Pilot Operations Manual - Kharachar's Claw

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Foote
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Pilot Operations Manual - Kharachar's Claw

Welcome to my first Pilot Operations Manual! I'll be slowly adding POM's for each Strike Force ship as well as Flight Simulator Guides for each of the Opposition forces. So lets kick things off by taking a look at one of my favorite ships, Kharachar's Claw.

Quick Glance

Signature Card: Ramming Speed! (Definitive starting card of each deck)

Mobility: High                             (How well you move yourself or others outside of the Travel phase) 

Scrapping Power: Very High         (How well you can scrap ships outside of your engagment)

Purchase Power: Medium            (How much you can buy and/or ability manipulate a sectors station)

Upgrade Speed: Slow                   (How fast you gain total Energy)

Flagship Survivability: Low          (How well you fare as a primary engager for a Flagship)

 

"The Claw! He chooses who will go and who will stay"

The greatest strength of the Claw is his reliability to scrap other ships outside of his engagment with Ramming Speed. The ability to scrap ships like this is not common, and a lot of times the station card Strike Force Tactics is best left unbought and allowed to flip. With the rate that Opposition ships can and will be thrown at you, secondary scrapping is a nessesary key to victory. For these reasons Ramming Speed is invaluable, so any talk about how to best use the Claw will revolve around it. 

Primary Mission Objectives:

When playing Claw, your main objective will be to 1) Reposition problematic Opposition ships and 2) Scraping extra ships with Ramming Speed

Ramming Speed's use is obvious. Scrap either the strongest ship you can, or pick off ships with particularly great bounties. But Ramming Speed, unlike its Stike Force Tactics counterpart in the station, can only be used in the battle phase, and it requires movement during that phase. Claw comes with 2 innate movement Boosts and will need them to make use of Ramming Speed. Hit and Run is a simple run&gun style card, remove energy from something and move. Deadly Focus is of particular interest and should be used wisely. You can take a ship engaged with Claw into another sector.

Training Example: Imagine in a 2 player game you have 1st sector with 1 Opp ships, 2nd sector with 2 Opps, and 3rd sector at the fleet limi (4 Opps in this case). You go to the 3rd while partner is in the 2nd sector. Manipulate what you can in the 3rd sector, then in the battle phase, Hit and Run to the 2nd Sector. Then both of you engage those 2 ships, Deadly Focus Claw and the his engaged Opp to the first sector while you Ramming Speed the unengaged ship from the 1st sector. This round, you have managed to lock down the first 2 sectors and manipulated what the Overrun sector will flip in the Aftermath phase (hopefully all three flips were Opp ships that couldn't deploy because of the fleet limit anyway, or at least Boosts that don't cross sectors)

This is the potential that Claw offers. Advantageous movement and scrapping power.

Station Cards and Manipulation Options:

Claw has fairly average buying power for a Strike Force ship. You will average around 90 credits per round. You don't want to fill your deck too much since you want Ramming Speed to cycle back to you as soon as possible, but you need to keep a healthy amount of Energy as well to scrap your engagments. Claw doesn't need to have many things installed to operate very well like some other ships. His overall Energy count is far less important than his deck size and ability to cycle back to Ramming Speed.

Energy Techs: Fine-Tuned Target HUD and Threllian Hull are expensive but are great for quicker cycling and energy. Detonative Patch and Ultra-Light Overlay are great because of the scrap effects (and Ramming Speed will constantly eat at your shields for it). All your energy gains will have to come from techs, so these are a priority for Claw.

Non-Energy Techs:  Claw will have very few uses for techs that don't grant some instant energy for him to use, so they will be a lower priority. But there are some good ones if the price and your deck size is right. The EMP is great for engagments and fantastic anti-Flagship support tech. Keller Upgrade and Rush-Thrusters will dole out constant Energy and are of particular interest. But for techs such as OCS Waypoint Calculator, Cloak Drive, they become more of a burden in the deck.

Boosts: Internodal Escape, along with being another great movement option, is a fantastic anti-Opp purchase. Boarding Party, Never Mind the Odds, and Desperate Measures are all great options for Claw, but keep in mind their Opp sides are not very threatening, so keep that in mind when you decide to roll the dice and buy them up.

Manipulation: Station Manipulation is the aspect of the game where you buy cards not for your deck, but so the Opposition doesn't flip them. Because of of picky Claw can be with what he wants to buy and the tendency to keep his deck as small as possible, station manipulation is tricky for him. However he has ways to help. His extra movement allows him to buy in one sector while engaging in others, so he can always go buy in a sector that no one else can get to so that you have control over what will flip in the Aftermath. Claw's Intimidate is less for your benefit and more for the rest of your team. Intimidate prices down in a sector with a bunch of SF ships or in the sector in most need of clutch manipulation, and then move elsewhere if you like. If you need Claw to function better as a manipulator, try and buy a Market Calculator. It is most useful for ships like Claw to exert more control over the table, but comes at the cost of build speed. With his awesome movement, the trade-off can be well worth it.

Opposition Intel:

The Syndicate: Threll Blockaders are your primary Ramming Speed targets. Pick them off in sectors that are totally Overrun to prevent any Aftermath flipping. In the absence of good Station Manipulation in those sectors, sniping Blockaders buys you time and breathing room. Claws great movement can also help you avoid triggering extra Opposition plays from the Smuggler's [R] ability. Smuggler's have to be taken out before they are allowed to overcomplicate your life.

Nyotan: Manuvere around the Battle icons found on Gloricidae's and Diokinarris'. Theres no extremely good bounties to be noteworthy. Harbingers, especailly once we start talking Elite Mode, are you primary Ramming Speed targets. If you can't scrap them outright through a single engagment, this is the only way to take them out.

Singularity: Alpha Primes must be destroyed at all costs. Engage and scrap Gatherers first that get their shields eaten and Ramming Speed any Primes that you are able. Your biggest issue with be Primes that absorb shields from Gatherers as they are not as easily Rammed. Try and remove as many Primes as possible before the Flagship comes out. If you can't remove a significant number of Primes, focus on just their shields with cards like Odds Calculator. Limit the starting shield value of the Flagship as much as possible or you will not catch it.

Technovores: Both Orcs can function at a high level without a bunch of techs installed thanks to the utility of Ramming Speed. This becomes very important for fighting Technovores who will consistently scrap your techs on Elite Mode. Snipe Technovore Swarms in overrun sectors to buy you time as the bounty prevents Aftermath flipping and pay attention to your ship panel Energy in case you need to spend a round primary engaging Hive-Master if your teamates are all largely tech-reliant

UFGD: Like Blockaders and Swarms, UFGD Carrier's will be the most sought after bounty as it prevents Aftermath flipping. Pick them off at oppertune times. Pay attention to where Scouts are going to go, they can make or break you and are priority targets to engage quickly. The UFGD will send Opp ships at you faster than most other Opp forces. Keeping Ramming Speed or Strike Force Tactics close by will really cut down those waves. On Elite Mode, scrap ships through engagments first before you Ramming Speed as Military Response can send out a Carrier for you to Ram, and there are other decent bounties to be had from the Corvette or Frigate.

Strike Force Team-ups:

Flagship Support: Claw will rarely do well as your Flagship engager unless you specifically go out of your way and build him to do so. His talents as a bounty hunter are best used to other ends. You will want to teamup with someone whos focus is on Energy gain to directly assault the Flagship. Vigilance, Wrath, Basileios make perfect partners for when the Flagship is a foregone conclusion. Marots Folly, Tharendim, and the Conclave could fill this role in a pinch and have ways to do it well, but come with some drawbacks for doing so. BjarlSpire could either primary or absorb your damage if you primary since your W value will likely be higher than his and gives you some options as to how to best attack. Conclave can focus on boosting you up to Energy levels that are sufficient to attack the flagship if needed as well.

Station Manipulation Support: Claws other main drawback is good consistent station manipulation. He has the movement for it, but his ideal deck size makes it hard to go on a spending spree without the drawback of not seeing Ramming Speed for some time. Your best station manipulators are Wrath and Marots Folly, who both possess the movement and purchasing power to be incredibly effective at dictating exactly whats going to flip in the Aftermath. Conclave and Vigilance lack extra movement but all boast significant bankrolls to effect the sector they are in.

Scrap Support: Claw already excells at extra scrapping power, but teamates who can help pile it on can get you wins without a Flagship kill and are very useful for securing Elite Mode wins post Flagship. Grey's Hammer and Tharendim are you're best teamates to up the scrap rate. Hammer can unload early and start scrapping ships off the bat or hold his payload to make Flagship shields cry. Tharendim just needs shields to be low enough and can scrap normal Opp ships regardless of total energy. Warbeast is not very far behind Hammer and can even exceed Hammer in total energy damage done, but Warbeast likes to spread that damage out to multiple ships where as Grey's Hammer prefers to hammer down single ships at a time.

 

dragonlordged
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Hi Foote, nice walkthrough!

One question though: I was under the impression that Ramming Speed and other scrap effects didn't award bounties. I seem to recall something about needing to remove the last energy from an enemy to get the bounty. Am I just crazy?

Foote
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dragonlordged wrote:

Hi Foote, nice walkthrough!

One question though: I was under the impression that Ramming Speed and other scrap effects didn't award bounties. I seem to recall something about needing to remove the last energy from an enemy to get the bounty. Am I just crazy?

If the effect that scrapped an Opp ship came from a Strike Force effect, you get the bounty.

If the effect that scrapped an Opp ship came from a source other than a Strike Force effect, such as a Sector ability or another bounty effect, you do not get the bounty.

At least this is how I currently understand it.

Pydro
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Since like 10 people answer every SotM question, we should keep the same trend with GSF.

I concur.


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
-Robert E. Howard, "The Tower of the Elephant"

BlueHairedMeerkat
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As do I.


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Reckless
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Yup.


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Now if I could only get my hands on a copy of the game. 


Crush your enemies, drive them before you, and laminate their women! - Guise, Prime Wardens #31

 
dragonlordged
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I'm not sure I agree with you guys, but I can see where you're coming from.  From my rulebook:

Opposition Ships grant Bounties when they are scrapped by a Strike Force Ship.  When a Strike Force Ship removes [* energy triangles] from an Opposition Ship and causes it to be scrapped, that Ship's player immediately gains the Bounty.  If an Opposition Ship is scrapped for any other reason, no one gains the Bounty.

This sounds to me that scrap boosts (like Ramming Speed) should not grant bounties, since you are not removing energy from the ship.  If they do grant bounties, I don't see any other reasons for that second sentence.  The first sentence seems to already discount all of the other possibilities (Sector ability, bounty effect, Flagship effect, etc).

 

(PS:  Sorry to those of you who don't have a copy yet.  Hope you get it soon!)

Pydro
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I haven't seen the rulebook, but inless something changed at the very end, I have it confirmed from GtG that any form of scrapping from a SF ship will get you the bounty.


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
-Robert E. Howard, "The Tower of the Elephant"

McBehrer
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo

 

yeah, actually.


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Christopher
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If the effect that scrapped an Opp ship came from a Strike Force effect, you get the bounty.

If the effect that scrapped an Opp ship came from a source other than a Strike Force effect, such as a Sector ability or another bounty effect, you do not get the bounty

That is correct.

 


"Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting;
but never hit soft."
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