Common Mistakes

“He says it’s nothing, sir. Merely a malfunction. Old data. Pay it no mind.”
— C-3PO

After the excitement of the last few discussions I thought we’d stick to a (hopefully) pretty safe area today.  Rather than discussing controversy-laden deep rules interpretations, I wanted to look at some of the simple mistakes that people often make when playing the game.  These are generally straightforward items for a lot of people, but they can be easy to miss, and how often have you seen even an experienced player say “Wow, I’ve been playing that wrong all along”?

Some of these are basically FAQ questions.  Some are shorthands that a lot of us use that are actually wrong, but may not matter that often.  Some are just things that new players overlook a lot.  This is sort of a grab bag of random thoughts 0n rules that wouldn’t necessarily earn full posts of their own.

Previous Discussions: Stealth Device and Obstacles
Some issues have earned full posts of their own, though.  We’ve talked about some of the more commonly misunderstood areas before.  Rather than rehashing it all, I’m going to be self-referential and say “Go read these”.

Range Dice for Secondary Weapons
Dice modifiers for range (extra attack at Range 1, and extra defense at Range 3) apply only to primary weapon attacks, not to secondary weapons.  It’s easy to miss that the range modifier is only for primary weapons.

Actions vs.Spending  Tokens
Actions are restricted in a number of cases: you can’t take them while stressed, you can’t do the same action twice in the same turn, etc.  Many people confuse these limitations with tokens, but there are no such limites.  Soontir Fel can easily acquire two focus tokens per turn, and the Moldy Crow can theoretically have an unlimited number if you save them up.  If you have tokens, you can spend tokens, regardless of any duplication.

Effects During Combat
This one is often overlooked because until recently, it didn’t matter much.  It still rarely comes up, but is very important when it does.   When using dice modification effects during an attack roll, the defender applies their effects first, and then the attacker.  When rolling defense dice, the attacker applies theirs first.

Dice Results, Damage, and Dealing Cards
Handling damage can be a strange thing.  In part, this comes because there aren’t actually official names for the icons on the dice.  This has led people to come up with names that we all tend to use, but may not always be precisely correct.

While we might call a die result a “Hit” or “Critical Hit”, resolving damage for an attack actually occurs in two steps: First, dice results turn into damage.  Second, the target suffers that damage.  A {Critical Hit} result is not actually a face up damage card, nor is a “suffered critical damage”.  This is a case where many of us (myself included) use a convenient shorthand, but it’s wrong.  In general, the shorthand works, but it can get us into trouble.  For instance, can Draw Their Fire move damage from a Proton Bomb hit, or the new Darth Vader crew?  The answer to both is no – results are not damage.

Suffering Damage and Critical Damage vs. Shields
This may possibly be the most confused element of rules in the entire game.  Most attacks and damaging effects will eventually result in a ship suffering damage.  The process for handling that is outlined on page 16, and is the same regardless of the source – if you have shield tokens you lose a token, if you don’t you deal a card, face down for damage and face up for critical damage.  So far as I can think of at the moment there is only one effect that bypasses this process, and that is the Proton Bomb.    Otherwise, everything that hurts a ship falls into the “suffering damage” category, and will impact the shields first.

How Evade Works
I think the vase majority of players think the rules for an evade token are “Spend to cancel one hit.”  But that’s not actually how they work; spending the token adds one {Evade} result to the defender’s dice pool.  This one doesn’t actually matter much outside of theoretical discussions at this point, but very well may in the future.

Range Measuring and Firing Arc
Don’t worry, we’re not talking about premeasuring again…  When you measure range between two ships, it’s always closest point to closest point, right?  Actually, no – when you measure for firing, it’s the closest point that is in the firing arc.  This is one I myself missed until very recently, because the rules mention measuring shortest path in several places, and it’s easy to skim the range measurement on page 10 because you already know it.

YT-1300 Turret and Firing Arc
It’s easy to forget because its primary weapons ignore it, but the YT-1300 actually does have a standard firing arc.  At the moment, the biggest effect of this concerns Backstabber and whether or not he gets his bonus die when attacking the Falcon from outside the standard firing arc (he does).

Any other common mistakes you see, or have made yourself?  Offer them up in the comments.