Friday, May 13, 2011

Episode 71: Artillery Shot, Flash and Clear, Targeted Area

I’m Darth GM, and you’re [reading] the 71st segment of Fragments from the Rim.

Every now and then you come across a player that…well, maybe they played a few too many first-person shooters in their day, and they really enjoy the idea of lugging around a weapon as big as they are.  Something that has a shoulder strap not just to sling it when not in use, but because you need it to be able to balance and aim the damn thing.  Weapons that, for lack of a better phrase, go “BOOM”.

Saga edition provides us with a bunch of heavy weapons for our cannon-loving players to use.  They also provide us with a few feats that really work well together.  Individually they’re nice, but stacked together these feats can wallop anyone that gets in the character’s way.

The first two feats come from the Clone Wars Campaign Guide.  The first one is situational, the second is highly useful.  Artillery Shot says that when you make an attack with a burst or splash weapon against a target at greater than point blank range, you can affect two additional squares adjacent to the normal burst or splash area.  This is nice, if you’re using grenades, since those are thrown weapons, but it’s hard to get off with a cannon that has a Point Blank Range out to 50 squares.

The next feat, however, is much more useful, and can really help out the survivability of your gunner.  Flash and Clear provides your character with concealment from a target you damaged with a burst or splash weapon.  Anyone you hit with your blast is taking a -2 penalty to shoot back at you.  Not only that, but you have concealment from that target now, and can employ a host of benefits and abilities with that requirement against that target.

The last feat is from the Unknown Regions; Targeted Area.  This feat you have to wait until you have a +5 base attack bonus to pick up.  This feat states that when you make a successful area, attack, select a single target hit by the attack.  That target takes an extra 5 points of damage from the attack before applying the effect of the Evasion talent.  A feat that gives you +5 damage to a target?  Sign me up!

All of these feats are Soldier Bonus Feats, and Flash and Clear and Targeted Area are Scout bonus feats.

I feel that these three feats work best with Blaster-cannon style weapons and grenade launchers.  Missile launchers, too; the weapons that hit an area for splash damage or affect a burst radius.  They could work with repeating blasters, or other autofire weapons, but with the inherent -5 penalty to auto-fire attacks, you’ll have to brace your weapon and likely invest in a level of Elite Solider to have the best chance to utilize these feats.

With these three feats, you can saturate an incoming column of soldiers with your cannon or grenades, gain concealment from your targets as you flood their vision with flashing spots, and really put the hurt on specific individuals within your area of effect.

By the time this segment airs, I will have subjected my PCs to an elite Stormtrooper with these feats.  We’ll see how well they work together in a live field test.  KA-boom, baby!

That’s all for this week.  Until next time, Gamer Nation, 20 side up, 1 side down.

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