Thursday, 31 October 2013

Geordi LaForge- The beginning of something special

Butterflies in the Sky... Geordi flies twice as high!!!
I wanted to take an opportunity today to focus on a crew upgrade that doesn't get a lot of love. So far, I've never seen Geordi used in any build at all. Maybe there's a reason, or maybe everyone just has a thing against the blind.
Geordi LaForge costs 4 pts and does the following:

If your ship has a [SCAN] Token beside it, you may force one ship you attacked this round to re-roll one defense die of your choice.

I recently posted up an article on Spock. Geordi LaForge is an interesting character, in the same vein as Spock. Both characters' abilities are passive and rely upon Scan. For one point more, Spock allows you to affect your entire attack roll (depending upon the number of battlestations). Geordi, on the other hand, is a primarily defensive ability. 

Spock is the upgrade that I think is immediately understandable. Spock is a twofold improvement on a base attack. He reduced the defender's dice by 1, AND turns the attack battlestations rolls into hits. Your attack is made into something very efficient with Spock on your ship. You get two actions for the price of one when utilizing Spock.

On the other hand, LaForge takes a scan token, and turns it into a reroll of one defense die. For the most part, you're only going to ever attack one ship per turn, so the restriction is mostly irrelevant. For one point less than Spock, you can maybe jam through a crit/hit onto the opposing player's ship. The best part about LaForge, is that your opponent has already been forced to roll one less defence dice and now has to reroll one of his evades. LaForge's ability is less easily understood than Spocks. LaForge does something that is not really connected with another action or upgrade in the game. As such, it's hard to value LaForge.  

The way I see it, I still want Spock on my ship instead of LaForge, although I'd need someone to crunch the numbers. Spock has the potential to affect more dice than LaForge. On my Enterprise D, I need every shot to count against a Klingon Fleet. I need the opposing commander to start sweating when he sees his hull points dropping and start making mistakes. LaForge doesn't make your attack roll any better, he just makes the defence roll worse. In some cases, that's enough, but I need my 360 arc to do as close to max damage as possible every turn.

For one point more, the psychological threat of Spock is bigger than LaForge. I see the potential rewards of Spock to be significantly higher than the rewards of LaForge. 

If someone has crunched the numbers on this, I'd be happy to discuss the matter, but I still see Spock as having a bigger impact on an individual game than LaForge would, but this probably merits some further testing. 

Ultimately, I want Spock on my Enterprise D. I'd consider putting LaForge on another ship, as time goes on, but at this point, I don't see him fitting in nicely anywhere else. Perhaps he'd work well on a Defiant captained by Picard, but I'd still rather have Sulu boosting me up to 4 defence dice. 

LaForge is one of those cards that adds a nice ability, but is outclassed by other upgrades. He will shine best against cloaked ships (since they have so few ways of mitigating defence rolls), but Spock already shines against cloaked ships due to the volume of possible battlestation rolls. A Target Locked, Scanned Spock shot from the Enterprise D is going to be very close to 5 hits. A Target Locked, Scanned LaForge may be less hits, but has a higher possibility of making one of those hits count. I'd still rather have Spock, but LaForge adds something to the mix that is interesting and will likely take your opponent off guard. Take him for a spin and let me know how he works for you. This is really something that needs to be analyzed further.

1 comment:

  1. The "one ship" restriction is really a bit of a shame. If you could rig up some shenanigans using Forward Weapon Grid or the Koranak's innate text Geordi could really shine - but that's probably why they limited it the way they did. As it is, you could still get some extra mileage out of him with Counter Attack or Into The Breach, at least if you didn't have to force a reroll in your first shot.