Rythbryt

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  1. Great point. The Red-Red-Yellow opens up all sorts of possibilities. I'm intrigued to see what Davith's odds are of getting Cleave 2 + Cleave 1 + Cleave 1 with the Weighted Head equipped and Reach bolstering the range of his Cleaves, especially if he's Hidden to start with.
  2. I haven't run the maths yet on the Polearm, although it's not remarkably complicated to ball-park it given that two red dice plus two static damage are incredibly predictable. Low of 4 (R-1D, R-1D, VibroG- +2D), high of 8 (R-3D, R-3D, VibroG- +2D), and most dice rolls (31 of 36 possible roll combos, I believe) smashed in the 5-7D range. As far as how it compares to Tier III weapons, I think it really depends. In terms of top-end burst damage, it probably is outclassed by a fully-kited out Tier III melee weapon, although my initial tests with Matt Yellen's calculator suggest the Polearm with the Vibrogenerator is slightly more powerful than a naked Electrostaff (which is a really good weapon, even with no mods on it), for a total upgrade cost of 1000 credits (instead of 1250 + whatever the Electrostaff's mod costs), and of course no Cleave 2 (though it does have Reach). Adding a mod like the Vibrogenerator or Shock Emitter to the Electrostaff bumps it above the Polearm to be sure... but at 1600-1750 credits, it certainly should. The Polearm is also not as good against Black Dice as the Ancient Lightsaber with the Balanced Hilt (no melee weapon is, other than perhaps Davith's Shrouded Lightsaber firing at peak efficiency). But my guess at this stage is that that's because the Lightsaber has an easier time pushing damage through when it can Pierce 3. I suspect the Polearm is probably rolling at least the same amount of damage icons as the Lightsaber if not more (if you include damage icons from the Vibrogenerator). A Red-Red-VibroG should end up with 6 or more damage icons the vast majority of the time. That's an average of 2 damage per die, which is a tall order even for a Red-Green-Blue pool (though doable, especially if the Blue or Green die lands a damage-surge) and a very tall order for a Yellow-Green-Blue. But the Pierce 3 allows the Lightsaber to get more damage past a black die even if it rolls a lower amount of damage (a 6D roll vs. 3 blocks nets 3 damage; a 4D roll with Pierce 3 vs. 3 Blocks nets 4 damage). To that end, the Yellen sims also show the Polearm doing essentially the same damage against a White die as the Lightsaber with Balanced Hilt does when rolling Red-Green-Blue (again, suggesting the Pierce 3 is the difference against the Black), and that the Polearm is actually better against White dice if the Lightsaber is rolling Yellow-Green-Blue with the Balanced Hilt. And if the Balanced Hilt is exhausted (which it has to be to be used), the Polearm + Vibrogenerator is just as good vs. Black dice as the Red-Green-Blue Lightsaber, better vs. White dice than the RGB Lightsaber, and better vs. Black or White dice than the YGB Lightsaber. So again, the advantages to the Polearm are certainty (because its dice pool is set, there's no fluctuation to damage depending on how many insight dice we have, or whether we're wounded or not), predictability (if we don't roll a single-damage on either Red die, which we have a better than 80% chance on each die not to do, we're guaranteed to hit at least 6 total damage), and sustainability (no exhaust-to-use parts). Plus it's cheaper. And has Reach. Which is why I'm not certain it's outclassed by Tier III weapons... certainly not Tier III weapons that are in the same price ballpark. But again, all this data is preliminary. I think the better point of comparison is the BD-1 + Vibrogenerator + Extended Haft, which is a solid mostly-Tier-II sustainable, predictable melee weapon (static +2D, static Pierce 1) with Reach. The problem with that weapon is that it costs a ton for a Tier II weapon (1300 credits). The Polearm does essentially the same damage (1-2% less vs. Black, 1-2% more vs. White) for just 1000 credits. And since the Polearm theoretically has the ability to Cleave 2 as well, there sadly doesn't seem to be much reason to take the BD-1 over it (other than the option for that second mod-slot, which gives the BD-1 a higher upgrade ceiling as more melee mods are added, creating more mod synergies). Which kind of marks the end of an era...
  3. THANK YOU DEADWOLF!!!!!! AND ARMANDHAMMER!!!!! AND USAFMUNK!!!!!! Having looked only at the item cards, I'm very intrigued... 1. So I was wrong. I never thought they'd make a double-Red dice melee weapon with a mod slot, but I'm very happy the Polearm exists. It's the optimal Vibrogenerator platform: super dependable damage (a 1-in-36 damage floor of 4 damage, 5-in-36 chance of 5 or more damage, tons of 6-8 damage results), very little chance of paying the full surge cost for the Vibrogenerator (1-in-36, assuming the target rolls no Evades). And with Reach, no less. 2. The A-12 Sniper Rifle looks really strong, as well. I believe it's the first three-dice weapon with two mod slots and a set dice pool (I.e., you don't need a strong Tech pool to use it), has solid damage-dealing surge abilities (+2D, Pierce 2), a nice "overflow" surge ability (gain 1 surge power token), and one situationally fantastic surge ability (surge for -1 Dodge). With two slots and a Blue-Blue-Yellow base, there are tons of permutations out there. Disruption cell (RBB) + Plasma Cell (Pierce 1, surge for +1D) or Sniper Scope (free surge when attacking from 5+ spaces away, with a base accuracy of 6 with the Disruption Cell) look particularly strong. It's basically a Vaulken at that point, but with extra goodies (and the potential to remove Dodge). 3. I was really hoping Melee weapons would get an attachment that would Pierce or remove a Dodge, and the Focusing Beam does both. I'm not a huge fan of the "exhaust-to-use" penalty, but it's a very cheap 250 credits. I could see it as a secondary attachment on a cheap two-mod weapon like the Vibrosword with either the Balanced Hilt (to get that +2D to fire) or the Vibrogenerator (since the odds of a double-surge on a Green-Blue aren't that great), and pairing with the Vibrosword's "strain to Pierce 1" ability to gut defense dice (without having to strain all the time). And for once, melee weapons get a mod advantage over ranged weapons (any melee weapon with a mod slot can now exhaust and strain to remove a Dodge), so that's encouraging. 4. I was a little skeptical about the Responsive Armor when I first saw it, but now that I know it's just 250 credits, I think it's fantastic. It's +2 health (or a health offset if you take the mechanical hand for some extra endurance), and considering that same health boost costs at least 500 credits (Combat Coat) or 2+ xp, getting it for the cost of five crates seems like a great deal. And while not every weapon or hero will generate enough surges to make the "surge for a Block or Evade power token" ability go, I could see it being a major boon to those that can. Cheap +2 health armor that adds a surge ability for a Block or Evade token--and potentially one of each if you trigger the ability twice--seems tailor made for someone like a non-"Fell Swoop" Davith who wants to be in-close but is generally damaged easily. 5. I'm not 100% sure what the cost is on the Power Charger (400 credits?), but the ability to add +2P isn't a small thing, and the ability to add +2 surges is potentially seismic, even if it's just once per activation. Ancient Lightsaber anyone?
  4. I think 3 supply cards have been posted somewhere, but only the Responsive Armor for item cards so far (and the image is small, so I’m having a very hard time deciphering it). Anyone know how to do photo manipulation?
  5. I will second this, obviously (or Third it?), although us campaigners seem to be in the minority...
  6. Did they add any new campaign items? I saw a couple spoilers for the supply deck, but couldn’t access the FB page with all the contents spoilers congratz on the early delivery looking forward to seeing all the minis painted up
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  10. The Galaxy's Fate in My Hand Part the Eighteenth: "Here at the end of all things..." in which we return to our roots, because our final top-15 raises more questions than it answers... Well here we are. Having run detailed tests on more than two-hundred-twelve different melee/mod combinations (each with vs. 1 Black and vs. 1 White variants), we finally have enough data to answer the ultimate question of this series: which melee weapon is the baddest of the bad, the deadliest of the deadly, the most-fear-inspiring of all the fear-inspiring? And, somewhat inadvertently, what's the worst possible melee weapon we can possibly construct? If you're interested in "Mr. Irrelevant." ;-) Thanks to the power of data crunching, we have some answers. The results are in, our final top-15 is set, and the answers are... interesting. And limiting. And not entirely satisfying. One more bullet-point spoiler list, for old time's sake. The Ancient Lightsaber is a boss... sometimes. It's also a problem... sometimes. And there's a lot of both "sometimes-es." The Ryyk Blades are a little less boss... but still boss... The Electrostaff is a very expensive boss... The BD-1 is a boss... And just to add insult to injury: top-to-bottom, the very best melee weapon in the game is actually wielded by... a quintessentially ranged character :-P Shall we? One last time? (At least until we (hopefully) get some new melee items from Heart of the Empire in the next two weeks?) An elegant weapon... for when you're excessively bloody... First, the residual Ryyk Blades caveat. If we keep our full-Convert Ryyk Blade stats (we treat Convert and the Vibrogenerator as Attack Step 4 combat modifiers, and resolve them in the order chosen by the attacker), all six Ryyk Blades outperform every other damage-dealing weapon by a significant margin. This isn't surprising, as it (a) allows us to "cheat" out the Vibrogenerator's damage without ever paying its surge cost, and (b) "converts" the Yellow die from a damage-flower to a damage-powerhouse. But if we adjust our Ryyk Blades to not convert 2 surges before the Vibrogenerator removes them, the results change somewhat drastically. We end up with the following results: The +2D Red-Green-Blue Shock Emitter and Balanced Hilt variants end up a the top of the heap. Their overall damage potential caps out just slightly ahead of our Shock Emitter-equipped Electrostaff, although the Electrostaff is right on their heels with an impressive chance to Cleave 2 and an outside chance at also applying a Stun. The big loser from our partial-convert is Onar's Ryyk Blade, which went from having a pretty consistent "damage" die in the Yellow to virtually always giving up 2 surges to the Vibrogenerator. The result is a weapon that's not even top-30 (not even as a Red-Yellow-Blue), much less top-2 (as it was with a full-on Convert). The other two wounded Vibrogenerator Ryyk Blades (RGB and RBB) are still top-6 weapons, but they've been leaped by our Red-Green-Blue Ancient Lightsabers with the Shock Emitter and Balanced Hilt, and also by the Electrostaff with the Shock Emitter. The difference between the top-3 is now much closer, and the Electrostaff's Cleave 2 starts looking really good. At the same time, the two Ryyk Blades with Vibrogenerators are the only source of consistent top-6 damage (as the other top-6 weapons all have exhaust-to-use mods). In a surprising twist, it turns out that the best Ancient Lightsaber, from start to finish, is actually... Vinto's. :-P His healthy insight pool (Green-Green-Blue) placed two weapons in our top-15 (Balanced Hilt, Shock Emitter... surprise, surprise). To be fair, the other heroes aren't that far off the pace -- the Yellow-Green-Blue Balanced Hilt lightsaber just missed the cut with an 18th place finish -- but there's a definite damage nerf to that weapon when our hero is "healthy," and a definite damage surge once our hero becomes "wounded." And of course, all three healthy lightsabers are prioritizing the +2D, instead of the Pierce 3. Speaking of Electrostaffs and Ryyk Blades, you'll notice that these two weapons--together with our Ancient Lightsaber, are everywhere. In short, our Top-15 is dominated by Tier III weapons. Of our four contestants, only the Force Pike doesn't make an appearance (its High-Impact Guard variant caps out around 25, but as we've seen time and time again, if a weapon's top damage set-up relies on the High-Impact Guard, its damage probably isn't very consistent). Only one non-Tier III variant has managed to stick like peanut butter to the top of the standings: our Vibrogenerator + Shock Emitter BD-1, which finishes with an extremely respectable and applause-worthy 10th. Finally, only one Pierce 3 Lightsaber makes the list. And it doesn't really count, because the Red-Green-Blue Vibrogenerator variant actually can't trigger Pierce 3 (because it can't roll the 4 surges needed for Pierce 3 to proc). So that may definitively settle the "+2D vs. Pierce 3" debate right there. :-P But... Questions Remain Having said all this, there are still major question marks at the top. For one thing, ten of our top fifteen weapons are niche melee weapons (six Ancient Lightsabers, which are only top-tier options for insight heroes, and four Ryyk Blades which are only top-tier weapons for Gaarkhan, Biv, and Shyla). And with the exception of Vinto's Ancient Lightsaber, none of these insight or strength weapons are top-15 if our hero isn't wounded. This introduces a fair amount of unpredictability and inconsistency into how these weapons perform. Unless we have a hero like Onar (who can deal damage to himself) we have very little control over how much damage our hero takes, how quickly it accumulates, or in what order our hero is targeted. In a four (or even five) hero campaign, we may be able to "get" our melee hero wounded consistently enough for this not to be a major issue. Melee heroes tend to be more "in the fray" anyway, and depending on how squishy the hero's defenses are, how reckless the player controlling that hero feels, how limited the hero becomes when wounded, and perhaps even a hero's upgrade tree, the hero player and/or IP may want to push that hero to wounded as quickly as possible. Having said that, there's still no guarantee that our hero will be wounded. With the exception of Onar who has class cards that inflict damage on himself, our melee heroes are at the mercy of the IP for damage. Generally, this is a problem: being wounded generally sucks: our hero loses power (speed and endurance go down, attribute checks become more difficult, we lose at least one special skill). Receiving a damage bump can help to mitigate some of that loss. But on the flip side, the wounding of a hero almost always advances one of the IP's victory conditions, so voluntarily seeking an injury is a dicey proposition, especially if the rest of our rebel squad consists of squishy ranged or support characters. And even if we decide it's in our hero's best interests to be wounded, the IP has to play along. We may want the IP to wound an Unstoppable Gaarkhan, but the IP may not (at least not until all the other rebel heroes are wounded first). If we're running a three-hero "heroic" campaign, it may prove to be very difficult for the IP to wound a hero by the time that hero obtains Tier III gear. And if it's a two-hero "legendary" campaign, wounding a Tier III hero (with double the credits to spend on gear and upgrades) becomes absurdly difficult, even if the rebel player decides to forgo double-rests. And that's just considering the uncertainties of our basic attack pool. Most of these weapons also sport either the Balanced Hilt or Shock Emitter, and because they're only available once per activation they bring their own sustainability issues. The only fully-sustainable top-15 weapon is the Electrostaff + Vibrogenerator, which is insanely expensive at 1600 credits and likely to waste between 1-2 surges per attack (because the odds of rolling 1-2 surges with three dice, even if they're Red-Green-Blue, are still pretty good). And speaking of credits... eyah. It's possible to land a top-15 melee weapon for 1250 credits (RGB Ryyk Blades + Balanced Hilt), but that's only an attractive option if we're Gaarkhan, Biv, or Shyla (remember, Onar's drops out of the top-30 even when he's wounded). A Yellow-Green-Blue Ryyk Blade with Balanced Hilt is far less terrifying. And that's with the Hilt available (not exhausted). The Electrostaff with the Shock Emitter gets us out of the niche, at least, and offers a far more stable Red-Green-Blue pool, but we're still at full-power just once per activation (and for a whopping 1750 credits). The BD-1 + Vibrogenerator + Shock Emitter runs into the same issue (for 1450 credits). And as we've already mentioned, the only sustainable weapon among these is that 1600 credit Electrostaff + Vibrogenerator. Now, depending on the type of player you are (and/or the type of campaign your running), some or none of this may bother you. Some rebel players are lucky enough to land enough loot for a power-weapon like this. Maybe you pull "Generous Donations" somewhere around side-mission #4 (and execute it to perfection), making off with over 3000 credits in one fell swoop. Maybe you make a point of collecting every crate, every mission, and pinch your pennies for the first six campaign missions so you can purchase that perfect Tier III monster. Or maybe you're depriving yourself of the "full" campaign experience by only running three (or, God forbid, two) heroes, and thus have far less demand on your credit pool. (Okay, sorry about that... I forgot we're not supposed to be judgmental here ) If that's you, then more power to you. (I had one of those "Generous Donations" campaigns once, and it was totally awesome.) But our final "top-15" did bother me for all the reasons I've mentioned. We don't really have a "top-15" for everyone, just a "top-15" that forces us into choosing certain heroes over others (for example, this lists offers basically no helpful information for "melee Fenn," which is my brother's favorite campaign hero ever). We started this series by really scrutinizing a weapon's consistency and sustainability as a way to reduce randomness, but virtually all of these weapons are extremely random even on their best day, and are only at their best once per activation. At least one primary reason for measuring what these weapons could do was to judge their efficiency: given what they can do (and they can do a lot), are they worth the cost? Or is there another weapon choice that will give me 85% of the damage for 50% of the cost? If there is, I want to know about that weapon, too. I may not actually choose it in the end, but I'd like to make an informed choice either way. So before we move on to other topics in IA, I think it's worth pausing a moment (now that we have all the data for our melee weapons) to spotlight these basic principles. If you want to jump to skip them entirely, you won't miss much. If you just want to look at the topic(s) that interest(s) you, I'll nest them under their headings. And if you want to tackle the whole thing over your holiday weekend, prepare for a deep-dive send-off worthy of these majestic implements of destruction. Building the best "accessible" melee weapon We'll start by building a new top-15 composed entirely of weapons that any hero could obtain. This means no more Starter weapons (not that there were any of those in our top-15 to begin with), and also no "niche" weapons--the Ryyk Blades and Ancient Lightsaber are both out. All told, we eliminate over 100 melee weapon and mod combos, for a final pool of 101 weapons that any melee hero can take and work the same for any melee hero. Here are the top performers: Building the best "sustainable" melee weapon We can further refine our top-15 to determine the top "sustainable" weapons: which weapons offer the highest damage with no exhaust-to-use components. To test for this, we'll start with our 106 "accessible" weapons, and then remove all the combos that include the Balanced Hilt, Energized Hilt, or Shock Emitter, since those aren't sustainable boosts to melee damage. As you might imagine, this leaves us with a relatively paltry list of weapons and mods: just 33 of our original 212 weapons remain. We also end up with a cluster of weapons that are a bit more spread out. Instead of top-50 overall finishers, we end up with top-100 overall weapons (the naked Force Pike comes in at 98th out of 212 overall weapons). And instead of a lot of weapons that push out consistent 7D+s and 8D+s, we have a lot more 6D+s and 7D+s. That said, there are definitely some dynamos: Building the most "efficient" melee weapon Spoiler alert: this is the bargain-bin of melee weapons. Because we're skimping pennies, we aren't going to see any top-20 weapons here (although there is one 1000 credit bargain that comes up top-40... mostly). There be no "5 or more damage 60% of the time" weapons here, mateys. But what we do find are weapons that punch way above their weight class, and put many credit-sink weapons to shame. Unsurprisingly, they tend to share some common elements. There are plenty of "free" +2D surge abilities and very few High-Impact Guards. There are tons of Red dice, and when they use Energized Hilt, it's always for Reds. There are plenty of Green dice, too. And there are Vibrogenerators everywhere. Bare-bones Efficiency: The "400 and Unders" Borderline build-arounds: The "650 and Unders" Shoe-string budget powerhouses: the "1000 and unders" The "fireable offenses" ("Mr. Irrelevant") Last one. (I'm having a really hard time saying "goodbye" to these weapons if you couldn't tell.) We've learned a lot about what makes a melee weapon good in this series: Red dice, "free" damage and Pierce, surge efficiency, at least one mod slot, low-cost mods, good mod synergy, three dice over two. But we haven't had an exhaustive sit-down about what makes a perfectly good weapon really, truly awful. So what I thought I'd do here, truly at the end of all things, was to scan our melee+mod combos for the worst possible damage outcome (who we'll dub "Mr. Irrelevant"). But I also wanted to find the priciest ways to nuke the damage of a perfectly-good melee weapon. All of these weapons are trying hard: they have damage mods and are pouring every surge possible into damage (no Keyword- or Surge-first stats here). Some of these actually do respectable damage (though in the most inefficient way possible). But most of them... well, I won't spoil it. So here are ten of the most egregious melee weapons out there: inefficient beat sticks that no one should ever take in a melee campaign... unless your "fluff" is to troll your fellow players or you're a secret Cylon agent embedded in the Rebel Alliance (or a "Changeling" if you object to sci-fi cross-over heresy). The "Bloated Swamp-Things" The "Really Trying for Surges" The "Overly Optimistic Vibrosword" The "Yellows for Greens" The "Greens for Reds" And finally . . . "Mr. Irrelevant" Building the "best" melee weapon... for you And that's about all we can say about these melee weapons (at least in a vacuum). It's also a wrap on our series on campaign melee weapons (for now). For those of you who have made it all the way through, I hope it's been educational, informative, maybe a little bit enjoyable. I salute you. And if you for some reason want more, you're in luck, because we have a few things in the hopper. Until next time... "So a Wookiee walked into a guardsroom with a pistol..." [Photo credit: FFG & cards.boardwars.eu] Inevitable post-posting edits:
  11. Super Star Destroyer! (Oh wait, wrong game thread. Sorry )
  12. Spoilers please, all you lucky pre-order peoples Pretty, pretty please?
  13. Oh yes, definitely. Davith and Diala are my two favorite heroes to play. But it’s difficult to assess their lightsabers without going in-depth into their xp trees, and that’s proving to be a longer write-up
  14. The "nexu in the room" always has been, and probably forever will be, the bane of the Rebels' early campaign. Well played.