Is it better to Focus or Evade?

## Flexibility

Before we get into the math, what if evasion were always better than focus? Would we ever want to focus? Yes, because focus is both offensive and defensive. A focus token that isn’t used for defense can potentially be used for offense. If a ship that Evades isn’t shot, or rolls enough evades, the token is wasted. Focus is more flexible than evade.

## The Basics

On each green defense die there are 3 evades, 2 focus, and 3 blanks. This means you have a 3 in 8 chance (37%) of rolling an evade with no focus and a 5 in 8 chance (62%) of evading with focus.

Contrast this to the red attack die which has 1 critical, 3 hits, 2 focus, and 2 blanks. The attacker has the advantage.

## Focus or Evade

Let’s get down to answering the question: is it better to focus or evade? The answer to this depends on how many green dice are rolled. Evade starts out strong, but focus scales better with more dice.

The following tables shows the expected amount of damage mitigated by focus and evade. If a ship has 1 agility and doesn’t focus or evade, the green dice would reduce the damage by .4. Obviously damage isn’t fractional, so what this means is you have roughly a 40% chance of rolling an evade.

Defense Dice | Nothing | Focus | Evade | Focus + Evade |
---|---|---|---|---|

1 | .4 | .6 | 1.4 | 1.6 |

2 | .8 | 1.2 | 1.8 | 2.2 |

3 | 1.1 | 1.9 | 2.1 | 2.9 |

4 | 1.5 | 2.5 | 2.5 | 3.5 |

5 | 1.9 | 3.1 | 2.9 | 4.1 |

The chart shows that with 1, 2, or 3 dice evade is better. With 4 dice evasion and focus are equal. With 5 or more dice focus is better. So if your TIE Interceptor is behind at range 3 behind an asteroid you should probably focus.

With 1 die evade is quite a bit better than focus. There is only one ship with 1 agility that can evade and that is a YT-1300 with the Millennium Falcon title. This title is useful with Han Solo or the Gunner upgrade. You can evade and still have a good chance of hitting.

With 2 die evade is still better. But which ships with 2 agility can evade? That honor is bestowed to the Firespray-31. We could again evade and use the Gunner upgrade to improve the chances to hit. Or we could take Recon Specialist to get two focus tokens. I haven’t done the math for two focus tokens, but I suspect it would win out over evade. In addition it increases offense.

With 3 dice evade is better, but it isn’t that much better. Is .2 damage worth losing the opportunity to use a focus token to attack if you manage to roll well on defense? Several Imperial ships have 3 agility and the ability to evade. Focus is probably the better choice.

## Probabilities

The following tables show the probability of evasion. The first four columns are the probably of evading exactly that amount. The last two columns show the chance of rolling 1 or more or 2 or more evades.

It’s interesting to note that with 3 defense dice you are almost guaranteed to evade at least one hit, with a 95% probability. You also have a decent chance of evading 2 or more shots at 63%.

Defense Dice | 0 Evades | 1 Evade | 2 Evades | 3 Evade | 1+ Evades | 2+ Evades |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

1 | 38% | 63% | 63% | |||

2 | 14% | 47% | 39% | 86% | 39% | |

3 | 5% | 26% | 44% | 24% | 95% | 68% |

Without a focus token you have a 1 in 4 chance of not evading anything with 3 defense dice. With 2 dice its about 50/50 you won’t evade anything. With one defense dice 2 out of 3 times you won’t evade anything. This shows the importance of the focus action.

Defense Dice | 0 Evades | 1 Evade | 2 Evades | 3 Evade | 1+ Evades | 2+ Evades |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

1 | 63% | 38% | 38% | |||

2 | 47% | 39% | 14% | 53% | 14% | |

3 | 24% | 44% | 26% | 5% | 76% | 32% |

With an evade token shift the columns one to the left. The 0 Evades column becomes 1 Evade, and so on.

Defense Dice | 1 Evades | 2 Evades | 3 Evades | 4 Evade | 2+ Evades | 3+ Evades |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

1 | 63% | 38% | 38% | |||

2 | 47% | 39% | 14% | 53% | 14% | |

3 | 24% | 44% | 26% | 5% | 76% | 32% |

## Instant Death

The TIE Fighter and TIE Interceptor only have 3 hull. If the attacker scores three hits and zero evades are rolled they will be destroyed. Using an evade token lowers this chance to zero. However, with 3 evasion dice the chance of dying is only 5%. This chance is further reduced because the attacker isn’t always going to get 3 hits. I calculated it at around 40% when focus is used. This means the chance of instant death is actually around 2%. Note that this chart shows the percentages against three hits. Obviously with 4 attack dice your chances of getting instakilled get worse.

Dice | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
---|---|---|---|---|

Chance to Die – No Focus (%) | 62 | 39 | 24 | 15 |

Chance to Die – Focus (%) | 37 | 14 | 5 | .7 |

Chance to Die – Evade (%) | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |

## Evade Tactics

Never evade with all of your ships. A smart opponent will focus on one ship, strip the evade token from one ship, and continue firing at it. The evade tokens on your other ships will be wasted.

Evade can be used to influence your opponents choice of attack. If you have three TIE Interceptors with full health and a damaged TIE Interceptor the natural attack choice is the damaged one. Using Evade on the damaged Interceptor might cause your opponent to choose another target.

On high pilot skill pilots, if you focus, it is tempting to spend the focus token on offense instead of saving it for defense. Using Evade instead of Focus eliminates this temptation. It isn’t as much of an issue on low pilot skill pilots, because if they are targeted you will have already spent the token.

## Conclusion

Unless you’re flying the Millennium Falcon, or Firespray-31 with offensive upgrades, it’s probably better to focus unless you want to try and influence your opponents targeting.