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Star Wars: Imperial Assault» Forums » Rules

Subject: Surges, +1 attack power VS +1Pierce rss

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Joshua Richardson
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Hey guys, quick question. Is there ever a scenario where you roll one surge and would choose pierce OVER +1 damage? It seems like it doesn't really matter either way but friends and I always choose +1 damage because there doesn't seem to be an inherent advantage to +1 pierce when you only have 1 surge to spend. Any insight? Thanks!
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Pasi Ojala
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Tampere
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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There is none if you have only one surge available.

Surge: Pierce 1 is available when there is already a surge: +1dmg or +2dmg, because each surge ability can be only triggered once per attack.

A reason to have surge: Pierce 1 ability alone instead of surge: +1dmg is to make the attack less powerful due to already having a good dice pool - Pierce is only useful if the defender has one or more blocks.
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William Roop
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Possibly the guarantee to get damage through... pierce 1 allows 1 damage to get through while +1 damage can still be avoided with surprise abilities on equipment/class cards. If you have an ability that triggers when you do damage to an enemy, pierce gets it to go off automatically.
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Craig S.
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Beholm wrote:
If you have an ability that triggers when you do damage to an enemy, pierce gets it to go off automatically.


Not necessarily. The ONLY think Pierce 1 does is negate one block. It by no means guarantees that damage will get through.

Peirce 1 is inferior to +1 Damage if there are no blocks that need piercing and equal to it if there are. There is no situation in which Peirce 1 would have benefit over +1 Damage.
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Pasi Ojala
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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Beholm wrote:
Possibly the guarantee to get damage through... pierce 1 allows 1 damage to get through

It sounds like you have misunderstood the rules. Pierce only allows the corresponding number of blocks to be ignored when calculating damage, it is not producing any damage by itself. (Check the attack steps from the Rules Reference Guide.)

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Joshua Richardson
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This is what I was wondering, we basically came to the conclusion it was the creators way of allowing you to "stack" damage without the ability to use the same surge more than once.
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There are several weapons that have the same surge listed multiple times so for example with the Force Pike you can get +1 damage twice.

Although a pierce surge is always inferior to a damage surge, it changes the likely damage (the distribution) in interesting ways. For example, it increases the expected damage, reduces the variation in damage outcomes and yet at the same time doesn't increase the possible maximum damage.

In other words, pierce improves the consistency of a weapon.

Also, we know that pierce is more effective versus a black dice than a white dice and similarly a high pierce value (such as the pierce 3 on a Lightsaber) is very effective versus targets with high block (such as two black dice) yet at the same time doesn't make such weapons ridiculously powerful versus regular figures with a single black dice.

This is because, unlike a damage 3 surge - as I mentioned above - the pierce 3 surge doesn't increase the maximum damage in any way.

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