Sunday, May 30, 2021

Separatist commander review: Count Dooku

 Let's get rolling on Separatist commanders with Count Dooku.

Me too, buddy. Me too.

Egg rolls or crab rangoon? Hrm...

Rules
Thankfully, Dooku is pretty straightforward and his card explains how he works well. It wouldn't hurt to brush up on how raid tokens work, though.

Discussion
Count Dooku is a weird commander in that he doesn't help your fleet so much as he hinders your opponent's fleet. There's some precedence for a commander like this, harkening back to Dodonna or Konstantine or Emperor Palpatine, but those commanders interact with your ships as well. Dooku doesn't really care what your fleet does (well... kind of, we're getting there). That doesn't make him a bad commander, though: 3 fleet-wide raid tokens you can tailor to your opponent are pretty good, and when used well they can cause a lot of trouble. Just try to pair them with a fleet build that can turn the knife a little and you'll do fine, which we'll cover in the Fleetbuilding section.

Ships
Dooku to a large extent doesn't care which ships you bring so long as messing with enemy ships can help you. I would generally recommend ships that have offensive retrofit slots - there are two good options to consider there: 

  1. Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams cause trouble for enemy ships once you raid them for navigate - the tractor beams zap off navigate tokens to make it difficult to remove the raid tokens and if they're not banking navigate tokens then you can slow them down and get them stuck there for a little while by lowering speed.
  2. B2 Rocket Troopers take your fleet's raid token shenanigans and crank them to 11. Between Dooku and your BORT droids you can put a lot of raid out pretty quickly, especially on important targets.

Hardcell-class Transports deserve an honorable mention as they can bring Slicer Tools to further amplify the "you don't get to do the commands you want" theme. You need something stronger than just "messing with commands" to actually win the game, but if you can stop crucial ships from doing important commands between slicers and raid tokens, that can go a long way to giving you the advantage.

Fleetbuilding
Beyond including some additional command screwage as I mentioned above under Ships, I feel I'd be remiss to not mention objectives. Specifically, any objective that provides even more raid tokens or requires command executions to score points combines very well with Count Dooku. Examples would be:

  • Ion Storm. Removing objective tokens requires a repair command, which you can raid against. You can also use the effect of the objective to zap off command tokens that were going to be used next round to remove a raid token.
  • Surprise Attack. Howsabout assigning a total of 6 raid tokens to every enemy ship over the course of a game? Sounds good? Great.
    • Keep in mind the raid tokens from Surprise Attack are a set order and must be dealt out in rounds 1, 2, and 3. Dooku is optional. Whether you decide to piledrive enemy ships with a bunch of raid tokens early or keep a steady drip will depend on the circumstances. You don't want it to be too easy of a choice to remove all the raid tokens by sacrificing a dial, so generally once you get to 3 or 4 raid tokens on a ship, you've probably gone a bit too far.
    • Also remember a ship can't have duplicate raid tokens. Keep that in mind when choosing your raid tokens for both Surprise Attack and Dooku.
  • Infested Fields. There's no command token requirement here, but given player 2's control of obstacles and exogorths, I've found navigate commands are essential for player 1 to avoid unfortunate collisions. Dooku, of course, can cause issues with that counter-play by raiding against nav tokens on important rounds.
  • Abandoned Mining Facility. Your opponent needs repair commands to harvest points. Dooku can throw a wrench into those plans.
  • Rift Ambush. If you're already going with a speed-screwage subtheme with some tractor beams, Rift Ambush further messing with enemy speed just makes it cruel when you raid against navigate.
    • Obviously any other defensive objectives work well if you're going for a scoring zone style objective and have a speed-screw subtheme as well.

Otherwise, fleetbuilding with Dooku requires a certain amount of flexibility. You can't really be sure what type of fleet your opponent is going to bring so it helps to have a fleet of your own that can handle varying types of enemy fleets. Cheesing out on a hard skew likely won't go well: you could, for example, bring no squadrons at all and hope that Dooku can help by raiding against squadrons but raiding twice against squadrons over the course of a game all by itself isn't going to be enough to save you from a bunch of angry squadrons. That said, going light to moderate squadrons and using raid to help punish enemy squadron commands when you're up against moderate to heavy squadrons can give you the boost you needed to cause serious squadron problems.

4 comments:

  1. Ion Storm has another synergy: resolving the ICB crit with any color die when attacking a ship with an objective token. Keep the obstacles where only your ships can hang close, and strip those command tokens.

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    Replies
    1. Good point. I'll get that in there. I'd say he's good with Ion Cannon Batteries for the same reason but... uh... on what? Haha.

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  2. He can only give a max of two squadron raids though, so if playing him and you’ve gone squad heavy go for a squadron command to nerf one raid on round one.

    I think he’s actually more powerful against fleets that aren’t expecting him, the problem with GAR vs SEP at the moment is that Dooku and Bail get picked all the time, and Bail counters him pretty effectively. When/If both fleets have more admirals I think this will change.

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  3. I’ve since done some further research and Bail doesn’t counter him as well as we thought he did / as we were playing it.

    As the rules are written you can only use a revealed dial to clear a raid, and gained dials are specifically different. However you can turn it into token and may be able to clear the raid that way.

    Doesn’t help Bail though let’s face it you want to counter the Squadron Raids with him, and he can’t transfer that command. I’ve now started thinking about Clone Navigation Officers as a counter.

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