|Piett finally earned that promotion after his boss got asphyxiated over Facetime.|
|Looking pretty cocky for a dude that got killed by a space van.|
Admiral Piett's rules aren't too tricky, so the usual early-article rules bullet points won't be too long:
- It's any friendly ship, not "another" friendly ship, so it definitely works on the ship Piett is on.
- Piett only works when a ship spends only a command token to resolve a command.
- That command resolves as if the command was triggered using only a command dial.
- Meaning you can't spend only a token, use Piett, and then sneak in another token of the same type to augment the dial (say, on an Executor title SSD).
- When in doubt, double-check the article on commands and command resolution about this kind of thing.
- Because Piett exhausts to use, he's normally limited to only one use per round.
- Furthermore, because he's an upgrade, he can be exhausted prematurely by something like MS-1 Ion Cannons, so be aware of that.
- The other side of the coin about him being an upgrade is you can always use him twice if you refresh him with the Interdictor title (provided the Interdictor in question is your flagship).
Because Piett is usually limited to one use per round he's not a good choice for fleets with multiple combat ships, where a more conventional commander would provide a larger benefit across your whole fleet. He's much better in smaller games and/or games with one or two serious ships, which is typically the case in your usual 400 point games with a Super Star Destroyer (which he comes packaged with, no surprise). It's important to have an easy supply of command tokens to use his ability, which typically isn't tough with the SSD's inherent token generation, but you can also use token-generating officers (of which the Empire is spoiled for choice) and/or Comms Nets and the like to provide a lot more options whether or not you're using Piett with an SSD.
The big question when it comes to running Piett, especially if you're doing so outside of an SSD fleet, is "why aren't I running Thrawn instead?" Thrawn provides easy access to full command dials for every ship in your fleet for 3 rounds straight and doesn't require any token shenanigans to set up. Piett is 10 points cheaper than Brainy Smurf, but if you're including a Comms Net Gozanti or other infrastructure to set up Piett's token engine, it's not too tough to drop a lot of the extraneous token economy to free up points for Thrawn. This is especially true if you wanted to be cute by trying to use Piett twice a round on the Interdictor - it feels good for two of your ships to use tokens as dials, but when you look at how often that's meaningful and how much you're paying (in both points and opportunity costs) to get the tokens set up for those two ships, Thrawn is nearly always the better option for doing something very similar more conveniently. That's not even getting into other commanders with more diverse abilities that might suit that particular fleet build better.
A similar question arises when you're considering running Piett in an SSD fleet; specifically: "why aren't I running Jerry instead?" Moff Jerjerrod is stupid on Super Star Destroyers with the 2 extra yaw he can provide anytime he pleases and the best Piett can really do there is resolve a nav token as a nav dial for half the benefit. Given Jerry is only 1 point more expensive than Piett, the two are nearly identical in cost.
Normally this is where I provide a list, but we've basically already covered this: lots of ships like being able to resolve a command at dial strength using only a token, and it's more appealing when the comparative benefit is large (the difference between a dial and token resolution is more extreme and has more of a bearing on your whole fleet) and Piett's once-per-round (usually) restriction isn't a problem. This means Piett likes big expensive ships and fleets where there are only 1-2 meaningful recipients for his ability most of the time. So typically the Super Star Destroyer, Imperial-class Star Destroyer, and perhaps even an expensive medium ship (like an Interdictor or blinged-out VSD-II) would be the primary beneficiaries.
Given the pressure from Jerry as an alternative, where does Piett shine and what kind of fleets can you build for him?
For non-SSD fleets, I can see an argument for using Piett when you simply want a very cheap commander and you're only using 2 or 3 ships. You'll need to get access to tokens but not want to drop points on Comms Net Gozantis (or else you're probably better off with Thrawn), so that means token-generating officers, Hondo, or just turning dials into tokens the old-fashioned way with some regularity. Basically when used in this way, Piett is appealing when you need to scrounge up every last point and for whatever reason you didn't want to use other cheap commanders like Ozzel, Jerjerrod, or Motti. That's... not often, but it can happen in some rare cases. The Interdictor trick is cute and provided you build very carefully for it, can work out okay but I still caution you to consider exactly how much you're investing into the trick versus just using another commander. But if it will work for your fleet, it is a good occasion to consider running an Interdictor flagship.
For SSD fleets, I like to use Piett when I intend to have the SSD command squadrons regularly. For 400 point games, that means the Command Prototype SSD in most cases. There are a few benefits here over Jerjerrod. First and foremost is you get that inherent built-in resistance to command-screwage; so long as you've got a squadron token, you can fire off a dial-sized squadron command every single activation. At 5 squads base, that's pretty good. Secondly, but also importantly for a squad fleet, you get Piett's flexibility in potentially augmenting other tokens, especially repair or navigate tokens, while you use squad dials natively (in the non-Slicers matchup). Being able to full-strength repair when you need it while still commanding squads can help keep you on the table and remove troublesome faceup damage cards.
I'm a little tough on poor Piett and I wish it wasn't so. He's a solid SSD commander for the most part, but so long as Jerjerrod works on SSDs, Jerry is just so much better in an SSD fleet with few to no squadrons where you're looking to get maximum combat utility out of your SSD through good maneuvering. You can use Piett in fleets without SSDs, but his niche there is even more corner-case. He has a good home in smaller games (200 to 300 points or so) where his cheap cost is welcome and the fact that he only works on one ship per round is less of a give-up compared to other commanders.