Looking through the game materials tonight as my friends played Aristeia (Assault scenario), I realized there was a universal ability available to all characters that’s not on their cards. In fact, its very easy to miss as its only on the back of the rules reference!
Contender offers you a single orange die attack with 1-8 Range for 3 energy. I had to think about this for a moment… this changes my perceptions of characters like Hexx3r and Gata who ordinarily would have no attacks. So, there is a direct offensive option for them! But, would I ever want to use it is the question.
As an orange die there is about a 66% chance you’d roll a Success (16% chance of rolling a double success). There’s a 50% chance of rolling a Block. There’s only a 33% chance of rolling a Block and a Success. And there’s only about a 16% chance of rolling a Block, Success, and a Special! result.
So, really, looking it over? So, its possible to attack with it but man does it stink by itself. The likelihood of overcoming a Green + Blue defense roll is pretty low, but the bigger problem is the Blue die has a 50% chance of rolling a success. Couple that with the fact an orange die only has a 33% chance of rolling a Block and Success? Eeek!
This definitely makes Contender a rather unsafe attack. And the limited number of potential successes by itself makes it a rather ineffective attack. But, looking at it, its something I think I need to keep in the back of my mind. Why? Tactics cards and bonuses from other characters could make Contender potentially useful in some situations. While this means you’ll need to have a combination of pre-planning and some lucky draws, the ability to have an attack most players aren’t actively considering has some merit.
My next game might have at least one character not known for attacking like Hexx3r, Gata, or Laxmee. I need to remember this for that game, and maybe, just maybe, it’ll help me out in a tight spot. Likewise, characters with minimum ranges on their good attacks like Pavarti and Wild Bill wouldn’t be totally optionless in melee range 1-1.