I suppose the title says it all here. Concentrate Fire is probably my most heavily used command and I just love it, but it’s not perfect. Maybe I favor it so much because I tend to enjoy games that end quickly? Maybe it’s an aggressive play style? Maybe I’d rather destroy an enemy ship before it can shoot me back? You know what they say, the best defense is a good offense!
I actually think it has something to do with the types of lists I fly. I used to really favor the CR-90 with Turbolaser Reroute Circuits, but have since gravitates more towards being a serious fan of the Arquitens. What do a lot of my favorite lists have in common?
Small based ships tend to have a lower number of attack dice, and they also tend to cost a lot less than medium or large ships. The types of small ships I tend to fly most often are ships that are cheap and have red dice in multiple firing arcs. A CR-90 with a concentrate fire, can effectively double it’s side arc dice at long range, or add 50% to it’s front shot. That’s not a bad amount of firepower if you’ve got some way to counter the risk of rolling blanks. The Arquitens on the other hand, also can double their front shot, but only gain 33% to the side shot. However, either ship can run TRC to mitigate a single bad result, but the Arquitens have the unique advantage of being Imperial and therefore having access to Vader – an incredibly strong commander where Red Dice are concerned.
Large Ship Disadvantage
Large Ships using concentrate fire, on the other hand, have a significant disadvantage when compared to small ships doing the same command. A Large ship may be rolling anywhere from 4 to 10 dice already, and getting one extra just isn’t that much of a big deal. At long range, an ISD may only add 20% to it’s dice count, which is much less, but the closer they get, the less impactful a concentrate fire command feels. Imagine rolling 8 dice and your command only gives you one more… Typically by the time an Imperial Star Destroyer, or Liberty MC-80 gets you within medium range, you are going to die regardless, so one extra die isn’t going to matter much. For large ships, navigation is often far more valuable, considering they can use it to ensure they line up shots and guarantee using the dice they already have.
How would I fix this balance? Any fix I come up with for this would have to make Large ships more desirable than they are now, in my mind, while not making medium ships overpowered since they have the ability to take disposable capacitors. I think a new commander or new officers could help this idea out.
Admiral Lee would act similar to Motti for the rebels. This is only a rough example for the card, he may have to cost more, and I may have to scale back his benefits… perhaps providing nothing for a small ship in this case. Maybe an extra reroll for medium, and an extra die for large… but this is just to get the ideas flowing.
For the Empire, I went with a single ship option.
I made him an officer and costed him at a whopping 15 points. He can give an ISD 3 additional dice when doing a CF, so a total of 4 extra dice for a long range attack. I might have to make him Large Ship Only. Something like this would really make an ISD threatening! But I fear if he’s not restricted to large ships, people might simply put him on a Victory and call it a day.
Either way, as it stands right now, I feel Concentrate Fire is best and most efficient on small ships, and since you can field so many MORE of them, it adds up to ALOT more dice overall. I would love to see some serious incentive for Large Ships to start taking Concentrate Fire more reliably!