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Blocking

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What are your thoughts on blocking?

  • How do you decide IF you should block
  • Which ships are good to use as blockers
  • Which opponent ships are good blocking targets?
  • Is there a particular stage in the game when blocking is effective?

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Low I cheap ships make good blockers. You don't generally want to use an expensive ship to block because the blocking ship frequently loses its shot and/or is more vulnerable. Because of this, deciding IF you should block is most frequently done while still listbuilding.

Occasionally, and typically towards the late game, you may use an expensive ship to block, but only if either A) You have enough ships left over to leverage the block, or/and B) The blocking ship is highly damaged and blocking will ensure it doesn't get shot this round. 

Easy ships to block are those with either large bases or predictable dials. For example, a stressed X-Wing only has 6 blue maneuvers, and often you can predict that maneuver based on what is more likely to get it back into the fight.

Blocking is most effective when you have ships to take advantage of an actionless defender. So early to midgame is typically good, endgame becomes more difficult to leverage as you lose ships. Blocking is especially great if you can block a high-value ace early, as you can eliminate a lot of your opponent's list in one round of fire.

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Posted (edited)
  1. When to block

    - I block if doing so gets me multiple shots on a ship that I might not otherwise get. For example, YT-1300s that could slip away, or aces with Autothrusters.

    - If all my ships are going to get shots on that ship anyway, I won't block because I need as many shots on target as possible.

    - If you expect a K-turn, S-loop, or T-roll, you can block that so they will be stressed and pointed the wrong direction.

    - If my opponent's forces are in a tight group, a single blocker can take away multiple actions, which is usually a good deal.
     
  2. Which ships are good blockers

    - Cheap ships with good reposition and weak attacks make good blockers. Phoenix Sq. Pilots are some of the best, and the addition of Intimidation makes it even sweeter. I block with TIE interceptors and TIE strikers, too, but you're giving up more firepower.

    - Injured ships are great to block with because that's one less shot they are taking during the engagement phase. Keeps them around longer.

    - Large ships can also be great blockers, but aren't as cheap. If they have turrets, they have more options to shoot at the ships they haven't overlapped, making them still effective in battle.
     
  3. Which ships to block

    - Not ships with Passive Sensors (Right, I forgot how PS works momentarily), unless they are doing a flip-around maneuver as mentioned above. Also, not Advanced Sensors ships usually.

    - Aces with high agility that rely on actions for tokens or reposition. Soontir Fel used to be the clear example, but his bullseye means he still gets a token when blocked, so blocking him is more to deny movement than to deny tokens.

    - Don't block if their list is afraid of taking fire. For example, if you have a swarm, blocking the opposing Decimator is not ideal because that's one less shot it has to defend against. Generally, if it isn't a highly mobile large ship, it's better to have more guns pointing at it.
     
  4. Stage to block

    - Early-mid game is the best time to block when you still have plenty of bodies on the table

    - Other than that, when you see a good opportunity
Edited by Parakitor

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26 minutes ago, Octarine-08 said:

Passive Sensors still require an action. Blocking them is effective as long as they can't get that action off via coordinate or other ability.

Only issue is they tend to be lower initiative anyways.

You can't do the PS action except as your one action during your perform action step, blocking Passive Sensors is an excellent way to block the use of the upgrade.

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Incidentally, tonight I flew Kylo + mini swarm at 200 points, and lost player choice to my opponent's 199 point squad. He had Anakin (Jedi Starfighter), Ric Olie, and Plo Koon, so all my Epsilon Sq. Pilots and Kylo Ren moved before his ships. I put my Epsilon's in position to follow Anakin into the asteroid field, and used Kylo Ren to come up in front of Anakin and block him at range 1 of my entire formation. Sure, Kylo's 3 dice would have hurt more than 2-dice attacks, but there was no guarantee we'd get any shots if Anakin fully executed his maneuver - he's a squirrely dude! The block worked, and I ended up taking Anakin Skywalker off the board before taking any damage. It was a thing of beauty.

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Another time to block that people haven't mentioned is when you have a severely damaged ship that you want to keep alive for another turn, you can jam into your opponents ships so they can't shoot at it with whatever ships you blocked with it. Its a good way to force an opponent to split their fire.

I've actually won games in the past by just blocking my opponents last ship with my last ship multiple times in a row  while I was higher on points.

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