Monday, September 19, 2016

Asteroids Do Not Concern Me - Discussing the Collision Detector

Good morning, readers. School is in full swing for me but I want to continue bringing you healthy doses of X-wing brainstorming. With Wave 9’s release just around the corner, let's take a closer look at the upcoming Collision Detector.

Upon Examination
              This intriguing system comes in two parts. The first is mentioned in FFG’s Special Forces TIE article: the Collision Detector allows you to complete your boost, barrel roll, or decloak even if you overlapped an obstacle. It is important to note that while allowing you to complete your movement action, you lose ability to perform further actions. So, if you are Pushing the Limit, be sure to overlap last. Players in the market for an actual “Anti-Bump Detector” should take Advanced Sensors, allowing action economy before moving.
              The second part of the Collision Detector lets your ship to ignore critical hits when rolling for obstacle damage. Based on the 8 faces of an attack die, here are the numbers on obstacle damage.

Chance of Taking Damage
Extra Effect
Lose Action
Asteroid w/ CD
Lose Action
Debris Cloud
1 Stress Token, Lose Action
Debris Cloud w/ CD
1 Stress Token, Lose Action

              As expected, the Collision Detector improves your chances of dodging damage. However, you still can get hit, hence why it’s a Collision “Detector” and not a Collision “Preventer”. As for debris, the CD makes you immune to damage, but you must deal with the accompanying stress.

When to Equip the Collision Detector
              The Collision Detector provides a subtle change, rather than a game-breaking ability. Since we don't want to squander system slots, we must not think of the CD as an auto-include card. In fact, more often than not, a different system upgrade will serve your squad better. The two types of pilots that get the most out of the CD, and therefore equip it most frequently, are 1) named aces with maneuver actions, and 2) low PS generics who aren’t using their system slot. Let's take a closer look at both.

              The power of movement actions grows in proportion to pilot skill. Since the Collision Detector also adds power to movement actions, this upgrade grows proportionally as well. For example, Keyan Farlander with Veteran Instincts and Advanced Sensors is a decent arc-dodging ship. However, this build is expensive and rather fragile. If we replace AS with the CD, we give power to Keyan’s barrel rolls while saving 3 squad points.

B-wing w/ Keyan – 30 points
              Veteran Instincts
              Collision Detector

              Keyan also exemplifies the fact that many pilots synergize with stress. Our Keyan build loves debris clouds, giving him an “offensive focus” for his action and a 0% chance of collision damage. Another great mashup is 4-Lom with Wired: he gets focus action economy from flying through debris and then can dump the stress on anyone else at range 1.

Mist Hunter w/ 4-Lom – 30 points
              Collision Detector
              Intelligence Agent
              Mist Hunter Title
              Tractor Bean
The CD/stress combo carries over to ship dials. The Special Forces TIE has quite a few red moves, which is supposed to be a hindrance. Overcome this weakness with the Collision Detector and the Twin Ion Engine Mark II. Let’s build Backdraft like this and he becomes a cheap Imperial Ace who arc-dodges, deals well with stress, and bypasses obstacles to line up double shots and/or slip past enemies.

TIE/sf w/ Backdraft – 29 points
              Veteran Instincts
              Collision Detector
              TIE Mk II
              On the opposite end of the dial spectrum is the Aggressor. IG-88’s ship has enough green to easily exploit a CD/stress combo, and he has access to enough action economy that he doesn’t mind taking stress and losing actions. Regrettably, IG-88C can’t boost through an obstacle and get his free evade action.

Aggressor w/ IG-88B – 43 points
              Flechette Cannon
              Collision Detector

              I cannot stand un-upgraded B-wings. Though powerful and tough, they are too slow to last long, especially in the current metagame. Attaching upgrades to them helps, but you walk a fine line between adding utility and overpricing. Here is where the Collision Detector comes in: adding utility for no cost. Perhaps all your B-wing needs to survive is to successfully dodge through an asteroid cluster. Adding a CD helps out many other generics as well, such as Special Forces Zetas (TIE swarms that don’t care about obstacles), Cutlass Punishers (more lucrative mine placement), Omicron Shuttles (last ditch attempts to save Palpatine), and Lothal Rebels (good synergy with Dash crew).

B-wing w/ Blue Pilot – 22 points
              Collision Detector

Punisher w/ Cutlass Pilot – 27 points
              Proximity Mines
              Extra Munitions
              Collision Detector
              TIE Mark 2

VCX-100 w/ Lothal Rebel – 40 points
              Dorsal Turret
              Collision Detector
              Dash Rendar

              There are two other generics worth mentioning. The first is the Sigma Squadron TIE Phantom. My favorite build for this pilot is an Intelligence Agent and the Stygium Particle Accelerator. It’s cheap, efficient, and fun to fly. When Wave 9 hits the shelves, the Sigma can take a CD for better maneuverability. While you lose the evade action from the SPA, the ability to dodge through asteroids provides greater unpredictability.

Phantom w/ Sigma Pilot - 28 points
              Collision Detector
              Intelligence Agent
              Stygium Particle Accelerator

              The second generic worth noting is the E-wing. While still not fully viable, an E-wing with a CD and R5-X3 is almost tempting enough to take. It would require intense practice to use obstacles in your favor, but it would be fun to pull off. Perhaps if we get an E-wing title fix, it will be a viable build.

E-wing w/ Knave - 28 points
              Collision Detector

              The metagame is always shifting and it can be challenge to continuously adapt. But I hope this small brainstorm session gives you a few ideas on how to solve the challenges you face in X-wing. I wish you luck in navigating those asteroid fields, and have a great week!

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