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Stompburger

Jarrod, Ko-Tun and Reactive Defenses Initial Impressions

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I played a one-shot side mission (Ko-Tun's side mission, which was fun, though tough on the Imperials with Legendary heroes) using Reactive Defenses vs. Ko-Tun and Jarrod. I gave the Rebels 550 credits and 2XP, and the Imperials 1 Influence and 2XP, and set the threat level to 3. The Rebels bought the Charged Ammo Pack (given to Ko-Tun), Gaffi Stick, and Reactive Armor (both given to Jarrod). The Imperials bought Mechanical Protocol, and a 1-influence card that amounted to 2 extra threat.

My Initial Impressions:

  1. Ko-Tun: I was quite impressed with Ko-Tun.
    -Being able to hand out Damage power tokens is very useful to make sure units get finished off even with early weapons.
    -Inch By Inch is just as good as you'd expect it to be, a modified but still quite powerful version of Tactical Movement.
    -Auxiliary Training was useful too, being used for both attack and defense die rerolls a few times. If it were just for attack rolls it would be bad, but because it can be used for either it's like a mini Admiral's Uniform (note that there is currently no restriction on which power tokens you can use while attack vs. while defending. This means you could theoretically spend an offensive power token during an enemy attack to enable Auxiliary Training, allowing you to reroll a white die in an attempt to Dodge).
    -The Rebels mostly ignored crates (most of them were too far out of the way) but with any of the numerous abilities that allow heroes to interact with crates without spending an action, her secondary ability would be used a lot more.
    Overall: Seems solid, and would only get better throughout a campaign as many of her abilities synergize.
  2. Jarrod: I seem to remember people had their doubts about Jarrod, but after seeing him in action today I think he could end up being a serious pain for Imperials (I'll comment on Jax next, so for now I'll just talk about Jarrod).
    -He picked up the Gaffi Stick, which continues to be an impressive weapon (particularly for its cost), and it ended up having great synergy with Reactive Armor, giving him a more useful surge option than Weaken. Because of this he never attacked with the Vibro-Claws, but they were still useful for Parry.
    -Speaking of Parry: despite being a melee hero with only 10 HP, Jarrod is potentially the tankiest hero I've seen in IA. Combining power tokens from Reactive Armor and Ko-Tun, his ability to Parry, and his damage recovery from Balanced Approach, and I could barely put a scratch on him. Now, this is partially because he was Legendary, and got to refresh his weapons for Parry at the start of each of his activations. But still - he's tough to take down. And he can pick up and ability that gives him and Jax an auto +1 block. Plus he has 5 endurance.
    -Forward Momentum is really, really good. The +1 movement point for him or Jax is great at getting both into position to use Jax's Supporting Fire, and the +1 movement point whenever you use parry was only not used because I gave up on attacking him early in the mission and focused on Ko-Tun instead.
    -Balanced Approach is great as well. As I mentioned earlier, the damage recovery makes him even tankier, and the extra movement point added to Forward momentum keeps him in the fight even as a close-range melee character.
    -Jax: Jax ended up being quite strong as well. His damage is inconsistent (though there are ways to buff it in his class deck), and his Supporting Fire was used less than it could have been because of the auto Pierce 1 from the Gaffi Stick. But he did at least 6 or so damage with just his own attacks over the 4.5 rounds of the mission, so I think he'd probably end up being quite good.
    Overall: Jarrod seems really good. I think he'll end up being a good tanky melee fighter, with some interesting team-support options too.
  3. Reactive Defenses: I like this class so far. Granted, I only had 1 class card, so I didn't get too much information on it, but that one card was seriously strong.
    - The card was Mechanical Protocol, and it ended up dealing 3+ damage per round (when I was able to use it). Pretty impressive for a 2XP card! One round it actually did 5(!) damage. Needless to say I'd recommend picking this one up at some point. The fact that you can activate 88-Z right before the group that gets the 2 surge tokens makes it remarkably reliable. I gave them to Riot Troopers and Sentry Droids, both of which have multiple damage surges and so could make great use of them. The only downside is that 88-Z can almost never attack and give tokens in the same activation, but there are some class cards that would let you do this.
    Overall: Like I said, it's hard to tell with only 1 class card, but I think this would be a fun class. You'd have to be careful to balance additional activations/movement points for 88-Z with better things for him to do, or you'll end up having a bunch of things you want him to do but only 1 action available. So build order will be super important for this class, I think.
  4. Charged Ammo Pack: not bad for a 100 credit item. It was good to attach to Ko-Tun's starter, as she has no damage surges, even with her ability to give herself power tokens. I think it's a good attachment for any weapon which has the potential to roll wasted surges, because it's basically a +1 damage surge on a 1-attack delay.
  5. Reactive Armor: Again, a good item for people who roll extra surges. Maybe a good item for Biv, because he can use the surges from the C&P melee attack to generate Power Tokens? Also the +2 Health, for such a low cost, is great too. I think this is overall a very efficient item and would recommend prioritizing it even over the Combat Coat.
  6. Sentry Droids: With the Surge power tokens from Mechanical Protocol, these guys were quite good. Even with those tokens I never wanted to use multi-fire, but that's expected in campaign I think. Their Charged Shot did just fine anyway, and having the 4 range minimum and built-in reroll was really nice.
  7. Riot Troopers: I really like these guys. They're tough to take down, deal reliable damage, and adding Strain can mess with the heroes plans. The only issue with them is their 5 threat deployment cost, which makes them somewhat awkward to redeploy once they're defeated. So unless you have a discount from Endless Ranks, you should either try to keep one alive to reinforce or just use them til they die. 2 Threat for one of these guys is a great deal anyway.
  8. Elite Shapeshifter: I used the Streetrat form, and did some serious damage. But only 8 health for 6 threat seems a bit weak though. Maybe it would be better in Sharpshooter form. The regular version might be better too (though I wanted 6 threat instead of 4), but I can't imagine taking it over a Nexu or some Hired Guns with buffs. I guess if you want to be more thematic Shapeshifters are fun, but otherwise you'll probably want to just use them when the mission gives them to you. Though I guess there is something to be said for flexibility: you can take one of these as an open group even if you don't know which form will be most useful.
  9. Power Tokens: Power tokens are an interesting addition to the game because their value is a little difficult to assess. How good is "~: +1 Damage Power Token"? Because of the items and heroes used, the Rebels ended up having a lot of power tokens. Each hero had 1 or 2 most of the time, which was surprising to me. And it feels a little silly to use a Block power token when your opponent has used a Damage power token, because you know they'll end up cancelling out. So I'm not really sure what to think of power tokens. At least they're not very complicated.

In general, it was a fun mission, and Jarrod and Ko-Tun seem like fun, interesting, and powerful heroes! I'll have to look more at the Reactive Defenses deck, because I think there are some builds of that deck which would be abysmally bad, so I'll have to think carefully about how to build it if I want to use it. And it's hard to resist the lure of the Dark Side... :D

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I am 5 missions into my first (solo) play through of the campaign. I was going to post my impressions after I finished but I have a pretty good grasp on my thoughts.

Ko-Tun: Ko-Tun is a really great hero, but very different compared other supports. She is very good as both full support and hybrid, even though even as full support you probably want to upgrade her weapon since her starting one kinda sucks. I went hybrid with Self sufficient and she hits quite hard. I think her crate ability will be extremely underrated, if you are used to skipping crates, you really shouldn't since the ability is actually really good since you have a pretty good chance at finding a supply item that will really help you in that mission. I am running her with Loku, who can allow crates to be picked up without an action. Really good combo.

Jarrod: Jarrod starts weak but oh boy does he turn into something else later. I picked up Vibro-sword after the first mission and that weapon works really well with him. It synergizes with Jax (unlike Vibroclaws), he has strain to spare for the Pierce 1, and he has an ability to swap out the blue for red. Add Balanced hilt + High-Impact Guard and you have a weapon that will last all campaign. Jarrod also gets a HUGE boost once he gets Mechanical Master, which is probably one of the strongest 4xp skills in the game. Jax goes from a weak blue die attack once per round to a respectable Blue-green attack twice per round. That plus the pierce 1 to other attacks, it is shocking how much dps that droid can do if the imperial player ignores it. Now, Jarrod still doesn't really claim the dps title, but where he is really shines is his tankiness. His parry ability (which can be used twice per round) with Mutual progression (passive block) along with defensive boosts from High-Impact Guard and possibly armor make it so he is crazy difficult to wound. I wasn't super impressed after looking at his cards but after playing him, I am very impressed and think he is a very good hero.

Drokkatta: Drokkatta is a very good multi-target dps hero. Although I just got Thermal Explosives after the last mission, so I think now Drokkatta will really start to shine. Demolish is a very powerful ability (made even better by Thermal Explosives) and its gun is also very good (and also buffed by Thermal Explosives). I have enjoyed Drokkatta and am excited to see how the wookie is now in the next missions. My only complaint is that the developers has made no references to Drokkatta's gender so it makes writing about the wookie really annoying.

Power of the Dark Side: I wasn't super impressed after the spoiler articles, but after seeing the cards i liked it and like it even more after playing it. It has a mix of both defensive and offensive cards and I think they work well together. I got all of the defensive cards to keep key units alive long enough to use my offensive cards to punish. I like the deck a lot.

Imperial Units: I also really like the regular Riot Troopers, I think they are very good for the cost. The elites are also good, but I think Elite Jet Troopers are better. Sentry Droids are fine, but nothing too special by themselves, I haven't playing with the elites yet but I think they are too expensive. That said, with a passive damage buff like from Combat Veterans or Adaptive Weapons, these units could be really scary. The Clawdites are fun units, tho I am undecided how good they are yet, I haven't used the elite yet but I want to. The AT-DP is a really good massive unit, probably the best yet.

Items: I haven't used any of the new ones yet, but I have given my initial impressions in other forums. No complete duds and some really strong ones.

Campaign: So far, I am really enjoying the campaign. The narrative is really great, and with 3 possible missions in each story mission slot, there is quite a bit of replayability. All of the story missions bestow a reward card to the winner, so there is no double XP/credits. Credits are really tight which takes some getting used to. Since the rewards to the winner are lessened, it diminishes the snowball effect considerably but my one complaint is that I think the rewards are too weak and ultimately doesn't really matter who wins.

And also, when I play this campaign again, I will probably reduce the number of green and grey missions at least by 1 each, since there are only 3 side missions.

Edited by Deadwolf

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I assume he plays honestly with himself.

When making moves as the Imperial he does what would be the strongest move then and there.

Then, when it comes time to activate a Rebel, he does what would be the strongest move then and there.

If you can play with no bias to one side or the other, and not make decisions based on hidden information, it's not impossible

Edited by Majushi

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Yeah, I just play as objectively as possible. The timing of triggers are fairly predictable (usually), and just play assuming i dont know what happens - Doors, terminals, if you have to destroy 4 of something, something happens, etc.

For example, in Aftermath. I would absolutely play around the door trigger because it is obvious. The lockdown trigger is not obvious and would simply play as normal pretending it doesnt exist (until it happens).

 

Edited by Deadwolf

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9 hours ago, Deadwolf said:

Ko-Tun: Ko-Tun is a really great hero, but very different compared other supports. She is very good as both full support and hybrid, even though even as full support you probably want to upgrade her weapon since her starting one kinda sucks. I went hybrid with Self sufficient and she hits quite hard. I think her crate ability will be extremely underrated, if you are used to skipping crates, you really shouldn't since the ability is actually really good since you have a pretty good chance at finding a supply item that will really help you in that mission. I am running her with Loku, who can allow crates to be picked up without an action. Really good combo.

The one thing I like about Ko-Tun is that they decided not to give her any extra actions. She doesn't have any way of getting free actions, additional attacks, etc. The closest she comes is 1 free supply card draw and some free movement points. I think this is a smart design, because extra attacks become extremely powerful toward the end of a campaign, when high-tier weapons have been bought (there's a similar effect in Jarrod's 4XP that give him a bonus attack, but just with his starter weapon). I think they've learned from the overbearing power of Gideon and Mak's extra attacks, and have pulled back a little bit.

But she will consistently improve everyone attacks and defenses, and give some good access to supply cards and some free movement as well. But this does mean that she is solidly in the semi-support role, because no matter what she's not killing more than 2 units per activation (barring some lucky grenades).

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57 minutes ago, Stompburger said:

The one thing I like about Ko-Tun is that they decided not to give her any extra actions. She doesn't have any way of getting free actions, additional attacks, etc. The closest she comes is 1 free supply card draw and some free movement points. I think this is a smart design, because extra attacks become extremely powerful toward the end of a campaign, when high-tier weapons have been bought (there's a similar effect in Jarrod's 4XP that give him a bonus attack, but just with his starter weapon). I think they've learned from the overbearing power of Gideon and Mak's extra attacks, and have pulled back a little bit.

But she will consistently improve everyone attacks and defenses, and give some good access to supply cards and some free movement as well. But this does mean that she is solidly in the semi-support role, because no matter what she's not killing more than 2 units per activation (barring some lucky grenades).

I agree. I think she makes up for that by the fact that none of her support skills require an action. This frees up her actions to move, attack, go after objectives, etc.

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Our group is starting the new campaign soon. Seriously thinking about Jarrod. Looking for feedback about my build thoughts. The 4, 3, and 1 xp cards seem like the strongest options. My initial feeling is both 1xp, save for a 4 (probably Mech Master), Mutual Progression, then either the other 4 or 3 depending on how the xp fall. 

My main question right now is do I save for Mech Master first or do the 1xp cards first?

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11 hours ago, Alfhiggins said:

Our group is starting the new campaign soon. Seriously thinking about Jarrod. Looking for feedback about my build thoughts. The 4, 3, and 1 xp cards seem like the strongest options. My initial feeling is both 1xp, save for a 4 (probably Mech Master), Mutual Progression, then either the other 4 or 3 depending on how the xp fall. 

My main question right now is do I save for Mech Master first or do the 1xp cards first?

Personally I'd prefer to pick up the 1XP cards first, just because I like having more options early on. And because of the new XP reward rules in HoTE, you're going to have 4XP after Story mission 2 whether you win the first mission or not.

But Mechanical Master is extremely strong; the Imperial player will probably try to remove Jax as much as possible once you get that.

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24 minutes ago, Stompburger said:

Personally I'd prefer to pick up the 1XP cards first, just because I like having more options early on. And because of the new XP reward rules in HoTE, you're going to have 4XP after Story mission 2 whether you win the first mission or not.

But Mechanical Master is extremely strong; the Imperial player will probably try to remove Jax as much as possible once you get that.

Does anyone has a run-down on the experience track for HotE? I know it's only 8 missions long, but I'm very curious about this part.

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9 minutes ago, pheylorn said:

Does anyone has a run-down on the experience track for HotE? I know it's only 8 missions long, but I'm very curious about this part.

Basically the Intro is 1 xp + 1 xp for the winner. After that is very predictable, 2xp after story missions, 1xp after side missions.

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9 minutes ago, pheylorn said:

Does anyone has a run-down on the experience track for HotE? I know it's only 8 missions long, but I'm very curious about this part.

It's 1XP/2XP for the intro, depending on whether you win or lose. Each side mission gives you 1XP, and each story mission gives you 2XP, whether you win or lose.

The Mission order is Intro-Side-Story-Side-Story-Side-Story-Finale

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12 hours ago, Alfhiggins said:

My main question right now is do I save for Mech Master first or do the 1xp cards first?

As Stompburger said, you should get Mechanical Master first, but if you win the HotE intro, you can get a 1xp card first and not delay your 4xp.

After Mech Master, his deck is pretty wide open. However, while I dont mind Leaping Slash in a normal build, with 10/11 xp, it probably isnt worth it. I got Mech Master, the movement 1xp, and both 3 xp cards in my HotE campaign.

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12 hours ago, Stompburger said:

Personally I'd prefer to pick up the 1XP cards first, just because I like having more options early on. And because of the new XP reward rules in HoTE, you're going to have 4XP after Story mission 2 whether you win the first mission or not.

But Mechanical Master is extremely strong; the Imperial player will probably try to remove Jax as much as possible once you get that.

 

11 hours ago, Deadwolf said:

As Stompburger said, you should get Mechanical Master first, but if you win the HotE intro, you can get a 1xp card first and not delay your 4xp.

After Mech Master, his deck is pretty wide open. However, while I dont mind Leaping Slash in a normal build, with 10/11 xp, it probably isnt worth it. I got Mech Master, the movement 1xp, and both 3 xp cards in my HotE campaign.

Thanks for the feedback. Now comparing the virtues of Balanced Approach vs. Forward Momentum.....

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On 10/26/2017 at 9:03 PM, Alfhiggins said:

 

Thanks for the feedback. Now comparing the virtues of Balanced Approach vs. Forward Momentum.....

So we lost the first HotE mission. This means I'll only have 10 total xp to work with for the campaign. The team is the three new heroes plus Gaarkhan. Thinking Jarrod is going to be the main objective runner in this crew. The following is my build progression thought: Forward Momentum, Mutual Progression, Balanced Approach, Slicer's Upgrade, then Explosive Reflexes. This leaves both 4xp out, but for this role I think it works. The big question is Balanced/Slicer before or after Reflexes?

we bought the Vibrosword for him which will probably be his weapon for most if not all of the campaign. I'll push for some armor asap to get a health bump and even more defensive power.

Thoughts?

Edited by Alfhiggins

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On 11/9/2017 at 10:51 PM, Alfhiggins said:

So we lost the first HotE mission. This means I'll only have 10 total xp to work with for the campaign. The team is the three new heroes plus Gaarkhan. Thinking Jarrod is going to be the main objective runner in this crew. The following is my build progression thought: Forward Momentum, Mutual Progression, Balanced Approach, Slicer's Upgrade, then Explosive Reflexes. This leaves both 4xp out, but for this role I think it works. The big question is Balanced/Slicer before or after Reflexes?

we bought the Vibrosword for him which will probably be his weapon for most if not all of the campaign. I'll push for some armor asap to get a health bump and even more defensive power.

Thoughts?

We did the same party.  Ko-Tun is the runner because she tends to be moving to crates etc. and as a support character has no bonus attacks.  Jarrod took Forward Momentuum first, won his side mission boosting J4X and then took Mechanical Master turning J4X into a bit of a killing machine.

No one got a weapon upgrade until tier 2 as early money went to the absolutely necessary Bacta Pump for Gaarkhan and things like tac displays, and an Emergency Injector.

Since we saved up for 4 XP cards and didn't upgrade weapons the first couple missions were rough, but once we got our 4 XP cards and tier 2 items things got pretty easy.

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