I was looking to build a list using Biggs, and was wondering if R2-F2 was a worthwhile droid for him. I found a couple articles discussing the subject, but none of them had the mathematical depth I wanted, nor did they consider the number of attacks that would be directed at your ship. So I pulled out some python and set about to simulate the results!
So, these are the variables we will be considering:
- Your ship’s base agility
- Number of attacks it will be suffering this round
- It’s action (nothing, focus, evade or R2-F2)
If your ship has 1 agility
A forgone conclusion is that an evade token is always better than a focus (from the purely defensive standpoint this article adopts). R2-F2 is also always better than focus. But, is Evade or R2-F2 better? Turns out it depends on how many times you’re going to get attacked – and the tipping point is between 2 and 3 attacks.
Only getting attacked twice? Take an evade. Getting shot at 3 or more times? Go for R2-F2.
If your ship has 2 agility
This is the scenario which started me on the path to this short article: Biggs has 2 agility.
As when we were rolling a single defense die, an evade is better than a focus [technically, if you’re getting shot at 4 times, an evade will squeeze out 0.03 extra evades]. Choosing between focus and R2-F2 (if you don’t have an evade action) or an evade and R2-F2 is a little more complicated – and depends on how many attacks will be directed your way. Once again, R2-F2 shines if you’re getting shot at 3+ times!
If you’re getting attacked twice, take an evade (or a focus). If you’re getting attacked more than twice, use R2-F2.
If your ship has 3 agility
This is the scenario we’re aiming to put Biggs in: in multiple firing arcs, at range 3.
Here’s what you should prioritize, depending on how many times you’re getting shot at:
- If you’re getting shot at once: evade, focus, then R2-F2.
- If you’re getting shot at twice: focus, evade, then R2-F2.
- If you’re getting shot at three times: focus, R2-F2, then evade.
- If you’re getting shot at four times or more: R2-F2, focus, then evade.
If your ship has 4 agility
Surprisingly (at least, I find), Focus is better option than evade or R2-F2 up to 4 attacks against you. At 4 attacks against you, Focus and R2-F2 are pretty much equivalent. At 5+ enemies shooting at you, R2-F2 comes out on top.
What if you can transfer over a focus, or take 2 actions?
Simply put, using R2-F2 and a having a Focus token is always better than having 2 Focus tokens.
I think R2-F2 is worth it on Biggs and that it’s a better droid for him than R2-D2. Why? Two reasons:
- It doesn’t require a green maneuver so you’re more maneuverable.
- It cancels hits instead of replenishing them during the activation phase. This means you are more likely to survive for another round. Which means that’s one more round where your opponent’s high-PS ships will be firing at Biggs. Every time Biggs with R2-F2 ends a round with 1 hull point left, he’s likely to have died if you had chosen R2-D2!
- Bonus: It’s cheaper by 1 point!
Note: All the calculations for Focus tokens are considering that you spend the eyeball on your first defense roll with at least 1 eyeball.
You could, of course, hold on to your token and maybe use it on a roll with more eyeballs. However, even if you manage to use the focus token on your defense roll with the most eyeball results, the results are only slightly better. Even looking at a scenario where you’re rolling 3 evade dice and getting attacked 4 times this round, the difference is only so that you’ll be getting, on average, 0.25 more evades by timing your token’s use perfectly!
I’d therefore always recommend spending your focus token as soon as possible for defense.
Note: The averages for no-action, evade and R2-F2 were computed precisely (using a binominal distribution). On the other had, the results for focus are averages of 500,000 simulated die rolls.