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Subject: Flagship Discussion rss

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Martin Hendry
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I saw someone else post an article on this subject and then immediately withdraw it before I could reply (rude! ) and I'd quite like to see what people think so I guess I'll do it for them. To my mind, flagships run the full gamut from being absolutely essential to your strategy, via being a nice boost to your fleet but not game changing and all the way to so conditional you are unlikely to build it in most games. It should be noted that a lot of this is theorycrafting as I've only played a few games of TI4, so anyone who has alternate ideas please chuck them my way.

The Arborec
Flagship Name: Duha Menaimon
Statistics: 8 Cost; 7(x2) Combat; 1 Movement; 5 Capacity
Abilities: After you activate this system, you may produce up to five units in this system. SUSTAIN DAMAGE.
Utility: Personally speaking, I think that this ship is best used in defence of your home system/Mecatol Rex so if you suspect that someone's about to attack you, you can use the ability to build four Letani Warriors and a ship of some description, then use your normal production capacity to further expand your fleet. I can also see arguments for this being a forward production base in an Asteroid Field or Nebula, but I think that's not the most CC efficient way to use this ship. I also think it's a great way to regenerate your infantry if you lose a lot of them.
Build It... When people start seeing you as a threat.

The Barony of Letnev
Flagship Name: Arc Secundus
Statistics: 8 Cost; 5(x2) Combat; 1 Movement; 3 Capacity
Abilities: Other players' units in this system lose PLANETARY SHIELD. At the start of each space combat round, repair this ship. SUSTAIN DAMAGE; BOMBARDMENT 5(x3)
Utility: Pretty simple, really: put it in a fleet and go take some planets!
Build It... Before your first big fight.

The Clan of Saar
Flagship Name: Son of Ragh
Statistics: 8 Cost; 5(x2) Combat; 1 Movement; 3 Capacity
Abilities: SUSTAIN DAMAGE; ANTI-FIGHTER BARRAGE 6(x4)
Utility: Pretty conditional: Hitting on 5s makes this a decent ship, but in most cases you could build two Dreadnoughts or some Fighters instead and have more hit soaking ability. Obviously if there are a lot of Fighters around this gains some value.
Build It... Using Chaos Mapping just before you attack someone. It'll definitely be an unpleasant surprise for your opponent.

The Embers of Muaat
Flagship Name: The Inferno
Statistics: 8 Cost; 5(x2) Combat; 1 Movement; 3 Capacity
Abilities: ACTION: Spend 1 token from your strategy pool to place 1 cruiser in this unit's system. SUSTAIN DAMAGE
Utility: This is a weird one, and I'm really not sure what to think of it. It's a good ship in terms of combat, but the ability feels kinda redundant as a stall due to Star Forge and your Prototype War Suns are your ACTUAL flagships.
Build It... Once you've built both of your Prototype War Suns and you have CCs to spare (Ha!)

The Emirates of Hacan
Flagship Name: The Wrath of Kenara
Statistics: 8 Cost; 7(x2) Combat; 1 Movement; 3 Capacity
Abilities: After you roll a die during a space combat in this system, you may spend 1 trade good to apply +1 to the result. SUSTAIN DAMAGE.
Utility: If there are loads of economic objectives hitting the board and you're spending all your trade goods on other stuff then you probably won't be too bothered about this, but if there are control based objectives around then this will be a big help.
Build It... When you need it.

The Federation of Sol
Flagship Name: Genesis
Statistics: 8 Cost; 5(x2) Combat; 1 Movement; 12 Capacity
Abilities: At the end of the status phase, place 1 Infantry from your reinforcements in this system's space area. SUSTAIN DAMAGE.
Utility: Whether this ship is an absolutely terrifying must build or merely pretty good depends on whether you have the production capacity infrastructure to quickly fill it with Fighters.
Build It... If you know you'll be able to play Fighter Heavy then get it early and enjoy the free Spec Ops: if not, then get it if you need it.

The Ghosts of Creuss
Flagship Name: Hil Colish
Statistics: 8 Cost; 5 Combat; 1 Movement; 3 Capacity
Abilities: This ship's system contains a Delta Wormhole. During movement, this ship may move before or after your other ships. SUSTAIN DAMAGE.
Utility: This ship is the most important ship you will put on the board as The Ghosts: it can gain pre-combat fire if you put some PDS II on Creuss; it synergizes with Dimensional Splicer for more pre-combat fire and increases the manoeuvrability of the rest of your fleet. It is the centre of your strategy in a way that few flagships are. Do be aware, however, that opponents with Light/Wave Deflector (or the Y'Sia Y'Ssrila) can access Creuss by going through your flagship, so there is a small downside.
Build It... Early, and replace it immediately if it is destroyed.

The L1Z1X Mindnet
Flagship Name: 0.0.1
Statistics: 8 Cost; 5(x2) Combat; 1 Movement; 5 Capacity
Abilities: During a space combat, hits produced by this ship and by your Dreadnoughts in this system must be assigned to non-fighter ships if able. SUSTAIN DAMAGE.
Utility: Good ship: permanent bypassing of fighter screens for all your capital ships other than War Suns, while also enabling sizeable Fighter screens for you.
Build It... When you have to pit Dreadnoughts against Fighter screened Dreadnoughts.

The Mentak Coalition
Flagship Name: The Fourth Moon
Statistics: 8 Cost; 7(x2) Combat; 1 Movement; 3 Capacity
Abilities: Other players' ships in this system cannot use SUSTAIN DAMAGE. SUSTAIN DAMAGE.
Utility: Are you kidding me? You know exactly how to use this: go and kill some capital ships! Make Duranium Armour and Non-Euclidean Shielding obsolete!
Build It... Whenever you need to kill Dreadnoughts or War Suns.

The Naalu Collective
Flagship Name: The Matriarch
Statistics: 8 Cost; 9(x2) Combat; 1 Movement; 6 Capacity
Abilities: During an invasion in this system, you may commit fighters to planets as if they were ground forces. After combat, return those units to the space area. SUSTAIN DAMAGE.
Utility: Pretty obvious: use your unique unit to assist in invasion combat. Keep in mind that Fighters CANNOT take control of a planet by themselves: you MUST have at least one Infantry survive the ground combat to take control of a planet, so don't forget them!
Build It... Once you've got Hybrid Crystal Fighter II.

The Nekro Virus
Flagship Name: The Alastor
Statistics: 8 Cost; 9(x2) Combat; 1 Movement; 3 Capacity
Abilities: At the start of a space combat, choose any number of ground forces in this system to participate in that combat as if they were ships. SUSTAIN DAMAGE.
Utility: So this is almost certainly the best defensive ship in the game, if you use it effectively. Some notes: the ground forces are NOT fighters for the purposes of ANTI-FIGHTER BARRAGE; they are not ships during the movement step of a tactical action (you cannot assign PDS hits to them) and if The Alastor is destroyed, all ground forces participating in the combat must return to whence they came and take no further part in the space combat.
Build It... When you need to defend Mecatol Rex or your home system and there aren't any nearby opposing PDS.

Sardakk N'Orr
Flagship Name:C'Morran N'Orr
Statistics: 8 Cost; 6(x2) Combat; 1 Movement; 3 Capacity
Abilities: Apply +1 to the result of each of your other ship's combat rolls in this system. SUSTAIN DAMAGE.
Utility: Oh man, this ship kicks so much ass: team it up with War Suns to get 6 automatic hits every round if you are AWESOME (but also kinda dumb) or have your Advanced Fighters hit on 6s (so a fleet supply of 5 with full Carrier IIs means you've got 24 dice hitting on 6, 4 hitting on 8 and 2 on 5).
Build It... When you're going for a big attack.

The Universities of Jol'Nar
Flagship Name: JNS Hylarim
Statistics: 8 Cost; 6(x2) Combat; 1 Movement; 3 Capacity
Abilities: When making a combat roll with this ship, each roll of 9 or 10, before applying modifiers, produces 2 additional hits. SUSTAIN DAMAGE.
Utility: Eh. This ship is pretty cool, but you probably won't build it unless for some reason you aren't building Dreadnoughts or War Suns.
Build It... If you've already built all your Dreadnoughts and you don't have War Sun tech.

The Winnu
Flagship Name: Salai Sai Corian
Statistics: 8 Cost; 7 Combat; 1 Movement; 3 Capacity
Abilities: When this unit makes a combat roll, it rolls a number of dice equal to number of your opponent's non-fighter ships in this system. SUSTAIN DAMAGE.
Utility: Super conditional. Decent against big fleets or The Alastor, but most of the time you're better off building other stuff.
Build It... If you're facing a big fleet, you've already built all your Dreadnoughts or you've got extremely limited fleet supply.

The Xxcha Kingdom
Flagship Name: Loncara Ssodu
Statistics: 8 Cost; 7(x2) Combat; 1 Movement; 3 Capacity
Abilities: You may use this unit's SPACE CANNON against ships that are in adjacent systems. SUSTAIN DAMAGE; SPACE CANNON 5(x3)
Utility: So this occupies a similar position for the Xxcha as the Hil Colish does for the Ghosts of Creuss: it's an incredibly important part of your strategy. You can extort people to not fire at them, you can use it offensively with Graviton Laser System to kill Carrier fleets before you even have to fight them, you can plug holes in your PDS network and I'm sure there are some possibilities I haven't considered.
Build It... Early, and replace it immediately if it dies.

The Yin Brotherhood
Flagship Name: Van Hauge
Statistics: 8 Cost; 9(x2) Combat; 1 Movement; 3 Capacity
Abilities: When this ship is destroyed, destroy all ships in this system. SUSTAIN DAMAGE.
Utility: I'd say this flagship has more potential than any other in the game, as long as you use it effectively. Don't use it to try and take planets: that's an incredibly stupid idea, but if you need to kill a Saarball or a scary Barony fleet then send the Van Hauge and it'll probably work, just be aware that it'll be expensive in terms of CCs. Alternatively, if you're worried about losing your home system, build it there and give it six fighters as escorts and you have one of the best deterrents in the game AND it'll take at least two actions for you to lose your home system.
Build It... Either when there's a problem fleet to deal with or people are eyeing up your home system.

The Yssaril Tribes
Flagship Name: Y'Sia Y'Ssrila
Statistics: 8 Cost; 5(x2) Combat; 2 Movement; 3 Capacity
Abilities: This ship can move through systems that contain other players' ships. SUSTAIN DAMAGE
Utility: This ship is great: it's like a Dreadnought II with free Light/Wave Deflector! Send it to steal undefended planets or snipe important Carriers and use your massive hand of action cards to make it more effective in combat. One of the few flagships that should probably operate in an offensive manner outside of a fleet.
Build It... When it will help you complete an objective that would otherwise be problematic.

So that's the data and a quick bit of advice on how to use your flagships. Let's choose some bests!

Best at enabling invasions:
Arc Secundus
Honourable mentions to Genesis and The Matriarch

Best in terms of fighting against capital ships:
The Fourth Moon
Honourable mentions 0.0.1 and Loncara Ssodu

Best at enabling the rest of your space fleet
C'Morran N'Orr
Honourable mentions to 0.0.1, Hil Colish and Wrath of Kenara

Best in terms of non-combat utility
Hil Colish
Honourable mentions to Loncara Ssodu and Duha Menaimon

Best in terms of defending strategic points
The Alastor
Honourable mentions to Van Hauge and Loncara Ssodu

Best at ruining plans
Van Hauge
Honourable mentions to The Fourth Moon and Arc Secundus

Most mobile
Y'Sia Y'Ssrila
No honourable mentions: The Yssaril stand alone!

Best synergy with racial abilities
Hil Colish
Honourable mentions to 0.0.1 and Loncara Ssodu

Best at area denial
Loncara Ssodu
Honourable mention to Van Hauge

Most important to your strategy
Hil Colish
Honourable mention to Loncara Ssodu

Overall best:
Hil Colish

The reason I choose the Hil Colish is that it increases the mobility of your fleet, shortens your supply lines AND decreases your need for additional production facilities as soon as you build it. In addition to that, with some investment in infrastructure it can be used with Dimensional Splicer and PDS II on Creuss to create an inferior version version of the Loncara Ssodu (which I would probably put in second place in terms of best flagship) which can make it not only a useful flagship, but also a fearsome one. The combination of these abilities makes it a keystone of your fleet in the way that no other flagship is. There are other flagships that have more powerful combat abilities/statistics, useful utility abilities and enable interesting strategies, but the Hil Colish can do all three, under the right circumstances.

What do you think?
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Paul Couch
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I think this is an excellent article and covers flagships very well.
I might have noted there is very much a base line of flagship stats (cost 8 move 1 attacks 7 with 2 dice capacity 3 sustain damage) and it's interesting to see where they differ from this base line.
 
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Jonathan Shearer
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Great write-up! I agree with many of your points and also wanted to note that the C'Morran N'Orr also has Sustain Damage which I think may have been overlooked. Great job!
 
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Martin Hendry
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Caddar wrote:
Great write-up! I agree with many of your points and also wanted to note that the C'Morran N'Orr also has Sustain Damage which I think may have been overlooked. Great job!


Thanks for pointing that out. Edited.
 
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Allan Martin
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With the Arborec, would you say it's worth it to build 5 GF for 3 resources or would you do 4 for 2 resources? (non-upgraded warriors)
 
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Martin Hendry
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I guess technically speaking the earlier in the game you do it the more worthwhile it is to get the extra infantry and use that additional production capacity, but in most cases I would build 4 GFs and a ship of some description as that's a more efficient use of resources.
 
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James Groesbeck
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Looking at the JNS Hylarim's ability, it says two additional hits when it rolls a natural 9 or 10.

Since a 9 or 10 would produce a hit normally (barring something crazy like a -4 or worse combat modifier), does that mean that each roll of 9 or 10 produces a total of 3 hits?

While even that does not take the ship to the upper tiers of Flagship rankings, it could certainly lead to some epic stories of the flagship totally turning a losing battle around by generating 6 hits in one round.
 
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Martin Hendry
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JamesG wrote:
Looking at the JNS Hylarim's ability, it says two additional hits when it rolls a natural 9 or 10.

Since a 9 or 10 would produce a hit normally (barring something crazy like a -4 or worse combat modifier), does that mean that each roll of 9 or 10 produces a total of 3 hits?

While even that does not take the ship to the upper tiers of Flagship rankings, it could certainly lead to some epic stories of the flagship totally turning a losing battle around by generating 6 hits in one round.


This is true, much as you might wipe out an entire fleet with just the Winnu flagship, it's just not very likely and is unlikely to be a key component of your strategy.
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James Groesbeck
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Unastheslayer wrote:
This is true, much as you might wipe out an entire fleet with just the Winnu flagship, it's just not very likely and is unlikely to be a key component of your strategy.


Oh, I totally agree it's not likely, and so not something you can count on or plan for. I was just pointing it out in case anyone was thinking 9 or 10 = 2 hits, to let them know it is a little better than than that.

PS - Your OP was a great read with insightful analysis.

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Alwin Derijck
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JamesG wrote:

While even that does not take the ship to the upper tiers of Flagship rankings, it could certainly lead to some epic stories of the flagship totally turning a losing battle around by generating 6 hits in one round.


O yes indeed. 3 hits per natural 9 or 10 will provide some awesome moments.
It's these moments that make the game so memorable.

@OP: thanks for this great overview
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A Frag
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It seems to me that in TI4 the flagships were used to balance out races with potentially weaker abilities. When taking into account the strength or usefulness of a race, the flagship must absolutely be considered. I really love that they did that from inception with TI4 instead of relegating them to an expansion.
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Allan Martin
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Alwin wrote:
JamesG wrote:

While even that does not take the ship to the upper tiers of Flagship rankings, it could certainly lead to some epic stories of the flagship totally turning a losing battle around by generating 6 hits in one round.


O yes indeed. 3 hits per natural 9 or 10 will provide some awesome moments.
It's these moments that make the game so memorable.

@OP: thanks for this great overview

Like the time my flagship was attacked in order to get the secret objective (destroy an enemy flagship) and my flagship rolled a 9 & 10 and won an otherwise unwinnable battle
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Paul Brown
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Hmm I think its funny you list Hil Colish as the best flagship. I just won a game earlier today as Creuss and I never built it. The amount of mobility you already have with gravity drive and slipstream is enough for me, plus you can place down wormholes if you need them so I never felt I needed it at all. In my mind Loncara Ssodu is the best flagship, but maybe I have just seen it wreck too many people over and over. The ability to move pds2 around means every time your opponent acts they will be taking losses before the fight even starts. If you are fighting multiple players you can just keep inflicting wounds to each of them at no risk to yourself.
 
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Martin Hendry
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I agree that the Loncara Ssodu is good: I didn't build it in my Xxcha game yesterday because there never seemed a good time for it, but that being the case lets me know I did something wrong (failing to use Peace Accords twice and then forgetting to take Leadership, in this case)
 
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I played as Nekro Virus last weekend, and the Alastor is far from "only" defensive.

Bunch it together with two carriers filled with Ground Troops (you don't need anything else), and you have up to 11 units with better fighting skills than fighters, immunity to anti fighter barrage and the ability to land on planets, to boot.

I also managed to snag Carriers 2, and coupled with gravity drive, you have a veritable death star that is on par, strength-wise, with Fighters II. And if you manage to snag Ground Troops II(or even Spec Ops II!), your opponents will be in a world of hurt.

Only weakness are things that could snipe your flagship (Yin, looking at you), and PDS (since Infantry can't soak up those hits), but if your opponents have no such units (or you have adequate padding from destroyers), I would rank the Alastor quite high in offense, as well.
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Martin Hendry
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A fair point, but I emphasised the defence because you can then make use of the capacity of a planet which is better than the capacity of any ship you can make. You need to setup to use it in an offensive manner, whereas to use it on defence you just plonk it down in the space area of a planet and forget about it.
 
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Unastheslayer wrote:
A fair point, but I emphasised the defence because you can then make use of the capacity of a planet which is better than the capacity of any ship you can make. You need to setup to use it in an offensive manner, whereas to use it on defence you just plonk it down in the space area of a planet and forget about it.


Well, yes, I agree. Still, in my opinion, getting a planet filled with infantry is quite tedious and a rather long-term strategy - takes up a lot of activations to fill it up (either by building them there or transporting them there), and the ressources are bound there - most likely forever. In addition, repeatedly activating the same system to build units is a thoroughly bad idea once PDS II is in play - if you keep your Flagship as the solitary target in that system, a PDS might as well down it.
Adding a few carriers (especially carriers II w grav drives, if you can snag those techs) creates a nice fleet-in-being concept - even if you DON'T move your fleet, it still threatens neighbouring systems, something which you could never achieve with just the Flagship and a planet crammed full with Ground Forces.

I'm not contesting the fact that a planet filled with 24 infantry is a better combat value than 2 Carriers with 11. But those Ground Forces are stuck on that planet, while the small fleet can threaten and defend neighbouring systems - and could be a massive issue for your opponents.

Seeing the Alastoi as "mostly defensive" is certainly true. But relying ONLY on Ground Forces planetside (and miss the opportunity to have a huge flying circus) seems like a pretty one-dimensional tactic ;-)
 
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Martin Hendry
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If you're using The Alastor to defend your home system and someone has PDS adjacent to that something has gone very badly wrong already. I'm not saying you shouldn't build anything else in the system: even with the Van Hauge there should be a Destroyer and a few Fighters capable of soaking hits, but any system with The Alastor defending it doesn't need any Dreadnoughts on station: just a token force of Destroyers to stop people sniping The Alastor.

As for filling a planet, Nekro have it easier than most because they've only got one planet to defend in their home system. If you build two GFs every time you use your home Space Dock that'll be a pretty significant number in the late game when defending your home system becomes most important.
 
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I'm not sure the Winnu flagship will get extra dice from the Alastor commiting ground forces to the space fight guys.


Alastor text:"At the start of a space combat, choose any number of ground forces in this system to participate in that combat as if they were ships. "

Now, "as if they were ships" implies that you should treat them as ships, and thus get the extra dice with the winnu flag ship. But they are still considered ground forces. Most notably this comes in as they do not count against fleet supply. This tells me that they are still ground forces, just able to participate in the space combat. Thus, I don't think the winnu flag ship gets more dice.

Comments?
 
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James Groesbeck
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From the recently released Living Rules document/FAQ:

Quote:
Q: Do infantry involved in a space combat via the effects of “The
Alastor” flagship count as ships for the purpose of card effects and
fleet supply?
A: Infantry that are participating in space combat via “The Alastor”
do count as ships (in addition to their own unit type) for the purpose
of card effects, but, as a unit that can be transported, they do not
count against fleet supply in that system.


While the question and answer refer to "card" effects I assume the implication is they would count as ships for other game effects as well. So the Winnu flagship would get a die for each ground force in the space battle.
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Scott Lewis
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JamesG wrote:
From the recently released Living Rules document/FAQ:

Quote:
Q: Do infantry involved in a space combat via the effects of “The
Alastor” flagship count as ships for the purpose of card effects and
fleet supply?
A: Infantry that are participating in space combat via “The Alastor”
do count as ships (in addition to their own unit type) for the purpose
of card effects, but, as a unit that can be transported, they do not
count against fleet supply in that system.


While the question and answer refer to "card" effects I assume the implication is they would count as ships for other game effects as well. So the Winnu flagship would get a die for each ground force in the space battle.

I'm almost 100% sure that would be the intent.

One could try the argument that the faction sheets are just really big "cards"
 
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Jeff G
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You mention the Nekro Virus FS being a good defensive ship, but just in case you didn't know, Infantry are Ground Forces (39.0) which means that the FS ability can also be used offensively when carrying Infantry to take over planets.

edit: Ah I see someone else already brought this up.
 
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Colin LaFleur
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meeb93 wrote:
You mention the Nekro Virus FS being a good defensive ship, but just in case you didn't know, Infantry are Ground Forces (39.0) which means that the FS ability can also be used offensively when carrying Infantry to take over planets.

edit: Ah I see someone else already brought this up.


It is usable on offense, but the reason its so powerful defensively is that you can load up the planet you're trying to defend with ground forces, and leave a relatively small group of ships with the Alastor. The ground forces become extremely efficient upgraded fighters, as you don't need to worry about capacity.
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Alwin Derijck
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Quote:
The Emirates of Hacan
Flagship Name: The Wrath of Kenara


Can the ability stack on a single die?

Can the ability be used multiple times to enhance several dice in a single roll?
 
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Scott Lewis
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Alwin wrote:
Quote:
The Emirates of Hacan
Flagship Name: The Wrath of Kenara


Can the ability stack on a single die?

I would say "no" based on the wording. The text of "spend 1 Trade Good" implies, to me, "once per trigger"; otherwise, it would have said "spend any number of Trade Goods".

Quote:
Can the ability be used multiple times to enhance several dice in a single roll?

I would say "yes". Each die rolled is a separate entity. If you roll multiple dice, each die would trigger the condition individually.
 
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