|Ion Cannon Capable Ships|
As usual, let's look at the ships capable of taking an Ion Cannon Upgrade:
MC-80 Home One Class
MC-80 Liberty Class
Raider II-Class Corvette*
Victory II-Class Star Destroyer*
Interdictor Class Cruiser
Imperial Class Star Destroyer
* - Indicates only the specific version can equip Ion Cannon Upgrades
High-Capacity Ion Turbines - 8 points - Modification - The battery armaments of your left and right hull zones are increased by 1 Blue die.
Joining the ranks of Rapid Reload, Expanded Launchers, and Enhanced Armaments, this is another modification that increases Battery Armament instead of just the number of dice in your attack pool. As such, it comes with a small point premium that you pay for actually increasing the battery armament.
The good news is that there is no negatives for taking it, as opposed to some other dice increasing cards (looking at you, Slaved Turrets). I have a difficult time figuring out who wants this upgrade though, but got some ideas looking at the list of who can take it.
For the CR-90B, it gives you a 3 dice broadside to go with your front, but takes away the cheaper SW-7, meaning a probable decrease in damage done. Combined with Dodonna's Pride however, and you increase your chances fishing for the critical hit to put straight onto the hull. It may be worth a look there.
For the Raider II, it moves the side arc into a respectable impersonation of a CR-90B at medium range, and gives you (with a Concentrate Fire Command) a 3 Blue / 1 Black roll from front and side at close range. Not a bad double arc at all - you are hitting harder than an Interdictor. 56 points for the ship and upgrade.
VSDs, ISDs, and MC-80 Liberties may consider it to make their somewhat anemic side arcs into something worth worrying about. The problem there is that it is more expensive and takes up the slot that the otherwise ideal Leading Shots would go, but with Veteran Gunners as an option now, that may be just fine, especially if you wanted to fly them as a dual arc ship instead of a big fat front arc ship.
For the Interdictor, it turns the side arcs into a slightly more powerful arc of the two. Again, with a Concentrate Fire command, you get a 5 dice out of both arcs, which is certainly nothing to sneer at for damage
For the MC-80 Home One it improves the best arc you have, admittedly at Blue instead of Red range. Again, it takes up a slot that you would rather put a Leading Shots in, so no rerolls, and this probably loses you out on damage. I am going to call this a non-starter.
MS-1 Ion Cannons - 2 points - Blue Critical - Choose and exhaust 1 of the defender's upgrade cards.
Well, okay. Nothing spectacular on the front of it. 2 points, fills a valuable slot. But what does it actually affect?
Fire Control Team
Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams
G-8 Experimental Projector
NK-7 Ion Cannons
Well, that is a pretty good list, isn't it? The cards that most stand out are the new Interdictor cards - including the title, tractor beams, and both non-deployment Experimental Retrofits; Intel Officer - a favor of big hitters everywhere; Engine Techs - another favorite for added mobility; Adar Tallon - Yavaris's setup man; and...
I know where I would put this guy - on a CR-90B instead of SW-7s with one goal in mind. Activate first and fritz out the biggest threat on the board. No ECM for my Defiance attack or Home One / Ackbar inspired broadside? Okay. Sounds like a plan to me, and at 41 points the price is definitely right. Of course it doesn't have to be a CR-90B. The Empire has a viable alternative in the Raider II-Class. 50 points with the card, but more damage in close range - and a guaranteed chance of pulling it off with Screed as a commander.
I am less thrilled with this card on the big boys. Maybe the Interdictor, if it wants to lead the way for something with more punch and accuracy chances, like an ISD. I could see it on Home One, maybe as setup shot so that the Assualt Frigate support can bring the thunder. Or on the big boys as insurance against an Interdictor getting any funny ideas. I think I would still rather have Leading shots though.
And that is all the time we have for Ion Cannons. One last upgrade to go - we will be covering Turbolasers in the next article to finish off Wave 4!
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