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OldScribe2000

Seems Broken: Han Solo and Luke Skywalker in the Falcon

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I played a game this weekend where I had Han Solo flying the Millennium Falcon with Luke Skywalker gunning.

 

I know there have already posts about this, but when you take into consideration the Falcon's ability to shoot 360 degrees with its Primary Weapon, I think this is broken. Plus, the Falcon's re-rolls intensify it. Basically, Han can shoot twice. If he misses, Luke can shoot--and many say he can use the Falcon's all-dice re-roll, too. So, that's four attacks at 360 degrees, with neat little components like the re-rolls and Luke's Focus ability.

 

Everyone at the table said this required a rules check; it seemed broken. The Falcon absolutely pummeled the Empire. Four attacks? Four attempts to hit every round? I think it's unfair, and I'm about to establish a house rule that Han use his limitless luck and familiarity with the Millennium Falcon to shoot, re-roll if he wishes, and then shoot again. If he misses on the second shoot, this can activate Luke, who gets one shot. By my house rule, Luke can't use Han's ability. They're separate abilities assigned to A) The Millennium Falcon's pilot B) Luke acting as a gunner on the ship. 

 

I think this all-dice re-roll belongs to Han, not Luke and Han. It's Han's re-roll ability because the Falcon loses it if another pilot (like Lando) is flying it. 

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It works, Hans ability applies to all attacks. It's good, but it costs a lot, and it can still only hit one ship a turn.

Also make sure you're playing Han's ability right, it's not like a target lock, you have this re roll all the dice if you use it, you can't just re roll the misses.

Edited by Rodent Mastermind

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Its hardly broken, the falcon goes down easier than any other ship (or it feels that way!) and most of the time it will only ping a bit of damage a turn but recieve so much more back.

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That combo (and those similar to it) is part of the explanation of why swarm builds are so popular and succesful within the empire. The only way to have a competitive chance against it consists on overwhelming the falcon with hordes of ships, so even if you lose 2 or 3, you still keep enough firepower to finish it and killing the escorts.

 

However, when you fly few 'ace' ships against the falcon + escort, you simply will die before killing your opponent. Nor even pilots like Soontir can repel fire of that magnitude, and since it can fire 360º you have nowhere to hide. You either manage to mortally wound the falcon fast with superb damage rolls at range 3, or else your only hope is bumping into it to avoid return fire while finishing its escorts. Even so, your opponent can always throw an Anti-pursuit Laser on the falcon to punish you for this.

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Han is not attacking four times.  His rerolls occur before the defense dice are rolled, so he has to decide if he wants to chance a reroll and possibly get a worse roll than what he started with, and without knowing what kind of roll the defender will get.

 

Also Han+Luke is arguably not even the best combo.  Han+marksmanship+gunner has a much higher damage potential as long as Han is able to take his action, as marksmanship will essentially provide a focus token on both attacks (plus criticals) along with Han's reroll ability.

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Han+Marksmanship+Gunner also fails pretty miserably when faced with tough, cheap ships like Y-Wings or B-Wings.  Han will have spent a lot of points ensuring that he hits, but against Agl 1 ships that Gunner is 5 wasted points.  Han will hit for 2 or 3 damage, maybe have a point evaded, and do that every turn.  At that rate, it will take around 3 turns to drop a Y or B wing, and if the rest of the list is hammering away at the Falcon he isn't likely to live that long.  Against B-Wings, Han could easily be 50+ points worth of floating wreckage before he manages to shoot down even a single one.

 

The combination is good, but don't make the mistake of comparing it one-to-one vs. other combinations in the game.  Soontir Fel with a Shield upgrade is perfectly capable of destroying Han before he goes away, by being smart and using tokens to make the first shot hit for no more than 1 damage, and he costs just over half what Han does.  Add a Black Squadron TIE with Draw their Fire and a shield of his own, and the two of them should be able to consistently destroy Han.

 

Han+Marksmanship+Gunner=54 points, and nets you one good hit per turn.  For those 54 points, you can find an awful lot ways to shoot him down in return.  It is not like an Agility 1 Falcon is going to avoid much incoming fire, especially if Han is busy activating Marksmanship.

Quarrel likes this

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So, that's four attacks at 360 degrees, with neat little components like the re-rolls and Luke's Focus ability.

Not sure if it's just the way you're describing it or what...  But it's not 4 attacks.   You will at most get 1 hit between Han and Gunner/Luke.

 

As others pointed out, you did play it correctly, you can reroll for Luke.  But that Han + Gunner + Marksmanship is actually a better combo.

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But, and this is a question, the best defense against a Han Shoots First is still a TIE Swarm?

 

Isn't this, if not close to broken, simply RPS or are there several other balanced builds?

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But, and this is a question, the best defense against a Han Shoots First is still a TIE Swarm?

HSF is a great list, but no where near unbeatable. A number of rebel lists can take out Han. I think a bomber list could also do quite well againt him. The YT is a nice ship with a ton of HP, but that 1 agi really balances it out.

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An imperial list would still predominately be a TIE swarm, or now Bomber.  RPS?

No. I just came up with an idea that I haven't tested at all... But could work against HSF in theory.

Tempeset Squad w/Conc Missile x3

Capt Jonus w/squad leader

3 Conc missles with Jonus letting you re-role 2 dice per attack would just about shread Han. I'd guess you'd get 6-9 hits in on the Falcon in 1 turn.

Han himself couldn't kill even one Tie/Ad in that turn. Best case is maybe stripping it of shields. That means the Imps have a chance of finishing the YT off the next turn leaving 2-3 Tie/Ad and a bomber vs 2 rookies.

Now again... All theory just came up with the idea this morning. But I'd be willing to try it against a HSF list.

Edited by VanorDM

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The Scimitar Squadron build I posted in the Battle reports section destroys Han Shoots First consistently.  Han cannot one shot a Bomber (for that matter, it is unlikely he can 2 shot one either), and the return fire is 2 dice primaries from Jonus, then 8 dice Assault Missiles with rerolls, then a 4 dice Proton Torpedo with rerolls from the last Scimitar.  If Han is played perfectly, you can avoid TLs on the Falcon for the first round, but that means the AMs will destroy your escorts.  After the second round of shooting, there is a very good chance Han is all alone and there are still 4 bombers shooting at him.

 

Interceptors suffer pretty badly against HSF, but even they can be effective if you are careful to avoid the escorts while concentrating all your fire on Han.  Just be smart enough to use your tokens and allow a single hit through on Han's first shot.  If you can keep your incoming damage to 1 or 2 per turn while firing 9 or 12 dice back at him, you will pull it off pretty consistently.  This matchup is all about the approach.

 

In short, yes this is a powerful combo.  When facing it you have to play differently than you would have against most other squadrons.  Having said that, it costs a TON of points and there are a lot of alternatives for dealing with it.  House rule away to your heart's content, but this is not a situation that requires one.  On the other hand, it will dominate games in your local group until everyone gets a handle on how to deal with it.

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So, that's four attacks at 360 degrees, with neat little components like the re-rolls and Luke's Focus ability.
Not sure if it's just the way you're describing it or what...  But it's not 4 attacks.   You will at most get 1 hit between Han and Gunner/Luke.
 
As others pointed out, you did play it correctly, you can reroll for Luke.  But that Han + Gunner + Marksmanship is actually a better combo.

 

 

I understand that it's not technically four attacks, but Han can re-roll his initial attack (that's two rolls total for one attack), and if he still can't manage a real hit, the gunner/Luke kicks in. That's another roll (a third roll). And if Luke desires, the Han Falcon ability can be used to re-roll all of those dice, making it four rolls to try and make an effective attack. Everyone here seems to agree this is how it works, in tournaments and at home. Correct?

 

Lastly, everyone here also agrees that Luke/gunner can be activated if Han's attacks are evaded (by dice or token). So Han may get all hits and/or critical hits, but if the target dodges them, it's not a defined, sustained "Hit" (like the kind that would knockout a Stealth Device). Thus, Luke/gunner may be activated. Correct?

 

I can see now that this combo isn't as powerful as it is expensive, but I had a good game against the Empire, and his TIES went down in flames. He was not happy and cried "broken" because he only ran three ships in the game.

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And there is the heart of the problem.  A 3 ship, Imperial build is terribly vulnerable to accurate shooting because while it is fairly adept at avoiding damage it is completely incapable of sustaining it.  He was running what is probably THE worst list to use against Han Shoots First (which is the archetype using a Falcon with multiple gunnery enhancements).

CrookedWookie likes this

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What KO said.  The single biggest threat to a big target with AG1 like the Falcon is something like a TIE swarm.  2 attack will hit 1 agility pretty reliably and the sheer numbers will peck it to death fast.  Conversely, at worst they have decent odds of survival with 3 agility vs 4 attack (at range 1 - and they should generally endeavor to stay out of range 1).  

And as he pointed out, a lot of the upgrades kind of go to waste against a cheap hard to hit swarm like that, because you're getting 4 chances to land a couple damage or knock out one of half a dozen or more TIEs.  A 3 ship Imperial build is going to have a rough time overwhelming the Falcon with its numbers the way 6+ reliably can.

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Thus, Luke/gunner may be activated. Correct?

Yes that's correct.

It doesn't matter if Han rolled 4 [hit]/[crits] or 0. The only condition that counts is how many [hit] or [crit] are left over after the defender rolls his dice and makes any modifications he can. If there are any left then the target is Hit, if there are none, it's a miss and gunner/Luke can trigger.

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Put another way (totally in agreement with Vanor and others): it doesn't matter HOW they cause there to be 0 hits landing, as long as no hits land it's a miss and can trigger Gunner/Luke.

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Put another way (totally in agreement with Vanor and others): it doesn't matter HOW they cause there to be 0 hits landing, as long as no hits land it's a miss and can trigger Gunner/Luke.

 

Which is one of the benefits to having Gunner even if you never use him.  If the defender can not spend his evade token and suffer 1 damage, it's likely a better strategy than spending the token, forcing the gunner, and then praying that he can not take any damage (with no tokens to modify).

As such, I've played several games against HSF where I've had tokens that I chose not to spend to take 1 damage (or even two in cases such as range 1 Han on a X wing where I rolled two eyes).

So even though the Gunner did not trigger, the threat of Gunner caused the defender to take damage.  It can also affect actions.  I'd rather have an Evade when there's a Gunner on the board, as I can chose to spend it to reduce exactly 1 damage, but allow one hit through, where as if I roll two eyes, I have to chose between taking two damage, or forcing the Gunner to attack me naked.  

And then I don't have a focus token for offense, due to the Gunner being on the board.  And heck - maybe you didn't even attack that particular ship.  So now it has an evade for no reason.

 

tl;dr - Gunner can be useful even if it never triggers a second attack.

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And there is the heart of the problem.  A 3 ship, Imperial build is terribly vulnerable to accurate shooting because while it is fairly adept at avoiding damage it is completely incapable of sustaining it.  He was running what is probably THE worst list to use against Han Shoots First (which is the archetype using a Falcon with multiple gunnery enhancements).

Bingo!

 

And if your friend is crying "broken" after losing 1 battle... he needs to check himself.

 

I'm sure more people have cried "broken" about an 8 ship Tie Swarm, but there are ways to beat that squad too. 

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Got it.

 

I'm compiling a comprehensive FAQ and errata manual for Star Wars: Miniatures, so forgive me if I seem overly focused on the little details. I just want to make sure I've got it right before I enter it and move on to the next.

 

As far as the game goes, we were playing a 75 pt. game, so I had the Falcon. He had a handful of TIES, one Advanced with Darth, and two of the other unique TIE pilots. He simply got blown away. And he hated the fact that I had 360 degree firing arc with so many re-rolls (if I so desired) of my Primary Weapon. He should have spread those 75 points out.

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FWIW, I (and I'm not alone in this) don't think the Falcon balances well below 100 points.  The best way to deal with it is volume of fire, and at lower points the opponent just hasn't got enough guns to overwhelm it before the lopsided attrition kicks in.

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The combo is more about insurance than actual firepower.  It's a **** near guarantee that your target will take damage every round.  The problem is that they won't necessarily take a LOT of damage, because you've invested 50+ points into 3 attack dice.  Another problem is that while that 50+ points has a lot of hull and shields, it only has 1 defence die to mitigate damage, so essentually you will take damage every round (and a lot of damage at that vs some lists).  B-wings and bombers crush the falcon in my experience so far.

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If I were playing 75 pts vs Han alone, I'd have 2 Firesprays on the table, one with HLC and Merc Co-Pilot, the other a 'naked' Firespray.

 

Stand off and blast away. Han has 3/4 dice vs my 7/8 Han has 13 HP vs my 20. Han has 1 AGI, I have 2. This is a very bad match up for Mr Han.

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