|A cloaked TIE Phantom right out of the box.|
Let's just start off with how I'm probably running this ship my first few games. The Phantom comes with a Cloak Action and Decloak. Notice that Decloak is NOT an Action. When you use a Cloak Action it gives you a Cloak Token, which goes on the ship and is not removed at the end of the turn. It remains until you spend it to Decloak. Cloaked ships add 2 Defense dice, bringing the base Phantom up to 4 Defense while cloaked. You can't attack while cloaked but that is made up for with base 4 Attack dice. Like the other Small ships that can take Crew (HWK) it can take 1 Crew. Upon decloaking before you reveal your dial, you take a 2 Straight or 2 Barrel Roll (also not an Action). It's easy to imagine that this is the ship not reappearing exactly where the enemy expects. This sets up some interesting ambush or dogging tactics. The dial is workable, it feels like it is cruising at 2 and 3 and has a sprint of straight 4. You are shedding Stress with a complete set of 2 moves, all Green, which I like. She has a red 3 and 4 Kiogran which I was surprised by too.
|That's 36 points... a tad pricy but probably frustrating to fight. I hope.|
Look, 5 Defense dice is nothing to sneeze at, inconsistent as that may be. Decloaking behind some Rebel ship and throwing 5 Attack dice at Range 1 on an Ambush is pretty damn fine as well. To follow an old paint-makers saying, "you can make it nice but can you make it twice?" I don't know yet. It may be that the build above doesn't do much after you unzip your fly and take a shot. I guess it comes down to how much of the game you want to spend cloaked to begin with. For now, I like the odds it has to close against Rebel turrets and not bleed-out en route to Range1 or going stealth as the lines cross, head-on. PTL is awesome on almost everything but if I find it's possibly overkill for the role this ship trends towards then I'll gladly take Determination.
I gotta say, I think the Cloak action is pretty elegant as a mechanic and it will be interesting to see if anything else ends up with it. While not FFG-legal I will definitely be removing the ship from the base when Cloaked for the visual gag during friendly games. Becuase why not.
The above is not a deep analysis of what you can do with the Phantom, more like a first blush response. I've found that my dream builds of newly released ships usually equates to going to the gym and just working the vanity muscles. Looks good in a pic but living it may be very different than anticipated when there is heavy lifting to be done on the job.
Well, I'm off to my sister's this weekend where I will face my Rebel-Scum-in-Law Mike. I'll share out how the Phantom worked in a (ulp) 100 point list.