Friday, May 28, 2021

Flak Guns added to Offensive Retrofits

Figured I'd get my contribution out of the way early given the Venator is dropping today. John's gonna have his hands full, though, so be patient for Republic content please. We'll be making changes to older articles affected by new options. For example, I updated the Flag Bridge entry in the offensive retrofits article (due to the new fleet commands) in addition to adding the below entry for Flak Guns.

Without further ado, it's time for Flak Guns!

In a universe where one-man fighters keep blowing important things up, making flak guns optional feels dumb.

 Flak Guns require a bit of extra rules stuff:

  • Your anti-squadron dice must be changed to black. It's not optional.
    • This includes their range as well - you're stuck only flakking at close range. Your dice don't stay the same as usual for checking range and then suddenly swap to black dice when it's time to roll your attack.
  • Your salvo attacks against ships effectively improve their range by one step: blue dice go out to long and black dice go out to medium.
    • Note that only your battery armament improves this way, not your anti-squadron armament. If we get some kind of effect like pre-nerf Rhymer that allows squadrons to attack at medium range (please AMG no), you couldn't salvo back at squadrons any further away than normal.
      • Speaking of which, this interaction is super weird. Because salvo uses your printed values, your anti-squadron armament only for your salvo attacks uses your regular anti-squadron armament and not the black-dice-replaced armament. I don't think that's the intent, but that's how it works until we get an FAQ at least.
    • A reminder that it only applies to salvo attacks. Regular attacks remain unaffected.

The short version is: Flak Guns are for salvo ships. Specifically salvo ships with blue and/or black dice that want to consistently threaten enemy ships from farther away. They're pretty cheap so they do just fine on ships with a single salvo token but they're really ideal on a ship that can credibly threaten to salvo back more than once per round due to having multiple salvo defense tokens and/or through defense token recovery or the like. Flak Guns form a cheap and tasty combo with the DBY-827 Heavy Turbolaser on black-dice salvo ships, firing that black die out to medium on a salvo and guaranteeing a hit+crit on it.

What about the anti-squadron dice change? It's a feature of the card, for good or for ill. It depends a lot on the ship in question: changing red flak dice to black is painful, especially on ships that can take Linked Turbolaser Towers for the reroll - that's strictly a downgrade as you lose a lot of range and a rerollable red die is pretty decent at producing damage. Changing blue dice black is more of a sidegrade: you lose some range but gain some punch. If that ship also has Ordnance Experts, then changing from blue to black is a definite improvement as you can reroll them now. So it depends, basically, but the anti-squad-dice-changing element of the card isn't strong enough to really merit taking Flak Guns on its own. It's more of a flavor element compared to the much stronger salvo-buffing element.

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