Wave 2 actually gave us three new Offensive Retrofits, more than doubling the initial numbers. Continuing with the theme of the Offensive Retrofits of before, we got one that dealt with activating squadrons, one that dealt with getting rid of enemy squadrons, but we got one more that didn't deal with squadrons at all. In addition, we got three new ships that could take an offensive retrofit - the MC80 (Command variant), the ISD, and the Raider - to go with the previous two.
Let's go over them, shall we?
Boosted Comms: 4 points - A new must-have for anyone thinking of running squadrons, the Boosted Comms increased the distance at which your Squadron Command can activate your squadrons all the way out to Long range. This is a huge upgrade for ships that are counting on squadron activations to supplement their damage, or that are expecting to command long range interceptors. Probably best on the ships that already have a high squadron value - the MC80, the ISD - as they take up the slot that would otherwise go to expanded hangers (except with the ISD1). They can also find a home on the semi-high squadron value ships - the AFIIB and VSD - if you value range for your activations over numbers. Especially worth considering with Rhymer Balls, and Independence.
Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams - 6 points - Exhaust the card when you activate to slow a ship of the same size or smaller down by 1 speed (minimum 1) unless they discard a maneuver token. A great Large Ship card - the tractor beam is the new way to keep enemy ships from slipping away when you have them dead to rights. Obviously belonging on the ISD or MC80 (as they can affect any ship) there is some value to putting them on an AFII or VSD as well - after all, how often will you need to slow down an MC80? Also, the VSD with its slow speed really needs some help staying on target. Why not ensure the target doesn't move away from him instead?
There's some value to this on the Raider - it also needs to be at close range to use its weaponry, and doesn't want its prey slipping away either. Plus, what it is hunting is usually a small ship anyway. And who is expecting a Raider to slow you down?
Quad Laser Turrets - 5 points - When defending against a squadron at distance 1, you gain Counter 1. This is an interesting upgrade. If you are expecting to see a lot of squadrons shooting at your ship - say because you don't have any anti-squadron fighters on the board - this might find a place onto your list. This still feels like an odd-man out though. Maybe a place at the table on a AFIIA or ISD1? Maybe with the Raider's Instigator title? We may see more of this as the meta swings back towards squadrons - we will have to see.
This has been another Upgrade article. Until next time!
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