Sunday, October 18, 2015

Armada Commanders - Wave 2 - Imperials

It's time for more Wave 2 discussion, this time though we will be talking about the Imperial Commanders that are coming out in the 2nd wave.  That's right, we are talking about the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, now firmly in command instead of just in the squadron voted "most likely to be destroyed first".

Oh, and also Admiral Ozzel.

Admiral Ozzel - 20 pts - The Imperials now have a new "cheapest" commander, giving them one that ties with Gen Dodonna for least expensive in the game!  Ozzel gives the Imperials a ship that can throttle up and down in a hurry, doubling the speed change you can get with a single navigate command.  Ozzel works best for a navigation centered fleet, as the only benefit you get to him is when using navigate commands, and he comes packaged with the Raider which really wants to skip over certain speeds in it's speed chart.

Ozzel can benefit just about any Imperial ship, but does not do anything at all to help VSDs, which only have 2 speeds to begin with, not counting "full stop", and really don't benefit at all from being at speed 2 other than closing with the enemy faster.  Both new ships, the Imperial Star Destroyer and the Raider both can ramp up and down while moving with Ozzel, and the Gladiator can use him to slow down once it reaches close range.

Darth Vader - 36 pts - Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!  Darth Vader lets you spend a defense token during your attack to reroll any number of attack dice.  And for that benefit, he costs almost as much as Tarkin or Ackbar (just 2 points less) or 16 points more than Ozzel.  That being said, Vader really increases the amount of damage for the cost of exhausting a token that you likely wouldn't be using anyway.  His ability is a consequence free damage buff to any ship with:  An evade token in short range, a contain token and enough shields to keep damage from the hull, redirect tokens with no shields left, a second redirect token with only 1 attacker, or any ship that is shooting last in the round and has a green token left.  But, how does he compare to the Wave 1 damage king, Screed?

Screed with Black dice adds 1 damage to a roll total with 1 blank, or 2 damage with 2 blanks, and can guarantee at least one crit for ACM.  With Red dice he changes a hit to a crit with 1 blank, or can convert to a single damage crit with 2 blanks.  With Blue dice, he is ineffective, trading damage to change a hit to a crit.

Vader with black dice rerolls an average of 1 damage per black blank, so in line with Screed's dice damage output but losing out on guaranteed crit effects.  However, Vader does approach at least one crit when you get to 4 Black dice territory (side arc of GSD) especially if you are willing to reroll all 4 dice in the event of no crit result (and as you will average 1 damage per dice rerolled, it doesn't hurt (on average) to reroll hit results to fish for hit/crits.  For Red dice, Vader averages .75 damage per reroll, making it worthwhile to reroll blanks only, though at 1 blank you add an average of .75 damage (better than Screed) and with 2 blanks an average of 1.50 (also better than Screed).  Blue dice have Vader far superior, letting you reroll any number of blues to fish out an accuracy result - better than leading shots.  Screed only wins if you need a Blue Crit, but even then not by too much guaranteeing the result instead of Vader probably making it happen.

Well, that's it for Imperial Commanders.  Soon, I'll be able to start with the Commander's Guides for the next wave of ships!  Plus, the next post is going to be our 50th update!  Until then though, fly casual!

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