometimes can be used to jump over small ships if someone tries to jam up your front arc:

This situation is still terrible, but it might be survivable!
...but it's best done with a navigate dial for the extra yaw if you can spare it. Don't rely on hopping jammers; if an opponent has enough control over their final position, they can make it impossible to escape with your medium base.

5) Mind your giant nose
Other than all that, let's talk about the huge front arc before we go on to the rest of the article. In short, it means your nose is going to be getting shot a lot, especially if you're headed towards enemy ships but also in many cases when you have your side pointed towards the source of the attack simply because your front hull zone is so easy to draw line of sight to. The good news there is that your redirect token can help shunt damage from your 2 shield front hull zone to your 2 shield side hull zones. The bad news is if your front hull zone is unshielded, it can be hard to hide it from enemies trying to focus attacks into it.

The only other thing to note presently about your large front hull zone is it can be helpful for double-arcing enemies approaching from your side if you're moving perpendicular to them. With at least blue dice in all your arcs and a wide front hull zone, there's not a lot of space, especially at closer ranges, to hide an entire ship base in your side arc.

The future is uncertain for our heroic Quasar, but at least it gets to lob 5 total blue dice out of spite at the Hammerhead that thought it was safe in the side arc!
I'm happy to report that the Quasar has two great titles and one "can be worth it sometimes" title.

New from Apple in 2017: the iCarrier
As always, here come the rules notes first!
  • The triggering incident is revealing a command dial that is not a squadron command dial, so upgrades that allow you to discard command dials prior to revealing (such as the Skilled First Officer, patron saint of Command 2 ships everywhere) or to change them prior to revealing  can allow you to deliberately discard a squadron dial to then reveal a non-squadron dial so you can use Pursuant.
  • Remember that revealing a command dial comes with the associated choice of whether to keep it or turn it into a token, so do that before triggering Pursuant.
  • Because the triggering event is when you reveal a command, the squadron command used by Pursuant must be used prior to any repair command. Normally, repair commands and squadron commands have their timing window after you reveal a command dial so they can be used in either order, but Pursuant jumps ahead just a little bit.
  • Pursuant doesn't produce a squadron dial, it resolves a squadron command as if you spent a squadron dial. This has a few ramifications that may not be immediately obvious:
    • You can't add a squadron token to boost the squadron command, as that's a different method of resolving a squadron command (dial + token) and the Pursuant card is very specific about how you resolve the squadron command ("as if" you spent a dial, not actually spending a dial).
    • Pursuant doesn't produce a dial you can discard for an effect like Boarding Troopers, either.
Anyways, Pursuant! I consider Pursuant the default Quasar title if you're not sold on Squall. It's an extremely affordable title and allows your Quasar to once per game focus on something other than squadron commanding while still cheating out a full-dial squadron command. Combining it with a Skilled First Officer for a mere 3 points allows you to queue up a life-saving repair or navigate command when a problem is clearly headed your way and you need to do something about it. Upon activation, discard the Skilled First Officer to ditch your top squadron dial, reveal your other command instead, then discard Pursuant to still command squadrons anyways!

It's also a very cheap and easy counter to a Slicer Tools flotilla messing with your squadron command dial. Given Slicer Tools are gunning for carriers specifically in most cases, that's nothing to sneeze at. In that case, a Pursuant + Skilled First Officer combination gives you effectively 2 rounds of Slicer Tools prevention for a very reasonable cost.

It's a red laser magnet!
Squall rules time!
  • Squall triggers on activation, so remember to resolve its effect prior to proceeding with revealing your command dial.
  • Remember that engagement requires both distance 1 of an enemy squadron as well as not being obstructed to them. A squadron hiding in an obstacle could qualify for Squall's movement even though it is at distance 1 of an enemy.
    • Similarly, remember that engagement still happens even with Heavy squadrons, it's just that Heavy removes the normal penalties of engaging that squadron (as in Heavy doesn't stop you from attacking ships or moving away).
    • The engagement restriction applies to both who's eligible to move and is a restriction on where you can end your move, so don't neglect to use your movement to hop into obstacles to block engagement even at distance 1!
  • You can't increase Squall's effect radius by equipping Boosted Comms. The Squall card itself stipulates how long of a range it extends out to, which happens to be the same range as your usual squadron command range.
  • Moving your squadrons distance 2 and ending their movement unengaged is rather tricky. This is likely a good argument for temporarily ignoring the one-tool rule so you can put a distance 1 range ruler against enemy squadrons you want to move near (but outside distance 1) while you use a distance 2 range ruler to move your Squall squadrons to ensure you didn't accidentally mess up. Alternatively, use a base stand-in (like a washer of the right size) to indicate your intended destination and then measure to be sure you're not accidentally engaging something there. If you aren't, drop your squadron on top of the washer (or token or whatever).
  • Remember that the movement granted by Squall is in all other regards a normal move that triggers movement-based effects, such as healing on the space station or moving objective tokens with a Strategic squadron.
Squall gives you a nice little movement bump similar to that provided by Fighter Coordination Team, only it triggers earlier, the movement distance is further, and you can't move into engagement. Its most obvious use is for extending threat ranges on squadrons you intend to command after you reveal a squadron command dial, but it can also be a sneaky way to position a buff aura ace like Howlrunner or Dengar to where you want them without necessarily needing to command them immediately. You can also use it to speed up Rogues like the YV-666, Decimator, Firespray, or Aggressor that you rarely intend to actually command so that the Rogues can keep up with your faster regular squadrons. You can move around a lot of objective tokens when using Squall with Lambdas to keep triggering the Strategic keyword - once when moved by Squall and again later on when given a squadron command or when moved in the Squadron Phase. For maximum sneaky shenanigans combine it with TIE Phantoms - the Phantoms jump out of engagement with Cloak at the end of the preceding Squadron Phase only to get shuffled around by Squall before being commanded normally. Bonus coolness points if both the Cloak and Squall movements land the Phantoms on the station, healing them each time. All that said, be careful with Squall's bump plus a squadron command launching your squadrons too far afield, landing them outside of Squall's command range next turn.

If you're planning to use your squads aggressively and you don't need/want the squad command insurance Pursuant provides, Squall is a very good title.

Oh, you were looking for an early 2000s castle-based RTS? Yeah, I get that a lot.
Stronghold rules bullet points!
  • Remember that "at" distance 1-2 means "with any portion of its base within 1-2," so the Stronghold bubble extends quite a ways.
  • Only the attack itself is treated as obstructed, not the attacker, so keywords like Swarm and Escort still work just fine.
  • Obstruction is either "on" or "off" and therefore an attack can't be double- or triple-obstructed.
  • Remember that Counter attacks work just like regular attacks, so if your friendly squadron attacks a Counter squadron (like an A-Wing) while within Stronghold's bubble, the Counter attack will be obstructed.
    • This "feels" weird given that in terms of the squadron command, the TIE is attacking and the Counter squadron is defending, but the Counter attack is a new attack with the Counter squadron as the attacker and the TIE as the defender.

Stronghold is very straightforward: it provides a place for your Swarm squadrons to hide (TIE Fighters, TIE Interceptors, and Jumpmasters as of this writing). -1 die from obstruction is in most cases -0.5 average damage (from blue or red dice) or -0.75 damage (from a black die), depending on what your opponent gives up. Given that your generic TIE Fighter and Interceptor squadrons live in fear of the lucky one-shot fighter attack dealing them 3+ damage in one go, Stronghold goes a long way towards making such attacks impossible or at the very least less likely. Against TIE aces, less blue dice means less odds of rolling an accuracy which means better chance of scattering away the attack entirely, or at the very least the less average damage increases the odds that the attack will deal 2 or less, which can be braced if necessary down to 1.

I recommend using Stronghold somewhat like the Rebel Assault Frigate title Gallant Haven - you can use it as a bunker for your fighters to hide in. If your opponent wants to get the jump on your fighters, he's got an uphill battle ahead of him fighting at a disadvantage. If not, then you can fling your fighters out of their bunker when necessary. Following your squadrons into a dogfight near enemy combat ships is a death sentence and to be avoided, despite how tempting it may be to keep applying the Stronghold buff. Of course if the furball develops in a fairly safe part of the board, follow your fighters in to your heart's content.

The crux of this being that Stronghold is very much a title for a fighter carrier operating somewhat reactively, unlike Squall which seems to recommend itself a bit more for bomber use, operating aggressively. It's the least popular of the three titles but with the right supporting upgrades and squadrons to further buff your Swarm squadrons, it can get some work done.

I've already talked a fair deal about the Quasar-I above, so there's not much else to cover. The only specific item I can think of to mention is the Quasar-I has two offensive retrofit slots, which presents a lot of options for how you can configure its upgrade suite.

Second offensive retrofit slot
Given Boosted Comms is my strong recommendation for the first offensive retrofit slot for either Quasar chassis, you have a few interesting options for the second slot should you choose to use it:
  • Expanded Hangar Bays. Because Squadrons 5 with Boosted Comms is kind of nuts. You don't need to fill the second offensive retrofit slot, but if you do, the Expanded Hangar Bays will be your candidate in most cases. 
  • Reserve Hangar Deck. If you're bringing generic Swarm squadrons, it's a great cheap choice for an open slot.
  • Advanced Transponder Net. For fleets with a lot of Heavy squadrons (usually TIE Bombers and/or Decimators) that want to be able to stop enemy squadrons from going after ships near the Quasar.
Weapon Team
So far as the Quasar-I is concerned, this is the Flight Controllers slot and that's it - you don't need to use Flight Controllers on your Quasar but it is recommended if you're using at least 4 fighter squadrons, which you generally should be. The Quasar-II gets some interesting options in this area, but we're not there just yet.

You have a lot of options available for your officer slot for both the Quasar-I and Quasar-II and so this section will effectively cover the highlights for both variants, with one extra addition in the Quasar-II-only section later.
  • Skilled First Officer would be my default choice if you want to keep it cheap, especially with Pursuant, for the reasons given above. Even without Pursuant, he's great on Command 2 ships and only 1 point.
  • Admiral Chiraneau really comes into his own on a Quasar, especially one that's decked out in force multiplier upgrades like Expanded Hangar Bay and Flight Controllers. Being able to get in a small move regardless of engagement while also applying the Flight Controllers buff to 5-6 squadrons in one go can be very strong, especially with Mauler Mithel and hard-hitting aces like Maarek Stele.
  • Wulff Yularen or Commander Vanto can be appealing if you want a bit of extra token assistance. Typically this means either an additional squadron token for very large squadron commands or repair/navigate token assistance so you can focus on squadron dials.
Given all the upgrade options above, Quasars are pretty plug-and-play. I'll give one example for each title, but there are lots of ways to build them.

Pursuant all-comers carrier
Skilled First Officer, Pursuant, Flight Controllers, Expanded Hangar Bays, Boosted Comms

For 72 total points, this one comes in pretty cheap, is very flexible in its command choices, and works with just about any fleet running a moderate amount of squadrons or more. You can get fancier with the officer, but for a cheap(-ish) yet powerful heavy carrier, it gets the job done.

Squall ambush carrier
Squall, Boosted Comms, Expanded Hangar Bays

Flight Controllers is optional but recommended here, depending on your plans. The overall goal with this build is pretty simple: use the extra push from Squall to send 5-6 squadrons after some poor unfortunate ship or squadron group quite a ways away. If you're planning on throwing squadrons way downtown, it might be worth picking up a Flight Commander so you'll definitely be in squadron command range after tossing long bombs in the previous round.

Stronghold death trap
Stronghold, Instructor Goran, Flight Controllers, Boosted Comms, Reserve Hangar Deck

This build is not cheap, but it is fighter superiority on a stick. It is also the kind of thing that generally works best if your opponent runs into it recklessly, which is always a problem with defensive/counter-attack upgrades. Regardless, within your distance 1-2 bubble of awesome, all your Swarm squadrons gain Counter +1 and obstruction against all attacks. You can further buff that Counter value with Howlrunner and/or Dengar if you feel so inclined, but generally you're looking to make coming after your TIE Interceptors extremely unappealing. Turns out obstructed Counter 5 Interceptors with a Swarm reroll are pretty nasty.

The Quasar-II is similar to the base Quasar-I we've covered for most of this article with some crucial differences:
  • +7 points over the lean and mean Quasar-I chassis.
  • 2 blue dice in the front and 1 on each side have been upgraded to red dice.
  • The blue flak die has been upgraded to a red flak die(!).
  • Loses one offensive retrofit slot for a second weapon team slot.
The end effect is the Quasar-II gives up a bit of its carrier capability, as it can't equip both Boosted Comms and Expanded Hangar Bays, and it's just more expensive and so even if you were only going to use Boosted Comms anyways, you're paying more points for the same squadron-commanding capability. In return for giving up some of its carrier focus, the Quasar-II gains some combat support capability: with its red flak die, red anti-ship dice, and double weapon team slots, it has the potential to directly affect the game more effectively than the Quasar-I. For that reason, it's often best used a little more aggressively than the Quasar-I.

A note about the red flak die before we get to the upgrades: yes, that does mean you can attack squadrons at up to long range. The main downside is that all by itself the red die only damages squadrons 3/8 of the time. The remaining 5 sides are 2 blanks, 2 crits, and 1 accuracy that does nothing all by itself. So even though both a blue and red flak die do the same average 0.5 damage, the red flak die is less reliable, whereas the blue flak die is shorter-ranged but 4/8 of the time does damage.

Most of the same upgrade options that work for the Quasar-I work for the Quasar-II. In particular, I still highly recommend Boosted Comms. Being able to command your squadrons at long range while being able to flak their enemies is pretty satisfying. The upgrades I mention below are effectively in addition to considerations for the Quasar-I, although you will need to give give up on the second offensive retrofit.

Weapon team
You can (and maybe even should!) still use Flight Controllers on a Quasar-II, but with two weapon team slots and your longer-ranged flak die, Ruthless Strategists become a lot more appealing. To get mileage from them, you should make sure you're using a decent number of high-hull squadrons. TIE Bombers are a classic example, but anything with 5+ hull at a reasonable cost will fit the bill if fielded in sufficient numbers. Being able to command your squadrons and hose down enemy squadrons at long range with the ability to deal extra unpreventable damage is pretty appealing. Honestly, I think its use as a flak carrier is about the only thing recommending a Quasar-II over a Quasar-I, so if you're not building for flak, you almost always should've just gone with a Quasar-I.

Pretty much the same recommendations as the Quasar-I with the notable addition of Agent Kallus. Because the Quasar-II's flak range extends so far, anything that can add additional oomph to your flak is quite welcome. This is somewhat meta-dependent, though: if your meta doesn't see a lot of unique squadrons, then Kallus won't be very effective. Otherwise, adding a die (usually a black die, occasionally a blue die against a scatter ace if your red die rolled damage already) to your unreliable red die is a godsend.

Minor variations on the Quasar-I builds will do fine as a whole, although you'll need to consider what kind of changes to make and if it's worth adding a second weapon team. A Quasar-II build that looks to leverage the flak potential of the unique chassis would look something like:

Ack ack artillery
Title of your choice, Agent Kallus, Ruthless Strategists, Boosted Comms

Send your angriest highest-hulled squadrons (Defenders get a mention here) against the enemy squadrons and then flak the survivors like crazy. This build looks to win the squadron mini-game as rapidly as possible and doesn't care if some of its own squadrons need to die to get there - they would've died anyways when the enemies counterattacked, might as well just speed up the process so we can get right to bombing enemy ships, right?


  1. Nice Article! But how do Squall and Instigator interact? I guess I cannot park squadrons I don't intend to activate for their attack near an Instigator. Or I can use instigator to protect areas from Squall movements or I could even get the Raider close to Squalls Squadrons so they cannot be moved because they are engaged. Oh boy I really love Raiders and Quasars to much. As do my opponents.

    1. Instigator effectively shuts off Squall as it counts as engaging the potential Squall recipients and makes moving to within 1 of Instigator an illegal move, as the squadron moving there would be engaged. It's a very sneaky little title when used against Squall!

  2. The first time I played the quasar was with the quasar II Sloane ruthless strategists Kallus some other stuff and a million tie fighters. It's crazy fun hahaha. Never thought of putting gunnery team on it though flight controllers seems like the better choice. Haven't ran bombers yet though maybe next time I play imperial (which is only once is a blue moon) I'll try it that way :)

  3. Hi. I want to make sure about Squall title.
    Squall rule says it can move distance 2, but it cannot end your movement engaged.

    So this 'movement limitation' is only apply to squall move, right?
    Ex) Squall allow you to move distance 2 and following squadron command, move again with no limitation. (So I can engage squadron now).
    If I use speed 5 fighter like TIE Defender, This makes 3 Defender to go distance 7 and smash enemy fighter.

    I just want to make sure this is right. because it seems so good to 3 points title.

    1. It only applies to the Squall move, correct. It is an extremely good title - the only thing really keeping it from being default every time is Pursuant, which lets you be a bit more command-flexible on a crucial round for cheap. Otherwise, it's tough to recommend a Quasar without one of those two titles. Just be careful about flinging your squads way too far out there where you won't be able to command them next round and/or into a flak death trap.

  4. I recently made a fleet with an Onager and an ISD, with the idea being to use the ISD to protect the Onager. Would it be worth it to get a Quasar to replace the ISD with? I was thinking a carrier and more of a fighter presence would be more efficient than a light fighter presence and an ISD. Would this be worth getting? The Quasar seems like a phenomenal carrier.

    1. The main issue with Quasar+Onager fleets is if/when somebody gets all up in your business, neither of those ships can really punch very hard (barring the super gun on the Onager of course). That's not to say it's a bad idea, but you need to keep that in mind at all times.

      That said, the Quasar is a great carrier and I'd recommend picking one up regardless.

    2. Thanks! I was just curious because having two very front heavy large ships and 5 dinky little squadrons that are multi-tasking with Rhymer (to cover both small and nimble ships trying to flank) and enemy bombers makes my list somewhat weak to anything that can't be blasted by the Onager. I was thinking a Quasar with the Stronghold title (I know,I know, it sucks for its cost) might at least let the Quasar hug the Onager in order to try and protect both somewhat well

  5. If your Quasar is only moving squads and flakking, Commander Gherant is a nice cheap Officer that will stop all crit effects (until you have to shoot)

    1. I've heard this argument before but I'm not personally very convinced. It's primarily anti-Onager tech, and even then, mostly the blue laser for the extra damage unless you're packing models in tight around your Quasar against the red beam long range superweapon. It can be handy against the occasional Disposable Capacitors Heavy Ion Emplacements crit or the like as well, but otherwise I find when those fancy blue or black crit upgrades are close enough to work against the Quasar the Quasar is typically throwing some dice back to assist its squads and other ships in killing the offending ship as quickly as it can.

      I'd rather stick with a cheap officer that's more consistently useful - someone like Skilled First Officer, Officer Ozzel, or even Hondo. I can see the argument in the right fleet configurations and right metas, though.