A-B-C-D-Which IG-88 is right for me?

With scum officially released, something many players are likely debating is which version(s) of IG-88 would best suit their style of play. With their ships, point costs and PS all identical, the only difference between the four is their pilot abilities, making it tough to choose which is best.

Which one is this again?
Which one is this one again?

The four give very different advantages, and are geared towards different play styles. The one card everyone talks about being here is the IG-2000 title.

Everyone loves the potential for this in epic.
Everyone loves the potential for this in epic.

Now, due to this, many people are trying to create lists containing two identical 50-point IG-88’s. Although this is a totally valid way of playing, one which I will likely attempt at some point, it isn’t the only way. I contest that two IG-88s can be viable with different load-outs, as building something that’s viable for both makes it so that when one is killed, the other is built sub-optimally. For example, if you have B and C with identical load-outs, neither if them is ideal, and when one dies, the other is still wasting points on upgrades that only ‘synergized’ with the dead ship.  I also claim that these ships can be used individually. Yes, a single IG-88 sometimes seems like an alien topic, but it could work.

The concept of only one IG-88 is also supported by aliens, like Bossk.
On that note, the concept of only one IG-88 is supported by aliens like Bossk.

Yes, one IG-88 may be sufficient in many lists. So, let’s see what these guys are capable of individually.

The Regenerator:

Like a morbid R2-D2
Like a morbid R2-D2

So, scum can recover shields now, interesting. It may be tempting to build him with defensive upgrades like sensor jammer and lone wolf, but this might not be the best idea. Usually these builds are great late-game due to their ability to regen every turn, but in a one-on-one scenario, the ability is useless. Also, if the ship isn’t a threat, nobody will shoot at it, meaning that when you get the kill, you won;t be able to take advantage of the ability. This means that cannons, offensive focused EPTs such as predator and outmanoeuvre, and bombs might be best. Keep in mind, bombs can take out multiple enemies at once as well. I will admit, though, A interests me the least out of the four, so I spent the least time thinking about this one. Next!

The Weapons Specialist:

Oh right, this was the one from Empire.
Oh right, this was the one from Empire.

So, on the one which actually was a bounty hunter, you get a version of gunner that works on cannons. Something I noticed was that the cheapest way to take advantage of that was give him just the cheapest cannon, at 38 points. He’s a bounty hunter. By contrast, the bland bounty hunter with gunner also costs 38 points. Clearly, this is proof that FFG is in on an illuminati plot.

In case it wasn't obvious
In case my joking wasn’t obvious enough

All joking aside, them serving a similar role and being the same point cost (although in different factions), and bounty hunter with gunner still holding up, this gives us the chance to make a comparison. IG-88B gets a better dial, more upgrade options, can give stress, has 3 more PS, access to the boost action and has a very powerful title for free. The BH has two titles, although neither is as good, as well as the ability to do more damage than 1 on the second shot, and a rear firing arc. Seems about fair.

When building IG-88B, you must remember to take a cannon, otherwise his ability will never trigger. Fire-Control systems is also good, as even with a HLC, you can whiff a roll. It also combos well with an Ion cannon for total shut down. two rolls, at least one always with TL should nearly guarantee a hit. Predator would be good if you lack FCS, and if you have FCS, you may want to take outmanoeuvre instead. Mangler is effectively a better primary attack, and and Flechette can be good on someone already Ionned. Moving on.

The Dogfighter:

This is MC-88. Can't touch this!
This is MC-88. Can’t touch this!

When I first saw this, I was very excited. I absolutely love the boost action and thought I’d be using it almost all the time. However, I came to realise that you often boost to get out of someone’s arc, and wouldn’t need the evade. However, since this isn’t always the case, and since being at range 1 might be better sometimes, and getting into range 3 when behind/beside someone is very useful this definitely still has its place.

To make best use of this ability, you’ll want stuff that’ll make you want to boost often. Push the limit will do that, which is great due to this ship’s amazing 9 green manoeuvres, which is the best in the game. Advanced sensors would go nicely with PtL as well. Also, dare I say that someone who can get within range 1 with some extra defence could take autoblaster and accuracy corrector? Lastly, we have…

The Surprise Flanker:

He’s listing lazily to the, OH GOD NO HE ISN’T!

For a while, this was the only one revealed, and for good reason, people were excited. No other pilot in the game can make this manoeuvre .

Good upgrade would be again, advanced sensors, as you may use red manoeuvres more often than other ships.  Outmanoeuvre again would be good, but so would stay on target, as you wouldn’t have to commit to the unique manoeuvre, but could instead use it as a fallback, and have it be more surprising. Again, as with PtL, the penalty of stress lessens the cost of gaining stress.

Again, they can be combined in unique ways. A and B together can pound someone into submission and use that to increase survivability. A and C can last forever, while A and D can stay out of the way and gain shields back at unexpected moments. B and C can be an ultimate damage-dealing dogfighter, B and D together can hit someone hard when they don’t expect it, and C and D can be super-mobile.

May the force be with you, pilot.







6 thoughts on “A-B-C-D-Which IG-88 is right for me?”

  1. Very good article.

    I think I’d only take IG-88A in Epic when running all 4.

    And a comment on IG-88C: since you’re at PS6 (or PS8 if you go with VI), you can’t always guarantee you can boost out of all enemy arcs, so the free Evade is a little more important than on, say, a PS9 ship with boost and/or barrel roll that can almost guarantee it dodges arcs. I think he’s still one of the best, probably with Advanced Sensors (as you mentioned) to give some options on when to perform your near-mandatory boost. C and D each with Advanced Sensors lets you do a boost in any of 3 directions (plus free Evade) followed by your choice of 45° or 90° S-loop… which allows for some pretty crazy options in where you end up. Not quite Echo, but pretty shocking for a large ship. Of course, that means giving up IG-88B’s “cannon gunner,” but it also frees up a lot more points for expensive non-cannon upgrades or even a third ship in your squad.

    1. Good insights iNano78.

      I agree that getting an evade is most important, especially in a two ship list.

      C and D look like the most fun for me personally, and putting advanced sensors on them would lead to some great movement options! Against swarms, that reposition ability would be dominant. Against smaller 2-3 ship lists at a higher PS, the free evade on a 3 dice defence would be very tanky. Those Space Bug ships are most impressive.

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